Beta versions were leaked out as "Behind Jaggi Lines" and "Rescue Mission."
David Fox:
In 1982, I joined what was then the Lucasfilm Games Group (now called LucasArts Entertainment), a part of the Lucasfilm Computer Division (the Computer Division, except for Games, was later sold to Steve Jobs and was rechristened Pixar)... I was office mates with fractal wizard Loren Carpenter, the man who was largely responsible for the fractal mountains in "the Genesis Effect" in Star Trek 2. We talked about whether there might be a way to do fractals on an Atari 800... Loren thought about it, said yes, and proved it by borrowing an Atari and banging out code for the next several weeks at home.

The game was originally conceived as purely a rescue mission (hence one of its working titles, Rescue Mission), with no shooting! You were supposed to force the trailing enemy planes to crash into the mountains through sudden maneuvers. When we first showed the game to George Lucas in the summer of 1983, he liked the flying around a lot, but said, "Where's the fire button?" I told him there wasn't one... that we were trying to make a game that was non-violent. He thought it would be a lot better with a fire button, so we put one in, added mountain top gun emplacements and flying saucers. The Jaggi monster that jumps up and pounds on the windshield also came out of an idea of George's. He wanted to see the pilots running towards you, and he wanted tension... he suggested that maybe the pilots weren't always what they seemed...

The name "Jaggi" came from the Computer Division's attempts at a new graphic technology called anti-aliasing... it smoothed out the jagged stair steps of computer graphics through the use of extra colors along the edges of lines. They made jaggie lines their enemy, so we decided to do the same! There was no way we could remove the jaggies from our images... there weren't enough colors available on the Atari 800, so we used Jaggi for the name of the monster. And since there were very jagged window struts that you looked out of in the game's cockpit, we figured we'd created a very funny/clever pun when we named the game, "Behind Jaggi Lines." But Atari marketing didn't like that (guess they didn't get the joke) so the game became Rescue on Fractalus!

(June 1997)