Stellar 7

Stellar 7 is a first-person shoot 'em up[1] tank simulation video game based on the arcade game Battlezone[1] in which the player assumes the role of a futuristic tank pilot. The game was originally created by Damon Slye for the Apple II and Commodore 64 in 1983. It was followed by three sequels, Arcticfox (1986), Nova 9: The Return of Gir Draxon (1991), and Stellar 7: Draxon's Revenge (1993), and was remade in the early 1990s for the 16-bit computers.

Stellar 7
Stellar7 titlescreen.png
Title screen of the remake
Producer(s)Damon Slye
Designer(s)Damon Slye
Programmer(s)PC: Piotr Lukaszuk (lead), Nels Bruckner
Mac: John Selhorst, Carla Wenzlaff
Artist(s)Robert Caracol, Brian Hahn, Mark Peasley, Kobi Miller
Composer(s)Alan McKean (director)
PC: Dale Cooper, Kim Nagel, Don Latarski
Mac: Kenneth Rogers
SeriesStellar 7
Platform(s)Apple II, Commodore 64, Amiga, MS-DOS, Mac OS
Genre(s)First-person shoot 'em up[1]


Gameplay of the 1983 Apple II version

The player's tank, the Raven, has a front-facing cannon with an unlimited supply of bullets. The cannon can fire up to two shots at a time. The tank also has a cloaking device that, when triggered, would render it invisible to enemies for about a minute. Gauges on the right side of the screen indicate the amount of shields and power remaining. The tank starts with enough power to cloak twice, and power slowly trickles away as the time passes. The game ends when either shields or power runs out.

Each of the seven levels represents a different star system (hence the title). The player's objective is to get to the last level and defeat the enemy boss, Gir Draxon. Each level is depicted as a nearly featureless plane dotted by geometric obstacles—some indestructible and most not—and various enemies. After the player destroys a certain number of enemies, a warp link will appear that provides a gateway to the next level.

Special power-ups can be accessed by pressing the tab key to toggle between the different icons at the bottom left of the screen and then pushing enter, or simply by pushing the letter key corresponding to the desired icon. The icon for the chosen item will turn purple while activated. Each power-up is represented by a certain symbol and can be used up to three times throughout the game, depending on the difficulty setting.


Softline stated in 1983 that "Combining first-rate graphics and sound effects with fast-paced, arcade-style excitement makes Stellar 7 hard to beat in every sense".[2] Video magazine reviewed the Apple II version of the game, describing it as "a severe test for even the most skillful home arcaders" whose "varied action makes it a particularly satisfying game for solo players."[3]:29 Tom Clancy in 1988 named Stellar 7 one of his two favorite computer games, stating that "it is so unforgiving, it is just like life".[4] In 1991 the DOS version of the remake received 5 out of 5 stars in Dragon.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Stellar 7". Hardcore Gaming 101. February 20, 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
  2. ^ Harrington, William (Nov–Dec 1983). "Stellar 7". Softline. p. 22. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  3. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (December 1983). "Arcade Alley: Super Gifts for Gamers". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (9): 28–29. ISSN 0147-8907.
  4. ^ Sipe, Russell; Wilson, Johnny; Clancy, Tom; Meier, Sid (July 1988). "An Interview with Tom Clancy". Computer Gaming World. pp. 22–24.
  5. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (March 1991). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (167): 47–54.

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