Jaguar Explorer Vol #1 Issue #2From: Fred Horvat (aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/20/98-03:19:23 PM Z
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From: aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Fred Horvat) Subject: Jaguar Explorer Vol #1 Issue #2 Date: Tue Jan 20 15:19:23 1998 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :: Volume 1, Issue 2 JAGUAR EXPLORER ONLINE July 1, 1997 :: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :: :: :: JAGUAR .............. News, reviews, & solutions ............ JAGUAR :: :: EXPLORER ........... for the online Jaguar .......... EXPLORER :: :: ONLINE ................. Community .............. ONLINE :: :: :: :: Published and Copyright (c) 1997 by White Space Publishers :: :: All Rights Reserved :: :: """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :: :: Publisher Emeritus Plus .................... Michael Lindsay :: :: Publisher Emeritus .............................. Travis Guy :: :: Editor/Publisher ............................ Clay Halliwell :: :: WWW Spinner .................................. Frans Keylard :: :: Genie Uploader .............................. Clay Halliwell :: :: CompuServe Uploader ......................... Richard Turner :: :: America Online Uploader ....................... Lonnie Smith :: :: FidoNet Uploader ................................ Troy Cheek :: :: :: :: Contributors: :: :: (voluntary and otherwise) :: :: """"""""""""""""""""""""" :: :: Dimitri M. LaBarge, Jeff Minter, Doug Engel :: :: Scott Le Grand, Mark Santora, Gwen Eckman :: :: Vince Valenti, Jag Jaeger, Wes Powell :: :: :: :: Telecommunicated to you via: :: :: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" :: :: GEnie: ST/JAGUAR RT Library 15 :: :: AOL: VIDEO GAMES FORUM Hints, Tips and Tricks II Library :: :: CompuServe: ATARIGAMING and VIDGAME Forums :: :: FidoNet: ATARI_ST and VID_GAME Echoes :: :: :: :: World Wide Web: http://www.ior.com/~fkeylard/aeo.htm :: :: http://www.mcc.ac.uk/~dlms/atari.html :: :: :: :: E-Mail Request address: JEOemail@example.com :: :: :: :: To subscribe to JEO, send e-mail to the request address, :: :: with the following line (no subject): :: :: :: :: subscribe JEO :: :: :: :: Your request will be automatically processed and your e-mail :: :: address will be subscribed to the list. To unsubscribe from :: :: the JEO list, send the following: :: :: :: :: unsubscribe JEO :: :: :: :: to the same request address, making sure you send it from :: :: the same address you subscribed from. :: :: :: :: Subscription problems requiring human assistance can be sent :: :: to JEOfirstname.lastname@example.org :: :: :: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Table of Contents * From the Editor ............................... JEO II: The Wrath of Jag. * Jaguar Tackboard .................. Newsletters, Message Boards, Mailing Lists, FAQs, Codes, Development List, Mail Order Directory. * CyberChatter .......................................... Overheard Online. * BattleSphere News ..................................... 4Play Marches On. * Llatest from Llamaland ........................................ Yak yaks. * Hacking the VLM ........................................ Heed the Master. * World Tour Racing Review ................ Never Say Checkered Flag Again. * Iron Soldier 2 Review ..................... Back to the Stompin' Grounds. * Iron Soldier 2: The Manual ............................ The Nitty Gritty. * Towers II Hints ........................... Got an Axe But Can't Hack it? * Terry Grantham Interview ....................... The Word from Telegames. * James "Purple" Hampton Interview .................. Voices from the Past. * Atari Games on Area 51 ................................ The Inside Scoop. * Missile Command VR ..................................... How it Compares. * 20 Things I Learned from Video Games ...................... Life Lessons. * Shutdown ............................ Around the world and up your block. --==--==--==--==-- || From the Editor ......................... JEO II: The Wrath of Jag || By: Clay Halliwell \__// email@example.com ------------------------------------------------------------------ I wasn't sure it would happen, but thanks in part to the enthusiastic response of YOU, the readers, I've managed to crank out a second issue of JEO. Now that most of the mechanisms are in place, future issues should be easier... the only thing necessary is content, for which I depend on - yes - YOU, the readers. If any of you have something you think other Jaguar owners would like to hear about, don't hesitate to drop me a line. Like many of you, I've been glued to Iron Soldier 2 for the last few weeks... see the review later in this issue. Air Cars is finally being released, thanks to ICD. And in other news, 4Play members Scott Le Grand and Stephanie Wukovitz have finally compiled the knot... it's still "Steph Wukovitz" though. First Travis, now Scott. Good Heavens, who's next?! And lest I forget... the Jaguar Explorer Online home page has a spiffy new rendered title graphic, thanks to Wes Powell of Jagu-Dome <http://www. geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/4106/jagu-dome.html>. Jagu-Dome has my personal vote for best, and most frequently updated, Jaguar page, since Christian Svensson seems to have abandoned his Unofficial Jaguar Home Page. Included with the ZIPped version of this issue, is a screen shot of BattleSphere's new Galactic Map, and a scan of the cartridge label for Air Cars. --==--==--==--==-- || Jaguar Tackboard || Confirmed information about Atari's Jaguar \__// Compiled from online and official sources ----------------------------------------------------------------- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Atari Times Jaguar Newsletter =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Greg "Fruitman" George <firstname.lastname@example.org> publishes a Jaguar- specific newsletter called The Atari Times. The newsletter is FREE, but cash donations are greatly appreciated. To subscribe, write to: Greg George 1531 Stevens Loop Rd. Babson Park, FL 33827 Also, an online version is available at: <http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arcade/8341> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Web Message Boards =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Anyone with web browsing capability can join in on the discussions on two web-based Jaguar message boards out there on the net. Note that, due to the rapid message turnover and instant-update nature of these boards, they have a tendency to burn through topics in a matter of days instead of weeks (or hours instead of days). Just point your browser to: Jaguar Interactive <http://www.magicalfox.com/ken/postit.cgi> or... Toad Computer's JagTalk <http://www.ataricentral.com/wwwboard/jagtalk.html> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Internet Jaguar Mailing List =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Anyone with Internet e-mail access can join the discussions on the Jaguar mailing list. To "subscribe" to the list, send an e-mail to the following address: <email@example.com> With the following as the body message: subscribe jaguar FirstName LastName (Where "FirstName" is your real first name and "LastName" is your real last name.) You should then soon receive the subscription information. Since the list moved, digesting is no longer available. The actual list address is: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. All mail will go to the list server and be sent to the dozens of readers of the list. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Atari Underground Mailing List =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Anyone with Internet e-mail access can request to be added to the Atari Underground mailing list. This is a moderated mailing list maintained by Matt "MHz" B., generating periodic messages describing current events of interest to Atari Jaguar owners. To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail request to <MHz@earthlink.net>. Please do not confuse the Atari Underground mailing list with the Jaguar Underground hackers. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Jaguar FAQ =-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Robert Jung <email@example.com> still maintains the Jaguar FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file, an updated list of Jaguar specs and facts. The Jaguar FAQ is posted to rec.games.video.atari on Usenet around the first of every month, and can also be found via FTP, address: ftp.netcom.com, in Andy Eddy's /pub/vidgames/faqs directory. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Jaguar Cheats and Codes =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Clay "No Handle" Halliwell <firstname.lastname@example.org> maintains the Atari Jaguar Game Cheats and Codes FAQ. It's available by e-mail request, from Andy Eddy's FTP site (see above), or from Jaguar Interactive <http://www. magicalfox.com/ken/jagcheat.txt>. Lonnie "The Mage" Smith <email@example.com> maintains the Concise Compendium of Frequently Asked Codes, Moves, and Cheats (FACMAC). It's available via FTP from <users.aol.com:/TheMage1/jaguar>, or from <http://users.aol.com/ TheMage1/jaguar/jagcodes.txt> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Independent Association of Jaguar Developers =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The IAJD (Independent Association of Jaguar Developers) is still accepting members on Genie. The IAJD is a private group where confidential discussions can be freely held. (Category 64 of the ST RoundTable is the IAJD meeting place.) Consequently, membership in the IAJD is limited to Jaguar developers who are registered with JTS Corp. To apply for membership, send e-mail to ENTRY$ on Genie (or <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you're not on Genie). Regular e-mail correspondence with the IAJD should be sent to IAJD$ (again, or <email@example.com> if you're not on Genie). =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// JEO Development List 1.01 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The following list of game titles has been confirmed to the best of JEO's ability as of June 15, 1997. Entries in the "S"tatus column reflect any "u"pdates, "n"ew titles, titles that are in "P"roduction, or "?"uestionable listings since the last JEO list. Entries in the "M"edia column reflect whether the title is "C"D-ROM or "J"aguar Server (blank entries are assumed to be cartridge software). "NEW" indicates titles released since the last issue of JEO. ETA dates are dates that have been provided by the developer or publisher. //// Titles in Development or Limbo S M Title ETA Developer Publisher " " """"" """ """"""""" """"""""" u Air Cars 6/97 Midnite ICD ? Arena Football ? V-Real Productions BattleSphere 1997 4Play 4Play ? Brett Hull Hockey ? Ringler Studios ? C Brett Hull Hockey CD ? Ringler Studios ? Charles Barkley Basketball ? Ringler Studios ? Deathwatch ? Data Design ? C Demolition Man ? Virgin Interactive ? C Highlander II ? Lore Design Ltd. ? Hyper Force ? C-West n J Native ? Duranik Software ? Skyhammer ? Rebellion ? C Soulstar ? Core Design Ltd. ? Space War 2000 ? Atari u Worms 8/97 Team 17 Telegames u Zero 5 7/97 Caspian Software Telegames //// Current Software Releases M Title Rated Developer Publisher " """"" """"" """"""""" """"""""" Alien vs. Predator 9 Rebellion Atari Atari Karts 6 Miracle Design Atari Attack of the Mutant Penguins 6 Sunrise Games Ltd. Atari C Baldies 6 Creative Edge Atari C Battlemorph 10 Attention to Detail Atari C Blue Lightning 6 Attention to Detail Atari C BrainDead 13 5 ReadySoft ReadySoft Breakout 2000 7 MP Games Telegames Brutal Sports Football 6 Millennium/Teque Telegames Bubsy 5 Imagitec Design Atari Cannon Fodder 8 Virgin Interactive C-West Checkered Flag 4 Rebellion Atari Club Drive 5 Atari Atari Crescent Galaxy 3 Atari Atari Cybermorph 7 Attention to Detail Atari Defender 2000 8 Llamasoft Atari Doom 8 id Software Atari Double Dragon V 4 Williams Enter. Williams C Dragon's Lair 5 ReadySoft ReadySoft Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story 6 Virgin Interactive Atari Evolution: Dino Dudes 6 Imagitec Design Atari Fever Pitch Soccer 6 U.S. Gold Atari Fight For Life 6 Atari Atari Flashback 7 Tiertex Ltd. U.S. Gold Flip Out! 6 Gorilla Systems Atari C Highlander I 8 Lore Design Ltd. Atari Hover Strike 5 Atari Atari C Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands 7 Atari Atari Iron Soldier 9 Eclipse Atari C Iron Soldier 2 10 NEW Eclipse Telegames I-War 4 Imagitec Design Atari Kasumi Ninja 5 Hand Made Software Atari Missile Command 3D 8 Virtuality Atari C Myst 9 Atari Atari NBA Jam: Tournament Edition 9 High Voltage Atari Pinball Fantasies 6 Spider Soft C-West Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure 8 Imagitec Design Atari Power Drive Rally 7 Rage Software TWI C Primal Rage 7 Probe TWI Raiden 6 Imagitec Design Atari Rayman 10 UBI Soft UBI Soft Ruiner 6 High Voltage Atari Sensible Soccer 6 Williams Brothers Telegames C Space Ace 3 ReadySoft ReadySoft Super Burnout 7 Shen Atari Supercross 3D 5 Tiertex Ltd. Atari Syndicate 7 Bullfrog Ocean Tempest 2000 10 Llamasoft Atari Theme Park 6 Bullfrog Ocean Towers II 7 JV Enterprises Telegames Troy Aikman NFL Football 6 Telegames Williams Ultra Vortek 8 Beyond Games Atari Val d'Isere Skiing/Snowboarding 7 Virtual Studio Atari C Vid Grid 6 High Voltage Atari C VLM 9 Llamasoft Atari White Men Can't Jump 6 High Voltage Atari Wolfenstein 3D 7 id Software Atari C World Tour Racing 6 NEW Teque London Ltd. Telegames Zool 2 7 Gremlin Graphics Atari Zoop 6 Viacom Atari Pts Stars JEO Ratings """ """"" """"""""""" 10 ***** THE ULTIMATE - Flawless, beautiful, deviously addictive. 9 ****+ EXCELLENT - Something to throw in the face of N64-heads. 8 **** SMEGGIN' GREAT - Something to kick on the shoes of N64-heads. 7 ***+ DARN GOOD - Plays as good as it looks. 6 *** DECENT - Plays better than it looks (or vice versa). 5 **+ TIME KILLER - If there's nothing else to do, you play this. 4 ** INEPT - The programmer's first Jag game? 3 *+ INCOMPETENT - The programmer's first game ever? 2 * UNPUBLISHABLE - Heaven help us! 1 + INCONCEIVABLE BAD - ...but someone conceived it. Too bad. 0 - EXECRABLE - This is an April Fool's joke, right? //// Current Hardware Releases Item Manufacturer """"" """""""""""" Jaguar 64 Atari Jaguar 64 CD-ROM Drive Atari 3-button Controller Atari 6-button ProController Atari Team Tap Atari Jag-Link Atari Memory Track Atari CatBox Black Cat Design Lap Cat/Lap Cat Pro Ben Aein Jaguar Server Roine Stenberg (Istari Software) //// The Short Term Schedule Here's the Jaguar software schedule for the next few months. Please bear in mind that these dates represent everyone's best assumptions. June: World Tour Racing Air Cars July: Zero 5 August: Worms =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// JEO Mail Order Directory 1.00 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The following list of vendors carrying Jaguar software/hardware has been confirmed to the best of JEO's ability. Please e-mail JEO for additions/ corrections. //// Best Electronics Mail 2021 The Alameda, Suite 290 San Jose, CA 95126-1127 Voice 408-243-6950 //// Bits of Fun Mail PO Box 12345 San Luis Obispo, CA Phone 800-FUN-JAGS Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.cwest.com/atari> //// BRE Software Mail 352 W. Bedford Ave., Suite 104 Fresno, CA 93711 Voice 209-432-2684 Fax 209-432-2599 FaxBak 209-432-2644 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://www.cybergate.com/~bre> //// Buy-Rite Video Games Voice 919-850-9473 Fax 919-872-7561 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.buyrite1.com> //// Demand Systems Voice 805-482-7900 Orders 800-593-0059 Fax 805-484-3745 805-987-1998 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://www2.demand-sys.com/demand> //// Electronics Boutique Voice 800-800-5166 Orders 800-800-0032 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.ebworld.com> //// Flashback Video Games Mail 2284 Kresge Drive Amherst, OH 44001 Voice 216-960-1622 Fax 216-960-1663 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://www.sunmarkinc.com/products/flashback> //// GameMasters Mail 14393 E. 14th Street, Suite 208 San Leandro, CA 94577 Voice 510-483-4263 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.game-masters.com> //// Game Pedler Voice 801-273-0787 (ask for Internet Sales) Fax 801-273-1357 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://www.gamepedler.com> //// Games To Go Mail 7632 Lyndale Avenue So. Richfield, MN 55423 Voice 612-798-5879 Fax 612-869-5925 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> (orders) <email@example.com> (info) Web <http://www.gamestogo.com> //// Hardysoft Mail 24 Lawnside Drive Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 Orders 609-883-1083 Fax 609-538-8674 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/hardysoft> //// STeve's Computer Technologies Mail 405 Main Street Woodland, CA 95695 Voice 916-661-3328 Fax 916-661-1201 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://woodland.net/wdm/steves> //// Telegames Mail P.O. Box 901 Lancaster, Texas 75146 Voice 972-228-0690 Orders 972-224-7200 Fax 972-228-0693 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.telegames.com> //// TigerDirect Inc. Mail 8700 West Flagler Street, 4th Floor Miami, FL 33174-2428 Voice 305-229-1119 Orders 800-879-1597 305-228-5200 (international customers) Fax 305-228-3400 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://www.tigerdirect.com/todays_special_012197.htm> //// Toad Computers, Inc. Mail 570 Ritchie Highway Severna Park, MD 21146-2925 Voice 410-544-6943 Orders 800-448-8623 BBS 410-544-6999 Fax 410-544-1329 FaxBak 410-544-0098 Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.ataricentral.com> //// United Game Source Mail 210 Ring Ave Unit 104 Palm Bay, FL 32907 Voice 407-726-6867 Orders 800-564-1458 Fax 407-726-6903 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://members.aol.com/unitedgame/index.htm> //// Video Game Advantage Mail 6861 Anthony Lane Parma Heights, OH 44130 Orders 216-843-8815 (24-hr answering machine) Email <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> Web <http://www.io.com/~vga2000> //// Video Game Liquidators Mail 4058 Tujunga Ave, #B Studio City, CA 91604 Orders 818-505-1666 (9am-5pm PST) 888-944-4263 (toll free) Fax 818-505-1686 Email <email@example.com> Web <http://www.vglq.com> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Announcements & Press Releases =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Towers II for PC [from the Telegames web page] Telegames is pleased to announce the near term release of its Towers II product for Win95. This graphically enhanced version of the Jaguar hit, also utilizes the latest Microsoft technology such as DirectX. This challenging role playing game will command your attention for weeks at half the cost of competing products. Check back for more info and a trial to download! //// Jag Games Back at Electronics Boutique [posted to Jaguar Interactive by Vince Valenti] I know you all have been waiting for me to spill the beans. Well, now I can! As of 2 days ago, Telegames received a P.O. (purchase order) from EB (Electronic Boutique) for copies of all 4 Telegames titles (Towers II :), Iron Soldier 2, World Tour Racing, and Breakout 2K). These games are going into RETAIL stores in the top 50 (Jaguar) selling EBs. This is being setup as a test, if the test goes well, these titles could very well appear in all EB stores (appx 500). Unfortunately, I don't know which ones are the top 50. It's really important that these products sell. Maybe we could start an EB sighting report, and add to some list where a Jaguar title was sighted. Having retail exposure is essential for keeping the Jaguar alive and kickin'. Products won't be in the EB stores for a week or two, as Telegames must first ship to a warehouse, then it ships to each store. The hope is this. There are new Jag owners from Kay-Bees, now all we have to do is walk them from KB to EB, to buy at least one of these titles each. :) Hope this makes your week, Vince JV Games //// Iron Soldier 2 Resolved [from the Telegames web page] The projected release date of Iron Soldier 2 (CD) for Jaguar had been delayed due to a CD replication problem. Although Atari's "officially" licensed replicator has had the gold masters of IS2 since February 20th, they have been unable to create problem free glass masters that are required for mass production. Their problems are partly related to the sophisticated security encryption on the Jag CDs. We have come to the conclusion that the only way to make Iron Soldier 2 available is to program the product on CD-R media rather than mass replicate CDs. We have already undertaken this expensive and time consuming solution and project that sufficient quantities should be available for release by April 29th. Since this method of production costs even more than cartridge manufacturing, we are only making a quantity that is estimated to cover initial demand. Accordingly, we would encourage you to order your copy from your local Atari dealer, or Electronics Boutique, or directly from Telegames as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to get the best product ever released for Jaguar. We thank you for your patience and continued support of Jaguar. //// AIRCARS ... New Jaguar Release! May 24, 1997 Rockford, IL - ICD, Inc. is pleased to announce a limited release of Aircars for the Atari Jaguar. Aircars was developed by the MidNite Entertainment Group and completed in 1995. It was reviewed by several game magazines but with a less than enthusiastic press response and company financial difficulties, it was held up and never published. The game is set in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. Your job is to pilot an Aircar, to pick up weapons, and destroy key installations within each complex (base). Then teleport to the next base and repeat. There are at least 28 bases which must be neutralized in order to save the new world. Aircars supports up to 8 players networked by ICD's CatBox. It also supports Atari's Jaglink in a 2 player mode. The networking code is solid and works reliably. Each player is allowed to select an 8 character name and is assigned a different colored Aircar. There are also robot Aircars and tanks in the game. For the network modes, each Jaguar (player) requires an Aircars game cartridge and a CatBox. Aircars will be produced in a standard Atari plastic cartridge shell with a full color cartridge label. The game manual will be printed in black & white. They will be shrinkwrapped together in a standard inner box without the normal outer box. Aircars will begin shipping by June 11th at a cost of $59.95 plus $5 S&H in N.A. There is no shipping charge on retail orders of two or more in North America. Please book your orders now. Since this is a limited release and uses more expensive parts than production Jaguar cartridges, do not expect any price reductions. Our margins are very thin and Aircars will only be available for a limited time. ICD will accept Visa or Mastercard and checks or Money Orders as long as supplies last. Contact ICD at 815-968-2228 ext 222, fax 815-968-6888, or EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org. ICD, Inc., 1220 Rock Street, Rockford, IL 61101, USA. //// TEMPEST 2000? (Press Release from the Twilight Zone) Subj: Petronas Licenses Triple Point's TEMPEST 2000 Energy Trading System WESTPORT, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 18, 1997-- $2.5 Million Deal With Malaysia's National Oil Company, Installations in Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila Triple Point Technology, Inc. (Triple Point) today announced the signing of a $2.5 million contract with Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), for TEMPEST 2000, its integrated energy trading system. Petronas is the national oil company of Malaysia. The contract provides Petronas with an unlimited license to use Triple Point's integrated energy trading software, TEMPEST 2000, in all of Petronas' affiliates worldwide. The contract also includes a license to Physical Booster, a TEMPEST 2000 add-on product that provides in-depth coverage of physical oil trading operations. The TEMPEST 2000 system initially will be installed in the company's Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila offices. It will be used by the company to support its oil trading, and for use in counter trading in rubber, sugar, tin and other commodities. TEMPEST 2000 is an integrated front-to- back office trading system for the physical and derivative energy commodity markets. The 32-bit, Windows-based client/server system provides trade processing, real-time position management, mark-to-market and realized profit/loss reporting, contract/confirmation administration, physical scheduling, traffic operations, trade settlement, invoicing and financial operations, and credit analysis. "The Petronas deal is Triple Point's first with a major oil company, and our first in the Asia-Pacific market," said Peter Armstrong, Triple Point principal and director of business development. "Having met the approval of both Petronas and the country of Malaysia, we believe we have acquired credentials that will serve us well in the region." Physical Booster Triple Point's Physical Booster provides complete coverage of physical oil trading operations, including blending, processing, inventory forecasting, and tank inventory management. Its functionality includes: -- Capture and processing of physical exchange contracts and term contracts; -- Tracking of complex multi-leg and multi-equipment movements of physical goods by various means of transportation (vessel, barge, pipeline, lightering, etc.); -- Processing and reporting of physical exchange imbalances; -- Capture and tracking of demurrage claims; -- Automatic registering of the impact on risk position, inventory position, profit/loss results and costs of goods of blending, regrading, and refining activities; and -- Maintaining, tracking and forecasting of inventory levels and risk positions by tank and storage facilities. Pricing and Availability TEMPEST 2000 is priced from $675,000 - $1,750,000. The Physical Booster is sold as an add-on to TEMPEST 2000, and its pricing begins at $425,000 and depends on the number of users. Product Development Strategy The development and successful marketing of the Physical Booster module marks an important stage in the implementation of Triple Point's product development strategy announced last November, which calls for the development of a range of software products within and across the various commodity trading industries. In February, Triple Point announced the release of TEMPEST Trader, a front-office risk management and profit/loss system for physical and derivative energy commodity trading. Triple Point expects to announce the following additional TEMPEST 2000/Trader add-on modules in 1997: -- Options Booster, a module which will extend the instrument base to include additional exotic derivative instruments; and -- Risk Booster, a module which will provide sophisticated risk management analysis and trading tools. Triple Point Technology, Inc. Triple Point Technology, Inc. provides comprehensive, integrated commodities trading solutions to major oil companies, investment banks, shipping concerns, energy companies, and other global trading organizations. The company leverages technical, business, and trading expertise to help customers reengineer their business processes and develop efficient commodities trading systems. Founded in 1993, Triple Point is headquartered in Westport, Connecticut (USA) and operates satellite offices in Geneva, Switzerland and Houston, Texas (USA). Its clients include such leading worldwide trading organizations as Mobil Supply & Trading, Phibro Inc., J.P. Morgan, Koch Industries, Morgan Stanley & Co., Galaxy Energy International, Societe Generale Energie, Hess Energy Trading Company (HETCO), MIECO Inc., and Petronas. Petronas Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) was incorporated in Malaysia in 1974 as the national oil company to ensure the nation's petroleum resources. The Petronas Group is composed of twenty-five wholly-owned subsidiaries, thirteen joint venture companies, and ten associate companies. Today, Petronas is engaged in the full range of petroleum activities in the upstream and downstream sectors. In the upstream sector, the company has signed more than 40 Production Sharing Contracts with oil companies for offshore and onshore exploration and production acreages in the country. Downstream, the main emphasis is on gas and petrochemicals, with reserves equivalent to 4 times that of oil. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. CONTACT: Neptune Group International Inc. Dr. Patricia Neptune, 203/221-2820 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Air Cars Lives! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [The following info is from The Jaguar's Domain web page <http://www. millcomm.com/~forhan/jaguar.html>, maintained by Carl Forhan <forhan@ millcomm.com>.] Have you been waiting anxiously for some new Jaguar games - ANY new Jaguar games - to be published? Would you like the opportunity to own a limited release Jaguar game? What would you say if, as an added bonus, the game supported up to EIGHT Jaguars networked together? **** Air Cars **** Yes, it's true, Air Cars may finally be released on the Jaguar! This game was completed several years ago, and even featured the ability to run in a Jaguar network (via the CatBox up to eight players, or via the JagLink up to two players), but was canceled at the last minute. Now, a capable third party and long-time Atari supporter, ICD, has the resources necessary to pull off a limited release of this game cartridge. They have indicated their willingness to publish the game, but ONLY if they can get sufficient pre-orders, so that they will know it's truly worth their while. We all know that Air Cars did not feature astounding graphics and sound effects (I've even seen a video clip of an Air Cars demo), but there are two things you should keep in mind: * This is a finished Jaguar game, ready to be published. * This game networks Jaguars! Only Doom and the much-anpated BattleSphere can make that same claim. Jaguar supporters hope to unearth more games in the future, it will be important to support the games that are being made available. Please do not bombard ICD with e-mails asking them what other games might be released, or why BattleSphere is taking so long, or any other "frivolous" request. I will coalesce all the feedback provided here, and take a hefty list of potential buyers directly to ICD. IMPORTANT NOTE: ICD has indicated that they can only guarantee about 100 carts will be available. This is simply limited by the number of carts they have on hand. It is possible that they would order another large batch of carts, but ICD wants their customers to know that after the first 100, the remaining orders will most likely be delayed or unfilled, depending on supplies. UPDATE: ICD has confirmed that they have acquired additional supplies needed to publish Jaguar games. This means that there will be enough Air Cars carts to go around! All orders should be filled. [As of this publishing, the Air Cars preorder list has surpassed 100 orders. --Ed.] =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// New Cheats and Codes =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Thanks to Lance Lewis, former Atari tester, for the new Highlander and Hover Strike codes. //// Highlander Enter anytime during play. No confirmation. Invulnerability 4,1,3,3,5,6,4 Teleport to Rogues Gallery 2,1,8,8,3,5,3,8,9 Gain All Vital Objects 9,4,4,6,9,2,1,3 (must enter before any items collected; messes up Option button) //// Hover Strike Enter on the Mission Select screen. MUST be pressed simultaneously... this may take a couple of tries. Sound confirms. Alternate "Ammo Depleted" Cue (cart) C+4+8 NOTE: You may want to shoo your kids from the room before trying this one. ;-) //// Iron Soldier 2 Cheat Codes: Type on the Options screen. Option screen exit confirms. Access All Levels and Weapons 5,2,6,2,0,4,8,1 Infinite Ammo 1,4,8,8,2,5,0,2 Invulnerability 8,3,0,5,5,7,2,6 Instant Mission Pass/Fail 3,4,4,9,5,2,2,0,7,1,6 (during gameplay, press 0 to fail, # to pass, * to die) Combo Cheat (all of the above) 9,7,0,0,2,3,8,6,6,5,4,1 Enable "Insane" Difficuvel 6,8,2,4 ("OUCH" on phone keypad) Play as Satyr War Strider 7,2,8,9,7,6,6 ("SATYR ON") (use Option to cycle weapons; don't run out of ammo in any one weapon, or you'll be stuck with the weapon just before it) View Endgame Sequence 7,2,4,4,9,8,0,1 (select "Start Game" from main menu) Enter anytime during play. Single-Frame Advance Pause, then 1 or 3 to advance Rapid Rotation A+C while turning Display Mission Stats 8 Instant Demo: Press Option on any menu screen. Jump to Exit: At the mech configuration screen, press A to jump the cursor to the Exit box. Almost Full Repair: When damaged to the point that you get a Low Energy warning, launch a Cruise Missile and hit yourself with it. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// JagFest Update =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [This info is from JagFest organizer Kevin Manne <KevinManne@wycol.com>.] Yes folks, it's finally happened...we have the official site for JagFest '97! The official site is the Ramada Inn, located at 6600 Mannheim Rd; Rosemont, IL 60018. The phone numbers for the hotel are 708-827-5131, or 800-272-6232. It's located about 2 miles north of O'Hare airport. Rates (which are subject to change) are as follows: 1 person- $97-$135 2 people, 1 bed- $107-$145 2 people, 2 beds- $107-$145 Extra person: $10 Here's the rest of the info in standard travel-guide style: TERMS: No pets allowed, check-in after 3 pm, check-out by 1 pm, credit card guarantee required, weekend rates available, package plans available, cancellation fee imposed. FACILITY: 723 rooms, hearing accessibility, free and pay movies, business center, conference facilities available, health club, one whirlpool, one sauna available, two pools, one indoor pool, two heated pools, gift shop, 2-9 stories, interior corridors, smoke detectors. DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT: Dinner from $5 to $20, food service 6 am-2 & 5-11 pm, Sat & Sun from 6:30 am, one restaurant on premises, one dining room on premises, standard menu, health conscious menu items, additional meal plan - breakfast, cocktail lounge, cocktails in the dining room. SOME ROOMS: Cable TV, refrigerators, non-smoking rooms, showers only, combination tub/shower, in-room bar, oversized beds. ALL ROOMS: Air conditioning, phones, color TV, radios, private baths. SERVICES: Airport transportation, PC available, data ports, secretarial service available, valet laundry, massage (fee). RECREATION: Lighted 9 hole par 3 golf course, two regulation tennis courts, fee for tennis equipment, fee for tanning bed. EXTRA CHARGE: State tax (12%), rollaway ($15). CARDS: AE, CB, DI, DS, MC, VI.  Heres what we need from some of you: 1. Power strips. If you have one, bring it. The hotel will not be supplying any, so it's better to have too many than not enough. And we're going to need a ton for all those Jags! Don't expect everyone else to bring one, because we all know what happens if that is the case ;-). 2. SVHS player. We need this to show Fard's cool rendered JagFest animation. Please e-mail KevinManne@wycol.com if you can bring one. 3. Laptop or other PC/Mac/whatever with an Internet connection. We'll need this to chat live with and update those who are unable to attend the 'Fest for whatever reason. Again, e-mail KevinManne@wycol.com if you are the generous soul who can bring this item. 4. Posters/decorations...Atari/Jaguar related only please. Bring whatever you can... get creative and make your own, or bring store displays or anything else. Let us know if you are bringing things so we can arrange to set things up early. 5. We also need people to start committing themselves to bringing consoles, TVs or monitors, controllers, and games. Everyone has listed themselves up on the JagFest page, but we need to double check, so please let us know. Do it now before you forget!  JagFest stickers are now available. Priced at $3 each or 2 for $5, they are our sole source of revenue for paying for the very expensive banquet hall in which we are holding JagFest. Your purchase of these stickers will keep us from going bankrupt, living out of cardboard boxes and eating out of the trash! You wouldn't want that on your conscience, would you? :-) Each sticker measures 9" x 3.25" and is printed in red and black. Short runs on both styles means they won't last long... order yours today! To order, send $3 for one or $5 for 2, along with a description of which sticker(s) you want (either "Jaguar" or "Atari Jaguar") to Jeff at: Jeff Grimshaw PO BOX 958542 Hoffman Estates, IL 60195-8542 ATTN: Atari Stickers  A reminder for everyone: Please label and keep track of whatever you are bringing to JagFest. No one wants you to lose any of your prized Atari items, but it could be easy to get things mixed up. No one attending nor the organizers shall be held responsible for any lost/stolen items. We will feel bad for you, but we won't pay for it :-).  As for tournaments, nothing is set officially, but we are most likely going to have a Tempest 2000 tournament, highest score in 5 mins. Breakout 2000 is another one to expect, with it being an elimination type of competition. 2600 games such as Kaboom! and the original Breakout are in the works too. Impromptu competitions and challenges are encouraged! Of course, you don't have to humiliate yourself publicly if you choose not to.  Also, please send in a postcard if you have not yet. We need to get everyone signed up who will be attending for sure. Visit either JagFest page for all the information to send. Thats it for now... keep checking the official JagFest page <http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/4062/> for the latest. We'll have maps up to the site soon, along with tournament info and much more. See you there! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Kay-Bee Selling Jags =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Kay-Bee Toys nationwide are now stocking Atari Jaguar core units, JagCDs, controllers, and games. Games are priced around $10 and below, Jaguars around $30. No ProController sightings, unfortunately. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Area 51 Goes Hollywood =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [This article originally appeared in GameSpot News <http://headline. gamespot.com/news>. Reprinted with permission.] Area 51, Where Are You? New Line Cinema and Atari Games have inked an early agreement to bring their shooter, Area 51, to the silver screen. Steven Elzer, the New Line Cinema vice president of corporate publicity, said the project was in "very early development," and that while names were attached, he could only confirm that Forrest Gump producer Steve Tisch was among them. He also added a script had not yet been completed. Atari Games indicated that the script is being written by Brandon Braga and Ronald Moore, who wrote the script for Star Trek: First Contact, and that it will generally follow the plotline of the arcade version. In the movie, DNA geno-morphing aliens crash on Earth and are taken by the US government to Area 51 to be studied for potential weapons use. Given that the movie project is in the earliest of stages, neither party was able to give a release date for the film. By Curt Feldman, GameSpot News Copyright (c) 1997 SpotMedia Communications. --==--==--==--==-- || CyberChatter || Compiled By: Clay Halliwell \__// email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- Sometimes, the most interesting information is simply mentioned in passing... =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Yak in Court, and Atari Video Music =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Subject: What the smeg is going on between Atari and Philips? From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 1997/03/22 >Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari Does anyone out there know what the smeg is going on between Atari (at least whatever is left of them) and Philips? I had some dickhead lawyer turn up on my doorstep today and present me with a bloody subpoena to appear as a witness in some lawsuit. Served by Philips' lawyers, I might add. I have no idea what it's all about. Any other ex-Atarians out there had the same thing? Anyone else heard of/know what this is about? Apparently the suit has been called by Atari, okay, we all know that Atari are/were litigious as hell, but why the smeg are *Philips* lawyers calling me as a witness? And the subpoena is full of terms like "demanding my presence", but are they gonna pay me for the days work I am gonna lose by having to go up to Santa Clara on a day when I should be working, and especially at this time (Project X is going supercritical) that I can ill afford to lose? Anybody in the know or with llegal knowledge, I'd be pleased to get any more info before the date (2 April)... cheerz... \ (:-) - Y a K / =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Subject: Re: What the smeg is going on between Atari and Philips? From: Thunderbird <email@example.com> Date: 1997/03/23 >Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > > Does anyone out there know what the smeg is going on between Atari (at > least whatever is left of them) and Philips? I had some dickhead > lawyer > .... I heard Philips was upset about a bunch of JagCD units they never got paid for and Atari claimed they weren't going to pay because Philips breached their manufacturing contract. This is all hearsay from a year ago, so I don't know what the deal is now. Are you a U.S. Citizen? Do subpeonas apply to you? In any case you could make a really interesting witness. I don't know if Philips Lawyers know you like we do. They're in for a surprise. Thunderbird 4Play Lead Hacker =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Subject: Re: Question for YaK (Robotron 2000?) From: email@example.com Date: 1997/04/04 >Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari > Hey YaK! > > So what happened April 2nd? What the smeg *is* going on in the case > between Phillips and Atari? Oh, it was pretty boring really. I just went along to these lawyers' offices, had our legal dude from VM with me, had to swear to tell the troof, and then answer a buncha questions about the Jag development scene at Atari. I think they expected me to know more about the business side of things, I just told 'em that I didn't really deal with that stuff and just hacked code. The most annoying part of the whole thing was that I had to go to a place 70 miles north of where I live early in the morning, and when I got up to go there was a power outage so I couldn't even get a cup of coffee. Hey, I'm a classic coder type. I don't *do* mornings. :-) \ (:-) / =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Subject: Re: Question for YaK (Robotron 2000?) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 1997/04/07 >Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari > Pah! You expect us to believe you're a classic coder type right > after telling us that you managed to answer questions and appear > to be at least semi-functioning without any caffeine input :) (1) stopped just down the road from the lawyers', to get some breakfast and had 3 mugs there; (2) consumed continuously during the questioning from a stash of coffee provided in the office. ;-) \ (:-) / =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Subject: Re: Question for YaK (Robotron 2000?) From: email@example.com Date: 1997/04/13 >Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari > Hey! Just got an Atari Video Music console, eh? COOL!!! What's it like? It's really nice... borrowed one a couple of years ago, and I knew I had to have one. Mine isn't perfect, the colour is broke, but it's in really good condition, and the guyz at work reckon they should be able to fix the colour for me. The console itself is really 70-s looking, solidly made, with fake walnut ends and brushed chrome bits and these totally 70's style knobs on the front... the basic display is a coloured diamond shape which you can have hollow, filled or inverted; you can tweak the knobs to get the music to modulate the edges of the diamond (separate knobs for L and R channels), and push buttons that plot the diamond in 1, 2, 3 or 4 repetitions in both X and Y. It looks pretty good with some choons going through it :-)... I plan to use it in conjunction with my next lightsynth, which will be able to use live video as a source for FX... it'd be cool to use the AVM that way as a source effect for a modern lightsynth. I just think it's way cool that back when I was dreaming of lightsynths when I was in school at 15, Atari were actually making one :-). I never even knew of its existence until after I had finished JagVLM. I'm really happy that now I've got one of the *original* lightsynths :-) > BTW... I know this is against the grain of net manners, but how's > "Project X" going? Public release date? Those cryptic clues in "Yak's > Zoo" are just TOO damn frustrating! You gotta tell us something, man! > We're all you're number one fan! *:> It's going really well, and we will be making announcements soon - it's coming time that we need people to know about it. In fact, if you should happen to bump into me at the games devcon in San Jose this month, buy me a beer and I will probably start to spill some beans. When we do go more public with it I have a ton more nice images to put up on the website, and it'll give me great pleasure to be able to explain some of the technical reasons why X is so X-traordinary :-) \ (:-) - who just got back from riding John Mathieson's horse. / --==--==--==--==-- || BattleSphere News || By: Doug "Thunderbird" Engel and Scott "Oppressor" Le Grand \__// firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// BattleSphere Updates =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [All of the following are public postings to Usenet by Doug Engel, BattleSphere Chief Engineer.] //// 4/18/1997 Greetings BattleSphere People. It's time for another report to fill you all in on the important details regarding BattleSphere. As you can see, many little improvements have been made to the game as we continue to near completion. Over the course of the project, we've all refined our skills a great deal, and Steph and I have the opportunity to replace some of our earlier work with improved examples, while Scott continues to pound out the last play mode. Many of you really enjoyed our little "teaser" movie, and noticed the new cockpit art. The new art replaces some of the older art which I wasn't totally happy with. Steph has done the same thing with the music. I hear she's really happy with the new sound/music drivers I've written, in spite of the fact that they're harder to use than the old ones. Along with their other duties, Scott and Steph have had to find the time to move to a new apartment, and do all of the fun and time consuming chores that are associated with this (more on this later). In addition to that, Scott's managed to add the Demo Mode to the "Attract Mode" of the game, where the game will play a random round of combat by itself, in between showing the high-scores and the title art. He's also worked out the proper sequence for doing a software reset using the joypad (not as trivial as it sounds). I've just about finished designing the code for the Galactic Map for "Alone Against the Empires" play mode. The map contains 58 sectors, which can contain bases, fighters, bombers, superships, capital ships, or unknown objects. The map allows the player to monitor the status of any ship (The icons grow dimmer as the hull integrity of a ship is weakened), as well as the type of ship. The map also allows the player to set his warp destination sector and issue attack orders to friendly ships in any sector. The AI required for this play mode is also a non-trivial task, and as we started implementing the details, Scott and I came up with some new ideas which might take a little longer than we originally anticipated, but we think will really give our game an original touch. A number of big-budget "copycat" games are hitting the streets now, and we intend to stay one step ahead of them. Finally, the biggest BattleSphere news really isn't news on BattleSphere per se, but rather it's 4Play news. Would anyone care to guess which two 4Play Partners (Hi Ralf!) are getting hitched? You guessed it! Today, Scott and Stephanie walked down the isle to the strains of the "Imperial March". Everyone congratulate them when you get a chance. Also, everyone be sure and point your browser over to Thunderbird's Garage <http://home.sprynet.com/sprynet/Thunderbird> and check out my official homepage, and tell me what you think! I've got plenty of artwork and photographs for you to check out. Enjoy. If you're reading this from my homepage, you'll notice the new screenshots which I created. You can see some of the new artwork which was first shown in our preview movie up close. If you haven't had a chance to check it out, head on over to the BattleSphere Homepage <http://www.best.com/~sebab/ dvidgames/dsphere> and download it. Just one word of caution, there's a humorous tagline at the end of the video that might offend anyone who has a tenuous grasp on reality. If that's you, then don't bother watching. Until next time! //// 5/1/1997 Hello once again, fans of BattleSphere! It's once again time to bring you all up to date on the eagerly anticipated game known as BattleSphere! Things are finally starting to settle down around here. This web-site is finally going online and I've got a firm grasp on HTML now, so I can rattle off these updates pretty quickly. It's going to be a pain trying to come up with new and original layout ideas though. I'd like to thank everyone who tested my web-page and gave me the feedback on my artwork. I appreciate the comments. Keep 'em coming. Everyone out there may have noticed the "Official" BattleSphere Countdown Page which Scott has set up to let everyone out there see the progress as it is being made. Speaking of which, now that "The Honeymoon's Over" (as they say), Scott and Steph are back to the grindstone and progress is beginning to resume. Just within the past few days we've managed to get the initialization code for "Alone Against the Empires" Play Mode up and running. This is a major milestone which we are happy to have passed. We're now working on the sector-to-sector warp initialization, so that everything gets placed in the proper spot when entering a sector of the map. The Galactic Map code is complete, but I am going to add some indicators to show the hull integrity and shield strength to the map display, since the cockpit indicators are not visible when the map screen is called up. Everyone be sure to check out the little Mini-Movie I created from a series of screenshots. I hope you like it because this thing was a nightmare to get just right in HTML. Until next time! //// 6/28/1997 Once again, it's time to go to the 'net for another round of BattleSphere Updates! It's been a very busy month in the world of BattleSphere, and excellent progress has been made in many fronts... from bit-banging the metal of the Jaguar to the hustle and bustle of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. As you can see by the incredibly cool screenshots pictured here, Alone Against The Empires Play Mode is shaping up nicely. The code for displaying the Galactic Map could be considered "finished", save for a few additional features which we thought of after playtesting it. As you can see, the map presents the player with an enormous amount of detail. Fans of Star Raiders will notice the influences of that game on our thinking. We've taken some very diverging paths with our play mode over the venerable old Star Raiders but we think our elaboration on that theme is what that game's designers would have done, had they had the kind of hardware which can support it. The Artificial Intelligence required to handle this play mode has proven to be a little more complicated than we originally thought, mostly due to the fact that we've been adding features to the mode as we went along, and realized other things should be taken into account (like remembering damage points for every ship on the map!). But the invading AI is shaping up well, and it's incredible to sit back and watch your wingmen take on the invading fleets while you view the battle from a remote location using the Galactic Map. In another front, Tom has just returned from the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where he diligently worked to raise awareness of 4Play / BattleSphere / Jaguar games by distributing the BattleSphere E3 Promotional Video to key figures in the industry. Way to go, Tom! The video was painstakingly created by Mark Santora, who devoted a good portion of his free time to producing it. 4Play would like to take a moment to thank Mark for his efforts (and thanks to Steph for composing the score for the video). If everything goes well, there should be a nice demo of BattleSphere up and running at JagFest, later this month. Hopefully, attendance will be high, and some good publicity for the Jaguar will be generated by this event. Of course now that there's a show to go to, all sorts of nasty bugs are popping up for us to terminate. This happens every time... Until next time! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// BattleSphere Countdown =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [from the Official BattleSphere Countdown page <http://www.mbi.ucla.edu/ people/legrand/sphere.html>] //// 6/7/97 Hello, brave traveler! If you're looking for the Official Battle Sphere Web Page, then point your browser to <http://www.best.com/~sebab/ dvidgames/dsphere/sphere.shtml>. But... This is the official Battle Sphere countdown page. Here's the deal. >From now until the completion of Battle Sphere, I'm going to list the number of coding days I think I need to finish Battle Sphere. Note that this means productive days where I actually achieve things as opposed to those days where I bang my head against a wall, do laundry, or just plain goof off (say it isn't so!). At this point, the game is mostly finished except for the Alone Against the Empires play mode and some general clean-up that accompanies the completion of any title. We are searching furiously for final bugs and terminating them. This has given the game a much more polished look in recent weeks. Here is a list of everything really left to do. While this list is larger than some previous lists, it is also more fine-detailed. Many of the things to be done on the first list are the sort of thing that takes an hour or two of dedicated work rather than weeks and weeks. Some (those towards the end specifically) cannot be done until Alone Against the Empires is complete. Meanwhile, this looks to be the end of the Battle Sphere saga. Although several prominent types in the industry have privately admitted that although they really like both our game and the way we operate (small as opposed to big and gameplay rather than graphics-obsessed), they have no idea how to market a PC or other version of Battle Sphere in an increasingly Doom, Descent, and Daytona clone-dominated market. If one points out games like X-Wing, TIE Fighter, and Wing Commander as successful examples, they merely bring up X-Wing versus TIE Fighter, Darklight Conflict, and Star Ranger as excuses as to why all space battle games fail except for the occasional fluke. Oh well, it's been a great 3 years, the game's almost done, and like it or not, it's coming out! Anyway: There are now: *** 18 *** coding days to the completion of BattleSphere. Here's what I have left to do in those 18 days: General stuff 1. Fix capitol ship bounding cylinder 2. Enable Controller Config 3. Playtest Training Mode 4. Playtest Networked Gauntlet 5. Enable Easter Eggs 6. Final Music Assignment 7. Finish Alone Against the Empires Alone Against the Empires Stuff 1. Finish Options Screen 2. Finish new Hyper Space effect 3. Finish invasion A.I. 4. Handle victory/defeat 5. Playtest! What am I doing right now? 5/30/97 - New Hyper Space effect and playing lots of Star Raiders with XL- IT in order to make sure I get the feel right. 6/7/97 - Reorganized attack patters of incoming invaders (looks right now) and debugging in-game galactic map usage. 6/27/97 - Alone Against the Empires is shaping up nicely. I think we have diverged away from a strict graphics upgrade of Star Raiders and become more of 3D Star Trek game with lots of action which is what Star Raiders was designed to be in the first place. There are a lot of things that simply could not be in Star Raiders because of technological limits and the fact that it was THE pioneering 3D space battle game, and we've got 'em. For example, one o the few redeeming things about _Patriot Games_ was this spooky scene where our heroes remotely observe an attack on a terrorist base. Watching friendly forces remotely engage incoming invaders on the galactic map captures much of the same feel. I actually cheered for my wingmen last night when they collectively took down a cruiser alas to then be cruelly slain by its defenders. And believe me, you're going to need your reinforcements when you see what you're up against >-)... Meanwhile, we discovered a whole bunch of nasty RAM SPAM bugs across the game that need to be >TERMINATED< for JagFest. 6/28/97 - Redoing starbase docking: yes, you WILL be able to shoot the robot. Also had loads of fun watching my wingmen take out cruisers last night. Oh yeah, more fun for you guys: no docking during combat heh heh heh you'll be on your own. [and check out these public postings to Usenet...] 5/28/97 Ya know, it's a funny thing. When we got ourselves into this little brouhaha back in 1993, I figured it'd be a part time job for 6 months or so and then either we'd wrap it up and put out Netrek 3D for the Jaguar, or we'd get funding and go full-time and make a real show-stopper as the Jaguar seized the video game market by the balls and went for the gold... Not surprisingly, neither happened... Without the ability to go full-time, there's no way one can develop a game with as much depth as Battle Sphere on as schizo a platform as the Jaguar in a reasonable amount of time unless one is simply porting existing code. Even Iron Soldier is a much simpler design than what we put together and it doesn't network. This may be our fatal flaw: one observer described Battle Sphere as a great PC game trapped on the Jaguar. I partially disagree. I think we're the only people who've ever managed to make a real sit down and shoot 3D space battle. I love X-Wing and TIE Fighter (but not X-Wing Versus TIE Fighter) but they are games with complex interfaces that simply cannot be done right on the PSX and the N64 or the Saturn, and that's why they've never appeared there. Darklight Conflict blows us away entirely in the visuals department, but its missions are tiresome and the game itself sucks. Beautiful, beautiful graphics though. It puts the Wing Commander games and X-versus-TIE to shame. Yeah yeah razz me all you want about how we have no right to hold back the release of a game for which we've received zero funding and which has survived the fall of the console maker upon which it will be released. Oh yeah, we're just chickensh*t vapormakers yadda yadda yadda Zzzzzzzzzz... Bite me. If we'd abandoned the project, you'd all have my personal permission to throw rotten fruit at me, but we've stuck with it through full-time day jobs and major career changes. Geezzzzz... Give me a million dollars and I'll finish it in 2 weeks. Otherwise, shut yer fat ugly traps guys. All backseat developers deserve is a swift kick in their own backseat. At this point, I ought to point out that there are a lot of really great people who've stuck by us through the whole ugly mess and you guys have helped us make it through all this crap without giving up the ship. If it were 1993 again, and I had already chosen the Jaguar as my platform, I'd have ditched the networking and gone straight for the Star Raiders clone, but that's water under the bridge now, we've all learned a hell of a lot about working as a team, 3D graphics, sound, music, and the game development process and unlike many well-funded fellow Jaguar developers, we're actually going to ship something. I'll go so far as to say that Battle Sphere >WILL< be finished within the next 60 days. I cannot promise when it will be available (getting it encrypted is going to be an adventure in and of itself), but I already know what I'm doing after the thing's done, and by god it's almost there. In the meantime, I watched the PC gaming industry catch up with us in the networking department (well not really, they're still mostly stuck in the deathmatching phase) and eclipse us graphically with incredible hardware like the 3DFX Voodoo. Of course, there are people in the industry that just love our little game, but not enough to help us out say by funding a port to a new platform because we're "too different" that is to say we're not Doom, Descent, or Daytona. So in all likelihood, the Battle Sphere saga began and will end here. In the end, I don't really care whether you buy Battle Sphere or not. None of our futures depend on it (though the thing has already paid for itself in other less-obvious ways many times over), but if you don't buy it, you're going to miss out on the most ambitious game ever done on the jaguar, and in the opinion of people like John Harris and Jeff Minter, one of its best, and finally an exclusive. Scott Le Grand Lead Coder 4Play --==--==--==--==-- || Llatest from Llamaland || By: Jeff "Yak" Minter \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- [All of the following postings are taken from Jeff Minter's web page, Yak's Zoo <http://www.magicnet.net/~yak/zoo.html>. Check it out, and see what else Jeff has yakked up lately.] //// 7 April 1997 Monday night - unusual time for me to be updating, I know, but I had my mate Ian Lightsynth (and his grilf) over at the weekend to visit, so I didn't have time to do my usual update, in between drinking a lot of beer, watching Red Dwarf and Trainspotting, playing on the N64, and eating rather better food than we're used to when it's just two males getting together. Due to the fact of being better than usually fed I can even forgive the fact that Ian's bringing his grilf has resulted in my no longer getting a space in his car and being driven down the pub in Salinas on a Sunday. No more four pints of Guinness for me on a Sunday afternoon. Oh well :-) Hey, I just did my taxes! I thank Ghu for tax software, 'coz this is exactly the kind of thing that I would find a major pain in the ass to do otherwise. I am, and hope to remain, almost entirely clueless about what actually goes on in the US income tax process. They send you the forms, and a big, fat, confusing booklet with it, the kind of thing that you could very easily spend an extremely boring weekend with a calculator and a biro getting right in the unwired world. It's great that I can just load up some software, transfer the data from last year, edit any changes, fill in some numbers off my W2, answer a few idiot-level questions, and then have the forms emerge all nice and neat from the old laser printer. Takes most of the pain out of the whole thing, only takes an hour, and it's nice to be able to put the old iron to a task that is more genuinely useful in the Real World than playing a particularly decent game of Nemesis... Codewize - I am engaged on some coding that is not particularly graphical, but nevertheless very important to this phase of Project X. As in the case of Do and his crew, these times are bringing closure to certain phases of the X project. Fortunately, the X team leader does not deem it necessary for us to off ourselves after buying new Nikes and covering ourselves in purple triangular shrouds. Indeed, our continued existence in our current containers is necessary for progression to the next stage. We do intend to reach the Higher Level though - but it ain't gonna be no UFO behind Hale- Bopp that takes us there... Anyway, that's why I haven't updated Wallpaper of the Week recently. Tables of numbers reporting ridiculously short execution times for exotic algorithms may look nice to the geekly eye, but don't sit particularly harmoniously behind yer icons. When I do a more extensive update, I have reviews of both Blast Corps and Doom for the N64 to add to my reviews page, and some extras for my CD recommendations that I haven't updated for bloody ages. Until then, TTYL... //// 3 May 1997 Back to a more usual Saturday night update; I'm mildly the better for some of the local greenery and have just spent a while updating parts of the Zoo - it has been a while, but I've had a visitor staying and plenty to do at work and haven't found that many hours recently to devote to online life. Which can only be a good thing for my ISDN bill, I suppose, Netcom not yet doing the decent thing and charging flat rate. Chilling out, revisiting the first Prodigy album, and wondering when they'll get around to releasing the new one... so, what's the gnus? Well, X-wize, let's see - by this time next week we should have beaten the Level One boss, received an extra life, several thousand bonus points, and a massive powerup of the main weapon, and just be entering Level Two :-) (YaK boogies [see above illustration]... everybody is in the place, everybody is in the place, everybody is in the place. Let's go! You gotta love techno for the deep and meaningful lyrics :-) So, new on the site we now have a selection of nice Area 51 t-shirts, being some of the cooler thangs that have fallen out of my X-work. I really like being able to design my own T-shirts rather than have to wear somebody else's logos all the time. It's cool. I particularly like that I can offer them for anyone else to use, just by vectoring people off down a link to a place that specializes in p might be fun, but was previously put off by the prospect of having to have them made in bulk, keep stock, you know, all the attendant hassle. And I didn't really want to make money off them, anyway, just share designs that maybe someone else might think are cool - this way, anyone who wants one can get one with a mouse click, and maybe the guy at Mackey gets a few extra orders and maybe some follow-ups. Cool. The Net is cool, that way. Been playing some new games, too, in the interstices of my time - I particularly like POD, the new racing game for Voodoo accelerator board (oh, and for other configurations too, but all I care about is the Voodoo one), which has gorgeous graphics, smooth racing play, and the prospect of infinite extensibility and multiplayer racing via the Net. I guess the Net is cool in that way, too :-) I had a visitor from Wales last week - quite a novel experience to have a human around the house for a while, and it prompted me to do something unusual, and actually go out, away from the keyboard for a whole three days. The weather was beautiful, the waterfalls in fine flow as the Spring melt gets underway, and we had a great time there, at least until the last day. Which brings me to a small advisory section: How Not to Leave Yosemite, by Y a K * Do not fall in with the locals on your last night, and have an extensive boozing session. * Do not fall over a rock making your drunken way back to the tent, and thereby lose your glasses. * Do not therefore wake up with a hangover the next day, and decide that a 4-mile uphill hike will soon sort you out. * Do not fail to drink copious amounts of water during said hike. If you follow all those guidelines carefully, you should have no problem complying with the last one: * Do not have some kind of f*cking seizure on the way out, get taken into the medical centre, diagnosed with heat exhaustion, and your ass out of there in an ambulance with a f*cking IV in your arm. Luckily I hadn't damaged myself too much, and after being rehydrated was eventually allowed to go on my way, but I guess I learned the hard way that in a hiking type situation, if in doubt, drink a sh*tload of water. If you drink too much, all that happens is that you need to go take a piss. If you don't drink enough, well, it's considerably less pleasant. I also owe a large debt of thanx to my friend from Wales, who stuck by me throughout the entire proceedings, and whose first experience of driving on the wrong side of the road was therefore to drive my stick-shift 2-seater through twisty roads whilst chasing an ambulance. Jeez. Times like that you find out who your friends really are, iz all. Stupid self-induced medical trauma notwithstanding, it was nonetheless a great trip. I had no idea the amount of drinking that goes on at Yosemite, having only previously been there for day trips, and therefore not having really considered the prospect of a few beers, given that there was a long drive ahead at the end of the day. But once you've got your tent-cabin, you're set for the night, and the bar does a roaring trade until 10 pm, whereupon the party decamps to various locations and proceeds enthusiastically until the early hours. It's fun. Just remember that a hangover dehydrates you, and quaff plenty of liquid the next morning, iz all. Don't be a dumb ox, like some of us (sheepish grin). We stayed in a place on the valley floor called Curry Village, which, as you can imagine, appealed to me considerably, giving my predilection for spicy food of an Indian nature. Notice the following jpg: [there was a picture here... honest! --Ed.] That's me being considerably chuffed to find a sign advertising a Curry Dining Pavilion. You'll also note that I am wearing a Camp Curry t-shirt (and my ratty, smelly old llama-wool outer garment, from which I am inseparable, and which probably contributed to the whole heat-exhaustion business). Of course, this being the good ol' US, the one thing you couldn't get there was a curry of any description. But they have kitchens there, and a hotel, and I was thinking it would be an ideal location for a real Camp Curry, to educate our American friends into the deep pleasures of the Vindaloo... get in a few crack Indian chefs for a couple of weeks, install refrigerated bog-roll holders in the loos, ship in loads of lager... it'd be like a kind of curry boot camp - ship in there as a curry wimp, eating only the tikkas and kmas, and spend a couple of weeks in pleasant surroundings, working your way up to Vindaloo. Advanced students could attempt the transition from Vindaloo to Tindaloo and Phal. I could make guest appearances, lecturing on the correct use of pappadoms and eating an exhibition curry every night. Hehe... Ghosht would, of course, be banned, out of respect for Flossie. :-) Somewhere in the midst of all this stuff I turned 35, jeez, I'm getting to be an old fart. Well, no signs of any inclination to give up videogames or falling out of love with beasties or coding or tech, and I'm still a weirdo, so I guess I am immune, so far, to pipe-and-slippers mode. Thank Ghu. My, but being in the biz for getting on for 15 years, you have to cover a lot of ground though... most people, they learn their trade, pick up a few gentle embellishments along the way, spend the time to get to the top of the learning curve, then settle in... in this biz you constantly have to keep running to keep up with the advances in the tech, the learning curve somehow never flattens off... you cover a lot of ground. And the thing is, you love it... wouldn't have it any other way... this has never happened before, and being a part of it, even just a tiny insignificant part that does nothing more useful than create odd little constructs for people to play with, is amazing. Man, I love this tech. I love being a weirdo coder. And this time next week, I am gonna be in X- related heaven, and I will love that, too. :-) Got an excellent party to go to at the end of this month, too. I'll be seeing some good friends there. 35 I may be, decrepitude may well be just around the corner, but right now, hey, life is good. And soon [prays fervently to the shades of Boole and Saint Turing] I shall be back in Wales, with Flossie, and excellent missions to undertake on awesome hardware. Can't be bad. //// 8 May 1997 Much kewlitude! I have been worshipping at the shrine of techno, having been up to see The Orb and the Chemical Brothers in Oakland on Sunday... man it was a storming show! I had large amounts of fun as I twitched shambolically to the techno rhythms (with a large bottle of water clutched prudently in my sweaty hoof ;-). It's been a while since I worshipped vigorously in the Electric Church, and I enjoyed it muchmode. The Orb are superb live, and one of the boys (not sure who, difficult to tell, just a couple of heads behind a lot of hardware) was wearing a Peruvian woolly hat with little llamas all around it. Good man! I also just got my registered version of MagicEngine... I cannot stress just how cool this is. I spent all morning playing Final Soldier when it arrived in my email. ME is the best emulator ever. And, thanx to Nick England for pointing this out, one of my games is on the PC-Engine and I never even knew about it! Check this out... [Screen shot of Gridrunner was here --Ed.] Yes, that is Gridrunner (or at least part of it - dunno why the screendump is truncated, it's fine on the screen), running on MagicEngine! It seems that someone wrote a Vic-20 emulator back in 1992, and collected some games together and put them on the Engine... so you can now run a PCE emulator that is itself running a Vic emulator... hehe... nested emulation, gotta llove that :-) My Flossie t-shirts arrived today! And now that I have verified, as I fully expected, that they came out well and look very cool, I have made the image available off my Area 51 page. Check it out and proudly display your devotion to the Online Ovine! Just a quick update... and when I upload this I shall also upload the new additions to the Links page that I forgot to last time. Apologies to anyone who was looking for my links to MagicEngine's homepage and pointers to some warez... //// 28 June 1997 Yeah, it's been a while since I did an update, and anyone trying to mail me will have noticed that I have been to all intents and purposes net.dead for a while... there is good reason for this. Hell, no, there is absolutely gobsmackingly great reason for this... Occasionally, on those nights when I am chilling out with the aid of my favourite neuromodifiers, I will put on the 24-hour God Squad channel and watch it for a while. Not that I am one of them, hell no; just that for a very large Extreme High Weirdness value fundie Christian telly can't be beat. You get all sorts on there... blokes trying to convince you that evolution never actually happened, and that despite the evidence of the fossil record, mankind and dinosaurs were in fact contemporaneous, and that the reason the dinos aren't around now is that God got pissed off with them and denied them access to the Ark (!), preachers that scream about hellfire and damnation, preachers that strut around on the stage looking like angry roosters, hip preachers with long hair aimed at the yoof market, grannies speaking in tongues and falling over, and of course a heavy emphasis on The Gospel According To Give Us All Your Money. (You also get an awful lot of very bad singing, but hey, put on some choons and watch it with the sound down, it's just as amusing). One of the things they believe in (amongst many weird others, like the guy who claimed that you could actually see the New Jerusalem flying through space on its way to Earth through a telescope) is the Rapture. This event is apparently going to occur when the Head Honcho makes it back to the planet (real soon now - these folk are convinced that good old Mr. Apocalypse is right around the corner). On that day, in a somewhat Heaven's Gate-ish occurrence, they believe that they are all going to be physically beamed up to the Mothership... err... Heaven, there to dwell in glory for the rest of eternity, etc., etc., you know the score. There is actual discussion about the chaos that is apparently going to occur when fundie vehicles suddenly become driverless as the Holy Transporter kicks in. This is all quite amazing for a UK bloke. For us, religious telly is a few old grannies in a draughty church somewhere singing a few hymns for half an hour on a Sunday night, or dear old Harry Secombe interspersing hymns with gentle platitudes, not this stuff of flying cities, dodgy pseudoscience and Galactic transportation... But I digress. I was talking about the Rapture. Well, the fundies are still waiting and watching the skies - but I have found my Rapture already. No, I haven't been beamed up to the mothership or anything, I remain fully corporeal and in complete control of my car - but, thanks to Something Wonderful sitting at the other end of a cable from my PC, I have been able to go places and see things that I never could before... and it has me in total thrall. It's wonderful. :-) During the week I spent at the Top Secret Proving Grounds whilst I came fully up to speed on the latest developments, I did rather well for my curry, too. Let's see... curry the previous Thursday, curry down in Monterey with a mate the weekend before, then curry on Monday, curry on Wednesday and curry again on Thursday. My ringpiece was twitching for days after that lot! Mind you, I did miss my curry this last Thursday - an unfortunate oversight at work meant that I spent some time pissing about trying to get a PC with working comm ports together, and by the time it was done and I got to the curry house - it was *closed*! Akk! Such pain, to enter the establishment and breathe in the lingering aroma of Indian food, only to be cruelly denied at the last moment! Hey, if those fundies are right, then I guess when the time of mass levitation comes I'll be cast down into the pit - where my personal hell will probably take the form of sitting for eternity alone in my favourite Indian restaurant, with the smell of curry all about me, whilst waiters glide by frequently carrying heaping plates of steaming Vindaloo, garlic naan, those really spicy pappadoms and bottles of Flying Horsie Royal Lager Beer to all the other tables, but somehow they never get around to taking my order... mind you, God might think I'm a nice chap after all, in which case my Heaven would be quite similar, except that I would get an infinite supply of Vindaloo of just the perfect strength, that I could eat and never get quite too full to eat any more; and the Flying Horsie Royal Lager Beer will flow like water, and I'll be able to drink it forever, getting just drunk enough to enjoy it but never so drunk that I can't drink any more; and my pile of pappadoms and my basket of garlic naan will supernaturally replenish themselves continuously and for infinity. All my mates will be there in the curry house with me, and there will be lots of llamas. Amen, and amen! Apart from spending all my time in impossibly beautiful spaces, I haven't been up to much, really... had mates over to visit the last few weekends, which has been most pleasant; my next-door-neighbour has a new grilf, and they spend a lot of time sat out in the shared yard between my house and theirs, and because of that his dog has gone a bit psycho and territorial, and has started biting people who emerge from my house... hehe... if that carries on I suspect my weekend visitors might not be so frequent :-). Got a copy of Xevious 3D/G on the PSX the other day, which is a respectable blast, but I am looking forward to Raystorm and the imminent Star Fox 64 to truly satisfy my kill-things-in-outer-space cravings. Well, I shall get off and upload this, because I am about to deposit some stuff onto videotape so that I can send it back to my mum in the UK and show her that all this talk of exotic hardware and new graphics paradigms that I have been on about for the last yay many months is more than just hot air and good intentions. Apologiez for net.deadness, but X eats me these daze, and I am lloving every minute of it :-) Oh yeah - these developments mean that I shall soon be able to name a date for moving my carcass back to West Wales and the lamentably underskritched fur of the Prettiest Sheep in the World... as and when that happens, look for a lot more activity in the Exodus section, as I start to plan my translocation. You might want to start using my new forwarding address, which is not only useful, because I will be able to point it at whichever ISP I end up with in Wales, and thereby achieve some continuity of addressing during the move - it also happens to be the coolest email address on the Net, and I am most obliged to the friendly sysadmin who sorted me out with it. The old address still remains, and will until I depart these shores, but now I may also be contacted via the following, easy to remember and unspeakably cool address: email@example.com :-) --==--==--==--==-- || Hacking the VLM || By: Jeff "Yak" Minter \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// A Brief Introduction =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// The Good News There is a backdoor left in the VLM which allows the user to get at the edit mode that was used to create the banks of VLM effects. You can get in there and roll-your-own FX, and it's not hard to come up with stuff that is a *lot* better than many of the default FX. //// The Bad News There is no provision for saving your hacks. They are entirely transient, and you can wave them bye-bye as soon as you switch to another FX bank - and unfortunately, whenever you open the lid of the Toilet to change the CD, it switches banks into a special Jaguar-logo bank, and it's bye-bye hacks. Bummer, I wish it didn't do that, 'coz otherwise I'd just leave my VLM on all the time and evolve 9 banks worth of top hacks... Also, the edit interface is buggy and pretty user-hostile; it's got no error-checking and it's possible to crash the VLM, or slow it down to a crawl, if you tweak certain parameters out of range. Hell, it was never intended for end-users, only for use by a certain deranged bovine. //// Why Bother Then? Because it's fun. Because if you're interested, you can find out a lot about how the VLM works. Because a lot of the default FX are fairly non- optimal, largely 'coz at the time I was designing the banks I had pneumonia and was feeling like sh*t, and I always find that I make better FX when I feel good. And although you can't save the hacks, you can do what I do, and keep a tape in the VCR and lay down some vid whenever you come up with a particularly nice one. //// How Do I Get There? Easy. Select the effect you want to base your hack on. Then, in VLM-mode, hold down *,1,3,0 on the Jaggi control pad. This should bring up a menu called Spectrum and Triggers. That's not it though - that was just a red herring to confuse people looking for the hack ;-). While on the Spectrum and Triggers screen, press up, down, up, down... 8 times (so the cursor wraps from Trigger 1 to Trigger 5 and back again 8x) and then the display will change to Edit Mode. At that point you're in. //// What Do I Do When I Get There Then? Okay, first it helps to have some idea of what is going on inside any particular VLM setting. Each individual setting consists of up to six effects, each of which can take a sh*tload of parameters, which define how that effect changes over time. Parameters can be attached to waveform generators, to user control from the joypad, or to the spectrum triggers to create an audio-responsive effect. The most common types of effect you will see in the VLM are:  Digital Video Feedback area: DVF is what gives you all those cool swirly screen-filling patterns and persistence fields. It is, however, quite an expensive effect in terms of proc power (one is throwing rather a lot of pixels around doing scaled rotates of the entire screen)... if you can live with a smaller DVF area on some of the effects the speed and responsiveness of many of the effects can be greatly enhanced. I have a whole new class of 60Hz feedback FX that I could kick myself for not putting in the default banks...  Draw Spectrum As Intensities: This basically plots the output of the FFT through the symmetry generator. On its own, or combined with DVF, this is a good setting to use for effects that you want to be precisely audio- reactive. Put it over some nice DVF or a persistence field, llovely.  Draw a Ring of Pixels: Does just that, through the sym generator, with various parameters applied so you can change phases, number of points, pixel size, etc... a very versatile thing, simple though it is.  Draw Plasma: Draws a tile of plasma on the screen. Useful for putting in the middle of a nice DVF field as a source effect. Can be programmed to flash on trigger band events too. Try hooking oscillators up to the XY position when it's in a 60Hz DVF field - yummy. Empty slots cannot be edited. Time was when pushing B on an empty slot would bring up two pages worth of FX that you could build in there, but sadly that came out. I wish I had never taken it out now. Damn, and I wish I had not removed Save Bank either... There are a few others, starfields and the like. Play with them. Some of them are quite cool. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Fiddling Around With Stuff =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= When you press B to edit an effect, you are presented with three choices - Edit source function, which allows you to see and tweak the parameters that make up the basis of the effect; Edit symmetry generator, which allows you to twiddle with the sym generator, for effects that go through that pipe (not all FX do - DVF and the plasma don't use the sym gen at all, so changing stuff on their sym generator pages does nothing useful); and Edit Source Waves. Each effect has 8 programmable waveform generators which can be attached to any of the parameters defining the effect or the symmetry. Edit Source Waves is where you go to adjust the speed, waveform etc of the waveform generators. //// Edit Source Function If you enter this menu, you will be presented with a list of the variables which control how that effect is displayed. In a DVF effect's Source Function menu, for example, you will see parameters controlling the Window Size, Scale, Rotate Angle, etc. You are free to cursor around this menu, twiddle the values, and see what happens to the display. (It helps to have a CD playing while you fiddle, so that all the effects are active and you can see what you are doing). Menu items with (X,Y) after them represent pairs of variables. When you select a variable to edit, you will be presented with a slider, a 2-way slider, a position marker, or crosshairs, depending on the effect. Just use the joypad to change the values. Anything you change will stay changed for the life of your hack (that is until you change banks or open the Toilet). While editing a variable, you may see the message 'Press * to Attach Waveforms'. If you press *, it takes you to the Attach Waveforms screen, which has a totally crappy and confusing UI, but which is nonetheless the key to the cooler aspects of VLM usage. It works in conjunction with the Waveform Edit page, and in a sane and rational world, would have been integrated in with that page. The wonderfully-informative Attach Waveforms screen presents two rows of the numbers 1-8. The top row represents waveform generators linked to this variable. If one or more of these numbers are highlighted, it means there are generators already linked to this variable. You can attach or detach a generator to the variable by pressing the corresponding number key 1-8. You can attach as many generators as you like - the resultant waveform is the sum of all the input waveforms. You also can adjust the amplitude of the waveform here. Dismally, there is no display actually showing you the amplitude - you just have to watch the display to see the result and kinda fish about. Also, for some inane reason, if the waveform is attached to an X-component you adjust the amplitude with left/right, and if it is a Y component you use up and down. I think I was planning to put in an actual display of the waveforms here, but I got ill and never finished it off. As it is, it's sucky and counterintuitive. Oh well... The bottom row of 8 numbers allows you to modulate the attached waveform(s) with the output of an envelope generated by any of the five spectrum trigger generators. You press #, then the number of the trigger 1-5 (6, 7 and 8 are for the three joypad buttons) to toggle the trigger attach. And for some reason, like it was never properly debugged, when you toggle a trigger off, often the digit in the bottom row will not de-highlight. Oops. After you have attached waveforms, you will probably want to mosey on over to the... //// Edit Source Waves Menu Here, you can select a waveform generator by cursoring up and down. While the cursor is on a generator, that wave is displayed in the blue box. You can increase or decrease the frequency with A and C, and slip the phase by Left/Right. You can change the wave type by pressing a number on the numeric pad. User X and User Y translate to the 'position' controlled by the joypad in VLM Interactive mode. //// Edit Symmetry Generator A very interesting place to be for all those particle effects and anything else that goes through the sym generator. In this menu you can twiddle, attach waveforms to and generally piss about with everything to do with symmetry. The sym generator uses two basic kinds of symmetry, planar 8-way reflection, which is quick, and rotational, which is very nice but considerably slower. The two types can be combined. Many of the items on the Symmetry page only apply to Rotational symmetry, and will have no effect if Rotational is switched off. You set the sym types under the Symmetry Type menu, not surprisingly. Pressing 9 on this page toggles rotational sym off and on, and due to quite possibly the same bug as on the Waveform Attach screen, often the '9' in the middle will be incorrectly highlighted. It's usually pretty obvious when rotational is on though. Keys 1-8 toggle on and off the planes of the 8-way symmetry. Set up your types, and then go and have a fiddle with the parameters as in the Edit Source Function mode. Since you can't add or delete effects, the nature of your hacks will be in part defined by what effect types are in the bank you choose to edit, so if you want to do a lot of DVF stuff, try bank 3 or 4, and if you like particles, bank 1 or 2, and so on. You can switch between, and hack, all effects within a bank, but *if you change banks they are lost*. Be careful! And, basically, there we have it (as I said to Flossie as I led her into the concealing darkness of the sheep-shed). Enough stuff to get you started playing about with VLM editing. Apologies for the crappy UI, but I never had time to really bring it up to scratch before I got that bloody pneumonia. As it is it was about a year between finishing the VLM code and the release of the CD-ROM, and I wish I had been able to spend a few more months at it. Both the FX and the edit mode could have been a lot nicer! Oh well, next time... I've already got some awesome stuff running on [closes his muzzle and remembers the three letters N, D and A] ;-) And oh yeah, I better mention: =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// CAVEATS: Here Be Bugs 'n' Beasties! =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= The error checking on the UI is at best sucky and at worst nonexistent. It is quite possible to either choke up the VLM with some incredibly intensive sym mode that will have it doing one frame per Sunday, and you can even kill it with an honest to Ghu, thank-you-and-goodnight, little-silicon- legs-in-the-air crash. There are a few danger areas which I shall warn you of now:  Positioning a DVF window too far off the edge of the screen can kill the system  Attaching waveforms to DVF window size and position can be fatal. Look out!  Attaching waveforms to the Rotational Symmetry Order can cause it to wrap to negative, which translates to something greater than 32767, which, as a sym order, will cause the system to choke most heinously. Won't kill it, but the frame rate will be measured in minutes per frame hehe... Don't worry, killing the system will not do any permanent damage. The default banks are tucked away snug in ROM and will be restored when you restart the system, no matter how badly you take it down. Well, I shall go and post this now... have fun and Happy Hacking! \ (:-) - the Beastly Boanthrope / --==--==--==--==-- || Review: World Tour Racing || By: Clay Halliwell \__// email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- Checkered Flag... Club Drive... names that strike a chill in the hearts of Jag owners everywhere. What is it with polygonal racers and the Jag? We all know that the Jag could blow away Virtua Racing, if only someone out there would do the job right. Now we have World Tour Racing, courtesy of Telegames. Is this the game to lay the Jag's poly-racer stigma to rest? Read on... //// Overview World Tour Racing comes in the same packaging as Iron Solder 2... a standard-sized Jag cart box, with the CD (yes, a regular, non-CD-R CD) in a jewel case inside. WTR's CD label is black, with the title above the center hole, and the "Jaguar CD" logo below. Oddly, there is no mention that it's a CD game on the outer box. WTR starts off with a very well-done FMV intro... easily a match for Iron Soldier 2 in terms of video and audio quality. Unfortunately, this graphical extravaganza leads directly into a demo of the game, which pales significantly by comparison. WTR offers a wealth of play and customization options. There are three main play modes:  Single Race. Race on any of the game's 12 tracks in 1 or 2 player mode.  Championship. Race your way through all 12 tracks. Before each race, you have the opportunity to race some qualifying laps. During qualifying, you can jump at any time into the car workshop.  Arcade. Race through all 12 tracks in 1 or 2 player mode. To progress, you need to place higher and higher the further along you get. The car workshop gives you an amazing degree of control over your car's configuration. You can individually select whether each of the four tires are hard, medium, or soft. You can precisely set the angle of the front and rear wings. You can even adjust the brake balance and gear box ratios! >From the main options screen you can also select whether to use a standard or automatic transmission, enter your racer's name, reconfigure button assignments, and set the overall difficulty level. Incredibly, this game does *not* make use of the Memory Track. Everything you change is lost when you power down or reset the Jag. Championship games are saved and resumed by way of a 32-digit numeric code. Yoiks! //// The Sights As stated above, the FMV is excellent, and frequently humorous (just watch your car get obliterated by the falling "GAME OVER" in Arcade mode). The in-game graphics, however, are not so hot. First, about 90% of what's onscreen is in half horizontal resolution (aka "Doom rez"). This includes the huge, oversized status overlays, the background graphic, all sprites and texture maps, and any cars which are relatively far away. The clouds that float by overhead as you race are even worse, looking like they escaped from 2600 Combat. Okay, so the resolution is low. Doom ran in the same low rez, but it looked great anyway because it traded that loss of detail for a silky frame rate. Sadly, WTR seems to have received no such benefit from its sacrifice. The frame rate is low-- almost identical to... (shudder)... Checkered Flag. And this is using sprites instead of polygons for a lot of the trackside detail. Okay, so the resolution AND the frame rate are low. How about the scenery? Having a whole CD to play with, the locales should blow away Checkered Flag, right? Wrong. There is very little variation in scenery. Every track has literally dozens of the same few billboards (for Jaguar, Atari, Doom, Iron Soldier, etc...) scattered liberally around. There's a tunnel every now and then (always the same one). The same two or three tree sprites (no, not dryads) are used over and over. You might occasionally drive over a bridge or past a beach, but the screen updating is so herky-jerky that it's hard to tell what you're supposed to be looking at. Overall, the effect is of a sprite-based game with some polygons thrown in, instead of the other way around. The road rises and dips, but minimally, and the road never banks. An undocumented feature is that you can turn on texture mapping for the road by hitting "8" on the keypad. This doesn't appear to impact the frame rate in any way, but it's ugly (just turns on a gray blocky pattern that warps severely near the bottom of the screen), so I leave it off. Camera views are nicely implemented. There are three basic ones to choose from (inside, near outside, and far outside), plus some fun-but-useless ones that that are only active for as long as you hold the button down (front view of your car, trackside cameras, and above left and right). Cars, when close to the camera, look good. The wheels are gouraud-shaded (no hex-nut wheels here!), as is the rest of the car body, with logos and other detail sparingly texture-mapped on top. The status overlays, as mentioned above, are overbearingly large, but admittedly get the job done. There are indicators for current standing, lap, gear, speed, time, best time, and a moving map. The moving map shows you as a red dot, cars ahead of you as green dots, and cars you've passed as blue dots. You can set the map so it shows only a close-up of the current section of track, the entire track at once, or turn it off entirely. //// The Sounds The music in WTR was composed by the same fellow who did the music for Val d'Isere, and he hasn't lost his touch this time around. The music is very peppy and goes a long way toward enhancing the racing mood. Unfortunately, there only seem to be two in-game songs, so each track doesn't get its own theme music. Also, the music is NOT redbook audio. That is, the music isn't being played straight off the CD-- it's being generated by the Jag. Being able to play better music with less resource drain is a major advantage of the CD format, and it's surprising to see WTR throw it away. As for the in-game sound effects, they're limited entirely to the tinny whine of your engine (sound more like a motorcycle than an F-1 racer), the thud of smacking into things, a barely-audible squealing of tires, and the "Last lap" announcement (which seems to get dropped out most of the time). When paused, you can independently adjust the music, sound effect, and engine volume levels. //// Gameplay Okay, the big question: How does it CONTROL? The answer to that is, it controls great (with one major caveat, below). Your car in WTR handles like a real car. You can even power slide a bit! Steering is greatly affected by how you've configured your tires and front and rear wings. The other nine competing cars play fair, jockeying for position with you and each other. They are, however, crash-proof... you can hit one head-on at 200MPH, and while you're getting tossed all over the track, it just zooms along like nothing happened. Usually you recover from wrecks with a decent percentage of your original velocity, so wiping out doesn't break up the flow of racing too badly. Wreck too many times though, and you'll knock off your front and/or rear wings. This WILL affect your car's handling, as will tire wear as you zip around the very long tracks. When this happens, it's time to pull into the pits. Every track has a pit stop lane, located in the general vicinity of the starting line. Just pull in and come to a complete stop. You'll be treated to a nice FMV sequence which changes according to what's wrong with your car. Front wing missing? The clip will show your front wing being replaced, plus your tires being changed and your tank being topped off. In what has to be one of the great design flubs of videogaming, WTR's programmer decided to have the game "help" the player steer. It's a subtle effect. You probably won't even notice it at first. But after the first time you're in cockpit view and see the steering wheel turn by itself, or you're driving down the track and see your car start into a turn without you even touching your controller... you'll always be aware of it. This is insanely annoying. You CAN'T TURN IT OFF! It feels like you're steering by committee. Mastery of driving games is firmly based on learning to exercise absolute control over your car-- learning just the right microsecond to hit the brakes, spin the wheel, edge into the grass, and punch the accelerator to get around that corner in record time. But this "helpful" steering makes that almost impossible. The computer also seems to try to keep you from making pit stops. Basically, if you're not already on the correct edge of the track when the pit stop lane appears, you're not getting in. It is possible to drive around the track backwards, but every time you run into something the game turns you around to face the proper direction. //// Conclusion Like most everyone else, I had myself convinced that WTR would be a technical tour de force of the same caliber as Iron Soldier 2 or BattleMorph, but sadly this is not the case. Theres no doubt that WTR is an ambitious game, with its many tracks, play modes, and customization options, but the coding expertise required to vault this game from merely average to outstanding is simply not present here. Don't be surprised if, after a few hours behind the wheel of WTR, you find yourself popping in the old Checkered Flag cart and gaining a new appreciation for all the things it did right. The Jag can do better than this. //// Final Ratings Title: World Tour Racing JagNet: No Design: Teque London Ltd. Players: 1-2 Published by: Telegames Media: JagCD Retail: $59.95 Availablity: Now A Summary of Ratings: "*" is a whole "+" is a half 5 stars maximum Graphics - *** Great FMV. Lousy frame rate, resolution, and variety. Audio - **** Good music, but inexplicably not redbook. Tinny engine noise. Few other sound effects. Control - ***+ Would be 4 stars, but the computer's unwelcome "help" is incredibly annoying. Gameplay - *** Actually not bad, but not great either. 2-player mode is a plus. Overall - *** Better than Checkered Flag, but only barely. No Memory Track support?!? Key to Earl's ratings (a racing movie state of mind) ***** - Cannonball Run **** - Gumball Rally *** - Cannonball Run II ** - Death Race 2000 * - Cannonball Run III --==--==--==--==-- || Review: Iron Soldier 2 || By: Wes Powell \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- Pilot your 42 foot mech through 20 new missions against evil Penta forces. Dramatically enhanced 3-D graphics create a virtual battlefield with war waged in all 360 degrees. Outfit your Iron Soldier with combinations of 12 weapons systems and begin your fight. With full motion video, driving soundtrack, and realistic SFX in stereo or surround sound, this product will set new standards for your gaming experience. //// Overview Iron Soldier 2 is a game that Jaguar owners can be proud of. This game isnt just one that we think of as "the left-overs". I mean... sure, it's great that Air Cars will be coming out in a while. Its a new game, and I wont complain about it, but IS2 is something completely different. This game should never have been held as scrap at Atari Corp. If they were smart, they would have released this game while they were still alive. Maybe that, in turn, would have helped Atari stay alive. Who knows? Telegames obviously had the right idea when they picked up this baby. It's the cream of the crop when it comes to Jaguar games. Iron Soldier 2 keeps the same formula of the first game, but adds in a lot of new things that were "left to be desired" from the original. //// Graphics The original IS had some very nice polygonal graphics, although many complained about the lack of texture mapping. This has been remedied in IS2. You'll notice, there is T-mapping on most of the buildings. There are new/more textures on the enemies. There are T-maps on the ground and the water. There are T-maps on your IS' Manipulator and Chain Cutter. The texture mapping on the helicopters looks even better than the original. The tanks look even better; you can see a great deal of detail, right down to the "M-21" on the back. The Greave planes that hover above you and drop bombs now have incredible texture maps on them! They're covered with symbols and designs. The trapezoids and polygonal cubes in the explosions are even 1/2 texture mapped. Sure, the texture maps arent the highest resolution on the planet. I'd rather it be smooth and nice looking than Hover Strike CD-looking and choppy. The programmers should be commended for keeping a lid on the eye candy to allow for the same smooth framerate of the original. In short, they didnt take it too far. They kept a great balance between the gameplay elements and the graphical features. Another graphical feature that usually accompanies the CD format is Full Motion Video. When you fire up this game, be prepared to sit back and watch a sweet, smooth, intense, 3 minute cinema sequence that'll knock your socks off. Aside from this intro cinema, the FMV is kept to a minimum. This is good. Other graphical improvements include the weapon select screen. The original had light sourced, polygonal weapons that spun around. This one has rendered/shiny weapons that spin gracefully with the sweetest of light sourcing. Backdrops in the levels are much more varied than the original's. Cool scenes of cities on fire and sunlight piercing the clouds increase the believability of the atmospheric settings. The explosions have been improved. Instead of the symmetrical cubes of the original IS, this version features more odd shaped chunks of debris. There is more variety in the skyscrapers, fuel tanks and other buildings. //// Audio Audio-wise, the package is sweetened up, thanks to the CD format once again. Music is fantastic. Anyone who'd played the original IS, you'd probably agree that the music that went along suited the game's theme quite well. Well, this time, we've got the same IS industrial style with some guitar frills and some techno style synths! There is even voicing in some of the tunes. You can listen to 10 tracks of audio off of your CD. Each track has been fine tuned and is anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes in length. I cant say enough about how the music heightens the drama of the gameplay. When the action gets intense, the music seems to follow right along. The sound effects are really something to get excited about. This time around, theyre in complete Dolby Surround! For any whos got a nice Dolby Surround receiver, this is a real treat. You can hear the faintest hum of a tank behind you in your rear speakers. As a helicopter whizzes around your head, the sound goes along perfectly. When a Wyvern Jetfighter rushes past you, it creates a loud distortion noise... its incredible. If you dont have a surround setup, you can also choose stereo Sfx. New effects in the game include: humming tank and truck engines, air rushing through the Greaves turbine engine, the thumping of the helicopters propeller (had to turn the music off in the original to get this), the distorted fly-by noise, the sound of the shotgun being cocked, and your footsteps aren't as loud as the original's. Overall, they improved what was needed to be improved upon and kept most of the old stuff that didnt need to be changed. //// Gameplay Whats so fun about IS2? Knowing that you're low on life... theres a pack of helicopters trailing you... you can see some fuel tanks ahead, so you head for 'em in hope of finding a repair... a tank comes into view from behind a warehouse. You quickly step on him and anything else that crosses your path. Shooting the fuel tanks as you get closer, you know youre almost dead. Fortunately for you, theres life inside. You pick it up, quickly select your automatic grenade launcher, turn around, send a couple dozen grenades flying and watch some of the best explosions ever created. Then you get back to your mission objective! In IS, you pilot a huge, strong but slow-moving mech. This means you can't quickly make any gut- instinct tactics. You're gonna have to use a bit of strategy. Hide in- between skyscrapers and use your radar to your best advantage. There are 20 missions on the CD. The levels objectives are nicely varied, and Im surprised that they came up with some new ideas aside from the original's. There are the usual destroy the target missions. There are escort missions where you protect supply trucks while they attempt to get out of town. This includes finding roadblocks in their path and clearing them out. There are levels where you collect items. There are levels where you protect buildings. There are levels where you have to find car bombs that re placed around the level and take them out before they explode! Thats what makes IS2 such a great game. It has so much variety. There are 4 new weapons in IS2 which give it a total of 12. The new ones include: the Sherry 00 Gauge Shotgun, the Corinne Automatic Grenade Launcher, Ferret Homing Missiles, and the Carlisle 75MM Heavy Machine Gun. In the original, after the Gatling Gun was obtained, the Assault Rifle was basically useless. Now you can equip a Shotgun. Equip a Machine Gun on your hand and remove the Gatling Gun; you can use that space for some Homing Missiles. Maybe now you don't have to go with a Rail Cannon. You can just equip your Machine Gun. It's long-range and precise. Scrap the Rocket Launcher and mount your Grenade Launcher. It's fast, long range and you can shoot an unbelievable amount of grenades. The new weapons add new possibilities. The choice of weapons isn't so automatic for the player anymore. There is also a handful of new enemies. There is a Jetfighter who flies high overhead, swoops down and launches 3-5 rockets at you! There are new transport planes that drop down tanks with parachutes attached. There are new, fast tanks. These guys are loaded with a rocket launcher and shoot a handful of rockets and then take off. There are new walker enemies. These little guys are quick! When you see one, you better destroy it in a hurry or have a grenade launcher mounted. There is also a new top secret weapon... the Cold Iron Gunner. There are now teleporters on some of the later levels. This is used for getting to different islands around the levels. Some levels actually remind me of I-War with the maze-like teleport system. There are also traps that open up when you get close and really mess you up. Although nothing too major, there are some new ideas to be found here. There is even a code to play as the Walker! The control is the same as the original with the exception of the Cruise Missile. The cruise missile now automatically levels out and has tighter control. The control will be tough for beginners to grasp. Its fully 3D, and there are multiple button functions that may take some practice. After you've caught on, the control becomes second nature to you. Theres really nothing bad to say about it. Usually there is some loading that goes along with CD games. How does IS2 stack up to the rest of the Jag CD games in this category? Can you say Battle Morph?? It loads 15-16 seconds at startup, and 5-6 seconds when you head into a level. I almost left the loading part out of my review... because it's not a major factor in the game. My only minor gripe is that there aren't more levels. We are dealing with a CD here right? Ohh well. At least the difficulty has been boosted up to give gamers a greater challenge (can you say level 19? I knew you could). All in all, IS2 is the best Jaguar game ever released IMHO. If you have a Jag CD, get it! If you dont have a Jag CD, IS2 is just another great reason to get one. //// Final Ratings Title: Iron Soldier 2 JagNet: No Design: Eclipse Players: 1 Published by: Telegames Media: JagCD Retail: $59.95 Availablity: Now A Summary of Ratings: "*" is a whole "+" is a half 5 stars maximum Graphics - ***** Arguably the best polygonal/texture mapped graphics seen on the Jaguar to date. Audio - ***** The music is awesome. The sound effects along with the surround sound support are awesome. No complaints at all. Control - ***** Excellent control setup. Leaves nothing to be desired. They hit everything right on the button. Gameplay - ***** The variety in the mission objectives mimics some of the old ones, and adds even more. The new weapon selection will prove to deliver more possibilities in the gameplay. Overall - ***** My favorite Jaguar game by a wide margin. Destruction, fear, power, excitement and fun all wrapped up into one game. Key to Wes's ratings (an id state of mind) ***** - Quake II **** - Quake *** - Doom ** - Wolfenstein 3D * - Commander Keen --==--==--==--==-- || Iron Soldier 2: The Manual || By: Telegames \__// http://www.telegames.com -------------------------------------------------------------- [During IS2's production delay, Telegames was kind enough to put the entire text of the manual up on their web page. So if you haven't already ordered IS2, take a gander and draw your own conclusions about this long-awaited sequel. This manual is (c) 1997 Telegames, and may not be reproduced without permission.] IRON SOLDIER 2 The War Continues! After Iron Fist Corporation was destroyed, the Resistance set up a democratic government called the United Republic. However, now that Iron Fist is gone, the rival corporation, known as PENTA, is trying to take over IFC's old territory by raiding and terrorizing the United Republic. This time, you are part of the UR's elite defense force. Your job is to pilot an Iron Soldier and use it to eliminate the terrorist forces and protect the UR from military harm. GETTING STARTED Insert your Iron Soldier 2 CD into the Jaguar CD player and close the lid. Insert your Memory Track Cartridge (if you have one). Press the POWER button. Press any button to skip the title screen and start the game. SELECT SCREEN START GAME Starts a new game. LOAD GAME Allows you to continue a saved game. Game progress can be saved to one of the save game slots after each completed mission. (The CD version requires the Memory Track cartridge to support this option.) OPTIONS Here you can change some settings for difficulty, controls, and soundmode. CONTROLS TO WALK Button A + UP: Walk forward. Once you are walking, let go of the A Button and you'll keep moving. Button A + Down: Walk backward. Your backward speed is slower than forward. Button A: Pressing the A Button by itself will bring the walk to a stop. NOTE: While walking, you can step on items like tanks, trees, and houses. TO LOOK AROUND Joypad Up/Down: Look up / down Joypad Left/Right: Turn left / right NOTE: Holding the C Button down while moving the Joypad will make you look around much faster. If you press the C Button by itself, it will automatically center your view. By looking down, you can watch your feet crush tanks, trees, etc. TO SHOOT Press the B Button to fire your currently selected weapon. SELECTING HAND-HELD WEAPONS Press the Option Button to select hand-held weapons. Press the Option Button repeatedly to switch between the IS's two hands. The hands are selectable even if there is no weapon mounted there - remember, your fist is a weapon in itself! SELECTING WEAPON MOUNTS Use the Option Button and Number Pad to select Weapon Mounts. Whatever weapon is on a mount will be useable when that mount is selected. If the weapon is out of ammunition or no weapon is mounted, that mount cannot be selected. 1 Selects the Right Shoulder mount 3 Selects the Left Shoulder mount 4 Selects the Right Hip mount 6 Selects the Left Hip mount 7 Selects the Right Hand mount (or press Option) 9 Selects the Left Hand mount (or press Option) NOTE: The numbers are laid out to match the weapon mounts seen in the IS diagram, which is found in the upper left corner of your cockpit screen. OTHER CONTOLS # plus * resets the game. ADVANCED CONTROLS You can look up and down, left and right without changing your walking direction if you turn on the Advanced Controls. Use the 2 key to switch the Advanced Controls ON / OFF. While Advanced Controls are ON, only A + Joypad left / right will turn the IS left or right. C + Joypad or Joypad alone will make the IS look around without changing your walking direction. You can only look 90 degrees to the left, right, up or down without turning the body of the IS. NOTE: While Advanced Controls are ON, your IS will automatically look forward whenever you use a melee weapon like the Manipulator or the Chain Cutter. MISSIONS On the Mission Selection Screen, you will see 20 icons representing the missions you have to complete. Selectable missions will be highlighted. Completed missions will appear with a check mark (you can play completed missions again if you want, but you don't have to). When you have completed the first block of five missions, the next block will become selectable. You can play highlighted missions in any order, except mission 16 through 20, which must be played in order. Completing certain missions will give you access to new weapons, so choose missions carefully. After you have chosen a mission, you will go to the briefing screen. Read the briefing carefully, it explains what you have to do to complete the mission. You may have to do a bit of exploring before you know exactly how to finish a mission. If you don't want to play the mission, select EXIT to return to the Mission Selection Screen. Otherwise, select PLAY to go to the Arming Screen. FINISHING A MISSION If your IS is destroyed, you will not complete the mission. To keep playing you can choose the continue option (there is an unlimited number of continues) to return to the Mission Selection Screen. If you fail a mission, you will be informed about this and return to the Mission Selection Screen to replay the mission or try another one. If you have completed a mission you will see a debriefing message and then have the option to save your progress. You can choose your desired save game slot by pressing the corresponding number on the keypad. ARMING SCREEN In the Arming Screen, you select what weapons you want to use in a mission. There are six mounts for weapons: 2 shoulders, 2 hips and 2 hands. A mount can only hold one weapon at a time and some weapons are restricted to certain mounts. Until you find all the weapons in the game, some weapon icon will be closed. You can only select between the weapons shown with their representing icon. Use the Joypad to move the cursor over a weapon icon and press the B Button. If there is a free mount for this weapon, you will see the weapon flashing at the default mount position on the IS window, otherwise you can't mount this weapon. If there is more than one possible mount for the weapon, you can use the Joypad to select between them. To remove a weapon, press the C Button and select the mount you wish to free up, then press the B Button to remove it. Select EXIT when you have equipped your IS to your satisfaction. WEAPONS STANDARD MANIPULATOR Basically, the Standard Manipulator is your IS unit's hands and allows you to use hand weapons like a rifle or grenades. It is a powerful weapon in its own right. Use the Standard Manipulator to pound on buildings or enemy IS units. Make sure you're right next to the object or enemy that you want to hit. CASSY ASSAULT RIFLE This weapon is a 75 MM semiautomatic hand-held rifle, with a healthy supply of ammunition. If will fire three-round bursts if you hold down the B Button. It has a decent range and firepower and is a good all purpose weapon. It takes two hands to use, so it cannot be carried if you have equipped your IS with a Chain Cutter or other hand-held weapons. SHERRY 00 GAUGE SHOTGUN This hand-held shotgun fires a spreading cone of slugs, and is ideal for shooting down helicopters or VTOLs. It is very short ranged (much like the Gatling Gun), but twice as powerful as the Cassy Assault Rifle and with a decent area effect. Accuracy is not as critical as with the rifle, but rate of fire is slower. It also requires both hands. PARKER CHAIN CUTTER This chain-driven cutting device replaces your right hand and must be mounted on the arm. It is an excellent close up weapon to quickly destroy buildings or enemy IS units. Remember, like the Manipulator, you must stand right next to your target to hit it. BADGER HAND GRENADES The oil-drum sized grenades explode on impact and have a large explosion area. Even if you don't hit a target directly, it still may be destroyed by the explosion. Grenades always fly a fixed distance. Practice throwing these so you know just how far they go. You can even throw them over buildings. Be careful not to be too close to the explosion - you may damage your own IS! Each grenade rack holds 8 grenades and can only be mounted on the Hip mounts. CORINNE AUTOMATIC GRENADE LAUNCHER This hip-mounted device allows you to rapidly fire small grenades in a fixed arc like thrown Badger Grenades, but at a significantly higher range. The grenades also travel a bit faster, landing and exploding sooner than hand thrown ones. The Corinne Automatic Grenade Launcher is a perfect multi purpose weapon. You can use it to bomb enemies over a long distance, efficiently destroy buildings and even shoot down attacking helicopters. You will need some practice to make optimal use of it, though. The grenade launcher requires both hip mounts, so it cannot be carried if you have mounted any other weapon there. RACHELS GATLING GUN This weapon is a rapid firing, 6-barrel Gatling gun that fires 40 MM rounds at over 600 rounds per minute. It is devastating at short range, but its power drops off rapidly at longer ranges. It carries a lot of ammunition, but don't waste your shots. It can be mounted on any shoulder or hip mount. WOLFPACK ROCKET LAUNCHER This rocket launcher fires 12 deadly rockets. The rockets are explosive and not as powerful as the Badger Grenades, but they can be fired over much greater distances. Rockets will explode when they hit something or reach their maximum range. Rocket Launchers can be mounted on any shoulder or hip mount. FERRET HOMING MISSILES One launcher holds six missiles. When this weapon is selected, a yellow target indicator will select the enemy target that is closest to the crosshair (not the nearest to you). When you fire the missile, it will turn to follow the enemy even if he is moving, and does about the same amount of damage that a rocket does. You don't have to precisely aim the missile, it will home in on its own. It may not work correctly if the enemy moves behind a tree or building, because it might hit the interfering object instead. Ferret Homing Missiles can be mounted on either shoulder mount. CHARLOTTE RAIL CANNON This cannon uses electromagnetic pulses to fire 120 MM armor-piercing rounds at incredible velocity. Unlike the Rifle or Gatling Gun, there is no limit to how far it fires. It cannot be fired very rapidly, though, because it has to autoload the massive shells one at a time. It is an excellent sniper weapon which can be mounted on either shoulder mount. CARLISLE 75 MM HEAVY MACHINE GUN This hand-held weapon combines good range with a high rate of fire. It fires full auto, but at a much lower rate than a Gatling Gun. It is about as powerful as the Assault Rifle, but has better range and better rate of fire. It requires both hands, so it cannot be carried if you have equipped your IS with a Chain Cutter or other pons. SLATE HEAVY SHIELD The shield is not really a weapon - it increases your defensive abilities. When the shield is selected, you will take half damage from enemies! However, you can't use other weapons when it is selected (other than stomping) and you must have the shield selected in order for it to protect you. The shield can be mounted on either shoulder mount. SABLE CRUISE MISSILE This weapon can literally be flown to the target. When you fire the missile, it will switch to a missile camera view. Use the Joypad to steer the missile to your target. The "ammo" bar represents how much fuel the missile has - if you run out of fuel, it will explode! Otherwise, it will explode on impact with its target. You can also detonate it at any time after launch by pressing the B Button. The explosion is as powerful as a Hand Grenade, so if you use the missile properly, you can destroy several buildings or enemies that are close together. Unfortunately, only one missile will fit on a mount at a time, so use them carefully! Also, be careful not to detonate it close to your IS or you will take damage from the blast. Cruise Missiles can be mounted on either shoulder. NOTE: Mounting more than one of any weapon will give you more ammunition for that weapon, but otherwise has no effect on weapon performance. ENEMIES Each eemy has strengths and weaksses. Practice will teach you which weapons are best for use against each enemy type. 'Glaive' Helicopter The helicopters fire bullets or rockets at you. They also like to fly over your head and get behind you, so try to destroy them before they get too close. 'Greave' V.T.O.L. These unusual planes use turbine engines to hover or fly around. They drop deadly bombs on you from above, so don't let them get too close. 'Gantlet' Attack Plane This fixed-wing aircraft flies quickly overhead and drops bombs. 'Wyvern' Jetfighter A small and incredibly fast plane. It fires rockets at you from high distances, but sometimes also flies direct attacks. 'ROC' Transport Plane These huge planes fly over the battlefield and drop light tanks or FAVs via parachutes. 'Brassard' Light Tank These tanks are everywhere. They fire cannon shots and occasionally fire off a 1-shot rocket (especially if you make them mad). 'Basilisk' Fast Attack Vehicle (FAV) Small vehicles armed with rocket launchers. They like to do "hit and run" tactics. 'Tasset' Heavy Tank Watch out for these brutes! They fire powerful cannon shots and are incredibly tough. They are so big you won't even be able to step on them. 'Behemoth' Frigates These massive, armed ships are frequently a target you will need to take out to complete a mission. They take several hits from grenades or other heavy weapons to destroy and they are usually armed with two turrets, which can fire cannon shots or rockets. They are frequently docked, but can occasionally sail out of grenade range, so keep an eye on them and don't waste time destroying them. 'Javelin' Rocket Launcher This device does not move. but is still dangerous. It can fire off two rockets in any direction. If you get close enough, you can step on these just like Light Tanks and Gun Turrets. 'Heaume' Gun Turret These are also fixed gun emplacements with heavy machine guns that will fire at you if you get too close. 'Satyr' War Strider A two legged, armed walker about half the size of an IS. These guys are speedy, and have two "shoulder" pylons on which they can mount missile launchers. Heavy machine guns and rockets are the most common armaments. Like the FAVs, walkers like to do hit and run attacks. Enemy IS Units They can be armed with a variety of weapons, but most of them mount Wolfpack Rocket Launchers. They are quite sturdy, so be sure you have lots of grenades or rockets. They can also be destroyed in close combat, but watch out for their punch! 'Cold Iron Gunner' (CIG) PENTA's new secret weapon. CRATES Crates can be found in the ruins of destroyed buildings and contain ammunition, repair kits, new weapons and other valuable supplies. There are five diff you are running low on ammo for any of these weapons. REPAIR Crates These black and yellow striped crates will repair about < of the total hit damage to your IS when you pick them up. SUPPLY Crates Some missions require you to collect supplies. Be sure you collect any supply crates you come across. WEAPON Crates New IS weapons are sometimes packed in distinctive crates. Pick up any weapon crates you find to equip your IS with weapons for later missions. NOTE: If you find a lot of "empty" crates in a mission, try selecting different weapons for that mission the next time you play. You may find that those "empty" crates are not so empty if you have the right weapons with you... BUILDINGS Buildings are a major part of urban combat. Buildings can help you by providing cover from enemies, or containing valuable crates. Factory These buildings often contain repair crates. They are quite sturdy. Warehouse Warehouses may have crates in them. Some warehouses are quite sturdy, others are fairly weak. Residential Block These buildings are not too strong, but rarely have any crates in them. Most of the population lives in buildings like these. House They are extremely fragile, and never contain crates. They're fun to step on. Water Tower These buildings are fragile structures with no crates inside. Fuel Tanks These buildings are sturdy, but explode when destroyed. The explosion will damage nearby buildings and enemies, and may even set off other fuel tanks in a chain reaction! You can be damaged by exploding fuel tanks, so be careful. Repair crates are occasionally found in the wreckage of fuel tanks. Skyscrapers These massive buildings are where the corporate management works - they're everywhere - and they're quite sturdy. You can occasionally find crates in them. Control Towers These towers coordinate enemy attacks. They are sometimes placed near objectives. Power Plant These incredibly sturdy buildings are found in industrial areas. They often contain crates. GAME SCREEN Weapon Mounts Shows you what weapons your IS is equipped with. The vertical bar indicates how much ammo the currently selected weapon has. Weapon Selected Shows what weapon is currently selected. Hits Bar Shows how much damage your IS can take before it is destroyed. Radar Shows the position of nearby enemies. You are in the center of the radar, so it can show enemies behind you. Different colors indicate different enemy types. Text Window Shows important text messages, like what kind of ammunition you just picked up. Warning Light Flashes if your Iron Soldier has taken too much damage. MISSION BRIEFINGS PLANT CLOSURE Terrorists are using abandoned factories outside of town to build a new high speed walker. Destroy the main industrial installations in the desert. RAT TRAP Spies have found warehouses used by PENTA terrorists to hide illegal weapons. They are located on a small isle and defended by enemy troops. Destroy all buildings on this isle and try to capture the weapons stored there. SUPPLY RUN PENTA troops are massing in a small city. Raid their camp and destroy the warehouses on the island to capture their supplies. FIELD OF FIRE PENTA has launched a surprise attack on the UR. Protect the main skyscrapers against the enemy forces anddestroy all SATYR walkers. ROAD BLOCK Criminals are hijacking our transport trucks by blocking off their travel routes. Clear the routes and protect the trucks from harm until they can make it out off the city. BOMB SQUAD Industrial terrorists have placed car bombs throughout the city. Destroy these cars before too many of the bombs can go off. DUCK HUNT PENTA troops are attacking the UR's main harbor. Locate and destroy all enemy ships before the enemy can cause greater damage to the city. GROUNDED An illegal PENTA military airbase has been discovered within striking range of UR territory. Destroy the airbase before they can launch all of the attack planes. FILL'ER UP Enemy agents are sabotaging our transports. Protect the truck convoy from enemy fire. At least two trucks have to reach their destination to complete this mission. A BRIDGE TOO FAR PENTA backed terrorists are driving bomb-laden trucks through the city. Stop the trucks before they can destroy their targets. ACID RAIN PENTA troops are trying to capture a major industrial center by air drop. Stop this attack by destroying all their ground forces. OUT GO THE LIGHTS An automated defense system has gone berserk. Shut it down by destroying the four power plants delivering its energy. AIR PATROL Destroy all the warehouses in the city and collect the supplies found there. But be warned: PENTA has called an air strike against your Iron Soldier. REBEL YELL Terrorists have taken control of two Iron Soldier units on the outskirts of the UR. Destroy the two units before they begin damaging buildings inside UR territory. CORPORATE WAR PENTA has build a military base dangerously close to United Republic territory. Don't leave a single building standing! SEA STRIKE Find and destroy all enemy ships before they can escape. A newly developed ground transport system will help you. SAFETY CHECK PENTA has built a fortress to protect their supplies against UR attacks. Destroy their defense system and capture all items they are storing inside. ARCHIPELAGO PENTA has built a very large industrial complex consisting of several islands. Destroy all factories, fuel tanks and warehouses to stop their weapon production. DRIVE THRU Once again PENTA is attacking our transports to slow down our weapon production. Protect the transports and stop the enemy attacks by destroying the walkers coordinating their illegal activities. At least 3 trucks have to survive. IRON GHOST Our Agents have found PENTA's well protected headquarters on an island. They are building a new weapon called the COLD IRON GUNNER there. Destroy this unit before PENTA is able to complete the weapon and uses it to crush the UR. --==--==--==--==-- || Towers II Hints || By: Vince Valenti and Jag Jaeger \__// email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- [These hints are from the JV Games web page <http://www.jvgames.com>. WARNING: These hints can be major spoilers... so read at your own risk!] 1. How do you unlock tht to do next! 2. I am wandering around the first 3 levels, and I can't go farther? In the throne room, behind the gold doors, is a locked secret door. No key will unlock that door, but there is something in that very same room that will. 3. I'm on the 2nd level in the chain room, what order do I pull the chains in? One of the thieves gives you a hint on which chain to pull first. You know what chain to pull last by looking at the punctuation of the phrase on the scroll. Then it's just a matter of finding out which order to pull the other two chain levers in. Remember, it's a poem. If you make a mistake, you can always pull the reset chain, and try again. 4. There are 3 Iron Golems, guarding an entrance, that I can't kill! How do I get past them? Those Iron Golems are pretty tough. In fact, chances are that nothing you possess right now can even hurt them. So, our best advice it to leave them be; at least for now. 5. Is there a trick to getting rid of the boulders in the Earth Elemental Room? The four plates on the floor act as combinations to open up all the passage ways, two steps at a time. 6. What do you do with those tornado looking creatures (Air Elementals), they are not affected by anything? They are made of air, everything goes through them. You need to find a spell that can affect air. Talk to the thief, down a pit, in the Earth Elemental area. You know, Earth Elementals, those creatures with no legs that hit really hard! Don't forget to make sure you have a way back up the pit, or you'll be trapped just like the thief. 7. How do you remove the sword from the boulder in the Fire Elemental area? You must talk to another thief, this time down a pit in the domain of the Air Elementals. 8. I fully charged the Mace, but there is a door in the Water Elemental area that I can't unlock! When you teleported into the library, there was a scroll that talked about the mishap on the upper levels, and how it was resolved. It read in part, "... Using the Mace, I have sealed the only exits to those floors. The Mace of Elements, which alone can unlock the door, has been drained..." 9. I have been eliminating the creatures in the undead level, and I have come across several Bleached Bones. What do I do with them? These bones are the remains of the council members of Lamini. You must find a way to bring them back, so that you might gather some information from them. The scribe mentions foul green liquid that Daggan used to raise the dead. Find it, and bones will be no more. 10. I am finding pieces of a sword, what do I do with them? There are three pieces of the Holy Sword, which you must mend. Sir Mordred makes reference to the "raw energy" that was created by Salvon as he tried to break free of his imprisonment. This energy can mend the sword. 11. Niniane keeps asking for a diamond, black pearl, and bloodstone. Where do I find them? Back in the Elemental's domain, there are diamonds and pearls with the Earth Elementals and Bloodstones with the Fire Elementals. 12. I made my way to level 8, and I have not been able to progress further. What do I do? You must be struck by two forms of energy to unlock the secret door. The only place where this can occur, is the same place where you activated that energy. Then you must find the secret door, which is marked between lights. 13. How do I open the gate on level 8, after the secret door? Jared has the key. Did you revive him? 14. Salvon does not seem affected by anything that I possess. How do I get rid of him? Salvon cannot be hurt by anything, except the Holy Sword and Aura of Death. You cannot advance until Salvon is banished once again. 15. I just passed Salvon, when I came across an Iron Golem. I can't seem able to pass him, the door behind him is locked and he seems difficult to kill. This Golem is just like the ones at the entrance of the Library. Since he is made of iron, very little affects him. You must either use the Rust Sword, found from the scribe on level 6, or lightning to damage him. The plate will open the door, but you are too light to trigger it. The Golem must be killed on the plate to keep the door open. 16. How does one unlock the door to gain entrance into the treasury? You don't! The treasury is just a red herring. 17. Around the perimeter of level 9, there are streams of lighting coming toward you, how do you get around it? You must talk to the Marlands on this level and trade an item that will help you along. Several of them will offer you something in exchange for an item, or a favor. 18. There is a secret locked door on level 9 that I cannot get into. How do I open the door. You have to first get a key from one of the Marlands, on the level above. He is not easily accessible, and he is behind a secret door. 19. I gave this Marland one of the two crystal balls, and he gave me a rainbow key, what do I do now? That rainbow key is how you gain access to Daggan's secret office on level 9. 20. Some Marland keeps rambling about tests in the Library. What tests? What library? Back down on the third level there were 3 Iron Golems guarding a door that you could not open. Well now you should have a spell and/or weapon to get past them. But, before you go down there, you will need 3 bronze keys. One is in Daggan's office, another is held by the skeleton in the undead levels, and a thief is holding one down a pit in the lower levels. The 4th key is held by one of the very golems guarding the entrance to the library. 21. I am on the top floor of the tower, and my path is blocked by a blue door and eight chains. What is the combination of these chains? One of the Marlands on the 10th level talks about that floor being the key. Well, that floor is the key to these chains. There are eight boxed rooms that correspond to the eight chains on this level. You must find out which chains to pull. --==--==--==--==-- || Terry L. Grantham || Interview By: Clay Halliwell \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- Terry L. Grantham is the CEO of Telegames, Inc., the company which has, in recent months, published Breakout 2000, Towers II, Iron Soldier 2, and World Tour Racing-- games which would have otherwise been lost with the fall of Atari. [JEO] How long has Telegames been selling/producing games for the Atari platform? [Terry L. Grantham] We began with the Atari 2600 in 1982 when we were just a contract development company working for the major players at that time. Naturally, our development evolved with the subsequent generations of Atari machines: 5200, 7800, Lynx, and Jaguar. We began publishing and direct mail retailing in 1986 under the TELEGAMES name, and have been doing this continuously since that time. In 1986, our contract development group became TELEGAMES CDG. [JEO] How much of your support of the Atari platform is business sense, and how much is simple love of Atari? [TLG] With hindsight being perfect, it appears 100% must have been love because 0% has been justified as the result of business sense. Seriously though, Atari had the technological lead at every product's release, so we reasonably predicted a market success. However, their marketing strategy was consistently ineffective in leading the consumer to the "better mousetrap". Thus GameBoy and Game Gear surpassed the superior Lynx and so on with Nintendo, Sega, and Sony regarding Jaguar. [JEO] Would you describe yourself as an Atari fan? [TLG] Just from the dedicated game console standpoint. I have owned and still play every Atari machine from 2600 thru Jag. Our development group did use Atari 800's with a proprietary emulator for video game development in the early 1980's and ST's for early Jag development. [JEO] What became of Ultimate Brain Games and World Class Cricket? [TLG] Development was suspended when it became obvious that Atari was going to exit the market. The next question would be if they could be completed now. The answer to that question is the same that must be given regarding all future releases: it must be financially feasible for us to bring additional products to market. The sales results of the six announced products will determine if additional products are brought forth. [JEO] Why has Telegames been so secretive about the titles they purchased from Atari? [TLG] Simply because we make it a practice to do what we say, thus we must only say what we have committed to do. Any releases beyond the six announced games are dependent on sales results as discussed above. What good does it do to talk about future things that might not happen? Besides, the Internet has become a rumor-mongers dream, and we answer too much phantasy e-mail now. [JEO] Can you at least confirm or deny that Telegames is in possession of additional 100% complete Jaguar titles? [TLG] Let's simply say that more titles are available for the Jag if the market conditions support the financial commitment for additional releases. [JEO] Of the games you own the rights to that aren't complete, any chance of Telegames funding their completion? [TLG] Please see above. [JEO] How did Telegames come by the rights to publish Atari's unreleased games? [TLG] Through negotiation with Atari/JTS. We contacted Atari/JTS because we wanted to try to service the abandoned Jaguar market and keep an exceptional gaming platform alive. [JEO] Is Atari easier to deal with now that the Tramiels are gone? [TLG] Atari/JTS has been a bit easier to deal with, simply because there are fewer people in the decision making loop. [JEO] Have Breakout 2000 and Towers II been profitable? [TLG] Not in financial terms. To date, we have not recovered our investment much less made a profit. But what we have done is seemingly rekindled interest in the Jaguar which should be to everyone's future benefit. This interest should result in additional sales of other releases plus continued sales of B2K and TII as new Jaguar owners join us. [JEO] Telegames currently won't publish Skyhammer because it's a 32 megabit cart, and therefore too expensive to risk manufacturing. With your current pricing structure, how much would a 32 meg game sell for? [TLG] Approximately $99 retail. [JEO] Ouch! Can you say what size production runs you've done on the recent releases? [TLG] No, confidential. [JEO] What was the problem with creating the IS2 glass masters? [TLG] The proprietary mastering software at the "official" replicator has experienced a number of revisions since the last mastering for Atari. These revisions did not consider the Jag technology. [JEO] Can this problem be resolved, or will World Tour Racing be published on CD-R as well? [TLG] It now appears that the mastering software can be properly modified. [JEO] Any chance of a glass-mastered run of IS2? [TLG] With properly upgraded mastering software at the replicator, yes. [JEO] There's been a lot of concern that CD-R's will deteriorate much more quickly than standard CD's. What's the expected functional lifespan of the CD-R's used for IS2? [TLG] The concern is unwarranted. CD-R's will last as long as replicated CD's with the same proper use and handling. Besides, the Gold CD-R's will be a collector's item over the silver replicated CD's. [JEO] What's the reasoning behind the release schedule? By releasing the two CD titles back-to-back, you're making non CD owners wait an awful long time. [TLG] Originally, the plan was to actually get more products into the market quicker, however, when Murphy's Law reared its ugly head with the mastering problems, everything changed. [JEO] Have you been sending out review copies to the videogaming press? [TLG] Yes, to consumer magazines as well as online sites. [JEO] Do you have all the cheat codes for IS2? Do you have a "release schedule" worked out? [TLG] Yes. No release schedule on leaking cheats yet. [JEO] Any truth to the rumor that Iron Soldier 2 is coming out on the Playstation? [TLG] We are trying to find a major publisher for the PSX and PC versions of IS2. [JEO] Then IS2 already exists for the Playstation and PC? [TLG] Development has started on a limited basis. [JEO] Speaking of rumors... just for the record, is there a snowball's chance in Tijuana that Telegames will ever publish any VoiceModem or JagVR titles? [TLG] Really doubtful at this point. [JEO] Have you been approached by any third-party Jag developers to publish their titles? Are you interested? [TLG] By a few, but not many. We are interested in any QUALITY product for Jaguar. Thanks for your effort in keeping the Jaguar alive and providing accurate information to the other Atari loyalists out there. Regards, Terry L. Grantham --==--==--==--==-- || James "Purple" Hampton on Highlander || Interview By: Dimitri M. LaBarge \__// email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- [This is a very old interview Travis Guy dug up, which was originally buried for various reasons. Anyway, here it is now! --Ed.] NOTE: The following is an "online" interview as conducted between Dimitri M. LaBarge of Atari Explorer Online (AEO), and James "Purple" Hampton, Producer for Atari (see Alin Vs. Predator for the Jaguar) and the Highlander series. The development team for the project is Lore Design Ltd. from England, as led by Steve Mitchell (and is who Purple refers to when he says "we"). Mr. Hampton agreed to this interview on the development of Highlander with AEO several months ago. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Development =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [AEO] Can you let us know about when you started to develop Highlander? [James "Purple" Hampton] The license for an Animated Series based on the Highlander mythos was first passed by Atari in December 1993. [AEO] Who came up with the suggestion to develop this project? [JPH] Well, there really wasn't much in the way of "suggestions" needed to know that we wanted to do SOMETHING having to do with the Highlander series. There were a number of people at Atari who were fans of the motion pictures and I jumped at the chance to work with such a storyline. [AEO] What were some ideas about what the Highlander game should play like originally? Were there major differences from how the project eventually evolved? [JPH] The original ideas for the Highlander game were along the lines of a pre-rendered one-on-one fighting game much like what Rise of the Robots was doing (using SGI style characters for the animation frames). But when we started to do our homework, we found out what Rise discovered the hard way. You simply cannot do a decent one-on-one fighting game with the RAM limitations imposed by consoles. If you want to include true-color artwork (16-bit or higher), good-sized characters (that fill at least 1/3 of the screen), and enough moves to make the game competitive and interesting you need more than 2 megs of RAM to do it. We thought about compromising some of the details, but couldn't come to any solution we could live with. We had grown pretty tired of fighters anyway, and turned our sights toward doing it as an adventure game... [AEO] Please tell us a little bit about the actual process of the early development of this title. Is there a major difference in designing the concept of a licensed game, as opposed to starting a new title entirely from scratch? [JPH] Licenses and original titles both have their strengths and weaknesses. A license for a title can give you a huge amount of source material to work from, and a lot of the basic plot structure and production design work is done for you. The downside can be that the licensor (the company that owns the property) can be very restrictive with what can and can't be done with the materials, sometimes leaving very little room for "artistic license." In the case of Highlander, Ellen Echelman of Bohbot Entertainment - the VP of the Licensing group, was very supportive with what we wanted to do in the project and has been very helpful in getting us everything we need. An original title on the other hand allows you a huge amount of freedom in deciding what the content of the game is. The storyline, environments and characters are entirely up to you to decide. The downside to original titles is that the production design time can take quite a while to get it "right", and software publishers tend to consider original titles a little bit more of a "risk" as there's no recognizable "name-brand" appeal. The main difference between the two is that in a license you must think in terms to incorporate all of the elements that people liked in the original material (such as swordfighting in the Highlander movies), while in an original title you must create that interest on your own without the support of a pre-existing story that the public is familiar with. I've done games for a couple of big-name licenses so far, so I'd love to take a stab at doing an original game "right" next. [AEO] What contact and arrangements were necessary with the producers and creators of the original Highlander program? What input did they have in the development process? [JPH] We've had a great deal of contact with Gaumont Television, the French animation studio who are the creators of the Highlander Animated Series. They provided us with a whopping amount of source material (scripts, synopsises, storyboards, color slides, DAT's of music and dialogue, videotapes, etc...) and have been very supportive to the Atari CD project. In fact, Chris Blache, the Production manager for Gaumont, arranged for a full time staff member (hi Pascal!) to be available to help out Jeff Gatrall, a senior animator at Atari, when he was "on location" gathering source material at the Gaumont offices in Paris for a few weeks last fall. Gaumont's input beyond this came in the form of the content of the series itself, as it inspired most of the storylines we wanted to include in the game. Further, they helped us develop the "map of the Highlander world", which in terms of the games' reality, can be very important. [AEO] When did you decide to make Highlander a series of games? How will future CDs in the series differ from the first one? [JPH] It was a fateful day in the middle of the summer of 94... after studying the content for the Animated series over and over, we reached the conclusion that there just wasn't any nice way to chop down the overall storyline to fit within one game. This combined with a strong desire to incorporate the just emerging Motion Capture technology into the gameplay, we decided to make a bold pitch to make the game huge. Three discs huge. Enough space and backing to do the content justice. The future discs will differ from the first in the size of the adventures and complexity of the features we include. Disc One is meant to be an introduction to the Highlander universe, with a shorter, self-contained story that is based on the first episode of the animated series. The second disc expands into a much larger adventure into the Highlander world. The Player will guide the lead character, a young Quentin Macleod on his quest to gain the knowledge and "quickening" of other immortals in the land. This will prepare him for his final adventure in Disc Three where Quentin must have his ultimate showdown with Lord Kortan, the evil force that has ruled the planet for seven centuries. We intend on including a straightforward one-on-one, polygon rendered, swordfighting game as part of the final battle! [AEO] Are there any tools and design experiences that will be useful in other Jaguar games? Have other developers incorporated what you've learned into their games? How has the development process of this game been different from other titles? [JPH] The Highlander series is different from most development processes in terms of the scope of the project. When Atari had the foresight to make the big leap into doing Highlander to the magnitude we were after, they were committing themselves to a new approach to developing games. By utilizing the talents of six dedicated programmers, each working individually on modular code that is put together to form a cohesive whole, we were able to accomplish a great deal of work in a relatively short amount of time. By having some of the programmers be dedicated to creating "user-friendly" software tools for non-programmer types to use, we were able to put a great deal of power over the content of the game into the hands of the artists and designers on the project, and leave the programmers' hands free to work on more code. The best thing about this code is that it's fully transplantable and ready to be used for any future projects that Atari may have in mind. While I can't think of any titles that have utilized the software tools or programming engine we've developed yet, we're all hoping that Atari will be able to capitalize on their investment and continue to take the technology further. =-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Gameplay =-=-=-=-=-=-= [AEO] Can you tell us a bit about the gameplay of Highlander? Is it similar in play to other games out there? [JPH] The Highlander series is being done in a genre of game that is getting to be known as a 3D Adventure. Controlling a true-3D character, the Player must make their way through the sets and environments as displayed by a series of changing cinematic camera angles. The gameplay in the Highlander series is similar to the classic Infograme's Alone in the Dark series seen on the PC (and as seen recently in another PC game entitled Estatica). We wanted to make our improvements to the genre by making the controls easier to handle, adding pre-rendered, 3D true-color backgrounds, and animating the polygon characters using the lifelike movements you get from a Motion Analysis system. [AEO] Is there a goal to be achieved in the game, or is the Highlander series one long continuing story? [JPH] The Highlander series as a whole, has the ultimate goal of the Player, as Quentin Macleod, defeating the evil Lord Kortan. This will make Quentin the last immortal and give him "the prize", which is all of man's knowledge that has been lost in a "Great Catastrophe." (Once done, Quentin has the huge responsibility of giving back to the human race all of the information that the post-apocalyptic society has lost.) Defeating Kortan will be no easy task, and will require an experienced warrior to succeed. As the project is a series of games, we will give Quentin (the Player character) a number of challenges he must overcome before he faces Kortan. For instance, in the first disc, Quentin must rescue his clan, which Kortan has taken to his fortress city of Mogonda to be slaves. [AEO] What is the basic story of the first disc? Can you give us a preview of the stories on the other discs? [JPH] The story for the first disc pretty much follows the plotline of the first episode of the animated series - The Last of the Macleods. The background for the Animated and Game Series follows: The world has fallen to ruin after a "Great Catastrophe" has occurred. The immortals who populate this earth get together on the Hill of Oaths, taking a vow to lay down their arms and stop fighting each other, so that they can use their knowledge to help mankind. By taking this vow, they become what is known as Jettators. Kortan, an immortal who refuses to take the vow, declares himself the last, and lays his claim to the "prize" - supreme knowledge and absolute power. He is warned by the Jettators that there will be another immortal who will come, one not bound by the Jettators' vow, and can stop Kortan in his evil reign. Seven centuries pass until a young Quentin Macleod, the next Highlander, first discovers he is an immortal. This is where the Player takes control in the first disc and the adventure begins. Quentin must first find Ramirez, who has been holding onto the Macleod sword waiting for Quentin's arrival. Ramirez will be at Quentin's side to train and advise the young Highlander throughout the series. After meeting Ramirez, Quentin must go to Kortan's fortress-city of Mogonda, where the Dundee clan he has known as his family has been taken prisoner for use as slaves. Being inexperienced, this is a dangerous undertaking as the road to Mogonda is patrolled heavily by Kortan's Hunter Patrols, who if they find the Highlander, will take him straight to Kortan to end this adventure all too soon. The storylines for the later discs will follow Quentin through a "growing- up" period, where he seeks out other immortals to gain their knowledge, experience and "quickening." On the way to his final destination, Quentin will have to overcome a great deal of dangers and gain the wisdom only an experienced warrior can have. Once ready, Quentin will make his way back to Mogonda to confront Lord Kortan and challenge him to a duel to the end, as, "there can be only one!" [AEO] Are the stories from the games based on the series, or are they totally original? [JPH] The first disc follows the story of the first episode, The Last of the Macleods pretty closely. The later discs will borrow heavily from the Animated Series (as we want to be as faithful to the original material as we can be), but we are including some new, original plot threads and twists to make the game series unique. [AEO] Is this a one or two person game? Will there be compatibility with the CatBox or JagModem? [JPH] Discs One and Two will strictly be one-player adventure games. But for Disc Three we intend to include a one-on-one polygon swordfighting game (in addition to the one-player adventure), that will definitely be playable with two players. As far as the JagModem or CatBox are concerned, all we can say is - we hope so!! [AEO] Will the game be compatible with the new controller being designed? [JPH] We hope to be compatible with the new six button controller. Those extra three buttons will be especially useful for the one-on-one fighting game segment of Disc Three. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Sound and Graphics =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [AEO] How many colors does the game use? [JPH] The backgrounds are "true-color", using 65,000 colors, while the characters are limited only by the number of polygon faces available to the model. [AEO] Are there any interesting things you could tell us about some of the visual effects in the game? [JPH] Where do I start? When we committed to doing the "big" three-disc project, it enabled us to push every aspect of the art to the extreme. Beyond the beautiful backgrounds we were able to create, it allowed us to purchase a motion analysis system. Motion capture for years has been used in medical and sports medicine, but with some alternative thinking applied, the data gained by using such a system can be applied to animation for videogames as well. Motion capture is the process where you put a number of reflective markers on a live actor. You then have the actor perform their moves within a space surrounded by six specially designed cameras that read only the points of the markers. This information is then processed and translated into wireframe "skeletal" data which can then be used for manipulating and moving a 3D rendered person. For the Highlander project on the Jaguar we had to develop a custom tool set that would allow us to take the data from the motion capture system and make it readable for the Jaguar rendered characters. Combine this with "skinning" the model (where the polygons fill out the characters so there are no gaps or holes in their bodies), and applying a "tweening" process (where the code allows for smooth transitions between moves) and what you get are true 3D characters that move like real people! [AEO] As this is a CD-ROM game, are you featuring any FMV? If so, how does it compare with FMV as seen on other systems? [JPH] Can you have a CD-ROM game without gratuitous FMV? Just kidding, yes we incorporate a lot of the animated series as Cinepakked cut-scenes. These sequences really help us tell the story of the game. Our goal has been to intercut the FMV scenes at enough appropriate times so that the Player will enjoy the break from gameplay, but not be intrusive in playing the game. For people who've played the game before, we've made sure to include a control to bypass any and all cut-scenes that they want to skip. [AEO] Have you designed any new intros and rendered scenes for the game? [JPH] In fact we are working on the new intro for the game right now! By having the sets created in a 3D rendering package, it's allowing us to generate a number of tracking fly-by shots to help us establish a setting or an area. Not to mention that these sequences look stunning!!! 3D rendered art is a wonderful thing... [AEO] Are the sound effects original or digitized from the series? [JPH] We have been supplied a great deal of sound effects used in the animated series directly from Bell X-1, the group that was doing the sound effect work for Gaumont Television. In addition, we are creating some original material needed to work within some of the restraints of the system, like interesting music and background "ambiance" made out of loops less than three seconds long! [AEO] Have actors from the Highlander series contributed to the game? Have their voices been taken from the series, and is there any new dialogue specifically recorded for the game? If so, can you tell us a little about the dubbing session and process? [JPH] We actually had so much original dialogue we wanted to record, that we had to have a separate recording session for the game! Working with Stephanie Kravos of Nelvana in Toronto, we were able to bring in the members of the Animated Series cast to record the game specific script we had developed. The session occurred in the middle of December last year, during the harsh side of a "cold snap" in Canada - I was glad to be in warm and sunny California for that bit of the game's development. We are looking to do the same for Discs Two and Three. [AEO] What screen frame rate are you hoping to achieve in the final product? [JPH] The frame rate will vary from screen to screen, changing according to what kind of camera angle is used (long shots will move faster than close- ups) and the number of characters on the screen at the time (right now we are handling up to five characters on the screen at one time!) [AEO] Have the characters in the game been designed with original artwork, or digitized directly from the series? [JPH] We based the characters on the production design used in the Animated Series, but as we have the limitation that we need to render them in real- time, they had to be constructed out of a low number of polygons (roughly 300 polygons per character). While the result of this look is somewhat abstract, I feel that when you combine the art with the motion capture data to animate them, they look and "feel" real. [AEO] How many backgrounds from the series are you using in the game? How are these incorporated? Have any new backgrounds been designed for the game? [JPH] All of the backgrounds are created using 3D pre-rendered sets in AutoDesk's 3D Studio. This allowed us to do a lot of different practical things. The process was this. We would take a piece of the original production design from Gaumont (with too many pieces to count!), and model it as a 3D "set." We then would position the "virtual camera" in the rendering package in as many different angles as we wanted (this allowed us to make changes and adjustments really easy!) and render each "frame." Once this was done, the artist would give the 3D data of the set to the programmers so that we can have "pixel-perfect Z-buffering" (meaning the objects in the foreground would perfectly mask the characters as they passed behind them). Finally, the artists would return to their set and use a collision mapping tool to provide the programmers with the collision data needed to define the surfaces, slopes, and stairs that the characters can walk on. We did create some original areas needed to fill out the Highlander universe, but did so in the style of the Animated Series. [AEO] If there is music, who is composing it for Highlander? Is it original, or based on themes from the series? Can you tell us a little about what goes into the music design for a video game such as Highlander? [JPH] We are going to utilize the music from the Animated Series when we can, but most of the in-game music will be original material. The biggest thing to keep in mind when you are considering music in a game, is how much space (which directly relates to how much time) do you have to work with. After that is determined, you then make the choices of style and direction. With that in mind, we decided to create "ambient" styles of music, suited for the mood of the action in each scene. This will be done using loops of audio that are no more than three seconds long!! (Which makes it a real challenge to have it sound interesting...) =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= //// Miscellaneous =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= [AEO] Can you tell us a little about who's on the design team for Highlander, and what they've worked on before? How has producing Highlander been different from what you've produced before? [JPH] The design and development group is an outfit called Lore Design Limited, located in the Northwest corner of England. The team of 15 people is headed up by director Steve Mitchell, whom I worked closely with on one of Lore's Lynx based games. The biggest difference with producing Highlander as opposed to other games I've done before, is the sheer scope of the project. There's so much to do, and so little time to do it in, yet with 15 hard-working, talented people giving everything they've got, you can actually get a lot done. It's been one of the best development cycles I've participated in. I'm thankful to Atari for having the faith and belief in us to allow us to put the game together in the way we knew was the "right" way to do it. [AEO] When do you estimate that Highlander will be released, and at about what price? [JPH] We expect Highlander Disc One to be released into manufacturing sometime in May (so it should be in shops no later than June!!). The other two discs will be finished over the summer, but Atari will most likely hold these back and release them over a period of time (probably by Christmas later this year). As to the pricing, I'm really not sure. I spend so much time working on the games, I tend to be "out of the loop" on things like that. [AEO] Have there been any discussions as to making Highlander the pack-in game for the JagCD? [JPH] I've been pushing for Highlander Disc One to be the pack-in game for the JagCD, but ultimately it's a decision that Atari's upper management has to make. We've all got our fingers crossed though! [AEO] Well, I hope that these haven't been =too= many questions for you. <g> There's a lot of questions and excitement around this game, and I think this list of questions reflects the interest in it. Many thanks! --==--==--==--==-- || Atari Games on Area 51 || Interview By: Clay Halliwell \__// firstname.lastname@example.org ------------------------------------------- When the Jaguar was first introduced, there was all sorts of talk about other uses for its chipset-- set-top boxes, PC cards, arcade games... In the end, only the last item bore fruit. Area 51, one of the most successful titles to come out of Atari Games in recent years, runs on a hardware architecture known as "Co-Jag", a modified version of the Atari Jaguar. The details of this system have remained a mystery... until now. This interview was assembled from a series of e-mail exchanges between myself and Atari Games Public Relations Manager Derryl D. DePriest, with technical backup from Co-Jag Hardware Engineer Brian McKee. Be sure to visit Atari Games' web site at <www.atarigames.com>. [JEO] First, the big question: What does the "Co-" in "Co-Jag" stand for? [AG] It's simpler than you think: Coin-Op. [JEO] How did the whole idea of using Jaguar hardware in an arcade coin-op come about? [Atari Games] At the time, we were looking for inexpensive hardware for coin-ops, and most of the stuff we were developing in-house was expensive and high-end (in the end, all of our high-end hardware development was fruitless, and when Midway bought us last spring we quickly converted three of our titles to Midway's new hardware built around the 3Dfx chipset. Anyway...). Naturally, since so much was touted about the Jaguar and 3DO chipsets, we investigated both of those for arcade suitability. They both offered features we thought would be acceptable, and we designed hardware around them, adding the elements that we felt were needed for an arcade game at that time. [JEO] Does the Area 51 sequel (what was that title?) run on Co-Jag hardware? [AG] Maximum Force, and yes. It is not a sequel of sorts (a true thematic sequel is in development right now). For the true sequel, we will try to sync up with the plotlines being developed for the Area 51 film currently in development by New Line. I don't know a projected release date, but I think it will be Fall '98. [JEO] Any relation between Max Force and Nerf Max Force? [AG] You do know your licenses (or you have kids!) [Ahem... no. --Ed.]. No relation, except we realized that if Maximum Force became a "property" like Area 51, we would be shutting ourselves out of categories like toys if there was licensee interest. We decided that the name was more important in this case than clearing merchandising categories (which can be an onerous task since many strong names can bear similarities to names already taken in other categories). I don't think that movie studios will be knocking on our door for the rights to a Max Force movie or toys, unlike Area 51. The story just isn't unique enough. The game was inspired by movies like True Lies, Die Hard, Under Siege, etc., which is why it bears such a strong resemblance to them thematically. [JEO] What exactly are the differences between the consumer Jaguar and the Co-Jag hardware? [AG] The arcade version has a faster processor that can run independently of the Jag chips, two times as much RAM (three times as much in the case of Max Force), and, of course, a hard drive with 1 gig storage (2 gig for Max Force). [JEO] For the Nintendoheads in the audience, that hard drive capacity is in gigaBYTES, right? <g> [AG] Yes - standard SyQuest or Quantum drives. [JEO] Can you say exactly what kind of processor was added, and how fast it is? [AG] Area 51 had a split run: the first batch was 68ecO20, and the second batch was R3K. Max Force uses R3K. I believe they all run at 25 MHz. [JEO] I'm not familiar with any of these chips. Who makes them? Are they instruction-compatible with some other more well-known chips? [AG] They are MIPS/SGI processors designed and manufactured by IDT. They are instruction set compatible with SGI workstations. [JEO] What is the primary function of the extra processor? [AG] It's not extra, it replaced the 68ec020, which replaced the 68000. It runs all the game logic. [JEO] Other than the extra CPU and RAM, were any of the other standard Jag components beefed up or accelerated? [AG] No. Not possible. [JEO] Does Area 51 use any special features of the Jag? It looks like it's basically being used as an FMV playback machine. Although, I'm still uncertain how you managed to change elements of a prerecorded video stream (barrels, windows, etc.). Overlaid sprites perhaps? [AG] Area 51 uses all the special features of the Jag to do what it does. The way we do our movies is a secret. [JEO] Did you use any of Atari's Jag development tools for Area 51/Max Force? [AG] No, we developed our own. [JEO] If I open up an Area 51 machine, will I find a stock Jaguar board tucked away in there? [AG] No. [JEO] Was Area 51 planned for home release on the Jaguar? Could the stock Jaguar handle Area 51? [AG] Only in the sense that every product we produce will be ported over to every system that is viable or perceived to be viable at the time of consumer release. Unfortunately, the Jag never developed much of a market share, and while we did release consumer Jag titles, Area 51 was too late to save the system. ; ) [JEO] What video codec was used for Area 51? What color depth does it run at? [AG] The compression-ratio is custom and developed in-house. Our color depth is 15-bit on Area 51. We left 1 bit for Kronn Hunter mode, a secret game play mode. Max Force is a full 16-bit, dropping the secret mode. You can see the difference. [JEO] Were there any other Co-Jag games planned or started? [AG] Yes, a puzzle/character game called "Freeze the Cat." It was a nifty little game, but ultimately too complicated to be supported by today's player base. We are still looking at different options of release for the game on consumer systems. Incidentally, we also had two projects being developed on the 3DO coin-op hardware as well, at the same time as our two Jag products. Both of these turned out to be fruitless, as much for the hardware as the game design. One was a Beavis and Butthead game, which we licensed at the peak of their popularity, and the other was a flying shooter. Both of them only earned mediocre dollars, and they were canned. [JEO] Will the Area 51 sequel also use Co-Jag, or will you be trying to get away from the FMV format to a more Virtua Cop style using the 3Dfx chipset? [AG] We will be using other hardware that can offer us more flexibility. I think we have pushed the Jag as far as we can go, and now I think we need to put other things into the game that will expand the richness of the experience, things that the Jag just wasn't capable of. Have I been vague enough? : ) [JEO] Was anyone on the Area 51 programming team involved in any released Jaguar games? [AG] Nope. [JEO] Is it true a Tempest 2000 coin-op was considered at one time? And if so, why didn't it happen? [AG] Yes, we considered it briefly. Incidentally, some rumors got started around that time that we weren't interested in the game because "Atari Games only wanted fighters and drivers." We actually thought that, given the arcade climate at the time, that the game wouldn't earn much money as a coin-op. We were also testing some other games at the time that could be called "niche" games, and they were doing horribly. We shut down a lot of projects around then and refocused on the core arcade staples, being drivers, shooters, fighters, and sports. The arcade marketplace is still unfriendly to niche games, which is why players lament the lack of variety in the arcades. The trend toward large, glossy simulators like the Daytonas, the Alpine Racers, and the Wave Runners have actually helped us rebuild the arcade climate, but it is still nowhere near what it was a decade ago, where games like 720 and Cyberball had a strong following. We think now we can take a chance on some other game designs, but we are still being cautious - the arcade business is really a "hit" driven mentality. If your game doesn't earn enough money - you die. --==--==--==--==-- || Arcade Review: Missile Command VR || By: Mark "Stingray" Santora \__// email@example.com -------------------------------------------------------------- This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the nuptials of two of my friends [Scott and Steph! --Ed.] in Las Vegas. While there I lost money at the casinos and managed to even check out a couple of the "high class" arcades. Excalibur had Galaxian 3. Kinda reminded me of Starblade in a room with 4 people. I wasn't that impressed. Needless to say I didn't play it. However the MGM Grand had 8 Virtuality set ups. Two played a fighting game, two played Datcyl Nightmare, two had Zone Hunter, and the final two had Missile Command VR. Needless to say I plunked down my $5 to play. Here's what I thought... Here, we all know this game as Missile Command 2000. However, this wasn't just 2000. It was "tweaked" to make it better. //// The Headsets Before the game, let's talk about the headsets. They are the Jaguar VR displays. They are laid out exactly how the Jag's were to be. There is one screen and two eyepieces that are individually focused. It was sharp except that it tended to bleed off at the edges. Also the audio proved to be rather poor. If these were released on the market would I have bought one? No. I could easily find $200+ to blow somewhere else... Remember the Sega Activator? Just kidding. //// The Game Anyway, like I said it looks as if the game has been tweaked. First, it is MUCH harder than the Jag version. The frame rate is rather low to be immersed in VR. Also everything under the sun has been texture mapped. This would be fine if you could see it. There are three levels (at least I got to the boss on the 3rd level). They are exactly like the Jag's versions - underwater, cloud city, and space. The graphics have been bumped up a bit. There are seven cities in the center and you travel the outside rim. Notice I said you TRAVEL the outside rim. Remember in the Jaguar version how you could decide which base you wanted to shoot from? Well not now. Now you rotate in a counter-clockwise motion. Imagine trying to keep a lock on anything. It makes the game frustrating and difficult. There are still powerups and big bosses at the end. They look slightly better than the Jag's. Level 1 - Big Fish. Level 2 - Dragon. Level 3 - Voltron. It just didn't do it for me. Not that the Jag version is the end all and be all that it could be, it was one hell of a step in the right direction. Let's face it, on what other platform are you going to see anything even remotely as solid as MC2K? None! They all want to have the same thing. 3D drive/shooters. Boring. Control is with the two button stick. The top button fires your missiles and the trigger is your unlimited lasers. Powerups are there if you can find them. There was a nice CGI intro for attract mode, but it looked nothing like the game. Basically I think of MCVR as the completed version by Virtuality for the arcades. I'm sure if they had more time, the Jag version would have looked this good. With the Jag controller, the game is significantly better. I wouldn't be surprised if it was being run on a Jag chipset or at least the development system. That's what it FELT like. Side note - it was licensed to Atari Games. Anyway, I spent $5 and didn't walk away with anything other than the idea that someday they will make MCVR into a really kick ass game. But not now. Those wishing for the Jag VR headset, if this is what we were waiting on, be glad it never came. --==--==--==--==-- || 20 Things I Learned from Video Games || Originally By: Gwen Eckman \__// Butchered By: Clay Halliwell -------------------------------------------------------------- 1. There is no problem that cannot be overcome by violence. 2. You can overcome most adversaries simply by having enough quarters. 3. If it moves, KILL IT! 4. Operating any vehicle or weapon is simple and requires no training. 5. "Bosses" always hire henchmen weaker than they are to do their dirty work. 6. If you find food lying on the ground, eat it. 7. You can smash things and get away with it. a. Smashing things doesn't hurt. b. Many nice things are hidden inside other things. 8. When someone dies, they disappear. 9. Money is frequently found lying on the streets. 10. All shopkeepers carry high-tech weaponry. 11. You never run out of bullets, only grenades. 12. Ninjas are common, and fight in public frequently. 13. Whenever huge evil fat men are about to die, the begin flashing red or yellow. 14. When you are born, you're invulnerable for a brief period of time. 15. Although the enemy always has more aircraft than you, they fly in predictable patterns which makes it easier for you to shoot them all down. 16. All women wear revealing clothing and have great bodies. 17. The enemy always leaves weapons and ammo laying around for no other reason than so their bitter enemies can pick them up and defeat them with it. 18. You sustain injury if you shoot innocents. 19. Gang members frequently all look the same, and often have the same names. 20. When driving, do not worry if your vehicle crashes and explodes. A new one will appear in its place. --==--==--==--==-- || || Shutdown ....................... Power off, * + #, EOL, Game Over \__// ----------------------------------------------------------------- 'Til next whenever...! Buzzword Index: Buzzword Occurrences HTTP 36 Texture 11 Bug 8 Polygon 13 Render 15 Network 10 Useless Fact O' The Month: Two of the best arcade shooters on the Jag - Tempest 2000 and Missile Command 3D - are both based on coin-ops created by the same man: David Theurer. Section Which Gave My Spellchecker the Most Trouble: Llatest from Llamaland Until the next issue of JEO, I remain, Your Editor Clay Halliwell <firstname.lastname@example.org> --==--==--==--==-- (This issue printed on recycled photons) --==--==--==--==-- The Law: No Jumping --==--==--==--==-- Avoid Missing Ball For High Score --==--==--==--==-- Where do you want to play Atari today? --==--==--==--==-- Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine is a binomial publication covering the Atari Jaguar community. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise noted at the beginning of the article, to registered Atari user groups and not for profit publications under the following terms only: articles must remain unedited and include the issue number and author at the top of each article reprinted. Other reprints granted upon approval of request. Send requests to <email@example.com>. No issue of Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine may be included on any commercial media, nor uploaded or transmitted to any commercial online service, in whole or in part, by any agent or means, without the expressed consent or permission from the Editor or Publisher of Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine. Opinions presented herein are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, or of the publishers. All material herein is believed accurate at the time of publishing. Aliens are stealing my luggage. --==--==--==--==-- Atari, 400/800, XL/XE, 2600, ST, Mega ST, STe, Mega STe, Atari Falcon030, Blitter, Atari Lynx, ComLynx, Atari Panther, Atari Jaguar, Pong, and the Atari Fuji Symbol are all trademarks or registered trademarks of JTS Corporation. All other trademarks and identifying marks mentioned in this issue belong to their respective owners. --==--==--==--==-- Jaguar Explorer Online Magazine "Your Source for Jaguar News" Copyright (c) 1997, White Space Publishers ****** ** ** ** ** **** :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: J E O ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :: Volume 1, Issue 2 JAGUAR EXPLORER ONLINE July 1, 1997 :: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: -- Novell DOS 7.0 - IBM OS/2 Warp 4.0 Fred Horvat Win95 - Win98 - MagiC 5.03 Free-Net Atari Portfolio Sigop Compuserve ID : firstname.lastname@example.org Atari Classic/LYNX/Jaguar gamer
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