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

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