Crazy Comets

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Crazy Comets
Title image from the game
Game No. 236
Voting 6.15 points, 20 votes
Developer Simon Nicol
Company Martech
Publisher Martech
Musician Rob Hubbard
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/H/Hubbard_Rob/Crazy_Comets.sid
Release 1985
Platform C64
Genre Shoot'em Up
Gamemode Single player
2 players (in turns)
Operation Icon Port2.pngJoystick
Media DisketteDatassette
Language Language:english
Information Follower: Mega-Apocalypse

Description[edit | edit source]

Everything but a crazy story would contradict the title. But we are not going to get disappointed: the universe collapse out of some reason (?), which leads to objects from material (here: orbs) mutating to dangerous energy lumps (which are Crazy Comets). Everything as clear as mud? Whatever, shoot’em up plots are anyway mostly confusing stuff and almost always bananas...

Course of the game: The player controls a spaceship and has probably the mission to keep these crazy comets from destroying the universe by shooting them. The game principle is rather simple, there are no complicated things as weapon upgrades or similar. It is enought to keep the fire button pressed, however, to cover the whole screen with auto fire, there is no need for a special joystick as the Quickshot or similar. Normally, you are at first faced with rather harmless orbs. The smaller these are, the less shots you need to destroy them. Or the other way round: the longer you let the enemy sprites stay alive, the bigger and more dangerous they will get. It gets especially bad, if you have a proper planet in front of you. Because this can only be impressed by an umpteen of hits. An even then it does not have the decency to explode! Instead it gets "crazy" and starts to flash. On the one hand, this is a sign that it only waits for you giving it the rest. On the other hand, it enormously speeds up its crazy movements. This gets you many points, if the destruction of such a gone-crazy comet succeeds, but if you have to handle two or three enemy sprites of that category, you have to be very skilled, to avoid a collision and stay alive.

If you have successfully fended off all crazy comets of a level, the achievement of the next level is shown. The colours of the "comets" change, depending on the level. There are also intermediate levels starting from level 2 before the level change. In these intermediate levels white objects fly around that look like the "radio tube" from Maniac Mansion. You should not shoot them, but collect them by contact. For "correct" collecting there are 200 points per piece, but if you shoot them instead, you risk flying into the explosion and falling apart. This is unpleasant, but can happen, because at the same time a tiny comet always ploughs through the screen, which you logically have to shoot. But it takes only one shot to explode. Later there are also intermediate levels, in which only the unpleasant type flies around, so nothing to collect.

The Score – graded from "mostly harmless" to "congratulation, if you survive this"

For each hit there are also a few humble pointies. Of course they finally get rather big when destroying something. The points are graded mainly from "mostly harmless" to supernova including satellite in attack mode. Every 10.000 points there is an extra life. This sounds rather good, but in truth it is rather tight. Because in the higher levels the comets are so numerous that it is difficult to finish them before several of them turn to supernovas including satellites at the same time. If shit happens, two or more "comets" of middle to grown-up size come onto the screen at the same time in a low level... If you clean up a level especially fast, you get a "Perfect Round Bonus", but this is only possible, if you are lucky to get all level enemies in front of the shotgun at a small size.

Aim of the game: Stay alive... this was all, but it is difficult enough...

Design[edit | edit source]

By way of exception, one has to start with the sound here. Because it is – overheard objectively – just extremely wicked and is even by his legendary creator Rob Hubbard counted as the greatest SID- masterpiece, he has ever managed to do. What failed totally in the C64 version of Warhawk, which is that the FX steal/lend the sound channel of the ingame music if needed, works perfectly here with distinction... The music does not only impress by a (again: spoken objectively) perfect arrangement of drums, bass and lead voice, but comes also up with something like alien or robot voice samples, which are enormously successful. The FX do not take second place to the music, but integrate themselves perfectly into the ingame music, so you hardly miss the lead voice, particularly as you cannot fire during the level changes, so the first voice can be heard every now and then. Even the (unfortunately too seldom sounding) Perfect-Round-Bonus jingle sounds very full and fits the remaining music. It should only formally mentioned that alone the highscore tune is better than the whole sound repertoire of other games.

You have to be able to face a nova and a mini comet as well as some "tubes" at the same time at the end of the level...

But let’s also talk about the graphical performance now. Instead of scrolling the whole action moves in one single screen, although the player gets a bit dizzy sometimes by the background star graphics (actually only coloured dots, but enormously successful by most fluent rotation). There was nothing to moan about the design of the sprites (player ship, orbs , etc.), if there wasn’t a certain bug. Which is that the mini comet sometimes flickers (the one that needs only one hit) before the level change from its original shape to the supa nova (the absolute worst, which you do not want to see at all) and back. Through the game situation it gets clear what you have in front of you, and that one shot is enough, however, it is astonishing that such a thing should not have been noticed by the testers. Bearable, but just suboptimal, especially as this bug can lead to not being able to destroy these flickering enemies at all after some time and in some versions when playing for longer...

Hints[edit | edit source]

Unfortunately, Crazy Comets has some unfair game situations for which there is no cure.

No myth, no invention of a C64-Wiki author, but possible in a full moon, when Christmas and Easter fall onto the same day: The Perfect Round Bonus of full 1.000 points!


  • You were extremely fast and however receive no Perfect Round Bonus... Sh.. happens.
  • One or more orbs enter(s) the screen (from the side) right away in almost or completely grown-up state ... sh.. happens.
  • In the intermediate level mini comets appear directly on the position of your own sprite or directly next to it... tough luck or "bang!"

Solution[edit | edit source]

Errh, well...
A real strategy can hardly be created given the previously named problems, but a few tips statistically help sometimes...

  • Of course get the Crazy Comets as early/small as possible.
  • As long as the intermediate level sequence is not yet running: F as fire, hell for leather, as you cannot destroy anything valuable.
  • The collision query is sometimes more generous than you think, you should take advantage of that by not getting scared quickly. As long as an orb is not fully grown, collisions are improbable to impossible, except for: the mini comet in the intermediate sequence. Also you are not right away dead with the monstrous comets or novas, if only the nose of the ship gets into the orbit of the enemy.
  • If ONE "comet" has reached the maximum size, this is no reason to give up hope. Tip: avoid and concentrate on the other objects, attack the malefactor only when nothing else flies around in this level.
the effective "pendular manoeuvre"
  • TWO end-sized planetoids/comets/heaven-only-knows-what-flying-objects: Well, congratulations. You are rather down the drain. Nevertheless, you can in theory survive such a situation with much luck and skill (compare the linked video below...).
  • THREE of them: good night, but halt! However, survive and fire as long as possible, even though it is doubtful that such a situation can be mastered even in theory. But each hit gets points , sometimes you can collect a few tubes or shoot a satellite or mini comet, before the life ends inevitably...
  • Speaking of satellites: if "in orbit" or "attacking", do not take them too seriously let alone let yourself get irritated. These are the smallest problem, if you have to handle an end-sized planet or even a nova. On the contrary: especially if you have already done with your "life", keep on shooting! As they keep appearing anew until you have finished the nova, the satellites are a great point-supplier.

Cheats[edit | edit source]

With a high probability there are POKEs ...

Surely there are trainer versions on the relevant pages (see. below).

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
6.15 points at 20 votes (rank 762).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 6 16th October 2008 - "good" - 2046 downs
Lemon64 7,2 16th October 2008 - 37 votes 4 26th June 2011 - 2 votes
Happy Computer 67% Games Special 2/86
ZZap64 84% Issue 85/12

Reviews[edit | edit source]

TheRyk: "I feel almost as much hate as love for this game. Though it captivates me again and again, I often need to stop myself from biting the joystick when being in one of the many unfair situations again. Graphics are not really outstanding, but more or less okay. The sound is of course mind-blowing, I can listen to it for hours without even beginning to get bored or unnerved. However, the music might be the main reason why I play this game at all until I get mad. All in all, this game can be evaluated between unplayable and ingenious, I rate it 6 of 10 points, objectively that is too much, if you think of the bugs."

Robotron2084: "Unplayable! This perky copy of Gottlieb's arcade machine "Mad Planets" shines only with Rob Hubbards ingenious soundtrack, but the gameplay was completely left behind. As soon as the planets start to move hell for leather over the game area after permanent fire you have an exactly 0% chance to avoid them. As the random generator sees to it that some planets come already fully grown into the game, this means you have AUTOMATICALLY one life less each time. This has nothing to do with skill or ability at all, but solely with pure luck. What stays is the really great music, which however cannot and must not hide the fact, that this game is a total damp squib. As you can also listen to the track with sidplay, Crazy Comets is really a pure waste of time. 4 of 10 points, bonus points for the music already included."

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

This game is a conversion of the arcade game Mad Planets. Simon Nicol had written a conversion for the C64 together with John Griffin while keeping the title Mad Planets one year before the release of Crazy Comets, but this was not published officially as Nicolin and Griffin did not find a publisher.

An author of the magazine ZZAP!64 claimed to recognize the earth’s surface in the design of the "comets" (or whatever). With much fantasy or after taking certain substances this might be possible...Also in the review of that time (see below) they differentiated between "Worlds" and "Novas". The only sense in this semantic differentiation would probably be, referring to the game (one does better not argue about astrophysics in view of the far-fetched story):

  • World = Huge orb with which you can collide and which cannot be eliminated with a few shots.
  • Nova = It is one and the same thing in flashing or the next step of "world" – destructible, but enormously resistent, ultra fast and angry... ;)



Remember: "E=mc² HELP!"

Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of Werner
  1. Werner - 23.956 (18.11.2008)
  2. TheRyk - 18.844 (21.10.2008)
  3. FXXS - 13.188 (30.06.2014)
  4. Equinoxe - 10.224 (31.08.2011)
  5. Ivanpaduano - 6.506 - 4 (28.07.2019)

#2 TheRyk #3 FXXS
#2 TheRyk #3 FXXS

Links[edit | edit source]