Some 18 years ago, in July 1992, I read the Amiga Power review of Hostile Breed, a strategy/management game cum shoot-em-up from Palace Software. It was previewed and reviewed in most of the main Amiga magazines. The game was an intriguing departure from most other games of that era with its base management, action based along eight long corridors, an organic enemy and distinctive look.
Years later, like many others, I was left wondering what had happened to Hostile Breed. I still hadnt played the game although its non-appearance seemed to have something to do with the publisher Palaces demise. In fact, Palaces problems were exactly why Hostile Breed remained unpublished. French company Titus bought Palace but unhappily the game failed to find a publisher there either.
That wasnt the end of the story though, as programmer Rob Stevens had always retained the final master on Amiga floppy disks. Your Amiga Games That Werent researcher (Adrian) finally tracked down Rob one day and was subsequently in receipt of three floppy disks.
The first task was to create raw disk images for the Software Preservation Society (SPS). István Fábián analysed these raw dumps and found them to be free of errors and so were suitable for transformation into IPFs. The ADFs on this page have been created from the IPFs.
Amiga Games That Werent presents the full version of Hostile Breed along with interviews with its programmer Rob Stevens and graphical artist Joe Walker. Many thanks are due to Rob and Joe for allowing their hard work to be finally released.
Hostile Breed is fairly complex so here is a brief guide to the game:
In 2119 a research base on a planet in the Genaro system has been catastrophically affected by an earthquake. The base is constructed as a central hub with eight spokes evenly arranged and the earthquake has opened breaches in all eight wings. The planets indigenous flora and fauna has taken this opportunity to pop in and say hello.
Your goal is to hold back this organic invasion and eventually restore the base to a working state.
Defending the base is a balancing act with various issues vying for your attention at the same time:
The gameplay is both tactical and action-based. The player must manage the base and oppose the invasion but can also jump into a ship and fly up and down each wing to tackle the threat directly.
The Computer Core Access Terminal is the focal point for base management:
The Com. Station displays a summary of the situation in the wings and other general warning messages. The first symbol underneath it shows the number of robots required to repair wall breaches, the second displays your remaining batteries and the third symbol shows the remaining ships (or lives). The last number is your overall score:
The base map gives an overall view of the situation. The parallel blue lines show the extent of the organic incursion. The blue targets show wall breaches:
The blue buttons access five sub screens; reactor management, robot assembly line, ship upgrades, main cannon control and library.
The eight numbered buttons are used to access the action portion of the game in each of the eight wings:
The reactor screen allows micromanagement of the power assigned to various systems in the base:
The first meter shows the temperature and total power usage. Ensure that the temperature doesn't rise too far. Keep the power usage below the vertical line which denotes the safe level.
This represents power that is being lost due to damage to the base. Any broken cables in a wing will increase this drain, any base defenses that are damaged but still enabled also increase this.
Therefore you should turn off damaged equipment to reduce this excess drain, which is added to the nominal cost of running al the base systems to produce the total power draw on the reactor. The bigger the drain, the less power you have available to spend on base defenses.
Power usage of the droid assembly line. The cyan section seems to show power being drawn by the assembly line. The blue bar is unclear. Its possible that if you request too many robots at once it can overload the line.
Turns off reactor and/or disconnects it from power grid. This might be a last resort button to cool it if it is on the point of exploding and you dont have time to hunt down damaged systems and turn them off.
Return to main screen:
The eight bars along the bottom of the screen show the power that is requested by the active systems (yellow/red bars) and the actual power being pumped into that wing (cyan bars). In the illustration, wing 1 has a lot of damaged electrics, since the blue bar is almost double the red/yellow one. Wing 3 has only repaired systems operating, so the two bars are the same length.
The production of robots is managed here:
Robots repair vital systems of the base. The four robot types are as follows:
|Wall breaches||Affixes metal plates to the walls to mend the gaping holes through which the invasion is happening.|
|Wiring||Reconnects sliced wiring to reactivate terminals.|
|Landing pads||Fixes the landing pads which access the puzzle sub-game and a chance to win an upgrade item.|
|Rail system||Repairs the rail system along the top of the screen which allows for fast travel along the wing.|
The action part of the game is a scrolling shooter where you can actively push back the ecological invasion. The wing orientation determines which way the craft initially flies but it can turn around and fly in the other direction.
Use the following controls in the action section:
|Double tap left/right||change direction|
|Fly into top left/right hand corner of wing||return to spoke navigator|
|Fly into top of screen||fly into it to hook onto rail transport system|
The following situations show the craft travelling along the rail system and exiting through the hatch to the central portion of the base. You must exit the wing at the point at which you entered because of the base's spoke arrangement. Note that if the rail system is damaged then travel may not be possible along certain sections:
Wall breaches can be clearly seen in the action section. The following screens show a wall breach before and after repair:
Hover over platforms to land on them and access the puzzle section of the game (see below):
The aim is to align the spaces so that the beam can travel straight through. Failure to achieve this within the time limit causes a battery to be lost.
The controls are:
|Up/Down||move lines indicated by red arrows|
|Left/Right||move arrows left/right|
|Hold down fire + left/right||move right arrow left/right|
A wing is completed when the breaches in the walls have been sealed and the intruders have been eliminated. When this happens the following systems check is displayed:
One of four types of suitably biblically-sized end of level bosses will now make an appearance. Each wings Leviathan will slowly travel from the tip of the wing and must be stopped before it reaches the centre.