X-Out last edited by fiye on 02/19/19 02:31PM View full history

Overview

X-Out is a classical horizontal scrolling 2D shoot 'em up that was developed and published in 1990 by Rainbow Arts for the Amiga, Atari ST and C64. The ports for the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum versions were done by Arc Developments. The game was re-released for several platforms in later years at a budget price by various companies like Kixx, Top Shots and EDOS.

It is based on the Irem coin-op games Dragon Breed and X Multiply (the sequel to R-Type) which were in 1989 two of the best shoot'em ups in the arcade halls. At the time Irem was considered to be the head of the shoot 'em up development and these two games came, apart from larger screens and superior graphics, with a far more sophisticated use of power ups. Also the game design, where the flight paths of the enemies have to be carefully analysed and huge enemies need to be destroyed piece by piece, contributed significantly to the success of these games.

Multi-segemted serpent (Amstrad CPC)
Multi-segemted serpent (Amstrad CPC)

With X-Out Rainbow Arts tried to convert all these Irem style hallmarks to the technically limited 8-bit and 16-bit home computers of which the Amiga version has become the qualitatively best one. Apart from the overall feel of an Irem style game X-Out has plenty of original ideas of its own, like the four different ships that can be armed in the shop with twenty six different weapons. Some features were however copied directly from the Irem games like the flying, multi-segmented serpent, with an alien on his back, taken from Dragon Breed or the rotating balls and multiplying worms which also appear in R-Type.

Story

Grainger starts his ship (C64)
Grainger starts his ship (C64)

In the year of 2019 it comes to the first contact with extra-terrestial life. But the aliens don't come from outer space as expected they materialize in the deepest deep sea. Also, they are not friendly minded and gradually destroy the planet surface. The guys "in charge" at the United Nations come, after some squabbling, to the conclusion that the aliens must be driven out or wiped out from the bottom of the sea.

Spies were able to steal plans and material from the aliens so that all of the alien weapon systems are now available to mankind too. Up next an experienced pilot has to be found to take up the fight in the deep sea. At this point the old Grainger, an unemployed submarine veteran with an alcohol problem, joins the game. The only man with admittedly incredible abilities as a pilot and the only one who is so broke, so stupid and still so drunken to accept this job.

Gameplay

The game consists of 8 worlds, which are populated by crowds of enemies and the obligatory mid-level and end-level bosses. It's the player's task to free all these worlds of intruders, and with it the world. Before the start of each level one gets to the shop screen where additional weaponry and ships can be purchased with the points that had been earned in the previous levels by shooting out aliens. Since the player starts the game with a certain number of points and only one ship he has to weigh up whether he equips his available ship well or buys an additional ship before reaching for the deluxe power-ups.

Shop screen (Amiga)
Shop screen (Amiga)

The strange looking creature in the top left of the shop-screen is a deserted alien technician, who looks after the weapons and sells them to the player. The weapons and ships are bought by selecting and placing them on the grid in the top right of the shop screen. In the bottom right corner is a Melob, a creature that has a job at the trash utilization plant. Already installed parts of the ships or even the whole ships can be given to the Melob and one will get his money back. Above the Melob the acoount balance is displayed.

The weapons that can be bought in the shop are:

  • The three different standard shots in three different stenghts(weak, normal and srong) that are displayed in the lower left of the shop-screen.
  • The four types of ships which differ in their carrying capacity and extra weapons.
  • The various extra weapons, like missiles or drones, which are displayed in theree rows right next to the ships. Some of the extra weapons are triggered automatically others are assigned to a primary weapon system or a secondary weapon system which are triggered by special keyboard definitions or joystick functions.
  • The satellites, displayed in the two rows left to Moleb, will appear on the exact positions the player chooses in the shop on the grid. It can be chosen between non-moving and moving(in fixed trajectories) satellites. Three satellites can be installed at maximum.

The game can be controlled either by joystick(all platforms) or by keyboard(Amstad CPC and ZX Spectrum). The speed of the controlled ship can also be set variably in four(only C64) or five(only Amiga and Atari ST) steps. The standard shots are triggered by pressing quickly the firebutton. By pressing the firebutton for a longer time the extra weapons that are assigned to the primary weapon systrem will be triggered. The extra weapons that are assigned to the secondary weapon system must first be activated in order to trigger them. This happens differently depending on the platform. For example on the C64 the "shift key" activates the secondary weapon system and the "spacebar" triggers it.

Weapons & Ships

ItemDescriptionShop price
Orange Shot Weak
Orange Shot Weak
The weakest standard shot in the game and therefore costless.for free
Orange Shot Normal
Orange Shot Normal
A two way standard shot.800
Orange Shot Strong
Orange Shot Strong
A three way standard shot.1600
Blue Shot Weak
Blue Shot Weak
No Caption Provided

One way standard shot of medium quality.1000
Blue Shot Normal
Blue Shot Normal
A two way standard shot.1600
Blue Shot Strong
Blue Shot Strong
A three way standard shot.3200
Best Shot Weak
Best Shot Weak
One way standard shot of best quality.2000
Best Shot Normal
Best Shot Normal
Two way standard shot.3200
Best Shot Strong
Best Shot Strong
The most powerfull standard three way shot in the game.6400
Ship 1
Ship 1
A very small ship. Buying a complete ship, by pressing F1, costs only 8100. (Complete Ship = Ship1 + Orange Shot Strong + Flamethrower)3000
Ship 2
Ship 2
A smal ship. Buying a complette ship, by pressing F2, costs only 9700. (Complette Ship = Ship2 + Blue Shot Strong + Firedraw + Drone)4000
Ship 3
Ship 3
A medium ship. Buying a complete ship, by pressing F3, costs only 20900. (Complete Ship = Ship3 + Best Shot Strong + Energywall + Two Non Moving Satellites)5000
Ship 4
Ship 4
A large ship. Buying a complete ship, by pressing F4, costs only 26400. (Complete Ship = Ship4 + Best Shot Strong + Energywall + Three Non Moving Satellites + Smartbomb)6000
Weak Guided Missle
Weak Guided Missle
A missile that gets released automatically in the game.500
Normal Guided Missle
Normal Guided Missle
A missile that gets released automatically in the game.800
Strong Guided Missle
Strong Guided Missle
A missile that gets released automatically in the game.1200
Bouncing Bomb
Bouncing Bomb
A jumpbomp that gets released automatically in the game.2500
Energywall
Energywall
A extra weapon that is assigned to the primary weapon system.4500
Flamethrower
Flamethrower
A extra weapon that is assigned to the primary weapons system.3500
Firedraw
Firedraw
A extra weapon that is assigned to the primary weapon system.2500
Smartbomb
Smartbomb
A extra weapon that is assigned to the secondary weapon system.2000
Drone
Drone
A extra weapon that is assigned to the secondary weapon system. A maximum of six can be send out.2000
Drone Collect Device
Drone Collect Device
Drones can only be brought back with the collector.1000
Laser
Laser
Strenghtens Drones and Satellite shots.6000
Shield
Shield
A extra weapon that is assigned to the secondary weapon system.2500
Satellite
Satellite
A non-moving satellite.2500
Guided Sat
Guided Sat
A sattelite that adjusts to the height of the enemy nearest to the ship.3500
Sat Half Circle
Sat Half Circle
A satellite wit a pre-fixed movement.2750
Sat Large Circle
Sat Large Circle
A satellite with a pre-fixed movement.2500
Sat Mirror
Sat Mirror
A satellite with a pre-fixed movement.3000
Vsat
Vsat
A satellite with a pre-fixed movement.2500
Sat Small Cirlce
Sat Small Cirlce
A satellite with a pre-fixed movement.2500
Sat Oval
Sat Oval
A satellite with a pre-fixed movement.2500

Reviews

MagazineIssuePageSystemRating%ReviewerLanguage
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)02/199046Amiga939 out of 100094
Eugene LaceyEnglish
Amiga Mania03/199234Amiga94 out of 10094
Adrain PumphreyEnglish
Joystick06/1990143Amstrad CPC94 out of 10094
Bo TGVFrench
Your Commodore06/199026C6494 out of 10094
ACCEnglish
Amiga Joker02/199009Amiga91 out of 10091
Carsten BorgmeierGerman
Zero02/199044,45Amiga91 out of 10091
Paul LakinEnglish
Generation 401/199040,41Amiga90 out of 10090
-French
Computer + Video Games02/199044,45Amiga90 out of 10090
Paul RandEnglish
Datormagazin02/199013Amiga9 out of 1090
Johan PetterssonSwedish
Sinclair User02/199022,23ZX Spectrum90 out of 10090
-English
Amiga Computing04/199057Amiga90 out of 10090
GreenEnglish
The Games Machine02/199050,51Amiga89 out of 10089
Warren LapworthEnglish
Computer + Video Games05/199066,67C6488 out of 10088
-English
Sinclair User12/199149ZX Spectrum87 out of 10087
Garth SumpterEnglish
Commodore User01/199042,43Amiga86 out of 10086
Mike PattendenEnglish
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)01/199006Amiga10.2 out of 1285
Torsten OppermannGerman
Joystick01/1990127Amiga85 out of 10085
KaaaFrench
Zzap12/199164C6485 out of 10085
-English
Your Sinclair03/199056ZX Spectrum84 out of 10084
Matt WellEnglish
Joystick04/1990111Atari ST84 out of 10084
KaaaFrench
Zzap05/199010Amiga84 out of 10084
Scorelord, Robin HoggEnglish
Zzap05/199010C6482 out of 10082
Scorelord, Robin HoggEnglish
Amiga Action03/199280Amiga82 out of 10082
Peter LeeEnglish
Amiga Action03/199056,57Amiga81 out of 10081
Steve Merrett, Alex Simmons, Doug JohnsEnglish
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)05/199060ZX Spectrum9.75 out of 12 81Torsten OppermannGerman
Datormagazin05/199023C648 out of 1080
Magnus ReitbergerSwedish
The One01/199057,58Amiga79 out of 10079
Gary WhiteEnglish
The Games Machine05/199060C6479 out of 10079
Warren LapworthEnglish
Amiga Format02/199040Amiga78 out of 10078
Andy SmithEnglish
Power Play05/1990107C6475 out of 10075
Henrik FischGerman
Crash02/199042,43ZX Spectrum73 out of 10073
Mark, NickEnglish
Power Play02/199046Amiga71 out of 10071
Henrik FischGerman
Micro Hobby04/199028ZX Spectrum69 out of 10069
-Spanish
ACAR07/199076Amiga, C6469 out of 10069
-English
Power Play04/1990105Atari ST67 out of 10067
Henrik FischGerman
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)04/199063C647.8 out of 1265
Torsten OppermannGerman
64'er06/1990120C646 out of 1060Matthias FichtnerGerman
Commodore Force03/199322C6460 out of 10060
-English
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt)04/199063Atari ST6.8 out of 12 57Torsten OppermannGerman
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)07/199064C64470 out of 100047
-English
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