The Independence Day fireworks at Cocoa Beach though they were actually on the 5th of July…
Rescue on Fractalus (Commodore 64, Atari, Apple)
Though it may not be as true today, in the 1980s you could almost always count on a Lucasfilm game (or Epyx game for that matter) to be of high quality. Rescue on Fractalus is no exception. It was initially developed for the Atari 8-bit line of computers (and the Atari 5200 which is essentially the same thing internally anyway) and later ported to other popular computers such as the Commodore 64, Apple II and even the Tandy Color Computer 3 (a rare high profile 3rd party title for that system). It was developed by Lucasfilm Games and distributed by Epyx, Activision or Atari depending on the version and location it was released.
In Rescue on Fractalus, you pilot a spaceship through mountainous terrain looking for downed pilots to rescue. Once found, you must land close enough so that the downed pilot can make it to your ship before dying in the acidic atmosphere. To make matters more difficult, aliens take pot shots at you during you search. In addition, they will sometimes impersonate downed pilots in an attempt to get aboard your ship. One unique aspect of this game is that the terrain is generated using fractals (hence the name).
This is definitely a challenging game but one that is well worth playing. Both the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 versions are good and are easy enough to find for emulation purposes if you can’t track down an original (or don’t have the equipment). This game would make for a great modern remake but alas there have been none. The most “modern” versions are a slightly expanded Atari XE/XEGS version with more levels and an unfinished Atari 7800 prototype that was discovered in 2004.
A strategy guide and a little bit more info about the game can be found here: http: