JOURNALYNX Volume 1 Issue 1 by Richard Karsmakers
Hello and welcome to the first ever issue of the new and
enormously exciting disk magazine "JournaLYNX", which will from
now on be a regular series in he contents of ST NEWS - aimed at
Atari ST users who also happen to have a Lynx.
In "JournaLYNX", I will present the reader with interesting
facts about the Atari Lynx, as well as software reviews (what
The reasons why I start this column are simple:
A: I want to be the first to have started a Lynx magazine.
B: This is OUR ST NEWS (even 'undead') and we can do as we
please. So if you don't like it, you're welcome to go and take a
So far the (more or less) rude bits.
First thing that becomes apparent to the average Lynx user is
the remarkable quality and playability of the games. This
immediately makes it an excellent contestant for the other
consoles (the likes of the PC Engine and the Sega Megadrive).
And, of course, it's hand-held - well...the Lynx actually EATS
batteries so it's rather a hand-held-with-power-socket-required-
But what the heck.
Things, however, will become slightly tough for the Atari boys
when the hand-held PC Engine gets to the market (even a Sega
Megadrive hand-held version has been announced). So Atari might
find itself pushed once more into the underdog position it has
already experienced with the XL (when compared to the Commodore
64) in the days of old.
But, again, what the heck.
The Lynx is indeed a brilliant machine, and I really enjoy the
games I play on it. Except for the odd four or five games I
played for hours and hours on the C-64 and the ST ("Bubble
Bobble", "Lode Runner", "Blood Money", "Rick Dangerous" and
"Arkanoid"), the Lynx games beat everything hands down.
Why don't we have a short look at the currently available Lynx
When reviewing the Lynx system on itself, in an earlier issue of
ST NEWS, I considered this game to be slightly dull and naff. I
suppose it's a matter of taste, but I have grown to really like
this game since, and it was the only game I kept on playing and
playing after I had completed all the others (or lost interest in
"California Games" has four disciplines in it, which are "BMX"
(racing a BMX bike across a landscape), "Surfing", "Half Pipe"
(which is skateboarding) and "Footbag" (kicking a bag in the air
as many times as you can without letting it hit the ground). In
the first days, I have played Surfing only. I considered the
other disciplines to be rather dull (and, indeed, naff), and
concentrated on the Californian waves.
I got ludicrous hiscores (I thought). And each time I heard of
someone having a higher hiscore, I played the game again until my
thumbs would ache. My current hiscore is 9755 (and that's with
only one 'fiver', which I made quite accidentally)!
I had already lost interest in this game alltogether, when my
girlfriend played it one day. She got a score that I had never
succeeded in getting at BMX.
So I started doing BMX, too, and now I have beaten her (my
hiscore is 955). "California Games" is a rare game indeed. I
still shove it up my Lynx now and again, and I still enjoy
playing it. Though I still haven't done "Half Pipe" nor "Footbag"
much. But other people seem to really enjoy these two.
I would like to rate "California Games" at 85%. It is VERY
playable, and one keeps on finding little things that enable one
to enhance one's performance. Truly great, though this is usually
not appreciated at first.
Gates of Zendocon
Which is the shoot-'em-up I was vary lyrious about when I first
got it. It contains lotsa levels, all neatly stacked in a tree
with some interconnecting branches (when drawing up the sequence
of levels, that is.
The game is very well done and offers some unexpectedly original
variations on the shooting theme.
However, once you finish the game you rarely shove it up your
Lynx again for any reasons other than demonstrating. And it's
totally naff when played on the 'Easy' level. 'Hard' is much
better, though the last level is indeed rather tough and may
indeed be preferred playing in 'easy' mode.
So here's a list of all the passwords. Between brackets, the
number of teleporters hidden in that level is revealed (nothing
means one). You can figure out the tree sequence yourself. The
first level is BASE, and the last one is ZETA (which takes you to
the end monster, which takes you to the end sequence when beating
The passwords are (a couple are not there because I didn't find
or play them): BASE (2), ZYBX (3), NYXX, XRXY, NEAT, ZYRB, ANEX
(2), YARR, SRYX, BARE (2), EYES (2), STAX, XRAY, SZZZ, RATT,
NYET, RAZE (4), TRYX, ROXX, TRAX, TERA, STYX, NERB, ZEBA (2),
BYTE, YARB, BREX (3), BETA (2), NEST, EBYX, NEXA (2), ZEST, SEBB,
STAB, ZORT, SNEX, BOXX, ZAXX, BROT, TENT, STOB, XTNT, BOTZ, SNAX
(2) and ZETA. Guardian levels: NEAR, ZEST and BRAN.
The end sequence is rather nice, and neverending (though
eventually it gets to be repetitive and rather boring).
Then, there is a hidden level: A level where you will collect
all the equipment in one go and battle with the programmers FACE
to FACE. You must first enter level TRYX, and as soon as the
level starts press down and right to go through the floor (if
done quickly enough you will not crash into it). Once under the
floor, dodge obstacles to find a hidden gate.
I would like to rate it at 80% - you play it a lot, but later
you never play it again (except for the aforementioned occasional
Honestly, there isn't much I can say about this. The intro
sequence is very good, but it doesn't have IT as far as I am
concerned. I have therefore sold my copy and have not played it.
It's a kind of 3D "Impossible Mission" type of game, and it
demonstrates the Lynx' zooming capabilities very appropriately.
That's about it.
What I did read in the October issue of "Computer & Video
Games", however, is some cheat information supplied by a guy
called Simon McTiernan from Earley in Reading.
Door 1 - 2473 (to level 2), door 2 - 9874 (to level 2).
Door 1 - 3287 (to level 5)
Door 5 - 8294 (to door 1), door 1 - 9284 (to level 4)
Door 1 - 0394 (weapon), exit to level 11
Door 8 - 4285 (to door 5), door 5 - 0912 (to door 2), door 2 -
5462 (to door 7), door 7 - 7865 (to door 4), door 4 - 7642 (to
door 1), door 1 - 8658 (to door 6 plus weapon), door 6 - 0974 (to
door 3), door 3 - 9973 (to the president's daughter)
Door 1 - 9722 (to level 5), exit to level 7
Door 1 - 6021 (to level 4), door 2 - 5824 (to level 9), exit to
Door 1 - 7698 (to level 6)
Door 3 - 7192 (weapon), door 4 - 4726 (nothing), door 5 - 1375
(to level 11), door 6 - 2857 (weapon), door 7 - 6998 (weapon),
door 8 - 1798 (weapon), door 9 - 4321 (to level 1), exit to level
Door 1 - 0293 (to level 12)
Door 1 - 2987 (weapon), door 2 - 6473 (weapon), exit to level 11,
exit to level 8
THE SHORTEST WAY
The quickest route to the president's daughter is through levels
Also a very nice game in the form of an "Afterburner" clone with
non-rotating horizon. The zooming effect of the Lynx is again
properly demonstrated here as the plane flies rapidly over
enormous stretches of detailed landscape including forests,
rivers, canyons, seas, islands, and much more. It is, if I may
say so, a sheer pleasure to fly around in the thing, let alone
blast all your opponents out of the air (of which there are more
There are nine levels, some of which are quite tediously long.
But it's a nice game nonetheless, and I have spent quite some
hours playing it (until someone gave me all the passwords, after
which I haven't played except for the occasional demonstration
Ah, yeah. The passwords. They are, starting at level 2: PLAN,
ALFA, BELL, NINE, LOCK, HAND, FLEA and LIFE.
Rating: 78%. Good. But a tad less than "Gates of Zendocon".
In this game, the first one to come out after the first batch of
four that was available at the system's launch, you are a nerd
called Chip. To become a member of the Bit Buster Computer Club,
you have to negotiate the 144 (YEAH!! 144!!) levels of sheer
puzzling mayhem and utter frustration.
It's cute, it's nice, it's difficult, it's frustrating, it's
INCREDIBLE value for money. It's THE game. When I got it, I was
instantaneously hooked. And I would have rated it 100% if it
wasn't for the fact that better games COULD eventually appear on
the system for which I would then not have any rating left.
The target of the game is to collect chips that are littered
around in mazes. At the start of the game, those mazes are small
and simple. But, very soon, they become intricate labyrinths
littered with monsters, fire barriers, locked doors, water,
hidden chips, and much more which I can't possible mention here
without bursting the limits of the ST NEWS half-megabyte
It's all a matter of doing things in the right order, or else
you'll screw up and have to start again.
In "Chips Challenge", you cannot die. Well, actually this means
that you are never forced to start again from level 1 and your
score will never be reset to zero (provided that you keep on
playing, of course!). And if you die lotsa times on one level
(50 times? 100 times? A certain time? I don't know...) the
program asks you if you want to skip it or not.
Ain't that nice?
Each level has a password, again, so it is indeed possible to
turn off the Lynx for a while (to have yourself analysed in some
kind of mental asylum or something).
I can already imagine a greedy look in your eyes at the
mentioning of the word 'password'. And, indeed, you're right. I
will supply you with all the passwords. Here they are:
1:BDHP, 2:JXMJ, 3:ECBQ, 4:YMCJ, 5:TQKB, 6:WNCP, 7: FXQO, 8:NHAG,
9:KCRE, 10:VUWS, 11:CNPE, 12:WVHI, 13:OCKS (tip: Go down only),
14:BTDY, 15:COZQ, 16:SKKK, 17:AJMG, 18:HMJL, 19:MRHR, 20:KGFP,
21:UGRW, 22:WZIN, 23:HOVE, 24:UNIZ, 25: PQGV, 26:YVYJ, 27:IGGZ,
28:UJDO, 29:QGOL, 30:BQZP, 31:RYMS, 32:PEFS, 33:BQSN, 34:NQFI,
35:VDTM, 36:NXIS, 37:VQNK, 38:BIFA, 39:ICXY, 40:YWFH, 41:GKWD,
42:LMFU, 43:UJDP, 44:TXHL, 45:OVPZ, 46:HDQJ, 47:LXPP, 48:JYSF,
49:PPXI, 50:QBDH, 51:IGGJ, 52:PPHT, 53:CGNX, 54:ZMGC, 55:SJES,
56:FCJE, 57:UBXU, 58:YBLT, 59:BLDM, 60:ZYVI, 61:RMOW, 62:TIGW,
63:GOHX, 64:IJPQ, 65:UPUN, 66:ZIKZ, 67:GGJA, 68:RTDI, 69:NLLY,
70:GCCG, 71:LAJM, 72:EKFT, 73:QCCR, 74:MKNH, 75:MJDV, 76:NMRH,
77:FHIC, 78:GRMO, 79:JINU, 80:EVUG, 81:SCWF, 82:LLIO, 83:OVPJ,
84:UVEO, 85:LEBX, 86:FLHH, 87:YJYS, 88:WZYV, 89:VCZO, 90:OLLM,
91:JPQG, 92:DTMI, 93:REKF, 94:EWCS, 95:BIFQ, 96:WVHY, 97:IOCS,
98:TKWD, 99:XUVU, 100:QJXR, 101:RPIR, 102:VDDU, 103:PTAC,
104:KWNL, 105:YNEG, 106:NXYB, 107:ECRE, 108:LIOC, 109:KZQR,
110:XBAO, 111:KRQJ, 112:NJLA, 113:PTAS, 114:JWNL, 115:EGRW,
116:HXMF, 117:FPZT, 118:OSCW, 119:PHTY, 120:FLXP, 121:BPYS,
122:SJUM, 123:YKZE, 124:TASX, 125:MYRT, 126:QRLD, 127:JMWZ,
128:FTLA, 129:HEAN, 130:XHIZ, 131:FIRD, 132:ZYFA, 133:TIGG,
134:XPPH, 135:LYWO, 136:LUZL, 137:HPPX, 138:LUJT, 139:VLHH,
140:SJUK, 141:MCJE, 142:UCRY, 143:OKOR, 144:GVXQ...
Note: I actually PLAYED all the levels through, providing me
with DAYS of game fun and utter frustration! I did not just die
hundreds of times and skip every level (as a matter of fact, I
skipped none at all). My girlfriend played a lot of the levels,
too, actually. Some of the levels (especially the higher ones)
are somewhat tedious, and level 136 is downright depressive,
boring, and difficult!
Stefan also read something about a hidden extra in this game:
Type MAND as password, and you'll enter a hidden fractal
generator (it is kinda slow, but what else do you expect in an 8-
Well. Now for the rating. That will be a massive 95%! Get this
game, even if you're not into stuff like this and you'd rather
prefer shooting and bashing! I normally like that (rather
unintelligent) stuff, too, but I like this game VERY much
Gauntlet - The Third Encounter
I wasn't particularly fast with getting this, as I was too lazy
to get it through grey import dealers and had to wait until it
was available in the official shops.
"Gauntlet" is the first of somewhat more expensive Lynx
cartridges; it costs about 10 German marks (3 Pound sterling or
$5 US) more than the others. It is also the first of which the
actual cartridge has been re-designed, thus allowing it to be
taken out of the Lynx much easier than the old cards.
It is also the first game that uses the Lynx vertically, i.e. if
you don't turn the screen 180 degrees the joypad is up instead of
And...er..what's there to say about "Gauntlet"? You can play it
with lotsa people at the same time using the "Comlynx" cable
(they will all need to have a cartridge, though). It looks OK,
but some graphics are really out of place. Everything is no
longer just mediaeval, but there are now also computers, nerds,
and more like that.
A rating would be 75%.
Todd's Adventures in Slimeworld
Available since late September, "Slimeworld" was the first title
to appear of which it was not yet known that it would appear long
beforehand. To make a long sentence a bit shorter: A more or less
In this game, which supports up to eight players at the same
time (!), you play some kind of explorer who has to fulfill
certain tasks in the rather infamous Slime World. As the title
implies, this world is entirely inhabited by strange creatures
that either look like slime, like slimy monsters, or like slimy
insects. The Lynx' hardware zooming facilities are used a lot,
and this creates lots of throbbing, slimy creatures and
vibrating floors throughout the game.
During the game, various gems have to be collected, whereas
other miscellaneous tools lie around the scenery as well. These
include mega bombs and jetpacks. Once the player collected (and
activated) a jet pack, "Slimeworld" starts to resemble an 8-bit
(Commodore 64) game called "H.E.R.O." (which was a nice game by
Activision, now about six years old).
Though not as instantly addictive as "Chip's Challenge",
"Slimeworld" is certainly a very nice game with good sound
effects and large playfield spread over six adventures
('levels'). A rating of 75% would therefore seem appropriate. A
good game, well above average. But not all too excellent.
A little cheat for the freaks: Enter 8F0BC8.
The Lynx 2
Atari has announced the development of a more compact Lynx,
which will still be colour but which will be shaped more like the
Nintendo Game Boy (i.e. more high than it is wide, and generally
much smaller). It should be available by the end of next year,
and should be fully available within 12 months after that.
Let's keep our fingers crossed...
The Lynx Reference Manual
Yes...I have leafed through a true Lynx reference guide and
programming manual some time ago! Unfortunately, I am not allowed
to say anything on the subject as the company where I read it had
signed a Confidential Non-disclosure Agreement with Atari and
made me swear not to reveal any of it to others.
All I can therefore say it that it is interesting, that the
author is a real comical dude, and that it is really interesting
(hmm....I think I'll quit as I'm starting to repeat myself).
By the way...
By the way: Did you know that The Lynx was originall called
"Handy" by its Epyx development team?
A forthcoming Lynx releases is "Klax". I also saw a couple of
games advertised in a French magazine called "Tilt", and they
were "Rampage", "Xenophobe", "Zarlord Mercenary", "Miss Pac Man",
"Red Baron", "Vindicators", "3D Barrage", "Road Blasters" (which
was seen at the Atari Messe in Germany, late August, and which is
said to be extremely good and recommendable), "Tournament
Cyberball", "Ninja Garden", "Chequered Flag", "APB", "Scrapyard
Dog", "Paperboy", "Rygar", "720°", "NFL Superbowl", "Super
Soccer", "Turbo Sun" and "War Birds".
Please note that screen shots of "Rampage" were already seen way
over one whole year ago...
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.