How many of you out there think that computer games that are produced today just aren't doing anything new? Now I'm not going to discuss the morality of games today - I like nothing more than a good game of Doom every so often - although I may do so in another issue.
Well, in some cases it may be true that all of this new technology is used to produce games that we were, and still are, playing on our Elks over eight years ago. But the 'newer' games just dazzle us with better graphics and thumping digitised soundtracks. After all, software producers only produce what they think the market wants. So if people still want to play platform games then why ignore them? I'm sure that you all remember how much you enjoyed playing Citadel and Palace Of Magic for the first time. Why deny our younger generation that experience?
If you're one of the people who can't see the appeal of platform stroke shoot-em-up stroke beat-em-up type games that are the main diet of console owners then have a glance through your own Electron games collection. Just how many games there fall into the above category? A fair few if my games collection is anything to go by. Three for each category: Citadel, Frak and Exile for the platformers; Galaforce, Psycastria and Commando for the shooting; Way Of The Exploding Fist, Yie Ar Kung Fu and Karate Combat for the beating.
It's very difficult for software producers to think of new ground-breaking ideas. The concepts used may be old but the programming techniques allow greater depth of play. If you try hard enough you can compare any game produced today and find a comparison with an old title on a particular machine. Let's pick a random game from a PC magazine. How about Tie Fighter? Take away the Gouraud shading, speech and other sound effects, smooth polygon graphics and finally the missions/storyline. Ok, we've cut the game down to a first person shoot-em-up type game. Take the trading/exploration bits out of Elite and we've got a match between the two games. Easy to do, isn't it? So nothing new is being produced after all.
Fair enough. But why should we ignore new technology and keep our games looking like they did in the 'good old days' where playability was the thing? Well, myself, I'd rather play the super-looking and super-playing Pinball Fantasies on my PC than any pinball on any other system! And this goes for other games as well. Of course I still need my fix of Elk games every now and again but I do love to be dazzled by better sound as well!
Well, after my tuppence worth on that little lot, what have I got in store this issue for those oldie but goldie Elk games? More Pipelineing antics and a few cheats to keep you going through the summer. Quantity isn't everything you know.
PIPELINE LEVEL DESIGNER PART 5, Superior/Acornsoft
Up to four moving monsters, numbered 1 to 4 for reference, can be present on any level. On selecting M.Monster and entering the monster's number, you are presented with a six option menu. 'Position' determines the initial position and 'Direction' the initial direction of the monster. If you select the option 'Dead' on the 'Direction' menu, the monster won't appear on the level unless its direction is changed (See 'Puzzle'). 'Pattern' determines the way a monster will move. The patterns available are: 'Back and forth', 'Follow edges', 'Left wall', 'Right wall' and 'Special'. This last option allows you to define a monster's direction priorities. When a monster hits a block whose type is selected by 'Killed by', it will die leaving in its place a block of type selected by 'Result'. For example, on some levels of the Pipeline game, if a monster hits a 'Fatal trap', it turns into a 'Collectable'. Whenever a moving monster is killed, the player scores 25 points.
>*LOAD TGAME >?&254D=x:REM x = Lives >?&2553=x:REM x = Grenades >?&2EA9=&EA >?&2EAA=&EA >?&2EAB=&EA:REM Faster Game >CALL &2300Quest For Freedom, IJK - Infinite energy
>LOAD"FOURTH" (Last file) >200DEFPROCD:ENDPROC >SAVE"FOURTH" (Onto Your Own BLANK Tape)
Now press BREAK and load the game from the beginning as normal. When the file "THIRD" has finished loading, stop the tape and insert your own tape with the saved "FOURTH" file on it. Your hacked version of "FOURTH" will load enabling invincibility. When you touch a baddy, your energy will go down at first but it will never run out. One word of warning, if you muck the game up you'll have to reload it again. Oh, the endless joys of tapes!
Saigon, Tynesoft - Level Jump
To access the game's in-built cheat, wait until it has loaded and the high-score table is presented. Hold down the number of the level you wish to jump to, then hold down SHIFT and SPACE together. You will now jump to the level number selected.
Next issue, Escape From Pulsar Seven gets the "Elk Entertainment" treatment plus the continuation of the Pipeline Designer and, if I get my finger out, the Superman: Man Of Steel playing tips. If not, I haven't got a clue! But I'm sure plenty of you have got game cheats and solutions just waiting to be sent in, so send them in! Who knows? "The star of the next article could be you!" I don't believe I just typed that...
Christian Weber, EUG #16