The atomic world is in crisis. An epidemic is sweeping through the elements turning them hostile and altering the very nature of matter itself. Only a handful of survivors remain. These include the six Noble Gases (Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon and Radon), members of an order following an approach of isolation in pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. They have analysed the infection and although its origins still remain a mystery they have established that it targets the neutrons within the nucleus, spreading from atom to atom via chemical bonding. The Noble Gases contain neutrons yet their policy of isolation explains why they have not yet succumbed to the illness.
Using their wealth of knowledge the Noble Gases have managed to design an antidote to the infection, and each has been tasked with creation of a specific part of it. These are now complete but the spread of the epidemic has been so rapid that it has trapped the Noble Gases in dispersed locations throughout the atomic world. If the parts of the antidote are not fused together and released soon then the infection will become irreversible and all hope will be vanquished. This is where you come in.
You are Hydrogen, the only other element to have shown resistance to the contagion. Your immunity is due to the fact that you do not contain a neutron. This also makes you the lightest of all the elements and therefore the nimblest, a characteristic that makes you the only one left who can collect all six parts of the antidote in time and bring them back for release.
As you journey through the atomic world you will find loose electrons scattered about. You can pick up and carry an additional electron which might prove useful in your quest, but be careful as this will make you negatively charged. You'll also need to be on your guard for infected atoms as they will annihilate you should they manage to touch you.
Obstacles and traps await you at every turn and you will need to use all your dexterity and ingenuity as you battle Against The Elements.
The game runs on a standard 16K ZX81 and is in the isometric style made famous on the Spectrum by Ultimate. It uses the pseudo high resolution techniques pioneered by companies such as Macronics and Software Farm.
The bottom side areas of the screen are used to display status information. The large H followed by a subscript number shows how many lives are remaining. Next to this will appear a circle with a minus sign in it whenever you have picked up an additional electron. The six '+' shapes running along the bottom show which parts of the antidote have been collected. Parts that have been found are shown filled in. The vertical bar on the right indicates how much time you have left. To the side of it will appear two large dashes whenever the game is paused.
The game is controlled using the cursor keys (5, 6, 7 and 8), with 0 for jump, 9 for pick-up/drop and SPACE for pause/continue. You must be standing on an electron in order to pick it up. You cannot jump into an archway or jump while in an archway. You also can't push an object through an archway. You can't die from falling but you will killed if you come into contact with an infected atom, which are distinguished by having two stripes around their middle. When you find a Noble Gas you must push into it to collect it's contribution to the antidote. At the end of the game, press the SPACE key to restart. Everything else you must work out for yourself!
The game includes full colour support for the Chroma SCART interface. The colour facilities should be switched on prior to loading the game.
The ZX81 program filename is ATE. If a ZXpand interface is connected then its ROM must be disabled in order for the game to display correctly. This can be achieved by loading the game using LOAD "ATE;X".
Against The Elements is Item ID 9056 in our database. Last modified on Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 08:48:59 AM.
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