Desert Chase

A weird and challenging blast 'em game by Guy Aitchison


Issue 30

Nov/Dec 87

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Antic exchange

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 ...


But first, type in the Listing, checking it with TYPO 3 as you go, then SAVE or CSAVE a copy before you RUN the program.

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 explode.

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 witch hunt.

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 Charles Jackson.

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