BLIZZARD'S RIFT ( with KUIPER PURSUIT FREE ON THE SAME TAPE ! )
By Jonathan Cauldwell, for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128K, on cassette.
The story: Many centuries ago, space adventurer Henri Latrine discovered a large number of alien tombs in a distant corner of the galaxy. Reports of the discoveries spread rapidly, and embellished tales of his exploits were told in dens of iniquity the length and breadth of the galaxy. Before long, would-be tomb- raiders and scavengers were out seeking the treasures of these famous catacombs for themselves. Alas, Latrine himself never lived to enjoy these riches as he disappeared without trace while exploring the tombs. With tens of thousands of stars in that particular corner of the galaxy, none of the tombs were seen again. As decades rolled by, rumours circulated that the tombs never existed. Latrine's story passed into legend and finally into myth. Centuries later, a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter named Digby Blizzard is passing through the uninhabited star system of Scopwick when he picks up a faint distress signal. Believing there may be a reward in it, Digby answers the call and discovers the wreckage of a craft which appears to have crashed centuries earlier. To his astonishment, Digby realises it is the wreck of Latrine's legendary exploration ship, The Hainoure. Unable to believe his luck, he salvages what he can from the craft. Most of the ancient wreckage is beyond repair, but the black box flight recorder is still functional and reveals the exact location of every system and every planet Latrine visited all those centuries ago. The game: Select the star system using the clockwise and anticlockwise controls, then press fire to bring up a map of the selected system. Select the planet using the same controls. Planets previously visited are shown in black, while unexplored planets are white. The magenta circle takes you back to the star selection screen. Once the destination planet is selected, you will need to travel there. Fortunately, an advanced ion drive means no fuel is spent in doing so. Journeys within a system are short and you will be taken to the planet automatically by your navigation computer. However, travelling between star systems takes a little while. Scavengers and bandits may be encountered along the way and while these pose no threat to your vessel there is a small reward for any you destroy. Upon arrival, you will find yourself at the site of an alien tomb. These are guarded by gun turrets and sometimes by patrolling sentries too. Be quick, destroy anything hostile and avoid contact with walls. Collect as many precious gems as possible, then find the teleporter and leave. Once you have found the teleported you will be taken back to the star system navigation screen to select your next destination. Be warned, in visiting a planet you betray the whereabouts of its tomb. Should you revisit it later you may find that scavengers have removed any treasure you have left. Fuel will quickly be depleted your engines while navigating around tombs. To replenish supplies or improve your ship you can order items from the outernet shop. To do this press pause ( the border colour should change from black to blue), then press fire. Select the items you wish to purchase using the clockwise/anticlockwise controls, then press fire. Delivery is instantaneous via inter-dimensional trebuchet. Once you are happy with your purchases, select Done to log off. Press the pause key again to resume the game. There is one other way of earning and losing credit in this lawless corner of the universe, as Latrine's black box reveals the location of an establishment he often visited. That, however, is where you are on your own...
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