You play Fred, a Kansas wheat farmer who is paid
for not growing wheat. While not plowing the fields one afternoon,
Fred and his dog, Tito, are consumed by a violent tornado. It brings
them to a musical, colourful, land populated by magical elves who
sing, dance and use TYPO 3.
These elves are being annoyed by an evil band of
witches who live in a desert on the other side of the planet. Most
every day, the bad witches shortsheet the elves' beds, hide their
morning newspapers and fly around yelling 'Hey shorty, your mother's
a fire hydrant!'
Your mission: You and Tito must fly the elves'
patent-bending, brass-plated, sodium-powered, warp-driven,
salad-spinning, nuclear destructo-blaster space cruiser deep into
enemy territory, and ...
DESTROY ALL WITCHES!
But first, type in the Listing, checking it with
TYPO 3 as you go, then SAVE or CSAVE a copy before you RUN the
Until you came along, the elves only used their
destructo-blaster cruiser for shopping trips and pleasant Sunday
afternoon picnics in the surrounding countryside. Hence, it has a
rather small fuel tank. When you run out of fuel, you crash and
To compensate for this, the elves received a
multi-trillion dollar government grant to develop the
Sodium-Depleting Instrument (SDI). Upon contact with a witches
spaceship, SDI removes all sodium from the witch fuel tank and
transfers it to yours. Without fuel, the witches ship quickly loses
power and blows up. What fun!
Your ship's radar (controlled by a type-in
computer program from a popular Atari magazine) can detect a witch's
ship before you can see it on the horizon. Use the radar wisely.
The SDI has a maximum range of 400 metres and a
minimum range of 100 metres. Push the joystick forward to hit
distant targets, pull back to hit the closer ones. Press the
joystick button to fire the SDI. The indicator at the bottom of the
screen tells you how far your SDI will travel before it hits the
ground. Each witch's ship carries 30 gallons of sodium.
Witches attack in waves of three screens each.
Destroying all the witches on three consecutive screens allows you
to advance to the next wave. If you fail to destroy a fleet of
witches, they'll turn you into a toad and blow you up.
Your score, remaining fuel, and wave number are
indicated at the top of the screen. There's no turning back. Strap
Tito into the Navigator's seat, fire your engines, and begin your
Oh yes, and don't forget your ruby slippers!
Desert Chase first appeared in ANTIC magazine
Volume 5 No. 3 and is reprinted with ANTIC's permission under an
exchange agreement with PAGE 6. Program author Guy Aitchison lives
in Illinois and had been programming his Atari for two years at the
time he wrote the game. The article is by ANTIC Program Editor