Exile Tribute: The story

The player takes control of a space-adventurer Mike Finn who is ordered by his superiors on Earth to divert his spacecraft to the planet Phoebus to investigate the distress calls broadcast by the members of a previous mission. Finn's mission is to rescue any survivors of the mission from a psychotic scientist, Triax, exiled there many years before.

Exile was supplied complete with a novella setting the background story to the game and the game objective. It also provides limited clues regarding the scenery, objects and lifeforms that are encountered in the game.

The back cover to the novella features the 'runes' which provide clues on how to enter what is essentially the left-hand side of the Exile map. Take a look by following this link

The following are extracts from the novella written by Mark Cullen with assistance by P.J.M Irvin and J.C.Smith. All text is copyright Mark Cullen, P.J.M. Irvin & J.C. Smith, 1988.

There are some individuals whose actions mark them as unfit to live within a civilised society. Your crimes have been of a horriyingly barbaric nature and throughout this trial you have failed to exhibit even the slightest vestige of remorse. Although it gives us no pleasure to pass such a sentence, we must act to protect the innocent. We decree that your presence within this society can no longer be tolerated.

As the 'Pericles' moved into orbit around the alien planet, commander David Sprake stood at his viewing screen, lost in thought. he knew that his career in the Force, and his prospects for promotion, depended on this mission. This was the one that mattered, the one that everybody back home would analyse in detail. For this was the Columbus Force's five hundreth mission.

Sprake's mind ran over the history of the Force. In the twenty first century, the population explosion drove humanity out into the galaxy in a desperate search for planets to colonise. A powerful group of influential people collaborated to form a military organisation which could explore uncharted space with maximum efficiency. This organisation was the Columbus Force, and its hackers - an uneasy alliance of the wealthy and the intellectual - pooled their resources in the search for habitable worlds. They found no planets similar to the Earth. The vast majority could never be suitable for humankind, while those that were could sustain only an uncomfortable existence in drab, hermetically sealed environments.

The search, however continued. Once a planet was located, an initial unmanned probe (known colloquially as a dwarfie) would establish whether there was any possibility of it supporting human life. If this proved favourable, a manned probe would follow to explore the new discovery in more detail. These were the Columbus Probes.

One such follow-up craft was the 'Pericles'. When a dwarfie returned favourable data from a large planet, the 'Pericles' was launched on the long journey to the new world, named Phoebus. Its mission: to investigate and to report.

Sprake was snapped out of his reverie by a call from Spiegel demanding that he check the armoury before they landed to make sure all weapons were in working order 'Ever the optimist, aren't you, Spiegel?' Sprake replied. 'I'll be right down'.

Sprake was the highest ranking Columbus Force officer on board. A tall, silverhaired man in his late thirties, he had attained the rank of Commander unexpectedly after many years of undistinguished service as a second-in command on other ships While serving as Deputy Commander on a mission to investigate an unknown planet, Sprake was forced to assume command when his superior officer was poisoned by an alien gas. Sprake's remarkable courage and valour in sealing infected corridors and saving the rest of the crew led to his immediate promotion.


'Right.' Gritting his teeth, Sprake peered at the small screen on the console which showed the ship's position. There she was, and there was the wind; the savage, relentless wind that swept the planet's surface. Their only hope was to stop the descent and try to push through the wind looking for a clearing, if there were any.

Sprake grasped the Stabilizer and, summoning all his strength, pushed it to its highest level. The ship's engines screamed their strained complaint, but slowly, interminably, the 'Pericles' came to a halt.

Sprake instantly moved his hands to the direction levers and sent the ship on a horizontal course at maximum thrust. The crew members who had managed to remain standing during the descent were knocked to the floor by the sudden shift. Only Sprake, wedged into the console, stayed on his feet. The squeal of the engines as he pushed them to maximum capacity accompanied the raging winds in a nightmarish cacophony Suddenly they were out. The winds had stopped, the ship was safe. Sprake immediately cut the acceleration and pressed the Descent Stabilizen The ship lost height and, with one final shudder, came to a halt on the ground.

People pulled themselves up and gave vent to a communal sigh of relief. Acting Lieutenant Baker, his relief spilling into laughter, said, 'Are we dead? I never thought Heaven would look like this. I imagined there'd be a few more beautiful women around'.

'If we're dead, Baker', said Sun Pahn, 'we must have gone to Hell. Because he's with us.' He gestured at Spiegel, who was brushing himself down. Baker laughed, while Spiegel greeted the jibe with a baleful glare.

Sprake asked Lieutenant Nash where they were. Nash reported that they had entered the only area within reach of his scanners where strong winds were not howling across the planet's surface. This was a strangely calm gap approximately half a kilometre wide. 'Great flying, Commander,' he added, grinning.

Thanks. Let's have a look at this place. After that descent I'll be extremely happy to get my feet on solid ground.'

Following the noisy descent the quiet peace after they landed seemed almost eerie. Touchdown was completed successfully although the landing gear sank very deep into the surface gravel. Sprake led a party out to begin their preliminary exploration. Professor Spiegel refused to come. He had taken an irrational dislike to the planet, based on the fact that the dwarfie hadn't registered the winds and what he called 'intuition... a feeling that we will have trouble here'.


[Further extracts to follow]

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Last modified 01/04