VIRUS by Stefan Posthuma
A cold wind sweeped the lonely, barren plain. The sky was dark
grey and the landscape was hellishly red. Some creatures scurried
around and some of them looked vaguely humanoid. There was an
occasional tree around, covered by a thick red weed. Also, the
vague shapes of ruined houses and other buildings could be seen.
The landscape was occasionally interrupted by patches of marsh
which looked very unhealthy.
The brightly coloured ship skimmed low over the uninviting lands.
Behind the yellow windows, eager faces of tourists could be seen.
A stewardroid buzzed past the relaxa-chairs, serving cold drinks,
and snacks. A voice started to speak: 'ladies and gentlemen, once
again welcome to Digitour Services. As you can see, we arrived at
Dead Island, the only part of our planet still inhabited by the
Virus. As you know, two hundred years ago the Thargoids invaded
our planet with a deadly Virus. They spread it quickly across the
landscape using their ships, and they also destroyed buildings
with their fighters. They came in great numbers, and we were
totally unprepared for the invasion. Luckily, there was Irata. He
solely defeated the Thargoids in his custom-build Hoverplane.
Using this extremely agile and maneuverable ship, he succesfully
destroyed the Thargoid invasion fleet. After the Thargoids had
gone, it was a matter of weeks before our scientists developed an
anti-virus to eliminate the Red Horror. This island has been left
contaminated to serve as a memorial of this dreadful war in which
so many perished'
The ship approached a large lake, entirely surrounded by the Red
Virus. 'Ladies and Gentlemen, I now attend you to the lake in
which the Legendary Sea Monster is know to dwell.' The tourists
eagerly looked down, but saw nothing more than a grey-brownish
mass of water. 'We are now coming to the end of our trip. I hope
you enjoyed this flight and we hope to serve you again in the
near future. We might see you aboard our Constellator IV, the
newest in interplanetary luxury-travel. We have a special offer
for a two-week trip to the seven moons of Millway in the Apogean
system, were you can visit the site of the Egron Starglider wars'
This roughly tells you about the plot of Virus. Your planet is
under attack by Virus spreading aliens and you have to stop them
by bluntly blasting them out of the skies.
Those who know the game 'Zarch' on the speedbeast Archimedes will
recognise this game immediately. I for one, never saw it on
Archie and was quite amazed by the graphics. The action takes
place on a continiously all-direction scrolling 3D landscape
complete with rolling hills, lakes, houses, buildings and trees.
It all moves effordlessly, and is very colourful and extremely
fast. The playing screen is nice, with a map of the landscape,
two gauges for fuel and altitude and indicators for missiles and
The sound of the game is minimum with some explosions and muffled
white noise when you shoot or when your exaution gases hit the
ground or the water (in which case you are in trouble!). But this
game is based on the graphics. Everything moves and slides. You
literally blast your enemies (or they blast you) to a cloud of
pixels which slowly descends.
You have a laser and some smart missiles to shoot the nasties.
The nasties come in two types, Virus spreaders which don't seem
to notice you and can be shot quite easily if you can catch them
and severe nasties whose sole purpose in life is to harrass and
The difficulty of this game is the controlling the hoverplane.
You can do this either by mouse or by keyboard. Mouse control is
extremely sensitive and the slightest movement is enough to send
you spinning and render your ship completely out of control.
Keyboard control works better, but it is still very difficult.
The controls are effective though, once mastered (after hours of
frustration and playing extremely loud music) you can move your
ship everywhere in no-time and really swarm around a baddy,
spraying it with laser fire from all directions.
Value for Money: 9
Overall rating: 8
Remark: A little too difficult in the
beginning, but very rewarding once
you master it.
Another remark: Loading can be somewhat difficult using certain
drives (especially NECs): Not neat, guys! But you can load it by
pressing lightly on your "eject" button.
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.