Monday, 7 November 2011

Nonterraqueous (C64) - Guest Post

"Nonterraqueous"! Say it, it's fun!

What is that title screen depicting anyway? Could it be a sphere bouncing off a robot in front of a computer? (external link)

Here's the Spectrum loading screen. Now I'm just plain confused.

This is the actual title screen. How dull. :(

Let's get Nonterraqueous!

Balls in a box! I'm the one on the lower left. I'm surrounded by other balls bouncing around the room.

My PSYCHE is going down, so that's the time limit. I'm on or at LEVEL 41, so I suppose I have to find my way through forty more rooms to beat this stage. Go go!

LEVEL 40! I can shoot the enemy spheres to blow them up.

Moving laser walls with enemies inside them... these enemies can't be shot. I need to time this exactly right if I'm not gonna crash into stuff.

My orb moves downwards at a constant speed automatically when I'm not moving in another direction, so I have to keep tapping up to hover.

Darn it. Clipped the purple barrier and I've lost a life already in the third room. Not the best start.

This lose-a-life jingle lasts for aaaages.

Yes, yes, yes. I accomplished absolutely nothing and was got by the photon thrusters. Quit living in the past. Roll out the next robotic seeker and let's continue the game.

Or not.

Back to the start again. I'd be more upset if I'd got further than the third room. This is fourth room, but I'm still on LEVEL 40. I guess I have to travel from one horizontal row to the next, finding the passage upwards.


Swap what? Fire shoots. Shooting the SWAP doesn't do anything. Is it time to tap every key on the keyboard one by one?

First key: Space. Lucky guess. Space has swapped me into a helicopter-type craft that appears to be identical to the orb except that it can't shoot. In the room to the right of the previous one, I've found this thing that looks like a mixture between a creepy flower and one of the Exit transmitters from James Pond 3. Helicopter form can't shoot it, so I'll try activating it with Space like the SWAP.


This is the Game Over jingle.

What WHAT?

I filled the PSYCHE banks of the seeker to overflow and caused its death?! Give me a break! It's not as if holding Space gradually restored my PSYCHE and I simply held it too long. I tapped Space and instantly died.

Let's try this AGAIN.

Yes, I know I'm playing Nonterraqueous. Thanks.

Peoo! Peoo! That's for killing me last go around.

No effect.

Ignoring the dead end with the SWAP machine in it, I find a passage dripping with fruit juice.

Avoiding the juice is more difficult than it looks due to the orb's falling motion. Thankfully, colliding with the walls is one of the few things that doesn't kill me instantly.


Don't we have any spare seekers lying around? Who's idea was it to bring just one?

We're still playing Nonterraqueous! Doesn't that say Nonterraqveous?

This looping music is really starting to get on my nerves. Doot doot doot Non-terr-aq-ue-ous. Doot doot doot doot. (YouTube link)

Helicopter form is immune to the drips! I suppose that should've been obvious...

It's a missile! I don't know if I should press Space on it considering what happened with the PSYCHE machine. Oh what the hey, if it kills me I'll only have to float all the way back here again.

It was a bomb, and it was added to my BOMB count. I didn't die! Not even slightly!

These rooms aren't going to start looking different from each other any time soon, are they?

They could have given me a map that gradually built up as I played, or maybe a ROOM coordinate showing me how far I am along the current LEVEL.

Big flashing wall. Strangely, crashing into it doesn't kill me, I just can't pass through it. Gotta find another route. Back to the right, heli-robot!

This is a new thing, isn't it? Or is it just a purple instantly kill barrier that happens to have a regular enemy stuck inside it?

And stop the press, as I have just achieved 005 PRCENT completion! Thank you, thank you.

I'm a dozen screens further along the path leading upwards from where I found the BOMB and all I'm finding is dead ends and SWAP machines. Sadly, the only two forms I can take are the shooty orb or the drip-resistant helicopter.

I was hoping to find a switch to turn off the impassible wall, but I didn't see anything except SWAPs. I'll have another look around here and then find my way back from LEVEL 37 to LEVEL 40 to have another look at the wall.

Safe and sou... damn. Heli-robot didn't like that.

Well here we are again. I didn't feel like getting my 005 PRCENT back for exploring what I already know to be completely useless and empty screens. As for the impassible wall, I guess I'm going to have to hit the tape inlay.

Hah, you're gonna love this. The tape inlay lists Space as 'to pick up/drop object/swop mode'... except the previous owner of my Nonterraqueous tape has scribbled out 'drop object' and written 'D = drop bomb' on the opposite page.

Not even Mastertronic know how to play this game.

Boooom! (Sounds more like briiinnnnngggg!')


And that familiar sound would be the Game Over jingle. What I have I won today?

I did NOT explode my anti forcefield bomb too near the robot seeker! The bomb falls out the base of the robot and it's a narrow bloody corridor! Where the hell else am I supposed to drop it?

So I SWAP, get the BOMB, get as high as I can in the narrow corridor, wait for the enemies to fly away from me and drop the bomb.

The impassible corridor has metamorphosed into two purple barriers! Or I've been teleported to a random room.

That's pretty nervewracking for what is essentially using a key to open a door. A single use key that I can accidentally use in any room and kills me if I'm not scraping the ceiling when I do so.

It's another machine...

Dare I press Space on it?

It didn't kill me! Instead, it refilled my PSYCHE to 900! So, light blue ones are bad, dark blue ones are good. Fair enough, I suppose.

Okay then, well, what the hell does this red one mean?

I've got near full PSYCHE, so I'm not gonna find out. To the right!

That is a new kind of barrier. Let's fly into it!

Impassible, but not deadly. How novel. Back left.

It's a rocket! I can't Space it. Heli-robot can't shoot it. Up is the only way I haven't fully explored yet. Fly heli, fly!

Now, one instant death beam trap is exciting. Two consecutive instant death beam traps is tense. Three consecutive instant death beam traps is challenging.

FOURTEEN consecutive identical instant death beam restart-the-entire-game traps is TOO MANY. Especially when there's enemies flying about randomly that sap your PSYCHE and slow you down when you're in contact with them. I can't shoot the enemies as a heli, and even if I could there isn't really enough space to do so. Orb form can only shoot left and right. With the robot moving downwards when the joystick is idle, I'd have to either keep tapping up or waggling the joystick left and right to avoid falling onto the screen below.

And then I have do all this over again when I've flicked the switch that makes the rocket work.

Quick! Up or right? Up or right?

Too late, I'm going up.

And I found some new graphics after all!

Okay, I thought fourteen consecutive identical instant death beam restart-the-entire-game traps was bad. How about another TWENTY THREE MORE?

After about five screens, I figured I must be near the end. After ten, I realised that if I'm in for a penny, I'm in for a pound due to my rapidly decreasing PSYCHE. After twenty, I guessed that this must be the final push for the end of the game. I might have missed some upgrades for the robot, like 'weapons that shoot vertically', but if I can at least get a screenshot of the final boss, it'll be worth it.

Would you like to see LEVEL 1?

Game Over jingle.

I know I'm running low on PSYCHE, but it's not ZERO yet. IS IT?






  1. tape1.jpg appears to be a broken link.


Semi-Random Game Box