"I love you...
Wake from this hateful sleep,
It deprives my of the beauty...the beauty of your eyes...
- One move, jack ass, and you really will be a woman!
You are my sun, my moon, my starlit sky,
Without you I dwell in darkness...
I love you...
- What are you doing here?
Your power has enchanted me...
I stand helpless against it...
Come to me now,
Let me worship you in my arms...
- Get away from me!
I love you!
- Stop saying that!
How can I stop the beating of my heart,
It pounds like never before...
- Out of fear!
Out of love!
I can stop it...
- I'll kill you!
Death makes with love a trivial thing...
Your touch is worth a hundred thousand deaths..."
(And then they were rather rudely interrupted)
Sasha/Mad Mardigan dialogue (Willow)
ST SOFTWARE REVIEW: REVENGE OF THE MUTANT CAMELS
by Richard Karsmakers
This review's introductory novel was written after having seen
"Watership Down". The above quote was added later, after having
seen "Willow" off video (which the BBC broadcasted
simultaneously). Needless to say, I also used the original Yak
concept of "Men In Suits". 'Hope you like it.
It starts, like all too many of my writings, with a sunset.
It was misty. The mist transformed the sunset to a rare
experience, an occasion that would have enriched the lives of
anyone who would have bothered to behold it.
Alas, there was noone but one lonely rabbit to look at it. Its
eyes glowed as if it felt everything the sunset portended within
the very depth of its soul.
It startled and glanced back quickly when it heard the rustle of
leaves and branches behind it, and poised for a jump that could
save its life in case a ferret, weasel or fox turned out to have
stolen up through the undergrowth. Luckily it was but the wind.
The evening was gaining. The air grew chiller.
It hopped back in a hole that was almost invisible; a patch of
black in deep darkness. It vanished in it, its fluffy white tail
"Why were you outside that long?"
The voice belonged to an older rabbit, a female. It conveyed
worry, not scolding.
"I had a strange feeling, mum," the younger rabbit answered
while it continued further into the hole towards his mother, "a
strange feeling that tells me the people of the nearby farm have
our kind imprisoned in cages."
Whitesocks had always been different from all the other rabbits.
Where the others had been interested primarily in gaining food
and the discovery of new holes, Whitesocks had always roamed
around through the meadows, seemingly uninterested in earthly
"I see," mother rabbit answered thoughtfully.
"Shouldn't we tell our leader, Winston?" Whitesocks wondered.
His large black eyes looked at his mother admiringly.
She was silent for a while, then nodded her head slowly, folding
back her beautifully long ears.
"Yes," she said, "we should."
The both of them wandered off through the vast maze of tunnels
under the Big Oak on Table Hill; in search for Winston, chief of
The smell of cigar smoke was prevalent. It made Whitesocks' eyes
water a bit, made a cough gather in his lungs.
"What are you crying for, son?" the deep, warm voice of the
chief rabbit asked, booming majestically off the soft sand walls.
It sounded powerful, authorative, yet not threatening in any way.
Whitesocks looked up at his mother, afraid to reply. She put a
protecting paw around him.
"There's no need to be afraid, son," the voice boomed again,
but now softer and more soothing than before, "I am not going to
eat you. Just tell me why you and your mother want to see me."
Whitesocks gathered courage.
A warm, gently laugh arouse from the chief rabbit's throat. It
was a laugh that could melt hearts, build bridges and break ice.
At once, it was as if palpable love and goodness flowed from the
chief's being into the other rabbits that were present.
Whitesocks cleared his throat and explained all about the
strange feelings he had had; the visions of helpless rabbits,
imprisoned, waiting to be slaughtered and eaten on some or other
When the young rabbit had finished its tale, Winston nodded.
There was no moon. The sky was dark, and even blacker clouds of
smoke seemed to fall down towards the earth with the rain. The
sound of undergrowth being pushed aside indicated movement. Dark,
shadowed silhouettes moved quickly through the grass, whispering.
They were heading for the farmhouse that lay on the horizon like
a giant, immobile animal.
As they came closer to the threatening farmhouse that loomed up
above them, their whispers became even softer.
"They're probably in the barn," a voice whispered slightly
louder than the others, "I think I hear them."
The barn door was ajar, but only just so. Some sturdy rabbits
had to press it open wider so that all of them could enter.
Inside it was dark, too. From a far corner, the restless soft
neighing of a horse could be heard. Straight ahead of them they
could faintly see steel grating. Behind the steel grating they
could hear the breathing of rabbits. They seemed to be asleep.
It was Whitesocks who ventured closer to the grating. As his
eyes grew used to the darkness inside, he saw that the grating
made up the door of a large cage, all other sides of which were
made of wood. The hinges were at the top, looking quite solid but
sufficiently rusty. The cage was located on the ground, so he
could vaguely see the shape of five or six rabbits inside. The
imprisoned rabbits were a lot fatter than the free ones.
Whitesocks went even closer, up to the point when he could
almost touch the grating with his paw.
At that moment one of the rabbits in the cage woke up. An eye
opened, but it was not an ordinary eye; it was almost fluorescent
blue with a deep black centre. It glanced around, almost
"What are you doing?" the eye asked.
Whitesocks jumped back; the other rabbits all looked.
"Good," a heavy, resonating voice exclaimed, "they are awake.
They may be able to help."
The rabbit inside the cage now awoke the others. All of them
came forward, into the faltering light, looking outside through
They were all quite fat, and they all had those odd, blue eyes
that seemed luminescent. What was even more peculiar was that the
rabbits wore pieces of cloth tied around their necks. On their
backs hung another piece of cloth, that also revealed their front
paws with only the claws sticking out.
"What are you doing?" one of the caged rabbits insisted.
Whitesocks went closer again, his eyes glaring with a sense of
purpose, with joy.
"We are going to get you out," the young rabbit enthused, "you
can come with us and live under the Big Oak on Table Hill!"
"Indeed," a warm, heavy voice said, "you can come with us and be
welcome among the Glwad."
The rabbit with the most fluorescent eyes reared on its hind
paws and adjusted the piece of cloth around his neck. It regarded
Whitesocks intently, then turned around and spoke to its fellow
rabbits in a whispered voice. After seconds it turned around
"We will come with you to your place," it said.
It looked around as if expecting the free rabbits to applaude.
It cleared its throat.
"Well," it said, its eyes scanning the gathering through the
grating, "what are you waiting for?"
"What are we waiting for indeed," the leader of the Glwad now
said, "we must get them out, save them from the butcher's knife!"
Every rabbit now went to a designated locations, as if all of
this had been rehearsed many times. Two eager rabbits climbed the
cage and started to loosen the hinges. A couple went to stand
guard at the barn door; the rest stood around and watched,
With a clash the cage door fell down, nearly crushing
inquisitive little Whitesocks who managed to leap aside just in
A light flashed on outside. The horse neighed again, but louder.
"Quick," one of the rabbits at the barn door exclaimed, "I think
we may get company."
The caged rabbits now came out. They took their time, habitually
adjusting the pieces of cloth around their necks, or trying to
remove dust from their coats of cloth. Their furs were pitch
black; their eyes all the same, threatening blue.
"My God," Whitesocks' mother uttered, "they almost look like
The leader of the black rabbits lashed a look at her, his light
blue eyes almost incandescent with hot anger. Then he seemed to
regain his sense. Ignoring her, he walked up to Winston with the
other black rabbits following.
"I am Aznagtoth," the black rabbit said, looking the large, wise
rabbit straight in the eyes, "Take us out of here. They will have
heard the noise of the cage door falling down. They've got dogs."
Winston signalled all the Glwad to get outside. The coast was
still clear. The rain had ceased but the yard was muddy,
preventing fast movement.
"Go," Winston intoned, "go now."
While waiting at the barn door, he checked to see every of the
Glwad and the black rabbits make it to the corn field. When they
had all made it there, he began to cross the yard himself.
At that moment a door in the farm house opened. Light gushed out
into the courtyard. In it stood the silhouette of a man with a
double-barreled shot gun.
"It's rabbits, love," the silhouette seemed to call to someone
inside the house. A muffled voice shouted back something about
"Go!" Winston cried to the others that waited at the edge of the
corn field while he remained in the middle of the yard, "Go!
"It's surely a nice fat one," the silhouette now mused, more to
itself than to anyone else.
It aimed the gun.
The leader of the Glwad had to trust his instincts. The right
leap at the right moment. He had done it often when he was
younger. But the right moment came too fast. He was getting
older. Older and wiser - but fatter and less agile, too.
There was a short flash of light that reflected for an instant
off the eyes of the other rabbits that watched, aghast. The flash
was immediately followed by a short burst of thunder.
Winston seemed to leap, but it was no leap; it was the impact of
lead that hurled his lifeless body a metre or two across the
yard. Blood coloured the cobbles, mixed with the mud.
"Come on," Aznagtoth said, his eyes cold and calculating, "you
heard him. Run. To Oak Hill!"
Whitesocks swallowed something. There lay Winston, leader of the
Glwad. Red stains on his fur, his eyes staring glazedly into
His mother pulled him behind her as they all ran off through the
corn fields to Oak Hill.
The scent of death hung in the tunnel complex under the Big Oak
on Table Hill; the scent of death and fear. Huddled forms
scurried off in several directions. None lingered, none talked.
The tunnel walls were covered with fungi and all kinds of other
rotting substances. There was a perpetual mist drifting through
the complex. There was an uncanny silence.
Life had changed a lot since the black rabbits had been rescued,
a year ago. They had taken over as leaders of the Glwad, reigning
with the instruments of fear, terror and hatred. Strong Glwad
rabbits, forming the Glwad Guard, got food in exchange for
suppressing the others - old friends and their own families. The
Glwad name that had once been revered and honoured now tasted
bitter, carrying with it the thoughts of oppression and poverty.
"This must stop," a voice whispered. Through the perpetual mist
came Whitesocks, who had just spoken. He looked beaten. Older.
Determined. Next to him limped another rabbit. Both of them
looked weak and frail, with only a small flame of courage and
hope flickering in their black eyes.
"Of course it must," the other rabbit replied in a hushed voice,
"but what is there to do? If we but speak up Aznagtoth will have
the Glwad Guard will strike us down - or worse."
Whitesocks nodded. He knew the other rabbit was right. But he
had to do something. Something had to be done.
"Hush," he whispered as he heard the sound of feet nearing.
From the mist arose Whitesocks' mother. She limped, too, and
looked beaten. From her mouth came ragged breathing.
"Mother!" Whitesocks cried, "what have they done to you?" He put
a paw around her in an effort to comfort. She sobbed, shaking. He
got no answer.
Instead, more steps sounded. Fast steps, hurrying. Out of the
mist arose another rabbit. It was a member of the Glwad Guard, a
magnificent brown rabbit. It wore the uniform of the Guard - a
cloth around its neck and another piece of cloth covering its
back and front paws with only the claws sticking out.
"What are you doing here?" it bellowed, "You know that
gatherings of more than two are strictly forbidden!"
"Yes...sir," stuttered Whitesocks' mother softly between
The Guard struck her down hard, his claws leaving three parallel
trails of blood across her cheek and shoulder. She fell against a
fungi-stained wall and remained lying there, motionless.
The defiant little flame in Whitesocks' eyes flared up to a fire
of fury. He leapt at the Guard, attempting to strike him blind or
otherwise hurting him. His momentum hurled them both against the
ground, tearing apart the mist. The Guard's head collided with a
rather sturdy piece of root that protruded from the floor. A
sickening crack burst open his skull. Red and grey flowed
abundantly, soiling the tunnel.
"You...you killed a guard," the other rabbit cried, astonished,
but Whitesocks didn't hear. He went to his mother.
"Mum," he whispered hoarsely in her ear, "mum!"
When he looked at her more closely he saw that her chest didn't
move up and down any more. She had stopped breathing. He tried to
listen to the beating of her heart but heard none.
He swallowed. He saw the glazed eyes of Winston again for a
brief moment, then the glazed eyes of his mother. He sat for a
moment, then erected himself.
"It will have to stop," he proclaimed.
He disappeared in the lingering mist again. The limping rabbit
It promised to be a beautiful day. The pre-dawn glimmer of dew
covered the meadows, the sky was filled with early birds that
danced through the air and sang their songs of joy. A magnificent
black rabbit sat under the Big Oak on Table Hill, near a rabbit
hole entrance it was guarding. It looked at the first fragile
rays of the sun rising above the horizon, but it felt no warmth
or happiness at the sight.
The rabbit wore the Glwad Guard uniform with style, radiating
authority. Unfortunately there was nobody to see it but the blind
sun that rose slowly. The Guard habitually adjusted the piece of
cloth around his neck.
A small black spot in the sky grew larger.
The rabbit looked around, bored. He hated these early morning
shifts. Especially since so many of his kind seemed to have
disappeared on them. Something out there, something unknown to
the black rabbits or to the other Glwad Guards under their
Some kind of instinct seemed to struggle inside the rabbit - but
it suppressed the feeling of danger this instinct brought. No
creature was more superior than the black rabbits and those who
worked together with them. None, that is, except maybe for the
humans. But these were far away enough. There was nothing to be
afraid of. Fear was something for the lesser Glwad, the kind they
got food for to keep down. Who needed instincts when you got
slaves to get you the food you want, to get rich amounts of
berries and stores filled with grain and corn?
The small black speck took on the form of a small bird.
The magnificent rabbit in a suit adjusted its tie again. It
mused about how great it was to be superior. To get what you want
without any danger. To suppress the lesser rabbits. To be able to
wear the uniform of the Glwad Guard.
The small bird became bigger.
Nature itself was at the feet of the Glwad Guard. They could do
whatever they wanted. Nobody could stop them. They did not need
their instincts. Aznagtoth had said so. Aznagtoth was right. They
would rule supreme forever.
The hawk struck swiftly, accurately and deadly.
All that remained of the magnificent black rabbit were some
pieces of cloth, lying amidst a couple of feathers.
"And thus nature prevaileth once more."
So, after over half a year, Jeff Minter has once again deigned
to impress the world of shareware lovers with yet another
shareware game. As you know, a shareware game is a game that may
be spread as much as you want but that you're supposed to pay
something for when you play it a lot.
This time he opted for the conversion of his Commodore 64
classic "Revenge of the Mutant Camels", adding some knobs and
bolts on during the process.
Though less frantic a shoot-'em-up than "Llamatron", his first
shareware game, "Revenge" is one mean mother of a game that will
keep you coming back for more - especially at the shareware
In "Revenge" you control a Camel (which has one hump and is,
thus, in fact no camel) that can shoot all kinds of different
weapons because it's mutant. Strange meanies will try to kill
that camel on 42 levels that are, to use a common understatement,
The strength of "Revenge" does not lie so much in the
playability department as in the fun department. Jeff must have
been very inspired when he came up with the names of the levels
and the meanies that inhabit them, back in 1983. I will mention
no examples as that would already spoil part of the fun of the
Did I say it did not score as high as "Llamatron" in the
I am afraid I did, didn't I?
Well it's all relative. On the scale of "Llamatron", it would
get about a 9 - which still makes it jolly well more playable
than most of the multitude of commercial games costing anything
up to 25 pound, I am afraid it is slightly less appealing than
"Llamatron", mainly because it's less hectic. But, then again, my
tastes are extreme to say the least and I still play "Llamatron"
for it was no doubt one of the most superb games ever done on the
ST. The people that didn't like the general frenetic shooting of
"Llamatron" will probably like "Revenge" more. Though levels can
still be quite difficult or frustrating, the overall difficulty
is less - which is not a bad thing as it leaves more time to
check out the zaniness that is hurled at you without relent.
Production is very well, too. There seem to be no bugs in the
game, not even in the two-player mode (where "Llamatron" has a
few obvious and all but fatal bugs). I only feel I need to
mention two little things I didn't like, and one less little
thing. First, the current hiscore is not highlighted. Second, the
passwords disappear off the screen spontaneously after too short
As you see, these are but extremely minor things.
The only not so minor thing is that entry of the passwords (see
further) can only be done by mouse which makes it extremely
tedious in case of a difficult password and a difficult set of
levels (such as the second). A small but irritating design flaw.
The different versions
What better to do here than to leave the Master himself say what
needs to be said?
REVENGE (512K ST):
"This is the basic release version. It provides a complete game
of Revenge, 42 levels of weirdness."
REVENGE (1Meg ST):
"The 1Meg version of Revenge contains a lot of extra samples for
those who like weird samples, and runs a lot smoother than the
512K version. The reason for this is that there is a lot more
memory to expand the sprite data into (with big sprites you trade
off memory against draw speed). In the 512K version, sprites are
expanded to each 4-pixel boundary (for sprites) and 2-pixel
boundary (for scroll elements). In the 1meg version the
boundaries are 2pixel/1pixel, so everything looks smoother and is
a bit faster at draw-time. Forget the tech reasons, 1Meg looks
smoother and sounds better."
REVENGE (512K STE):
"On the STE version, we've offloaded the sample playback onto
the system hardware, which gives enough proc time back to enable
me to put in some nice raster colour effects. Does look pretty."
REVENGE (1Meg STE):
"All the benefits of the 1Meg ST version plus the STE
REVENGE (TT Megamix):
"I know it's ridiculous to write a game for the TT, but it only
took me an afternoon and we have had TT-based Llamatron players,
so someone will enjoy it. If you are fortunate enough to have a
TT you're in for an absolute treat. Revenge on the TT is just
heaven. I've increased the number of bullets on screen from 8 to
32, and doubled the amount of objects onscreen. You get all the
STE advantages. The game is totally smooth throughout. It's
like playing Revenge on a PC-Engine or a Megadrive. Gorgeous,
gorgeous, I only wish more of you could enjoy this version. I'd
love to write games for a system this powerful..."
A little historical awareness
"The original Revenge was written in autumn 1983 on the C-64,
just before I had my first ever skiing holiday. It was part of a
sequence of games comprising Attack of the Mutant Camels
(implemented on the C64 and 8-bit Atari), Revenge (C-64) and
Return of the Mutant Camels (C-64). This latter game was Yak's
last C64 game, and some of you may have been unfortunate enough
to encounter Mastertronic's Amiga and ST versions of that last
game released as Revenge II. Those versions were a travesty of
the original Commodore game. Mastertronic used five programmers
and took as many months to produce an absolute dog of a
conversion. They'd changed a lot of the levels and relentlessly
eradicated every ounce of playability Yak built into the
Commodore original. If you ever see the Mastertronic version
anywhere, don't buy it because it is dreadful. They never even
showed me a copy before they released it - I had to buy it from a
shop in Basingstoke - and it's awful. There is only one true 16-
bit Revenge, and this is it.
The names of the 42 levels, and the overall themes, are the same
as those in the original Commodore game. Those of you who played
the old game will be better prepared to handle the enemies as
they behave in a manner similar to their Commodore counterparts
(sometimes). Of course the original game had no goat, no
powerups, no restart points, no team mode and only one bullet on
the screen at once, so don't expect it to be exactly the same as
So far the master. Back to me.
Concluding - Death to the Men With Suits!
"Revenge" is a classic. It will appeal to those who found
"Llamatron" too frantic. It will appeal to people who are into
camels and yaks. It will appeal to those who liked the '64
original. It will appeal to anyone who wants a good play for
The graphics are, predictably, not very stunning. Jeff happens
not to be the world's greatest graphics man. They are, however,
very zany. They are also as functional as can be. The sonics are
good - plenty of digitized effects will come your way in this
game. Animation is smooth enough, joystick response is great. The
two-player mode is not just any two-player mode which is
basically one player with another hanging around. The Ancipital
(i.e. player two) has an independent weapon system, can climb on
your back, etc.
"Revenge" is a game you should surely get. It's worth the £5
registration fee many times. Harass your local PD library for it.
You will not be disappointed, and the entire shareware principle
should be supported.
Title: Revenge of the Mutant Camels
Value for money: 10
Price: £5 (registration fee)
Hardware: Depends on version, any ST/STE/TT
Remarks: A worthy cause. A worthy game.
Thanks a lot to Jeff Minter and his mum'n'dad at Llamasoft for
sending this game to me so promptly. Good luck with whatever
projects you'll be doing in the near future!
After completing each five levels, you get a password that
enables you to continue from the point right beyond where you got
it. If you're one of those worthless vegetable heads that can't
play the game decently, I have added all of them below.
Credit goes where credit's due: Stefan completed the game within
a week or so, and got all the passwords.
Do note that it is much more worth while to actually play
through the levels. They are not too difficult, especially when
doing everything in two-player mode. In one player mode (without
CPU assist) things are different, however.
Well. The passwords are "SIETCH TABR" (go to level 6),
"OLLANTAYTAMBO" (to level 11), "RAVEADELICA" (level 16),
"NEWCASTLE EMLYN" (level 21), "DROMEDARIA ZOOPHILIA" (level 26),
"THIS IS BASINGSTOKE" (level 31), "OCCAM II" (level 36) and
"SMOKE ME A KIPPER" (level 41).
The next issue of ST NEWS may very well see the inclusion of
this game on the disk - this is mainly dependent on whether or
not Mr. Minter will take the trouble to send a smaller version of
the game (i.e. the half meg version) so that we don't lose too
much disk space.
So let's keep our fingers crossed.
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.