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It's late 1982, and small videogame companies are taking it to the chin. Astrocade is virtually extinct, and Apollo's attempted rise from the ashes of bankruptcy does not seem to be holding.

Yet, in November, Robert Hesler of Grand Prairie, TX, started up a new videogame company called VentureVision. Hesler owned an Atari 2600, and founded his company with a starry-eyed, "if they can do it, I can do it."

Using some of Apollo's ex-employees -- a programmer and sales personnel -- he put together the first release, Rescue Terra I and released it in December. The purpose of the game was to navigate meteor storms, destroy space pirates, battle robots and force fields, and reach the planet Terra I. VentureVision hoped to be a hit with the public by making the game available for $19.99, and plans were in place for eight more releases in 1983 at the same price. The first of these were to go on sale in April; Inner Space and Solar Defense. Both were to be sequels to Rescue Terra I (hence the numerical designation in the title).

Inner Space was to be an adventure inside Terra 1. The player fights various enemies on the way to the planet's core, where he or she must destroy the computer which governs the world.

Solar Defense is spacebound, the player operating a space station in earth orbit. The station is situated in the center of the screen, where it is beleagured by various projectiles coming at it from 360 degrees. The station is visited every now and then by a cargo ship from Terra 1, a vessel which contains energizing Zenbar Crystals mined on the planet.

Unfortunately, poor sales of Rescue Terra I forced the company into bankruptcy and VentureVision was never to be heard from again. Don't blame it on the quality of RTI, however. Imagic later picked up its sequel, Inner Space and released it as Laser Gates. And as any 2600 fan will tell you, Laser Gates is one of the best games for the system. One can only speculate as to how good Solar Defense and the others might have been had they been brought to market.


  • Innerspace (not released)
  • Rescue Terra I
  • Solar Defense (not released)

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