Doug Quaid is a mild-mannered construction worker with a gorgeous wife in an apartment on futuristic Earth. Plagued by restless feelings and dreams of Mars, he heads to Rekall, Inc. to purchase a commercial memory implant of a Martian vacation 'cheaper, better, and safer than the real thing'. However, the implant procedure uncovers latent memories of Quaid's real life as a secret agent for the Martian government. Pursued relentlessly by his former employers, Quaid must fight from Earth to Mars in a battle to reclaim his past and secure his future.
Total Recall for the Amiga and Atari ST has players controlling Quaid as he fights through seven levels on Earth and Mars. The game alternates between platforming levels and driving levels. Platforming levels require Quaid to fight guards and find the exit. The player may duck to avoid bullets and fight back with both captured weapons and meaty Schwarzenegger fists. The first level requires the player to locate items to open the exit, and a later level has the player switching control between Quaid and resistance fighter Melina to solve a puzzle.
Driving levels are high-speed side-scrolling runs, with the player's vehicle moving at a fixed speed. The player must dodge passing traffic, or blow them apart with weapons. If they survive to the end, they must defeat a mobile boss vehicle to end the level. Cutscenes appear between certain levels that tell the plot of the movie and set up the next scene.
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