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Alive 9
                         "BOLD' 1.1b" by LAURENT KERMEL

system ..... ST, STe, Falcon, STEEM, 1 MB RAM, RGB/VGA

tested on .. Falcon/VGA, STEEM (the worst choice to play the game)

genre ...... shot'em'up

size ....... one disk, not harddrive installable

release .... game created in 1989/9o, finished in 2oo4


As I checked the  DHS site for news I stumbled  over this game (where else?) and
as it said "R-Type a like" and I like  fast and frantick  shooters, I leeched it
right away to check it out.

At first, BOLD' is  a game that  was started  about  15 years back (woah!) by  a
single french coder, Laurent Kermel, who  tells on his website that he worked on
many other games  too in the past, but  somehow all those games seem to be never
released  or  finished... untill  now, as Laurent  decided to  make  some  final
touches on them to give 'em away for free, good thing, no?

A thing that impressed me right away on his page was the  very professional look
of his games that partly can deal with commercial games very well...

BOLD' is one of them, a horizontal scrolling shot'em'up  in R-Type style. No big
story behind, just  make your  way through  a space  station, fight against many
different baddies, robots and space ships with several weapons.
Clou at this  point is that your  hero can transform itself from a men wearing a
heavy armed  space dress  into a  spaceship  and  back, this  allows you  to fly
through smaller points  at the steady scrolling level without getting destroyed.

Ok, the  Level One Boss has to  suffer! The  things bound on  my ship can all be
collected in level one, such as a two missile throwers, a drone and a laser.

The game features  5 different designed  worlds with partly changing enemies and
and  interesting  obstacles  as  well  as  different active  and passive  ground
installations. If you  have made your  way through a single level, where you can
collect special  items like power  ups, new weapons and so on, the usual bad ass
waits for your appearance and a lot of fire power is needed to blast em away.

If you have blast'em away, you will enter a shop where you can buy and sell your
equipment, power ups, extra lifes and so on, you have to pay with the points you
made in  the level before, so  every killed  enemy is worth  some money later, a
good reason to kill'em all! This shop  reminds me hard to "Xenon 2", in its idea
and style... no question, I liked the Bitmap Bros games a lot and this shop gave
me a little flashback to those great times.

This really isn't Aldi, Lidl nor Walmart...

Ok, let's take a closer  look to the technics. At first, the game comes along on
a protected disk  but MSA  packed. It  isn't harddrive  installable, bad for the
Falcon owners. Yeps, you're  right, the  game runs  without any  problems on the
Falcy as it  doesn't uses special ST features like rasters and open borders. And
so it does on STEEM, but there you have to play around with the speed buttons as
the game  is nearly  unplayable fast, even  on my 233 MMX Pentium if I chose the
8Mhz option. But as it  runs fine on  Falcon too, there  is no  need to  try the
emulation  at  all, you have to  know that my ST's are  sleeping in  the cellars
nowadays... dreaming of better times.

The rocking things  coming now, the  grafix are, apart from  the intro/game over
pixels, that  do their job but  aren't brainkillers, well  done, the enemies and
stuff are nice pixeled and partly nice animated, the scrolling is soft and quite
smooth (the game is coded in GFA...) and offers even some scrolling stars in the
background. The enemies  appearing in always the same waveforms, that isn't that
thrilling  but as there are  many different ones  coming up in  later levels, it
doesn't matters that much.
The intro  furthermore offers  some  trackermusic while  you get  only some chip
generated fx in the game itself, it is a bit boring with the time.

The controls are  realised just with the  mouse, right mouse button to transform
your hero, left one to shot. Moving the mouse around moves your hero... a little
strange solution but works very well.

As you give  away all your  points as  money in the  shop, there is no highscore
included. That surely doesn't rises the motivation that much but the shop itself
is a good thing to have chance to see later levels, as you just have 5 lifes and
no continues. The several available weapons give a special touch and you can, if
you have enough money, transform your little hero into a ultra heavy armed thing
that floodes the screen with bullets.

So what at all?! BOLD' is, even  though it  is about  15 years  old now, still a
 very nice  and cool game and  should force lovers of shot'em'up
 games to blow away the dust from their machines.
 For a GFA  game the techniques  are quite stunning, the  grafix
 well done  and sounds  ok. Special  features like several power
 ups, special weapons, the  shop as  well as  so many  different
 enemies give a quite good motivation to give it a try again and
 again. So what to say? Get it and blow some baddies away!

PS... If you're using a harddisk then take care from booting from the game disk,
      it may cause a harddisk crash, as it  happened on my  Falcon after the 2nd
      try of the game... :/


Alive 9