The Tale of Beta Lyrae by Paradise Programming

By Philip Price?  The same guy that did Alternate Reality?  It really is a small world…

I have one memory of this game as a kid.  I was playing it before school, and my mom was trying to get me to leave, and I was so flummoxed because I had just gotten this game and wanted to play it.  Where did I get it?  I’m thinking at some software store at the mall.  For some reason I was playing this downstairs… But I only remember my computer being upstairs, first in like a guest room kind of thing, then in my own room.

Let’s see, so I was playing this downstairs… We had a kitchen separated from a family room by some kind of wrought-iron rail.  The family room was sunken… Had a wood burning stove, maybe?  The kitchen had a big sliding glass door out to the backyard with a patio, and was fenced in, behind which were the houses of our neighbors. Ahh… I remember drawing up plans with my friend from the house on the right to build a tunnel from my yard to his, complete with electric wiring (for video games) and hidden entrances.  I was incredulous that we couldn’t get financial backing from my parents for that.

There was an island of non-grass landscaping in the middle of the yard, with a big stump that served as an occasional table upon which to brew sun-tea.  There was also somewhat of a forested section in the back-left of the yard in which I would play G.I. Joe’s sometimes.  The other side of the yard wrapped around the house and housed some wood pallets where we held piles of wood for the fireplace.

Well, the emulated gameplay on this is interesting.  It’s the first joystick-based game I have actually been able to play with the keyboard reasonably well.  It reminds me a lot of Cosmic Avenger, another game I used to play way back when.  I love the animation when you shoot some of these things like the antennae–they actually crumple to the ground.  Well done!  None of this, however, justifies the almost $30 price tag back then!

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