Beach Head II
After his numerous defeats in the pacific during World War II, the Allies' enemy,The Dragon' has set himself up as an evil dictator commanding a squadron of crack troops who worship him as a Demigod. The man is a lunatic and a megalomaniac - something has to be done. Stryker, the Allies' most competent Commander leads an attack upon the crazed power monger's stronghold. To defeat him, a number of defences must be overcome so the evil warlord can be killed.
In the interests of variety, you can take on the role of either the Allies or the Dictator when playing a one-player game, or can battle it out in a two-player contest.
On the first screen, Allied troops have to be airdropped into the warzone from a helicopter. Fire drops a soldier, but if the helicopter's too low to allow the chute to open in time you get people burger all over the terrain.
On landing, the soldiers make a dash for the nearest wall, trying to avoid fire from a machine gun manned by one of the Dragon's stooges. The machine gunner is hampered by the fact that it takes time for him to react and turn the gun to point at the helpless troops. Once all the men are safely hiding behind the walls at the top they have to make their way to the bottom of the screen, avoiding the manic machine gunner's eagle eye.
The edges of the walls flash in a cycle along the length of the line. Pressing fire brings a man out, and he's controlled by the joystick as he runs down to the next section of wall. From the third wall, nearest the gun emplacement, the troops have to be manoeuvered to the bottom of the screen. The control method is the same, except pressing fire when controlling a man allows a grenade to be lobbed in the hope of totalling the pill box. Pressing fire twice when you select a wall sends down a computer controlled soldier - handy if a decoy is needed to draw fire.
On the second screen, hostages must be protected as they run the gauntlet against the Dragon's troops. Running short of ammo the enemy are desperate and throw just about anything at the fleeing captives. The allies have captured a gun that is used against the four different hazards that the escaping prisoner can easily fall foul of: a soldier drops stones from the top of the wall the hostages have to walk beneath; a tank trundles on from the right and will happily squash anyone in its path; an armoured car drives from the left, firing a small calibre machine gun mounted inside and finally, enemy soldiers dump mines, popping out of trap doors to lay them. All these obstacles can be shot up, but accurate shooting is needed. If you shoot a hostage by mistake he doesn't get wounded, but just pauses for a while before moving on.
The penultimate scene is your chance to ferry the hostages to safety in four helicopters that fly over a vertically scrolling landscape. Tanks and lookout posts placed upon the terrain at inconvenient locations hurl shells at the helicopters, making life tricky for the pilot. The difficulty of the terrain is decided by the Dragon before the section starts. Once the four helicopters are through, Commander Stryker finally gets to meet his arch enemy, the Dragon, in mortal combat.
The two opponents stand opposite each other on parallel platforms on either side of a river. The idea is to hit the other man with poonta sticks until he falls into the water. Poontas are small, sharp pointed sticks, made especially for throwing. Each time a combatant it hit three times, he takes a topple and there are five rounds to be battled out before the contest is decided.
Control keys: definable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2.
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: some attribute
clash, nothing remarkable
Graphics: some good animation
Sound: a tune, and some effects
Skill levels: 3