SOFTWARE REVIEW: SPACEPORT by Richard Karsmakers
Finally they had hired you. Your old Guild of Mercenaries had
appointed you to perform the task that was now required to be
done. It had been ages, so it seemed, since you were hired for
the last time and a minority complex had infected you,
manifesting itself through outbursts of agression and losing
They couldn't take this assignment from you anymore. You slowly
put on your safety belt and helmet, and turned on the chopper's
engines. Slowly, the base grew smaller beneath you and you were
on your way to this new and dangerous mission. You put down a
letter stamped "OPEN WHEN IN THE AIR" on the co-pilot chair.
"TOP SECRET", it read on top of the letter as you glance over it
while now moving rapidly accross vast jungles, "Terrorists have
taken refuge in the caves of Omat, deep in the impenetrable
jungle of Renegade, an asteroid in the Phaeton asteroid belt.
They have taken hostages, amongst which several high ranked army-
and government officials. Vice-president of the U.S. said to have
been taken hostage as well. Target: Save hostages, rescue any
surviving members of the Extraterrestrial Mining Pioneer Group (a
rabble left from someone's earlier assignment), destroy the ZEVS
(presumably the nuclear plant in the heart of the planetoid) and
eliminate terrorists. Mission is highly dangerous." You almost
forgot to read the line that was printed in red ink in the foot
margin: "This message will self-destruct." Thinking back to the
good ol' "Inspector Gadget" cartoons your great grandpa used to
talk about having watched two centuries ago, your lips twisted
into a smile. Hocus Pocus it was. How could a piece of paper
"Just to be sure..." you said, thinking about what new gadgets
the Ministry of Love might have developed recently, and you threw
the message out of the window. See...nothing happened. Just
another practical joke of the technical department.
On the ground, a giant deer was drinking from a shallow pool of
water. The air smelled like it was going to rain any minute now -
some birds started seeking for shelter, knowing by instinct that
they would be soaking wet if they didn't. The deer looked up,
water droplets dripping from its beak, forming ever increasing
circles on the water surface. A piece of paper came gliding down.
The explosion was largely strangled by the water.
"Good job," thought a crocodile that was swimming by, "now I
don't have to kill that darned deer myself..."
The birds came from their shelters, some of them flying down to
the scene of the slaughter to get some gut remainder, or just to
wait for the crocodile to finish diner so they could clean its
You flew on, not having heard anything of what was going on
below. Maybe this would be your last job. Maybe, money would be
less hard to get your hands on once you had rescued all those
hostages. Then, you could finally start working for yourself -
perhaps even open a private Mercenary agency. Lots of work to be
done out there - you just had to make sure people knew where to
find you. Your first job would probably be to get rid of those
soldiers of fortune that cripled competition in the L.A. area.
"The A-Team", they called themselves. Nasty buggers! They just
didn't realise that other people had to earn their bread with
what they did for nothing at all (and they always ran off with
the girls, too).
With your mind more switched to thinking about how to destroy the
notorious "A-Team" then on flying, you barely remain alive as you
fly through the lava flying around above a small working volcano.
According to the commander-in-chief, the entrance to the caves of
Omat would be here somewhere. Probably camouflaged. More probably
even that it would be closed alltogether. Lucky you had bombs
that would know how to handle with things like that.
They would know that you, Commander Dancel Warhound (that's what
your colleagues called you, anyway - your real name was
Atombender but people didn't like that because they always
thought you were a nephew of Evil Elvin, present in a well known
computer game) was someone to reckon with!
"Spaceport" is the name of a new game programmed by our Eastern
neigbours in Germany. Everybody who ever played "Fort Apocalypse"
on the Commodore 64 will imediately see the resemblance - I used
to be a "Fort Apocalypse" freak myself (over three years ago) so
I welcomed "Spaceport" with open arms.
The game starts with a picture that should have been manually
redone after converting it from the Amiga (the whole game is an
Amiga conversion), because it's almost trash. But when the actual
game starts, some good music comes forth from your monitor
(programmed by ST sound pioneer Holger Gehrmann) and you can
select levels of difficulty, turn the gravity on or off, etc.
The game itself isn't as nice to play as "Fort Apocalypse", but
the graphics are better drawn (of course). The scrolling is
lousy, by the way (horizontal as well as vertical).
Once down in the caves, things start to be really difficult. All
kinds of things are moving, you are constantly followed by camera
eyes, and that's the place where you'll have to rescue the EMPG
crew and fly deep down into the planetoid. If you ask me, the
game is a little bit too difficult (even on the easiest level,
gravity off). But it's a welcome 16-bit substitute for "Fort
Remark: Should have been better
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.