[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Lucasfilm’s 1985 FPS

February 25th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

Lucasfilm Games The Eidolon Advertisement 1985Disney now owns this game.

In 1985, LucasFilm Games released one of the earliest first-person shooters, although they didn’t know it at the time. In The Eidolon, players fluidly navigate corridors from a first-person viewpoint, shooting monsters that they encounter along the way.

The Eidolon utilizes a novel and technically impressive vector graphics engine to dynamically generate tunnel interiors from various angles as players maneuver through them. The engine also served as the basis of other LucasFilm titles like Rescue on Fractalus! (1984) and Koronis Rift (1985).

Although this game appeared on the Atari 8-bit computer platform (which I grew up with), I never got a chance to play it until about ten years ago. If I had seen it in the 1980s, it would have immediately become a favorite.

[ From Compute!, November 1985, p.33 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite pre-1996 first-person shooter?

11 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Lucasfilm’s 1985 FPS”

  1. Thomas Says:

    Had to sit back and think about it for a while. I was rather late catching on to the 1st person shooter craze in the nineties, but the game that really got me hooked was the Star Wars game “Dark Forces”. I remember thinking -Finally I can be IN the movies.

    I also remember thinking the same thing when I played the sequels. They were all very good at capturing the spirit and feel of the original movies.

  2. V Says:

    Catacomb 3-D, by John Carmack and John Romero, among others. It was pretty much the precursor to Wolfenstein 3D.

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    Great picks, guys.

    If my cutoff limit were 1997, I’d pick Blood. But I’d have to say that Doom is probably my favorite classic FPS. Predictable choice, I know, but man was it magical when it came out.

  4. Rob T Firefly Says:

    It wasn’t a shooter, and it may have been the size of a sticky note, but that upper-left corner of the Bard’s Tale games where you had the very limited first-person view of your surroundings was the first time a (partially) graphical game made me feel like I was inside its world.

  5. Kouban Says:

    When I was roughly 10, my dad bought me a game boy for xmas along with several games, including Faceball 2000, which was my introduction to (rather slow) FPSes.

  6. Chris Ries Says:

    Totally had this game for my Atari 800xl. I wonder if that floppy is still in a box at my parents house? Is there a rom of this somewhere? Love to play it again.

  7. Benj Edwards Says:


    You can find an Atari 800 disk image for The Eidolon on this page:


    Scroll down to “Edilon” (it’s misspelled).

  8. Rob Says:

    Lucasarts’ Monkey Island. Chaos on the spectrum along with Rebelstar. Loved Grand Prix manager also on the spectrum too.

  9. RetroBrothers Says:

    Ah, I remember a lot of hype around this game. Sadly, I never did get to play it back in the day.

  10. Matt Says:

    I still remember Xybots my first time, playing that in the arcade and being amazed at the feeling of 1st person action and exploration.

  11. leftylimbo Says:

    The first one I got hooked on was Duke Nukem in ’91. The sarcastic humor was awesome and there was something truly entertaining about strippers exploding into dollar bills when you shot them.

    But when my good pal introduced me to Wolfenstein 3D in ’92 I was seriously hooked, playing it at his house on the weekend nights until 2-3AM. We later discovered Descent in’ 94 and its head-to-head capability, and my friends and I would battle endlessly. It would be actually awesome if they re-released that game with today’s modern technology.

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