Blasted Big Bank! Your small, struggling circus is about to be seized by a sinister scumbag, to whom you owe the sum of 10,000 smackeroos. Your Big Top will be blacktop if you don't bag the bucks needed to banish the barbarous banker from your beloved business. To make matters more miserable, he's sent Fiendish Freddy to foil your fragile finances and prevent your people from performing at their peak. Your objective is to obliterate this financial obligation by perfectly performing the precarious perils of the Big Top. Thus you will thrill the throng of spectators while also earning the megabucks needed to expand your arena.
The Magnificent Menu
After the opening sequence, the carnival hawker and the Main Menu will come on the screen. This menu allows you to choose Game or Practice Mode. Practice Mode lets you practice any particular event as many times as you like. Game Mode takes you through all six events (in order) and will give a score to each player.
To select Practice Mode, use the joystick to move the pointer to the bottom of the menu where it says PRACTICE and press the fire button. The menu changes to a list of the six events. Now move the pointer until it is over the event you want to practice and press the fire button. If necessary, you'll be instructed to insert a different disk.
Once the event has loaded, the following message appears on the screen:
PRESS "Q" TO QUIT OR PRESS FIRE TO CONTINUE
Whenever the fire button is pressed you'll go to the beginning of the event. Each event has either three or four levels. You'll begin your practice at the first level and advance to the subsequent levels only as you successfully complete each level. Whenever you "fail" at an event, or make it through all of the event's levels, the "Quit or Continue" message reappears. When you are finished practicing, press Q and you will be returned to the hawker and the Main Menu.
To select Game Mode, use the joystick to move the pointer to the number of players that will be playing the game. There may be anywhere from one to five players. Keep in mind that the $10,000 must be earned by a single player, not accumulated from what several players earn. Thus, in a multiplayer game, you're trying to raise the money, but you're also trying to earn more than the
other players. Once the pointer is over the desired number of players, press the fire button.
Next, each player will select an animal character to represent the player in the game. Each of the five characters is displayed one at a time. To scroll through the different characters, move the pointer over the words "Next Beast" and press the fire button. When the beast that you want appears, move the pointer to the words "Take this beast" and press the fire button again. When each player has selected his/her character, the ringmaster appears and the game begins.
As each event begins, the character whose turn it is appears on the screen along with the level he/she is performing and the message "Now Appearing". The player then presses the fire button to begin the event.
After all of the players have completed an event, the distinguished panel of judges will come on the screen and "score" each player by awarding him/her a certain amount of money. After the amount of the event is given, the player will see what his/her total is at that point. Once each player has been scored, the Ticket Tally appears and shows the totals for all of the players.
The Explosive Events
Phenomenal Feats of Diving Daring (High Diving)
To begin our Big Top O'Fun we bring you an act involving horrendous heights and terrifying targets (especially Level 3). Only the sturdiest of souls (and heads) will survive this stupendous spectacle.
In this event you take on the persona of Horace the High Diver. First Horace climbs up the ladder and moves out to the end of the diving platform. On the right side of the screen is a scale model of the diving platform. An arrow points to the level where Horace is standing. In the upper left corner of the screen is the name of the pose that Horace should perform first. In the lower left corner is a picture of the diver's target.
Press the fire button to begin Horace's dive. Once Horace is airborne, begin to quickly move the joystick from side to side, but keep Horace over the target. This gets Horace spinning around so that he can gain enough momentum to go into a pose. Once he is going fast enough, a bell rings and the name of the pose flashes, indicating it's time to go into a pose.
To perform a pose, move the joystick to the appropriate position and then press the fire button. The joystick positions for each diving pose are as follows.
As each pose is done, another name of a pose appears in the upper left corner. At this point you should again move your joystick from side to side so that you prepare for the next pose. The more poses that are correctly done, the more money you will make on your dive - that is, as long as you hit your target! As your man reaches the target area, he will automatically go into his
If you notice Horace veering from the centre of the target, move the joystick in the direction he needs to go to steer him back on course. Once he is again on track, go back to moving your joystick from side to side and prepare for another pose.
With each new level, Horace starts from higher up on the platform and has more time to perform the dives. However, it's also easier to go off course when your man is that high in the air.
Once the bell rings indicating it's time to go into a pose, you must immediately perform it. Failure to do so brings out Freddy with his portable, industrial-size fan to blow you off course. With each level Freddy appears sooner if you don't perform your poses as soon as the bell rings.
Genuine Juggling Genius (Juggling)
It's time to welcome Jeffy-Joe the Juggler to the centre ring. As a boy he was bemoaned as "Butterfingers", but now, he's well known the world over as the "Wee Wizard of Wonderful Juggling" (and he's wealthy, too).
The juggling event begins with Jeffy-Joe's obedient assistant catching and then tossing items up into the air. Jeffy-Joe then moves his unicycle to manoeuvre himself into position to catch and then juggle each of the items. Your objective is to keep Jeffy-Joe juggling as many items as possible until the time limit runs out. Drop five items and Jeffy-Joe's juggling career will be
just a memory.
To manoeuvre Jeffy-Joe, push the joystick in the direction you want to move. When you want to catch an item, move Jeffy-Joe so that he is positioned to catch the item in either his left or right hand. When you press the fire button, he will toss whatever is in his left hand and put whatever was in his right hand into his left hand. He will always throw things from his left hand (that's your right side), so you may want to get into the habit of catching with his right hand and then switching it to his left. Once you toss an item release the fire button and prepare for the next one.
If you pull back on the joystick, Jeffy-Joe brings both hands in to catch something against his body. It doesn't matter how the items land in your hands; you can't get hurt or penalized as long as you catch it (i.e. you can catch a knife by the blade or a flaming stick by the fiery end).
In Levels 3 and 4 a baby becomes one of the juggling objects. Your objective is to safely return the little tot to its carriage. Doing so removes one of the dropped items from your tally. The carriage will roll by as you juggle the baby. To put the baby in the carriage, position Jeffy-Joe so that after he tosses up the baby, the baby falls not into his hands but straight down into the carriage. Both Jeffy-Joe and the carriage must be exactly positioned for this to happen. Beware of the tantrum that occurs if your baby misses the carriage.
WITHOUT FIRE BUTTON PRESSED
Moves _________________________________________________________________ Moves
left | right
WITH FIRE BUTTON PRESSED
Right hand _________________________________________________________ Left hand
goes up (and objects switch from right hand to left) goes up
Every now and then Freddy will distract your assistant and toss the items out for him. Unfortunately, you could live without Freddy's help - really. He's only tossing bombs and missiles. If one of these items falls, it's "Kablooey" for you (and we're not kidding either)!
To handle Freddy's bombs, catch the bomb in either hand and then press the fire button while pushing up on the joystick. This manoeuvre will toss the bomb back in Freddy's court. If he throws a missile into your act, simply keep juggling it as you would any other item until time runs out for that level.
Breathtaking Bravado from Hazardous Heights (Trapeze)
May I direct your attention high above the centre ring of our Big Top O' Fun. It's time for yet another death-defying act of courage, bravery, and scanty outfits that could come off at any time. It's our own Finola of the Flying Fuller Family, and she's ready to swing her way across our tent and into your lustful minds.
As the event opens, Finola appears in the upper right corner of the screen. In the lower right corner you'll notice a picture of Finola's head. This represents the second chance that you'll have should anything happen to Finola on your first attempt. In the upper left corner you'll see the next bar swing in and out of view.
Press the fire button to start Finola off the platform. Then move the joystick in the direction that she should swing to get her momentum going. As Finola swings forward you should push the joystick left. As she swings backward, push the joystick right. To jump to the next bar, wait until the bar is moving toward Finola as she swings forward. Then, right when she is at the top of her swing, press the fire button. She'll then perform a beautiful flip and, if timed correctly, grasp the next bar. The process then begins again.
In addition to just swinging from bar to bar, Finola encounters several obstacles like paper targets and flaming hoops. Some of these are even bobbing up and down. Again, you must time your swing so that the hoop or target is low enough for Finola to go through.
Where does he get those wonderful toys? In this event, Freddy is armed with a large pair of scissors and a jet pack. He's able to fly freely about the big top waiting for his opportunity. If you leave Finola on one bar too long while she waits for the perfect jump, Freddy comes along and "cuts" her act short.
Deadly and Dangerous Daggers of Death (Knife Throw)
Ah, your lovely assistant, Knancy Knife, is in a precarious position now! You'll notice she's been blindfolded and tied to a rotating wheel, which also has balloons placed in many strategic areas about her. Your objective here is to break all of the balloons on the wheel before time runs out for that level.
In addition to the beautiful and scantily-clad Knancy, there is a row of knives that represents how many tries you have to break the balloons in each level. A clock showing your time limit appears in the upper right corner. At the centre of the wheel is your aiming knife.
Use your joystick to move this knife around the wheel until it is over an area where a balloon will come by. Press the fire button when you want to throw the knife and it will fly from you to the wheel. Timing is everything in this game, so you'll need to get a feel for how long it takes the knife to hit the wheel.
Take care not to hit Knancy. She's a real whiner and will surely let you know if your aim is off. In addition, you'll be penalized two throws whenever your dagger dents her.
Freddy still has a stash of bombs left over from the Juggling Event, so he's decided to put them to good use here. Periodically, he will appear from the side, throw his smoke bomb and then scram before it explodes. Unfortunately for you and Knancy, you have nowhere to run. The bomb fills the screen with smoke and generally shakes things up a bit, It will most likely throw off your timing and your aim, so try to regain your senses as soon as you can. Besides, he's always got another one where that came from.
Tense Travel Techniques on Tightrope (Tightrope)
It's time to raise your gaze once again as our fearless tightrope walker, Tony Tiptoe, demonstrates his amazing ability to span spectacular distances while perched at perilous heights. In other words, he's going to walk across that really high wire!
The event begins with Tony Tiptoe poised in the upper right corner of the screen. The platform he must walk to is positioned in the lower left corner. In the upper left corner is the "tilt-o-metre" view of your man. This will clearly show which way Tony Tiptoe is leaning on the rope.
Begin the event by pushing your joystick straight ahead. As Tony goes forward he will probably lose his balance and begin to lean right or left. Depending on the direction he leans, move your joystick right or left to balance him again and continue moving him forward on the rope. (For instance, if he leans left, move your joystick to the right to straighten him and then move him forward again.) If Mr. Tiptoe leans too far and is in danger of falling off, he will yell "Whoa" and his balancing pole will turn red. If he remains in this dangerous position for more than a second, he will lose his balance altogether and Freddy will be on the scene in no time.
For this event Freddy has reached deep into his bag of tricks and pulled out some of his best. To begin with, if your man takes too long to cross the wire, Freddy wheels out his cannon and stops your man "dead" in his tracks. In other levels he can be seen flying about trying to push you off or hurling circular saw blades at poor Tony.
When Freddy throws blades at Tony Tiptoe, you can deflect them with his pole by hitting the fire button as the blade approaches him. Failing to do so will leave Tony with a "splitting" pain.
Combustible Cannons of Colossal Courage (Cannonball)
And now for our fantastic and fiery finale! It's the fearless (and somewhat frenzied) Fernando, the Human Cannonball. I direct your attention to the far end of our Big Top where Fernando is pausing prior to his last-minute preparations (and possibly making a pass at his pert apprentice).
This event begins with your handsome human cannonball. Fernando, taking his pre-flight bows. In the lower right corner are two additional helmets, representing the two other chances you'll be given in this event (That's three chances in all.) In the lower left corner is a small outline of the cannon.
As his assistant, the lovely Lisa, loads the cannon with gunpowder, the small outline fills with red to indicate how much gunpowder has been placed in the cannon. Once she finishes putting in gunpowder, our hero dives in. Once he's in the cannon, a scale version of the tent appears across the top of the screen. In the middle of this will be the target that the little guy must hit.
Depending on how much gunpowder the lustful Lisa has placed in the cannon, you must decide how close or far the target should be in order for Fernando to hit it. As soon as this screen appears use your joystick to move the target closer (left) or farther (right) from the cannon. This must be done quickly before . . . well, read what it says under "Freddy's Role". Once your target is where you want it to be, press the fire button.
At this point, your alluring assistant lights the fuse. Once she finishes, the opening of the cannon begins to rotate to the right side. You must now decide the angle at which you want Fernando to be fired out of the cannon in order to reach his target. When the cannon is at the angle you want, press the fire button again. This will launch the fearless Fernando.
To see how Fernando progresses, follow his path along the scale drawing that appears at the top of the screen. If your placement of the target and angle at which he is shot are correct, he'll land on the target. If your choices were off, Fernando's landing will be more than a bit uncomfortable.
Once again, Freddy makes use of his jetpack so that he can fly about the tent. This time, however, he's armed with one big cork and just guess where he wants to stick it? Yes, if you waste too much time in this event trying to decide where to position your target, Freddy will make sure that your act creates a big bang.
A Wonderful Win Or A Loathesome Loss
If any one player has accumulated $10,000 or more, then your big top is saved from certain demise and it's curtains for Freddy. However, if no one person raised the needed $10,000, Freddy will take up permanent residence in the area and your circus will be nothing but a memory.
Select "Loader" from the menu when you turn on the machine. This will load and run the game automatically.
Note: The practice option is not available to cassette users.
Program copyright (C) 1990 Gray Matter
All rights reserved.
Conversions for Amstrad, Commodore, and Spectrum versions by Imagitec Design Ltd.
The following utilities are also available to allow you to edit the supplied screens of this game:
A digital version of this item can be downloaded right here at Everygamegoing (All our downloads are in .zip format).