Submitted by Dan Dooré on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 11:48.
|Magazine||Ffl, Cm Speaks, Allan Clarkson as co-editor|
|Letters||Games Master, Shows, New Mag|
|Mod Player||Stefan Drissen||Amiga Module Player Version 2|
|Sniper Fire||Warren Lee||Mouse/Keys Shooting Game|
|Repel||MJD Productions||Interesting Pong Game|
|Sampaint Masker||David Brant||Sampaint Utility|
|Useless Ones||Robert Brady||Start Trek-Esque Story|
|E-Tunes||Bob Brunsden||E-Tracker Music|
|Modules||Stefan Drissen||Amiga Modules|
|Chase And Slidy||G. Morris||Sam C Games|
|Speccy Loader||Peter Vinnicombe||Snapshot Front End|
|Ffl!||Colin Anderton||Fantasy Fred League|
CA Let's Count To Ten First, Shall We? Hello, my frisky FRED following friends from far-away. How's tricks? I imagine you're all a little peeved after last issue's FRED. If you're just a fraction as annoyed as I am about the gigantic cock-up, then you'll probably be wanting to kill someone. Let me explain... As you'll know, I had a wonderful demo from Martijn Groen and friends. It was a bit too big to go on FRED, but undeterred, I decided to change the layout for an issue. After finishing the issue, I made a back-up, made a thorough check and everything worked fine. The disc reached Colin Macdonald, and everything worked fine. The disc was sent to the duplicators and something went wrong. This is why your demo resets after loading and why the screens load slower than they should. People who know technical stuff in the SAM world say it's because the duplicators copy the discs in a different way, and this affects the tracks. Either way, I'm pretty pissed off. We're still looking at ways to rectify the situation, so bear with us. I think we're all the victims in this. CA OneTwoThrFourFiSiSevEightNiTen... Grrrr Anyway, if we can, let's leave that aside. Some stupid duplicators shouldn't get in the way of this next issue. This is an issue for celebration. This is issue 75. This is the three-quarter of a century celebration issue! Issue 75. Such a big number. If I'd been doing FRED since day 1, I'd have earnt a whopping £4.50 by now. That's incredible. I could afford a new pair of pants. Imagine that. This also means I've been editing for a third of that time. This will be my 25th issue. That means I've done more than Brian and nearly as many as Mr. Macdonald. By issue 79 I'll be in the lead, which means I'll officially own FRED. It'll have to go down to a vote before I can officially spend all FRED's money, but if you vote for me then I'll send out every issue free until I run out of money then I'll go to Spain. You were all gullible enough to vote me in as editor, so I'm bound to win this vote. Mwa ha ha ha ha ha. CA CELEBRATIONS! A marvellous achievement.... I'm very proud... Colin / C. Anderton \ *********** ********** * * Oh alright, you can * * Eh? Oh yeah. use my MOD player.. * * Very good. Stefan Drissen \ * ***** A. Clarkson * *** / * * Please stop ringing * * me up or I'll call * * 75 years? That's the police.... \ * * - a long time... Dannii Minogue * *** Mrs. Brookes * ***** (stupid woman) / \ Brian doesn't live here any Is it?.... Colin's Housemate more... Brian McConnells mum CA Groan, Cough, Urgh This degree lark just isn't fair. They're expecting me to do so much work. Work, work, work. That's all I ever do nowadays. If anyone out there fancies swapping their comfy management position job with my degree full of curvilinear coordinates and bloody continuity theories, then write to the usual address. And to top it all off, I've been nastily ill over the last few days. I've still got a headache and a cold and a sore back and a runny nose and a cough and I'm run down and stressed and I'm having woman trouble, family trouble, broken hi-fi trouble and I can't be bothered to eat. In fact, the only thing that's keeping me sane is the battery operated parrot I bought the other day which repeats everything you say. A marvellous waste of money - £10 from Boots. I bought a parrot and 120 pints of home brew in Boots. Not a bad buying spree. CA Editor In Manly Hair Shocker It had to happen. Tormented by the insults from Stefan Drissen, sickened by the retouching of screens by Allan Clarkson to make it look like I'm wearing an ear-ring and wanting to do something radical to celebrate the 75th issue of FRED, I've gone and got a proper hair-cut! It also had something to do with having to get it cut to get a job, but never mind that. The woman in the hairdressers said I looked like the next Brad Pitt. I told her that I had to get a hair cut because I'd robbed a bank the day before (ho ho). More depressing news now - did you all see the 2000th episode of Home and Away? Angel's gone for good. She's not coming back. She's buggered off with that stupid Simon ba****d. I just don't know what's going on in that program any more. Angel's gone away, the old Selina actor is back (yuk) and Chloe went and got a hair cut amd has gone mad. Thank goodness we've still got Shannon, eh? CA Ding Dong Merrily On High A wave of inspiration and thoughtfulness has just succumbed me. Normally, if I were to be doing a first rate job of FRED, I'd be rushing the next issue in an attempt to get it out in time for Christmas. Every year I try this, about half of you get the issue two days before Christmas and everyone else gets it two days after Christmas. However, this year, due to circumstances beyond my control (lecturers piling on the work AND a lack of contributions) the latest few issues of FRED have been somewhat late. Therefore, even though I'll be able to catch up a bit during the Christmas holidays, there's no way I'll get issue 76 out before the magical day. Therefore, in actual fact, this issue is the Christmas issue! Yippee. In fact, I think both issues should be the Christmas issue seeing as Christmas is without doubt one of God's best ever inventions and we should all celebrate accoringly (unless you're a Jehova's Witness - you might want to skip the next few pages while we enjoy ourselves). CA A Friendly And Honest Opinion Now's the time when you have to run off and get your mum or dad or wife or whoever buys you presents. Go on, I'll sort them out. Hi there. My name is Colin and I'm the well respected editor of your son/husband/friend's favourite disc magazine. FRED has been around for over 6 years now and is a superb company with a reputation that Richard Branson would be proud of. Now, I imagine you're at a bit of a loss about what to buy your special person for Christmas. You'll probably end up buying them loads of sweets, won't you? Well, this needn't be the case. Look no further than FRED Publishing. We have a wonderful and extensive catalogue of sotftware, and I'm here to suggest some great presents. If you're after a peaceful Christmas and Boxing day, then Momentum is the game to buy them. This game is huge. It'll have them playing for weeks. And it's a snip at just £12. CA Cheques Made Payable To FRED Publishing Just as good is Football League Manager - voted 2nd best game of the year last year (falling behing Lemmings from FRED). If you're son is a fan of footy, this management sim will keep him glued to the telly for absolutely ages. It's only £12 too. If your son/husband has some mates or brothers, FRED's latest release, Kaboom! is for them. It's a SAM version of one of the most entertaining games ever and can be played by up to five players at once. All they have to do to win is kill each other (in the game, not in real life). And that's only £10. And there's dozens more titles you can order. Just ask them for the price-list and I'm sure they can reel off plenty of programs they would want. I hope I get a cut for this. As a special Christmas offer......... well, I don't know what is hapenning but Colin promises to stick it on the newsletter. So fork out lots of money this winter, and a Merry Christmas to you all... CA Christmas Festivities Continue On the 1st day of Christmas, my truelove gave to me... A Copy Of TnT 2 Sophistries 3 Witching Hours 4 Kabooms 5 Mo-men-tuuuuuums 6 WaterWorks 7 Wop Gammas 8 Spectrum Classics 9 Leaping Lemmings 10 SAM Visions 11 Best Of FREDs 12 Months Subscription What an amazing Christmas that would be. CA Cha Cha Chachacha Chachachacha cha cha! Team Name Manager Score 01 The Crashed Crusaders Allan Clarkson 077 02 "Headless" Stefan Drissen 069 03 Frank Broughton Appreciation Soc. Mark Sturdy 066 04 I'll Cheat If I Start Losing... Colin Anderton 063 05 Scotland Colin Macdonald 059 06 Real Nice World Andrew Collier 057 07 What's In A Name? A. Francis 055 08 Crikey...My Wig Is On Fire! Andrew Chandler 053 09 Scorpion Soft Productions Team (?) Paul Dudley 052 10 Children Of Satan (ahem) Stephen McGreal 046 11 Blue Foot United Stewart Skardon 043 12 Some Dead Good People Graham Goring 040 13 Death By Electricity Doug Young 039 14 Crap Games Co. Dean Nicholas 037 15 I Still Use My Sam, Honest.. Dave Handley 037 16 Sentai Power Sammers NL Robert Van Der Veeke 037 17 Team Mango Chutney Matt Vowles 037 18 Happy Slug Productions Tim Paveley 036 CA FFL! 19 James Curry's Team Of SAM Wierdos James Curry 035 20 Har Har Har Sylvia 030 21 The Kick Butt Crew <- [Ho ho - CA] Mark Bennett 029 22 NewZealandStory Howard Price 025 MANAGER OF THE MONTH : STEPHEN MCGREAL - 16 points A bit of a low scoring month thanks to 'THE BIG ISSUE' but... Yeah! The crashed monopoly at the top of the table has been separated. Thwarted, if you like. Sturday claims NO points this month and so Drissen, with a baby 5, steals second place and closes in 1 more point on permanent leader, Clarkson. Ando does his job by closing in 2 points on the leader and pulls 1 point away from MacD. McGreal zooms up 8 places thanks to some nitpicking over my scoring. Tsk. Van Der Veeke gets the boost he needed with a big 15 points lifting him miles from bottom and leaving poor Price up shit creek without a paddle. Cracking. Now we await a date for the next Gloucester show - the time when the season will end and we will hail our winner. CM Erm, Och Aye The Noo Hallo there, me wee FRED readers who I so enjoy taking money off. I promised a show report and, och, a show report ye can hae. Machty jings, whit a car ride. Braw show too. Then I went oot tae the pub. Aye, whit a braw bricht moonlicht nicht that wiz. Erm, then I went hame to Bonny Scotland. Och aye. And I saw the Loch Ness Monster. CA Gulp Erm, thanks Colin. Good job I finished the issue nice and early and you could write a show report. And not, for example, I finished the issue late and had to blag it myself because you'd gone on holiday... Dohhhh.... CA News The big news this month is that Kaboom is now out! I surely don't need to describe the game again. It's Dynablaster / Super Bomberman on the SAM. I haven't seen the game yet, but Colin assures me there's a copy winging it's way to me in the post and I'm looking forward to seeing this game as much as I was with Lemmings. And the best thing about this game is the price - only £10! What a bargain. And if you don't believe me, get this - we've had an Amiga owner saying he prefers it to Dynablaster! Well, what do you expect when you mix the programming genius of Wayne Coles with the high standards of FRED, eh? And if it's better than Dynablaster, then it'll p**s all over Super Bomberman on the SuperNES! I think we can mark that down as a victory. CA News The other exciting bit of news is that theres already another show date lined up for you to note down. This show will be the second in Leeds and lets hope everyone from last time is going to turn up... as well as a whole lot more! It'll be on Saturday 22nd February, and I imagine the venue will be the same, but more news on that in the next couple of issues or so. I'll be there, unless I break my legs on this parachute jump I'll be doing soon. Leeds is a cracking place, and if I didn't turn up Colin would get in a mood and start hitting people with his handbag. So book that date off work because Allan Clarkson, organiser, says he'll give up his life as a tee-totaller and begin drinking once again if more than 100 people come through the door. And besides, his mates got a bad temper and a record for arsen. CA News This isn't cleared with Colin yet, but FRED will soon be having a new co-editor. You might have noticed that this issue is a teensy bit late. A month late in fact. This is because I've had bucket loads of work thrown on me. Clearly, this trend is going to carry on, so to make sure it doesn't, I'm appointing a co-editor to do all the boring bits and pack out the editorial. Hell, it might even be funny. The new co-freditor will be Allan Clarkson, whom you may know edits Crashed. Or did. Allan can't DTP Crashed any more so he's got lots of time on his hands, and who better than someone who lives just down the road to help out. I won't be letting him plug Crashed (I'll delete all those bits) and he's dead efficient and stuff. Maybe I'm flogging a dead horse. Who knows? We'll see next month, I guess (cor, I'm excited). CA Disc Contents FRED is back to it's original layout, at least for this month anyway, and what a line-up we have for you to celebrate the THREE QUARTERS OF A CENTURY AND CHRISTmMAS ISSUE ALL ROLLED INTO ONE issue. And I'm most excited about the first item. Not only was it for sale on its own, but it is possibly the most plugged program that hasn't been released by FRED. And it deserves it. It is of course, the MOD player by Stefan Drissen! It'll play any MOD off any issue of FRED (bar those without mods on) as well as all of them you convert. And you can just stick in a 720K formatted PC disc too - it'll recognise it without any need to convert over to the SAM. Not only that, but Stefan 'sarcasm man' Drissen implemented a clear sreen option so that if you've got a rubbish TV like mine that crackles constantly, you can clear the screen and hear the mod without any interference! Yippee! Just press C at any time to do that. What a gem. Cheers, Stefan. CA Disc Contents Next up, we have a delicious game by Warren Lee. It's a target game with some amazing touches to it. You start off by having to shoot 50 targets and then progress into the mean metropolis containing the unforgiving criminal life. Mouse or keys can control this and listen to them sound effects too. Thanks Warren. Repel is a batz and balls game with a difference - there's no blocks and there's four bats. See if you can co-ordinate in two directions all at once! A fine idea from ----------------. Thanks. Then we have a very useful utility for those serious SAM users out there. It's a masker for sampaint and basic, and although I've made it sound quite crap, it really does look extremely slim-line and efficient. It's from David Brant and thankfully has instructions so I don't dig myself any deeper! Excellent utility - thanks David. CA Disc Contents We have an addictive little SAM C game next called Chase. If anyone ever owned an Electron they may well remember this game. You have to race aroudn the track, changing lanes so as to avoid the enemy. It's a game of skill and judgement, and in my case, sheer fluke. If anyone can beat level 2 race 4, then tell me. Thanks extend out to Bradford and Mr. G. Morris for this game. I've also squeezed in another game called Slider from him. You all know the game, and it's as good as we've seen yet. And finally we have a rather handy Speccy Game loader from Peter Vinnicombe. It loads SNP files. Thanks, Peter. And we also have a favourable splattering of e-tunes to get us in the Christmas mood from Bobby Brunsden. As well as screens, FFL!, adverts and all manner of hidden stuff. CA Thanks AGED AND CLOSE TO HEART ATTACK - COLIN 'Dorothy' MACDONALD YOUNG, AND LOOKING FOR SUCCESS - COLIN 'Glub Glub' ANDERTON And those people who don't adhere to 48 hour working weeks are: Bob Brunsden Warren Lee Stefan Drissen FRED PUBLISHING, J. Smith [redacted] Stewart Skardon Chrish Ash Alec Carswell Peter Vinnicombe David Brant Robert Brady Ring this number at 3:00am [redacted]
Letters & Reviews
Letter From J Smith Dear Colin, Thanks for the copy of "MOMENTUM". A very polished and playable product. May I ask a question that your readers could help me with? I have dabbled with GAMESMASTER for a while now, and have just started to mess-around with the Phantom Zone. GamesMaster bods should know what I'm talking about. My problem is, that I can't PLACE a sprite in the Zone, on the X-axis. Unless I am mistaken, co-ordinates 0-127 are on screen, and 128-255 are off. The manual says that DELAYED WRAP should be set to "YES", and placing sprites in the Phantom Zone should just be a matter of their X co-ordinate being between 127-255. Letter From J. Smith But, when I use the following instruction: PLACE 1,150,100,1 The Sprite seems to wrap around immediately, and place itself in the visible screen. After this, however, the Phantom Zone works perfectly. A sprite leaving the left side of the screen will take a couple of seconds before re-appearing on the right. I have examined the DEMO1 file that ccompanies the disk, where an example of this is shown to work. An aeroplane is placed off-screen, and after a few seconds it comes jetting in from the right! For the life of me, I can't see what I am doing wrong. ........................H.E.L.P Yours faithfully, J. Smith CA Reply To J. Smith Thanks for the letter, Mr. Smith. My GamesMaster skill is only very basic, so I can't help you, but I'm sure there's someone out there with the wizardry to answer your question. Incidentally, I wonder if anyone can answer my problem. I'm not sure if my SAM is knackered or if it's a design thing but can I ask you all to try something later. When using Outwrite (I don't know if this happens in BASIC or not), if I type A then C holding down the shift key to keep capitals, the C comes out as an F. Similarly AV comes out as AG and AX as AD and AZ as AS. This happens is I type quickly so that the A key isn't released when I type the next letter. Every other letter can be typed in this way and will return the correct letter. Is it a design fault or is it my SAM. I thought I was going mad when I read through the letter I'd just typed out and all the PLACE words said PLAFE. Letter From Warren Lee To FRED, Please find enclosed a disk with a game and a couple of screens. Out of interest, I was wondering what happened over the last game I sent in. Was it too big? What did you think? And, if you publish this letter, does anyone know how to stop the problem of sprites going haywire on Gamesmaster when using key(n) immediately after a TRANSFORM? Also, is there any way of increasing the number of animation sequences available beyond 32? I have been working on a 2 player beat-em-up on Games-Master that should work perfectly apart from these two problems. Anyway, keep up the good work. W.D.Lee CA Reply To Warren Lee Thanks for the contributions, Warren. The last game you sent, Invasion II, is absolutely amazing. I honestly love it. It's got some great touches. The problem is that it takes up over half a disk, which isn't too useful for FRED! If you could send a version without the intros or completion sewuences, we could do something like put that on FRED and maybe tell people they can get the full version from you for either a quid or a SAE and a disk or something. Get in touch about it, it's a really good game. More GamesMaster problems, eh? We'll have to get that Matt Round fella to write in at this rate. SS Letter from Stewart Skardon Well, well Colin, Shame on you, trying to start a slagging match between us. How could you. I mean, come on, do either of us have even the slightest resemblance to any (ex)member's of the Crashed team? I don't think so, do you. Any way, the whole reason that I wrote was just to check which song you were talking about me liking. I do hope it was the Smurf's one. Oooh I do love that. I mean, come on, look at that Spice Girls one, talk about childish. That's the kind of thing that little 7 year old's are playing musical chairs to. Cor, what about that Smurfette. Talk about sexy! Those big blue knockers, and that 'super waif' pose that she does. Oooh! It makes me go weak at the knees just thinking about her! SS Wholesome family stuff. Smurfette is just the ultimate babe. And then of course, who could forget Papa Smurf for all the girlies out there. My sister for example, get's soooo excited by his white fluffy beard, she becomes uncontrollable now at just the sight of him. What is the world coming to. Everyone lusting over those huge sex objects The Smurf's. Ok, I think the Smurf crap has gone a bit too far. So, anyway what's all this about, that you may not have the time to do the editorial for FRED then? You lazy toerag you. Nevermind, how about letting me do an editorial then? Huh! Oh go on, I'll behave myself, honest. Cross my heart. We'll see what happens. Who knows, I may get an issue out in time. (Big dig at Colin's time keeping.) SS Talking about that Whilst we're on the subject of time keeping, how is yours? I do expect to receive issue 74 BEFORE the Gloucester show, but then again, I won't get everyone's hopes up. Never mind. I suppose it might look to you as if I started to write this when I got issue 73, but of course, I wouldn't start to write something back in September (sorry, early october. I forgot the 'time delay') and then forget to finish it. No sir! I finish EVERYTHING as soon as I start it. No time wasting here. Honest, apart from the fact that I've been ill with my second ear and throat infection in the space of 5 months, I am running perfectly on time. My watch just stopped for a few weeks. Best let you go and get on with January's issue dated November hadn't I! SS Ooooooooh Sod it! I'm out of titles Anyway, I expect I've got you all excited now, and just you wait until Gloucester, when I shall be bringing my Remix Mod of The Fugees, Killing me softly. Hah! You'll just love it. (Perhaps!) Anyway, bugger off now, and do some work Gargamel AKA /tewart \ /kardon CA Reply To Stewart Skardon Who's a cheeky little bleeder, eh? Firstly you start moaning about my time-keeping and how you could do a better job, and then I notice you've got the cheek to put your own initials in the top-left of your letters pages! Tsk, how rude. I was probably talking about the Spice Girls song, actually. Everyone round here reckons it's dead good, but then again, they're all stupid. Speaking of which, the Fugees are even more annoying. Not only do I hate them, but they can't perform live and they've ruined a wonderful Bob Marley song. So that Fugees Mod may not be as welcome as you'd have hoped.... And any more digs about time keeping, Mr. Skardon, and I'll double the price of issues of FRED. Letter From Chris Ash Dear Colin, Please find enclosed a disk with what will hopefully be the first of many contributions. I was one of the very first people to get a SAM back in 1990, but after the demise of MGT then prompty afterwards SAM COMPUTERS I banished my SAM to the murky depths of my attic and bought a 286PC. After a couple of years of being a smug PC owner and numerous expensive upgrades etc an envelope was pushed through my door containing a disk. To my surprise it was an issue of FRED, The SAM is not dead I thought and hurridly ran upstairs, blew the dust off good old SAM and booted up the disk. Anyway the rest is history. Since then I have been converting MODS and BMP's from my PC to SAM with great success. On this disk you will find some screens ripped from a CD-ROM of ghosts, plus a rather big but excellent MOD named MAKEMOVE. Letter From Chris Ash Just before I depart I would like to ask a few questions. Is the SAM hard drive a standard IDE disk and is the kit available without the drive. Keep up the good work. Chris Ash CA Reply To Chris Ash Welcome back, Chris! Great to see that we're pulling people away from the PC and onto the SAM. Especially when those people have the same initials as me. Hurrah! Thanks for the screens too. Every little thing comes in handy, and those screens will no doubt make a glorious section in the next couple of months. The SAM hard drive is, I believe, a standard IDE drive and you can indeed purchase stuff separately. Just give Colin Macdonald a ring on 01382-535963 and he'll either sell you one on the spot or put you in touch with someone who can help. Letter From Alec Carswell To C.A., Through the post you will soon receive a new disk magazine for the SAM COUPE/ELITE and I personally believe that, with enough contributions, it could be just as good as FRED. I hope you don't think this is a bad thing because it's great for magazines to have healthy competition and I hope that we can compete and happily co-exist with each other. I certainly don't want to tread on anyone's toes and I hope that you'll be able to inspire some of your readers to contribute articles or programs to the magazine. As you will see, most of the text is typed in by myself and it takes up a lot of my time [Tell me about it! - CA] You said that you review everything 100% fairly and I trust that you will find 'X' to be a great little (!) diskzine that has a lot going for it. We don't have many readers and I hope you take note of the sheer effort I try to put into 'X'. Letter From Alec Carswell This is really the magazine's only real chance to try and get itself noticed and I hope that the magazine is good value for money (but that is for you to judge). Our main aim in the SAM SCENE is to get SAM recognised as an affordable home computer system that can be used in various ways and in many different areas of the world. Mainly though, we want the magazine and the SAM COUPE to help educate others. Well, that's all for now. Kind Regards, Alec Carswell P.S. 'X' costs £2. PO's and cheques should be made payable to Alec Carswell. CA Reply To Alec Carswell Thanks for the letter, Alec. Although I personally would like to see the whole SAM community supporting the one disc magazine, FRED, I'll gladly pass on the message of your magazine. A word of warning - FRED finds it hard to keep up with contributions at the moment, so you may have to put in a lot of work yourself. But good luck anyway, and keep us informed. Alec's address is: [redacted] What is it with Scottish people and SAM disc mags, eh? This is at least the 4th one from Scotland! SS Review of Ice Chicken Ice Chicken huh! Well, I'm afraid the title doesn't sound particularly amazing. Not the kind that makes you think 'Oooh, that sound's good. Must dash out and buy it'. However, don't forget that names can be very deceptive. All in all Ice Chicken is a pretty good game. Okay, so maybe the concept of the game is just Pacman without pills to collect, and a chicken being the main character, but there is still a slight hint of difference. The basic idea of the game is to 'squish' (ooooo, I do like that) the blue blob-type creatures with blocks of ice. Well at least we've established where the game get's it's rather "different" name from. However, there are also some special blocks of ice, and in order to complete each level of the game, you have to get all of these special blocks in a row. Then, and only then can you proceed to the next level. SS The plot thickens Where was I before being so rudely interrupted by the end of the page. Oh yes! As well as special blocks, there are also some bonuses (A la Pacman), which just happen to be (wait for it)...... ***** **** * * ***** ***** * * * * * * * **** **** * * * * * * * ***** ***** * Not too similar to Pacman then. Anyway, this is a strange kind of fruit, personally I'd take it back to the grocers, 'cause if you flatten it with a block, it seems to 'regenerate', and change it's entire identity. Too be quite honest, there is something a bit sus' about a few of the things in this game. SS Here comes trouble Things do actually have a remarkable resemblance to none other than The Bulgulators, by our dear FRED Publishing. The graphics are the same size as the above mentioned, and the game screen roughly resembles a maze, although you can actually destroy blocks. Apart from that, it looks like the authors have just simply made a few changes to the code for the Bulgulators, although I suppose that this is allowed being that ESI wrote them both. (That's done it, I'm in trouble now. Colin M will be on the war path now!) Well, having dropped ESI in the deep and smelly, I will also point out that although the game is a bit of a cop out in the plot area, the added 'being able to destroy blocks' side of things does give the game a whole new challenge, and it doesn't half keep you playing. Apart from it's lack of originality, it's pretty good. SS "Good game, Good game" - Brucie It would have been nice to have a lemmings style password system so that you don't have to keep doing that bloody level that took you five attempts in the first place. And, I suppose it could have done with being disguised a bit better, rather than making it blatently obvious that Ice Chicken is actually The Bulgulators with a few extra bit's of code here and there. So I suppose you want a score. Argh! People these days, they want everything done for them. Graphics : 40% - Could be better. Sound : 64% - For the music, and the few sound effects. Playability : 76% - I must admit, it does get addictive. Overall : 60% - Not stunning but good enough.
Star Trek: The Useless Ones (Ctd.)
Captain Colin Macdonald turned round, to see the thing that was making the crashing noise. It couldn't be an intruder. Security was so good. Hmm. What was it? He looked around the room, and found that his chair was no longer in the place it was the last time that he looked. Not that he looked very often to check where his chair was, of course, just when he wanted to sit down in it, just to be sure that no-one has removed it. He had that happen to him once, back at Starfleet Academy, except it wasn't just the usual pull the chair away, it was a beam the chair away to the next room. It never occurred to him that a Captain might not be a victim of these types of 'jokes'. He knew what the noise was now. It was, in fact, his chair collapsing under the weight of his cat. Hmmm. He had got so freaked out by that, yet it was a cat who won the 2365 Garfield look-alike competition. "Computer, what has my cat been eating?", he asked. "White's Waffles," replied the computer, promptly. "Hmmm," said Macdonald. A thought occurred to Macdonald. If his chair wasn't were it was when he last checked, what was he sitting on? He checked. Due to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, there might have been a chair there, and so he might have been sitting on it, and because his body thought there might be something below it, it decided not to fall. As soon as the result of several million quantum events were decided, the universe resolved itself, and there was definitely not a chair below him. He fell, and landed next to his cat. He got up quickly, and tapped his com badge. "White, my chair's broken, I want a repair team on it now ." "Aye, sir," said White. Attoseconds later, a repair team came bursting through the door, and went into action on Macdonald's chair. Ensign Femto Pico, the leader of the repair team, picked it up, put it in the bin, and ordered a new one using the ship's computer. It replicated itself in a cargo bay, and then beamed itself to the correct place. Pico said "All done, sir. If you'd like to test it?" He sat down on it. It was fine. He span around on it several times. It was still fine. He span around 4 Pi radians without touching the floor once. As he was reaching 5 Pi, he fell off, and went flying at such a speed that he had quite a short wavelength. Or at least, he would appear to have had one had someone observed the interference patterns caused by two synchronised point sources of him. And there had been no outside interference causing him to decide where he was. Or something. [If you thought that a funny joke about wave/particle duality was impossible then I've just proved you right :-) ] He banged into where the door was just after it opened. He sped through the bridge, and splatted across the viewscreen. He got up, walked back into his ready room, trying hard to ignore stares from bridge crew, and shook Femto's hand and said "Excellent job, Mr Pico. Dismissed." Pico went into the Bridge and straight into the nearest turbolift. Little did Macdonald know that Pico was not who he seemed, and that he had planted a bomb in the chair. At the heart of all replicators and transporters is a Finite Improbability Drive. It can make improbable events happen. (like a teleport, for example.) Some may say that this is just coincidence, but others say, who cares - it seems to work. Some people know that the FID can be used for other purposes, more nasty purposes, such as rearranging someone inside out, or turning a planet into Strawberry Ice-cream. The FID works by creating a modulated probability wave - it analyses the desired event by Fourier analysis, and creates a modulated wave ready for aiming through a Probability Enhancer. The FID that was on Macdonald's chair had been calibrated to turn the ceiling into maple syrup. It was set to go off in 5 minutes time. Four minutes later, Macdonald left his Ready Room (or Office as sensible people might say), and entered the Bridge. He sat down in the command chair, not noticing that Commander Anderton was there already. He got up almost immediately, and Anderton shuffled over to the First Officers Chair. Macdonald sat back in his own chair. "Sorry, Colin, didn't notice you there," he said. "Captain, Ensign Mitnivik has been reported missing. He was in the port warp nacelle when he was last seen," reported Anderton. "Really? Hmmm. Scan the ship." "We have, sir. We can't find him anywhere." "Strange. Have the ship searched." A day later... "We found Mitnivik, sir. He was hidden inside a storage crate in the port nacelle." "Any idea why he was there?" "No sir. He reports being put there by six people. He's in sickbay at the moment. Drissen says that despite a severe head injury, he will live." Two minutes later, they received a hail from Wop Gamma, from a guy calling himself Atto. "Put him on screen," ordered Macdonald. Cookie was watching Statues of Ice on the viewscreen, the new megademo that had just been released that minute. Annoyed by the disruption, he chucked an Ensign doing research work off Science II and continued watching Statues of Ice. "I, Atto Wop, the Prime Minister of Wop Gamma, and Chairman of the Free Skardon Front demand that all charges against Lieutenant Stewart Skardon are dropped. If you do not comply, then we will be forced to destroy all your hamsters. Wop Out." "Damn!" said Macdonald. "Emotional blackmail. We can't let all those cute little hamsters die. We must destroy the Woppens." "I agree," said Anderton. "Meanwhile, we should fake the appearance of Skardon being released." "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. How?" "I don't know. Do a hologram trick, or something." "Good idea. Get on it right away." "Cookie, do that hologram trick you showed me earlier." "Yes, sir." Cooke pressed a button on the computer. "Well done, Anderton, I see you've done a lot of preplanning in that area," complimented Macdonald. "Thank you, sir." "Set course for Wop Gamma. Engage at Warp 9." Several days later, the Woppen fleet engaged the Grapefruit. They were too stupid to realise that they should stop fighting now Skardon had been released. "Primary shield hull containment breach failure," said Round. "Return fire," ordered Anderton. Lances of pure energy leapt out of the Grapefruit and hit and destroyed several Woppen starships at once. But it was not enough. Thousands upon thousands of Woppen ships came towards the Grapefruit at once, and started firing their deadly energy beams. "Sir, I suggest we move away from the area," suggested Cookie. "They are bound to hit us sooner or later, and then we'll be dead." "Good idea," agreed Macdonald. "Conn, scarper at half impulse." "Hail 'em Mr. Round," said Anderton. "Aye, sir. On screen." "I am Commander Colin Anderton of the Federation Starship Grapefruit. Skardon has been released. You do not need to fight us any more." "Really?" "Yes, really," pleaded Anderton. "I don't believe you. Terminate communic-", said the Woppen Prime Minister. "Set course for Starbase 481 at warp 11," ordered Macdonald. "I hate to say this, sir, but it is impossible to go at warp 11. Warp 10 is infinite speed," replied Sulu. "I know that, Mr Sulu. I want to be there last week." "Well, I'm sorry sir, but it would need more than infinite power, and besides which, we'd only be there by Monday anyway," replied Sulu. "That seems reasonable to me. Engage at warp 9 then," said Macdonald. "Sir, I respectfully suggest that you are a chicken," pointed out Anderton. "Chicken? Me. Never! Sulu, warp 9.9 back to the battlesite. Ready all weapons!!!!!! Fire!!!" countered Macdonald. The Woppen fleet engaged the Grapefruit again. Several of their ships were destroyed in a few seconds, and then a few more, and a few more, with Captain Macdonald cheering every time a phaser or torpedo destroyed a Woppen ship. A few minutes later, there was one Woppen ship left. A minute later, it was still there. "What's the problem, Round?" barked Macdonald. "Why hasn't it been destroyed yet?" "We have a minor technical problem, sir. Not much of a problem, really, but we can't shoot at them any more," replied Round. "Whyever is that?" snapped the Captain. "We've run out of fuel. There is no more Deuterium in the entire ship. It's all gone," replied Round. "Where?" "We used it all." "Damn! Can't you get some people hand-generating power. Get some horses or something?" "Not really, although... Sir, the Woppen ship is firing." "What, again?," said Cookie. "Oh dear, how terrible. Let's just hope they don't hit us (?)," he sniggered. By a pure coincidence, the Woppens did manage to, for a brief nanosecond, aim their energy beam thingy in the right direction. It hit the Grapefruit, and hurt a lot of people who had the misfortune to be using rock climbing programs on the holodeck at the time. The Grapefruit was forced out of orbit of Wop Gamma 2, Wop Gamma's second moon, and began spiralling down to the surface. The Woppen ship continued firing at the Grapefruit, but they were unlikely to hit twice in one day. "Captain, we have a problem," said Sulu. "What is it now?" "We are on a collision course with the planet, sir." "Well set course away from it then and engage at warp 9.999." "Sorry, sir, we ran out of fuel remember." "Oh, shit!!. All hands to the escape pods. But before we escape, we *have* to destroy the Woppen ship." "I have a suggestion sir. Hand phasers." "You what?" "We still have plenty of energy left in hand phasers. And we have more than enough emergency rations to burn to power the transporters." "Do it, then." The hand phasers were beamed away from the Grapefruit, remarkably quickly. They had even thought to point them in the right direction. They fired at the Woppen ship, and destroyed it quickly. However, the Grapefruit was still on a collision course for Wop Gamma 2. What could they do? Nothing. They abandoned ship. Some of the escape pods stayed in orbit of Wop Gamma 2, and were picked up by the USS Enterprise a few days later. The rest crashed on the surface of the moon. The survivors included Captain Macdonald, Commander Anderton, Commander Cooke, and Commander White. Most of the rest of the command -crew were rescued from orbit. Due to electromagnetic interference, the Enterprise assumed that the lifeboats all perished on orbital entry. The years passed.... "FBC News, 46998.5. We are able to report that the Borg have begun their invasion. Starfleet Headquarters today issued this statement - " "On Stardate 46996.5, a Borg ship, unlike any that we have encountered before, attacked a Federation colony. Starfleet ships were quick to respond, but the Borg left no survivors. We are currently attempting to track the Borg ship's movements..." "There has been a coup d'etat on Bajor. The Circle, or the Alliance for Global Unity, yesterday took control of the planet, and then demanded that Starfleet withdraw from Deep Space Nine, the space station near the Gamma quadrant wormhole. Whilst no formal response has been given, three packed runabouts were seen leaving from DS9 hours ago..." "Welcome to FBC News. Today is 47294.5. The Federation Council today banned all warp traffic above Warp 5, except in an emergency, for all vessels that have not been issued with a HighWarpFactor-licence. The HWF-licence will be given to those vessels with new propulsion systems that do not damage subspace, like the new Intrepid class ships like the Intrepid and the Policy. Most private vessels will need extensive modifications to the Warp Nacelles to meet the new regulations. More from our science correspondent..." "Although at first we welcomed the Gamma Quadrant, a growing threat, the Dominion, has been noticed this year. Although at first they seemed benevolent, their soldiers, the Jem'Hadar have kidnapped three civilians and a Starfleet officer doing a science survey of an uninhabited planet earlier today. Starfleet has dispatched the USS Odyssey to assist the crew of Deep Space Nine in a rescue mission..." "Starfleet denied today that they had a new secret Stealth sta rship. Believed to have been designed to destroy the Borg, it has been claimed to have been seen near Bajoran space..." "The USS Voyager, the new Intrepid class vessel has gone missing in the Badlands on a classified mission, believed to involve a Maquis ship crewed by former Starfleet people..." "Here, on FBC News, on Thursday 48663.4, we are able to report that Captain James T. Kirk has died. The accident in 2395 where he was reported dead, actually led to his temporal and spatial displacement onto Veridia 3, where he assisted Enterprise personnel in the defeat of Soran, a mad bloke. The Enterprise was destroyed in the incident, and although there have been no reported casualties, our sources tell us that the Klingon sisters of the house of Duras, Lursa and Betor were involved in the incident and have died." "An attempt to destroy the Dominion by the Romulan and Cardassian Empires failed today, with the loss of tens of ships and thousands of lives. The ships were attempting to destroy the Founder's homeworld, but found that they had been set up, by a Changeling infiltrator in the Tal Shiar. The Obsidian Order, the Cardassian Secret Service, has now fallen, and the militarys ruthless grip on the civilian population of Cardassia is likely to loosen..." "The Klingon Empire today invaded the Cardassian one, due to heightened paranoia about the threat that Changelings pose to Alpha quadrant powers. Fortunately, the invasion was stopped by the UFP before Cardassia was totally overrun, but what advances that Klingons made were not surrendered. In aiding Cardassia, the UFP has also made the Klingons rather upset, and they have withdrawn from the Khitomer Alliance, and broken off diplomatic relations..." "Information that Gowron, the Klingon Chancellor, has been captured sometime in the last year, and replaced by a Changeling has been leaked from Starfleet Command. The Klingon Empire has declined to comment on the matter, which embarrasses them after launching an attack on Cardassia based on fears that the Cardassian government had been infiltrated by Changelings earlier this year..." Earth was saved this morning by the USS-Enterprise NCC-1701-E, on it's inaugural mission. The ship, the first Sovereign-class one, defeated a Borg plan to subvert Earth history by killing Zefram, the inventor of warp drive. More details on that story when we have it..." "A full-scale invasion of Federation space by the Dominion started today, Stardate 53993.5. Deep Space Nine fell within ten minutes, and Bajor fell five minutes after that. The USS Enterprise has been dispatched to the scene. This ship, commissioned by Starfleet in the early seventies, has enough firing capacity to destroy several M-class planets within minutes..." "Stardate 54059.5. The USS Enterprise successful ly destroyed Bajor Dominion Orbital Station in an attempt to thrust the Dominion from the Alpha quadrant. Most of the inhabitants of Bajor have been evacuated, in case the Dominion retaliate..." "Stardate 55995.2. The USS Voyager re-appeared from the Delta Quadrant this afternoon, in the middle of the Dominion's supply lines. They were able to take advantage of the situation and destroy the wormhole. The few Dominion forces remaining in the Alpha Quadrant were destroyed quickly..." "Stardate 61494.5. Cliff Richard has announced his intention to retire before the end of the decade. The singer, kept alive by a life support machine for three hundred and eighty five years, since he was shot in 1999..." "The Klingon Empire has taken over the Romulan one, in a bizarre twisting of events twenty years ago, when the Romulan Empire attempted to incite a Klingon civil war. The Klingons managed to manipulate the Romulan dissident movement to revolution, and took over and imposed martial law in the power vacuum. The Klingons say that the Federation will be next, but the Federation Council, recently allied to the Borg and the Kazon, believe that the Klingons will not get their way. The CardoBajoran Alliance declined to comment." Colin Macdonald surveyed the land, and started his first log recording in ten years. "Captain's tain's Log. Stardate 86493.4. Forty years ago today we crashed. It is 2409 now, and I am the only survivor. I have lost hope of being rescued. In case anyone hears this ever, be very careful and do not approach the plant which you will find the bodies of my colleagues by. It killed them...." WHAT DID THE PLANT DO? WILL CAPTAIN MACDONALD BE RESCUED? HAS SKARDON BEEN FREED YET? WHY DID I KILL OF MOST OF THE GRAPEFRUIT'S SENIOR OFFICERS? Find out next month in the next part of The Useless Ones....