Atari ST - 1987/1992

Tenesis was a futuristic side-view action/adventure game. The player took control of a flying armored robot and explored a large underground station in order to retrieve all the parts to fix his spaceship.

Tenesis was inspired by several games, but the most obvious ones were Psygnosis's Barbarian and Obliterator (see the 'story of Tenesis' section below). Both games, despite using a very questionable control system, featured incredibly detailed graphics that really fascinated me as a teenager.

Although it featured more than hundred screens and a fair amount of enemies, this version of Tenesis is sadly not finished.

The story of Tenesis

Like many other games I programmed from 1987 to 1994, Tenesis went through several iterations as my technical and artistic skills improved over the years. The version shown in the above pictures is from around 1992.

The very first Tenesis was one of the first games I programmed for the Atari ST back in 1987. I was 13 years old. It was a top-down exploration/action game featuring a little robot and told the story of a pilot who crashed landed on an alien planet. The player controlled a small scout robot sent on a mission to retrieve all the parts to fix his spaceship. This version of the game is now sadly lost forever, only the title screen remains.

I believe Konami's Gradius (also known as Nemesis in Europe) inspired me the name Tenesis, as well as the art for the title screen - the ship in the first Tenesis definitively shares a striking resemblance with the Vic Viper found on Konami's game cover art.

Then, in 1988, after playing Psygnosis's Barbarian and being fascinated by its excellent and detailed graphics, I started working on a new version of Tenesis. In a nutshell, I wanted to create a side-view exploration/action game that would be a Barbarian in space. When Psygnosis's Obliterator was released the same year, which was basically Barbarian with a science-fiction theme, I carried on working on Tenesis and borrowed many ideas from it.

This version of Tenesis was a complete game and featured more than a hundred screens, but it was really slow overall and difficult to control... this is why I revisited the game in 1992.

TENESIS is 1987/1994 - Laurent KERMEL