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Atari Explorer Online Jaguar Special Edition 03

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Atari Explorer Online
 · 22 Aug 2019


:: Special Jag Edition E3 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE May 20, 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 ::
:: Atari Artist ............................. Peter Donoso ::
:: User Group Coordinator .................... Ron Whittam ::
:: Jaguar Editor ...................... Christian Svensson ::
:: UK Correspondent .................. Darren "Dooz" Bates ::
:: 8-bit Editor .............................. John Hardie ::
:: ::
:: Contributors: ::
:: """"""""""""" ::
:: Joe Catadulla, Robert Jung, Jim Marsteller ::
:: Don Thomas, David A. Wright ::
:: ::
:: Telecommunicated to you via: ::
:: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" ::
:: GEnie: ST/JAGUAR RT Library 38 ::
:: AOL: VIDEO GAMES FORUM Hints, Tips and Tricks II Library ::
:: CompuServe: ATARIGAMING Library 10, VIDGAME Library 15 ::
:: Fnet: AEO Conference, Node 319 ::
:: AtariNet: AEO Conference, Node 51:1/10 ::
:: ::
:: FTP recent AEO issues from: ::
:: Search gopherspace under "aeo" for back issues ::
:: ::
:: World Wide Web: ::
:: ::
:: ::
:: ::
:: EMail Request address: ::
:: ::
:: >>> To subscribe to AEO, send a message to the request ::
:: >>> address, with the following line (no subject): ::
:: >>> ::
:: >>> subscribe aeo-by-email ::
:: >>> ::
:: >>> and your address will be added to the list. To ::
:: >>> unsubscribe from AEO, send the following: ::
:: >>> ::
:: >>> unsubscribe aeo-by-email ::
:: >>> ::
:: >>> to the same request address, making sure you send ::
:: >>> it from the same address you subscribed from. ::
:: ::
:: AEO is also in file format on the Jaguar Mailing List ::
:: ::

Table of Contents

* From the Editors ..................................... Facing the changes.

* Jaguar Tackboard .............. A major rewrite of the Development List -
Subspace's E3 videos - Atari PRs - Time-
Warner PRs - Jag VR Specs - CatBox
extras - Don on: Atari at E3.

* Surfing the Jagged Edge .......... E3 reports are the focus, with several
viewpoints provided, including AEO's
own Sven & Jim - Battlesphere update.

* Cuppa with the Dooz ............... In the wake of E3, the ECTS shouldn't
be forgotten. Dooz was there, and
here's his report on Jaguar's
European approach.

* Jeff Minter GEnie RTC .................. A two hour online party with the
Yakmaster himself. Pop the top
on an Inca Kola and join in!

* Theme Park .......................... Come one, come all! Set up your own
amusement park and befuddle the
punters with sights both
amazing and profitible.

* CatBox ............................. An all-in-one audio/video/networking
port box for your Jaguar.

* Rare Gems .......................................... Quotes worth quoting.

* 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:

Greetings! Welcome to the latest (in both meanings of the word) issue
of Atari Explorer Online, your window on events in the World Atari -
and what a transitional world it is.

Atari's wrapped up what I understand to be a moderately successful
showing at last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los
Angeles. Company success at shows like E3 is generally measured in
abstracts like, deals made, interest shown, and paths opened. Atari
officials returned from the show happy.

Happy about what though? What was Atari's focus at the show? One quite
silly rumor before the show had Atari there to showcase their latest
game, Hover Strike. Some said that Atari would be a no-show or
low-show, because of the introduction of new consoles from their

But Atari was there, nestled between the much larger Sega and Sony
areas. Atari was showing their newest venture, the Jaguar Virtual
Reality gear they are working on with Virtuality. A well early version
of Missile Command VR was running, and Virtuality themselves brought
over working PC-based copies of one of their current VR games, Zone
Hunter - slated to appear on Jaguar as well. All of this was met with
near universal approval and interest.

Atari wants to have VR product (goggles, tracking joystick, 1-2 games)
out in time for the Holiday shopping season, and have expressed this.
(See the PR in this issue.) No "promises" are made. Atari's intents
is clear, though.

Atari was also showing many "different stages of completion" games,
both its own titles, as well as third party works. Defender 2000,
Thea Relm Fighters, Battlesphere, Fight For Life (there's not been a
"review" of this yet, despite what some claim), White Men Can't Jump,
Ultra Vortex, Rayman (yes, coming out on the Jaguar -first-, as
reported here long ago), Hover Hunter, and Highlander I all received
praise of various sorts. Jaguar owners will have their pick from hot
games, and hit games.

Atari has set August as the time when enough CD software will be
"ready" to support the introduction of the Jaguar CD. Yes, we're all
tired of waiting, but rather than do what would be good for us ("Atari
just should release the CD without software!"), or what's easier-said-
than-done, ("Atari just should get the games done before it's too
late!"), Atari is executing a deliberate plan to "be there", on
welcome shelves, with attractive product, at attractive price points,
by the fall.

Atari does not feel that other consoles have more power inherent than
Jaguar does. Atari does feel confident that with Nintendo's announced
delay in bringing their new console to market, Atari does have a good
chance to establish a wider (mass) market this year. Atari has made
several new deals for product distribution in Europe, and is working
on such here in the US. Atari is looking to the future, with its next-
generation hardware still under design.

It's going to take a lot of work, but the good people at Atari, as
well as their developers and other supporters, will put forth their
best effort to make Jaguar a success. We at AEO will be there, to
document the trip.

Lots of "bad luck" has kept this issue of AEO in limbo for way too
long. Even now, the Atari computer side of the issue is vacant.
Several hardware failures (hard drive failures, system failures) have
rendered the usual stable of computer writers mute. That, combined
with the rush of events that's surrounded the Jaguar in the past few
weeks have dictated that this issue be another "all-Jaguar" issue.

I know that this is a disappointment to many readers. I have been
working these past few days to round up some articles for the next
issue, and I believe that some of my attempts will bear fruit.

In the issue itself, the latest edition of the Jaguar Tackboard. Many
changes have been made to the development list, several press
releases have been issued, and all that follows this editorial.

Next, Dimitri takes us to E3 through the words of several attendees
found online, and written for the issue. (There's also a few other
non-E3 items of note.) Dooz's report from the ECTS runs after that.
Yes, it's "old" news, in online terms, but don't skip it. There's a
few nuggets there that you won't find in any E3 report.

The issue closes with the transcript of Jeff Minter's GEnie
conference, and reviews of Theme Park and CatBox. It's an odd issue,
but it's an accurate reflection of what's going on. (And that's
supposed to be what we're here for.)

Settle back, fire up your reader, and thanks for choosing AEO! We'll
see you back here, next 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
<entry$> if you're not on GEnie). Regular EMail
correspondence with the IAJD should be sent to IAJD$ (again, or
<iajd$> 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: <>

Leave the subject line blank. In the body of the EMail, include this

subscribe jaguar-l FirstName LastName

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

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

//// AEO Development List 2.05

//// Editor: The following list of game titles has been confirmed to
the best of AEO's ability as of May 8, 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
""" """"" """ """"""""" """""""""
P AirCars 7/95 MidNite MidNite
u C Alien vs. Predator: The CD 2/96 Atari
u Arena Football League 8/95 V Real Productions Atari
C Artemis Mid96 Springer Spaniel Springer
n Attack of the Mutant Penguins 10/95 Atari
u C Baldies 8/95 Atari Atari
u C Batman Forever 4/96 Atari Atari
u C Battlemorph 8/95 Attention to Detail Atari
u Battlesphere 9/95 4Play 4Play
Battlewheels 1995 Beyond Games Beyond Games
u C Black ICE\White Noise 12/95 Atari Atari
u C Blue Lightning 8/95 Attention to Detail Atari
u C Brain Dead 13 10/95 Readysoft Readysoft
u C Brett Hull Hockey 11/95 Atari
u Casino Royale - Telegames Telegames
Center Court Tennis ? Zeppelin Games
u Charles Barkley Basketball 9/95 Atari
u C Commando 11/95 Microids Atari
Conan - Arcade Zone
u C Creature Shock 8/95 Argonaut Software Virgin
u 'Dactyl Joust 11/95 High Voltage Atari
n C Dante 6/96 Atari
n Deathwatch 12/95 Visual Design Atari
u C Defender 2000 10/95 LlamaSoft Atari
u C Demolition Man 8/95 Virgin Interactive Atari
C Deus ex Machina 12/95 Silmarils
u C Dragon's Lair 8/95 ReadySoft ReadySoft
Droppings ? Delta Music Systems
n C Dune Racer 1/96 Atari
Dungeon Depths ? MidNite
? Evidence ? Microids
C FIFA International Soccer - Electronic Arts
u Fight For Life 7/95 Atari Atari
P Flashback 7/95 Tiertex Ltd. U.S. Gold
u Flip Out 8/95 Gorilla Systems Atari
u C Formula Racing (was F1 Racer) 11/95 Domark Group Ltd. Atari
u Frank Thomas Baseball 4/96 Acclaim Atari
u C Freelancer 2120 Q3/95 Imagitec Design Atari
Galactic Gladiators ? Photosurrealism
u Hardball 3 - Atari Atari
u C Highlander I 8/95 Lore Design Ltd. Atari
u C Highlander II 10/95 Lore Design Ltd. Atari
u C Highlander III 11/95 Lore Design Ltd. Atari
Horrorscope - V-Real Productions
u Hover Hunter 9/95 Hyper Image Atari
n C Hover Strike CD 9/95 Atari Atari
u Hyper Force - Visual Impact C-West
Indiana Jags - Virtual Xperience
n C Iron Soldier II 1/96 Eclipse Atari
n Ironman/Exoman 1/96 Acclaim Atari
C Ishar Genesis 12/95 Silmarils
C Jack Nicholas Cyber Golf ? Hand Made Software Atari
James Pond 3 Q2/95 Telegames
? Kick Off 3 ? Anco Software Ltd.
u Legions of the Undead Q4/95 Rebellion Software Atari
? Lester the Unlikely ? DTMC
C Litil Divil - Gremlin Interactive
C Lobo ? Ocean Software Ltd.
u C Magic Carpet 12/95 Bullfrog Atari
n Max Force 9/95 Atari
n C Mind-ripper (was The Outpost) 2/96 Atari
n V Missile Command VR 12/95 Atari
? Mountain Sports ? DTMC
u C Mortal Kombat III 4/96 Williams Atari
H MPEG - Atari Atari
n C Myst 8/95 Atari
u NBA Jam TE 12/95 Acclaim Atari
Nanoterror ? Delta Music Systems
C Need For Speed - Electronic Arts
Nerves of Steel ? Rainmaker Software
u C Netwar (was Redemption) Q3/95 Atari Atari
? C Neurodancer ? PIXIS Interactive
P Pinball Fantasies 6/95*8*Spider Soft C-West
u Pitfall 2: The Mayan Adventure 8/95 Activision
u Power Drive Rally 7/95 Rage Software Time-Warner
C Powerslide 1995 Williams Brothers Telegames
u C Primal Rage 11/95 Time-Warner Time-Warner
Rainbow Warrior ? 3D Games
u RayMan 7/95 UBI Soft UBI Soft
Return of Magic Q4/95 Virtual Artistry
C Return to Zork - Activision
u C Rise of the Robots Q4/95 Williams Brothers Time-Warner
u C Robinson's Requiem 8/95 Silmarils Atari
u Ruiner 8/95 High Voltage Atari
u Skyhammer 10/95 Rebellion Software Atari
u Soccer Kid 8/95 Krisalis Software Ocean
u C Soulstar 9/95 Core Design Atari
u C Space Ace 8/95 ReadySoft ReadySoft
u Space War 9/95 Atari
u C Starlight Bowl-a-rama 10/95 V-Real Productions
u Super Burnout 6/95 Shen Atari
u Super Kart 10/95 Cyberdreams
Super Off-Road - Telegames
u Supercross 3D - Atari
T-Mek - Time-Warner
u C Thea Relm Fighters 10/95 High Voltage Atari
u Tiny Toons Adventures ? Telegames Atari
Ultimate Brain Games - Telegames
u Ultra Vortex 7/95 Beyond Games Atari
u C Varuna's Forces 11/95 Accent Media Atari
u C Vid Grid 8/95 Atari Atari
Virtual Warriors ? Rainmaker Software
C Virtuoso 1995 Williams Brothers Telegames
Waterworld ? Ocean Software Ltd.
u C Wayne Gretzky NHL Hockey 11/95 Time-Warner Time-Warner
u White Men Can't Jump 7/95 High Voltage Atari
Wild Cup Soccer 1995 Telegames
C Wing Commander III - Electronic Arts
u World Class Cricket - Telegames
? World Cup ? Anco Software Ltd.
n V Zone Hunter - Virtuality Virtuality
Zzyorxx II - Virtual Xperience

//// Unnamed Titles in Development

S M Title ETA Developer Publisher
""" """"" """ """"""""" """""""""
H Jaguar / PC card ? Sigma Designs Sigma
3D shooter ? iThink
Football - Atari
Miniature Golf ? DTMC
Racing - Gremlin Graphics
Fighter - Level 7
C Sports - AM1 Atari
Movie tie-in -

//// Current Releases

M Title Rated Company Publisher
" """"" """"""" """"""" """""""""
Alien vs. Predator 9 Rebellion Atari
Brutal Sports Football 7 Millenium/Teque Telegames
Bubsy 6 Imagitec Design Atari
Cannon Fodder 7 Virgin Interactive C. West
H Cat Box N/ANEW Black Cat Design Black Cat
Checkered Flag 5 Rebellion Atari
Club Drive 7 Atari Atari
Crescent Galaxy 3 Atari Atari
Cybermorph 7 Attention to Detail Atari
Doom 9 id Software Atari
Double Dragon V - NEW Williams Enter. Williams
Dragon 7 Virgin Interactive Atari
Evolution Dino-Dudes 6 Imagitec Design Atari
Hover Strike - NEW Atari Atari
International Sensible Soccer - NEW Williams Brothers Telegames
Iron Soldier 10 Eclipse Atari
Kasumi Ninja 8 Hand Made Software Atari
Raiden 6 Imagitec Design Atari
Syndicate - Bullfrog Ocean
Tempest 2000 10 LlamaSoft Atari
Theme Park 6 Bullfrog Ocean
Troy Aikman NFL Football 7 Telegames Williams
Wolfenstein 3D 8 id Software Atari
Val d'Isere Skiing... 5 Virtual Studio 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.

//// Subspace E3 Videos - In The Can

Are you sick of all that background crowd noise on your show tapes?
Don't like glare on your non-direct feeds either? Well, the fellows at
Subspace Publishers used a professional SVHS camera (for quality
video), microphones right to the speakers (sound quality on most games
is excellent), glare guards to cut down on glare... and all this
=just= for those feeds that were not direct from a console.

We're just about to start our professional editing, mastering and
duplication process. The result? Well, if quality is what you want...
and if you really want to see what you're going to be playing in the
next year and beyond... then these are the tapes for you. We took
feeds (most are not direct) of nearly every title in development
shown for 32X, Saturn, Playstation, Jaguar, 3DO and Nintendo, all so
you can make better informed buying decisions in the coming months.
It's a tough industry, but someone's got to cover it, and no one does
it quite like Subspace.

Last summer, hundreds of orders were filled for our "AEO at SCES"
video which featured exclusive interviews with Atari personnel, and
direct video and audio feeds from over 20 Jaguar games. Customers were
uniformly pleased at what a direct-from-the-floor videotape brought
them, and Subspace Publishers hope to have lightning strike once
again, this time not only for Jaguar fans, but for owners of/those
interested in offerings for Nintendo, Sega, Sony and 3DO consoles

Christian Svensson and Jim Marsteller have both made it back to the
East Coast from E3, and have sent the raw SVHS tapes they made to Mark
Santora (Subspace Publishers' own Director's Guild applicant), who
is logging, and who will next week be professionally editing and
mastering the videos on SVHS. All VHS videotapes will be commercially
duplicated for the best overall quality. (Subspace Publishers would
never sell videotapes made on someone's daisychained VCRs!)

Turnaround time will be kept to a minimum. Subspace Publishers hope to
begin shipping pre-orders by June 1st.

//// AEO at E3 '95

It was an exciting time at the Atari booth, as over forty games were
shown. Furthermore the unveiling of the Jaguar VR hardware made the
show that much more exciting. AEO was there and brings you the best
coverage of the games and harware you want to see. Curious about how
Fight for Life looks now? Want to see Primal Rage on the Jag? Do you
want to see the first game running on the actual Jaguar VR hardware?
Well, only AEO at E3 has all this and much, much more... Jim
Marsteller and Sven(!!!) have harnessed all of these in addition to
interviews with:

Jeff Minter from Llamasoft
Tim Huntsman from Beyond Games
Dean Fox, Senior VP of Marketing at Atari
Scott LeGrand and Stephanie Wuzkovitz from 4Play
Tom Harker from ICD/Black Cat/4Play
Peter Curry from C. West
and more...

Atari footage includes:

Indirect Feeds of:
Software running on Virtuality hardware

Direct Feeds of:
Pinball Fantasies Myst
Air Cars Ruiner
Fight For Life Vid Grid
Power Drive Rally BattleSphere
Rayman Charles Barkley Basketball
Ultra Vortex Hover Hunter
White Men Can't Jump Nerf Max Force (exclusive)
Baldies (poorly played :) Soul Star
Battlemorph Defender 2000
Blue Lightning SkyHammer
Creature Shock Thea Relm Fighters
Dragon's Lair Brett Hull Hockey
Flip Out Primal Rage
Highlander I Varuna's Forces
DeathWatch Hyper Force (exclusive)

and more...

There will be extras... like we had on our last video. Atari's ad
agency has supplied Subspace Publishers with copies of Jaguar
commercials to include on the video. The 100 Jaguar bumper stickers
for the first 100 pre-orders have already been spoken for.

AEO has always been regarded as the best source of information on the
Atari Jaguar, both online and off, and we hope to maintain that
standing with this planned two-hour video.

//// E3 1995: NextGen Debuts

E3 was one of the most exciting gaming shows ever and Subspace covered
all the platforms. Sony's presence was felt throughout the show with
killer titles like Wipe Out, Destruction Derby, and an arcade perfect
MKIII. Sega wasn't to be out done so easily as they presented Panzer
Dragoon, Daytona, Bug, and Virtua Fighter Deluxe (a texture mapped
VF). 3DO had a few tricks up its sleeve as we viewed the M2 demo and
got an exclusive with Trip in New York at its unveiling. Furthermore,
3DO also had PO'ed, Space Hulk, and Killing Time to add to its
impressive list of titles shown. Atari made a strong showing with
their VR hardware and demos, as well as Battlesphere, Hover Hunter,
and Defender 2000. Finally Nintendo, while not showing the U64
hardware, still had an interesting booth with DKC2, Chrono Trigger,
Secret of Evermore, and Killer Instinct for SNES and Virtual Boy.

This two-hour video will focus on the titles shown on all the
mainstream platforms, as well as a more general look at E3 (with a bit
of Hawkins' May 2nd 3DO conference) itself.

Games we have footage of are as follows:

Sony Playstation
Lemmings 3D - DIRECT Crazy Ivan - DIRECT
Toshinden Soccer
Powersport - DIRECT Assault Rigs - DIRECT
Killeak Syndicate Wars
Novastorm - DIRECT Sentient - DIRECT
Razorwing Goman
Twisted Metal FIFA Soccer
Parasite - DIRECT Tekken
ESPN Extreme Sports G-Police - DIRECT
Wipeout - DIRECT Loaded
Destruction Derby - DIRECT Disc World - DIRECT
Ballblazer X Mortal Kombat 3

Sega Saturn Sega 32X
""""""""""" """"""""
Daytona Rayman
VF Remix XMen
Panzer Dragon Virtua Fighter
Vgoal Kilobri
NHL All Star Hockey Xtreme Sports
Bug Spiderman:Web of Fire
Virtua Racer Shadow Squadron
Blackfire Zaxxon's Motherbase
Astal T-Mek
Robotica World Series Baseball
Street Fighter The Movie
And more.... Sega Arcade: Daytona

3DO Multiplayer
3DO M2 Demos
Slam N Jam
"Gyroscope" with Bladeforce
NHL Hockey
Ballz - The Director's Cut
World Cup Soccer
Flying Nightmares
AD&D Deathkeep
Defcon 5
Ice Breaker
Carrier: Fortress at Sea
Space Hulk
Killing Time

And more....

Virtual Boy: Telero Boxer
Galactic Pinball
Mario Clash

SNES: Donkey Kong Country 2
Killer Instinct
Mortal Kombat 3
And more....

There will be very little crossover between the two videos, perhaps
five minutes worth on each.

Here are the videotape ordering and pre-ordering details. If you have
any questions, please write:

--Travis Guy
Subspace Publishers

//// Pricing

Either video can be pre-ordered for $20.00 US, plus shipping.

Only personal checks drawn on U.S. banks in U.S. currency; cashiers
checks drawn from U.S. or large international banks in U.S. currency;
or money orders payable in U.S. currency (Preferred!), will be
accepted. Make all instruments of payment payable to Travis Guy, and
send them to:

Subspace Publishers
Route 2, Box 53
Altha, Florida 32421

Pre-orders will be deposited immediately to prevent individual shipping
delays. If you provide a valid Internet mailable address, Subspace
Publishers will be able to confirm receipt of your pre-order, and
shipment of your tape.

All prices quoted are in U.S. dollars. We cannot be responsible for
lost or misdirected mail. For quantity orders (five tapes and over),
contact Subspace Publishers via EMail or post.

This offer expires June 30, 1995. After that date, the cost for both
videotapes will increase.


//// Shipping Information

Shipping and handling for up to two tapes will be $3.00 (Priority
Mail) if you live in the U.S.; $4.75 for Canadian and Mexican orders;
$12.00 for European orders; and $16.00 for orders to Australia.

[*] If you live in North America, and if you buy ONE copy of BOTH [*]

The postal authorities promise prompt delivery (U.S. orders will be
sent via Priority Mail), but all we can guarantee is that the tapes
will be put in the mail promptly. All foreign orders must go through

Here is the latest rev of our un-snazzy order form to help you on your way:

------------------>8--------- clip --------->8------------------

Name: ________________________ Phone:___________________

Mailing ________________________ EMail
address address: ________________________
________________________ (For Confirmation)

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #
City:_________________ #
# Mail this form to:
State/Province:_________________ # Subspace Publishers
# Route 2, Box 53
Postal Code:_________________ # Altha, Florida 32421
Country:_________________ #
# # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Please send me ____ copy(es) of the
"AEO at E3 '95" video at $20.00 each...... $ ___.__

Please send me ____ copy(es) of the
"NextGen Debuts" video at $20.00 each..... $ ___.__

US Shipping & Handling: $3.00 each 2 videos*
Canadian & Mexican Shipping & Handling: $4.75 each 2 videos*
European Shipping & Handling: $12.00 each 2 videos
Australian Shipping & Handling: $16.00 each 2 videos
* (North American pre-orders for
one each of BOTH videos): FREE SHIPPING $ __.__

Florida residents add 6.00% sales tax..... $ __.__

Total..... $ ___.__

Make all instruments
payable to: Travis Guy

Important Notices: Subspace Publishers wants to provide the best
possible coverage of all events at E3 1995. In
case of accident, illness, or an Act of God or
of Fate that prevents the completion of the videos,
all orders will be returned. All payments will be
deposited upon receipt to avoid waiting for

//// E3 Jaguar Press Releases

//// New Jag Peripherals

CONTACT: Jessica Nagel or Tom Tanno
Dorf & Stanton Communications


SUNNYVALE, CA (May 11, 1995) -- Atari continues to provide new gaming
options for owners of its 64-bit Jaguar Interactive Entertainment
System. Key products to enhance the Jaguar play experience hit the
marketplace in 1995, with many more to come. "Since Jaguar has
already made the leap to 64-bit technology, we can now focus on
providing even more value to consumers by expanding the system with
new and innovative peripherals," says Sam Tramiel, CEO of Atari

One of the Jaguar extras is the much anticipated multimedia compact
disc (CD) player. Priced at approximately $150, the Jaguar CD player
attaches to the top of the Jaguar console. The Jaguar CD plays many
new CD games, including "Battlemorph", "Highlander", "Blue Lightning",
"Demolition Man", "Myst", and "Creature Shock" in addition to playing
standard audio disks. The Jaguar CD player provides 790 megabytes of
raw data storage, allowing video game programmers to incorporate more
complex digitized images, full-motion video sequences and high-quality
audio soundtracks. This powerful double-speed CD player also provides
fast access speed for smoother game play, and its massive data
capacity gives users better graphic detail, expanded plot lines and
more characters for an overall enhanced video game experience.
Additionally, built into the unit is the "Virtual Light Machine(tm)",
which creates and displays 81 different light patterns on the video
screen in response to music played through the system.

Mr. Tramiel says about the system, "The combination of the most
advanced technology, sophisticated software and affordable consumer
pricing sets Jaguar apart from all competitors." Target ship date for
the CD player is August, 1995.

For around $30, Jaguar owners can take advantage of the Jag Link(tm),
which allows users to play competitively side-by-side. The Jag Link
enables users to connect two Jaguar systems for simultaneous game
playing up to 100 feet apart. The Jag Link uses standard RJ11 phone
line cable for linking two Jaguar systems.

Team Tap(tm) is a new peripheral that for around $25 enables
competitive, simultaneous play for up to four players on one Jaguar.
The peripheral, which debuts with the new title "White Men Can't
Jump", provides players with a two-on-two playground simulation
experience. With two Jaguar systems and Team Tap, the competitive play
can be expanded up to eight players.

In addition, the Jaguar Voice/Data Communicator gives players the
ability to link up over the phone. Developed by fax-modem-voice
technology experts, Phylon Communications, the new technology permits
two players to compete using a phone connection. Players can speak
with each other during game play through the use of a headset. With
the utilization of a "call waiting" feature, players can also pause a
game to answer a phone call.

Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years.
Today, Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-Bit
entertainment system. Atari Corporation is located in Sunnyvale CA.

//// First Consumer Virtual Reality Video Game

CONTACT: for Atari Corporation
Jessica Nagel
Dorf & Stanton Communications

for Virtuality U.S.
Allison Ellis
Edelman Public Relations

Helen Horner/Ben Vaughan
Virtuality Group plc


Affordable 64-bit Jaguar VR sets industry standards; available by end
of year.

LOS ANGELES (May 11, 1995) -- The Jaguar VR, the world's first fully
immersive virtual reality game system for the consumer market, was
unveiled today at E3. It is being developed jointly by Atari
Corporation, developer of the world's first 64-bit game system, and
VIRTUALITY Group plc, the global market leader in VR systems.

The Jaguar VR incorporates VIRTUALITY's revolutionary new VR
head-mounted display (HMD) and optional track joystick, offering
unequaled display, audio, and tracking features. Atari's Jaguar VR
sets an impressive industry standard for home virtual reality systems
and has been designed with the highest international health and safety
regulations in mind.

According to Sam Tramiel, President of Atari, "There is not one
consumer VR product that can compete with the Jaguar in terms of
price, performance and quality. The Jaguar VR has been designed with
human factors in mind and sets the standard for the industry to
follow. We are committed to delivering great experiences and

The proprietary, ergonomic HMD weighs less than 1 pound and easily
adjusts to comfortably fit users, with or without glasses. It features
a custom-designed optical pupil projection system and a full-color
active matrix LCD screen. In addition, the HMD's 3D spatialized sound
system has been enhanced by placing speakers at the player's temple,
with sound projected back to the ears allowing for peripheral hearing.
A built-in microphone allows networked players to talk to each other.

A docking station, which links the Atari Jaguar system to the HMD and
joystick, houses the technologically advanced "V-Trak" infrared
tracking. This is the fastest tracker ever developed for consumer
application, reacting to real-time head and hand movements with no
perceptible lag time in the virtual world.

In addition, Jaguar VR is designed to be used only when a player is
sitting with the unit stationary on a flat surface. If a player
attempts to walk around while immersed in the game, an automatic
cutoff will be triggered.

Players who own an Atari Jaguar will be able to to upgrade by plugging
Jaguar VR into their existing system. The Jaguar VR has a targeted
retail price of $300.

Jaguar VR Software Development

Through a software licensing agreement, VIRTUALITY is developing
immersive virtual reality games for the Atari Jaguar VR. Atari's
classic home and arcade hit "Missile Command" is being recreated in VR
format by VIRTUALITY and will be available by the end of the year. In
addition, the popular VIRTUALITY arcade title "Zone Hunter" will also
be available for Jaguar VR with the system introduction. Discussions
are also underway with a number of third-party developers for the
creation of future games that take advantage of this unique technology
to create new experiences.

"The combination of Jaguar's 64-bit graphics processing power and our
IVR technology has produced a phenomenal, fully integrated VR consumer
product which has no competition, " said Jon Waldern, CEO of
VIRTUALITY Group plc. "This system expands the boundaries of the
in-home interactive games market and sets a new standard for others to
try to achieve.

Founded in 1987 in Leicester, England, VIRTUALITY Group plc. is the
world's leader in immersive virtual reality entertainment systems
worth more than 80 percent global market share. VIRTUALITY
Entertainment, Inc. headquartered in Irving, Texas, was established in
1993 as the U.S.-based subsidiary to oversee all North American
operations, sales, market development and distribution for its parent

Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years.
Today, Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-Bit
entertainment system. Atari Corporation is located in Sunnyvale CA.

//// Atari First Quarter Report

Contact: August J. Liguori
(408) 745-2069
(408) 745-2173

May 16, 1995

For Immediate Release


Sunnyvale, CA-- Atari Corporation (ASE:ATC) today reported its
financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 1995.

Net sales for the first quarter of 1995 were $4.9 million as compared
to $8.2 million for the first quarter of 1994. Late in the first
quarter, the Company lowered the wholesale price of the Jaguar 64-bit
multimedia entertainment system to allow for a $159 retail price. As a
result of the low sales volume and continued investment in marketing
activities during 1995, the Company incurred a net loss of $4.4
million for the first quarter of 1995 as compared to a net loss of
$0.9 million for the same quarter of 1994. The first quarter of 1994
was favorably impacted by the settlement of patent litigation in the
amount of $2.2 million.

Commenting on the results, Sam Tramiel, CEO, said "The Jaguar price
change was made possible due to technology advances and near term cost
savings. We have positioned the 64-bit Jaguar as new advanced
technology with great software, at an affordable price. With a retail
price of $159 or less, the 64-bit Jaguar is in a good position to be
the upgrade choice for the present 16-bit game owners. We are focused
on developing software for the Jaguar and preparing for the upcoming
fall selling season."

Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years.
Today, Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-bit
entertainment system. Atari is headquartered at 1196 Borregas Avenue,
Sunnyvale, California 94089.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except per share)

Quarter Ended
Mar 31, Mar 31,
1995 1994
-------- --------
Net Sales $4,874 $8,156
======== ========
Operating Income (loss) $(5,158) (3,372)
Exchange Gain (loss) 5 272
Other Income (Expense) Net 355 2,392 (a)
Interest Income Net of Interest (Expense) 372 (219)
-------- --------
Income (loss) Before Income Taxes $(4,426) (927)
-------- --------
Net Income (loss) $(4,426) $ (927)
======== ========
Earnings Per Common and Equivalent Share:
Net Income (loss) $ (0.07) $ (0.02)
======== ========
Weighted Average number of shares used
in computation 63,701 57,219

(a) Includes settlement of litigation.

//// Library Approaches 100 Titles in 1995

CONTACT: Jessica Nagel or Tom Tanno
Dorf & Stanton Communications


SUNNYVALE, CA (May 11, 1995) -- Atari Corporation announces that there
will be nearly 100 titles for its 64-bit Jaguar entertainment system
by the end of the year. "We will have every kind of game that players
want, from the best developers and publishers in the world." comments
Atari President Sam Tramiel.

Based on the popularity of "Tempest 2000", Atari is launching a
complete line of classic games, including "Dactyl Joust" and "Defender
2000", and "Missile Command VR" for the Jaguar VR. "Defender 2000" is
being developed with three distinct play modes for the Jaguar by Jeff
Minter, developer of "Tempest 2000". In addition, Atari will publish
classic games for the PC at the end of the year, beginning with
"Tempest 2000". Other new release titles include "Primal Rage" from
Time Warner Interactive, the "Highlander" RPG series, "Fight for Life"
and "NBA Jam Tournament Edition".

The featured titles at Atari Corporation's E3 booth in Los Angeles are
"TRF", "Rayman", "White Men Can't Jump" and "Ultra Vortex".

TRF: TRF combines the latest motion capture technology and nationally
known martial arts fighters in a wide variety of combat
scenarios. Featured fighters include Ho Sung Pak, Dr. Philip
Ahn, Katalin Zamiar and Daniel Pesina; who were all featured in
the "Mortal Kombat" games.

RAYMAN: Rayman lives in a fantasy land beyond the reaches of our
universe. Rayman must restore peace and harmony to his world
by defeating the evil Mr. Black and retrieve the stolen Great

WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP: Trash talk runs rampant in this "in-your-face",
two-on-two blacktop basketball shootout.
Automatic camera control zooms in and swings
around to catch all the action.

ULTRA VORTEX: Players become one of the ten eye-popping, bone
crunching warriors of the underground who battle it out
in mind-bending arenas carved out of living rock. They
have one goal in mind: Defeat the dreaded Guardian of
the Vortex.

Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years.
Today, Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-Bit
entertainment system. Atari Corporation is located in Sunnyvale CA.


Jaguar is a trademark of Atari Corporation. Atari is a registered
trademark of Atari Corporation. Other products may be trademarks of
their owning companies.

Primal Rage(tm) and all related elements are property of Time Warner

Rayman(tm) is a trademark of UBI Soft.

Ultra Vortex(tm) is a trademark of Beyond Games, Inc.

//// Two New Execs

CONTACT: Jessica Nagel or Tom Tanno
Dorf & Stanton Communications


SUNNYVALE, CA (May 1, 1995) -- Atari Corporation has powered up its
senior management team with the addition of top industry veterans Dean
Fox and Jon Correll. Mr. Fox comes on board as Senior Vice President
of Marketing and Correll as Vice President of Software Product

"The formidable skills and experience of Dean Fox and Jon Correll will
provide Atari with a focused marketing plan and the development of the
highest quality software for the consumer, taking full advantage of
Jaguar's capability including 60 FPS, 16 million colors and 64 Bit
Processing, " Sam Tramiel, CEO, Atari Corporation said in making the

Prior to joining Atari Corporation, Correll held the position of
Manager of Development Administration for Sega of America. At Sega,
Correll implemented and negotiated development contracts and produced
the first CD titles for Sega Corporation including "Night Trap".

Correll began his career in the software and gaming industry as
Manager of Product Development for Accolade in 1986. While at
Accolade, Correll produced some of the company's most popular games
including "Test Drive" and "Mean 18 Golf". Correll went on to consult
various Silicon Valley companies including EPYX and worked as Director
of Product Development for Three-Sixty.

Before joining Atari, Mr. Fox founded, staffed, and led the marketing
group for Rocket Science Games. Prior to RSG, Fox directed the launch
for Sega CD and led ongoing strategic marketing, product concept and
distribution consultation for several CD-ROM multimedia entertainment

In his marketing and advertising tenure, Fox contributed to the
introductions of many consumer products, including Sony Betamax and
JVC VHS Videocassette recorders, Sharp laptop computers, and Sega CD
multimedia game systems.

Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years.
Today, Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-Bit
entertainment system. Atari Corporation is located in Sunnyvale CA.

//// Power Drive Rally by TWI

CONTACT: Tracy Egan
Time Warner Interactive Games

New Atari(TM) Jaguar(TM) Title From Time Warner Interactive Shows Its

LOS ANGELES, May 11 -- Time Warner Interactive Inc., Consumer Games
Division announced the preview of "Power Drive Rally(TM)" for the
Atari(TM) Jaguar(TM) today at the E3 tradeshow in suite 309. Flying
gravel, spraying mud, squealing tires announce the arrival of your
all-terrain vehicle with opponents in hot pursuit -- better not look
back! Based on the official World Rally Championships, players jockey
for competitive times, major prize money, and sleek racing machines on
the international touring circuit. This high speed, strategic driving
game utilizes the power of the Atari Jaguar to project graphics so
detailed you'll feel the challenge of long distance racing in 38
international road rally courses. "Power Drive Rally" is expected to
ship in June, 1995 for an anticipated retail price of $54.95.

"Power Drive Rally(TM)" is the classic road rally, a two-member team
endurance race that makes regular speedway tracks look like a Sunday
drive. Your computerized driving partner is in charge of the map and
barks out directions to you as you negotiate fallen logs, snow drifts
and river beds making maneuvers around hazardous bends all the more
gripping. The quality of tracks and terrain are vivid with details
such as water pools reflecting the sky and clouds, tires creating skid
marks, shadows, dust clouds, brake lights, and exhaust plumes.

The Race Is On

"Power Drive Rally" is a one or two-player game, where racers go head
to head on 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.

Cross the start line with a fairly basic vehicle and a small wad of
cash in your pocket. You must tear across a range of terrain, from the
break of day to the dead of night to beat your opponents, win prize
money, and move onto more challenging vehicles and races. You'll find
each vehicle has its own handling nuances with differences in
cornering and road holding abilities as well as acceleration and

You're responsible for repairing and maintaining your cars. Fail to
heed excessive damage and you may be penalized with disqualification.
On the other hand as you accumulate prize money, you can tirade your
car in for a higher spec model and gain automatic entry to higher
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. (NYSE: TWX), develops and publishes interactive consumer
entertainment products that span across platforms from location-based
and video arcade games, to video game cartridges and computer
platforms including: Sega(TM) Genesis(TM), Sega (TM) 32X(TM), Sega
(TM) Game Gear (TM), Super Nintendo Entertainment System(R), Game
Boy(TM), Sony Playstation(TM), Atari(R) Jaguar(TM), 3DO(TM), CD-ROM
for IBM(R) and compatible computers and Macintosh(R) and interactive
TV applications for entertainment and gaming markets.

NOTE: All product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of
their respective owners.

//// Wayne Gretzky & NHLPA All-Stars

CONTACT: Tracy Egan
Time Warner Interactive Games

LOS ANGELES, May 11 -- Today at the E3 Tradeshow, Time Warner
Interactive, Consumer Games Division (TWi) demonstrated their new
"Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars(TM)" title on four systems at
the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall, in Suite 309. Viewed
for the first time were versions for the PC CD-ROM, Atari(R)
Jaguar(TM), and Super NES(TM). A final version for the Sega(TM)
Genesis(TM) was available and will ship May 26, 1995.

"Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars" is a result of TWi's dual
license: an exclusive three-year contract with Wayne Gretzky, all-time
NHL scoring leader and four time Stanley Cup winner, and a license
with The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) that
brings professional hockey players' names, profiles and statistics to
the game.

"The sports market is very competitive -- we're going for winners, by
pulling together the best technology, licenses, and talent," commented
Mark Beaumont, Senior Vice President Product Development and Marketing
at TWi. "We have a lot of experience creating sports titles and we're
going out strong with 'Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars.'"
Beaumont noted, "With two years of research and development on top of
our three-year Gretzky exclusive, we've set the foundation for a
winning line-up."

"Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars" looks and plays realistically
because professional gameplay was captured on video and in 3D rendered
animations. To capture the real movements and character of Wayne
Gretzky, Gretzky himself was filmed for use in the CD versions
skating, passing, blocking, and scoring. The title features digitized
film footage of NHLPA players to accentuate critical moments like
face-offs, blocks and goal scoring. Video footage was taken, digitized
and imported into a computer software package where character outlines
or animated "skeletons" were constructed to recreate true movements
and actions.

The title features over 600 professional hockey players including 26
North American teams and six International All-Star teams. Battery
back-up lets you track wins and stats, trade players, edit team
line-ups and names, and go for a full 84 game season with playoffs.
Designed so that with just three pushes of the button you're on the
ice, "Wayne Gretzky and the NHLPA All-Stars" puts you at center-rink
for a unique close-to-the-action perspective. Video clips of referees
appear to keep order during play and digitized audio announces
penalties and goals. Player animations are 20% larger than images in
competitive hockey games and details such as backwards skating action
and the sounds of puck slaps and stadium music add to the realism.

Time Warner Interactive, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Time
Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), develops and publishes interactive consumer
entertainment products that span across platforms from location-based
and video arcade games, to video game consoles and computer platforms,
compatible computers, and interactive TV applications for
entertainment and gaming markets.

NOTE: All product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of
their respective owners.

//// Primal Rage

CONTACT: Tracy Egan
Time Warner Interactive Games

Head-To-Head Fighting Action At E3 Tradeshow With 'Primal Rage'
Dominating Home Platforms

LOS ANGELES, May 11 -- Building off the success of their hit arcade
game, "Primal Rage"(TM), Time Warner Interactive, Inc., Consumer Games
Division (TWi) today previewed "Primal Rage" on eight home gaming and
computer platforms at the E3 Tradeshow in their suite 308, in the
South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. International
distribution for all eight versions demonstrated, as well as software
for three more versions, are scheduled for release on two dedicated
launch dates this Fall, 1995.

On August 25, the company will release the Sega Genesis(TM), Super
Nintendo Entertainment System(R), Sega Game Gear(TM), Nintendo(R) Game
Boy(TM) and PC CD-ROM versions. November 14 is the date for the second
wave of software on new gaming systems including the Sega Saturn(TM),
Sega 32X(TM), 3DO(R), Sony(R) PlayStation(TM), and Atari(R)
Jaguar(TM), as well as the Macintosh(R) CD-ROM.

"For a company to support a game on so many platforms is
unprecedented," commented Mark Beaumont, Senior Vice President,
Marketing and Product Development at TWi. "We chose to take an
aggressive stance following the reception the game received at the
arcades last summer. We know we have a mega-hit on our hands and will
support the launch with extensive TV and print advertising campaigns
as well as special events and on-line activities."

Hit Arcade Title Moves Home

"Primal Rage" is a head-to-head fighting game with an original look
that features seven fantasy, pre-historic characters in a battle for
supremacy. In creating "Primal Rage," TWi went back to the classics to
invent something entirely brand new. Stop-frame animation, the process
long used in Hollywood for movies such as "King Kong" and employed
today for feature film special effects, was key in creating the game's
look. The result is life-like prehistoric characters that move with
unmatched fluidity, in a game loaded with detail and personality.

The popularity of "Primal Rage" goes far beyond the appeal of the
characters. The nearly unlimited fighting engine makes "Primal Rage" a
game with more combination potential than practically any other

game to date. Each character has an individualized fighting
style, and set of more than 70 moves including: fighting moves,
powerful "secret" moves, masterful combo hits, graphic finishing
sequences, punches, reactions to being punched, death sequences,
victory sequences, and ready poses. The originality of the characters,
the sheer number and ingenuity of their actions, taken in combination
with the precision of the fighting collision-matrix, come together in
an innovative, and addictive fighting game.

TWi's goal is to have all versions look and play like the arcade
experience. To that end, the original source code is being used to
create software for the home versions and will be re-worked to take
advantage of each gaming console and computer system's strengths.
Fans of "Primal Rage" at the arcade will find home play to not only
stay true to the original, but most versions will also include
additional options such as a dinosaur tug-of-war and four-on-four

Time Warner Interactive, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Time
Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), develops and publishes interactive consumer
entertainment products that span across platforms from location-based
and video arcade games, to video game consoles and computer platforms
including: Sega Saturn(TM), Sega Genesis(TM), Sega(TM) 32X(TM),
Sega(TM) CD, Sega Game Gear(TM), Super Nintendo Entertainment
System(R), Game Boy(TM), Atari(R) Jaguar(TM), Sony(R) PlayStation(TM),
CD-ROM for IBM(R) and compatible computers, Macintosh(R), and
interactive TV applications for entertainment and gaming markets. All
product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their
respective owners.

//// Jaguar VR - Official Specs

Head Mounted Display (HMD) - Less than 1 pound. Two degrees of freedom
(DOF) tracking, stereo sound, and 52 degree
horizontal by 40 degree vertical field of
view. Uses a single 0.7" TFT active matrix
color LCD containing 104,000 pixels.

Optical System - Custom-designed pupil projection with aspheric acrylic
lenses, beam splitters, mirrors and thin film coatings.
Large exit pupil size of 5mm x 14mm. Can be used by
anyone with an interpupilliary distance between
45mm and 70mm.

Focus Adjustment - There is no need for focus adjustment because the
optical system is highly tolerant, projecting a
binocular image, aligned to infinity to both eyes.

Tracking Systems - "V-Trak" is the fastest tracker ever developed for
the consumer market, with a sample rate of 250Hz
and a lagtime of only 4 milliseconds.

Optional Joystick - Offers two of six degrees of freedom, allowing
greater control over movements in the virtual
world. Jaguar VR games can also be played with the
standard Jaguar controller.

Docking Station - Houses "V-Trak" position sensing system, a joystick
interface and high speed communications link to the
Jaguar for transferring audio and visual tracking

Atari has been in the video game business for over twenty years. Today,
Atari markets Jaguar, the only American made, advanced 64-Bit
entertainment system. Atari Corporation is located in Sunnyvale, CA.

//// CatBox Parts & Accessories

The following CatBox parts and accessories are available from ICD and
better dealers.

CatBox Complete $69.95

//// Video Cables & adapters
Composite Video & Audio 6 foot $ 9.95
Composite Video & Audio 12 foot $14.95
S-Video Cable 6 foot $ 8.95
S-Video Cable 12 foot $12.95
AtariSC RGB adapter $14.95
Amiga23 RGB adapter $14.95
HD15S RGB adapter $ 9.95
Custom RGB adapter $19.95 (supply pinouts)

//// Audio Cables
Headphone extension 10 foot $ 9.95
Stereo Audio 6 foot $ 3.95
Stereo Audio 12 foot $ 5.95

//// Communications cables
Modular null modem cable 25 foot $ 9.95
CatNet cable 25 foot $ 4.95

//// Replacements for lost or damaged parts
CatNet terminator $ 4.95
CatBox AVC PCB Complete $39.95
CatBox I/O PCB Complete $29.95
CatBox Case Complete $19.95

Since all of the electronics are located on the top CatBox AVC PCB,
replacing this board should solve 99% of all problems that you may

If you cannot find these products or parts at your computer or
electronics dealer, send check, money order (US$ drawn on a US bank)
for the correct amount or your Visa or Mastercard number along with
your order to ICD. Please include $5 shipping & handling for
continental USA shipments or $10 for all other orders. Illinois
residents please add 6.25% sales tax. Sorry, no CODs or foreign bank

CatBox and CatNet are trademarks of Black Cat Design, Inc. Copyright
1995 All rights reserved. Produced by ICD, Inc.
All other trademarks are those of their respective holders.

For orders or more information contact:

ICD, Inc.
1220 Rock Street
Rockford, IL 61101

815-968-2228 ext. 222 phone
815-968-6888 fax

Email addresses:
CompuServe: 76004,1600

//// Don's View of LA

In a special CatNips, Don Thomas, Director of Atari Customer Service,
tells us of his LA experiences. Reprinted with permission:

A lot of people are asking me to debrief the Electronic
Entertainment Expo (E3). First, although I am obligated to say it
was fantastic, it *was* fantastic. Here's how it went for me...

Wednesday, May 10, 1995: I arrive to work as always in the morning
and complete as many unfinished tasks as possible. My biggest
concern is to keep the promotional fulfillments on track while I am
away and I was satisfied about that by the time I left. My flight
out of San Jose to LAX was at 1:50. I arrived to the gate about an
hour in advance. I carried with me my luggage, printed materials for
a rep meeting and one of the many CD-ROM players that would be on
display at the show. Southwest has a "friends fly free" promotion
and my flying buddy was John Skruch. I remember we received boarding
passes numbers 4 and 5. John wanted number 4 as I recall because
that is how old his son is. I think I remember Sam Tramiel had
boarding pass number 8 for the sake of some obscure trivia game in
the future. Our group on this flight included me, John Skruch, Sam
Tramiel, Lynn Latz, Shirley Taylor, Loic Duval and Scott Sanders.

The flight took about one hour or so and we arrived in LAX without a
hitch. John and I rented 4 wheel drive vehicles because we would
need them to visit retailers after the show on a couple of evenings.
When we arrived to the Avis lot, Sam volunteered to get my vehicle
for me (I was tied down with a lot of stuff). I did plan to tip him
a $1, but there was a misunderstanding about the vehicle and I never
got to joke with him by handing it to him. After getting our cars,
we assigned navigators and we headed for downtown LA. Scott Sanders
was my navigator and Sam rode in the back.

We took 110 North and exited at Ninth Street. Our hotels were on
Figueroa Street. Sam stayed at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel while
most of us were at the Omni Los Angeles (formerly a Hilton); a
couple blocks away. We dropped Sam off, then Scott and I went to
check in at the Omni. After dropping off our things, we walked to
the Los Angeles Convention Center. The walk took about 12 minutes
from the front door of the hotel to the front door of the convention
center. Across from the entrance of the center was a mammoth Rayman
on top of a building. It was one of those colorful inflated balloons
that always seem to draw attention. When we arrived we could not
recall which hall our booth was located (the show took up two major
size halls plus one smaller one). Consequently, Scott and I took a
preshow tour of the West Hall briefly until we figured out Atari was
in another hall. We did manage to figure out we were supposed to be
in the South hall and we headed that way.

It always amazes me when I go to these things a day early and see
the condition of the booths. All your senses tell you that hundreds
of man hours of work lie ahead before the show starts, yet the
rational mind reminds you that the show opens 10 am the next morning
no matter what shape its in. Everything is in disarray. The aisles
are full of high-powered forklifts and booth parts, empty boxes and
ones that aren't so empty. After the realization of how much work
there is to do in what little time is left, I am struck by the awe
of the size of investments companies make at these shows. There was
a small mock up of the Enterprise bridge, a full scale battle tank
as well as the Batmobile and a working waterfall. There were miles
and miles of cables, lights, portable walls and many of the booths
go so far as to have plumbing installed for just the three days of
the show.

The Atari booth was as awesome as most all the others. It was
creatively constructed to appear as two large booths although it
really was only one. On the front side were two podiums that were
topped by one chair each. These would be the Virtual Reality (VR)
stations. Next to each station was a display case to allow visitors
to see the Jaguar VR headsets closeup. The real estate at the center
of the booth was taken up by a huge building with about 6 rooms.
The two forward rooms were primarily designated for very private
previews of the Jaguar VR headset. The two middle rooms plus the one
at the far left were used as sales rooms and a sixth room at the far
back was used as a dressing room for the Thea Relm Fighters as well
as a storage area. The "building" had high walls and it was made of
a highly appealing patterned red material with towering yellow
spires that were layered to show depth and dimension. A huge Jaguar
banner hung from the ceiling and could be seen when entering the

The carpeted areas in front of the offices and behind the VR
stations had numerous Jaguar kiosks with a different new Jaguar game
running on each one. Behind the offices were four huge displays. One
featured Thea Relm Fighters, one sported White Men Can't Jump, one
spotlighted Ultra Vortex and the fourth one highlighted Rayman.
Between these were numerous additional kiosks.

When I arrived to the booth, the major work had been finished by the
union builders and the details were being put into place. Specific
posters were designated for each office. Certain brochures had to be
placed in the right places. Giveaways had to be accessible and all
the displays and kiosks had to be dusted. As I helped, Ron Beltramo
called the booth and asked for me. He said he needed one of the
boxes I had brought from Sunnyvale taken to the Bonaventure for a
rep meeting that evening. It was the box I had left at the Omni, so
I walked back to get it and take it to him.

The Bonaventure is one of those magnificent hotels. It's one of
those with elevators on the outside of the building. From street
level, you see the numerous people containers seemingly race each
other up and down the skeletal beams of the building. From inside
each elevator, the rider sees a breathtaking view of lights and
motion as if in a small plane skimming the sky. I think I remember
that the Rep meeting was in Suite 1308. I took the box there and
found that there were a row of suites that were being prepared for
the meeting to be held an hour or so later. I was still dressed in
my Jurassic Park shirt and jeans so I thought it best to leave the
meeting up to the suits that were there and I returned to my hotel.
As a side note, there was a lot of filming going on at the
Bonaventure as well in the city streets as we were leaving on the
last day. I think the movie was called In the Nick Of Time or some
such thing because that was painted on some of the crowd barriers.

Once back to my hotel, I showered, called my wife then went on a mad
hunt for food.

Thursday May 11, 1995: By 8:15 a.m. I was to meet John Skruch at the
hotel garage and that's exactly the schedule we kept. We had to get
some items out of storage, load them in our 4WDs and escort the Thea
Relm Fighters over to the convention center. By 9:00 a.m. we were at
the convention center. By this time, the trucks were off the floor,
the aisle carpeting had been laid and only a few booths looked as if
they may not make it completely by the time the show opened at 10
a.m. All of us made a final check at stations to which we were
assigned to be sure software and hardware was functioning, our
Jaguar pins were straight, and our smiles were fresh and friendly.

The show opening was fun to see. There were the natural crowd draws
such as the Batmobile and actors dressed as Klingons, but it was
clear to me that a lot of people had specific agendas and it seemed
a lot of them had Jaguar at the top of their list. The booth was
instantly full of people and it remained that way until after last
call on the last day. In fact a Sega employee we ran into at the
airport remarked to a couple of us that he was amazed at how crowded
our booth always was.

Now may be a good time to describe what E3 is. E3 is a trade show.
In this case, the trade show is focused on a theme of primarily
computer and video gaming. It is not open to the public, but to the
buyers in stores that decide what you will see on their shelves for
the next 6 months to a year. The show is an opportunity for
manufacturers and developers to romance new business and network new
projects. Resumes are often exchanged and old friends are reunited
after having not worked together for a long time. The displays and
booth space at these shows can easily cost into the hundreds of
thousands of dollars not to mention the cost to staff or pay models
or actors to be there. Since it is a show that everyone who is
anyone attends, meetings are made, kept and broken which can easily
translate to signed or unsigned deals that involve countless
dollars. The companies that buy booths at these shows hope to
attract press coverage, new volume buyers, new market distribution
channels, new developer contacts and basically new business overall.

In Atari's booth, three key elements seemed to capture the interest
of people who attended. First, was the phenomenal breakthrough of VR
technology. Technology that refines the best known infrared tracking
systems, couples it with advanced VR firmware and software and
packages in an add-on peripheral system for around $300. Secondly,
was the awesome number of CD-ROMs and CD-ROM-based software on
display at the booth. Titles like "Primal Rage", "Myst", "Blue
Lightning", "Creature Shock", "Battlemorph", "Dragon's Lair", "Vid
Grid", "Bret Hull Hockey", "Varuna's Forces" and "Highlander" just
to name a very few. Third, was the incredible number of titles on
display in general with most of them appearing to be complete
although most had at least some work that needed to be completed.

It was on this first day I met up with Christian Svensson and his
colleague Jim Marsteller. They were like children in a candy store
as they began their intensive video survey for the two Atari
Explorer Online videos they were producing. In fact, these videos
will be available soon (complete with Atari commercials, interviews
and direct-line feeds) at nominal cost. For more info, write
<> through the Internet. I also met with
Carsten Nipkow of CSCN-Europe. Carsten is a CATscan member and
imports and sells Jaguars to a frenzied Jaguar market in Germany.
Cartsen also publishes a German language Jaguar magazine. His fax
and BBS number in Germany is 0221/427437. I saw Tom Harker of ICD
and Peter Curry of C-West (got previews of Pinball Fantasies and a
new game they just took on in the past few weeks). On one of the
days, I took personal delivery of the newest Toad Computer Catalog
and I was visited by Steve Forbis of Prodigy. I shook hands with
Neil Harris, Li Kramer and Jim Fisher which are names some of you
may recall.

There were the professional film crews there to grab VR footage for
their E3 coverage and there were acres and acres of people
converging on the booth as they found an opportunity to do so.

At around 4:30 p.m., I grabbed Tal Funke-Bilu and we drove to The
Wherehouse in La Crescenta. Armed with about four flash ram cards we
snuck out from E3, we set up a table in the store and let customers
play them. The store manager, Greg, was fantastic! He loved the
Jaguar (owns one himself) and was very helpful as we set up. In
fact, he played a copy of the "Tempest 2000 Soundtrack" over the
store's audio system while we were there and all the employees wore
Jaguar T-shirts. I must say that it is a real pleasure to be working
with Tal too. He loves showing off the Jaguar and he never seems to
get tired showing people tricks and tips he thinks they'd like to
know. Tal came to Atari from the staff of Atari Explorer Online. He
worked for me in Customer Service for a long while, then was pulled
away to John Skruch's group for game testing prior to the Holidays
last year. We left the Wherehouse just after 9:00 p.m. and had
dinner at Jack in the Box.

Friday, May 12, 1995: Another day, another dollar. Again up early
with a drive to get to the convention center before 9 a.m. so all
the coffee cups weren't gone. Like the day before, the show opened
with hoards of people anxious to try the VR demos and see the newest
CD-ROM titles. I have no idea what what was going on behind closed
doors, but I can tell you they were always closed. On the rare
occasion when I did see the likes of Jon Correll, Ron Beltramo, Sam
Tramiel, Augie Liguori, Laury Scott, Garry Tramiel, Bill Rehbock or
Dean Fox duck in and out they seemed to all have that same happy
smile... not like those they wear at shows they have to be at...
more like a show they were happy to be at. Who knows, maybe it was
my imagination going crazy after watching crowds gather for Thea
Relm Fighter autographs or the Rayman-dressed actresses hanging
around the booth. Whatever it was, it was a charge that seemed to
keep everyone smiling.

At 4:30, Tal and I snagged our demo carts and ducked out to visit
the Good Guys in Redondo Beach. We got a little lost and arrived a
little late, but we stayed an extra half hour longer to make up for
it. The store personnel were fantastic. They let us set up right in
front of the main entrance and shut down all the other systems while
we were there. Although we had sneak previews of "Burnout", "White
Men Can't Jump", "Ultra Vortex" and "Rayman" with us, everyone
wanted "Doom". One customer stayed quite a while. We would set a
special code for all the weapons and he would get a charge out of
shooting bad guys. After, watching him lose health when shooting
things too close, I finally suggested that he step back before
shooting to help him along. He did too. The next time, before he
fired, he physically jumped back first. I suggested he only have to
move his player back on the screen.

The employees at the Good Guys were attentive to their customers,
but stopped by our display every chance they could get between. I
wish I could remember names better than I can. There were so many
nice people that were fun to meet and know. Just after 9:30, Tal and
I closed up shop and ate dinner at a nearby Carrows restaurant.
(BTW, Tal loves Strawberry pie.)

Saturday, May 13, 1995: On the last day of the show, traffic overall
was a bit thinner, but the Atari booth still hummed. Francois
Bertrand was still being summoned to show off "Fight For Life" moves
and Jeff Minter was virtually being worshipped for his work on
"Tempest 2000" and the work so far on "Defender 2000". Diana
Bredfeldt and Kristine Chambers helped more streams of people on the
VR demonstrations. Sandy LaBrec, Lynn Latz and Shirley Taylor did a
tremendous job answering front desk questions and keeping literature
stacks piled high. Lance Lewis, Scott Sanders, Dave Schwartz, Ted
Tahquechi, Faran Thomason, J Patton and Norman Kowalewski filled in
where needed and focused on special projects such as developer
workshops. All of our pockets were full of business cards and
everyone ignored the initial signs of being tired or sore from all
the standing. I should also recognize John Tarpinian and the user
group help he organized for the show. John is well known for his
Atari Glendale shows in past years and his willingness and readiness
to help whenever Atari has asked him and his helpers for it. I
regret not being able to remember everyone's name, but not without
appreciation for their valued support.

I think a special note is deserved of Mr. Greg LaBrec. He was the
first to go and the last to return. He was soley responsible for the
rare ability to blend what everyone wants into a workable, appealing
and effective booth. Greg arranged everything from the construction
of the booth to the schedules of airlines, van pools and parking.
Greg knew how to solicit help and make sure it all came together
when and where it needed to.

The show concluded and in a blink of an eye, I was on my 6:50 flight
back to San Jose airport and on my long drive home to see my family.

Sunday was a wonderful Mother's Day.

Soon after I finished my review of the Electronic Entertainment Expo
(E3), I remembered other great things and people related to the
show. I think some of these other items are big news so I want to
pass them on.

For those of you looking for a dedicated Jaguar magazine, it's
coming. _The Jaguar's Edge_ will premier as a bi-monthly in July. I
met the publisher, John Marcotte, at E3 and he shared with me some
of his exciting plans as well as some layouts. The first issues will
be 32 pages and printed on high-gloss stock. Distribution will be
direct to the home through the mail and Toad Computers and Steve's
Software will have copies as soon as they are rolled off the
presses. John tells me that Pat Solomon from the Des Moines Register
will become the Features Editor. In addition, Christian Svensson
will be a feature writer. Other surprises are pending formal

Early subscribers of _The Jaguar's Edge_ will find a $20 discount
coupon on Telegames' "Brutal Sports Football" or "International
Sensible Soccer" as a bonus. A one year subscription is just $15.
For more information, contact the publisher through the internet:

Dave and Jennifer Troy stopped by at E3 and gave me fresh copies of
their new color catalog. I like their catalog because it does an
exceptional job to describe each item in terms I can understand. I
also like it because they sell a lot of nifty Jaguar stuff as well
as virtually anything for the Atari computer lines. The cover price
of the catalog is $3, but I'll bet they can include one with most
purchases. For information, call 410/544-6943.

Speaking of dealers stopping by, Steve's Software customers will be
happy to know that Steve Kipker made his rounds at E3 too. Steve was
anxious to get the stories behind all the new upcoming releases so
he could share the news with his customers. For Steve's latest
catalog, call 916/661-3328.

Terry Grantham and Pete Mortimer, of Telegames, were at the show.
They were showing off their newest Jaguar titles in the Atari booth
and talking about their upcoming release schedule.

John Skruch reminded me this morning that he also left E3 a little
early on Thursday and Friday evenings to visit retailers and offer
demos to customers. As a matter of fact, he took the Thea Relm
Fighters along with him. On Thursday, John visited the Virgin
Megastore in Hollywood. One young birthday boy changed his mind
from a CDi after John pointed out the advantages of the Jaguar
64-bit system. The event was so crowded and successful that over 70
T-Shirts were given away in about 5 minutes.

On Friday, May 12th, John took the TRF team to the Electronics
Boutique in Lakewood. At both locations, John managed to "borrow"
"Defender 2000" and "Thea Relm Fighter" flash ram carts direct off
the E3 floor to show off to customers. He tells me "Val D'Isere
Skiing and Snowboarding" and "Doom" were favorites among the titles
he had to show that were already out for the Jaguar.

Other news...
B&C Computers tells me they have "Krazy Ace Golf" now in stock for
the Lynx. The price is $39.95. Their phone number is 408/986-9960.

Travis Guy tells me the new issue for Atari Explorer Online will be
out within the next 24 hours. It will be dubbed "JagE3" and
include the latest news from E3. He wanted to include this issue of
CATnips if possible and a few other last minute E3 updates.


||| Surfing the Jagged Edge
||| By: Dimitri Mark LaBarge
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.6 CIS: 71501,3353 AOL: dimitril

Hi-dee-ho one and all. Well, it's been some time since the last
column, but we hope we'll compensate with a real blast of E3 info
spanning the entire online world. So how was Atari's presence
generally received? Well, unlike WCES, they had a relatively small
booth. But hearteningly (and also unlike WCES), Atari seemed to have
some absolutely exciting and wonderful things going on...

What's that? A Virtuality Jag headset with tracking =four times
faster= than their $60,000 arcade version? Hmmmm? 'Net Surfing from
the comfort of your Jag? Interesting, you say? Then perhaps you may
want to peruse on....

//// Kitty Tidbits From the Floor

Some of the most interesting comments came from E3 partcipants logging
into GEnie from LA.

Some of the highlights and tidbits:

Atari personnel were quoted as saying the hotly-debated August release
date was definitely being viewed as the =worst-case= scenario release
date. The reason? Software, software, software.... Good to see a
certain conservatism creeping in there from that perspective. Also,
talk was floating about regarding =three= possible pack-ins for the
JagCD. (Vid Grid, Tempest 200 Soundtrack, and ????) At any rate, it's
shaping up to be quite the package.

Also in E3 news, Atari was reported as actively hiring programmers for
game development...

Super BurnOut, the jaw-dropping motorcycle racing game which most of
us have been keenly anticipating to relieve the drought of Jag sports
games, may be shipping earlier than planned. Reports now indicate that
BurnOut is set to SHIP very soon. A =very= welcome surprise!

The reports that a keyboard and Net browsing software may be coming
for the Jag are accurate; however, it should be noted that these ideas
are just in the concept stages right now. In other words, we probably
won't be seeing them in Santa's stocking... but maybe not long after

As we'll see later, the VR headset was the biggest draw in the Atari
booth. But how can they get a VR headset done for under $300 when most
VR equipment is considerably pricier than that? The difference lies
within how the tracking is implemented. Within the various pieces of
the VR equipment (the helmet and optional controller) are IR
transmitters, which contain the hardware that do angle calculations
and other number crunching. This is much more inexpensive a concept
than that found in other VR equipment, which use variations on
military motion sensing hardware. The added side benefit is that it's
actually =faster= than the high-end mechanisms, even faster than
Disney's stunning Magic Carpet VR (though not as graphically amazing).
I personally can't wait to try this baby out on Missile Command VR...
(And if you're interested in specs, the VR helmet features a 7" TFT
active matrix display of 104,000 pixels and capable of 65K colors.)

Miscellaneous bits... Rebellion's Skyhammer was indeed present at the
show, but from a very early EPROM (dated 9/94) - it was described as
Cybermorphesque in a MetalHead type environment. Hover Hunter's
supremely realistic landscapes are going even higher rez, and they're
fantastic now (missing most of that pixellation in games like
Comanche)... look for the nifty "translucent explosions." The gang at
Hyper Image is definitely one to keep track of for nifty Jag stuff in
the future - and yes, they have definite Jag plans of which they're
keeping their mouths shut.... The replacement for the late (for the
Jag) lamented Phear may be Gorilla Software's FlipOut, which as with
most puzzlers, is way too difficult to explain without playing it....

//// Sven! Reports From the Show

Christian Svensson (Sven!) and Jim Marsteller attended E3 for
Subspace Publishers with two jobs - get a handle on what's going on,
and shoot enough good footage to make two world-class videotapes of
show happenings & games. Here's Sven's report:

Our flight arrived on Wednesday night at about 10:45 pm Pacific
time, where we then haggled with our a shuttle bus driver over our
fare to our hotel. After hurtling down the streets at 70+ mph (where
it was posted 35 BTW), we arrived safely at our hotel... the
not-so-lovely (tm) Inn Towne Hotel on Figuera Avenue; a mere two
blocks from the LA Convention Center. Drained from our long flight,
we went promptly to bed (it was then about 11:30pm Pacific... 2:30
am our time).

We awoke at about 6:00am Pacific time (jet lag is a bitch) and
promptly got some breakfast at the small coffee shop that was by the
hotel lobby. We then marched ourselves up to the unbelievably large
convention center (with three separate halls BTW) to get our press
passes (which we had registered for several months in advance). At
this point it was about 8:15am when we tried to enter the show only
to find out that the show was open only to exhibitors until
10:00am!!! Now, this would ordinarily not be such a problem except
for two things:

1. All the sights and sounds (and at some of the booths, smells) of
the show could be seen though the long banks of glass doors that
lined the entryway of the show. It was absolute torture to sit and
look but not touch for an hour... be that as it may, security was
tight and no one got by though many members of the press tried.

2. We had appointments for interviews AT 10:00 am sharp. As yet we
did not have the camera (as we were meeting Tom Harker at the Booth
to pick it up), much less have it ready to record at 10:00 am. For
that matter, we had interviews booked straight through almost noon
with Atari personnel and we couldn't afford to get behind.

Needless to say, we waited anxiously for entrance and when the
moment arrived, we were among the first through the door.
Wordlessly, Jim and I headed straight for Atari... passed the
Williams Booth... passed the Phillips CD-i booth... and through Sega
Land. Finally the object of our quest that had taken us almost 3,000
miles lay before us: The Atari Booth.

As soon as we got there, we were greeted by Don Thomas (who was
invaluable throughout our whole trip). Don gave us a short overview
of the booth and sent us to Tom for the camera (which he had all
ready to go for us). Five minutes later, we were interviewing Dean
Fox, the new senior VP of Marketing at Atari. After Dean, we
interviewed Sam Tramiel himself. Sam announced for the first time
publically, the development of an Internet "add on" for the Jaguar.
He mentioned a keyboard in conjunction with a modem (I assume he
means the Jag Modem) that would have Web browsing capability of
some form or another... there was more he mentioned.

Our next interview was one of the most interesting. The CEO of
Virtuality gave us a personal demo of the Jaguar Headset and VR
tracking system. He explained all of the components and the
additional hardware specifically. It is slated to be shipping "by
the end of the year" for a retail price of $299.99. He stated that
the tracking mechanism is the fastest in the world... over four
times faster than their $60,000 arcade system's mechanism.

The VR displays were running on HIGH END PC's but in conversation
with one of the Virtuality programmers, "the poly counts will be
lower on the Jag," but should not degrade the visual impact of the
games dramatically. The game shown tot he public was called Zone
Hunter... a game remarkably similar to Virtua Cop. (But better due
to the VR.) Missile Command VR was on Jaguar, and was only shown by

After our first round of interviews, Jim and I hit some of the

[] Fight for Life: What a pleasant surprise. After hearing nothing but
gripe after gripe, and bad review after bad review, I got to try my
hand at the game to make my own judgement. Verdict? I'd buy it in
it's present state. The moves were clean, the throws and special
moves were very nicely animated and the gameplay was quite fun once
you got used to it. Francois Bertrand (programmer of FFL and Virtua
Fighter in the Arcade) and Tal Funke-Bilu (a tester from Atari and
former AEO correspondent) took turns beating me up for a while.

While speaking with Francois, I learned the following: Frame Rate,
23 - 27 fps. There is up to 17 seconds of "replay" after pausing...
a VERY neat feature I must say. Also when pausing you can zoom in
or out, change the camera angles, etc and then view the replay. The
status bars pop down every time you are hit. Motions were smooth,
throws were good, the announcer's voice was excellent. In its
present form, I would buy it. It does look better than VF on the
Saturn... anyone who says otherwise is fooling theirselves. <g>
(However Sega was showing a texturemapped VF for the Saturn that
was very good.) FFL has about two weeks more development. After the
terrible beating I took <g>, I moved on to the next game....

[] Defender 2000: Well, what can I say, it was Defender with a
distinctly Mintereque twist. Flossie's appearances were frequent and
cute. The classic version was exact as near as I can remember
(except for the control, where you could fly backwards still but I
believe this is changing). The Defender Plus mode had psychadelic
patterns on the mountains, SGI rendered aliens (not all of them yet
but some on the higher level), two AI droids to help with the
carnage and the retrieval of falling humaniods, the llightning
llaser weapon and most brilliantly, the shimmering aurora over the
mountains. Only two minor gripes from me about the game at it's
present state: no soundtrack (because it was running off an
EEPROM... I know that will be remedied, but I REALLY wanted to hear
the music... I like Jeff's and Imagitec's tastes) and I wanted to
see a more "badass" ship than the one that you fly. Don't get me
wrong, it wasn't bad... just not quite "impressive" enough to
compete with the rest of the neat stuff on screen. Jeff stated that
the game is still on track for a September release.

[] Burn Out: This game has some really nice touches. For example, the
track selection screen: when picking a track, the track that was
selected breaks apart into tiny pieces and then reassembles itself
into the next track in the rotation. The game itself is FAST,
control is excellent. Not a groundbreaking game, but easily the best
racing game to be released on the Jag thus far... a title I feel
will be broken when Power Drive Rally is released. Burn Out should
be on shelves soon. (Networking?...)

[] Power Drive Rally: This game was GREAT and was probably my favorite
game in the Atari booth. Basically, the point of the game is to make
money and advance to the next track. You can purchase new and
different cars, repair your existing car (because as you race you do
damage to various parts of your car). The game itself is an
incredible detailed overhead racer over various terrain. You can
drive in reverse, there are night races (where the only way you can
see is to turn on your headlights... and then visability is limited
to what is in the beams ;) time trials, head to head races against
the computer (who always managed to kill my times) and more. The
details in the game are what make it most fun (skid marks, co-pilot
narrator) and the control is right on. There was a rumor that
networking might be added to the game. If it isn't, this game is
about done.

[] Rayman: This game was plain fun. Humorous enemies, lots of places
to explore and go, new abilities to obtain. I couldn't find a flaw
if I tried. The Ubisoft rep stated that the game was to be shipping
my the end of this month (May 95) but also admitted that the game
hadn't entered production (duplication) yet. I'd be more willing to
guess at an early-mid June release. This is a must buy for every
Jag owner. This was shown on a 32" television... with stereo
speakers. Odd note: We saw Rayman running on several systems at the
show: PSX, Saturn, 32X, and Jag. All but the 32X are IDENTICAL as
near as I could tell. The 32X had perceiveable color banding on
gradients. This game will be exclusive to Jaguar for a while.

[] Ultra Vortex: The other fighter at the booth besides FFL was Ultra
Vortex from Beyond Games. It was located in one of the flagship
positions on one of the 32" televisions situated at each of the
corner positions in he back of the Atari booth. The game itself
looks great, and plays better. The moves are easy to hit and are fun
to watch. My favorite character quickly became Lucius who has these
really cool "hawk morphing" attacks. Tim Huntsman (who was also
interviewed on the tape...) hinted at some secret stuff in the game,
and commented that the voice modem code is still on the cart.
Unfortunately, the modem code may be removed. Time will tell.
Either way, the game should be complete in about two more weeks
where it will then enter production. We should see UV by the end of
July at the latest. Also, the 6 button controller was shown with
this game even though it doesn't support 6 buttons.

[] White Men Can't Jump: This title from High Voltage Software was
shown on one of the other 32" televisions and utilized the
forthcoming Team Tap (tm) adapter for 4 player action. I was
playing with Lance Lewis of Atari and having a great time. The
zooming and scaling on the game is phenominal and the lack of fouls
makes for some pretty dirty action on the court. The music is good,
and the game play is better. Graphics can get a little blocky when
characters get too close to the camera (which moves a lot BTW), but
not nearly as bad as Doom. Dunks were cool and should definately
give NBA Jam TE a run for its money in the fun factor category.

[] Thea Relms Fighters: This was a demo that consisted of about four
characters only one of which had any special moves. The backgrounds
were spectacular but for now the character animation is a little
choppy. I'm sure that this will be remedied later on. For now the
game is just a little too early to comment on. The Thea Relm fighter
actors were present and included Daniel Pessina (Raiden, Scoripion,
Reptile, Subzero and Jonny Cage in MKI and II) and Ho Sung Pak (Lui
Kang from MK I And II) and more (their show was also recorded on
our tape).

[] Battlemorph: This game was a blast. As the sequel to Cybermorph, the
game play is similar, but faster. The frame rate was higher and the
horizion clipping was far less severe. The FMV openning is among the
best I have ever seen and was of very high quality. The game itself
had new enemies, a new ship, (that can go underwater and even
underground) and lots of texturemapping. Definately a good time.
This actually was the only CD title that looked DONE.

[] SkyHammer: Was a first person, flight sim in a city environment.
The game was far too early to comment on other than I'll say the
enemies looked fantastic (all texturemapped) but the control was
lacking.... The game is a 3D urban flight combat sim... you attack
texturemapped tanks, planes, helicopters, etc. The enemies were
VERY pretty.One more note... the EEPROM was dated 9/15/94.

[] BattleSphere: Scott Legrand and Stephanie Wuzkovitz of 4Play were
on hand to demonstrate the new networking in BattleSphere. The game
itself now has collision detection for lasers, rockin' explosions
and a dogfighting mode. (Precursor to the full network mode that
will be availible in the final version.) The music was good, and
the frame rate was excellent... if I were to guess I'd say in the
25 FPS range. Decal mapping on the ships was exquisite. Scott was
nice enough to give us an interview on the tape complete with a
walk though of each of the character races and their ships... very

[] Hover Hunter: The other networked game at the show was from the
exceedingly talented (and very cool/fun) guys from Hyper Image. The
new additions to the game (aside from networking) was an
interpolated landscape (that smooths the blockiness normally
associated with depth field calculated environments)and translucent
explosions. How many times have you seen an explosion that was just
a cute red and orange bit map? Well, now you can blow away a tree
and still see your enemy though that explosion... far more
realistic and slick.

[] Varuna's Forces: This game had a sort-of-playable demo running with
a representative by the machine for much of the time (quite a babe
I must say... but then, I don't get out much so take that with a
grain of salt ;). But I digress... the demo was similar to the ones
shown at previous shows, with the planetfall scenerio, the
character bios, and the pre-rendered fractal landscape fly-by. I
still want to know more about this game as it looks like a quality

[] Dragon's Lair: Having technical difficulties, but hey, it was
Dragon's Lair.

[] Flip Out: This game was also VERY fun and could easily be a good
replacement for Phear. It is a puzzle game that is deceivingly
simple in theory, but gets very hard, very quickly. The premise of
the game is for you to match the tile pattern shown beneath the
actual set of tiles. When you select a tile it goes "flipping" into
the air, and will land where ever you tell it to. To tell a tile to
land you click on the position it should go in, thereby causing the
tile that is in that location to go flipping into the air. The game
ends when one of your tiles hits the ground (i.e. you didn't assign
it somewhere to go). Difficult to explain, but you'll see it on the
tape... good fun.

[] Soul Star: There was a prerendered opening and demo... nothing
more. For what it's worth, the demo was pretty.

[] Pinball Fantasies: Peter Curry of C West (publisher of Cannon
Fodder and Pinball Fantasies) was nice enough to give us an
interview on the tape and told us that PF will be shipping on June
9th. The game itself sports 4 different tables and very realistic
mechanics. Peter said the game is an "enhanced port" as it does
have more music, a higher resolution and more.

[] Ruiner: This game has a more video pinball feel to it than PF, and
sports two separate HUGE tables. The actual Ruiner table is a war
motif that is really a "double table" side by side. This table is
about two screens wide, by three screens high. Overall, VERY large.
The second table was called "Hell" and was about five or six
screens high with demonic images, and devil as the targests, and
bumpers. Overall, also a fun game if you are into the video
pinball scene.

[] Highlander: This was a beautiful effort from Atari in the Alone in
the Dark genre. The environment was all rendered and stood out
greatly from past efforts in the genre. The game itself has
outstanding animation and has huge environments to explore. It too
has a very nicely animated FMV intro (if you're into that sort of
thing). Excellent combat animation.

At the end of Day one, Jim and I headded back to review our
interviews, get some dinner, call Travis to update him and then
straight to bed... it was a long and stressful day.

Day 2 was spent in non-Atari areas. Day 3 was a day of rest... we
met up with Don Thomas in the morning for direct feeds (he snuck us
in before the show was open to non-exhibitors). We spent three
hours getting direct feeds of ALL the unreleased games at the
booth. Next we interviewed Tom Harker of ICD Scott and Stephanie of
4Play and I met with John Marcotte, the publisher and editor of the
forthcoming Jaguar Magazine, The Jaguar's Edge. I have been asked
to be a staff writer for the magazine and have agreed to
contribute. It seems that somehow, my name and connections in the
Atari realm have aided much in the endevors of the magazine already
(I'm still not sure how but that's what I'm told). The rest of the
day, Paul Good (of Hyper Image) and myself went and played all
sorts of games all over the convention... some at Atari, some at
Sony, some at Sega, etc. As the days activities ended at 4:00
(earlier than the other days... which ended at 6pm) the booths were
ripped down in record time. Carpet was ripped up in the main aisles
within 12 minutes of the closing announcement over the PA.

That evening, I spent in the hotel room, dead to the world I was so
tired. Jim had reservations to see the Wild Colonials at the
Alligator Lounge with a friend of his sister's so he was out fairly

//// Through the Eyes of Jim

And what did Jim Marsteller see in the Atari booth before the jaunt
to see the Wild Colonials?

Thursday May 11th, 9:00 am. Standing outside the main entrance Sven
and I found out that the Press must wait until 10:00am to enter the
Electronic Jungle. Nooooo!

That was the longest hour of my life.

But 10:00am finally came and we darted to the Atari booth. Keeping
Atari's resources in mind, I found the booth to be quite
attractive. Red, Black and a little Yellow. After checking out the
thirty-some kiosks I began my mission with the big kahuna: JagVR.
Don Thomas (who was a Godsend BTW - truly a very helpful guy)
introduced us to a Virtuality Rep.

[] JagVR: The JagVR was too cool. While it didn't look like the early
sketch that DHGF had a few months ago, it still looked sexy. We met
with the President of Virtuality. During the on-camera interview
(AEO video plug), he demonstrated the unit with a game, but not the
game that everyone else outside was playing.

Before I continue let me clarify. Outside of the Atari meeting
rooms were two VR systems running the game "Zone Hunter" that
attendees were able to play. These systems were the Virtuality
ARCADE systems with different HMDs (Head Mounted Displays). Zone
Hunter is going to be ported to the JagVR.

Anyway, back inside the secret meeting room, we were shown the
prototype JagVR system. It was very impressive. The unit is a true
VR system, unlike some VR systems only just out with a TV in a
helmet. The JagVR uses an infra-red tracking system that is four
times faster than anything on the consumer market. It's great, I
know that! The game that was demonstrated with the unit was Missile
Command VR/3D/2000. I spoke with the game programmer and he said
that he has only worked on it for two months. It looked damn good,
for just two months' work! The game is a 3 dimensional version of
the original. Picture yourself on a high platform overlooking your
cities, locating and destroying the falling missiles using your
head to "aim" and the joystick (or regular Jag controller) to fire.
The unit will retail for under $300 dollars and is scheduled to be
available for Christmas. Let's hope Atari and Virtuality can keep
the schedule. You've been extra good this year right?!

Personal Opinion: I would have paid cash for it on the spot.

[] Defender 2000 (CD): It's the Yak, need I say more?

OK, Classic and Plus were shown. 2000 has a lot of placeholder
graphics and Jeff didn't want people to think that they were the
final graphics, so it was not shown. He said that he would send me
a tape of 2000 if he could get approval. Classic was Classic sans
the Classic sound effects. Don't fret, they were removed for space
limitations (the demo was on a cart rather than the final CD
format). Plus Mode looked like Classic on LSD. Lots of colors
pulsating in the landscape, larger ship with AI droids and the
occasional Flossie.

Personal Opinion: Atari should clone Jeff.

[] Fight For Life: Looked better than any screen shot that I've seen
in the glossies. Gameplay was fine, I don't know why the glossies
are crying. Sven and I played for while and I found it to be quite
fun. I'm not big on fighters, but I would rather play FFL than VF.
There is a instant replay with a 17 second memory and a feature/E^2
(Easter Egg) that lets you place the camera where you want it for
the entire match. Francois said that it will go into testing before
the end of the month.

Personal Opinion: EGM and NG - review the finished product. I'm
buying it.

[] Primal Rage (CD): This caught me off guard. I didn't think that it
would as far along as it was. The demo lacked some of the basic
game logic such as collision detection, but the graphics were

Personal Opinion: Looks great! Very promising.

[] Rayman: Almost Finished, but Polished and Shined for sure. All
versions of Raysman: Playstation, Saturn, Jag and 32X looked
identical except for the 32X which had an obvious smaller color
pallete. (Hello? Banding?) I played all three and only the Jag
version was "done." The Ubisoft rep said that it would be available
in stores mid-June.

Personal Opinion: The first killer platform for the Jag.

[] Ultra Vortex: Everything Kasumi Ninja wasn't. Special moves,
finishing moves, hidden characters, hidden areas. Great graphics,
cool music and evil sound effects. The characters animation is much
smoother than earlier versions. As of the show, UV will not use the
extra buttons on the new six button controller (they saw it for the
first time at the show). The voicemodem code is in there but may be
pulled before production because a prototype has not been supplied
for testing. Just a wee little bit more elbow grease and this one's
out the door.

Personal Opinion: I buy.

[] Thea Relm Fighters (CD): FYI, UV and TRF were the only Mortal
Kombat style games that I saw at the show. TRF was a very early
demo a few fighters with limited moves and place holder graphics.
The digitization was clean and the backgrounds were better then
Kasumi Ninja. Sven knows the detail on this one.

Personal Opinion: Too early to tell.

[] VLM - Virtual Light Machine: My show favorite. The Atari Dealer
Demo taped does not do it justice. There are 81 different banks to
play with, each one different from the others. Jeff also said that
additional banks could be put on a cart to supplement the standard
81. Banks 1-8 are preprogrammed effects that react to the music,
whereas bank 9 is completely user interactive. The banks are
editable, meaning that you can adjust the sensitivity and timing to
music. VLM has the ability to accept a direct audio feed, so you
could combine you stereo tuner and VLM. [ED. Only with additional
hardware that really hasn't been built yet.] A number of people who
seemed not too interested in anything else Atari had, asked me the
location of the VLM kiosk. It really attracted the ex-hippie, now
yuppie, crowd when we popped in a Hendrix CD.

Personal Opinion: More hypnotic than a fire, but not as warm.
Write to Atari - tell them to liberate VLM!

[] White Men Can't Jump: Looking good. The display at the show was
supporting the four-player adapter. (Team Tap.) The game is half
court, two on two B-ball with up to four people playing at once!
The graphics are all digitized. Sound effects were good. Trash
talking is in, vulgar language is out.

Personal Opinion: If B-ball's your game, check it out. With four
players you can't go wrong.

[] BattleSphere: Network! Network! Network! This game has the most
beautiful shaded polys this side of the CRT. Two networked kiosks
were running at the show. BattleSphere is a space shooter with a
TON of ships to choose from. Wait until you see the animated ships.
(Yes, there are ships that move.) My favorite is one that looks
like a claw/squid that twitches. The ship's laser collision
detection was working, other stuff still needed to be coded.

The ship explosions!... If you thought that the Iron Soldier
explosions were something, wait until you fly through bits and
pieces of your opponent's ship! The demo had the photon sound
effect from the Atari 8-bit version of Star Raiders. It fit the
atmosphere perfectly and almost brought a tear to my eye. 4Play
doesn't know if they can keep it in the final version due to
copyright. Scott Legrand's quote is "Battlesphere before 30" (his
age). Scott turns 30 in September, I think we will see it sooner.

Personal Opinion: Buy another Jag and buy two Battle Spheres.

[] Highlander (CD) - Kinda like Alone In The Dark but with much better
backgrounds. The intro looked great - loved the Atari logo. The
game looked finished. Again Sven played this game longer than I.

[] Caves of Fear - While attending the E3, I overheard (and saw) a top
secret project that Atari has been working on. This project was
only shown to Key E3 attendees. (No, we weren't one! :) While
Subspace was not shown the demo for purposes of being included on
our E3 videotape, I was able to view this new project first hand.
The working title of the project is "Caves Of Fear". The project's
goal is to create a truly interactive movie without the access time
usually associated with traditional interactive movies. The movie
was created by Atari and their friends at Time Warner, and the E3
demo was being shown to a group of three individuals (probably
buyers from major retailers). (I was able to view the demo over
their shoulders.) The demo was show on the JagCD (naturally). The
video quality was very good, but keep in mind that the monitors
were only 13 inches. The "clip" I saw placed the player on a gurnee
while he was rushing down a hospital hall. As this happened, the
player could choose different actions to perform such as: speak to
the doctor, speak to the nurse, try to escape, etc.... The
transition of the video was very smooth.

While speaking to a source at Atari, I stated how much I disliked
Full Motion Games. He reassured me that this technology was
different from the current Interactive Movies that are available.
Each decision leads the player down a different path, allowing for
a different game each time its played. Multiple endings, different
plots and possibly different characters will allow players to break
free from the traditional linear games on the market now. As I
thought about this, I started to see a few possibilities that I
found attractive. Imagine playing Batman Forever, and directing
Batman to wreak havoc on Gotham City! Or put on the shoes of
Indiana Jones and let your woman perish at the hands of the
natives. Change the outcome of routine plots to suit your taste. I
see great potential to use this technology for Role Playing Games
where players typically must speak to different people to obtain
clues. Whether or not Atari can develop this project enough to
separate it from the current mediocre FMV games will only be found
in time. Let's hope it's something promising. I would also like to
point out that I'm glad that Atari is trying different ideas with
gaming. I was always impressed with the ingenuity that SEGA had in
the past, and I could only wish some of that success for Atari.

//// What Does The Yak Think of E3?

Jeff Minter posted his E3 experiences also. Read below to hear how
the feedback on Defender 2000 was received, as well as Jeff's
thoughts on Missile Command VR and the new consoles from Sega and

Well, I just got back from E3, pretty interesting show and a lot of
fun, but I'm glad to get back and get down to a few contiguous days
coding, as life's been a bit fragmented of late, with the two LA
demo runs and E3 and moving house all in the last 3 weeks..

Response to D2K was good, especially considering that we were only
demoing Classic and Plus modes (I have sone 2K stuff running but
the graphics are just untextured renderings at the moment,
placeholders to llet me test the multiparallax stuff). One person
didn't like the ship shape and one person didn't like the
psychedelic plasma under the planety surface, but there's no
accounting for taste. Some people thought it was a bit graphically
sparse, until I pointed out that this was only Plus and it was
meant to be that way - the multilayered background and thangs are
for the 2K mode. Everybody lloved the aurora. Most importantly,
nobody bitched about the gameplay.

Good to see plenty new titles coming out for the Jaguar. JagVR was
pretty interesting - BTW the demos outside were running on non-Jag
kit, probably Virtuality's own stuff - but inside, there was the
actual Jag VR running Missile Command 2000. This was a lot of fun
to play, being well suited to VR - it's quite worrying to be
looking out across your peaceful domes, and then look up and see
the warheads coming down. Kamikaze ships circle around before
plummeting into your domes, and you're frantically craning your
neck about as they zip past, trying to get a bead on them. Cool.

Played on the Playstation and Saturn quite a lot, too. Impressions
- Daytona is not nearly as nice as Ridge on the PS - they have a
definite depthcueing problem where you can see the world being
built in big chunks as you drive along. Liked the little driving
controller though. Panzer Dragoon is spectacular, but the gameplay
is entirely too much on rails to have long-term appeal. Kind of
like a glorified Space Harrier. The Psyggies had a nice-looking
racing game on the PSX - but there are *so* many racing games on
the PSX... LucasArts are resurrecting BallBlazer on the PSX, which
had me fired up at first, but on playing the game I wasn't so
impressed. It was basically just original BallBlazer with
billboards around the arena and a textured floor. Mind you it
wasn't finished so I shouldn't be too critical.

Anyone llike the idea of VLMVR?


//// Details! We Want More!

Joe Catadulla (Asst. SysOp on CompuServe's VIDGAME Forum) was kind
enough to make his observations from the show available on a day to
day basis, and we're happy to be able to excerpt for you his views of
Atari's showing, including some descriptions of never seen before

The Jaguar setup though much smaller than the others had its own
healthy crowd - with two Virtual Reality setups at opposite ends of
the booth. This new VR system will be coming out in the late fall -
and will be priced under $299.00. Tomorrow I will get in line to try
it - but from what I can tell from the external displays - the game
people were "immersed" in looked mighty impressive. It was some kind
of 3D space exploration game - looking a bit like AvP, with lots of
detailed polygons. The tile is called Zone Hunter, and according to
one of the heads of this project, this might very well be the pack
in. People who tried on the goggles stepped off the specially made
platforms with smiles on their faces Another title we might be
seeing for this Jaguar add-on is a 90's Missile Command, VR-style.

As far as games, there wasn't exactly a large explosion of new
titles, but many of the promised titles were finally finished, or
much further along in progress. There were a few monitors that
weren't showing anything, so aside from the list below - more can
show up on tomorrow's report.

Defender 2000 - Once again, Jeff Minter is king. I can't even begin
to describe the magic surrounding this updated William's coin-op
classic. D2K is chock full of special effects, and simply put - the
hottest Jag-game in Atari's booth.

BurnOut - 3D motorcycle racing - updated further - and looking
better and better!

RayMan - Hey, it's almost here - and it'll be worth the wait.

Flip-Out - Very nice-looking puzzle game...

Baldies - Looks like another Lemmings-type - not impressive.

Brett Hall Hockey - too early to tell - but knowing Accloade, don't
count on it knocking your socks off.

TRF - A new fighting game - in fact, it was

displayed on a large
screen as everyone thought it was Mortal Kombat III as they passed.
Looks great!

Myst - Jaguar CD - like the other 900 versions.

Highlander - Jaguar CD - looks juicy, though I'll have to look at
it more closely tomorrow.

BattleMorph - Jaguar CD looks like Cybermorph - but it's unfair to
judge, as I didn't take a crack at it yet.

Creature Shock Jaguar CD - looks sharper than the PC version!

Fight For Life - They added more textures to the characters since
the last time I saw it. Still needs works - but improving.

Vid-Grid - Jaguar CD -Some rock-n-roll-stye puzzle game with full
motion music videos.

Varuna's Forces - Jaguar CD - looking hot! A space/action adventure
which I will be playing tomorow.

Blue Lightning - Jaguar CD - Another improvement from the last time
it was on display at WCES.

Primal Rage - Only had a the title page done.

Ultra Vortex - Yep, once again it's here - and they've added a lot
more. The final version should be great (damn-well better be!).

DeathWatch (I think this is the name ) - An immensiely colorful
platform game - though shown in early stages.

Ruiner on Jaguar breaks new grounds in the pinball arena. The game
uses all kinds of scaling techniques - and a lovely burst of color
and sound too! I'm looking forward to this one.

Defender 2000 is so damn spectacular - and Jeff Minter (programmer)
showed me the special Warp sequences - which look like a 60's acid
overdose! Finish this game already Jeff! Soul Star is heading to
Jaguar CD - but I'm not sure if it's the same game from Core on Sega
CD? Only an FMV title was showing. Blue Lightning Jag CD has
undergone quite a few changes - much nice, and a lot more like
Afterburner, with excellent sound effects. The enemies really taunt
you with lots of speech effects. Ultra Vortex has also gone to the
land of improvement. This is hands down - THE fighting game for
Jaguar - the moves are incredible, especially the death moves. This
will be worth the LOooong wait.

The Jag VR system is quite nice - I finally found some time to give
it a whirl, and I must say, it's quite responsive considering the
state of the consumer level VR systems. I did notice the game... was
running from an Atari TT computer, and we were told the Jaguar
version will be very close in speed/response time as far as

Rumor has it that Jag II will be up there with M2 (according to a
few industry folks). This is getting more bizarre by the minute.

Best Jaguar Title: Defender 2000
Second Place: Ultra Vortex and Battle Sphere
Killer Potential: Varuna's Forces and HoverHunter.

//// The Jungian View

Getting another perspective from the floor is our good friend Robert
Jung, who posts a very lengthy summary of the events at E3:


Yes, Atari had the smallest space of the various console makers at
the show. On the other hand, their space was well used. Sega's area
(which was in the center of the South hall and next to Atari) was
the biggest, but much of the area was open space, big displays, and
redundant showings. The Saturn area, for instance, had three units
running DAYTONA (A personal disappointment for me - the resolution's
low, the horizon is -far- too short, and the steering wheel is
sensitive as h*ll. Give me RIDGE RACER on the PlayStation instead),
three running PANZER DRAGOON, etc. Sega also had a section devoted
to different forms of shelving(!) and Sega merchandise, and massive
mock-ups for less-than-stellar games like GARFIELD and VR TROOPERS.
Or look at Nintendo, who wasn't even in the South Hall with
Atari/Sega/3DO/Sony, but in the West Hall with most of the computer

I lost count of how many Jaguar games I saw (I'll have to count
after I finish this message); almost each kiosk was running a
completely different title, with a few networked demo exceptions,
which helped Atari cram more games in a small amount of space. A few
VORTEX - got the "big screen" treatment, with massive color TVs and
a decorated theme area. RAYMAN, for instance, had vines and plants
in the area, and "tree stump" seats for people to sit in.


This was Atari's "big gun" product, and they made sure everyone knew
it. Atari was handing out VR promotional packets with free
photographic slides (for you magazine publishers) and lots of
information, as well as "Jaguar VR" T-shirts (take the traditional
black Jaguar tee, but replace the blood-red Jaguar logo on the back
with a shiny embossed "Jaguar VR" instead).

Two raised daises were set up in the front of the area, where
visitors got a chance to try the Jaguar VR prototype gear. One line
was devoted to members of the press and media, while a second line
was for "everyone else." Both lines were long, though the media got
preferental treatment. The hardware is 98% finished, and final molds
of the equipment were on display. The VR system consists of three

(1) VR goggles. No stereo vision, but otherwise a snug-fitting
headset. Works fine with glasses, too. Adjustable knobs for picture
focus and head fit. Plugs into the expansion port of the Jaguar.

(2) Trigger controller. A lightweight hand-held controller with two
buttons: a "trigger" and an "action" button. Plugs into the Jaguar
controller port.

(3) Infrared receiver. Not used in the demo setups, but the final
Jaguar VR set will use an infrared receiver to track the position of
your trigger relative to your helmet.

The software being shown was ZONE HUNTER, a shoot-everything-that-
moves sci-fi game. It was currently running on a dedicated computer
(unseen, possibly an IBM PC). A Virtuality rep I talked to says that
work on the Jaguar game software has begun; the polygon count will
probably be lower in the end, but they expect to make up for it by
giving you a larger "virtual world" to play in.

Yes, I got to try the VR gear. B-) ZONE HUNTER is a simple game:
you play a futuristic space Marine, who walks around, through, and
under a high-tech city, blowing away all sorts of aliens and
enemies. Grab powerups for your gun, avoid damage, and reach your
checkpoints before time runs out. Nothing too complicated, but it
was fun to play - think of it as VR DOOM, if you want (though not as
fast). Graphics were plain polygons with a minimal amount of
texturemapping; sounds consist of weapons fire and a "radio" voice
from your headquarters.

The prototype VR gear works like a charm, and the tracking of your
head and gun are perfect. For example, I stopped at the end of a
hall, spun around, and blew away a mutant creeping up behind me, and
didn't feel any sort of discontinuity from the game. Suffice it to
say that this is a solid product. I expressed some doubt that the
$300 price tag might not make it worthwhile for players. The Atari
rep I talked to quickly contradicted me: a LOT of retailers and
sales representatives think there's a HUGE market for a $450 ($300
headset plus $150 Jaguar) setup.

Atari's very eager to get this out by Christmas 1995 as a result,
and I can't blame them. Final VR note: The current plans are to have
at least two VR games available at the headset's release: ZONE
HUNTER and MISSILE COMMAND 3D. I managed to sneak a peek at MC3D (it
wasn't being shown to the general public), but the game was too
early to get a feel for what was going on. At least coding has


Here's a good time to segue into some potpourri of Jaguar news and

[] DOOM to be Jaguar pack-in? Don't be so sure of that, folks. Yes,
Atari was showing new Jaguar packaging, with more colorful box art,
more screen shots, and promotions of the Jaguar CD, Jaguar VR, and
JagLink cables to retailers in private. And yes, the front of the
box says "DOOM included."

But wait! What's that -other- box over there, the one that says
"ALIEN VS. PREDATOR included," then? Turns out that both boxes are
marketing mock-ups. While there are plans to bring back the
Jaguar-and-game package, there is no decision made yet as to what
the pack-in will be. DOOM and AvP are merely used to give retailers
a feel for the new box design.

[] Does Atari have a clue? Despite what some people will say, Atari
is not unaware of their situation in the market. They have a good
machine for a good price, but their weakness is in software. They
KNOW that. "So what are they going to do about it?", you ask. Good
question. How does hiring experienced programmers from Sega sound
for an answer. You heard correctly. Apparently, Sega of America
recently laid off twenty-five programmers due to their own
downsizing efforts. Atari is currently interviewing each and every
one of those ex-Sega coders, and wants to grab the best of the bunch
to work on Jaguar software.

But wait, there's more. Atari's new Director of Game Development
(who was also hired from Sega, as readers of my April report on the
"Dealer outreach pilot program" may remember) is also acutely aware
of the problem of the small Jaguar game library. Reports are that
he's working "very aggressively" on the development of new games,
and he might have been the leading force behind Atari's increased
use of focus groups for new game development (as reported previously
on the net by various sources). In theory, then, Atari's assembling
the pieces necessary to increase the quantity and quality of Jaguar
games in a BIG way. Can they do it? Only time will tell...

[] What about Christmas 1995? More programmers and better
development are good solutions for the long term, but what about the
short? Well, Atari's E3 line is that they're looking at "50 new
games for 1995." Their handouts and E3 advertising reflect this,
with the tag line "50 new games + 64 bits + $159 = Do the Math."

Sounds incredulous? So am I. But it gets more interesting. When I
asked an Atari rep about how realistic this goal was, she insisted
that it was a serious goal. Atari is counting 50 titles from
themselves and their third-party developers; "We're actually trying
to get more than 50 titles out, but we admit there's a chance that
some of them won't make it in time." Well, she seemed sincere,
anyway. I'm still doubtful, personally, but I only report what I

[] Who's Afraid of Sony? Is Atari worried about the $300 Sony
PlayStation? No. Why not? Because it doesn't exist. Take this with a
bag of salt, too, but apparently the $300 PlayStation announcement
is a bit of misdirection from Sony, to recoup some of their lost
thunder from Sega's early Saturn release. The PlayStation will hit
the 'States for $300, but there are reports that it's the WHOLESALE
price. If this is true, then depending on how retail sales go, the
PlayStation may end up costing anywhere from $340 to $380 retail
after the dust settles.... [ED. Other reports have also come in
about a wholesale price of $300 or more for the Sony unit, as well
as reports that dealers will be asked to "unbundle" a "packed-in"
game to be sold seperately.]

Semi-related sidebar: most of the retailers I talked with weren't
floored with Sega's early Saturn release. The feeling is that, at
$400, it's still priced too high for most consumers. The SNES and
Genesis are still seen as the price favorites, and the low-cost
upgrades - the Jaguar and the 32X - are given better odds for
survival. The consensus is also that the Jaguar is technologically
superior to the 32X, and Atari's lack of games is the biggest thing
holding them back (hmmm, sound familliar?...)


Yes, it was there, being used to show off ULTRA VORTEX. It feels
about the same as the existing Jaguar joypad, but with the following

(1) Six buttons under the right thumb. The existing A, B, and C are
joined by 1, 2, and 3, which map into the keypad buttons. The
buttons are raised and round, instead of the flushed squares on the
existing pad.

(2) Two index finger buttons, which map into the keypad buttons 4
and 6 for left and right.

(3) Minor mold changes near the keypad area, ostensibly to make
removing overlays easier.

(4) More tactile feedback on the joypad.

For the most part, those familliar with the existing Jaguar
controller will have no problems with this new one. Expect to see it
appear in the Fall.


Everyone seems to be looking at August as a release date for this
peripheral. Why the delay? (Repeat after me) "No software!" A walk
around Atari's E3 floor will confirm that - NONE of the Jaguar CD
titles shown were finished. Even VID GRID, the so-easy-I-can't-
believe-it title, was running as an unfinished "E3 Demo Version."
You could play it, but there were no provisions to set options yet.
Some titles were closer to completion than others, but every Jaguar
CD game was clearly stamped "Work in progress," and looked like it

On the good side, the CD does exist; a few Jaguar CD games were
running off EEPROMS, but most were playing final-production CD
units. I got a quick glimpse of the Jaguar CD packaging mock-up;
there's not much to report, other than the Virtual Light Machine
gets a good amount of promotion, and the box is printed for
international sales (in three languages).


It's up, it's running, and it looks very spiffy. The Jaguar keypad
is used extensively - tap a few keys, and you can change the audio
track on the fly. Or press the A button to bring up the CD player
menu, where you can program tracks, fast forward, reverse, adjust
the volume, and do other audio CD features. CD+Graphics flashed by
briefly, but nobody had a CD+G disc to try it on... It's fun to play
with the VLM. Just hold down the asterisk key, tap two digits (like
a television remote control), and you bring up the effect. There
seems to be 81 different visuals (9 categories with 9 variations
each), and they're all entrancing to look at. Some effects
effortlessly fade from one to the other, while others will blink
immediately. Some effects are more/less sensitive to the music than
others (this probably accounts for some people wondering why VLM
didn't "react well" to the rhythm of a tune). Other effects play on
different things - tempo, frequency, reverb, stereo, etc. The idea
is to encourage experimentation, and it does a very good job of it.
And for some reason, I was amused that - in the tradition of MTV and
VH1 - the VLM will flash a little colored "VLM" logo at the
lower-right corner of the screen.

Don't worry, it only shows up when you want it to.


Of the Jaguar games shown, only IRON SOLDIER, TEMPEST 2000, ALIEN
already available. No need to discuss them here, though I'm glad
that more space was given to works-in-progress instead of less
impressive titles like DOUBLE DRAGON V or CLUB DRIVE.

Now for the meat of the matter - the new games. ...Now, in no
particular order...

[] DEFENDER 2000. I talked about this two weeks ago, in the selfsame
"Jabbin'" message. No need to repeat myself here; the E3 version was
the same as the one shown around Los Angeles for the last few weeks.
"Classic" is a near-perfect clone, while "Defender Plus" is an
in-your-face blast-a-thon with flowing colors and Pixelshatter-esque
explosions everywhere. By the way, Jeff is glad that E3 is over; he
wants to get back home and do some more coding already... B-)

[] POWER DRIVE RALLY. Significantly advanced over the version shown
two weeks ago. There are now option screens to configure your car,
and more (and better) sounds throughout. I'm still lackluster on
this game myself, but this is something for Time-Warner Interactive
to worry about, methinks.

[] PRIMAL RAGE. A very early version. It was clearly running
entirely from the Jaguar memory (the CD wasn't spinning), and only
featured the title page: the PRIMAL RAGE logo, the development team,
the background story of the fall of Earth and the rise of Urth, and
a few high score tables. Visually, it's almost exactly like the
arcade, with the only exception being that the screens flashed by a
little too quickly. But then, it's no indication of how the final
game will be... [ED. A slightly more advanced version of Primal Rage
was being shown than what Robert reports on here. Jim and Sven
captured actual gameplay for the AEO video.]

[] [SUPER] BURN OUT. This game's either 99% finished, or it's done
already, and it's simply wonderful. It wants to be a high-speed,
no-nonsense motorcycle racing game and succeeds in spades. One- and
two-player options, flawless controls, crisp voices/sounds/music,
incredibly fast graphics with scaled sprites and texture-mapped
features... if you like racing games, this is a no-brainer - buy it.
The cartridge saves the best times for each track, and the
difficulty of the computer drones can be adjusted.

[] FIGHT FOR LIFE. I've been hearing this game get pounded for
months and months and months, and when I finally saw it today, I was
expecting to be disappointed.

I don't know WHY people are griping; the version of FIGHT FOR LIFE I
played was a respectable polygon fighter, and it's clear to me that
the critics are either playing earlier versions of the game, have an
axe to grind, or both. The texture-mapped polygon graphics are very
smooth (if it's not 30 fps, it's pretty close), while the detailed
backgrounds are a blast to look at.

The E3 version had all of the fighters' moves enabled, and a large
number of them were printed for people to use. Francois Bertrand
says the final game will let each player start with five basic
moves, and earn more by defeating opponents. The new Jaguar
six-button controller will be supported; sidestepping is done with
the "4" and "6" keys, which map into the left and right index
buttons on the new controller. Regular controls are A to block, B to
punch, and C to kick. I managed to dope out a few moves on my own,
and enjoyed Muhali's "Arabian noogie" attack. B-)

Now, granted, FIGHT FOR LIFE is not quite up there graphically with
VIRTUA FIGHTER on the Saturn or TO SHIH DEN on the PlayStation. But
then, this -is- a four-megabyte cartridge; and after having tried
VIRTUA FIGHTER on the 32X (the closest comparison to FFL, both
conceptually and geographically), I honestly think FFL can hold its
own pretty well. Francois says the game should go into final testing
in a month or so; for now, I'd advise people to keep an open mind
about this title.

(Oh, and Francois' next project after FIGHT FOR LIFE is PONG 2000.
He is *NOT* kidding, folks - he wants to do this. After I left the
E3 show, I started thinking about what could be done with the idea,
and there are some possibilities there...)

[] BLUE LIGHTNING. Some folks have been saying this is the "lamest
Jaguar game ever." I wouldn't go that far; BLUE LIGHTNING is a
decent attempt to copy Sega's AFTERBURNER arcade game. The problem
is that, after you strip away the neat FMV intro, the radical music,
the animated jet models and pre-launch sequences, that's what you
get - AFTERBURNER, a fairly dated and simple arcade game. If this
was a cartridge title (without the snazzy music and FMV), it
wouldn't be so bad. But I cannot honestly see buying this on CD,
unless it's at a discount. An Atari rep I collared said that they've
only gotten "positive" responses on it, so I made sure to register a
negative response for the sake of completeness. Time will tell....

[] AIR CARS. Now, -this- is a title that can be called "lamest
Jaguar game ever" (or at least at E3). My deepest apologies to
Midnight Software, but this is one gamer's opinion. While the game
may have been reworked after a poor showing at the 1995 Winter CES,
the near-final version on the E3 floor didn't move me in any
positive direction. The only real changes that I could spot were
better and more extensive use of Goraund shading; the sense of
movement and terrain height is there. On the other hand, game
objects look blocky and simple (a "tree" was nothing more than an
elongated green pyramid stuck on a brown cube, for example) and
things got chaotic pretty quickly (I suddenly found myself stopped
in front of a tank which blew me away after three shots). The
Midnight rep I talked to emphasized the eight-player networking
aspect of the game, but I don't know if people will put up with the
title just for that feature alone.

[] BALDIES. An unusual puzzle game that looks like a cross between
POPULOUS, LEMMINGS, and TYRANTS. You control the fates of a bunch of
bald men who run around on a series of islands. Your god-like powers
let you create and remove land, assign men to various tasks, direct
them to new inventions, and generally build up a civilization to
take over (or destroy) a competing tribe of folks. I think. There
were no instructions for the game that I could find, but so far the
game looks reasonable. I also note that BALDIES will be showing up
for other platforms as well, so expect to hear more of this in the
coming months.

[] FLASHBACK. US Gold, predictably enough, cheapened out. FLASHBACK
looks and plays like its Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis
counterparts. Granted, it's a reasonable choice given the size
limitations of the cartridge format, but I was still upset.

[] BATTLESPHERE. Had the pleasure of running into Scott and
Stephanie and Someone Else (sorry B-) from 4Play, and ended up
giving the game a healthy test drive. The game is currently about
two-thirds complete; the graphics engine is there, there are some
sounds, two-player networking was showin, and the "blow up the other
combatants" scenario is in place. Missing are complete cockpit
instruments (only the fore and aft radar were available), different
and more advanced weapons, and the other game scenarios 4Play has
been planning for months. They plan to have the game finished in
another three months, though I would not be surprised
(unfortunately) if it took more than that - part-time game
development is not an easy task.

On the other hand, what was there looked great. Fast, fluid
graphics, smooth scrolling, lovely backgrounds, and a good
smattering of detail. The ships are mostly Goraund-shaded polygon
models with a fair use of texture-mapped sigils and numbers, and
they explode into lovely fragments that drift deliciously. B-) The
game reminded me of X-WING and SPACE LORDS, and shows a lot of
potential for the final product. It's clear that 4Play has a high
level of quality and detail (hopefully the AEO video will include
Scott's complete description of the Battlesphere alien races,
backgrounds, and ships - they have enough fodder for a novella
already), and are dedicated to work on the game until they're
completely satisfied. If that's so, then BATTLESPHERE will be well
worth the wait, methinks.

[] HOVER HUNTER. Hyper Image's game was also roughly two-thirds
done. The graphics and control engine were complete, though there
were no enemies to combat, and only two planets were available to
date. What was there looked very good; realistic "soft" terrains
with COMANCHE- like spot-texture-mapping, with smooth scrolling and
movement and a realistic gradual fading in of distant features and
objects. The biggest problem was that the bitmapped images
(landscape features and other ships) got blocky very fast when you
came close to them. The Hyper Image rep I talked to mentioned that
they were already starting work on updating the graphics engine,
using higher-resolution bitmaps and a better extrapolation algorithm
to cut down on the problem. I wish them the best of luck.

[] RAYMAN. Forget Donkey Kong, Mario, or Sonic; Ubi Soft was
promoting RAYMAN in a big way all through E3. Sticker sheets were
everywhere, a twenty-foot-tall inflatable Ray was waving across the
street from the Convention Center entrance, Ubi Soft's RAYMAN
advertising (for all systems) was easy to snatch, and several Rayman
costumed walkers paraded around the show floor.

Oh, the game itself? Like BURN OUT, this game's either finished or
Very Darn Close. Anyone who's followed the progress of RAYMAN will
not be surprised here; luscious-smooth graphics, wonderful sounds,
and some interesting twists on the platform idea. I admit, I didn't
give it that much of a look, since I was more intently after games
that have received less attention to date...

[] FLIP OUT. From Gorilla Systems. -Vastly- improved over the early
and incomprehensible version I covered in the "Jabbin'" article. The
idea is as follows: you have a grid of colored tiles, which you must
position into a certain pattern. By selecting a square and pressing
a button, you "flip" the piece there into the air, exchanging it for
another piece that's already flying. You have to keep "juggling" the
tiles until you get the pattern - and if you "drop" a tile, you
lose a chance. It sounds like a simple puzzle game, but it can get
complicated very hairy. For a challenge, I started at a higher level
(there are about ten levels, each divided into several sub-stages)
halfway through the game. I got five different colors, a rogue tile
that belonged nowhere, and a chaotic pattern to deal with. Needless
to say, I went -splat- pretty quickly.

The graphics are the best thing about this game. Everything is
either fully rendered or animated Claymation figures, from the
funny-looking aliens that cheer your efforts and track your score to
the tiles themselves, all with silky-smooth animation. I imagine
this game will be pretty close to completion; whether it'll catch on
with the public is another matter.

[] UNNAMED PLATFORM GAME. [ED. "Deathwatch."] From out of nowhere,
with no name, Visual Design Studios (I -think- that's the developer)
comes out with a cutesy gun-totin' platform title. You controlled a
little warrior cartoon character who looks somewhat like the "Plok!"
video hero and who wields a big gun. He shoots and punches enemies,
grabs various spheres, and leaps on floating platforms and
bottomless chasms in typical platformer fashion. It was a very early
game, but already seemed interesting - there were several layers of
smooth parallax scrolling, lots of color, and crisp animation. But
it's far too early to tell....

Fear."] And speaking of no-named mysteries that came out of nowhere,
Atari was showing (very briefly) a prototype "interactive movie" for
the Jaguar CD-ROM. All I saw was an extended video clip of a male
hospital patient overcoming his nurse and trying to escape. It was a
good demonstration of the clarity of the Jaguar CD's spooled video,
but that's all I could really say about it. The Atari representative
emphasized that this was an early prototype. It's only an idea under
consideration, and may never appear as a final game at all. Still,
there it is.

[] PINBALL FANTASIES. No surprises here. This is a straightforward
port of the Amiga pinball game. Good flipper control and ball
physics, but the boards struck me as being a little simplistic.

[] RUINER. Like PINBALL JAM on the Atari Lynx, this cartridge from
High Voltage Software is actually two pinball games in one.
"Ruiner" is a pinball game with a nuclear war theme, featuring a
horrifically large board that's two screens wide and five screens
tall. "Hell" is a pinball game with a Satanic/demonic motif, one
screen wide and seven or eight screens tall. The layouts are similar
to video pinball games like DEVIL'S CRUSH, though the number of
video-only features is kept to a minimum (I could only find some
flying bats and airplanes to knock over with the ball). Ramps and
"habitrail" tubes are in abundance, taking you quickly from one part
of the board to another, and the keypad is used to nudge the board
in any direction you want. Scrolling is fast and smooth, though the
graphics are a bit "cartoonish" than realistic or frightening, and
distinguishing background art from playfield objects isn't obvious.
The music I heard was neither here nor there, but the game is more
complex and interesting than PINBALL FANTASIES in my opinion.

[] VID GRID. Another title (or port, rather) from High Voltage
Software. You arrange tiles of a music video as in a "number
puzzle," trying to reassemble the pieces in the proper order before
time runs out. This game has gotten a lot of complaints in, largely because people felt it wouldn't be
challenging enough to be a "real" video game (whatever that means).
Well, yes and no. It isn't that complex of a game, but it's not
entirely a no-brainer effort, either - depending on which music
video you choose, you might be led by a number of red herrings and
quick-cut fragments (does this head in the background go in the
upper-left corner or the upper-right corner?). There are nine videos
available, and I wonder how long it will take before they tire on
people; you can only listen and watch Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Give
It Away" so many times, after all.

Despite the "ease" of this game, the E3 version was -not- finished.
You could play the game, but the ability to set game options
(available in the final PC CD-ROM version) was missing, and the game
was clearly labelled "E3 Demo." I imagine that being able to reduce
the time limit and/or set the puzzle to 36 (or more) tiles will make
things much harder in a final release.

[] THEA REALM FIGHTERS. Another one-on-one fighting game, from High
Voltage Software (they have a LOT of entries for Atari at E3, if you
haven't noticed). The most notable feature so far is its use of
several martial artists from MORTAL KOMBAT for its visuals. The game
as shown was -very- early; animation was minimal, scrolling was
jumpy, and players could beat the daylights out of each other
indefinitely. I would advise giving this title a few more months
before passing any sort of early judgement.

[] ULTRA VORTEX. Version 0.96 - another "almost completely
finished" fighting game, this time from Beyond Games. The E3 version
was almost identical to the v.0.94 I reported from two weeks
earlier; I was surprised, though, that the special move sequences
were changed. The scrolling is still a little jumpy, but (still)
doesn't interfere with the game itself. I'm not a big fan of
fighting games, but I was having fun with this on general
principles. Some of the "annihilation moves" were rather comical;
for example, Mercury (the "liquid metal" haracter) turns into a
giant rolling meat grinder and turns the loser into ground beef....

The Beyond Games representative I talked with said that ULTRA VORTEX
should be out in five or six weeks, which implies to me that the
final version is in production already. Their next project is the
highly-anticipated BATTLEWHEELS 2025, a Jaguar update to their
original BATTLEWHEELS for the Lynx.

[] VARUNA'S FORCES. I wanted to say lots about this innovative CD
game; I especially wanted to talk about how it implements the
"control four commando members separately while seeing what they do"
idea. But I can't, since the E3 version was fairly dated. The FMV
opening, mission briefing, and character psychological profiles were
available, but that was it - the game itself was unavailable. The
Accent Media rep I talked to, howver, was very optimistic that this
game would be available with the Jaguar CD release. Looked nice, at

[] DRAGON'S LAIR. Another disappointment. I expected that a port of
this title would be trivially easy, since all ReadySoft had to do
was translate the controller engine. But DRAGON'S LAIR for the
Jaguar was apparently a hastily- thrown demo for the E3 show, with
everything running off the Jaguar's RAM. Only the first sequence
with Dirk crossing the drawbridge was available; you couldn't really
play it, however, since there were no visual cues to guide the
player. So Dirk would keep crossing the drawbridge, get killed, get
reincarnated, over and over and over and over... Not surprisingly,
it looked like every other version of DRAGON'S LAIR on the market

[] BRETT HULL HOCKEY. An early version of the CD-ROM game, but on
EEPROMs instead. Seems promising already - individual NHL teams,
logos, player names, and stats were available, with a
smooth-scrolling rink, scaled sprites, and digitized graphics. Most
interesting feature is the ability to change the "camera view" of
the game. Press Pause, then press 1-9 on the keypad to change the
view from overhead to wide-angle pull-back to everything in-between.
I'm not a hockey fan, but I was impressed with the early effort.
Only -slightly- less impressive than the upcoming hockey game being
shown for the Saturn across the aisle.

[] WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP. Once again, it's High Voltage Software
(didn't I say they get around? B-). Based loosely on the movie,
this is a two-on-two halfcourt street basketball game. Four people
could play the E3 showing, but I couldn't spot the four-controller
tap that was used for the job. [ED. The "Team Tap" adaptor.] The
game itself is great. Playwise, it's very reminescent of NBA JAM,
but without the flashy slam dunks and with the need to clear the
ball when you have possession. Passing, shooting, and blocking are
easy and effortless, and you have a number of teams and four areas
to play in.

The big thing about this game are the visuals. Take a real
basketball court, and place a camera rail along the center line.
Now, as the player play in half the court, slide your camera left
and right, zooming in and out to keep up with the action. That's
what WMCJ does, and it looks very nice. The frame rate is around
15-18 fps, which is adequate, while the players are a little blocky
in close-ups (it's not as bad as DOOM, however). As reported, the
"street talk" has been removed from the final game, though there's
still a good dose of patter during the action. On-screen messages
give warnings and commentary ("Like a brick!", "Clear it,"
"Airball!", etc.). Definitely take a look at this one, folks.

[] MYST. Yep, the Jaguar will be getting the incredibly beautiful
and very odd computer adventure game. The E3 demo shown was fairly
early; it only flipped through various scenes from the game, with no
actual user interaction or anything. Not much to say here; it looks
like MYST on the PCs and Macs.

[] SOUL STAR. Another early demo, this time of Core's Sega CD
shooter game. All that was available at this time was the canned FMV
of the opening sequence. A little exploring with the controller,
however, allowed you to shift the spooled image and/or flipped it
along the Y-axis. Cheap fun. B-)

[] BATTLEMORPH. Attention To Detail's CD sequel to the original
CYBERMORPH. I suspect that players who loved CYBERMORPH will love
BATTLEMORPH, while those who hated CYBERMORPH won't care for this,
either. Upgrades from CYBERMORPH to BATTLEMORPH include a farther
horizon, a fair dose of texture-mapped graphics, more and larger
worlds (the indica promises 60 new planets to explore), new and
nastier enemies, undersea and underground regions, detailed
background graphics, and a better/less irritating voice for Skylar
("Yay!", someone shouts B-). Controllers are the same in both
games, though BATTLEMORPH adds a bank of weapon slots to be filled
as you progress through the game. The combat level is noticably
increased, and there are some nice graphics touches scattered
throughout (such as the underwater shimmering view).

[] HIGHLANDER. An animated adventure game based on the movie and
animated series. Think of it as a variation of ALONE IN THE DARK
for a good feel. The CD shown at E3 had lots of areas to explore,
but almost no items to find or people to encounter. Backgrounds are
beautiful rendered screens, while the main game graphics consist of
smoothly-animated polygons with a minimal of texture mapping. An FMV
introduction based on the animated series was also shown. Dave
Bottomley, the representative from Lore Design, says that while
contracts for HIGHLANDER 2 and HIGHLANDER 3 haven't been signed yet,
the scripts for those games are already done. As with many Jaguar CD
games, they expect to have this ready at the time of the unit's

[] NERF MAX FORCE. Running on the Jaguar CD, this seemed at first
to be a Nerf commercial - Nerf guns, Nerf bows, Nerf rapid-fire
chain-shooters. All part of the new Nerf "Max Force" line of toys, I
guessed. But then the stuff segues into a "Max Force" video game,
where kids (young boys) armed with Nerf weaponry take on automated
mecha, who fire back with Nerf weapons of their own. Mondo

The way I interpret it is that the Nerf folks want to branch into
video games, and "Nerf Max Force" is their effort. Nothing
resembling an actual game was shown, so I presume this is a very
early concept demo at this time.

And before anyone makes cheap jokes about Atari and Nerf and
desperation, I will add that the "Max Force" plug mentions that the
game will appearing for "all major video game systems" in the near
future. And here I thought HOME IMPROVEMENT was an odd tie-in game

Thanks to Robert Jung for that wonderful (not to mention
fingertip-annihilating) report!

//// Marketing Viewpoint

Darryl Still, from Atari UK, has been a very busy man online. Here's
an interesting excerpt from one of his recent posts on CompuServe, in
asnwer to some harsh criticism of Atari's plans for Jaguar.

There are two distinct markets. The enthusiast sector, who buys all
year round but is only an extremely small, dedicated group. They
(you) bought Jag last year and will buy PSX and/or Saturn this and
probably U64 next. Then there is the mass market. Millions of people
who bought SNES & Genesis in 1992 for (surprise) circa $149 and who
will only consider repurchase when thee r current system has been
vastly superceeded, every 3/4 years or so. These people will not pay
the prices quoted above. these people will k know of Atari in a
positive light and will look at our products in a totally non
jaundiced mind and these people will see what is there. A great low
cost Superconsole at a price that they can afford to pay, with lots
of software which stacks up as good as the stuff on the $400 system!

There are MILLIONS of these people. Sure since 1992 some have
discovered skateboards, some have discovered girls and some have
just discovered other cool things, but also since 1992 a whole new
breed have grown into this interest area, as others have grown out.

So how do we get them? Well first, we need someone to spark the
market with a huge advertising spend to tell people how cool
consoles are again - whoaah step up Sega and Sony. Then we need to
do our own spend to let people know we are around. Then we need to
step back and let the laws of consumer spending and the elasticity
of demand grow our market share.

All of this WILL happen in the final quarter of this year. Before
then we will be :

1. Getting our distribution eggs laid out, so that when the people
look, they will find us.

2. Get the software level to where we need it. A certain quantity,
sure, but a key quality is most vital. There is a lot of software
now which is just getting that final shine. This has not always
previously been the case, but it is now true....and with a market
that is currently totally flat, we have the time to ensure titles
like Fight for Life are as good as they can be.

3. Growing the product reputation via the press, with exciting,
shiny hot boxes such as VR. This is what we need to get the base
unit coverage now, in the current competitive environment.

All of these things are happening now, and will be in place in good
time to take full benefit of the market takeoff that will be sparked
from late September, The economics are simple, the strategy is
rounded and the end result will be that Jaguar cannot fail to be a
player this Christmas. The key element is how big a player can we
get to be. That is down to too many factors to even mention and we
can look in January to gauge the success. But whilst every little
delay & slip cannot be claimed to have been planned, there is such a
level of planning, confidence and competence here that the mourning
to be seen in this conference is completely illfounded and totally
without justification.

//// Voices From the Vortex

Not everything is jolly though. AEO's own editor left this post on
GEnie today. (Early Saturday. I suspect he wrote it late Friday

I spoke with Beyond Games earlier this afternoon. Here's the word on
the Ultra Vortex Voice Modem Situation, from our conversation.

Beyond Games have not received a final version of the Voice Modem
from Atari to ensure their modem code would work exactly the same as
it does on the prototypes Atari has provided. As it stands, BG will
be removing the code next week, and the game should be heading to
manufacturing by the end of this month.

I was told that the code worked perfectly, the voice transmission
was clear, all -is- fine. BG are taking this step to avoid having
any problems crop up should there be some minor change in the voice
modem itself between its current state, and its final one. BG fully
support the concept of using a voice modem in appropriate games.

They have their low-level code "set," and they expect BattleWheels
to be done and on shelves by Xmas 1995.

A Voice Modem-less "Jaguar Battlewheels" ought be a crime, I would
think. So cheer up.

//// Battlesphere Under Construction

Well, thanks to our friends at development house 4Play, Atariphiles
have had an almost unprecedented opportunity to interact and influence
directly the development of a Jaguar video game. As before, we thought
we'd take you once again into the creative process behind this
ambitious game. The perspectives start right after 4Play uploads its
revised screenshots and has a very good WCES showing....

A couple of people have commented about the minimalist designs of the
cockpits, versus what will eventually be in the Heads-Up Displays
(HUDs) of the various ships. Scott LeGrand explains the design

There will be more info in the cockpits: some idiot lights and
indicators in the cockpit proper and a HUD for everything else...
In addition, the targeting indicator around the designated target
will have a small shield strength bar under it...

We are going for maximal viewing area. I H A T E Wing Commander's

Doug ("Thunderbird") Engel added:

And the gunsights will be 'aimable' by a 'gunner' on controller

Also commented on were the beautiful new starfields, designed to give
that cinematic quality you only get from big budget space epics.

If you're looking at the static TARGAS you're missing this thing
in motion. If you're recalling what you saw at ToadFest, forget
it! Scott re-wrote the starfield renderer and it's got stars
galore. With the framerate increase of pure RISC, it's really

Noted especially were some of the startling background objects,
perhaps the best ever seen in this type of game. Thunderbird again:

The ones we have in there currently are hand-painted by yours
truly and then reduced in size to their game dimensions and
anti-aliased. I think they look hot. Some of the nebulas I am
especially proud of because they look just like photos of real
galaxies/nebulas. The ringed planet is also cool.

One particularly interesting area of debate came up when a WCES-goer
made this unique suggestion:

...someone at WCES suggested that we should make our stars

The scientific reasons for why stars only "twinkle" inside an
atmosphere were quickly pointed out. Yet, that didn't deter the
participants of that discussion, and options were thrown about
for a way to accomodate this effect. Everything from a
user-configurable keypad combination to turn on a twinkle effect,
to very thick shields were suggested; in the end, though, it
looked as if that option wouldn't be included. But this
discussion led to interesting comments on the finite resources of
any gaming system:

Unfortunately, as I described earlier, most of the "neato"
effects people are suggesting are simply not possible due to the
fact that there's a finite amount of power in any system. There
are also hardware limitations to worry about too.

While we'd love to look exactly like Babylon 5, we have to live
with what's physically possible to do.

Rest assured, we will have creative effects for these things.
Just don't go expecting the results to mimic Star Trek or

One person I talked to wanted me to make the shields look like
the shield effect in the movie Dune, later used by the Borg...
where the shield appears as a glass-like barrier.

If we could do it, we would... but those effects were generated
by sophisticated image rendering programs on powerful computers
over the course of hours/days. No way to do that stuff in

Don't worry.. we WILL have cool effects. Just not the ones
_everyone_ wants us to do because they saw it in a movie/etc.

However, Thunderbird pointed out that other highly sophisticated
effects such as texture-mapping will indeed be present in the game,
although it wasn't seen much at WCES:

Like I said before... some of our objects are competely
Texture-Mapped. I just didn't have time to fly around looking for
specific objects at the time. We were prepping for WCES, it was
late-late at night, and I needed to put together some screens to
hand out at WCES...

For what it's worth, that night while I was doing that, Scott was
in L.A. linking in the decal maps for the remaining races. Some
ships (the Telchines) in particular came out utterly awesome.
Once the squadron insignias are in place, our ships will look
insanely cool... far superior to any Texture-Mapped game.

You guys _do_ realize that certain popular arcade car race games
use gouraud shading and phong shading to achieve that metallic
effect and then have the detail mapped over it... (sound

To finish this continuing discussion, a reflective note on exactly
what makes 4-Play unique and why they hope it will make their games
something unique:

There's a _lot_ of aesthetic considerations to bear in mind when
writing a game engine. A lot of planning and 'art' must go into
the design of a game engine. That's why the programmer must be in
touch with the artists and/or must be an artist himself. That's
why Scott and I work so well together. I know art and I know
code. I understand what the limitations of the hardware/ software
and know how to exploit the hardware to make my art look it's
best, and create effects that are original. Scott knows code and
has many years experience with 3D engines. We communicate daily,
and we are both striving for perfection. We experiment and go
back-and-forth with our discoveries and how to exploit them to be

Remember... we come from the days when you _had_ to do something
nobody else thought of in order to make your game look 'cool'.
Atari 800 games are what we cut our teeth on.

//// Logging Off...

Hope you've enjoyed this fairly exhaustive multi-first-person look at
E3 and the BattleSphere tidbits. We'll be back next time with more Jag
stough...'til then, that's the dish for this ish!


||| Cuppa with the Dooz
||| By: Darren Bates
/ | \ Internet:

OK, I know you've all been waiting to find out precisely what went on
at the Spring ECTS in London, so I won't disappoint you. It was

So prepare yourself for the AEO ECTS special, even though Travis is
getting it to you about a month later than he should. (I'll have to
have a talk with him about this. <g>)

Atari put on their most impressive UK show to date, with a 90 square
meter floor area, 18 screens, and 24 games on display! Considering
that other games companies (mentioning no names) had displays fifty
times bigger but with as little as 5 games on display, Atari done one
helluva job.

In fact, the stand attracted a lot of attention throughout the three
days of the show, and was considered a profound success. One bit of
news everyone was pleased to hear, is that Atari eventually signed
agreements with Electronic Arts, and declared that EA would be
developing up to SIX games for the Jaguar (CD) including FIFA Soccer,
Wing Commander III and The Need For Speed. Suffice to say, this is a
good sign for us Jag owners, and it will be interesting to see how the
Jag versions compare to the 3DO games.

The Jaguar CD made its first big showing in the UK, although
surprisingly, the VLM was not on display! Come on Atari, you know we
all want to see it, make sure it's at the E3.

As promised by Atari in January, TEN Jag CD games were on display,
five of which were playable, the other five being on the promotional
video. Burn Out was one of these, and it was one of the most popular
games of the show. We are talking silky-smooth, sixty frames per
second, speedy two-player racing action. Roadside scenery steams by at
an incredible rate, and there is no blockiness of the scaling sprites
as they zoom into the screen. One feature that I found interesting is
that when you crash, CPU controlled bikes also get caught in the
carnage, and you can cause some great pile-ups. However, the
split-screen two player game is where the fun comes in. This is one to
look out for.

Blue Lightning made a big appearance, but to general disappointment.
The rendered intro and in-game sequences were superb, as was all the
presentation, but the game itself was slow, jerky, and difficult to
control. The plane sprite had few frames of animation, and did not
turn as smoothly as it should. It was also a bit dodgy on the
collision detection, as many accidents with the city skyscrapers
proved. Sound FX were good however, with suitably meaty explosions and
booming cannon shells, which did not quite compensate for the quality
of the graphics. Do not despair though, Atari assures me that the game
has a lot of work to go through before it is released, and that the
GFX will be much improved over the incomplete version at the show.
[Ed: Much work has been done on BL. ;)]

SoulStar (as reported in AEO_0403) was a good solid game. None of the
SGI intros were on display at the show, but at least the game was
complete and fully playable. Upon close scrutiny, the graphics were
sufficiently superior to the Genesis version, but at a distance, you
couldn't tell. All the levels were available to play, thanks to a
level select (that will be left in the final game as a cheat) and we
had the opportunity to see the space, tunnel and underground levels,
all of which provided much desired variation. The SGI rendered sprites
were all quite impressive, and the game provided much frenetic
blasting action. I'm sure some people will say it was not an
exeptional game, to which I agree, but as I said before, it -is- a
good solid game.

Highlander was one that I have personally been looking forward to, due
to the fact that I had no idea what it would be like, or what form it
would take. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a beautiful RPG
adventure, based on the animated series. The game bore a striking
resemblance to Alone in the Dark, but with digitised 24-bit
backgrounds, intermixed with rendered and hand drawn scenery. The
polygon game character is controlled through many picturesque
locations, engaging in sword fights, talking and puzzle solving.
Throughout the progress of the game, extracts of the cartoon series
are played to keep the story going, and it really makes you feel like
you're part of the cartoon, with a quest to achieve. This should
please any adventure game addict out there.

F1 Racer (previously known as Teque's F1) was another impressive
title, which just begs to be compared to Geoff Crammond's Formula One
Grand Prix. I found this game to be superior to its Amiga/PC
forefather, in that the cars are more detailed with Gourad shading,
the scrolling was smooth and fast, and the six different viewpoints
were all suitably impressive. In fact, this could almost be deemed as
a sequel to F1GP. The pit sequence was impressive as well, as the
camera zooms around the car and the mechanics in a smooth and sexy
sort of fashion. Game mechanics were realistic, as you get in the
slipstream of an opposing car, your speed increases gradually and you
can pull out and speed by them. The game did have some annoying
glitches, as you could drive through the fencing and over the grass
and between the trees. Actually, looking back at it, that was fun as
well. To top it all, this game had a split-screen two player mode
(which seemed a little slower than the one-player mode) which was
excellent fun. Overall, an absolute must for driving fans, and an
example of what Checkered Flag should have been.

//// On Video

The other five CD titles were only on the promotional videos playing
outside the Atari reception. These included Creature Shock, Primal
Rage, Defender 2000 (Plus version), Demolition Man and Varuna's

Creature Shock was without doubt, the biggest attention grabber.
Although the version on show was the MPEG version and not the official
Jag CD game, the Jag version should be almost identical, but with a
slightly lower resolution. The rendered creatures and scenery was
amongst the most impressive graphics of the entire show. Although the
gameplay of this game is limited and linear, it would be worth buying
just to show off to your mates.

Primal Rage was also a big hit, being an almost arcade perfect
translation, or so I thought until I was told it was footage from the
arcade itself! However, the Jag version should be just as good.

Defender 2000 was yet again, a classic example of Jeff Minter's warped
and psycadelic mind. Nice one Jeff! Only the "Plus" version was on
display for about thirty seconds, but Flossie made a guest appearance,
as did what looks like the Aurora Borealis. If the Plus version is
this exciting, I cannot wait to see the 2000 version.

Demolition Man was basically identical to the 3DO version, with all
the film footage intact. Not my sort of game this, but it is a good
film-conversion, with many styles of game included. Lethal
Enforcers-style shooting sections, puzzle games, 3D shooting levels
and beat-em-up styles all make an appearance. There should be a type
of game in there that everyone likes.

And last but not least, was Varuna's Forces. Please don't ask what
this game is about, or what style of game it is, because all that was
on display were the rendered intros and the FMV sequences. Where the
game was, I do not know! Anyway, what was on show looked pretty good,
the intro was excellent, and the FMV was used to introduce and explain
each mission. It will be interesting to see what form this game takes
when it is complete, at least the presentation side of things is

//// Switching to Cart

That's about it on the Jag CD front, there were no more on show. Even
the much awaited BattleMorph did not make an appearance, apparently
due to some last minute alterations being made. Surprisingly, Hover
Hunter was not on show either, but it seems that was not complete
enough to show.

Well, onto the cartridge side of things. I suggest you people do not
disregard the cartridge games just because the Jag CD will soon be
out, because many of the cart games were equally impressive as the CD
games, but without the flashy intros. Anyway, here's what was on show.

Firstly, there was the much anticipated Power Drive Rally, which was
on display at the Atari stand and at the Time Warner stand. I'm glad
to say, it is as impressive as was expected (as reported in AEO_0404),
and was a delight to play as well. The graphics were beautifully hand
drawn, and were exquisitely detailed, with some nice spot effects,
such as the cheering crowds at the sides of the starting point, and
the advertising boards with the Jaguar logo on them. The gameplay
itself is frantic, responsive and all round playable, and could well
prove to become one of the top Jag titles. Along with F1 Racer, the
Jaguars racing repetoire is improving.

One of the big titles of the show was the one we've all been talking
about for months now, and that is Rayman. Suffice to say, the graphics
are incredible. The backgrounds are in glorious 24-bit color, and hand
drawn with subtle pastel tones that never fail to please the eye. No
Zool or Bubsy graphics here. The main character controls perfectly,
with some ultra smooth and humorous animation. It's a clever trick to
not use arms or legs on the main character, it leaves a certain degree
of freedom in the animating of Rayman, and leads to some amusing moves
as well. The only gripe I have about this game, is that the character
only starts with a jump move, and only gains extra abilities as you
progress throughout the game. This can lead to some frustration at the
start, as it seems boring. Don't worry though, Ubisoft have taken this
under advisement, and are rectifying the problem. This could be as
good as we all expected.

Ultra Vortex shows Kasumi Ninja how to be a true beat-em-up. UV has
superior animation, far superior backdrops, sound fx, gameplay... you
name it, UV has it. The background graphics are in a class of their
own. Credit must be given to Beyond Games for producing such high
quality graphics; these scenes have very few games to rival them. The
fighters themselves vary in quality unfortunately, from the mighty
rock man, Grok, to the not so mighty lady in red, Volcana. (It's
strange how some fictional characters can look so impressive, and
animate so smoothly, when the digitised actor characters look
unrealistic and tend to moon-walk all over the place.) Nevertheless,
there is plenty of variety in the players to choose from, and the
gameplay is far superior to the last Jag beat-em-up. However, there
are some bugs in the game to be weaned out yet, as I found when I was
playing against Lucius the shapeshifter. Beating him was a matter of
getting him in a corner, and pummeling him with a sweep kick followed
by an uppercut - he couldn't get out of it. If the CPU characters get
a bit more Artificial Intelligence, this could be a corker game.

White Men Can't Jump is one helluva strange game. Limited to a street
court and one basket, comparisons to NBA Jam's entire court were
abundant. But hey, this is different, we're talking street rules here.
If your opponent steals, you can curse him and start beating on him!
(And the cursing is not just mild either!) I found myself throwing the
ball away, as getting into fights was far more fun than dunking. With
a choice of four courts to play, and two player simultaneous action,
this can cause some heated scuffles amongst friends. The onscreen
characters move fast, and scale smoothly in and out of the screen, but
I feel they could do with a few more frames of animation. Also, the
version on show only had a couple of dunk moves available, which I
hear will be improved in the final version. This could be worth
getting for its novelty value.

Fight for Life has been a hot topic for a while now, as it is a basis
of comparison to other next generation consoles. At first you could be
forgiven for being a bit disappointed. The graphics seem inferior to
certain other 3D beat-em-ups, a severe lack of moves were available on
the fighters, and the moves they did have were basic and poorly
animated. Sounds bad to start off with, but (and a big BUT), it does
get better. The original plan of the game was to start the fighters
off with just a kick and a punch manoeuvre, and they had to earn new
moves by defeating other fighters. As was found out with Rayman, this
gives a bad first impression, as there is little to do in the first
levels. As you progress, however, you stand to gain some very
impressive special moves which rival any move in, say, Virtua

Some of these moves are extremely well animated, and the realism of
your opponent hitting the deck is very satisfying. Sure, the
characters may have less polygons than VF, but the texture mapping
makes up for it, and the animation is equally realistic, if a little
slower. The camera angles are impressive too, as it swoops around the
characters as they move and change places. On top of that, you get an
instant controllable replay of your fight so you can repeatedly taunt
your friend as you show him/her their demise in slow motion. I will
only say this, don't judge this game until it is complete, it could be
very interesting indeed.

A couple of games were on show, but were not playable, such as

Kart, and Konan (as in that barbarian/destroyer chappie). Super Kart
is basically Mario Kart-ish, but with superior graphics. It looks
amazingly smooth and fast, and I just pray that the playability is up
to scratch when it comes out. If a two player function is included,
this could prove to be another promising game.

Konan (I thought it was spelt with a 'C') is a Final Fight style, side
on scrolling hack-em-up. I must say, this looks just as good as many
arcade games of this style, with huge bold sprites, fantastic scenery,
and bone crunching sound fx. Little is known about this game so far,
as no playable version has been available for us to play, we can only
judge from what we've seen. And that alone impresses me.

That's about it from the ECTS, and I can safely say, it was quite a
success for Atari. Here's looking forward to a great year of games,
that should please any Jaguar owner out there.


||| Jeff Minter GEnie RTC Transcript
||| Courtesy: GEnie ST/Jaguar RoundTable
/ | \ GEnie: DARLAH

(C) 1995 by Atari Corporation, GEnie, and the Atari Roundtables. May
be reprinted only with this notice intact. The Atari Roundtables on
GEnie are *official* information services of Atari Corporation. To sign
up for GEnie service, call (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection
wait for the U#= prompt and type JOINGENIE in uppercase. Answer the
ensuing prompts for screen width and country. When asked for the
KEY/OFFER CODE, please enter MXC524. You must also supply a valid
credit card number.

Atari ST RoundTable
Real Time Conference

Special Guests - Jeff Minter and Dan McNamee

March 29, 1995

<Lou (Host)> Thanks to everyone for coming tonight. This is the first
formal conference with famous game developer Jeff Minter and I would
like to welcome Jeff to GEnie... the home of loyal Atarians! Yeah! I
would also like to thank Dan McNamee from Atari for joining us and I
am sure that Dan will have some interesting things to tell us tonight.
Finally, thanks to Atari for providing some neat prizes tonight. As
you read in the banner, we will give away 3 copies of the Tempest 2000
game cartride plus 3 copies of the newly released Tempest 2000 CD
soundtrack and 3 Jaguar T-Shirts. The lucky winners will be the first
ones to answer a skill testing question. There will be three questions
in all. Each time we have a question, the first answer judged to be
correct will have first choice of a Game, CD or T-Shirt. Second answer
gets the next choice. Third answer gets the remaining prize.

OK Let's meet Dan McNamee and Jeff Minter. Gentlemen, your mics are
open. GA please

<yak> Baaa!

<Dan @ Atari> <tap, tap> this thing on?

<yak> Time to open my Inca Kola.

<Lou (Host)> Yep. Step up and speak into the mic

<yak> Lance here, I'm sharing the space, but no Kola?

<Dan @ Atari> Well, you all know me. I'm Dan McNamee, and I've been at
Atari a long time. 7 years and 1 week now. ;-)

<yak> Well, you may know me, and I'm very strange indeed.

<Dan @ Atari> I've worked almost every position available in the
company, and I now work in software test.

<yak> I currently work in a poky apartment.

<Dan @ Atari> ;-)

<Lou (Host)> poky?

<Dan @ Atari> We do have a cube for you though, Jeff. <G>

<yak> Poky=small, constrained

<Lou (Host)> ah

<yak> But better than a cube :):)

<Dan @ Atari> <G>

<yak> I need to get myself a place with a llamasworth of space

<Dan @ Atari> (He just doesn't want to have to sit next to me)

<yak> hehe My this Inca Kola is llovely!

<Lou (Host)> OK fellas. Thanks for the intros.

<yak> *urpp!*

<David Fairweather> Please describe some of the user configurable fx
of VLM. How does it compare to Trip-A-Tron and Colourspace, (earlier
Minter lightsynths)? What musical qualities are tracked? Beat?
Amplitude? Frequencies? Just tell us all about it!

<yak> Well, there is not as much control as in TaT... some parameters
are configured to respond to joypad movement and button presses...
basically there is an FFT of 128 bins, sometimes all the values are
used to draw something which is thrown into a symmetry generator..
there are also five trigger bands, which bracket groups of
frequencies, which are used to trigger some one-shot events.. the
bands can be moved to select which part of the spectrum to use, and
the thresholds can be varied. TaT had more user config stuff.. but
then again, there you had a mouse and keyboard! VLM is meant to be a
more naive-user oriented thing ...but VLM effects blow away TaT
bigtime <g> okay?

<Matt> Jeff, what is your opinion about the current state and future
of Atari home computers and consoles?

<yak> Well, obviously I believe the Jag has a future, or I wouldn't be
here. I think what we need now is a lot of high-quality software.
Sure, we're not about to outsell Nintendo this year.. but I think
that there's prospects for a good solid Jaguar market.

<yak> As for the computers... well, I still use a TT and a Falcon, and
I suspect the Falcon will continue to sell to the music biz ok... gA

<Lou (Host)> Thanks. On to Kodogr

<Kodogr> Yak, any chance for a Total Carnage mode in Robotron 2K? Any
Chance that you'll be doing work on Adventure 2K?

<yak> well, I haven't been granted the Robotron license yet! You can
rest assured that it would *be* total carnage...

Not sure I'd particularly like to copy their game exactly.. I'd rather
have a Llamatron mode! As for Adv2K... not been asked to do that! It'd
be cool though... I have been playing a version on the PC which sadly
cannot be released.. the guy wants to do it as shareware but atari
don't want him to as adv. is their copyright... shame! ga

<AVRO> Yak, did you ever finish hardcore and are you planning any STE
games such as perhaps an STE version of Llamazap? (registered user of
Llamatron here)ga

<yak> No, I never finished Hardcore, as I had to break off to do
Falcon Llamazap and after that I was straight into the Jag. Can't see
myself doing any more ST/E/Falc thangs while I'm busy with Jag... ga

<Floating Fish Studios> Hi Jeff. Thanks for all the great games and
light synthesizers for Atari products over the years. I can't wait to
get my hands on your VLM and Defender 2000. What I really want to know
is, can I register my shareware copies of Llamatron, Revenge of the
Mutant Camels, and Trip-a-Tron here in the US? How much and where can
I send my US dollars? I need the manual for Trip-A-Tron, so please let
me know if you need additional money for it. Thanks and sorry for
getting off the topic of the Jaguar.

P.S. Thanks for Llamazap. It was well worth the wait! GA

<yak> Hi... glad you liked the games so far... as for registering the
games, yeah, the address is: Llamasoft, 49 Mount Pleasant, Tadley,
Hants RG26 6BN, UK and the phone is 0734814478. I am not sure how much
the games are for overseas at the moment, normally just a bit extra
from the UK prices for postage.. you ought to ring them up and ask
them how much, my mum'll sort you out. ga

<Eggs Ackley> Jeff, how "successful" ($$$) have your shareware games
been? And man, LLAMATRON is still my FAVORITE game. It's terrific!

<yak> Llamatron is kinda fun :) On the ST Llamatron made quite a bit,
probably about 20K pounds. On the Amiga and PC, users are obviously
not so honest <g> and the game's not made a huge amount there. Revenge
didn't make nearly as much as Llamatron; I guess it wasn't so
universally addictive.

<Lou (Host)> Atarians revere their developers, Jeff. :-)

<yak> Mind you you should play the TT version, it kicks @ss!! ga

<Lou (Host)> Is there a demo version?

<yak> You can get the TT version if you register the game :)

<Lou (Host)> Sounds like a plan

<Dan @ Atari> Jeff> You can leave a copy on my TT when you finish the
CO tonight. <G>

<GregLeg> Yak, a quick Q about yer Web page -- will you be updating it
anytime soon? (I know yer busy n all...) The last update for D2K was
on the 12th :-) (I'm looking at it right now. Sounds GREAT.
60Hz...drool <g>) GA

<yak> Yeah, about the web page, I'm sorry. You see, the guy who gives
me space is at Uni.. and he has to xfer my updates from where I upload
them to the web server. If he isn't there, or is busy, it languishes,
and I guess he musta been on spring break or sommat. I will update
again sOOn.. ga

<Lou (Host)> Hey, it's time for TRAVIS!

<Travis> All hail Yak! <g> Greetings and welcome to our humble online
home. About VLM, you mentioned a "symmetry generator" earlier. Will
all effects & gizmos go through that, or will there be asymmetrical
aspects to the displays? GA

<yak> Some are symmetrical and some are assymetrical. There's plenty
to choose from. The sym generator, when deployed, uses rotational
symmetry followed by mirror symmetry... it's much better than the TaT
one! ga

<Travis> Sounds great. One more question for now. Can you give us a
-brief- update on the status of D2K? Everyone's dying for more info!
GA And thanks again.

<yak> Sure. Plus is nearly complete. We have been overhauling the
graphics.. now, all the enemies in Plus are pre-rendered and look
cool. I just put in a new ship, which tilts as you move it up and
down, has an IPAZ flame out the back.. and as two gun tubes are now
visible I doubled the firepower :) Right now, most of the tiling stuff
for 2K is running, got 11 layers of parallax in a little demo mode..
so backdrops should look great.

<Dan @ Atari> IPAZ?

<yak> I am currently working on some trix with the OLP/GPU IPAZ is
that p-system generator they have in 3D Studio. Also, new sounds are

<Dan @ Atari> Ah. Ok. I only knew that they looked cool. <G>

<yak> there is a great sizzle on the Llightning Llaser! Yak-mode is in
as well (all humanoids become llamas, and you fly Flossie) ga

<Travis> Dooz saw the Plasma Fire (?) in Plus at ECTS and said it was
lovely. Sort of like the aurora borealis.

<yak> Yeah, the plasma is cool.

<Dan @ Atari> The Plasma is great!

<yak> I llove blitter fx :)

<Travis> I'm done for the mo'.

<yak> ga

<Lou (Host)> Tony is next. Mr. Wetmore?

<Tony> Hiya yak -- i think this question has been asked before, but...
Does the Jaguar CD (and VLM) have the ability to accept line input
from a stereo? 5 Floyd discs are better than one, and all that. (ga)

<yak> Well, the hooks are in the software but it would need a small
amount of external hardware to do it Not much... maybe VLC might make
some... ga

<Tony> something a user could rig together if given pinout specs? <g>

<yak> Probably. I don't know exactly what is needed. ga

<Tony> good enough -- thanks. (done)

<Matt> Jeff, how difficult was it to get used to the new "64-Bit"code
and was it a pain or easy to get used to?

<yak> Actually it was pretty easy.

<Dan @ Atari> Not real likely. I think it has to go through the cart
port (I could be wrong) which could make things difficult.

<yak> The GPU instruction set is quite easy to understand for a 68K

<Dan @ Atari> (^ referring to homebrew VLM interface)

<yak> and the co-processors, well, if you have used an amiga you are
halfway there, you are used to the idea... and I had a headstart, I
worked on the Panther for awhile, which had something a lot like the
OLP in it. So.. you can get up on the Jag in a few days, then you get
better as time goes by and you learn how everything works together. ga

<Thunderbird> Hi Yak... we enjoy your stuff so much that I thought it
would be interesting to know which Jag games (released or not)
impressed _you_. What stuff do _you_ think really "kicks bottom"? BTW,
thanks for coming here tonight... GA

<yak> Hi TB, no worries... well, I like Doom, Val D'Isere and Iron
Soldier the best so far. IS has great poly handling.. Val D'Isere is
one of the few to keep 60Hz, and the hill effects are well done, and
it's a hoot to play too. Mind you, I haven't seen all the Jag games so
I'm not saying others aren't as good.

<Thunderbird> Yeah...we've been inspired by the explosions in Iron
Soldier and want ours to be even COOLER. The Jag is incredibly
powerful! ga

<yak> yeah, it's nice to be on a machine where you can do so much...
I am having fun doing OLP stuff this time...

<Lou (Host)> Hassen got bumped off so I am letting him in now....

<Hassen> Hello Jeff. I work retail part-time at a software store. Can
you give me any advice for selling Jags. You and I both know it's the
way to go, but these people are wondering how it stacks up to The
PlayStation, Saturn and Ultra 64. They're also worried about the lack
of software. Any advice?

<yak> Run Doom... run T2K with the sound turned up...

<Lou (Host)> Speaking of Tempest 2000...

<yak> IS.. basically, you need to run some of the better s/w on
there, after all the games are what will sell a system, more than the
soecs Specs I mean ga

<Lou (Host)> I am going to stop here and ask the first prize question.
All people will be put in TALK mode at the same time.

<Lou (Host)> Type your answer but don't hit RETURN until you see the
TALK mode prompt OK. Dan, Jeff, you ready?

<Dan @ Atari> Yep!

<Lou (Host)> Question ONE: the Soundtrack.
The style of music used in Tempest 2000 can be described as:

A. Rock and Roll
B. Techno-Rave
C. Rap
D. Industrial

<Lou (Host)> OK we need the first person to get the right answer Looks
like Eggs. Do the judges agree?

<Dan @ Atari> Yep, I got Eggs first here. (Jeff is in the little yaks
room, though)

<yak> (Back from my slash)

<Dan @ Atari> Lance, you there?!

<Eggs Ackley> WHEEE!!!

<Lou (Host)> Eggs

<Eggs Ackley> Yahoo!!!

<Lou (Host)> Pick a prize... Tempest 2000 GAME, CD or a Jag T shirt.

<Dan @ Atari> Congrats, Eggs!

<yak> yeah, Dan?

<Eggs Ackley> The game for sure!

<Lou (Host)> You got it. Send me your address in email after the
conference. Email to ST.LOU. Got it?

<Eggs Ackley> YEP!

<Lou (Host)> Don't forget to mention the prize you chose.

<yak> hehe... another addict...

<Lou (Host)> Looks like GregLeg is second Then Gary W

<GregLeg> Yay. Already HAVE the game, so I'll take the shirt (which is
what I wanted anyway <g>)

<Dan @ Atari> That's what I have too.

<Lou (Host)> You got it! Email your choice and mailing address to
ST.LOU after the conference. That means Gary gets the CD! Gary, you

<Gary W> DUDE! That's great!

<Lou (Host)> Sooper!

<Gary W> (I already have the game.. heh.)

<Lou (Host)> Email address and choice to ST.LOU. OK?

<Dan @ Atari> gaspacio!

<Gary W> Thanks!

<Lou (Host)> I like it when everybody gets what they really wanted :-)
What say we give away a second round of prizes? Right NOW! :-) On
account of all the great questions we had so far.... So here we go....

Trick Question: TWO answers needed!
The most evil enemy in Tempest 2000 is:

A. Level 64
B. The Flopmeister
C. Pulsar Tankers
D. Trip Hawkins

<Lou (Host)> I think the answers are A and C. Can the judges verify

<yak> Yup

<Lou (Host)> Steve, Vernon and Matt look like the first three to get
BOTH A and C Dan, we asked for TWO answers in the leadup to the

<Dan @ Atari> Steve, Vernon and Matt it is.

<Steve> Yippee! As I already have the game and CD, I'll go for the ...

<yak> Lance here-yeah

<Lou (Host)> Steve, first pick to you

<Steve> T-shirt! Thanks! ga

<Lou (Host)> Great! Send your choice and address to ST.LOU in email.

<Vernon> ill take the CD.

<Lou (Host)> You got it!

<Vernon> thanks!

<Lou (Host)> Send choice and mailing address to ST.LOU after the
conference. That leaves MATT Matt, do you have the game?

<Matt> Sure do....

<yak> Lance here, did we mention that Jeff was kind enuf to put his
jon hankok on the CD's?? it's true

<Lou (Host)> Hmmm, judges... would you allow Matt a trade for the CD
or T shirt?

<yak> well I think he should..

<Lou (Host)> OK Matt. Pick T shirt or CD

<Matt> Then spin me a CD, Lou...

<Dan @ Atari> Lou, I don't that that should be a problem.

<Lou (Host)> You GOT it.

<Matt> Thanks!

<Lou (Host)> Send addreess and choice to ST.LOU

<Matt> okey!

<Lou (Host)> OK, judges. Thanks for the help.

<Matt> Thanks Dan and Jeff!

<Lou (Host)> We will have one more round of questions in a few

<yak> Dim ots duude!

<Dan @ Atari> Congrats guys!

<Lou (Host)> At that time we will have 2 games and one tshirt left.
Back to our questions. Next is Pat Forister coming back as Job 11 GA

<Pat> Any chance you could upload a few pics in gif and true color
formats of D2K ga

<yak> umm... I don't have any Defender shots in a PC format to upload
although I could ask and see if they will let me upload maybe one or
two things like maybe the ship.. or some of the enemies.

<Pat> Thanks... GA

<Lou (Host)> Thanks Pat.

<yak> Trouble is the screen is so full of *moving* shit anyway that a
static shot doesn't do it justice!

<STumped> Jeff, I just ordered LLamazap yesterday. I know little about
the game except for the pictures I've seen in ST Format. Can you tell
me a bit about the game? I also wanted to tell you that T2K is still
the best Jag game around! GA

<yak> Well, Llamazap is a h/scrolling blaster which incorporates a lot
of references to Llamasoft games... it starts out with AMC, and you
get references to Gridrunner.. Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge
of Time, Sheep In Space and Llamatron... as well as a couple of new
thangs. The h/scrolling sections feature some nice GFX and there are
bigtime weapon powerups on the ships. And the title page with the big
llama with the gun and cybershades kicks @ss. ga

<STORMY KNIGHT> Well T-bird took my initial question, so, what does
your development system consist of and what's your next serious

<Dan @ Atari> I vote for Sinistar 2000!

<yak> well, I got a PC that I have a Transputer board in; I use the F
folding editor running on the Trannie to edit, shell out to run the
Atari development tools, and squirt it all down via the Alpine board
to a development Jag. It's quite a compact dev system, just the PC, 2
monitors and the Jag (and a small pottery statue of a llama, and 2
empty cans of Inca Kola). As for what's next, well, I will have to
talk to the bossdude come the end of D2K. There was talk of Major
Havoc.. (although I wouldn't mind the Robotron thang... and
Sinistar... yeah... *I HUNGER!!!!* ga

<Lou (Host)> Carlos is next

<Carlos> Thanks for joining us here on Genie, hope to see you here
more often :) Were those options seen on the dealer tape left in the
final version of VLM.. I am talking of the extra options you were
displaying.. GA

<yak> Well, they're there... somewhere. Isall I can say :) ga

<Matt> How big is T2K and approximately how big will D2K be in Megs?

<yak> well, the cart size on t2k is 2Meg, and about half that is
audio. D2K is going to be on CD though, so we will have plenty room
for kickin' audio and a shitload of levels! So... half a gig odd, if
we fill that CD ga

<Lou (Host)> T-bird?

<Thunderbird> Well STORMY KNIGHT took my second question, so, perhaps
instead I'd like to ask you what "Panther" game you wrote, and what
(if any) options can be _saved_ in VLM?!?! GA

<yak> The Panther game was to be kinda a cross between star raiders
and defender, I only got as far as doing a few demos of stuff for the
game before the P. got @xed. On the VLM, not a lot is saved - the last
effect you were in, I think. Dunno what CD parameters are saved. Dave
S. is doing all that code. ga

<Lou (Host)> Doug? Finished?

<Thunderbird> Speaking of Jaguar games.... you give much thought to
multi-user games?

<Dan @ Atari> VLM saves the volume level and the last effect you set.

<yak> Well.. I'd like to do multi-user, particularly Llamatron/
Robotron In Defender, maybe, I haven't decided for sure. ga

<yak> If everyone has finished, I will hie me hence and eat the flesh
of dead chickens..

<Tony> What about Pink Floyd and Roger Waters? Think they ever
could/should get back together?

<Tony> I enjoy both of them, separately, in slightly different ways,
personally. (Is that considered heresy?)

<yak> Well, I think it would be *great* if they got back together..
..but the acrimony, especially with Roger, seems too strong... Me, I
like them both, in slightly different ways, as you say...

<Dan @ Atari> I agree. I like Waters and Floyd together, but not if it
would tear the band apart.

<yak> although I do think Rog's lyrical content is superior, if a bit
bleak (but that's our Rog, innit?) ...but Dave sure does know how to
play that cheesegrater... ga

<Travis> No question, just a comment (and hint) that I hope you get
some =serious= vacation time before you start on Sinistar 2000! I'd
hate to see a burned out Yak. ;) GA

<yak> I will do my be(a)st to do that. Maybe I'll pop back to the UK
and visit Flossie

<Lou (Host)> Albert is next

<Albert> How well does the Rotary controller work in Tempest 2k?

<Dan @ Atari> BTW, Several years ago Nick Mason and Rick Fenn did an
album together called Profiles, and Watters did the vocals on a couple
of tracks. It's a great album. Pick it up!

<Albert> Do you have parts list? ga

<Lou (Host)> Thanks Albert

<yak> well, I don't know for sure... all I had was a converted Indy
500 driving controller, and it lacked the flywheel weight to really
give it any kind of Tempest feel. As for parts and pinout details...
you'd have to ask Atari. ga

<Dan @ Atari> Unfortunately, the pinout is covered under NDA. (I think
some people have scoped it out and posted lists, though. <G>)

<Lou (Host)> Matt is next

<Matt> It's me again, Jeff! Will D2K support external hardware, that
is the VLM, etc.? Will the abililty to save into a cart be used? GA.

<yak> Hi Matt... well, the VLM is a separate entity, it won't be
running when the game is! I guess when the save cart is ready I could
include code to use it - I guess most CD titles will. ga

<David Fairweather> Is VLM complete and burned in to ROM? If not can
you add stereo pair imaging for 3d fx via the VR headset? Or have you
already done that?

<yak> We really can't do anything more on VLM at this time. I have D2K
to do! However it would be possible to maybe do an upgrade to VLM on
CD or cart later.. ga

<Gary W> Yak: I LOVE T2K! Great game. I really appreciate your
enthusiasm for keeping frame rate up. I think that has gotten lost in
games these days. T2K is my favorite Jaguar game, and I'm not just
saying that.... (I want the rotary ctrlr!) (I've been told that I
should mention that I'm a 3DO owner as well.. don't everyone shoot me
all at once! ;-) )

<yak> Glad you like T2K... yeah... I figure a h.scrolling game should
keep frame rate. Oh, I like Soccer on the 3do! ga

<Dan @ Atari> So, do you think Gary fell for that joke about winning a
prize? <G>

<yak> hehe

<Lou (Host)> Stormy is back....

<STORMY KNIGHT> I can't wait to get my hands on the ROM drive! I'm
dying to see what Led Zeppelin will do on the VLM. What's your
favorite bit of music on the VLM?

<yak> probably just about any Floyd.. VLM loves Floyd! And Ozric
Tentacles, an' Eat St@ic.. ga

<ginsu> Will any enemies/features from Defender:Stargate make it into
D2K (such as Firebombers and Inviso)? Also, are the controls set up
with the new 6button controller in mind? (I'd love to see a Yak
version of Sinistar!) Love T2K! GA

<Dan @ Atari> All of it! <G> I've been having fun with Nine Inch Nails
recently and with Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the

<yak> Well, the Stargate is in there, I may sneak Firebomber-
equivalents into Plus.. Inviso is replaced by Llightning Llaser, in
Plus... Anyway, dudes, it has been fun but I really have to go ingest
dead chicken sometime soon. So... a couple more and I'm outta here ok?

<Lou (Host)> OK, let's end the formal part of our conference by giving
away the third and final set of prizes. I would like to thank Atari
once again for their generosity in donating these prizes. Previous
winners are not eligible. :-)

<Dan @ Atari> Jeff's getting PECKish. <G>

<Lou (Host)> Before we do Thanks Jeff and Dan for spending the night
with us.

<yak> No worries, it was a blast

<Lou (Host)> I am sure I speak on behalf of our attendees when I say
it has been lots of fun.

<Dan @ Atari> No Problem. B5 was a rerun anyway. ;-)

<Lou (Host)> Here goes the last question

<yak> (and the Inca Kola was lovely)

<Lou (Host)> ;-) Jeff, you MUST get a GEnie account! :-) Maybe we can
get you a free one! Interested?

<yak> Well... yeah, why not? after all, I do have a modem <g>

<Lou (Host)> And PLEASE consider joining the IAJD, the best outfit
around for developing Jag Games.

<yak> OK... although I can't promise too much as I have a lot of
online commitments alteady

<Lou (Host)> Question Three:

Classic Defender can best be described as being:
A. A texture mapped RPG.
B. A vertical scrolling shooter
C. The precursor to the "Mario" series.
D. A horizontal scrolling, finger-pounding shooter.

<Lou (Host)> Dave Fairweather

<Dan @ Atari> I got David Fairweather, Vernon and STumped

<Lou (Host)> JR and STumped Vernon won already! :-)

<yak> Yeah, JR second

<David Fairweather> love that Aladdin message buffer! Got any Xtra
Large T-Shirts?

<Dan @ Atari> Oops, missed JR. ;-)

<Lou (Host)> You GOT it! They are all XL.

<David Fairweather> Alright!

<Lou (Host)> They used Brodie for a model :-) Next is J.R. J.R. your
pick of the CD or the game

<J.R.> I'll go for the CD

<Lou (Host)> David, send me your choice and your mailing address in
email to ST.LOU. Same for you J.R.

<STumped> well already got the cart, but I guess I'll have a spare.
Unless an xtra cd is lying around

<Lou (Host)> Pat, I guess you have to tkae the game. Do you own it?

<STumped> its Pete BTW

<Lou (Host)> CD... OK. You can trade down Pete.

<STumped> Cool! thanks LOU!

<Lou (Host)> Send me your choice and mailing address. We want everyone
to be happy

<STumped> :)

<yak> I want a llama. Can I have my llama please?

<Lou (Host)> Well, that's about it folks. Thanks for coming and thanks
to my buddy Travis for riding backup and helping with the transcript

<STumped> A llama lives on my street

<Lou (Host)> Uh.. yes. The llama is back behind the store.

<Dan @ Atari> How about if we ship Flossie out?

<yak> Send her over!

<STumped> its a strange animal

<yak> Llamas are llovely.

<STumped> spits a lot, however

<Lou (Host)> Thanks again Jeff and Dan. Good night everyone.


||| Theme Park
||| By: Mark "Stingray" Santora
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.4 Delphi: SANTORA

An entire genre of computer gaming was crated with the release of
Bullfrog Ltd's Populus, back in the early eighties. Populus was a
"God" game in which you look down over an area and help your
worshipers to move up the evloutionary ladder and kill off your
opposing "God's" worshipers. Since then many games have gone onto
improve upon ideas set forth by that classic game. Most notbaly the
"Sim" series which took the computer world by storm. Now Bullfrog is
back with its latest take on the "God" style gaming - part of their
"Designer Series" - Theme Park.

//// The Game

Theme Park is not so much a "God" game, but more a simulation of how a
theme park of your own creation would hold up in an economy with
competing corporations with their own parks. The game is presented in
an three quarter overhead view so you see as much as possible. You
build rides, hire staff, control every aspect of the park from the
price of admission to the amount of salt you put on the fries. There
are far too many options like this to mention here, but if you can
think about it happening in a park - it most likely will in this game.

I am one of those "let's plug the cart in and see what happens" type
of players. I like my action fast and furious, but I also enjoy a good
thinker (I play lots of chess when not in front of a tv/monitor tube).
But in the case of Theme Park, you really MUST read the instruction
manual first. It is 65 pages long and at first I thought it was a
multi-lingual manual with the first twenty or so pages in English and
the rest split up into French, Spanish, etc. However this was not the
case. This encyclopedic tome was daunting at first, and even after
several reads, it was difficult to find certain things, like the game
"save" - but we'll get into that later.

Luckily there is a tutorial section built into the game. This will
help walk you through the beginning part of the game. It shows you the
basics on how to place rides, walkways, hire people, etc. This is very
helpful even after going through the manual.

So you start up, and you've got a small park going. Now you think you
can handle it so you move onto the real game without the tutorial. It
gets a lot harder. You have to watch for everything from the amount of
money you put into reasearch on new rides and restaurants to ordering
ice cream, colas, burgers and fries when you run low.

You also have to look out for your customers. Are they happy? What
will make them happy? Most people in your park have a small cartoon
like bubble above their head, a "thought", which is a symbol of
happiness or sadness. On the screen for crowd response there is a
breakdown of which thought bubble means what. Pay attention to this.

There is also a small cartoon like figure that looks like a Carnival
Ring Master who prints little notes for you on the bottom of the
screen for help: "People think you make too much money." "You should
raise the price on the french fries by 8." "People are having a hard
time finding their way to the exit, place more signposts down." He
tries to be very helpful, especially at times when your stock runs
low and you forget.

Control is handled from an arrow which remains fixed in the center of
the screen while you manuever around the park. While this was a bit
annoying at first, it worked just fine. I can't help bit wonder how
much better this handling would have been if there had been a mouse
instead of the control pad. But, when you want to check on the staus
of an item or move to an order/hire screen, the pointer moves freely
around the fixed screen. The Status menu for anyone or thing in the
game is a pop up menu which is filled with icons you press
respectively for each individual item.

The staff is a very important part of your park. You need to hire many
individuals as your park grows larger. First and foremost you must
hire handymen to clean up after your very messy guests. They throw
their garbage on the ground, their unwanted items, and even their
lunch sometimes. This is followed by the appropriate sound f/x. You
will also need to hire security people to watch out for those who wish
to make the park less safe. Another important group to hire is the
mechanics. Your rides will smoke and blow up if you don't have
mechanics to fix them. The rides do this far to often for me, but...
Also, there the required characters that stand around the park and
entertain people. You know, the guy in the bear suit, the shark man,
the buy who steals your wallet(just kidding that's not in the game).

//// The Graphics

They are sharp and very well animated. Each charater has his/her/it's
own animation. The colors are right on and feel like you are running a
theme park. Unfortunately, I would assume, as this is a port of the PC
game, that it was most likely done strait to the 68000 chip in the
Jaguar. I say this because of the slow down you can get when you have
too many rides and too many people and too many variables running at
once. The AI on this game has to be really good and because of all the
complexities of the game I am sure that it contributes to the game's
periodic slow down. Also, while I am sure that this wasn't done on
purpose, on some of the data screens, checking your stock price,
graphs on attendance and ticket pricing, it is very difficult to read.
I assume it was due to the fact that the game was most likely
programmed and play tested using a computer monitor. But when played
on a television, the text is very difficult to read. I have checked
this on my ACER 7015 and several televisions and found that the
monitor was obivously the sharpest image of them all.

One obvious ommission to the game is the lack of the rendered graphics
sequences. I know that the cartridge format has limited space, which
is why these were most likely left out. However, there are times I
wish that they had made Theme Park a CD instead. This would have also
helped with the save game feature.

//// Save What?

I guess this is as good a place as any to mention this. There is no
"save game" feature in Theme Park. It will save the amount of money
you currently have, but that's only after you auction off your park at
the endof the year. This is a major pain in the ass. You play for a
good hour and then have to sell your kickin' park because you have to
sleep, or go to work, or something worthless like that. I mean don't
people know you play video games??? Seriously, this does make any
lengthy game close to impossible unless you can put aside a few days
or pause your game and turn off your television to go to work. And
this little note about saving games is located in the "Auction"
section of the maual. This would be fine, but it doesn't tell you
"Save Game Information Here." That's on page 61. If you weren't
looking for it, you could skip right over it. The manual is like this
at many times.

//// The Sound

Theme Park is fair defficent in this area. There is music in the game
when you are looking at a ride in progress and there is amibent crowd
noise while you are not, but it just seems so, flat sounding. Even the
music on th rides just seems to be kinda bland. There is nothing
special here. There is also no sound whatsoever from the Atari logo
until the game actually starts. Then you get a few "pings" until a
ride is there and the crowd arrives. The title screen is a complete
deaf wasteland.

//// Overall

I know I have only touched the surface of the game. There are far too
many aspects of the game to include in a review(but not a 65 page
manual!). The game is fun if you enjoy a good simulation style game.
You will need patience as sometimes there really is nothing for you to
do as you wait for someting to happen that requires your intervening
powers. The graphics work, but the text is not so good. And the sound
is average. I know, a cartridge has limitations and you can't have a
megabyte of sound samles in the game, but some tweeking couldn't hurt

My biggest hope about games like Theme Park is that when Ocean finally
runs out of cartridges, perhaps they will think of releasing it for
the CD player with the save feature re-written to take advantage of
the Cartridge back up. With a large space to save your game to, this
would make Theme Park a game with much long game in playablility
instead of futility.

//// Final Ratings

Title: Theme Park JagNet: No
Design: Bullfrog Players: 1
Published by: Ocean Cart Size: 2 Megabyte
Retail: $69.99 Availablity: Now

A Summary of ratings:
"*" is a whole
"+" is a half
5 stars maximum

Graphics - *** Characters are nicely animated and the colors work for
the game. Too bad you can't read the text.
Audio - **+ Average. Could have been much better.
Control - **+ It works for the game. Don't expect that it will
revolutionize anything though.
Gameplay - **+ That save game "feature" really keeps a great game
from getting above average.
Overall - *** If you can spare the time, and you like the "sim"
games, then this is for you.

Key to Mark's Ratings:
the ultimate state of mind.

***** - "This is my BOOM Stick!" Ash in Army of Darkness.
**** - "That's a knife." Michael J. Dundee in Crocodile Dundee.
*** - "Okay. Okay. Okay." Leo Getz in Lethal Weapon 2.
** - "I've got a bad feeling about this." Han Solo in Star Wars.
* - "What's this? The Rob Lowe Channel?" Ford Fairlane in The
Adventures of Ford


||| CatBox Review
||| By: Travis Guy
/ | \ GEnie: AEO.MAG Delphi: AEO_MAG

I've found a whole new way to play Jaguar - with the CatBox from Black
Cat Designs. Before, I've had my Jag hooked up to my old 19" RCA TV
through an RF connection. The picture was clear, sharp, and the sound
was great. While I have seen Jaguars hooked up to stereos and non-RF
televisions, I had never played one extensively.

But when my CatBox arrived (with an adaptor to allow me to connect to
my old 1040ST's SC1224 monitor), I was able to start seeing and hearing
my games in a whole new fashion.

//// What Is It?

The CatBox is a stainless steel box that connects to an Atari Jaguar
via the Jaguar's DSP & AV Out bus edges, and provides industry standard
connector jacks for S-Video, RGB and composite video; Left and Right
channel stereo RCA jacks; two 1/8" stereo headphone jacks (with volume
adjust); RS-232 and "CatNet" networking ports, and a pass-through Jaguar
DSP bus, so other devices can be daisychained.

Inside the CatBox are two PCBs with the support electronics to drive
old Atari/Amiga era RGB monitors, and to properly do everything else
that is asked of it. It's a very solid piece of engineering.

If you're buying CatBox to drive an RGB monitor, contact Black Cat to
make sure your monitor type is supported. (It should support a scan
rate of 15.75kHz.) There are two jumpers on one of the PCBs inside the
CatBox which a user could set for certain monitor requirements.
Furthermore, a monitor cable adaptor may be required. (I had to have my
SC 1224's brightness increased slightly, but it was well worth the
time... nothing provides a sharper Jaguar display, than an RGB monitor.)

There's two red LEDs that can been seen through holes drilled into the
top of the CatBox. They both light up when the Jaguar is powered up,
and I'm told that when networked, the LEDs will flicker on and off
similar to a modem's Receive Data and Transmit Data LEDs.

The CatBox has no external power needs or supplies. All power that it
uses is drawn from the Jaguar. A nice, neat solution.

//// Network Now For The Future

Networking. A future step that the video game industry will have to
take. CatBox supports RS-232 devices (if a game will support it, you
can connect a standard external modem to the RS-232 port), CatNet
(another networking possibility that uses twisted-pair telephone cable
to daisychain connect multiple Jaguars), and a place to connect
future DSP-port devices.

I don't have another copy of Doom to test networking with myself, but
I've spoken to several third-party developers who swear by CatBox for
their network tests.

//// Final Ratings

Title: CatBox Networking: CatNet, RS-232 and DSP
Designed by: Black Cat Designs Video: RGB, SVideo, composite
Marketed by: ICD, Inc. Available: Now
MSRP: $69.99 Audio: L/R RCA, 2 headphone

Of the three "computer port" games that appeared earlier this spring
for Jaguar (Cannon Fodder, Syndicate, and Theme Park), all experience
some "muddiness" of text when viewed through RF output. Not so when
played on my lowly Goldstar SC1224 monitor through CatBox! Crisp,
clear graphics. (I didn't even know that the starfield in Tempest 2000
wasn't made of =white= stars, till I saw it through CatBox!)

Audio-wise, the stereo jacks work perfectly. (If you only connect one
jack to your amplifier, CatBox will sense this and supply both
channels of audio through the one jack. Nice, Tom!) The amplified
headphone jacks on the CatBox are a =perfect= touch - nice, clean,
loud stereo.

Control and use are a snap. Just make sure your Jaguar is on a solid,
flat surface and that it won't be jarred during play - doing so could
possibly interrupt the Jaguar/CatBox connection.

Overall, this product earns five stars across the board, and the
shortest AEO Jaguar review on record! There's nothing else to say,
CatBox is a perfect addition to your Jaguar, and a definate "buy."


||| Rare Gems
||| Compiled by: David A. Wright
/ | \ Internet:

The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for April 16 to 22,
1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc. and
David Alan Wright. (Internet: CENTAUR@HARTFORD.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
subscribe by Internet email, send "SUBSCRIBE" in a message to
RAREGEMS-REQUEST@HARTFORD.COM. Private Property. Keep Out. --:Dave

Rose's are red, Violet's are blue, and mine are white. --Unknown

DeForrest Grump: "Have a damned chocolate, you pointy-eared, green-
blooded..." --:Dave Wright

A small family is soon provided for. --English proverb

It is not healthy when a nation lives within a nation, as colored
Americans are living inside America. A nation cannot live confident of
its tomorrow if its refugees are among its own citizens.
-- Pearl S. Buck

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they see
nothing but sea. --Francis Bacon

A stumble may prevent a fall. --Thomas Fuller

The noisiest drum has nothing in it but air. --English proverb


The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for April 23 to 29,
1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc. and
David Alan Wright. (Internet: CENTAUR@HARTFORD.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
subscribe by Internet email, send "SUBSCRIBE" in a message to
RAREGEMS-REQUEST@HARTFORD.COM. Deliveries in the rear. --:Dave

Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean
you are any wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.
--Edward R. Murrow

The first time someone said, "What are your measurements?" I answered,
"Thirty-seven, twenty-four, thirty-eight - but not necessarily in
that order." --Carol Burnett

Traffic is very heavy at the moment, so if you are thinking of
leaving now, you'd better set off a few minutes earlier.
--Automobile Association broadcaster in London

Be careful with your immigration laws. We were careless with ours.
--American Indian to Vice Pres. Lyndon Johnson

He will be the slave of many masters who is his body's slave.

Better hazard once than always be in fear. --Thomas Fuller

I love the valiant; but it is not enough to wield a broadsword, one
must also know against whom. --Friedrich Nietzsche


The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for April 30 to May
6, 1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc. and
David Alan Wright. (Internet: CENTAUR@HARTFORD.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
subscribe by Internet email, send "SUBSCRIBE" in a message to
RAREGEMS-REQUEST@HARTFORD.COM. Details inside package. --:Dave

Any man who has the brains to think and the nerve to act for the
benefit of the people of the country is considered a radical by those
who are content with stagnation and willing to endure disaster.
--William Randolph Hearst

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit
there. --Will Rogers

Peer pressure is what you do to people who are not, in your opinion,
peers. --Dogbert, "Dogbert's Clues for the Clueless" by Scott Adams

Most of today's books have an air of having been written in one day
from books read the night before. --Sebastien Roch Nicolas Chamfort

While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an
escape, not from, but into living. --Cyril Connolly

To read means to borrow; to create out of one's readings is paying off
one's debts. --Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not
relieve. --Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu


The following are the "Rare Gems (sm)" selections for May 7 to 13,
1995. "Rare Gems" is a service mark (sm) of Rare Breed Noninc. and
David Alan Wright. (Internet: CENTAUR@HARTFORD.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
subscribe by Internet email, send "SUBSCRIBE" in a message to
RAREGEMS-REQUEST@HARTFORD.COM, exactly. This side up. --:Dave

A taxpayer is someone who does not have to pass a civil service exam
to work for the government. --Unknown

In 1884, French officials reopened the case of Paul Hubert, who by
then had served 21 years of a life sentence, because they finally
realized he had been convicted of murdering himself.
--Eileen Mason's fact for Admit A Mistake Day (May 14)

Failures are divided into two classes - those who thought and never did,
and those who did and never thought. --John Charles Salak

A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his
hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands
and his brain and his heart is an artist. --Louis Nizer

It depends on if you're pouring or you're drinking.
--Bill Cosby's father, on if a glass is half empty or half full.

What is the sound of one hand clapping? Clap, clap, clap...
--:Dave Wright

The person whom you favored with a loan, if he be a good man, will
think himself in your debt after he has paid you. --Richard Steele


||| 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 new Internet gateway into GEnie, you can reach us
through the Internet also. Append "" to any of our
GEnie addresses.

Until the next issue of AEO, I remain,
Your Editor
Travis Guy


(This issue printed on recycled photons)




No Inflation Necessary


Sweet As Sugar


Atari Explorer Online Magazine is a bi-weekly 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 <>.

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 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
:: Special Jag Edition E3 ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE May 20, 1995 ::

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