The dateline is Xmas 2003, and another much-loved annual ritual, among GEM-
purist fans takes its place on centre stage. The latest GEM-Candy
competition is to hand, and this time, it could be any damn thing!
This year, there were three entries, which spread themselves over two games,
and a desktop widget, so without further ado, and only the briefest of
introductions, here are their stories...
(Technical note:- All these entries were tested on a CT60 Falcon and running
Magic 6.01, which is hardly bending the metal here!)
This is the smallest entry, coded by Matthias Jaap. It needs a set-up with a
modern version of Nvdi, and BubbleGEM is a good idea, otherwise any Atari
will do. "Kon-Ton" is the Japanese for chaos or disorder, and that is what
you get running this little application.
Well you get a safe simulation of chaos or disorder, as seen all too often
on a Windowze computer, as each time you click and run Kon-Ton, a different,
random, Windowze or Microsoft error message dialogue box opens up. When you
are told that "Value must be between 1. and 1. Reset the value to 1." you
know that you are better off without that sort of nonsense for real.
Additionally, there is a little easter egg built into Kon-Ton, and found by
clicking around in the empty spaces in the dialogue. This is a buzzword, or
management speak random generator, where you can indulge in as much
"Flexible learning structure" as your brain can handle!
So, nothing world-beating, but worth a moment's amusement.
The second placed entry was a proper game, coded by Phillipp Donze. This has
a similar requirement for a modern Atari operating system, in this case,
biased in favour of a later version of Magic.
The game is a classic fullscreen-grabbing (in 800 x 600 resolution) GEM
version of the ancient 'Painter' or 'Qix' game. Close off or fill parts of
the screen, whilst avoiding the bouncing ball, for if it touches your line
whilst it is incomplete, you will be killed! In addition, there are a couple
of little nasties chasing you around the lines that you have drawn. This
makes for quite a tough little game in the end.
The ingame graphics are simple to the point of starkness, You are a dot
trailing a line, the ball isn't ray-shaded in sixteen million colours. The
chasers are other dots, which sometimes makes it difficult to spot until it
is too late.
There are sound effects, if you run GEMJing, which Phillipp has handily
supplied, with the appropriate ingame sound effects. These are mostly
functional, but with some nice touches, such as cheering, if you do really
It isn't a Chu-Chu Rocket beater, or even a Superfly replacement. But for a
ten minute blast with drawing line fun, it can't be beaten (that easily!)
"Teenage Queen 2.0"
The winner of this current round of GEM-Candy, comes courtesy of Rajah Lone,
the artiste responsible for that photo showing dildo/banana confusion on the
Atariscne IRC gallery!
This is the most ambitious project of all the entries, a complete conversion
of the strip-poker game 'Teenage Queen', as originally released many years
ago, in the golden age of ST games. This needs a reasonably modern system,
Nvdi is recommended, a 640 x 400 screen mode minimum, a machine that
supports DMA sound is a good idea as well.
It is time to run the program, first noting the 'legal' section, that you
should really own the original disks, before playing the game. Yeah, and
like I'll just step through the door marked "1989", and rush down to my
local software retailer, and browse their generous selection of ST games,
paying particularly careful attention to the top shelf area for this
"Teenage Queen Reloaded" was one of the better early French games for the
ST, one of the better examples of the strip poker genre even. It seems to
gain an additional aura of classiness with its new high-resolution GEM
clothing. The original ingame graphics were nicely drawn, and had obvious
loving care taken over them. They look good even now, in this era of raised
resolutions and expectations, not at all outdated or out of place in any
way. The sound uses the samples from the original, for those lucky XBIOS
compliant Falcon style machines. There is a help file accessible if you have
something like ST-Guide or Hyp-view installed.
Timeless cartoon beauty, before Lara Croft!
It plays a reasonably mean game of strip poker, but you do have the option
of saving your game, when you feel you are making good progress (ahem!) You
even have the option of having more than one saved game file, so you can
lovingly keep a record of your "progress"! Throughout it all, the teenage
queen simpers in the background...
So Teenage Queen V2.0 is a worthy winner for this year's GEM-Candy
CiH, for Alive Mag,Jan '04.