…the Oscar for the most far-fetched use of a mega licence goes to: First Blood Part II!
The insignificance of the computer game industry compared to more established media in the mid-80s is illustrated easily by Angelsoft's licencing deals. They managed to score at least three of the biggest movie names of the time: Indiana Jones, James Bond and… Rambo – whose second part, in retrospect, has turned out to be something like the pinnacle of the politically ultra-reactionary body cinema so popular at the time; a movie which spends 85 of its 96 minutes with restless shooting. What better way to adapt it than a text adventure?
Rebel Planet was the 18th gamebook of its line. The plot revolves around the agent of an underground movement which aims at liberating humanity from under the oppression of the Arcardians.
What is it about?
Humans had colonized a couple of planets in their solar system before they were swallowed by the Arcadian empire in a 12-year-war.
An interesting facet of this fairly detailed background plot: the humans aren't completely innocent of their own fate. Strictly speaking, they were the original aggressors against the Arcadians by entering that race's home planet in their own striving for expansion. Only as a reaction to that, the Arcadians actually began constructing their own space ships.
“You all meet in a tavern…” is an opening as old as role-playing games themselves. Even after decades of evolution in playing styles, settings and even formats, Ye Good Olde Inn still is the number one meeting place and quest hub. If you think about it more closely it actually makes sense: Lots of different folks coming together, being in a talkative mood either because they are naturally chatty or because they have been quaffing just one ale too much. An ideal atmosphere for sharing information and lending a helping hand. Where else can you speak so openly about all of your troubles to total strangers? Where else are you going to make hasty promises based on alcohol fuelled solidarity and overconfidence? Some might say it is a rather cheap hook, some might wish for a more personal character motivation and some might want to draw more attention to their elaborate backgrounds. Others might just create an excellent game about it, a game like Tavern Crawler.