Matt Chat 169: The Eidolon--a journey into the mystical realm of the mind

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This week features a retrospective of Lucasfilm Games' The Eidolon, a 1985 game that builds on the fractal routines introduced in Koronis Rift and Rescue on Fractalus!. Unfortunately, this game requires a manual to understand, so many of us pirates back in the day couldn't make head nor tails of it. The story, detailed only in the manual, has us strapping into a sphere called The Eidolon and zapping off into the unconscious, mystical realm of the mind (it just gets weirder from there). The fairly complex gameplay has us shooting and collecting four different colors of balls, each with different effects on creatures (if shot) and ourselves (if hit or collected). It also boasts some of the best artwork at the time, especially animation.

Download the mp4 here.

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Bill Loguidice
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I could have sworn I had this

I could have sworn I had this as a kid and just couldn't get into it, but I think I'm possibly confusing it with some of the other original Lucasfilm titles out at the time since I can't find it in my records. I should look to see if I still have the original disk, which if I recall correctly was a flippy disk, with C-64 on one side and Atari 8-bit on the other. The only present version of The Eidolon I have in my collection boxed at the moment is the MSX2 version (Japanese, I *think* it might be on cartridge). Probably the definitive version as with all these early Lucasfilm titles was the Atari 8-bit since that was their technological basis (along with the Atari 5200, which is in the same family).

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Matt Barton
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Man, it'd be great if you

Man, it'd be great if you could capture some gameplay footage from that MSX version and stick it up there as a video response. I have some fans who are upset that I didn't include any.

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Bill Loguidice
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OK, here's my video response

The audio on my MSX2 system unfortunately seems to be on the blink, as it's very quiet. I'll have to get in there and take a look at some point.

The Eidolon - MSX2 version
The Eidolon - MSX2 version
The Eidolon - MSX2 version
The Eidolon - MSX2 version
The Eidolon - MSX2 version
The Eidolon - MSX2 version

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Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
It looks the same.
Matt Barton wrote:

Man, it'd be great if you could capture some gameplay footage from that MSX version and stick it up there as a video response. I have some fans who are upset that I didn't include any.

Based on Bill's video, the MSX2 version of "The Eidolon" looks pretty much the same as all the other versions you showed in your Matt Chat. It would have been nice to include in your video, but to modern eyes, it's hard to rate one platform's version of Eidolon over another. It appears to be a game that was very effectively translated to various systems, even the Apple II version.

Since I was an Atari 8-bit fanboy, I thought it was cool to see you focus on an Atari 8-bit game, especially one that didn't suck compared to versions for other systems, which was usually the case for Atari 8-bit games!

Great Matt Chat as usual.

Matt Barton
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Man, that system is literally

Man, that system is literally a black box to me. :)

Thanks for posting this!

What is that little card that looks like a screenshot?

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Not sure...
Matt Barton wrote:

What is that little card that looks like a screenshot?

Ponyca Special Card. I don't know what it is beyond that. Maybe a membership card of some type? It's all Japanese.

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