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Old 08 August 2006, 18:03   #1
andreas
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Arrow War Machine

http://hol.abime.net/?id=1663

This is a HOL entry started back in 2002, so there might be left-over errors.
There's no box yet - if you do have one, please support us!
Today I've added 'Wise Owl' as developer and 'German' as language (according to SPS) but the publisher bit has still been left untouched.

Girv says "Players Premier" on the WHDload install readme, but that need not be correct. HOL doesn't have any publisher entry for Players Premier, and I haven't yet added one either. The "Smash 16" bit may be right, or may not.

Can you guys please help a bit?
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Old 08 August 2006, 18:45   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas
The "Smash 16" bit may be right, or may not.
IMO the "Smash 16" bit is right.
Take a look at the borrowed Legacy Foto.
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Old 09 August 2006, 02:56   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas
Girv says "Players Premier" on the WHDload install readme, but that need not be correct.
I took that from the first screenshot in HOL

"Wise Owl Software (c) 1989 Players Premier"
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Old 09 August 2006, 17:50   #4
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@Andreas
A German review in Amiga Joker lists the publisher as Players Premier:

http://amigareviews.classicgaming.ga...m#warmachineaj

Magazines have been known to get these things wrong, but I think coupled with the same info. on the titlescreen that it's a safe enough bet. Smash 16 is Players' budget label, so the box shown on The Legacy is the budget version.

Also, I'm not sure that there's anything to suggest that this game is German. It's a platform shoot-'em up, so I doubt language plays a great part in the game. Certainly the screenshots showed across formats on Moby and Lemon 64 do not suggest that German appears in the game:

http://amigareviews.classicgaming.ga...m#warmachineaj

http://www.lemon64.com/games/details.php?ID=3127

I'm sure Wise Owl software is a UK development team too.

Anyway, this is what a little bit of Googling has turned up.
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Old 09 August 2006, 19:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBong
Also, I'm not sure that there's anything to suggest that this game is German. It's a platform shoot-'em up, so I doubt language plays a great part in the game.
There are a few bits and pieces of text in the game that are translated. SPS has two disk images for the two languages and they are indeed different.
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Old 09 August 2006, 21:15   #6
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Quote:
Smash 16 is Players' budget label, so the box shown on The Legacy is the budget version.
I figured, but who published the retail version? Could it be Players?

I think it's better to have Unknown as publisher in the "Publisher" field than an empty field, since otherwise it would suggest the budget version is the only one available
It's VERY hazardous to guess the main publisher from a Smash 16 release, as releases on this budget label had a hell of a lot of main publishers (Infogrames, Microids etc.)

Quote:
I'm sure Wise Owl software is a UK development team too.
Me too. Updated.


Quote:
SPS has two disk images for the two languages and they are indeed different.
Yes, since I know that SPS always double-check the stuff they enter in their games database, I fully trust them when they display a German flag on the release.

Quote:
so I doubt language plays a great part in the game.
Oh yes, it does! I can say after having delved a little more deeply into the game. That's no mere platform shoot-em up but also a kind of action adventure. You will pick up lots of items (mainly focusing on getting all parts of an escape pod) and the texts displayed ARE localized.

And thank you NOB for the Legacy heads-up. I had missed this

Last edited by andreas; 10 August 2006 at 01:41.
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Old 10 August 2006, 09:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girv
There are a few bits and pieces of text in the game that are translated. SPS has two disk images for the two languages and they are indeed different.
Fair enough. So we are we talking about text translated into German from English? It's strange how this game would have been "localised" for the German market considering that Players was a UK software house and Wise Owl was a UK development team. I can't find any other game that Players did this for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBong
so I doubt language plays a great part in the game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas
Oh yes, it does! I can say after having delved a little more deeply into the game. That's no mere platform shoot-em up but also a kind of action adventure. You will pick up lots of items (mainly focusing on getting all parts of an escape pod) and the texts displayed ARE localized.
Been playing the game, huh?! I expect to see stacks of glorious screenshots in HOL of this game in the coming weeks then! Anyway, you should probably adjust the game categories in the HOL entry to reflect the action adventure element. No-one else has indicated that this game is anything more than a platform shoot-em up and the screenshots I've seen haven't hinted at this either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andreas
but who published the retail version? Could it be Players?
As I said in my post, I think we should go with what the game titlescreen and the Amiga Joker review say........Players Premier. I know you'll probably cringe at having to create another publisher just for one game, but the reality is that a lot of publishers had labels through which they only released 1-2 games. Players Premier is on par with the likes of Codemasters Gold and 16 Blitz Plus. The parent companies felt that the games released on these labels were too good to be sold at bargain bin budget prices, but not good enough to command a full price tag. For mine, it was mostly just marketing as the games rarely were better than the ones released on the bargain bin budget labels.
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Old 10 August 2006, 13:57   #8
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I first discovered War Machine on the Amstrad CPC. ISTR it had a bouncing "copper bar" effect on the title page reminiscent of early Amiga demos and pretty impressive for the CPC hardware. It really is quite an absorbing little arcade adventure and I spent a lot of time playing it on the CPC. Couldn't finish it though

CPC version: http://www.cpczone.net/index.php?game=957
+trainer: http://www.girvnet.org.uk/cpc/hhh_ho...p?a=v&i=9004-1
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Old 10 August 2006, 18:35   #9
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There's a C64 version as well.......my first love before the Amiga! Haven't played the game on either machine, though. Must check out the WHDLoad version.
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Old 10 August 2006, 19:54   #10
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...which was given to the zone thanks to girv! grab it!
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Old 13 August 2006, 17:46   #11
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Had it sitting on CD/DVD for quite some time, but have never tried the game. With HOL and other Ami projects (as well as real life), I don't get much opportunity to play games purely for pleasure anymore......well not a great deal anyway!

Last edited by DrBong; 13 August 2006 at 18:00.
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Old 15 November 2006, 08:46   #12
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Just found this site by doing a google on my past.

WarMachine was a conversion from a C64 game. The conversion was done by Wise Owl Software which later changed to H2O Software. This was based in Brampton, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England.

The Atari ST conversion was written by Simion Pashley and the Amiga conversion by D A Skirrow.

How do I know this, I am D A Skirrow (Darren Adrian Skirrow). I worked from Wise Owl Software for 12-18 months as a trainee programmer. War Machine was my one and only commercial release/conversion. I left the company, H2O just before it went under.

I seem to remember putting a cheat code in the opening title screen. Don't know if it found it's way into the final release. I never got a copy.

Type "Plinkertyplonkerty" on the title screen (probably all caps).

While working at Wise Owl Software, I introduced another programmer onto their books, who latter went on to bigger and better things. Dave Crummack. He came with a game he and his mate wrote. This was completed and converted at Wise Owl Software and sold on to Virgin Mastertronic. This was 'Infection'.

http://www.pressibus.org/ataxx/gen/gborigines.html

The Spectrum conversion was written by Mark Inckley (InkSpot), also employed by Wise Owl Software / H2O.

The last I heard, Dave Crummack was working as a Development Director for EA, Florida USA.

Last edited by W1zz; 15 November 2006 at 08:51.
 
Old 15 November 2006, 10:12   #13
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Hey W1zz, welcome to EAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by W1zz
Type "Plinkertyplonkerty" on the title screen (probably all caps).
That works, I found it in the code. I think you need to press SPACE afterwards. Also "GOODBYEBACKDROPS<ENTER>" to kill the backdrop graphics for a more 8-bit feel

Can you answer Andreas' question about the so-called impossible to pass screen with the walls and snake? See the thread here.

And FWIW I found an original Amiga War Machine on eBay UK last week for 99p! It seems to be reasonably rare.
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Old 15 November 2006, 10:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girv
Can you answer Andreas' question about the so-called impossible to pass screen with the walls and snake? See the thread here.
Duno - I can't remember there being anything unusual about completing the game. Haven't played it since written nearly 20 yrs ago

I do still have the floppys with the source code on. Written using DevPak. Duno if they still work, been stuck in the cupboard for years.

Don't have an Amiga anymore - How would you go about getting the data off?
 
Old 15 November 2006, 10:41   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W1zz
Duno - I can't remember there being anything unusual about completing the game. Haven't played it since written nearly 20 yrs ago
Fair enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by W1zz
I do still have the floppys with the source code on. Written using DevPak. Duno if they still work, been stuck in the cupboard for years.

Don't have an Amiga anymore - How would you go about getting the data off?
Seriously!? Wow! Post them to me, I'll sort them out PM me if you want to do this.

Alternatively you can get devices to let you read Amiga floppies on a PC - search for "catweasel" for more details.
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Old 15 November 2006, 10:49   #16
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Getting the data off

I have read disks from my amiga that were just shoved in a drawer with no problems after 17 years - ive found them to be quite tolerant - provided you dont spill coffee on them, stand on them or anything like that, even when one disk I had was stood on and the metal piece broken and a bend put at the edge of the disk - i still managed to make a copy with zero errors.
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Old 15 November 2006, 10:56   #17
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Found a workm8 who had an Amiga1200. Says it's still at his dads house, which if it works, I can have . Will dig out the discs and see if they are still readable.

The discs, I remember are stored in a plastic 5 1/4 floppy disc case in a cupboard at my parents. lol

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Old 16 November 2006, 03:04   #18
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Heyyy!!!

THE MAN HIMSELF!

Welcome aboard! Well W1zz I can imagine you found nothing unusual, but I have scoured the whole area to find a sort of switch where you could remove that frigging wall! No go!!
I even convinced my inner self to make another start with the C64 version, and I was able to go left at this point with no obstacles! It is no breaking news that some of those games have a copy protection for crackers, which recognize the game as "cracked" and will thus put in some obstacles which are not there if the game is played off the original disk!

Moreover, as girv now removed that wall "by artificial means":

where do I have to go to when I have found all four ship parts?!
I can call myself a master in this game now without bragging I assembled a comprehensive map of the WHOLE (huge!) area and there was nothing that looked like an "end room" or something...

Last two questions:

who was the actual publisher?
My HOL team mate DrBong has found out long ago that Smash16 also did some RETAIL releases in their later days, i. e. not just mere budget re-releases of Players (et al) titles.

So were Smash16 the one and only publisher?
There would be a good reason to assume this, as the manual contains the 'Smash16' logo!

what is the full name of "R. Lees" (graphic artist)?

Last edited by andreas; 16 November 2006 at 03:10.
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Old 16 November 2006, 07:43   #19
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Hi andreas, there was me thinking the game was released and bombed with no interest.

I can't remember the whole layout of the game, but thought you ended up in a room fighting a huge boss creature. You were on the left of the screen and the boss was on right wall. He had several tenticle arms waving about and you had to shoot them all off before killing him.

The game was a conversion from a C64 game which I believe was written some time before the Atari ST and Amiga versions. The original programmer for the C64 wasn't from Wise Owl Software - We were passed the conversion work to do as he was unable to complete this as he was off on long term sick (or summat like that).

I thought the game was originaly produced for Virgin Mastertronic and released under their Premier budget range. I left the company shortly after finishing it so don't know whether anything changed. It's possible that Smash16 had some involvement with the original C64 version.

The graphic artist was Robert Lees but was knon as Bob Lees (from Bently, Doncaster). He was one of the directors of Wise Owl Software. Sadly Bob died shortly after the company went under.

I'm trying to get hold of an Amiga now so I can get to the code on the floppys. A workm8 has one but it maybe next week before he can get it to me.

Can't you use DiskToDisk to read the orignal Amiga disc and transfer to PC, or does this risk damaging it?.

Will keep you posted.
W1zz

Last edited by W1zz; 16 November 2006 at 10:22.
 
Old 17 November 2006, 17:15   #20
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Many thanks again for your answers. Reads like several pages of a (good) diary of gaming history.

Well if you once got the hang of it, the game is quite challenging. I think many people gave up after being unable to either find the secret passage upwards (those white bars, which had looked like a graphics error on the emulator to me at first sight! ) or the map screen which also bears a key as well as knowing about escaping the lift/elevator on the left hand side to get another important key.

Quote:
Can't you use DiskToDisk to read the orignal Amiga disc and transfer to PC, or does this risk damaging it
I think I'll leave this answer to someone else, because I hate to say something wrong...
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