Final Legacy


As noted, the idea of a group of creators designing games larger than the sum of any individual parts had begun for Atari with my first game, E.T. Phone Home. Now, a year later, the process was kicked up a notch when I was brought into a new section called the Advanced Games Group, under the direction of British wunderkind Chris Horseman. Atari by this time was hemorrhaging money, and we were the guys being asked to apply a tourniquet.

Our group devised five games, all different, to expand the public perception of what Atari produced. Our action game was Final Legacy, a sprawling contest in which the world has been mostly destroyed and you command the one remaining super-battleship, which prowls the oceans attacking the enemy before they finish off the world.

Just like E.T. Phone Home, the game that was released was a subset of this, though in this case it was because Atari had changed hands and we were all let go. It contained three of the original games modes (out of, I think, six): torpedo (to destroy enemy battleships), sea-to-land (to destroy enemy bases), and sea-to-air (to destroy enemy jets). The group managed to get this much of the aptly-named Final Legacy out the door before we followed it.

It was while we were working on Final Legacy (and unaware of the hovering ax) that Dragon's Lair, with full cartoon graphics by Don Bluth, came out. We grabbed rolls of quarters and went to an arcade in Saratoga to play it all afternoon, and I remember thinking the days of art like the below - as nice as it was for the time - were done.