Rockman Files Hat

Rockman Files

A lot has ben happening recently here at Games Computing and I would like to thank all of the readers who contacted me or Richard Bartle, about the article on the Essex University Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), which I talked about in the April Issue. Some drastic changes have been made in the scoring system of late making it much less profitable (pointwise) to play by yourself and much more rewarding to attack other players or in the words of the captain's log (one of the locations in this super adventure), "Hack and Slay!!". Remember. You haven't lived 'till you've died in MUD.

More news on the arcade scene. Space Ace, the sequel laser disc game to Dragon's Lair which seems to be making great headway in the local arcades. It is a little easier than its precursor and has some neat music as well as a rather pretty heroine. Never being ones to fail to latch onto a good thing the arcade industry has followed up the racing car game hit "Pole Position" with "Pole Position II" and "TX-1". Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the tarmac... Normally arcade game sequels have been disappointing, witness Zaxxon II, not the most captivating of games, but Pole Position II is not an "improvement" on the original, it is just the same game with different tracks. This makes it a tremendous game for the experienced Pole position driver, being a true test of driving skill without the aid of knowing the track. Of course you will learn the route and your score will benefit accordingly.

There are four tracks on Pole Position 11, including the Mount Fuji track from Pole Position and a simple oval practice track. The other two are very tight and have radical hairpins, not a game to play after a drink or two. Even Pole Position ll pales into obscurity when you have played, or even watched TX-1. This is THE state-of-the-art arcade game. When Pole Position was launched I remember staring in wonderment at the amount of data that the processor was moving on its hi-res screen and thinking that it could never be reproduced on even the fastest home computers. No-one has yet managed a GOOD pole position at home although many have tried, Atri being the most successful.

TX-l is unique, it has THREE screens, not three screens in the sense that Manic Miner has twenty screens but three separate displays (CRT's). They act as a forward and side screens to give a real sense of sitting in a car. The cars can spin, so when you buzz round the bend too fast your red racer is liable to do a full 360 degree skid. An advncement from Pole Position's qualifying test is a set of routes with four levels of qualifying, you must drive through various forks in the road to end up at the raceway of your choice.

Each raceway is designated a nationality, France seems to be the easiest, as you whizz along the Eiffel Tower appears on the right hand screen, scrolls into the middle and then onto the left hand screen as you go around the corner, as the bend winds the other way the French monument crawls back to the right. The sound is deafening and the soft but vibrating seat add the finishing touches, they even managed to put the gear lever on the left hand side. Arcade games are reaching the status of simulator. How long before you can leam to fly at 50p a lesson? (Yes, TX-l is very expensive).

Simon Says....

A neat tip for Spoctrum gamesters is, break into the loader of Jet Set Wllly when it says "Jet Set Willy is Loading" and add the line:
35 POKE35899,0 rewind the tape and RUN. If that doesn't help it looks like you will never get to bed. No l'm not going to tell you what it does but it is nothing to do with the protection scheme on it. Pirating tapes and disks is ILLEGAL and should be seen as such. (Sorry, my hobby horse). Now it's off to brush up my technique at Jumpman on the 64.

Hack, Hack
A.K.A Thor the Necromancer.

Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: gcjun84.htm