Friday, 3 January 2014

Murk Alfa

By Jason Railton

Genre: Vexing vectors

Murk Alfa (a Star Wars reference?) is Jason Railton’s third entry to this year’s competition and this one is a jaw dropper.  It features wireframe graphics and brings great games and demos like ‘Escape from Targ’ and ‘Hunter’ to mind, and they were on the more powerful Amiga.

EDIT > It's been pointed out that it is in fact 'Mercenary: Escape from Targ' and there was a perfectly good Spectrum port available.  Not sure about 'Hunter', and short of doing a quick web search for it there is literally nothing I can do.

Jason provided the following info:



Due to an impending meteoric catastrophe, an entire but obscure

planetary system has been entirely evacuated.  Your task is to

infiltrate the capital trading district of one of the wealthiest

planet's major cities and steal the largest diamond in the history of

the universe for your shady employer.  You arrive and leave via the

city's Spaceport.  Due to automated security systems still in place, you

must procure all the materials to complete your quest from within the

city itself.



O and P - turn left / right

Q and A - step forward / back

W and S - sprint forward / back


SPACE or M - Fire / Select

To enter a building, walk under it, stand on its lift pad and press

FIRE, then B or 1-9 for the floor, 0 to exit.

When you have a suitable ticket, stand at a bus stop and press FIRE to

summon the bus.

When you have obtained a city map, press M to view it.

Press I to view an inventory of collected items.

With a suitable transport device, press E and D to move faster, but only

along roads.

With a suitable flight device, hold FIRE to gain altitude.


So far so good, in fact you might be wondering why this game isn’t in the best game 2013 competition instead.  Well, as good as Murk Alfa is there are a few tiny drawbacks, firstly the speed is buttock clenchingly slow (which is understandable because there is a lot going on), secondly the upper screen clears as it is redrawn, so you get a blinking effect when moving, third I can’t seem to solve any of the puzzles or make lifts work and fourth it returns to BASIC quite a lot.  With this in mind I began to suspect that Murk Alfa is not quite the finished article, however Jason gave his assurance that this is “a fully complete technical marvel, and has in no way given up because MCoder III runs out of memory trying to compile it.”


Nevertheless, Murk Alfa is a tantalising glimpse of a (potentially) amazing game, so whack your emulator right up and watch your Spectrum throw some astonishing wireframe shapes.  And erm if you can solve any of the puzzles let me know…

Thankyou Jason!

Download here.

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