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Cannon Fodder
Cannon fodder box art.jpg
Developer(s) Sensible Software
Codemasters (New Version)
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive
Designer(s) Jon Hare
Programmer(s) Julian 'Jools' Jameson
Artist(s) Stoo Cambridge
Platform(s) 3DO, Acorn Archimedes, Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar, Atari ST, Game Boy Color, PC, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Super NES
Release date(s) March 24, 1993, [1] 1994
Genre(s) Real-time tactics, Action game
Mode(s) Single player
Media CD-ROM, 3½ inch Floppy, Cartridge, UMD
Input methods Joystick, Mouse

Cannon Fodder is a short series of war (and later science fiction) themed action video games developed by Sensible Software, initially released for the Commodore Amiga. Only two games in the series were released, but were converted to most active systems at the time of release. The series has a clear, somewhat darkly humorous method of gameplay that perhaps even doubles as social commentary. The pre-mission screen shows a hill with a grave for each dead soldier, with recruits lining up in front of it and a sports-like score at the top of the screen. Soldiers each have unique names, while on the grand scale of things being nothing more than interchangeable cannon fodder. The tagline for the first game was "War has never been so much fun", and for the second (with a more sci-fi background, which included some alien missions) "War has only been this fun once before".

Contents

Gameplay

An early mission.

In both games, the player is in charge of a squad (the titular "cannon fodder") of between one to eight men that can be, for command purposes, split up to three groups (referred to as Snake, Eagle and Panther squads). All men have a machine gun with unlimited ammunition, as well as limited caches of grenades and rockets that can be found on the map. In later levels, the player is provided with some grenades and rockets at the start of the mission. The player's machine guns do not harm its own soldiers, but friendly fire from grenades and rockets is possible, which are also the only weapons capable of destroying buildings and vehicles. Men can also die if hit by debris flung from exploding buildings and vehicles, get caught in man-traps, mired in quicksand, and hit by enemy fire. Men usually walk, but several vehicles are available in some missions. The games are split into several missions, which are usually sub-divided into phases. Dead soldiers are replaced by new ones at the start of each phase. Each soldier that survives a mission is promoted and receives a small increase in the rate of fire, accuracy, and range. The player is only able to save the game upon completion of a whole mission.

Each phase is structured around mission objectives which range from "Kill all enemies" or "Destroy enemy buildings" to "Rescue all hostages". Some phases are complex, and require the player to use their imagination, pre-planning and strategy. For example players may have to split their team into two or more groups and leave one group to defend an area or route, assigning its control to the game's artificial intelligence, while taking control of another group.

Music video

The theme tune (War Has Never Been So Much Fun) for the game was written by the lead game designer Jon Hare, with musician Richard Joseph. Vocals were sung by Hare himself. A little-seen music video of the song was put together to promote the original release.[1]

Shot over just one day and for a total budget of £500, it featured the entire team dressed up in military uniforms, an assortment of masks (including one of Mario) and toy guns. The version of the music track is more complete than the one that appeared on the 16-bit versions and was recorded professionally. In fact, the menu screen track is also a pared down version of a proper song, featuring studio-standard vocals. Both of these tracks were written and performed by Jon Hare, as were many of the other songs featured in Sensible's games.

Characters

New recruits queue near the tombstones.

The original game has hundreds of individually-named recruits, of which the first few — Jools, Jops, Stoo and Rj — were named directly after the development staff. As each recruit is killed in battle, he receives a tombstone on the hill and the next recruit in line takes his place.

Reception

Cannon Fodder was awarded Best Atari Jaguar Game of 1995 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[2]

Subsequent Versions

Cannon Soccer

In 1994, a free minigame called Cannon Soccer (or Cannon Fodder - Amiga Format Christmas Special) was included on the coverdisk of the Amiga Format Christmas issue. It was essentially two bonus levels of Cannon Fodder in which the soldiers fought hordes of Sensible Soccer players in a snowy landscape. The levels were titled "Land of Hope and Glory", and "It's Snow Time".

Sensible Soccer 92/93 Meets Bulldog Blighty

Also known as Sensible Soccer: England vs Germany

On the Amiga Power Coverdisk 21 one of the demos was Sensible Soccer Meets Bulldog Blighty. It was an homage to the famous Christmas-time football match between the Germans and the British over no-man's land in 1914. It featured a mode of play that involved replacing players with soldiers from Cannon Fodder, and the ball with a hand grenade. The grenade would randomly begin to flash and would eventually explode after a few minutes, killing any nearby players. The match itself was also played in black-and-white.

Game Boy Color

Once Sensible Software was sold off to Codemasters, the decision was taken to port the game over to the Game Boy Color. The limit on having two men in your squad and a much smaller playing area meant changes had to be made to the gameplay, mainly to make it easier. Jon Hare described the change as converting "11-a-side football to 5-a-side football".

Cellphone

In 2004, Jon Hare set up a small mobile phone games team known as Tower Studios. Their first release was Sensible Soccer in 2004, followed by Cannon Fodder in 2005. Both titles were published by KUJU. The games were only playable on certain color models and due to many keypads' inability to register a diagonal movement (like UP & RIGHT) the control systems for both games had to be radically redesigned.

PlayStation Portable

On 28 August 2006, Codemasters announced that a brand new version of Cannon Fodder would appear exclusively on the PlayStation Portable. The game would have retained its familiar top down view, and the big heads of the soldiers, and for the first time the game would have been 3D. The game has since been canceled by Codemasters [3].

Canceled PlayStation 2 update

After selling Sensible Software to Codemasters, Jon Hare ended up consulting on many of their development projects. One of which was the PS2 title Prince Naseem Boxing. Work on this title was performed in a satellite studio based in Hammersmith, London. However due to the commercial failure of this title, the studio was shut down. A casualty of this was cancellation of a 3D update of Cannon Fodder, something that Hare had been working on for at least nine months. Hare did speak about how he was looking to expand on the whole theme of war and include gameplay not just set on the battlefield: "I'd like to focus on the public's perceptions of war and warfare. There's many interesting things that go on behind the scenes with politicians".

In an interview with Eurogamer in late 2005, Jon confirmed that there was up to two years' work (on and off) put into a 3D update of Cannon Fodder: "I designed Cannon Fodder 3 with Codies six years ago, development stopped and started three times and eventually it was seemingly permanently halted when the London studio was closed four years ago."

He then went on to add: "Nothing would please me more than to see this project resurrected, it was very advanced in its structure and therefore would need little modernisation."

Controversies

Poppy

The poppy logo.

The corn poppy, used as a symbol by World War I veterans, was also used as the game logo. The Royal British Legion reacted strongly against the usage of the Remembrance Day poppy, since they claimed it could induce buyers in error, believing the game was endorsed by them. When the use of the poppy was revealed in a magazine article prior to the game's release, Britain's Daily Star newspaper wrote an outraged article about this, urging its readers to "Make sure you do not buy this shameful game". Virgin Interactive was able to remove the poppy from the box before the game's release, but it remained on the title screen, and the developers also added an opening screen that read "This game is not in any way endorsed by the Royal British Legion".

Pacifism versus warmongering

The game was also criticised by the media for what was, at the time, considered excessive violence and glorification of war. In Germany the game was banned for sale to minors. Ironically, given its detractors, the game itself is a satire on war and those who revel in it, and makes numerous statements to this effect. These include the title of the game, the title song (which includes the lyrics "go to your brother / kill him with your gun / leave him dying in his uniform / dying in the sun"), and the enlisting recruits queuing next to a hill covered with soldiers' graves. Each soldier has a name, and the player is reminded of the casualties by name at the end of the level. The game manual ended with "And on a more serious note: don`t try playing this at home, kids, because war is not a game - war, as Cannon Fodder demonstrates in its own quirky little way, is a senseless waste of human resources and lives. We hope that you never have to find out the hard way" [4]

References

  1. ^ An almost complete version can be found here on Google Video. This version is an edited presentation for the Amiga CD32 and 3DO versions of the game.
  2. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1996.  
  3. ^ "Codemasters forum - Cannon Fodder". http://community.codemasters.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=577. Retrieved 2007-11-27.  
  4. ^ "Amiga Manual". http://www.lemonamiga.com/?mainurl=http%3A//www.lemonamiga.com/games/docs.php%3Fid%3D278. Retrieved 2009-08-16.  

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Cannon Fodder
Box artwork for Cannon Fodder.
Developer(s) Sensible Software
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive
Designer(s) Jon Hare
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Acorn Archimedes, Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar, Atari ST, Game Boy Color, MS-DOS, Sega Genesis, SNES

Cannon Fodder is a short series of two war (and later science fiction) themed action computer and video games developed by Sensible Software, initially released for the Commodore Amiga. Only two games in the series were released, but were converted to most active systems at the time of release. The series has a clear, somewhat darkly humorous method of gameplay that perhaps even doubles as social commentary. The pre-mission screen shows a hill with a grave for each dead soldier, with recruits lining up in front of it and a sports-like score at the top of the screen. Soldiers each have unique names, while on the grand scale of things being nothing more than interchangeable cannon fodder. The tagline for the first game was, "War has never been so much fun," and for the second (with a more sci-fi background, which included some alien missions), "War has only been this fun once before."

In both games, the player is in charge of a squad (the titular "cannon fodder") of between one to eight men that can be, for command purposes, split up into three groups (referred to as Snake, Eagle and Panther squads). All men have a machine gun with unlimited ammunition, as well as limited caches of grenades and rockets that can be found on the map. In later levels, the player is provided with some grenades and rockets at the start of the mission. The player's machine guns do not harm its own soldiers, but friendly fire from grenades and rockets is possible, which are also the only weapons capable of destroying buildings and vehicles. Men can also die if hit by debris flung from exploding buildings and vehicles, get caught in man-traps, mired in quicksand, and hit by enemy fire. Men usually walk, but several vehicles are available in some missions. The games are split into several missions, which are usually sub-divided into phases. Dead soldiers are replaced by new ones at the start of each phase. Each soldier that survives a mission is promoted and receives a small increase in the rate of fire, accuracy, and range. The player is only able to save the game upon completion of a whole mission.

Each phase is structured around mission objectives which range from "Kill all enemies" or "Destroy enemy buildings" to "Rescue all hostages". Some phases are complex, and require the player to use their imagination, pre-planning and strategy. For example players may have to split their team into two or more groups and leave one group to defend an area or route, assigning its control to the game's artificial intelligence, while taking control of another group.

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!

Cannon Fodder

Developer(s) Sensible Software
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive
DOS
Amiga
Atari ST
Sega Mega Drive
Super Nintendo
Atari Jaguar
Amiga CD32
3DO
Codemasters
Game Boy Color
PC
Release date Amiga:
1993 (EU)
Sega Mega Drive:
1994 (EU)
Super Nintendo:
1994 (EU)
Atari Jaguar:
1995 (NA)
Game Boy Color:
December 1, 2000 (NA)
Genre Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
DOS
Amiga
Atari ST
Sega Mega Drive
Super Nintendo
Amiga CD32
PC
ESRB: K-A
Atari Jaguar
3DO
ESRB: T
Game Boy Color
Platform(s) DOS
Amiga
Atari ST
Sega Mega Drive
Super Nintendo
Atari Jaguar
Amiga CD32
3DO
Game Boy Color
PC
Media 3 Floppy disks
DOS
Amiga
Atari ST
Compact disc
Amiga CD32
3DO
Input Sega Genesis Controller
Super Nintendo Controller
Atari Jaguar Controller
3DO Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Cannon Fodder is a short series of two war (and later science fiction) themed action computer and video games developed by Sensible Software, initially released for the Amiga. Only two games in the series were released, but were converted to most active systems at the time of release. The series has a clear, somewhat darkly humorous method of gameplay that perhaps even doubles as social commentary.

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