Monday, 27 February 2012

Jars' Revenge (C64) (2011)


System Requirements

* A Commodore 64/128/GS (PAL/NTSC) (8580 SID Recommended).
* A joystick/joypad.
* A VDU preferably connected to a loud sound-system.


Downloads

Download Jars' Revenge (PAL/NTSC) in .bin/.crt cartridge format HERE!
Download Jars' Revenge (PAL) in .tap tape format HERE!

BONUS! Download mp3 recordings of the soundtrack HERE!
BONUS! Check out TRSI's 'Meet Linus' music collection in C64 .prg format HERE!

EMULATOR PACKAGE! Download the game ready-to-run combined with the Windows 32-Bit version of the VICE emulator HERE!


Introduction

The C64 scene has waited almost 30 years for a decent conversion of Atari's 2600 classic "Yars' Revenge". Thanks to Peiselulli and Linus from Tristar & Red Sector Incorporated, that wait is now over.

Jars' Revenge is a full-screen (using all border space), PAL and NTSC compatible 2012 update of a timeless console shoot 'em up developed as an entry for the RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition (2011). The game is currently cartridge only as it actually uses a few bytes of the available ROM space as extra memory (have fun with that, crackers!)

As it is a remake of an Atari game (with the IP still in use), obviously there is no way that we could get away with officially selling copies of Jars' Revenge here at RGCD. Sorry about that. We have, however, provided the cartridge .rom for free download above - so you are welcome to make your own cartridges or use the file in an emulator.


Playing The Game

To play Jars' Revenge you will need either a real C64 (and a method of transferring the game over to it) or an emulator. For emulator users, we recommend VICE, as it works on a variety of systems and is very user friendly. Just download the emulator and attach the cartridge images via the 'File -> Attach Cartridge Image' option.

Like the original, Jars' Revenge is deceptively complex for a simple looking game; upon it's release last year the most common complaint was that people just didn't understand how to play it! Hopefully the following paragraphs will settle this issue once and for all.


JAR - Fly simulator under direct user control.
ENERGY MISSILE - Missile shot by Jar, removes cells.
QUOTILE BASE - Laser-base like object on right side of the screen, behind the shield.
SHIELD - Energy shield protecting the base, composed of cells.
CELLS - Elements of which shield is composed.
DESTROYER MISSILE - Guided missiles put out by the base to destroy Jars.
CANNON - Appears on left side of screen and traverses the screen horizontally.
SWIRL - Whirling pinwheel fired by the Quotile base to destroy Jars.
NEUTRAL ZONE - Glittering path in the centre of the playfield. When in the zone, a Jar cannot operate fire commands and cannot be harmed by Destroyer Missiles. However, the Jar can still be destroyed by a Swirl in the zone.

The primary objective of the game is to break a path through the shield and destroy the Quotile base with a blast from the Cannon. The secondary objective is to score as many points as possible.

The shield is the red area in front of the base. It appears in one of two shapes, as an arch, or a shifting rectangle. The shield is made up of cells. The Jar scout can destroy these cells by firing at them with energy missiles, from any location on the playfield, or by devouring them on direct contact. (The Cannon can also be used to destroy the cells, but this is a waste of a powerful weapon.)

The Jars' movement is controlled by the joystick plugged into port 2. The screen wraps from top to bottom, bottom to top. This means that if you fly the Jar off the top of the screen, it will appear at the bottom, and vice versa.

The fire button has two separate firing functions: it will fire an energy missile in the direction the Jar is pointed, or operate the Cannon when it is on the screen.

Press SPACEBAR to pause game, use joystick to leave pause mode.

Once a path has been cleared through the shield, the Cannon must be used to destroy the base. To call up the Cannon, the Jar can either eat a cell, or run over the base.

The Cannon appears on the left side of the playfield, and moves in a direct line with the Jar. This means the Jar is in its line of fire. It is important therefore, to aim the cannon at the base, fire it, and fly out of the way fast!

The base shoots off two weapons: Destroyer Missiles and Swirls. The Destroyer Missiles home in on the Jar and the player must do his best to dodge them. Periodically, the base transforms into a Swirl. This Swirl winds up and rushes off after the Jar. A Swirl can be destroyed with the Cannon by hitting it either at its base location, or in mid-air. As a player's score increases, the Swirl becomes increasingly dangerous.

The glittering path down the centre of the screen is the Neutral Zone. This area will protect a Jar from Destroyer Missiles but not from Swirls. While in the Neutral Zone, a Jar cannot fire any energy missiles of his own.

When a Jar is hit by a Destroyer Missile, a Swirl, or his own Cannon, he dies. Each player has four Jars (turns) to play in a game. Additional Jars can be earned (details below).


Scoring

Points and bonuses are rewarded to the player for the following activities.

Cell, hit by Missile (69 Pts)
Cell, devoured by Jar (69 Pts & 100 Bonus)
Base, destroyed (1000 Pts)
Swirl, destroyed in place (2000 Pts)
Swirl, destroyed in flight (6000 Pts & 1UP)


Score-Based Game Evolution

When your score hits these milestones the game will react by ramping up the difficulty significantly :)

70,000 Pts - Swirl triples in frequency and sometimes fires instantly. Neutral Zone vanishes on every 4th level. Shield turns blue.
150,000 Pts - Swirl returns to normal frequency but will also change direction in mid-air to hit you. Shield turns grey.
230,000 Pts - Swirl again triples in frequency and sometimes fires instantly. Shield turns pink.
300,000 Pts - Shield moves two times faster. Shield turns brown.


Promotional Trailer

Below is a promotional video of Jars' Revenge running on a C64c with 8050 SID chip. If people want a high-quality downloadable version of this I can upload it to the server upon request.


Hints

When you destroy the base, or a Swirl, there will be an explosion, during which the Jar stays on the screen. Use this opportunity to make up your own victory dance.

The base continually changes colours. The colour sequence is your cue to the appearance of a Swirl, and gives you warning to plan your attack and defence.

If you fly over the base as it changes to a Swirl it will destroy you, so be careful.


Credits

The following people made this game possible.

Code, Graphics & Sound Effects
Peiselulli (Tristar & Red Sector Incorporated)

SID Music
Linus (Tristar & Red Sector Incorporated)

Playtesting
James Monkman (RGCD)

NTSC Testing
Raymond Lejuez (C64 World)

Cartridge Hardware
Tim Harris (Shareware Plus)

Jars' Revenge is a TRSI production, Copyright 2011.