BUCK ROGERS: Planet of Zoom

The Enemy Source Ship in the arcade version is called the Mother Ship in this version. 

In the arcade version, there’s 2 indicators – a Time Left bar and a UFO Count meter.  When the Time Left bar runs out, you advance to the next sector.  If you destroy the number of UFOs shown before the Time Left bar runs out, you’ll receive bonus points.  In the VCS version, when the time bar runs out, you lose a ship, and if you have any left, you start the level over (on round 1).

The manual states are 16 different levels, each with 4 rounds of combat.  Actually, there are only 2 rounds of combat per level.  The manual offers 2 different explanations of what constitutes a round.  It states that on the Planet Zoom screen (called Cosmic City in the arcade manual), the number to the right of your score is the number of electron posts you must pass through to reach the next round (on level 1, there’s 20 posts).  However, it then describes the first 3 rounds as 20 posts, posts + saucers, and posts + hoppers, with round 4 being the space sequence with saucers and the Mother Ship.  What happens in the game is, after you pass the first 12 posts, saucers start appearing, and after you pass 5 more, hoppers appear along with the saucers.

BUG: You receive bonus points for destroying the Mother Ship, but at the same time the time bar gets reset and starts counting down again before you even have a chance to start the next level.

BUG: Although not described in the manual, the electron post counter becomes an enemy counter in round 2 (space sequence).  When there’s approximately a half-dozen enemies left, quick firing will reveal a glitch in the counter, where hitting one of the saucers will deduct 2 from the counter, instead of 1.

BUG: Level 10 is displayed as “LEVEL 8C” (picture #1). A bad OR (compare) instruction in the program results in the pointers for the level number getting pointed to the wrong area in memory.

BUG: When you roll the score counter, 2 vertical lines appear on the title screen (picture #2).

FRYING: Creates the same vertical lines that appear after rolling the score, except they appear during a game and act like “laser” barriers which destroy enemy ships. {Scott Stilphen}



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