So, you've flown hundreds of hours in your starfighter, maybe even completed all three mission pyramids in the game. An ace pilot of innumerably combats. A seasoned veteran of all one hundred and eight missions, your Predator Mk -IV scorched and battle scarred. What next?
Your mission, pilot, should you choose to accept it, is this: You are to perform idiotic stunts, defying the odds to emerge alive from the most ludicrous manoeuvres.
Here are some ideas to pass the time on a rainy afternoon, and expand your ego. I strongly recommend that you tune up the performance of your Predator first. A steady hand and a clean computer mouse also help.
This one was mentioned on comp.sys.acorn.games a while back. Evidently a popular manoeuvre, although it isn't particularly challenging or impressive unless you weave through the bridges at maximum speed.
Approach the bridges on the Academy map, which span the road from grid reference B0 to grid reference D0, from either North or South. Fly under the first bridge, over the second bridge, under the third bridge and so on until you reach the end of the line.
A variation on this idea is to weave in and out along the line of the vertical bridge support columns. Remember not to take your finger off the throttle, or it is cheating. (And not much fun!)
On the Training Academy map, between map references C-4 and D-4, there are two blue towers that stand corner to corner. At this point, the East/West and North/South red pipelines also cross each other.
Your challenge is to approach the towers from the South-east, and fly directly upwards through the small gap between the junction of the pipes and the buildings. This must be achieved without crashing into either the buildings, or the pipelines.
This manoeuvre isn't as easy as it looks, particularly when the mothership pilot decides to turn just as you are lined up with the entrance. Fortunately, once inside, the FedEng matter tractor beam will grasp your ship and roll it the correct way up, whilst at the same time halting its headlong flight within a distance of a few metres.
I've seen many people incapable of docking even when not inverted, so if you can do this stunt you must be pretty good.
Rich Mackin e-mailed me in September 2000 to describe this suicidal stunt...
"Fly as high as possible (until you're forced to dive). Then fly at full throttle toward the ground and climb, narrowly avoiding the ground. Success comes through not crashing and not scraping your shields against the ground. Point to note: you approach the ground a lot faster than you'd think, and it's difficult to judge your altitude. An amateur would smash into the ground without even attempting to climb!"
The screen shot on the right shows the result of yet another failed attempt by me to reproduce the weird camera effect one sometimes gets when climbing steeply after skimming very close to the ground.
Here's one from my brother Martin, who thinks he has invented a new stunt. Although I have to disagree about its originality, this old chestnut is worth mentioning if only because of the almost irresistible attraction it has once discovered.
"The condition is this: at grid reference C5 on the Training Academy map there is an interlocking matrix of red pipes. Starting from a little way back, you have to fly underneath it at one corner and come out at the opposite corner at maximum speed. Happy exploding!"
If anyone else has any favourite mad stunts that I've not mentioned, then contact me and I'll add them to this page...
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