Saboteur II

by Clive Townsend, Rob Hubbard, Tim Hayward
Durell Software Ltd
Crash Issue 41, Jun 1987   page(s) 103

Producer: Durell
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Clive Townsend

Central security of the Dictator's mountain hideout was breached and details of his missile systems stolen in Saboteur 1. With the Ninja warrior who undertook that mission now dead, his sister continues the work, using the newly acquired information to alter the missile's target.

To do that our Ninjette must first enter the headquarters, which are protected by androids and pumas, by choosing her moment to drop from a hang-glider. There she finds an armoury, missile silos, offices, lifts and underdeveloped open areas. Inside the complex she can run left and right, jump up, drop down, or use ladders to reach other levels, while avoiding vampire bats in the lower levels.

Although android guards carry throwing knives and flame throwers, with each programmed in unarmed combat, they can be evaded and their weapons avoided by leaping or reaching areas where they do not follow. Androids and pumas can be killed, by punching, high kicking and flinging objects, (a marital arts throwing weapons is initially carried), but their great strength generally requires several lethal blows to be delivered very accurately. For every blow landed and opponenet killed, money is earned.

No energy is consumed by running or climbing, but puma bites, bums, drowning, falls and contact with guard's weapons reduces our heroines reserves. This can be replenished by standing quietly in screens where all guards have been killed, or do not follow, but not by waiting on ladders.

As progress is made through the 700 or so flick screens, supply crates containing objects, such as pieces of pipe, spanners, knives and some items not immediately identifiable are discovered. Crates can be searched - a stash searched message appears when this is complete - with their contents successively displayed in the 'near' box at the screen's base. When there, they can be transferred to the 'held' box and subsequently hurled at attackers. Only one object can be held at a time.

Computer tape may be contained within supply boxes, and when sufficient has been collected, it can be used to redirect the missile. At higher skill levels the terminal next to the missile can only be operated when extra sections of computer tape have been collected. When acquired computer tape pieces are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Other computer terminals control lifts and the electrified perimeter fence.

Once the missile's flight has been altered, survival depends on escaping by motorbike, along the single exit from the mountain - the tunnel protected by electrified fences - before missile launch. A clock shows time remaining until ignition.

Once a mission's been successfully completed, the next game level, with its separate mission objectives, can be started.


Control keys: A/Z up/down, N/M left/right, Space to fire
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: strong and clean
Graphics: large, nicely defined characters, tendency to flicker
Sound: good tune and spot FX
Skill levels: one; codes for other 13
Screens: over 700

Considering the time that Durell have had to develop Saboteur II it isn't a step on from its predecessor, more of a lateral move really. Having said this, it isn't a bad game and it's sure to keep Saboteur fans happy for ages. There are a lot of screens and the guards are tough, so overall it's a very hard game to play - but it is rewarding when you find the first piece of tape, or the bike. The jerky graphics can be annoying at times, but they're generally bearable. 48K sound is reasonable, with a title tune and some worthy effects during the game; the 128K version has the same effects but is graced with a great tune.

No surprises here, folks, the basic concept is very similar to the first game. Graphically it's exactly the same, but contains many more features; flame throwers, hang gliders, etc. The animation is superb - especially that of the pumas, and I like the idea of the player controlling a woman leaping about - it makes little difference really, but I'm sure lady players will find it appealing. Overall, Saboteur II is a much more challenging game than the first, with more obstacles and many more rooms. A superb follow-up with great depth of content.

Saboteur II is as appealing its predecessor. I had hours of fun playing the - this follow up has all of its qualities and lots more. Screen layouts are pretty much the same, and so's the sound; which may imply it's a copy rather than a continuation. Not at all! Playability has increased greatly, with keyboard response being improved. You might get a little bored with the same aspects of play, but although Saboteur II is slightly expensive, it's well worth having as a follow up.

Presentation: 84%
Graphics: 83%
Playability: 86%
Addictive Qualities: 79%
Value for Money: 78%
Overall: 83%

Summary: General Rating: Involving and challenging beat 'em up which successfully incorporates its adventure elements.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 17, May 1987   page(s) 89

You can stop you ninjing 'cos Durell has released Saboteur II - Avenging Angel. Phil South gets his shurikens shaken and his sword rattled.

Game: Saboteur II - Avenging Angel
Publisher: Durell
Price: £7.95

Swish Thud "Urgh!" Pad pad pad. "Halt! Who goes..." Swish snap!" ...Urk!

Silently sneeking through the darkened corridors, the sightly built Ninja dropped the two guards before they could make a sound. She climbed the ladder at the end of the corridor, only to find another three guards at the top... she expertly spun a pair of shuriken, injuring two of them. But the third ran after her. The corridor ended in a sheer drop own the side of the building... she backed up a step and without hesitation flung herself into the void, bunching her body tightly in a fast, high spin.

Phew! It's exciting all this ninja stuff, innit? if you enjoyed Saboteur, you'll just lurve Durell's spanking new sequel, Saboteur II. Subtitled 'Avenging Angel', it's the adventures of Sab's sister, a fetching get called Nina, who it seems is a Ninja too. Poor old Sab, though he escaped intact from the last adventure with the enemy's computer disk, got himself iced (clumsy beggar) at the end of Saboteur I. Sis is understandably miffed about it, and sets out to make home cooked catfood out of the evil foreign power who did for him.

The format of the game is similar to Sab I in that you are black clothed figure, with all the high leaps, Kung Fu kicks and punches, and a lot of shuriken and dragon's tongue swordplay besides. Where Sab II wins out over Sab I is in the sheer size of the thing! Over 700 screens take you through tunnels, the rooms in the three buildings, through the grounds around the base and even beyond... if you can escape.

Nina has discovered that her brother was knocked off because the disk he stole contained the plans for a new missile base, which the enemy is building inside a mountain. She hang glides over the mountain and drops into the enemy's base. On the top is the original missile base, a building containing all the enemy's ammo, and the new missile base. Previous Ninja warriors who tried to destroy this base have left their weapons behind, so there's plenty of stuff for you to fling at the flame-throwing androids and man-eating pumas...

You must get in, destroy much as possible, prevent the evil toads from nukeing the western world, and get out again on the flashy motorcycle you'll find in the lower caverns of the mountain. As in Sab I, you must also collect computer tapes, but this time if you feed them into the computer you'll blow up the missile. There are lifts to negotiate, 14 pieces of computer code to collect, pumas to outrun and eight foot tall androids to beat the living springs out of. Yep Sab II's a hell of a lot more difficult than its prequel! in order to drop a guard, you have to kick it, pierce it with shuriken, beat it over the head with spanners and lead pipes and generally duff it up for some minutes before it consents to have a little lie down. On the whole I avoided confrontation with the metal mickies and ran away rather than waste my energy.

All the computer tapes are in boxes along with your ammo - in order to find them you have to riffle through the contents of the boxes. The lifts save you a lot of time going up and down levels 'cos you can travel up to ten floors in one fell swoop. This comes in very handy when your timer's running short and you've got to get right down to the bottom level and on yet bike before the missile blasts off!

The graphics are smaller and a little more detailed than on Sab I, and the characters more animated. The androids seek you out, so you have to keep moving a lot more than in the previous game. For 128 music fans, the music for the Fat Speccy is fantastic.

This is a fine sequel, but possibly more important, it's a fine game in it's own right. Saboteur was an original twist on an old platform riff, so that makes Sab II a double twist with a backflip and a lager chaser!

Graphics: 9/10
Playability: 9/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Addictiveness: 9/10
Overall: 9/10

Award: Your Sinclair Megagame

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 45, Sep 1989   page(s) 47


He's chirpy and chatty, he's the chap with the cheapies, he's Marcus Berkmann, and he's back with a meaty BARGAIN BASEMENT.

Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann

This is one of Durell's better products. The follow-up to the hugely popular Sab 1, it was raved over by young Mr Snout ("you're all doing very well") way back in 1987, and if it doesn't perhaps hold up too well now, it's still an entertaining enough chase-and-kick 'em up with the novelty of a female hero (a good way of getting around Tzer, at least).

Mapping is essential, unless you happen to have the September 1987 ish of YS to hand, in which case look on the centre pages. (What? You don't have one? Buy a back ish immediately!) The scenario involves you (that's Nina, who's a ninja too) hand-gliding into the enemy control centre to avenge the death of your bro' - that's Sab - who got iced at the end of the previous game. You must get in, destroy as much as possible, prevent the evil toads from nuking the western world, and get out on the flashy motorcycle you'll find in the lower caverns of the mountain. Oodles of screens, loads to do, it's all pretty hard, but at £1.99, splendid value for money. A Megagame when it came out, it's not quite in the same league these days, but for anyone who likes their games big and hard (oo-er), it's a corker.

Overall: 80%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 63, Jun 1987   page(s) 28,29

Label: Durrell
Author: Clive Townsend
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

I dunno really. Maybe I've just seen a few too many games that look like this recently (and maybe none of them are as good as Dan Dare).

Saboteur II has large animated sprites and mixes martial arts with looking for things - pieces of punched tape which contain the secret something or other.

And somehow it just leaves me cold.

Shock, horror, non-sexistness! You play a woman (the ninja's beautiful sister we're told). You wouldn't know it though, she seems to be clad in the standard black gear. Anyway there's nothing to stop you pretending to be a man if being a woman gives you emotional problems.

There's a lot of screens (700) but a lot of them are pretty similar. There are objects to be found and used, but not many. The crux of the game really is kicking androids, which is OK but not easy.

The game begins quite well, you glide in on a hang-glider to a maze of high security buildings. Although you don't control the flight you do control where you 'drop' which in turn determines whereabout you begin your entry to the buildings. So, where you drop becomes part of the judgement involved in the game. For what it's worth I've found dropping after 3.5 screens worth of 'flight' most useful.

The game is divided into missions but the essential ingredients remain the same - kill as many androids as you can using either your feet, fists, or one of a variety of weapons located in the building. So far I've found stars, swords and wrenches. You are also looking for pieces of punched computer tape (these control the flight path of a missile and... blah blah...) if you can find them all, the next step is to find your way through a series of tunnels to a hidden motorcycle and take off...

Mostly the game area is a series of walkways at different levels linked by ladders with the occasional box or chair scattered about and the background is just an expanse of wall.

Tunnels are a little different being full of bats which need a fair amount of carefully timed ducking and the android robots are pretty nifty - large black figures, some equipped with a pretty threatening looking laser which burns away your energy levels at an alarming rate. Even better are the pumas which leap about authentically and can run faster then you can.

The actual fighting part of the game is goodish. Moves are essentially restricted to kick, duck and punch (or throw if you are holding something) and the androids don't fall easily.

A bar indicates your energy level and basically it gets used up in fighting and gets restored when you stand still.

What this means is that you have to be pretty careful about when to attack and when not - if your energy starts to get low, run away very fast Saboteur II isn't a bad game by any means, but it suffers from being too much like too many other games around recently.

Maybe it's a bit lacking in variety as well.

Overall: 3/5

Summary: Some nice graphics for the central characters but suffers from a paucity of plot ideas and a lack of game variety.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 24, Sep 1989   page(s) 84,85

Encore, Spectrum, £1.99

Another golden oldie, from the archives of Durell this time. Back in Saboteur, the Ninja had to recover a computer disk containing all the bad guys' plans. Though the mission was successful, the Ninja was fatally wounded. Now his Ninja sister is out for revenge.

According to the disk the main base of the baddies contains a missile silo. As good a place as any to extract revenge on her brother's killers.

Hang glide into the complex, find the ticker tape that contains the missile's flight path and redirect it. Then hop on to a motor bike and escape past the robot androids and the panthers.

700 screens-worth and a lot of addictive action make a pretty good buy.

Overall: 3/5

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 69, Jul 1987   page(s) 27

MACHINES: Spectrum
PRICE: £7.95

There can't be many games around to feature a woman as the main character. Well, Durell has broken this sex barrier with Saboteur II - Avenging Angel. It's a pity the game is not better. As a sequel it's not as good as the highly enjoyable Saboteur.

The plot of the first game had the Ninja breaking into a dictator's central security building then stealing a computer disk which contained the names of rebel leaders. And information about his deadly missile silo.

In Avenging Angel you play the role of the Ninja's beautiful sister. She must hang-glide into the dictator's new command centre and office complex on top of a mountain which is also filled with underground tunnels and caverns. The game sprawls over 700 screens.

She must search for pieces of punched computer tape that control the missile flight paths, redirect the missiles before blast off and then escape by motorbike via the complex's one and only exit.

Most of the screen is taken up with the playing area display. Objects which you are near - such as a spanner or word - are displayed. You can take the object which is then displayed in another box. Some objects are show as a question mark. There's also a timer which ticks off the vital moments before the missile launch. There's also a "pay display" which shows the Ninja's earnings. These go up as you collect pieces of tape or successfully defeat the baddies wandering around the complex.

Your energy level is represented as a red bar.

You start the game high in the sky on a hang-glider moving high above the complex. Hitting the fire button will release you and than it's a long drop down onto the complex. Judging the right moment is a bit tricky. Some drops are longer than others. Sometimes you can fall for ages and when you eventually hit the ground your energy drops alarmingly and you'll be in no state to fight off any guards.

Once down all you have is a small map outline of the complex. So you're not entirely clueless but a more detailed map will be essential. The whole place is patrolled by guards and pumas. The guards have knives and flame throwers. The cassette notes also mention vampire bats, but I didn't see any of these.

Fighting is typical stuff, all leaps, kicks and punches. Quite frankly, it's all very tame stuff and not particularly exciting.

After the first Saboteur this game is dull. Avenging Angel?

Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 5/10
Value: 7/10
Playability: 6/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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