Public Domain, Originally Released On ADFS 1D00 Disc And DFS 1D00 Disc
Game Alias : JUPITER III
Game Type : Scrolling Arcade Adventure; Platform-style
Author : Dominic Ford
Standalone Release(s) : 1997: SHIPWRECKED II, Electron User Group, PD
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : ELECTRON USER GROUP, 42 Canterbury Road, REDCAR TS10 3QF
Disc compatibility : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00
The Jupiter Commission was set up in 2490 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of mankind's victory in the Great Alien War of 2440. It was intended to build a spacecraft, Jupiter I, as the largest ever space station. The structure, however, was constructed using untested techniques and collapsed shortly after completion in 2502.
Following a deal between the Bagami Space Authority and the Jupiter Space Authority and the Jupiter Commission, documents were made available concerning tested building techniques. Jupiter II was then designed but the cost was too great and due to the depression of the 2500s, the plan was scrapped.
In 2517, plans began for Jupiter III, which it was hoped would be more successful than its predecessors. Following completion in 2523, it was an instant success. Gravity was achieved on board using two revolving discs, in which all passengers and cargo were kept. The hotel was fully booked every night for the first year!
Disaster struck in 2525, however, as aliens eager for revenge invaded Jupiter III. Moreover, they are threatening to bring it out of orbit of Mars, its current location, and send it crashing into Earth. If they did so, humanity would be wiped out completely.
You have been selected to go alone on a mission to save Jupiter III and mankind. Your craft will dock at the far end of the Docking Bar. You should note that although gravity will remain in your craft and others around it, the Docking area itself is a zero gravity enviroment.
There is evidence to suggest that the aliens have filled some areas of Jupiter III with oil to create a sulphurous atmosphere which they can breathe. Be careful as this oil is corrosive. The atmosphere is poisonous, so keep your suit on at all times - although bear in mind that extra protection is required for a space walk in the vacuum outside Jupiter III. Also beware of the fuel in the fuel tanks (in front of the Docking area) - this is explosive!
Touching a monster ........................ -1
Firing a laser ............................ -1
Falling into oil ......................... -10
Power is only lost when you fire a laser if you do not hit an alien. You start with 64 units of power.
Information About The Aliens
The aliens wear a strong protective suit which makes them difficult to kill. You are armed with a laser which can kill them at close range. To fire this laser, press the DELETE key. Some guards wear thick armour which lasers cannot penetrate. Such aliens have never been successfully destroyed but corrosive substances may work as may blow to the underside where the armour is much weaker than elsewhere.
There are several areas of Jupiter III which have no gravity. These include the Docking area just outside the spacecraft in which you start, and the service areas at the top of the map. Zero gravity areas always have a blue background.
In a zero gravity area, you float in the air and it is difficult to stop once you have started in move in any direction, except when you hit the wall.
After you receive a 'GAME OVER' message and start a new game, you will find that many of the puzzles remain solved and will not need resolving in the new game. If you break a panel in Jupiter III, for example, this panel will remain broken in the next game. If you want to start a completely fresh game therefore, you need to reload the game.
This feature is also present in SHIPWRECKED, and is actually an unsolvable bug which has been made into a documented feature.
The objective of your mission is to return Jupiter III to an orbit around Mars and so avoid a collision with Earth. If possible, you should also clear all of the aliens from the craft.
Your mission is more important than your own life. Do not return to Earth until it is complete, but try to find some way back afterwards.
Upon completion of your mission, you will be given a four-digit code. Make a note of this, and then re-run the game. On the main menu, select 'GAME COMPLETE' and then type the code when requested. You will then receive a congratulatory message!
Z - Left, X - Right, RETURN - Jump, / - Down ladder
P - Open Door, E - Check Power
<SPACE> - Object control, <ESCAPE> - Restart screen
<SHIFT><ESCAPE> - Suicide, <DELETE> - Fire laser
To check whether you need a power booster, press E. Your suit will emit two tones. The closer they are together, the less power you have.
In your adventures, you will find keys, doors and many other objects which you will need to identify yourself.
Instructions' Source : SHIPWRECKED II (Dominic Ford) Original Text File
The final game to come from Dominic Ford is his sequel to arcade adventure SHIPWRECKED, JUPITER III. This time you're not shipwrecked on an island but marooned in space on board an ill-fated spacecraft. It's many years into the future - a lot more than the original even! - yet neither you nor the beastly alien critters that have stuck their flag into Stanley Kubrick's realisation seem to have changed their appearance at all.
More of the same as SHIPWRECKED, you wonder. For professionality, one thing's for sure: it can't be faulted. The disk version displays one of the most impressive Mode 2 graphical demonstrations you've seen for a long time, with a vortex of swirling pixel-stars nicely framed behind a huge multi-coloured title. In the space below you find a menu of four options. Although the first game had a loading screen of a reasonable quality, this one is purely unbeatable! And Dominic Ford manages to squeeze the whole game even into systems with PAGE at 1D00. Note that, for loading time reasons though, the Mode 2 screen is missing from the tape version.
Selecting option 1 loads in the game proper. Like with the first SHIPWRECKED, you are now treated to a backdrop of a location on board JUPITER III with the message 'Press SPACE To Start'. Yet the width and breadth of the playing area now fills the whole screen and waiting for a slideshow of the playing locations is in vain.
This is because, whereas the first jaunt was a CITADEL-compariable room-to-room release, this whole element has been dispensed with now that Dominic Ford is really showing off. He is now pitting you in an EXILEsque scenario - where the screen cleverly scrolls around to keep your character in the centre of it!
Note hastily at once this isn't another EXILE however. What it is, in terms of gameplay, is the more of the same as you'd imagine when comparing it with the prequel. That is, a graphic adventure where you need to collect and use objects from and in various places and carry certain coloured passes to get through those coloured doors. There's a brilliant use of all of the BBC/Electron's colours and the scrolling keeps pace with the action reasonably well, although it's a bit jerky on an Elk with MRB and it's best to play without it (even though the speed is so evidently reduced!).
There are added touches to the craft, such as zero-gravity sections - and a fatal oil hazard in one area - and these are interesting, even if only at first. You may soon have reservations about Zero-G. It's a real nightmare to navigate without finding your man flying around the screen in the same patterns time after time!
You have been equipped with a marginally more crappy gun than you had in SHIPWRECKED and shooting the aliens basically has the effect that you lose lots of power getting close enough to them and as soon as they are scrolled back onto the screen after a short voyage to another part of the 'map' they mysteriously reincarnate. All these 'features' quickly become irritating, due in most part to the game being so frustratingly difficult. It really is one of the toughest pieces of software you've ever played...
The situation isn't helped by instructions which concentrate in large measure on the irrelevant. These can be accessed by selecting the second option from the disc version menu. (Printed instructions accompany the tape version!) The Game Objective section simply states words to the effect of 'Return Jupiter III to its orbit around Mars'. Great! How?
Completing the game, via the in-built option 3 immortality cheat (The only way to proceed unless you are a glutton for punishment!) will yield a four digit code that can be entered by selecting option 4. Doing so receives congrats and information about Dominic Ford's plans for the final SHIPWRECKED game - which never made it into production.
All things considered, it's very different to its predecessor, but not necessarily better. It has many more features but a surprisingly large number of irksome qualities which weren't quite so irritating in the first adventure. And although it uses the same game sprites and has the same general 'thread' of an arcade adventure, it straddles the genre with a little unease; the Zero-G and scroll-based parts may look visually impressive (despite an occasional quick flash of sprites in the bottom left corner during a scroll) but are rather alien to these puzzle-based types of game where establishing a method pays dividends!
In JUPITER III, there is no simple way. You need a high degree of arcade skill and key manipulation, the ability to think logically, a comprehensive map of the craft by your side, a good memory, the cheat mode on and a dollop of patience smothering it all. Any missing element guarantees your failure in whatever it is you're supposed to be doing. Balanced against this are a full screen playing area, 100% machine code scrolling and displaying, full use of colour, a huge map to explore and document, impressive screens and a large number of differing puzzles to solve. Minimal sound is also utilitised when you fire a gun check your power, jump or die.
As with the first game, much time and effort has gone into this one and it's apparent. Whether or not you like it, or choose to compare it with SHIPWRECKED, two things are for sure: The object of the game is not to collect fishes this time. And it's a lot better than those games our Superior didn't have a hand in!
Dave Edwards, EUG #50