Iridis Alpha is a long way from anywhere, a good job
really when you consider its turbulent social structure
and the way physics as we know it ceases to behave as
it should. Two races live on this hell-hole of hassle:
the colourful but ultimately stupid Zzyaxians and the
more intelligent and passive Gilbies.
Zzyaxian race consists of many separate sub-cultures,
ranging from the B0 Lyk Birds to the Bleurgh Faces,
but all are united behind one cause -- the destruction
of the Gilby race and their home planet. The Gilbies.
on the other hand, aren't so stupid and just wish that
they could lead a peaceful existence. Unfortunately
for them, the Zzyaxian threat is such that they've been
forced to build powerful living war machines in the
form of Gilby Robot Fighters (GRF) to take the Zzyaxians
on at their own game.
big problem is this: the Zzyaxians are stealing the
energy generated by Iridis Alpha, a situa-tion which
could lead to the planet imploding if enough energy
is taken. To remedy the situation, the Gilbies have
adapted their war machines to retrieve the energy from
the bodies of the Zzyaxians and inject it into the planet's
core. This process of energy retrieval kills the Zzyaxian
victim, but there are a huge amount of them so it doesn't
really matter that much.
Zzyaxians attack in separate waves, and when a wave
is disposed of, it doesn't return. There are twenty
waves to each part of the planet and all these have
to be destroyed before Iridis Alpha is considered saved.
here comes the weird bit . . . Each Gilby inhabitant
of Iridis has a doppleganger, yourself included, and
this doppleganger lives on the underside of the planet
(which just happens to be a mirror image of the surface).
Only one doppleganger can be active at one time and
this activity has to be switched between the two. The
reason why the activity switch has to take place is
because when one doppleganger is active, the passive
one begins to decay -- its entropy status is shown at
the bottom of the screen as an icon which changes in
colour. When the icon is black it means that the passive
doppleganger is in a terminal condition and if the activity
isn't switched between the two then both Gilbies will
die. When the activity is switched, the entropy status
is reset and the decay begins afresh. The game is nice
and kind to the player and for the first three levels
you don't have to worry about the entropy status, but
after that the full entropy business comes into effect.
from one doppleganger to the other is done by shouting
a Zzyaxian and frying through the spinning ring that
it leaves behind, although you must have your finger
off the fire button to be able to transfer to the other
side of the planet. Consequently, it's advisable to
keep the fire but-ton depressed otherwise you will find
yourself jumping from one side of the planet to the
other willy nilly.
Gilby Robot Fighter has two modes of operation -- flying
and stroll. Switching from one to the other is done
by finding a piece of land and either landing, if you're
in flight mode, or jumping into the air and keeping
the fire button depressed, if you're in stroll mode.
In both modes you have the ability to fire which is
essential to combat the threatening Zzyaxians, which
fly, bounce or roam about the planet. When a Zzyaxian
in shot, its energy is transferred to the Gilby fighter
and is displayed on a bar chart at the bottom of the
screen There are two of these bar charts, one for each
of the dopplegangers. These increase as more and more
Zzyaxians are disposed of, although if one crashes into
Gilby then a certain amount of energy is lost.
energy condition of Gilby is represented by its colour
-- the lighter the colour the more energy it has on
board. If it's white then the energy needs to be offloaded,
done by flying over the 'Core Area' of the planet (a
stretch of land), going into stroll mode and remaining
motionless for a second or two. Gilby's energy level
is very critical -- it can only carry so much before
it overloads, and too many collisions with Zzyaxians
and a complete loss of energy have the same consequences.
you transfer enough energy back into the core, you're
allowed to take part in a little bonus game in the form
of the Gilby's favourite sport, point to point racing.
Here you must race up a vertical scrolling screen as
fast as you can. The quicker you get to the end of the
course the more bonus points will be added to your 'bonus
bounty' score total (which is added to your total score
when your current game ends).
process of dumping energy and partaking in the bonus
games continues throughout the game. If you offload
enough energy, you're given the ability to warp to another
section of Iridis Alpha. Each section of the planet
has its own group of aliens and energy has to be deposited
in the same way. A series of icons at the bottom of
the screen show which planets can be warped to, and
warping is achieved by flying through one of the 'warp
gates' which appear along the planet surface.
the game you can call up a progress chart which shows
how much energy has been deposited on each part of the
planet by means of a series of bar charts. This progress
chart also appears at regular intervals during the game
when a certain number of aliens are cleared.
the constant action tires you then you can relax by
playing the pause mode game, Made In France,
which is a nice and relaxing reflex game. There's also
a pause mode for MIF, called DNA, which
goes into the same category as Psychedelia since
it's a pleasant visual entertainment.