64K cassette for XL & XE £9.95
48K cassette for 400 & 800 £9.95
48K disk (all models) £12.95
You are cruising through space
when your ship suddenly goes out of control and you are forced to
crash-land on the nearby planet of Targ. You immediately find yourself
slap-bang in the middle of a war between the normally peaceful Palyars
- inhabitants of the planet - and the invading Mechanoids. Adopting
a Mercenary role (more out of need than out of choice) you proceed
to explore the planet, hoping to find the ways and means of escape.
It will be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but it can
be done. Indeed, escape can be achieved in a number of different
ways, but you must box clever. You can choose to swear allegiance
to either side or play them both off against each other in a bid
to lay your hands on the intergalactic craft which will take you
away from Targ. Your only true friend in all this is the ever-reliable
BENSON - an almost human PC which you managed to salvage from the
crash - and he will keep you well informed of any important happenings
and won't hesitate to offer advice whenever he thinks f you need
And so the scene is set for MERCENARY-
'Escape from Targ', (the second game from Paul Woakes who's previous
effort was the enormously popular ENCOUNTER (in my opinion, the
best ever game from a UK programmer). However, if you're expecting
ENCOUNTER Mark II then think again. Using hi-res vector graphics
(geometrical 3-D shapes), MERCENARY is not so much an arcade game
as a unique combination of flight simulation, adventure and arcade
action, which Novagen describe as a 'World Simulator'. The game
is based around a player's-eye view of the proceedings with the
action taking place in real time as you set about exploring the
cities of Targ and their mysterious subterranean complexes, all
the while becoming more deeply embroiled in the continuing conflict
between the Palyars and their robot foes.
When you are tired of trekking
around on foot you can hop aboard anyone of a variety of high-speed
craft which will make travelling a whole lot quicker and easier.
You will also find many objects scattered about in random locations
which can be picked up and dropped at will. Some will help you in
your quest, others will not. The rest is for you to discover. MERCENARY
is, above all else, a game of exploration and discovery. A complete
new world has been created for you to explore, so the idea is simply
to get out there and get on with it!
To be perfectly honest, I had rather
mixed feelings about MERCENARY to begin with. Whilst recognising
it's technical merits, I couldn't really fathom the game out even
in it's initial stages. I was told (by BENSON) to go to a certain
location where the Palyars wouId offer me a job, but I spent literally
hours wandering around in circles unable to co-ordinate the directions.
And then I discovered how to work the compass properly and everything
clicked into place. Now I'm totally hooked on the game. It's brilliant!
So far I've explored the underground
complex, traded with the Palyars, double-crossed the Mechanoids
and ran off ith their leader, and I'm determined to escape from
Targ if it's the last thing I do (which it probably will be!). It's
worth mentioning here that, as MERCENARY could conceivably play
forever, you can save current gameplay to disk or tape at any time.
I confidently predict that MERCENARY
will become an Atari classic in much the same way that Elite has
on other micros. Forget all about zapping t aliens for once - that's
only for 'Sun Readers' anyway! - and enjoy a game that requires
logic, cunning, wisdom, imagination and a host of other resources
you won't find on the end of an itchy trigger finger. Have you got
what it takes to become a MERCENARY?
Footnote: If you do manage to
escape from Targ it will be beneficial to you in MERCENARY II. It's
great to know a follow-up is already planned.