Galactic Games
Copyright/Publisher: Activision/Software Studios/Tigress Designs,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Multi Evens, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Successor of our modern Olympics, the Galactic Games are the true pinnacle of stellar sport. Held every 0.00002 of a galactic revolution, they are organised by the AAA (Astronomical Athletics Association) and make full use of the bizarre physical forms that inhabit the Galaxy to produce competitive events that are just that little bit different.

Event Selection
When the preliminary program has loaded, players leave the title screen and open the Game by pressing any key. The opening ceremony involves the lightning of the Galactic Games Flame by a plasma bomb, ferned by wazrp cruiser to the host planet from the legendary site of the first Games.

Galactic Games is a multiload program - there are five different events, and an option of entering the Galactic Games Championship in which the player enters all events.

Cassette users should first reset their tape counters to zero at the start of the cassette, then play the five events in order noting down the counter readings at the start of each program segment in the boxes provided below (not available here!). On subsequent occasions you will be able to rewind or fast forward to any required event.

Disk users will be prompted if it is necessary to turn the disk over.

Number Of Players
Events 1-4 can be played either head-to-head against another player, or against a computer controlled opponent. Event 5 is a one player game.

In games 1-3 the computer takes control if it detects that the same FIRE control has been pressed in response to both "Player Ready?" questions.

In game 4, the conputer takes control if, when player 2 is asked to press FIRE, you do nothing.

Game Controls
Throughout the instructions, the controls are reffered to as UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, FIRE and QUIT. For joysticks, the first five controls are self-explanatory. For keyboard equivalents consult the table below.
[UP] - @
[DOWN] - :
[LEFT] - K
[FIRE] - Arrow Up
[QUIT] - Run/Stop

Quitting An Event
Players may end an event at any time by pressing the QUIT key. An on-screen prompt then offers the choice of continuing with anew game in the current event or returning to the event selection menu.

1. 100m Slither
2. Space Hockey
3. Psychic Judo
4. Head Throwing
5. Metamorph Marathon

1. 100m Slither
Players control specially-bred racing worms, which move by bunching up the central body and then sliding forward (similar to the motion of a caterpillar). A single movement cycle begins by pressing DOWN, which locks the head and bunches the body, drawing the tall forward. Pressing UP now extends the body so flat and causes the worm to slide forward. Repeating this action at speed drives the worm forward along the track, although for maximum speed you must find the right rhythm for the UP and DOWN strokes. Press DOWN and then RIGHT for a "super-slither".

To lubricate its passage along the ground the worm exudes slime from a gland when FIRE is pressed. If the slime gland runs dry, the worm will start to overheat. Unless the player slows down to allow the gland to recharge, the excessive friction will eventually make the worm burst into flames. The slime level and temperature of the two worms are displayed on meters at the top of the screen.

Both worms are always displayed on the screen, even if one player races much faster than the other. The two lanes scroll sideways independently, and the progress of each worm is indicated by the trackside numbering.

A worm is disqualfied if it fails to complete the course within 70 seconds.

2. Space Hockey
Space hockey is played with black holes for goals at the left and rightr of the field. Thus players have a tendency to be sucked into the goals if they stay too close, whereas the puck - a living creature - does it's best to stay out.

Player control is simply by means of the UP, DOWN, LEFT and RIGHT controls, with FIRE acting as a brake. The brake is essential for players to retain control because, being spheres themselves, the players will be rebound from the puck, and each other on impact.

The best tactic is to ram the puck in the required direction and press FIRE immediatelt after the impact so that you don't rebound and can regain control rapidly.

The main screen window shows they are around the puck (and thus not necessarily either of the players). The locations of this area relative to the entire hockey field is displayed in the second box at the top of the screen, as are markers for each player (this lets you find your way back to the puck if you dissappear off the main screen). The background grid on the main screen also offers some indication of the puck's location: the squares get narrower near the goals.

Players score three points if the puck falls into the opponent's black hole, and one point if the opponent falls into either black hole. The scores are displayed in the boxes at far left and right of the screen.

A match consists of four rounds of 60 seconds each. The round number and time remaining are displayed in the other two display boxes.

3. Psychic Judo
The left-hand window of the split screen shows player 1's view of player 2, while the right-hand window shows the player 2's view of player 1. The two players, whose over developed brains are located in their stomachs, belch bolts of psychic energy at each other and defend themselves with mental shields.

To attack, press FIRE to transfer psychic energy from your reserve (upper bar) to your bolt (lower bar). When the bolt is at the required strength, release FIRE to launch the bolt. You will see it travel away from you, and towards your opponent. Steer the bolt using LEFT, RIGHT, UP and DOWN, trying to avoid any shields your opponent may have erected.

There can only be one psychic bolt travelling at a time, so if your opponent gets his attack in first, you are forced into defensive mode. Here, you control the erection of mental shields in front of selected areas of your body in an attempt to catch the oncoming bolt.

The larger the shield and the longer you hold it, the more energy is drained from your reserves - however, if you catch the bolt a portion of it's energy is transferred to your reservers.

During defence, the drain on the psychic energy reserve depends on the size of shield and the time for which it is held. You can alter the shield pattern during the flight of the bolt if the attacker uses evasive maneouvers.

The shield appears as a dark area over the selected area of the body. If the bolt hits the shield, the shield flickers and the energy reserve increases: if it hits the unprotected area, the player flickers, and energy is lost.

There are two strategies. First, allow your opponent to attack you, and try to catch his bolts with your shields. This drains him and adds the bolt energy to your reserves. If you catch it, but drains you if you miss. Second, you can try attacking your opponent and rely on your ability to dodge your bolts around his shields.

In practice, a combination of the two strategies will be required as the relative energy reserves of the players shifts during a round. For example, if you're low on energy, wait for your opponent to launch a bolt and try to catch it. Or if you have much more energy than your opponent, try to finish him off with a single well-aimed attack.

The game consists of 60-seconds rounds, played on a best-of-five basis. The time remaining in a round is displayed in the central window at the bottom of the screen - if a round times out without either player losing all his energy reserve, it is replayed. The round won by each player are displayed at the far left and right of the score area.

4. Head Throwing
The participants in this event have detachable heads, the objects is for players to throw their own heads as far as possible down the field. The throw has several stages.

First the combined head and body makes a run up to the throwing line, by alternately pressing the LEFT and RIGHT controls, the faster the 'waggle', the faster the Hruntan runs. The speed is displayed by a moving bar in the left-hand box at the top of the screen.

Just before crossing the line, the players must press and hold FIRE. This freezes the action, while the second display box shows the head rotating up from the horizontal to the vertical. This is the angle at which the head will be thrown when FIRE is released: for maximum distance, you should get it as close to 45 degrees as possible.

When you release FIRE, the head is thrown and the second box now displays the length of throw. Once the head straightens out into level flight, some extra distance can be gained by pressing UP and DOWN alternately - this waggles the ears to generate lift.

Finally, the throw only counts if the nose sticks in the ground in impact, so before landing, the player must press FIRE again to make the head rotate. Pressing FIRE too earlt means the head will topple right over, too late, and the head will not tip enough to stick in and be counted.

So the length of the throw depends on four factors, the speed at the end of the run-up, how close the Hruntan is to the throwing mark at the end of the run, the angle that the head is thrown, and the amount of lift generated by ear-waggling. Each player has three attempts - whoever achieves the greatest distance, wins the round.

A throw is disqualified if the player steps over the mark, or if the nose fail to stick in the ground.

5. Metamorph Marathon
In this event, the player has to negotiate an obstacle course against the clock. The creature tackling the marathon is a Metemorph, capable of altering its body shape to suit the terrain. The player must decide which form is most appropriate to the current section of the course.

At the top of the screen are five displays, which have the following functions:

- The box at top left is the speed/power meter and indicates either the speed (when running/flying) or the stored jump energy (for jumping).

- The box below it shows how much of the course the player has covered so far.

- The third box displayes four red bars which represents the total energy left. Movement and heavy impact cause more rapid energy loss, finding power pils restores energy. The marathon ends if the metamorph runs out of energy.

- The fourth box displays the elapsed time in minutes and seconds, while the final box displays the active control keys for the currently selected body shape.

The metamorph has five forms available:

At the start of the marathon the metamorph is in its rest state, depicted as a pulsing blob of unstable cells. Pressing LEFT, RIGHT, UP and DOWN while in the rest state will transform the metamorph into one of its four mobile forms. Conversely, while in one of the mobile forms, the rest state will transform the metamorph into one of its four mobile forms.

Conversely, while in one of the mobile forms, the rest state may be achieved by pressing FIRE. To convert from one mobile form to another the metamorph must first return to the rest state.

This form is acquired by pressing RIGHT. The metamorph sprouts legs and will run towards the right if the LEFT and RIGHT controls are pressed alternately. The metamorph's speed depends on the ratel of 'waggle'. This form can only travel over level ground. Hitting a wall at speed costs energy.

This form is acquired by pressing LEFT. The metamorph convers to a smooth, streamlined bell-shape which can pass horizontally through certain obstacles (to the right only). This movement continues as long as the UP control is pressed. The burrower can also move over level ground but at an increased energy drain.

This form is acquired by pressing DOWN. The metamorph grows a spring like piston, enabling it to jump to great heights. (Falling a great distance in any form other than the jumper will cause excessive energy loss on impact.) Pressing DOWN tensions the spring (the time that DOWN) is held determines the strength of jump, as indicated in the speed/power meter.)

Also, simultaneously holding either the LEFT or RIGHT controls stores a left or right bias to the jump. When the controls are released and the metamorph is on the ground then the piston is triggered, causing the metamorph to jump straight up, to the left or to the right.

A series of consecutive bounces can build up the jumping height.

This form is acquired by pressing UP. The metamorph sprouts helicopter baldes which allow it to fly either vertically, or diagonally up and to the right. The blades are spun up to speed by pressing LEFT and RIGHT alternately - the speed/power meter indicates the flying speed.

Once the metamorph lifts off, the player can either continue 'waggling' to rise vertically, or pressing UP (without waggling) to fly across the course at the speed stored during the 'waggle' phase. Releasing the controls causes the flyer to lose its aerial velocity and drop from the sky until it lands, or you 'waggle' back up to flying velocity again.