article by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Genre: action puzzle
Release: June 1997
Developer: Impressions
Lead Artist:
Publisher: Sierra
Requirements:486 DX4 100 MHz CPU or Higher, Hard Drive, 8 Megabyte RAM, Double Speed CD Rom Drive, SVGA Video Card and Monitor capable of 640x480 @ 256 Colors, Sound Blaster or 100% Compatible Sound Card, MS-DOS 5.0 or Higher



In the early 1990's, Psygnosis released their hit game Lemmings, setting off a wave of similar titles, but nothing caught the imagination of the public like the original game. Lemmings spawned sequels, Christmas Lemmings, Lemmings II, Lemmings Paintball, and others. Captives is a game of this ilk.

Company Line

A peaceful Earth colony on the outer reaches of space -- quiet, remote, defenseless. Out of nowhere, an evil alien horde attacks. The settlement is overrun, hundreds are held captive, a desperate population cries out for help. What they need is a hero. What They Get Is You !

Daak Ransem, rogue trader and part-time con man -- not exactly the hero type. Good thing your brain’s bigger than your gun. You’ll need to think on your feet to lead the captives through a multi-level colony filled with blood-thirsty aliens. But when the hordes attack, you fight back. (After all, just `cause you're not a hero, that doesn't mean you'll take crap from some bug-eyed alien!)

An action-packed mix of arcade excitement, nick-of-time rescues, and puzzle-solving strategy.

"Capture Play". This means you can compete for more than just kills over a network, modem or the Internet.

Maps filled with countless hazards and obstacles, requiring nimble reflexes and clever navigation.

Six types of captives with unique personalities. Some help you with technology, all depend on you for their lives.

Numerous aliens to battle, each with its own special attack which must be learned (and defeated) to succeed.

Varied terrain. Rescue the captives and battle the alien hordes outdoors, indoors, and underground.

Stunning 3d graphics and animations will draw you completely into the world of Captives and won’t let you go. You won’t rest until every prisoner is free!

On the edge of the galaxy, a dark and terrible secret is about to surface

The year is 2159, and humankind has just begun to explore and colonize the far reaches of outer space. The planet of Rubicon, studded with mineral-rich craters and ideally suited for human habitation, is home to earth’s newest colony. Here, a small community of scientists, engineers, and settlers struggle to build a home in a bleak and distant land.

But beneath the planet’s tranquil landscape lies an unseen menace, and the rumbling of the colony’s construction brings it to the surface. Hordes of hostile aliens, living deep underground, emerge and attack with devastating cruelty. Most inhabitants are killed quickly, while the rest are either captured or go into hiding.

The outlook is bleak, but one hope remains for the people of Rubicon, you.

You are Daak Ransem, a rogue trader and part-time con man on a routine shipping run. As you enter orbit around the mysteriously silent base you detect life signs for only a fraction of the colony’s population. Something is terribly wrong.

There is only one thing to do: find the remaining captives and bring them home. To do this, you must explore the planet’s mysterious terrain, liberate the prisoners, and lead them to safety…easier said than done.

Negotiating this maze of craters and corridors—with its secret passages, force fields, automatic crushers and toxic floors—will become a puzzle in itself. You must figure out how to overcome each obstacle with the tools you have. Oh, and don’t forget the aliens. They’ll show up just when you need them the least!

You’ll need a cool head as well as a quick trigger finger.

If you’ve got the guts, enter the fray. Remember, their lives are in your hands!

Game Play

Take the 1970's hit Choplifter which was availabe for the Apple II, Commodore 64, and Atari 800 computers and combine it with the Lemmings classic and you get some idea of the game play. The specially modified tank fires on buildings, cracking them to let the hostages stream up. Once released the hostages take refuge in the tank which must then ferry them to safety.

The game has over twenty five levels. Each level can be solved in several different ways.

The perspective is three-dimensional, three-quarter isometric view, a first for the action puzzle genre which has been the side scrolling two-dimensional variety.


In an Earth colony in space far from earth, aliens with evil intentions attack the human colonists. The aliens have taken humans hostage. As the hero Daak Ransem, a Merinary who specializes in hostage situations, your job is to use a specially converted vehicle which is both tank and personnell carrier, to save the hapless hostages.



Voice Actors

Music Score

Sound Effects


A level editor will be released shortly after the game as an add-on.

Compare to

Compare this game to Lost Vikings I and II.

Multi-player Features

Multiplayer play is supported.

Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough


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Next Generation, May, 1997, pg. 79.

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