ST Report: 21-Mar-97 #1312From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/03/97-08:59:55 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 21-Mar-97 #1312 Date: Thu Apr 3 08:59:55 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) March 21, 1997 No.1312 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Under Construction) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password STReport published with MS Office 97 & Adobe Acrobat Pro v3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 03/21/97 STR 1312 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - AOL, NEW Suit - ATAPI ZIP Drive - Hayes to buy Cardinal - Shareware Listings - ATM in ORBIT - Motorola gets Smart - Windows in Chinese - CompuServe Sued - 3D Tomb Raider! - Towers Review - Classics & Gaming Intel Sues AMD, Cyrix Corp. Supreme Court Hears Decency Case Microsoft Files Piracy Suit STReport International OnLine Magazine Featuring Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Please obtain the latest issue from either our Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 03/15/97: 2 of 6 numbers, no matches >From the Editor's Desk... Spring has SPRUNG! I hope the weather in your area is as pretty as ours. Now on to the goodies.. Corel has a "Revision" CD for all Office Perfect Owners. Give `em a call they'll send it to you via Airborne Express for a ten dollar shipping and handling fee. That is a real bargain. The revisions include speed enhancements, file loading and retrieval enhancements, printer compatibility enhancements and stability improvements. It is well worth the effort to obtain. What's with all this proposed "Control Legislation" being offered by these unknown freshmen? The Internet is their Patsy! The Internet seems to be constantly "under fire" these days by politicians who give the impression they are trying desperately to make some sort of a name for themselves. Unfortunately it is at the "expense" of the net and its users. These "clowns" need not be re-elected. Will they ever do the job they are there for? They should, in our humble opinion, be addressing the ever climbing cost of living, the crowds (literally) of homeless in most every city in this land, the injustices being "perped" upon those applying and desperately needing Social Security benefits and finally the obvious three ring circus in Washington DC called "The House and Senate." Time is running out for them! These "Junior" Legislators had better wake up FAST . The electorate was overjoyed in getting shed of the Packwoods and Rostenkowski's what makes them think they are immune?? To watch this country's top levels of government spend the best part of its time taking pot shots at each other, the President and his family is disgusting. Actually, its more like highly insulting to our intelligence. Bye, Bye to the wheel spinners! Personally, I'm going to vote for anyone who is not, that's right, NOT in either the Senate or House at this time. If such is not possible, I'll then devote some "quality time" (neat phrase eh? - means nothing!) each week to chronicle the expensive waste these highly "paid and pensioned" Representatives of ours perpetrate upon the taxpayers. That's my opinion, what's yours? Ralph... Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although it is in its early stages of construction, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. So, as of October 01, 1995, you'll be able to download STReport directly from our very own SERVER & WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Allen Harkleroad Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Supreme Court Hears Decency Case By trying to protect children from "indecent" material on the Internet, a federal law is so restrictive that it affects the free speech rights of adults, says a lawyer for 47 plaintiffs challenging the Communications Decency Act. Speaking yesterday before the U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals, attorney Bruce J. Ennis added, "This law will have the unconstitutional effect of banning speech for adults in cyberspace... That is what this law does." But Justice Department lawyer Seth P. Waxman told the court, "The Internet threatens to give every child a free pass into the equivalent of every adult bookstore and every adult video store in the country." At issue is the 1996 Communications Decency Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in February 1996, but struck down by a three-judge panel in Philadelphia which ruled key parts of the law violated the First Amendment. Covering yesterday's arguments in Washington, Associated Press writer Laurie Asseo notes this is the highest court's first venture into cyberspace law, a fact underscored by several justices who tried to figure out what kind of communication to compare to the global computer network. For instance: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor suggested the Internet could be viewed as a public place, "`much like a street corner or a park." Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the Net "is very much like a telephone." But Justice Antonin Scalia said that in any context it is lawful for government to require that pornographic material be kept away from children, adding, "We say... tough luck, you have to sell it in stores" rather than on the street. In his arguments, Ennis, representing groups including the American Library Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, as saying, "The government cannot reduce the adult population to reading or viewing only what is appropriate for children." Waxman said any child who knows how to "click a mouse" can go online and find sexually explicit material like that foundin Hustler and Penthouse magazines, adding, "We think this (law) is a small price to pay" to protect children from such material. AP says Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wondered whether the government could prohibit indecent conversations on a public street with minors present. And Breyer asked whether the Internet law would make it a crime for high school students to have an online conversation about their sexual experiences. "You mean there's no high school student exemption?" Scalia interjected in a sarcastic tone. Meanwhile, Ennis argued the law would not be effective because a large amount of indecent online material comes from overseas and that computer blocking devices allow parents to keep such material away from their children and leave adults free to view it. Asseo says a decision is expected by July. AOL Hit With New Class Action Suit A class action suit has been brought in federal court against America Online by a California law firm that accuses the Dulles, Virginia, online company of fraudulent business practices, including racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud. In the suit, four plaintiffs, all residents of California, seek damages in excess of $100 million. Reporting from Los Angeles, the Reuter News Service notes the suit is the latest in a series of legal attacks against AOL by frustrated customers who have had trouble logging on to AOL since it went to a flat fee pricing structure of $19.95 a month late last year. As reported AOL in January offered to refund customers up to $39.90 each as part of a settlement with 36 states, pledging to hold its membership at 8 million members until it was confident it could meet the needs of its current members. Reuters says the new suit, filed by the Los Angeles law firm of Standbury & Fishelman, alleges AOL: z Manipulated its subscriber base in order to run up the company's stock price and achieve a dominant position in the market that would then allow the company to impose higher advertising rates. z Used improper methods to retain free tral subscribers and to prevent existing customers from canceling their memberships. Reuters reports, "These methods included secret payment or allowance of rebates, free hours, refunds, commissions or unearned discounts, the lawsuit claimed." Allowed several executives to unload large portions of stock before the company announced it was taking a substantial charge to pay for changes in the company's accounting practices. Violated rights to privacy by failing to prevent outside groups from accessing the computers of subscribers when they make contact with the service. An AOL spokeswoman said the allegations are groundless, telling the wire service, "When the law changes and plaintiffs have to pay for frivolous lawsuits, suits like this won't be filed anymore. There is no merit to this lawsuit." Apple to Cut Third of Work Force Apple Computer Inc. says it will cut nearly a third of its work force -- some 4,100 employees -- and scale back its Macintosh line of computers and software in a move to reverse its losses. Chairman Gil Amelio said late yesterday, "We've made the right decision to focus our energies, and these decisions -- I am absolutely convinced -- will put us on the road back to health, and we'll be looking at a very different situation over the next few quarters." Business writer Catalina Ortiz of The Associated Press notes Apple's "chronic losses and shrinking market share have forced it into a series of retrenchments that have so far failed to stop the slide." In four of the past five quarters, Apple has posted losses totaling $936 million and its share of the overall PC market fell from 7.9 percent to 5.2 percent over the past year. Reporting from Apple's Cupertino, California, headquarters, AP quotes officials with the computer maker, which employs 13,400 people, as saying the cuts of 2,700 full-time workers and 1,400 part-time and contract employees will trim its bottom line this quarter by $155 million. The goal of the cuts is to save $500 million in annual costs. Apple also says it will simplify its offerings of Macintosh computers and Power Book laptops, and will try to cut costs by using technologies developed by other companies instead of developing them on its own. Also, Apple said it will deliver its next-generation operating system, code-named Rhapsody, next year as planned, but will cut spending on future upgrades of the Mac operating system, paring the number of new releases next year from two to one. AP notes Apple also cut 1,500 jobs last year as part of the restructuring implemented by Amelio, who was hired 13 months ago to turn the company around. Intel Sues AMD, Cyrix Corp. Another round of court fights over chip trademarks is starting, as chip giant Intel Corp. sues rivals Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Cyrix Corp. for allegedly infringing its pending tradmark on "MMX" for its new multimedia technology for Pentium chips. The suit, brought in U.S. District Court in Delaware, breaks what reporter Dean Takahashi of The Wall Street Journal this morning calls "a brief truce in legal warfare that has characterized the chip business." As reported, AMD and Intel fought long and hard over AMD's licenses for cloning Intel chips. After eight years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on both sides, many critics complained "that corporate egos clouded business judgment," Takahashi notes. Cyrix also has engaged in long- term court battles with Intel, which alleged Cyrix violated Intel patents and challenged Cyrix's Intel-compatible chips. At least the latest action isn't likely to be as messy as past suits, the Journal says, because it involves trademark issues, not fundamental technology disputes. "However, in some quarters of the computer industry," adds the paper, "Intel will be perceived as more of a bully toward smaller rivals. Because Intel controls such a dominant share of the chip market, many PC makers are already sympathetic to AMD and Cyrix and want to see them survive as viable alternatives to Intel." For instance, analyst Michael Slater at Micro Design Resources Inc. told the paper the suit "will provide more fuel for the Intel-haters, but it's not such an extreme position to say that a company should own its own trademarks. The problem is that Intel has gone about this the wrong way in trying to protect its trademark." Microsoft Files Piracy Suit Microsoft Corp. has slapped a Web site operator with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. According to the suit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, a Web site operator identified as Christopher Fazendin offered software that circumvented the time-limit security features of a trial version of Office 97. The software giant says the action enabled users to continue to use the product after the expiration of a 90-day trial period. The alleged copyright infringement was brought to Microsft's attention by a tip to the company's anti-piracy hotline. Microsoft notes that the Office 97 trial version was being distributed nationwide through a special joint promotion with Kinkos. "This kind of illegal activity affects the entire software industry and is ultimately going to hurt consumers," says Jim Lowe, Microsoft's corporate attorney. "Trial programs allow consumers to 'test-drive' new software at minimal cost. When someone deliberately encourages people to break the law and violate the terms of a trial offer, it could result in fewer trial opportunities for consumers in the future." Novell Donates Piracy Raid Spoils To Brooklyn School NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, U.S.A., 1997 MAR 19 (Newsbytes) -- By Bob Woods. In a move Novell [NASDAQ:NOVL] hopes to duplicate in the future, the company donated about $10,000 worth of computer equipment seized in a 1995 raid of a bulletin board system (BBS) to a New York City junior high school that "desperately needed" computers in that city's Brooklyn borough, a Novell official said. Six computers -- one 386 and five 386's upgraded to 486's -- were given to Junior High School 296 earlier this week, Ron Barker, Novell Anti-Piracy Group spokesperson, told Newsbytes. The machines were also supplied with mouse devices and additional memory among other upgrades, and were then loaded with legal copies of Windows, DOS, and WordPerfect, he said. The units were given to a school in the Brooklyn area because the BBS involved in the raid was located in the borough, Barker said. Besides donating the computers, Barker said Novell will aid in the training of parents so that they can share their kids' experiences on the computers after school. This marks the first time Novell has donated computers from a software raid to a school or other needy institution, Barker said. Novell hopes to donate more equipment from raids, but the legal mechanisms involved in court cases crank so slowly that it usually takes years for the computers to be released from evidence, he said. Earlier this year, the FBI staged a coordinated series of raids nationwide following an eight month undercover investigation into software piracy. The computer software piracy investigation, code-named "Cyber Strike," was initiated and supervised by the FBI's International Computer Crime Squad based in San Francisco (Newsbytes, Jan. 29, 1997). According to FBI spokespersons, Cyber Strike is a "continuing investigation and additional searches are anticipated in the near future." The FBI said the investigation concerns the alleged efforts of individuals and groups who have banded together to pass protected, restricted and/or copyrighted information andcommercial copyrighted software through the use of businesses and computer Bulletin Board Services (BBSs), Internet File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels. The material seized as specified in the warrants included computer hardware, documents and records, and included some of the most popular program software commercially available, such as utilities, graphics, networking programs, operating systems, and games. According to the FBI, the victimized manufacturers of copyrighted products and systems include Novell; Sega of America Inc.; Sony Computer Entertainment; Autodesk Corp.; Microsoft Corp.; Adobe Systems Inc.; Intuit Corp.; Symantec Corp.; and Nintendo of America Inc. In a recent Newsbytes' interview, Sandra Sellers, vice president of intellectual property rights, education and enforcement with Software Publishers Association, said, "Getting law enforcement to understand the nature and losses of software piracy is a critical element in reducing the losses this industry incurs annually. There are a few law enforcement offices which understand these problems." She also acknowledged the value of extremely aggressive individual piracy programs conducted by companies such as Microsoft, Novell and Autodesk. Novell investigates more than 500 cases of alleged piracy every year, official said, and has recovered revenues and prevented losses of more than $60 million in 1996. Persons having information on pirated Novell software are encouraged to call 800-PIRATES or send e-mail to piratesnovell.com, Barker added. Compaq in Alliance With Ericsson Compaq Computer Corp. has joined in an alliance with Swedish communications giant Ericsson to develop portable PC GSM products that will enable mobile business users to connect to the Internet or corporate Intranet, send faxes and electronic mail, and exchange documents. The first product resulting from the alliance will be available by the end of the year, say the companies. The two firms already participate in joint ativities by marketing bundles of Ericsson GSM mobile phones and Compaq notebook PCs in several European countries. "Sending a message or receiving information on the move should be as easy as making a phone call. It is all about communication person-to-person and being in touch when you want. Our alliance with Compaq will make it simpler than ever for the user to control both their professional and private life," says Jan Ahrenbring, communications and information director at Ericsson Mobile Communications. "Compaq has chosen to partner with Ericsson as we believe its leadership in GSM technologies and infrastructure will complement the communication abilities of our PCs. Together we will be able to dramatically increase the effectiveness of the European mobile professional," says Bruno Didier, Compaq's vice president of PC products for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Hayes to Buy Pa. Modem Maker Modem maker Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire Cardinal Technologies Inc., a Pennsylvania maker of modems and ISDN adapters, for undisclosed terms. Reporting from Atlanta, the Dow Jones news service notes Cardinal Technologies is 75 percent-owned by Seattle's Vulcan Ventures, part of the Paul Allen Group of companies, adding Hayes says Vulcan will buy an undisclosed "significant minority" stake in Hayes in a separate deal. Says DJ, "Hayes plans to close Cardinal's Lancaster, Pennsylvania, plant, and consolidate operations at Hayes' Norcross, Georgia, facilities. Hayes expects to complete the deal this month." Apple Unveils 20th Anniversary Mac Amidst steep financial losses, layoffs and assorted other woes, Apple Computer Inc. is celebrating two decades in the computer business with the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. A statement issued by the Cupertino, California-based computer maker notes that the system "makes a profound visual statement with its rich features of polished metal casing and Italian leather." A sleek console houses the computer's active-matrix flat-panel display, hard, floppy and CD-ROM drives, cable TV tuner and AM/FM tuner. Standard features include a 250MHZ PowerPC 603 processor, a 2GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, a Bose sound system and a custom keyboard with detachable trackpad. "We were looking to define a radically new solution in Industrial Design when we began designing the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh," says Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior director of Industrial Design. "Its smooth integration of personal computer and consumer appliance are clear indications of the future of technology design." Apple says it will offer a total of 12,000 units of the limited-edition Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh in five countries: France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. U.S. customers will be able to purchase the system, which is scheduled to ship in June, for approximately $7,500. Cardinal Modem Brand to Continue Cardinal Technologies Inc. today announced that Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. will keep the Cardinal brand active in the U.S. retail market after purchasing the company. On March 13, Hayes announced that it had reached an agreement with Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures Inc. to acquire Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Cardinal. "Hayes and Cardinal plan no immediate changes in the network of distributors and resellers who carry Cardinal products and will keep the current sales organization in place to support this business," says Frank Leonardi, Cardinal's president and CEO. "Our commitment to our partners is to maintain the same level of support to keep the business growing. This transition also ensures that all Cardinal customers will receive continuing technical support and warranty repairs as needed." "The Cardinal brand represents value to the consumer by delivering high speed modems at a competitive price," adds Dennis C. Hayes, chairman of Hayes. "The equity and retail strength of the Cardinal brand name is the reason that Hayes chose to add this line to our business." Further information is available on Cardinal's Web site at www.cardtech.com. Iomega Unveils ATAPI Zip Drive Iomega Corp. has announced an enhanced internal Zip drive based on the ATAPI interface. The Roy, Utah-based company notes that the 100MB unit offers computer makers and others simple and affordable systems integration and compatibility. The 3.5-inch device fits into a conventional PC drive bay and connects to an internal power supply. "With the new ATAPI Zip drive, Iomega is one step closer to replacing the traditional floppy drive with the super- floppy Zip drive," says Andy Grolnick, Iomega's director of Zip product management. "This makes the Zip drive an easier and more affordable solution for VARs, system integrators and OEMs." "Iomega's new ATAPI Zip drive coupled with BIOS support completes the equation for standardization of the Zip drive," notes Phil Devin, vice president and principal analyst of Dataquest Inc. "This is a significant step forward in meeting the needs of computer system OEMs and system integrators." The internal ATAPI Zip drive is expected to be availble worldwide in the second quarter of this year through major distributors and resellers. Pricing isn't yet set. Motorola Delays Modem Delivery Shipment of Motorola Inc.'s ModemSURFR and VoiceSURFR 56K-kilobits-per-second modems has been delayed, pending upgrades to the modems' chipset produced by Rockwell Semiconductor Systems. Reporting from Huntsville, Alabama, the Dow Jones news service says Rockwell is delaying the volume ramp-up of its K56flex modem chipsets for two weeks because it identified performance problems under certain network configurations. Motorola officials say the problem is likely to affect less than 3,000 customers, since modem shipments began last week. The company said it will replace, at its expense, any modems that have already been purchased and are experiencing performance problems. The wire service reports, "Motorola said it and Rockwell have identified algorithm improvements to enhance the chipsets' performance, and therefore shipments of the modems could resume 'as early as two weeks.'" Digital Offers Super-Fast Chip A new version of the Alpha chip that can double the performance of today's personal computers is being introduced by Digital Equipment Corp., posing what some say will be a serious challenge to widely used Pentium chips from Intel Corp. Digital officials told The Associated Press that PCs running the new chip will start at less than $2,600, which is comparable to Pentium-based machines. "Digital is aiming its new microprocessor at corporate desktop PCs that run on Microsoft's Windows NT operating system," AP observes. "Manufacturers that plan to build PCs with the new chips beginning in July are Digital, which already makes Intel-based PCs; Germany-based Vobis Microcomputer AG; and Enorex Microsystems Inc., a New Jersey company started six months ago in anticipation of the new Alpha chip." The wire service notes Digital hopes that other makers will follow, "fueled by an increasing availability of software," adding, "Currently, nearly one-third of the roughly 6,000 software programs designed for Pentium-based machines using the Windows NT operating system also can run on Alpha-based PCs." Digital officials say other software can be run in "emulation" programs, which allow the chip to run software not written for it but reduces the program's speed. Pippa Jollie, marketing manager for the Alpha 21164PC microprocessor, says PCs built around the new chi would be particularly useful running graphics-heavy programs. HP to Unveil Photo System A photographic system for PC users that can take, scan and print photography-quality images is being introduced by computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. Writing for the Reuter News Service, reporter Samuel Perry says HP's new PhotoSmart line is aimed at the consumer digital photography, which some industry experts expect to heat up this year, but that it won't come cheaply. In fact, the photo printer, scanner and digital camera can be purchased independently but together cost about $1,400, while new ink cartridges will cost roughly $40 each. "And," adds Perry, "while any paper can be used in the printer, for best results HP recommends its own glossy and deluxe glossy photography paper, to be priced in the United States at up to $1.10 a page for the finest quality." HP cites figures from the Photo Marketing Association that estimated that in 1995 some 710 million rolls of film were processed, or an estimated 2.5 billion pictures. Adds Reuters, "Although the quality of consumer market digital cameras themselves is still well below that of conventional photography, HP's scanning device enables PC users to scan, edit and print images made with conventional photography as well." The photo products work with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system and at least a 66-megahertz 486 processor, although Intel Corp.'s Pentium chips are recommended. Sun Releases Java to Industry Group An industry-standards group has been asked by Sun Microsystems Inc. to take control of Java, its popular network computing language. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Joan Indiana Rigdon notes Sun has tried on its own to promote Java as a standard way of writing programs for the Internet and other computer networks, "but in recent weeks, Microsoft, maker of the rival Active X technology, has accused Sun of rejiggering Java so it doesn't work well with Microsoft software. Sun has denied Microsoft's complaints." The fracas "fizzled," Rigdon adds, when Microsoft officials suggested Sun could resolve the complaint by handing Java over to a group that regulates computing standards. (As reported, Microsoft did as much last year, when it created an independent standards group to oversee changes to Active X.) "The particulars of these fights are mired in mind-numbing computing details," adds Rigdon, "and the names of the industry groups read like alphabet soup; the one Sun is working with is called the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission Joint Technical Committee 1, or IOS/IEC JTC 1 for short." Nonetheless, the paper adds, the standards fights are important, "because they threaten a much-anticipated future where the Internet looks the same to everyone." Study: Commercial Web Sites Soar Commercial World Wide Web Sites grew to more than 45,000 in 1996 and will reach 100,000 by the year 2000, according to a new research study from International Data Corp. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based market researcher notes that the number of commercial sites on the Web is doubling every six months and that the rapid expansion is the result of the tremendous growth in the adoption of Internet and Web technologies by businesses. Leading categories, according to IDC, include technically-oriented businesses, information intensive products lines, and time sensitive products such as financial information. "In 1996, growth in commercial Web sites began to take off as companies began experimenting with new kinds of sites -- ones that extended the business infrastructure to the consumer," says Michael Sullivan Trainor, director of IDC's Internet program. "Businesses began to move away from a 'brochureware' site to a dynamic, page-generation, extended infrastructure site." But Sullivan-Trainor notes that increasingly sophisticated Web sites have required significant investment in programming and customization, causing the price of highly functional commerce sites to rise to more than $1 million per implementation. But packaged software products are rapidly bringing down the price point to less than $30,000 for a highly functional site and less that $5,000 for a low- function starter offering. IDC predicts that these tools will help to fuel commercial web site growth as businesses look to enhance their site capabilities. Sales Brisk for Pentium MMX PCs Intel's new MMX chip is meeting with strong initial market acceptance, according to new research from Computer Intelligence, the leading source of fact-based information about the computer and communicaions industries. New data from CI's January StoreBoard Channel Tracking Service shows that more than one-quarter of the desktop PCs sold in U.S. retail channels during January were based on the MMX Pentium chip, the newest version of Intel's flagship Pentium microprocessor. In the retail channels tracked by StoreBoard, MMX-based desktop PCs accounted for 27 percent of the desktop PCs sold in January. The systems had the highest share of desktop PC unit sales in consumer electronics superstores, where they accounted for 38 percent desktops sold. In the other two retail channels tracked by StoreBoard, office products superstores and PC superstores, MMX desktops were a lower but still substantial portion of sales at shares of 14 percent and 20 percent, respectively. "We thought that some of the softness in consumer PC channels during the fourth quarter of 96 was due to consumers delaying purchases in anticipation of MMX PCs," says David Tremblay, senior industry analyst at the La Jolla, California-based market researcher. "MMX-based PCs were not available until the bodes well for a round of upgrade purchases by consumers through the spring." Some PC manufacturers, CI notes, were more aggressive in their launch of MMX-based PCs than were others. Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett Packard Co., Packard Bell and IBM Corp. accounted for over 90 percent of the MMX-based desktop PCs sold in StoreBoard's U.S. retail channels in January. CI's research shows that HP sold more MMX-based desktop PCs in January in these channels than they did desktop PCs based on standard Pentium chips. Samples of CI's market data and research results, commentary from industry authorities and previews of upcoming technology events are available on the company's site on the World Wide Web, http://www.ci.zd.com. One in Four U.S. Adults Online A new survey by CommerceNet/Nielsen Media Research estimates nearly one out of every four adults in the United States and Canada is online and more than 21 million women surf the once-male dominated Net. Also, the poll indicates 50.6 million people are Internet users, more than twice the number from a survey 18 months ago. Reporter Elizabeth Weise of The Associated Press says the survey also finds: z Some 23 percent of people surveyed used the Internet, compared to only 10 percent in fall 1995. z Women, "who only five years ago made up a tiny 10 percent of the online world, now are nearing parity with men. This year's survey, taken in December and January, reported that 42 percent of online users are women, up from 34 percent 18 months ago." z And the number of people who search the Web for information about products has doubled to 39 percent from 19 percent in the previous survey. z However, only 15 percent of the users surveyed said they actually bought anything online. The CommerceNet/Nielsen Media Research survey was based on 6,600 telephone interviews with people 16 years or older from randomly-selected households in the United States and Canada. The margin of error was not released. Execs Want Tech-Savvy Assistants Executives expect high-level technical expertise from their administrative staff, finds a new survey sponsored by OfficeTeam, a temporary office worker staffing service. According to the Menlo Park, California-based company, 74 percent of the survey's respondents said it is "very important" for administrative assistants to have advanced personal computer skills. In addition, when asked which courses their support staff could benefit from most, nearly half said computer-related classes. "With the unabated growth of technological investments by companies today, it is critical that administrative staff have in-depth knowledge of their firm's computer software," says Diane Domeyer, OfficeTeam's executive director. "This means more than simply keeping current on the latest version of a word processing application. It involves being able to use all of the time-saving features of that program and, if the company uses an office suite package, becoming proficient on each of the applications in that suite." Domeyer notes that while continuing education in computer technology is a must in order to keep technical skills current, it doesn't necessarily involve long-term, formalized classroom instruction. "There are a number of options available, including computer-based tutorials that can be completed on a personal computer at home and workshops offered through professional associations and retail outlets." PC Support Gets More Complex The PC support market is becoming increasingly complex, posing new challenges to PC vendors and other support providers, finds a new report from International Data Corporation. The Framingham, Massachusetts based market researcher notes that the support market's increased complexity stems from a number of developments, includin rapid shifts in technology and the advent of highly complex systems loaded with a variety of hardware and software. In addition, the PC support marketplace now includes a variety of players on both the supply and demand sides. According to the IDC report, support suppliers include PC vendors, their channel partners, independent service companies and even some retail outlets that offer service plans to their customers. Customers for PC support include large corporate organizations, small-office/home-office (SOHO) users and consumers, finds the study. "In the PC server space, IS managers are looking for mission-critical services that are comparable with those previously associated with large systems environments," says Doug Chandler, an IDC senior analyst. "At the desktop level, PC support providers have become much more proactive regarding delivering support and technical information with customers, as well as providing drivers and software patches, either by dial-in or over the Internet." Beyond the corporate environment, consumers are becoming a more important segment of the market, and meeting consumers' support needs is another major challenge for PC support providers, notes the report. IDC believes that consumers, many of whom are first-time PC users, tend to depend heavily on the PC vendor for answers to any question pertaining to the PC, regardless of whether it pertains to hardware or software. "These users are also less capable of troubleshooting their own problems," observes Chandler. "At the same time, the line between the home and corporate user is blurring as business people bring work home on their portable systems and also use their home computers for personal finance and other important applications." IDC's Web site (www.idcresearch.com) contains additional company information, recent news releases and full-text searching of recent research. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature "The Latest & Greatest" Shareware Treasure Chest By Lloyd E. Pulley email@example.com Name/Version Release Date Size Price Astronomy Slide Show!2.0 3/20/97 3010kb Freeware Full Screen slide show of 19 beautiful astrophotos! Now includes Comet Hale-Bopp! Download Site - http://home.inreach.com/jayrob/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Easy Icons 32-bit 5.1.8 3/15/97 1.70mb Shareware Easy Icons was designed as a complete Icon Management System for windows users." For example some of the things you can do are Save any Icon as a separate (.ico) file, Save any icon as a separate (.bmp) file, Create and maintain icon libraries with simple drag and drop operations and much more. Download Site - http://www.easyapps.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price EditPad 32-bit 2.2.1 3/15/97 23mb Freeware EditPad is a replacement for the standard Windows NotePad. EditPad requires Windows 95 or later to run. No additional DLLs or whatever are required. It has a few very interesting features: * EditPad can open as much files at a time as you want. * You change between the open files by clicking on their tabs. No hassle with heaps of overlapping windows. * If you run EditPad again when their is already an instance running, the file(s) you wish to edit will be opened by the existing EditPad window. This means there will be at most one EditPad window open, which will save you from a lot of task switching. Of course, if you do need more instances, simply pick View|New editor from the menu. * Block functions: save parts of your text to disk and insert a file in the current text * Reopen menu that lists the last 16 files opened and more. Download Site - http://www.tornado.be/~johnfg/jgsoft.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price TextPad 3.0 Beta 1 3/16/97 949kb Shareware $27.00 TextPad is the most powerful and flexible text editor on the market. Clean and uncluttered, the interface does not get in the way. Yet hiding just a few mouse clicks away are powerful search and replace, macro commands, and a highly customizable interface. When you need more than notepad can offer, TextPad is the obvious next step. Download Site - http://www.textpad.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Pixound 32-bit 1.1.1 plug-in 3/15/97 .07mb Freeware A plug-in enabling the interpretation of graphic data as music and sound. It can be used to create both on-line and off-line interactive environments. As the viewer moves a pointer through a digital image, Pixound translates pixel color information into music or sound, instantly and continuously. It uses various color methods as well as other graphic information within a picture to create music. Download Site - http://www.pixound.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Quicktime 32-bit 18.104.22.168 plug-in 3/15/97 .85mb Freeware Apple's QuickTime plug-in lets you view QuickTime movies and QuickTime VR Panoramas and Objects directly in your browser window. The QuickTime plug- in works with existing QuickTime movies, and with movies prepared to take advantage of the plug-in's "fast-start" feature. The fast-start feature will present the first frame of the movie almost immediately and can begin playing even before the movie has been completely downloaded. Download Site - http://quicktime.apple.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Online Meter 2.1 3/14/97 752kb Shareware Online Meter 2.1 is the counter for your Dial-up Networking connections with Windows 95. Starts counting as soon as you get connected. Tariff definition is easy to do, including special support for holidays. You can download prepared files with tariff definitions. Download Site - http://www.kagi.com/mkrebs/meter/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price CPU Monitor 1.3b2 3/14/97 21kb Freeware CPU Monitor adds an icon to the Windows 95 System Tray, which shows the current utilisation of the systems processor. Download Site - http://www.sthdown.demon.co.uk/users/jgrieve/cpumon/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Live Image 32-bit 1.21 3/16/97 1.90mb Shareware $29.95 LiveImage is a very user-friendly, "don't know anything about all this image mapping stuff" program. LiveImage includes several new and powerful features that are not available in other image mapping applications. LiveImage supports GIFs, JPGs, Progressive JPGs, and the new PNG graphic files. You may also optionally install additional graphic "filters" to allow LiveImage to read other file formats. Download Site - http://www.mediatec.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Stay Connected 32-bit 1.2 3/16/97 .87mb Shareware $19.95 Just as the name says, Stay connected will make sure that you never loose your connection due to time outs, disconnections,etc. *** Good Stuff *** Download Site - http://www.inklineglobal.com/stayconn.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price Norton CrashGuard 1.2 3/16/97 1.6mg Freeware Norton CrashGuard is a simple and reliable crash protection and recovery program that can intercept and repair most crashes and "frozen" applications long enough for you to save your work. Download Site - http://www.symantec.com/crashguard/index.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price ZipWorks 32-bit 2.5 3/17/97 .57mb Shareware $21.95 ZipWorks is a full featured 32-Bit ZIP file manipulater for Windows 95. The built-in 32-Bit compression is fully compatible with PKZIP v2.04. With this program you can ZIP, UnZip, add comments to your ZIP files, test archive integrity, and repair damaged ZIP files. This program can create files across multiple disks, and can store directory structure, making it a pretty fair choice for a backup utility. Download Site - http://members.aol.com/ron2222/zip.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price Enliven 32-bit 1.5 plug-in 3/17/97 .50mb Freeware Narrative's Enliven Viewer brings multimedia animations, graphics and sound right into your home or office over Internet connections of 14.4 Kbps or faster. With the Enliven Viewer all you have to do is click on an Enliven link from your Web browser and multimedia titles begin playing without having to first wait for a download. Download Site - http://www.narrative.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price TIFNY 32-bit 1.2 3/17/97 1.90mb Shareware $29.95 TIFNY is a radical Usenet viewer with fully automated downloading! It showcases a slide-show of posted JPEG images, and catalogs your favorites by user-defined search lists with filters to deny series, authors, organizations or keywords in the subject header. Say goodbye to unwanted spamming, offensive postings and their cross-postings and say hello to UseNet news group images that are filtered by you and offer pictures you deem relevant! TIFNY also records previously searched paths in an MS Access database. You can navigate TIFNY through the UseNet newsgroups based on your own preferences. Download Site - http://pinck.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Gravity1.1 Beta 2 3/12/97 1.6mg Commercial Software Anawave's Gravity, a 32-bit newsreader, is one of the top-rated Internet newsreaders for Windows 95/NT. It allows a person to view and contribute articles in the form of text and graphics to over 15,000 newsgroups worldwide. Gravity is unique in that it was designed exclusively for the 32- bit Windows 95/NT environment. This design feature provides excellent multi- tasking capabilities for searching, sorting and completing most newsreading tasks in the background. As a result, you get the information that you want - blazingly fast. Download Site - http://www.anawave.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Search and Replace for Windows 95 2.82 3/17/97 367kb Shareware $20.00 Search (grep) program with Replace capabilities across files/directories. Color coded output, regular expression support, search ZIP files, script processing for many paths or search/replace strings at one time, backups, full control over replaces. Download Site - http://www.funduc.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Shutdown Butler 1.5 3/16/97 715kb Shareware $4.00 This program monitors Windows95 and ejects a CD-ROM on shutdown ONLY if one is in the drive. Also provides a quick shutdown menu in the system tray. Can also be configured to run a program at shutdown. Download Site - http://www.skillsoft.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Meridian 59 for Win95 3/18/97 26.00mb Shareware Meridian 59, the world's number one next generation Internet-based RPG, is a 3D world filled with fierce creatures, awesome magic, and spine tingling face-to-face encounters with thousands of other human adventurers. Meet and converse with thousands of players on-line. Explore a richly textured 3D world filled with ancient cities, sunlit forests, dark caverns and mysterious temples. Do battle with fierce creatures and other players in real time combat. In this new version, the Vale of Sorrow expansion pack (now included in Meridian 59) introduces the mysterious Faerie Forest, home of the noble Elhai faeries and their rivals, the sinister Dirhai. Only by taking sides in this magical war can players complete the quest to bond with the hidden node of magical power. Download Site - http://meridian.3do.com/meridian/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price TopDesk 32-bit 3.0b 3/18/97 .12mb Freeware How often have you had one or more applications running that have completely covered the desktop just when you needed to access some object, e.g. the Recycle Bin or the Internet icon, that was hidden on the desktop? Rather than continue enduring this frustration it's time you downloaded TopDesk. TopDesk (for Windows 95/NT) adds an icon to the system area of the task bar that gives you complete access to everything on the desktop - system objects and files, including the display properties dialog. Download Site - http://www.snadboy.com/index.shtml Name/Version Release Date Size Price SubSpace for Win95 1.23 3/18/97 2.20mb Freeware A space type shoot 'em up with a difference. It's played entirely over the internet with all human opponents. The game itself reminds you in a way of the old Atari 2600 game Asteroids because the movement is basically the same. However instead of being one one small screen and blowing up asteroids, you are on a huge level and blow the crap out of other pilots. By itself the game is pretty good (nice graphics), however when you add real human players it really shines. At almost any given time you can find around 50-60 other people playing, so the action is always hectic. You can make squads, join teams, send messages while you play, and generally cause havoc. This game is really worth the download, it's nifty. You can check out some screen shots. Note:Requries Win95 and DirectX Download Site - http://www.vie.com/subspace/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Mah Jong for Windows 95 1.0 3/18/97 237k Commercial Demo $21.25 Fully playable, playing-time limited, implementation of the popular Chinese game of Mah Jong, for the Windows 95 platform. This is not a solitaire pairs game - play genuine Mah Jong against 3 other players controlled by the computer. Features many unique features, and fully customisable rules allow for almost all variations. An ideal alternative to PC card games when you want to take a break from work - or if you want to hone up your skills with some extra practice before playing against friends. And with a detailed step-by-step tutorial, even a newcomer can quickly learn how to play. Apparently a very complex game to the outsider, the rules are very quick to master, and the game rapidly becomes surprisingly addictive. Download Site - http://www.mimosil.co.uk/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Rolodex 1.0 3/18/97 21kb Freeware Rolodex was created to keep phone numbers and addresses in order for quick reference. This is just a basic Rolodex program, without the hassels of many buttons or menu options. Requires Visual Basic runtime files. The VB files can be downloaded from the Rolodex homepage. Download Site - http://genius.rider.edu/~tudor/realindex.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price Real Player 32-bit 4.0 beta 1a 3/20/97 1.00mb Freeware From the makers of Real Audio comes Real Video, the only player you need to get all the great RealAudio and the new RealVideo content on the web -- all without download delays. - Stereo audio at 28.8, near-CD quality at higher bitrates, AM-quality audio at 14.4 - - Newscast-quality video at 28.8 and full-motion at higher bitrates - Download Site - http://www.real.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Szipw 32-bit 4.0a 3/20/97 1.60mb Shareware Szipw is the Ultimate Zip file manager for Windows. It supports command line parameters, Creates and manages backup sets for easy backup operations, makes Zip archives with long filenames. View Zip files like Disks with a directory tree, Internal Zip/Unzip. Easy configuration. Easy edit of Zip comments and file comments. Accepts command line parameters like PKZIP. Internal File viewer, updates zip file when contents changed. Support Files and dirs dropped from windows file manager, Add files using a list of path/wildcards, very usefull when files to compress are in different locations. Recompression of archives using different password.compression level. Spanned Disks (multiple diskettes), Hidden/System files, Volume labels, full PKzip 2.0 Encryption supported.Support for Self Extractable archives. Allow renaming, changing file date/time, Moving to another dir (using drag/drop), of the files and directories within the archive. Internal Zip repair functions. Download Site - http://www.voicenet.com/~jank/astec/szipw.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price SoulTrap 1.06 3/20/97 5.8mb Commercial demo Prepare to face your greatest fears as Soultrap takes you into a deadly nightmare world of intense terror and lethal surroundings. You'll step inside the twisted dreams of Malcolm West, and face the fears that have plagued him throughout his life. Let your mind free-fall into a series of deranged, dream-like environments that are constantly moving and changing in 3D space. Download Site - http://www.microforum.com/products/demos/Default.HTM#SoulTrap Name/Version Release Date Size Price Adr_Book 4.2 3/20/97 870kb Shareware $24.95 Adr_Book v4.2 is an address book database program and phone dialer for Windows 95. This program prints a 1/4 size address booklet, labels, envelopes, and several reports. Labels can be printed with Postal bar-code in zipcode order to assist in bulk mailing. Database query capabilities are supported. (ie list everyone who have a birthday in June). Download Site - http://www.alaska.net/~mikeg/ Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming TOMB RAIDER Complete Walkthrough and (Most) Secrets for the PC version by Lynn HendricksLike any walkthrough, this will be the most use to you if you wait till you get stuck in a problem, then come here and look up the solution to it. When it's possible, I'll put a hint before the actual solution to a puzzle so you can read just enough to get you heading in the right direction. Some general notes on the game: The main difference between the PC version and other versions of Tomb Raider is the ability to save the game whenever you want to. In the other versions you have to keep an eye out for "save game gems," and only then may you save. For this reason, many of the puzzles are ones that can be done over and over till you get them right. Me, I just reload a saved game and start again . . . It's a good idea to spend time in Lara's mansion to make sure you're comfortable with all her moves before you start. In the mansion, run into the music room, then into the main room; then clamber over the crates to the left door into the gym. Go to each numbered ramp in turn and she'll walk you through a bunch of different ways to jump. Then go into the pool room to mess about under water. (If you're in the mood, you can stay under till you drown just to watch Lara writhe; but since you'll most likely get to see this happen in action more than enough times to suit you, why bother?) It takes some time to get the hang of navigating via the arrow keys rather than the mouse. I tended to keep my left hand with the index finger on the Fire (Ctrl) button, middle finger on the Walk (Shift) button, little finger on the Jump (Alt) button, and palm on the Weapon (Spacebar) button, with my right hand to work the direction keys and the Look (Keypad Insert) button. This isn't infallible, but it seems to keep everything available. You can remap most of the keys, but not the direction keys. This is fine most of the time, but underwater the up and down keys seem to work like a flight simulator (that is, up makes you go down and down makes you go up). Maddening, especially when you're dying from lack of air and there's a crocodile after you. Practice will help you perfect this, but you can expect to get turned around under water for a while. The over-her-shoulder view can be crazy-making on occasion (such as when she's running around a corner that might have monsters). Don't forget about the Look button, especially when you enter a large room or are trying to leap to a small, distant ledge. For a bit of fun, hold down the Walk button when Lara is hoisting herself up a block over her head. You can also get a spectacular swan dive by holding down Walk-Jump-Forward when she's going into water. Also, a damaging fall can sometimes be made less so by putting a roll (the End key) at the end of it. You'll notice that if you forget to let go of the Jump key when Lara lands she'll instantly jump again. Sometimes this is no big deal, but sometimes it's death, such as when you're jumping onto a small platform or a slanted surface above something deadly like lava. You can use this to your advantage on occasion, though, if you notice that a slanted surface sends her jumping in the direction of the slant. There are basically three kinds of switches: large bars in the wall that you push up or down; pressure plates that you activate by walking or pushing a block over; and levers under water that you pull down. When you see a bar switch under water, don't bother with it. It can't be used unless it's above water -- which is a signal to you that there's a way to drain the water out of the room. I'll go into more detail on how to perform a particular maneuver (such as safely dropping down a long way) the first time it's done. After that, I'll use shorthand (like "Do a safety drop") and assume you remember how to do it. Some of the secrets are worth working for, but many of them are just hard-to-get-to cubby holes with a medipack or some ammo in them. Go for them if you want, but don't endanger yourself for a few shotgun shells. You'll know when you've found a secret room because you'll hear a harp run. In some rare cases I'll prompt you to save your game, such as places where there's a surprising danger. More often, it's up to you to know how much of what you've just done you'd like to repeat if you slip off the next ledge and fall to your death. PERU (Caves, City of Vilcabamba, Lost Valley, Tomb of Qualopec) CAVES Notice the wolf tracks in the snow, and take a moment to wonder what Lara is doing high in the frozen Andes in shorts and tank top. Follow the tracks past the pipes shooting darts; if you run most of the darts will miss you, or you can walk up to them, watch the timing, and run past when it's safe. Continue around the corner. Lara will look up at a ledge on her left, indicating the way to go; but first continue ahead into a large square room with a chamber in the left back corner above a bit of slanted rock. Go around behind the slanted rock and climb up; you'll immediately slide down the other side, and if you jump at the bottom of the slide ou'll be able to grab the ledge and climb up into the chamber. Behold, z SECRET #1! Pick up the medipack (i.e., stand almost on top of it and press Action). There are two kinds of medipacks, small and large; the small ones are khaki rolls with a Red Cross on them, the large are khaki backpacks with a Red Cross. You'll soon get very good at spotting them. Returning to the other cave, climb up and head down the passage. If you listen carefully, you'll soon hear a leathery flapping and perhaps a high-pitched squeak or two; it's bats, very large carnivorous bats. Your first enemies! Draw your guns (by pushing the spacebar) and wait for Lara to point them, then hold down the Fire button (Ctrl) until she stops turning around. If the bats get on your head and start to attack she can't shoot them, so run or jump forward, then turn around and blast the little creeps. There's three of them here, so keep your guns drawn till they're all toast. Bats die easily and don't do much damage (though they can kill you if you don't get rid of them), so these guys are good practice for what's to come. (BTW, the pistols have unlimited ammo, so don't worry about using them up. The indicator that shows when you draw your guns is your health, not your ammo. The more powerful weapons that you pick up later need to be reloaded -- but more on that when we get there.) Turn left and proceed to a cave with snow drifted into one corner. Climb the drift as far as you can, then use the Action key to grab the ledge and pull yourself up. Shoot another bat and grab the medipack for z SECRET #2. Return to the bat cave and continue, turning left twice. You will eventually end up in alarge grassy cavern sloping down to the left. Make your way to the bottom and drop into the tunnel. Go down the stairs and use the bar switch to open the door. (To use the switch, position Lara smack up against it and push the Action (Ctrl) button. If nothing happens, try shuffling right or left till she's right in front of it and try again.) Draw your guns as you enter the next room (a good practice till you scope out the threats in a new location), and kill a bat. Wander around and look at the bamboo door. No, you can't open it, jump over it, crawl under it, or pull it down, though of course in real life that's exactly what you'd do. Whenever you come across an obvious door that you can't open, it means there's a switch, a puzzle, or another way in. Okay, fine; be like that. (And don't ask me how they got bamboo in Peru, or how it's lasted through the centuries. It's just One of Those Things.) In the far left corner, there's a pile of blocks up against a wall. Clamber up it and then scale the wall by holding down Action and Forward. (Nice of them to make her grunt with the effort once in a while.) Make your way to a large room with two rope bridges; if you were walking instead of running, you can now draw your guns and shoot the two wolves from above. (If you were running and fell into the room, you can still kill them, but now they can kill you too -- so you have to be a lot faster and better with your pistols to do unto them before they do unto you.) When they're both dead, turn left, jump across the gap, then walk over the second bridge; on the other side, turn left and go through the door. Stop at the edge of the chasm here and notice the large brown bear below. Sorry, Smokey; you're history. When he's dead, put your guns away, turn your back on the chasm, hold down Action, and take a step backwards. This will allow you to drop down and grab the ledge, then let yourself drop gently the rest of the way. This is a safety drop, and it will let you fall quite a way with no damage. Go through the door you see and shoot two bats. Grab the medipack and walk over the pressure plate to open another door that takes you back to the room with the two rope bridges. Climb back up the bridge and retrace your path back to the gap with the dead bear. Jump across this time and proceed down the stairs, stopping to pick up a medipack on the left before you do so. Enter the next room and shoot two wolves (gee, you're getting pretty good at this). Notice on the left wall there is a door cleverly hidden high up in the vegetation, with a ledge extending from it. Climb up the blocks on the right of the door and do a hanging jump to the ledge, and you've found z SECRET #3 (a large medipack). Pick it up and do a safety drop back into the large room. The way out of this room is a door on a timed switch. Notice the two platforms on the other side of the room, with a door on the left one and a switch on the right one. Climb up to the switch, throw it, then turn left and run and jump and climb to get to the door before it closes. (This may take several tries until you get the hang of navigating with the arrow keys, but keep at it. Running into a wall stops you dead; running into a wall while holding Action will make you climb up it if you can.) Continue up and turn the corner. Run past two dart-shooting pipes and into the next room. A single wolf is waiting for you, so draw your guns and go in blazing. In the center of this room, you'll notice two floor panels that look funny, with odd striations across them. These are broken floor tiles (you'll see them again, be sure), and though you can run across them safely, if you stand on one it'll break and you'll fall into the chamber below. In this case, that's what you want; so stand on either one to fall through to a block in the room below. Jump down and walk through the pillars to look at a large grey canal- type hallway with a door at one end. Don't go down there; it's filled with darts, and you can't open the door without throwing a switch on the other side of the hall. Turn right and go down to the other end of the hall, where you'll see that we're now on the other side of the bamboo door we couldn't open before! Amazing. Run and jump across to the other side of the hall, where you can shoot the last wolf on this level and pick up the medipack. Continue on and around the corner to find a switch. Move it to open the door, then slide down the sloped wall next to the door and EXIT this level. Pickups: 7 Secrets: 3 Kills: 14 CITY OF VILCABAMBA Go into the first room and kill the four wolves lurking in here, jumping around to avoid their attacks and firing constantly. There are several doors leading out of this room; they form a sort of honeycomb of passages and tunnels, all with wolves and bats lurking around the next corner. If you're in the mood to kill things you can traverse them all, slaughtering things. No matter which one you take, eventually you'll end up in a large room with a pool in the middle and a wooden trough against the far wall. (If you want to get there quickly, take the first hall on the left and make the first right.) Take a moment to admire the beautifully rendered water, then draw your guns and walk over to the trough, and a large bear comes charging out, yow! Jump and shoot until he's dead, then enter the room he came out of (a stable). Vault onto the ledge above the stable and get the medipack. Now return to the pool room and go for a swim. Swim down to the T- intersection and turn right. When you reach a room with pillars, go to the left side and pull a wooden lever (swim up till your nose touches it, then push the Action button) to open a secret door in another area. If you have at least half your air left, there's a secret here to be gotten. Swim to the opposite corner of the pillar room into the brightly lit area. Pull another lever switch to open a hatch above you and surface. Get out of the pool (by swimming to the ledge and pushing Action and Forward) and get z SECRET #1, a medipack. Pull the switch to open a door back into the bear room. Jump into the pool again, and this time turn left at the T-junction. This takes you to a room with serpent fountains, and surprise! here's the secret door you opened earlier. Enter to get z SECRET #2, a medipack and some magnum clips (small black boxes that look like video cassettes, ammo for a weapon you don't have yet). Dive back in and return to the bear room. At one corner of this room is a switch; flip it to open the door next to it to a room with hides drying on racks. Climb the wooden stairs to an opening high in the wall, and jump across to the room at the other side. Notice the floor here is all cracked tiles. To get into the skull alcove across, run across the tiles and jump at the end to get a medipack. Drop into the room below (if you didn't land there by accident) and find the large blue block in the wall with two marks in it that look like bits of rope. These indicate that it moves. Run up against it, then hold Action until Lara goes into a sort of tense crouch and push Forward to make Lara push the block forward once. (She can also pull it back by pushing Action and Back.) Push it forward several times to open a passage into another room. (If you missed the jump at the end of the broken tiles and really want that medipack in the alcove above, pull the block into the room and use it to climb into the alcove.) In the next room, shoot a bat and walk around to the left to get a Silver Key and to the right to get a Golden Idol. Jump up onto the block you pushed in and climb up to the wooden ledge above you. Shoot two bats in the rafters; run around the corner and shoot two more bats, nasty parasitic lice-ridden creatures. Drop into the passage and turn left. You should now be back in the bear room. Turn left and go down a hall to find a locked door (shooting any bats that show up along the way). Stand right in front of the lock, the little silver box to the right of the door, and press Action to bring up your inventory. Rotate till the Silver Key is showing, then press Action to use it. (If you try to use something that doesn't work, Lara says bluntly, "No." Then you cuss and stomp and go looking for something else.) Run through a dart-lined hall to reach a large open rocky area with a red-roofed temple at the far end and five wolves with bad attitudes at this end. Jump and shoot, as before, and keep track of the number you've killed; if you're one short, walk forward slowly till the next one jumps out at you. Enter the temple through the left door (the only one open). Follow the passage into a pool room with ledges on the walls. Climb the stairs and being the jumping process to go from ledge to ledge. (Ignore the pool; it's just a courtesy to soften your fall if you miss a jump. Don't look for kindnesses like this often, though.) You'll have to shoot a bat or two along the way. At the top, climb a flight of stairs, shoot a bat, and throw a switch to open the temple's right door. Get the medipack, then walk out the other door. Look down to see some shotgun shells (a box with some red cylinders next to it, another weapon you don't have yet). Do a safety drop down and get the shells, then drop to the red roof and get a medipack. Drop once more to the ground and enter the right door. This is another room with water and ledges, but this one has collapsing floor tiles. Ignore the right side; go to the left and jump up the ledges to the top. Shoot a bat, climb the stairs, and use the switch to open the middle door of the temple. Go outside and do a series of safety drops to the ground. Enter the middle door. A tunnel with a series of swinging blades (like in Poe's story, "The Pit and the Pendulum") is next. Timing is almost all there is to this, except that it's hard to know just how close you are to the things until you've been sliced. Eventually you'll reach a room with a gate with a bear behind it (and no, you can't shoot the bear through the gate, don't ask why) and a switch. Throw the switch -- whoa, the floor drops out from under you! Well, I guess we'll go for a swim, then. Swim forward and up to surface in the pool where the bear is growling at you. Hmm, can't shoot from the water and don't want to deal with him just yet. Go down again and find a small tunnel just below the surface that leads to an unoccupied room. Surface and climb up the stairs to a room with a switch. Flip it and walk to the edge to look down at and shoot the bear you were just threatened by. Do a safety drop to the level below and face the locked door. Turn left and walk up some stairs to a switch (that shuts off the swinging blades), then turn around and follow a passage that leads to z SECRET #3 and some Uzi clips (long grey bars -- and yes, it's another weapon you don't have yet). Return to the pool room, use the Gold Idol on the lock next to the door, and go out the EXIT. Pickups: 11 Secrets: 3 Kills: 29 LOST VALLEY Walk down the tunnel till you reach a cave with a river running through it. You can jump in and go for a short but thrilling ride over some falls and into a deep pool, but it's a better idea to jump across the river and climb down the rocks so you can shoot the two wolves who are waiting by the pool from above. Either way, when the wolves are dead, stand with your back to the falls and climb up to a cave with another wolf in it. Shoot him and continue to a passage with white cliffs in front of you and a cavern to the right. There are three wolves to kill in the right chamber, but nothing else, so shoot them if you're feeling bloodthirsty and ignore them if you're not. Now back to the white cliffs. Climb up the one outcropping you can scale, then jump/climb up till you come across a skeleton and a medipack. Take the latter, then draw your guns and move forward and down cautiously. When you hit the ground, you'll hear a strange animal squealing, and whoops! It's a bright red raptor, and it's not in a good mood. Jump and shoot till it dies, then walk into the valley and shoot a second raptor. They're startling, but not hard to kill. Now. Max out your health if it isn't 100% and save your game, then walk cautiously into the valley until you can see a broken rope bridge above you and a massive bloody great T-Rex thundering toward you. Scream judiciously and start firing and jumping backward nonstop. Keep on the run, and don't let this bugger get close! unless you really like the idea of becoming a coprolith. Keep an eye on your health bar and remember that you can heal yourself mid-fight if you have to. To do this, press Escape to bring up the inventory and freeze the action, use a medipack, and return to the fight with a sigh of contentment from Lara. When he's dead and your heart has slowed to a workable rate, walk on into the valley under the bridge and past a single waterfall, to an area with two waterfalls. Climb the ledge to the right of the right waterfall to find z SECRET #1, shotgun shells. Go to the ledge between the falls. Climb up two ledges and jump to the right onto the third ledge. Look up and notice a wedge-shaped crevice in the rock; jump and grab it, then shuffle to the right until you're in the middle of the falls. Pull yourself up and walk on water to reach z SECRET #2, shotgun shells and Uzi clips. (Secret #2.5 is how you managed to walk on the top of the waterfall. Don't ask.) Return to the top of the falls and look down to see that there's a deep pool at the bottom. Jump down and swim through the tunnel to a pool inside a cave -- with a raptor squealing around there somewhere. Climb out when he's out of the room and kill him, then climb the ledges to the right of the falls up to a brick ledge, where you can pick up Machine Cog #1 (a pale grey gear about a virtual foot across). Climb down and follow the passage out to the valley, to a spot between the two waterfalls. Turn left and walk till you see a natural rock bridge on the right and a temple in the background -- oh, and two raptors charging at you. Knock them out (they're the last predators on this level) and enter the temple to find a fountain. Jump into the pool and dive down to the right side of the pool, where there's a tunnel with machine Cog #2 at the bottom. Pick it up and return to the surface. Leave the temple and move to the left wall of the valley before the natural bridge, where there's all sorts of cliffs and ledges. Explore till you find one you can climb. Climb the first ledge, then jump left to a second ledge. Turn left to do a jump and grab to a third ledge, then do a leap and grab to a fourth ledge. Do a running jump onto the temple roof for z SECRET #3, and pick up a medipack, magnum clips, Uzi clips, and shotgun shells. Enjoy the view, then get back down by going to the other side of the roof and dropping to slide to the valley floor. Turn to the right and climb into a cave in the valley wall. Follow the tunnel until you reach one side of the broken rope bridge. Get several jumps back from the edge, then do a long running jump and grab the other side of the bridge (which is held in midair by the suspension of disbelief, apparently). This may take several tries; that over-the-shoulder view is cool, but makes it difficult to see when she's reached the very edge of the bridge, and a jump too soon or too late ain't good enough. When you get there, pull yourself up and continue over to get Machine Cog #3. Do a safety drop from the cliff edge to slide to the valley floor. Turn right and make your way back to the cave above the first huge waterfall (where you started this level). When you get there, move as far in as you can and jump across the river. Move to your right and jump to the ledge you can see on the other side. Keep on moving upstream in this fashion. If you miss, you'll fall in the river and zip over the waterfall and have to make your way back again; it doesn't hurt, but it's time consuming and frustrating, so you might want to save every time you make a jump safely, unless your tolerance for frustration is higher than mine. The last jump (which requires you to grab the edge and pull yourself up) leads to a tunnel and across a rope bridge. There you'll find a switch, some gears in the wall, and three unused pegs. Put the Cogs on the pegs (doesn't matter which one goes where), then pull the switch. Well, the gears moved, but what happened? Turn around and go look at the river -- look, a door moved to change the passage of the river. Cool! Don't cross the bridge; rather, move to the upstream side of the ledge, turn around, step backward, and grab on to the edge. Shuffle left and drop onto another section of walkable water. Go up and turn left to reach z SECRET #4, a medipack. Jump in the water and swim until you reach the dam. Turn left and pullyourself up onto the right ledge, where you'll find a skeleton with a shotgun he no longer needs. (The shotgun is more powerful than the pistols, but it doesn't have much range or accuracy and it takes a while to reload. Very effective against some creatures, however.) Jump back in the water and continue down the river to enter a tunnel. This is a very long and twisting tunnel, but eventually it comes out at z SECRET #5 with shotgun shells and a medipack. The door from this room feeds out onto the dry riverbed. Drop down and walk left to a grey wall that used to be a waterfall. Jump over it into the lake below, surface, and turn to see a tunnel that was hidden by the waterfall. Climb out here, walk down the tunnel, open the door at the end, and EXIT! Pickups: 16 Secrets: 5 Kills: 12 TOMB OF QUALOPEC Follow the tunnel and enter a large red anteroom with four exits -- the one you came in by, one at the left with three gates, one in front of you with a long tunnel, and one at the right with a closed door. Walk up the tunnel in front of you till you see (and hear) a boulder start to roll towards you a la Indiana Jones, then turn and run down and out of its way. (If you have trouble getting turned around in time, try walking backwards up the tunnel till you hear the boulder start to roll, then run down and away.) When it's gone, walk up the tunnel to a locked gate to get your first glimpse at the Tomb of Qualopec and the first piece of the Scion (the thing Jacqueline Natla sent you to get, which incidentally they pronounce SKEE-on, not SIGH- on as it usually is). Return to the anteroom and pull the switch next to the main door (it was on the right as you came in) to open the door to the left. This frees two raptors that you can shoot with pistol or shotgun. (The shotgun takes only one shot to slay a raptor, which is very satisfying.) Walk into the room they came out of, which has vaguely animal pictures over the doors (bird on the left, frog straight ahead, and a sort of a hawk thing on the right). Go through the hawk door on your right and into the next room, which has a small block with a hawk on it and a movable block in the wall. There's no room to pull it, so push it twice to expose another movable block. Push it once to let you into a room with broken floor tiles. Run across them to a switch that opens the first of three gates in the antechamber. Jump back across the spike pit you just revealed and go back to the room with the pictures. Go to the frog door on your right and follow the passage to a room with several alcoves and a switch. Draw your guns and walk up to the switch -- whoops! Down we go again, this time into a room with three hungry wolves. Cack 'em, and forget about the switch; it was just a decoy. Walk up one of the ramps and pull the block into the room, then push it aside to find a passage. Enter and go up some steps, then drop into a pit and get a medipack. Climb up the opposite side of the pit, then go up the stairs and pull the switch to open Gate #2. Grab the medipack in the corner, then drop back into the pit. The other door takes you back to the room with the pictures. Go through the bird door. You'll see a switch and a room with spikes and two bird blocks. Ignore the switch for now and go into the room. Turn left and go in a door that takes you up some stairs and onto bird block 1. Turn right and see a tunnel over your head; jump and grab. Follow this passage up and down till you find yourself standing on bird block 2. Turn right and jump into a tunnel and pull the switch to move bird block 1 closer to the spikes. Walk back the way you came and discover a new passage (you heard it open earlier) to the first switch that I told you to ignore. Push it now, and bird block 2 moves toward bird block 1. Aren't you clever? Return to the ledge and jump to bird block 2, then to bird block 1, then to the door over the spikes. Pull the switch in this room to open the final gate. Walk back and jump over the spikes, then go up the small ramp and climb up to the door. Move down the right passage and waste the raptor before he gets you. Return to the anteroom and enter the now open passage. There are three dart guns here; you can either run and jump, or you can walk up till the darts start to fire, then time your movement to go between them. At the end of the passage is a stairway with one more dart gun. Stand just on the other side of the dart gun and face the wall, then jump and climb up into the alcove with the statue. Skinny behind him and find z SECRET #1. Run across the broken floor panels to the left corner and get the shotgun shells, then turn around and do a safety drop (carefully!) between the spikes to pick up some magnum clips under the shelf you were just on z (SECRET #2). Walk carefully through the spikes (though you may sustain some damage anyway) to the door above and climb up and out. Turn left and go up the stairs. Drop down to some steps and go up to the Tomb of Qualopec. The guard on Qualopec's right isn't as dead as he looks, so re-kill him and take the Scion piece. Yikes, a temblor! Run back to the anteroom and out through the tunnel you came in by, dodging falling masonry and passing the boulder on the way. Save your game, then dive back into the lake where you started the last level. Hey, I've got plenty of air; why did my health bar just come up? Well, guess what, sugar pie? You're under fire! Stay underwater for now, though; swim to the bottom and find a small tunnel in the wall under the tunnel to Qualopec. Follow it to z SECRET #3 and get the medipack and magnum clips. Now swim back up and out to the opposite edge as fast as you can, then get out, draw your guns, turn around, and jump and fire. Larson, the jerk from the hotel in Calcutta, is trying to kill you. When he's taken enough punishment to fell a rhino, he falls to the ground and you can have a little chat about, you know, things. Pickups: 7 Secrets: 3 Kills: 8 Cut Scene: Larson talks; Lara demonstrates a new and stupid way to use an elevator THE MONASTERY (St. Francis' Folly, Colosseum, Palace Midas, Cistern, Tomb of Tihocan) ST. FRANCIS' FOLLY Start this level by killing two lions charging at you from the end of this large room; turn and jump onto a ledge at right or left if you have trouble. In the middle right side of the room is a block in a trench with an omega (looks like an upside-down horseshoe) in it. Pull the block on top of the symbol to unlock a door above and behind you. Push the block forward twice to open a door at ground level, then push the block one more time so you can climb on it later. Go through the door at the end of the room (it slams behind you as you enter). Shoot two gorillas and pull the switch across from the door. Go to the stairs on your right and kill another gorilla; go up the stairs on your left and throw a switch to open another door. Go outside and -- ping! It's that litterbug, Pierre, shooting at you from behind a pillar like the coward he is. Shoot at him, then run after him and shoot him some more; eventually he disappears (for now). Jump up on the omega block, then jump to the column in front of you, then to the tall column in front of you to get a medipack. Turn around and jump to a column on your right and then to a ledge. This room has two slopes and a ledge over your head that contains one of the secrets; it's hard to get to, but quite rewarding, so read through this and then give it a try. Stand just inside the door and face left to look at the first slope. What you're going to do is jump against this slope, which will send you jumping back to the second slope, which will send you jumping up, and then if you got the placement right you can grab on to the shelf overhead and pull yourself up. Ready? Jump forward and hold down the Jump button; jump back; jump sideways, and grab and pull yourself up. Gah, another two slopes. Do the same double jump up to z SECRET #1, shotgun shells and a medipack on a broken floor. Congratulations! Now climb back down to avoid damage taken by falling through the broken floor. Back at the ledge into the main room, jump to the column, then jump via columns to the arch over the gorilla room. Walk to the left side, then jump to a ledge against the far wall. Travel via these ledges to the door at the other end of the room that you unlocked before. Walk in to find a long downward slope. Slide down -- and just before you reach the end of the slope, jump into the air. You'll land on a small ledge below the slope, jump off it, and bounce toward a doorway opposite; quick, grab the edge and pull yourself up to z SECRET #2, shotgun shells and a medipack.Don't drop down the hole you see; there's another secret to get first. Turn around and notice a big crocodile in the water. Shoot him if you can; if he swims out of the way before you get a chance to send him where the dead crabs go, jump in and swim forward and up into the first opening to get z SECRET #3, more shotgun shells. Take another swim and go to the next opening, where you can pull a switch that drains the water from this passage. Drop into the passage and kill the crocodile (if you didn't already). He's easier to shoot now, but he's also a lot faster, so blast away and dodge a lot. (Notice, BTW, that just before he dies he rolls and writhes. Saves ammo if you notice this and don't waste your time blasting away at a dead croc.) Walk to the end of the tunnel and up some stairs. Look down, then gulp and save your game. This huge chamber consists of a very tall room with a central multi-leveled platform with four switches that open four doors named after mythical characters on the outside walls at various levels. At the very bottom is a room with four locks, opened by the four keys kept in the four rooms. You're going to spend the next chunk of time finding and flipping the four switches, then entering the four rooms and getting the keys, then make your way down to the floor to open the door -- and along the way, there's bats, the occasional lion, and Pierre to keep you from getting bored. So take a deep breath and let's begin. Jump to the ledge in the middle of the room and shoot three bats flying around. (Be careful how you jump to get away from them; it's a long way down.) Walk around the ledge and drop to the floor below. Pull the lever to open the Thor Door. To the right you see a grey square; it's a pressure plate that opens a secret door on the ground waaaaaay down there. This door is timed, so if you want to get it you have to be FAST! So. Jump onto the pressure plate, then turn right and run off the edge. Roll (i.e., hit the End key) as you land and keep running. Roll at the edge and drop down, shooting two bats as they appear. Drop down once more, taking some minor damage, and run through the door in the dark corner of the room. Whew! SECRET #4 consists of a medipack and some magnum clips; was it worth it? Exit the room and use the switch at this level to open the Atlas Door. Climb the stairs, then jump and grab the center ledge. Jump to the ledge and get the magnum clips either before or after killing another bat. Jump back to the first ledge and move across about half way. Jump and grab the middle ledge, then go around the left corner and use the switch to open the Neptune Door. Turn around and jump across to the stairs. Turn around and jump up to the center ledge, then enter the Thor Door to your left. Okay, Thor is the god who makes lightning with his hammer, right? So inside here we have first of all a lightning room. In the ceiling is a sphere that shoots out lightning bolts to a series of panels in the floor, set in a vaguely circular pattern. You're safe as long as you stay outside this circle; inside it, all bets are off. So walk cautiously into the room until the light show starts, then edge your way to the right and walk along the wall till you're in front of the last panel; then wait for a bolt and jump just after it and run into the next room. Look up. This room is for Thor's hammer. Just under the hammer is a panel in the floor. Walk up to this panel and across it to trigger it, then keep on walking and you'll clear it just as the hammer hits. (If you run you don't trigger the hammer; if you stand you get squished rather completely.) Stand there a second or two while a block falls from God knows where into the room. Push the block up against the wall near the head of Thor's hammer. Use it to climb up to a ledge with a second block; jump over this block and push it over so you can use it to jump up to the next higher ledge. Get the small medipack, then jump across to the ledge on your left. Enter the small room and get the Thor Key, then do a safety drop to the ground. Run through the electric room and back out to the main room. Walk out, then draw your guns and jump back -- Pierre is shooting at you again, this time from the ground. Jump up to the center and drop down to the next level, then get a bead on him and fire at him till he runs away again. Shoot some bats, then jump to an outside ledge, then up to the previous ledge. Go up the stairs and turn to your right to find the switch for the Damocles Door. Go down the stairs and enter the Atlas Door. Kill the gorilla waiting for you in here, then run ahead and through the gate (which promptly slams behind you). There's a pit to your left with a picture of a boulder and a medipack, and to your right is a slope with . . . a boulder at the top of it. (Where have I seen this picture before?) As before, the best way to deal with this is to walk backwards up the ramp till you hear the boulder start to roll, then run forward into the pit and jump back against the wall so the boulder can bounce over your head. Ha! Get the medipack, climb out of the pit, and walk up the ramp until you see a ledge on your left. Jump up to it and get the Atlas Key on the other side of the ledge. Make your way back and exit the Atlas Door. Go to the highest step and jump up and climb to the next level. Jump to the stairs on your left. Shoot some bats and go to the highest step. Jump to the middle ledge and go to the other side and enter the Neptune Door to find a very deep pool. Save your game and jump in, swimming down a very long way to a tunnel with a door at the end and an opening overhead. Go up into the opening to find a lever switch and pull it to open the door you saw below. Go back down and into the door to get the Neptune Key, then swim like hell for the surface. I got badly turned around in here the first time I did it and finally had to do it in two shifts -- down to pull the switch, then back for air, then down to get the key, then back to the surface. If your dexterity is better than mine you can probably do it one go, though. Climb out of the water and exit through the Neptune Door. Jump to the middle ledge and climb down to the ledge across from the sandstone stairs, one level above the ground. Wait a minute, did I hear a growl? Yes, there's a couple of lions down there; shoot them now to save trouble later, then jump over to the stairs and go down to the Damocles Door. Get the medipack on top of the door before you enter. Here we have a large room crammed full of whole and broken pillars, and with (gulp) massive swords overhead. But they're no threat to you -- yet. Go to the end of the room and get the Damocles Key, then hoist yourself up and get the shells and medipack on the ledge above. Now walk carefully out. The swords will start falling, and they seem to aim for you; but if you walk and avoid the shadows you will probably not get skewered. Probably. Exit the Damocles Door. Drop down to the ground and keep an eye out for Pierre, in case you didn't drive him away before. Go to the door and use the four keys in the four locks; starting with the one closest to the door, they are Neptune, Atlas, Damocles, and Thor. The bars pull back and you can EXIT this huge level. Finally! Pickups: 18 Secrets: 4 Kills: 21 COLOSSEUM Ah, a pool. With a crocodile in it. Shoot the lizard, then jump in and swim to the other side of the pool. Pop out and shoot two lions, one that charges you and one that's around the back at the left. Enter the temple and start up the left stairs, then jump back and kill a third lion. There's nothing else to do in here, so go back outside and go around the left side. Climb up the rocky ledge on the left and jump over to the second floor ledge around the temple. Follow the ledge around to get a medipack. Return the way you came and climb onto the block to get up to the third floor ledge. Follow it around the temple and jump diagonally to a ledge in the rocks that leads to a door you can almost see. Before dropping down to the door, however, slide down the slope that faces the door and jump when you reach the bottom to land on a small ledge. Look to the left of the water for a hidden passage. Do a running jump into the passage and get z SECRET #1, shotgun shells. Make your way back to the door and go in. At the edge of a big pit, shoot two growling crocodiles and get the medipack in the corner. Use the ramp to climb out of the pit, then face the left wall and jump and grab the crack in the wall. Shuffle to the right until you can climb up, then go forward to z SECRET #2, more shotgun shells. Go back to the crevice and do a safety drop and shuffle right until you can drop to the ledge. Walk up the ramp and start down the tunnel until you can drop down a hole and enter the temple. There's a switch here that opens the gate into the temple, and you can throw it if you want, but there's no real need. With guns drawn, go up the stairs to your right to enter the Colosseum. Wow. Ouch. Pierre is here too, on your left; shoot and jump, and meanwhile back away from the hallway you just came in by, because that's where he's heading, and as soon as he reaches it he's away. Be careful not to fall into the arena yet, however; there's two lions and a gorilla down there, and they're not too nice. (To you, that is. They like each other just fine.) When Pierre is gone and the animals are dead, jump down into the arena and trot over to the door at the back left. Slide down the ramp (and by the way, when you slide down a ramp it means it's too steep to allow you to climb back up again, so you'll have to find another way out) and shoot the two lions waiting for you. Go to the far wall and use the switch to open a gate in some rocks in the arena. Turn around and pull the other switch to open the door next to it. Head down this corridor and into a pit in the arena floor. It looks like it'll be easy to climb out of this pit -- but wait, what's that noise? Blast, four lions have been released into the arena. Kill them by jumping and shooting them at the top of your jumps; it takes a while, but it does the trick and it's safe. When they're all dead (or you're tired of picking them off slowly), climb out of the pit and head for the rocks at the right, keeping an eye out in case the last lion is hiding here. (Don't run in this area; there's a pit full of spikes to skewer yourself on that's hard to spot in the sand.) Go to the door in the rocks and slide down the ramp. This room has one locked door, two cells, and a pressure plate in a far corner. This one is rather tricky since the doors are on timers. You need to get through a door in the right cell that's opened by a switch in the left cell, and both doors are opened by the pressure plate. So first open the cells and go pick up a medipack in the right cell, then step on the plate in the cell to get back out again. Then go back to the far corner and step on the plate that opens both cells, run to the left cell, pull the switch, turn and run to the right cell, and leap out the new door quick before it closes. Whew! Took me quite a while, as simple as it now seems; I kept running into the bloody wall and having to start all over. Pull the switch in here to open the locked door in the room you just left, then go back and enter that door. Go down the slope into a room full of spikes. Edge past them and go through the door to a series of ledges that brings you to the top of the rock pile you were walking through a few minutes ago. Turn left and head up the slope, then climb the ledge and go right to find some shotgun shells. Come back to where you can see the arena and contemplate for a moment. Obviously you want to reach that elaborate area with all the columns that overlooks the arena. You can't quite make it on a straight jump, but if you stand on the farther right of the two lighter-colored ledges, you can make a running jump that will take you to the slope on the other side of the door that leads up to that area. Grunt, Lara, grunt. When you get there, walk up to the level area, then turn left and do a running jump-and-grab at the ledge on the left. Made it! Draw your guns and walk forward to kill two gorillas in the bedroom. (That's right, it's a room full of beds. What did you expect in a Roman colosseum?) Here, in addition to beds, we have a pool behind a locked gate, a closed door, and a movable block. Pull the block twice, then go into the dark tunnel behind it. Pull the switch and pick up a medipack to the left of the switch. Make your way back to the arena floor and walk around the rocks, then turn left and proceed to the block in the left corner. Climb up into the bleachers and turn right to go into a small chamber in the corner. Stand at the door and shoot two bats, then walk in and head for the light. The gate slams shut behind you, and there's a pit, a ramp, and a boulder, gah! Jump into the pit and the boulder bounces over your head harmlessly. Climb out of the pit and jump to the other side. Walk up the ramp to another switch and use it; it opens another door somewhere. Go on out this door and through a dark passage to a slope that returns you to the first room. Turn left as you leave this room and walk towards the far corner of the room past the door you came in by -- whoops, there's a lioness coming down the hall, and there's that idiot Pierre again. Pop both of them, remembering that Pierre wants to get out the hall where the lioness was (moron). When they're both gone, continue on to the room in the corner. Stand at the door to cack two more bats, then go forward into the lit room where you find a block, three columns of different sizes, and two ledges high overhead. At the top of the ledge on the right is another switch you need to reach; at the top of the other ledge is a secret door that opens briefly when you walk to the right of the tallest column. Is there a way to get up there in time? Yes, there is, but it's kind of dicey. Are you ready? Stand facing the block with your back against the wall, with the tallest pillar to your left. Run past the illar (hear the door open?) and jump onto the block. As soon as you hit, jump right to land on the first pillar. Immediately jump back to land on the second pillar. Immediately jump left to land on the third pillar. Immediately jump forward to land on the ledge and run like hell into the room just before the door closes. Wow! That's an accomplishment! Welcome to z SECRET #3, with two medipacks, some Uzi clips, and a pair of magnums -- no, not magnum clips, but the actual guns. Yes, definitely worth it, I'd say. Go back out and do a running jump to get across to the switch. Throw it, jump back to the ledge, and do your best to get back down with as little damage as possible. Out the door and off to the last corner of the room (where there's no bats, for a change). Throw the switch, which opens the door at the back of the bedroom, then jump in the pool and swim to another room with a movable block. Push the block forward twice, then move to the side and pull it once to reveal a chamber with a Rusty Key in it. Get the key and swim back to the first room, then go out. Walk up to the arena and kill a gorilla that apparently dropped out of heaven, then do a safety drop to the arena floor. Work your way back to the bedroom (to save time, you can jump carefully between spikes in the pit) and go into the door in the back to find . . . a single medipack. Oh well. Use the Rusty Key to open the gate and jump in the water. Oops, there's a crocodile here. Well, swim past him to the first opening, which leads to a room with a switch. Pull the switch, then shoot the crocodile (if he'll let you). When he's dead or you're tired of the game, go swimming again and keep swimming down the tunnel until you EXIT. Pickups: 14 Secrets: 3 Kills: 25 PALACE MIDAS You're swimming when you start this level; head for the surface and climb out of the pool into a room with three visible exits. Draw your guns and enter the room straight ahead, where you get to shoot two gorillas. At the end of this room are two doorways; go through the left door and pop three more gorillas in a room with a temple-type building. Pick up the medipack and enter the door. Throw a switch that opens a gate into a park, then go back through the other door and shoot two more gorillas. Return back to the pool where you started. Turn left and shoot a large and fast crocodile, then go down this passage to an area with stairs on the left. We'll come back to them; for now, walk next to the stairs and into a large area that looks vaguely like a stable. Turn right and walk to the very end; turn left and shoot a gorilla, then get some magnum clips and back out. Turn right and walk forward until two lions attack. Kill them (you may want the shotgun -- these are big guys) and continue to the end of the room. Turn right and shoot three bats, then get a medipack from the next to the last alcove on the left. We're done in this room for now; there's lots of stuff over your head, but you can't get there from here. For now, retrace your steps and go up the stairs. At the top, turn left and advance cautiously until you have shot three gorillas. (Where the heck is this monastery anyway, that it has all these African animals wandering around in it? Never mind, never mind. Forget I asked.) Take a look around the room. There's a series of pillars, four doors around the outside walls, and a platform in the center. Notice that the doors have a combination of omegas and upsilons (looks like a Y) on them, a different combination for each door). Starting from the door on the right wall and going clockwise, they are: 1. YOOOO (where you hear a buzzing a little like bats) 2. ?OYYO (the first letter is obscured by a red blotch) 3. OOYOY (behind which you can just glimpse some spikes) 4. YOOOY (under a smaller platform with a rail around it) Well, they're all locked, so we'll have to find a way up to the center platform. At the far right near door 1 is a bright orange column that's a little shorter than the others. Climb up it, jump to the next column, then turn left and jump to the ledge over door 1. Turn right and do a running jump-and-grab to the ledge over door 2, where you can get a medipack and some magnum clips. Return to the pillars and proceed from pillar to pillar with running jumps. At the last one, turn right and jump to the central platform at last. Here e have a pit in the floor and five switches. Huh -- five, just like the number of letters over the doors. Do you suppose it means anything? Well, if you push just the first switch to make the pattern down-up-up-up-up, door 1 opens -- so Y=down and O=up. Drop into the pit, push the switch to open the gate here, then proceed around to door 1. That buzz wasn't bats after all; it was fire, huge torches in pillars in a pool. Step on the pressure plate in front of the first torch and watch the torches go out, how handy! But once you step off this plate, they turn on again in fifteen seconds. You have to get to the other end of the room, and you can't swim there; you have to jump across these columns. And they aren't even in a straight line. Blast. While you're thinking what to do, go down the steps at the right and shoot three huge rats in the water, then return to the pressure plate and save your game. This may take you a large number of tries. (And there's no point in saving halfway across; when you reload the game the torches will be on and you'll go up like -- well, like a torch.) But there is a way to do it. It turns on the fact that you can make Lara change her trajectory in midair by pushing the direction keys. What you need to do is to run and jump off the first pillar, then hold down the Jump key for the rest of the journey, using the right and left arrows to get her headed in the right direction once she's airborne. At the last pillar, you'll have to grab and pull yourself up; if you dawdled along the way, the torch will come back on while you're hanging there, in which case you can shuffle to one side, pull yourself up, and run across the side; this hurts but doesn't kill. In any case, give yourself three huzzahs -- you made it! Grab a bar of lead -- lead?! I went through that for a bar of LEAD?! Yes, you'll see. Pocket the thing and swim back to the stairs. (And no, for some reason the lead doesn't make her sink in the water. Why do I keep trying to intrude logic into this business?) Return to the pillar room and shoot another gorilla. Go via the gate to the central platform and reproduce the pattern of door 2, which is something-up-down-down-up. Turns out the door doesn't open unless the first switch is up. Drop down and go out door 2, which leads to a room with a pillar in the center and a number of flying buttresses. Nothing to do here just yet, so go through to the door at the back. Here there's an up staircase at the left and a down staircase to the right. Turn right and go down to a room with a movable block. Pull it out and hear a tremendous crashing thud. Oops. Go back up and go up the other staircase and through a dark tunnel until you see, um, the remains of the room with the pillar and the buttresses. Butterfingers! On the opposite side of the room, however, you can now see a doorway, through which you must get. Stand at the edge and look down and right; you can just make out a small dark ledge. Jump to it. From here you can do a running jump-and-grab to the central pillar -- yes, you can. Really. Once you get there, you can do another running jump-and-grab to the sandy ledge beside and just under the doorway. Jump into the doorway and follow a rocky tunnel to a ledge that overlooks an aqueduct. This is the top of the room where you shot the lions earlier. Shoot two gorillas and two bats, then jump across to the aqueduct. Walk along it and to the right and shoot two crocodiles in the water, then jump in and swim under the rocks to a rocky room. Get out at the shelf on the right. You want to make it to the left side, where there's some goodies. Walk forward, then turn left and climb up the rocks and walk forward as far as you can. Now jump over the next slope and hold down the jump key to instantly jump over the next slope and slide to a stop in the corner. Turn left and clamber over the rocks to reach z SECRET #1, a medipack and some magnum clips. Cool. Jump back in the water and swim out, then climb out and walk back to the place where you first jumped over (where the dead gorilla bodies are). Look over the edge and see a small medipack below. Do a safety drop below to get z SECRET #2 - shotgun shells, Uzi clips and a medipack. Draw your guns and jump out of the pit to kill the gorilla you've been hearing grunt at you for the last ten minutes. Walk straight ahead and pick up a medipack from the second alcove on the right, then walk back and jump over to the other wing of the structure, where you'll have to kill two more gorillas (one in the second alcove, one in the next to last). Be careful of the edge here as you jump for room to shoot; it's too far down to survive a fall. Stand in the next-to-last alcove and look across the chasm to the ledge with a medipack you can just see. Back up as far as you can, then run, jump, and grab to get to this ledge. Face the wall and jump to grab onto the crevice, then shuffle to the left and drop onto the ledge. Kill a bat, then turn and jump over to a door. Proceed up a long tunnel until you reach a hex-shaped passage with a collapsible floor (that will drop you into the pool at the end of the aqueduct if you're not careful). Run down this collapsible tunnel and get the medipack, then turn and climb out of the tunnel. Skid down the long slope and climb back down to a ledge above the pool room where you started this level. Draw your guns, because there's a lioness up there with you, whoopsie! Put her away, then run along the ledge and into the door on the other side. Follow the tunnel, then jump into the left window and out onto a ledge where you can turn right and make a running jump across to another ledge. Turn right and go up to the pool and take a swim into the next room, avoiding the big crocodile swimming in here with you (by swimming deep -- they like to stay near the surface). Exit the water and climb up to a spot looking at the roof of a temple. Shoot a bat, and take some shots at the lions below if you get a chance. Jump to the roof and pick up another lead bar, then shoot the lions and drop down. Go down the stairs and into the tunnel, then turn left and go to the pool room. Go left and make your way back to the room with the five switches. Set the switches for door 3, up-up-down-up-down, then drop down and go to the open door, where the floor is full of spikes. Well, not full exactly; they seem to be in patterns. Hmm. Well, there's one door at floor level; go over there and find a ramp and a movable block. Pull it twice to reveal a tunnel with a switch at the end (the which you should pull). Go up the ramp and the stairs at its top to find that the switch raised tall blocks inside the spikes. Do a running jump to the nearest, then to the one on your right, and so on counterclockwise around the room. At the last one, draw your guns and jump in and immediately back, because there's a really ticked-off gorilla in here. Calm him down the hard way, then go on in and get a last lead bar. Jump back to the pillar, then jump over the spikes to the ground and return to the 5 switches. There's one more door in here, but we'll do it later. For now, head back to the pool room and through the tunnel opposite the one you just came out of with guns drawn. It's the garden gate that we opened in the first room. Shoot two gorillas, then go to the back of the room where there's a small roof-type arrangement. Climb onto the ledge on the right, then jump over to the roof and get a medipack. Go to the right side of the roof and walk into the dark at the back, which turns out to be a passage to the Midas Chamber. Cool. You wondered why this level was called Palace Midas, didn't you? Stand next to the stone hand and use the lead bars one by one to turn them to GOLD! (For an usual way to die, try climbing or jumping onto Midas's hand yourself.) Return to the garden and go to the right corner next to the gate. Walk sideways behind the tree, face to the wall, and push Action until Lara pushes a switch you can't see. Shazam! A gate opens to your right, z SECRET #3. Enter the gate and walk up to an arrangement like a vertical bear-trap. Eidos calls it a slicer, and this is a particularly nasty one -- two in a row with a collapsible floor between them that drops into a spike pit. What you need to do is wait for them to shut, then jump through them as they open. Pick up shotgun shells, magnum clips, and a medipack, then return as carefully as you came. Make your way back to the five switches and set them for door 4, up- down-down-down-up, then drop down and head for the last open door. Shoot a lion, then head up the stairs to the top and out onto the ledge. Get the shotgun shells, then go down the stairs and through the right door. Use the gold bars in the three slots, then enter the open door and slide down the ramp to EXIT. Pickups: 21 Secrets: 3 Kills: 42 CISTERN Stand here a moment to appreciate the interesting sounds. Then draw your guns and drop into the hole, immediately shooting the honking great rat that's biting you. Yuck. Push the block forward twice and once to the right to access a switch that opens a white door and a trapdoor in the floor. Shoot two rats that come through the wall that just opened. Go through the white door and get the medipack, then go down the hole and run outside to a walkway that overlooks a huge room with pillars and a large pool. Stand there a moment and shoot two rats below you and two crocodiles in the pool. Turn to your right and jump to the pillar at your right, then shoot a rat on the stairs. Walk to the wall then jump up and grab the crevice. Shuffle left to a ledge, then drop down and take some shotgun shells. Turn left and grab another crevice; continue left until you can climb up. Turn right and climb up to a ledge and walk to the end of it to get the Rusty Key. Return to the other end of the ledge and climb down, then hang and drop to the brick walkway below. Follow this walkway around and climb the pillar at one corner, then turn right and jump to the balcony and go up the stairs. Blast, Pierre is here again, on your right; shoot him until he runs away, then turn right and climb the conduit you see here. Jump up to the next conduit and into a tunnel and climb up to z SECRET #1, shotgun shells. Walk to the edge of the slope, then slide down and jump just at the end to land on another ledge with two shotgun shells. Slide and drop back into the room below. On the opposite wall, there's a high conduit with some goodies on it. Run and jump twice to reach a medipack and some more shells. Do a safety drop to the floor from here. Notice a switch and some openings in the floor to water. Skip the switch for now and go swimming. There's rats here, and you can't get out once you get in, so swim deep to avoid them and look for a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, surface and kill a rat in the water. Climb and jump up to the top ledge and get a second Rusty Key. Go forward and hang from the ledge so you can shuffle to the left and drop to the ledge with two rats, filthy vermin, whom it is a pleasure to slaughter. Continue forward and slide down the ramp to the main room. Turn right and jump up to the ledge, then follow it around to get back to the bridge where you started the level. Turn right and jump to the next bit of bridge, then turn left and jump to the first door where you get to use one of those Rusty Keys. Enter the room and turn around to climb a ledge over the door. Turn and shoot two gorillas, then jump to the next ledge and shoot at Pierre from above until he runs off. Jump to the next ledge and get the medipack, then do another jump to the high ledge. See that little alcove just under the crevice in the back wall? It's hard to get to, but it can be done. Stand at the edge closest to the alcove, then turn around and take one step forward; then hold your breath and jump backwards into space. Open your eyes to discover that you just landed in the alcove! Amazing. Get the magnum clips, then do a running jump back to the highest ledge, then turn around and do a run-jump-grab to grab the crevice above the alcove. Shuffle to the right and drop to the ledge, then drop through the hole on your right and run forward to go down the ramp. Shoot the crocodile in the room, then slide down to the floor and shoot a second crocodile. (Man, those are big suckers. Lara ought to saddle one and use him for a horse.) Walk into either of the passages to alert a third crocodile to your presence and kill him. Shoot a rat and get the medipack, then return to the room with the dead crocodiles. Climb the wall above the pedestal, then turn and jump to the ledge, then do a running jump to the next ledge and one more jump to the ledge on the right. Go forward and drop to the ledge below, then grab the crevice and shuffle left to the white door. Use the switch and enter the door. Jump over some spikes and into a pit where you can shoot two more rats, then drop into a green hole. Shoot another rat, then drop to the ground. Go through the door and shoot a rat to your right, then climb the stairs by the Gold Door. Facing the wall, jump to the ledge, then turn right and climb to the next ledge. Run to the end and turn around and do a running jump. Climb up to the ledge and turn right and do another running jump, then jump over to the switch and open the Gold Door below. Make your way to the floor and enter the door to get the Silver Key. Back up and -- shoot, it's Pierre again. Avoid him this time; just clamber over the stairs and dive into the water ASAP. Swim past the first opening and continue until you surface in the pool in the main room. Work your way up to the room with all the conduits and the switch we didn't throw before. Avoid the holes in the floor (although you can stop to shoot the rats now, if it pleases you) to throw the switch, then walk back to the entrance and look at what you just did. Way cool -- you flooded the entire room. (Incidentally, you can throw the switch again to drain it if you need to.) Drop down to the walkway, then jump in the water and swim to a small almost invisible tunnel in the top right wall of the old pool. Swim to the end and throw a lever to open a door for you, then surface and kill two rats. Get the medipacks and shells, then dive back in and swim to the new door and get the Silver Key. (If you take the wrong turning here, you'll end up in the room where you last saw Pierre, now flooded. Pretty, but useless.) Go through the gate that just opened and you're back in the main room. Swim to the second locked door and use the other Rusty Key. Take a swim down to a small room with a medipack and a Gold Key. Swim back to the main room and get out of the water fast so you can shoot the crocodile that just arrived. When he's dead, swim to the large platform against the left wall of the room with all the plants on it. Dive down and swim to your right to find another small tunnel leading to z SECRET #2, magnum clips. Go back at the surface and climb up to a white door and a block at the left with Rams on it. Push the Rams block to find z SECRET #3, a small room with a slope on the left and a high ledge on the right. Stand facing the slope and jump forward, holding down the Jump button to bounce up to the ledge. Piece of cake. Get the medipack and the magnum clips and exit. Use the silver keys to unlock the next two doors and enter the room -- walking, because you're not done yet. The gold box you see over the door is the lock. Climb the pillar and jump to the ledge, then to the ledge over the door. Face the high ledge and jump to it, then jump to the lock in the wall on your right. Kill a surprise gorilla and use the gold key to open the door below. Do a safety drop to the door and kill two more lions. But wait, there's more! Enter and run across the large room, being wary of the broken tiles that drop into spike pits. At the back is a switch that you can throw if you want to kill three more lions, but they've got nothing you want, so skip it. Behind the switch is a movable block; pull it twice, then pull it out from the wall four times. Move to the opposite side and push it once, then climb up and jump to the ledge above. Take the medipack and three magnum clips. If you're in the mood, go into the doorway at the right and shoot two rats and the three lions we didn't release before, then drop down and flip a switch to get you back to the other unflipped switch. In any case, go to the place behind the switch where you pulled out the block and look down. Gulp, then jump into the well. Scream with joy all the way down; you finally found the EXIT! Pickups: 27 Secrets: 3 Kills: 34 TOMB OF TIHOCAN Splish splash, and the fall is over. Turn back up to get some air, then swim down the passage until you reach tunnels going up and down. Go down and through the tunnel to the end, then down till you reach the lever. This lowers the water level so you can now go back up and exit the water. Use a bar switch here to open a door down the hall. Go through the door with guns drawn and shoot a crocodile. Go through the tunnel and climb the steps, then jump across to the ledge in the middle. Stand at the left side of the central pillar, then climb up. Large darts immediately start whistling across the room, but if you're far enough back you're safe; they're pretty slow. Do a running leap (timed between darts, naturally) to the ledge in the opposite corner, then climb into the alcove above it and use the switch to flood the room. Take a swim to a tunnel that used to be covered by the now- floating white block and get the medipack. Swim up and climb onto the white block, then run into the tunnel and take another swim. Go down and forward and pull a lever to activate a strong current. Go up for air, then swim forward into the current to be carried a long way. Exit the water when you reach the end, then climb out and shoot a rat. The room has ledges on all four sides at different levels and a movable block. The block is under one of the lowest levels; pull it out to the middle of the room and use it to jump to the other low level, the one with two doorways above it. Turn to your right and walk/climb as far as you can in that direction, then turn right and climb up, then turn right and climb up to find yourself on top of the tallest pillar in the room. Immediately draw your guns, turn to face the doorway on your right, and jump up and down to shoot at Pierre. He takes a couple of potshots and then seems to disappear; really, he's just hiding around the corner. Holster your guns and turn to your left. Do a running jump to the shelf at the opposite corner, which immediately releases a swinging blade. Jump to the space behind it to get some shotgun shells, then do a safety drop to the ledge below and climb the pillar again. Jump into the doorway and pull your guns to blast away at Pierre until he leaves. (You may have to stop and heal yourself on this one; it's a very small enclosed space, and a jump backwards may kill you.) Go down the hall and jump/run through a slicer, walking forward until you get to a pit with a big crocodile at the bottom. Shoot him from above, then go down the stairs and get the shells and the magnum clips. Walk across the three floor tiles outlined in yellow brick to open the door to z SECRET #1. It's a small room full of slopes with a ledge above . . . where have we seen this before? Turn to face the door, then jump left and hold the button to make multiple leaps to shotgun shells and a medipack. Make your way back past the slicer to the room with the swinging blade. Jump onto the ledge with the swinging blade and do a running jump from there to the door behind the slicer. Go down the stairs to a high ledge, then turn around, jump backwards, and hang on the edge. Shuffle to the right and climb up into a tunnel; flip the switch you'll find here to flood the room where Secret #1 was. Dive in and surface, then swim to the ledge along the right wall and get out. Shoot another rat, then dive in the water behind him. Swim to the next room and prepare to shoot a lion as you leave the water. You're in a room with spikes at one end and three doorways at the other (and a dead lion). Go through either of the outside tunnels to reach a switch that opens a gate you haven't seen before. Go back and climb into the center doorway and turn around; on a ledge above you are two gorillas. Jump and shoot till they're history, then jump and climb up to their level. Jump across a hole that opens onto spikes and grab the crevice on the far wall and shuffle to the right till you can climb up to the gate. Enter and get the Gold Key and the medipack. Go back to the room with the dead lion and enter the middle doorway to a ledge where you can use the Gold Key. This causes several blocks to appear in the water before you. Do a series of jumps to cross these blocks and get the medipack before entering the door. This new room has four doors with no locks, one door with two locks, one door over your head, four panels in the floor with what looks like primitive Greek on them, and a movable block. For notation's sake, let's number the no-lock doors; the first door on your right as you entered is door 1, and so on around counterclockwise. Okay. Pull (don't push) the block twice to cover the panel nearest it, then immediately jump onto it and draw your guns to shoot the gorilla that was just released from door 1. When he's dead, go to that room nd get the shotgun shells and magnum clip he was locked up with. Pull the block to the panel closest to the door over your head and jump up again; another gorilla, this time from door 2. Go get some shotgun shells from behind door 2, and as you return notice that the door overhead is now open. Climb on top of the block and jump to the door above. Run through the slicer and get the medipack and Rusty Key, then return to the main room. Pull (don't push) the block onto the next panel, then immediately jump up on it, because door 3 releases about six of those blasted rats. Pick them all off and cheer, because they're the last rats you'll see in this game; then go into door 3 to get a medipack. Push the block onto the last panel, and this time you don't have to jump; no animals here. Walk in and notice two slopes crossing your path, with a medipack in the middle and a key on the far side. The slopes should put you in mind of others you've seen before -- just the size and shape for rolling boulders, aren't they? So run like mad for the key alcove, and you may have to jump part of the way. After the boulders have gone past, you can get the key and the medipack at your leisure. Go back to the door with two locks and use the Rusty Keys. Here you have a long ramp in front of you and variable slopes on both sides. Instead of just sliding straight down, jump to the slope at the right and hold the Jump key. You'll bounce back and forth across the slopes any number of times (I lost count) and end up on a ledge in front of a doorway, facing a room with collapsible ledges floating off the ground -- SECRET #2. Turn so your right arm faces the room and your left faces the outside slope, then jump to each of the tiles in quick succession: right, forward, right, right, right, backwards, right -- and you're in the secret alcove with Uzi clips and magnum clips. Whew! Drop down and walk back to the main slope. Slide down and into a large pool. Swim till you find a ledge where you can shoot the crocodile that's been bugging you. Enter the tunnel and climb all the ledges to reach the top, then slide down to a sandy spot. Climb the rock and slide down its slope, jumping at the end to reach a ledge. Climb up to throw a switch that opens an underwater gate, then jump down to the water in the chasm and swim into a pool before a large temple. Swim under the temple and find the hidden tunnel in the right rear. (You may have to search quite a while; look for a bright square rock, then go under and behind it to find a tiled tunnel.) Surface in a small room inside the temple with a switch that opens the main door. Swim back outside and swim to the walkway at the front of the temple. Get out, draw your guns, and save your game, then walk slowly up to the deceptively open door. BAM! As you step on the last doorstep, the centaur statue to your left comes alive, and boy, is he irritable. It's possible to kill him, but it's not easy (with these weapons); he's fast and durable, and he shoots fireballs. You can stay out there and fight him if you want, but personally I'll just run on into the temple, since he can't fit through the doorway to follow me in. Through the door and to your left to a red room, here's Pierre, finally taking a stand and talking to you. You know the number here; jump and shoot, jump and shoot. And suddenly he's not shooting any more, and you've just killed your first human in this game. (How does it feel to be a murderer? Of course, he started it.) Stand over his still-quivering corpse and loot the body to get magnums, a Gold Key, and the second Scion piece. Climb to the ledge above and get the medipack and the magnum clips. Use the Gold Key to open the door below and you are free to EXIT this level. Pickups: 26 Secrets: 2 Kills: 16 Cut Scene: Lara reads the walls and has a Scionic vision EGYPT (City of Khamoon, Obelisk of Khamoon, Sanctuary of Scion) CITY OF KHAMOON Jump into the pit, using the block at the right as a step. Turn left and enter the tunnel and use the switch to open a door below you. Enter this door and pull the block 3 times, then enter the passage behind it to get a medipack and magnum clips. Go back and climb up on the block, then pull a second block out from a slot in the wall and into the room. Push it up against the wall and use it to jump up and grab a crevice; shuffle to the right till you can climb up. A large sandy cave and a huge face looming out of the darkness -- and whoops, a black panther coming to get you. Shoot him and walk down the sandy floor until Lara stops, then wait a moment for a huge mummy monster to come staggering out from between the Sphinx's paws. Shoot at him till he explodes (and incidentally, it's not a good idea to be too close when they blow), then slide down to the floor of the main room. On your right is an obelisk (the Obelisk of Khamoon, in fact) in a pool of water. Dive to the bottom and get some magnum clips (you should be able to use the magnums as a default from now on), then surface on the side with the palm trees and jump up to the ledge above you. Run and jump to the top of the obelisk to get some shotgun shells, then jump into the water and come up on the side where the Sphinx is. Climb up on his left paw and up behind his head, where you will find a tunnel with shotgun shells and a Sapphire Key. Go around to the front again and between his legs, where there's a movable block. Pull it out twice and jump behind it, then use the Sapphire Key to open the door. Go down the passage to the next room; turn right and jump up to a ledge with a medipack. Jump forward to the next ledge on this side of the room and shoot the panther below, then jump to the ledge along the far wall. Go down the right passage and kill another panther as he charges at you. Walk under a bridge and stand at a ledge to shoot a crocodile in a large room below. Drop down and enter a tunnel under the ledge you were standing on to get a medipack, then return. Run across the ramp in the middle of the room to trigger a boulder, then walk to where it stopped, turn right, and go up the hill to a dark passage. Climb the ledges and jump into the room for z SECRET #1, magnum clips and a medipack. Walk to the pool in the corner and jump in. Pull the lever under water to open a door to a new pool; surface and get out quickly so you can shoot the crocodile below you. (If you're too fast, you may have to drop in again to lure him out.) Walk to the ledge below the gate and climb up. Push the movable block towards the stairs twice, then get on it and jump to the ledge below the door. Pull yourself up and go up the steps. Jump up into the tunnel and use the wall switch to extend a gold bridge in the previous room. Return to the room and jump back to the block. Push the block towards the stairs, then pull and push it out on the walkway towards the ledge with a second movable block on it. Climb up and jump to that ledge, then push the block twice. Enter the passageway you just revealed (you're on the bridge you walked under to reach the room with the crocodile and the ramp) and flip the switch you find to open door in the ceiling above the golden bridge. Return to the ledge and jump to the gold bridge, then jump up and climb into the door in the ceiling. Throw the switch up there to open a door under the cat statue. Head for the white statue that looks like a gong and jump to a ledge on the left. Turn right and jump to the rocks; turn right and drop a bit to get some magnum clips. Turn left and slide down the slopes. Get the medipack and jump to the ledge on your right. From here jump to the blue- green roof and get the magnum clips. Shoot a crocodile below, then climb up on one of the corner pieces and jump to the roof over the boulder ramp for z SECRET #2, Uzi clips. Do a safety drop to the ramp and head for the cat statue. Do a safety drop to the green ledge and another to the floor. Enter the room with the tiled floor (ignore the sandy one; it's a trap with no exit and no goodies) and get the magnum clips, then turn and drop down the hole. Walk forward till Lara aims, then shoot two almost invisible panthers below. Walk forward a step and go left to an alcove to get some magnum clips, then back up and flip the switch (which opens a trap door in the main room to turn on the lights in here). Do a safety drop to the floor below and draw your guns, walking slowly forward till you hear a door open that releases two more panthers. Blast 'em. (Panthers' skill is that they move *fast* and are hard to keep track of. The shotgun will get them if you get close enough for three or four good shots.) Walk to the door they came out of and get a medipack. Return to the main room and climb up a grey block, then up to a rope bridge. Walk to the center column and shoot the two panthers that just came out of the other door. Walk around to the left side of the column, facing a cat statue, and jump over to it to reach z SECRET #3, shotgun shells. Drop back to the floor and get the medipack in the other passage, then climb back up to the bridge and enter the lighted doorway next to it with guns drawn - - and blow up the cat-mummy that jumps you. Enter a sandy room and jump to the tunnel on your right and follow to the next room. Climb the pillar and take the Sapphire Key from the top. Proceed up the hill and enter the door, then jump across several small ledges to get some magnum clips. Jump to the ledge on your left, then climb up to the switch and use it. Jump back across the ledges to the entrance and do a safety drop to a long slope that just opened up below. (The sound you heard when you pulled the switch was a big pile of sand sifting down when the trapdoor opened.) You'll slide down for quite a distance, then you can walk up the slope on the right to a room with a lock where you can use the Sapphire Key to open the final door and EXIT this level. Pickups: 24 Secrets: 3 Kills: 14 OBELISK OF KHAMOON This level begins with a door to an uphill climb on the right, then a tunnel on the left. The tunnel leads to a room with four pillars, each with a movable block under it. Go to the first pillar on your right, next to the Gold Door, and pull the block three times, then push it under the gold door (which is still locked, so we'll come back to it later). Enter the newly-revealed tunnel and take care of the panther before getting the medipack at the end of this passage. Pillar #2 conceals another panther and no goodies; go for it if you're bored. Pull the block from pillar #3 and jump down and slide. Shoot a panther and open a bronze door over your head. Climb up to get a medipack, then exit through the bronze door. Get a magnum clip behind the door, then drop down to return to the pillar room. Now for the last pillar. Push or pull the block to permit access to the alcove and water behind it. Swim through the tunnel to a large pool; get out quickly and shoot another bloody crocodile. When he's dead, dive back in to get a medipack and magnum clips on the bottom and a Sapphire Key in an alcove in one of the corners. Swim back to the pillar room and go back out the door you came in by (to the right of the gold door). Use the Sapphire Key to open this door and the gold door, then return to climb the block and go into the gold door. Proceed up the stairs and shoot the panther-mummy, then use the switch in the left corner to make a bridge drop to a large column that you haven't seen yet. Go around to your left and across the bridge to the central pillar, then hit Action to get the Eye of Horus (which you may not quite be able to see). After a short vision, drop off the bridge and get some shotgun shells from the walkway below, then dive in the water and get the magnum clips. Surface and enter the tunnel opposite the underwater Gold Door. Slide down the slope and kill the two panthers waiting for you. Jump up and move from ledge to ledge to the very top. (About halfway up there's a ledge with columns that leads to a room with two mummies and no goodies; so you can go for it if you want a high kill- count or are just feeling ornery, but there's no need, especially if you're short of ammo, medipacks, or temper.) When you get to the top, go up the stairs and shoot another mummy. Continue down the stairs and use the switch by the pillars to access a new bridge. Drop down to the left of the switch to get a medipack and two magnum clips, then return to the top of the stairs and do a safety drop into the pit on the left. Slide down a long slope to the bottom of a tall room. Kill a panther in one of the two doors ahead of you and get some magnum clips, then climb into the farthest right of three alcoves and flip a switch that turns the slope into stairs. Climb up three steps and jump to the ledge on your left to get shotgun shells. Jump back to the stairs and go up a few more until you can drop to a ledge on your left. Turn right and go through a door, then jump left to a ledge and follow it across the bridge. When you reach the central pillar, pick up the Ankh and get another watery vision. Back at the ledge, go past the door and get the medipack at the steps, then use the switch before returning whence you came, where another set of stairs has been created. Go up the stairs. At the top, turn and jump to the crevice on your right and shuffle to the ledge on your right and drop. Go around and do a safety drop to another ledge and enter the hieroglyphics chamber and use the switch. Go back outside and continue up yet another set of instant stairs. Kill the panther-mummy at the top, then use the switch on the edge to activate a third bridge and get a medipack on the ledge. Turn and use the switch by the door to open it, then run through the door and down the steps. Look familiar? Walk through some pillars to the ledge, then do a flying leap to the top of the entral pillar to get a medipack and some Uzi clips, z SECRET #1. Find the silver gong below and to your left and do another leap to reach it and z SECRET #2, another medipack and more Uzi clips. Drop to the ledge on your right and enter the door with a green ledge. Climb the stairs to your left and cling to the wall and shuffle right until you can pull yourself up. Turn and jump to the ledge on your right and enter the tunnel for z SECRET #3, magnum clips and a medipack. Drop down to the next ledge and continue into a chamber with lots of furniture. Climb down to the ledge below, then do a safety drop to the next ledge and hang on. Shuffle to your right before dropping to the next ledge. Turn and fall back off the ledge and grab on, then shuffle to the right and drop again. Kill two mummies, then stand next to the sarcophagus and look up. See a passage about halfway up? Climb and shuffle till you reach it, then go out and throw a switch to activate the last bridge. Return to the mummy room and work your way to the ground. Stand between the two chairs and climb the block, then on up till you reach the green ledge. Enter the door and cross the bridge to get the Scarab. Hop to the bridge on your left and get the Seal of Anibus to open the underwater door you've been having visions of. Drop into the water and swim around to the bright side of the column, then fill your lungs and dive. This is a long tunnel, especially if you stop to pick up goodies along the way. Go to the bottom and forward to the second set of alcoves and get the magnum clips on the left. Proceed to the next set of alcoves and take a medipack and shotgun shells on your right. That's it for now, so straight on till you can surface and breathe once more. When you've got your air back, go back down to the bottom of this pool for a medipack, magnum clips, and shotgun shells. Exit the pool and kill the mummy, then get the magnum clips from a shelf in the wall. Climb the stairs in the corner and follow the passage. Kill a last mummy from above, then clamber down and to the right side of this pile of dirt to get a medipack. Jump up to and climb the steps on the right side of the mound. Look out at the top, and what do you know, we're at the Sphinx from the last level. Go to the Obelisk of Khamoon and use the four objects from the bridge in its slots. (You can tell from the shapes which ones go where.) A door opens to the left of the Sphinx, and you can EXIT! Pickups: 33 Secrets: 3 Kills: 16 SANCTUARY OF SCION Walk down through the door (SLAM!) into a room with a large staircase in front of you and gates on either side of it. Get magnum clips from both sides of the room, then draw your guns and go up the stairs. Two demon panthers fling down the stairs at you; blast till they explode. (Shotgun's the best, if you've got the ammo.) Walk up the stairs and get another magnum clip, then on out to a large open place. Turn to your right and walk forward under the overhanging rock, dropping down when you get a chance. Ping! Ping! Someone's shooting at you, but you can't see them; better just go down to the sand. Drop forward till you see another demon panther on the sand below. Fire at the demon and keep moving towards the sand. When you hit the sand the shooting stops. Pocket your guns and look around. You're in a large cavern with a huge sphinx; the stairs emerged onto his back, and you walked around and dropped onto his left paw. He's got a door between his legs that you need to open, and it's going to take a while. So let's get started. Stand with your back against the door between the sphinx's legs. We're going to tackle the wall in ront first. Run to the left corner of this wall to a beige-colored block that you can scale. Climb it and turn right, then jump across from block to block until you can't go any further. Jump and grab a crevice and shuffle right, then climb up and turn left. Jump from block to block again until you reach the corner and switch. Throw the switch and see a door open, then turn around and draw your guns; there's a flying demon (looks rather like a skinned pterodactyl) coming at you. Blast till he blows, then do safety drops till you're back on the sand again. (Yes, I know there's a ledge to the left. Leave it till later.) Run in front of the sphinx and around his far side to the door you just opened. Pick up a magnum clip and go in. Go straight ahead to a slope down to a pool, then turn around and slide down backward with the Action key pressed so you'll grab the edge before you hit the water. Shuffle left and drop onto a ledge where you can get magnum clips. Jump up to a second doorway and climb up to a second slope into a different pool, this one with a bridge over it. Slide down into the water and pick up a Gold Key at the bottom, then surface and get out of the water at the ledge on the right. Climb up to return to the slope and slide down again, but this time jump at the end of the slope and grab the bridge. Turn right to use the key, then turn around and draw your guns. Beyond the now-open door is a fireball-throwing centaur -- but he can't leave the room and he won't throw fireballs if you stay far enough back. Blast away at him till he finally explodes, then go on in and get a medipack and the first Ankh. Drop off the bridge and return to the sphinx. Turn right outside the door and go to the rocks in the dark area off the sphinx's right paw. Climb up on a low block at the right, which is the only one you can reach, and jump to another low block at the back (at the top of a small slope you can't pass on foot). Pull yourself up to the ledge above, then turn and do a running jump to the medium-sized ledge at your right, then to the tallest pillar. Jump to the ledge over your head and walk down the path to a slicer. Run through and get a medipack, then follow the ledge around. Walk, because there's a gap here that's almost invisible just in front of the switch. Throw the switch and shoot another flying demon, then jump down to the ledge with the medipack. Retrace your steps to get safely back to the ground. Now. Head for that beige stone again and climb up to the switch again, then jump across to the ledge with the shotgun shells to the left. (May take you a while.) Turn left and jump across to another ledge with shotgun shells, then to the next ledge. Do a running jump to the light-colored ledge below you, then up to what looks like a solid dark wall until you look down. Jump into the passageway and walk and climb till you emerge at the door you opened at the other end of the room. Watch your step; you're very high up right now. (If you're in the mood, save your game, then jump off the edge for a spectacular view of the room just before you squish.) Go in the room; the left side is bright, the right side behind the door is dark. Go right and push the movable block once. Go to the bright side and climb up the block and onto the ledge above it, then draw our guns and shoot another centaur. Go into his room to get the second Ankh and a medipack, then return to the outside ledge. Turn right and slide down; get another medipack and jump down to the sphinx's back. Walk to the right and climb up a block in the middle of his back, then do a running jump onto a shelf on his right shoulder. Climb up to the back of his head and insert one of the Ankhs, then go around to his forehead and insert the other. Pop! The door is open at last. After inserting both Ankhs, go to the back of his head. Face the Ankh, then turn left and walk around to the front and look down. You'll see a gun clip floating in midair. Jump to it -- it's an invisible ledge -- and get z SECRET #1, a magnum clip and Uzis, what a prize! Nothing like Uzis for attacking demons. Make your way back to the sand (via the sphinx's shoulders, back, and paws) and go to the finally opened door. Jump down into what looks like a well but is actually a huge and very deep pool with two massive statues in it. Surface and save your game, then dive down to the very bottom, to a tunnel between the feet of the statue on the right (the one with horns). (Lara would have the bends pretty bad by now, I should think, but never mind that.) At the end is a door, and to the right of the door is a lever. When you pull it the door opens and you get sucked up inside the statue to a small trench; surface and get out of the water. Climb the shortest pillar and jump to the other two, ending up on a shelf. Draw your Uzis and walk along this ledge; jump down at the end and shoot a flying demon. You're on the head of the other statue, the one with no horns. Looks like the water level dropped dramatically, thank goodness. Turn to your left and jump to a ledge you can just see behind a wedge of rock. Turn right and jump to a ledge on the shoulder of the horned statue. Climb up on his head, get a medipack, and do a safety drop off the other side of his head. Slide forward to a switch in the crook of his arm that opens a door between the feet of the other statue (still under water). Jump in the water and swim to the other statue's lap and get some shotgun shells. Dive down to his feet and go into the door, then swim up and get out. There's a ramp in front of you that winds around and around and around. Pick up two magnum clips along the way. At the top there's a blue scarab with a gate in front of it; pick up the scarab to open the gate, and draw your Uzis -- because here comes two panther demons and a centaur, gah! Blast and blast, and run back down the ramp if you need some space; they won't follow you too far. When they're all gone, go into the room and to the other gate, where you can insert the scarab to open it. Get the medipack and slide down the slope. Turn left and jump up to the doorway, then draw your guns and drop down into a lovely room, marred by the sound of Larson whining that he's still got a "pain in my brain" because of you. Ah, so that's who was shooting at us before! Shoot the poor brain-damaged fool, and if you didn't get the Uzis before, take his. Go into the next room and take the last piece of the Scion to EXIT Egypt finally. Pickups: 28 Secrets: 1 Kills: 15 Cut Scene: Natla and her goons take the Scion and Lara takes a nap THE LOST WORLD (Natla's Mines, Atlantis, The Great Pyramid) NATLA'S MINES Okay, so you're underwater, your employer just ordered you killed, and you've lost all your guns. Is that any reason to fret? Don't worry about your weapons; we'll have them back by the time we need them. You've still got your medipacks, at any rate. Swim forward into the triangular tunnel and up to a pool with a rowboat by a dock and a waterfall. No sign of Natla and her goons, thankfully. Swim to the left and get out at the dock by the boat. At the right behind the big box is a tunnel that leads to a room with a track and a heap of slag. Behind the slag is a crate; pull it out and jump behind it. Ah. A locked gate. Well, go back to the pool, jump in, and surface *behind* the waterfall. A ledge! Climb up and follow the tunnel to reach a switch; throw it to open the gate behind the slag. Go back to the pool and thence to the slag, where the open gate now reveals another switch. Throw it and go back to the passage behind the waterfall. Go past the switch this time and up to find an open gate. The path leads up and eventually to a place where you can jump across to a ledge over the waterfall (marked by two red-striped sawhorses like you see at construction sites). Jump over there and follow the passage to a large room with a control room on the left and a crane holding a pre-fab cabin over your head. Huh. There's something you don't see every day. There's a medipack in the shadow of the thing; go ahead and pick it up, it's perfectly safe. Go into the control room; pick up some magnum clips and notice the three large panels with empty slots in them. In point of fact they're fuse boxes, and you need to find three fuses (red-white-and-blue things that look a little like firecrackers) to make them work and lower the cabin thingy to the floor. Leave the control room and turn left to enter another large room with two cabins (on the floor this time), a tunnel to the left, a tunnel straight ahead, and a crate. Go into the left tunnel just to see; there's a nonfunctioning conveyor belt with a fuse on it and a locked gate behind and to the left of it. Come back to the two-cabins room and take the other exit. As you run toward this gate it opens and you find yourself in a passage with a track down the center, a couple of traffic obstacles, and a ramp at the right. Take a cautious step or two till a boulder rolls across from left to right, then save your game because you may have to do this next bit ten or twenty times till you get it. (I did, anyway.) You see the obstacle course in front of you, pits and sawhorses and a lava pit at the end? The slope to your right leads at the end to a room where you need to go -- but as soon as you take a step towards it a second boulder starts down the slope, and if you're not fast enough it rolls to the end and blocks the doorway. (If you climb up the slope after the boulder's gone and climb up, you'll be back in the two-cabins room, and if you come back this way the boulders reset and you can try it again. But you're using a PC, right? so just reload a saved game and start again.) You need to run and jump, run and jump, and at the end jump up and to the right and dodge into the tunnel before the boulder gets to you. Yes, it can be done, though you may not think so at first. Just keep at it and don't overcompensate. Once you're safely beyond the boulder, pick up the first Fuse and walk up the tunnel -- and as soon as you hear a boulder start, jump back. Start again and dodge a second boulder on this same ramp. (There's lots of boulders in the mines; always be suspicious when you see a slope.) Drop through a hole in the floor to find yourself back at the track you were running over before. Climb up the slope the boulder came from; at the top is a doorway you can jump up to that will take you back to the two - cabins room. Pull the crate until it's under a hole in the ceiling. Climb up on it and jump over to the roof of the cabin with the police tape around it. Go into the corner, where the roof gives way and you fall through. Go around and pull a switch that moves the rowboat. Follow the tunnel to a hole that drops you onto the crate you so judiciously placed here to fall onto. Go back to the pool and jump in. Swim to the middle (dark) section of the boat and climb up, then run and jump over to another dock you couldn't reach before. Jump over the crate at the left to find a room full of white crates labeled NATLA. Get some magnum clips and notice that one of the crates seems to be damaged. Pull it out once, then push it into the alcove at the left. Pull out a second crate twice, then pull it to he right. Go down the new tunnel to throw a switch that moves the drilling machine out of its tunnel by the slag heap. Cool. Go back to the pool and swim over to the other dock, then go back to go into the tunnel the drilling machine just vacated. A crate blocks the path; push it forward twice and climb up on it. Jump up into an alcove in the ceiling where you can get some Uzi clips and throw a switch that opens the gate by the conveyor belt. Drop down and climb down on the other side of the crate. Walk forward to a large room with, oh joy, another Fuse on the floor. Walk forward just far enough to get it and jump hastily out of there; there's a goon here with your magnums, and he'll plug you if he notices you're here, and you aren't exactly in a position to defend yourself. ("Ain't nothing personal," he drawls apologetically, and then you're hamburger.) Go to the conveyor belt room (via the pool, the waterfall, the two- cabins room, and the left tunnel) and throw the switch to start the belt and get the last Fuse. Go back to the control room and insert the three Fuses to send the cabin crashing to the floor. Go into the smashed cabin to get your pistols, yay! Climb onto the roof of the cabin and look around till you spot the passage in the wall, then run and jump up to it. Walk up to the top of the first rise, then turn right and jump up to a new ledge. Walk forward to a gate that opens for you (and closes behind you). See the wooden trapdoor in the ground before you? If you touch it it'll open and down you'll go into a lava pit. So turn around at the top of the little slope and jump (that is, hit the Down key, not the Jump button) and Action to grab the edge of the pit before you fall in. Hang on; in a second the door will close and you can pull yourself up to stand on it in complete safety. Turn right and climb up to a ledge - z SECRET #1, medipack, Uzi clips, and a switch that reopens the gate so you can leave. Back at the tunnel, turn right to come out at the pool again. Swim to the docks where the boat used to be and go back behind to the drilling machine, where you can now take out the creep and get your magnums back. Gee, I almost feel human again. (Be careful here, though; there's all kinds of almost invisible lava pits and so on that you can easily fall into when you're jumping around trying to avoid being shot.) Now. See the switch on the opposite wall, on the other side of a chasm full of lava? We need to get there. Walk up to the ledge behind the pillar to get close to it, then jump back and do a running jump at it. You won't make it, but you'll hit a slope (ouch!) and slide down to a ledge you can grab. (Be sure to let go of the Jump button as soon as you leave the ledge; otherwise, you'll jump off the slope instead of sliding down it and end up in the lava. That is, dead.) Shuffle to the right as far as you can go, then drop down and grab the crevice below you, then shuffle right to the ledge and drop off. Head up this tunnel till you come to a bunch of lava; jump to a small block at the left and walk to the end of the block. You're now looking at a large room full of lava with blocks scattered throughout, and can you guess that you have to leap from one to the next to get to the other end? Notice, however, that some of the blocks are sharply slanted so you'll slide off. Jump to the right block, then to one in the middle. Don't go on yet, however; turn right to see an opening in the wall. Jump over here - and immediately run forward and push a crate forward, because a boulder's coming and you need to get out of the way. In the new room, pull the crate to the right, then go up into the room it concealed - z SECRET #2, a medipack and Uzi clips. Climb up again and drop down onto the track the last boulder rolled down. Turn toward the boulder and get a medipack, some shotgun shells, and Uzi clips. You can't get past the boulder and there's nothing down the other way except dark, so jump back up to the tunnel and return to the room above. Jump over the first hole and drop down the hole in the right corner to be on the other side of the boulder looking out at the lava room. Jump to the pillar, then turn right and jump to the right pillar of the next two. Jump to a pillar in the middle, then jump to the left pillar of the last two. Jump down and walk to a room with a slope to a lava pit with a ledge on the far side. Slide down, then do a standing jump to the ledge and climb up to a room full of TNT crates. Walk into the next room to see a tunnel overhead that you can't reach and a pile of rocks you can't climb over. Go back and notice that one of the TNT crates looks sort of damaged. Pull it into the other room and push it into the far left corner under the hole in the wall, then climb up and go in. Walk to a lava pit and jump to the right ledge (the left is too steep). Wait a second for a boulder to come down, then jump to the tunnel it came from. Follow this to find -- gasp! - the switch you've been trying to reach since you shot the guy with your magnums. Get some magnum clips and pull the switch. Go back down the tunnel to find that the rocks have shifted and destroyed your crate. Drop down and turn left to climb and jump over the rocks to a large chamber with pillars, lava pits, and a murderous child on a skateboard -- "You talking to me?" he jeers as he sweeps past, shooting at you with your own Uzis. Shoot him (purely in self- defense, of course) and take your guns back, and no, you can't take the skateboard. Get your own. Wander around exploring and picking up the odd ammunition here, looking in every pit till you find one against the left wall that's full of water rather than lava. Jump in and swim through a gate to z SECRET #3, two medipacks and Uzi clips. Go back through the gate and go up to a ledge where you can surface, get out, and go down a tunnel that returns you to the pillar chamber. Turn left and go up to a tunnel out of this room. Hmm, a suspiciously wide tunnel with a gentle upward slope. Makes you nervous, doesn't it? Run up the slope, keeping alert for two boulders that will come at you. Jump to the side to avoid them, then walk to the top and wait for a third boulder to roll out of a tunnel on the left. Go in and up to find an old friend: a room full of blocks to climb. Work your way up to a hole in the ceiling. Pull yourself up into a room with a movable block. Now. This business can get a bit confusing because we have several movable blocks in several almost identical rooms. Just follow along here. 1. Push the block forward twice. Go into the next room, turn right, and climb up. 2. Push the new block forward twice to find Gold Door 1 on the left and a hole on the right. Go down the hole. 3. This room has nothing but a block. Pull it forward once and go back up, then into the next room and down. 4. Push the block once to reveal a new passage with Gold Door 2 and a switch. Throw the switch to open Gold Door 1. 5. Go back into the room and up to Gold Door 1, now open. Go down some stairs and a hallway to Gold Door 3 and a switch. Throw the switch to open Gold Door 2. Go back up the stairs, through the door, cross the room, and down to get back to the now open Gold Door 2. Whew! Gold Door 2 looks out into a big room with adobe buildings on both sides and a pyramid-type structure -- in front of which is the last goon with your shotgun. "Say cheese!" he shouts, for no particular reason, and opens fire. Return it until he bites the dust, then take back your property from his cold and l lifeless fingers. Relax; you don't have to kill any more sentient beings in this game till the very end. (Though I suppose none of these guys really qualifies as sentient . . . ) The door to the right adobe has now opened; if you walk into it, you'll recognize it as Gold Door 3, so you can ignore it. Head for the pyramid at the far end. The lock to this door is pyramid-shaped. Climb onto the doorjamb and look at the wedges cut into the surface of the pyramid. Jump from one wedge to the next as far as you can go, then jump at the wall and slide down to the last wedge, which leads to a passage with a switch. Flip the switch, then go back out and slide down to the floor again. Go back to the other adobe, which is now open. Inside is a medipack and the Pyramid Key -- which you can use to open the pyramid door and EXIT. Pickups: 26 Secrets: 3 Kills: 3 Cut Scene: Natla uses the Scion ATLANTIS Once more fully armed, you now face -- um, Atlantis, it says. See, I thought Atlantis was under water, but 'tis not so. This Atlantis is more under lava than anything else. The first thing you might want to do is hit Escape and turn off the "music," unless you really *want* to listen to a slightly rapid heartbeat for however long it takes you to finish this level. Pick up some Uzi clips (that's a hint, BTW -- use your Uzis from now on) and walk to the entrance of the tunnel to a large room with red floor and six large green globes. As you walk forward, one on your left bursts with the sound of crashing glass, and there's a flying demon. Kill in and move forward -- oops, there's another one. Kill it and run to the end of the room -- oops, one more. Pow! Facing the door at the end, pick up some Uzi clips, then turn left and run towards a door that opens as you approach. Go up the stairs to a red webbed floor overlooking the one you were just on. Turn right and walk forward; pick up a box of shotgun shells and shoot another demon or two that just hatched. When they're dead, go all the way to the end (upstairs at the same end where you entered this level) and turn right. There's an alcove here, though it's very dark and you might not think so. Run forward till you hit the wall, then turn right and throw a switch you might just be able to make out. (If you have trouble with this, check to make sure you're on the right side of the hall. It's easy to get turned around during the fight with the flying demon.) Turn around and run into another alcove on the other side; when you hit your nose, turn right and throw another switch. Get back out to the webbed floor and run to the other side, where a door has opened on the right. Go in and throw a final switch to open the door downstairs. Run down and turn right to enter this door. You're on a ledge at the bottom of a very tall shaft, with another ledge invitingly within reach. Draw your guns and shoot a flying demon. (The safest way to do this, by the way, is to stand there till Lara aims at him, then back up into the tunnel; he can't follow you in there, and you can fire at him every time he flies by.) Holster your guns, then go to the edge, turn around, and drop down to hang on the edge. Drop and hang again, then pull yourself up into z SECRET #1, magnum clips, Uzi clips, and a medipack. (What's in those medipacks anyway? Tylenol, Bandaids, and gin is my guess.) Follow the tunnel up and around till you come to a hole, where you can drop down to the tunnel you were aiming for originally. Cool, because I don't know how you'd climb back up that drop. Walk forward to another webbed floor, this one a bridge over a pool of lava with another green globe. There's a door on the other end of the broken bridge, but it's locked, so we'll have to try something else first. Walk to the end of the bridge and turn right to face the wall, then jump and hang onto a crevice. Position yourself over a doorway, then drop and hang and climb up. Go up to throw a switch, then walk up and get two Uzi clips and jump back to the webbed bridge. Take a good long running jump to hang on the edge of the other side of the bridge. The globe hatches as you hang, so pull up quick and shoot that flying demon. (He's trying to lure you out onto the bridge so he can get behind you and push you off. Sneaky little bugger.) Go on when he's dead or you're tired of waiting for him to come within firing range; he won't follow you. You now emerge into a room with a pillar in front of you, a pool of water at the right, and a pyramid slope at the left. This room is the bane of my existence, containing as it does a secret that can be glimpsed but not (as far as I could tell) reached. Jump to the pillar, then to the nearest wedge on the pyramid slope -- and immediately to the next wedge, because there's a boulder heading for you. Jump and slide down to the next one, then immediately jump to the next (another boulder). Jump up to the last one, and wait here for a second. See that bit of a ledge you can just make out in the upper right corner? That's z SECRET #2, and there's no way I can discover to reach it; it's too far to jump and the slope is too steep to climb, and there's no crevice or ledge nearby. Eidos's hint line says, "Make your way to the upper right corner," but exactly how one is to do that remains a secret between Eidos and God. I tried every form of motion Lara can do and never hit on the right combination; if you manage it, please let me know how. Anyway. Jump at the wall and slide down to the ledge with the closed red door. Jump into the water and swim across to the other side to pull a lever that opens the red door for about 45 seconds. Swim like mad for the first pillar. Jump-jump-slide- jump-jump-slide, then run in the door before it closes. I hope you get it faster than I did; I almost lost my mind before I finally got it. This room has a series of columns over to a switch, with an unreachable doorway on the left and several red doors at the right. Drop down and go climb up the ledge and throw the switch to open a door back into the other room. Run/climb to this door and jump up the pillars to the top (picking up a medipack on the middle one), where you can pick up some Uzi clips and throw a switch. Jump back to the room to find that you just opened the red doors and flooded the room with lava, pushing the ledges against the far wall so you can now reach the left door (as long as you can jump over the lava). Jump into the doorway and walk up the tunnel, jumping over a pit of spikes. Jump into a pool and dive down to get some shotgun shells and pull a lever. Swim through the open door and up. The new room has four globes and six alcoves; we'll call the first alcove on the left as you swam in 1 and number them clockwise. Alcove 2 leads to an underwater passage with three gates. Three of the switches here open gates, and two of them hatch demons. You can do this yourself by trial and error if you like, but if you'd rather you can take my word for it that the switches in alcoves 1, 4, and 5 open the gates. Run and dive into the water (as the other two globes hatch) and swim through the tunnel. Surface on the far side and breathe a sigh of relief. \ Follow the tunnel up until it forks, then go right. Pull the switch here to open the door, then walk in, get two Uzi clips, and watch a boulder roll across the main door out of the room. The other way out of the room is the passage at your left, which takes you back to the fork you didn't take -- and see, the boulder resets every time you do this. You can't outrace the boulder, but you can out-think it. Over by the boulder ramp is a movable block. Pull and push it till it's against the wall right next to the boulder, then go around and re-enter the room. Shazam! The boulder is blocked on its way down. *Aren't* you smart. Go through the door to find yourself on a ledge in the central shaft again, this one with some Uzi clips and a slicer that's triggered when you're standing on the ledge. Shoot a flying demon, timing carefully a jump back through the slicer if you have to, then pick up the Uzi clips and jump across to the next ledge. Walk up to a room with two globes that hatch one at a time; pop them and walk forward to see a long slope down to some spikes, with slopes on the other side. Position yourself opposite one of the red ledges and slide down, jumping at the bottom. Pick up shotgun shells, a medipack, and two Uzi clips and go through the door. This next room is complicated. There's a globe on the left wall, lava under foot, and a path that looks like a roller coaster in the middle. Walk to the right till a flying demon appears, then jump back to the safety of the tunnel and shoot it. Go back to the beginning of the center path and get an Uzi clip. The path is too steep to traverse here, so go back where you started and jump to a ledge on the left. Jump to the ledge next to the globe, which immediately hatches; kill the flying demon and go up the path to get an Uzi clip. Do a running jump to the center path, which you can just reach from here. Immediately turn to your left and shoot two projectile-spitting demons in the far left corner. The slope is still too steep, so turn around and stand on a ledge on the other side of the path. Look down; orange lava is death, but pulsing red tissue is safe to stand on, so walk across to the ledge on the other side. Turn right and go up to throw a switch, then go left and pull out a movable block to reveal an open door. Go through and up to the slicer that guards the head of the center path. Run or jump out and turn right to jump to the tunnel where the last two demons were. Climb up to another ledge on the main shaft, shoot a flying demon, and get a medipack and an Uzi clip. Take a look up; you're getting close to the top. Jump across to the next ledge, where there's a lava room with pillars that are rather too far apart to be useful. Jump to the only ledge you can reach and walk around to pull a switch, then return to find that the pillars have moved. Jump across them to an opening in the left wall. Throw the switch here and return; leapfrog pillars to the ledge at the top right. Draw your guns, max out your health, and save your game. Now here you have one of the hardest-to-get-to secrets in the game. The passage opens onto a long upward-sloping tunnel with two panther demons. What you have to do is run across the bottom of the tunnel to the slightly darker patch on the right (which represents a hidden pressure plate), then turn and run up the hall, blasting like mad at the demons. You don't have time to stop and kill them, however; just shoot them enough to get past them and run into an alcove on the right that just opened and is about to close. If you take it you've found z SECRET #3, and congratulations! If not, you'll have to reload a saved game and try again. The door doesn't reset, and you can't kill the demons at your leisure, then step on the plate and go up. At any rate, once the demons are dead, go up and through the door at the top. In front of you is a door and a switch, but forget them; the switch just releases the lava, which flows right over your pretty little head. Instead, turn to your left and jump up. Walk forward into the dark that represents the last ledge at the top of the shaft. (No flying demon this time.) See the Uzi clips at right? That's the other ledge. Jump over there, get the clips, and go. Ah, here's the flying demon. Shoot him and then take the Uzi clips. Walk forward to a ramp leading up to a slicer, with three red dart pipes on the wall. Walk up to trigger the first dart, then run past it to trigger the second. Run past to trigger the third -- and immediately jump to the right, because you just triggered a boulder. When the boulder's gone past the slicer is disabled, so go forward under the last dart pipe and pull yourself up the ramp and through. The new room has large gates on three sides with the letters N, T, and Q over them. Go to the left gate with the N on it and push the movable block twice, then run behind the fence to the right and into the area behind the T gate. You see a gate and two switches. Throw the right switch and fall into a pit, ouch! (Forget the left switch; it's just a trap with no goodies.) Turn around to see a pit followed by a ramp and a boulder. Jump over the pit to trigger the boulder and immediately jump back again to let it roll into the pit. Jump across again and follow up to throw a switch and eventually drop out of a tunnel behind the Q gate. Walk around; the door is open now. This next room has three globes, a large door, and a switch on the far wall. As you go forward, the globe on the ground hatches; kill the sucker and get four Uzi clips on the ground. Throw the switch and step back into the room; the nearer globe hatches. Kill him, but don't let him lure you into the room, which will make the other globe hatch, and you'd really rather take care of one at a time if you can. When they're all gone, go cautiously down the tunnel and shoot two more panther demons. (Horrid things. Where's Orkin when you need them?) Walk forward and watch Lara aim her guns again - but don't shoot! If you fire at this one, it fires back, and it hits you every time. Walk forward to the center of the room, and it'll do the same. My God, it's a demon version of Lara, gag! It mirrors your every move, which is your clue to how to get rid of it. Notice that the room is more or less symmetrical? Climb the black columns and jump over to the platform with switch, trapdoor, and door. Throw the switch and the trapdoor opens for a short time to reveal a fiery pit. Now run, jump, and climb like mad to the ledge in the opposite corner of the room, and then laugh hysterically as your doppelganger falls into the pit. Go back to the platform with the switch and go out the door, which is open now. Pick up an Uzi clip and draw your guns. At the second Uzi clip, turn and fight a centaur. Get another Uzi clip and walk forward to a lava pit - - then turn right and shoot a demon. Now take a look at this room. There's a door on the other side of the lava pit, a path running around the room, and switches on either side of the door. Go around to the left and get some Uzi clips, then go around to the other side. (Hear that mechanical clanking? It's coming from the other room.) The left switch activates a bridge to the door, and the right switch opens the door; but the door stays open about twice as long as the bridge, so we have to do the door first. (The door next to the right switch opens eventually, but there's nothing in it, so don't bother with it.) Throw the right switch and run like the wind to the other side; throw the left switch and run around, across the bridge, and through the door. Be careful not to over-compensate and go into the lava! but you can't stop running or the bridge goes down with you in the middle, which is unpleasant. Pick up some Uzi clips and take a look around. You're in a room with large columns and a strange otating gear-looking thing. On the other side of a huge chasm is a large platform with a massive globe over it. You can't get over there yet, so don't bother trying; this is what was at the top of the shaft we've been climbing ever since we started this level. Go back to the rotating thing and walk up the ramp at one side. Take a close look at it; there's something floating between the teeth. Gosh darn if it isn't the Scion! Now max out your health, turn the music back on (if you had it turned off to silence the heartbeat), and hit Action to reach for the Scion and EXIT this level. Pickups: 43 Secrets: 3 Kills: 27 Cut Scene: Natla gets two death scenes THE GREAT PYRAMID Of course it gets harder as you go along; what did you expect? The first thing you have to do is kill this abominable thing. Pull out your Uzis and go at it, jumping constantly (but be careful of the edges!) and healing yourself mid-fight whenever necessary. Sometimes you can jump over it, but stay out of reach of those arms; it smashes and it grabs, and neither is very nice. When you notice it getting depressed, back up as far as you safely can, because when it dies it blows up and can take you with it if you're too close. Stroll around the platform picking up Uzi clips (six of them) and go out the open door. Slide down a slope to a room with a movable block, which you should ignore just now. Go to the end of the tunnel where there's another movable block; push it three times and go up the new tunnel to push the first block from the other side. Return to where you started and climb up on the block. Turn around and jump across to the tunnel, where the slicer you've been hearing is located. Run through it (noticing the cracked floor tile in front of it) and follow the tunnel. When you come to an intersection, turn right and push the movable block once. Return to the intersection and turn right. Run past the door and drop to the next room. Pull the block backwards once, then turn around and climb back into the tunnel. Turn left and go down and push the block forward once. Return to the red door and stand on the block to pull the switch; go through the open door. Here you've got a lava pit with pyramid slopes on both sides, with some darker spots level enough to stand on. Turn right and jump to the dark ledge. (Beware of splashing lava; it hurts.) Jump to a second, third, and fourth dark ledge, then turn around and notice that there's now a red bridge hanging off the ledge where you started. Cool! Jump back to this spot and run across the bridge before it falls to reach z SECRET #1, shotgun shells, medipack, and magnum clips. Throw the switch to reset half of the bridge and jump back across. Jump the ledges again to the far end and go through the next tunnel. Look familiar? It's a boulder tunnel, a short sharp one. Best way with this one is to walk backwards up the hill till you hear the boulder start, then run down and out the door. Go up the hill to the next tunnel, which is identical to the last one; do the same again. Run up till you see a broken tile; step on it and jump back, then do a safety drop (ouch) down to the Scion's chamber. No, you can't take it with you; you have to destroy it. Be responsible here. Blast it to hell and gone, triggering a very satisfying explosion and an earthquake of major proportions. Now, in some games this would signal the beginning of the end sequence, and you could just sit back and watch it unfold. Ah, but you're Lara Croft, and you *live* for danger, don't you? So we now have to get back out of here while the entire world crumbles about your ears; and while there's only a couple of monsters left, you can bet there'll be every other hazard you've run across multiplied and combined in tortuous ways. And all with the earthquake shaking the horizon at odd times. Ya gotta love it. Go out the open door and shoot three demons, one on each side of the bridge and one down the middle. There's no more demons for a while, so pack your guns away till the last room. Notice the right side of the lava pit has cooled to black rock; drop into it and down a hole at the right. Turn left and do a running jump to hang onto a crevice, then shuffle right, getting hit by (or avoiding, if you're fast enough) four dart guns. At the end drop onto a slope and jump to avoid another lava pit. The new room is a broad hill down to a swinging blade with spikes on both sides. Go down the hill on the right, and a boulder rolls down the middle and into the chasm. Face the swinging blade and time a jump behind it. Walk and jump through the patches of spikes to a room with lava pits, spike pits, and broken tiles. Climb to the top of the slope, then turn right and jump across to the broken tiles -- and immediately run-jump to the next ledge. Oh, very good, very good. Now enter a lava pit with pillars in it. Ignore them; face the left wall and jump to an almost invisible crevice in the wall, then shuffle right. When you get all the way across, drop down to z SECRET #2, three medipacks and some Uzi clips. Turn back to the lava and face the thin slope in the lava. Jump to the slope and hold down the Jump button to jump backwards onto a ledge. Turn around and grab another crevice and shuffle right to another ledge. Oh great, it's collapsible tiles, a boulder, and a swinging blade. Groan a little, then run like mad over the tiles and behind the blade before the boulder flattens you. In the new tunnel, there's a downward slope to the left and a waiting boulder to the right, oh goodie. Turn left and run like mad into a tunnel at the bottom. Turn back and jump over the now-still boulder to get a medipack, then jump back into the tunnel. (Seems like a lot of trouble, does it? Believe me, you need all the first aid you can get.) The fun continues with a slope with a swinging blade at the bottom and a boulder at the top. Jump out and begin your slide when the blade is at one side and jump at the bottom to get to the ledge behind it. Drop down to a ledge at left and RUN to the middle of the next room to avoid the lava pouring in from both sides. Pick up a medipack at one side, go back to the center of the room, and RUN to the end of the room. Pull the switch to open the door. Go right to get some Uzi clips, then run left and stop just in front of the lava pit while a boulder comes down from a ledge above you and bounces harmlessly over your head. Do a standing jump to the next ledge and hang on till a second boulder rolls past, then climb up and go on. The next room is torch pillars in large pool -- look familiar? These pillars are in a straight line and much closer together than the ones in the Monastery, however. Walk up to the edge of the ramp and wait for the torches to douse, then do a series of standing jumps from one pillar to the next till you get across. Now. Here's a huge room with a deep well at the (far distant) bottom and a platform at top with a swinging blade, and a tunnel on the far side with goodies. Do a running jump to behind the blade -- where there's a collapsible floor, so immediately run and jump to the tunnel in the opposite wall. Wow! that was dicey. This is z SECRET #3, medipack and Uzi clips. Turn back; the floor under the swinging blade is gone, so you'll have to find another way out. Center yourself over the well, hold your breath, and do a standing jump into space, and hopefully you'll scream all the way down to a safe landing in the water. Surface and climb out to get some Uzi clips, then go down to get some more Uzi clips and swim down a short tunnel. Surface and get four Uzi clips, and notice that the earthquakes are back with a vengeance. Now max out your health, draw your guns, and save your game. It's time for the last bad guy -- and my God, it's Natla, not only not dead but with red demon's wings to boot. Blast like mad and jump like crazy until she drops. Then walk cautiously forward and wait for her to get up again, because she's not really dead, she's just playing possum. Ahh!! Shoot again till she lies down for good this time; don't wait for an explosion, though, because there won't be one. Did you run out of ammo? That's okay, because there's no more monsters. Hooray! Okay, it's a large room with pillars of different sizes. You know by now that you want to get to the very top of the very tallest one, but none of the pillars here is short enough to climb. Head for a pile of sloping rocks in one corner and jump over them to discover a doorway. Follow this up and jump onto a pillar. Turn left and jump across two pillars to another tunnel. Follow this and drop down to a pillar; jump across three pillars to climb up into another tunnel. Follow this around and drop down to a final pillar. Do a run-jump-grab to the red ledge, then climb up and slide down to EXIT! Pickups: 30 Secrets: 3 Kills: 4 Cut Scene: Lara commandeers a boat and Atlantis goes ballistic TOMB RAIDER CODES PC Cheat Codes Level Skip Code: While in a level do the following with Lara: Walk one step forward (using the walk key), take one step backward, turn around 3 full times (doesn't matter which direction), and then do a Forward jump. All Weapons Code: While in a level do the following with Lara: Walk one step forward (using the walk key), take one step backward, turn around 3 full times (doesn't matter which direction), and then do a Backward jump. Sony Playstation (PSX) Codes All Guns and Full Ammo Code : While in the game go into your inventory and press LOOK, DRAW GUNS, STEP RIGHT, STEP LEFT, STEP LEFT, STEP RIGHT, ROLL, then LOOK. This gives you all the guns (Magnums, Shotgun, and Uzi's) with full ammo for each. Level Skip Code : While in the Inventory Screen, press this sequence 3 times: L2, R2, O, L1, L1, Tri, R2, L2. You will hear Lara sigh if you enter it correctly. Then press select and finish the level you were just on. Sega Saturn Cheat Codes Level Skip Code : Pause the game and go into the last page of the passport. Once there, press Z,Y,Z,Y,X,X,X, Start. Then press C and you'll skip to the next level. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Apple Pares Workforce, Prunes Product Line Aspen Mimics Societal Behavior High Access Charges = Lower Net Use ATM In Orbit AT&T Plans $9B Upgrade Lawsuit Against America Online Internet Legislation: "No New Taxes" Teledesic Gets Approval From FCC Court To Hear Internet "Decency" Case Intel Sues Rival Chip-Makers Massachusetts ISPs Strike Back News Corp. Courting PointCast PC Makers Offer Rebates Electronic Money Laundering Raises Concerns Windows In Chinese Microsoft, HP Team Up On Windows NT MMX Chip In More PCs IBM Debuts New Workstation Line Preteens Lead Kids' PC Use Bookseller Price War On Net Court Hears Arguments On Internet "Decency" CompuServe Sued For Dropping Time Eric Schmidt To Head Novell Vulnerability Found In Security Of Digital Cellular Phones Multimedia Will Be Life Skill For 21st Century Internet Car Sales Erode Traditional Market Motorola Gets Smart Lucent's Decongestant For The Internet IBM Buys Stake In NetObjects College Switches From Next To Apples APPLE PARES WORKFORCE, PRUNES PRODUCT LINE Apple Computer announced it will cut its 13,000 workforce by several thousand employees and will scale down the company's large product line, particularly peripheral communications products, such as the Pippin, and some versions of its Macintosh Performa. "We are going to start doing what we do well and stop doing what we don't do well," says Apple's executive VP of marketing. (Wall Street Journal 14 Mar 97) ASPEN MIMICS SOCIETAL BEHAVIOR A new economic computer model called Aspen is being hailed by economists as "the best thing that's come along in a long time" for predicting and analyzing macroeconomic data. The program, developed at Sandia National Laboratories, creates a make-believe world comprising up to 10,000 households plus 1,500 factories. By manipulating certain factors, economists can watch the behavior of the agents and use that data for economic forecasting. Aspen's results have turned up some surprises -- during an economic slump, "the firms learned to cooperate," says a Sandia economist. "We didn't put that into the software. But when things stayed sour, the firms got together and helped each other out." The size of Aspen's world is vital: "With thousands of players, you see behavior you wouldn't get in macro models," says the software's creator, who dreams of models with 100,000 agents or more. The software is useful for analyzing the causes of business cycles, both nationally and in specific industries. (Business Week 17 Mar 97) HIGH ACCESS CHARGES = LOWER NET USE A forthcoming study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development indicates that high Internet access costs, not language differences, are what really dictate a country's Internet usage. While U.S. customers pay only the Internet service provider's charge and nothing for a local phone call, most other countries have a system where they allow both access charges and a per-minute local phone call charge. "You can talk about cultural differences. You can talk about how there are less personal computers in Europe than in the U.S. But the fact is that prices charged by European phone companies for local calls are slowing down the market," says a telecommunications analyst at the OECD. The report shows that consumers in the most expensive countries, Mexico and Ireland, pay more than $90 a month in access charges and phone bills for 20 hours of Internet use, compared to Canada, for instance, where 20 hours cost about $21. (Wall Street Journal 14 Mar 97) ATM IN ORBIT Following a year of testing, Comsat Corp. is launching a satellite-based ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) wireless communications service next week that will offer ubiquitous worldwide coverage, enabling network managers to easily install links to remote and difficult-to-serve areas. "For the first time, this gives you the opportunity to do networking in a really flexible way," says a senior telecommunications analyst at Amoco Corp. The service is available at speeds from fractional T1 to 45-Mbps and Comsat is offering new customers the necessary interface devices for free under a promotional offer that lasts through the end of 1997. (Communications Week Interactive 14 Mar 97) AT&T PLANS $9B UPGRADE AT&T will invest up to $9 billion this year in upgrading its communications network -- almost double what it usually budgets for such improvements. About $5 billion of that will go toward the business-markets division to beef up the backbone network, improve fast packet technology, and enhance voice and local services. (Information Week 10 Mar 97) LAWSUIT AGAINST AMERICA ONLINE A new $100 million class action lawsuit against AOL has been filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleging that the company engaged in racketeering, mail fraud and wire fraud when it adopted a flat-fee $19.95 a month pricing plan it knew would produce a huge surge of business that it could not handle and would result in poor service to existing customers, such as those who are filing the suit. America Online says the lawsuit is frivolous. (Reuter 14 Mar 97) INTERNET LEGISLATION: "NO NEW TAXES" Legislation called The Internet Tax Freedom Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate this week by Senator Ron Wyden (D, Oregon), would establish a two- year moratorium prohibiting state and local governments from imposing new taxes on Internet transactions. During that time, existing taxes could continue in place. Rep. Chris Cox (R, California) introduced a similar bill in the House of Representatives. (AP 14 Mar 97) TELEDESIC GETS APPROVAL FROM FCC Teledesic, the privately owned company owned by Craig McCaw and Bill Gates, has won FCC approval to proceed with its plans to launch an 840-satellite computer network. In 1990, Teledesic's plan was to use an orbiting grid of satellites to send data around the world, but the current plan is to provide high-speed computer access by transmitting from a rooftop antenna to the satellites in orbit. The Boeing Corporation could play a big part in building or launching the satellites, and other companies are also likely to help underwrite the $9-billion project. (Seattle Times 15 Mar 97) COURT TO HEAR INTERNET "DECENCY" CASE This week the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing a case that questions the constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act that attempts restrict "indecent" materials on the Internet. A three-judge federal court in Philadelphia ruled last year that, in attempt to protect children, the law would wrongly deny adults access to material to which they were entitled under the First Amendment. (AP 15 Mar 97) INTEL SUES RIVAL CHIP-MAKERS Intel Corporation has filed suit against Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Cyrix Corporation, accusing the companies of infringing on the MMX trademark Intel says it has established for its multimedia-enhanced Pentium chip. (New York Times 17 Mar 97) MASSACHUSETTS ISPs STRIKE BACK Unhappy over a move by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to force Internet service providers to pay taxes on income received over the last six years, ISPs in the state have formed the Massachusetts Internet Service Providers Coalition to fight the measure. The disputed tax was enacted in 1990, but ISPs have not been paying it, hoping that Massachusetts Governor William Weld will make good on his promise to repeal the tax on telecommunications services. (Tampa Tribune 17 Mar 97) NEWS CORP. COURTING POINTCAST Media giant News Corp. is negotiating to acquire PointCast Inc., an entrepreneurial leader in "push" technology for the Internet. The deal would be good for News Corp., giving it an established vehicle for distributing its news and entertainment content, but would jeopardize PointCast's existing arrangements with News Corp. rivals Time Warner, Times Mirror, Knight-Ridder and Dow Jones Co. Meanwhile, PointCast is pondering what effect a spurned offer would have on its plans to go public: "We've received plenty of unsolicited offers in the past as well as recently and we've accepted none of them," says PointCast's CEO. "The path that we're on is to take the company public. We're enthused about that and our investors are enthused about that." (Wall Street Journal 18 Mar 97) PC MAKERS OFFER REBATES Computer owners who purchased their machines be ? ?!?2 tween May 1, 1991 and May 1, 1995 may be eligible for a $13 rebate on their next purchase of a computer monitor under a proposed settlement of a false-advertising class-action suit against PC makers. The suit alleges that the computer companies advertised that the monitors accompanying their systems were larger than the actual viewing area size. IBM, Dell Computer Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Hewlett-Packerd Co., Compaq Computer Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. are all named in the lawsuit. Customers will receive a $13 coupon that may be applied toward the purchase of a new monitor from any of the companies named. The coupons will be good for three years, after which they'll be redeemable for $6 cash. (St. Petersburg Times 17 Mar 97) ELECTRONIC MONEY LAUNDERING RAISES CONCERNS The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based group of 26 countries battling international money- laundering, has released a report warning that the "speed, security and anonymity" of new Internet payment systems could make conventional means of tracking tainted cash obsolete. Under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, financial institutions are required to report suspicious activity, but it is unclear whether the law covers Internet payment systems. The American Bankers Association is pushing for uniform regulations for both banks and e-money providers: "Bankers want to see some assurance that if we're told we have to do certain things that our other competitors do, too," says the senior counsel for the ABA. (Wall Street Journal 17 Mar 97) WINDOWS IN CHINESE By arrangement with Microsoft, a Chinese company called the Legend Group will be allowed to pre-install the Chinese-language version of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system in the personal computers it manufactures. It is one of the most important agreements reached since the U.S. and China signed a pact last year protecting intellectual property rights and averting a trade war. China says that about 1.8 million personal computers were sold in that country in 1996. (Reuters 18 Mar 97) MICROSOFT, HP TEAM UP ON WINDOWS NT In what some analysts see as a blow to Digital Equipment Corp., Hewlett- Packard and Microsoft have forged a strong alliance in corporate computing, including a stepped-up commitment by HP to Microsoft's Windows NT operating system. The new alliance is expected to erode some consumer support for Digital's midrange PCs and workstations, which have featured the NT software for the past several years. It also pits HP and Microsoft against a competing coalition of IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Netscape, which are betting heavily on Sun's Java programming language to loosen Microsoft's control over technology standards. (Wall Street Journal 18 Mar 97) MMX CHIP IN MORE PCs The market research firm Computer Intelligence says that Intel's MMX Pentium chip with enhanced multimedia capabilities was installed in 27% of the personal computers sold by U.S. retailers in January. (New York Times 18 Mar 97) IBM DEBUTS NEW WORKSTATION LINE IBM's new line of workstations, priced from $3,700 to $10,000 (without monitors), use Intel's Pentium Pro chips and Microsoft's Windows NT operating system, pitting the IntelliStation line in direct competition to similar computers made by Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer and others. The IntelliStation machines will compete with IBM's own RS/6000 line of computers that run on proprietary systems. (Wall Street Journal 17 Mar 97) PRETEENS LEAD KIDS' PC USE Seventy-two percent of 8- to 12-year-olds reported spending time on a PC during the last 30 days, as opposed to 55% of 6- to7-year-olds and 67% of teenagers, according to the 1996 Roper Youth Report. And while preteen computer use is roughly equal for boys and girls, girls were more likely to use computers at school, while boys tended to use them at home. (Investor's Business Daily 18 Mar 97) BOOKSELLER PRICE WAR ON NET With the Barnes & Noble book selling company opening an operation today on America Online (and moving ahead with plans to begin selling books on the Web later this Spring), its much smaller rival Amazon.com, currently the biggest bookseller in cyberspace, is increasing the discount on 700 popular titles to 40%. But Barnes & Noble, which had $2.4 billion in sales last year, will prove formidable competition for Amazon, which had 1996 sales of only $17 million. Forrester Research says: "It's a case of a relatively successful pipsqueak taking on a heavily fortified giant. They can only compete by finding a niche and providing superior service." Atlanta Journal-Constitution 18 Mar 97) COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS ON INTERNET "DECENCY" During oral arguments before the Supreme Court's review of a challenge to the Communications Decency Act passed last year by Congress and signed by President Clinton, an opponent of the law said that its restrictions would "reduce the adult population to reading only what is fit for children." A federal attorney arguing in defense of the law countered, saying that without such a law "every child with access to the Internet has a free pass into the equivalent of every adult bookstore and adult video store in the country.'' The Communications Decency Act prohibits the transmission of "indecent'' material on the Internet anywhere that children might be exposed to it. A three-judge panel in Philadelphia blocked implementation of the law last June. A ruling by the court is not expected until late spring. (San Jose Mercury News Center 20 Mar 97) COMPUSERVE SUED FOR DROPPING TIME Time magazine has filed a $3.5-million lawsuit against CompuServe and charged the online services company with breaching a two-year contract to carry Time's news service. CompuServe, which is in the process of a financial reorganization following heavy losses, says it dropped Time's online service because the content had not proven sufficiently valuable. (Washington Post 19 Mar 97) ERIC SCHMIDT TO HEAD NOVELL Eric Schmidt has left his position as chief technology officer for Sun Microsystems to become the chairman and chief executive officer of Novell, giving that company substantial technological leadership and strong ties to Sun. "I expect a very close relationship with Sun," Schmidt says. "I know how the company works, and it's somewhat easier since I know all their home phone numbers." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 19 Mar 97) VULNERABILITY FOUND IN SECURITY OF DIGITAL CELLULAR PHONES Three independent computer security experts have been able to crack a key part of the code developed to protect the privacy of calls made using digital cellular telephones. One of the experts, David Wagner of the University of California at Berkeley, says: "The industry design process is at fault. We can use this as a lesson, and save ourselves from more serious vulnerabilities in the future." (New York Times 20 Mar 97) MULTIMEDIA WILL BE LIFE SKILL FOR 21ST CENTURY In a new college textbook, Fred T. Hofstetter of the University of Delaware says "the ability to use multimedia will emerge as a life skill in the twenty-first century. Citizens who do not know how to use multimedia will become disenfranchised. Cut off from the Information Superhighway, they will end up watching life go by instead of living it fully." (Multimedia Literacy, McGraw-Hill, 1997) INTERNET CAR SALES ERODE TRADITIONAL MARKET Car dealers are finding out they have more to worry about than just the super car lots that are popping up around the country. Chrysler is predicting that within four years, 25% of its sales will be online, up from 1.5% last year, meaning that the local dealer is going to face some stiff competition from dealers across the country, as savvy buyers use online resources to comparison shop beyond traditional geographic boundaries. "There will be significantly fewer dealers than today, with larger territories and higher sales per dealer," says a spokesman for the Boston Consulting Group. California-based Auto-By-Tel has already signed up 1,600 dealers across the country who pay up to $4,000 a month for their information to be listed on the company's Web site. The referral service typically brings a 30% rise in sales, all at the expense of non- Auto-By- Tel dealers. (The Economist 8 Mar 97) MOTOROLA GETS SMART Motorola is gearing up to be a major supplier of smart cards -- credit-card- like devices that store personal and financial data on embedded computer chips. Smart cards are used in sales transactions, banking, record- keeping and security, and Motorola plans to enhance the current model with its wireless technology, making them useful for such things as electronic toll payments and ticketless airline and commuter rail travel. "We're really excited," says the VP for Motorola's Smartcards Systems Business. "We think that by 2001 there will be more smart cards around the world than telephones." About 90% of the current world market for smart cards is now centered in Europe, but company officials hope to move into Asia and South America, as well as the U.S. (Wall Street Journal 20 Mar 97) LUCENT'S DECONGESTANT FOR THE INTERNET Ameritech has purchased more than 500 Access Interface Units from Lucent Technologies, marking the first commercial use of Lucent's Internet congestion relief system. The Access Interface Unit is designed to ease the conflict between Net users and people making ordinary phone calls. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Mar 97) IBM BUYS STAKE IN NETOBJECTS IBM has purchased a controlling stake in NetObjects Inc., a leading provider of software used by Web site developers to build pages by manipulating graphical elements on the computer screen. The deal, which is valued between $50 million to $80 million, provides IBM a measure of security, ensuring that the company whose software it's been reselling for the last several months won't be snatched up by some other software company. NetObjects also will maintain partnerships with two other Internet giants -- Microsoft and Netscape Communications. "We have to continue to be an independent company that supports all platforms," says NetObjects' CEO. (Wall Street Journal 20 Mar 97) COLLEGE SWITCHES FROM NEXT TO APPLES Allegheny College, which invested heavily in Next computers in 1991, is shifting over to Apple Computers as it replaces aging machines. "With Apple's recent acquisition of Next Computer, what was for us a technically superior but orphaned operating system has the potential to reach mainstream, industry-wide acceptance," says Allegheny's director of educational computing. "While others may be abandoning Apple as a campus strategic platform, we are aggressively exploring adopting Apple technology." (Chronicle of Higher Education 21 Mar 97) Edupage is written by John Gehl (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Suzanne Douglas (email@example.com). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. To subscribe to Edupage: send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: subscribe edupage Marvin Minsky (assuming that your name is Marvin Minsky; if it's not, substitute your own name). ... To cancel, send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: unsubscribe edupage... Subscription problems: firstname.lastname@example.org. EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications, and information technology. Subscriptions are $18 a year in the U.S.; send mail to email@example.com. When you do, we'll ring a little bell, because we'll be so happy! Choice of bell is yours: a small dome with a button, like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell; or a door bell; or a chime; or a glockenspiel. Your choice. But ring it! EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news and events. To subscribe to the Update: send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: subscribe update John McCarthy (assuming that your name is John McCarthy; if it's not, substitute your own name). INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE The CAUSE organization's annual conference on information technology in higher education is scheduled for the end of this month in New Orleans. The conference will bring together administrators, academicians and other managers of information resources. For full conference information check out <http://cause-www.colorado.edu > or send e-mail to email@example.com. ARCHIVES & TRANSLATIONS. For archive copies of Edupage or Update, ftp or gopher to educom.edu or see URL: < http://www.educom.edu/>. For the French edition of Edupage, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "subscribe"; or see < http://www.ijs.com >. For the Hebrew edition, send mail to email@example.com containing : SUBSCRIBE Leketnet-Word6 <name> or see < http://www.kinetica.co.il/ newsletters/leketnet/ >. For the Hungarian edition, send mail to: send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. An Italian edition is available on Agora' Telematica; connection and/or free subscription via BT-Tymnet and Sprint (login: <agora) or via telnet <agora.stm.it; mail: <email@example.com for info. For the Portuguese edition, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the message SUB EDUPAGE-P Seu Primeiro Nome Seu Sobrenome. For the Spanish edition, send mail email@example.com with the message SUB EDUPAGE-E Su Primer Nombre, Su Apellido. Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Nowhere Else on Earth .Can you get all this: Disk Duplication CD-ROM Replication CD-R Replication Six Color Printing Six Color + UV Label Printing Product Design Consulting Market Channel Consulting Die Cutting Direct Market Packaging Tuck Tab Box Folding and Gluing Assembly Warehousing Fulfillment Electronic Pre-Press / Film and Proofs Bulk Mail Services .All Under One Roof! 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(STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. (STR, STReport, CPU Report); z maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. z offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. z presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. z is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! 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Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News Captain Kangaroo Returns Saban Entertainment, a leading producer of children's entertainment and educational television programming has issued a casting call for the lead role in the new series, The All-New Captain KangarooT. Yes, the same people responsible for Power Rangers ZEOT will be producing an updated version of the classic children's series that was beloved by most baby boomers. The show will be shot at Busch Gardens and Sea World Florida and will be shown starting with the '97 fall season. Outdoor Online Combines Camping with Computers While debate rages over the issue of making the Internet safe for children, Outdoor Online teaches children how to access the best of the Internet. Sponsored by MCI Telecommunications, this computing camp at Kirkwood Resort in California combines outdoor activity with courses on Internet safety, ethics and appropriate use. Children are taught how to avoid crime, on- line predators and pornography without the use of babysitting software. For more information, call 800-929-4665 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. They also have information available at their Web site, http://www.outdoor- online.com. Sierra On-Line Offers New Home App Bundle Sierra On-Line has just announced a home bundle of exceptional software. SierraHome 97T features five of the company's best and most popular home applications. These are CustomHome 3DT, LandDesigner 3DT, MasterCook Deluxe 4.0T, Print Artist 4.0T and Collier Unabridged Text EncyclopediaT. If purchased individually, these titles would cost over $200, but in this special offer you get all five for less than $75. These titles offer something for everyone in your family. Your budding artist can create cards, banners, posters and more with Print Artist 4.0T. The program features more than 10,000 graphics, over 2,000 layouts and more than 2,000 quotes to complete your projects. The Collier Unabridged Text EncyclopediaT contains more than twenty-one million words of reference material. MasterCook Deluxe 4.0T is a recipe management system featuring more than 2,000 healthy gourmet recipes. LandDesigner 3DT is just the tool that every homeowner needs to add that special touch to his property. You can quickly design and see the actual effects of your labor. Finally, CustomHome 3DT is a full-featured home design program that allows users to build three-dimensional home plans in less than an hour. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to change a door or window location in your home? CustomHome 3DT is the program that can do it all. Psygnosis Launches "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun" Promotion For the next five months starting on April 1, Psygnosis is offering its PC CD-ROM and Sony PlayStation customers an exceptional promotion featuring gifts, rebates, and free games. PSX owners will get a $5 refund when purchasing select Psygnosis offerings. Purchase two games and you can get one free game. Purchase three games and the rewards are even better. PC owners will get $10 back when they purchase a single game and purchasing two titles rewards them with three free games and a four-title demo CD. Free games include Destruction DerbyT, adidas Power SoccerT and Lemmings PaintballT. The titles being promoted by this special offer are WipeOut XLT, Formula 1T, Rush HourT, The City of Lost ChildrenT, The Adventures of LomaxT, adidas Power SoccerT, SentientT, and Professional Underground League of PainT for the PSX. The PC CD-ROM titles are Destruction Derby 2T, Discworld II: Mortality Bytes!T, Professional Underground League of PainT, City of Lost ChildrenT and Krazy IvanT. Individual titles can purchased through the length of the promotion and then all receipts can be turned in at once to qualify for the multiple purchase benefits. More details will be available in stores and in ads in many of the top computer and video game magazines. The Learning Company Announces First MMX-enhanced Title The Learning Company recently announced that it has enhanced its popular Logic QuestT title to take advantage of the power of MMX-enhanced CPU's. This upgraded product features full screen video in 800 by 600 and 1024 by 768 modes as compared to only 640 by 480 in the original program. The program also features more screen objects and improved video performance. While The Learning Company promises to continue to produce titles for the largest spectrum of the computing public, they are also aggressively developing emerging technologies such as MMX and DVD. These new technologies promise to enhance the gamer's multimedia experience. Logic QuestT is available for approximately $34.95 and is available at computer and discount stores. For more information, you can contact Customer Service at 1-800-227-5609 or visit their Web site at http:www.learningco.com. Trivia Munchers Deluxe Hybrid format CD-ROM for Mac and Windows Street price about $20 For ages 8 to 14 MECC 6160 Summit Drive North Minneapolis MN 55430-4003 1-800-227-5609 http://www.mecc.com Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.1 CPU: 486/50 CPU: 68040 HD Space: 7 MB HD Space: 1 MB Memory: 4 MB Memory: 5 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse review by Frank Sereno (email@example.com) Trivia Munchers Deluxe presents an interesting learning game idea, but the program comes up a bit short in fulfilling its mission. Trivia Munchers Deluxe attempts to combine an arcade game with a learning game. While it is fun to play, the program provides little in educational content. It doesn't really teach kids much beyond learning to recognize whether words belong in a certain category or not. Does it matter to most children today whether Babe Ruth was a baseball player? This is one example of what a child must know to succeed at the game. The game is very simple. Trivia answers are placed on tiles on a four by five grid. The player must find the ten answers that match the current topic. The player moves Muncher about the grid by clicking on tiles. Click a second time on a tile and the Muncher eats the answer. If it is a correct answer, the player scores points. If it is an incorrect answer, the Muncher loses his life. The player can also double-click on a tile and then move on to double-click on other answers. Muncher will follow the pattern until he eats an incorrect answer or he reaches the end of the trail. You start each game with four Munchers and you can earn additional ones by reaching certain scoring levels. To keep the game from being too simple, you can play the game with Troggles on. These highly animated troublemakers attempt to trounce poor Muncher at every turn. Instead of going directly to answers, the player must now avoid the Troggles. To assist the player, the program occasionally places free zones are on the game board. The Muncher is safe from harm here, but the free zones exist for a very short time. The game also has five difficulty levels. The differences between levels are the number of available trivia categories and the rapidity of the attacks by the Troggles. The player can not only choose the level of play, but he can also select the categories for trivia questions. If you want to brush up on music, choose that category. If you're really feeling lucky, choose the Challenge mode that uses questions from all categories. When the player completes three rounds, the program shows a short animated sequence about history using the characters from the game in place of the actual historical figures. These interludes are cute, entertaining and informative, but the program doesn't have enough of them and they quickly repeat themselves. You can abort these videos by clicking a mouse button during playback. These movies are a very interesting method to teach children and Trivia Munchers Deluxe underutilized this tool. The program only scratches the surface of the potential that it shows as a learning tool. Memorizing the proper classification of animals, countries, etc., is probably a worthwhile pursuit, but I think the program could do a better job. For example, when a player chooses an incorrect answer, why couldn't the program tell him why the answer was incorrect and describe the correct categories to which the answer belongs? This would make remembering these factoids much easier and make the program much more informative. From playing the game, I developed a strategy of picking out the answers I knew first and then trying to logically deduce the remainder. Still, I wouldn't know why a response would be wrong or to what category it would belong. I would have to play the game many, many times to learn the correct relationship. Trivia Munchers Deluxe does have excellent production values. The graphics are very colorful and detailed. The characters are highly animated and intriguing to watch. The soundtrack features some very bouncy, energetic tunes that children will love. The play-by-play of the game is a nice touch. The voices are excellent and they do provide encouragement to the player. The game itself is fun to play, but it can be frustrating if you have happened upon a category that is unfamiliar to you. In my opinion, the program falls short in educational content. It just seems to be a new way to memorize categorized lists without giving children the basis for why items are in each list. If the program had made more extensive use of the CD-ROM format, it could have provided more animated history movies and explained the proper categorization of incorrect responses. On the plus side, Trivia Munchers Deluxe comes with an unconditional 30-day moneyback guarantee and it is a very reasonably priced product. I enjoyed playing it but I can't say that I learned much. I can't recommend this title, but you have little to lose by giving it a try. Muppet Treasure Island Windows CD-ROM Around $35 For all ages Activision http://www.activision.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 or 95 CPU: 486DX2/66 HD Space: 35 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: Local bus video card with SVGA CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: Sound BlasterT compatible sound card Other: mouse; printer optional review by Jason Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ahoy, matey! Muppet Treasure Island is a fun game from Activision. They have taken a timeless classic, Treasure Island, and added Jim Henson's Muppet characters to totally enhance it. They also added the actual actors from the cast of Muppet Treasure Island movie and you, as Jim Hawkins! This game is three laugh-filled CD-ROMS brimming with many different activities, loads of Muppets movies, and four great settings. The program follows the original Treasure Island story as it was seen in the Muppet Treasure Island movie that the program is based on. This is a great program for your kids that will keep them laughing and tell them the tale of one of the true great classics of all time. It also contains information about sailing boats, and your child will start to perceive what times were like in the days of the pirates. This game is fun to play, and it is very easy to win. If you are worried about you or your child getting lost or stuck in a rut, there is a guide book that shows a map of different locations in the game and details how to leave a certain area if you are in trouble. Stevenson, your traveling parakeet, will stay beside you and help you if you are stuck, also. He stays on the screen the entire game, and he even takes the liberty of speaking for you at certain times. He has many applications or options for the game hidden beneath his wing, too. He has load and save buttons like most games, but he also has a few extras. Beneath his wing, you can access buttons to print out your favorite scenes from the real movie. You can also print out coloring-book pages that your kids can color and hang on your refrigerator. Stevenson also carries around all the items that you pick up along your journey under his wing. He is very useful throughout the game. Two other characters that follow you around and assist you are Gonzo and Rizzo. Rizzo is a small rat. Gonzo, well Gonzo is as far as I know, just a Gonzo. These two give you helpful advice and keep you on the right track. They have some very amusing moments in the program and they are always ready with one-liners. These two should especially appeal to smaller children. The story is separated in to four different sections. These are The Benbow Inn, the town of Bristol, The Hispanola and Treasure Island. These settings all have activities for you to accomplish and they have all the Muppet characters located in them. The activities range from shooting pies at pirates when in Bristol, to weighing anchor and building a model ship on the Hispanola. While in the four locations, you will be able to interact with many Muppet characters and make objects spring to life with a click of your mouse. The sound in the program is very well done. Each of the four locations has their own theme music, and separate areas in these four locations have different music for special events. The sound effects are noteworthy. When Beaker is slammed against the wall from an explosion in a laboratory, you can hear the individual crashes and thumps. The sound and the video are in perfect synch too. The lively cast and the funny jokes really bring the story to life. Muppet Treasure Island supplies over two hours of video clips featuring the Muppets and actors Tim Curry and Billy Connolly who starred in the film Muppet Treasure Island. The Muppet sense of humor can appeal to grownups and to children of all ages. Oh, and if you are worried about the same lines from the movie being used in the program, I'm pretty sure that this is all new material for Fozzie and the rest of the gang. The graphics in the program are impressive. The Muppets appear just as they did in the movie. The backgrounds do not look too colorful or dull either. They match perfectly with the characters in the foreground. The screen always looks detailed and pleasing. The large array of colors makes this game fun to watch. This game is a good buy for any fans of the Muppets and their movies. The plot is the same as the book and movie, but the antics are new. There are many activities for your child to participate in and they are all entertaining. The game has great video and delightful characters. It also contains interesting information about ships and the history of the relevant era. This is a fantastic adventure, and it teaches your child some important lessons along the way. If you are looking for a swashbuckling adventure, pick up a copy of Muppet Treasure Island! Word 97 for Busy People By Christian Crumlish For all users $24.99 list Published by Osborne A division of McGraw-Hill http://www.osborne.com review by Frank Sereno (email@example.com) You don't have to be a busy person to appreciate Word 97 for Busy People by Christian Crumlish. This fine book is everything that Microsoft's manual should have been and more. He avoids the jargon and techno-babble that many manuals exhibit or the stiff writing style that makes those tomes difficult to read. The author's personable, humor-laced prose quickly puts readers at ease. With clear, concise text and detailed illustrations, Christian explains the many features, options and procedures involved in producing documents in Word 97. Each book in the Busy People series uses identical tools and layout features to help the reader reach maximum productivity while reducing his frustration level with a particular program. The book begins with a Blueprint that uses screenshots to quickly explain many basic procedures in the operation of the program. Each chapter features a Fast Forward preamble that quickly covers that chapter's topics. This is a great way to get your feet wet on the subject matter or you can use them for quick review later. The author liberally sprinkles Expert Advice sections throughout the book. Christian includes tips, techniques and suggests habits that will increase productivity or make the program easier to use. Just look for the pensive professor cartoon when looking for quick guidance. A hurdle-jumping businessman is the symbol for Shortcuts. These short sections detail the quickest, most efficient methods to accomplish various tasks in Word 97. There may be other procedures involving more steps with more options, but you're too busy to be bothered with all those steps. Time is money! Caution segments warn you of the dangers involved with a feature or procedure. Your document may face dangerous consequences if you do not beware. Look for the manhole and caution sign picture that denotes these useful sections. A Definition is highlighted by a strongman caricature. These informal and conversational texts easily explain the jargon and technobabble. A set of stairs is the symbol for Step by Step. These detailed tutorials effectively explain the many steps of the procedures in Word 97 using screenshots. Christian explains how to do a task and how to "undo" it if you should falter. These sections are a godsend for inexperienced users. Upgrade notes are designed to help users of older versions of Word to make an easier transition to the new toolbars and features of Word 97. Some of your favorite tricks may no longer work with the latest version of Word, so Christian explains how to replicate and remember them for the new software. Christian covers all the basics and the most esoteric of Word 97's features. He reduces users' frustration levels and increases their productivity with his friendly, humorous instruction. From creating your first memo to creating the most complex documents to creating a Web page, Christian shows you the ropes and doesn't let you hang yourself. If you own the newest version of the world's most popular word processor, you owe it to yourself to buy Word 97 for Busy People. Keep this delightful and informative tome at your fingertips. Word 97 for Busy People is simply a "must buy" for owners of Word 97. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 7.0.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at eleven points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" z No underlining! z Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word format. Do NOT use the space bar. z No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF CG Times 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate networks as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Let's just say that "da boss" screwed up last week, unintentionally. If you don't know to what I'm referring, you missed last week's issue. During routine editing, some of this section and all of the gaming section got deleted. I've told Ralph that I've attributed this snafu to his use of a PC rather than a dependable ST, but of course he pooh-poohed my notion. <g> Anyway, we've put that issue back together and it's here in its entirety along with this week's news. Let's pick up from last week's look at web page design. I do want to start off by saying that designing a page from scratch is not brain surgery. A few good ideas and occasionally some trial and error sessions will reward you, and your visitors, with a nice page. So, did you do your homework? Bone up on the basic HTML commands? Got your web page topic decided upon? Good, let's begin. Pick your favorite text editor - one with cut & paste functions will be good. I'm using the Flash II's editor although I also use Sudden View when I want to move a lot of things around at once. For ease of use, insert a clean floppy disk or set up a folder on your hard drive to keep all of your web page's working files together in one spot. If you have some graphics and/or text files that you plan to work with, place them on the disk or in your working folder. Run your text editor and get ready to incorporate your text and perhaps some graphics. Before I go any further, let me make he following disclaimer: I am no HTML expert. The steps that I suggest may not be the best to follow; the results may not be the most elaborate piece of "eye-candy" that you'll ever see. There may be some redundancy. However, I'm emphasizing that this is a beginner's "primer", by a beginner. The results will be the same: a simple and working web page. Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's create! I'll be explaining HTML "tags", attributes, etc. as I go along; and, at the end of this tutorial (whenever that occurs), I'll provide a list of tags and various other HTML tools as a separate article for reference. You have your page topic, right? For my sample page, I'll be using my pet African Grey Parrot, Beau-Coo, as our subject. He's a classy guy and he's sat on my shoulder through many of my web page design sessions to warrant his own page! <g> To start your HTML document, just type in <HTML> on the first line of your document. Hit your Return key a few times to create some blank lines and then type </HTML>. You can save this resulting file for future reference as an HTML template. For now, save this file with a name you'll recognize as this particular web page, with an ".HTM" file extension. For our page here, I'll call the file BEAU_COO.HTM. Although there will be some who will say that these two tags are not required by all browsers, using them will identify your document as an HTML file. Your document should always start with <HTML> and end with </HTML>. Now let's create the HEAD, TITLE, and BODY of your document. After the <HTML> tag, type <HEAD>. It can appear right after the first tag, or on a separate line. Personally, I prefer the organized method of keeping most of my HTML tags and attributes on a separate line. Use whatever you feel comfortable. Each web page must have a title. It should be short and describe what the page is about. It will also appear on the top of your window when you access the page. To create a title, just type <TITLE> and then enter your desired title. For our sample page, here's what I'll have in my document: <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey. For people who have no idea what an African Grey is, this will be further explained within the body of my page. To close off the title, type </TITLE> after your title. Then type </HEAD>. Let's review what our sample should look like to this point: <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> </HTML> To keep this really basic, I'll refrain from any "embellishments"; we'll discuss enhancements at a later date. Now we're ready for the bulk of our page, the body. After the closing Head command (</HEAD>), type <BODY>. So you don't forget, type </BODY> on a line directly preceding </HTML>. Now we're ready for the "good" stuff - your page's contents. So, let's use some HTML to help us organize our page. Let's start off with a header to depict the beginning of the body of our page. In the body section of our document, type <Hn>, where the "n" can be any number between 1 and 6. These numbers determine the level, or size of your headers (try to be consistent!). I won't describe the different levels - experiment! Let's go on using an example of my own - <H2>. Then type the contents of your header and close it with an </Hn> (use the same number as your opening header comment!). So, what we'll have when that's done is something like this: <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2>. If you can't visualize what a header should be, think of them as names of a book's chapters or an outline. Now we're ready to insert some text, either typed in now manually or imported as a previously saved text file. What we have so far: <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2> </BODY> </HTML> Since HTML doesn't recognize carriage returns created by your text editor (with a few exceptions detailed later), we need to create new paragraphs or line breaks manually, via HTML. After your header, type <P> to begin a new paragraph. Now enter your text manually or import a text file. To be consistent, after you enter your text, type </P>. I've learned that this is not required for the paragraph comment, but it helps to remember that most HTML commands require an open and close comment. Believe it or not, you've just created a basic web page. Don't believe me? You did save your file as you went along, right? Load the file after running CAB (or your Atari browser of choice). Everything look okay? It should. To look at the HTML source code, select "source" from within CAB, or load it back into your text editor. It should look something like this: <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2> <P> This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met" Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him. </P> </BODY> </HTML> Look good to you? What did it take, all of ten minutes or so? Easy. Next week, we'll add some color, graphics, a few links, and the means for the visitors to your page to provide feedback via e-mail. In future installments, we'll go even further with enhancements to this basic page. Until next time... >From Delphi's Atari Advantage area: I just got some email from Chris at Computer Direct that I felt should be shared with those on the Usenet. This CLEARLY shows the need to get your facts right before posting to an international newsgroup! -John Hechtman ------------------------------------------------------------------------- JH>I'd read on Usenet that there were software problems with the DirecTT JH>and Geneva/Extendos and some other programs. Is this true? CK>It is true that Current Notes published an article stating this, but CK>this is not the case. We have always had no problems with ExtenDOS or CK>Geneva/Neodesk or even MiNT for that matter now that an 060 aware MiNT CK>has been released. CK>The author of the current notes review does not have Geneva or CK>ExtenDOS and was using early information. The problem that we had CK>early on, was that JARXX.PRG would crash in the auto folder. In CK>subsequent testing and trouble shooting we discovered that it needs CK>to have the caches off during boot up since it uses self modifying CK>code. JARXX.PRG needs to run prior to Geneva/Neodesk on any system. CK>The author of the article sent an addendum to the editor explaining CK>this, but the changes were never made to the original article. CK>Perhaps they got there too late. CK>I am running Geneva / Neodesk daily as well as ExtenDOS and as long CK>as I run CACHEOFF.PRG before JARXX.PRG there are no problems at all, CK>I can Assure you of this. It slows down the boot process a couple of CK>seconds and the caches are turned back on once the desktop is up, CK>but other than that, no big deal. CK>Join our e-mail chat list on DirecT40/T60 if you would like to get CK>some user feedback on how this machine performs. It is worthwhile CK>if you are considering one, or are just interested in keeping abreast. CK>All the best, CK>Chris @ Computer Direct Gaming Section "Towers II"Review! Vandal Hearts! Sony Gaming Online! GameBoy Ad Pulled! ID4! Arcadium! And more! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Thanks to Steve Watkins (and Telegames and JV Enterprises), we finally have a Jaguar game review - Towers II. We've been talking about this game for a long time here in the Gaming section of STReport; it's nice to see a "new" game review. And yes, a review of Breakout 2000 is on the way. We also hope to be receiving Iron Soldier 2 shortly. Lots of interesting news in the gaming world this week, so let's get to it. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! The Station@sony.com Debuts as the Destination NEW YORK (March 10) BUSINESS WIRE -March 10, 1997--It's Monday night. The screen is dark. Which "station" should you tune into? Beginning this March, the answer will be The Stationsony.com an entirely new online experience -- where consumers can entertain themselves with some of the most popular areas of television, film, music and videogames in the world. With an all-access, "backstage" StationPass created by Sony at their fingertips, Web enthusiasts can enter The Station's multi-dimensional world and play in a unique online environment that merges popular content and breakthrough technology. Easily-accessible and globally-branded, The Station, located at www.sony.com or at www.station.sony.com, opens for preview today. "For the first time, Sony has brought together the best of all it has to offer with The Station electronics, music, film, television programs, superior technology, stylish design and the key word is 'Play,'" said Mitchell Cannold, President, Sony Online Ventures Inc. "The Stationsony.com will completely redefine 'play' on the Internet, inviting visitors to play music, play games, play contests and play often. Our goal is to make The Station the primary online entertainment destination for fun and games -- a place that Web users of every age will be able to be entertained in, have fun and make their own." I'll Take Online Entertainment, Please Once visitors have "tuned in" to The Stationsony.com, they can experience a diverse program line up (and related chat rooms) available at rollout, including: z SIREN, a 24-hour cyberchannel for music enthusiasts with four individual programs using streaming audio technology, features music news, interviews and sneak previews from up-and-coming and established artists. z Single player online versions of Jeopardy! Online and Wheel of Fortune Online, two of the most successful game shows in television history, invite consumers to test their knowledge, vie for prizes and share tips and discuss strategies in chat rooms. z Battleground, thelatest multiplayer gaming environment where combatants navigate deadly tanks through a futuristic cityscape. From the game developers of the PlayStation(TM) game console, the game opens at rollout as a limited 1,000-player preview, expanding to a wider preview beginning April 1. Players will compete online for prizes. z Soap City, the online fan community for Days of Our Lives and The Young and The Restless, will offer users the chance to catch up on missed shows, learn more about characters and connect with other like-minded fans via e-mail and chat rooms. z Sony Wonder's Wonderland, designed for young children and their parents, is a safe place for kids to play online. Incorporated into the area are many games, learning activities, WebTime Stories storytelling and other interactive entertainment geared to children. When The Station is fully open to the public, pay-for-play will be implemented into select programming and will be priced competitively. "We've taken the best of our global brand offerings and put them on the Web in an easily accessible way," said Matt Rothman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sony Online Ventures Inc. "We've designed our music, chat, online gaming, game shows, soap opera and children's programming, as well as our shopping feature, to take advantage of the medium's strengths, characteristics and technology for the broadest possible reach." The StationPass = Personalized Play and Customized Fun Once the users have tuned into The Station, a personalized, two-way "remote control" -- in the form of The Station's exclusive StationPass -- allows visitors to play at The Station while communicating with other StationPass holders across the Internet universe, regardless of their Internet location or browser used a Web "first." "The StationPass is a unique two-way communication technology on the Web. As a Web 'first,' the StationPass also is the online user's Java-powered ticket to play. Designed to travel across the Web, the StationPass builds a two-way dialog and ense of community through real-time messaging from Passholders and announcements from The Station itself," said Mark Benerofe, Vice President of Programming, Sony Online Ventures Inc. The Station Store Soon Station visitors will enjoy a unique online shopping experience at the Station Store where they will be able to shop and browse for Sony Signatures merchandise and collectibles from the world of motion pictures, television programs and music artists. Station Store shelves also will be stocked with Columbia TriStar home videos and Sony Wonder products, such as home videos, CDs, and book and tape packages. In addition, the new PC by Sony will be available late Summer 1997. The Stationsony.com Helps Advertisers Build Brands Since its inception, Sony Online Ventures Inc. has sought to develop unique marketing partnerships with major brands. Visa U.S.A. played a key role in the early stages of conceptualization and business development for The Station. Now, with the launch of The Station, Visa will become a long-term strategic marketing partner. The Station offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to combine the power of their own brands with some of the world's best-known entertainment properties. Advertisers' messages can be integrated with The Station's programming to become part of the visitor's entertainment experience. Eight of the most established brands today Sears, Roebuck and Company, Pontiac/General Motors, American Airlines, Kellogg, Colgate, U.S. Robotics, Columbia House, and Microsoft join The Station's marketing partner, Visa U.S.A., as advertisers on The Stationsony.com. Eidos Interactive's Tomb Raider Wins Several Game Honors SAN FRANCISCO (March 10) BUSINESS WIRE -March 10, 1997--Eidos Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eidos plc (NASDAQ:EIDSY), a developer and publisher of entertainment products, announced today its flagship action/adventure title, Tomb Raider, has been awarded a multitude of Game of the Year honors from leading industry publications as well as a Codie from the Software Publishers Association's (SPA) Excellence in Software Awards held last week in San Diego. Since its release, Tomb Raider has received worldwide praise from the editorial community, including Game of the Year awards from Game Fan, PS Extreme, and Computer Player. Ultra Game Players gave Tomb Raider its PlayStation Game of the Year and Adventure Game of the Year. PC Gamer awarded Tomb Raider its Action Game of the Year and a Special Achievement in Graphics. Gary Whitta, Editor-in-Chief of PC Gamer, referred to Tomb Raider as "one of the most addictive, original, and atmospheric games the PC has ever seen." In addition, the Software Publishers Association (SPA) honored Tomb Raider with the coveted Codie Award for Best Adventure/Role-Playing Software Game. Tomb Raider was selected from more than 900 other nominees in the adventure/role-playing category. A vote among 1,200 software industry professionals determined the winner of the category from five finalists. The SPA's Excellence in Software Awards is the industry's peer-recognition award for creativity and innovation in multimedia, on-line and traditional software development. "It's a great honor to receive such praise from the industry given the quality of products that Tomb Raider competes with," commented Mike McGarvey, president and CEO of Eidos Interactive. "The success of Tomb Raider thus far is what we hope will be just the beginning." Available for the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and PC, Tomb Raider is a real-time 3D action/adventure title where the gamer plays adventurer Lara Croft in search of the missing pieces to an ancient Atlantean artifact known as the Scio. For additional information on Eidos Interactive and Tomb Raider go to the company's world wide web site at http://www.eidosinteractive.com or http://www.tombraider.com . Konami of America Inc: Konami Unveils Its Magical RPG MAR 10, 1997, M2 Communications - Konami of America, Inc., the leading developer of electronic entertainment for the home video game and coin-op markets, announces the shipping of Vandal-Hearts for the Sony PlayStation. A combat-intensive Role-Playing Game, Vandal-Hearts features a fierce quest in an empire torn with political strife of good versus evil. Vandal-Hearts' battles take place in a unique 3D, isometric field that can be controlled by the player or the computer. "Vandal-Hearts is a remarkable RPG experience," said Andrew Donchak, consumer division president. "With beautiful, detailed graphics and a rich storyline that enhances the game play, Vandal-Hearts lures the player into the role of the combatant. The RPG elements and amazing 3D battle simulations make Vandal-Hearts an extraordinary combat strategy game. Konami is thrilled to have this game in the line-up." Vandal-Hearts takes place in a 3D, isometric battle field that rotates both horizontally and vertically for multiple 3D, customized views. The game has multiple layers of terrain and attack positions within the battlefield. With a variety of RPG weapons, magic spells, modes of sneak attacks to defeat the evil foes, and a myriad of characters, players can immerse themselves into the Vandal-Hearts storyline. "Konami is extremely pleased to be introducing Vandal-Hearts in the U.S.," added Randy Severin, senior product manager. "With the success of Suikoden, an award-winning RPG, Konami is looking forward to building and expanding the RPG segment of the industry with innovative and creative games. Releasing both Suikoden and Vandal-Hearts proves that we're heading in the right direction." NBA Shoot Out '97 Rocks the House FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (March 10) BUSINESS WIRE -March 10, 1997--Sony Computer Enterainment America Inc. announced today that it will ship NBA Shoot Out '97 -- available exclusively for the PlayStation game console -- to retail stores across North America on March 11, 1997. A key distinction for NBA Shoot Out '97 is its realism -- "real" players on "real" teams in "real" uniforms playing on the "real" NBA courts. Players perform to their "real" abilities based on their actual stats and attributes. There are tons of "real" NBA moves like dribbling between your legs or around your back, spin moves, pump fakes, fade-away jumpers, one-handed swats, steals and jump shots, as well as seven different, right- and left-handed dunks. The realistic player animation was created with the help of three-time All-Star Latrell Sprewell from the Golden State Warriors, who was motion-captured for the game. "With all of the new features, the new motion-capture animation and the improved AI (artificial intelligence), NBA Shoot Out '97 has risen to a whole new level," said Peter Dille, senior director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Combine those elements with the incredible level of realism and the game's fun factor, and NBA Shoot Out '97 becomes the best NBA licensed basketball video game available." NBA Shoot Out '97 borrowed a play from some of the other hit sports titles from Sony Interactive Studios; Icon Passing, giving video game players greater control over their game. Icon Passing allows players to pass the ball to a teammate of choice who is identified by his corresponding icon on the PlayStation controller. Icon Passing also allows the player to "run the break," execute "skip passes" or a "give and go," or to follow-up a pass with a quick shot. For example, if the player was playing as the Utah Jazz and John Stockton had the ball, the player would activate Icon Passing by pressing the L2 button. Perhaps Karl Malone would be identified by a circle icon underneath him. By pressing the circle button, Stockton would pass the ball to Malone. For quick shots, double-tapping the circle icon, Stockton would pass the ball to Malone who would then immediately shoot the ball. During the development of NBA Shoot Out '97, Charles "Bo" Outlaw and Rodney Rogers of the Los Angeles Clippers visited the sports studio to get a behind the scenes look at the development of the game. Both NBA players are huge PlayStation fans. In fact, they both take their PlayStation with them on the road. Outlaw commented, "I can't leave home without it." Rogers added, "We play it on the airplane and every hotel we go to sometimes until two, three o'clock in the morning." Besides playing as their virtual selves, Icon Passing was a top highlight of NBA Shoot Out '97. "I like the icons and the way you can pass to who you want to instead of using the controller to point in the direction you want to pass," said Rogers. "It makes it so much easier to get a guy open under the bucket," added Outlaw. "Icon Passing revolutionized football video gaming in the NFL GameDay series," stated Dille. "By bringing it to NBA Shoot Out '97 video gamers will have more control than ever before. It really takes the game up a notch from the rest of the competition." NBA Shoot Out '97 features 1997 All-Star Eddie Jones, from the Los Angeles Lakers, on the package and will have an MSRP of $49.99 when it goes on sale March 11. Nvolve Unveils Arcadium NEW YORK (March 11) BUSINESS WIRE -March 11, 1997--Gamers, hit "Start" for Arcadium, the first community driven by gamers on the World Wide Web. Arcadium is also the firs affinity destination developed by Nvolve Inc., a web media company that was launched today. Designed for console or computer gamers, Arcadium (www.arcadium.com) appeals to game fans and developers who have an avid interest in communicating with each other and creating a community for hard-core gamers. The site provides interaction with other gamers and game developers. All members have the opportunity to help create the community personality and standards. Arcadium is not a magazine on the Web or a clearinghouse for downloading games. It is a meeting place where gamers can hang out with other game fans and talk about favorite games, new games and gaming platforms. Arcadium has been open for membership since August and, to date, has a membership of 200,000 registered users. On average, the site is registering 12 million hits a month. "Arcadium will be the hub for gaming -- a place for hard-core gamers to meet, exchange viewpoints and interact with game developers," said Tom Morgan, president and CEO of Nvolve. "By taking advantage of the interactive nature of the Web, Arcadium will be created by and completely personalized for each member -- from each person's customized entry page to special promotions. It will be a true community." Benefits Gamers and Marketers Nvolve's first affinity destination is Arcadium, a site for members of the console, PC and Internet gaming communities. Arcadium gives gamers their own personalized entry page where they can chat with other gamers and/or get information on games, game gurus, tips, and related products of interest. Arcadium automatically tailors itself to an individual's interests and quest for information. It offers customized navigation via personal entry pages and dynamically created pages derived from user profiles. So if one gamer prefers Sony Playstation and the other prefers Sega Genesis, their home pages and messages will be directed according to their preferences. To communicate and interact with these gamers, marketers use pull, profileand push marketing. Pull marketing includes drawing members into a marketer-sponsored area. Profile marketing includes conversing with, querying and analyzing responses from members. Push marketing consists of contests, promotions and other purchasing incentives to generate sales. In Arcadium, for example, Sony can buy a cell of 16-bit Nintendo owners who, within the previous week, have expressed an interest in upgrading to a 32-bit platform. Any promotion then targeted to them, via member messaging, customized, intra-site banner ads or access to particular site areas, would be exceptionally effective and cost efficient. "As Arcadium's membership grows, it gains influence with game designers, publishers and console manufacturers," said Susan Simmons, executive vice president and general manager of Nvolve. "Arcadium will have the clout to influence product development and the volume to attract product discounts for members." Arcadium can be accessed from any computer system networked to the Internet and is optimized for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Chat sessions require browsers with Java applet support. Company Background Based in San Mateo, Calif., Nvolve (www.nvolve.com) is a producer of affinity destinations on the World Wide Web. The company spun off from IDG Corporation in November 1996 and now has 25 employees. Nvolve's second community will be introduced in the second quarter of calendar year 1997. Sponsorships are sold directly through Nvolve. Independence Day Interactive Invasion Hits Playstation, Saturn & Windows(R)95 CD-ROM WHAT & WHEN: Inspired by the aerial action and intensity of the #1 movie and video of 1996, Fox Interactive's INDEPENDENCE DAY video game invades retail outlets nationwide with PlayStation, Saturn and Windows 95 versions all available this week. (PlayStation/Saturn SRP: $54.98 Windows SRP: $49.98) A game for fans of all ages, INDEPENDENCE DAY (rated K-A) is a high velocity flight and fight race to save the world from an armada of alien attackers. Players blaze through 13 different 3D real-world locales such as the Grand Canyon, NYC, D.C., Las Vegas, Tokyo and Moscow. Using 10 of the world's most powerfu1 jet fighters including the F-18 Hornet, F-16 Falcon and SU-27 Flanker, players wipe out swarms of Alien Fighters and ominous City Destroyers in order to defeat the Alien Mothership. Consumer benefits with purchase (via one of the largest promotional campaigns ever conceived for a video game release) include: z $10 mail-in rebate with the purchase of ten bottles of Clearly Canadian's new Orbitz beverage. z $25 mail-in rebate with the purchase of Samsung's GXTV - designed especially for video games (SRP: $299). z $10 mail-in rebate for Fox Pay-Per-View customers ordering the ID4 movie, supported by an in-store sweepstakes with Planet Hollywood. z $5 off Fox Interactive's three-in-one smash DIE HARD TRILOGY game. H2O Entertainment Corp Receives $150,000 US from Nintendo CALGARY,ALBERTA--(Canadian Corp News, MARCH 10, 1997)--H2O Entertainment Corp. (H2O) is pleased to announce that it has received $150,000 US from its exclusive publishing partner Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Japan. The payment is part of the final royalty advance from Nintendo for H2O's exclusive Nintendo 64 game, Tetrisphere. Tetrisphere is Nintendo's first action/puzzle game for the Nintendo 64 game system which will have sold 6 million units by the end of March, 1997. H2O is on schedule to deliver Tetrisphere to Nintendo at the end of this month for subsequent worldwide distribution. Nintendo Game Boy Pocket Advertisement To Be Withdrawn MAR 13, 1997, M2 Communications - NINTENDO UK ENTERTAINMENT LTD has received several complaints regarding its advertisement claiming, 'The New Game Boy Pocket. Seriously distracting' with an illustration of a woman wearing nightclothes tied by the wrists to a bed. The complainants said that the expression on the woman's face was one of fear and objected saying that the woman was being humiliated and held against her will. Nintendo claimed that the advertisement had been misinterpreted and that the idea of was that the look on the woman's face was one of frustration because her partner had chosen the Game Boy over her. It was decided that the advertisement was likely to cause widespread or serious offence and that it was to be withdrawn. Sega Saturn brings home Die Hard Arcade REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. (March 18) BUSINESS WIRE -March 18, 1997-Gamers starving for pulse-pounding action and a heart-stopping rescue mission will get their fill with "Die Hard Arcade" from Sega of America and Fox Interactive. Inspired by the blockbuster movie from Twentieth Century Fox, "Die Hard Arcade" combines full interactive fighting jammed packed with all the moves, weapons and impressive 3D graphics that took Sega's arcade version to the top of the coin-op charts. The game will be available exclusively for the Sega Saturn platform starting Tuesday. Experience non-stop action by taking on the role of tough talkin' N.Y. detective John McClane or his partner, Kris Thompsen, whose mission is to free the president's daughter from insane terrorists who have taken over Nakatomi Plaza. In one- or two-player mode, players must arm themselves with whatever they can find to overcome the unique barrage of enemies in their way. There are more than 12 weapons ranging from handguns to swords to robot scraps. But the battle armament doesn't stop there. I players get their hands on objects such as a grandfather clock, a push broom, even a TV -- it's all fair game in kicking terrorist butt and moving through the five expansive levels of gameplay. "Die Hard Arcade" features motion-captured character movements with more than 1,000 special moves. Assault-style jump combinations, kicks, and punches help intensify the battle in full 3D environments ranging from roof tops to public bathrooms and office suites. In addition, the cooperative two-player mode brings all fighting features together allowing players to "tag team" against the opponent with kicks, punches and even a make-shift blow torch using hairspray and a lighter. "'Die Hard Arcade' is the most interactive fighting game on the market -- and half the fun is in figuring out what you can use as a weapon," said Ted Hoff, executive vice president, Sega of America. "True to its arcade heritage, 'Die Hard Arcade' is a blast for both the novice and the fighting game fanatic." Developed by renowned designer Makoto Uchida, producer for Sega's AM1 development division, "Die Hard Arcade" features exceptional texture mapping and realistic 3D graphics that bring each scene to life. Players are also entertained during the unusually fast loading time. While the next level loads, players are challenged with cut scenes in which they must quickly push the correct button to make McClane or Thompsen defeat a new enemy. If successful, players move to the next level, otherwise they are stuck to duke it out with that new enemy before moving on to the next challenge. As an added Sega Saturn bonus, the Sega arcade classic "Deep Scan" is included in "Die Hard Arcade." By playing this retro submarine depth charge game, players can gain extra lives before jumping into the Nakatomi battle. "Die Hard Arcade" will be available in more than 20,000 stores carrying Sega Saturn games starting March 18 for a suggested retail price of $49.99. PlayStation Production to be Increased FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (March 19) BUSINESS WIRE -March 19, 1997--In an announcement made today in Tokyo, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) reported that in response to the unprecedented worldwide demand for PlayStation game consoles, SCEI will further increase the company's monthly manufacturing capacity. To this end, monthly production volume of PlayStation game consoles will reach 1.35 million units in April 1997, rising to 1.5 million units in May. According to SCEI, there has been a shortage of PlayStation game consoles in Japan since the end of 1996, leaving a large number of consumers waiting for the increased availability of PlayStation game consoles. In North America, the "supply constrained" situation is similar to that in Japan and local inventory levels have been extremely low due to exceptionally strong sales since the product's launch in September 1995. The cumulative worldwide shipments of PlayStation game consoles has reached 13 million units, with more than 3.4 million hardware units sold in North America alone. "PlayStation sales have only been limited to the amount of hardware that has been available on a worldwide basis," said KazHirai, chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "With our recent hardware price reduction, coupled with the fact that our CD-based software is aggressively priced, we are extremely confident that PlayStation brand hardware and software will continue to dominate the global video game market." On March 3, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced the lowering of the suggested retail prices for PlayStation hardware and software to $149 and $49, respectively. PlayStation game console manufacturing will be done at the expanded production facilities at Sony Kisarazu Corporation, Sony Minokamo Corporation and other Sony manufacturing facilities in Japan. This summer, SCEI will shift monthly production of 100,000 units (from within the 1.5 million total) to Sony's manufacturing operation in Mexico. Psygnosis Launches Multi-Title Promotion; "Game Mania" FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (March 19) BUSINESS WIRE -March 19, 1997-Stepping right into spring and blazing through summer, Psygnosis readies for its largest retail promotion ever. Today it was announced that the Psygnosis' "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun" promotion will kick off on April 1 at retail outlets nationwide. The program will run for five months through August 31, 1997. "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun" is a multi-title video game promotion designed to drive customers into stores and to the register with extensive advertising, comprehensive in-store support, and real-value offers. The program handles both PlayStation and PC CD-ROM software in two simultaneous promotions. "'Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun' is our first brand-specific promotion and it gives us an opportunity to build on the tremendous success we've achieved with titles such as Destruction Derby2 and Formula 1," said John Golden, Director of Marketing, Psygnosis. "We're furthering our channel relationships with a widespread campaign that will drive consumers into stores during summer's traditionally slower sales period." "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun"offers customers great value with rebates, free games and gifts with incentives towards purchasing multiple titles. PlayStation software customers receive a $5 refund check by mail from Psygnosis on the purchase of one PlayStation game from the promotion's selected list of hit Psygnosis titles. When purchasing two games, customers receive one free game from the same Psygnosis hit list which translates into a $50 value. When purchasing three games, customers receive one free game plus a cool CD carrying case -- a $70 value. PC CD-ROM gamers will receive $10 back from Psygnosis when they purchase a Psygnosis title from the "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun" selected games list. When purchasing two titles from within the promotion, customers receive three free games, plus a four-title Psygnosis game demo -- adding up to a $60 value. The free game titles include Destruction Derby(TM), adidas(R) Power Soccer(TM) and Lemmings Paintball(TM). Customers can earn prizes by either purchasing multiple titles at one time or saving receipts over the summer for redemption by August 31, 1997. To build consumer awareness of the "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun" promotion, full page, 4-color print ads will run in the May and June issues of nationally published leading game enthusiast magazines such as EGM/EGM, Game Pro, and Next Generation. Additionally, a promotion-specific direct mail piece will be sent to PlayStation owners in early April. PC CD-ROM enthusiasts will be reached through publications including Computer Gaming World, PC Gamer, and PC Games. In-store support includes counter cards, shelf talkers, and product stickers. In-pack cards outlining the promotion will be included in most Psygnosis' product boxes to increase awareness within Psygnosis' customer base. The promotion is completely turn-key with Psygnosis handling all fulfillment of rebates and free product. Titles in the "Game Mania! Summer Frenzy of Fun" promotion include WipeOut XL(TM), Formula 1, Rush Hour(TM), The City of Lost Children(TM), The Adventures of Lomax(TM), adidas(R) Power Soccer(TM), Sentient(TM) and Professional Underground League of Pain(TM) on the PlayStation side and Destruction Derby 2, Discworld(R) II: Mortality Bytes!, Professional Underground League of Pain(TM), City of Lost Children(TM), and Krazy Ivan(TM) for PC purchases. Sears Honors Sony Computer Entertainment America CHICAGO (March 19) BUSINESS WIRE -March 19, 1997--Sears, Roebuck and Co. today announced that Sony Computer Entertainment America, developers and marketers of the PlayStation(TM) game console, swept the top awards in the vendor category at the annual Sears "Kids Store" Platinum Circle Awards Dinner. The awards recognize Sears "Kids Store" national brand and private label (Sears brands) vendors. Sony Computer Entertainment America was selected as the standout winner of all three vendor honors among national brands -- "Sales Performance vs. Plan," "Margin Contribution vs. Plan" and "Vendor of the Year" outperforming all other companies in the "Kids Store." Companies being nominated for honors were selected from mre than 500 vendors providing merchandise for Sears' "Kids Store," which includes children's apparel and videogame products being sold in the Funtronics portion of the department. Less than 10 percent of Sears vendors, including Levi Strauss, Evenflo, Nintendo and Oshkosh B'gosh, are nominated for the Platinum Circle. The vendor honors are then awarded from this top tier. "The phenomenal popularity of the PlayStation, along with the strong commitment from Sony Computer Entertainment America has helped propel Sears' Kids Store's sales and performance numbers beyond expectations," said Mary Kwan, vice president and general merchandise manager, Children's Apparel, Sears, Roebuck and Co. "We are proud to have Sony Computer Entertainment America as part of our winning team and are pleased to honor them with these awards." "As the next-generation videogame leader, we are honored to receive these distinctive accolades," said Jack Tretton, vice president, sales, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "More than 3.4 million consumers have already selected the PlayStation as the videogame system of choice, and with the assistance of key retailers such as Sears, we are confident that our installed base will continue to grow at record rates." Sony Computer Entertainment America has also been nominated for a Partner in Progress Award, Sears' corporate award. SegaSoft's 'Scud': The Disposable Assassin On Shelves Now Underground Comic Now Video Game Legend REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- SegaSoft, a multi-platformed publisher of interactive entertainment titles, today announced the shipment of their highly anticipated action/shooter game, Scud: The Disposable Assassin, for the Sega Saturn(TM). The Saturn version retails for $49.99 nationwide. A new, unique multi-player version will follow for SegaSoft's gaming network, HEAT.NET, Summer of '97. "Scud: The Disposable Assassin is a thrilling game based on the top-selling underground comic book," said Haven Dubrul, SegaSoft's vice president of marketing. "It combines non-stop action and breakthrough gameplay by featuring the best elements of first person shooter mode and third person side-scroller." Scud: The Disposable Assassin features a unique combination of innovative gaming providing multiple gameplay combinations not found on any other title on any other platform. One or two players can use two Stunners, 2 D-Pads or a combination of both devices simultaneously. While players are not required to purchase a lightgun peripheral to enjoy the title, the option to use both gun and D-Pad simultaneously enhances its play value many times over. Scud: The Disposable Assassin's dynamic gameplay is so engaging it has already received praise from a variety of press nationwide. In fact, Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine claims, "the excellent graphics, unique gameplay and characters and plot based on one of the best comics out there, combine to form what could very well be one of the best Saturn games to date." The Story of Scud A robot assassin purchased from a vending machine, the Scud Heartbreaker (serial no. 1373) is about to destroy his target when he learns that he will self-destruct upon completion of the mission. Rather than kill Jeff, a vile and hideous creature of unknown origin who is terrorizing the workers at a mannequin factory, Scud mutilates her and sends her to a hospital to recover (and thus saves his own skin). With the help of Scud's sidekick, Drywall, a zipper-laden creature whose frame contains weapons, including a piranha gun, purse, chair, flower pot and bottles, they battle a host of evil creatures and fight to keep Jeff alive. Scud Number One The creation of 26-year-old illustrator Rob Schrab, Scud is America's top-rated underground comic series. Critically acclaimed by such media as Rolling Stone, Details, Spin, and MTV, Scud: The Disposable Assassin has achieved cult status following, especially among males 16 and over. Video game magazine readers routinely rate the yellow assassin at the very top of their video game "wish lists." Jaguar Game Review "Towers II" STR Review Towers II Available Now By Steve Watkins Developed by: JV Enterprises Published by: Telegames Price: $59.99 Jaguar owners, the wait for a real Role Playing Game is over. Atari abandoned the game, but JV Enterprises stuck to their mission of bringing the Jaguar a RPG and Telegames has made it a reality. Towers II: Plight of the Stargazer, a title clouded in development mystery for many months, is finally here. Towers II was originally published on the Atari Falcon platform in January of 1995. The port to the Jaguar was completed in November of 1995, but it wasn't until another 13 months passed that Telegames finally published the game in December of 1996. Background - Towers II takes place in theland of Lamini, also the site of JV Enterprises previous RPG, Towers (Atari ST). The story, truncated somewhat by Telegames (the full story was printed previously in STReport), is familiar: get the bad guy. In this case, the bad guy is a powerful, respected mage and avid astronomer, who has seemingly lost his mind. He's experimenting with strange magic. Explosions occur without a trace of damage. Mysterious excavations are happening at the graveyard. His name is Lord Daggan and somebody has to stop him. That somebody is you, in the form of one of four characters; Gerand, a warrior; Tasler, a nineteen year old with a chip on his shoulder; Andros, a former circus trapeze artist; Merton, a Mage on a mission to be Number One among the magic wielders. Each character has traditional RPG statistics, Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, etc., and you can re-roll the stats for a stronger or weaker character, depending on your desire. (The manual suggests you play your first time through as Gerand. I recommend Merton.) Gameplay & Controls - The game environment is a mix between Dungeon Master and Doom, which is to say it is a free moving, "3-D," real-time rpg, in which you walk (joypad) through or interact with (via a pointer) the environment to solve puzzles and fight enemies. However, it is *not* an action-oriented game, stocked with rooms full of monsters, like Doom. JV Enterprises went for a story-driven, multi-dimensional puzzle approach and it works well. The full screen main display shows two bars at the top of the screen at all times. These are the health and mana bars and the only real stats that make a difference in the game. Lose health and use mana (cast spells) and the bars deplete. Time will replenish the bars, but the sleep command is needed frequently to get your character back up and cruising the rooms quickly. As time passes, you consume food, so keeping your character well fed is important, but, luckily, not as tedious a chore as in some other RPGs. As your experience levels increase so will your health and mana capacities. Gerand is pretty wimpy in the Mana department and many of the spells you find along the way are very costly for him or beyond his capability for part of the game. Merton, on the other hand, kicks some serious behind with his Mana power, but basically tickles opponents with a sword. Since this is a real time adventure, the inventory, character and spell list selection windows are displayed on the sides of the screen so that you may still focus on the main play area. They perform their function well and the pain of a mouse/keyboard designed interface ported to a joypad/keypad is minimal. The A, B and C joypad buttons serve multiple purposes and you may customize their functions to suit your tastes. The A button toggles between Movement Mode and Hand Mode. Hand mode, so named due to the appearance of a hand icon that you use to manipulate onscreen objects, calls up the aforementioned display windows. Hand mode is also used to talk to various characters you will meet, but don't expect full conversations. Conversations in Towers II are of the "we talk, you listen" variety. When in Movement mode, the B button is used for a weapon attack. The C button will cast a spell, no matter what mode you are in. The Pause button serves it's now familiar purpose of allowing you to adjust the music and sound effects volumes, but it also lets you call up the save/restore functions, which are explained later in the review. If you hold the Option button down, you can "side-step," like in Doom or Alien Vs. Predator. The keypad also serves many purposes, among them additional side-stepping buttons and spell selection. Items and Features - Each level is populated with a number of unique looking monsters, some more amusing than deadly, others that will frost or fry you in seconds flat if you stand toe-to-toe with them. And each "section" of the tower includes a good variety of baddies to battle. I will only give a few of them away here: flying eyes, varieties of spell casters and plenty of undead abominations. Scattered throughout the twelve levels of the adventure are scrolls, which advance the story, give clues or spell knowledge, simple weapons, armor, magic, puzzle and quest items, keys and various, um, unsavory items. Keys play a major role in Towers II. You need to find many varieties of keys, to unlock doors, some doors are hidden as well, and explore all the areas fully. You'll also run across hanging ceiling chains that need proper manipulation in order to solve one or two fairly tricky puzzles. Other items include magical energy altars, trap doors, floor switches and more. Graphics & Sound - If Towers II takes a lot of abuse from reviewers and players, this will be the area that receives the brunt of it. The level graphics are good, but not great (a little worse than Jaguar Doom. The biggest, pun intended, trouble spot is the monster and item graphics. Two words: Huge Pixels. However, the monsters are nicely animated and, surprisingly, grow on you in a quirky sort of way, due, no doubt, to their unique look. When I first started playing, I thought, "Oh, Lord, those look awful," but the story, exploration and puzles made the average character/item graphics a non-issue by the time I was done playing. On the plus side, spells are animated well and the frame rate is never a problem. The game runs smoothly, start to finish, which cannot be said of far too many Jaguar games, especially the ported 16-bit versions. The (overall) average quality of the graphics earned a score of 5, but I knocked the graphics score down to 4.5 because there are some quirks, basically harmless, but one of them annoying. There are angled walls that look like open space, but actually act like "invisible wall corners." The space looks empty, but you still can't move through or put items in it. When you're running around, fleeing from monster, snagging yourself on invisible walls can be deadly, especially in tight corridors. Sound effects are minimal and more should have been included, especially for the monsters, which are all basically silent. You hear sound effects from their actions (opening doors, spell casting) and that's it. There are good atmosphere effects though, like the heavy rumble of a distant door. The music is good and sets the mood well. I liked the end game music quite a bit and wished they'd put it in the game itself. Save Game Part I - The Rumors About Towers II I thought I'd use this space to clear up a couple of the rumors that were floating around during the mysterious period of time between Atari deciding to drop Towers II and when Telegames picked it up. Why? To satisfy some folks curiosity, but mainly because the save game feature is related to one rumor. First, I'll say that the rumor that Atari dropped Towers 2 because it wasn't good enough to publish is, as far as folks close to the project are concerned, not the real reason. Atari laid off a bunch of folks during this time and the producer of the game was one of those folks. Add the fact that Atari was sinking quickly and you could come to the conclusion that Atari simply didn't want to (or couldn't afford to) handle any more outside product. Now, he reason this is in the save game section - there was a story circulating for a bit that claimed Telegames was requesting improvements (graphics, sound, whatever) be made before they would publish it. This is not true. Telegames only asked that JV Enterprises change the save game feature from its original design (based on a new chip that was never released, which allowed 100% saves) to the old standby (much smaller!) version. Obviously, this was a cost saving measure, since the cart is being produced on a smaller scale. The end result is that the save game does a good job of preserving the vital information, but falls short in a couple of areas that some people will find annoying. For example, after a cold boot (turning on the Jag for a new game session), small chunks of explored territory on the automap will show as unexplored and dropped items return to their start positions (pay attention to this one!). The biggest problem caused by this involves the different keys. If you drop a key (or any item) it will return to its original location the next time you start a Towers II session. You'll be tempted to drop keys to make room in your inventory, but think twice before you do. Save Game Part II - How it Works The save game feature comes in two flavors - Cartridge save and Memory save. A memory save uses the system, so you will LOSE ALL information when you turn the Jaguar off. A cartridge save is a permanent save, thus it keeps your information intact between sessions (with the above mentioned "quirks"). Always use this option before turning off your Jaguar, unless you don't wish to save your added progress. The save feature sounds worse than it is, I assure you. When you consider the tiny amount of space JV Ent. was given, you'll appreciate they manage to save as much as they do. A good rule to follow: Trial/Error play, use Memory save. Solid progress, use Cartridge save. Add It All Up - The first levels are, puzzle wise, pretty easy and are used to ease beginning RPG players into the fray. The combat balance seemed a little "off" to me. For example, you can get hit 6 times and barely be scratched, but the same monster can kill you with one powerful shot, even if you have a nearly full health bar. You might find this frustrating at times, but it does serve the purpose of pointing out that there are different ways to achieve combat success. Level 4, the Elemental Planes, is where the game really gets interesting. You'll have to do some quick thinking and fancy fighting to get through it. In the end, I wished the game was larger, tougher (if you find the right spots, you can kill enemies without them fighting back) and there were more enemies to battle, but it still delivered many hours of amusing and tricky adventuring. And wanting more is usually a good sign that you did enjoy the game. Scoring - Graphics: 4.5 (average, some quirks) Sound FX/Music: 5.5 (average, minimal) Control: 9.0 (good mouse to joypad conversion) Manual: 8.0 (Get the full story intro from STR!) Entertainment: 7.5 (Give it time, it grows on you) Reviewer's Overall: 7.0 (Not a classic, but better than many) I recommend you pick up a copy of Towers II because it is a good story-driven RPG with some tricky, but not unfair, puzzles. The graphics and sound are average, but the gameplay is what matters most (Tetris anyone?) and Towers II delivered in that aspect. Also, I enjoyed playing through it again as another character, something I rarely bother to do with most RPGs. Of course the puzzles were old hat by then, but there was a section of the game I missed the first time (CAREFUL WHICH KEYS YOU DROP! And don't think linear!) and combat strategy was a little different for my new character, so I enjoyed the re-play. I hope Towers II sells well for Telegames, because I think the loyal Jaguar community deserves to get more of the games Sam promised (snake oil, just 64 bits a bottle!) in the days before his papa Jack pulled up the tent stakes and closed Atari down, leaving developers and Jaguar owners holding the final bag of unfulfilled Atari promises and products. And I'd like to see JV Enterprises rewarded for persevering through all the muck to give the Jaguar its one and only true RPG. Vote with your dollars and know that you are getting a solid, well crafted RPG and maybe more Jaguar releases in the future. NOTE: Look for my upcoming Towers II help guide in next weeks STReport. Might also include some cheat codes (as soon as I get 'em <G>). ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org We missed Joe this week for some reason. Hey Joe!! PEOPLE ARE TALKING STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE through the Internet and OVER 250,000 BBS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" March 21, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1312
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