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Lander on the Acorn Archimedes

About the version of Lander on this site

Information on the version of Lander analysed here

The ship taking off in Acorn Archimedes Lander

Lander was the very first game to be released for the ARM processor, back when ARM stood for "Acorn RISC Machine". Acorn's original 1986 ARM Evaluation System came with a suite of development tools but no games, so when Lander was bundled with the first commercial ARM computers, as part of the 1987 launch of the original Archimedes computer, it became the platform's inaugural game. With its solid 3D graphics and slick 32-bit performance, it quite understandably blew people away.

Lander was supplied on the application discs for both the Arthur and RISC OS 2 operating systems. It came bundled with every Archimedes sold between 1987 and 1991, from the very first A305, A310 and A440 machines, through to the A410/1, A420/1, A440/1, A3000 and A540 models. The game was dropped from the RISC OS 3 discs, though it runs fine on RISC OS 3, despite being a bit too fast to play on the ARM3 CPU that was common by the 1990s.

The version analysed on this site is identical to the game that came bundled with the original Archimedes. The Arthur and RISC OS variants of Lander are exactly the same in terms of the game code, but the RISC OS version comes wrapped in a !Lander application. The !RunImage in this application contains an encrypted game binary that is decrypted when loaded, resulting in the exact same game code as in the Arthur variant. The Arthur variant doesn't contain any encryption and is just a plain binary with a load and execution address.

Here are some suggestions for exploring these two variants of Lander: