April 25, 2011
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About two years ago I came across the shareware version of Nebula Fighter, a 1997 shoot ’em up by Fabrizio Farenga and Alfredo Siragusa. The closing credits announced the full version for November of the same year, to be distributed exclusively by a Texas publisher, One Reality. Later I uploaded the shareware to Download Central, and it became quite popular (currently DOS game #9, new download #5). Here’s a screenshot from the Nebula Fighter shareware:
I have often wondered if that full version ever manifested. I still don’t know, but probably not. The game was however published two years later on CD-ROM, but as a Windows/DirectX game. Holodream Software, the label under which Nebula Fighter was developed, still maintains a website, and still offers a Windows demo for download, which I have now put up as well, untested and untried. Here’s a screenshot, from the Holodream website:
Nebula Fighter is interesting because like Katharsis or T-zer0 it represents an attempt to salvage a dying genre into a new era. None of these attempts was particularly successful, and the games remained mostly obscure (currently Nebula Fighter does not even have a MobyGames entry). For a while, scrolling shooters just like the once so dominant platform games were simply considered quaint. As the interest in classic gaming rises, these latecomers may be discovered again.