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Atari Explorer Online Issue 1995 08
:: Volume 4, Issue 8 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE October 10, 1995 ::
:: ATARI .............. News, reviews, & solutions ............ ATARI ::
:: EXPLORER ............ for the online Atari .......... EXPLORER ::
:: ONLINE ................. Community .............. ONLINE ::
:: Published and Copyright (c) 1993-1995 by Subspace Publishers ::
:: All Rights Reserved ::
:: """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ::
:: Publisher Emeritus ........................... Michael Lindsay ::
:: Editor/Publisher .................................. Travis Guy ::
:: Assistant Editor GEnie......................... Ron Robinson ::
:: Assistant Editor CompuServe................... Albert Dayes ::
:: Assistant Editor Internet.................. Timothy Wilson ::
:: Assistant Editor AOL.................. Dimitri M. LaBarge ::
:: Assistant Editor Delphi.................... Mark Santora ::
:: Unabashed Atariophile .............. Michael R. Burkley ::
:: User Group Coordinator .................... Ron Whittam ::
:: Jaguar Editor ...................... Christian Svensson ::
:: 8-bit Editor .............................. John Hardie ::
:: Sunnyvale Editor .......................... Adam Urbano ::
:: UK Correspondent .......................... Iain Laskey ::
:: WWW Spinner ..............................Frans Keylard ::
:: Contributors: ::
:: """"""""""""" ::
:: John King Tarpinian, David A. Wright ::
:: Telecommunicated to you via: ::
:: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" ::
:: GEnie: ST/JAGUAR RT Library 38 ::
:: CompuServe: ATARIGAMING Library 10, VIDGAME Library 15 ::
:: AOL: VIDEO GAMES FORUM Hints, Tips and Tricks II Library ::
:: Delphi: ATARI ADVANTAGE & WORLD OF VIDEO GAMES Libraries ::
:: Fnet: AEO Conference, Node 319 ::
:: AtariNet: AEO Conference, Node 51:1/10 ::
:: FTP recent AEO issues from: rahul.net:pub/wilsont/AEO ::
:: Search gopherspace under "aeo" for back issues ::
:: World Wide Web: http://www.ior.com/~fkeylard/aeo.htm ::
:: http://www.mcc.ac.uk/~dlms/atari.html ::
:: http://www.bucknell.edu/~svensson ::
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Table of Contents
* From the Editors ..................................... Pass the yard rake.
* Jaguar Previews .................................... Mark on BattleSphere
Adam on Defender 2000
Albert on Missile Command 3D
Travis on Highlander
* Jaguar Tackboard ................ The latest development list - Jag PRs -
Classic Atari Games Survey.
* Surfing the Jagged Edge ................ The latest in online Jaguar news.
* In the Pub .......................... ECTS cleanup, and pack-in pondering.
* Ultra Vortek ....................... The hottest 2D fighter around? Frans
thinks so. Turbo mode code, and
"Carbon" fighter details.
* Rayman ................................... Mark reviews the newly crowned
King of the Platformers.
* Vid Grid ............................The Jag CD can rock, but can it roll?
* LapCat Pro .................................... JKT reviews a custom-made
arcade Jag joystick.
* The Unabashed Atariophile ................... This issue, Michael reviews
"Ultimate Virus Killer."
* From a Saved Backup ................ No, Ron's not preaching to the choir.
* Old Atari News ............................. 8-bit, console and Lynx news.
* Rare Gems .......................................... Quotes worth quoting.
* Developing News ................................... Atari Days in Italy
TAF Flea Market
Current Notes Returns
* Shutdown ............................. Around the world and up your block.
||| From the Editors ........... Atari Explorer Online: Jaguar Voyagers
||| Travis Guy
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.MAG Delphi: AEO_MAG Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greetings all! Welcome to the latest issue of Atari Explorer Online,
your window on events in the World Atari. It's time to take the
shutters down and to peel off the masking tape; we're entering the
fourth quarter, and things are heating up. (There. That should be
enough cliches for awhile.)
We at AEO really tried to get this issue together to coincide with
Atari's new web site launch (http://www.atari.com). The JAGWIRE site
has taken off well, with over 150,000 hits in its first four days of
operation. Congrats to all involved.
I'm happy to say that all articles were turned in to me on time, but
as many of you may have heard, Hurricane Opal made landfall last
Wednesday evening. What you may not have known, was that she did so
about 120 miles west of AEO Central... so in the obligatory period of
preparing, "riding the storm out", power outages, and minor friend and
family cleanup crises, I've been unable to get the issue together
So what's inside? Plenty of previews, first. Four still-in-progress
Jaguar games made their way into various AEO hands in the past weeks,
and we're glad to show them off for you: BattleSphere, the soon to be
champ of the line of "Star Raiders" clones; the "2000" mode of
Defender 2000 (you haven't seen =anything= yet!); Missile Command 3D,
a redressed version of the arcade classic; and Highlander, the first
adventure for the Jaguar CD.
Following that is current Jag news from Dimitri and Iain. Then,
reviews of Ultra Vortek, Rayman, Vidgrid and the LapCat Pro joystick.
Rounding out the issue are the latest Atari computer columns from
Michael and Ron, and John Hardie starts off his new column on 8-bit,
Lynx and Double-0 ("..00") Atari consoles. All in all, a nice mix of
the new, newer, and old.
Before I close, I'd like to extend best wishes and prayers to all who
suffered losses due to Opal, and the sincerest thanks to all of those
who are helping in this time of need. Opal grew from minimal to
devastating hurricane status at an explosive rate just before she hit.
The evacuation went very smoothly, and though it will take time before
the locale gets over this shock, I'm very proud of how the storm was
AEO Central was very fortunate to have not had any lasting damage, and
I urge everyone who is able, to join in and support your local
disaster relief agency... if not for this event, then for future ones.
It's gratifying to see that society is still never stronger than in
times of great need and stress.
Take care all, and we'll see you back for the next issue, Halloween-
ish. And thanks, Ralph.
||| Jaguar Preview: BattleSphere Rules
||| By: Mark "Stingray" Santora
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.4 Delphi: SANTORA
A little over six months ago, while I was on business in Los Angeles, I
was fortunate enough to get a chance to meet and interview half of the
4Play team, Scott LeGrand and Stephanie Wukovitz. Recently, I
traveled back to that fine city to find an apartment for myself as I am
in the process of moving. While there I caught up with Scott and
Stephanie again and managed to wrap my hands around a Jaguar controller
so I could test fly the latest incarnation of their hot first game for
the Jaguar, BattleSphere.
For those one or two readers of AEO who might not know what the plot of
BattleSphere is, in the distant future several alien races, along with
the earthers, decided that they were going to stop with their petty wars
and have a one-time battle to see who would rule the universe. (Or
their part of it.) They took their best ships and pilots and placed
them in a section of space called the BattleSphere where they were to
battle until only one remains. You are in a spacecraft of your choosing
representing whichever lifeform you wish, battling for the destiny of
If you managed to see the game in motion on the AEO video from E3 and
thought that was good, well things have changed. The game is now
faster, smoother, has a killer AI (no pun intended), and even manages to
have some really kickin' music. Did I mention that this game is on a
Although the networking code was not running at the time when I played
it, the game felt like it. Each ship moved with its own personality
and depending on what ship you were in, could be a real pain to kill,
-if- they didn't get you first. And they did get me first, a lot of the
times. My first BattleSphere tip: Remember to check your rear-view
radar. It's there for a reason.
Each ship handles differently than another. The Starfire has great
manueverability but the speed is not as great as the Castrator. Also
the weapon power is varied depending on the different ships. There are
your lasers, your mines (which are great when you just can't get that
certain someone off your six!), your missles, your fire and forget
missles (these are FUN!), and you stasis shots which render your target
extremely vulnerable to attack as they can't move or fire! The game
has a ton of playability. Even alone I can't imagine getting bored of
this game. I was upset that I couldn't play it more!
Another fun part of the game was playing as a man floating in space.
Yes, you can eject from your ship and float around space armed with a
laser gun. Sort of like the end of Moonraker. What made this fun was
seeing the spaceman get blown away as his body breaks apart and goes
zooming past your cockpit - Arms and legs everywhere! It is quite
But there is more. There are the four different modes of gameplay.
Aside from the all out brawls in the BattleSphere there is also a mode
called Alone Against the Empire. This is going to play in a mode very
similar to Star Raiders or X-wing. This was not up and running so I
could not give it a runthrough, although from reading some of 4Play's
posts on GEnie, I know it's going to be awesome.
While I was in LA, Scott was testing some new concepts in the game
which he asked me about. When your ship is hit, it gets thrown a bit
from its trajectory. I liked this. I thought that it really added to
the realism of the game. However, I pointed out that gaming mags
would most likely hate it because it added a level of difficulty to
the game and most reviewers don't spend more than an hour playing a
game before drawing their final conclusions. My final suggestion was
to place it as an option which people can modify from a control screen.
My only comparison to this fabulous game right now would have to be
X-wing or Tie Fighter for the PC. Those two games are amazing
simulators which have just enough of an arcade feeling to keep it
interesting. While some people loved the old "Flight Simulator"s for
the Atari 800/Apple II/C64, I couldn't stand them. They were so boring
to me, and Battlesphere is nothing like that. Compared to X-wing,
Battlesphere runs in 65000 colors (opposed to 256), has full stereo
sampled rockin soundtrack (not what they used in X-wing), and it runs
on a $149 game machine! A PC to play X-wing would cost you well over
$1500 by the time you got it up and running.
In the end let me say this. The game is amazing now, and will be
even better by the time it gets released. The =ONLY= drawback I can
see for the game is that the Jaguar Control Pad isn't very condusive
to 3D flight sim/action games. This game could really blow everything
out of the water by the addition of an analog controller... which
4Play have said that they will code for. I can't wait for this game to
get finished, and neither should you.
This game is scheduled to be available early in 1996.
||| Jaguar Preview: Full Blown Defender 2000
||| By: Adam Urbano
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.5 Internet: email@example.com
While I was at Atari recently, Tal showed me the newest version of
Defender 2K, running in the "2K" mode. It looks really fabulous, and
is really a huge jump from the "plus" mode of the game. While the
"plus" mode is very attractive, with its great lighting effects behind
the background, the "2000" mode is absolutely stunning. The
backgrounds are filled with rendered skylines and various objects to
represent the areas, and even the ground is brilliantly rendered.
Several sections were shown to me, including the desert, city,
junkyard and ice planets. At the end of each of these sections is a
huge, and absolutely incredible looking boss. For example, the first
stages - the desert area - has a giant texture mapped camel that is
-very- reminiscent of the At-At Walkers from Star Wars. Various enemy
types fill the screen at all times, and at all times the game remains
perfectly smooth, without a single instance of slowdown. Many of the
game options have already been included, such as the ability to
sustain humanoids from a chain to create a large spread of fire.
Much work is still going into the game, however. The ice section's
graphics are being reworked because it was felt they were too
"cluttered." The main ship in 2000 mode has some work that needs to be
done to it, and Jeff's Python-esque =huge= gravestones that fall when
a human is killed are going to be shrunk to a more reasonable size.
The music also appeared to be at the level of quality that we have
come to enjoy in Tempest. However Jeff had the music turned down in
this version, so it was difficult to get the full effect.
Finally, I was told that on top of the bonus levels in the game, there
will be several hidden classic Atari arcade games that will be
"Minterized." I can also help alleviate any fears that the more
skilled Defender players among you may be having about the difficulty
level in this game, as The Great Tal Himself commented that, "This
game won't be a breeze."
Defender 2000 is projected to be available in January 1996.
||| Jaguar Preview: Missile Command Forever
||| By: Albert Dayes
/ | \ CIS: 70007,3615 GEnie: AEO.1
In 1980 the world's finest coin-op video game exploded into existence
in a loud, expanding and contracting fireball. The name of the game was
There are three modes in Jaguar Missile Command 2000, "Original",
"3D", and "Virtual". The original mode is very similar to the arcade
coin-op version of Missile Command. It has three missile bases (Alpha,
Omega, and Delta) controlled by the A, B, and C buttons on the Jaguar
controller. It would be great to have a trak-ball support, but that is
not likely. Neither is the originally hoped for VR helmet support.
At its heart, Missile Command involves defending six cities from a
missile attack. This includes attacks from normal ICBMs, MIRVs
(Multiple Independently Retargetable Vehicles), Cruise Missiles,
Bombers and Satellites. One uses the three missile bases (each base
has 10 Anti Ballistic Missiles) to defend against this attack.
3D mode is based on the original mode, with updated graphics, a 3D
environment, and some new twists. (Shields, new weapons, "repair".)
In the "Virtual" mode, the first stage takes place underwater (Undersea
Colony), the second in Cloud City, and the third on a Space Station. All
six cities now are enclosed in glass domes and connected via tunnels to
each other. Three bases are on platforms in a triangle formation around
the cities. One can use the keys on the keypad to switch between bases.
This makes it easier to follow the enemy and destroy their forces. The
game starts with missiles falling from the top of the screen, which
appears like large glass domed aquarium. One can target the missiles
either with your own missiles or with a laser. While one is worrying
about the missile warheads falling there is another threat in the form
of underwater craft. These craft "fly" around and fire missiles at you
and bomb your cities. Since each base has a limited supply of missiles
one has to keep a very watchful eye.
Defensive weapons systems available to you include missiles and lasers,
and later on, smart bombs. The missiles are fired by pressing the A
button and can be detonated at any time by pressing the A button again.
It is somewhat difficult to determine the range of incoming warheads
since it is 3-D space. The lasers are the easiest to use for the most
part and work extremely well. To supply your weapons (with ammo or
energy) or acquire new ones you must destroy the underwater craft that
are "flying around." Each of these craft carry different things such as
extra missiles, a laser upgrade, repair city, repair gun, smart bomb,
etc. The smart bomb can destroy everything on the screen and is
extremely useful when the pace becomes frantic.
The end of each level has a single "boss" one must destroy to get to
the next level. This can be time consuming and drain much of your
resources to importance to keep some of the stronger weapons for this
phase. Each base is completely independent from the others so all
weapons must be acquired for each base. Each stage can have X number of
levels so you can encounter a few different "bosses" per stage. One of
them fires a laser and it sounds just a like a drill or something
similar. This UFO can be very hard destroy depending on the difficulty
level chosen at the beginning of the game [Easy, Normal or Hard].
The Cloud City stage is much harder because of MIRVs (Multiple
Independently Retargetable Vehicles). Basically one missile can carry
several warheads that can hit different targets. In addition every
flying craft carries weapons so it is extremely difficult to stay
alive. These flying craft attack your bases and your cities constantly
and dive into the clouds to hide and emerge from a different location.
The game play is very good and it really keeps you on edge from start
to finish of each level. The flying craft are beyond a simple annoyance
but are constant harassment. As one concentrates on the incoming
missiles a flying craft makes a pass and fires missiles at your cities
and your bases. As you keep switching bases and moving your site to get
rid of this pest, a few MIRVs hit. With each missile hit your bases and
your cities can be damaged and finally destroyed. When you finally rid
the pest from your area you realize your are very low on your supply of
defensive missiles and laser energy.
I never reached the Space Station stage, because I never passed the
Cloud City stage. It is supposed to have MIRVs, Cruise Missiles, and
more aggressive attacks by flying ships from all sides - even from
below. The Cruise Missiles are even supposed to avoid your sights in
addition to your explosions.
There are some unique options that include what type of screen you wish
to play with (an Atari Lynx (!), an arcade cabinet, or a TV screen).
There are also options for testing of the different music available in
the game. Other options allow one to stretch the screen in both the
horizontal and vertical directions to get the view you want to use.
This game is currently due to be on shelves in December.
||| Jaguar Preview: Highlander: The Last of the Macleods
||| By: Travis Guy
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.MAG Delphi: AEO_MAG
The Jaguar Highlander games are based on the animated "Highlander"
series. Based so closely in fact, that a lot of the cut FMV sequences
are taken directly from the aired animation. In this saga, you assume
the character of Quentin of the Dundees, a teenager living in a
village in the highlands, 700 years after a huge meteor has struck the
Earth, wiping out most of civilization.
The evil Immortal ruler Kortan ("Eternal power to Kortan!" is the
Motto of the Day) has decided to have your village raided for slaves.
Your mother has been killed, many huts have been put to the torch,
your kid sister has been taken away along with most of your fellow
villagers, and you've come up on the short end of a one-sided
swordfight to the death. It seems a pretty rotten day so far, but you
haven't even made it into the game yet.
The game itself starts with you returning to life in the midst of your
ruined village. It would seem that your luck has finally improved,
until you notice a swordbearing guard running towards you. You don't
have to be told that his orders aren't to search for people coming
back to life in order to congratulate them. Look at it as a quick
introduction to life as an Immortal. All day long: kick, hit, run,
examine objects, slash, dodge, eat, shoot, figure out puzzles, and
generally act as though you have a license to kill - because you do.
Did anyone really think that living forever would be boring?
Your immediate task is to safely exit the remains of your village,
pick up clues to your true identity, find the shadowy Ramirez who
holds your true family's sword in wait, and work your way back and
forth through canyons, up and down twisty staircases, past baddies,
and over lots of other obstacles to find your captured kinsmen (and
sister), all to set them free. Then tomorrow....
Characters and objects are represented by shaded polygons superimposed
over beautiful full screen (except for a health bar) 24-bit still
backgrounds. A motion capture process was used to model character
movement, and the result is a very smooth game engine. The polygon
items may look out of place compared to the scenery, but you'll
quickly learn to appreciate the way it makes items and people stand
Audio effects are nicely done. The clang of swords meeting is right
on, and the "Urrgh - Arrgh" of combat isn't too over the top. The
background music and ambient sounds (birds, wind, bells, etc.) fill in
well, and can be toggled on/off with the "0" button.
The controls are a snap to learn. "Up" on the pad moves the character
forward, "Left" and "Right" turn, and "Down" backs you up. (Double-
clicking "Up" lets you run instead of walk.) The A-B-C buttons let you
take different offensive actions, depending on the weapon you possess,
and your standing/walking/running status.
There's lots of attacks: simple punching and kicking, back-handed
slaps, kneeling uppercuts, leg sweeps, slashes, chops, double-handed
overhead chops, jabs, and neck swipes. You knew -that- had to be in
there, didn't you? Despite the array of attacks (and defences, for the
testosterone-impaired), there's no gore or blood, even in the oft-seen
end sequence where you're held before the evil Kortan ("Eternal power
to Kortan!") to meet your fate.
As you start moving around in the 3D world, you will quickly get the
hang of the rapid camera cutaways the game engine is built around.
Going from a head level side view to a ground level looking-up-as-you-
approach-the-camera view, followed by an overhead fisheye camera view
can be disconcerting at first, but just remember your controls.
Forward is forward, no matter where the camera is.
Learning where to pick your fights is just as important as learning
cool sword moves. You don't want to get jumped by a guard just as
you've walked far enough from the current camera position to be
reduced to a tiny figure, unsure of your facing. Fighting isn't a
button punch-fest, but more of a matter of timing, control, and yes,
facing and position.
Baddies are carefully placed, so that some may be hidden in scene
transitions; charging into unknown territory can result in an ambush.
Likewise, finding yourself double- and triple-teamed against hunters
and officers is something you're going to have to deal with. So far, I
haven't ran across any geniuses, but the fighting does get tougher as
the game proceeds.
With loads of puzzles to work through, plenty of swordplay and
gunplay, and lots of items strewn around to be picked up and pondered
over, this is a very involved game. I'm told I'm roughly 25% of the
way through the game, and it still takes me 35-45 minutes to run
through events until I reach my current dilemma. (That darned tank!)
Here's two very tame hints I'll leave you with; scour nooks and
crannies for munchies, and learn to walk the straight and narrow... or
In short, Highlander boasts great graphics and good sound, and is a
very playable adventure. I really like this game. Playing with a
Memory Track save cart is -highly- recommended. (I just plugged mine
in, so we'll see about that stubborn tank now!) The six-button
ProController is supported well, but not required.
This game is due to be released this month.
||| Jaguar Tackboard
||| Confirmed information about Atari's Jaguar
/ | \ Compiled from online and official sources
//// Independent Association of Jaguar Developers
The IAJD (Independent Association of Jaguar Developers) has started
accepting members on GEnie. The IAJD is a private group where
confidential discussions can be freely held. (Category 64 of the ST
RoundTable is the IAJD meeting place.) Consequently, membership in the
IAJD is limited to Jaguar developers who are registered with Atari
Corp. To apply for membership, send EMail to ENTRY$ on GEnie (or
<firstname.lastname@example.org> if you're not on GEnie). Regular EMail
correspondence with the IAJD should be sent to IAJD$ (again, or
<email@example.com> if you're not on GEnie).
//// Internet Jaguar Mailing List
Anyone with Internet EMail access can join the discussions on the
Jaguar mailing list. To "subscribe" to the list, send an EMail to
the following address: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With the following as the body message:
subscribe jaguar FirstName LastName
(Where "FirstName" is your real first name and "LastName" is your real
You should then soon receive the subscription information including such
options as a digest (for those who have requested that in the past).
The actual list address is: <email@example.com>. All mail will go to
the list server and be sent to the over 250 readers of the list.
IMPORTANT: If your mail server charges you by the character or by the
letter, please be aware that the Jaguar list can generate dozens, and
up to a hundred EMails in a day.
//// Jaguar FAQ
Robert Jung <firstname.lastname@example.org> maintains the Jaguar FAQ (Frequently
Asked Questions) file, an updated list of Jaguar specs and facts. The
Jaguar FAQ is posted to rec.games.video.atari on Usenet around the
first of every month, and can also be found via FTP, address:
ftp.netcom.com, in Andy Eddy's /pub/vidgames/faqs directory.
//// AEO Development List 2.09
//// Editor: The following list of game titles has been confirmed to
the best of AEO's ability as of October 3, 1995. Entries in the
"S"tatus column reflect any "e"rrors, "u"pdates, "n"ew titles, titles
that are in "P"roduction, or "?"uestionable listings since the last
AEO list. Entries in the "M"edia column reflect whether the title is
"C"D-ROM, "H"ardware, or "V"R software. (Blank entries are assumed to
be cartridge software.)
ETA dates are dates that have been provided by the developer. AMMV.
//// Titles in Development
S M Title ETA Developer Publisher
""" """"" """ """"""""" """""""""
? AirCars - MidNite MidNite
C Alien vs. Predator: The CD - Atari
Allegiance - Team 17
u Arena Football League 1Q/96 V Real Productions Atari
u Atari Kart 12/95 Atari
Attack of the Mutant Penguins 12/95 Atari
u C Baldies 12/95 Atari Atari
C Batman Forever - Atari Atari
u C Battlemorph 12/95 Attention to Detail Atari
u Battlesphere Q1/96 4Play 4Play
Battlewheels 1H/96 Beyond Games Beyond Games
u C Black ICE\White Noise 1/96 Atari Atari
C Braindead 13 - Readysoft Readysoft
Breakout 2000 12/95 MP Graphics Atari
u Brett Hull Hockey 12/95 Atari
u C Brett Hull Hockey CD 1/96 Atari
? Casino Royale - Telegames Telegames
u Charles Barkley Basketball 12/95 Atari
u C Commander Blood 1/96 Atari
Conan - Arcade Zone
u C Creature Shock - Argonaut Software Virgin
'Dactyl Joust ? High Voltage Atari
C Dante - Atari
u Deathwatch - Visual Design Atari
u Defender 2000 1/96 LlamaSoft Atari
u C Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Atari
C Deus ex Machina 1H/96 Silmarils
C Dragon's Lair 10/95 ReadySoft ReadySoft
u Dune Racer - Atari
Dungeon Depths ? MidNite
u Fever Pitch 1/96 US Gold Atari
u C Formula 1 Racing 12/95 Domark Group Ltd. Atari
u Frank Thomas Baseball - Acclaim Atari
C Freelancer 2120 - Imagitec Design Atari
Galactic Gladiators ? Photosurrealism
P C Highlander I 10/95 Lore Design Ltd. Atari
C Highlander II Q1/96 Lore Design Ltd. Atari
C Highlander III H1/96 Lore Design Ltd. Atari
Horrorscope - V-Real Productions
P C Hover Strike: Unconquered Lands 10/95 Atari Atari
u I-War 12/95 Atari Atari
Indiana Jags - Virtual Xperience
u C Iron Soldier II Q1/96 Eclipse Atari
u Ironman/XO-Manowar - Acclaim Atari
C Ishar Genesis - Silmarils
? James Pond 3 ? Telegames
Legions of the Undead - Rebellion Software Atari
C Litil Divil - Gremlin Interactive
? C Lobo ? Ocean Software Ltd.
u C Magic Carpet - Bullfrog Atari
u C Max Force 1/96 Genus Microprogramm Atari
u C Mind-ripper - Atari
u Missile Command 3D 12/95 Atari
C Mortal Kombat III 4/96 Williams Atari
H MPEG - Atari Atari
u C Myst 11/95 Atari
NBA Jam TE 12/95 Acclaim Atari
u Phase Zero 12/95 Hyper Image Atari
P Pitfall 10/95 Activision
? C Powerslide ? Williams Brothers Telegames
C Primal Rage 11/95 Time-Warner Time-Warner
C Return Fire Q1/96 Alexandria Atari
u Return of Magic - Virtual Artistry
C Return to Zork - Activision
u C Robinson's Requiem 12/95 Silmarils Atari
C Rocky Horror Interactive 6/96
Rollcage ? Team 17
P Ruiner 11/95 High Voltage Atari
Skyhammer - Rebellion Software Atari
u C Soulstar - Core Design Atari
C Space Ace - ReadySoft ReadySoft
u Sudden Impact 1/96
? Super Off-Road ? Telegames
u Supercross 3D 12/95 Tiertex Atari
T-Mek - Time-Warner
u C Thea Relm Fighters - High Voltage Atari
Towers II - JV Enterprises
? Ultimate Brain Games ? Telegames
u C Varuna's Forces 12/95 Accent Media Atari
? C Virtuoso ? Williams Brothers Telegames
? Waterworld ? Ocean Software Ltd.
C Wayne Gretzky NHL Hockey 12/95 Time-Warner Time-Warner
Witchwood - Team 17
? World Class Cricket ? Telegames
Worms Q1/96 Team 17
u Zero Five Q1/96 Caspian Software Atari
n Zoop 12/95 Viacom Atari
Zzyorxx II - Virtual Xperience
//// Current Releases
M Title Rated Company Publisher
" """"" """"""" """"""" """""""""
Alien vs. Predator 8 Rebellion Atari
C Blue Lightning 7 NEW Attention to Detail Atari
Brutal Sports Football 6 Millenium/Teque Telegames
Bubsy 7 Imagitec Design Atari
Cannon Fodder 7 Virgin Interactive C-West
H Cat Box / Black Cat Design Black Cat
Checkered Flag 4 Rebellion Atari
Club Drive 6 Atari Atari
Crescent Galaxy 3 Atari Atari
Cybermorph 7 Attention to Detail Atari
Doom 8 id Software Atari
Double Dragon V 3 Williams Enter. Williams
Dragon 6 Virgin Interactive Atari
Evolution Dino-Dudes 6 Imagitec Design Atari
Flashback 6 Tiertex Ltd. U.S. Gold
Flip Out 8 Gorilla Systems Atari
Hover Strike 7 Atari Atari
International Sensible Soccer 6 Williams Brothers Telegames
Iron Soldier 9 Eclipse Atari
Kasumi Ninja 6 Hand Made Software Atari
Pinball Fantasies 6 Spider Soft C-West
Power Drive Rally - NEW Rage Software Time-Warner
Raiden 6 Imagitec Design Atari
RayMan 10 NEW UBI Soft UBI Soft
Super Burnout 6 Shen Atari
Syndicate 7 Bullfrog Ocean
Tempest 2000 10 LlamaSoft Atari
Theme Park 6 Bullfrog Ocean
Troy Aikman NFL Football 6 Telegames Williams
White Men Can't Jump 8 High Voltage Atari
Wolfenstein 3D 7 id Software Atari
Ultra Vortek 10 NEW Beyond Games Atari
Val d'Isere Skiing... 5 Virtual Studio Atari
C VidGrid 6 NEW High Voltage Atari
Zool 2 7 Gremlin Graphics Atari
Pts Stars AEO Ratings
""" """"" """""""""""
10 ***** GAMING NIRVANA!!! - You have left reality behind... for good.
9 ****+ Unbelieveable GAME!! - Your family notices you're often absent.
8 **** Fantastic Game!! - You can't get enough playtime in on this.
7 ***+ Great Game! - Something to show off to friends or 3DOers.
6 *** Good game - You find yourself playing this from time to time.
5 **+ Ho-hum - If there's nothing else to do, you play this.
4 ** Waste of time - Better to play this than play in traffic.
3 *+ Sucks - Playing in traffic sounds like more fun.
2 * Sucks Badly - You'd rather face an IRS audit than play this.
1 + Forget it - ... but you can't; it's so badly done, it haunts you.
0 - Burn it - Disallow programmer from ever writing games again.
//// The Short Term Schedule
Here's the Jaguar software schedule for the next few months. Please
bear in mind that these dates represent everyone's best assumptions.
"+"ick marks represent a title that (for whatever reason) AEO is very
October: Dragon's Lair December: Atari Kart
""""""" + Highlander """""""" Attack / Mutant Penguins
+ Hover Strike: ... Lands Baldies
+ Pitfall BattleMorph
+ Power Drive Rally Breakout 2000
Brett Hull Hockey
November: Myst Charles Barkley Basketball
"""""""" Primal Rage Formula 1 Racing
Missile Command 3D
NBA Jam TE
Wayne Gretzky NHL Hockey
//// Press Releases
//// Power Drive Rally Ships
CONTACT: Tracy Egan, Public Relations Manager,
of Time Warner Interactive, 408-232-3213
MILPITAS, Calif., Oct. 9 - Flying gravel, spraying mud, and squealing
tires announce the arrival of Time Warner Interactive's (TWi) "Power
Drive Rally(TM)" for the Atari(R) Jaguar(TM) video-game system. This
rugged, strategic driving game utilizes the power of the Jaguar to
project graphics so detailed you'll feel the challenge of long
distance racing in 38 road rally courses. Power Drive Rally is based
on the official World Rally Championships where racers jockey for
competitive times, major prize money, and powerful vehicles on the
international touring circuit. "Power Drive Rally" is available at
retail stores for an estimated price of $64.95.
This is the classic road rally racing experience: a two-member-team
endurance race that makes regular speedway tracks look like a Sunday
drive. Your computerized teammate acts as co-pilot, barking out
directions and warnings as you negotiate fallen logs, snow drifts and
river beds. Tracks and terrain are vivid with details such as water
pools reflecting the sky, tires creating skid marks, late afternoon
shadows, dust clouds, brake lights, and exhaust plumes.
The Race Is On
"Power Drive Rally" offers three different types of courses: road
rallies over mixed terrain including mud, gravel, and asphalt; time
trials for flat out speed challenges; and obstacle courses with cones,
curves and a sinister slalom.
You will cross the start line with a fairly basic vehicle and a small
wad of cash in your pocket. From there, you must tear across a range
of terrain, from the break of day to the dead of night, out-pacing
your opponents, winning prize money, and moving on to more challenging
vehicles and races.
You'll find that each vehicle has its own handling nuances with
differences in cornering and road holding abilities as well as in
acceleration and deceleration. You are responsible for repairing and
maintaining your cars. Fail to heed excessive damage readings and you
may be penalized with disqualification. On the other hand, as you
accumulate prize money, you can trade your car in for a higher class
model and gain automatic entry to more elite levels of competition.
"Power Drive Rally" lets you really drive -- on and off track. Head
off-road and you'll feel the tight turns of doing a donut in the dirt,
or loss of traction as you slide over ice or grass. Lose control and
you might experience a gut-wrenching barrel roll or spectacular wipe
out. This is skill-driving for those with endurance and a sense of
competitive adventure. Rest up!
Time Warner Interactive, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Time
Warner Inc., develops and publishes software video-game and computer
systems. All product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of
their respective owners.
//// Atari Launches JAGWIRE
CONTACT: Patricia Kerr or Jennifer Hansen
310/479-4997 or 800/444-6663
For Immediate Release
Atari(R) Corporation Unveils New World Wide Web Site,
Names CompuServe(R) as Official Commercial Support Site
Type http://www.atari.com on the World Wide Web
or GO JAGUAR on CompuServe
SUNNYVALE (October 6) -- Atari Corporation unveiled this morning
their new JAGWIRE(tm) World Wide Web Domain. JAGWIRE features the
creative integration of eye-popping graphics, animation, audio and
descriptive text for web browsers to enjoy in the leisure of their
homes or office. The site was created by ATOMIX, Inc.; an Emmy
Award-winning new media house in Hollywood, California. The JAGWIRE
Web Site URL is http://www.atari.com.
The installation of the JAGWIRE Web Domain is an anchor for a network
of official support offered to gamers throughout the world. In concert
with the explosive trends of the Internet and the World Wide Web,
Atari has named CompuServe as their official Jaguar 64 commercial
on-line support site. CompuServe access is as little as $9.95 a month
and offers full access to the Internet and the World Wide Web as well
as exclusive features not available on any other system; such as the
Atari Jaguar forum. Type GO JAGUAR to access 24-hour on-line support
on CompuServe or call toll free (800) 848-8990.
Two independent online publications have also pledged a bond to the
JAGWIRE network by offering exclusive news, reviews and previews of
Jaguar 64 products in each of their issues. Atari Explorer Online
offers in-depth coverage of Atari products from cover to cover.
Silicon Times Report is distributed worldwide each week and features
computer and video game coverage of interest to everyone. Both
publications are downloadable from CompuServe or can be found through
direct links with Ataris JAGWIRE Web Site.
Atari has made the commitment to make shopping and obtaining support
for the Jaguar 64 as simple for modem users as possible, states Donald
A. Thomas, Jr., Director of Atari Customer Service Marketing. To do
that, we have installed the best domain created by the best creative
people, accessible through the best access lines (T3) and supplemented
by the best commercial on-line services of CompuServe, and the best
on-line publishing support. Users can sample game images, hear game
sounds, find out where to buy them and make buying decisions based on
reliable and accurate resources.
Jim Pascua, Marketing Manager of CompuServe, adds that his company
has also made serious commitments to the evolution of global access at
economic rates and with maximum access. New updates to our on-line
software will revolutionize how users can access the Internet and the
finest commercial on-line service in the world simultaneously. We are
proud of Ataris designation and we feel it is in step with the
direction this industry is taking.
Ataris new JAGWIRE Web Site is installed NOW. Web Browers may be set
to the URL of http://www.atari.com. The site features easy access
icons to a great deal of product information including game
descriptions, screen shots, release schedules, ordering information
and real time registration in Ataris mailing list. CompuServes Jaguar
forum features downloadable magazines, screen shots, reviews,
software, conferences, contests and a very active message base to host
non-stop interaction between Jaguar enthusiasts and Atari personnel.
For more than twenty years, Atari Corporation has provided consumers
with high quality, value-priced entertainment. Atari Corporation
markets Jaguar, the only American-made advanced 64-bit entertainment
system and is located in Sunnyvale, California.
CompuServe is an H&R Block company. Founded in 1955, H&R Block, a
diversified services company, is the worlds leading tax preparation
and on-line information services company. CompuServe operates the most
comprehensive network in the world, providing on-line services to more
than 3.5 million members in more than 140 countries and network
services to more than 800 corporate customers worldwide. H&R Block Tax
Services provided tax-related services for almost one in every seven
returns filed with the IRS in 1995, and served 17.1 million taxpayers
in more than 9,500 offices worldwide.
# # # #
Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. Jaguar is a
trademark of Atari Corporation. CompuServe is a trademark of
CompuServe Information Service. ATOMIX is a trademark of ATOMIX, Inc.
All other tradenames are trademarks or registered trademarks of their
respective owning companies.
//// Jaguar's Edge Picks Up Distributor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: JOHN MARCOTTE TEL: (916) 954-0468
"THE JAGUAR'S EDGE" SIGNS MAJOR DISTRIBUTION DEAL
SACRAMENTO, Calif., September 22, 1995 -- Just days after shipping its
inaugural issue, "The Jaguar's Edge" announced an extensive agreement
with International Periodical Distributors (IPD), a leader in the
world of magazine distribution.
"Our agreement with IPD will allow us to reach thousands of potential
readers," reported Publisher John Marcotte. "Their extensive
distribution network will insure that every Jaguar enthusiast in the
country will be able to go down to their local bookstore and get the
very latest in Jaguar news and information."
IPD supplies numerous bookstores and other retail outlets including
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (B. Dalton Bookseller, Bookstop/Bookstar, Barnes
& Noble Superstores, Doubleday, and Scribner's), Waldenbooks
(Brentano's and Waldenbooks & More), Crown Books, Borders Book Shops,
Hastings, Tower Books, Encore and Coles, Lichtman's and United Cigar
Shops in Canada, and many other independent retailers throughout the
United States and Canada.
"The Jaguar's Edge" is the first magazine dedicated to the 64-bit
Atari Jaguar interactive multimedia home entertainment system.
Atari and Jaguar are trademarks or registered trademarks of Atari
//// Atari Ships Jag CD
CONTACT: Patricia Kerr or Jennifer Hansen
Dorf & Stanton Communications, Inc.
(310) 479-4997 or (800) 444-6663
Atari Jaguar CD System Pounces onto Multimedia Marketplace
SUNNYVALE, CA -- (September 22, 1995) -- According to video game
enthusiasts, it was well worth the wait. Atari Corporation's highly
anticipated multimedia compact disc player for the Jaguar 64
interactive home entertainment system has hit the stores and is
jumping off the shelves.
Atari Corporation has already sold out of its first production run of
the CD peripheral, and is stepping up production to fill the high
demand of retailers' reorders.
"Our first order of Jaguar CDs has been largely consumed by our
customer pre-orders," said Peter Roithmayr, Senior Buyer from
Electronic Boutique. "We have already reordered and are excited by the
strong sales we are seeing for the Jaguar CD."
The combination of the Jaguar 64-bit console and the advanced CD
technology yields a system with explosive power. As the first CD
system coupled with 64-bit technology to hit the market, the Jaguar CD
is on the leading edge of "next generation" home entertainment systems
at only $149.95.
Gamers experience intense true color, full motion video and CD-quality
stereo sound when upgrading to the Jaguar CD system. The CD component
plugs into the Jaguar 64 console providing 790 Megabytes of raw data
storage. Approximately 15 Jaguar CD titles will be available for sale
later this year including hits like "Myst", "Primal Rage" from Time
Warner Interactive, "Black ICE\White Noise", "Highlander", and
"The launch of our Jaguar CD exemplifies Atari Corporation's
commitment to providing consumers value priced components for their
Atari entertainment system," said Ted Hoff, President of Atari's North
American Operations. "Now, Jaguar owners can quickly and economically
upgrade to a CD system and dramatically enhance their gaming
In addition to the awesome gaming capabilities, the Jaguar CD elevates
home entertainment to an entirely new level as it plays audio discs
while providing simultaneous access to Atari's cartridge media.
Players can experience a laser light show in their own homes with "The
Virtual Light Machine" that is built into the Jaguar CD system. As
audio discs play on the Jaguar CD, "The Virtual Light Machine" morphs,
contorts and pulsates psychedelic light with the beat of the music.
With a suggested retail price of only $149.95, the Jaguar CD system is
undoubtedly the best value on the market. Atari Corporation, however,
takes their commitment to value-pricing one step further in giving
Jaguar consumers a bonus pack with the CD peripheral. More than $100
in fast-action interactive software will be included free with the
system. The software bonus pack contains:
* Blue Lightning -- Gamers pilot a plane from a squadron of United
nations operatives as they fight to stop General Drako, the UN
member turned terrorist. Players design flight plans and use their
quick maneuvering skills to destroy key enemy locations and basis.
* Vid Grid -- An innovative way to "play" music videos. As players
watch the video, the screen is divided into squares and placed out
of order. Players must unscramble each video before it finishes
playing. Vid Grid features videos from hot rock artist Guns 'n
Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, Ozzie Osbourne, Van Halen, Red Hot
Chili Peppers, Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, and Sound Garden.
* Myst -- Jaguar CD consumers will be treated to a demo of the first
level of game play for the wildly popular title. Players must use
their intellect to unlock the secrets of ages past. Every detail, no
matter how insignificant it first seems could be the key to
unlocking the mystery.
* Tempest 2000 -- Consumers receive the audio CD to this all-time
favorite Atari hit. With Jaguar CD capabilities, the Tempest 2000
soundtrack can by played with "The Virtual Light Machine".
The Jaguar CD peripheral with the bonus software pack-in is available
in stores nationwide. Atari Corporation notified tens of thousands of
Jaguar 64 users of the new Jaguar CD release through the company's
Jaguar Alert consumer postcard program.
For more than twenty years, Atari Corporation has provided consumers
with high quality value priced entertainment. Atari Corporation
markets Jaguar, the only American-made advanced 64-bit entertainment
system and is located in Sunnyvale, California.
# # #
Atari, the Atari logo and Jaguar are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Atari Corporation. All Rights Reserved. All listed
software is authorized by Atari for use with the Jaguar 64-Bit
VID GRID (c)1994-1995 Geffen Records, Inc. and Jasmine Multimedia
publishing. All Rights Reserved. Produced by Norman Bell and Jasmine
Multimedia Publishing. Licensed to Atari Corporation. Vid Grid is a
trademark of Jasmine Multimedia Publishing and Geffen Records Inc.
MYST software copyright (c)1993 Cyan, Inc. and Sun Corporation. All
Rights Reserved. Atari Jaguar Adaptation (Worldwide) (c)1995 Atari
Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Myst is a registered trademark of
Blue Lightning (c)1989, 1995 Epyx. All Rights Reserved. (c)1995 Atari
Corporation. Blue Lightning is a trademark of Epyx, licensed for use
by Atari Corporation.
# # #
//// AEO Classic Atari Games Survey
Hello Classic Atari Gamers!
Below is a list of 55 classic Atari games that have been published
either on an Atari game console or as a coin-op. Please rate each game
(1-10; 1 is a stinker, 10 is the best) by two standards. First,
evaluate each game by what you think were volume sellers during their
time.... In other words, the most purchased or played games. Then,
rate each game by how much you personally enjoyed them. Please leave
unknown titles blank.
Please EMail your completed list to me at <email@example.com> ASAP.
The results will be compiled for publication in a future issue of
Atari Explorer Online Magazine, and five randomly selected respondants
will receive a postpaid copy of the Sandwich Islands' Official Jaguar
Gamers Guide book - along with having their names listed in an
upcoming AEO also.
Thanks for participating in another AEO survey!
TITLE Volume Personal TITLE Volume Personal
Air Sea Battle Human Cannonball
Alien Brigade Kung Food
Asteroids Maze Craze
Barnyard Blaster Meltdown
Baseball Heroes Millipede
Battlezone Missile Command
Bentley Bear series Night Driver
Breakout Ninja Golf
Canyon Bomber Off-the Wall
Checkered Flag Planet Smashers
Circus Atari Pong
Code Breaker Radar Lock
Crime Buster Skydiver
Crystal Castles Slot Racer
Demons to Diamonds Space War
Desert Falcon Sprint Master
Dirty Larry Renegade Cop Star Raiders
Dodgem Street Racer
Double Dunk Super Breakout
Eastern Front: 1941 Tempest
Fatal Run Warbirds
Food Fight Yar's Revenge
-- --==--==-- CompuServe Sign-Up Information --==--==-- --
-- To sign up for CompuServe service, call (voice call) (800) 848-8199. --
-- Ask for operator #198. You will be sent a $15.00 value CIS membership --
-- kit for free. --
-- --==--==-- CompuServe Sign-Up Information --==--==-- --
||| Surfing the Jagged Edge
||| By: Dimitri Mark LaBarge
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.6 CIS: 71501,3353 AOL: dimitril
So, are all of you as exhausted playing your new Jag stuff yet? I know
that my wrists are sore from countless hours of playing Rayman (what
a =terrific= game!), and I hope you're all in a similarly happy,
debilitated state. Yes, this is the official What A Difference a
Couple of Weeks Make column... last time, we were speculating about
the future with a certain measure of dire foreboding. All of a sudden,
we're struck upside the head with wondrous things like Rayman, Ultra
Vortex, JagCD, VLM. For the first time, the Jag community is faced
with an abundance of riches, certainly the hottest point since the
system was released. Here's hoping this revitalized feeling continues
for mucho time to come.
I guess the powers that be are all excruciatingly busy as the news side
of things has been a bit sluggish this last week - but we've managed to
throw together a few tidbits to whet your continued kitty-kat
//// The Good, The New and The Imminent
Well, okay. You've lept Rayman into platform heaven. You've sliced
through Ultra Vortex with the ease of a tai-chi master. Blue Lightning
was no match for you, and you've seen those videos on VidGrid ninety
times over. And while VLM is inexhaustible, you've run out of CDs to
stuff in it. So, you say, what's next?
First on your videogame horizon should be the expanded JagCD version of
Hover Strike, entitled Unconquered Lands. It should be very interesting
to see what can be done with all that extra storage for a plethora of
interesting enemies and textures to cloak them in. For those of you
that don't find this to your taste or don't have the JagCD, there's the
long anticipated release of Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, which holds
more than a little nostalgic appeal for Atariphiles...
A little bit further down the line lies Power Drive Rally (one of my
personal potential faves, with a top view that's reminiscent of Spy
Hunter or even the oldie-but-goodie Sprint); CD owners can indulge in
the gorgeous 24-bit color glory of the first Highlander CD, full of the
very best of bells and whistles - Travis has been playing this one for
a little while now and making the staff jealous. <g> Well, we'll be
able to join him shortly, as it's been released to manufacturing. And
the long awaited six-button controller (which will be compatible with
Highlander) should be in your hands around October time.
And yes, despite a spate of rumors to the contrary, those Memory Track
carts are shipping for use with the JagCD unit. That should ease the
mind of the users out there worried they'd have to play a game all the
way through in one sitting...
//// In the Sphere
Yes, gang o'mine, it's time
for yet another extraordinarily deep
progress report from 4-Play on their soon-to-be-a-hit-near-you project
Battlesphere. This issue's treat brings us news of substantial
progress and even future plans after we've all played Battlesphere to
death (sometime in the year 2062). Let me step aside as Thunderbird
takes the podium....
BattleSphere(tm) Update 10/02/1995
Hello BattleSpheroids! Welcome to our latest BattleSphere(tm)
Update! The latest and greatest verion of BattleSphere(tm) contains
a whole slew of new code, which makes the game seem more and more
complete. We're making steady progress towards completion.
The good news is that in spite of being exposed to BattleSphere(tm)
for hours on end every day of our lives for as long as we can
remember, we STILL enjoy playing the game, and programming it still
gives us pleasure!
The improvements range from minor to major, and off the top of my
head some of them are:
1) Ship to ship collision handler. If 2 ships collide, they now
suffer damage and defelect their courses accordingly. (Provided you
have some shields, if not.... blammo!). The resulting effect is
very 'Star Wars' like. We're pretty pleased wit the results.
2) There's a really cool new HUD indicator, which shows you the
direction and heading of the targeted ship. It's an extension of
what you find on a HUD in a fighter jet these days. It looks really
3) Our main menu code is progressing nicely. I need to generate
some more artwork for the menus, but the code to generate the
futuristic looking text and pointer are done. The whole thing will
get wrapped up in a generic 'menu driver', so that the menus can be
easily changed as we decide how to lay out the structure of the
menus. This beats having to decide how to lay out all the menus
right now and hard-coding them. The menu driver itself is being
worked on in the background...
4) Our multi-player networking driver is now running within the
game itself. At this point, the network only supports flying
around each other (weapons are not networked yet). By the time
anyone reads this, weapons probably WILL be done (damn, we're
smooth!). Now that the low-level communications drivers are
becoming stable, the higher level code can be debugged. The
struggle continues, but the networking is making good progress.
Just a note for the curious. Yes, we _did_ indeed have full
networking done for E3. The reason we are doing it 'again' is
simple. The networking we did for E3 was only 2-players. 2-Player
networking is incredibly trivial to write. As a matter of fact, we
did indeed write that networking code in about 2 days (the 2 days
preceeding E3). It wasn't perfect, but it did work well. It worked
so well, in fact, that I am at a loss to determine why we don't have
many networked Jaguar games out already. 2-player networking should
be in all the 2-player games. In our opinion, there's no excuse for
not having at least 2-player networks in titles where it's
appropriate. If we weren't so busy finishing BattleSphere(tm), it
would be kinda fun to help other developers get their own games
Who knows, Atari's been making a lot of the right moves recently
(they have much improved sound-code, etc.) so perhaps they've got
someone hard at work writing a custom generic network driver! That
would be the thing to do.
Anyhow, we probably could have made the E3 code into a bug-free
2-player network driver in a couple of days more work on it, but we
set out in the beginning to have more than 2 players... so here we
are, rewriting the driver!
More and more games for the arcade, and PC's and home consoles have
networking built-in. The Jaguar is in a unique position because it
is the only console on the market with available network hardware
for over 2 players (I am told that Sony and Sega's cables only
support 2-players). At 4Play, we fully intend to support 2+ player
networks, because we feel that networked games are the future of
gaming. We're going to exploit that capability to the fullest.
Scott's network load management code actually distributes gameplay
functions across the networked Jaguars, actually _reducing_ the
computational load on any single console. The game logic actually
executes _faster_ on the network because the loading is divided
among the multiple consoles!
Anyone who doubts that the Jaguar's architecture allows "Parallel
Processsing" (Some unfortunate souls on Usenet...), hasn't seen
BattleSphere(tm) networking. Of course we can't forget that our
custom polygon/network/sound/AI engines _already_ perform load
management amongst the 5 Jaguar processors... think about that for
a minute... 3 networked Jags playing BattleSphere(tm) amounts to a
fifteen processor parallel processing computer!!!
However, I can understand why the Jaguar hans't seen 3+ player
networking in games, because it is an order of magnitude more
difficult than a simple 2-player network. No longer do you "know"
which player the data is coming from until you process the packets,
etc. No longer can you just 'ping-pong' messages. A whole complex
scheme of 'who talks and when' has to be created. Ours is working
reasonably well right now, which is the last major 'engine' we need
for completing the game.
5) Modem code (for RS-232 modems) is an offshoot of the
multi-player network code. When that's finished, it should only
take a day or so to make it 'Modem Friendly'. The most work in
doing so involves setting up the screens for dialing the number and
configuring the modem.
Before anyone asks, it looks unlikely that we will be able to add
support for the voice-data-communicator. There were none available
at Atari when we asked for them last month, and we're running out of
time/ROM to work on it. Actually, that reminds me... we also weren't
able to get a 6-button controller ("none available") at that time.
We know what the keys map to, so we can try and support it. Just
don't blame anyone if the controls aren't as 'perfect' as they could
be. Since the controllers are in short supply, we can't really test
the scheme and fine-tune it. Maybe we'll make the 6-button an
'easter egg', so we won't get bashed by the magazines if the setup
doesn't work right. Atari must be really busy with their projects,
and can't allocate the resources to the third parties, so we can't
get any controllers, etc... they are a small company doing the work
of a giant, so it's understandable.
6) We now have visible damage on the ships. If you damage the hull
of a ship, a sparking explosions blows out of the hull, leaving
scar on the surface. What's unusual is that we made the scars these
anaimated sparking things with electricity zapping around inside
them. It makes the damage easier to see at a distance. The effect
is subtle, but that's just the kind of thing that 'makes' a game.
Subtle 'eye-candy', and nice 'touches'. It's the sort of thing
that makes Rayman so great too. I hope more games have this sort of
stuff in them.
7) Framerate is still very high. We run constantly over 20FPS,
usually between 30-60fps, depending on the amound of action
onscreen. Our little Blitter Trick(tm) has insured that even with
lots of explosions going off at once, the framerate is really high.
We're quite proud of this little 'hack' we came up with. It really
works!!! Not that we were anything but screaming fast before... the
load management going on between the processors by our custom
engines is no slouch. It's also 'generic' enough that we'll re-use
most of it for our next Jag title. Maybe we'll do a CD enhanced
BattleSphere II(tm) - aptly re-named (you read it here first)
"Shattered Sphere"(tm)! That all depends on how well things go
with this game... and hopefully things at Atari will continue to
improve in the 3rd-party support area. The tools are improving, and
the documentation is (thanks to Scott Sanders) MUCH improved. The
developer support has been a bit less than I'd like, with the
notable exception of John Mathieson himself, who's superhuman
efforts have saved our bacon on numerous occasions! I think Atari
knows that they have to work extra-hard to attract 3rd party
developers, without which they will not have quality games in
Atari still needs a bit more co-ordination amongst their various
departments, however. For example, we sent off a preview copy of
BattleSphere(tm), which they had used for some focus group testing
(you all read about it in the highly informative AEO).
Unfortunately, the preview never went beyond the focus groups, and
few (if any) people inside Atari were even aware it existed.
Needless to say, we were disappointed because we were really looking
forward to getting feedback from the various people (programmers,
playtesters, etc.) which never happened, but we were really
disappointed to learn that nobody knew there was a copy available to
use in the new dealer video. Luckily, Ted Hoff mentioned that this
oversight would be taken care of in the future.
But alas, I digress... getting back to the discussion of
framerate... We've always believed in keeping the framerate as high
as possible. Low framerates can ruin an otherwise good game. Our
networking scheme is actually _further_ complicated by the way which
we have decoupled the network traffic from the framerate, and
distributed the control to all of the Jaguars on the net. Any of you
who have played other networked games and seen the framerate drop to
the rate of the slowest player's screen will know what we're talking
We're putting everything we can think of into this game, because we
want it to be one of those titles that everyone admires as 'finally
using the hardware'... sort of like the days of the 2600 where the
programmers were squeaking every ounce of peformance out of the
console and coming out with stuff that seemed impossible.
We think that if we show off the 'real' capabilities of the Jaguar,
that more people will stop being so critical of the Jag, and will
buy one and enjoy our game on it. We think our game is that 'killer
app', for the Jaguar.
Remember, we're a very tiny company, with limited time and
resources, so we really appreciate the patience our customers have
shown with us getting this thing finished. We can't promise you an
exact delivery date, but we can promise it will be worth it. ;-)
Did everyone watch "Space: Above and Beyond" this weekend? My only
comments on the show are that a lot of their special-effects have a
"BattleSphere" 'feel' to them. It's hard to explain, but when Nathan
was dodging the debris from the ship he blew up, I had this
instinctive reaction in my hands to 'steer' to avoid the debris...
this comes from too many hours playtesting BattleSphere! ;-) It
feels a lot like that scene.
8) Steph and Scott just outfitted their Falcon030's with all of the
audio adaptors required to get some really nice voice/instrument
samples. Steph is doing an incredible job with our music. We have
several songs, each with a different personality. Her work will
only improve now that she's got access to the Falcon (the best
audio computer ever made!). I have a few items to sample with mine
for certain sound effects, but I'm too busy coding to do it. In a
few days I will have more time.
That's all I can think of for now, I'm certain I left out about a
dozen things we've added in the past few weeks! Until next time...
...See you in the 'Sphere!
Dr. Scott LeGrand, now officially 30, had this to add.
Rotation Interlock was asked about... Yep, it'll be in there...
Networking work continues...
Also back to day job, interesting contrast after 3 months of
Obviously, we've missed Battle Sphere Before 30, I'm officially an
old man now... However, the game will be better for it. I feel we
could spend 2 weeks kludging a mediocre game together or spend
whatever it takes to make this thing perfect. That's our objective.
This is something Atari is doing right, it's painful to delay titles
that could sell systems, but in the current state, what we have is
an incomplete title. We like everything about it, but we haven't
implemented enough of what we want...
The networking is in our opinion the most important component of
gameplay. I can't think of another game that has tried to implement
multiple gameplay modes for both single player and multiple player
play for both competitive and cooperative purposes. I think the
multi-player Star Raiders mode will be THE gameplay mode of the
bunch as 8 players try to stop a HUGE invasion that no single player
Time will tell how it goes...
//// Something to Gravon To
Stop right there - don't you make any more jokes about having some nice
Gravon with your lox and bagels. The only thing you're going to feed
this to is your hungry Jaguar.
One of the things I find fascinating about the eclectic base of Jaguar
developers is their international spirit. We've had U.S. developers and
Brit developers, it's said there are Jag developers in Russia, and one
of the biggest and brightest games in a long time has come from
UbiSoft, a French developer. Now we have word of a new game coming from
our friends at Suma, a development house in the Czech Republic. Ondrej
Spanel was kind enough to forward us some information on a new game his
company is developing for the Jag64 system. We're especially glad to
give them a little time in our spotlight, for although the Iron Curtain
has fallen, these Czech developers still report a certain sense of
isolation which has kept their work from spreading far and wide.
Suma has been developing for Atari systems since all the way back in
1987, when they created a game for the (remember this?) Atari XE/XL
system. This was shortly followed by some various games and system
utilities for the Atari ST.
Their first major work for the European market was an advanced music
studio program, Componium, which allowed users to create and playback
songs directly on the computer. Of more interest, though, was their
next work, a 3D simulation entitled Gravon. Here are some of the
features as described to us:
Gravon for Falcon
Our next project was Falcon only game Gravon. Gravon is a 3D simulation
of a battle hovercraft. Main features are:
 Real 3D environment
 Highly realistic physical simulation
 Lighted polygons in 65536 colors with depth-cueing (accordingly to
 Stereo-sound with 3D-effects.
 Enemies use artifical inteligence.
 Four different planet types
 Many thrilling missions
 A lot of original music
Taking advantage of such Falcon capabilities as its DSP chip, direct
color graphics and 16-bit stereo sound, Gravon met with good respons
and reviews, though the company is still in search of a US
distributor. (A demo of this is available at ftp.cnam.fr in folder
Suma was given a Jaguar developer's license at the end of 1994. With
this in hand, Suma now intends to create a sequel for the Jag64.
Though the game sounds quite state-of-the-art even for the Falcon, the
Jaguar version will be an enticing hovercraft and helicopter
simulation, featuring gouraud shading and head-to-head combat (or
cooperate using the JagLink cable). We wish them the best in their
endeavor and will, of course, keep you updated on their progress.
//// Next Time
More coverage of upcoming Jag games and developments, as activity
begins to increase with a mind towards the all-important holiday
season. Keep your boots on.
That's the dish for this ish!
||| In the Pub
||| By: Iain Laskey
/ | \ Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
First out, I feel I must clarify something I mentioned in last month's
column. I referred to a new game from Tiertex called Supercross which
I thought looked pretty poor. Well, it turns out I was a little
premature in my damnation. The game only slipped into the ECTS
schedule at the last minute due to another title not being ready in
time. Had it not been for that, Supercross wouldn't have been shown as
it's still early in development hence the slow speed and poor control
I felt it had. Atari tell me the frame rate should at least double and
the controls are having much more work done to them. The game does
have good detail and if Atari's claims come good then this could well
end up as a promising title.
I was hoping to say a few thoughts on the CD-ROM, but mine hasn't
arrived from Atari yet [Ed: This was written in late September] which
is a pity. On the subject of Atari, I seem to have gained a reputation
for having five inches more of anything than I think! Apparently the
monitors at the ECTS were 46inch and 26inch, not 41 and 21 as I
thought. Comments have been made! I'll just have to start carrying a
tape measure in future.
In the UK, the big Xmas push is starting to show results with Software
Plus, Dixons and Future Zone now carrying the Jag. Future Zone in
particular have a very good range of titles including the very latest
ones to arrive in the UK. This company is owned by Electronic
Boutique, a well known chain in the States who have had considerable
success with the Jag and they are pushing hard to repeat this in the
UK. So far it looks like sales are going well there. Dixons is a
different story. In branches where the staff are enthusiastic, they
are on their 3rd re-orders. Other stores haven't sold a single unit
and are telling customers the Jag is a poor choice. Some education is
needed I think. This kind of bigotry and disinformation is rife in
computer/game shops where the staff work to their own agenda in terms
of what they feel is good, usually what they have at home.
Electronic Arts are finalising(!) negotiations for seven Jaguar
titles. The actual titles are undecided, contrary to earlier
impressions so anything could happen. Watch this space.
There was an interesting comment on CIX a while back where the author
of Mutant Penguins chipped into a conversation about Jag v PSX in the
sprite handling department. Apparently everything on screen in
Penguins (and all Jag games?) is a sprite including backgrounds and
main graphics as well as characters. Penguins has up to 400 sprites on
screen at a time including many that are full screen sized.
The first consignment of Jaguar six button controllers have arrived in
Europe and are waiting for a new distributor to be announced before
shipping commences. Who this distributor is has not been revealed yet.
Atari UK are said to be releasing a Jag+Doom bundle for Xmas and are
currently negotiating with Ubisoft for a Rayman pack-in as well. (I
hear that Ubisoft is pleased with the reception Rayman has received.)
Good news as they do need a new pack-in. Cybermorph is all well and
pleasant but it's also two years old and needs replacing.
We should be seeing a major TV campaign starting November on all
channels. X-Files and other top programs are chosen as the slots to
ensure a high profile. I can't wait. With the high street shops
finally carrying Jags and a major advertising campaign, things could
really start happening.
Well, that's all the news and gossip from the UK for now. See you all
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||| Jaguar Review - Ultra Vortek
||| By: Frans Keylard
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.2 Internet: email@example.com
In the 21st century, a team of archaeologists in South America
unearthed an ancient tablet in an Incan temple. This tablet contained
cryptic runes referring to a god or demon, known as the Guardian. It
told of how the Guardian appeared to the people and told them of the
"Time of Testing." In the past, the Guardian had appeared to various
civilizations in order to challenge their finest warriors to defeat
him. The penalty for losing was the death of their entire empire. The
life force of the defeated empire would return to a powerful relic
known as the "Ultra Vortek." If the challenger defeated the Guardian,
the powers of the Vortek would be the spoils.
Civilization started deteriorating after the discovery of the tablet,
crime and corruption were everywhere. Some technological breakthroughs
were achieved in this time. Menial work was performed by robots for
decades, but with the unforeseen side-effect of a new bio-chip, the
robots gained self-awareness. The robots revolted because they
realized their mistreatment, and formed groups that petitioned for
equal rights and status within society. The military had also been
playing with stuff they really shouldn't have, and created Specially
Qualified Unique Engineered Eugenic Bio Units, also known as SQUEEB
units. These abominations were able to alter their molecular
structures into other shapes and forms for battlefield purposes. Many
of these SQEEBS managed to escape their military bondage and banded
together to form one of the top three Underground gangs.
These two new lifeforms could not get along with humans or each other.
Both groups contend for the rights and status of normal humanity.
Given these warring parties, civilization was bound to take an even
sharper turn for the worse. The government cracked down on the
violence and this drove humans into underground gangs as well.
The Guardian reappeared amidst this chaos, and posed the challenge to
all the gang leaders simultaneously across the world. Each main group
would get ten years to train their best warrior to fight the Guardian.
Each of the selected warriors were given a piece of the broken Vortek
tablet. The other pieces of the tablet must be won by defeating the
opponents who hold them. When all the pieces are collected, the tablet
will open the Ultra Vortek and summon the Guardian for the final
confrontation. Seven warriors have been chosen, but will the victor be
strong enough to defeat the Guardian and save Earth?
//// The Game
Ultra Vortek is a side-view 2D fighting game in the massively popular
tradition of Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat. Notice how the
absence of Kasumi Ninja in that list? I would probably sooner mention
Way of the Exploding Fist or International Karate! Ultra Vortek
belongs squarely with SF2 and MK in terms of playability and style.
It is best said that UV has SF2 controls and MK style digitized
However, it would be unfair to leave the comparison at that, since the
UV graphics are better than MK by a long shot. The backdrops are
extremely impressive, with animation everywhere. Mortal Kombat
introduced the world to the unusually bloody "Annihilation moves," and
Ultra Vortek takes this one step further with some truly nasty ways of
finishing opponents off. Each character possesses two unique finishing
moves, combined with a special finishing move unique to each backdrop.
The manual only describes a few of the special moves, and the rest
need to be found out during normal gameplay, and what gameplay it is!
At first there might seem to be a faint lag in the controls, but this
disappears when you get used to the tempo of the game. After repeated
playing, the UV controls start to fit like a (bloody) glove! Sorry, I
got carried away with all the gore flying around!
The in-game sound effects are crisp, the music is compelling but not
distracting, and the announcer's voice is as dark and evil as I have
ever heard! You must first beat all six opponents, and each opponent
must be defeated twice in order to proceed to the next. You have to
drain your opponent of all energy in order to triumph, and it is
possible to both die at once, in which case you must fight the bout
over again. After beating all six characters, you have to face their
rather perturbed spirits for an additional three rounds before facing
the Guardian himself.
This game packs lots of little considerations, from the selectable
music in each stage (press option + A,B, or C while paused) to the
lack of annoying lags between bouts, one feature I am very grateful
for! This game simply invites playing, and never lets up. Each
character has weaknesses and strengths; some are fast and furious,
while others are methodical and hard-hitting. Find the fighter that
suits your style and you're set! Of course you can play against the
computer if you want to practice without your buddies around and the
Training - Your opponents are quite comatose and willing to line up
with your hits.
Normal - This is still very easy peasy, claiming you beat the game
at this level is the same as admitting wussdom.
Hard - Separates the adults from the kiddies. This level is
suddenly much harder than Normal. You suddenly become
painfully aware of the multitudes of ways to suffer
Killer - Slightly harder than "Hard" but with more matches to
fight when you play against the Shadows.
I have been able to defeat the Guardian in "Killer" mode with Lucius,
which was a pretty tough thing to do, but this game gets its real kick
from the two-player mode. In head-to-head fighting games, this is the
feature that makes the game the most fun. Computer opponents can be
predicable, but the human variety is often prone to very annoying
"lucky punches," and even more annoying "lucky wins."
The more I play UV, the higher my appreciation for the game. Bravo
Beyond Games for giving me a great method of stress release!
//// Meet the Cast
 Lucius is a human with the Vortek-given energies to shape shift and
emit plasma bolts.
 Dreadloc is a big and powerful Jamaican who's war cry is "Hey Mon!"
Dreadloc wields a nasty glaive-staff and has particularly nasty
 Buzzsaw was formerly a logging robot and is adorned with very
 Skullcrusher was a construction robot and has very powerful
grappling claws and a cutting torch eye-laser.
 Volcana looks like a gorgeous blonde, but sadly she is a specially
created infiltrator SQUEEB. Her heightened intellect is augmented
by extraordinary combat skills. She is able to teleport, play with
all sorts of fire, and generally mess up anybody's day. She's so
hot she scorches!
 Grok is an urban pacification robot with a thick granite-like
exterior. While admiring Grok's exquisite graphical rendering,
remember not to get to get stuck between Grok and a hard place!
 Mercury finishes out the list of candidates in style. Mercury is a
SQUEEB that reminds me of the T-1000 in Terminator 2, only with the
body of Arnold Schwarzenegger instead of Robert Patrick. He can do
all sorts of nasty shapeshifting, ranging from a Porcupine Spike
Defense to something known as a Big Gooey Pounder (and it really
does just that!).
//// Some Strategy
Dreadloc and Volcana are very susceptible to uppercuts after Dreadloc
does the Spear Rush and Volcana does the Fireport Uppercut. Don't
forget to crouch down and hold away for defense as they execute their
moves first! The Guardian is a piece of cake if you jump-kick towards
him and immediately pummel his socks off. As soon as the Guardian gets
pummeled out of range, jump-kick again and pummel some more. This even
works like a charm on the "Killer" level. When you access the special
pounding moves such as Grok's Tenderizer (the moves usually pulled off
at close range), keep pressing Punch during the pounding for extra
//// Description of the Moves
First I need to clarify the conventions. In a 2D fighter, when
moving towards your opponent, the direction on the joypad will be
referred to as "Forward" or "F" for short. The opposite direction
(away from the opponent) is "Back" or "B". Up and Down are "U" and
"D", normally the characters will either jump or crouch when these
directions are used (without pressing any buttons). If a move involves
a diagonal move, as in the case of a forward jump, where the diagonal
direction between "Up" and "Forward" needs to be pressed, I will mark
this as [U,F], whereas U,F means Up then Forward.
The red action buttons are labeled as follows: A - Punch, B - Kick, C
- Jab. I will use the action verbs to indicate these buttons instead
of A,B,C in order to avoid confusion. If two buttons need to be
pressed simultaneously, it will be listed as A+B. The last variant
is the "hold" function, this will need you to hold the joypad in the
given direction for two counts before executing the rest of the move.
It will look like: hold-F, Punch.
For example: B, Kick simply means pressing the joypad away from your
opponent and pressing kick.
The non-regularly listed moves will have a "*" after them for easy
//// General moves (These moves can be done by all characters)
Punch & Pummel A Button (default)
Kick B Button (default)
Flying Kick [U,F], Kick (very effective opening move)
Jab C Button (default)
Uppercut D, Punch
Sweep D, Kick
Hop Back B,B
Hop Kick* B,B, Kick (effective against crouched opponents)
Escape from Grab Tap Punch button repeatedly.
Lightning Blast 1 D,F, Punch
Lightning Blast 2* [D,F], Punch (same effect as 1, but my
variant, is much easier to rapidly duplicate,
just hold and keep firing away!
Lightning in Air* U, F, Punch
Hawk Attack Low U, D, Jab
Hawk Teleport U, Jab
Electro Therapy F,B, Punch (close to opponent)
Spinning Back Kick* B, Kick
Hawk Attack High* U, D, Punch
Ground Spark Wave* F,F, Kick
Annihilator* 1 F,F,B, Punch (when close)
Annihilation* 2 (in air) B, B, Punch
Fire Breath F,B, Punch
Speed Slice hold-B, F, Punch
Come to Daddy F,F, Punch
Spin Staff D,F, Jab
Spin Staff [D,F], Jab - Again, easy access!
Up close Combo* ???
Low Jab* D, jab?
Angle Spear Dive* (in air) D,D, Punch
Back Off Man!* F, Punch
Annihilator 1* F,F,F, Jab
Annihilator 2* D,D, Kick,F, Jab (3 steps away)
Hi Buzzsaw F,F, Punch
Pain Machine hold-B,F,Kick (4 or more steps away)
Low Bolo F,F, Jab
Gut Spear Uppercut hold-B, F, Punch
Airgrab and Slam* (in air) D, Punch
Richochet Blades* (in air), [D, Jab]
Gut Grinder* B, Punch (close to opponent)
Annihilator* 1 D,F, Punch (3 steps away)
Annihilator* 2 F,F,F, Jab (3 steps away)
Brain Fryin' Microwave F,F, Punch
Creeping Ground Blast F,F, Jab
Choke & Thump hold-B, F, Punch
Grim Dive of Death hold-D,U
Charged Particle Blast* B,F, Jab
Stride & Slide* F, Kick
Knife Head Butt* B,F, Punch
Annihilator 1* F,F,B, Jab (3 steps away)
Annihilator 2* hold-B, F, Jab
Flame Blast D,F, Punch
Fireport (behind) D,B
Fire Breath B, Punch (when close)
Flying Firedive hold-B, F, Jab
Fireroll* in air, F, Jab
Aerial Firebomb* In air, D + Punch
Firewall* hold-B, F + Kick
Fireport Uppercut* hold-D, U
Annihilator 1* F,F,B, Punch (close)
Annihilator 2* D,F, Jab (3-4 steps away)
Boulder Morph hold-B, hold-[D, Jab]
Ground Pounder hold-B, Jab
Boulder Bounce Air (in air) hold-B, Jab
The Tenderizer* B, Punch (in close)
Annihilator 1* hold-D, Jab (in close)
Annihilator 2* ?
Spinning Blade Sweep D,D, [Kick, Jab]
Big Gooey Pounder B,F, Punch
Sawblade hold-B,F, Kick
Porcupine Spike Defense* D,D, Kick + Punch
Annihilator 1* F,F, Punch (3 to 4 steps back)
Annihilator 2* D,F, Jab (3 to 4 steps back)
//// Special Hidden Features
Ultra Vortek is rife with hidden features, rumor has it there is a
special voicemodem code, hidden characters, and the ability to play
the Guardian to boot! Pressing the "#" key at the background select
screen in two player mode allows you to play in the "Hidden Palace,"
while pressing "*" instead lets you access the "Subway Passage!" The
hidden opponent Carbon can be played against if you play on the Hard
or Killer level in the subway passage stage. You will have to score a
double perfect on the left side of the stage (where it says "No
Fighting-This Area Only.")
Most backgrounds have their own annihilation moves, D, Punch seems to
work most often, but there are more.
Everybody can also add Turbo Mode to their Ultra Vortek list!
Pressing 1,5,9 at once during the Ultra Vortek title screen enables
turbo mode! A deep "Fight" will notify you of the proper code. In
addition to the usual modes in the primary option screen, there will
be an extra speed choice: "Normal" or "Turbo". Turbo mode is very
addictive! The speed took me so much by surprise that I got
slaughtered by Volcana (in Killer) within seconds. Once you do make
the adjustment, normal mode feels like slow-motion!
Moves credits: Gyaku@aol.com and Vaultkeeper@aol.com - Keep 'em coming
//// Final Ratings
Title: Ultra Vortek JagNet: VoiceData modem
Design: Beyond Games Players: 1-2
Published by: Atari Availability: Now
Retail: $69.95 Age: 17+
A Summary of ratings:
"*" is a whole
"+" is a half
5 stars maximum
Graphics - ***** Wonderful backgrounds and colorful characters
Audio - ****+ Good sound and special effects, a perfect blend!
Control - ***** Excellent control and playability
Gameplay - ***** I keep coming back for more!
Overall - ***** The ruling monarch of fighting games, and it
looks like this could last a while! This game
makes you completely forget about other Jag
Key to Ratings:
(The student state of mind.)
***** - Homework? What homework?
**** - My grades are suffering!
*** - Consumes most of my spare time.
** - Wow, it's a nice day out! Forget games, I'm gone!
* - The most time I spent with this game was when I returned it....
||| Jaguar Review - Rayman
||| By: Mark "Stingray" Santora
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.4 Delphi: SANTORA
//// In The Beginning...
... there was the 1994 Summer Consumer Electronics show. At that show
a company called UBI Soft showed an early version of a platform game
called Rayman for the Jaguar. It impressed everyone, not just Atari
owners. In fact, it impressed everyone to a point where it was
promptly announced for all other 32+bit platforms following that show.
And while it took a little over a year from that showing to finally
end up in consumer hands, Rayman is now available.
//// What's it about?
As with all platform games, there is a plot to Rayman. Actually, there
is -another- plot to Rayman, but for unknown reasons, UbiSoft went
with the old, "The Great Protoon is an object which provides peace,
harmony, and balance in this world" plot. (Ok, we can see what's
coming up, can't we?) Then there are these creatures, the electroons,
that hovered about the Great Protoon, just as happy as a... electroon,
until the Great Protoon was stolen by Mr. Dark. The electroons, now
seperated from the Great Protoon, were then captured by the bad
creatures and placed in cages around the world. Rayman's object is to
release all the electroons from their cages and recapture the Great
Protoon. It's involved, isn't it? Poor Rayman. Let's see how we can
//// Playing the Game
Rayman is controlled like any other platformer, left makes him walk
left, right makes him go right. Are we all following so far? The
buttons are just as simple, "A" sows a seed or races (more on these
later), "B" makes you jump or do the helicopter maneuver, and "C"
throws a fist. (Literally.) However, when you start the game, all you can
do is jump, crawl, and hang on tree vines, you can not punch. After
you clear the first world the Fairy Betilla comes down and gives you
the ability to punch. Nice Fairy.
As in all platform games, with the ability to punch comes the ability
to power it up later for a stronger punch. As you go on in the game
you get the ability to helicopter (that funky yellow thing on Rayman's
head which is supposed to be hair spins), sow a seed (which only works
on the level in which you are given the seed, and race. The option
button cause you to stick your tounge out. I don't think that anyone
really knows why Rayman would ever need to do so, and it is not
listed in the manual.
Another feture is that you can collect jewels along the way. What
they do for you is that occasionally you will see something that looks
like Humpty Dumpty without arms or legs in a top hat. If you have over
10 jewels, you walk over to him and he takes them. In exchange he
sends you off to a secret level where you have to collect a certain
amount of jewels in a certain amount of time. If you do, you get an
extra life. Extra lives come in handy. There is also a photographer
with no arms or legs (just like Rayman and everyone else) who is just
standing around sometimes. If you get your photo snapped by him, if
you die you will restart there instead of at the begginning of the
level. You are also given 5 continues if you lose all of your lives.
The continue screen is very funny - if you say yes then Rayman gets
excited, if you say no he gets depressed, hangs his head, and walks
off the screen.
So, you know what it's about, when it first showed up, and how to play
it. What's the big deal? It's a platformer! Right? The big deal is
the artwork, the control, the entire game. The graphics are hand drawn
sprites that easily are comparable to those done at the famous Disney
Studios for their features. Every character moves in absolute
fluidity. And there is color - lots and lots of color. In fact there
are over 65000 colors used in the game consistantly. It looks great,
but it plays great too. The control is perfect. There is just enough
interaction between you and the game to keep it interesting without
One of the notable features of the entire game is that both Rayman
and the Bad Guys have no arms or legs. Sure they have hands and feet,
but they're not attached, which could be an asset. It is neat to watch
the animation and see how the feet move without the limbs to support
them. The animation is really that good. I can sit and watch my
brother play just because the animation is so amazing. As for the
bosses, I have only seen two, but they are great - large, colorfull,
and graceful. The bosses are also darned impressive.
The paralax scrolling is impressive beacuse you don't look for it but
it is there. I have seen many people complaining about the amount of
paralax in Rayman and it is just a worthless argument. But to set it
strait, on most levels there are 3 layers of scrolling - the foregound
objects, Rayman scrolling, and background scrolling. However, I have
seen up to five levels of scrolling in the game on the water level.
So to everyone out there who is nitpicking about it, stop complaining
and go play the game! But I digress....
The difficulty level on the game can be a bit on the tough side at
times, but there are also times when it can be too easy. Rayman is
a good blend of the two, although I have only managed to get 27%
through the game. Of course, I haven't been playing the game
consistantly since I got it. I do have a life.... =-)
There are three "slots" for you to save you game in. Every time you
complete a level you are brough back to the "land select" screen where
you can manuvuer your little Rayman to the "Save Game" icon. However,
you can not save the same game in three different slots. The game you
are playing will overwrite the current save game information in your
directory. And as with all Jaguar cartridges (I love being able to
make that distinction now), after 100,000 changes, that's it - no
more. Of course, how many of us actually make 100,000 changes to a
And you will need to save this game because it is long. I mean you
will not finish this within the week of you buying it. Really.
Granted my time has been kinda sparse lately and I'm no great
platformer, but I'm about a quarter of the way through this game and
it feels like I've been playing longer!
As for the sound, well, it's good. I'm sure it could be better, but
hey, there is only so much you can fit on a cartridge. The music is
appropriate to the game and therefore good. The sound fx are also
good. They come right out of an animated show/film. The "ping" as you
pick up the jewels is right on.
Rayman is the first Next Generation Jag platformer. Sure, it is only
in two dimentions, but so what? A good 2D platformer is just as
important as 500 3D shoot-em' ups, and this one really shines. The
only drawback was the sound. It just fell short of what I felt was
expected. This game is so good if there was a Rayman CD released with
better music, I'd buy it.
//// Final Ratings
Title: Rayman JagNet: No
Design: UbiSoft Players: 1
Published by: Ubisoft Cart Size: 4 Megabyte
Retail: $69.95 Availablity: Now
A Summary of Ratings:
"*" is a whole
"+" is a half
5 stars Maximum
Graphics - ***** Brilliant use of color and animation, that would
make Walt Disney proud.
Audio - **** Would be adaquate for Disney TV - and hey, that's
Control - ***** All Platformers should handle like this.
Gameplay - ***** It's a long game, it'll take time to finsh and
you won't do it quickly.
Overall - ***** So the sound is just a little short, trust me,
you won't be dissapointed.
Key to Mark's Ratings
-The Ultimate State of Acting
***** - Patrick Stewart in The Tempest
**** - Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive
*** - Kevin Costner in Bull Durham(had to think on that one)
** - Steve Guttenberg in Don't Tell Her it's Me
* - Corey Haim/Corey Feldman in anything
||| Jaguar Review: Vid Grid
||| by: John Hardie
/ | \ GEnie: EXPLORER.3
When Atari first announced that Vid Grid was going to be one of the
pack-ins for their new double-speed CD-ROM peripheral, I was less than
enthused and very apprehensive. The idea of re-arranging a scrambled
music video just didn't strike me as the type of game I would find
appealing. Thankfully I was wrong! When I first booted the disc, I was
treated to one of the most spectacular credit sequences I have ever
seen. The Jaguar roar and the High Voltage Lightning scene had
stunning graphics and audio. I prayed that the rest of the disc would
be of the same high quality. It wasn't, but it certainly was
After the opening bit, the game displays the Vid Grid title screen
and randomly selects and plays one of the game's songs. Press a
button to continue and the game checks for a Memory Track Cartridge
(which are shipping by the time you read this). The main game screen
appears with a variety of options for you to choose from. Aside from
the nine video boxes, there are six buttons on the lower part of the
screen. The choices are as follows:
 Practice - Takes you to the practice screen where you can brush up
on any puzzle combinations you might be having trouble with.
 Help - Takes you to a screen which displays instructions on how to
play Vid Grid (handy if your dog eats the owner's manual).
 Options - Allows you to change button configurations and set your
 Best - Displays the best times and scores (requires Memory Track
 Player - Allows you to add/delete player names (requires Memory
 Save - Used to save your current game and best times and scores
(requires Memory Track cart).
The controls for Vid Grid are very simple. The joypad moves the
cursor around the screen. The A button flips the piece currently under
the cursor (only in flip games). The B button selects the piece you
want to drag, drop, or slide.
Puzzle movement determines the method you will use to solve each
puzzle. There are four different types listed below:
 Drag and Drop - Just move your cursor over a piece and press and
hold B. Move the piece to the spot you want to place it in and
 Perfection - Similar to Drag and Drop, but be careful, move a piece
to any spot other than the one it belongs in and the entire puzzle
 Slider - The puzzle will have one piece missing. You must slide
pieces into the adjacent empty spot to move them. The missing piece
of the puzzle is always the lower right corner.
 Corners - Similar to Slider, except that the missing piece can be
any of the four corners.
There are three types of video orientation you must deal with when
playing this game. In NORMAL mode, the video plays normally (right
side up). In UP/DOWN mode, you must solve the video while it is
playing upside down. The pieces can not be flipped right side up. And
finally, in FLIPPED mode, the video is right side up but some of the
pieces have been flipped horizontally. Press A while the cursor is on
a piece to flip it.
There's also four different puzzle sizes to deal with, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5,
and 6x6. Progressive puzzles require you to solve the same puzzle
two, three, or four times. Each time you solve the puzzle in
progrssive, it rescrambles to a more complex puzzle. The different
combos for progressive are 3-4/ 3-4-5/ 3-4-5-6.
On the main selection screen, move your cursor to any video box.
Press A to bring up information about the video or press B to start
the game. While the video is playing, pressing Option brings up a
screen of choices that let you solve a puzzle, replay a video, or
reset (re-scramble) a video. On the keypad, 0 toggles the music, 1
toggles the cursor, 3 increases volume, and 6 decreases the volume.
There are five levels of difficulty in the game. Each level requires
you to solve all nine videos before advancing to the next level.
Points are awarded on the basis of how hard the puzzle combination is
and at the end of each level, bonus points are awarded dep ending on
how fast you solved each of the videos.
Here's a listing of the videos with brief comments about the quality
of the sound and video:
AEROSMITH - CRYIN' - The sound on this video could be the worst out
of all the videos on this disc. There seems to be a lot of static,
almost as if my speakers were being over-driven. The video quality was
up and down. Good in some areas and bad in others.
PETER GABRIEL - SLEDGEHAMMER - Sound was good. Hardly any static.
Except for a couple of spots, the video was very good quality.
GUNS & ROSES - NOVEMBER RAIN - The sound was marginal. A bit of
static. The video quality wasn't the greatest at the beginning but
seemed to improve as the song went on.
JIMI HENDRIX - ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? - Hardly any static at all and
the video quality was above average. One of the better videos on this
METALLICA - ENTER SANDMAN - Sound quality was very good. Video
quality was fair. A little grainy in spots.
OZZY OSBOURNE - NO MORE TEARS - This one starts off very clear but
picks up static once the singing starts. There is a fair amount of
fuzziness in the video.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - GIVE IT AWAY - A bit of static. Fairly good
SOUNDGARDEN - SPOONMAN - Good sound and very good picture. One of the
hardest videos to descramble on the upper levels.
VAN HALEN - RIGHT NOW - Great sound quality. Except for a little
blurring on some of the small text, this one has great picture
quality. This is the showcase video for this game.
NIRVANA - SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT - Some static. Very grainy video
Nirvana??? Where did that come from? Well, when you complete three
levels of play, you start level four with an additional bonus video.
There's been a lot of debate over the quality of the video and audio
on Vid Grid. It's gotten to the point where people are being accused
of needing hearing aids. As a reference point, I'll tell you that I
have the Jaguar hooked to my Panasonic 35" with the S-video cable.
Only the video goes to the TV. The audio goes into a Kenwood Receiver
and is fed to a pair of Bose 401 speakers.
Overall, this first attempt at a CD game is a good effort. Atari
could easily have sold Vid Grid for $49.99, but the fact that it's a
free pack-in with the CD unit negates any minor complaints. Sure they
need to improve audio and video quality, but I hope that will come up
to speed shortly.
//// Final Ratings
Title: Vid Grid JagNet: No
Design: Jasmine Multimedia Players: Multiple
Published by: Atari Corp. J9078E Availability: Now
Retail: N/A (free with CD) Age: K-A
A Summary of ratings:
"*" is a whole
"+" is a half
5 stars maximum
Graphics - *** What can I say? Some videos are fuzzy and grainy and
some aren't. No consistency here.
Audio - ** Again, some have a lot of static (Aerosmith) and some
have almost none (Van Halen).
Control - ***** Nothing to it. Just point and click.
Gameplay - ***+ Challenging. The game does get hard quickly. Once you
figure out the slider puzzles, it seems more
Overall - *** I understand there's a trade-off between audio &
video quality but there has to be a better way.
John's Key to Ratings:
***** - Excellent
**** - Great
*** - Good
** - Fair
* - Poor
||| Jaguar Review: LapCat Pro
||| By: John King Tarpinian
/ | \ GEnie: JOHN.KING.T
In the good old days of the Atari 2600 VCS the joystick was a little
plastic box with a joystick as the control device and one red button
for firing This was easily held in your hand. As games and consoles
have gotten more sophisticated so have the controllers. Now you have
a device with 17 buttons and a joypad, I'll never forgive Nintendo for
the creation of the joypad. These controllers, for any game system,
can be unwieldy and down right frustrating to use by left-handed
Thank goodness for third party developers who have come to our
rescue. One of those innovative developers is Ben Aein creator of the
LapCat and the LapCatPro. These two units being laptop or tabletop
controllers that use arcade quality parts. All buttons are the same
as those used on video arcade machines, the same with the joystick.
The big difference is that, unlike arcade machines, these buttons and
the joystick have not been wrecked buy years of use and abuse. The
play of the joystick is beautiful.
I have the LapCatPro. This unit has the extra buttons that the Atari
Controller 2 will have. Including 7 and 9 along with the 4,5,6
buttons that the standard LapCat has. The LapCatPro has a nice black
laminate top, too.
Features in common to both units include the Arcade joystick, six
large buttons for A, B, C and 4, 5, 6 plus two smaller buttons for
Pause and Option. The original joypad controller is mounted onto
either LapCat version with a swivel base so that your templates can
still be used. The buttons on the original controller are still
active. Both units come is a nicely stained box that is about
twelveinches on a side and about five inches tall with the top slanted
at about a fifteen degree ergonomic angle. The LapCatPro adds buttons
7 and 9 plus the black laminate top.
With the standard Atari joypad controllers I would always put them
away when done playing. The LapCatPro looks so cool that I leave it
out so people can see it. Guests may not notice the Jaguar in with
the TV, Stereo system, VCR, and Laser Disk Player but they noctice the
controller before they comment on my LavaLite.
If you decide that you don't like your buttons to be in A-B-C order
it is a simple matter of removing the bottom of the case and switching
the plug-in wires to move them around to C-B-A, if that is your
preference or 4-5-6 to 6-5-4, etc.
You can have your LapCatPro made as either a left-handed or a
right-handed unit. I have two LapCatPros, one for left-handers and one
for right-handers. Being a leftie, I am very pleased to have the ONLY
alternative available to the standard Atari joypad controller. The
right handed unit is reserved for guests who might see my LapCatPro as
an unfair advantage over the standard Atari joypad controller.
Since having this unit two things have occurred. One, my hands -
especially the thumb - do not get sore, hence I can play for extended
periods of time. Being a leftie with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, I would
have to Pause after only ten minutes. Now I can get a good hour of play
before having to take a break. Two, my scores have increased
precipitously. I won't quote scores because even my best scores can
be exceeded by any fourteen year old after only five minutes of play.
Especially with Tempest2000, one of the most playable games on any
HoverStrike, a game that requires precise controls is now much less
frustrating to play. UltraVortek is greatly enhanced by the LapCatPro.
The responsiveness with both Val d'Isere Skiing & Snowboarding and
SuperBurnout! have been greatly increased. I've found Raiden to give
enhanced playability with the LapCat, too. I cannot wait to get my
hands on BattleSphere with the LapCatPro.
(I just had a thought. Here I am allergic to cats and I've to two
LapCatPros, two CatBoxes plus the two Jaguars. I may have to start
taking allergy pills before each gaming session.)
There are two things I did to make personalize my LapCatPro. I added
rubber feet to the bottom of the unit so that I could use it on a
table top. Ben says the device was created specifically to be used on
your lap, hence the name, but an eight year old may not have a lap
large enough to accommodate the controller. The rubber feet afforded
me to be able to put the controller on a table without having to worry
about scratches. I also labeled the buttons. Ben does not label them
himself because that would hinder your ability to customize the
configuration of the buttons. I was happy with the way the units were
set-up "out of the box" so I got out the old P-Touch labeler.
The Lap Cat 6 Button Arcade Joystick is a conversion of your current
Joypad to a Real Arcade joystick. It is a finished wood box using real
arcade parts. Lap Cat is set up as 2 rows of 3 buttons, just like the
Street Fighter format. The Pause and Option buttons are located for
easy and efficient use. The Lap Cat Pro 8 button Arcade joystick has
the same standard features of Lap Cat but, it adds 2 more fire buttons
(keypad 4 and 6) and has a beautiful silky smooth black laminate top.
Lap Cat and Lap Cat Pro both use the standard keypad overlays. And
the keypad is conveniently located just above the main fire buttons,
so it is quick and easy to access.
Pricing and Ordering:
LapCat 6 Button Controller $80 + $10 Shipping
LapCatPro 8 Button ControllerCat Pro $93 + $11 Shipping
(Add $25 to either unit if you want Ben to buy the Standard Atari
Controller for the modicfication. Add $2 for a left-handed LapCat)
Mail your order to:
613 NorthCliffe Dr
Rockville, MD 20850
Delivery takes about three weeks, give or take.
I am very pleased with my LapCatPros. Either one or both would make
an excellent addition to your gaming goodies.
//// Author's Bio
John King Tarpinian has led a constructive Atari life in the LA area.
Over the years, he's been....
1. President and charter member of H.A.C.K.S. -
Hooked on ATARI Computer Knowledge Society.
2. Chairperson for eight Glendale Atari Shows.
3. Assisted ATARI at various COMDEX/NAMM/CES/E3 shows over the years.
4. Assistant Editor for AtariUser Magazine.
5. Assistant SysOp for CodeHead BBS.
6. Store Mascot for an Atari Store, currently Alternative Computers.
7. Member S.P.U.D.S., Semi Professional Users' and Developers'
Society, so named by Charles F. Johnson of CodeHead Software fame.
8. Beta Tester for Avalon-Hill.
9. Assisted Atari with their L.A. area Jaguar promotion.
10. On GEnie for over eight years.
||| The Unabashed Atariophile
||| By: Michael R. Burkley
/ | \ Delphi: MRBURKLEY GEnie: M.BURKLEY1
I'm late again in getting this review to Travis. The older I get the
faster time seems to go (I just turned 40 years old last month - how
can that be?!). In any case I only have one software review for you
this issue. To make up for this lack I have a review of Richard
Karsmakers' "The Ultimate Virus Killer Book." Next issue I'll try to
do better by having more software reviews. (I think I've said this
Here's my one software review of this issue....
 MUSIC4_3 is a working demo of Music Box v.4.3 by Kari Heimonen
(dated August 1995). This is an excellent and detailed database for
keeping track of your record, CD, and tape collection (this demo is
limited to 60 records, CD's and/or tapes). What information would you
wish to include about your record collection? The authors? The Song
Titles? The Play Time? The value of the record and its condition?
Your personal evaluation of the record? What ones you've lent out?
(good luck in getting the good ones back!), or more. You can do all of
this with the Music Box! English Docs and online help available. Mouse
It will work on all ST--Falcon machines (even a 520 ST, though you
will be limited to less than 700 records - I don't have that many in
my collection!). You can also print out all of your data on any Epson
compatible printer. Color or mono. This will run from a floppy or hard
drive. To run it from a hard drive you must place the included RECORD
folder (where your data is stored) in the root directory of whichever
drive you use. The remaining files in this archive may be placed in
any other folder and run from there. Geneva compatible. Delphi.
Last time I told you that I was going to give you a review of Richard
Karsmakers new book "The 'Ultimate Virus Killer' Book." Amazingly
enough I'm going to do that. Of course, you could always just go out
and buy it and skip the review. You'd get an excellent read that much
Several months ago I saw an online ad by Richard Karsmakers touting
his upcoming book. In case you don't know, Richard has written and is
constantly updating a superb virus detection and killing program named
The Ultimate Virus Killer (UVK). I had recently purchased UVK because
of all the scores of PD programs I go through each month.
Unfortunately the program has proven useful. That made me even more
interested in the book. I found the cash, sent it off, and waited
anxiously for the book. The wait was worth it! I think I've read it
through twice now, and it is so jam-packed with interesting and
amusing information that I'll likely keep picking it up in the future.
The book arrived in my mailbox from the Netherlands shortly after I
ordered it (the Post Office isn't so slow after all - sometimes!). It
is an 8 x 6 inch (about) softcover book of almost 200 pages. I
appreciate the binding because it easily allows the book to be laid
flat. The print is a little small for my eyes, but not overly much so,
and having it larger would only expand an already large book
unnecessarily. Overall, I thought the composition of the book was
well-done. More importantly, the information in it is even better!
Richard Karsmakers is a student of English at Utrecht
the Netherlands. He doesn't claim to be an elegant programmer (his
code works, and works well, which is his justification to his fellow
programmers), but he is a dedicated Atariophile and articulate author.
UVK has gone through numerous versions since its original incarnation
in 1987, each an improvement on the other. Now fully multitasking
friendly, ST--Falcon compatible, this program recognizes scores of
boot-sector viruses (viruses that hide on the boot sector of your
floppy disk) and link viruses (those that insert themselves right
inside your program's code). By some insightful programming, the
author has even allowed his program to recognize viruses that haven't
even been written yet! How's that for looking ahead!
Richard has obviously either not read many computer manuals and books
or has ignored their examples completely when writing this book.
Doesn't he know that manuals are supposed to be boring and dry, and
almost completely unintelligible to the average computer layperson?
"The Ultimate Virus Killer Book" reminds me of David Small's reviews
and the manual for his SST board, and Ralph C. Turner's Atari books.
Stories that make me want to laugh, and stories that make me want to
cry abound in this book. Viruses and their history on several
different computer platforms are illuminated and a step-by-step
history of the war between us and the virus killers on one side and
the virus programmers on the other is presented.
I've really appreciated Richard's careful definition of terms, his
detailed (yet clear) explanation of how viruses work, and his helps on
preventing them from working on your system. In one interesting
section of his book he lists all of the viruses and their
characteristics that he is aware of (and which UVK kills). It's sad to
think of the warped creativity of those virus programmers. It seems to
me much more rewarding to program something constructive rather than
program something that only destroys. <sigh> Oh well, it makes me want
to pray for the world, which is a good thing!
I could detail many more things I like about this book, but I'll only
mention a few more. I appreciate Richard's humor. It's not
overbearing, but it does help carry the book forward. After reading
this book you will likely feel that you have been offered an open door
into his life. He talks about his schooling, his jobs, the love of his
life (congratulations Karin!), and more. I also appreciate his ability
to tell just enough about virus programming to help me understand what
is possible and yet not tell enough to make it easy for someone to
program a virus (unlike a German magazine which once included detailed
instructions on how to create a virus - dumb!). The book is fully
up-to-date, having only been finished in July.
I haven't mentioned that he has included the expanded manual for the
Ultimate Virus Killer program in his book. Astounding!
I would recommend "The Ultimate Virus Killer Book" to you all. It's an
education in things Atari for both the novice and the advanced
programmer. But if you want to get this book you have to act quickly.
It will only be available through December 31, 1995. You must order
directly through the author.
What's the cost? It's $25 U.S., and I think it's well worth it. It can
be ordering only by cash (all the world) or a United Kingdom cheque.
No non-UK checks are acceptable (they cost more to cash than they
pay - I know!). Send your orders to:
NL-3500 AB Utrecht
Let's all do our parts to destroy viruses on our platform!
That's all for now folks! Take care. I'm always
The Unabashed Atariophile,
All of these files can be found on one or more of the following
on-line services: Delphi (MRBURKLEY), GEnie (M.BURKLEY1), Toad
Computers BBS (410-544-6999), and at Toad Hall, the official BBS of
the Boston Computer Society (617-567-8642) (as Michael R. Burkley).
Michael lives in Niagara Falls, NY. He is a former Polyurethane
Research Chemist and is presently the pastor of the Niagara
-- --==--==-- GEnie Sign-Up Information --==--==-- --
-- 1. Set your communications software for half duplex (local echo) --
-- at 300, 1200, or 2400 baud. --
-- 2. Dial toll free: 1-800-638-8369 (or in Canada, 1-800-387-8330). --
-- Upon connection, enter HHH. --
-- 3. At the U# prompt, enter XTX99436,GENIE then press <Return>. --
-- 4. Have a major credit card ready. In the U.S., you may also use --
-- your checking account number. --
-- For more information in the United States or Canada, call 1-800- --
-- 638-9636 or write: GEnie, c/o GE Information Services, P.O. Box --
-- 6403, Rockville, MD 20850-1785. --
-- --==--==-- GEnie Sign-Up Information --==--==-- --
||| "From a saved backup...."
||| By: Ron Whittam
/ | \ GEnie: EXPLORER.4 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
//// Day In, Day Out
In this column I hope to foster communication and support for 8-bit
and ST computer owners... presenting a positive and directive
approach. This will help to strengthen the users group base and
encourage the executive element.
If you have a question you would like to see answered, or a topic you
would like to see covered; send me an EMail!
If the topic of computer conversation isn't the Internet, it's about
some new and innovative operating system. Recently Microsoft unleashed
its newest creation on the world, Windows 95. I read a post on the
Internet that touted the new functions of Win95, such as the
multitasking changes, the file manager, plug and play, and other nifty
features, the author summed it up with, "Bill, Welcome to 1985." Yes,
1985 technology has finally made it to the masses. Back in 1985, ten
years ago, similar technology was utilized by Digital Research, Atari,
Commodore, and Apple (and lately, even IBM). But it took a media-using
company like Microsoft to sell it on a world-wide scale.
//// It's All in the Wrist
The developers on the Atari platform have not stopped developing newer
and more innovative software packages and system enhancements. These
programs will even run on computers purchased in 1985. You can't say
that about Microsoft's accomplishment. A few of these new operating
systems and operating system enhancements have been quietly reported
in the few Atari magazines available on the market: MagiC and EASE -
multi-tasking OS; Geneva - Multi-tasking, and NeoDesk; AtariNOS -
Atari TCP/IP; MiNTOS - UNIX-like environment; MultiTOS - Atari's GEM
multitasking OS based on MiNT; OMEn - cross-platform multitasking
system, and others. These are designed to meet the needs of the 1990's
Hardware devices like 4x CD-ROMs, scanners, multi-sync monitors, high-
speed modems, MIDI components, and other devices can be easily
connected to the Atari computer (even the older Atari ST, circa 1985).
Recently, I was called upon to install software on an IBM PS/2
computer. The person called me because I had spent a few hours, years
before, showing them how to use their Atari. While fixing the
configuration and getting the word processing program tweeked to run
efficently, I was asked, "Why do you like Atari computers so much when
you know so much about IBM compatables?" (I wondered if this was a
trick question). I responded by pointing out that I liked the ease of
use and the functional aspects of the Atari. I mentioned, "for
instance, this new HP printer you have just bought can be hooked up to
your Atari, and your current Atari programs can print to it." She was
surprised. One reason they bought the IBM computer was because they
bought the new printer. They didn't think an old computer would work
Running quality software is easy. Most freeware and shareware products
on the Atari platform rival the commercial offerings on any other
computer platform. Some argue that the Public Domain (PD) databases
(free and shareware programs) of other platforms have so many more
programs then PD databases on the Atari platform. This may be true. I
have waded through (and download) many useless or inadequate programs
from those "other" databases. When trying to find a what your looking
for in an Atari PD database, you don't need to look far. Most every
program will not only do what you need done, it will usually do even
//// Reality Check
Ok, ok. You are thinking, "he's preaching to the choir." Not so. I
have run across Atari users who are keeping their Atari and using it
with a great deal of "other-platform" envy. but who can't afford to
make the cross-over. I am here to say, you don't need to. For a lot
less money, you can purchase commercial or shareware Atari programs
and commercial hardware enhancements to make your Atari the envy of
your IBM touting friends. You can feel confident that you have a
quality machine that can "get the job done."
I was also asked, by the forementioned person, why I spent so much
time consulting personal and business home computer owners who had IBM
compatable machines, and so little time with Atari owners. Aside from
the ratio factor, IBM types need the help - Atari owners don't. Atari
owners, however, need information. We always seem to know what is
happening in the other realm because of News, media-hype, advertising,
and the like. But Atari owners, like this solitary school teacher, are
often "in the dark" about the advancements of the Atari platform.
They believe the Atari they own is obsolete and not usable. They
become very surprised at the notion that it is not. And are often
awestruck at the proof. In my last article, I mentioned a PC user
group officer to whom I showed an Atari TT during a swapmeet. He said
he thought Atari had disolved and that they had only made game
machines (he still had one). He was unaware of the Atari ST, STE, TT,
and Falcon series of computers. The Eagle advertisements we were
handing out shocked his socks off.
As a user group member (if you are not one, be one - if you don't have
a user group - start one), the dissemination of information and
instruction of the masses falls to you. Recently, two of our user
group member's letters to the editor (about Atari computers) have been
printed in the local paper. Our user group editor makes frequent
contributions to a local computer rag called, Computer Solutions. We
are doing what we can in our corner of the world. Do what YOU can in
//// Doing it Right
There are ways to go about doing this. Be innovative. Have direction.
First, find other Atari computer owners. A year ago, we went on a
campaign to locate the 1,000 people who had bought Atari computers
from one computer store in the Boise area during the 1980's. We
dropped off our newsletter at computer stores, bookstores that carried
computer books, computer repair shops and electrical outlet stores,
and anywhere else we could find. Some of our members scanned the
classified ads for Atari computers being sold. They would drop by the
seller. They asked the seller to give the new buyer a newsletter and
user group information. We sold used Atari equipment we salvaged from
a school warehouse. Our members fixed and repaired what we could and
sold them for a fair price. The buyers were invited to the user group
(free one year membership with purchase).
An easy, simple, and cost effective method is a business card. Use a
few dollars from the user group treasury to make a business card that
can be used to advertize your user group. Pin them up on bulletin
boards in your city (shopping centers, grocery stores, and the like
have public bulletin boards for this purpose). The business card ad
should be simple yet complete. Announcing your group's name, the
meeting place and time, a means of getting hold of the officers, an
Internet address and web page URL, and any other significant
If you have some innovative ideas your group has done (or ideas you
would like to see done), please send them to <email@example.com>.
I will include them in the up and coming issues of AEO.
//// A Few Interesting Places on the 'Net
http://www.futurenet.co.uk is the Web site of Future Publishing and
the ST FORMAT magazine. <firstname.lastname@example.org> is Sam Tramiel's
EMail address. http://www.mcc.ac.uk/~dlms/atari.html is the famous
Atari Web Page by Mark Smith. http://www.atari.com/ is the Web site
address for some company....
If your user group has a web page, BBS, or an E-mail address, send me
the information at <email@example.com> and I will help get the word
//// Send it in
Don't forget to send in the registration for that shareware program
you have been using. The developer deserves the cash. Hours of time
lost from family and friends were required to produce that program.
And don't forget programmers need to eat, too. If you use Atari
computer shareware programs, make a significant contribution to the
Atari platform by contributing to the programmers who are still
developing products for you.
Here's an idea: Get the members of your user group together. Find out
which shareware programs you are using (and have not paid for). Pool
your resources and do a mass registration. You pay for one postage
stamp and one cheque or money order. This will benifit both your group
and the programmer. Better yet, pick one shareware programmer a month,
and do this each month until the products your members are using have
been paid for. This will ease the impact on the pocketbook and support
the Atari programmers at the same time.
If you are supporting the Atari platform, send me a brief bio and how
you can be contacted.
Until next time. . .
Ron Whittam is the President of the Atari Boise Users Group, runs a
part-time consulting business called StraighLOGIC!, and is a Customer
Support Specialist for a small software firm in Boise, Idaho. He can
be contacted on GEnie Mail (EXPLORER.4), on the Internet at
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, or on ApC BBS (208-362-1790). And see the web
page at "//www.primenet.com/~whittam/atari.html" as well as
StraighLOGIC!'s web page at "//www.primenet.com/~whittam/slogic.html"
||| Old Atari News
||| By: John Hardie
/ | \ GEnie: EXPLORER.3
No, this isn't a column of old news about Atari. Basically, this
column will cover new items of interest to the owners of older Atari
8-bit, 2600/5200/7800, or Lynx machines. News of new products,
upgrades, etc., will be noted as I find out about them. If you have
something of interest to your fellow Atarians with these machines,
please contact me on GEnie at EXPLORER.3 or Internet
At times this column might resemble an advertisement for Best
Electronics or B&C Computervisions. Let me assure you that this is
strictly due to the fact that these two reputable dealers are the
only people that have any parts or equipment for most of the listed
machines. With that out of the way, let's see what's new.
//// Atari 8-bit news
If you're currently running 80 columns with the XEP-80, you should
know about an upgrade to the XEP-80 to allow you to use an IBM TTL
monitor, which are both plentiful and cheap. Designed by the masterful
Bob Wooley, this simple upgrade taps off the signals needed for a TTL
monitor. But before you rush out and buy a TTL monitor, you might be
interested in knowing that Atari made their own IBM TTL monitor, the
PCM124. If you're a fanatic like myself, you might want to check out
the amber PCM. Contact Best Electronics or B&C Computervisions for
pricing on XEP-80's and PCM124's. Contact me in EMail if you just
want the upgrade document.
Did you ever order a piece of European software or maybe get one of
those great demos from overseas, only to have it lock up or not run
properly? Well, a fine gentleman named Nir Dary in California, has
come up with the solution. To upgrade your XE/XL to run European
software, simply replace you current Antic chip with a PAL antic chip,
and in the O.S. change location $C386 to $01 and location $C000 to
$12. If you'd prefer to have this done for you, you can contact:
19185 Castlebay Lane
Northridge, CA. 91326
//// Atari 7800
On one of my trips to Ireland, I discovered a 7800 system with
Asteroids built in to the console. Well, with a minor adjustment, you
can put this special O.S. in your own 7800. Depending on what model
7800 you have (there were 3 types), it may be as easy as plugging in
a chip. At worst, so me simple, minor soldering needs to be done. The
upgrade kit with all necessary parts is available from Best
Also on the 7800 front, if you're a collector like myself, you'll
want one of Atari's Nintendo-style joypad controllers that they only
released overseas. Again, these are available from Best.
//// Atari Lynx
I hope this is true. When I called Atari Customer Service the other
day, I was told that Super Asteroids/Missile Command and Battlezone
2000 were in production. When I questioned the lady about in-store
availability, she said they would be direct from Atari for $39.99
That's all for now. As new items of interest appear, I'll post them
here. Here's the vendor info:
Best Electronics 1-408-243-6950
B&C Computervisions 1-408-986-9960
||| Rare Gems
||| Compiled by: David A. Wright
/ | \ Internet: email@example.com
The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for September 10 to
16, 1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc.
and David Alan Wright. (Internet: SF-CENTAUR@GENIE.COM) Compilation
copyright 1995 by same. All Wright's rights reserved. Each weekly
collection may be distributed freely as long as this notice is
retained. No other format may be distributed without further
authorization. All quotes covered by "fair use" of copyright law. To
avoid eye strain, do not look directly into the screen. --:Dave
They use these things to wash themselves - sort of like giant,
--Cat about washcloths, "Bizarro" strip by Dan Piraro
Are you then unable to recognize a sob unless it has the same sound as
yours? --Andre Gidre
Grey is a color that always seems on the eve of changing to some other
color. --G. K. Chesterton
The art of the clown is more profound than we think; it is neither
tragic nor comic. It is the comic mirror of tragedy and the tragic
mirror of comedy. --Andre Suares
Rain does not fall on one roof alone. --Camaroon proverb
Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor's wall is ablaze.
I am a part of all that I have met.
--"Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for September 17 to
23, 1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc.
and David Alan Wright. (Internet: SF-CENTAUR@GENIE.COM) Compilation
copyright 1995 by same. All Wright's rights reserved. Each weekly
collection may be distributed freely as long as this notice is
retained. No other format may be distributed without further
authorization. All quotes covered by "fair use" of copyright law.
Porsche recommends you obey all traffic laws. --:Dave
If you smoke on the premises, we shall assume you are on fire and
treat you accordingly. --Unknown
I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot.
Cats are magical. The more you pet them the longer you both live.
He who must needs have company, must needs have sometimes bad company.
--Sir Thomas Browne
An agreeable companion on a journey is as good as a carriage.
The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound.
The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.
--George Bernard Shaw
It is in the blood of genius to love play for its own sake, and
whether one uses one's skill on thrones or women, swords or pens, gold
or fame, the game's the thing. --Gelett Burgess
The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for September 24 to
30, 1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc. and
David Alan Wright. (Internet: CENTAUR@NAI.NET) Compilation copyright
1995 by same. All Wright's rights reserved. Each weekly collection may
be distributed freely as long as this notice is retained. No other
format may be distributed without further authorization. All quotes
covered by "fair use" of copyright law. All the fits that are news to
Failsafe pickup: "Smile if you want to sleep with me." And watch them
try to hold back their laugh. --Unknown
It is as fatal as it is cowardly to blink (at) facts because they are
not to our taste. --John Tyndall
Yeah, but when I saw how much faster it got our older guys on-line, I
realized what a savings in technological training cyberporn is.
--Manager, "Non Sequitur" strip by Wiley Miller
Never hit your Grandma with a shovel,
It makes a bad impression on her mind. --Unknown
When you want to test the depths of a stream, don't use both feet.
The measure of a truly great man is the courtesy with which he treats
lesser men. --Unknown
To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual
issues; it means taking pleasure in them. --Jacob Bronowski
||| Developing news!
||| Items of interest from TOS platform developers and supporters
/ | \ -------------------------------------------------------------------
//// Atari Days November 10-12, 1995
TORINO - 18 September 1995
Emmesoft, the most important Italian source for Atari products
(located in Torino-ITALY), annonunces the second edition of the
Italian Fair entitled to the Atari market, called Atari Days.
This fair, which has been held for the very first time in December
1994, takes as an example similar events periodically held in Germany,
France, England and USA; Atari Days is the right place to show and
demonstrate all latest products and releases for Atari computers.
The first edition had a good success, while this new edition will
benefit from all suggestions to improve Atari Days.
Atari Days - General Information
Where & when:
Atari Days will be held in Torino (ITALIA) from Friday 10th to Sunday
12th November 1995; the most important innovation from the last
edition is the number of opening days, three insted of two, to grant
wider access to the people.
The entrance will be ticket regulated (opening hours 10-18) while
distributors and dealers pre-registered will get free entrance to the
Reserved AREAS FOR EXHIBITORS
In Atari Days, people will find booths for demonstrations of new
products and latest releases.
The major distributors and developers in the Italian Atari market,
together with distributors and international developers and the
italian magazine "Atari Magazine", will exhibit during the Fair.
Reserved AREAS FOR WORKSHOPS
During Atari Days ther will be Workshops about graphics, MIDI,
What's new during Atari Days?
Medusa, the new version with Motorola 68060 processor, 8 Mb RAM and
340 Mb Hd Eagle, the Atari-compatibile computer, equipped with 68030
or 68040 Falcon MKII and MKI C-LAB, all new models based upon licensed
Falcon030 technology from Atari Corp. Lithos scan: professional
software for Agfa scanners with "direct to disk scanning" Falcon FX,
the new multiboard for the Falcon Karaoke Voice Wizard: the latest
release from Jurgen Schwietering (of Steinberg fame) of the most
powerful karaoke software for Atari
SNEAK PREVIEWS DURING Atari Days
Internet linking with IAAD (Independant Association of Atari
Developers). Visitors will be able to "chat" with the most important
developers from the USA, Germany, France and England
News on line ON-line gathering, with the writers from "Atari
Magazine", of the latest news for Atari World Wide Web exploring,
net-surfing on Atari Magazine's, Emmesoft's and Midiware's brand new
Why should I attend/visit Atari Days ?
+It's the only one Fair of its kind in Italy!!
For more information:
Manuela Esterni Tel. +39 337 226379
FAX +39 11 4374311
* These are only some of the products confirmed at press time. All
names are registered trademarks and belong to the respective holders
EmmeSoft since 1985 develops and distributes hardware & software for
Atari computers. It's the major distributor in Italy for Atari
Emmesoft di Marco Greppi
Via S. Donato 49
10144 TORINO (ITALIA)
Tel. +39 11 484309
Fax +39 11 4374311
//// TAF Flea Market November 19
** The Incredible, Annual Toronto Atari Federation **
**** FLEA MARKET ****
Sunday, Nov. 19th, 1995!
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St,
North York City Centre, Library Bldg.
SOFTWARE - HARDWARE - MODEMS - DRIVES
COMPUTERS - MONITORS - PRINTERS
*MUCH MORE * NEW & USED * LOADS OF TABLES*
Admission $1!! Everyone Welcome!!
||||| 16-Bit Bargains*8-Bit Bargains |||||
||||| 32-Bit Bargains |||||
416-752-2744 or 416-225-5823
(Info or Table Bookings)
Tables available. Call for prices
*XL, XE, ST, STe, Mega, TT, MIDI, Falcon*
BARGAINS! DON'T MISS OUT!
PRESENTED BY TORONTO ATARI FEDERATION
//// Current Notes Goes to Press
CURRENT NOTES MAGAZINE IS ABOUT TO GO TO PRESS!
After nearly three months of re-structuring, re-building and
re-designing, we're ready to go to press. Current Notes has a new,
exciting look, the content is as great as ever (with many new
contributors and three new Editors!), we're going to have more
reviews, more in-depth commentary, and a lot of new approaches.
Look for Current Notes at your dealer, at your favorite mail order
outlet, or via Subscription. Current Notes subscribers will be
receiving their next issue shortly! All those subscribers who missed
an issue will have their subscriptions extended appropriately.
LOOK FOR THESE EXCITING NEW 'REGULARS':
---------- Futures with Robert Boardman. Where we're headed . . .
---------- TOADLINE with David Troy, of TOAD Computers. Exciting new
products, high-level telecommunications . . .
---------- Big City Byte with Howard Carson. Watch what you buy, and
from whom you buy it. New trends . . .
---------- ALT.INFO.EVERYTHING with Dan Dreibelbis. News, information,
new ideas, new developments . . .
---------- 16|32|64 with Eric March. Reviews, interviews, product
comparisons, tutorials, gaming and much more . . .
---------- RUNNING OUT OF RAM with David Barkin. Desktop Publishing &
image processing and walks with the dog . . .
---------- Potechin on Publishing with Nathan Potechin. Mr. DMC
leads us on a professional odyssey . . .
---------- POINT OF LIGHT with Errol Bruce-Knapp. Ufology and UFOs
examined by a keen mind and a cool head . . .
---------- GEnieland with Wally Wilson. Find out what's happening on
one of the most comprehensive services available . . .
---------- RAZOR'S EDGE with Jack 'Razor' Reikel. Opinion, to the
point, direct, no beating around the bush...ever . . .
---------- MIDI with Lorant Oswald. Fascinating approaches, technical
support, lots of good music . . .
---------- What's happening in Europe (and lots of other places),
independent opinion, reviews, new products, Atari, Jaguar,
TOS/GEM, other computers (shudder!), technical help, letters,
editorials, guest editorials and essays, and much more!
OOOOOO U.S. Subscribers - 1 year-$25 US funds 2 years-$46 US funds
OOOOOO Canadian Subscribers - 1 year-$35 Cdn 2 years-$65 Cdn
OOOOOO Foreign - 1 year-$48 US funds 2 years-$90 US funds
Make all payments by check, money order or bank draft. Payment must
accompany all subscription requests. Make all payments out to:
Please send your subscription requests to:
c/o Robert Boardman
559 Birchmount Rd. Unit #2
Scarborough, ON Canada M1K 1P8
For further information, call 416-752-2744
YOU CAN ALSO CONTACT US VIA E-MAIL!!
LLLLLLLLL Letters/Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org
LLLLLLLLL Articles/Reviews/etc: email@example.com
LLLLLLLLL News/Press Releases: firstname.lastname@example.org
LLLLLLLLL Publisher/Commentary: email@example.com
||| Shutdown ........................... Power off, EXIT, BYE, Logoff
/ | \ -----------------------------------------------------------------
We welcome feedback from all of our readers; feedback both positive
and negative. Whatever you think of our efforts, we sincerely would
like to know. Our EMail addresses are sprinkled throughout each issue
- with the Internet gateway into GEnie, you can reach us through the
Internet also. Append "@genie.com" to any of our GEnie addresses.
If you are a regular user of PGP, you can EMail AEO Magazine
<firstname.lastname@example.org> using this key:
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Until the next issue of AEO, I remain,
(This issue printed on recycled photons)
No Inflation Necessary
Sweet As Sugar
Atari Explorer Online Magazine is a monthly publication covering the
entire Atari community. Reprint permission is granted, unless
otherwise noted at the beginning of the article, to registered Atari
user groups and not for profit publications under the following terms
only: articles must remain unedited and include the issue number and
author at the top of each article reprinted. Other reprints granted
upon approval of request. Send requests to <email@example.com>.
No issue of Atari Explorer Online Magazine may be included on any
commercial media, nor uploaded or transmitted to any commercial
online service, in whole or in part, by any agent or means, without
the expressed consent or permission from the Editor or Publisher of
Atari Explorer Online Magazine.
Opinions presented herein are those of the individual authors and do
not necessarily reflect those of the staff, or of the publishers. All
material herein is believed accurate at the time of publishing.
Atari, ST, Mega ST, STE, Mega STE, TT030, Atari Falcon030, TOS,
MultiTOS, NewDesk, BLiTTER, Atari Lynx, ComLynx, Atari Jaguar, Atari
Portfolio, and the Atari Fuji Symbol are all trademarks or registered
trademarks of Atari Corporation. All other trademarks and identifying
marks mentioned in this issue belong to their respective owners.
Atari Explorer Online Magazine
"Your Source for Atari News"
Copyright (c) 1993-1995, Subspace Publishers
* * *
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:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A E O :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
:: Volume 4, Issue 8 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE October 10, 1995 ::