Jaguar Explorer Vol #1 Issue #2

From: Fred Horvat (aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 01/20/98-03:19:23 PM Z

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:          ::
 ::                       ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       E-Mail Request address:              ::
 ::                                                                      ::
 ::       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                                      ::
 ::                                                                      ::

                             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

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.>.  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 


   ||  Jaguar Tackboard
   ||  Confirmed information about Atari's Jaguar
\__//  Compiled from online and official sources

//// Atari Times Jaguar Newsletter

Greg "Fruitman" George <> 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: 

//// 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


Toad Computer's JagTalk

//// 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: <>

With the following as the body message:

subscribe jaguar FirstName LastName

(Where "FirstName" is your real first name and "LastName" is your real last 

You should then soon receive the subscription information. Since the list 
moved, digesting is no longer available.

The actual list address is: <>. 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 <>.

Please do not confuse the Atari Underground mailing list with the Jaguar 
Underground hackers.

//// Jaguar FAQ

Robert Jung <> still maintains the Jaguar FAQ (Frequently 
Asked Questions) file, an updated list of Jaguar specs and facts. The 
Jaguar FAQ is posted to on Usenet around the first of 
every month, and can also be found via FTP, address:, in 
Andy Eddy's /pub/vidgames/faqs directory.

//// Jaguar Cheats and Codes

Clay "No Handle" Halliwell <> 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 

Lonnie "The Mage" Smith <> maintains the Concise Compendium 
of Frequently Asked Codes, Moves, and Cheats (FACMAC). It's available via 
FTP from <>, or from < 

//// 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 <entry$> if you're 
not on Genie). Regular e-mail correspondence with the IAJD should be sent 
to IAJD$ (again, or <iajd$> 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/ 

//// 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  <>
Web    <>

//// 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  <>
Web    <>

//// Buy-Rite Video Games
Voice  919-850-9473
Fax    919-872-7561
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// Demand Systems
Voice  805-482-7900
Orders 800-593-0059
Fax    805-484-3745
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// Electronics Boutique
Voice  800-800-5166
Orders 800-800-0032
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// Flashback Video Games
Mail   2284 Kresge Drive
       Amherst, OH 44001
Voice  216-960-1622
Fax    216-960-1663
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// GameMasters
Mail   14393 E. 14th Street, Suite 208
       San Leandro, CA 94577
Voice  510-483-4263
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// Game Pedler
Voice  801-273-0787 (ask for Internet Sales)
Fax    801-273-1357
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// Games To Go
Mail   7632 Lyndale Avenue So.
       Richfield, MN 55423
Voice  612-798-5879
Fax    612-869-5925
Email  <> (orders)
       <> (info)
Web    <>

//// Hardysoft
Mail   24 Lawnside Drive
       Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Orders 609-883-1083
Fax    609-538-8674
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// STeve's Computer Technologies
Mail   405 Main Street
       Woodland, CA 95695
Voice  916-661-3328
Fax    916-661-1201
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// Telegames
Mail   P.O. Box 901
       Lancaster, Texas 75146
Voice  972-228-0690
Orders 972-224-7200
Fax    972-228-0693 
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// 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  <>
Web    <>

//// 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  <>
Web    <>

//// 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  <>
Web    <>

//// Video Game Advantage
Mail   6861 Anthony Lane
       Parma Heights, OH 44130
Orders 216-843-8815 (24-hr answering machine)
Email  <>
Web    <>

//// 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  <>
Web    <>

//// 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 

////  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 

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, 

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 
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 

-- 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 (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. 
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.>, maintained by Carl Forhan <forhan@>.]

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 

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 

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 <>.]

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 

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).


[] 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 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 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 

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 
<> for the latest. We'll have maps 
up to the site soon, along with tournament info and much more. See you 

//// 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.>. 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

Sometimes, the most interesting information is simply mentioned in 

//// Yak in Court, and Atari Video Music

Subject:      What the smeg is going on between Atari and Philips?
Date:         1997/03/22

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)...


(:-) - Y a K


Subject:      Re: What the smeg is going on between Atari and Philips?
From:         Thunderbird <>
Date:         1997/03/23
>Newsgroups: 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.

    4Play Lead Hacker


Subject:      Re: Question for YaK (Robotron 2000?)
Date:         1997/04/04

> 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?)
Date:         1997/04/07

> 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?)
Date:         1997/04/13

> 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

//// 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 
<> 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 < 
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 

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 < 

//// 6/7/97

Hello, brave traveler! If you're looking for the Official Battle Sphere Web 
Page, then point your browser to < 

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 

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!


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...]


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


   ||  Llatest from Llamaland
   ||  By: Jeff "Yak" Minter

[All of the following postings are taken from Jeff Minter's web page, Yak's 
Zoo <>.  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 

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 

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 

//// 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:



   ||  Hacking the VLM
   ||  By: Jeff "Yak" Minter

//// 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 

[] 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 

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 

[] Attaching waveforms to DVF window size and position can be fatal. Look 

[] 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

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 

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?


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 

//// 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

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 

//// 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 

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 

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

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

[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.]


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.


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. 


Starts a new 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.) 

Here you can change some settings for difficulty, controls, and soundmode. 


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.

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.

Press the B Button to fire your currently selected weapon.

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!

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 

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.

# plus * resets the game.

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 


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 

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.

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. 

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. 


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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 

'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 

'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" 

'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 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.

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.

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 are a major part of urban combat. Buildings can help you by 
providing cover from enemies, or containing valuable crates. 

These buildings often contain repair crates. They are quite sturdy. 

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. 

They are extremely fragile, and never contain crates. They're fun to step 

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 

These massive buildings are where the corporate management works - they're 
everywhere - and they're quite sturdy. You can occasionally find crates in 

Control Towers
These towers coordinate enemy attacks. They are sometimes placed near 

Power Plant
These incredibly sturdy buildings are found in industrial areas. They often 
contain crates.


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. 

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 

Warning Light 
Flashes if your Iron Soldier has taken too much damage.


Terrorists are using abandoned factories outside of town to build a new 
high speed walker. Destroy the main industrial installations in the desert. 

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 

PENTA troops are massing in a small city. Raid their camp and destroy the 
warehouses on the island to capture their supplies. 

PENTA has launched a surprise attack on the UR. Protect the main 
skyscrapers against the enemy forces anddestroy all SATYR walkers. 

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. 

Industrial terrorists have placed car bombs throughout the city. Destroy 
these cars before too many of the bombs can go off. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

PENTA backed terrorists are driving bomb-laden trucks through the city. 
Stop the trucks before they can destroy their targets. 

PENTA troops are trying to capture a major industrial center by air drop. 
Stop this attack by destroying all their ground forces. 

An automated defense system has gone berserk. Shut it down by destroying 
the four power plants delivering its energy. 

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 

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. 

PENTA has build a military base dangerously close to United Republic 
territory. Don't leave a single building standing! 

Find and destroy all enemy ships before they can escape. A newly developed 
ground transport system will help you. 

PENTA has built a fortress to protect their supplies against UR attacks. 
Destroy their defense system and capture all items they are storing inside. 

PENTA has built a very large industrial complex consisting of several 
islands. Destroy all factories, fuel tanks and warehouses to stop their 
weapon production. 

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. 

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

[These hints are from the JV Games web page <>.  
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 

3. I'm on the 2nd level in the chain room, what order do I pull the chains 

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 

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 

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 

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

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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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

Thanks for your effort in keeping the Jaguar alive and providing accurate
information to the other Atari loyalists out there.

Terry L. Grantham


   ||  James "Purple" Hampton on Highlander
   ||  Interview By: Dimitri M. LaBarge

[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 

[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 

[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 

//// 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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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

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 <>.

[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. 

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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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 

[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

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" 

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 

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

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

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

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

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


                 (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 <>.

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 :   Atari Classic/LYNX/Jaguar gamer

Return to message index