Commodore User

Dan Dare 2
By Virgin Games
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #54

Dan Dare 2

The Mekon (the green one with the extra large cranium) whose sole aim in life is to bring destruction to our home planet (must be a West Ham fan!) has started playing with genes and hormones and things like that [Yeah, them kind of fings - Fik Ed]. Now the evil one has created a race called Super Treens, a race of dedicated destructionists. Anyway, the Mekon plans to send them on the Earth and will definitely succeed unless you, controlling Dan, can go and meet him face to face and put an end to his evil.

The game is set out over four levels, each level has six Super Treens being genetically cloned, the fourth and final level has seven. Dan must ride around on his jet scooter, and shoot the life support machines upon which these wicked creatures are being nurtured. David Alton would not approve - that's why there's a time limit. The game's real enjoyment now becomes apparent. I've never seen a man so happy as adman Scrivo, when he was shooting the Super Treen's foetus thus turning them from Mekon green to a rather sicko intestine red.

Dan has a little trouble initially trying to scoot around on his phallic-looking space moped since the Mekon's ship has the strangest kind of gravity that I've ever seen. You seem to be able to fly around okay, that is until you come to a tunnel, which often decides to suck you in, and send you somewhere that you most definitely do not want to go, such as an interesting garbage chute for instance.

Dan Dare II: Mekon's Revenge

Unlike most run-of-the-mill bog-standard average, everyday, mediocre games, this one gives you the chance to play both the goodie and the bad guy. Yes, you can indeed play that green forehead himself the Mekon. When you do you must not kill the foetus of the Super Treens but you must release them before that Slimy ass-kissing little do-gooder Daniel Dare can kill your genetically perfect little creations.

Around the levels there are many little hidden tricks and gadgets waiting to be discovered, useful things such as shortcuts and extra firepower icons are around for those who persevere. The best way to find these is really just to fly around like a pig in a bacon factory, and blast everything that looks blastable.

There are Mekon guards around who will blast Dan's energy down, in the hope of ending one of his six lives. But this method is by no means the only way that our hero can die, and it is probably the least likely to occur. The most common way of dying, in my experience, is through the very ungenerous time limit. Once you have shot one of the Super Treen babies you have then ten "Mekon" minutes, which are about the equivalent of three human minutes, to kill the rest of the evil embryos. Another interesting way of ceasing to live is finding yourself in the garbage room where the walls have this annoying tendency to come together with the result Dan becomes Danish.

Dan Dare II is a very enjoyable game indeed, and nor is it another dose of the original, which is a good thing (though half of me wishes it was because the first one has to be held as one of the best arcade adventures ever on the C64). The sequel is a more straightforward challenge, but still enjoyable.

Ferdy Hamilton

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