From the inlay:
Excerpt from the Encyclopaedia Galactica A.D. 4020:
...Aix the most valuable material in the galaxy. Precious because of its life prolonging radiations in its processed state. Contact with Raw Aix however caused severe ageing and deformation of all living tissue. The Galactic Empire dominated by the evil Ardands used humanoids to mine Aix from over 2000 mines ... Slaves were "worthless" a humanoid miner had a life expectancy of 5 days by which time is body was no longer useful for any other purpose.
To supply its Aix mines with sufficient slaves The Empire imposed the "Quota-Law" ... All humanoid inhabited planets had to produce slaves for the mines of face termination. This law served a two fold purpose for The Empire, its Aix mines were supplied with all the slaves required and the subject world's population was kept depleted of its youth and hence any fires of rebellion. Failure to comply with the "Quota-Law" resulted in an Empire Deathstar being despatched to obliterate the defiant world, with its weaponry, or by pushing it into its own sun with a tractor beam.
The year is 4021. The Earth has refused to give up any more of its people to be slaughtered in The Empire's Aix mines! The Galactic Empire's Deathstar approached Earth's defences, prepare to meet its onslaught. However Earth's Defence Council knows no planet's defences can ever hope to defeat a Deathstar. Earth has only one hope.
The Deathstar is known to have one weakness, the central reactor providing its power located deep within its defences of forcefields, laser turrets and fighter craft. If a single Earth fighter can penetrate its defences and score a direct it on the reactor's exhaust port the reactor will go nova taking the entire Deathstar with it!
Death Star Interceptor is heavily influenced by the Atari vector graphics Star Wars arcade machine, but played from a third person perspective. The Star Wars influences in the Spectrum version extend to the name and design of the "Deathstar", the X-Wing style player sprite, the TIE-Fighter style ships the player must shoot down in space and even an officially licensed version of John Williams' famous theme tune! The C64 version uses different designs for the player and enemies.
The gameplay is reminiscent of the arcade game with a few minor differences. The first level, not in the arcade game, has your ship taking off (to a synthesised female voice urging you to "Prepare to Launch!"). The aim is to fly your ship accurately into a "Stargate" to launch into space. The second level is reminiscent of the space stage on the original arcade machine where waves of TIE Fighters assault your ship, but plays more like a Galaxians-style shooter. The enemy ships must be shot or avoided while the Deathstar grows ominously in the top left of the screen. There is no equivalent of the Death Star surface run from the arcade machine. The third stage goes straight to the Trench Run, where the player must avoid obstacles, shoot or avoid weapon emplacements and ultimately shoot at the Exhaust Port to destroy the Deathstar.
The player has three lives, but also 5 shields for each life, so can be hit quite a lot of times.