Fire and Ice

Title           Fire and Ice
Game Type       Platform
Company         Graftgold/Renegade
Players         1
Compatibility   All (not 040 and above)
HD Installable  Patch available (detailed below)
Submission      Nathan Wain (



Game Design:  Andrew Braybrook and Phillip Williams.

Programmer:   Andrew Braybrook.
              One of the greats 8-bit programmers on the old c64.
              Also programmed Fire and Ice CD32, Paradriod'90,
              Uridium 2, and Rainbow Islands on the Amiga.  (Nothing
              else that I'm aware of.)
Graphics:     Phillip Williams.
              Additional graphics by John Lilley and Andrew Braybrook.
Music/Sound:  Jason Page.
              One of the great c64 musicians.  Has worked with Andrew
              on many of his Amiga projects.  Does great Amiga music.

No Idea.  (Mine is a second hand acquisition, $5 US)
The original distributors are long since gone at the time of writing
this, but due to the popularity of this title, it should not be
difficult to find second-hand through other distributors or on the
newsgroups at comp.sys.amiga.marketplace.

Non-DOS, uninstallable disk.  (Note: A Hard-drive Install is now
available from Aminet.  Details below.)
Copy-protection grid sheet:
On the first game, at the end of the first level a "match the key"
screen appears.  Failure to correctly respond in the three chances
given, results in (interestingly) seemingly the same response as if
you had answered correctly - progress to the next level.  However,
pieces of the key no longer appear, so it is impossible to progress


A4000, 2Meg Chip, 16Meg Fast, Kickstart 3.1, 1.2 Gig Quantum HDD,
Toshiba 16x CD-Rom, additional floppy-drive, Supra 14.4k Modem, 1942
Multisync monitor.  (Standard 25MHz 68030 CPU)

A1200, 2Meg Chip, 32Meg Fast, Kickstart 3.0, 340 Meg Seagate 2.5" HDD,
GVP Cobra accellerator-board (68030 and 68882 at 50MHz, without SCSI),
additional floppy-drive, Supra 14.4k Modem, 1942 MultiSync monitor.

The game is on two disks.  Although additional floppy-drives are not
supported, this is not too much of a hassle, since the first disk is
only used for bootup.  The second disk is requested, further loading
is endured, the game starts, but no disk-swapping is then required.

Thanks to those wonderful people involved in the JST and WHDLoad
installers, Fire and Ice is now playable from hard-drive.  (Woohoo!)
I've tested it on both my A4000 and A1200, and it works beautifully.
The loading times are just amazingly quick, the copy protection just
isn't there anymore (Yaaaaay!), and you can even have infinite lives
if you wish.  A huuuuge thanks to Ralf Huvendiek for patching this

He makes no mention of fixing it to work on 040 or 060 processors,
so I don't know if anything's been done there.  This is his opinion
from the documentation of the installer:

"One of the best jump and run games ever - on any platform. Patched
to run from your harddisk in one day. One of Andrew Braybrooks
greatest games - runs now on the A1200 HD. Have fun!"

One code-sheet:
Red graphics on a pink background, to prevent photocopying.  Still
quite readable, especially compared to some I've seen.

One manual:
English, German, French, and Spanish (I think) translations provided
in the one book.  (The game itself has very little text-information
to it, so should be equally-usable for all languages.)

The manual explains loading (Amiga and ST), all three controller
types are detailed, and the option-keys on the title-screen are
explained.  The behaviour of the program, (saving of high-scores onto
disk, utilisation of extra RAM), and the copy-protection are all
explained clearly and concisely.

A background-story is also provided, explaining why Cool Coyote is
there, who he is fighting against, etc.  A nice touch.  Every facet
of the game is then explained, the various weaponry, creatures that
help, how the key-pieces are distributed, time-limits, how to obtain
bonus lives, etc.

Everything explained, and even explained very clearly.

It's so beautifully polished and cute!!!  The title-screen appears
with Cool Coyote (the main character), playing the piano (kicking a
cool tune out of the speakers), and he even barks during the tune,
and turns to wink at you.  (I love these little touches.)

In the game he's a little awkward to control initially.  The controls
are intuitive and easy to pick-up, don't get me wrong.  It's just
that he has _inertia_.  ie:  He slides a bit.  But since the first
level is the Arctic-world, this is probably the only world where this
might cause a few deaths. :-)

Great feel to the character-movement.  The basics are picked-up dead
easy.  Some might find his firing-rate a little sparse, but that
doesn't make the game unplayable.  It can be all too easy to shoot
madly at a character as they advance, with all of your shots just
missing them. (Infuriating if they then kill you.)  But with practice
this isn't such a problem, shoting works much better with a little
experience, and timing.

Firing ice-pellets will freeze enemies.  They can then be shattered
by walking or jumping into them.  Six enemies  have a piece of the
ice-key, (needed to progress to the next level), which they will
yield when destroyed.

Apart from the main weapon, ice-pellets, secondary bonus weapons may
be collected - all of limited quantity.  Snow-bombs act as a smart-
bomb, freezing or partially-freezing anything on screen, while the
various other weapons act in a variety of ways, from being super-ice
pellets, to a shield, to rain clouds, a sonic bark etc.

Little coyote-puppies (and turtles on the water level), can aid in
your quest.  They will shoot when you shoot, and the puppies will
follow you, yielding and extra life if they make it to the exit too.

There is just so much to this game, for such an old platformer.  It
has as many little extra touches to it as most platform games on
today's market.  The _only_ things that show it's age are the 12 bit
graphics of the old OCS chipset, and the 25Hz scrolling.  (Only
every second screen-refresh.)  But it's such a polished game, I'm
sure many people probably don't even notice.

Even though the basics are picked up quickly, there is much to keep
the seasoned player hooked, with all of the extra/hidden bonuses and
secret exits to find, it takes a long time indeed before the first
stages become boring.  And a trainer-mode is available for the first
four worlds, where one particular world can be played on it's own,
with infinite-lives.  So it's possible to go straight to certain
levels until you feel more confident in them.

I suspect the inertia of Cool Coyote, and the ease with which it's
possible to miss enemies with the ice-pellets, would mean that
younger or less-experienced gamers might have rather short games.
But the presence of the trainer-mode, and the way that Cool Coyote
restarts on the last fixed platform he stood on before dying, (ie: he
usually re-starts exactly where he dies), means that the trainer-mode
is still enjoyable even if you find yourself dying a lot.

Everything!  This is just a brilliant game.  With a huge number of
cute little touches:  At the very beginning is his igloo-home, his
tail wags, he waves his arms when balancing on the edge of a platform,
he wears ski-goggles on some of the snow levels, and snorkel and
goggles in the underwater levels.  When you stand still, the puppies
bark when they've caught up, then face the screen, look around, and
wave their arms back and forth.  (Reminds me of "Gribblys day Out".)
On the title-screen when he plays the piano, his feet work the
pedals, his tail wags, he barks in time to the music, and sometimes
he faces you and raises his eyebrows or winks.

And that's just the extra touches.  The game is so polished.  The
main character has a beautiful inertia about his movement, and the
controls use a single-button joystick very well for the three weapons
he has available.

Technically the game is superbly designed.  There are foreground
objects that move along in a parallax fashion.  There is a copper
sky and horizon in the background, (which changes from night to day.)
The loading utilises extra memory to cache levels, so they don't have
to be loaded from floppy-disk a second time, and the instructions
hint that extra memory is used for triple-buffering!  (Did I mention
what a brilliant programmer Andrew Braybrook is?)

Oh, um, not forgetting that this is quite simply a damn fun platform
experience.  Well-graded difficulty curve, never a frustrating death
due to an impossible situation, and short-cuts through many of the
levels for those who hunt hard enough.  (Great to avoid that "not
this level again" feeling.)

No hard-drive installer.  (But that's usual for a game of this era.)
Thankfully this has now been addressed by those wonderful JST and
WHDLoad guys.  (Fire and Ice is a JST installer, if it matters.)
Also there is a CD32 version, which I would _love_ to see.

No ability to save-games, or continue on levels with a start-code.
Getting halfway through the game (as far as the trainer takes you)
can take a while, and although fun, I don't often have the time for
a full game anymore. :-(

The only flaw I could find in it's utilisation of resources is that
it doesn't seem to recognise the real fast-ram of the a1200. :-(
...although 2Meg of Chip RAM is enough to cache all of the levels and
the third screen-buffer, I can't help but wonder if performance
mightn't be just a little better if my 030 could use the fast RAM.
The options-screen does give excellent status-information detailing
the CPU and Memory it has found though.  Which is the only reason I
realised it wasn't seeing the extra fast-ram.  Otherwise I'd probably
be blissfully unaware of this fact.

Superfrog - Well, superfrog has a better screen-refresh rate.
            (Typical team17 polish there.)  The two games have quite
            a different pace to them - superfrog is _very_ fast.
            And the feel and gameplay of them are different enough
            for me to feel they aren't trying to be the same type of
            game.  So I don't think I could really say one is better
            than the other.  Both are equally brilliant in my
            opinion.  If I had to choose, I prefer Fire and Ice.

Brian the Lion - Feels to me like it was made by people who liked
                 Fire and Ice. :-)  It's only after playing Fire that
                 you realise the little touches missing from Brian.
                 Brian is a very good game though, and has beautiful
                 polish to the graphics.  But never having played the
                 full version of it (only the demo), I'm not really
                 sure which I'd say is better.

Zool - Never played it.  (Well unless the gameboy version counts.)
       :-)  I've seen the CD32 one though.  I think Zool seems quite
       similar to Superfrog.  Fire and Ice doesn't have quite the
       graphical polish, but I think it makes up for it in character.
       I think it'd still compare favourably.

I haven't found any.  (Well, the top of his head disappears if you
can ever find a spot where you can reach the 'ceiling' of a world.
But that's trivial.)  It's never crashed on me.

Brilliant.  Fantastic.  And really, really cute.  If you're into this
type of game, I think you'll like it.  Has aged _very_ well after all
these years.  (One of the first games I saw on the Miggy, and it's
still one of my top ten favorites.)

Best of all, the only surprises this game has are pleasant ones.
...Except for dying, but that's the players fault. :-)

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