Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 5, NO. 3 / JULY 1986



The ST game you're waiting for

FTL Games
6160 Lusk Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92121
(619) 453-5711

Sundog: The Frozen Legacy is an outstanding example of what can be accomplished with the Atari 520 ST. The fantasy role-playing game combines graphics, action, simulation and problem-solving in a game with unusual depth that will likely take you months to complete.

The strongest feature of Sundog is its incredible attention to detail. Everywhere you turn, there is something to see and explore. Walk up to a slot machine, and suddenly a window opens to show the machine in multicolored glory. Put your money in and watch the symbols roll by realistically.

Touches like this make the game a constant joy to play. Shoot it out with muggers, or pick up some drugs in the back booth of a bar. Refuse money to a beggar and watch him suddenly get nasty! The list is seemingly endless and I don't want to spoil your fun by telling the many hidden delights I have found.

Sundog's graphics are quite remarkable. Structures in the cities sport an eye-catching multitude of colors. Overhead views of buildings and of the spacecraft are intricately detailed, down to the blinking lights on the panels. You'll fly over realistic views of continental landscapes and oceans.

Sundog is billed as a "ZoomAction" game. When you walk up to something which you need to see in more detail, a window opens on the screen and the necessary detail is provided in high resolution color. For example, walking up to one of the auxiliary instrument panels on Sundog displays that panel. Sitting down in the driver's seat for the pod switches the screen to a top view of Sundog so that you can navigate the pod from an overhead view. And the game is completely mouse-driven, so it's easy to control

Sundog begins as your uncle dies under mysterious circumstances, leaving you his spaceship named Sundog. Just before he died, he accepted money to complete a contract to deliver cryogens, or frozen colonists, to a new colony located somewhere on the planet of Jondd. The object of Sundog is your completion of the contract.

The manual that accompanies Sun-dog is purposely vague on quite a few points, since part of the fun is to figure out how to accomplish the many small tasks you will need to master. The first step is to define your character, trading in points of your initial score for attributes like strength, dexterity, luck and intelligence. You start the game aboard Sundog, which is stocked with some supplies, although nowhere near what you will ultimately need. From here, it's up to you.

Your ship will need fuel and repairs before you even can fly her, and you'll need to lay in a supply of food. All

Make sure your guns,
lasers and shields are in
tip top condition,
because space is
inhabited by pirates. I
hope you're a good shot!

these items are available in the city where you are docked. Sundog is equipped with a small pod which you can maneuver around the city, and you can leave the pod to enter various establishments. I suggest you put the pod in a parking lot, or you will be in for a surprise! There are banks, hotels, parts stores, restaurants, stock exchanges and some buildings I haven't figured out yet. There are also muggers, so be sure to carry your stinger and shield, and have some "rapidheal" handy.

Once you have gotten your bearings, you will need to try to find the colony on Jondd. It's time to hop into your pod and to do some exploring. Since the instructions don't tell you exactly what you are looking for, you will have to figure out when you have found the colony. When you do, you'll be given an indication of what is required (in addition to the cryogens) to get the colony going. You will then have to locate these supplies as well as the cryogens and bring them back to the colony.

You will soon find that everthing you need is not located on Jondd. The world of Sundog is huge, encompassing many star systems, some with multiple planets and multiple cities on those planets. A certain amount of mapping will be unavoidable. Your next challenge will be to figure out how to fly to other worlds. The Sundog is equipped with sub-C engines as well as warp drive, and the combination of these will get you to the other worlds you must visit. Before leaving Jondd, better make sure your guns, lasers, and shields are in tip-top condition, because space is inhabited by pirates. I hope you are a good shot!

You don't have enough money to simply buy what you need and bring it back to the colony, although that would be hard enough. Your skill as a trader will be sorely tested. To earn the extra money you will need, you must buy supplies on worlds where they are cheap, and sell them where you can make a profit. While this is not too difficult, you will need to keep track of the selling prices of various items on the many worlds of Sundog.

There's a useful option to perform virtually unlimited game saves on a library disk, while your current game is saved on the Sundog disk itself to eliminate disk swapping. Frequent game saves are a good idea in a game of this magnitude, as death can be sudden.

Sundog will take long time to solve. I am writing this review after having solved only a small part of the whole game, and I am looking forward to many more evenings of enjoyment. My hat is off to the programmers, who must have spent tremendous effort to put this fine game together. Sundog sets a new high for "getting your money's worth" in entertainment software. This game will put you completely under its spell.