Saturday, July 13, 2024

Welcome to my adventure - day five




A bit of business

Welcome to the fifth instalment of my adventures through the cosmos (all other articles are here). Today I'll go over the raw basics of trade and supplies. You won't need to hyperspace to any distant planets because the basics can be learnt from the start on Acriel. This may come as a shock but two main things require care. You and your ship!

Cosmos Chronicles had been designed in such a way that makes it dead easy to get into. The early parts are ideal for learning the basic mechanics so experiment with traders, stock up supplies and put fuel in the ship's tank. Only when meeting Grostonton do the adventures begin, thanks to his gift of hyperspace. In the meantime, build credits, trade wisely and it might be a good idea to purchase a better weapon for when you explore a planet's wastelands.

Let's take a look at what you, and your fancy new spaceship, may require...


Floyd Cooper

Food - As you can imagine, filling our big fat belly is always important. So look around the farmstead as there are plants growing and cute animals grazing. Walk over to any plant and press the <return> key to rip it out of the soil. Now you can chomp on it to see your hunger levels improve a little bit.
Similarly, animals can be killed as there's nothing better than red meat, The wastelands of most planets has something to slaughter. Although our adventurer doesn't seem to bother cooking!!
Towns are often host to a variety of shops and bars. These are great places to immediately enjoy food and drink. Also, traders supply large quantities that we can store in the ship's cargo hold.
Not every planet has towns but that doesn't mean you should leave. Land the Cosmos and go for a walk in the wastelands. Many animals can be found happily going about their business. Some are too quick but slower creatures are perfect food. However, beware of the scary creatures!
Water - It's not whiskey but our ship has a tap with fresh water. You can replenish yourself at any time.
Most planets with towns have a bar offering your favourite tipple (and girls). As with food, shops/traders are worth visiting if you're in immediate need. Otherwise, use the ship itself (see below).
Rest - Catching your Zzz's is as important as eating and drinking. You don't wanna be fatigued or feel dozy during a fight!! Sleeping is free within the safety of your spaceship but some towns have hotels.

Care - Injuries will happen and bandaids aren't free but a trader is more than happy to help.



Cosmos

Deuterure - basically, this is petrol and can be topped up in towns and on also space stations. Of course, there is always a freebie way using certain planets (hint, hint). Saves spending valuable credits, eh?

Water - Likewise, water levels will need to be maintained. The process works exactly the same as with Deuterure and that even includes a possibility of a free source (same process as above).

Oxygen - Hey, don't choke and watch these levels when out in the darkness of space or poisonous planets.

Hull - Sheilds are great but damage isn't. Maybe you've been in many battles and the scars are showing? There are repair shops which is quite costly but he can return the ship back into fighting condition.

Parts - Most towns have stores to help with replacement parts for the ship's modules.

Inventory - The ship has a huge pantry to store items, including food and module parts.

Cargo - Large volumes of supplies can be sold by traders and stored in the cargo hold. Additionally, nothing is preventing you from using some of the items. This is why early trading is advantageous with food, water, medical supplies. Profits won't be as good as other supplies but these will help to keep you alive.

I hope this guide is helpful? When I began playing, I didn't know about Deuterure. It wasn't until I ran out of the stuff that I realised!! There I was, left in the wilderness of a remote planet - waiting to die! Not exactly a proud moment.

Once you have the spaceship fired up, go and explore the planet of Acriel. Both the apparent "empty" wastelands and busy towns are worth exploring. Once you are ready, jump into the Cosmos and head into space. Journey "south" to the space station, put some fuel in the tank, and see a chap called Grostonton. Now begins your adventure!

Let's view my screenshots from a nearby town I found, Titatown. I kid you not...



When you first jump into the Cosmos, you realise it's not in great condition. Can this be fixed?
As you can see, much is still in French. For example, coque is the ship's hull.



Plus it's love on Deuterure fuel. Perhaps I should figure out how to fix that!!
(Towns and a nearby space station will help early in the game)



If you find the right type of planet, refuelling is free.
Why pay when you can suck it up straight into your fuel tank!



I genuinely didn't notice the town's name when I took this screenshot lol.
(Weirdly, the people have little to say so don't expect any chat or side quests)



The first place I stopped was JD Wetherspoon for a couple of beers!! YEAH :D
Look at my stats on the right, I'm very hungry and thirsty!



Hey, what's that in the back of the bar? Well, the missus will never find out...
For different results, talk to her from an adjacent tile or on top!



Sobered up and went looking for spare parts in this garage.
Garages are great, walk over to the right for more services and repairs.



Ah, the same applied in the electronics store. Repairs ahoy!
(The game is quite vague when it comes to ship parts)



Traders are promising and I sold a load of fish before he shut up shop! (Tip: use spacebar)
Credits are low at the start so don't buy too much until you've more money.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Cosmos Chronicles - the video




I've made a thing!

Gamopat's Cosmos Chronicles is a fantastic #roguelike so I recorded a quick video of the opening scenes to give you an idea of what it's like. It's not a "long play" and there is no serious gaming here!! I simply intended to demonstrate the basics; in the hope you buy & play this excellent game. Please note, that there are spoilers so beware before viewing.


Credits

Laurent Fontaine aka. Dr Floyd - Programming
Eric Damain aka. Shaoth - Additional Programming
Lonny Pursell - Additional Programming
Jean-Fran├žois Pino aka. Grostonton - Graphics
Nic Alderton aka. Count Zero - Music
Terry King - Music Driver
https://www.atarilegend.com/games/cosmos-chronicles

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Welcome to my adventure - day four




It's Time To Kick Ass And Chew Bubblegum...

After the humiliation I suffered earlier, I decided to cover the constant dreaded battles in this crazy universe. Actually, dreaded is perhaps the wrong description because these fights are fantastic fun. Plus they are challenging with a good range of options. If you are interested in reading Days 1 - 3, they are still available to view here.

Conflicts happen frequently in Cosmos Chronicles with the entire process being a turn-based event. Damage is dealt with each hit and repeats until someone dies or scarpers. From what I've experienced, there are two styles of battle 1) Getting ambushed when on foot exploring a planet. You use whatever you're carrying, swords/guns/etc. 2) When travelling deep space and another pilot doesn't like the cut of your jib! You will use the ship's weaponry and defences.

It's never long before someone or something decides to attack! So let's take a closer look at each style of battle...


Fisticuffs


The conflicts on foot are the same as with the guards who killed our family. Not all creatures are aggressive and those can be quickly killed for food. The tougher beasts will challenge for a duel; displayed on a separate screen with their stats (in French) - ROB, FOR, RAP, DEX, BRA, and CHA. Thanks to Eric Damain (aka Shaoth of NANO CAVE!!) they translate to - Stamina, Strength, Speed, Dexterity, Bravery, and Charisma.

It is interesting having access to their statistics for good referrence. However, at this early stage, we're jumping ahead of ourselves so let's not panic just yet. Our combat choices are of more importance:

  1. Wait   - Just that. Miss a turn...
  2. Fight  - Use your turn to attack the enemy.
  3. Arms   - Choose a weapon before attempting to "fight".
  4. Shield - Only usable it you have one.
  5. Care   - Look after yourself as there are no medics in space!!
  6. Scare  - BOO!! Well, it miiiiight work!
  7. Seduce - Reserved for the most deluded of gamers.
  8. Escape - Run away. This won't work against Xenomorphs!
 
"Severed Dreams"


Space battles are great and begin with two options 1) negotiate or 2) attack. The first is perhaps a poor translation and might be better taken as "communicate"? Of course, this often gets an aggressive reaction from the pilot. However, he might buckle under the pressure and freely hand over his cargo?

During a fight, you can attack (depending on how your ship is equipped) plus these additional options:

  1. Jammer - Confuses the enemy's equipment and get a couple of extra shots in!
  2. Escape - Can your ship outrun the enemy's vessel?
  3. Jump   - A much-needed way to escape but who knows where you may end up?


Conclusion

Battles are a big part of Cosmos Chronicles and fun to participate in. In space - negotiate before attacking, you may reap the rewards by avoiding conflict. On foot - you should be a Boy Scout. By that, I mean be prepared and have your essential items with you. Regardless, during any battle, it's invariably a good idea to consider the alternative choices - why attack when you can run away or suffer a hyperspace jump into the unknown? Think first, dear adventurer.

There are always options and I love that aspect of this game. Well, that's it for the fourth instalment and I hope to see you soon for "Day Five". In the meantime heed my words - it's dangerous out there so save your game regularly!!


Finally, here are screenshots of me battling some of the nasties lurking in our universe...



Not everything will challenge you to a duel. The other critters can easily be killed for food.



Armed with my new Blaster360, I shoot a giant spider. It doesn't stand a chance!



Unfortunately, he later brought his friends and whooped my ass (as the Americans say)



Two zombies were lurking inside a cave. They're slow, so I might run away (escape option)



This is how a battle in space begins. Dare you to talk or attack first? (see next pic)



(he wanted to fight) I used the Jammer and then attacked with my spanky plasma weapon!



Sigh, I was floating through space enjoying life, but then the police came knocking.
I've no idea what I did wrong... That doesn't stop me from defending myself!!



Rather than tackling hardened criminals, (motorists) these two officers attacked me.
Two on one... Groan, I'm taking some damage in this shot.



Another guy in a rocket threatened me. I was winning before he scarpered into hyperspace!!

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Welcome to my adventure - day three




Slow down, Steve... Learn!

Welcome, one and all, to the third instalment of my Cosmos adventure (check out parts one and two). Okay, let's be honest, I feel my progress should have been "better". I was a fool and paid for my cavalier attitude by suffering defeat at the hands of bandits. Hmm, it's a good idea to heed my previous words and learn the basics before rushing off.
Don't worry, part four will still happen - I did indeed restart. And ditched my foolish plans of scouring the galaxy system looking for bars, casinos, loose women, and cheap motels. That's right, I need to grow up and learn more about this wonderful game - starting with the schematics of my spaceship.

Beginning with the ship; it has a bewildering array of assorted functions - from engines and shield generators to sipping water or catching up on sleep. Each component has a placeholder tile used to access that particular aspect of the ship. Stand on it and hit <return> for access. Have a play and go through them all for an understanding of your new ship. There are many fascinating features like lasers, shields, and a star map - which cannot be used (yet) :-)

Now that you're familiar with the different parts, it's time you took the Cosmos out for a test drive. First, stand on the Pilot Control tile and hit the <return> key. Your view changes to the outside and you're good to go:
Tapping the backspace key lifts you high into the air. You can use the cursor keys to explore nearby - which is quicker than walking! Better still, hit the backspace key once again to take you into orbit. Wanna leave the planet and explore the solar system? Then tap the backspace key again to do just that.

Tapping the backspace key always increases your altitude whereas the return key lowers it. So repeat the above process, in reverse, using the return key and you're back on the planet again. Dead easy.

The only other key is the <spacebar> which changes your view to inside the Cosmos.

During your travels, you shall notice something called Deuterure. This is fuel, which depletes as you fly. Look to replenish it at stations or towns that offer this service, not all will. The "same" also applies to oxygen and water.

To help you, I attempted a map of the ship detailing each part. I won't pretend to know everything but, those with a keen eye will notice my silly mistake - can you spot it? Okay, I think that's it for "day three". I would love to hear from anyone playing Cosmos Chronicles. So comment below with your tips to share from this stage of the adventure.


Having restarted, I've made enormous progress so look out for "day four". Until then, check out these screenshots...



Click this blurry thumbnail to access the original image of the ship's internals.
(stop squinting and click the damn image - is there anybody here reading this?) lol



Yes, you can go outside! Keep an eye on your suit's oxygen levels.
(An amazing feature that I'm anticipating will be needed later in the game)



Eating, drinking, and sleeping help to keep you alive...
(Your ship feels the same way so remember to top-up its fuel whenever you can)



Of course, there are other ways to top up your fuel tank.
(Depends on the type of planet)



I'm exploring Acriel from the comfort of my new spaceship.
(There is more to a planet than just towns and cities)



The brown planet is Acriel. Let's go and explore everywhere. Come on!!
(Yes, as you read, I regretted my maverick attitude later on)



The universe is massive and littered with galaxies you can explore.
(Did you remember to save regularly? Just in case you suffer say... an ambush!)



My fun didn't last long. Ambushed with little chance of winning!!
(I didn't stand a chance. Four-on-one wasn't too fair. I should have ran!!!!!)

Friday, July 05, 2024

Welcome to my adventure - day two




Animals = Protein

Hello and welcome to the second part of my Cosmos Chronicles adventure. If you missed it, you can read part one by clicking here. To recap, we have witnessed the remainder of our family murdered! Thankfully, our uncle managed to pass on vital information before biting the dust - to the north is a man with a wicked sense of humour and information. I wanted more but he's a stubborn old g*t so I left, slaughtered his animals, and headed to my spaceship.

Yes, you heard me correctly - gather your food by killing bunny rabbits and other cute creatures. YUM!

Wait, did you listen to Cepece? I hope so because your first task is to seek somebody called Grostonton, on a space station outpost. Until you have found him, the adventure cannot begin because your spaceship is quite crippled and restricted to the solar system. You should seek him to see what all the fuss is about. So hop into your spaceship!

When aboard, a robotic assistant called Wilson appears for a chat. At this stage, he has little to say so have a wander about. There are many different stations; it's overwhelming and quite a Sundog moment with a hefty learning curve. Each part of the ship has a unique function - which will eventually require care, repair, and maintenance.

I plan to cover this in part three because it is a complex moment. Until then, have a play with your spaceship; get a feel for it. Here are some screenshots from today's slice of the adventure. I'll see you soon for part three :-)

Update: reference pages




"Old Cepece" ... I think... means "old man". And he is just that!
(Sadly, there's no way to interact with cupboards/etc to search for items)



I'm onboard Dad's old spaceship. It's called Cosmos and it's all mine!!
(the circled tiles represent each of the ship's different functions)



As you can see, the Cosmos isn't in perfect condition. Three systems are damaged.
(It's way too early at this stage but you will learn how to trade, repair, and install ship parts)



Having seen my family murdered, I was feeling... nervous. Thankfully, I found a toilet!
(hey, don't blame me for my typically British sense of humour!)



Cosmos actually has a shower. So, I took a shower. Much need water usage ;)
(I thought this was hilarious and the tiny graphics are superb)



Ah, this will be helpful - a log of all outstanding quests.
(Hit return for the side missions, below. Again, it shows "pokindex", your combat victories)



The ship also holds a list of side missions. One is near a black hole! :o
(Unlike many games, these are fascinating side events and doable)


I forgot about Grostonton and decided to take Cosmos for a spin instead...
(I was getting used to the game so I experimented... I then got ambushed!!)

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Welcome to my adventure - day one




The trouble with me is...

Wow, where do I begin with that one? I better not! Anyhow, with regard to the ST and AtariCrypt, I'm a bit daft and usually annoy myself. I always have far too many games on the go! I hardly ever finish writing before moving on to the next. Sigh, I'll never change but I have decided to try and concentrate on one game. Something that I find truly fascinating.


Cosmos Chronicles

If you're sitting there - bored stupid - wondering what Cosmos Chronicles is then you're either dead, been in a coma, or just insane. I previewed it yonks ago, perhaps you should check that link out? This is such an engaging adventure, a unique mash of ideas and somewhat a futuristic Ultima you might say - with touches of Sundog and Frontier!

So, I figured it would be a great game to feature my progress - as and when it's made. Kinda like I did for Atari's Super Pack and when mapping Sword Of Kadash. However, this time, with smaller posts I can knock out quicker (he says). However, note that I'm no expert rogue slayer! I'm merely an ST Dude having fun with a wonderful new game :)


The game

We are a young chap called Floyd Cooper and we live on Acriel, a small rock orbiting a larger planet called Nova. Here we work the land as a farmer with my Auntie and Uncle Vetea. Long story, cut short, the military turned up and killed them! Our father's spaceship is inside the barn and a friend is located northwards. Better check all that out, eh?

Exploring Acriel is easy; similar to what you would have seen in the Ultima games. Move using the cursor keys and enter a building (like the farmhouse) by walking up to it and tapping the 'up arrow' to enter. Once inside, explore as you did outside. Additionally, to interact and select/talk/pickup you should hit the 'Return key'. The cursor keys are now used to select items in the inventory plus relevant actions. Hitting "backspace" cancels and returns to the game.

Interestingly, Cosmos Chronicles supports the Blitter Chip so will feel faster on the Atari STe.

Additionally, backspace will be used inside the Cosmos to take off and enter space. The 'spacebar' is also used but more on that later in this series. Finally, the 'ESC key' can be used to quit. Are you a quitter boy??? I expect not!


"Day one"

For those who read what I previously published, this appears a repeat? It is. Apologies but I decided to restart from the beginning again - which makes perfect sense for this run of articles covering my progress. I hope!

The initial parts of this tragic storyline are perfect for learning the gameplay basics. It allows easy learning of the interface, exploring, collecting items, using the radar, and interacting with the soldiers (ie, learning how to fight). The interface is straightforward - top/right is the planet's conditions under the radar. Further down are details on health, fatigue, food and water. Under the play area, is your inventory and an area for messages/communication.

I'll no doubt die and restart multiple times but, I hope this will be an enjoyable adventure to document. Perhaps this might inspire you to buy the game for yourself? Please note that this isn't a walkthrough - not possible - it's merely an enjoyable romp through a fantastic adventure. Wish me luck - my only wish is not to embarrass myself (too much).

I would love to hear from anyone who is playing this game. How deep into it are you? Share your tips!

Okay, are you ready? Let's view the trials and tribulations we must go through before the game properly begins...



We've been rumbled! Skiving under a tree, we hear a distant noise at the farm.
(Note the radar, top/right, this helps to show where the farm is)



Heading northwest, we arrive at the farm but our uncle has a worried look on his face!
(Hey, there's a field of food... I wonder what is inside that barn?)



Of course, we decide to check out the farmhouse first... Ah, a weapon!
(Note the inventory - food/water. On the right are your stats)



Those soldiers are cruel. At least they didn't kill that cute cow!
(Mmm, there's nothing tastier than a big, juicy steak)



This takes us into our first battle. Note the new options and helpful info on the right.
(Your first battle is confusing - choose to arm yourself first and then attack)



Buried them quick, didn't I? Anyhow, our uncle survived long enough for a few final words.
(You could walk north, it's not far. But you have a spaceship now...)


We're scared but bravely head northwards into unknown lands.
We find food, animals, and a house. Let's investigate inside that house!

Brace yourself for the second daring part of my adventure...

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Money For Nothing




Money for nothin', chicks for free

I was going through some older video recordings on my channel and found this one by the Glasgow Computer Centre. It's called the Picture And Sound Show and is a partial sample sound recording of the legendary song Money For Nothing, Dire Straits. Must admit, I'm curious how they came up with 'that name' rather than something better!

Your ST requires 1MB of RAM and a double-sided disk drive. Don't scoff, this was 1986 and my family couldn't afford an Atari ST for two years. Heck, I didn't know the joy of 1MB RAM until around 1991 when I got the SIMS for my STe. Additionally, they released a now obsolete half-meg version for those living in a cave, unwilling to upgrade! ;-)

Anyhow, the amazing fact that this "demo" was released in 1986 impresses me. I would easily have assumed 1988/89 if I didn't already know. Of course, this isn't the complete song, the ST would need multiple floppies and a bucket load of extra RAM. Look, for 1986, it is jaw-dropping, so leave it playing while you search your CD collection.

Hey, I've made many changes to AtariCrypt over recent days and worked hard (trying) to group things better. You shall see different groups featured on the right-hand side of the website. Take a look :) Do you want more demos/etc featured here on AtariCrypt? I hope so because the #demoscne is crammed with quality disks from many talented people.

I hope you enjoy my video recording of this timeless song? Let me know in the comments below...


Credits

Glasgow Computer Centre
John Ray - Code
Scott - Code

Glasgow Computer Centre - https://demozoo.org/groups/38699/
Download in POV #085 by Persistence Of Vision - https://demozoo.org/productions/73899/


Even More ATARI ST Articles

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