A team of Egyptologists have accidentally been trapped
within the deep recesses of a newly discovered ancient
maze-tomb. Their oxygen is rapidly running out and they
manage to send out a plea for help on their radio transmitter
in the hope that someone somewhere will hear their cry
for help. Well someone does. Their call is received
by Thunderbird 5, orbiting high in the stratosphere,
and it is John Tracy, member of International Rescue,
who hears the Egyptologists' message. The information
is soon relayed to International Rescue's base and Thunderbirds
1 and 2 are go.
some time indeed (Lloyd remembers it well) since Gerry
Anderson's Thunderbirds series first hit TV screens
and became a cult. The cult effect has survived, though,
and surely everyone today has heard about Thunderbirds?
sitting through a multi-channel rendition of the Thunderbirds
theme, the game starts on a menu screen where you choose
the equipment you wish Thunderbird 2 to carry. Thunderbird
2 can move a forty ton payload, and you must equip accordingly
from the variety of useful items available, including
Thunderbird 4, The Mole, weedkiller, earthquake bombs
and scanning equipment, as well as extra fuel. For each
ton of equipment you take you forfeit a hundred of the
two thousand points with which you start. Moving a pointer
labelled 'select' against the name of an item and pressing
fire causes it to be loaded into Thunderbird 2.
loading up, the action flips to the launch screen. In
a blaze of pixels Thunderbird 1 takes off, followed
by Thunderbird 2 -- unless it's overloaded, in which
case the overweight message is flashed up and some of
the equipment chosen has to be replaced.
Egyptian tomb is split into many rooms, each bordered
and split into a maze with character wide squares. Both
Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2 are in the tomb, though
you can only control one at a time. The ships move in
the four basic joystick directions, with the control
being switched between the two via the fire button.
idea of the game is to pass through the mazes to reach
and rescue the scientists. The trouble is, some of the
passages are blocked with coloured slabs of stone and
others are not wide enough to allow Thunderbird 2 to
pass. Blocks can be moved by nudging then with the craft.
While red blocks can be shitted by either ship, Blue
blocks can only be moved by Thunderbird 1 while green
ones only respond to Thunderbird 2. At times the two
ships have to co-operate closely to clear a path. A
limiting factor introduced to make the game a bit more
difficult is the inability to swap control when the
ships are on adjacent screens: you have to be two screens
away or on the same sheet as the other Thunderbird to
the game, when you come onto a sheet where a piece of
the equipment you've chosen to bring can be used, the
relevant machine comes automatically into action.
little problems confront you later in the game -- it's
not all block moving and passage clearing -- there's
water to be passed and insects to be bypassed, to mention
just a couple of hazards held in store, but there's
also some treasure to be collected if you're in the
mood. All the time you're in flight, fuel is being used,
and while there are supplies to be found in the tomb,
it's quite easy to run out. It's quite possible to get
stuck on a screen as well, with the way forward blocked
-- so you can save a game position out and reload later
if you think you're about to make a fatal mistake.