By Cunning And Devious Games
Programming, Music and SFX: Andrew Gower
Graphics: Andrew Gower and Ian Gower
Written in STOS and 68000 machine code
Battle Zone is a 2 player strategy/skill game. Each player
controls an army of worms, the aim being to use the various
weapons at your disposal to wipe out your opponent. You can
either play a friend, or against the computer.
Starting A Game
Once Battle Zone has loaded you will be presented with the title
screen, press any key to jump to the main menu. Here you can
choose 1 of 3 options. These are:
Single Match - Starts a match between 2 armies of your choice.
Playing against a friend is much better than playing the
computer. The computer intelligence works best on the random
landscapes, and the 'food' landscape.
Tournament - You can select from 3-10 Teams of worms. The
computer will then decide which team plays which. Winning teams
move to the next round, and play each other to find the champions
of the tournament.
Edit Teams - Allows you to edit the team names and members. You
will be presented with a list of all the teams, select a team,
and enter the new names as prompted. It is possible to save the
modified teams to disk. Select then choose one of the
slots from 1-10. Next time you play Battle Zone, click on edit
teams, followed by and the slot number, to load your
teams into memory.
Playing A Match
Once you have chosen your teams you will be asked which landscape
you wish to fight across. You can either choose one of the
predrawn landscapes from disk, or ask the computer to randomly
generate a new landscape. After a short pause whilst the
landscape is generated or loaded you will be taken to the main
The game is turn based, each worm takes it in turn to move, with
worms being selected from each players team alternately. If you
lose a worm however you will get less turns per round, as that
worm will no longer get a turn.
The screen will scroll to centre your first worm on the screen.
You can move it around be using the left and right cursor keys to
move, and the spacebar to jump. Be careful not to walk off the
edge or bottom, as if you do your worm will die. All objects on
the screen act as obstacles. There is no background scenery which
you can walk over, so if two objects overlap slightly they behave
as if they were just one object with the combined outline of the
Next you need to try and damage an opponent's worm. The teams are
colour coded. Worms on 1 team have Red numbers above their name,
the other team has yellow numbers. These numbers represent the
worm's remaining health. It is a good idea to go for a worm which
isn't very secure if there is one, (For example, on a very small
island), as you may be able to blast it off the edge of the
screen, and kill it.
Once you have decided which worm you want to attack you need to
choose from one of the 14 skills detailed below to do it, you can
perform one action a turn, control than passes to the next worm.
Bazooka: Select the first box on the bottom control panel to
select a bazooka. Press the right mouse button to arm the weapon,
and a cross hairs should appear on the screen. Your worm will
always try to shoot through this. Try moving the mouse pointer
around to see how it affects the cross hairs position. Once you
have the angle you wish to fire the shell at, click and hold the
left mouse button. The longer you hold it down the more power the
shell will be launched with. Your power can be seen in the box at
the top right of the control panel. When you release the button
the shell will be fired. It won't necessarily go straight to your
mouse pointer though, as it will be pulled down by gravity, and
blown by the wind. (Wind strength is indicated in the box in the
bottom right of the control panel, by a brown line). When the
shell hits the landscape, a small part will be blown away, and
any worms nearby injured. Make sure you use enough power so that
the firing worm is not injured by his own weapon!
Rocket: Similar to a bazooka except it homes in on it's target.
Before arming the weapon, click where you wish the rocket to aim
for. Cross hairs will appear to indicate the target. Next, arm
the rocket and fire it using the same procedure as for bazookas.
It is a good idea to shoot rockets up into the air, with plenty
of power, and then let them home in on the target on their own,
as this makes them less likely to hit the surrounding scenery
before getting there.
Grenade: Also similar to a bazooka, grenades however bounce
before exploding making them harder to aim. To compensate for
this they do more damage, and are effective further away from the
explosion. Grenade's aren't affected by wind either.
Cluster Bomb: Similar to a grenade, except when it explodes, it
fires out 5 shells in random directions, which then damage
anything they hit.
Dynamite: Move your worm to where you wish to drop the dynamite.
(Normally on top of an enemy worm). Then click the left mouse
button anywhere on the main screen. Now run away quickly! The
dynamite explodes shortly after being dropped, damaging any worms
Air Strike: Air strikes can't be used until all the worms have
had at least 1 go, as they are very powerful, and this allows the
worms the chance to move to some cover to protect them. To use an
air strike click on the screen where you wish to target the
attack. An aeroplane will fly across the top of the screen, and
drop bombs on the target. If there is anything above however, the
bombs will hit this, so worms can hide under overhangs in the
scenery to some extent. The bombs drift left slightly, so if the
target is very low on the screen, allow for this by clicking
slightly to its right instead.
Teleport: If your worm is stuck on an island, or wants to move to
a more strategic position that can't be reached on foot (or
tail?), you may wish to teleport it to a new location. Simply
click on the screen where you wish to go, and if there's anything
there to land on, you will be teleported.
Fire Punch: Move your worm so he is facing another worm, and
click anywhere on the main screen. The other worm will be knocked
into the air in the direction your worms is facing by the punch.
This will not damage it, but if the worm is standing on a cliff,
you may be able to knock it off the edge of the screen killing
Tunnel: Click the right mouse button; crosshairs will appear
indicating which way you wish to tunnel. Move it to the correct
direction, and click the left mouse button. The worm will begin
to dig in the selected direction. If there is nothing in front of
the tunnelling worm it will stop. Be careful when tunnelling
downwards not to tunnel right through the ground, and off the
bottom of the screen.
Girders: When you move the mouse on to the screen you will see a
girder underneath the mouse pointer. Move the girder where you
wish to place it, you can rotate it with the right mouse button.
To place it on the screen click the left mouse button, and it
will contribute to the scenery. Girders can be used as bridges or
placed above the worm, as cover from incoming shots. Note:
Girders cannot be placed too close to any worm. If you cannot put
a girder on, try moving it away from any nearby worms.
Machine Gun: A short range weapon, useful for finishing enemy
worms off. Click the right mouse button to arm the weapon, then
click where you wish to shoot at. The target must be near to your
worm, and there must not be any other scenery in the way. With a
machine gun you get 2 shots, and the firing worm cannot be
injured as a result of nearby blasts. (It might be blown back
Kamikaze: Face your worm in the direction you wish to attack, and
click the left mouse button. The worm will fly across the screen
in a horizontal line doing considerable damage. Any worm it hits
will instantly lose 80 health. If the worm encounters scenery it
will fly through it for a short distance leaving a tunnel behind,
before exploding. The only disadvantage of kamikaze is that the
worm doing it dies as a result, useful if a worm is nearly dead.
Plasma Gun: Similar to machine gun, except it can fire straight
through scenery which is in the way. You only get 1 shot however.
Skip Turn: If none of the above weaponary suits, you can always
skip your turn, by selecting skip turn, and then clicking
anywhere on the main screen.
You will notice that when you select a weapon, the name will be
displayed above the control panel, followed by a number in
brackets. This is the number you have remaining have. Once you
run out, you can't use that weapon any more.
The match will end when one of the teams has been completely
destroyed. You will be displayed a screen showing who won. It
also tells you which worm was best, which was worst, which was
more violent, and which was most picked on. Press any key to
return to the title screen, or play the next match in a
On the disk there are several predrawn landscapes for you to play
across. It is also possible to draw your own. To do this you need
to draw three screens with your favourite art package, and save
them in Degas uncompressed format (PI1). These screens need to
link together horizontally to make up the landscape. To save disk
space they can be compressed with Atomik afterwards if you wish.
To make sure your landscape looks right you will need to use the
correct colour palette. The colour palette is as follows:
Colour Red Green Blue Colour Red Green Blue
0 0 0 0 8 6 6 6
1 2 2 2 9 5 5 5
2 0 4 0 10 4 3 2
4 4 2 0 11 3 3 3
5 3 1 0 12 7 4 0
6 2 0 0 13 0 3 0
7 6 0 0 14 0 2 2
Don't use colour 3. When you have finished drawing your picture,
colour 15 should be used to fill in all the areas which the worms
can walk on.
Once you have drawn your pictures, copy them on to a blank disk.
Next they need to be renamed so the program can find them. Rename
the first picture to 1.pi1, the second picture to
2.pi1, and the third picture to 3.pi1, where
is the name of your landscape (Maximum length 7 letters).
Load the game like normal, then insert your picture disk when the
title screen appears. When you start a match the program will
automatically detect the new landscape, and it will appear on the
landscape selection menu.