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Space Ace first appeared as a laserdisc-based Arcade game in 1983. Like Dragon's Lair before it, it differed from traditional video games in a few significant ways. The game's graphics came not from sprites, vectors or polygons but from pre-animated sequences stored on a laserdisc. Rather than directly controlling the action, players watched the on-screen animation and were required to input a joystick movement or a button press at the correct moment. If the correct move was entered, gameplay continued; if not, a life was lost.
Don Bluth, the animator behind features like The Secret of Nimh and Anastasia, oversaw the animation of Space Ace. The game's story revolves around a fearless space fighter named Ace and his arch-nemesis, the evil commander Borf, who has invented a new weapon called the Infanto Ray. Borf plans to use this weapon, which de-ages everything it shoots, on the Earth and has also captured Ace's girlfriend Kimberley. Unfortunately, Ace himself has been blasted by the Infanto Ray and has reverted back to his adolescent self (a dorky kid named Dexter). Luckily, Dexter can reenergize himself at key moments, temporarily turning himself into the mighty Ace once again.
The game was briefly successful in the arcades, riding on its novelty and the popularity of Dragon's Lair, before fading away a short time later. Then, because of the introduction of the CD-ROM, Space Ace experienced a short-lived resurgence in the early '90s, with releases for Sega CD, Phillips CD-I, MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh and Windows 95. It was also re-released in the arcades as a laserdisc conversion kit for Dragon's Lair II.
Finally, DVD-Video has given Space Ace yet another opportunity for life. Playable on most home DVD players, this release includes not only the original game but also interviews with Don Bluth and Rick Dyer, as well as an option to watch the entire animated sequence without having to input moves.
Space Ace's video has been re-mastered for this release and features digital AC3 sound. Moves are input via the DVD player's remote control.
Note: The DVD-Video version of Space Ace is not compatible with Toshiba 2109/3109 and most Samsung and Aiwa DVD players. ~ Skyler Miller, All Game Guide