Trivia - We could call PP Laser Squad 3

Found at Amiga Hall of Light for 1994 Xcom that it started life as Laser Squad 2 (which it is and I always felt it as)

Initially began life on the Atari ST as LASER SQUAD 2, but the final product never saw the light of day on the machine.

So, this (PP) is (kind of) LASER SQUAD 3 (2018)

Source Amiga Hall of Light / old Mythos games website

Full source text

TRIVIA: The game initially began life as LASER SQUAD 2 on the Atari ST. Game designer Julian Gollop shared these revealing insights on the early beginnings and subsequent development of Mythos Games’ best-selling title: ‘We showed a demo of ‘Laser Squad 2’ on the Atari ST to MicroProse in 1991. The idea was to produce a sequel to ‘Laser Squad’ but with much neater graphics using an isometric style very similar to Populous. They liked what we had done so far, but they explained that they wanted a ‘big’ game. I said “what do you mean by ‘big’” and they said “well, you know – BIG”. They also said that it had to be set on earth, like Civilisation or Railroad Tycoon, because people could relate to it much more. So we went away, scratched our heads and thought about it. Then we came up with the idea of adding on a grand strategic element to the game, very firmly set on earth, in which the player managed an organisation that defended the planet against UFO incursions. I bought quite a few books on UFOs for research purposes so that we could give the game an even more ‘authentic’ basis. The project started reasonably well with myself and Nick designing and programming, while the art was to be done by John Reitze and Martin Smillie at MicroProse. Soon we had some problems because MicroProse did not understand our game design and they asked for clarification. Several documents later we were not much better off and I had wasted a lot of time. Certain creature types were removed, including the ‘Men In Black’ and others added. Then the whole project was nearly axed when MicroProse made some cutbacks due to financial difficulties. Everything proceeded reasonably smoothly for a while until Spectrum HoloByte acquired Bill Stealey’s shares in the company. Our producer was made redundant and the game was nearly axed again. Finally we had to spend a couple of months working very long hours at MicroProse in Chipping Sodbury to get the game finished by the end of March in 1994’ [Source: Mythos Games (old website), courtesy of the Internet Archive].

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Laser Squad is a turn-based tactics game designed by Julian Gollop and his company Target Games.

Laser Squad is a turn-based tactics war game where the player completes objectives such as rescue or retrieval operations, or simply eliminating all of the enemy by taking advantage of cover, squad level military tactics, and careful use of weaponry. The squad’s team members are maneuvering around a map one at a time, taking actions such as move, turn, shoot, pick up and so on that use up the unit’s action points. More heavily laden units may tire more easily, and may have to rest to avoid running out of action points more quickly in subsequent turns. Morale also plays a factor; a unit witnessing the deaths of his teammates can panic and run out of the player’s control.

Including the expansion pack, there are seven scenarios in total, each one with its own difficulty settings and squad allocation

Laser Squad originally came with five mission scenarios, with an expansion pack released for the 8-bit versions, containing a further two scenarios. Reaction from gaming magazines was positive, gaining it high review rating and several accolades. The legacy of the game can be seen in other titles like the X-COM series, especially the acclaimed UFO: Enemy Unknown which was also created by Julian Gollop and was initially conceived as a sequel to Laser Squad

Original game concept by Julian Gollop of Target Games; scenario design assistance by Ian Terry.


  1. The Assassins The mission’s objective is to assassinate weapons manufacturer Sterner Regnix. The player will lead a small squad of troops on an infiltration mission, dealing with droid patrols.

  2. “Moonbase Assault” - A small squad must penetrate the Omni Corporation moon base, via the airlocks, and destroy their computer systems.

  3. “Rescue from the Mines” - After a routine mission goes badly wrong, three members of a squad are held prisoner in the Metallix Corp mines. A squad of troops must negotiate the mine complex, free all three prisoners and escape.

  4. “The Cyber Hordes” - A small squad must defend a station from the attack of an advancing droid squad invasion. The base holds seven stabilizer cores vital to the planet’s stability and the droids have focused their efforts on these targets.

  5. “Paradise Valley” - Following on from “The Cyber Hordes”, the destruction of the stabilizer cores has left the colony in ruins and assault ships hover above waiting for the time of attack. To prevent capture of the blueprints for an advanced starfighter, the data has been transferred onto a portable security device and a squad is given the task of escaping from the colony with the device.

  6. “The Stardrive” - A group of mercenaries have captured a stardrive controller. A squad must go to their hidden base and retrieve the device not avail in Amiga version.

  7. “Laser Platoon” - A free for all deathmatch as equal teams are pitted against each other. Large (10-man) squads, with reinforcements arriving frequently, hunt down the equally equipped opposition. not avail in Amiga version*.


Amiga Intro Music

Amiga Version (21 minute, SpiderMwa)

PC Version (14 mins, Jim plays games)


[> Laser Squad 1 online (looks like ZX Spectrum conversion to HTML5 ;-)]( 1)

GamesNostalgia PC Version
Requires DOSBox to play and setup on modern PC

Amiga version, Game Nostalgia
Requires WinUAE and Amiga ROMs to play and setup on modern PC.

INFO (Amiga Hall of Light)

Year of the first release 1989
License Commercial
Number of disks (or CD) 1
Publisher Blade - Europe
MicroIllusions - Rest of the World
Number max of players 2
Budget publisher Buzz (Krisalis) - Worldwide
Simultaneous max players 1
Developer Blade (Teque)
Language English German
Artists Coder : Fred O’Rourke
Coder : John Scott (Tubbs)
Graphician : Jason Wilson (Spock)
Graphician : Mark Edwards (Tedd)
Graphician : Mark Harrap
Musician : Matt Furniss (musician)
Misc : Ian Terry
Misc : Julian Gollop
Hardware OCS
Amiga original game no
Have cheatcode yes
Have SPS release yes
WHD install yes WHD information Author JOTD Updated 2018-04-02 12:30:36
HD install no
Genre Category Wargame
Subcategory Wargame - Turn-based
Dimension 2D Quickmatch Laser Squad Scrolltype Scrolling - Multi Directional
Theme War - Futuristic Viewpoint Top Down

Conversion hardware Amstrad/Schneider CPC464/664/6128
Atari ST/E Commodore C64/128 MSX 1/2 NEC PC-98
PC (DOS) Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48/128/+2/+3

AMIGA Conversion notes Based on 1988 Target Games/Blade Software Spectrum release.
PC versions: VGA


  • N.B. An Archimedes version wasn’t released despite being advertised. Also, an unofficial C= Plus 4 port exists

  • While a LASER SQUAD expansion disk containing new missions was released for 8-bit platforms, the Amiga never realised any further missions commercially or otherwise. Unsurprisingly, isometric turn-based wargame LASER SQUAD NEMESIS (2002) did not see an Amiga release either.

  • There are certain people advocating return of rich man with droids on a bounty … or maybe MARSEC weapons company :wink:

  • Amiga version was best in terms of sound and playability even it was ZX Spectrum upscaled conversion. Badly and for no reason, it was only one not to have missions 6 and 7 added. PC version had somewhat better mission selection and interfrace but was riddled with game mechanic bugs that dont recommend it.

  • It is a miracle game on 8-bit machines where **Elite ** and Laser Squad are amongst most complex games done in such small CPU power and mem. Ever. I mean those are machines were Arkanoid and Manic Miner were serious titles.

  • Seems various teams were involved in conversion to many platforms. Thanks Amiga boys for great music. Worse was Amstrad CPC version for no good reason (in hardware terms it is better home computer then Spectrum and in some aspects CBM64).

So “yellow prize” for worse looking Laser Squad iCPC port

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I would have thought that Laser Squad Nemesis, from ~2002, is the third Laser Squad game. On top of this Laser Squad is set further into the future than XCOM and Phoenix Point as evidenced by the activities on other planets etc. Oh and personally I think that Lords of Chaos is more complex when thinking about games on 8 bit machines.

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8-bit king remains the David Brabens Elite, creating procedural world in 48-64k and bringing solid 3D in Amiga/Atari ST version (which is de facto 3D, just not textured until Frontier FF which had best 3D graphics on 386 with no 3D card).

Thank you for remembering these two titles. One must admit when one is wrong. Havent played Julians Lords Of Chaos back then - I have the PC remake nowadays, but dont find it … Laser Squad / Xcom enough.

Nemesis, I cant really say why I disliked it, I believe it was something to do with wicked server play, even I long desired ability for more people to play together (and would love to see co-op play here).

I am not speaking of realistic timeline as games arent really that related (LS - Xcom - PP) but that it presented us with basic and improvemed same lineage of mechanics and in spirit. Xcom was de facto Laser Squad 2 as its mechanics is built on improvement of previous, and find this Julians game to “come to be third”).

I must say that e.g. our minigunner bares extreme resemblance to Laser Squad intro graphics, and weapon is kind of Syndicate style :slight_smile: (mah next we could persuade some alien to switch side :slight_smile:

I would love to hear your analyses of LORDS OF CHAOS and LS NEMESIS

Too bad Nemesis was not a success and pretty much ended LS as a name and idea.

Update, yes I `memba: it was battlefield only so it felt more like expanded LS then real next level after Xcom set a new trend. And had awful play by e-mail option only, beside hotseat. In 2002 we could do better. This was in fact a bit of Jullians down level, but I keep in mind it was a company and team change and they … kind of had to release something.

Also note that There is no single player game apart from the initial tutorial, you just have to jump right in & choose an opponent.

So it was a bit of … downer.

If I could think of few things that could be “landed” from LS I would opt for:

  • Soldiers look - as I said Enemy Within and BB soldiers looks is like I am already back in LS. Especially mini gunner. Thats my auto cannon of that days baby. It just lacks HE ammo!

- Underground path - map below the map acessible via some spots ("Paradise Valley”) alongside spitting frog alien and Sectoid boys!

- Some enemies

Since there are no high res pics of 320x200 in 16 colours, and I cant screenshot LS info screen on them at the moment[, I see some Mock up art from fan based REBEL SQUAD game art drawings](] (Artwork by Android Art)

  • We could take mr. Regnix and his droids too as possible out of space threat :slight_smile: as possible threat. Maybe humans could try to use droids to contain alien spread (as they cannot be infected) but droid AI decided we are the lower form of life. Or just too many droids since 89?

*- If nothing else works with inventory I remember I used to throw weapons and clips to fellow combatants. I see people used to do it in Xcom and have already asked for it!

- Missions with various goals and settings. This was LS strongpoint to Xcom even missions were played per itself.

  • **Priming the bombs **(also present in Xcom) to more then 1 turn, delayed explosions. Ability to stick a granade to a object (like we used to hide em in plants)

If you remember some good sides that “havent went further” but could make a nice comback from 89 style, feel free to post.

I have to agree with you on Nemesis, it wasn’t my favourite either. I come from the angle of playing Rebelstar 1 & 2 (and Chaos, later Lords of Chaos) on the Spectrum. Laser Squad for me was on the Amiga, and I really enjoyed the Amiga version of Lords of Chaos as well. I can’t really give you much of an analysis on Laser Squad Nemesis as I didn’t play it much, a friend of mine liked it much more than I did. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, while it was quite clever, it also felt quite cut down compared to XCom. An analysis on Lords of Chaos I can do, though I’ll keep it short here. It was a fantastic game, lots of depth and plenty of options, let down somewhat by a ‘clunky’ user interface that put a lot of people off that I knew. I used to play up to four player hot seat with friends on it (I tended to win, due to knowing the game and the levels very well, but did lose sometimes when my friends did things like make their entire army of creatures invisible!). When we accidentally discovered secret passageways on scenario two that sent us off trying to find every secret there was - not just the obvious teleport room. Fun times. Then we were racing to get the Slayer sword from the start of the game. A really very underrated game, but you do have to get past the interface to really get into it. Still, flying on a griffin, while invisible and flinging lightning bolts at everyone rushing to get into the portal… who wouldn’t enjoy that :slight_smile:

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Good times. In that name and fame, a nice video of it. Looks like Speccy by sound and colour colission quality (damn you Ser Clive! - you had to take it all the way to QL)

Its kind of “fantasy world” Laser Squad, but was released year later. I dont see that LS mechanics have been improved.

But 4 player option in hot seat is exceptional for these days and seems people love it to this day (and Chaos remake).

Well you are inspiring me to turn the remake on, as I have purchased it recently on Steam reduced price!

Yes that’s right, and here is the game on the Amiga so you can see the difference. It doesn’t use LS mechanics at all - no overwatch - but more complex item interactions. So for example you can mix potions by dropping a cauldron the floor, then dropping the potion ingredient into it, then casting the potion spell. That would give you a bunch of ‘sips’ to drink before the cauldron would become empty; or you could hold a vial over the cauldron and fill it to take it with you. Dragons could only be summoned by creating a ‘dragon potion’ in a cauldron and summoning the creature. The Steam remake is an update on Chaos; it’s not an update on Lords of Chaos, so in some ways its much simpler than this and doesn’t have these kind of things in it (just like the original Chaos didn’t either).

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