February 1994 MAGazine Volume 10 Number 2

Table Of Contents

The February General Meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will be held Saturday, February 12 from 1:00 pm until approximately 3:00 pm in the Farris Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis.

The newsletter is published monthly for distribution to the members of the Memphis Amiga Group. MAGazine contains meeting announcements, hardware and software review, video and book reviews, and other information of interest to Amiga and computer users in general. Contributions are welcome and may be submitted in hardcopy or via disk in ASCII format at any meeting or you can upload to Operator Headgap BBS - 3/12/24 - (901) 365-1583 or V.32bis hi speed ONLY! (901) 367-0744. Be sure to leave a note to the sysop.

From the President's CLI

by Bob Nunn

The elections went fairly smooth. I want to thank each of you for your participation. We did have a runoff for Vice President between Charles Morgan and Tom O'Brien with Tom receiving the majority vote. Your club officers for 1994 are as follows: President - Bob Nunn, Vice President - Tom O'Brien, Secretary - Cheryn Nunn, Treasurer - Terry Campbell, Librarian - Bill Bowers, Newsletter Editor - Charles Williams.

Welcome New Vice President.

I hope everyone will welcome Tom as our newest addition to the board. Tom, some of you know, runs a bulletin board called Commodore Connection. It is one of the better Amiga BBS's in the Memphis area running CNET on a 3000 w/1.2 Gigabyte Drive and I have heard he now has a CDROM drive up as well. Check out this system by calling: 1-901-872-6885 v32bis.

A1200 Club Purchase

The next board meeting we will review our financing and plan to purchase a 1200 system for the club. I mentioned last month that we can use the hard drive out of the club's A500. We will price an A1200 and an FPU/RAM/CLOCK card of some type with 4 meg of additional ram. We will price the equipment via our local vendors and decide on who to purchase it from based on price. We will then put the purchase to a club vote. We will also discuss how to sell off or perhaps trade in the semi functional A500 w/heavy duty power supply and Supra Ram Unit.

Meeting Demo's & Disk of the Month

We would like your input on what programs and hardware you would like to see at the meetings. Last month we demo's games for the most part, showing off the new Jurassic Park AGA version. Cheryn took a brief look at Pro Calc v1.0. Bill found a few new things for the disk of the month and it included Geiger Tetris. Geiger Tetris is just another Tetris Clone with a picture by the artist who created the creature in Alien and Aliens 3, but the game plays well and is highly rated by all the magazines.

New Phone Numbers

My wife and I are the proud owners of a house! We were able to quickly sell our old place and purchase a larger 6 year old house that had gone into HUD foreclosure. The move forced us to change our phone numbers. 901-759-1541 is our new voice number. The BBS numbers have changed to 759-1542 and 1543. Both BBS lines are V.32bis via Supra modems. While I was having the new BBS lines put in they also installed line hunting, so that if the 1542 line is busy it automatically rings the 1543 line.

New Drive Adds Capacity to Operator Headgap

I just purchased a Quantum 270 meg drive. This brings my BBS total capacity up to 775 megabytes. Would you like to learn more about using your Amiga? Call my BBS (Operator Headgap) and remind me that you are a MAG member for special access.

Officers Meeting

Officers Meeting January 8, 1994

The meeting was called to order at 11:30 by Bob Nunn, President. Also present were Brian Akey, Steve Echols, Raymond Ginn, Cheryn and Amanda Nunn, Charles Williams, Bill Bowers and Terry Campbell.

The election will be held at the general meeting following the officer's meeting. All officers are not yet filled. Nominations will be accepted from the floor before voting.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Cheryn Nunn, Vice President

MAG Meetings

The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) holds general meetings the second Saturday of each month in the Farris Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis (see map at left).

There will be a board of directors lunch meeting at Gridley's in the formal dining room beginning at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, February 12 (before the general meeting). For more information call Bob Nunn at 901-795-1541.

Disk Sales & Video Rentals

MAG library and Fred FISH disks are $2 each.
($5 each for non-members)
Quality blank disks with labels are 65¢ each.
($1 each for non-members)
Rental of Amiga related videotapes is $3 per week.
(not available to non-members)
For all this and more contact club librarian
Bill Bowers (901) 360-0003
OR see Bill at the next MAG general meeting.

Advertising Rates

Full Page $20.00
1/2 Page $11.00
1/4 Page $7.50
1/8 Page (or business card) $3.00

(contact Terry Campbell at 601-393-4864)

Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1994

President
Bob Nunn
(901) 795-1541

Vice President
Thomas O'Brien
(901) 872-6962

Secretary
Cheryn Nunn
(901) 759-1541

Treasurer
Terry Campbell
(601) 393-4864

Librarian
Bill Bowers
(901) 360-0003

MAGazine Editor
Charles Williams
(501) 655-8777

MAGazine Printing & Distribution
Terry A. Campbell
(601) 393-4864

INFO

The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) is non-profit organization whose purpose is promoting and encourageing the use and understanding of the Commodore Amiga Computer. Memberships are open to all those who share a common interest in the Amiga computer and its many wonderful and unique features. Monthly meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcome.

Annual membership dues for new members are $25.00 with an annual renewal rate of $20.00. Associate memberships are available for $15.00 per year, renewable at the same rate, to those who must travel more than 45 miles one way to attend general meetings. All memberships are family memberships and dues are nonrefundable.

Club Sponsored BBS

Scott Pitts is now running the MAG BBS which is also called the Amiga Pitts. The BBS has many excellent features including a large file transfer area and the Fred Fish Collection CD-ROM online. The BBS needs your support, call today! 901-753-9992 (16.8 HST) and 901-753-9719 (v32.bis)

Usenet Review: CD32

By Gene Ruebsamen

PRODUCT NAME

Amiga CD32

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

32-bit CD console, with AGA Graphics Chipset and an expansion port to allow for optional 3rd party devices such as MPEG modules, etc.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Name: Commodore Business Machines
Address: 1200 Wilson Drive, West Chester, PA 19380 USA
Telephone: (800) 66-AMIGA

LIST PRICE

$450 (US), I believe I paid $399 (US) from Software Hut, and I got Pinball Fantasies and Sleepwalker with the system.

SPECIAL HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

Television or monitor that is able to accept RF, Composite, or S-Video input.

INSTALLATION

Installation was quick and painless. The manual describes the process in detail.

REVIEW

The CD32 is a console machine with a top loading CD drive. It is 32-bit machine with the complete AGA chipset and a double speed CD-ROM drive. There is also another chip called "Aikiko" which allows for instantaneous hardware Chunky-to-Planar conversion. This chip should allow game manufactures more ease in porting games from other systems that use a Chunky pixel display. [MODERATOR'S NOTE: For non-technical readers, this hardware "chunky to planar" conversion means faster graphics. - Dan]

Loading a CD is easy: just pull up the lid, place the CD into the drive, and close the lid. The CD32 will automatically sense that a new CD has been placed into the drive and will act accordingly. If a CDTV or CD32 disc is placed into the drive, the CD32 will start loading the program. I have noticed that with the double speed CD drive, games load very quickly. If a standard audio CD is placed into the drive, a screen displaying a futuristic CD player will appear, with several controls for playing the audio CD. Some of the controls include Shuffle, Repeat, Fast Forward and Rewind, several different time displays, and a Sample mode which allows you to audition the first ten seconds of each track in order.

The controller that comes with the CD32 is very ergonomic and sleek, and I like the way it looks. It has 11 buttons: 4 for movement, 4 large buttons on the right, 2 buttons on the top, and a play button in the middle. The layout is similar to that of a Super Nintendo controller; however, the CD32's appearance is much better I think.

The graphics of this machine are excellent. There are three different video outputs on the CD32: RF, Composite, and S-Video. Of the three, the manual recommends using S-Video or composite for a higher quality picture. I have mine hooked up to a big screen television through the composite input. The video output seems much better than that of an A520. Even when using the machine without a CD, the graphics are top notch. When the CD32 is started without a CD in the drive, an animation is displayed of a CD flying through space with 256-colour cycling and orchestra music. Even the option screens and the CD player screen are professionally drawn and take advantage of the 256 colours AGA supports.

There are two option screens that are accessible from the CD32 logo screen. There is a language selection screen which lets you choose your default language for games. There are about 36 different languages. The other screen is the memory management screen. This screen allows you to lock your high scores list or saved games into non-volatile RAM. There are 100 memory units that can be used; and when they are all used, if a game or program attempts to access the memory, it will delete the oldest data stored in memory unless it is locked.

Playing Audio CD's is simple. Just load the Audio CD into the drive and select which tracks to play, or select one of the many other options. The graphics for this screen are great: with the 256 colors and color cycling, it looks very futuristic.

DOCUMENTATION

The CD32 comes with a short manual that describes the installation process, special features (such as playing audio CD's and accessing the special screens), the loading of CD's, etc. The getting started guide is quick and to the point, and serves as excellent reference.

LIKES & DISLIKES

So far, I have yet to find anything that I dislike about the CD32.

BUGS

None found.

CONCLUSION

I feel the CD32 is an excellent product. Even though it hasn't been released in the US yet, it will be the console with the best price/performance ratio when it is released. I give the CD32 nine stars out of ten.

Copyright 1993 Gene Ruebsamen. All rights reserved.

General Meeting Notes

General Meeting Notes January 8, 1994. The general meeting began at 1 PM. Announcements were made and visitors greeted. Bob Nunn, President, then reviewed the list of persons willing to serve and the office each was willing to fill.

Bob Nunn - President
Cheryn Nunn - Secretary
Terry Campbell - Treasurer
Bill Bowers - Librarian

Nominations were opened to the floor for Vice President. Charles Morgan and Tom O'Brien were nominated and seconded. Bob Nunn then called for a vote on the slate of offices excluding the Vice President. All those officers were elected unanimously.

The two candidates for Vice President were then asked to leave the room and a hand vote was taken for each one. Tom O'Brien was elected Vice President by a majority vote.

Two of the demos for the meeting were done by Amanda Nunn, daughter of Bob and Cheryn. She demo'd Jurassic Park, a game modeled after the movie, and Uridium 2, a game that was popular on the 64/128. Bill Bowers showed off the disk of the month, filled as usual with all kinds of goodies.

The meeting was dismissed at 3 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Cheryn Nunn, Secretary

Mortal Kombat Game Review

By Steve Dempsey

PRODUCT NAME

Mortal Kombat

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

A popular martial arts "beat-em-up" arcade game ported to the Amiga.

AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

Name: Program Copyright by Acclaim Ent. Inc. Published by Virgin Interactive Ent. (Europe) Ltd.
Address: Virgin Interactive Ent. (Europe) Ltd., 338A Ladbroke Grove, London, W10 5AH UK
Telephone: (081) 964-8242
FAX: (081) 960-9900

LIST PRICE

Purchased at local Amiga dealer for $36.00 (US).

SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

Compatible with Amiga 500, 500+, 600, 1200, 1500. See INSTALLATION, below, for tips on getting the program to run on an A4000. Requires 1 or 2 button joystick and 1MB RAM.

COPY PROTECTION

Disk-based. Not hard-drive installable.

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

Amiga 4000/030 with 2MB Chip RAM, 4MB Fast RAM and a 450 MB hard drive. AmigaDOS 3.0.

BACKGROUND

If you occasionally go to the arcade, you probably have already noticed the game Mortal Kombat. Many months ago, Mortal Kombat was ported over to the SNES and Sega Genesis machines. Today, Mortal Kombat is one of the hottest games selling on those two platforms. Fortunately, there was an announcement that Mortal Kombat would be released for the IBM and Amiga computers. (Yes, Amiga!) The greatest fear of arcade ports, however, is that they will not hold true to their original design, often metamorphosing into poor, unplayable pieces of junk. This is NOT true with Mortal Kombat! Much of the game play is preserved making it a very enjoyable piece of software.

INSTALLATION AND GETTING STARTED

When I first opened the package, I immediately threw the boot disk into DF0: on my 4000/030. Unfortunately, the program did not boot up! The box specifically states that Mortal Kombat is indeed compatible with the A1200 but makes no mention of the A4000. Thus, I first immediately tried all boot-up options (holding the two mouse buttons down at boot time and selecting), but still nothing. Next, I tried various options with the program Degrader, which "degrades" the system to allow older software to work. But I still got nowhere. Now, you can imagine the frustration on my face after feverishly trying to get Mortal Kombat to work but getting nowhere at all.

After pitying myself for hours, I logged into one of the BBS's that I call and found this program called the "1.3 Bootup disk". The 1.3 Bootup disk allows Kickstart 1.3 to be allocated into RAM, surviving resets, thus allows non-standard DOS disks to boot up. Nevertheless, I stuck in the 1.3 Bootup disk and let it go. When I was faced with the old familiar "Insert Workbench" display, I threw in the Mortal Kombat bootup disk, and IT WORKED! I have heard that other 4000 users have figured out ways to boot Mortal Kombat using Degrader and the boot menu, but I encourage them to get ahold of the 1.3 Bootup disk, since it is much easier to use.

Mortal Kombat comes on just two disks and does in fact support two floppy drives. If you only have one disk drive, however, Mortal Kombat seems to take advantage of any extra RAM above 1MB to minimize disk swapping. Most importantly, there was NO disk swapping at all during the actual game play. This allowed myself actually to "kick-back" while playing the game. Unfortunately, Mortal Kombat is NOT hard drive installable and that's a real bummer.

QUALITY

I pretty much assume that Mortal Kombat is programmed using 32 colors. Now, if you never saw Mortal Kombat before, Mortal Kombat uses digitized images for its characters, making it a very "realistic" type of game in its class. What you see on the screen is a very good representation of Mortal Kombat's digitized characters for 32 colors. There is a multitude of background screens in which to Kombat. (Which the computer chooses for you.) Unfortunately, most of the screens are static, making it very plain except in one background shot where I saw a witch moving across the screen.

Game speed is critical to this type of game, and Mortal Kombat doesn't let you down. The characters' speed and fluidness of movement are essentially preserved in all aspects. For example, doing a roundhouse kick actually looks and "feels" real. In fact, nearly all the martial arts moves take on a realistic approach both visually and acutely.

For those who have a two button joystick, you are allowed to use the second button as a "kick" inducer. Unfortunately, I do not have a two button joystick, and thus was unable to test that function. Even with just a one button stick, however, the controls are fairly easy to remember and initiate. Even so, I would definitely recommend a two button stick for overall simplicity.

THE GAME

Mortal Kombat uses digitized images to represent various characters. These characters are: Johnny Cage, Kano, Raiden, Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub- Zero, and Sonya Blade. Each character has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. In addition, each character has his/her own "death blow" move. A death blow move will instantly kill the opponent. Note that the documentation does not reveal the death blow moves, so you must figure them out yourself.

The object of the game is to win all matches against each opponent and eventually fight the legendary "Goro". Note that there is also a two player mode if you have another joystick. In this case, the two players fight till the end.

The option menu will allow yourself to choose various game difficulty levels. I would strongly suggest picking "Easy" in the beginning as it is very tough to win even at the easy level at first.

Fighting the other computer opponents is really fun. You apply various offensive martial arts moves to the opponent while at the same time defending from his/her move. After you play a while, you will notice that certain characters can beat other characters without too much damage, and it works the other way around too, so it's a learning experience to play around with various characters. Towards the end of a fight in which one of the character gets "beaten up", you can (if you won) apply the death move. The death move is actually pretty visually gory. In fact, the box of Mortal Kombat states that the game is "not suitable for person under 15 years of age." It can be quite thrilling though, for the older crowd.

DOCUMENTATION

Mortal Kombat comes with a high quality, glossy, manual dedicated to the Amiga. It is an excellently written manual with nearly all moves (except death blow) illustrated, and information about the "kombatants".

I also received three cut-out stencils with various Mortal Kombat logos and such. A very nice addition, if you ask me.

LIKES AND DISLIKES

I liked the game play and conversion quality of Mortal Kombat. It is a very fast and fun game to play. Support of the two button joystick is also greatly welcomed. Disk swapping on a one drive system with lots of RAM was minimalized, and even non-existent during actual game play making it very stressless.

A great problem in Mortal Kombat was getting it to work on my A4000. I am completely disgusted with the programmers who obviously didn't even bother to test the game on an A4000. Come on folks, a LOT of us game users out there have A4000's!

Speaking of which, why is it that the game is not hard drive installable? Let us remember that a LOT of game users also have hard drives that we would love to have filled with a good game like Mortal Kombat!

I pray that an AGA version of Mortal Kombat will come out soon. I have heard that a CD-32 version is planned. Mortal Kombat could really use 256 colors and take more advantage of faster processors to make the game even better -- especially with the background screens.

COMPARISON TO OTHER PLATFORMS

I have an SNES at home with Mortal Kombat. How good is the SNES version compared to the Amiga version, you ask? I would have to give the SNES the edge since it has more colors on screen (let's get that AGA version out!), much better joypad support (well, I won't nail it too hard on this one since Mortal Kombat actually went through the effort of getting two button joystick support!), and finally, the SNES has animated background screens which make the game a bit more pleasing. I am happy to say, however, that character movement speed and agility are very much the same.

I have not seen the IBM version of Mortal Kombat, but I have heard that it will support 256 colors and be hard drive installable. I can safely assume that it will require more than 1MB of RAM, however. Since the IBM version can be hard drive installable, it gives absolutely no excuse that the Amiga should not also have it.

COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR GAMES ON THE AMIGA

The only other top-notch "beat-em-up" for the Amiga I can think of (and own) is Body Blows by Team 17. Body Blows requires significantly more disk swaps, even in the middle of actually playing the game, which is very irritating. Mortal Kombat is definitely more fluid and fast than Body Blows. Mortal Kombat is also better in actual game play, making it much more challenging and rewarding.

BUGS

The only bug I found was that mysteriously the audio would sometimes get a bit distorted but game play would be unaffected. It got to the point, however, that I would be forced to reboot the game since the audio distortion would get very irritating. I do not know why this happens and can estimate it only happens about 1 in 15 times I play the game.

CONCLUSIONS

Mortal Kombat is an excellent game and definitely the best beat-em-up on the Amiga by far. The conversion quality is top-notch and makes good use of the old graphic chipset. If you are looking for a good arcade game, go out and buy this one. I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed.

Copyright 1993 Steve Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Fish Disks 921-930

DISK 921

CapShift
Simple commodity which turns the shift key into a 'capslock-toggle' key: if capslock is off, the shift key + an alphabetic key produces an uppercase character, as usual; if capslock is on, the shift key + an alphabetic key produces a lowercase character
MiniGames
Two little Workbench games; MiniPac, an "Pacman" type game, and MiniIsola, "a head 'em off at the pass and box 'em in" type game.
MiniMorph
A little morphing package written in assembler, based on VMorph Version 2 beta by Lee Wilkie (but nearly 50 times faster (un-compiled amos vs compiled (?!) assembler)). Currently limited to 16-color, greyscale images.

DISK 922

Designer
A program to create intuition interfaces for programs, at present producing code in Pascal and C is possible. This is a demo version with a partially disabled save option. The program has on-line help and can create windows and menus.
WBSearch
A multi-tasking Workbench AppMenuItem file search utility. The search pattern does not support pattern matching symbols, only matches letters in the filename in continuous order.

DISK 923

bBaseIII
An easy to use, versatile, yet full featured database program that will run on any Amiga. Search or sort on any field, print mailing labels, (un)delete records, mail merge, get reports in many formats, scramble files, flag records, and more. Fields are user-configurable, so bBase can be used to keep track of addresses, tape or video collections, recipe files, or anything else you can think of - one program does it all!
CryptoKing
A game for those who like to solve Cryptograms; those coded sentences that have to be decoded to be read. Operate with keyboard or mouse.
MagicClip
A shell utility for accessing clipboard text. Text can be written to or read from any clipboard unit.
MagicPubName
A powerful 'getpubname' utility, that prints the name of the default, frontmost, or shanghai public screen to the console, or checks whether a public screen is frontmost, or at least partially visible, or whether it exists at all. Any public screen may also be popped to the front. Can also find the public screen of an arbitrary console. Needs Amiga-OS 2.04 or better.
OberonPrefs
A preferences editor for manipulating the compiler and linker options of A+L Amiga-Oberon.
RawInsert
A utility to insert text or any other input events into the input stream.
SetEnv39
A compatible substitute for Commodore's SetEnv shell command.

DISK 924

EdWordPro
A fully featured and fully operational text editor which offers all the standard features of any decent editor as well as the ability to hold up to 15 documents in memory, a Macro facility, Keyword Text Casing (i.e. editor will automatically force keywords into upper/lower case etc); The ability to send AmigaDOS commands; 12 possible screen resolutions; A full ASCII table; Powerful search routines; Vertical Blocks; A built in calculator; A Word Count; The ability to sort a piece of text alphabetically.
HD_Frequency
A 'professional' hard disk recording system with many features. Limited, demo version only.
P-Reader
An all-purpose reader that displays texts,pictures, animations and sounds, which may be uncompressed or compressed by P-Compress or PCompress2. Texts can contain embedded static or animated illustrations and sounds.
S_Anim5
Turns Anim5 animations (DPaint, Videoscape, P-Animate etc.) into self-contained, self-displaying, compressed files callable from the Workbench or CLI.
S-Exec
A simple program to turn executable command files into self-executing compressed (imploded) commands, functioning exactly as the uncompressed original.
S-Omni
Will turn almost anything into a self-contained self-executing compressed file, including virtually any combination of a data file and an appropriate tool.
WB-Version
A "Version" command for the WorkBench. Meant for use with ToolManager.

DISK 925

DonsGenies
A collection of nearly seventy "genies" (ARexx scripts) for use with Professional Page, plus some supporting material.
SoundMachine
Allows you to load, save, and play various sound file formats including RAW, IFF, VOC, and WAV.

DISK 926

JcGraph
Business grapher with Intuition interface. JcGraph can show your data as bar,line, planes, stack, blocks, 2D and 3D, etc.
TreeTool
A public-domain link library toolkit for working with nonbalanced, acyclic, n-ary trees.

DISK 927

EquiLog
A Master-Mind type game.
Finger
A quick and dirty port the unix finger utility for AmiTCP.
Telnet
A port of BSD TELNET code, which runs under AmiTCP and AS225 release 2.

DISK 928

AddTools
Allows you to add your own items to the "Tools" menu of Amiga OS 2.04's Workbench Screen.
Annotate
A text editor written for ADos 2.0 and up.
DefPubScreen
A little wedge that makes the front-most screen the default public screen. If the front-most screen isn't a public screen, nothing changes.
MiserPrint
A print utility that puts up to 8 normal pages of text on one sheet of paper. MiserPrint uses the small built-in fonts (Courier and Letter Gothic) of the HP-Deskjet printers.
MRChoice
MultiRequestChoice is a requester utility designed as a powerful and comfortable replacement for ASK and other present requester utilities.
PriMan
A Task Priority Manager along the same lines as TaskX, but fully Style Guide compliant, font-sensitive, and configurable. Requires OS2.0 or greater.
TeXFormat
Enables you to select TeX format files easily. Scans the directory where your TeX format files reside and creates an array of radiobuttons of the appropriate size.

DISK 929

MegaD
A full-featured directory utility. Supports multiple directories, multiple text/HEX reader, multiple source directories, multiple destination directories and disk copy. User defined Menus. User defined screen layout of all objects such as Gadget Sets and Directory Windows.
WBvwm
WBvwm opens up a small window representing the entire Workbench area. Within the window, "objects" represent all open windows. By moving an object, the corresponding window can be placed anywhere within the Workbench area. You may also instantly move to any part of the Workbench area by double-clicking in the corresponding area of the WBvwm window.

DISK 930

Fonts
Two fixed-pitch fonts designed for high resolution screens.
MegaD_Docs
AmigaGuide documentation in lha'rced form for MegaD, a full-featured directory utility.
QuadraComp
An intuition based music tracker that uses the internal sound capabilities of the Amiga.
RCON
A replacement for the CON:-Handler of Amiga-OS 2.x / 3.x.

Turrican III Review

by Mark B. Sachs

PRODUCT NAME

Turrican 3

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

It's a platform shoot-em-up game.

AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

Name: Factor 5/Rainbow Arts

LIST PRICE

$49.99 (US). Local dealer price $35.95.

SPECIAL HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

According to the manual, Turrican III will take advantage of extra RAM to reduce loading times, and will take advantage of a faster CPU to manipulate on-screen objects more efficiently. Indeed, loading times were very quick and BOB movement very smooth on my A3000. Also, there were no hassles because I happened to be running in NTSC mode.

COPY PROTECTION

Disk protection. Not hard drive installable.

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

Amiga 3000, NTSC, 2M Chip RAM, 4M Fast RAM.

REVIEW

It's been a while since the original Turrican and Turrican II blasted their way into the Amiga game scene. The first Turrican featured mind- bendingly impressive (and colorful) graphics, bloody enormous levels, kicky music and enough firepower to make even the National Rifle Association happy. Not long after that came Turrican II, with graphics that blew Turrican I out of the water, wonderful 7-voice music, and enough firepower to make even the NRA feel slightly ill. Both are classics, indeed, archetypes of the platform shooter genre.

What could top that? Not willing to leave well enough alone, Factor 5 has returned with the third part of the trilogy, imaginatively named Turrican III. The scenario is familiar. Long ago humanity's arch-nemesis, The Machine, was apparently destroyed; the galaxy enjoyed a period of existence that was happy, peaceful, and on the whole tax free. But of course this couldn't last -- the Machine returned and went back to its old tricks of blowing up planets and enslaving innocents. Who's going to drop down to the Machine's planet and blast his way through uncounted numbers of evil minions to put an end to this unpleasantness, and not incidentally rescue the cute manga babe whose cry for help alerted everyone to the menace? Looks like a job for Bren McGuire, who, with a heavily armed Turrican powersuit, purple hair, and chin the size of Texas, is definitely qualified to take it on. All this is explained in the game's intro -- very stylishly done, with scrolling backgrounds, text, and ominous music that matches the narrative very well.

Turrican III, like its two predecessors, is a platform shoot-em-up with bosses, powerups, hidden areas, the whole deal. As you may have guessed, the concept is not exactly intellectual; no strategy or planning involved, just straight death and destruction. But that's OK. It's worked before and worked well.

Anyway, after seeing the intro, I was very impressed, and eager to see the game itself. All that was left to do was to select Control Method (the game supports two-button joysticks and Sega MegaDrive joypads -- a definite plus), pick a difficulty level (from "Easy" to "Maniac") and off we go!

This, unfortunately, is where I stopped being quite so impressed.

Turrican III isn't BAD, really. But, sadly, it does not live up to its predecessors. Admittedly Turrican II -- with its colorful copper backdrops, multilevel parallax scrolling, massive armaments, and so forth -- is a hard act to follow, but the third installment isn't even at the level of Turrican I, much less II.

First disappointment: the flamethrower, the most useful weapon from TI and II (you can play it in any direction around you to take care of baddies above or below the level of your gun) is gone! It's been replaced by a Bionic Commando-style rope with which you can, er, swing up to high places. The rope is kind of neat, but I'd rather have the flamethrower to be honest.

Second disappointment: the graphics feel, well, SMALL. Small and junky. Console-like. Which shouldn't be a surprise, as this is really a conversion of "Super Turrican" for the Super NES console. But the stylish touches that made the previous two installments so perfect are entirely absent. The palettes are drab, rather than colorful (there is obvious dithering everywhere), the parallax scrolling looks unrealistic, and worst of all your weaponry is NOT impressive. As for the in-game music, it's OK, but it doesn't provide the wonderful atmosphere we saw in the previous two.

Third disappointment: there's a fine line between "playable" and "too damn easy." TI and II were playable. TIII is too damn easy. It took merely an hour to complete the game on Normal difficulty level; very few places were actually difficult to get through. The majority of the levels are highly linear and compressed, almost pushing you straight to the exit. Even the (few) non-linear levels are crowded with "EXIT" arrows everywhere, making finding your way through no challenge at all.

"Mark," I can hear you saying, "there must be SOME good points." Well, OK, there are a few. The intro's pretty nice, as I said. The game speed cannot be faulted -- no slowdowns anywhere. There are a fair number of bosses, which I personally happen to like. A few of the levels ARE quite stylish, such as a giant factory towards the end, swimming and underwater sections, and an H. R. Giger-esque freight train (I kid you not) that was a nervewracking experience to get across. But even these levels were far too short and featured few nifty or unusual touches. Um... did I mention that the intro was quite nice?

That's about all I can say. Turrican fans will be disappointed, I guarantee; the latest installment in the venerable trilogy doesn't follow the time-honored formula, smells too much of the console conversion that it is, and, well, as much as I wanted to before actually playing it, I can't recommend that you buy Turrican III.

CONCLUSIONS

I wanted to like this game. I really did. But I didn't. Buy "Hired Guns" instead.

More Fish From Fred

Fish Disk 931

Comgraph
Powerful function plotter.
DynamiteWar
Commercial Dynablaster clone.
Modules
M2Amiga compiler extensions.

Fish Disk 932

DynamicSkies
Astronomy toolbox v1.0
Fleuch
Cargo pickup game v2.0 (update).
StackMon
Monitor stack usage v1.0

Fish Disk 933

ConvertHAM
Convert HAM to ILBM v1.2.
EditKeys
Keymap editor v1.4 (update).
GuiArc
GUI interface for cli-based archivers v1.22 (update).
PhxAss
Complete macro assembly v3.60 (update).
PhxLnx
AmigaDos object file linker v1.35 (update).
Shell Menus
Create user-definable shell menus v2.7

Fish Disk 934

ABackup
Powerful backup utility v4.03 (update).
AZap
"New generation" binary editor v2.11 (update).
PublicManager
Public screen tool v1.4 (update).
ToolType
Edit tooltypes in icons v37.206.

Fish Disk 935

AmiCDROM
CD-ROM disk filing system v1.7 (update).
Badger
Icon management utility v1.1.
ClipWindow
Put frequently used text into clipboard v1.0.
LazyBench
Lazy person's workbench v1.12 (update).
MuchMore
Text display program v3.6 (update).
VirusChecker
Virus checking utility v6.33 (update).

Fish Disk 936

BaseConvert
GUI pgm to convert number bases v1.1.
Spooler
Print text files in the background v2.3.
TKEd
Intuition-based ASCII editor v1.17a (update).

Fish Disk 937

64Door
C-64 terminal emulator program v1.0.
Galactoid
Shoot-em-up game.
KingCON
Console-handler replacement for CON: and RAW: devices v1.0.
Knit
Convert IFF picture into a knitting pattern v1.01.
Megasquad
Two-player game.
WhereK
Highly configurable hard drive utility v3.0.

Fish Disk 938

Angle
ANother Great Intutition Enhancer commodity v1.6.
AppISizer
Localized version of AppIcon utility v0.68 (update).
DPU
Hex disk and file editor v1.5 (update).
Filters
GUi-based RC filter design pgm v1.2.
MN3A
Antenna design program v1.0.
PicCon
Use datatype libs to load any picture format v1.06.
TurboLeusch
Create/expand workbench-based menus.

Fish Disk 939

AddPower
Add useful miscellaneous features to WB2.0 v37.6.
AlertHelp
Help interpret alert messages v0.55.
ARexxSuper
Mouse-controlled ARexx communication pgm v1.0.
CloseWB
Close WB screen after "n" seconds v1.0
ExtraCmds
Set of 18 AmigaDOS commands.
IanUtils
Some useful Assembly language tools.
Upcat
Disk catalog program v1.2 (update).

Fish Disk 940

AltTab
Small commodity to display screen titles with Alt-Tab v0.2.
BootMan
Boot manager program v1.1.
VideoMaxe
Video database program v04.20 (update).

Fish Disk 941

CardZ
Patience card games v1.0.
FlipPrefs
Create several preferences files v1.0.
Guide2Doc
Convert AmigaGuide files to normal document v1.0.
Mine
Modula-2 implementation of Minefield game v2.0 (update).
SOUNDEffect
Sound sample editing program v2.10.
YAMFG
Yet Another Mine Field Game v1.0.

Fish Disk 942

ACalc
Small calculator w/floating point, hex, etc.
AS65
2 pass cross assembly for 6502 family v2.3d.
LibraryGuide
List of 170 different "libraries" v1.0.
WBMenu
CLI utility to add menus to Tools menu v3.4.

Fish Disk 943

Clock
Simple clock pgm v2.20 (update).
IRMaster
Substitution of remote controls by the Amiga v1.0.
JIStoJI
Read and print Japanese electronic text v1.5.
MCMaster
Music cassette cover printing utility v1.2 (udpate).
Mkfont
Convert std Amiga fonts to HP soft fonts v1.0.
WBflash
Flash WB active window v1.12.

Fish Disk 944

AngusTitler
Create videotitles for holiday films v4.0.
ARegress
A program for statistical evaluation of measurements v2.0.
BlockEd
Disk block editor v1.4.
Lhf
Dir-utility and archiver w/CLI & Intuition interfaces v1.03.
Parcheese
Game like the classic board game v1.7g.
PhoneDir
Personal phone directory v1.0.

Fish Disk 945

EmacsStarter
A good Emacs starter release 1.
IFFConvert
Convert IFF ILBM files v1.12 (update).
MineRunner
Freeware game like Lode Runner v1.0.
Orm
Improved version of "Snake" game v1.4.
PrtSc
PrintScreen key like MS-DOG v1.52 (update).
Reminder
Utility to remind you about events v1.20.

Fish Disk 946

AmiQWK
QWKMail format offline reader Release 2 v2.2 (update).
DMon
Monitor/disassembler/debugger v1.86.
fd2pragma
Create prototypes for Aztec C compiler
PriMan
Style-guide compliant task priority manager v1.1 (update).
TrashIcon
AppIcon to delete files v2.3. (update).
Yass
Yet Another Screen Selector v1.1.

Fish Disk 947

Mand2000D
Revolutionary fractal program demo v1.102.
NewTool
Replace default tool in project icons v37.195.
ScreenSelect
Change screen order commodity v2.1 (update).
SMaus
Configurable "SUN-mouse" utility v1.24 (update).
SteamyWindows
After task priorities v1.0.

Fish Disk 948

ADis
68000+ disassembler v1.1.
Snoopy
Monitor library function calls v1.4.
VirusZII
Release II of this virus detector v1.00 (update).

Fish Disk 949

BBBBS
Baud Bandit Bulletin Board System v6.5 (update).
TitleClock
Screen titlebar clock v2.7.

Fish Disk 950

BBDoors
Collection of ARexx doors for BBBBS.
bbsQuick
Offline reader for BBBBS v6.4 (update).
BusyPointers
Collection of busy pointers for NickPrefs.
ClockTool
Perform operations on battery backed-up clock v1.0.
Enforcer
Monitor illegal memory accesses v37.55 (update).
PayAdvice
Pay analysis program v3.00.
Sushi
Intercept raw output of Enforcer v37.10 (update).

Operating Systems

By Bill Wilson, Rob Freundlich, Dag Gillies, and others in Usenet's rec.humor.

MS-DOS: You get in the car and try to remember where you put your keys.

Windows: You get in the car and drive to the store very slowly, because attached to the back of the car is a freight train.

OS/2: After fueling up with 6000 gallons of gas, you get in the car and drive to the store with a motorcycle escort and a marching band in procession. Halfway there, the car blows up, killing everybody in town.

UNIX: You get in the car and type GREP STORE. After reaching speeds of 200 mph en route, you arrive at the barber shop.

Windows NT: You get in the car and write a letter that says, "go to the store". Then you get out of the car and mail the letter to your dashboard.

OS/400: An attendant locks you into the car, then drives you to the store where you get to watch everyone else buy filet mignon.

S/36 SSP: You get in the car and drive to the store. Halfway there, you run out of gas. While walking the rest of the way, you are run over by kids on mopeds.

Macintosh System 7: You get in the car to go to the store, and the car drives you to church.

OpenWindows: you can't drive the car because the hood ornament completely blocks your field of view.

AmigaDOS 3.0: You get in the car and it drives you to a great little store no-one else in town knows about.

Memphis Amiga Group Financial Report January/February, 1994

DISK SALES $ 44.75
Mag ADD $
Dues $ 120.00
Rentals $
New Members $
Cash ON Hand $ 48.52
New Memb. Pack $ 40.00
 
Months Receipts $ 204.75
 
Tax $ .00
Postage $ 31.16
Mag Printing $ 42.20
Mis Expenses $ 59.00
New Disks $ 138.51
Fish Disk $
On-Line Charges $ 20.00
 
Months Debits $ 291.87
 
Bank Balance
12-31 Ballance $ 847.20
Deposits $ 175.00
Checks Out $ 123.45
New Ballance $ 888.75
 
Total Assets $ 937.27

YOU COULD OWN THIS BOX

If you have an old computer, old car, old lady, er. No! No! --- anything you need to get rid of. You can get this box, or one like it, for your very own. All you have to do is give our editor a call and tell him what you would like to advertise here.

Call Charles 501-655-8777

MEMPHIS AMIGA GROUP MEMBERS April 1994

If your name is underlined check your renewal date.

If you have a change of address or phone, please notify; Terry Campbell (601) 393-4864

LAST NAME FIRST NAME CITY ST ZIP EXPIRES
1. Akey Brian L. Memphis TN 38107 OCT 94
2. Andrews Freddie L. Memphis TN 38128 JAN 95
3. Barnhart Ken Memphis TN 38118 MAY 94
4. Bilson Edward Memphis TN 38115 JAN 95
5. Bonk Bruce West Memp AR 72301 FEB 95
6. Bowers William Memphis TN 38118 MAY 94
→ 7. Browne Kevin Memphis TN 38111 DEC 93
8. Brockway Dennis M. Memphis TN 38107 SEP 94
9. Burns Keith Cordova TN 38018 NOV 94
10. Campbell Terry A. Horn Lake MS 38637 DEC 94
→ 11. Castillo Jose M. Memphis TN 38118 DEC 93
12. Chiego John & Sara Memphis TN 38119 DEC 94
13. Cobbins Gerald Memphis TN 38109 Jan 95
14. Cumby Rick D. Memphis TN 38120 AUG 94
15. Condo Casey L. Memphis TN 38134 OCT 94
→ 16. Crockett Robert Horn Lake MS 38637 DEC 93
17. Dunn Jimmie L. Memphis TN 38106 APR 94
18. Dobbins Chris Memphis TN 38152 NOV 94
19. Echols Steve Memphis TN 38125 DEC 94
20. Franklin Shelley Memphis TN 38120 MAR 94
21. Gates Terrence Memphis TN 38109 MAY 94
22. Ginn Raymond Memphis TN 38127 APR 94
23. Hooker William H. Bartlett TN 38134 NOV 94
24. Ingerson Steve Walls MS 38680 SEP 94
→ 25. King Guy Collierville TN 38017 JAN 94
26. Knight Bill L. Memphis TN 38118 NOV 94
→ 27. Man Samuel Germantown TN 38138 FEB 94
28. McCalla Ron & Audrey Jackson TN 38305 DEC 99
→ 29. Montgomery Ronald Memphis TN 38108 FEB 94
30. Morgan Andrew Memphis TN 38168 SEP 94
31. Morris Louis Sr. Memphis TN 38125 APR 94
32. Norman Joe R. Dyersburg TN 38024 JAN 95
33. Nunn Bob & Cheryn Memphis TN 38141 AUG 94
34. O'Brien Thomas T. Millington TN 38053 SEP 94
35. Photo Grafix (Jim) Memphis TN 38112 MAY 94
36. Pitts Scott Collierville TN 38017 NOV 94
→ 37. Rush David Memphis TN 38127 NOV 93
38. Sanders Joe Memphis TN 38134 JAN 95
39. Spence David E. Memphis TN 38104 JUL 94
40. Stokes Paul Eads TN 38028 DEC 94
41. Swope Sara Beth Braden TN 38010 APR 94
42. Torrence Samuel Tupelo MS 38801 AUG 94
43. Vineyard Charles W. Memphis TN 38118 AUG 94
44. Wallace Michael S. Marion AR 72364 AUG 93
45. Walker Jim Memphis TN 38128 JAN 95
46. Walp Len Memphis TN 38128 DEC 94
→ 47. Waters Robert Memphis TN 38116 OCT 93
48. Weatherall Broadus Memphis TN 38111 JAN 95
→ 49. Webb Donnie Memphis TN 38118 JAN 94
50. Williams Charles Wilson AR 72395 DEC 95
51. Winfield Kenneth Memphis TN 38128 OCT 94
→ 52. Wirth Charles Memphis TN 38128 FEB 94
53. Wulff John Memphis TN 38115 AUG 94
→ 54. Wyatt Joel Jackson TN 38301 FEB 94