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OMEGA ORB

 

 

Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only

 

Game Type          : Arcade Adventure

Author             : Peter Scott

Standalone Release(s)  : 1986: OMEGA ORB, Audiogenic, £7.95

Compilation Release(s) : 1989: FAB FOUR VOLUME 1, Audiogenic, £9.95

                    1991: OMEGA ORB, Atlantis, £2.99

Stated compatibility    : Electron Side A, BBC Side B

Actual compatibility    : As stated

Supplier            : AUDIOGENIC, Winchester House, Canning Road, HARROW HA3 7SJ

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00

 

 

Instructions (Original Version)

"OMEGA ORB - new improved brain-straining arcade adventure - with added shoot-em-up Blast and Zap! And brought to you in glorious BLIPVISION!

 

BLIP, the bouncing Omega Salesdroid, has been transported to the high-tech mining complex of Mynix. Help him find pieces of core material with which to repower his crippled cruise ship. The lives of a thousand space holidaymakers are in your hands!

 

Omega Orb has everything! An orgy of exploration and mapping; Code-doors; barriers; lifts and mind-warping puzzles to solve; mindless zapping of hostile droids; 146 Blipvision screens of brilliant graphic detail; 32 objects; Interactive communication with computer network; Buying and selling of lives; And guest appearances by Head Maxroom - and SPRECO, star of the Thunderstruck series."

 

Prologue

Advertising has an unsavoury public image. Most people simply don't like salespeople harassing them to 'buy this' or 'try that'. So by the 23rd century, humankind had delegated that thankless task to droids - friendly, cute, bouncing droids. It was found that the public responded better to these droids than they ever did to the dubious looking characters in loud suits that we know so well.

 

The Omega 'BLIP' class droid was a successful class of salesdroid (BLIP stood for nothing in particular, but sounded nice to those who decided such things). In an effort to make these as nice as possible, some grain of personality was programmed into them. In certain circumstances this could lead to something approaching 'soul' developing.

 

BLIP-QE-875523 was a case in point. In his job of enticing holidaymakers to part with their hard-earned credits he was well liked by those aboard the interplanetary cruise ship, Cyplex. The seeds of personality had led over the years into this BLIP evolving from his hard-selling, blandly cute beginnings into a genuine, caring chap - so much that his bosses, the UniStrad Corporation, were seriously considering replacing him!

 

But one day while undergoing a routine recharge, images of death and destruction started flying through BLIP's internals. And, sure enough, these premonitions began to come true. One by one the vital computer systems of the Cyplex began to fail. The EnviroPuter struggled to keep functioning, and with a last surge of power, BLIP was told that it was up to him to save the crippled liner. The teleport system functioned just long enough for BLIP to be transported to the nearby planet Mynix.

 

Game Overview

Our hero, BLIP, the bouncing Omega salesdroid, finds himself on the planet Mynix, a planet consisting largely of a high-tech, computer controlled mining complex run by droids. BLIP is armed with a defence laser, charged up with a finite amount of energy, and carries 500 credits. His task is to find twelve vital pieces of a special material that can be used to replace the energy core of his stricken cruise ship and save the doomed holidaymakers on board. There are other objects that he can pick up which can then be USED via computer terminals to solve puzzles or get by obstacles. Only one object can be carried at a time, so they must be USED (including core pieces) or dropped before you can pick up another. Pick up an object by bouncing on it. (If you don't want the object, the next bounce will drop it.)

 

Computers

The computer network of the complex still functions, so BLIP can use it to help him. To activate the network, bounce on the floor of the computer cubicle or pod, pressing SPACE. The first number shown is the number of the terminal you are currently accessing. It costs 100 credits to access a computer - if you don't have enough, you can't use it!

 

You can interact with the computer network by entering the following commands...

 

CORE   - tells you how many piece of core material you have. If the readout is 100% then you have completed the game and saved the Cyplex!                                                      

INFO   - gives percentage of game explored.                           

HELP   - well...try it out a few times!                               

BUY    - buy an extra life for 1000C.

SELL   - sell one of your lives for 900C.

MAP    -  gives a grid of the complex - solid blocks indicate screens you have explored, or non-existent screens.                

CODE   - used at terminals 0 to 3 - gives a code which will open doors at terminals 16 to 19.                                     

INPUT  - used at terminals 16 to 19 to enter the codes given at terminals 0 to 3.

USE    - will use the object you are currently carrying. 250C and score will result from correct use.                                 

PORT   - some terminals, 20 to 27, some marked with a T, will allow you to teleport to others. You must have previously enabled the teleport grid.                                             

QUIT   - to leave the network.                                    

 

Incorrect instructions are simply ignored, as you are supposed to be a Class A computer literate reboundoid!                                

 

More Vital Information

You start with five lives. Lives can be bought and sold. The droids that run the complex don't like outsiders plundering their energy sources. You can shoot them with your defence laser (gaining 5C for each hit). Some emerge from generators - you can stop this by shooting the generator itself. Some generators are impregnable - simply get by as quickly as possible!                                                          

 

Don't hit the magnetised generators - your energy will rapidly drain. Some of the floors and walls are also magnetised - watch out for them! Some of these can also be shot - this will be necessary to progress in certain areas of the game.                                           

 

There are lifts which can be used - press SPACE when on lift to activate. Two of the lifts need to be enabled by USING special objects.      

 

When the title screen appears, press any key to load the rest of the program.

 

Control Keys

Z - Left,   X - Right,   <RETURN> - Fire (Uses a little energy)

<SHIFT> - Hyperbounce (Bounces higher and faster)

<SPACE> - Activate computer or lift

S - Sound,   Q - Quiet,   <COPY>/<DELETE> - Pause/Restart

R - Restart Entire Game

 

 

Instructions' Source   : OMEGA ORB (Audiogenic) Back And Inner Inlay

 

 

 

Instructions (Budget Version)

"A GREAT arcade adventure from Peter Scott, one of the best BBC/Electron programmers of all time. Crammed full of puzzles and arcade action, OMEGA ORB will give you hours of fun as you explore its numerous locations in an attempt to replace the energy core of your stricken space ship."

 

BLIP the bouncing droid, is on the Mynix which has been turned into a vast high-tech mining complex run by droids. He must find twelve vital pieces of a special material to replace the energy core of his stricken ship. Other objects can also be found, many of which can be used to further the quest, but only one object can be carried at a time. Pick up an object by bouncing on it!

 

Mynix operates a strict capitalist system where almost everything is for sale - even lives can be bought and sold! The droids that run the complex will be out to get you - get them first with your laser and you'll earn five credits for each. Some droids emerge from generators - shoot the generators to stop them. Unfortunately some generators are impregnable - get out quick!

 

Generators and some floors and walls are highly magnetised - touch them and your resources will rapidly drain away. Some floors and walls can be shot - this will be necessary if you are to progress in certain areas. To use a lift will cost you 75 credits; press SPACE to activate the lift but get on first! Two of the lifts will only work if you find certain objects.

 

Blip can use the computer system in the complex. Activate it by bouncing on the floor of the computer cubicle or pod and pressing SPACE. The first number shown is the number of the terminal you are using; it costs 100 credits to access the computer. The computer uses a simple language:

 

CORE tells you how many pieces of core you have collected, INFO tells you what percentage of the game you have explored, HELP well...try it a few times, BUY buys an extra life for 1,000 credits, SELL sells one of your lives for 900 credits, MAP displays a grid-map of the complex - solid blocks indicate screens that you have explored, or which don't exist, CODE is used at terminals 0 to 3; it gives a code to open doors at terminals 16 to 19, INPUT allows you to input a code at terminals 16 to 19, USE uses the object you are carrying; correct use awards 250 credits and a score bonus. PORT terminals 20 to 27, marked with a T, allow you to teleport to others (you must have previously enabled the teleport grid), QUIT closes down the computer network. Incorrect instructions are simply ignored.

 

Control Keys

Z - Left,   X - Right,   <RETURN> - Fire (Uses a little energy)

<SHIFT> - Hyperbounce (Bounces higher and faster)

<SPACE> - Activate computer or lift

S - Sound,   Q - Quiet,   <COPY>/<DELETE> - Pause/Restart

R - Restart Entire Game

 

 

Instructions' Source   : OMEGA ORB (Atlantis) Back And Inner Inlay

 

Review (Electron User) - "Challenging Adventure"

The latest arcade adventure from the prolific Peter Scott, author of THUNDERSTRUCK II and the recently re-released HUNKIDORY, is OMEGA ORB.

 

Peter's games always have a distinctive appearance and feel. This one is certainly from the same stable, although featuring a number of refinements on previous offerings.

 

You control the OMEGA ORB, a beautifully animated bouncing ball which is the cutest creature I've seen in a long time. I particularly liked the delightful squashy effect produced when the Orb hits the ground.

 

The object of the game seems similar to that of its predecessor, THUNDERSTRUCK II: Move the Orb through a variety of multi-coloured locations collecting core pieces - presumably to rebuild the core, although I have yet to find it. A number of other objects litter the  landscape and it's up to you to work out what to do with them.

 

OMEGA ORB is however considerably more hectic than THUNDERSTRUCK II because each new location produces a number of evil-looking creatures with intentions to match.

 

Contact with any of them reduces them to a cloud of dust, but severely drains your energy.

 

Furthermore, the game has a nasty habit of leaving the dead creature's dust behind, which again reduces your energy to death level in seconds. Luckily you can rely on your trusty laser gun.

 

You can only carry one object at a time and collecting or dropping is automatic - you simply jump on it. If you haven't got an object you take it, but if you are already carrying one it will be exchanged for the new one.

 

If you pause more than about a second the new acquisition will be dropped again.

 

It is therefore very easy, and annoying, to bounce off with the wrong object, or even empty-handed.

 

I haven't managed to get very far into the game yet. However, the screens I have seen have been superb with large animated sprites, used for moving creatures and for many landscape features, allowing you to walk behind the scenery. The plot is a challenge to both mental and physical reflexes.

 

I found OMEGA ORB a little too similar to THUNDERSTRUCK II, but nevertheless it is a game well worth looking out for.

 

Sound ........................... 8

Graphics ....................... 10

Playability ..................... 9

Value for money ................. 9

Overall ......................... 9

 

Martin Read, ELECTRON USER 4.10