From Academic Kids

Llamatron on the Amiga

Llamatron is a computer game written by Jeff Minter of Llamasoft for the Amiga, Atari ST and PC (DOS). It is a clone of the 1980s arcade game Robotron: 2084 in Jeff Minter's distinctive style.

The player controls a llama which can move on a single-screen playfield. The llama constantly fires a stream of white energy bolts in the direction it is moving. The player can 'hold' the fire direction, so that the llama can move freely whilst firing in a direction.

A large flock of enemies attempt to attack the llama, and must all be destroyed in order to end the wave (level) and progress to the next wave. Contact with any enemy causes instant death.

The player's secondary goal is to save the various ruminants (referred to as 'beasties') that wander each level, by collecting them into a docile herd. This is not necessary except on certain special waves called Herd Waves, but saving all the beasties before the end of a wave gives a point bonus. When a beastie is saved, the player momentarily gains 'hard bullets' - highly penetrating orange bolts that can tear through flocks of enemies.

As well as the main flock of 'normal' enemies, there can also be any number of other 'special' enemies and hazards on a level, including:

  • Green 'hedgehogs' with white spikes that are more resilient than normal enemies. When destroyed, they explode into four diagonally-moving spikes.
  • Blue 'Brains' that turn the beasties into green 'Zombeasts', which then advance on the llama, firing some kind of homing projectile.
  • Pulsating purple-yellow blobs that split into smaller and smaller blobs when shot.
  • Laser guns that float freely throughout the level. They come in two types - horizontal or vertical - and periodically fire a deadly laser beam across the full width or height of the screen, instantly obliterating the llama if it is lined up with the laser gun at the wrong time. On later levels, there can be both horizontal and vertical lasers in a single level, which fire simultaneously.
  • Blue raindrops that fall diagonally through the level. To stop them, a number of umbrellas must be erected in the level, but the player has to catch them first.
  • A large sixteen-ton weight that hovers at the top of the level and attempts to crush the llama when it passes underneath.

The player can collect various bonus items which give extra lives, weapon improvements, smart bombs, and so on.

Like most of Jeff Minter's games, the graphics and sounds are rather psychedelic, with bright colours, strobing flashes and bizarre audio effects.


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