Released on; Commodore VIC-20 in 1983, on the C16 and C64 in 1984.
Text taken from the Llamasoft web site:
Insanely intense shooter in which the player controls 4 guns firing into a central arena.
Text taken from Yak in a thread YakYak.org:
The whole idea of Hellgate was in part a deliberate attempt to overwhelm, but still to give enough control to be able to be at cause. I wanted to force entry to the “Zone”, the place where you go where you get so good at Robotron that you don’t really understand *why*, but damn it feels good. The game feels impossible at first but if you actually play it then it starts to work.
The Vic version is the best, by the way. Sound effects and the way it looks is better on the Vic; like Gridrunner and Matrix, this purely character-mode game doesn’t come over as well on the c64’s 40-character-per-line display. It was designed chunky and looks best that way.
I guess the core ethos of Hellgate is quite similar to the core ethos of the original Xbox 360 Space Giraffe – attempt to force enlightenment through overwhelm. Those that make it through will thank you for the experience but those who don’t will call you a c**t. }:-)