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Article #6 (18 is last):
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.portable
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Portable Addiction: 15-Jul-91 #003
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Wed Jul 15 15:50:54 1992


Contributed by: Andy Norman 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                     PORTABLE ADDICTION #03 15 JULY 1991
      Newsletter for the Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear and Atari Portfolio
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

By: Tjerk Heijmens Visser (Editor)
    Yiri Kohl             (Editorial Assistant)
    Mr. Portfolio         (Haven't found a title yet, but let's call him 
                           Portfolio Section Manager)

Special thanks to: Andre "ALU" Luyer (for being so slow on getting his Inter-
net account), Mr. Doom, Decoder, The Funtronics Computer Shop and Rober Jung
(For extra information on release dates).

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Editorial:

Sorry that the last issue came so late, but now we have sorted things out.
>From now on we will have story's with details about the technical side of the
Lynx. And we will start a series of spescials about people working with/on
the Portfolio and/or Lynx, we'll start with an interview with Stephen Landrum.
He used to work at Epyx and designed Lynx games like Blue Lightning.
This is the first issue being spread by the mailinglist, if you know anyone who
wants to join the list give them the e-mail address below. We can even send to
postoffice-mail addresses, if they don't have an Internet account.
The Portfolio section is saved Mr. Portfolio is writing some articles, his 
first article can be found in this issue, along with a huge list of Portfolio
files from around the world. All files can be ordered.
We will start with the Game Gear this month, as it has now officially been
released in Europe, but it has not reached the stores yet, so we only have one
review, but we hope we'll have more next month.
Enjoy,
     Tjerk Heijmens Visser
     Editor


------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +-------------------------+         
                            HOT NEWS AND GOSSIP      
                        +-------------------------+

Game Gear: The Game Gear will be available in three colors besides white and 
black.

Game Gear: The Game Gear will cost ~99,- in England, without game.
Games will cost ~25,-. Columns, Dragon Crystal, G-Loc, Mickey Mouse, Psychic 
World, Super Monaco GP and Super Wonder Boy will be released immediately with
the Game Gear.

Lynx: Knight Technologies is also programming for the Lynx, They are programming
a game called Dirty Larry (?????), Dirty Harry In The Land Of The Lounge 
Lizzards ????, No, but we will try to find out more about it.

Lynx: Ishido is said to be in preparation for the Lynx !

Lynx: Viking Child (Said to be released within a month), Checkered Flag, 
Scrapyard Dog and Turbo-Sub are said to be in production. It is said that they 
will be released within 3 month.

Lynx: Qix and Crazy Ace Miniature Golf are supposed to be out by the end of the
month and Baseball, Pit Fighter, Toki, S.T.U.N. Runner, Viking Child, Hydra, 
Hard Drivin', Raiden, Geo-Duell and Taxi (?) will also be out within a month.
(How come I doubt that).

Lynx: Atari hopes that there will be 20 to 30 Lynx games released by the end of
the year, but don't get to enthusiastic. Maybe they said that they will have 
20 to 30 games available, with already 19 games out it could theoretically be
possible that they will release 1 game!
 
Panther: The Panther has deffinately been cancelled, it will be replaced by the
JAGUAR. The Jaguar will be a 64 bits (!!) console with a risc processor (!!).

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +------LYNX Review-----+
                            ZARLOR MERCENARY
                        +---------Atari--------+

After last month thinking-games reviews, here is a real arcade game with lots
of bullets, unnecesarry violence and lots of money !!!
It has been said that Zarlor Mercenary is one of the hardest shoot'm up's,
and so it is.
You're hired by the Zarlors to destroy their enemy's commercial and industrial
sites.
The more you shoot,the more money you get,so it is wise to shoot everything 
you see:ships,buildings,factories,peoples,cars and enemy warships.
Before you start playing you choose your mercenary.There are seven mercenaries,
each with it's own advantages(like:laser,wing cannon,speed up ect.).At the end
of every level there are one or more end of level monsters,if you succeed in
beating them you'll go to the mercenary's mercantile where you can buy or sell
weapons.
Each level is different, Level 1 (Cadamar Desert) is easy and is ment to let you
earn some money when the prices are still low. The prices rise by some 50% per 
level, so you have to buy as much as you can in the beginning. If you think that
you have more than enough weapons for the last level, you can sell (the higher
the level, the more you get per weapon, you are offered about 50% of the retail
price at that level).
So you can make proffit, e.g. a ship costs 40.000 Zarbits in level 1, and you 
will be offered a lot more at the last level. 
The other levels are more crowded with aliens, you really have to blast your way 
through. There is no real technique, just shoot everything, though after a while 
you will know some easy ways to get through a level.
We have had a ComLynx-review about Zarlor Mercenary in ComLynx-mode, so we will
not go into details about it.
The Backstabber is quite useless because you have to shoot for a while till
your "friend" will get seriously hurt. You can better try to get all the icons
you find, so he will have to buy everything. But lesser weapons mean less money,
so you are doomed. So you can say that in ComLynx-mode you are trying to steal
from your opponent (not directly kill him) and you don't watch the aliens that
closely as in Single-Player mode, so this is more intense and fun.
But try to be nice to you opponents, they might take revenge in real life!!
If you like shoot'm ups,you'll love Zarlor Mercenary,it's the best shoot 'm up
i've ever seen.

+-RATINGS-----------------------------------------------------+
        Graphics     - 8.0 : Detailed, screen not "crowded"

        Sound        - 6.0 : Nice tunes but nothing spescial
        Playability  - 8.0 : As it is supposed to be 
        Lastability  - 8.0 : Everybody wants more money !!!
        Overall      - 7.9 : This is what the Lynx needed, a good 
                             killing game, it will keep you Lynxing (?)
+--------------------MEGAJERK---------------------------------+

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +------LYNX Review------+
                               ELECTRO-COP
                        +------Atari/Epyx-------+

Electro-Cop, as one of the first releases, was very impressive. And it still is.
Just look at the depth, the scaling etc., it's beautifull to look at.
Your goal is to resque the president's daughter (sounds like a soap!).
Nothing new so far.
In this game you have to run thru a building and find the exit to the right 
level. 
To find the right exit, you have to go through several doors, the doors are
equipped with computer terminals.
The terminals are nice, while you wait for the computer to find the right 
access-code you can play games or you can go thru a directory and get 
information on your ennemies and power-ups.
Some people say the terminal looks like a Mac or Game-Boy, and that explains
why the games in the terminal are so stupid.
So far the game looks very easy (and it is), but you have also keep your energy-
level high. The terminals help, but floor tiles, robots, wall cannons and random
opening and closing doors make it just a bit more difficult.
The robots look very nice, some are hidden under the floor, some walk around,
some float and some just hop around infecting tiles causing it to be electrified
or iced, but they don't have a random patern. So it's possible to play this game 
blind and finish it in two minutes :-)
It's nice to see all the end-of-game screens, they look beautifull and it
shows various newspaper headlines. 
Though it takes full advatage of the 3-D possibility's, the game-play gets 
boring if you have finised the game already. 
If you have finished the game succesfully, you get to see a text, I'm not going
to spoil it for you. But at the end it says 'To be continued'. I haven't seen 
anything about Electrocop II, so it will probably take more than a year before 
you hear anything about it.

+-RATINGS-----------------------------------------------------+
              Graphics     - 9.0 : Incredible depth. 
              Sound        - 5.5 : Nice, but a Lynx can do better
              Playability  - 7.0 : Good controles, not complex
              Lastability  - 6.0 : In the beginning great urge to finish
                                   but after you have finished you'll only
                                   play it for the graphics, play will bore
              Overall      - 7.5 : Good, considering it was part of the 
                                   first batch of games.
+--------------------MEGAJERK---------------------------------+

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+                                        
                                        
                        +------LYNX Preview------+
                               Ninja Gaiden
                        +----------Atari---------+

In this game you have to defeat an evil demon in New York (Why is it always in 
America!!). You are Japanese (Why always Japanese !!, My Aikido-Sensei is as 
good as any Jap !!, This makes review writing very boring!) and your Sensei 
sends you to New York to beat him.
Ninja-Gaiden has been nown for a while now from the Arcades (Also nown as 
Shadow Warriors) and it will soon be released on the NES.
The graphics are great, everything is very detailed and the backgrounds vary
from level to level, so you won't get boring pictures that you see again and
again. You get a chance to see the detailed graphics in the static screens,
like in the continue screen where you are tied down and a circular saw is 
comming down from the ceiling to kill you.
There are 6 levels, in the last level you reach the demon.
On your way there you have to kill lots a guys (ofcourse!), but it's just 
blasting the opponent. Hit your buttons hard and often, and you'll get far.
More help can be found, look in a phone booth or box and you'll find things
like swords, extra lifes and various pills. 
The graphics and sounds are what you expect them to be, perfect !!
It shows you what the Lynx can do, like perfect scrolling (Sorry, no speach,
but no one will mis that). 
There are twelve moves to either hit or avoid the enemy. So it will take a 
while till you have sorted that out.
But the thing that is lacking most is the Com-Lynx !
In a game as good as this one there just has to be a Lynxup-capability.
I don't know what excuse Atari has for it, I don't know what the reason is but
I hope that they have a good excuse (Don't tell me that it didn't fit on the
card !). 
We expect this game to come out within 3 month. Atari said that it would be 
released in July but that's Atari, what do they know ! 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                         +-----COMLYNX-Review-----+
                                  Warbirds
                         +----------Atari---------+

Warbirds is a great game in single-player mode, due to all it's features.
But try to immagine it with 3 friends. In ComLynx mode the game is much harder
because humans are not as predictable (AND HUMANS CAN'T BE TRUSTED !!) as the
computer, the tackticks that you use against the computer will be useless 
against your friends.
Even if you can beat The Swarm, you're not sure of vicory against 
your friends. To make things easy you can team up with somebody to beat the 
third guy. But people deflect, so be warned, and always look back!
An easy way to betray your friens is choosing an easy setup, like no collisions
will let you fly through an other plane without dammage, but downing the other
(if he has collisions in his setup ofcourse). 
Some people may like the game for it and some may not, but it makes the game
alot more interresting. 
It is not smart to land (you're a sitting duck) unless you have a pact with 
someone to protect you. It is interresting to see someone land, the landing 
plane is floting in the air, you can fly underneath it !!!
Thats the only weird thing in this game, the rest is great. ComLynx is a great
invention !!!!!! 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +-------------------+
                             LYNX CHEATS
                        +-------------------+

This is a list of cheats and hidden options for Lynx games as far as they are 
known to us. Other new cheats (if available) can be found in the News & Gossip
section.

CHIPS CHALLENGE: Everybody will know about this by now. Type MAND and
you will get a MANDELBROT on your screen. 

ZARLOR MERCENARY: The LIFE-program can be accessed by pushing down OPTION 1,
keeping it down, and then pressing the joypad up, down, left and right.
Important functions: 1) Any button except A and B will stop evolution.
                     2) Move joypad and pushing A allows you to draw
                     3)  "     "     "     "    B   "     "   " erase
                     4) OPTION 1 continues evolution, cells that get off the
                        screen continue on the other side of the screen
                     5) OPTION 2 continues evolution, screen has solid wall.
The LIFE program has also a copy buffer and a PASTE/ERASE mode, if you want 
details about it, just mail us.

ROAD BLASTERS: You can get pictures of the programmers by hitting the first tree
on the either the left or right side of the road, and holding down button B, on 
level 1 (Bubble City). 

GATES OF ZENDOCON: Pictures of the programers can be found here too.
Enter TRYX as level code, descend directly and try to go thru the floor (Use 
shield). There are three obstacles to be avoided and  enter the first gate.
When you exit the gate you will see faces floating towards you, shoot 'em, they
are the prgrammers. You will find all available power-ups in this level. 

SLIME WORLD: The Zit poppin' game can be accessed by going to the summary screen
and go to tyhe screen where Tod is green. Push OPTION 1 and you will see a zit,
you have to blow it up by hitting buttons as fast as you can.

SHANGHAI: You can see the victory screen by going to the high-score table.
Press PAUSE, and then holding down OPTION 1, OPTION 2, A, B and push the
joypad North-West simultaneously.

RAMPAGE: You can choose any of the 61 levels by pausing and unpausing on the
selection screen before you choose your monster. Hold down OPTION 1 when you 
get to the newspaper screen and then you can choose a level with the joypad
(still holding down OPTION 1).

MS. PAC MAN: To get extra speed press PAUSE, two times A, B, OPTION 1, two times
A, B and  OPTION 1. When the lightning bolt appears hit B, and thats it.

These are all the cheats we know of. If you know more, we would be greatefull 
if you would let us know. 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +--------------------------+
                             LYNX GAME RATINGS
                        +--------------------------+

There was a misunderstanding last month, we are not going to make an own top 10.
But we are using the results from the VIDEO GAME RATINGS REPORT. 

  RANK      TITLE          VOTES CAST           

 1) 9.7   Warbirds             3        N S
 2) 9.0   Klax                43          B
 3) 8.8   Zarlor Mercenary    17
 4) 8.5   Fidelity UCC         2        N B
 5) 8.4   Shanghai             8          B
 6) 8.0   Chip's Challenge    61          B
 7) 8.0   Road Blasters       26
 8) 7.9   Xenephobe           28
 9) 7.5   Slime World         44
10) 7.3   Rampage             11
11) 7.2   Blue Lightning      59          S
12) 6.7   RoboSquash          14
13) 6.7   Rygar                9
14) 6.5   Gates of Zendocon   52
15) 6.4   California Games    74
16) 6.4   Ms. Pacman          14
17) 6.0   Electrocop          54
18) 5.7   Gauntlet III        50
19) 5.7   Paperboy            15 
 
NOTES :
If rate is equal, rank is based on the number of votes cast.
If more votes are cast, the number is more reliable.
N= New
B= Brains needed 
S= Simulator

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +------INTERVIEW------+
                            Stephen Landrum
                        +---------------------+

Stephen Landrum, designer of Blue Lightning, started programming in high school,
where he was the best student in the course. He entered the "real" world thru
Science Applications Inc. They contacted his school as they were looking for 
a student to do file maintenance for them, later he got to do some coding for
them. In 1978 he got an Apple II computer and started writing games in BASIC.
In 1981 he quit Science Applications to work for Starpath (Where he wrote
games like DRAGON STOMPER). Starpath later merged with Epyx where he operated
on games like Summer Games, PitStop and Super Cycle (all C46). 
In 1987 he left Epyx for Electronic Arts where he was lead programmer on Skate
or Die. A year later he returned to Epyx where they wanted him to work on 
the Lynx (Handy, as it was called). He left Epyx again last year with 
Blue Lighning as the only game he designed, but assisted on games like Zarlor
Mercenary and Chip's Challenge.
He didn't say that he will return to design games for the Lynx, but he didn't
expect to return to Epyx in 1988.  

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +------Technical------+
                               LYNX ETC.
                        +---------------------+
This is a small section about technical details about the Lynx (And Game Gear 
later on)
The Lynx has a 16Mhz crystal. But that is of course not the real speed.
The graphics engine runs at 8Mhz and the 65c02 processor can run up to 4Mhz
but the real speed is 3.5Mhz.
The first games (Electro Cop, Gauntlet III, Blue Lightning and Chip's Challenge)
were on 128 Kilo-Bytes cards and Klax was the first game to use a 256 KB-card.
The address space to the cartridge supports up to 1 MB but the cartridge could
be made larger by adding bank selection circuitry to the cartridge.

Lot's of people don't exactly know, what the insides of their machines
look like. For that reason we present you with most of the technical
specifications of Lynx, GameGear and GameBoy.

Machine    :    Atari Lynx      Sega GameGear        Nintendo GameBoy

Processor  :    65c02           z80a                 custom z80a
Proc.Speed :    16Mhz           3.58Mhz              1Mhz
Memory     :    64K             8K Ram+16K Vram      8K
Resolution :    160 X 102       160 X 146            20 X 18 Chars
Palette    :    4096            4096                 4 greys
Colors     :    16              32                   4 greys
Stereo     :    4 Chan/5 Oct    3 Chan PSG+1         1 Chan stereo
Storage    :    8 MBit          N/A                  2 MBit

Graphics   :    *****           ****                 **
Sound      :    *****           ****                 ****
Expansion  :    *               ****                 **
Overall    :    *****           ****                 ****

*****  The Best
****   Good
***    Average
**     Bad
*      Worthless

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

                        +---GAME GEAR Review---+
                           Castle of Illusion
                        +----------Sega--------+

Castle of Illusion has already been known for a while from the Mega Drive.
And it is now available for the Game Gear. The game stars Mickey Mouse.
The Hero (Mick) has got to save his girlfriend (Minnie) from the claws of a 
wicked witch (Mizrabel). It sounds boring so far.
The game has a lot of nice animation, what else did you expect from a Disney-
character. 
This game is a real Mario-look-a-like what game play is concerned.
The level design is good, with some surprises and other Disney things.
The game does everything that Mario does, and it is ment to get Mario lovers to 
buy a Game Gear.
The music is nice but I expect the Game Gear to do alot better in future games
with sound effects.
I didn't found this game very spescial because I'm already fed up with 
Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 on any system !      
Sega didn't have to do alot themselves for this game as almost everything was
"stolen".
But all in all it's a nice game with great graphics and adove average sound.
But I'm waiting to play Super Monaco GP on the Game Gear.

+-RATINGS-----------------------------------------------------+
         Graphics     - 8.5 : Game looks good, good animation 
         Sound        - 6.7 : Nice music, so so sound effects
         Playability  - 8.0 : Good feel, nice moves
         Lastability  - 8.5 : Good for the whole familly, 
                              espescialy for the younger kids
         Overall      - 8.0 : The game is quallity made, but 
                              not very original
+---------------------MEGAJERK--------------------------------+

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                    +-------------------------------------+
                              SCREEN SCENE EUROPE
                     or: Sega, how the heck did they do it
                    +-------------------------------------+

 Sayonara! Here I am, once again, in the wonderfull world of consoles.
Gosh! Now how did Sega do it? How did they beat Nintendo with inferior
machinery, and even worse marketing?

Sega released it's Master System way before the first release of the NES.
They didn't really need good marketing, since the Master System was the
best console available at that time. Zillions of people (OK, maybe a
little bit less people!) bought the Master System, so Nintendo had no
chance at all.

Then, when all kinds of superior machines came out, Sega launched it's
Megadrive, later called the Genesis in the US. The PC Engine didn't have
a chance against this machine, for the same reason as Nintendo had with
the launch of it's NES. Yeah! I know! We Europeans are mad, and yes, we
even do LIKE Sega!

Then the Lynx was launched (the GameBoy wasn't officially available yet)
so Sega announced their GameGear. And even with this announcement, they
stopped a hell of a lot of people from buying a Lynx, while the GameGear
would be less powerfull!

And now the GameGear has been released, and I've got the Sega fever, too.
I never thought it would come this far, but I am about to buy my very own
GameGear soon!

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        +----------------------+
                             Just Some Junk
                        +----------------------+

When I was cleaning my desk last week, I just found some of my Xenophobe
notes. Maybe there's still some people out there who might find it
usefull.

Locations of self-destruct machines


      Station      Floor      Room
      3            1            4
      4            4            5
      6            2            5   You can find the station/floor/room
      8            5            1   number at the top of the screen.
      10           1            4
      11           4            5
      13           2            5
      15           5            1
      17           1            4
      18           4            5
      20           2            5
      22           5            1

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
                       +----------------------------+
                                PORTFOLIO !!!
                            It's going to stay !!!
                       +----------------------------+

 As stated before, we are glad to say that we can continue with the Portfolio-
section. Mr. Portfolio from Canada is helping us out with that.
The reason why we thought of stopping it was the lack of new software for the PF
(New for you that is, and there is nothing interresting to mention on the PF in 
Europe). 
This time we have a HUGE software list, they can always be ordered at the e-mail
address below, the list will be updated every month .
THV - MJ

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

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