Mine Storm III

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Developer John Hall?
Publisher GCE
Release Date 1983?
Genre Flight simulation
Multi-directional shooter
Modes Single player?
1-2 players alternating?
Media Cartridge

Mine Storm is the built-in game that came with every Vectrex unit. It was also released in a 3-D version that required the use of the Vectrex 3D Imager and as a bug-free replacement cartridge called Mine Storm 2 (see Notes section).

Mine Storm III, however, could very well be a one-time only cartridge with some differences from the original Mine Storm (see Notes section).

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Gameplay is similar to the arcade game Asteroids. The player moves around the screen shooting at star-shaped Mines of various sizes that have various mannerisms. All the dots on a screen can potentially turn into Mines; once a mine is shot, two dots on the screen will turn into medium-sized Mines, which will then turn into two small Mines when shot (note: for the most part; sometimes, perhaps due to a glitch, a medium-sized Mine will just hatch one small Mine). When all dots have been turned into Mines on a screen the Minelayer will come out, laying Mines in it's wake until the player destroys it.

Making contact with any Mine, fireball, or Minelayer will destroy the player's ship and the game will end once there are no more reserve ships left (note: on the later U. S. version, colliding with any piece of space dust or alien forces will also destroy the player's ship as well [see Notes section]).

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • This version supposedly has hundreds of levels and only had a handmade label made. Gamer Robert Van den Heuvel toured the Vectrex Los Angeles factory as a child and was awarded the cartridge[1], which, if only one was made, could make it the rarest Vectrex game out there, even more rare than Mr. Boston.
  • There are at least three versions of the original Mine Storm; with the infamous level 13 bug on the original version, the game would crash and end if a player is able to clear out this level. An extra printed sheet was added to the instructions in the later U. S. versions, advising players to press the reset button if their Vectrex screen went blank after clearing this level.
  • The later U. S. version allows a player to make it well past Mine Field 13, although the game behaves strangely, as there is a brief cinematic bit at the end of every level where the player's ship is sucked up from whatever area of the screen it is at to the middle while stars seemingly project from it (perhaps it is hitting warp to jump to the next level). If the player stays as close to the center as possible at the end of every Field after 13, they will continue to advance; however, there are many times when a level skips several numbers for some reason. Also, if the player presses Escape or Thrust after they shoot the last Mine or piece of space dust, that could cause the game to end and take the player to the menu screen. This version truly ends on Field 89, as there are several extra dots on this screen that will never hatch into Mines. There is also something that looks like a fireball that will not turn into smaller fireballs when shot. The player is either stuck here forever if they shoot all the Mines and space dust or they can sacrifice whatever remaining ships they have by running into Mines or space dust particles to end their game.
  • Presumably the third version of Mine Storm is for the later Vectrexes that were released overseas, having a bit of code cleanup. There are no reports of the game crashing, Magnetic Mines appear on Mine Field 2, rather than Fireball Mines (along with other changes in which Mines appear on certain Mine Fields) like on the previous U. S. versions, and there have been posts online in regards to people making it to Mine Field 90. It is currently unknown for how much longer these games can continue past that level.
  • A Mine Storm 2 cartridge was made available for free upon request for Vectrex owners who wrote to GCE, which was bug-free. This is one of the most rare and sought after Vectrex cartridges nowadays.
  • There is a modern day hack called Mine Storm III, eliminating the Mine Field 13 bug. Also, the first 13 Fields comprise one "Phase", which the Mines will start blinking on and off. The further the player gets into a game, the longer the Mines will blink off, as with every 13 Fields the player can make their way through, that will count as more Phases that are completed, along with the game having other added features to it as well.

Links[edit | edit source]

Edge magazine article

References[edit | edit source]

This article uses material from the Mine Storm article and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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