PROJECT: Binary code addiction as a means of controlling
SCIENTIST: Prof NORMAN NUTZ Phd, Bsc, KP.
EQUIPMENT: C64, Amiga A500, Cray-2.
ASSISTANT: The Geek
I must admit I've been putting my feet up this month
-- only one game arrived for review, and as it was 'extremely
interesting' Star Trek stuff the 'Trekkie' Ed decided
to review it himself! So I'm temporarily unemployed
-- I did go down the Jobcentre, but they didn't have
many vacancies for 113-year-old mad professors. Instead,
they told me to 'bugger off and draw your pension, wrinkly!'
-- what a cheek; thanks to my own Nutz Rejuvenation
Potion I can still claim child benefit for myself!
next month I will be re-employed -- Ed Stu promises
he won't hijack any more reviews (unless they're for
Trekkie games!) -- and I'll have a full review of Level
9's latest (and last) adventure, SCAPEGHOST (which just
missed a review this issue). Until then, be adventurous.
Log, Stardate 1254.3pm. Searching for strange new C64
games is a long and rewarding process, but when you're
First Officer is someone as dumb as the Geek sometimes
you have to acknowledge failure. On such occasions a
hit of time travelling seems advisable, and with Star
Trek V about to hit the UK I've set the dial for
the 23rd century with a 1986 American release. And for
an expert Trekkie's perspective I brought along the
Ed . . .
Log, Stardate 1255.4pm. During routine exploration of
uncharted space the USS Enterprise has been attacked
by a Romulan Bird Of Prey. Severe damage has been suffered
and, while crew injuries are miraculously light, the
ship's food stocks have been contaminated. Chief Engineer
Scott says repairing the warp engines will take eight
days at least, so to avoid starvation a food source
must he found quickly. Within impulse engine range is
the apparently barren Prometheus Four planet.
explore the planet a landing team is assembled, including
Kirk, Spock, McCoy and xenoethnologist (!) Hernanda
Dimas. The team materialises near a mysterious obelisk,
covered with a beautiful paisley pattern partially spoiled
by weird graffiti. As the landing party explores, it
encounters a swift-footed alien with quicksilver eyes,
then a complicated alien culture ruled over by a mysterious
the fortunate idiosyncrasy of the Afflictor to gather
together enormous quantities of krill in a big store
house. If you could meet the Afflictor maybe you could
negotiate, but the colour-coded gates to the central
compound are closely guarded by Defenders wearing 'glassy,
segmented armour of an evil, insectoid appearance..'
and armed with a 'whip, crowned with a blossom of curved
glass needles.' The Prometheans can create glass by
gathering together and humming at sand, which is useful
since the Dune-like planet has little else. Clearly,
popping down to a nearby planet to grab some food isn't
going to be as simple as you might expect.
screen display is split into three windows, one at the
top with location and number of moves info, the main
text window, and the input window which allows only
a single line of text. This is a fairly severe limitation
on interaction, as is a limited vocabulary, which betrays
the program's age. The actual game however, is still
very good. The opening episode where you come under
attack from the Romulan warship is incredibly tense,
emphasising how little Kirk can do without a competent
bridge crew. And once the Romulan captain is beaten,
you find out he's the brother of the Romulan commander
killed in the classic 'Balance Of Terror' episode.
the authors are Star Trek fans, and they so perfectly
recreate the atmosphere of the series that you instinctively
visualize its studio-confined planetscapes. The formal
of show is perfect for a computer game; phrases like
'energize' and 'standard orbit' allow complex commands
to be simplified. Then there's the fact Kirk can't do
everything himself, but must ask the other members of
the landing party to do things. Characterization is
good too -- try and phaser a Defender and Spock restrains
you by merely raising an eyebrow and suggesting it wouldn't
I must admit to not being a great adventure fan, but
the Star Trek theme of this certainly got me interested
and thereafter it was a lot of fun. By comparison with
Firebird's Star Trek, which had superb graphics
but little of the series' spirit with Klingon battlecruisers
being destroyed by the dozen, this is much the superior
Star Trek game. Non-fans might find the presentation
technically poor, but the prose is excellent and gameplay
simple enough to be ideal for beginners. I only hope
the Star Trek V movie's as good, not to mention the
computer game, of course.
Log 2053.8pm. What, Stu? You mean you've finished? Oh,
thanks for a very interesting review. By the way, will
I get paid for it? Only if I add my comments? Oh well,
here goes . . .
agree with the Ed totally and absolutely (can I have
my money now? No?). The Promethean Prophecy has
got an intense sci-fi atmosphere and despite its age
(and its basic presentation) is still a great game.
Even non-Trekkies (such as myself) will enjoy this classic
Trek: The Promethean Prophesy is available from
MGA SoftCat, Pear Tree, Appledore, Kent TN26 2AR, Tel: