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The realism of the original program really impressed me, although I felt that it was a little easy to escape.



The new version, however, is much more difficult and very, very devious indeed. Many a time I was led into a false sense of security and I innocently trudged through a harmless looking door, only to find that I had to start the game from scratch!



This is a brilliant program, miles better than the first. I'm still playing it now, so I've got to work my legs off because I'm hours behind my work schedule!



First there was the classic
Mercenary, followed by the neat Targ Survival Kit. Now we have the Second City -- and what a city! It's mean, its evil -- Paul Woakes is a genius, and a sadist (but I must be a masochist for playing it, so that's OK). There's the prison (no, not the prison!) and then there's THAT room (gibber, gibber) . . . basically, Mr Woakes has fiddled around with the original city and added several new twists to make the Second City different enough to be classed as an essential purchase. If you own a copy of Mercenary and love the game, don't miss this!



Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Mercenary - The Second City
1986 Novagen Software
Programmed by Paul Woakes
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).

Novagen, 5.95 cass, 9.95 disk, joystick with keys

Being a 21st century mercenary is a tough job, especially when things go wrong. Take yourself, for example -- returning from a bloody conflict in the M2 star system, your onboard computer, Benson, suddenly tells you that things are wrong with the navigation system and you're heading straight towards the planet of Targ. Unable to correct your course you're forced to crash land . . .

The planet is one unfamiliar to you, but you know that it has been a scene of a long conflict between the planet's inhabitants, the Palyars, and their robotic neighbours, the Mechanoids. Your interstellar ship was destroyed in the crash, so to escape the planet you have to earn enough money -- this shouldn't prove too difficult for a soldier of fortune, such as yourself.

While you are on the planet you decide to seek a change, so you visit Targ's Second City on the other side of the planet. The climatic difference between the two conurbations is quite apparent when you arrive there -- the eerie red dusk of the Southern hemisphere and the darkened sky are a far cry from the green grass and bright skies of the Central City.

The landscape is very similar, though, and the city's buildings have also been designed by Targ's great vector architect, Walton. The other thing, or rather person, who is familiar, is the Palyar Commander's brother-in-law. After you stole his plane, wrecked his buildings, brought down his new spaceship and rearranged his furniture, he thought he'd try and escape your antagonism. Using his brother-in-law's influence, he gained the position of Prison Governor in Targ's second city. Imagine his surprise -- and annoyance -- when the bane of his life suddenly arrives in HIS City! He's determined to avenge the troubles you caused him, and the he knows the opportunity for revenge will arise many times -- after all, he does run the city!

The object of the game is still the same -- escape the planet. But this time it is so much harder -- you have no records and no equipment . . . and no clues, either!



Magnificent! Using all the original aspects of Mercenary, Paul Woakes has come up with one of the most devious and addictive programs I've played in a long time. In the original game, escaping was relatively simple. This one is completely different -- just about every trick in the book has been used to hinder your escape, and that includes some of the most evil and underhand tactics I've encountered in a computer program. The vector graphics are still outstanding, although there could have been a little more sound. As for buying it -- well, if you have the original program then purchasing the Second City is as essential as living and breathing.


Graphics 92%

Very well thought out and presented. There are no instructions as such, but then that's how it should be.

Graphics 97%
Fast and effective 3D vector graphics

Sound 50%
Good sound effects, but most of the game is played in silence

Hookability 97%
As soon as you start playing all the original thrills and exhilaration return.

Lastability 96%
The Palyar Commander's brother-in-law is determined to make your life hell -- and he does!

Value For Money 95%
Six quid for the latest installment in the Mercenary saga is a steal.

Overall 95%
A classic . . . and a half.


Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (25 Sep 2007)

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