Now is your chance to participate in 1987's most exciting record-breaking event - the
first ever successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by hot-air balloon!
Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand (the balloon's designer) man the 'Virgin Atlantic
Flyer' and they have been challenged to a race by anothert balloonist!
This split-screen arcade game is full of action and is designed for either one or two
player. You play a powerful. but mischievious Eagle that can help (or hinder!) Richard.
You can help control Richard's (or his rival's) balloon attitude and course and help
ward off the dastardly hindrances that have been arranged for your downfall (literally!).
Your opponent also has an Eagle as a mascot and between the pair of you it is out and
out war most of the time!
So take flight and good luck!
You will see the screen is split in two. The Virgin balloon occupies the top
half of the screen and Richard's rival is in the bottom half. To the left is
an indicator panel for each balloon. To the right are four icons per player
which allow you to control the balloon.
Indicator box: each player has a box situated on the left hand side of the
screen. Score is indicated at the top, directly underneath is a row of three
birds. These represent your lives; every time your bird runs out of energy
you will lose a life.
Indicators: there are three bar indicators:
F = fuel
B = bird's energy
A = altitude
The large central block shows each balloon's position aver the Atlantic
(bird's eye view!). The black lines indicate the most direct course and the
balloon is represented by a square white box.
Icons: To use any of the icons an the right hand side of your playing area
you must fly over and press FIRE to enable.
Balloon shape = allows you to enter your rival's playing area!
PLAYING THE GAME
You may play on your own with the computer as your rival or compete with a
friend. The Eagles have slightly different markings so you can tell the
difference between them. It will take a moment or two to get used to flying.
Press FIRE emits a sonic beam that destroys anything it is aimed at! You can
control your Eagle up, left and right, with FIRE to shoot. Not using any
direction will cause you to sink to the bottom of your playing area, unless
you sit on the balloon.
Left arrow = adjusts your balloon's course to the left
Right arrow = adjusts your balloon's course to the right
Flame = turns up the burner, increases your balloon's height
The screen "wraps around", this means if you go to the very left or right
edge of the playing area you will reappear on the other side. You may be
surprised at the arrival of your rival Eagle in your area; however, you can
enter the other playing area as well!
You must help your balloon as much as possible by defending it from the
various missiles that are being dropped from aircraft flying in the area.
Additionally you will have to avoid your rival's mascot Eagle who will
invade your territory and drain you of energy as well as hampering with the
balloon's controls. You must adjust the altitude and balloon's course and
replenish your own energy every now and again by sitting on top of the
balloon! So prepare yourself to be very busy!
The missiles that come from the planes will cause your balloon's altitude to
drop. You must shoot down the planes if you can (some take a few attempts) or
shoot down the missiles as they drop. These include two types of paint which
weigh the balloon down, and various bombs which will cause small punctures,
also causing drop. One particularly lethal bomb comes in from the side and
you should destroy that straight away. Now and again an unfortunate child
who has bought too many balloons, floats past you. Save them by passing over
the child; there are huge penalties for shooting such innocent victims. The
rival Eagle's sonic beam will cause your balloon to drop and so will your own
fire unless you shoot with some care!
Keep your eye an the Altitude reading; you can remedy falling height by going
over the burner icon an the right side of your playing area and pressing FIRE
repeatedly. The balloon can gain height by itself as sunshine warms the air
up during the day and it will fall in the evening as the air cools. You must
keep an eye on fuel; if you have to use the burner too often you will not
have enough to cross the Atlantic!
You must also keep your eye on your course. The balloon is represented by the
white block in the square in the indicator box. Use the arrow icons on the
right-hand side of your playing area to move the balloon's image right and
left. Going too far astray will mean you will not have enough fuel to
complete the race.
Do not let your energy bar fall either; sit on top of your balloon for a few
moments during a quiet spell and regain same energy. The rival Eagle's fire
power will deplete your energy rapidly.