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© Dieu of Hemoroids

POLICE QUEST II by Stefan Posthuma

For chronological logic, read the Jug review first...

Korik Starchaser was in bad shape. In fact, he was unconcious.
After being thrown out of his seat and having crashed into the
very solid cockpit door, he was lying helplessly on the ground.
His ship though, had miraculously survived the crash and the old
navigation computer had proven its value and steered the vessel
through the remaining parts of the meteorite field. It had picked
up signals from a small planet and since the life support systems
needed some thourough checking, it mavoevred steadily towards it.

Sonny Bonds was sitting at his desk, staring at Marie's picture.
My god, she was breathtaking. Thinking back at the weekend they
had spend together, he sighed deeply. It was only monday evening
and he already missed her like crazy. His thoughts were rudely
disturbed by the leutenant shouting from behind his desk.
"HEY BONDS!" "Get your lazy ass over here!". "Since you seem to
have nothing better to do, an old lady called us and said there
were some punks at oak tree mall racing cars around. Go over
there and scare them off a little....NOW!"
Shrugging at the crude awakening, Sonny quickly left the office
and entered his car.

The battered spaceship was heading at a small and brightly
green and blue coloured planet. It's oxygen based atmosphere was
great for restoring the life support systems and the local energy
supplies would surely be able to replenish the shields and the
stardrives. Korik slowly regained conciousness. His head felt
like and elephant had stepped on it and his hair was thick with
blood. Cursing softly, he got to his feet and stumbled into the
pilot's seat. He saw the planet which now occupied much of the
viewscreen. He called up some data about it, but there were no
entries of it in the general memory banks. That meaned that the
planet's inhabitants not yet succeeded in reaching the level of
technology which enabled them to undertake interstellar travels.
One of the General Laws prohibited anyone from contacting a
planet with a lower technology to ensure the steady development
of its civilizations. That this planet was inhabited was sure,
because numerous radio signals reached the sensors. Korik
realized that he was about to break the Law but he really needed
some help and he just wanted some steady ground under his feet
after the unfortunate enounter with the meteorites.

Arriving at the mall, Sonny noticed some kids who were racing
around the parking lot. He took out his signalling light and put
it on top of his car. As soon as the bright blue started
flashing, the two cars took off. He engaged pursuit immediately,
somewhat relieved by the fact that he finally got some action.
They headed towards boardman lane and that would mean that they
inteded to cross the county border. Grimly holding the steering
wheel, he increased speed and followed the two cars.

The planet was now in range of the enviroment scanners. The data
revealed to him that is was a friendly place. No poisoned
atmosphere or burning temperatures. He did notice some strange
chemicals in the atmosphere but that was probably because the
inhabitants were still in the process of finding out that dumping
your waste in the air is probably the worst solution to the
problem. Korik sighed. Again, he had to prevent himself from
being discovered, else he would cause some major upset along the
ignorant creatures. As he entered the atmosphere, he engaged the
shields to prevent being fried and to make himself invisible to
the probing radio signals that were being send from the surface.
A few minutes later, he was skimming the surface of a deserted
area. Then he found what he was looking for. Somewhat surprised
by the fact that they just left their energy supplies in the
open, he approached the electricity cables.

Sonny was pissed off. The punks had boasted their cars as they
were outrunning him. Also, he must have crossed the county border
as the landscape was totally unfamiliar to him. He got even more
angry when he found out his radio wasn't working. Just a lot of
static and crackling noises. When he lost complete sight of the
cars, he stopped and cursed aloud. After banging the steering
wheel a couple of times, he turned the car around. Then he saw
it.
His amazement was complete as he saw a lump of scrap metal
hanging in the air like it gravity did not exist. It vaguely
resembled some sort of machine and it was clearly doing someting
to the electricity cables. Two lightning bolts were crackling
between the thing and the cables. Then, in the distance he saw
Lytton in the valley. He also noticed that almost half of it was
completely dark. That thing was taking away all energy!
Setting aside his fears, he pulled his gun and stepped out of
the car. Remembering the movie, 'Close encounters of the third
kind', the put away the gun and slowly approached the object.

Korik cursed as he saw the humanoid creature approach him.
"Hellfire", he groaned. Turning around, the activated the defence
laser. He aimed it at a small structure which contained no life
forms. It exploded violently. Immediately, the humanoid dashed
for the vehicle in which it arrived and disappeared behind it.
"Just a few more minutes", Korik said to himself as he observed
the energy banks.

Sonny was getting weird ideas about frendly men from space
offering him to travel around the stars as he observed a small
antenna coming from the UFO. It swung around and pointed at a
small shack at the side of the road. Then it emitted a bright
yellow bolt which struck the shack with immense force. Sonny
froze in his steps, turned around and jumped behind his car.
Remembering 'War of the Worlds', he pulled his gun and fired a
shot at the thing. The bullet seemed to disappear and nothing
happened at all. He pressed himself to the ground while the
crackling noises stopped. Then he heard a noise like a thousand
vacuum cleaners being turned on at the same time and then it was
silent. When he dared to peek over the hood of his car, the thing
was gone.
He slowly entered his car. The radio was working again. "Come in
unit 3, come in". Sonny grabbed the mike and responded. "Unit 3
responding.". "Never mind where you have been hanging out. There
has been a mayor power failure and there is a chaos. Come back as
soon as possible."

Sonny put down the mike and sighed. "What a lousy job".

*****

It is hard to write intro's when you are not entirely inspired.
I mean I felt like writing, but I just couldn't come up with a
story that had a logical beginning or ending. So that's why the
above is not really a story, but who cares anyway?

Sierra-on-Line have created a long line of unique graphic
adventures. They are walk-through stories as you control a
character that walks through a world and does all sorts of
things. Everybody knows 'Leisure Suit Larry', the utterly
brilliant story of an anti-hero who just wants to have a
girlfriend. Every frustrated computerfreak could identify himself
with this guy. Super. But they looked a bit crude. Clearly
converted from 8-bit or PC games, they did not entirely use the
ST's full potential. But now this has changed. They have written
a new development system for 16-bitters. It looks much nicer,
with better graphics and animation. Leisure suit larry II has
been written using the new setup and so has Police Quest II.
Again, you assume the role of Sonny Bonds. Having sucessfully
jailed Baines, a real bad guy, you have been promoted to
detective. Being on the homicide squad is an entirely different
ballgame. Then Baines ecapes and takes a correctional officer as
a hostage. You enter the game at this point. Your task is to
arrest Baines!
You start off at the police station. First, you have to make
sure your gun is properly aligned, so you enter the shooting
alley and make sure you hit the targets correctly. Then it is off
to work and after Baines!

After playing it for a few hours, I found out that this game is
HUGE. You can walk around and do everything. I particulary like
the scene in which you find some suspicious marks alongside a
river bank and can actually strap on some scuba gear and enter
the river, searching for drowned evidence.
There is a very great attention to detail and everything is
animated - from planes landing at the airport to automatic doors
sliding open. Really good stuff.
But there is a minus to all this. The game uses the disk a lot
and this makes it quite slow. Sometimes you have to wait about a
minute after you have walked into a new screen before it unfolds.
But the real adventure freaks won't mind because it is so good.

Game rating:

Name: Police Quest II
Company: Sierra-on-line
Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Playability: 7.5
Hookability: 9
Value for money: 8
Overall rating: 8
Price: £24.95
Remark: Very extensive, too much disk access though
Hardware: Color/monochrome and double-sided disk drive

For Sierra's address, see the Larry II review.

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.