Bond is back - as if you hadn't noticed! And now he's making his software debut in Domark's latest game based on the new film, A View to a Kill. The YS spies, Tony Samuels and Ross Holman have decoded the following message.
There must've been late night meetings - money changing hands - clandestine rendez-vous - and plenty of secrets to be kept. But finally, Domark pulled it off - the computer marketing coup of the year. Bond has gained his license to thrill on the Speccy in the new game of the film. A View to a Kill.
And Domark certainly hasn't skimped on the plot. There are three sizeable chunks of the original celluloid that have been turned into separate but connected games. Plus there's a title sequence based closely on the film's opening and a finale for the few who manage to complete it (or cheat at it! Ed).
Each of the games loads separately but as you complete them you're given a code-word to take onto the next one. The first game is set in Paris and has you motoring round the boulevards in hot pursuit of the villainess, May Day as she parachutes down from the Eiffel Tower. It's certainly the weakest of the three games and any tension there might have been is completely destroyed by the poor programming. The car is pathetic and your control over it is non-existent - you can ignore the bit in the blurb about doing handbrake turns as a joke. The game also has too many bugs to make it playable for long. OK, so you expect Bond to drive into walls occasionally but it'd be nice if he could get out again.
From a poor start, things start to look up. The City Hall game is based very closely on the film and seeing it beforehand helped us rescue Stacy, the new Bond blonde. The programming still looks pretty raw but once you get used to the poor animation, the game content should have you hooked.
The third game's set in a silver mine and it's Bond's task to defuse a bomb that the evil Max Zorin has planted. It's certainly the most inventive and innovative of the three games and has Bond running, jumping, climbing ropes and turning somersaults in his quest to find May Day and stop the explosion. But it's also a minefield when it comes to bugs. Bond can end up encased in solid rock, he lost his feet at one point (literally) and you even take a ride on a hidden lift that'll take you on a journey to the centre of the program! All this isn't to say it's unplayable. On the contrary, it's very addictive - if only the programming had been tidied up beforehand.
For all that they're based on the Bond film, these three games are very different from it. OK, who's the wise guy who said that's obvious? No, the Bond films are all about style and special effects, Just the things that these three games lack. Still, they've got plenty of content and with three games on one tape you can't really complain about not getting your money's worth.
LATER... IN PARIS
Listen out for the blip, blip, blip of your radio tracker - it's the only way of keeping tabs on May Day when she's out of sight. Also, keep an eye on her altitude - but don't panic 'cos there's something up with gravity in the game, she comes down so slowly.Welcome to Paris. This is the view out of your windscreen. What d'you mean it looks more like a 3D maze than the centre of culture and sophistication you visited on your hols.Watch out for the damage done to the car. OK, so it doesn't belong to you, but you're never going to catch up with May Day if you're in a write-off. And that'll mean starting from the beginning again.Don't expect to beat May Day to the ground first time round. Even if you think you've got it sussed the wind can change and take her off course at the last minute. And you're not helped by the fact that your car is virtually uncontrollable!Watch out for the most obvious bug in this game - when your car gets completely stuck in the walls it looks rather like it's having a fit.The aerial view of Paris shows you all the streets around the Eiffel Tower leading to May Day's possible drop points. If you meet her at one of them you'll be given a code to take onto the next two missions.Here's the taxi you've commandeered. In the film it ends up chopped in half but it's still easier to drive than this one. You can only control speed not direction so you inevitably end up bouncing off the walls like a frenzied squash ball.If you go down the one way streets in the wrong direction you can expect a visit from the local gendarmerie. Don't panic though cos they're about as scary as Inspector Clousseau! You can always blast them right off the road.... Bond raced hell for leather to the top of the Eiffel Tower. His shots clanged against the iron framework just missing his informant's assassin. He was closing. The killer was just within his reach... and then was gone over the side. His fingers flailed as ht lunged out to grab hold. It was then he saw the parachute open. His only chance now was to get to the bottom of the tower and take a taxi to give chase...
MEANWHILE... SAN FRANCISCO CITY HALL... WEDNESDAY
OBJECT LESSONHere are just some of the objects you'll find in the cut-away portion of City Hall. There are plenty more but you'll have to discover those for yourself.Your gun is perhaps the most vital piece of equipment as it gives you access to all locked doors - provided you nave the bullets.Without bullets your gun ain't much cop. Fortunately, there's a liberal supply scattered all over the building but remember you've got to use them two at a time, so be sparing.You'll soon be able to distinguish between door and cupboard keys like this one. Again they're colour-coded but they'll only open filing cabinets so you can search inside them.There are door keys scattered all over the building in a variety of different colours to match the doors they'll open.The colour-coded security passes will also open doors but you can't use them on more than one door. Luckily, once you've opened a door, it stays open.Here's the fire hose you'll need to drop down the lift shaft to pull Stacy out. It's heavy so you may find you have to crop some items if you can't pick it up at first.You'll find fire buckets on all the stair wells. Maybe you'll also find a use for them as well.The tape is probably very useful - after all, you'll come across plenty of computers in the offices. If only we could suss out exactly what to do with it! Do you know?You'll find that many of the doors in City Hall are locked. If you've found the colour-coded security pass or key, then you're OK. Otherwise you'll have to shoot your way through. It always takes two shots and bullets are in short supply.Bond is back and in a totally different disguise from the one he wears down the mine in the final game. Here, he looks and sounds as though he's wearing stilettos on concrete. Watch out for one nice touch - he mops his brow when the heat's on.When you first search a room using the bottom duck-shoot you won't be shown everything that's in it. Sometimes, you'll have to start jemmying open the furniture before all is revealed.For picking up you'll need to master the double duck-shoot. The top one shows you what's in a room and what you're lugging around with you. The bottom one lets you select the appropriate course of action.Right from the very start the fire has a firm hold. It's an idea to suss out the rooms on the left as quickly as possible, 'cos they're soon too flamin' hot. If you enter a room right next to the fire, be quick - it can jump and frazzle you.The stairs on either side of the building are your only means of moving between floors. It's often worthwhile nipping down a couple of flights if you need some bullets quickly and then belting back up again.The fire buckets can be found on all the stair landings. You can have a go at pouring water on the fire but it didn't seem to do much good when we tried it.Keep an eye on the temperature guage. When it flashes you know you've not only had your chips but you're just about to join them in the frying pan. The closer you get to the flames, the slower your actions become.Watch your progress in the windows of City Hall. Your present location is shown by the yellow square and the rooms you've been in are coloured in blue.Stacy is stuck down the lift-shaft and just like in the film, you'll need the fire hose to get her out. Follow the route we've mapped out for you on City Hall.As soon as she's free, her piccy appears next to Bond's. She does look rather more like Olive Oyl than Tanya Roberts! Use the Stay and Follow commands on the duck-shoot to tell her what to do. She's already got you into one fine mess!Rescuing Stacy's the easy bit. Getting both of you out is a touch more tricky. You've got to find a complete code that'll unlock the security door on the ground floor on the right.Even trapped inside the lift, Bond and Stacy could smell the petrol. And then they heard the whoosh and felt the heat as the fire was lit and the flames sucked like a hot tornado down the shaft. The metal lift turned into an instant microwave. Bond was shaken, but not stirred. He pushed open the hatch at the top and climbed out. His only thought was to save Stacy before the cable snapped and the lift plunged to oblivion.
A SILVER MINE ABOVE THE SAN ANDREAS FAULT...
Again you'll have to master the duck-shot. If you've got it sussed in City Hall, this shouldn't present too many problems, though it's still a very slow way to play the game.This game's run in real-time - you have exactly fifty minutes and counting. It is possible to abort the game which replaces all the objects you've collected but doesn't reset the clock. Big deal.The geiger counter helps pin-point the nuclear bomb but it should only work when you've got the code from the previous game. Still, it's always moved for us. Another bug?Dunnit make you wanna winch? If you can find her, May Day will winch you down to collect the detonator. Trouble is you can get down and get outa there without her just by using your grappling hook.Top floor - dynamite, grappling hooks and lighters. You can call the lift using the duck-shoot so long as you're standing by the shaft. This can be pretty useful if you want to get to the top again in a hurry. Goin' up!If you've seen Impossible Mission on the Commie 64, you'll know who Bond's dad is. The character in that also runs, jumps and tumbles in much the same way.The grappling hook is probably your most vital piece of equipment. Without it you'll never be able to reach the more inaccesible parts of the mine. To get to the winch, for example, the gap's too wide to jump, so you'll just have to do a Tarzan.By rights, you should need the conveyor handle to operate the conveyor belt but we haven't managed to track it down yet. In any case, if you're careful you can just about jump up the side of it.This lift'll take you straight to the fault - not the San Andreas Fault, unfortunately, but one on the program! Goin' down and down and...If Bond misses his footing, he'll take a tumble but it's not always as bad as it first seems. He just crouches down winded, has a quick swear (well, we can't suss out the speech on the game) and then gets on with the job.May Day, May Day, where is May Day We've plumbed the depths and scaled the heights but still we haven't found her. We reckon we've mapped it all but we could be wrong (Nah, impossible! Ed) but as the complete layout would've stretched the Ordnance Survey, we've scrunched it up for the page. Trainspotters, put your pens aways!Try the dam and blast technique. If you're way's dammed by a man-made part of the mine, you can dynamite your way through. But make sure you've found the lighter or it won't work. That's when you start damning!Scattered around the mine, you'll find the code numbers that'll defuse the detonator, but you have to use them in the right order. Nope, we haven't sussed it yet. A couple of lousy spies we'd make, eh!Zorin set the detonator. In fifty minutes the nuclear blast would rip through the State and tear the heart out of Silicon Valley. Ten million Californians will have an experience even they won't forget! Now no-one could stop his evil plan - except for 008. Bond's only hope is to find May Day and convince her she's just another beautiful butterfly to be crushed on Zorin's wheels. Will it all go like a bomb? Will Bond meet his May Day? Only you can say...