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Title image from the game
Game No. 234
Voting 8.28 points, 50 votes
Developer John M. Phillips
Publisher Hewson Consultants Ltd., Edicola/Super Game 2000
Release 1987
Platform Acorn Archimedes, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari 7800/ST, C64, C64DTV, Game Boy, NES, ZX Spectrum
Genre Jump & Run
Gamemode Single player
2 players (in turns)
Operation Joystick
Media Datassette Diskette
Language Language:english
Information Alternative names: Tower Toppler, Subline

Description[edit | edit source]

There is something fishy on the planet NEBULUS. Somebody has started to build huge towers in the sea without having a building permission from the responsible authority.

You are abruptly shaken up from your well-deserved afternoon nap in your office at Destructo Inc.. The phone rings relentlessly. At the other end is the boss and croacks something about a small destruction assignment on which he wants to set you. Bad-tempered and drowsy are you just about to throw the receiver into the waste bin, but suddenly you strain your ears. Did your boss actually say something about a brand new Mk7-Mini-Sub, that for this purpose... and as he also mentioned something about a "salary increase", you dash lickety-split out of the office and let the phone dangle, while the boss passes on to explain the extreme risk of this mission.

Design[edit | edit source]

You have to climb up eight towers, so you can make them collapse. There are lifts, instable floor boards and destructible as well as indestructible enemies. The pawn always stays in the middle of the screen, when moving the tower turns further correspondingly. Between the towers there is a bonus level, in which fishes needs to be bubbled (shot) and collected.

... waiting for enemies ...
... Nebulus level overview + start animation ...

Hints[edit | edit source]

Course of the game[edit | edit source]

..catching fish...

Your submarine takes you to the different towers. Within the given time you need to make it to climb to the top. On the way, you need to channel your way over all kinds of mouldings, edges, tunnels and lifts. Some structures dissolve when stepping on them, others are so slippery that you slide to the left or right.

You can shoot the flickering blocks and the jumping balls, but the silver, rolling balls can only be stopped in their path for a few seconds. All the other creatures are indestructible. When colliding with them, you lose your grip on the moulding and land a few storeys deeper – if you are lucky! If not, you fall into the water and lose a life.

Entering the last door at the very top of the tower activates the destruction machine. You get bonus points for the time that is still left and for technical abilities. The tower begins to totter and crumbles into a thousand pieces.

After destroying the tower you climb again into your submarine which takes you to the next tower. During the journey you can earn additional points by catching fish. Shoot bubbles to numb the fishes and then collect them by driving over them.

There is an extra life every 5.000 points.

Controls[edit | edit source]

You play with joystick in port2. Right/left moves the pawn correspondingly, up is used to enter a tunnel and fire releases a shot (while standing) or a jump (when moving). A lift is operated with up/down.

  • Controls in the title screen:
F1  1 player
F3  2 players
F5  Music/sound on
F7  Music/sound off
  • Controls during the game:
Joy left go left
Joy right go right
Joy forwards enter/go up with the lift
Joy backwards go down with the lift
Fire button shoot or jump (during running)
P   Pause (press FIRE BUTTON to continue)
Run/Stop  abort game

Points[edit | edit source]

Runpoints[edit | edit source]

Runpoints are points that can be reached within a tower. They are composed of the two following components:

  • Height points – the higher the pawn, the more points. A jump on the highest level makes additional 90 points.
  • 100 points for a shot ball.
  • 50 points for a shot flashing rectangle.
No. Level name Colour Runpoints Time left Time left #2
1 "Tower of Eyes" blue 2.040 57,9 60,5
2 "Realm of Robots" red 2.400 71,6 73,4
3 "Trap of Tricks" purple 2.020 93,3 95,9
4 "Slippery Slide" brown 3.150 71,6 86,6
5 "Broken Path" green 4.000 94,6 102,5
6 "Swimmers Delight" cyan 2.530 131,6 138,9
7 "Nasty One" yellow 3.110 160,4 170,1
8 "Edge of Doom" white 4.350 140,8 155,2

Bonus points at the end of the level[edit | edit source]

  • Time left: 10*number of rest seconds
  • Technique: 10*number of technique points (at the start 100 points, for each touch with the enemy 2 points are subtracted. In the first tower there are no technique points!)
  • Extras: 10*number of extra points (5 points each for a shot ball, 2 extra points for a shot flashing rectangular)

Underwater sequence[edit | edit source]

For each shot and collected fish the player gets 50-75 points. In each underwater sequence there are exactly 30 fishes.

Strategic dying[edit | edit source]

If Nebulus is played to the end, extra lives are not refunded. Therefore it makes sense to sacrifice remaining extra lives, in order to reach more points. The player gets an extra life every 5.000 points. As there are less than 5.000 runpoints in every tower, "strategical dying" can only repeated restrictedly (and not endlessly)!

Solution[edit | edit source]

Levelmap 7
Map of level 7

Cheats[edit | edit source]

  • [P] for pause. Now press <J>,<Arrow left> and <Arrow up> together,continue the game with <Fire>. Now the single levels can be chosen with the numbers 1-8.
  • Eternal life: key combination <J>, <Arrow up>, <Arrow left>

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
8.28 points at 50 votes (rank 52).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 9 16th October 2006 - "top" - 5423 downs
Lemon64 7,88 16th October 2006 - 113 votes
Happy Computer 79% Games Special 1/88 7,24 29th July 2008 - 17 votes
Powerplay 90% Issue 1/88
ZZap64 97% Issue 87/12

Reviews[edit | edit source]

FXXS: "Difficult but fair jump & run with a unique scrolling effect, loving details and rocking title music. 9 points with tendency to 10."

Shakermaker303: "The game was presented at that time in a computer show and then I was certain: "I want to have it". Nice sound effects, cool screen scrolling (I like the underwater bonus level very much) and all around a nice idea. Also, the title figure looks cute :-)."

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • In the original game there is a mistake. When choosing the 2-player option, each time player 2 reaches a score dividable by 5.000, player 1 receives 10.000 points. This mistake was fixed in the version by Remember and the +version by HtW. The two versions also both have a savable highscore list.
  • After the end of the game, the gained extra points are not set back in all currently available versions.

Versions[edit | edit source]

  • The US version is named "Tower Toppler".
  • The more unknown Italian version is named "Subline"

Clones[edit | edit source]

Clones are available for all established PC platforms, e.g. as free software basing on SDL, but also for Palm and iPhone.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Since 13.06.2008 the game is available as download for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console.

Cover[edit | edit source]


Video[edit | edit source]

Nebulus C64 Longplay (HQ) Part1/2 by Graham for "C64 Longplays"

Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of Werner
  1. Werner - 132.155 (27.09.2012)
  2. FXXS - 97.700 (29.09.2013)
  3. Tayo - 88.895 (11.12.2006)
  4. Pohli - 34.865 (17.12.2006)
  5. Blubarju - 26.350 (11.08.2009)
  6. DarioLP - 17.835 (31.08.2020)
  7. Sledgie - 6.940 (02.12.2006)

#2 FXXS #3 Tayo
#2 FXXS #3 Tayo


Nebulus competition in

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Toppler Wikipedia: Tower Toppler