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© Photon Storm (Ilkke & Rich)

SAVAGE by Richard Karsmakers

Somewhere in the universe, there is a planet. It's a planet that
will probably not be present on any of the galactic maps you're
likely to encounter - as a matter of fact, it is only present on
ONE galactic map: That of the Egron emperor.
But that's a mere triviality and isn't of any importance here.
The planet is called Sucatraps and is located at approximately
92 million light years distance from the planet that will
probably be best known to you as Earth. It is a small planet that
resembles planet Earth quite much when looking at vegetation,
climate and chemical structures. Its size can be compared with
the natural sattelite of Earth, known to you as the Moon.
Its main capital is Eceerg, which can actually be regarded as
the only larger city on Sucatraps.
Sucatraps might not be present on any galactic maps, but it is
surely very well known through the universe; for it is said to be
a legendary planet, where all boys disappear to when they
mysteriously vanish off any of the other plants in the universe.
The legend further says that Sucatraps is a planet where the best
mercenaries annex hired guns are trained. It is actually said
that the Sucatraps Lords scan the universe for potentially
powerful males, abduct them within the first months of their
lives, and then train them for the rest of their years until they
are finally considered ready for their first job.

Sucatraps used to be ruled by a king called Drahcir. When his
wife gave him a male triplet instead of the usual girls, he
became very scared that his offspring might eventually cast him
off his throne. Therefore he killed and ate them. But his wife,
Adnarim the Beautiful, had succeeded in hiding one of them. This
son, Elmer, was raised by a peasant's widow just outside the
capital, and his father never discovered him (and therefore
couldn't eat him).
The boy was therefore not a trained killer as much as all the
other kids on the planet. His foster mother called him Cronos - a
name loosely based on a character in Greek mythology that had
certain tendencies also displayed by the boy's father. She
learned him to defend himself, and fed him lotsa fresh food,
vegetables, milk and Marmite. He soon grew to be a strong and
healthy youngster, and he did his first killing at the age of
fourteen (he sat down on his foster mum's cat).
When he was sixteen and his foster mother chastized him for
coming home after nine one evening, he decided that he had to run
away. Sucatraps was no planet for him, anyway - not enough
action. So he captured a space ship and flew off into the distant
universe. Seeking a job. A job as a hired gun.

Through many jobs, he went to become an Airborne Ranger. The job
was tough, but not tough enough to his liking. So he quit after
helping to kill that darned Ayatollah Mokheiny, and went back to
the dump he rather affectionately referred to as 'home'.
There, he sat for two weeks and just read the newspapers.
Sometimes, he used to watch television, and he laughed his head
off when he saw that the people of Inar were fighting to get a
piece off the shroud of that darned Mokheiny fellow, so that the
body fell on the ground.
Unfortunately, there weren't many jobs for him to do. No hidden
adds for mercenaries, and other stuff where mean muscles were a
prerequisite.
Until, one day, he got a letter. The letter had a note attached
to it, requesting him to pay shortage mail costs plus a
significant fine, as the stamp was 'nonvalid' as that same note
amply put it. Thirty dollars and twentyfive cents. He looked at
the stamp. In a writing he only understood, the name of a planet
could be read to be Sucatraps. Cronos went a bit pale around the
nose, and hastily opened the envelope while putting some mayo on
the note attached to it and eating it.

"My dear bunny," Cronos read aloud. He had significant trouble
keeping his food inside as he recognized his foster mum's
handwriting. "How are you? I am very well, thank you, but I am at
the moment in Eceerg Main Prison and destined to be hung when the
moons are full if you don't do something soon. Your mother,
Adnarim the Beautiful, has also been captured, as has the girl
you always loved: Loucynda. I am afraid that Drahcir's
replacement, Saurus, insists upon us being killed unless you hand
yourself over to him to be killed. You know, dear, the guy's
scared stiff about having to leave his throne and the substantial
income accompanied therewith if you might one day decide to come
back and claim what's yours. Please come and get yourself killed,
sugarpie, or else we'll be history..."
Cronos folded the letter and seemed to swallow something. He
stared to the ceiling for a couple of minutes, and on it he
imagined the faces of those he loved, now rotting away in some
Sucatrapsian dungeon, 92 million light years away. His foster
mother had raised him for over fifteen years, had cared for him
and loved him like....well....like her cat; his mother was maybe
the most beautiful woman in the whole universe (even better than
Kim "Alien" Basinger); and his heart nearly stopped beating at
the sheer though of Loucynda being in jail as well. He grinded
his teeth and smashed his fist on a small chair that totally
disintegrated.
It would be a bit more than four whole days before all the moons
would be full again, he reckoned. He phoned the A-Team, had them
build a Subuniversal Wooferflooper (with built in antenna and CD
player), and took for the stars that same night. Ninetysix hours
left. Travelling much faster than light (the A-Team has several
patents on post-lightspeed travelling), Cronos was scheduled to
arrive at Sucatraps early next morning.

He decreased velocity when he orbited the small planet. Again,
he had to swallow something as he saw the planet that he had not
seen for such a long time. Memories of sunsets with Loucynda came
quite vividly back into his memory, as did memories of his dear
mother, heavenly orgies, and dead cats.
What was that thing in the sky? At first, he mistook it for a
Golden Eagle, but on second sight it seemed more like another
spaceship. After a couple of seconds, it disappeared like a
snowflake in the sun.
He put his Subuniversal Wooferflooper (including the built-in
antenna and CD player) down behind a couple of bushes and
disembarked. He was going to show king Saurus (sometimes called
Tyrannosaurus Rex by locals) hell!
But first he had to get into the castle.

From his childhood days, he remembered him and his friends
(girls, mostly) playing in the passages under the castle. Back
then, these passages and tunnels were a secret only known by a
couple of hundred kids in the neigbourhood, and he wondered if
king Saurus knew of them. If he didn't, then this would probably
be the best way to enter the castle.
He came to the castle unscathed, and indeed found the lower
passages and tunnels with ease. He removed some bushes that
blocked one of the entrances he knew of old, and was glad to find
it only partly collapsed. He took the dozens of spider webs and
the many plants now firmly settled in the entrance for granted
and entered.
As he could have foretold, it was pitch dark in the tunnels. But
he felt sure he still knew the way down there - and he used to
know it blindfolded in his childhood days.
Anyway, when he finally came to a stairway leading up after
about one hour of continuous bumping into walls that must have
spontaneously arisen after his childhood, his nose was bleeding
and his hands ached. He cursed some solid curses and went up the
stairs.
He halted for a moment while climbing the stairs. Did he hear
footsteps following him? When he stopped to listen more intently,
there was only silence, but when he moved the sounds appeared
like forgotten echoes in lost sand.
He came into a room that was obviously just as forgotten as the
staircase. Again, cobwebs were everywhere and the scarse objects
in the room were covered by a layer of dust that would drive any
decent mum crazy. There were some old wooden chairs, the skeleton
of a warrior and some broken toys. Cronos wondered how the old
warrior had died, and if he had indeed died in this room. He
moved closer, and saw that the warrior (well....the warrior's
corpse, of course) held an enormous battle axe. He bent over to
take the axe when, suddenly, about twenty darts whizzed over his
head to crash into the opposite wall. Since he had forgotten his
hearing aid (he often tended to do that), he didn't hear them and
supposed he was quite safe.
He stood erect again after taking the weapon from the dead
warrior's grasp and looked around. He wondered where all those
small darts in the wall had suddenly come from; but since good
ol' Cronos was trained to fight and not to think, he didn't think
further about it.
Though it DID strike him as slightly odd.
He opened the door. It made a hell of a noise which was even
quite deafening for those wearing hearing aids but who forgot
them somewhere on another planet. He looked at the door as if
saying "If you dare to do that again, I'll shove those hinges up
your planks!" The door didn't make another sound (not even as
much as a woody sigh) as he opened it further.
He spied into an empty hallway. There was no move, though there
were some pretty scary drawings hanging on the walls (made by an
artist called Riggs or something). He now lurched slowly out of
the forgotten room. When he closed it behind him and realised
that he might also find good use for the wariors' helmet, he
found out that the door had mysteriously (and meticulously)
locked itself.
Maybe the forgotten room wasn't as forgotten as he considered it
to be - and nor were the tunnels, probably. For a moment, he
thought that he was trapped.
But, as he was trained to fight rather than to think, he stopped
immediately and forgot all about the fact that he might indeed be
trapped.
He carefully proceeded into the depths of the castle, when he
suddenly came across a sign that read "DUNGEONS; NOT THAT WAY".
The arrow pointed right into a door that was hospitably ajar.
"Aaah!" Cronos cried triumphantly, "they must think they can
fool ME! Fools!"
After having said (or, rather, cried) that, he dashed into the
room into which the door opened, menacingly swaying the heavy
duty battle axe above his head.
Just like the door that did this earlier, the door that used to
be ajar in such a hospitable way suddenly closed and locked
itself mysteriously (and meticulously).
Some solid curses passed Cronos' lips as he realised he was now
surely trapped. There were no other exits, which he was quite
able not to see in the dim light that was cast into the room
through a small window meticulously (though not mysteriously)
barred by some pretty thick steel grating.
"Great." he thought (though not for long, as he was trained to
fight rather than to think).
Warchild sat in the dungeon (for ir turned out to be a dungeon,
complete with rats and a none-too-chemical toilet) for a couple
of hours when he heard soft steps in the hallway. They stopped
for a moment before his cell door, and for that moment it seemed
as though hands were touching the solid wood of the door. Next
moment, the steps continued and faded away. Even later, he heard
steps of many men in the hallway. He also heard the sound of
suits of armour and the clash of weaponry. All the steps halted
when someone stopped in front of the dungeon door and turned a
key in its lock. Cronos hid his battle axe in his pants.
The door opened and in stepped someone who Cronos reckoned to be
king Saurus (not that Cronos had ever laid eyes on the man
before, but since the guy had a bleedin' tail and "REX" written
on his T-Shirt, he guessed he wasn't far off).
The king looked with pure disgust in his eyes and facial
expression. "Are you glad to see me or is that a battle-axe in
your pants?" he inquired.
Cronos didn't heed the question and instead insisted upon
knowing what would happen to him now he was taken prisoner.
"Of course, you will be killed," the king replied, "after which
you will be hung by the neck until you're tender enough to be
eaten."
Cronos seemed to swallow something, but it was definitely
something else than that which he swallowed when he read his
foster mum's letter.
The king continued: "We have transported the ones you've come to
rescue to a place to the south of my castle - beyond the Valley
of the Dead!" King Saurus spoke the last words with a special
ring to his voice; a ring Cronos had absolutely no reason
whatsoever for to like.
"Over my dead body!" Cronos cried, and uncovered his enormous
battle axe. For a moment, he doubted the words he had just said,
but then he started to hack'n'slash around him. King Saurus ended
up with a torn "REX" T-Shirt and five decapitated guards before
Cronos succeeded in barging through the door and dashing off into
the hallway.
Why the heck had he left all his killer gadgets at home?

He had hardly been free for half a minute when, from all corners
so it seemed, strange beings were cast upon him. They varied from
strange bat species to small animals that he couldn't describe
otherwise than 'Flying Mini-Mutant-Maxi-Mega-Monsters of
Multifizzic Omega'. The latter didn't bite nor strangled; as
their names already somewhat implied, they could be compared with
WW II Stuka dive bombers that ejaculated the wastes of their
metabolic system on you.
Which is what they did on poor Cronos.
He took a peg from his pocket, put is securely on his nose, held
his breath and dashed further - still wielding his mighty battle
axe. Many a beast dropped dead around him in pools of blood. Each
bend he would take, he would again be disillusioned as yet more
hordes of demons and monsters (including those flying mini-you-
know-whats) would throw themselves upon him. Just when he was
about to give up and lock himself up in some place where he could
get some sleep and order a pizza, he saw light at the far end of
a coridor.
Light!
That could mean freedom, or at least, a place where these nasty
monsters weren't around any more. The stench was now doing some
good attempts even at entering his pegged nostrils and he was
kinda irritated by that fact.
He came closer and closer to the light, which indeed seemed to
be a door standing wide open, leading outside to where the air
was very likely to be much healthier than where he was now.
He looked back into the seemingly bottomless darkness of the
tunnel, and was it his imagination or did he think to hear
someone in there - someone who was apparently also fighting for
his life.
He didn't heed it, though. His life and that of the women he
loved were now far more important.

When he came outside he wanted to embrace the light as it
surrounded him and made sure that the creatures of the dungeons
didn't follow him any further. They appeared to be mortally
afraid of the light, which was quite to the advantage of
Warchild.
Once his eyes grew used to it, the light revealed the Valley of
the Dead. Stretching far beyond the borders of sight, there was
only the southern desert of Sucatraps; a vast area that was only
covered with dry sand and monoliths.
According to the legend, this was the place where the young boys
became men: They were dumped in the middle of the Valley and just
had to get out on their own accord and with none but their own
means.
He had better not encounter some of those; they were truly
trained assassins that would probably see him as a welcome change
on their regular diet of desert rats and maggots of the animals
Cronos thought to be the 'Flying Mini-you-know-whats'.
So he just had to take care to eat instead of being eaten, which
shouldn't alltogether be that much of a big deal for someone who
had received a training from his foster mum and who killed his
first cat at the age of sixteen.
He looked at the monolith with a certain amount of awe. They
made him think of totempoles that Indians on earth used to
worship; their faces looked fearsome and large red tongues hung
from their mouths. Not too friendly a place having to cross in
such a short time.
Short time?
Holy cow! He would never have enough time to cross the Valley of
the Dead within the day or two that were still left before the
moons were full.
The sound of a vehicle coming nearer made the thought of a
faster way to get to the other side dawn upon him.
He hid behind one of those scary monoliths and saw a sandswooper
coming nearer at quite a dazzling speed. When it was about twenty
feet from him, he jumped from behind the monolith and was totally
run over by the thing. It bumped wildly in the air, throwing its
two occupants off and leaving Cronos lying on the ground for a
couple of moments, dazzled. The two occupants of the sandswooper
were killed by the crash, but Cronos seemed only to have hurt his
shinbone (the same one around which a large black American car
had folded itself a couple of weeks earlier). He looked at it
painfully. He cursed some rather solid curses (as usual).
When his shinbone seemed to have recovered sufficiently from the
pain that was throbbing through it, Cronos got up and climbed in
the vehicle. Its controls looked rather much like those of the
average low budget British Leyland car, and he wondered who had
been so insane as to mimic the other.
He jumped on the sandswooper and headed north. In his rear view
mirror, he thought to see clearly someone wearing white clothes
who came out of the haunted castle as well.
Again, he didn't heed this - his life and those of the women he
loved were still more important.
How wrong would he turn out to be.

He had driven for about two hours through the Valley of the
Dead, carefully evading all those monoliths and shooting desouled
skulls that seemed to have a tendency of hopping around there,
when he opened the glove compartment. Apart from the usual stuff
that one tends to find in glove compartments - driver's license,
sunglasses, car insurance papers, detailed maps and strike
schedules of the London underground, portraits of wife'n'kids and
piles-haemorrhoides-suppositories - he found a sealed letter
which' seal was broken.
"CONFIDENTIAL" was written on it in large Nairobi-beige
capitals.
Being kinda inquisitive, he opened the envelope and read the
letter contained in it.
"Distract Elmer son of Drahcir son of Naj son of Tsirhc son of
Sutrebuh son of what-was-his-name - stop -," Cronos read aloud to
himself, "make sure he doesn't go back to castle - stop -
hostages still held there - stop - annihilate subject when moons
are full."
"The bastards!" he cried, while making a handbrake-turn in the
sandswooper. They still held his loved-ones in bondage, and they
had lured him into going the totally wrong way!
Even more so: He had gone for it. Maybe, if he had thought
(which he didn't and wasn't supposed to do), he wouldn't have
taken the bait. His escape from the castle had been too simple,
now he came to think of it.
On his way back to the castle, where he constantly put the pedal
to the metal, he nearly had a head-on collision with another
sandswooper.
In it sat someone wearing white clothes.

In reasonably less than two hours (which is quite breathtakingly
remarkable as he ran out of gas half-way) he came back at the
castle. Nobody expected him there, and therefore the bridge over
the moat was closed.
A solid curse passed his lips once more: He could drive a
sandswooper and he could fly a subuniversal wooferflooper, he
could ride the Bugsplatter Beast of Traal and he was able to tame
any mother-in-law, but he couldn't swim.
Lucky for him, a gigantic Golden Eagle just landed near to him.
The bird eyed him with suspicion, and was rather flabbergasted
when it found out that Cronos was in his turn eying it with
suspicion, too.
If Golden Eagles would have had the ability to turn red of
embarrassment, it would have done so.
But they haven't, so this one couldn't.
Cronos carefully stepped towards the Eagle. It shook its
feathers as though wanting to get rid of desert dust that had
settled on its majestic appearance.
When Cronos came a bit too close, the Eagle leapt into the sky,
beating its wings in the hot wind. But Cronos was still fast
enough, and had been able to grab the enormous bird by its paws -
at least, that is what Cronos'd like to think: In reality, the
bird had grabbed him and was now carrying the mercenary annex
hired gun to its offspring, deep in the innards of the castle.
Anyway, he did get over the moat. But what to do when he would
be dumped on an enormous Eagle's Nest, about to be preyed upon by
some eager and very hungry young Golden Eagles?
It made him think of a WW II movie he once saw.

After a short and quite hazardous flight (the Eagle sometimes
forgot that something was hanging under it when flying over
obstacles), Cronos was quite brutally dumped on a nest that was
constructed of wood, iron and human bones.
There was an awful smell - that of Eagle dung.
Yet Cronos had no time to start irritating himself about the
rather offensive scent: He saw three ugly young birds coming
towards him with their beaks opened wide so that he could see
tonsils, uvula, and the frightening red colour of their throats.
"Time for some defensive transactions," he murmured, and did his
best to act like he was the Golden Eagle that had just flown off
again in search for more food.
The small creatures, stupid though they may have seemed even to
someone of Warchild's intelligence, didn't buy it. Instead, they
started gnawing on his legs and found a certain pleasure in
pulling out small strands of hair from there.
"OK. In that case, it's time for some offensive actions," he
murmured - now visibly agitated. There was only one thing left
for him to do.
He started doing his Ronald Reagan impression, pronouncing "You
ain't seen nothin' yet!", "A giant what ?" and "The Suzuki is
stopping - at a Suziki dealer!" as convincing as possible.
The young Eagles immediately retreated to the other side of the
nest, tearing it partly to bits in order to have something handy
(er...wingy) to hit Warchild with if such might be needed.

"Help me! Help me!" he heard a familiar voice of a young woman
yell.
"Oh Poopsie of me! Bunny dear!" he heard another voice, croaking
with premature age, only seconds later.
"Elmer!" he heard someone else cry as well.
He looked around frantically, trying to determine where the
voices came from.
Then he realized.
They came from under him. That stupid Golden Eagle had sought to
build its nest on top of the Dungeon where his loved ones were
kept prisoner - with the Golden Eagles being the most perfect
guards.
Above the nest, an enormous boulder was hanging on a rope. If
that rope would break, it would shatter the nest as well as the
dungeon...
Through a small barred window in the damp and dark hall, he
could see the young moons of Sucatraps.
They were both almost full...

He climbed down from the nest, and started examining the door.
It was a very solid one, of the same kind that had kept him
locked but several hours earlier. No chance of getting through
that one.
Unless.....
He could hear the women crying inside - they were very eager to
be rescued, and thought they already were.
"Loucynda," Cronos cried through the door, "gimme one of your
hair pins!"
"But that will ruin my coup, darling," he heard her inside,
talking with some hesitance in her voice.
"Damn in, Loucynda! DO IT!" Cronos yelled.
After some seconds, a hair pin was being pushed under the door.
Cronos grabbed it, folded it in some strange way and started to
penetrate the keyhole with it.
Sweat was coming visible on his forehead.
"Click," the lock went.

A bestial laughter suddenly filled the hall. Cronos looked up
and saw the silhouette of someone standing on a stone balcony,
about thirty feet above him. The figure standing there had a
tail.
As it stepped forward, Cronos saw the "REX" logo on the torn T-
shirt.
"King Saurus..." he gasped, aghast. He was so pre-occupied with
being surprised that he lost toal control of his lower cheek
muscles, so that it hung down rather foolishly.
"YES!" he heard the king cry out triumphantly, "YES!! My time
has finally come! Here I will establish my power once and for
all!"
Another bit of bestial laughter echoed through the hall as king
Saurus drew his sword and held it next to a rope near him. It was
the same rope on which the enormous boulder hung.
Four archers had their arrows pionted at Cronos' heart. There
wasn't a thing he could do. He was gonna die, and the only
comfort would be that he would arrive in the world of the Dead
with the three women he loved most.
He faced death with pride in his eyes, and unbuttoned his
shirt, thus displaying his chest.
Warchild wasn't afraid to die. His time was bound to come one
day anyway, and this wasn't even the worst of deaths now he came
to think of it.
The women in the cell started crying hysterically.
"Har! Har! Haha!" laughed king Saurus, and began to cut through
the rope. It went a lot easier than Cronos expected. That was
surely one very sharp sword.
He climbed slowly back to the Eagle's Nest. Now he would die
first.
The two moons were now full, and their powerless light shone
upon the frail figure of the battered mercenary annex hired gun
and the young Eagles that were still visibly afraid of this
strange man that used to talk about Giant Suzikis.
Below them, the women still cried hysterically, frantically,
desperately...
"I will keep on loving you, Cronos!" he heard Loucynda cry.
"Farewell, honeypie..." he thought to hear his foster mum croak.
"See you beyond, Elmer..." his mother sighed.

At that moment, a hypodermic syringe flew through the air and
hit king Saurus right in the butt. The king faltered, let the
sharp blade drop from his grasp, tumbled over and fell down on
the harsh stone floor - thirty feet below.
"Thud," it went.
He was as dead as a Dodo.
The archers looked at each other, and decided to run for it;
this surely wasn't the place for peace-loving dudes like them.
Cronos still stood on (and in) the Eagle's Nest - chest proudly
thrusted forward and his hands keeping his shirt aside so it
wouldn't be stained by the blood gushing from his torso when he
would be pierced by those arrows.
The women that formerly cried hysterically now found out that
Cronos had already succeeded in opening the lock (the "Click!",
remember?) and dashed out into the hall.
Now, they cried quite hysterically, again. Just different.

Cronos opened his eyes and saw the body on the ground, a
hypodermic syringe labelled "Cyanide" dangling in the king's
posterior. He saw the women crying happy hysterical cries and he
saw someone else dressed in white.
It was another woman, a nurse, and she looked like an identical
twin of Gloria Estefan. For a moment, he looked her right in the
eyes.
That sure was one hell of a lady. He muttered something in
gratitude, after which she left promptly.
"Ambulor Eight Hospital of the Very Very Splattered" was written
on the back of her white uniform, in blood-red characters like
the ones that are generally used in horror-film logos.
"Hey!" he cried into the darkness of the hallway in which she
had gone. His voice lacked strength.
She had vanished, anyway.
"Oh....Cronos!" Loucynda sighed, kissing her hero firmly on the
cheek.
"Swell job, bunny dear," his foster mum croaked while patting
him on the back.
His mother just hugged him tight and said nothing. They held
each other for seconds. Warmth flowed from her body to his.
"Mum..." he wanted to say, but his voice seemed to cling to his
throat and instead he said "Okay". He patted her back gently,
thereby probably fragmentizing part of her spine though she
didn't notice.
Loucynda waited until this emotional gathering has gone passed
its climax (or, at least, what she considered to be its climax)
and then interrupted.
"Did you bring the keys?" she inquired.
"The keys?" Cronos replied.
"The keys," she nodded. She pulled down her skirt with a look
in her eyes as though this would surely explain everything, and
he saw a large belt of leather and metal strapped around her
waist. There was a sturdy, rusty lock located hanging between her
legs, and two others (also quites sturdy and quite rusty) on each
side on her hips.
Her chastity belt.
He remembered having put it on her when he left Sucatraps, now
almost six years ago.
He also remembered having lost it somewhere on a vague planet
somewhere in a vague milky way on a vague edge of the galaxy.
"Ooops." Cronos sighed.

*****

At first sight, Firebird's (i.e. Microprose's) "Savage" is a
very neat game with some neat graphics and some neat music.
At second sight, "Savage" turns out to be THREE rather neat
games with some rather neat graphics and some rather neat music.
These games are approximately like the ones good ol' Cronos
wandered through in the above introductory novella: The first is
a platform-like environment with jumping and that kind of stuff,
with a resemblance to "Beyond the Ice Palace" or even (in case
you're one of those NEW and HOT software buffs) "Ghouls and
Ghosts". The second bit is a kind of 3D game where the landscape
scrolls towards you and you only need to worry about not hitting
any of the objects coming towards you. This, as you may have
guessed, bears resemblance to "Space Harrier" (or, for the buffs,
"Bad Company").
In the last part, you control an Eagle (yes, a Golden Eagle as a
matter of fact). This is looked upon from the side, and can thus
be compared with a platform game where you fly.
So far about the game setup. You can start the individual games
seperately (intro plus game one on disk A, two last games on disk
B), and by typing passwords you seem to be able to pass to higher
levels.
The graphics are up to an average standard. This means that they
are nothing big, but that the artist has at least worked decently
to create some visually pleasing data. The music is just the
ordinary tune (David Whittaker, I seem to remember - though I am
not entirely sure), and the technical bit of the game can only be
rated as 'fair'. So no ultra-smooth scrolling, but 'reasonable
non-blocky' scrolling (if you get my drift).
"Savage", alltogether, is a combination of three quite different
little games, and this fact suffices to justify the price, which
is £24.99.
Though no hit, "Savage" is definitely a game to reckon with.

Game rating:

Name Savage
Company Firebird
Graphics 7
Sound 7
Playability 7
Hookability 6
Value for money 6+
Overall rating 7
Price £24.99
Remark Three quite different games in
one

Thanks go to Ms. Julie Coombs of Microprose for sending the
review copy. It surely inspired me to some great novella (though
a major part of the inspiration also came forth out of the new
Douglas Adams book about Long Tea Times).

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.