Disk Of The Month (Oct 1991) : Llamatron / README

	         Llamatron README File by JEFF MINTER

12 June '91 - Greetings Amiganuts! I have just finished your 
version.  I've been playing it on my Amiga whilst listening to the 
Shamen extremely loudly,  and it all seems to go;  verily it shall 
be rendered into an executable and committed to diskette.

Once again the game comes in two flavours; a 512K version and
a 1meg version with clearer samples (although the 512 Ami
version sounds better than the 512 ST one!). You type


to launch the half meg one and


for the 1meg. 

Doubtless the game won't appear to be technically blinding to  all 
you Amii freaks.  There is no scrolling as the game design doesn't 
need  it,  no million-colour rasters;  just a lot of blitting  and 
collision-detect!   And  as you've got a real sound chip it's  not 
quite so astonishing to be able to hear high quality sampled sound 
effects and have loadsa moving objects on the screen, as it is for 
the poor beleaguered ST user!

Nonetheless,  Llamatron stands on the strength of its gameplay and 
the ferocity of its hook.  ST users who don't normally play shoot-
em-ups and who are usually frightened of the ferocity of my games, 
have  become  mightily  addicted even unto the  point  of  needing 
plasters for a bleeding joystick hand!

The  Amiga  version loses the high-score save (Amigados  wants  so 
much  memory)  but  gains  the  larger  screen  display  and  some 
interesting stereo phasing of the sound FX (blast it out yer hi-fi 
when the Shamen have finished and see).

Initial response to the ST distribution has been good.  It's  been 
really  good  to see so many people take the trouble not  only  to 
register  but  also to tell me what they thought of the  game  and 
method  of distribution.   All criticisms and comments  are  being 
noted and will be borne in mind when I'm writing my next piece  of 
Shareware, which will be a proper version of Revenge of the Mutant 
Camels  to finally lay the ghost of those God-awful ST  and  Amiga 
conversions which Mastertronic released a few years ago and  which 
I  had  nothing to do with.  It will feature a lot  of  new  stuff 
including 2-player simultaneous,  and as it is a scrolling game  I 
shall  take a few weeks extra on the Amiga version to  amigize  it 

Of  course  now  all  the  comments  pertaining  to  Panther   are 
irrelevant.  That's the second time I've been working on a  system 
only  to have it shot down underneath me;  at least this  time  it 
hasn't cost me much except time. Pity; the Panther was good. I had 
some wicked demos coded when the axe fell.   It doesn't look as if 
I'll get my hands on the fabled Jaguar for a few months,  so until 
I  do  I'm  doing Revenge.  (And it looks like  I  may  have  some 
Transputers  to  play  with pretty soon,  but  that's  a  parallel 

Recommended soundtrax for your blasting:  Shamen,  Gary Clail/On-U 
Sound System,  the KLF,  Inspirals especially Further Away,  Grip, 
Joe, Commercial Reign; whatever, blast it out to the max.

Well,  enjoy  this Ami version of the game.   You're  getting  hot 
when you can score over a million without the Droid. Good luck!

I believe I neglected to mention in the body of these instructions,
if you press 'x' during any wave you will be returned to the title
screen {so you don't have to get yourself killed when you want to
restart a crap game!}.

To use the old commercial line...

Congratulations! You are now the owner of LLAMATRON, a fast-action
arcade-style game guaranteed to have your FIRE button finger dangling
off at the tendons! '90s ultraviolence in its very essence! Hours of
fun for you (and a camel-friend if you like) blowing away horde after
horde of alien fiends in the comfort of your own personal environment!

This is the Ami version of the latest Llama blast. It can be transferred
 freely to hard disk.  Please transfer it, and this README file in 
an easy-to-read format, to anyone you think might
benefit from a bit of serious mayhem. Upload it onto BBSses. Send
it to your favourite contacts. Only circulate it, iz all!

-- WHY?

You may be wondering why you have the latest Llama release either for
free or the price of a PD disk. Loads of reasons. Loads. Call the

Allow Yak to explain:

Llamasoft has been around since 1982. This makes us just about the
longest surviving software house ever {okay except Microdeal, hey
you guys, I know, well done, glad you are still around and hey!
don't sue me, I just play this here keyboard} and we have a pretty good
perspective on the industry of video game production and the way it
has evolved.

This is how it was:

In the very early days, there was a very close relationship between
the originators of games and those who played them. You would go
along to (say) the Vic Centre, there would be a bunch of games, you
play them and buy the ones you like. Funky. Bad games didn't sell,
good ones did.

Then, as with anything which becomes popular, the Men In Suits moved in.
They saw some programmers getting rich selling to the people, so they
decided to move in. "Let us help these poor programmers", they sez.
"We can sell these games to the people. Let the programmers get back
to their assemblers and not have to worry about duplicating tapes and
filling their living rooms with huge piles of stock".

And so the Men In Suits came, and placed their full-page airbrushed
artwork adverts in all the mags, and the programmers went back to their
assemblers and for a while they were happy. The Men In Suits were happy
too, because they got to take a cut, and soon some of them were driving

The Men In Suits looked out upon the market, and they were sorely
dismayed at the diversity of the products. "This is not efficient",
they thought. "How can we best use this market? How can it be made
to serve us well?"  And they created film licences and arcade
conversions. They burned the midnight oil, murmuring incantations
over their calculators and their mobile 'phones, and eventually they
came up with the Formulas. "Loads of graphics!", they told the
programmers. "Loads of music! Arnie Schwarzenegger in it! No need to
design a new game - just change the graphics in these few basic designs
and put a picture of Indiana Jones on the box! You'll never have to
think again!"

The programmers went back to their assemblers. The Men In Suits handed
them pieces of paper upon which were written the exact specifications
for the games.  The programmers had to pay their mortgages, so they
coded and were employed. The Men In Suits laughed, and took a bigger
cut, and moulded the market to make themselves an even bigger pile.
Soon, some of them were driving Ferraris and getting pissed at
industry dinners.

This is how it is:

All video games are designed for a theoretical entity known as Darren.
Darren is a spotty 14-year-old male who doesn't get on that well with
people, so he spends all his time in his bedroom playing games on his
computer. Darren is easily impressed by graphics and music, and he
doesn't really want to learn anything really tricky - as long as it
has Ninja Hampsters in and works with a Kempston, that's OK. Somehow
he can persuade his Dad to fork out 25 quid once every few weeks for
the latest version of R-Type with different graphics on his Amiga,
don't ask me how. Either that or he waits and hits up his mate Wayne for
a pirate version in a couple of weeks' time.

Consequently, it has become much harder for programmers to retain 
their creative integrity and earn a living too.  It is virtually impossible
for a small independant developer to get games out to the people
without first hooking in to one of the larger companies for distribution
and advertising, and those larger companies tend to want stuff that's
very normal, spaceship-and-alien stuff, no llamas please and not too

However, with popular disk-based machines, the idea of Public Domain
programs has really come into its own. PD libraries give access to
a large amount of free software.  PD is usually sub-commercial stuff,
often good utilities but without the 'polish' of commercial

It would be nice to use the existing PD libraries to distribute software
to anyone who is interested, and make a bit of money too - and that
is where Shareware comes in.

The principle of Shareware is simple. The game is distributed by the
PD libraries, by uploading onto BBSes and giving copies away. Users can
get a complete version of the game just for the price of the media,
and then take it home and play it. If the user likes the game, he
sends the author a Shareware fee.  Usually, the author will send
back a few goodies (as an incentive to register) and, if enough people
send in the dosh to make it worthwhile, he may do more Shareware stuff.

Naturally you don't have to pay anything if you don't like the game.
Of course a lot of people might like the game and decide not to pay,
but if too many people do that then nobody will ever bother doing any
decent Shareware at all, and it's back to Darren's 25 quid games.
So, it's down to the users - if they're honest, then programmers will
be more inclined to work hard on Shareware releases.

The idea of Shareware is very idealistic, perhaps impracticably so,
but the advantages over the conventional videogame market are so
enormous that I thought it had to be tried, at least once.  The response
from this experiment will determine whether or not Llamasoft release
any more shareware.

Advantages of Shareware:

1- It is a totally honest way of selling. All users can try the game
and only those who get hooked are morally obliged to pay the fee.
Nobody is disappointed or feels ripped-off.

2- There are no constraints on creativity. No-one says 'we cannot
publish this because it ain't mainstream'. Programmers do what the
hell they like and the users vote with their Shareware fees.

3- Anyone can play. The mechanism of distribution is already in
place in the form of PD libraries. All the originator has to provide
is a disk to each of the PD libraries with game and documentation.
So if you have good stuff it doesn't matter if you aren't signed to
a major label - if it's good, it'll get passed around the PD scene;
if it's bad nobody will bother with it.  The author could be working
for a company or coding in his bedroom; the potential for distribution
is the same. Forget spending thousands on adverts trying to convince
people to spend lots of money on a game they haven't even played

4- The concept of piracy becomes null. All that business of hacking
and cracking doesn't apply to software which is both free and
unprotected.  Shareware authors WANT their software to be spread
and copied. If it gets onto a BB in America and spreads all over
the US, well and groovy! Good Shareware exports itself!

5- Prices can be way low. Since the authors have no overheads in
terms of production and advertising, they don't need to ask as
much in payment.  And the users pay the programmers directly - 
nobody else takes a cut. 100% of five pounds is better than 5% of
twenty pounds.

The advantages of Shareware as a democratic, honest way of
publishing software are pretty obvious, but it does have to go
both ways. If a programmer puts a lot of time and effort into his
code and releases it as Shareware, he's trusting you, the users, to
be honest and pay him if you like his program.  If you all just
skive off and take the stuff for free, he won't bother to do any
more stuff.  If you support the author, he'll be inclined to do
much better next time - and you'll be the ones to benefit!

Okay, that's the theory of Shareware, and here's how Llamasoft are
putting it in to practise.

This game is based on an old Williams arcade game by the same dude
who wrote Defender.  The game - Robotron - was a big hit in the early
Eighties, and an official sequel - Smash TV - was an arcade hit last
year.  Llamatron takes the Robotron idea and distorts it in a Yakly
fashion, adding loads of new stuff and plenty of furry beasties in
the Llamasoft style.  We could have flogged it as a pretty good budget
game via conventional means, but Yak decided to try it as shareware
'coz he liked the idea so much.

Here's the deal.  You play Llamatron and check out the hook.  If it
gets you (and I reckon it will if you like mayhem), then send us a
fiver and, as a reward for being so honest, we will send you an
ace poster of our gun-toting llama, a newsletter, and a complete
copy of Gridrunner,  a  classic Amiga blaster which won the  award 
for   Best   Budget   release   in   1989. Two games for a fiver -
 can't be bad.  And if the response is good, there will be more
Shareware. And better.

We're asking a Shareware fee of five pounds for Llamatron, and you
should send your lolly to: LLAMASOFT, 49 Mount Pleasant, Tadley,
Hants RG26 6BN, U.K. Do let us know what you think of the game and the
principle of Shareware in general, too.

Now, how to play Llamatron is what you want to know, so here goes:


You  can start the game as supplied with this initial  release  by 
typing the command LLAMA512 (half meg) or LLAMA (1meg) at the CLI. 
(If  anyone  changes the game load procedure in  any  way,  please 
include docs to say how to run the game).

You need a joystick in your other socket. Boot up the game from
wherever you've put it.

Once it has loaded you'll see the intro screen. Press FIRE to
get past it. You might like to read the scroller that follows
for a summary of the gameplay.

At the title screen, moving the joystick up/down selects 1 or
2 player mode, left/right selects between Solo, Player+Droid
and Team mode.  For Team mode, plug another stick into the
mouse socket for your partner to control his camel with.

You press FIRE to begin play.


You play the part of a totally hard laser-spitting llama. Your
mission is to collect all the tiny sheep, llamas, camels and
goats you see on each wave.  Standing in your way are great
herds of unintelligent but numerous Grunt enemies, plus a veritable
menagerie of nasty creeps which fire at you, dodge your fire, emit
fire hydrants, try to ram you, murder your llamas and shoot your ass
off with lasers. Kill them deadly.

Not everything can be killed, and some enemies take more than one
shot to destroy.

Your ultimate objective - destroy the Ozric Tentacle of level 99
and get to Herd Heaven on level 100.


The llama fires continuously. For your first few levels, don't press
the FIRE button at all while you get used to moving the llama around.
Always use the Droid option while you are learning - you can concentrate
on just not running into anything while your Droid goes and gets all
the beasties.

The FIRE button comes into its own in the advanced and utterly necessary
technique of 'locking'.  This enables you to lock the angle of fire,
so you can keep firing at a target whilst running away from it! It is
quite simple - with the fire button NOT pressed, walk in the direction
you want to aim in, then hold down FIRE and walk away - the fire angle
is locked until you release the firebutton.  With practise you will
learn to lock and re-aim very quickly in tight spots.  Remember
that good locking makes for a living llama!


From time to time, and depending on whether you collect your beasties
up and which targets you kill, you'll see various powerup icons
drift temptingly in your general direction. Get these for groovy
stuff like 3-way shots, Invincibility, extra llamas, Warp five
levels, Smart Bombs (looks like a tomato) and Floyd bonuses. If you
leave the title page alone for a minute, a scroller will occur which
shows you what all these things look like.


On some levels you may see a number of brollies floating around on
the screen.  These brollies make it rain from the top and right
side of the screen, the intensity of the precipitation being
determined by the number of umbrellas.  To stop the rain, touch
each brolly with the body of your llama, causing it to open.


There are three play modes and an optional extra 2-joystick mode.
The modes are:

1: Standard 1-Player... just you and them.

2: Player Plus Droid... You are joined by a purple blob, which is
invincible, and does much funky stuff, like tootle round getting all
your beasties for you and shoot up the meanies for you.  You are
advised to play your first few games with the Droid helping you.

3: Team Mode... You are joined by a friend, who happens to be a
camel. You work together to get the beasties and trash the opposition.
You share a common score and lives. 

Two-joystick mode: If you are lucky enough to have a setup which
allows you to use two joysticks bolted to a table, one in each hand,
you can use this mode, which recreates the firing method of the
Williams arcade machines.  You use the usual stick to move your
llama, and the second stick to aim the shots.  To access this mode
begin a game by pressing FIRE on the second stick instead of your
usual one.

Game Tips:

- Play your first few games with a droid, and don't worry about using
Lock until you're ready.  Once you master Lock, you'll really start to
go places and kick serious ass.

- Do collect your beasties.  It's good for your score, increases
the chance of Invincibilities, Love Hearts, Warps and 3-Ways, and
gives you a brief period of Hot Bullets, which can be seriously
useful, especially where Screaming Mandies are concerned!

- Get Love Hearts. The beasties love you and run towards you, for
about sixty seconds.

- If the last thing you do on a level is collect the last beastie
or a 3-Way icon, then the first object destroyed on the next wave will
yield another 3-Way. Grab this for immediate kickass blastability!

- Give 'em llama fury!

OK, boot up, check it out, and if you agree that it's got more of
a hook than most twenty-quid-graphics-demo type games, and you
want to see some more, send us yer five quid, and you'll get
the goodies.

Aim, lock, and I'll see you in Herd Heaven!

-- Y a K  10/04/1991  (updated 12/6/91)

{YAK has been entertained during this sojourn into the Country of
the {Silicon} Mind by the following artists and personalities:

OZRIC TENTACLES <ERPLAND cd - cyber wild mellow and hyperspatial,
thanxx Lee for getting the CD for me>

INSPIRAL CARPETS - open your mind and groove to these geezers.
At last some good new bands are happening and the Carpets prime
exponents. Great songs, well prolific, AND they have a big thing
about cows. Cool as [Oh F....!]

GRATEFUL DEAD - I never knew until London, Hallowe'en 1990. I
never knew!  I never knew!!! [FUN + GOOD TIME] raised to a
high power!!

FLOYD - The boys just help to keep a hippy sane. Some nights
we all have to come in drunk and listen to The Wall.  And where
would Western civilisation be without Wish You Were Here? And did
you know that Clint out of Inspiral Carpets has the same kind of
Farfisa organ that Floyd used on Atom Heart Mother - the album
with those COWS on the cover? Yow!

LEMMINGS - It is really rare these days that I see a game and
it's just so original and groovy I really wish I had designed
it, and Lemmings is just such a game.  I haven't been so impressed
by a game since I saw the arcade Marble Madness for the first time.
Lemmings is almost as good a spectator sport as it is to play,
easy to get in to but plenty difficult later on, makes you laugh
and has brilliant music (I speak for the Amiga version). Go out,
buy this, take it home and clean yer mouse. You could dye your
hair green if you really get into it.  Kudos to Psygnosis for a
brilliant release.  Watch it clean up at awards ceremonies.

THUNDERSTRIKE - don't know what the ST/Ami versions are like
but if they are anything like my PC {vga, 12MHz 286} version
they'll be good. 3-D Defender with red pyramids instead of
Humanoids and an excellent tracking-camera viewpoint. Rivals
Virus in the league table of my affections.

YAK greets all the usuals and anyone left of the Herd out
there; hope you like Llamatron. Special thanxx to the following:
my Dad for gametesting beyond the call of duty and the load of
his 520; Paula for getting well addicted even though she doesn't
really like shoot'em'ups [I'm sure they will always love you
and everything will turn into tomatoes]; Pete for rolling
along; the guys for not farting too much in the flat while
we were skiing; and just anyone REAL...

Greets to Ben [hope you got a strong joystick on your ST
coz you gonna need it if your Llamatron is anything like
your skiing!]; Dave [that's a global Dave, I know quite a
few, consider yourselves greeted]; 'Lope [where the flip have
you got to, tell Yak you uncommunicative bastard!];  Wulf
[how's life in the Zone? Saddamski there?]; YAK greets *.*!

Everybody: spread this folder!  Upload it, copy it, ARC it,
ZOO it, lay it on everyone! See you at the Inspirals gig in
London in Jume or else at some show giving away disks with a
mad gleam in my eye!


(Pass it next to Mel Croucher, for his original idea of Darren..)