Rescue On Fractalus! is a March 1984 computer game created by Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArts Entertainment). It was originally released for the Atari 8-bit family and the Atari 5200 games console. It was also ported to other popular platforms of the day, such as the Apple II, ZX Spectrum (by Dalali Software Ltd), Amstrad CPC, Tandy Color Computer 3 and Commodore 64. The game was one of the first two products from the fledgling Lucasfilm Computer Division Games Group led by Peter Langston.
The game utilizes fractal technology to create the craggy mountains of an alien planet, where the visilibility was drastically reduced by the dense atmosphere. The player controls a fictional "Valkyrie" space fighter (converted for search and rescue duty) from a first-person view, attempting to land and pick up downed Ethercorps pilots. Some of these mountains hold anti-aircraft guns, which have to be avoided or destroyed. Due to the varied terrain, the direction finder has to be used to locate the pilots, whose visual beacons are often masked by mountain ridges.
At higher levels, the enemy Jaggis begin flying kamikaze saucers. The mission area also moves into day/night boundaries. Night missions are particularly difficult, requiring diligent use of the altimeter to avoid crashing.
Flying consumes fuel. The way to replenish this supply is to rescue downed pilots who bring their remaining fuel supplies on board.
The thick atmosphere is sufficiently acidic that downed pilots' craft were being slowly disintegrated. An exposed pilot's survival time outside his craft is less than a minute, due to his flight suit and helmet literally dissolving. This makes it imperative that the player rescue pilots as quickly and efficiently as possible.