Wednesday, December 30, 2015

R-Type Deluxe

R-Type for the Atari STe anyone?

An early beta of the new R-Type Deluxe has been released at STNICCC. This is a game that means so much to me for a couple of reasons: one, because it's such a fantastic shoot 'em up and two, my parents bought me R-Type for my 17th birthday. In fact, it was the last computer game they ever bought me! Yikes O_o

This new Deluxe version has been developed by Stephen Jones, aka Bod and isn't merely a lame Amiga port. Nope, this upgrade has been specifically designed for the Atari STe and makes full use of the enhanced bits and bobs lurking within this beast: Blitter co-processor, hardware scrolling and of course, DMA effects/music.

The pictures you see here were kindly sent to me by Stephen and I have also recorded a YouTube video for y'all to drool over. Today has been awesome and I've enjoyed playing R-Type Deluxe - for several hours. Please remember this is a Work In Progress. (update). Well, it's high time I stopped writing and played more!!


Update July 24th - I know this file is already on Atari-Forum but here is my backup of Stephen's precious R-Type Deluxe source code. I'm keeping it safe until another programmer decides to finish his work. Or at least update it in some way... <download>

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Shortly before Christmas, the hard drive inside my Mega STE sadly died. Thankfully, I had only just backed it up the previous day (how lucky am I) but this did give me a big kick up the backside to invest in something better. After all, it was the original 47MB SCSI from 1991. So it was only a matter of time before it went BOOM!! ;-) and I needed to sort myself out with the only mass-storage option I fancied... That meant Lotharek to purchase their Ultrasatan which comes with an 8GB SD card capable of silly storage! Fancy going from 47MB to 8GB :)

Ultra...WHAT? Okay, for those that don't know, the Ultrasatan is a tiny piece of hardware that utilises common SD Cards as a mass storage device. Hardly a ground-breaking idea in today's world, but the old Atari computer will see it has an ordinary hard drive (but silent!)

Lotharek are quick! They delivered it on Christmas Eve so I've spent the entire holidays playing and the possibilities appear limitless because I am no longer struggling with meagre storage.

Lotharek's ultrasatan is a brilliant piece of Jookie kit. Buy this!!

One of the most famous shoot 'em ups ever - Xenon II Megablast. This will always be a firm favourite of mine and it was exciting to hear Peter Putnik had doctored it back in January with his magic.

The game now streams 25Khz music directly off the Ultrasatan - sorry STFM guys - this feature requires the audio co-processor hardware of the Atari STE. It's a jaw-dropping 32MB upgrade, which is an unbelievably huge size for an ST game and I certainly hope Peter converts more games in the future!

Drone, an Atari STe demo which I would personally class as a masterpiece with music, artwork and presentation are so far beyond excellent. Released back in 2012 by the legendary Dead Hackers. Drone is an 11+MB demo and was released for Sommarhack to pay special tribute to the Ultrasatan.
This is one of the best demos I've ever experienced.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Mario on the Atari ST?

Super Stario Land was released in 1995 by Top Byte and might remind you of a certain game featuring a daft Italian plumber? Yep, it's pretty darn similar but this isn't merely a cheap clone but a great game in its own right that offers fantastic entertainment. It's a delight to play with controls that are both easy and responsive so feel authentic.

The graphics scroll by at a smooth 50fps with fine attention to visual detail, if small by ST standards. Sound effects are pretty chirpy and suit the console-style but, if you press F9, then music will play by Big Alec. I love this game. It's like having a Nintendo with a keyboard! It's hard but it's also a brilliant platformer which is great fun.

What? You wanted more Italian plumber fun?

Stario's Christmas was released in 1996 and is basically more of the same - but within a Christmassy winter wonderland appearance. It's equal, in every awesome way, to the first so if you enjoyed that Stario then you're sure to enjoy this one. Yep, two superb platformers to play over the holidays. Merry Christmas everyone †

Download hard disk versions via 8BitChip
and the floppies via Old Games Finder.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

3D con kit

I've always been interested in 3D from my early computing years as a kid with a ZX Spectrum and games like Ant Attack, Deathchase and then the mind-boggling Knight Lore/Alien 8. Those games just blew my mind, so when I came across 3D Construction Kit for the Atari ST I was delighted.

After a little googling, I found a fantastic web resource by a Stuart Wilson which I'm hoping will prove to be useful and help me get the best from this program. They also run a FaceBook community page too.

3D Construction Kit is an old but excellent application for making your own virtual worlds. This video is the actual VHS recording that was released back in the day which is fascinating and explains many aspects of the program nicely. There are lots of projects already created on the Atari ST and many are excellent :-)

At my request, Peter Putnik has graciously adapted 3D Construction Kit so it can now be installed and ran from hard disk - so download this instead of the floppies! Plus those faster computers can make use of their power and my own 16Mhz Mega STe runs beautifully! :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015


Sometimes you need a stress release from this strange world and today I did just that thanks to SWIV. Wow, what an exceptional shoot ‘em up this is. I blasted the living daylights out of those military bad boys using my massive chopper! Hang on... Anyhow, this game has great graphics, sounds and timeless action. Love it all.

Yup, this is a cracking shoot 'em up so I decided to record a video. Please subscribe to my channel - it appears 95% aren't :( Oddly, I felt the emulator was a little slower compared to my real Atari STe and the sound effects not quite as loud. Perhaps it's just me but I sure felt a difference? Then again, nothing ever beats the real hardware...

Klaz has a fantastic download that can even be installed onto a hard drive!

Just for giggles... Moments ago, my hard drive started to make strange whirring noises, almost like it was trying to spin-up, but couldn't. You know, I think SWIV killed it!! I shouldn't complain because it was the original drive and therefore about 24 years old. Now that's value for money!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

We Were @

Note - the video was recorded using an emulator and YouTube itself suffers the quality somewhat.
If you can watch it on a real Atari computer - the way it was meant to be enjoyed :-)

This is a brand new demo for the Atari STe and was only released 2 days ago by the mighty Leonard, of Oxygene. Yes, he has always been one of the most uniquely talented programmers but this production blew me away. Check out that Roto Zoomer! Do watch the end credits which feature many interesting details about the coding.

Truly amazing STuff. Beautiful production and certainly one of the best 16-Bit demos, ever!! [download]

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trans D-Bug Express

Save our floppy!

D-Bug's TDE is a program used to convert old floppies into MSA disk images. I know there are excellent apps already out like Jay MSA and Magic Shadow Archiver but TDE works at a technically lower level and therefore has more success with those crusty old floppies. In fact, even if TDE fails with a dead part of a disk, it still offers you the option to save a good image thus you're able to rescue the remainder. Such an excellent and essential utility!

Update October 2020
Version v1.05 is now out and with lots of changes: low RAM reqs, low-level FDC code, faster code, Drive B support and is compatible with all Atari computers. See the readme file within the download.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fernandez Must Die

ImageWorks gave us this cool shoot 'em up in 1988 and it's a pretty much another Commando/Ikari Warriors clone designed to unleash our inner combat soldier. Every time I play, I'm reminded of those A-Team episodes which took place a dodgy part of South America and, just like in the tv show, an evil dictator is causing havoc! However, B.A. Baracus refuses to get on the plane, so pick up your weapon and head out to the killing fields!

This war zone is stuff with enemy soldiers and their flying bullets so it's a good job our machine gun has unlimited ammo. Also, we have a rocket launcher for extra firepower and some buildings can be plundered by blowing off the door with dynamite and is especially useful on ammunition depots! Vehicles can be utilised, so why not mow down a few soldiers along your journey? The visuals are very 1980s with a clean cartoon-like style and smooth scrolling. Sound effects are nice with various sampled sound effects. No complaints from me.

This is one of those games I'm glad I bought because it's excellent - highly addictive. Fernandez Must Die might have zero originality but it makes up for that with bucket loads of action. An awesome shoot 'em up.

Pick up your weapon, soldier and get out on that battlefield using either a floppy or hard disk!

Bullets flying and armouries to loot. This is just like being part of the A-Team!!

Watch out for sneaky soldiers hiding in the trees and also those operating gun turrets.

The action comes thick and fast and the onslaught of soldiers never ceases. Oops, I died!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters

When gaming meets B-movie!

Oh no, evil Reptilons are hell-bent on destroying us and have taken hold of Planet X. They've enslaved the human population and forced them to build a robot army for an invasion. Jake and Duke are two heroes with a simple plan: destroy as many robots as possible, trash the computers, rescue every cute girl and save the day.

Robot Monsters is played in a fashion similar to other 3D isometric games; imagine a pinch Buck Rogers mixed with a dollop of Gauntlet and you get the idea. The goal is to rescue the humans, without forgetting those held in stasis pods! Along the way are numerous traps designed for us soft fleshy humans: sharp spikes, rotating chunks of metal, and electric floor panels. All this is going on whilst Planet X constantly spawns new enemy robots.

The alien hoard is relentless so you better be quick on the trigger otherwise you will risk being overrun!

Grab a raygun and fight back!

We have a weapon which is a great killing tool. But, refrain from overuse otherwise, it is less effective... Thankfully, it can be charged by collecting the green blobs that a dead robot might leave behind. There are also bombs - hit the shift key and they detonate killing anything within your vicinity. Even any captives, so be careful.

A canal stage appears after a few levels which offer extra bonuses but isn't essential to your overall progress and I wasn't too eager about it anyhow. The big Reptilon boss will first seem an impossible opponent but there is a cunning way to avoid it using a few bombs and a little joystick waggling... Just ask if you need any help.

Next-Gen aesthetics!

Well, yes and no. I remember being blown away by the comical artwork back in the day and it still looks great now. I love the isometric 3D styles which I think is perfect for a game like this and the entire environment has superb attention to detail. The alien hoard is varied and looks excellent - my favourite being the biscuit-looking lot. They're not biscuits of course, but I think they're cute and that's this game to a tea.

Audio is a blast with cool effects and gorgeous chipmusic. Nothing much more to say, other than wow!

Don't run away. Come back, there are girls to be rescued and robots to destroy!

The CryptO'pinion?

I have really enjoyed playing this great game again. It's full to the brim of originality and frantic metallic mayhem as you run around shooting everything. Totally demented and I love its comical personality, characters, and superb gameplay. It's just as much fun to play today as it was back in 1990. Loved it. An iconic 16-Bit shooter.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lupo Alberto

Late last night I came across an interesting post on AtariAge by Philsan concerning an unreleased game called Lupo Alberto. This is a platformer which (I think) is based on a European comic or a TV show? Well, after 25 years of lurking in unreleased hell, the ST version finally gets to see the light of day (now listed on AtariMania)

First impressions are pretty good with cartoon visuals and cute sprites roaming about - just look at those chickens!! However, it's push-scrolling which is a severe shame because the game's mechanics demand proper scrolling. Well, it is unfinished so I shouldn't complain too much and the push technique is fast and zippy...

Gameplay is tricky for such a cute looking platformer so I imagine lots of frustration ahead of me but I'm delighted we have a game rescued and I'm looking forward to giving Lupo a proper run for its money tonight!

Update: during a game press CTRL and type: otrebla. Thanks to Luca Stradiotto!!

Monday, December 07, 2015


Satan has been a bad boy and turned the world on its head so it's our job to reverse his dastardly deeds before it's too late. Developed by Optimus Software for Gremlin, we are Percius and fly on the mythical horse, Pegasus. Our adventure is split into two parts: Firstly, a shoot 'em up which has us riding Pegasus and it flips into a platformer where Percius is free to unleash his wrath using a large sword (it flips between these two throughout).

The shoot 'em up parts are quite good and challenging - just imagine something like R-Type, but on horseback, and you have the idea. Far from original, the baddies come at you in the expected patterns so make sure you hit the fire button and collect their crystals that they leave behind when dead. These enhance your weaponry and there are also lots of awesome power-ups too which try their best to brighten up a dull affair...

The platform parts follow and are much better - run, jump and leap your way through, collecting crystals and killing baddies once again... Yup, hardly riveting stuff but I still liked it. In fact, the mechanics are superb, so controlling little Percius is a cinch. I wish more platformers had great controls and fluent movement like this.

Okay, let's see what the aesthetics are like...

The platform part is actually not bad and could have been made into something really good...

Collect those power-ups otherwise its Zzzzzz!! Play R-Type instead.

The graphics are bland and I fear a lame port because we all know that the ST is far more capable. There's nothing wrong as such but it's just so sparsely populated so feels a little too empty at times. Plus that blue background could have been far nicer. However, the scrolling is nice and smooth so at least that's something good!! Audio is feeble and it's only the firing noise which stops this game from being as silent as a ZX81!! Yawn...

Okay, let's not kid ourselves, this is lame Amiga port and a terrible one at that. It could have/should have been better so it's quite embarrassing. However, I gotta admit that the platform stages are still quite enjoyable but, possibly the best aspect is being able to ride on a flying horse - freaky stuff!! Pegasus had the potential - which wasn't exploited - and there are far better (shoot 'em ups and platformers) to play on your Atari ST.

Download and play Pegasus using a hard drive thanks to both D-Bug and 8BitChip. But those wanting the floppies can find 'em on Old Games Finder. If the game is too hard (or boring) then here are some nifty cheats: press P on the title screen and type in this code: FRUITBAT
          -> Now use the arrow keys to select your starting level.
          -> F1 for extra lives.
          -> F2 to select a power-up.
          -> F3 for an extra special weapon shot.
          -> F5 advance a level.
          -> F7 for a nifty shield.
 To view the greetings, enter this code as a password on the title screen: CATFOOD.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

The Ultimate Captive Guide

I recently bought Captive and anyone with half a brain (like me) knows this is an awesome RPG by Mindscape. We have been held prisoner for a couple of hundred years from a crime we did not commit - and the A-Team thought they had it bad! After such a long time, your freedom from the unjust hell is your only goal.

This RPG uses a unique user interface to configure and control droids - it's a briefcase. Why a prisoner has this I cannot tell you but operating it is like something from Mission Impossible! The graphics are excellent with stunning monsters but I was a little disappointed by the sparse audio. Which is made worse when finding out that the original released used DMA of the Atari STe whereas that was dropped for the v1.2 update!

Fans of this RPG should take a look at a website by Pierre Fournier called The Ultimate Captive Guide.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sleeping Gods Lie

A game of fields and stones

You're on Tessera, a world once rich but now suffering famine, disease, and a crime wave that only Robocop could fix. Their god, N'Gnir, strangely seems to be in slumber so it's your mission to find him, wake him up, and put an end to all the madness. It won't be easy because you must battle your way through the numerous different lands and each has eight kingdoms. This game is huge so pack some butties because it's unlikely you will be home for tea...

We begin from the comfort of our own castle which looks impressive from the outside but rather sparsely decorated within. Leaving here reveals the strange chaotic world with most of its populous being completely barmy. Almost all encounters feature a pebble fight to the death without any purpose and these brawls are all too frequent!

From the outside, your home looks awesome but inside it's obviously furnished by a guy...

A game with character

Thankfully, a few characters are normal and these are the guys you should take the time to talk to for helpful information. As the box says, this isn't just an adventure game and is full to the brim with action and basic puzzles within a curious new world. There are many puzzles to be completed such as feeding a giant critter with mouldy cheese. These aren't brain-blasters and the information you acquire will soon fall into place if you talk to the right people. Oh, and look out for the rather odd level guardians...

The first-person engine is fast but the landscapes are sparse with distant objects being nothing more than fuzzy pixels - until close. The title music is chiptune magic but in-game sound effects are as sparse as the landscapes. Controls are perfect - mouse looks or moves but do also use the keyboard for a fantastic combination (not seen in the video). Hint, pressing F3 allows you to run rather than walk and I found this to be the greatest benefit.

This ain't a peaceful land and most love to start fights by throwing pebbles like a child!!

That pixelated mess is the first guardian but the second is freakishly cute (and hungry)

The CryptO'pinion?

Sleeping Gods Lie has some very interesting ideas but it's not perfect and the weird battles are initially funny but soon wear thin. However, things get better once you've found the slingshot. For an adventure, the character integration should have been more inclusive, but often fails to entertain and feels like it was added at the last hour.

Overall, there's no denying this is an enthralling adventure and I loved exploring the lands but was disappointed by the visuals which felt abandoned in content. However, if you have lots of time to set aside, then this is definitely something to dig your heels into over a quiet weekend. Flawed but an enjoyable experience.

Download HDD and FLOPPY.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Yopaz is a brand new Sokoban puzzler by Cedric Bourse which stars a happy chap who loves to collect stars. It's a GEM program but is slick, very smooth and even features ambient sounds on 4MB Atari STe computers.

It takes place in the vacuum of space, which means following the laws of physics: once Yopaz begins moving, he is committed to travelling in that direction until hitting an object. Stop, think, and take your time because you will need to use the ice blocks to manoeuvre yourself properly to collect all the stars. There are other oddities, like blocks that aren't ice but will instead teleport you out in a different place on the map. Also, there is an advanced mode for those with a sadistic desire to punish their brains even cunning levels - it's a KILLER choice, so be warned!!

Cedric Bourse, aka Orion_ (not Orion), has a website where you can download a playable demo and he is only asking for $4 to purchase the full game. An incredibly cheap asking price for such a brilliant puzzler!

Monday, November 09, 2015


A boot sector program that's useful

Bootsie, a utility by Stefan Krey that writes a boot sector on a floppy to perform nifty system init functions. These are useful for Atari's with a hard drive or those fortunate to own a MSTE, TT or Falcon. By default, my Mega STe boots up in an 8MHz "compatibility mode" which is great for gaming but pretty lame for everything else. After all, the entire boot process from start to end will be a lot slower than it could be if it was running at 16MHz.

Enter Bootsie that can set the processor speed to steroid mode and it will also do lots more cool stuff, such as CPU caching, activate the Blitter chip, 60Hz display, and much more. What a fantastic utility that helps make a computer as zippy as is possible. Download it right now from Atari ST Essential Software List.

Sunday, November 08, 2015


Artillery gaming!

Whilst enjoying my cuppa joe this morning (in my cool Atari ST mug) I stumbled upon a tweet about Ballerburg, an old turn-based artillery game by Eckhard Kruse. This is an ST classic and offers addictive and strategical gameplay to blast our enemy to smithereens and all using basic maths to calculate speed and direction.

However, Ballerburg requires the ability to read German and a monochrome hi-res monitor. But let's be honest, as ST users, we are familiar with translating on the fly plus there are programs that fudge the ST's high-resolution mode. As I type, my Atari STe is running Ballerburg and I'm (trying) to teach our 6-year old daughter the basics... Sadly, that ain't going well and I know she will be an easy victim, so I'm going to destroy her. Muwhahaha!!


 - A download is available via Eckhard Kruse's website and also Ballerburg has a wiki page!
 - I use MonoPack to enable ST High Res on my colour monitor.
 - So, you didn't believe me about my Atari ST mug, uh?

Friday, November 06, 2015

The Immortal

A thinking man's Diablo!

Well, yes and no. We are a wizard who has been asked to help another wizard in a spot of bother. He is called Mordamir and somehow thinks your name is Dunric, which it isn't. Will you still help him? Of course, you will even though we find out that means exploring creepy dungeons infested by hideous nasties.

Are you still feeling brave? Stop. Don't lie. Be absolutely sure before you decide to play this brutal game. Okay, then it's time for clean underwear as we venture forth into the realms of myth, sorcery, and brutal violence!

Feel safe walking around down here? Well, you shouldn't!!

Learn how to battle and defeat your foe. And why not chat to the locals?

Darkness, monsters and traps!

The Immortal is a scrolling isometric adventure set within a creepy labyrinth of unforgiving traps and ghastly horrors. In fact, it's these characteristics that will torment even the most experienced adventurer and you will most definitely witness the bloodiest of deaths. This isn't a game you can complete quickly as its design dictates a need for a determined player. And one who will fall victim to many gruesome deaths to learn the ropes.

Lurking within the labyrinth are trolls, goblins and lots of other scary creatures with some have exquisite names, like The Shades. These you encounter early and are a life form that hides in the darkness, only casting a faint shadow under a firelight. Are you scared yet? You should be, this game is callous and ruthless.

There's a certain prince in Persia that would love one of these!!

Watch your step!

You will die and die and die!

Each room is unique and has its own battles, treasures, and pitfalls - so think first, be vigilant and always on your guard. The good news is that you can often avoid a confrontation by being stealthy, but brave warriors can always use their weapon or even conjure magic spells to beat their foe. Expect your endurance to be tested to the full by each level's cruel traps which are often hidden. Argghh, there so many bloodthirsty traps!

Exploration is the key to success, so examine everything that may help later on and learn these rooms. Finally, don't forget to rest, if you see a straw bed then take the time for forty winks, gain a little health and maybe even an enlightening dream. There is no save function instead, the successful wizards are awarded level passwords. Yes, this might seem disappointing but it forces you to tread carefully, thus making a knowledgeable adventurer.

Even the monsters appear to hate each other!

I'm going for a boat ride - whitewater madness style!!

The CryptO'pinion?

The Immortal is a groundbreaker due to a gripping storyline, eerie atmospheric and captivating deeds. Mix that in with both RPG and arcade elements and it's apparent why I love this game. An extremely excellent game offering hours of agonising pleasure as you uncover its secrets. The Immortal is cruel yet so highly addictive!!

Download for floppy or hard drive.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Rana Rama

We. Are. A. Frog...

Most action games have you playing as something cool, like a wizard or a warrior or perhaps even a Hollywood hero with a deadly automated weapon that never runs out of ammo. Well, not so with Ranarama. You're a novice magician called Mervyn who has accidentally turned himself into a frog? That's right, you're a frog!

Wizards have invaded and brought with them a horde of monsters who killed everyone, although luckily they ignored this unassuming frog. So it's time for you to leggit and deal a hefty dose of revenge on these evil beings! Played through an overhead view, you crawl a dungeon battling the minion slaves of the powerful wizards.

Take time to check out your foe and find out who you're battle against. And look at the artwork!!

An amphibian gauntlet?

First impressions are of another action-packed Gauntlet clone and, although it looks aesthetically similar, it's quite different. Beginning in the upper area of this 8-level dungeon you must kill the baddies and defeat the wizards. Interestingly, only the places you have explored are visible and the baddies themselves are only seen when you’re within the same room. This makes entering new rooms an anxious moment and who knows what surprises lurk!

Monsters come in various scary shapes and sizes, starting with the humble Dwarf (I love those) leading up to the mighty Gargoyles. All can be killed with increasing efforts and wizards need to be defeated in a Countdown-style sub-game that has you rearranging letters to form the word "Ranarama". It's not easy and later wizards are very tricky, but once won, he dies and leaves behind his rune goodies.

Magic plays its part in Ranarama and can be a little confusing at first but good ‘ol Mervyn has four categories at his disposal: offensive, defensive, effect and other powers. All movement and monster hits will reduce energy but fear not because you can cast a spell or collect the energy cells which are frequently available. Finally, use the floor-based glyphs to activate special features like a map, status and casting powerful spells.

As you can see, the rooms are displays only when explored which is kinda neat.


The graphics are superb with fine attention to detail, great use of colour and the sprites are beautiful. Also, I love how each screen isn't instantly viewable until you've actually explored that region. This is a great idea and makes the journey far more interesting because you have no idea what's around the corner.

The in-game Sound effects are very good with music is by Dave J. Rogers, he of Exolon and Zynaps fame so absolutely superb. Proving once again chipmusic will live on forever. Ranarama was one of the first Atari ST games (that I owned anyhow) to feature speech, thus I adore that fuzzy girl speaking. It's brilliant!

I love the red eyes of Mr Froggy and each tiny character has fascinating attention to detail.

The CryptO'pinion?

If you're expecting another run of the mill Gauntlet clone then you will probably be disappointed. Ranarama is very different and offers a long-term mix of arcade action with other hints of role-playing whilst we venture through its cunning levels. It's difficult but very rewarding so expect lots of late nights in if you're brave enough to accept this challenge? Overall, an utterly fantastic Atari ST game once again by legends Hewson.

The best download from 8BitChip (hard drive)
Old Games Finder should suffice for floppy dudes!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


Unreversable demo (2013) by M.E.C for Atari ST
Credits : bob_er (code) | Dhor (music) | gwEm (code/music)

I came across this rather mesmerising demo the other night on Demozoo and I just had to record it. Unreversable is an ASCII art sensation accompanied with a funk and dunk of ace chipmusic for an outstanding experience. Perhaps most amazing is that it's only 64kb, quite incredible... I hope you enjoy it as much as I did?

Unreversable is by a group of talented 8Bit'ers called Masters Of Electric City.
 (creators of Unbeatable - a monochrome Atari ST demo!!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Let's hack and slash!!

Gauntlet is an arcade masterpiece with a basic design that is simple, yet genius. It's a combination of a dungeon crawler with an extreme kill-em-all mentality which results in an unstoppable solo or multiplayer experience. Yep, 1-4 people can enjoy hacking and slashing their way through tons of hellish underground levels!!

We are offered an opportunity to play as one of four groovy characters: a Warrior, Elf, Wizard, Valkyrie and each have their own characteristics for strength and battling the nasties. I personally go straight for the Warrior because he's bound to be the Samson of the group, and thankfully there is no Delilah. Each character needs to be fed, so don't be doing anything daft like shooting food which will have a serious effect on your health.

A timeless arcade classic. Simple as that really.

Four heroes against millions of monsters?

The monsters are some of the most varied I have seen which adds so much to the dungeon feel. We have ghosts, demons, grunts, lobbers (I hate those!) and more. They all have their own evil attributes and almost all born from something called a Generator - so destroy these first to cease the onslaught of hatred against you.

The object is always simple - kill the monsters and escape. We're trapped in a 100-level creepy dungeon and everything lurking here wants to eat you. So it's up to you (and any potential co-op players) to kill everything and find the exit in order to escape the hellish catacombs. Keys are littered everywhere which unlock access to restricted areas and you shall also note the booty which is conveniently left for you, collect them for extra points.

Finally, Death is here. Yep, literally Death himself and he is almost impossible to kill so try to avoid him if possible. Which brings me nicely onto the magical potions you can discover scattered about most levels. By collecting these your chance of survival is greatly improved and will certainly help during an encounter with Death. Hint: do not assume he is a single individual making a single appearance so be wise with your potions.

Whether demons or ghosts are attacking - this game is always freakishly GREAT fun!!!


Graphically, this conversion looks the business with authentically crafted levels that look excellent. The monster sprites are just as good and this must count as one of the best-looking arcade conversions for the Atari ST. However, there's a price to pay for all that glam and it comes at the cost of framerate. This will drop when there are dozens of monsters on-screen at once. Of course, faster computers and emulators have no such issues...

I love the audio, from the moment we hear the Da-Da-Da-Daaa begin playing. I'm hooked. This is superb and good quality too which is enhanced further with in-game sampled effects. Oh, I absolutely love Gauntlet!!

Arghh, they're attacking from all corners of the dungeon!! Heeeeeelp!!

The CryptO'pinion?

Whether you're solo or mp, this is an awesome shoot 'em up. Gauntlet is one of the best arcade games ever made and the Atari ST has yet another winning conversion under its belt. It's pure retro gaming gold and I love it.

Stop whatever you're doing and download this wonderful game from Klaz' Hideaway (both hard drive & floppy versions). Klaz has implemented support for faster Atari computers and my own Mega STe (16MHz) delivered a far better framerate which was mind-bogglingly ACE!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mad Professor Mariarti

Another nutty professor!

Professor Mariarti is a 5-level platformer in whacky laboratories that range from a biological lab to futuristic space rocket development. However, as a result of some dodgy experiment going mental, everything has come to life and taken over. To make matters worse, they aren't in the best mood and have also grown body parts, like eyes and legs. I think we better fix this problem and clear out the various labs before it drives the Professor, potty!

There are four levels to choose from with a fifth only playable after completing the first four. Let's play...

A platformer with brains

I've been playing the Computer Lab level and there are many strange creatures populating the rooms, lots of hazards to avoid, and many puzzles to solve. Don't worry, these puzzles aren't exactly mind-blowing and are often be as simple as flicking a switch. However, there are some puzzles that will require a little more thought - take a look at the massive pressure chamber which is lethal without first wearing a divers helmet. Yikes...

The baddies are a most interesting bunch and quite humorous. Sadly, the slightest contact will zap energy and potentially kill you. It seems nothing you do will permanently kill them - use your trusty collection of greasy spanners and kaboom they've gone but, seconds later, they are back for more. Relentless!!

Actually, this is a good mechanic and certainly keeps the game interesting without any empty or boring screens. Also, weapons can be upgraded at using the terminals but that costs money so don't forget to collect any coins scattered throughout. Expect nothing less than a challenge that requires much time and effort to get the best from it.

The CryptO'pinion?

Mad Professor Mariarti is challenging and addictive with bucket loads of personality. Some of the puzzles are a little too vague and obscure but you'll soon get how this platformer works. Recommend only if you enjoy a platformer that requires a little more effort from the old grey matter. A good game and I enjoyed Prof Mariarti a bunch.

8BitChip has the download (floppy & HDD)
Stickhead has a fantastic video to watch!