Once upon a time a large fleet of very big spaceships
came to Earth and got everyone wandering what the aliens
within looked like. It turned out that the occupants
were just like human beings and they promised all sorts
of great things to benefit mankind. Then, one rainy
day in July, a true blue American hero called Donovan
sneaked into a spaceship to find out exactly what the
aliens did in their spare time. Imagine how he felt
when he saw what he thought was a beautiful young woman
gobbling a live guinea pig, followed by a whole hamster!
Gross to say the least. But before Donovan could do
anything, he was discovered by a guard, and in the midst
of the ensuing fight he accidentally ripped off the
guard's face to reveal a lizard's head below! Oh dear,
the alien visitors were lizards in disguise and they
had come to Earth to eat lots of humans and steal all
resistance was formed and they quickly drew up a plan
to destroy the evil invaders. Donovan was smuggled aboard
the visitor's mothership armed only with a laser gun
and a stolen Comniputer. His task was simple: plant
five bombs at key points around the ship and detonate
them to blow both craft and occupants to kingdom come.
All well and good, but if he doesn't escape in time
. . .
take control of Donovan just after he's boarded the
ship. There are five different sections to the ship
and each has many levels. The aliens have no imagination
when it comes to interior design, so the various levels
look rather similar and it's all too easy to get lost.
Thankfully, only two levels of the ship are shown on
screen at one time. Donovan can move either left or
right along a corridor and the screen scrolls with him
as he moves. Green mat transporters line the floors
and are used to move up or down a level. By standing
on a mat and pulling down on the joystick, Donovan dissolves
and reforms on the level above or below.
mission starts in the landing bay and instantly presents
a problem -- both exits are impassable due to the presence
of electric barriers. This in where the Comniputer comes
in useful. It is displayed at the bottom of the screen
and pulling down on the joystick brings it into action.
There are twelve functions available and each is displayed
as an icon. The problem is that all of the icons are
in lizardspiel, so it's up to you to decide which icon
does what. One of the icons activates a code-breaking
sequence and this is used to turn off the barriers A
six character code, consisting of a jumble of lizard
letters, appears in a window in the bottom left hand
comer of the screen. By using a set of lizard letter
icons the characters have to be shuffled until they
ore all the same. When they match, the electric barriers
disappear, allowing you to run into the corridor. The
Comniputer can also be used to find out your current
location and the locations of the key points.
screenshot was not in the original review]
the walls of some of the levels are charge terminals
for recharging your laser gun. By standing in front
of a terminal and pulling down on the joystick the gun
recharges. A red bar at the bottom of the screen indicates
how much charge is in the gun.
strange as it may seem there are no lizards roaming
the ship, but they have left behind four different types
of droid: maintenance, cleaner, surveillance and security.
If Donovan touches any of them it strains his heart,
and if he spends too long in their presence he dies
of a heart attack. Although Donovan is armed, he can
only shoot at shoulder height and is therefore defenceless
against maintenance and surveillance droids, since they
trundle out of reach along the floor or ceiling. Security
and cleaner droids travel at head height though, and
can be blasted with ease.
other method of destroying the robots is to find and
assemble the formula for Red Dust. The parts of the
formula are found in the various laboratories dotted
around the ship, but if the parts are found and the
dust is made and dissipated, then lots of visitors get
killed and the robot pursuit is slowed down. When Donovan
has planted and primed all the bombs, he can make his
way back to the landing bay and escape before everything
goes up in smoke.