3D Pool
Copyright/Publisher: Firebird Software/Aardvark Software, Program & Design By:
Orlando M.Pilchard, Release Year: 1989, Genre: Snooker & Pool, Number Of Players: 1

Stunningly realistic true to life 3D pool simulation.

The first 3-dimensional computer Pool game that lets you view the table from almost ANY ANGLE YOU CHOOSE! Rotate and tilt the Pool table to set up your shot, then crack the cue ball into the pack. You've never seen anything like it!

* Stunningly realistic true to life 3D pool simulation.

* Awe-inspiring real-time rotating table.

* Super intelligent computer-controlled opponents.

* Delicate control of spin, swerve and power.

* All the fun of creating your own trick shots.

* Pit your wits against Maltese Joe - European Pool Champ!

When you first take a look at 3D Pool, you may be slightly surprised to notice that there's no cue. This is because you don't need one! If, however, you take an imaginary line straight 'out' from the cue ball to the centre of the screen, this will suffice. This means that instead of moving your cue around the table, we have introduced a revolutionary twist - you move the table around the cue!

You start off looking down the table. Closest to you is a dark semi-circle which is called the 'D', with the cue ball placed in the centre. Right down the other end of the table are the game balls, arranged neatly in a triangle, with the 8 ball (black) nestling in the middle.

The tavle rotates clockwise and anti-clockwise, allowing you to change the direction of your shot; it also tilts up and down, allowing you to change the spin strength and type (i.e. top or back spin).

When you first start a game, there is a flashing ball in the top left hand side of the screen (showing that it's player one's turn to play a shot). After players have chosen their colour (by potting a ball) then the colour for player one is shown here.

Next is the name of the current player, then comes the 'reference ball'. There is a dot on this ball, which shows you where the cue is going to strike. This dot moves as you move the table, or apply 'swerve'.

Then comes thr power-bar (which shows the strength of the shot). It doubles as a message area (printing messages such as 'place the cue ball' or 'hmmmmmm....' when the computer player is thinking). Finally comes a ball showing the colour the other player is to pot.

When the game has loaded, you will be presented with a menu. Each option on the menu can be selected by pressing the appropriate function key. See below for an explanation of what happens when you press one of these keys.

[F1] - Input Type: Toggles either keyboard or joystick.

[F3] - Match Type: Runs through a list of....
Demo mode
Trick Play

[SPACE] - Will start your selection.

You start off in the quarter-finals, set against a randomly-chosen opponent. After playing yje best of three games, you enter the semi-finals, again playing the best of three games. After that, winning the qualifying finals (this time the best of five games) will let you play Maltese Joe himself. (Well, a computer version of him!).

[F5] - View Pairings: Shows a list of opponents. (Press [SPACE] to return to main menu.)

[F7] - Enter New Tournament: Will re-shuffle the opponents. (Press [SPACE] to return to main menu.)

During the game, pressing [RUN/STOP] when it is your turn will print up another menu:
[F3] - Concede Current Game: Means you lose this game.

[SPACE] - Resumes play.

You play against a friend, taking alternate 'visits'.

During the game, pressing [RUN/STOP] when it is your turn will print up another menu:

[F3] - Stop Current Game: Return to main menu.

[SPACE] - Resumes play.

This option allows you to view the particular playing skills of any two players.

[F5] - New opponents: Randomly selects two players.

During the game, pressing [RUN/STOP] will print up another menu:

[F3] - Stop Current Game: Return to main menu.

[F5] - New opponents: You can change your mind in the middle of a game.

[SPACE] - Resumes play.

You can practice as many times as you like against a particular opponent.

[F5] - Change player: Runs through a list of possible opponents (sadly you can't practice against Maltese Joe).

During the game, pressing [RUN/STOP] will print up another menu:

[F3] - Stop Current Game: Return to main menu.

[F5] - New opponents: You can change your mind in the middle of a game.

[SPACE] - Resumes play.

[Z] = Left
[X] = Right
[;] = Up
[/] = Down
[RETURN] = Strike
[RUN/STOP] = Quit
[U] = Flip viewing position around to other side of the table
[S] = Switch colours (see note below)

Left - Rotate table anti-clockwise (move cue ball left in 'D')

Right - Rotate table clockwise (move cue ball right in 'D')

Up - Move cue up, providing bottom spin (move cue ball further away in 'D')

Down - Move cue down, providing top spin (move cue ball closer away in 'D')

In - Zoom in (increase the size of the table)

Out - Zoom out (decrease size)

Strike - Double clock the [RETURN] key (press it quite quickly twice to strike the cue ball

For the following controls you have to hold down the [RETURN] key at the same time as these keys to produce the desired effect...

Left/Right - Adjust swerve left and right. The place where the cue will strike the cue ball is shown by a dot on the reference ball.

Up/Down - Adjust power (power increases from left to right).

Joystick - You may also use a joystick (player one uses port one, player two uses port two, with fire button instead of [RETURN] to strike.

This chapter deserves a whole long section all to itself.

Better than in real Pool, once you've tried a trick shot, 3D Pool sets it back up exactly as it was! To 'solve' a trick shot, you must pot ALL the light coloured balls without fouling (i.e. hitting a dark ball first). A clever combination of side and back (or top) spin usually 'does the trick!'.

[F5] - Try Next Trick - Select next trick (the trick number changes).

[F7] - Edit Trick Shot Layout - This allows you to design your own tricks.

[SPACE] - Allows you to try out a trick.

During the trick, pressing [RUN/STOP] takes you back to the main menu.

Like anything that has a structure, trick shots have a certain 'logic' to them. Here's a description of some of the common patterns found (there are certainly many others; can you design new ones?).

(a) Goalhanger - A ball sitting on the edge of a pocket. Football fans will see the similarities here.... the slightest passing touch and it'll jump in.

(b) Peashooter - Two balls touching. Hit the back of one and the other flies off along the line passing through their centres. A favourite among real trick shot players, because if you point them at a pocket, you can't miss!

(c) Cannon - A shot that glances off one ball and carries on moving. The term is used in billiards.

(d)Guard - A set of ball whose function (in the trick shot9 is to stop a shot being possible. For example, a ball you have to swerve around, or a black sitting over a pocket (goal hangign).

(e) Chain - A line of balls that, if hit (in the right sort of way) at one end, cause the ball at the other end to move. In snooker terms, this is called 'a multi ball plant'.

(f) Plant - A ball (not the cue ball) hitting a second ball. A 'peashooter' is a special kind of plant (touching).

The controls for trick shot editing are the same as you can use for playing the game, but they do different things:

Left/Right/Up/Down - Move viewing position (note this is different from the shooting position - further explanation below).

Strike+Left/Right/Up/Down - Move current edit ball (the flashing ball) around the table, relative to your viewing position. This is the same as moving the cue ball around the 'D'.

[U] - Flip viewing position around to other side of the table.

[T] - Try/test shot from last defined shooting point (so, if you wish, you can view a shot from a different angle).

[S] - Save screen to trick shot buffer (note: this is not to disk or tape, this fixes a version in memory). It makes a 'pocket' sound to acknowledge.

[A] - Turn current ball 'on' or 'off'. An 'off' ball glashes differently to an 'on' ball (it appears less of the time - take a look on screen, you'll easily make the distinction). A trick shot is played with the 'on' balls. The cue ball cannot be switched off (of course), BUT the black ball is optional.

Strike - Double click the [RETURN] key (press it quite quickly twice) to cycle to next ball (i.e. change to edit a different ball's position).

The current shooting position is set up when you press [SPACE] from the trick shot menu ('playing mode' rather than 'editing mode'). The visual difference between playing and editing is the same as playing and placing the cue ball (within the 'D') - there is a grey 'D' on the table, and a message where the power-bar usually is.

Generally, the most effective way to design a trick shot is to go into editing mode, move the cue ball to where you intend it should start from, then press [RUN/STOP] and go into playing mode, where you can set up the power, angle and spin of the trick (even though the problem hasn't been set up). Then press [RUN/STOP] and go into editing mode - when you press [T] from here, it will play the shot that will finally solve the trick.

It's quite nice to note that once you have solved a trick, you can view it from an entirely different angle using this method.

At the start of a game or after a foul you can place the cue ball exactly where you want it in the 'D'. Use the rotate and cue up/down controls with [RETURN] held down. The rotate controls will move the cue ball left and right, and the cue controls will move the ball up and down the table (away from you or toward you).

When you apply swerve to your shot, you are actually making the cue ball spin on its axis. This means that if you moce the dot on the reference ball to the left, the ball will spin clockwise, and the shot will cruve right. The amount the shot deviates depends on how hard you hit the cue ball and how far across the reference ball you have moved the dot.

Strike+Left/Right - Apply swerve (move the dot on the reference ball left and right).

If players are still trying to establish their colours after a break, and someone pots one ball of each colour, the option will come up for them to choose. Before trying to pot the next ball, pressing [S] swaps colours. This can be done as many times as it is necessary, but once [RETURN] is pressed (to take the shot) the colour is fixed. So make the most of it!

If the last shot was also a foul, you can swap colours AFTER the free-shot, as well as BEFORE.

A flashing cue ball will appear next to your ball at the top of the screen. This ball will continue to flash until you fail to pot a ball of your colour, or play a foul shot.

According to the rules, if you play a foul shot, your opponent will be awarded a free-shot. This is denoted by two cue balls next to the player's colour at the top of the screen. The ball closeast to the centre of the screen flashes. The opponent will also be allowed to replace the cue ball anywhere in the 'D' - see above.

However, if on your (extra) free-shot, you pot a ball without fouling, you lose the extra shot. This is to encourage tactical play - you obviously didn't need the free-shot!

This is no ordinary 8 Ball ... this is how the game is played in Monte Carlo. It's subtler. A little more strategic. Some say it'sm more sophisticated as well. Here are the differences you'll need to know.

1. Before Beginning Play:

(a) In the Monte Carlo game, the rack is referred to as a 'frame'.

(b) Putting 'English' or 'backspin', 'topspin' or 'sidespin' on the ball is known in Monte Carlo play simply as 'bottom', 'top' or 'side'.

(c) Balls are racked exactly as they're racked in the American version, with the 8 ball in the center of the triangle. But in the American version, the apex ball (the ball closest to the cue ball) is placed on the foot spot. Monte Carlo rules specify that the 8 ball has to be placed on the foot spot instead.

2. Opening Break:
(a) American rules allow the cue ball to be placed anywhere behind the head string for the opening break. Monte Carlo rules require the cue ball to be on or in the 'D'.

(b) American rules specify that unless a ball is pocketed, 4 balls are required to hit the rail after a break; Monte Carlo rules require only that if no ball is pocketed 2 balls must go to the rail.

(c) American rules specify that the choice of stripes or solids is determined when a player legally pockets more balls from one group than the other. The group from which the greater number of balls was pocketed is the shooting player's group.

Only if he has pocketed an equal number of balls from both groups must the player specify his group. Monte Carlo rules require that if a player pockets balls from both groups, even if he has pocketed more from one group than the other, he must specify ('nominate') his choice of group before play continues.

3. Fouls:
(a) In American rules, when a player commits a foul, the opposing player takes over and begins his turn from anywhere behind the head string and may shoot only at balls in front of the head string. Monte Carlo rules specify that following a foul, the opposing player gets at least two shots, even of he misses his first. For the first shot the cue ball must be placed on or in the 'D' and can be aimed at any ball on the table.

(b) Unlike American rules, which specify that 3 fouls in a row loses the game, there is no limit to the number of fouls allowed under Monte Carlo rules.