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© Atomic Flash

Wow! This is intense!!
The Repo-man

BALLISTIX
by Richard Karsmakers

The loud cheering of the stadium silenced as the stadium
speakers bellowed:
"Yeah, ladies and gentlemen! With quite considerable pride we
hereby present to you the Superball competition of the century:
Craterhead BC against Brainmanglers United. This might just be
the most exciting Ballistix match ever, as these two giants
battle against each other for the New Universal Trophy
(N.U.T.).!"
"Yeah, Derek! Upon your left, playing from left to right, you
will notice the blockbusters of Brainmanglers United; on your
right you will have noticed the raw dudes of the host team,
Craterhead BC. It might be interesting to know that these teams
only once stood opposed to each other before - in July 2137. The
Brainmanglers then beat their opponents by 23-19!"
"Well, Vince, that sure was a fight, wasn't it?"
"Betcha, Derek!"

As the speakers once again silenced, the audience again started
to sheer, yelling assorted yells at people that obviously
supported the other team than the one they supported themselves.
The noise was deafening when both teams actually entered the
arena.
"YEAH! Here they are! The match of the century is about the
start. I see that the Brainmanglers are looking pretty mean
tonight, don't you agree, Vince?"
"Sure thing, Derek, I cannot agree more! It looks like those
stooges are set to win again, whatever the cost! And what about
these..."
"Wow, Vince! Do you see whose the umpire here? It's good old Tom
'Stubbly-cheeks' Johnson! Didn't he do the previous engagement,
too?"
"Betcha, Derek!"
Both teams were out in the Arena after a few moments. They all
wore special Ballistix suits, mostly made up of steel garments to
protect their vital parts and thick clothing everywhere to absorb
shocks and ricochet.

Where had Cronos Warchild, Mercenary, Hired Gun, former Trapeze
artist, ex-member of the Salvation Army and toilet cleaner of the
Alien Loo at the local Thai Boxing Club, got himself into this
time? Hardly had he been released from the Ambulor Eight Hospital
for the Very Very Splattered and had he recovered from a gun
exploding near his head, when he was crimped to become a member
of the Craterhead Ballistix Club.
Well, anyway, it was a sure way of becoming vicious amounts of
dough - if he survived. The crimp had told him that it was a
pretty dangerous sports discipline, but his fellow players had
told him stories that exceeded the crimp's stories by miles (if
pain and suffering can at all be measured in miles).
He looked from under his helmet into the Arena and up into the
audience. It made him remember drawings he had once seen of
ancient Rome. He could only see people that had a distinct look
into their eyes: They all wanted to see blood.
But who cares, he thought to himself, he had been in far worse
and far hotter situations. He'd just have to survive this game
and then he would at least have enough money to return to his
home planet and leave this Godforsaken planet and leave for Earth
to get his payment for a recent liquidation he did.
And he still hadn't managed to get back his American Traveller's
Cheques.

The umpire, the aforementioned Tom Johnson with the stubbly
cheeks, was now hovering above the Arena, just out of reach of
both ricochet and flying parts of human bodies. He put a small
metal thing in his mouth that seemed to look very much like a
whistle. When he blew it, however, a sound came out of it that
could only be compared with the noise you hear when a Monk who
thinks the world is pink is dropped from 1932.23 metres height
into a bath of sulphuric acid.
Anyway, it was the signal that made all players run around the
Arena, aiming their shooters at a large ball that had
mysteriously appeared in the middle of the playfield. The game
had begun.

Only seconds after the game had started, Cronos had been
trampled on, shot on three times, hit by the large ball two
times, and spitted on a dozen times. The audience also threw
things in the Arena that hit him at times - he didn't dare to
think what that all was, and instead looked forward to the
shower he would take after the match.
If he would make it to the end of the match.
"Eh, Cronos!"
He looked to where the voice seemed to come from and received a
foul blow right in the face. He spitted out a tooth. The only
real one he had still left.
A huge bloke with a square face, a square body, square hands,
yes, even a square mouth spoke to him, threatening:
"Eh, Cronos, sucker! Sissy! Get lost, wimp! This is a game for
men and not for dodos!"
"Count to ten," Cronos thought in himself, "or you will loose
control over yourself."
Unfortunately for the square man, Cronos could not restrain
himself and separated the man's square head from the rest of his
square body with his fingernail before even having counted to 10
to the power of -9.

The audience now came alive and was roaring with anticipation of
what might happen now. The big ball that was supposed to be the
centre of the game was pretty soon located in an obsolete corner
of the Arena and all attention concentrated on Cronos Warchild.
All players were now grinding their teeth, looking pretty
destructively. Cronos had obviously done something that they
didn't like: Had he forgotten to use his breath spray this
morning?

More and more fellers now came near him, as well as some
overenthusiastic members of the crowd that were obviously eager
for a thrill.
Warchild didn't have much time to think (it's hard to think when
someone is trying to ram a hole in a concrete floor with your
head), and before long at least twohundredandsixtyseven sturdy
players and audience members were located on top of his torso. He
was beginning to experience slight troubles breathing, and his
old war injury in his left leg was also playing tricks on him
again.
"It's about time for some defensive transactions!" he murmured.
He arose, lethally injuring at least two dozen men with assorted
parts of his body. He yelled one of those ominous yells that you
would only know if you have once seen a triumphant Bugblatter
Beast of Traal discovering (and devouring) your mother-in-law,
and began to systematically kill every human being (or other
creature) now stacked on him.
Within seconds, he was covered by limbs, guts, glooloos (part of
the metabolic system of a Mutant Maxi-Mega Monster of Multifizzic
Omega), blood, pus, ripped-out hearts, torn-off bone tissue and
rags of skin, all logically intertwined in a giant, lustful orgy
of anatomical anarchism. His fists, fingernails, elbows, teeth
and feet had already butchered an enormous number of creatures
when they were just about to beat him. Another one of those
Mutant Maxi-Mega Monsters was gnawing at his shin bone, a Home-
Cultivated Mini-Tyrannosaur was munching at his left upper arm
and a player of Brainmanglers United was busy removing the upper
part of his skull to remove Cronos' Hypothalamus.
He began to loose his mind (probably because the aforementioned
player of Brainmanglers United had indeed succeeded in lifting
off part of his cranium and was now fingering through his brain
coils).

AAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

Cronos looked around, frightened. After opening his eyes, he
noticed that his bed was all torn apart and a nurse was lying in
the corner, parts of her clothes torn as well.
A doctor came rushing in, a hypodermic syringe filled with .45
gallons of thorazine in his hands. He turned around Warchild
before the patient could do anything to prevent it, pulling down
Cronos' pants and stuck it up the man's rear end.

After Cronos lost consciousness, the doctor helped the shocked
nurse to her feet again, gently stroking through her hair and
whispering in her ear that it wasn't her fault but that of this
utterly deranged lunatic from this pathetic little blue planet
called earth.
They left the room. On the backs of their coats, one could read
in one of those font types generally used only in horror film
pamphlets: "Ambulor Eight Hospital for the Very Very Splattered".

*****

Psygnosis' latest release, called "Ballistix" and brought out
under the Psyclapse label, puts you in the position of a player
of the world's most dangerous ball-game: Ballistix. Ballistix is
a futuristic ball game where you have to shoot the target ball
into the opponent's goal - and quite a tough sports discipline as
well!

"Ballistix" can be played by one or two people - if you play on
your own, the playfield is slightly tilted towards your own goal
to increase difficulty. Whenever a difference of three points
(but this can be specified) in score is reached, you go on to the
next level (there are 130 levels; 50 in one-player mode and 80 in
two-player mode, and they're all different).
The game features an aerial look upon the playfield, with
several strange animals (maybe one of those Mutant Maxi-Mega
Monsters of Multifizzic Omega?) sitting along it. As the ball
moves along the pit, the screen scrolls vertically.
As the levels increase, various objects are placed on the
playfield: Teleporting holes, bumpers, bonus elements, etc. On
every level, certain characters appear that have to be collected
to increase points or gain additional features.

"Ballistix" features some GREAT intro graphics, and also a nice
way of putting the intro piccy on the screen. The font used is
also one of the best I ever saw.
The graphics in the actual game are also quite good, but
sometimes the thought enters my mind that they could have done a
better job.

A menu is included in the game that lets you specify stuff like
Ball speed, the number of Balls for each player, Ball Life Span,
Arrow Power, etc. "Ballistix" is quite flexible and I feel this
only increases its lasting attractiveness.
It's a nice game - not upto the Psygnosis standards of old, but
better than "Menace" and featuring better graphics than "Captain
Fizz". There is also some digitized speech that is quite well
done.

Game Rating:

Title: Ballistix
Company: Psyclapse
Graphics: 8-
Sound: 7
Playability: 7.5
Hookability: 7.5
Value for Money: 7
Overall rating: 7.5
Price: £19.95
Hardware: Color only
Remark: Dull at start, but then becoming
more and more addictive...

For info, write to (note the NEW address):

Psygnosis Ltd.
122 Century Buildings
Tower Street
Brunswick Business Park
Liverpool L3 4BJ
England

Disclaimer
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.