This game took up most of my summer holidays in 1986. Day after day with the glorious sun beating down on my bedroom window I sat indoors playing this game. It was the first game where I actually attempted to draw a map. Then one day, I bought the latest ZZAP issue from NSS, rushed home and discovered they had actually printed a map of the game. I couldn't believe it and thanks to it (despite it's many flaws) I managed my first escape via earning enough credits and using the transmitter to call a Hertz hire ship. I earned the credits ages earlier but I just couldn't find the bloody transmitter, the map showed me the way. Once I had escaped once, the game lost a little bit of sheen despite me going back to it and managing to escape all the other ways possible. That wasn't the fault of Paul Woakes who did a stunning job programming this, but more my mind feeling that I had managed to escape once. The graphics were incredible for the time, vector graphics moving with such speed, the limited memory he had to work with didn't prevent him from creating what felt (and still does) like a real and large world. The first tme I played it I got the impression that the games was huge and I was right!
'Escape From Targ' the add on actually engaged me almost as much as the first play through of Mercenary did, the planet was now red and all the objects scrambled but that just presented a fresh challenge. I'd love to interview Paul Woakes one day, his games such as 'Encounter', 'Mercenary' and its two sequels were remarkable and do not receive enough credit.