In Rescue at Rigel, you take the part of Sudden Smith, a human adventurer teleported down by transporter beam inside a six-floor, sixty-room complex inhabited by an alien race, the Tollah. Scattered throughout the base, which has been hollowed out of an asteroid orbiting Rigel, ten humans are held captive, one in each of ten different rooms. While you can adjust the difficulty of the task, the object in all cases is the same: to search the complex, find and release as many of the prisoners as possible (by activating the transporter beam, which will teleport them back up to the ship), and get out alive-in an hour or less.
If the Tollah base can be likened to an iceberg, you begin the game at the tip: inside the top room, the only one that connects the complex with the surface of the asteroid. (Since there is no air and no escape on the asteroid itself, the door to the outside, being "off limits," is not shown on the display.) From this vestibule there are only two usable exits. The larger obviously leads to a gravshaft; the smaller looks like an ordinary doorway-but there are no other rooms on the floor. Whichever way you choose to begin your quest, there will be no turning back once you walk through the door.
One of Epyx' earliest RPGs ever made for PC, Rescue at Rigel is a simplistic science fiction RPG where you are given only 60 minutes to find and transport the 10 human captives from an alien moonbase to the rescue ship. Your adversaries include the hostile Tollahs, two types of armed robots, a six-legged cerbanth, and a huge amoebic slug.
Gameplay is very similar to Temple of Apshai, another early dungeon crawl from Epyx. You basically explore the moonbase, kill any alien you come across, and collect better weapons along the way. Very simple, but it does show off Epyx' pioneering streak in making graphically appealing RPGs that were ahead of the pack at the time. The time limit also adds to the challenge, although the game isn't as difficult as you would think. Doesn't stand the test of time as well as Temple of Apshai or Rogue, but anyone looking for a truly early, simple RPG should take a look.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Rescue at Rigel have also downloaded:
Rescue of Lorri in Lorrinitron, The, Restricted Area, Realms of Arkania: Star Trail, Scavengers of The Mutant World, Red Crystal, Reaping the Dungeon, Requital, Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny
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