Music upload – Exolon (ZX Spectrum)

So, I’m pushing on with migrating my retrogaming music playlist from SoundCloud to YouTube. One of my latest uploads is the fab little intro ditty from Exolon on the ZX Spectrum.

Exolon is a space-themed run-and-gunner for the holy trinity of 8-bit home computers — the Speccy, Amstrad CPC, and Commodore 64. It was developed by Raffaele Cecco and published by Hewson in 1987.

As far as I’m aware, there’s no real storyline to this game. You’re just some unnamed space dude who, for reasons I can’t quite fathom, seems to be wearing a skirt over his spacesuit.

A screenshot from Exolon on the ZX Spectrum

Armed with a hand blaster and rocket launcher, the aim is to progress through a linear sequence of screens on a hostile planet. You destroy obstacles, take down automated turrets, and dodge colourful bouncing spheres and other strange alien entities. Pretty simple stuff, but it’s also bloody hard, particularly because you only have a limited supply of ammo and some of the baddies keep respawning.

I had the Speccy version and was never very good at it, but I always loved the vibrant visuals and evocative sci-fi backdrops. I think these are among some of my favourite graphics on the Spectrum.

But, to be honest, it was one of those games that I mainly booted up to listen to the intro tune. Nick Jones’ simple, two-channel melody seems to riff on Jean-Michel Jarre, and perhaps even Mike Oldfield, and always sends pleasant sensations down my spine. I’m weird like that!

Now that I can use save states, maybe one day I’ll get finally round to completing Exolon 😀

You can checkout my classic video game music playlist on YouTube.

A screenshot from Exolon on the ZX Spectrum

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