LGR – Paratrooper – PC Booter Game Review
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LGR – Paratrooper – PC Booter Game Review

September 24, 2019

[LGR Theme plays] [fizz, sip] Aahhh… [typing] It’s time for yet another one of those timeless classics that I played endlessly as a young lad. Paratrooper by Greg Kuperberg
and Orion Software from 1982. This is one of those games that it seems
everyone with a DOS machine had, since it will run on any fully-compatible
IBM PC and takes up almost no space. Most seemed to get the game from a local BBS or shareware compilation disks,
like me when I was a kid. But I recently found a version
of this Keypunch Software disk. I’ll cover Keypunch some other time, but they were one of those companies
that distributed games on disks separated by genre. It’s worth noting that I’ll be playing
this on an orginal IBM 5150 PC with the CGA card’s composite output and a microphone sitting near the PC speaker. [typing] [PC speaker music plays] Ah, Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue” in PC speaker form. Classy. The game gives you three options to choose from: instructions, start with a keyboard,
and start with a joystick. The instructions give you a short mission
briefing and the controls and that’s about it. And that’s fine because this is one of those games that is so simple it doesn’t matter. You play the role of an admittedly phallic
gun turret at the bottom of the screen. The goal is to shoot the crap
out of everything until you die. You can swivel your gun left and
right to cover most of the screen, shooting down helicopters and the game’s namesake and most devious enemy: paratroopers. The goal is to last as long as you
can and rack up the highest score, with each object giving you a different score. So keep shooting, shooting, shooting, and do keep in mind that although your ammo is infinite, each shot will take away one point, taking you down to zero if you’re not careful. You can shoot the helicopters, shoot the paratroopers, or shoot the parachutes, which will drop the little bugger to his doom. Heh heh heh… What you don’t want is for the
paratroopers to gather to your left and right. If four of them gather on any one side, they will form a paratrooper ladder and light a fire under your butt
with no chance of escaping, blowing you to bits. [PC speaker beeping] [PC speaker music plays] It’s a horrible death. I hate those guys. If you’re gathering paratroopers, ah, not all is lost. You CAN kill them indirectly by a rather devious act of your own. Shoot the parachute of a falling paratrooper and drop him on top of one of his buddies. Two for one. Or even three for one, if he lands on
some of his cheerleading buddies. Sadly, this is not all you have to worry about. Occasionally, you’ll get a break in helicopters. And then the jets come. And, oh, man, I am telling you, this is some heart attack crap right here. Like their New York counterparts, the jets are relatively easy targets, but the thing is, some of them drop bombs. And yes, they are perfectly accurate
every time and frickin’ tough to hit. At least until you figure out their falling trajectory. If you do not have a joystick, you will not last during these sections, I promise you. The game is pretty much unplayable with a keyboard. You have to be perfectly accurate or you’re dead. Once the jet passes, it’s back
to choppers and paratroopers. Repeat ad infinitum. So that’s Paratrooper. It’s a freaking classic on the PC world and it’s an absolute blast to play even today. It has that timeless arcade mentality, racking up points, trying to
last longer than you did before. It’s so simple, but with just enough twists to make the gameplay varied and addicting. It’s not the only game in its genre, for sure, and has been copied endlessly over the
years by so-called “Paratrooper clones.” In fact, Paratrooper is itself a clone
of the 1981 Apple II game Sabotage. And there’s also the Atari 2600 game
Commando, which is very similar, and about a million other ones. It’s been cloned over and over throughout the years, but there is a reason that almost all of
them are known as “Paratrooper clones.” And I would that’s because as far
as most people are concerned, Paratrooper is the original, and the best. [PC speaker music plays]

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Commando Raid, not Commando 😉


    By the way, I hoped to see you in a paratrooper uniform parachuting in this video. XD

    Now for your next DOS review….Commander Keen 4 ? 😉

  2. I played that on my old ibm clone till my dos floppy decided to die, and for some reason it would not load one of the new dos floppies I made……. was quite annoyed by that 🙁

  3. @phreakindee

    No problem, can happen 😉

    Commando also existed on the Atari 2600, so easy mistake, lol.

    If you make that on special, well, you could also do the other CK games on the special.

  4. gods, that brings back memories…. and for some odd reason, reminds me of scorched earth… any chance of doing that one? 😛

  5. yes, even i have a Paratrooper on a pirate disk, not sure if its this version or another, but i got it along with some other games with my first IBM 486.

  6. Man, let me tell you something. I'm in italy right now, working my ass of as a reporter at the EICMA Motobike Fair in Mailand. I'm really stressed to the max every evening, and your video really eased the pain for me. Now I can maybe have a refreshing night. keep up the good work, mate! btw: Ever heard of Ecstatica I and II ? In my opinion one of the scariest games till today! 😉

  7. @phreakindee

    Dude, missing ecstatica really makes me sad! 😛
    I somehow cant post the link here, but just search for ecstatica walktrough here. It hat 10 parts 😉

  8. @phreakindee

    it is, it really is! especially from a technical view (excuse my english, I'm from germany…). Instead of normal polygon graphics, they used elipsoids for just everything in game. Using this technology it really looked over the top back in the days and still has a very special look to this day. I really enjoyed the first game and recently bought the second game in a very mint condition, but it only runs without music on my machine, which destroys the great atmosphere 🙁

  9. Nothing like a good ol' "shoot til die" game! That move where you dropped one paratrooper onto another…very sweet. I like seeing these old PC games, I was on Atari back then, so these games with their CGA look really look unusual to me. High res with few colors. 🙂

    And I thought the gun turret looked like a building that houses a powerful super duck which uses it's movable howitzer beak to blast incoming forces.

  10. You say this game doesn't run at all well in the PC Junior, but how well does it run on your Tandy 1000? This reminds me of one of the games that comes on my mother's iPod Nano, I can't remember the name of the game, I think Paratrooper has more to it though.

  11. awesome game – spent countless hours playing paratrooper. I got a joystick much later and almost always played this using the keyboard. this was way back when most computers came with 256K of RAM. 🙂

  12. @phreakindee Dear LGR, ive got a question regarding this game. Ive played it in dosbox but I couldnt use my keyboard to control the gun. do you know how this can be fixed?

  13. I'm looking for a similar game to this.
    You controlled a sort of base and blew up planes and all that.
    And every level ends with a guy driving up to the base, knocking on the door and delivering pizza.
    Know this one?

  14. lol my school had this game in their 286 computer lab, along with alley cat and roger rabit never bothered with them myself really. I might add that the year was 1997/1999 and while they had a pentium lab too, always thought it was odd having the retro lab, since it was quite useless at the time. Going even further back at around 92/94 another school i went to had some old mac's which seemed even more useless at the time.

  15. im looking 4 an old pc game i think it was called 'AR' or that was the initials of the actual title but i think the application was AR.exe xD the game was like this: they give you a mission you are 1 soldier they show you the map and you can choose where to drop with your parachute,then you would have to go up on the map killing people the enemy you could dress up like the enemy to blend in and at the end you had to light a flare so the helicopter could pick you up after the mission was complete

  16. This game I think would benefit so much with a paddle controller. Why the hell hasn't there been a popular one of those for the PC yet?

  17. there's a really bad version on old ipods that only give you one point per kill, whether it be paratrooper or chopper, and has no jets.

    this means that if you're playing it, you have to make every shot count and i dunno but that's just not fun for me.

  18. One of the first games I had on my old 8088. It also had that awesome, huge, red flipswitch on the side. Ah, nostalgia!

  19. I made a ms-dos boot disk and I just downloaded Paratrooper on it. Can someone tell me how I control it?(move the cannon and exit)

  20. What's the name of that game in the intro? I had it when I was in middle school and have been trying to remember the name of it for years!

  21. Copter and bomber runs alternate, each copter run getting lower, and bomber runs increasing their bombs: 1 bomb on runs 1 to 3,  2 simultaneous bombs on 4th and 5th run, then 3 on the 6th. Many yrs back I tried hard to "win" the game; that is, to last until the copters couldn't go any lower. I didn't succeed, but kept track of my scores. My highest score was 2546, achieved by lasting until the 7th copter run. Also had scores of 2476 at 6th copter run, and 1935 at 5th bomber run. I played strictly with a keyboard — no joystick. Don't remember the computer — probably a 286 or 386 PC. Anyone know how or whether the game can be "won", and what happens at the end?

  22. I was soooo good at this back then… Always played with the keyboard. Pretty much 99% of my shots were 1-shot kills exactly straight. Think I got up to 3000 points, maybe more. The jets start dropping dual and triple bombs!

  23. I remember getting this from an abandonware site many years back. Fun game, especially for the time, but Sabotage on the Apple II is better because it allows you to fire shots that drop towards the ground, which is really useful for taking down paratroopers. It doesn't have the cool tune at the beginning though.

    Many older iPods had a clone of this as well, and I remember playing it a bit on mine, though it had speed issues and the controls weren't the most accurate.

  24. @1:21 Looks like they just hacked the game and replaced "Kreg Kuperberg" with "keypunch". I suspect Keypunch software distributed most of their games unlicensed.

  25. Классная игра…
    С удовольствием играл в нее…
    В Советском Союзе были компьютеры…ха ха

  26. I remember playing this on my granddads computer years ago and I used the keyboard and did really well plus I'm female and loved this game thanks for the memories

  27. Finally got a joystick for my old rig (the Top Gun Thrustmaster) and was looking forward to playing this… but this game doesn't seem to calibrate the joystick so the gun just keeps going right all the time unless I hold it a bit to the left. Is there any way to force this to calibrate? Same thing happens when using an XBox controller through DOSBox. Is there any way to force this to calibrate?

  28. Holy shit, this was actually the first game I ever played. My dad got me my first own IBM 286 with a joystick when I was like 2-3 years old. I can still remember how happy I was the first time we booted it up. Such nostalgia.

  29. "As far as most people are considered Paratrooper is the original and the best"

    Most people? I would guess more people are more familiar with Missile Command, which originally came out in 1980.

  30. Reminds me of Sabotage on the Apple ][. Also it looks like it's had the credits hacked.

  31. Actually I believe Paratrooper is a clone of the Apple II game Sabotage and not the other way around.

  32. Bombs are easy if you wrote a little script that perform fire in 30 degrees range. I play this game on DOSBox, so I wrote script in AutoHotkey, it's quite interesting if it is possible in BASIC on orginal IBM

  33. So great you reviewed this game. I remember playing this on my 33 MHz gaming rig when i was like 6 =D Awesome memories.

  34. It was our favorite game back in early 90s. My friend achieved a record score of around 3200 points. Mine was around 2000. It took a lot of training ) We used a keyboard, even today I can't imagine a joystick that can provide the level of accuracy and control needed in this particular game. And the skills are still with me, it's like riding a bike. One bullet per chopper. 2-3 to shoot a bomb. Also, we witnessed some unexpected things happen when you manage to survive for a long time, like the fourth paratrooper coming on foot from the side and then they destroy you. Once I somehow managed to drop a paratrooper on top of the one already on the ground AFTER they began moving towards the gun, leaving the human pyramid unfinished, and was able to play further. Overall, It's not such a plain game as it appears )

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