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Ballblazer
Ballblazer Coverart.png
Developer(s) Lucasfilm Games
Publisher(s) Atari
Platform(s) Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, MSX, NES, ZX Spectrum
Release date(s) March 1984[1]
Genre(s) Action, Sports
Mode(s) Two player

Ballblazer is a 1984 computer game created by Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArts Entertainment). It was originally released for the Atari 8-bit systems, such as the Atari 800 and the Atari 5200. It was also ported to other popular platforms of the day, such as the Apple II, ZX Spectrum (by Dalali Software Ltd), Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Atari 7800, and the NES. The Atari 800 version was called Ballblaster during development - pirated versions of the game went by this name as well[1]. The principal creator and programmer of Ballblazer was David Levine.

The game might be described as a one-on-one soccer match set in the future. You control a craft called a "rotofoil" and try to snare a floating ball called a "plasmorb" using your rotofoil's pseudo-magnetic energy field (the "pull field"). The plasmorb can subsequently be fired or carried into the goal at the opponent's end of the grid. Both sets of goals move horizontally across the playfield's "endzone." A goal will also shrink in horizontal size after each score that has been made through it, making it slightly harder for the scorer to achieve subsequent goals and thus providing a mild catch-up mechanic for the opponent, whose goal will not have shrunk from that score.

Play takes place on a simple 3D playfield that resembles a long rectangular chessboard-like grid, with curvature, such that a player can only see around 25% along the length of the grid at any one time. The user display for the game features a split-screen setup (divided along the horizontal axis, i.e. a top and bottom rather than left and right split), with twin first person points of view, one from each rotofoil. A user can play against a computer-controlled "droid" rotofoil or a rotofoil controlled by a second user.

Goals are worth one point if the plasmorb was "pushed" across the goal, or two or three points if "fired" into the goal. A three point score can be achieved only if the scoring player did not have line of sight to the goal at the moment the plasmorb crossed the line. This is known as an "over the horizon" or "OTH" shot, and represents the pinnacle of skilled goalscoring. (Note that it is not essential to have no line of sight to the goal when the shot is taken, so long as the rotofoil is kicked backwards a sufficient distance by the time the plasmorb crosses the goal line.) Game play continues until one player earns ten points, or until the clock has expired, in which case the player with the greater number of points wins. In the event of a tie, the game moves into sudden death overtime where the first player to score wins the game.

At any given time, the maximum points total possible for both players combined is ten, for example 9-1 or 6-4 (although scores such as 4-1 and 8-0 are also perfectly possible). If a player were to be leading 6-4 when his/her opponent scored two points, the score would be changed to 4-6 in the opponent's favour, as two points were "pushed off the board" in a kind of tug of war mechanism. It is thus possible for both players to score six points in play but for the final score to be 6-4, with whichever player had scored last taking the victory.

In 1990, LucasArts and Rainbow Arts released a remake and follow-up to this game, called Masterblazer. This game was released for the Amiga, Atari ST, and PC DOS. A similar game inspired by Ballblazer called Space Football: One On One was developed and released by Triffix for the Super NES in 1992. Years later on March 31, 1997, a remake of the original titled Ballblazer Champions was released for the Sony PlayStation.

Contents

Soundtrack

Ballblazer featured fractal based algorithmic music which played continually between matches. The music plays forever, without repeating itself but without straying too far from the original theme. The bassline doesn't vary at all, only the lead line in the higher register is fractally varied. The fractal music system was designed by Lucasfilm Games team leader Peter Langston, who also wrote the jazz riff and walking bassline on which the software improvises. Langston, an experienced jazz, rock, and folk musician, said of Ballblazer's music: "One reviewer, an eminent jazz player, said it sounded like John Coltrane did it. I think that's my best compliment so far."

A sample of Ballblazer music from the Commodore 64 version :

Ballblazer.ogg

See also

References

  1. ^ Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts pg. 54

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Ballblazer
Box artwork for Ballblazer.
Developer(s) Lucasfilm Games
Publisher(s) Atari
Release date(s)
 March, 1984
Genre(s) Action, Sports
System(s) Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, MSX, NES, Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Followed by Ballblazer Champions
Series Ballblazer
This is the first game in the Ballblazer series. For other games in the series see the Ballblazer category.

Ballblazer is a 1984 action-sports game created by Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArts Entertainment). It was originally released for the Atari 8-bit systems, such as the Atari 800 and Atari 5200. It was also ported to other popular platforms of the day, such as the Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 7800, Commodore 64, and Sinclair ZX Spectrum (by Dalali Software Ltd). The Atari 800 version was called Ballblaster during development. The principal creator and programmer of Ballblazer was David Levine.

The game might be described as a one-on-one soccer match set in the future. You control a craft called a "rotofoil" and try to snare a floating ball called a "plasmorb" using your rotofoil's pseudo-magnetic energy field (the "pull field"). The plasmorb can subsequently be fired or carried into the goal at the opponent's end of the grid. Both sets of goals move horizontally across the playfield's "endzone." A goal will also shrink in horizontal size after each score that has been made through it, making it slightly harder for the scorer to achieve subsequent goals and thus providing a mild catch-up mechanic for the opponent, whose goal will not have shrunk from that score.

Table of Contents

Getting Started
  • Controls
Walkthrough
Appendices

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Ballblazer

Developer(s) Lucasfilm Games
Publisher(s) Atari
Release date 1984 (NA)
Genre Sports (Futuristic)
Mode(s) Single player
1 or 2 Players Competing
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Platform(s) Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Input Atari 5200 Controller
Atari 7800 Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Ballblazer is a game released for the Atari 5200, Atari 7800, and home computers.

Gameplay

You and another player control hovercraft flying over a checkerboard playfield with the object of capturing a floating hoverball and either bringing it past the opponent's goal posts or firing it between the posts to score points. You must be careful not to let your opponent snag the hoverball away from you while you are doing this. The goal is to score more points than your opponent.


This article uses material from the "Ballblazer" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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