Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy (Jaguar) Playthrough

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Duration: 47:28

A playthrough of Atari’s 1993 shoot 'em up for the Atari Jaguar, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy.

Whenever I think of the Jaguar, Trevor McFur is always the first game to spring to mind. The game was regularly covered by magazines leading up to the system's launch, and the screenshots left a big impression on me. The tacky prerendered sprites and the "ooh, pretty computer space colors" nailed that sterile CG aesthetic that I loved so much as a kid in the early 90s, and the images were impressive. Too impressive, even. I remember thinking that they looked too clean to be anything but promotional mockups.

I also remember instantly dismissing Cybermorph as a lame Star Fox knock-off, and since Cybermorph and Trevor McFur were the only two games available at the Jaguar's launch, I ended up viewing Trevor as the ambassador by default.

The game is a horizontally-scrolling shooter that stars giant anthropomorphic cats in spaceships, just like Star Fox and Wing Commander. (I somehow doubt that was a coincidence.) It also has one of the most hilariously dumb pieces of box art that I've ever seen.

You play as Trevor McFur of the Circle Reserves, and you've been ordered to stop the villain, Odd-It, from conquering the Crescent Galaxy. You can take on the first four stages in any order you like, and once you've cleared them all you'll head to the enemy base on the planet Cosmolite for the final battle.

Each stage breaks down the same way: you'll approach the moon from space, fight a mini-boss, fly over the surface of the moon itself, take down the area's main boss, and then play a bonus game for power-ups before being returned to the stage select screen where the cycle begins anew.

You can upgrade your main guns and bombs, and there are nine special items, all assigned to the number pad, that you can collect to gain access to things like shields and missiles. Most of them are useless, but they do make short work of the bosses if you stockpile them.

The gameplay overall is serviceable, but nothing too exciting. Random shapes float around with little sense of organization, there are no set-pieces, and the game is severely lacking in challenge. The lion's share of enemies can't fire upwards, so you can sail through most stages by just hanging out around the top left of the screen and not firing at the rocks that break apart.

The real disappointment is in the presentation. There's no in-game music at all, the title screen tune sounds like someone hit the demo button on a chintzy Casio keyboard from the late 80s, and the hard-panned stereo sound effects are annoying.

And then there are the graphics. Those screenshots wrote a whole heap of checks that the game just could not cash. The flat backdrops are mere wallpaper that lack any animation or parallax effects. Some are prerendered, some are digitized, and some are pixel-art, and visually, the entire game is a incoherent mess of random, unrelated assets haphazardly thrown together.

To its credit, the game runs at an impressively high resolution and color depth with a buttery smooth framerate, all of which all makes sense when you consider that Trevor McFur began life as a tech demo for the cancelled Panther hardware platform.

And there we have it. With its inclusion in the recently released Atari 50 compilation, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy felt like the perfect offering for the holiday. A turkey, from my table to yours. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.

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Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy
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Atari Jaguar
Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy longplay
Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy playthrough
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Atari 50