Happenings

Indiana Jones! He’s back (sort of)!

Boo! Hiss! to you, Mr Harrison Ford, for not wanting to be Indiana Jones again. Oh, the hours of entertainment you brought to the movie screen! Will we never see their like again? The Indiana Jones movies were the ultimate adventure films, weren’t they? But when the curtains went down on The Last Crusade, that was it, the end of an excellent trilogy.

However, the folks at Lucasfilm Games (part of the LucasArts Entertainment Co, who made the Indy films) had different ideas. Especially Hal Barwood, a games designer, who teamed up with Lucasfilm’s Noah Falstein to create a new Indy adventure, especially for a computer game.

Work’s just started on Indy 4 — these are the graphics for the Indy sprite

The story they came up with was Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. It’s a corker of a plot, well on par with previous films. In fact, the story has been turned into a comic (which is also excellent), already published in the States and coming over here soon.

IT’S ALL QUITE BIZARRE

Everyone knows the story of Atlantis, that highly developed kingdom that disappeared without trace, and it’s an ideal myth for Indy to chase after. Back in the 1930s, where Indy’s adventures are set, Atlantis mania was at fever pitch, with many books published about the strange city. Many concentrated on a mysterious metal, orichalcum, vril or firestone, which was claimed gave Atlantis its power and the Atlanteans their superior knowledge.

Guess what happens when a mysterious character presents Dr Henry Jones with a strange key which fits and unlocks a bizarre statue dating from 1500 BC, revealing a peculiar, previously unseen, metal orb? Yup, the trail for the fate of Atlantis begins.

The story’s written to an Indy-type formula (evil Nazi officer as Indy’s arch enemy, beautiful old chum Sophia Hapgood and endless clues and puzzles to follow up and solve). Ideal material for a Speccy game, isn’t it? So, hold on for a while and you’ll have one! US Gold, who handle Lucasfilm over here, have one up their sleeves.

It’s planned to be a 3D isometric arcade adventure and is currently in the development hands of Attention to Detail (convertors of Lucasfilm’s Night Shift). It’s not the same game as Barwood and Falstein are creating in the States (that’s 16-bit only), but the story and characters are. We’ll be following up this one with a preview very soon!

G-LOC’s coming to the Speccy!

That should be an interesting one to see.

Afterburner, it was a super success, wasn’t it? All the sky-bound acrobatics, spinning about and blasting enemies all over the shop. And now, Afterburner’s rough, tough and ready-to-ride brother, G-LOC, already a success in the arcades, is making its way onto the Speccy, thanks to US Gold’s Sega label. This calls for an ‘interesting things about G-LOC’-type piece, doesn’t it?

RoboCop!

He’s popping up in a new comic called Havoc!

With two more films yet to come (RoboCop III in Summer 1992 and IV in Summer 1993), the part man, part machine, all cop superstar is the star attraction in Marvel’s brand new comic/magazine. Havoc’s the title of the mag, launched this month, a fast-paced weekly with four regular strips and quick-fire articles on music, videos, films, computers and gaming. So that means you can buy a regular, non-games mag which has something to say about gaming. Hurrah!

Joining RoboCop in Havoc are three other strips. There’s Star Slammers, a story of futuristic mercenaries created by world-class graphic novelist Walt Simonson. Car Warriors is another futuristic strip, adapted from a roleplaying game which gives all the thrills and spills of car racing on future Earth. The other strip is Deathlok, best described as a Frankenstein story for the Nineties. Deathlok is a fighting machine with a conscience and is already a huge success in the States, where the strip was first published.

And there you have it! We’ll be popping down to the newsies to check out Havoc’s games coverage and what’s more we can afford it — it’s a barg at 55p!!

Marvel have also launched Meltdown, a monthly comic featuring high-quality, high-profile strips from respected creators. Strips to be featured include Akira, a tale of cosmic destiny (man!) set in a futuristic Japan where biker gangs in Neo Tokyo attempt to come to terms with a world out of control. Spooky? Yes, but hugely successful in both Japan and the States. Also featuring is a comic strip version of Clive Barker’s Night Breed, The Light and Darkness War (a man is caught up in a war beyond our dimension) and The Last American, a story of post-holocaust America. Meltdown’s strips will offer something to Think About as well as entertain. Like Havoc, it’s already available, but a bit more pricey at 95p.

Hurrah! It’s Captain Planet

(and he’s come to save the world)!

Indeed and he’s such a nice superhero. Y’see, viewers, he cares about the environment. He stars in the world’s first cartoon that revolves around green issues: Captain Planet and the Planeteers. In the popularity stakes, he’s knocked the Turtles back down the sewers in the States, and looks set to do the same thing over here.

And look, he’s even coloured in an environmentally sound way. He has sky-blue skin, green hair (somewhat reminiscent of the Jolly Green Giant, wouldn’t you say) and earthy brown eyes. And his clothes are probably made from recycled tin cans or something but — oh dear — someone call the fashion police!

In every episode, he faces a different environmental problem which he always, always, always (yawn) overcomes with the help of his five young do-gooding chums, the Planeteers. Now the lean, green fighting machine is mincing onto the Speccy in a game coming soon from Mindscape (who haven’t done anything Speccyish for ages).

ONE BY ONE

In the game you control the five Planeteers, one at a time. Each Planeteer is blessed with a ring of power to give them special powers — of Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Heart — so swapping between the characters should get you through the many tasks ahead.

Planned to have scrolly platform gameplay, with realistic graphics (to bring a more exciting element into the game, rather than the cuteness of the cartoon), the game features six levels which culminate in the five Planeteers combining their rings’ powers and joining Captain Planet in a final ecological battle.

Cap’s opponents from the series feature, too, with you fighting such adversaries as Duke Nukem, Sly Sludge, Looten Plunder, Dr Blight and the wonderfully nasty Hoggish Greedly. All the action begins in October when the game goes on release, stay tuned for a preview soon. In the meantime to the Eco-copter, Robin! (Sorry, wrong hero.)