Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

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Cave Harrier

by madjackmcmad - 48 Hour Compo Entry

Fly through dark caves and over scorched rock as you head beneath the surface of a doomed world!

If you've played Space Harrier, you know exactly what you're getting in to. If not, the game is easy enough to pick up: you fly around, shoot the monsters, and dodge the pillars of things that smash into you. There are three stages, the entire game is a short trip around 5 or so minutes.

This year at GDC I was fortunate enough to hear a talk given by Yu Suzuki, legendary developer of arcade history and the world's most perfect cat-raising simulator, Shenmue. Space Harrier was an arcade game in 1985, and is one of my earliest arcade memories. The game's action grabbed me when I was younger, and as I looked back on it in recent years, the strange setting and vivid colors grabbed me as well. It's a weird world full of strange names, odd creatures, and the loosest hints of cohesion. Arcade games aren't really gripping story tellers, yet one can't help but imagine the goings on in the buildings, towers, temples and cities on the game's horizons.

Space Harrier would fuel my youthful coding sessions at an Apple IIgs: completely unable to replicate 5% of the arcade game, but the simple, childish works I did create were exciting to me. I make games for a living and my early arcade experiences are a big part of that.

The game has no music, and I admit only loosely fits the theme. Other than that, I hope you enjoy your adventure and I'd love to hear what you think of the game.

Downloads and Links




Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:19am

I considered making a pseudo z-axis game for my entry.

terraco says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:21am

Love the retro feel. Haven't played the game it is based off but I get the idea.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:25am

Nice one :)

evilDan says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:26am

Oh man - that was such a blast! I was about 9 when I played Space Harrier and that really took me back - thanks!

Yours feels a bit more open in terms of direction, too - nice work!

eskivor says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:29am

Really fun, great job.

andrewkennedy says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:31am

Oh man, this reminds me of the old games I used to play. Thumbs up for nostalgia!

sharpcoder says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:31am

Great game! Surprised it goes on for so long, great job.

lokijki says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:38am

Tried playing with my XBox controller, sensitivity was crazy high, was hard for me to control. I like the look and feel, though, if the controls were tightened up a bit it'd be a blast to play.

NTR says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:41am

That's an awesome memory.

MattV says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:56am

as others have said the retro feel is sweeeeet. reminds me of the speeder levels in super star wars! Good entry!

WhiteWolf93 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:10am

I laughted so far when I saw the head with asteroids in stage 2 lol XD, really fun, I wanted more stages, and some music at the background :/ Pretty nice!

moonmagic says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 4:31am

Love Space Harrier! Very impressive entry. Found myself wishing for a faster rate of fire and less sensitive controls. Also, I could still fire after death, which allowed me to kill bosses pretty easily.

Elforama says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:33am

Nice game, reminded me of an old flash game where you dodge triangles.

Slader16 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:38am

Awesome retro vibe!

harko12 says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 6:19pm

Nice work! You did a good job invoking space harrier. Sadly, I was never any good at that...

Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:58pm

Loved it! Great job for 48 hours. Was very glad you didn't have lives (?) so I could finish it and see it all. I probably died about 7-8 times. Only real crit is that it felt overly sensitive to me in terms of control. Could definitely see continuing with this on the side, polishing it up, adding art and maybe tilt controls for iOS. I'd buy it :) Nice job.

VictorDoval says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 1:53am

Nice art!

Geckoo1337 says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 3:31pm

Space harrier sequel - I love the retro feel ++

Lyje says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:30pm

This is so damn nostalgic. I'd love to know how you accomplished that camera angle/feel!

MrLeePerry says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 8:39pm

Awesome! Love the classic vibe. Can't believe you got multiple stages and bosses in in the timeframe! Was playing with arrowkeys and space, need to come back with a keypad. Great job though!

AtkinsSJ says ...
Apr 30, 2014 @ 6:08pm

Brilliant! It's weird and nonsensical and I died tons of times, but I had a big grin on my face the entire time. :D

Thorig says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 2:14pm

Fun game, good job.

Crowbeak says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 3:36am

I haven't played Space Harrier, but this reminds me of StarFox. Sorta. xD

Mase says ...
May 18, 2014 @ 10:15pm

Very nice. I love the Space Harrier style.

Thanks for allowing infinite continues... I was too lazy to plug in a gamepad so I died a lot.

Impressive amount of content for 48 hours (!), especially the unique boss fights.

sP0CkEr2 says ...
May 19, 2014 @ 5:22am

thanks man that was fun - great job

WhiteWolf93 says ...
May 20, 2014 @ 4:06pm

Hi madjackmcmad! Don't worry about the ratings :/, I liked your game a lot and i'm back here to let you know it, some of the best games are not rated well, i dont know why (maybe envy). So don't worry, you did very well! Hope you make another game for ludum dare 30! ^^ Let me know if you are gonna do the ld30 and i'll put your game in my ld30 rating list ^^.

Thank you for make this, seriusly. Maybe your fault is the absence of music. Other than that it was pretty fun! ^^

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