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Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs

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Battlezone:
Rise of the Black Dogs
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Information
Developer: Climax Group
Publisher: Crave Entertainment
Date: 2000-03-29
Period: Early 1970s

Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs is a Nintendo 64 game based on the 1998 PC game. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a direct port; much of the game's code was rebuilt, replaced or heavily modified for the console.[1]

FeaturesEdit

Rise of the Black Dogs has the same basic gameplay as Battlezone, including all but one of its 30 single-player missions (replaced with a new sniper training map) and introducing Rise of the Black Dogs, an exclusive 10-mission campaign of its own following the Black Dog Squadron after the end of the original game. Also featured is an arcade mode similar to the original 1980 Battlezone and basic multiplayer allowing for local two-to-four-player strategy, race and deathmatch games with eight new multiplayer maps.[2]

Pilot and Commander ModesEdit

Each of the three single-player campaigns can be played as a pilot or commander; in Commander Mode, each campaign plays as it would in Battlezone. In pilot mode, the computer takes charge of resource gathering, unit management and defense, allowing the player to focus solely on combat.[3] Pilot mode is considered non-canon.

ReceptionEdit

Despite being one of the most technically advanced games for the Nintendo 64 system at the time, Rise of the Black Dogs suffered poor reviews as a result of comparisons to Battlezone and the mistaken assumption that it was a port rather than a complete re-creation. Several compromises had to be made in translating the game to the console, including simplified controls, very little speech, poor quality sound and a poor frame rate, and the requirement of an expansion pak to save games.[4]

Cut ContentEdit

Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs was intended to include significantly more new content than that it eventually shipped with, including the Air Striker and NSDF and CCA Strikers and NSDF Striker launcher , the Flak and Chaff Launcher, a carrier, and a Mobile Repair Unit which was to function similarly to the service trucks of Battlezone II.[1] In-game screenshots of a Black Dog Super Heavy Tank exist, but it too was never included in the final product.

Emulation on Modern PCsEdit

In the past it was considered impossible to emulate Rise of the Black Dogs in order to play it on PC, but newer versions of Project64 have made it possible. By locking the audio to synchronise with the game and setting Direct3D to clear the screen every frame, the game can be made playable on most modern PCs.[5]

RecreationEdit

Main article: Rise of the Black Dogs Decompilation Project

In April 2014, a small team of community members started work on a project intending to port the exclusive content from Rise of the Black Dogs to Battlezone. The project currently has four members and is working on converting the game's mission and gamemode scripts, having already converted the maps, models and soundtrack.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Interviews: Matthew Paul on Battlezone 64 on PlanetBattlezone, archived 2000-04-25
  2. Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs
  3. Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs Manual
  4. Battlezone: Rise of the Black Dogs reviews on Mobygames
  5. Guide to Emulating Rise of the Black Dogs on battlezone1.org

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