product-image

Controls

Joystick Action
UP Up
DOWN Down
LEFT Left
RIGHT Right
◯   ⬤ Fire
⬤   ◯ Fire
◸   ◥ One Player, One Joystick
◤   ◹ Fire
●○○○ Two Players, One Joystick
○●○○ Two Players, Two Joysticks
○○●○ Toggle Strobes on/off
Joystick Action
UP Up
DOWN Down
LEFT Left
RIGHT Right
◯   ⬤ Fire
⬤   ◯ Fire
◸   ◥ One Player, One Joystick
◤   ◹ Fire
●○○○ Two Players, One Joystick
○●○○ Two Players, Two Joysticks
○○●○ Toggle Strobes on/off

Alleykat

It's the alleykat racing season. Can you become the champion? Compete in eight orbiting space stadia. Choose from demolition derbies, time trials, endurance epics and other battles. Spin your multi-mode alleykat speeder past the cavorting katerkiller. Gyrate round the gripping gravo-craft. Can you join the best speeder pilots in the alleykat finale?


Scenario

“It is the Alleykat Racing Season! Can you become the Alleykat champion?

Compete in eight orbiting Space Stadia scattered around the Galaxy. Choose between demolition derbires, time trials, endurance epics and other riveting battles. Spin your multi-mode Alleykat speeder over fearsome landscapes. Career past the cavorting Katerkiller. Gyrate round the gripping Gravo-craft. Can you join the best Speeder pilots in the Alleykat finale."


Game Options

Screenshot 01

Before you press either FIRE button to start the game, you can change options by selecting the desired function keys:

Key Function
F1 One Player, One Joystick
F2 Two Player, Sharing One Joystick
F3 Two Players, Two Joysticks
F4 Toggle Strobes on/off
F5 Increase Music Volume
F6 Decrease Music Volume
F7 Colour Mode
F8 Monochrome Mode

On THEC64, either use a connected USB keyboard or press the MENU button on your joystick and use the virtual keyboard option to press the above function keys.

Upon any option selection, the option display is shown for a short time. This displays a symbol for each player selected, a symbol for each joystick, a strobe-square: flashing for strobes on, a music volume bar, and either three circles for colour or a half-filled circle for black and white.

Make sure you exit from THEC64 Virtual Keyboard before continuing.


Playing the Game

Press FIRE to open the racing season. You will be presented with a list of races, separated into months. Scroll the list up or down using the joystick UP/DOWN. You may only select races you can afford to enter. Your current account is shown at the top of the screen in Guineas. You begin with no money, but the first five races are free to enter.

When you’ve scrolled the required race to the select-race line, press FIRE to begin. The Alleykat Speeder, supplied by the race organisers is dropped into position and launched. The tortuous landscape, the computer-controlled Gravo-craft and the dreaded Katerkiller stand between you and the finish line.

Screenshot 02

When the race is over you are awarded points for Gravo-craft kills, and any bonus points earned for the particular race type. If you complete the race successfully you receive an extra bonus and the prize money. You may then select your next race. The season will continue until you race in the Alleykat Finale or you cannot afford to enter any more races.

The Alleykat Speeder

Your vehicle is supplied by the racing organisation to ensure that all pilots race with identical craft. The Speeder is steered using joystick left-right. Climb by pulling the stick back, dive by pushing it forwards. The craft’s speed may be adjusted by holding down the fire button and pushing the stick forward to accelerate or back to slow down. Slowing down beyond minimum speed will cause the craft to loop-the-loop. This may be done to temporarily increase your height above other vehicles. The nose-mounted gun may be fired by pressing FIRE.

In addition, the craft has two flight modes, speed and combat. In speed mode the craft is fast and highly maneouvreable. Hold fire down and move the joystick left or right to change modes. On entering combat mode two extra wing mounted guns unfold and are fired every time the fire button is released. In combat mode the craft is less maneuovreable and slower. Looping also takes longer as the guns are repacked before the craft can loop.

The Races

Every race of the season will be different. Since at least two races are staged every month and only one race may be selected per month it is necessary to study the race information carefully to choose the best race.

Race information is viewed by moving the joystick LEFT or RIGHT on the race selection screen. The following information is available:

Type Description
Stadium One of the eight orbiting Space Wheels
Fee The cost of entering the race in Guineas
Type Special bonus type of race, see ‘Special Bonus’
Scape The type of terrain used
Density The degree of packing of the landscape. The terrain may be fairly clear, or full of obstacles
Laps The number of laps to complete to win the prize money
Prize The prize money for successful completion

Special Bonus

The race type shows the activity that will give bonus points at the end of the race, awarded whether or not the race is complete. Race types are as follows:

Race Bonus
Time-trial Bonus increased for high speed racing
Speed-trial Bonus reduced for low speed racing
Demolition Bonus increased for landscape destruction
Dodg’em Bonus reduced for landscape destruction
Endurance Bonus awarded for time spent on track
Survival Extra bonus awarded for Gravo-craft kills
Random Mystery bonus awarded
Slalom Bonus awarded for flying under landscape

Race Competition

When the race is over, points are awarded for Gravo-craft kills on the following basis:

Craft Points
Oribter 500 points
One-track 300 points
Diamond-flyer 400 points
Barrow-paddler 200 points
Duo-paddler 250 points
Fourk 100 points
Fin-puller 100 points
Nuts 250 points
Katerkiller 2.500 points

Multiple shots are required to destroy these craft, although they may be damaged by collisions with the landscape. The Katerkiller loses one segment per hit.

The special bonus points are then awarded. If the race was completed successfully then the Race Completion Bonus is awarded, followed by the prize.

Landscaping

Eight different types of landscape are used to build the tracks around the inner surface of the space-wheels. These range from the fragile ‘Shatter-rock’ to the tough ‘Hardwall’. Their susceptibility to fire is variable so a single shot may well not destroy a segment of the tougher landscapes.

Landscape may be flown over, under or through. If shots pass through the landscape the Speeder can follow, but beware that the wing guns in combat mode make the Speeder a lot wider.

Speeder Energy

The Speeder can absorb a number of shots or collisions with the landscape. On low energy the Speeder will flash. Collisions with Gravo-craft take an equivalent energy from the Speeder as that of the Gravo-craft involved, and collisions with the Katerkiller are always fatal. Energy is replenished by flying low over the ‘E’ symbols on the ground. Maximum energy is variable and depends upon performance in the previous race Special Bonus.

Bonus Guineas

Some races have special bonus Guinea symbols, ‘G’. Fly low over these to pick up extra money.

Two Player Co-operation

When two players are competing for the Alleykat trophy, they play as a team, with one combined money account. They must select the races together, and pay double the normal fee. Each player then races the track in turn, with each having a chance to win the prize money. If both complete the race then each wins the prize money.


Technical Notes

Virtual Sprite System (VSS) Auto height/display priority flicker-free sprite manager 50 cycles per second full display update for ultra-smooth scrolling. (60 cycles per second on NTSC C128) Rainbow Text Display System for moving rainbows, colour fades and metal bar effects 32 race-tracks each over 20 screens long Hardware and software sprites Three-voice music and sound effects


Credits

PROGRAMMER: Andrew Braybrook
MUSICIAN: Steve Turner
THANKS: Many thanks to Paul Hughes for technical advice on the loader.

Game design advice from fellow test-pilots:

Robert Orchard
Andy Marsden
Richard Harvey