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Game: Alligator People System: Atari 2600/VCS/Sears Video Arcade Unreleased by 20th Century-Fox Programmer: John Russel Serial/Catalog Number: None Copyright: 1983 Prototype discovered in 2002 by collector Ben Liashenko Genre: Shooter Controller: Joystick (Sega Game Pad compatible) Players: 1 Game Variations: 9 This game was finished, but was cancelled before a manual could be written, so I'm going by my own playing experience and the entry for this game at AtariProtos. I bought my reproduction cartridge from Atari Age. https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=199 This game is loosely based on the low-budget sci-fi film The Alligator People, released in 1959 by 20th Century-Fox. You play as Jane Marvin, depicted in the game as a syringe, who must inject (that is shoot) 6 people who are turning into Alligator People. Three are displayed at the top of the screen. The other three at the bottom of the screen. This includes her husband, and five of his friends. As Jane, the syringe, you dart about the screen gathering up vials of antidote and serum. That is if you can avoid the real alligators that travel about the screen. As you go you inject (shoot) the infected people, who you can see slowly mutating from people to alligators. Or should that be Alligator People? As you inject them you can see them gradually change back into people again. Your points are displayed at the top of the screen. At the bottom you will see your extra lives, depicted as syringes. You can have a maximum of 3 at a time. If the Left Difficulty Switch is in the B position you will have infinite lives (reportedly management at 20th Century-Fox were quite displeased when they discovered this). So the Left Difficulty Switch must be in the A position, unless you like games with zero challenge. It can be quite difficult in the A position however, so A it is (for me anyway). The more vials of serum that you gather, the more potent the antidote. At the bottom of the screen, and to the right of the syringes, you will see S: 1 A:01 (as an example). The number beside the 'S' is how many vials of serum you have collected (they are depicted on screen by large red 'S's). The maximum that you can hold is 9, but you will continue to earn points by either shooting them or passing over them. The number to the right of the 'A' indicates how many vials of antidote the you have collected (they are depicted on screen as thin vertical lines). The maximum that you can carry is 99. You can continue to shoot or pass over the vials of antidote to gain points, but once all 6 victims have been cured you automatically move on to the next level. The vials of serum and antidote that you have collected can not be carried over from one level on to the next. GAME VARIATIONS Game 1: Walls are off. No serum. Game 2: Jane can move through the walls. Game 3: Walls on. Jane can't pass through them. Game 4: Moving walls turned off. No serum. Game 5: Jane can move through the walls Game 6: Walls on. Jane can't pass through them. Game 7: Moving walls turned off. No Serum. Game 8: Jane can move through the walls. Game 9: Walls on. Jane can't pass through them. SUMMARY AND TIPS Collect 9 vials of serum to get it up to maximum strength. You will need to do this at the start of each level to do well. There are 6 patients to cure on each level. 3 at the top of the screen; 3 on the bottom. The patients on the far left mutate at a slower pace than the ones to their right. Shoot the patients on the left as quickly as you can. If you can collect 9 vials of serum, then it will take only one shot from your syringe to cure the first stage patients. You can see the patients transform to the higher levels of mutations stage by stage. The more stages of mutations they go thru, the more shots they will need to cure them. As you shoot them, you will see them transform to a lower state of mutation with each shot. Extra lives are possible. In fact, you start off with 3. Once you reach a high enough score you will begin to get an extra life at the end of each level, assuming that you don't collide with a real alligator during the level. The extra lives are depicted at the bottom of the screen as syringes. You earn 5 points every time you shoot a real alligator, but as you go from the lower levels to the higher ones the more of them there are filling the screen, making collisions more likely. Another way to avoid some collisions is to shoot the vials of antidote that are near the edges of the screen instead of passing over them, as an alligator (a real one) will most likely appear from off-screen as you try to collect the vials. It's not that they're rare. As soon as all of the vials are either collected or shot, a new batch of them appear. I play all 9 Games Variations, but I play Game 1 the most. My current high score for Game 1 is 172,540 points, but I quit with 3 extra lives left. Game Ranking: 2 (out of 2). This was a tough call, as I really like this game, However I like Demolition Herby more. It was quite the challenge to describe and keep everything straight in my head. As I mentioned, there is no manual. My head hurts. CURRENT RANKING OF REVIEWED ATARI 2600 GAMES: 1. Demolition Herby 2. Alligator People My inspiration and philosophy for my reviews I've wanted to do something along the lines of The No Swear Gamer on Youtube for quite some time, but in my own style and with my own ranking philosophy. I really like his channel (after all it is one of several gaming channels that I support through Patreon), it's just that I prefer to rank homebrews and commercial releases from back in the day together, instead of within separate ranking lists. Obviously I've elected to include prototypes, as long as reproductions are available in physical form. I also plan to include games that were exclusive to PAL territories, such as Acid Drop and Meteor Defense. Everything ranked on one list. The only requirement will be that I own a cartridge of it. Also, I should mention the awesome community here at Atari Age, as well as my friends at http://highscore.com who continue to expose me to games that are new to me. Special thanks to Atari Age members RetroRob (also a user at High Score) and carlsson for both commenting on and liking my first game review. I greatly appreciate it.
Game: Worm War I System: Atari 2600/VCS/Sears Video Arcade Developer: Serius Software Publisher: 20th Century-Fox Programmer: David Lubar Serial/Catalog Number: 11001 Copyright: 1982 Genre: Shooter Controller: Joystick (Sega Game Pad compatible) Players: 1 or 2 (Competitive or Cooperative) Game Variations: 9 RARITY RATING: 3 (Scarce) Your mission, as a master tank commander, is to drive through the city of Teriyaki and blast away as many Worms and Blocks as possible without running out of fuel. That's the closest the manual gets to a story. Are these gigantic mutated Worms from Earth, or are they invaders from the planet Slitheron? Who knows, and more to the point, who cares? This game is just plain fun to play. It's a blast shooting the Worms with your tank's blaster cannon. I was first exposed to this game when I saw a play video of it at http://highscore.com , so I downloaded the ROM .bin file into my emulator. I tried it out. I had so much fun playing it that way that I had to buy a physical copy. Fortunately I scored (sorry to hit you with pun) a manual at the same time. SINGLE PLAYER VARIATIONS Game 1: The "Obstacle Course" begins with side Wall Segments and a clear playing field. Obstacles appear after the first group are demolished and grow denser with each round. That's what the manual says, however sometimes you start off with worms and sometimes you don't, in a random fashion. Game 2: The "Straightaway" maintains a clear playing screen. Game 3: "Invisible Worms: uses Game Variation 1, but Worms are only visible during brief flashes that light up the screen. 2 PLAYER COOPERATIVE VARIATIONS Game 4: Uses the same screen as in Variation 1. Game 5: Uses the same screen as in Variation 2. Game 6: Uses the same screen as in Variation 3. 2 PLAYER COMPETITIVE VARIATIONS Game 7: Uses the same screen as in Variations 1 and 4. Game 8: Uses the same screen as in Variations 2 and 5. Game 9: Uses the same screen as in Variations 3 and 6. Both Difficulty Switches come into play (there I go again) with this game. The Left Difficulty Switch is used to control the movement of the Worms. A Position = Random Worm Movement. B Position = Fixed Worm Movement. The Right Difficulty Switch concerns your tanks's Brake Response. A Position = Slower Break Response. B Position = Faster Break Response. Personally I prefer to use Position A on the Left Difficulty Switch. Maybe it's the way my mind works, but I find the Worms moving in a fixed pattern more difficult than if their movements are random. So with Games 1 and 3 I prefer the Difficulty Switches to be set for A/B. FUEL You start off with 99 units of fuel. The game ends when you run out of fuel. If you are playing Game Variations 7, 8, and 9, the game ends when both players' tanks run dry. You lose fuel when you run into a Worm (10 fuel units), a Block (5 fuel units), and while you move forward (1 fuel unit for each Wall Segment). You gain fuel by driving through a Pagoda Gas Station. The faster you pass through it the more units of fuel that you gain (1 to 12 units). Worms attack in groups. You will start off by encountering 1 Worm, then 2 at once, then 3, eventually reaching 6. SCORING In the first attack group you earn 20 points for each Worm destroyed. The amount of points that you get increases after each group. After a wave of groups you will receive bonus points! HINTS BY PROGRAMMER DAVID LUBAR AND I To avoid being totally clobbered by hordes of Worms, pull back on the stick whenever a new group is appearing. Do this as soon as you exit a Gas Station. If a fuel Pagoda appears on top of a block, carefully shoot away the block, or try just to nick the Pagoda. If you miss and shoot the Pagoda Gas Station instead it will explode, killing all of the remaining Worms on screen, which will trigger the next wave of Worms. You don't receive any points by killing Worms this way (not that I've noticed anyway). You won't lose any fuel doing this, but it will take longer before you gain any fuel because you have to shoot the entire next wave first. When you are refueling, you are safe from collisions. Use this to move over inconvenient Blocks. Actually, the best time to move over inconvenient blocks is right as the game starts awarding you bonus points. While that is happening you can re-position your tank and pass over those blocks that are in the way, and you aren't in a position to shoot. The far left and right sides of the screen are safe spots, but don't hang there too long. If you don't shoot Worms, you won't bring on any Pagodas. If a Worm has reached near the bottom of the screen I move as fast as I can toward the nearest wall, while accelerating enough to get past him. Or her, we don't know if these Worms have a gender. WORLD RECORD RUN AT HIGH SCORE FOR GAME 1; B/B (w/Play Video) http://highscore.com/scores/Atari2600/WormWarI/67399 ANOTHER PLAY VIDEO (from S.BAZ, a regular at High Score) :60 SECOND AMERICAN TV COMMERCIAL FOR WORM WAR I GAME RANKING: 1 (out of 3) CURRENT RANKING OF REVIEWED ATARI 2600/VCS GAMES: 1. Worm War I 2. Demolition Herby 3. Alligator People (Prototype) My favorite way to play is to shoot as many Blocks as possible, so I will frequently hold off on shooting the last Worm in a group until I've shot as many Blocks as possible (thump thump thump). This comes in handy, because while I'm busy racking up points I'm also clearing the screen at the same time. You never know where the Gas Station will appear. Worm War I is in the database at http://highscore.com for the Atari 2600. Game 1 is the default. Difficulty B/B is the default for a Novice score, whilst Difficulty A/A is the default for Expert. Game 1, Difficulty B/A and Difficulty A/B are as well. Game 3 is included too, for both Difficulties B/B and A/A. It is also in the High Score database for the Atari 400/800/XL/XE line of computers. All games in the High Score database include an emulation category. Other Atari 2600 Games Programmed by David Lubar Bumber Bash Challenge of Nexar Fantastic Voyage Flash Gordon My Golf River Raid II Sentinel Spacemaster X-7 A special thanks to those who have posted comments to my Blog entries, such as RetroRob, carlsson, and johnnywc (yes, I know who he is). Mind blown.