Classic Computer Magazine Archive PROGRAM LISTING: 88-09a/DRONE.TXT


   Drone Dusters is a fast and
furious machine language game based
on the tank-action arcade hit Targ.
To complete one of the game's 15
screens, you must run over all 13
pulsating dots or shoot all nine
pursuing drones that are trying to
run over you.

   You can play Drone Dusters with a
joystick or from the keyboard.  Plug
the joystick into port 1.  First,
copy DRONE.EXE to another disk which
has the DOS.SYS and DUP.SYS files on
  Next, rename DRONE.EXE to
AUTORUN.SYS.  Now turn off your Atari
and place this disk in your drive.
Remove any cartridges (XL/XE owners
hold down the [OPTION] key) and turn
on your Atari.  Drone Dusters will
load and run automatically.

   Each of the first eight screens
adds a pre-set group of blocks to the
grid.  But the last seven screens add
blocks randomly.  Display colors also
change at each new screen, so it's
rare that you'll see the same screen
twice during a game.
   If you prefer not to play with the
joystick, keyboard moves are as
follows.  To go left, press [S]].  To
go right, press [D].  Up is [U] and
down is [N].  Pressing [CONTROL] [Q]
aborts the game and takes you back to
the title screen.  Pressing [ESC]
takes you back to DOS.  To play
another game, press the joystick
button or any key and then press

   Your tank consists of two
superimposed players, with a
different design for each of the four
directions it can face.  You can move
in reverse at any time, and you can
"turn a corner" before reaching it
simply by pushing the joystick or a
key for the turn.  When the tank
reaches the first corner in that
direction, it will turn toward it.
Be aware, however, that the tank
likes to keep moving -- YOU must find
out how to stop it.

   The nine drones are bit-mapped
Graphics 1 characters requiring 15
redefined characters for each
direction a drone can face.  Drone
speed increases with every fourth
screen, as well as when five or one
drones are left on a screen (after
the first two screens).  Maximum
drone speed is never faster than the
   When you get to the fourth screen,
you'll start seeing a UFO -- a
rotating triangular object.  As the
UFO movement speeds up, so does its
spin rate.  It will appear in a
corner of the grid and flash briefly,
taunting you to shoot it.  And when
you do blast it apart, it will
reappear shortly thereafter and move
faster.  But it will never get faster
than your tank.  The UFO chases the
tank with a "smarter" algorithm than
the drones, and it constantly fires
bullets at the tank, so keep on your
   Each drone you shoot is worth 35
points.  Running over a dot gets you
25.  Shooting down a UFO is worth 95
points.  You'll earn 1,000 points for
each screen you complete, up to 9,000
points.  At 20,000 points you'll get
an extra tank.

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