Zero Tolerance (video game)
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Brazilian cover art
|Producer(s)||Randel B. Reiss|
|Platform(s)||Sega Mega Drive/Genesis|
Zero Tolerance is a 1994 video game developed by Technopop and published by Accolade exclusively for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game console. It was one of the few Mega Drive/Genesis first person shooters, besides Bloodshot and the Duke Nukem 3D port.
In the future, mankind has made great advances in interstellar travel and subsequently colonised the Solar System. The extrasolar settlements, research outposts, mines, commercial colonies, and spacecraft and space stations throughout the Solar System are protected over by a mighty, interstellar military conglomerate named the Planet Defense Corps.
When Europa-1, the flagship of the Planet Defense Corps, is attacked by an unknown yet lethal aggressor of apparently extraterrestrial nature, the Planet Defense Corps call in Zero Tolerance, an elite strike squad of five speciality-trained commandos. A recording of the last transmission from Europa-1 reveals extensive fire damage to the warship, almost total casualties and otherworldly creatures hunting the few remaining survivors of the attack. Also, the nuclear cooling system of Europa-1 has been damaged by small arms fire, and core breach caused by overheating will destroy the starship in a matter of hours.
As a member of the Zero Tolerance squad, the player character is ordered during the crisis briefing to infiltrate Europa-1 before it explodes. Their mission is to completely eliminate the mysterious alien aggressor from within, and also the transformed humans of Europa-1 they have "infected", in the next few hours to erase all evidence of the attack and the alien intruders.
Zero Tolerance is made up of 40 levels spanning three separate areas: the space warship Europa-1, an abandoned merchant freighter, the heavily fortified central command building for the Planet Defense Corps, and the sub-basement areas of that building. The object of the game is to kill all of the enemies on a level and then proceed to the exit, which is either a staircase or elevator leading down to the next level.
However, nothing prevents the player from heading straight towards the exit without killing all of the enemies. If this is done, the player is simply not given any passwords until the entire area is finished.
Once a character is killed that character will be listed as "deceased," and becomes unavailable for playing. The player can choose from a total of five different characters; once they are all deceased the game is over.
Link cable support
The game supported connecting two Genesis/Mega Drives via a special link cable using the second joypad ports for a multiplayer mode. The cable was originally supposed to be shipped as a pack-in with the game. However this was changed in a last-minute decision and a coupon for ordering a free cable was added instead.
GamePro gave the game a mostly positive review, commenting that "First-person games like Zero Tolerance really put pressure on a system's processor, but Accolade has done a good job here: The anxiety caused by an adversary careening around a corner or the twitching body of a gunned-down spider is severe." They additionally praised the large and labyrinthine levels, cooperative multiplayer ability, and limited but effective sound effects, though they criticized a few elements such as how slowly the player character turns. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly had varying reactions to Zero Tolerance, but generally agreed that it was an effective substitute for Wolfenstein 3D and Doom on the Genesis. They scored it a 7.5 out of 10.
A sequel called Beyond Zero Tolerance (or Zero Tolerance 2) was in development by Technopop for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, but it was cancelled. A letter-writing campaign for Accolade to release the game was started, with no success. The ROMs of the game and its sequel were offered by the owner for free download later. The story of Beyond Zero Tolerance involves the player character traveling to the alien homeworld to eradicate all life there.
2005 trademark issues with Eidos
In October 2005, Eidos Interactive announced a game titled Zero Tolerance: City Under Fire for PS2 and Xbox. Technopop's former president and owner of its assets, Randel B. Reiss, made a statement in which he held the copyright for the title Zero Tolerance, and also announced that he was working on an updated version of the classic Zero Tolerance under the same title which was being developed for the PSP; the statement alleged trademark infringement on Reiss' trademark and sent a "cease and desist" notice to Eidos Interactive in using the title Zero Tolerance. Eidos later renamed their game Urban Chaos: Riot Response.
- "ProReview: Zero Tolerance". GamePro. No. 74. IDG. November 1994. p. 84.
- "Review Crew: Zero Tolerance". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 62. Sendai Publishing. September 1994. p. 32.
- "The State of the 16-Bit World: Cancelled Games". GamePro. No. 91. IDG. April 1996. p. 44.
- "Power of the Pen". GamePro. No. 96. IDG. September 1996. p. 16.
- www.technopop.net/ "Randel Reiss, the owner of the Zero Tolerance copyright and trademark, has made the original Zero Tolerance Sega Genesis ROM image royalty-free for distribution."
- "Way Beyond Tolerance". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 73. Sendai Publishing. August 1995. p. 88.
- Ellie Gibson (16 November 2005). "Eidos comes under fire from developer over trademark issue". gamesindustry.biz.
- Tim Surette (7 February 2006). "Zero Tolerance overtaken by Urban Chaos". GameSpot UK.