Koronis Rift

Author: Ben Stone
Publisher: Activision
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Crash #40

Koronis Rift

Abandoned technical systems are worth big dollars, so techno scavengers like yourself search unknown worlds for scrap. At last you have found the big one, you have discovered the El Dorado of technology - Koronis Rift - a mountainous planet cut by valleys, where the Ancients once tested their powerful weapons.

But first the planet must be checked out. So with Psytek, the Science Droid Systems Analyser controlling the orbiting Scoutcraft, you descend in a Surface Rover carrying a Repo-Tech (RT) Robot.

On landing, the planet's surface is revealed, with an illuminated dot display indicating the nearest concentration of Ancient technology. Starting at the top of the display, the Rover moves in the direction of the hulk. A drive system moves the craft to the left, right and forward, with speed and engine status shown at the top of the screen. By returning to the Scoutcraft and selecting the appropriate option the next, or next but one rift can be investigated.

Koronis Rift

To help in your efforts, the Rover carries up to six modules: Laser, Defensive Shield, Generator, Power Reserve. Radar, Enemy Detection equipment, Propulsive Drive and other, as yet unknown systems. Additional systems can be overseen using the supplementary monitors at the top of the main screen and are incorporated in the Rover using an 'Add Module ' option.

Guardian Saucers attack in an attempt to frustrate your scavenging plans, these can be destroyed, or evaded by cutting through passes and staying close to mountains.

The Rover carries a shield and laser based on one of six different, electromagnetic energy frequencies. Shields defend best against a similarly coloured attacking lasers but are less effective against other colours, whilst lasers are most destructive against dissimilarly coloured shields.

Koronis Rift

All Rover systems require power, with 10% being given over to weapons. When non-weapon systems are under-utilising energy, the excess is transferred to attack and defence systems. Insufficient power causes systems to operate at reduced efficiency. A reserve power display at the top of the screen indicates levels available for weapons, if these are low shield efficiency may be impaired. The same display is used to determine the requirements of additional modules and so avoid excessive energy drains. The acquisition of a beefier generator unit increases power levels.

High radiation levels make it dangerous for you to leave the safety of your Rover when a hulk is discovered. By stopping the Rover close to the wreck and using onscreen options, the RT Robot collects and brings back useful systems. Not all hulks contain useful equipment, and only by returning to the Scoutcraft and using the analysing Psytek can you really determine what is of true value.

The Scoutcraft can be returned to at any time where the science Droid Psytek assesses collected modules which pass before it on a conveyor. An inventory of stored modules can be called up and individual items analysed or dismantled.


Koronis Rift

Control keys: A/D left/right, S to move forward/stop, zero to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2, Cursor
Use of colour: quite rich
Graphics: famous fractals strike again, and work very well
Sound: no tunes and minimal FX
Skill levels: one
Screens: 20 rifts


'There's a lot to get used to in Koronis Rift, but it becomes enjoyable when you get the feel of it. The graphics are unusual, and despite being a little jerky they're quite impressive. There is a distinct lack of sound: I didn't notice a tune and the effects are minimal - play it with your Walkman on!! Obviously, it's not as good as its sister versions, but taking into account the fact that it wasn't designed to run on a Spectrum, someone's done a good job. Definitely worth a look - a shoot 'em up with a difference.'


'Koronis Rift is the type of game which takes hours to get started, there are so many different functions to get used to. However, once mastered it's is great fun to play - basically it is a shoot 'em up game with a lot of add-ons. The graphics are a bit of a problem though; too much colour has been put into the very detailed characters, generating a flickery and messy screen. There is also a definite lack of sound, but this doesn't cause any problems.'


'I feel sorry for the people that had the job of translating this for the Spectrum - but they've done quite well considering. The graphics are of the same type used in Rescue on Fractalus, with a superior choice of colour. The ship moves quite slowly, but the robot in mid-section is nicely animated. The trading and fights are good fun to start with, but the gameplay contains little else. The main problem is that the Spectrum wasn't designed to be converted to, so maybe next time LUCASFlLM will by something original...'

Ben StonePaul SumnerMike Dunn

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