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Written By Brian Lewis


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Locomotion

LOCOMOTION

Brian Lewis steams ahead on the BBC and Electron
 
This is a game written for the BBC and Electron which features full screen which features full screen scrolling, animated multi-coloured graphics and original music. The game itself is written in two parts which have to be typed, checked, and saved and then run. The first program contains all the machine-code routines while the second sets up the screen, checks the number of lives left, plays the music and controls most of the aspects of the game which do not require the speed of machine code.

Locomotion has you in control of a runaway steam locomotive. You are unable to stop or slow down this train. However, you may change tracks. You must also watch out for attacks by planes, airships and C5s. To shoot these enemies you have the following weapons - smoke and harpoons. However, the eccentricities of these must be learnt if they are to be used to destroy the C5s; to fire simply press the space bar. There is a counter on the firing mechanism so once it has been fired it takes a long time before the harpoon is ready to fire again, so an early shot will prove fatal for you.

Now we come to the more complex smoke firing routine. To fire the smoke simply press the RETURN key. The longer you hold down this key after the smoke is launched the higher it goes until it flies over to the left of the screen after you release the RETURN key. There can be up to three pieces of smoke in the air at one time but, once these three have been fired, you cannot fire again until the last one of those three has left the screen.

To scroll the whole screen on the Electron would take too long for a playable game to be written around it, so instead of making a window and scrolling just a small but concentrated box, as in Jump Jet Assault, I simply scrolled small sections of the screen, such as the track and radar the full length of the screen thus giving a more pleasing overall effect.

The short musical sequences are original and previously composed on a Roland keyboard. If BBC users wish to type in the program they must once again increase the contents of the x and y registers in line 400 of listing 1, the particular values will have to be found through experiment.