ALIEN BUSTERS 4
by Daniel Fielding
Music by Mad Max
(C) 1995/96 DECON.
Alien Busters 4 is an awesome multiplayer game in which players have a simple
mission - to kill each other. Scenery and weapons can be placed into the arena
to make matters just a little more interesting, and the players can form
official teams before the fight begins.
Alien Busters 4 requires a colour monitor or television. It will not run in
medium or high res.
Alien Busters 4 should run on any ST. However, I'm not sure if it actually does
as all I have in a 1Meg STE.
If you want to listen to the most excellent DMA sampled sounds that I spent
ages (honest guv) putting in, then you'll need an STE with 1Meg or more of
memory. This is because: a) The samples are too big for a 512K machine.
b) I only know how to replay samples off the DMA chip
whilst checking the parallel port for joystick
If you want to play 4 or 5 player, you will need a parallel port adaptor
which gives an extra two joystick sockets, enabling 5 player blasting action.
You can probably buy a parallel port adaptor from any decent mail order
hardware companies, or if you can find a copy you can get one free with
If you want to play 2 or 3 player you will need a couple of joysticks plugged
into the standard joystick sockets underneath the ST.
Fear not if you have no joysticks, as you can still play the game 1 player on
keys. However, this is the least fun way to play, so get some joysticks and
kill some friends.
Jus' click on AB4.PRG, sit back and leave the computer to do all of the hard
Once the game has loaded, the DECON logo will appear and some weird bubbly
music should play in the background. Press any key to get to the title screen.
Pressing any key on the title screen takes you to a small menu enabling you to
either begin a new game, or change a few options. Use the cursor keys and the
space bar to move the gun to the required item and select it.
The Options Screen:
Here you can change whether scenery is on or off and whether extra weapons
are on or off (computer players go a bit weird if bonuses are turned off).
You can also change the scoring mode between 1 Point Per Kill, and 1 Point Per
Survivor. 1 Point Per Kill is the most fair method in team games!
Also, you can change the number of points required to win and you can go to a
nifty little controls screen which lets you change a player's controls.
Beginning a Game:
Having selected Start Game, you will be presented with a screen which is split
up into numerous sections. Each player has a section.
When the screen first comes up, no players have been selected. Each player
may register themselves to play by pressing their fire button. To register
computer players, press a number from 1 - 5 corresponding to the number of the
player you want them to be.
When two or more characters have been selected, you may press ESCAPE to get
onto the next screen...
The Team Allegiance Grid:
This sounds more complicated than it really is. Each selected player begins in
the SOLO column, which indicates that they are not on any team. However, by
using their left and right they may move their character into one of the other
two columns. Players who move into the same column are on the same team, unless
they are in the SOLO column in which case they are on their own.
Computer players always go SOLO.
Note that if you are playing two player, you don't have to bother with this
screen as both players cannot be on the same team!
Also, if all players choose the same team you will be required to do it again,
preferably a bit more sensibly this time!
Almost forgot. The keys are as follows:
Cursor keys - move up, down, left and right.
Right Shift - fire
F1 - Pause
F2 / F3 - 50Hz / 60Hz screen frequency
F4 / F5 - Sound on / off
F10 - for use in emergencies only.
Use when only computer players remain to end the round.
Escape - End game
How the hell do I play this game?
It is relatively simple.
The game is played over a series of rounds. The game ends when one or more
players have reached the required winning score (Default = 10, can be changed
in the Options menu). Each round finishes when there are either no survivors,
or all players left are on the same team and all bullets have left the screen.
To use your character, all you have to do is use the joystick / keys to move
your character around the screen, and press fire to use your current weapon
(make sure you don't shoot your own allies, though!)
Keep an eye on your status panel at the bottom of the screen. This tells you
whether you are Alive or Dead, what Weapon you are carrying and how much ammo
it has left. It also shows a tiny little representation of your character next
to his name.
It's more a way of death:
You can die in one of two ways:
1 > Get hit by a bullet. It doesn't matter whose it is, once you've been hit
by it you're dead.
2 > Getting caught in an explosion is also fatal. Once again, it doesn't
matter who caused the explosion - hell, it could have been you who caused
How do I tell when I'm dead? Well, first of all the status panel at the bottom
tells you, and secondly either your limbs are flying all over the place, you
are lying in a pool of your own blood or you are roasting alive. Pretty
obvious I'd say!
Is that it?
There is also scenery: all scenery absorbs at least one shot, and thus provides
Trees - trees are the most basic type of scenery. They take one shot from
any weapon, but are then destroyed.
Rocks - rocks are indestructible except when hit by the Rocket Launcher. They
are excellent cover, but make sure your foes don't use a rocket on
the one you're cowering next to!
Explosive barrels - these explode whenever they are hit, with the same effect
as a Rocket Launcher. Beware, as the explosion may catch other
barrels and may cause a massive chain reaction.
There are also extra weapons to add a bit of excitement: to collect a weapon,
simply run over it.
Pistol - You have an infinite number of bullets in this. If you use up all of
ammo in other weapons, you will revert to this weapon.
Pistols are slow, and fire standard bullets.
Machine Gun - These hold twenty bullets.
M.Guns fire at an OK speed, and fire standard bullets.
Lasergun - These also hold twenty bullets.
Laserguns fire as fast as you like, and fire laser shells which act
in exactly the same fashion as standard bullets.
Rocket Launcher - These hold only ten rockets.
R.Launchers fire at a slow speed, but fire rockets which
explode on contact with anything. Anything caught in the
explosion of the rocket will also die / be destroyed!
Try to avoid picking up the Pistol when you are carrying a decent weapon, as
this causes you to lose the good weapon!
And that's about it. If the game crashes for some reason, please write the
numbers that the game gives you on a piece of paper and send them to:
6, Broom Road,
If you have any ideas or comments, please send them to me and I'll do my best
Alien Busters 4 - hope you enjoy the game.
(C) 1995 / 1996 DECON
PS. The only reason it's called Alien Busters 4 was because it was originally
going to be 4 player, then I realised you could have one on keys as well. As
for Alien Busters 2 (the prequel to this game), well the less said the better!
PPS. Look out for Outland, my next game (probably). At the moment I'm planning
it to be a bit like Cannon Fodder, but you'll just have to wait and see.
HardwareSupports DMA sound on STe