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Video Game / Zone 66

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Zone 66 is a 1993 Shoot 'em Up for the DOS PCs, which was initially released as shareware. The game involved controlling a number of aircraft over various landscapes destroying various targets.

The game was created by a North American Demo Scene group called Renaissance, and was published by Epic Megagames (now Epic). Because demoscene programmers frequently worked to maximize hardware performance, the group developed a 386 protected-mode (PMODE) extender to enable the game to play on a 386 processor clocked at 16 Mega Hertz with full screen updates.

Two different soundtracks were available for the game. The first, included with the game, was the Sound Blaster soundtrack, consisting of a mix of FM synth and tracked samples. This particular method of music creation and playback was unique to the Renaissance demogroup.

A second, separately downloadable soundtrack was available for owners of the Gravis Ultrasound sound card featuring high quality music. Some songs in this soundtrack, such as the title theme, are completely different, while others are different arrangements of the same compositions.


The reason for the separate "GUS" music download was due to the size of the Gravis music: as it was nearly as large as the original game, users who only had a Sound Blaster didn't have to waste time downloading music they would never hear. Disc versions of the game included both, as players did not need to download the game.

The game takes place in the 22nd century. An ex-fighter pilot has been tipped by a stranger that his hometown is in danger, but by the time he reaches the city limits, a nuclear bomb destroys the city along with his beloved wife and baby girl. The pilot uses a ship on a landing pad to meet with the stranger at a certain location. When the pilot reaches the location, he finds the stranger is dying but gets some vital information. The pilot then gets a fighter plane and heads to a group of islands to begin his vigilant revenge.


As the pilot progresses from nation to nation destroying each base, the plot thickens and he begins to understand who and what he's dealing with and why the terrorism started.

This game contains examples of:

  • Animesque: The opening cinematic is this.
  • Destructive Saviour: Intentionally invoked in the opening text, which states that your protagonist retired after he shot down his 5th terrorist fighter, only for it to crash in a populated area and kill many civilians. As such, he swore never to fly a fighter again and settled down with his beloved...up until they get killed in a nuclear attack along with the rest of the city, that is.
  • Eyedscreen: The opening cinematic starts off as a very narrow rectangle of the actual footage, with black bars taking up a full two-thirds of the screen.
  • Homing Projectile: From the first level onwards, your plane will at times be targeted with self-guiding missiles.
  • No Name Given: The main character is never given one... probably so you can imagine yourself as him.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: The World Council banned all nuclear weapons immediately after taking power, and for a time, it was thought that they succeeded at eradicating them. By the start of the game, however, nuclear missiles have struck multiple cities around the world, killing 60 million civilians in a year.
  • Pictorial Speech Bubble: The opening cinematic conveys the idea of main character possessing a wife and a child through a thought bubble image where she breastfeeds an infant.
  • Spread Shot: The default starting plane fires a spread of four blue projectiles.
  • United Nations Is a Superpower: The opening text states that borders and nations have little meaning in the 22nd century, and United Nations has evolved into a World Council, which governs the whole Earth.
  • Watching Troy Burn: The intro starts with our hero running to the top of a hill just in time to see his love interest's (and possibly his) town get leveled by a nuclear missile, kicking off the story.
  • A Winner Is You: Despite the interesting plot, the ending consists of one paragraph and simply acknowledges your revenge is complete, and you can move on with your life.


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