BY JAMES HAGUE
Uncle Henry's Nuclear Waste DumpBe careful with those toxic cans
"I hope you've got insurance, says Uncle Henry as you don your yellow rubber suit. Dump the nuclear waste and make that old cuss rich. Be very careful and you may live through it. This BASIC program works on all 8-bit Atari computers of any memory size, with disk or cassette.
And it did! After six months of brainstorming, Uncle Henry celebrated the grand opening of his Nuclear Waste Dump. Hidden behind the local Sloppy Joe Hut, the waste dump was designed to handle vast quantities of discarded radioactive material.
Soon Uncle Henry was rolling in dough, but there was too much waste for one man to handle. So he put an ad in the local paper-which of course you answered.
Your first task is to type in Listing 1, NUCWASTE.BAS, checking each line with TYPO II. If you have trouble typing the special characters in lines 9040, 9050 and 9085, don't type them in. Listing 2 will create those lines for you, and store them in a file called LINES.LST. SAVE a copy, plug a joystick into port 1 and RUN the program. When the title screen appears, press [SELECT] to choose your speed -1 for easy, 5 for hard. Then press either [START] or the fire button to begin.
The Nuclear Waste Dump employs the most advanced method of waste disposal known to man- dumping the stuff in a pit. You stand on the edge of the pit. Uncle Henry hands you a container of nuclear waste, which you maneuver above the pit with the joystick. Press the button to drop it. The can falls into the pit and bounces along the pile of waste until it comes to rest. Simple, right? Well, almost...
There are three types of waste containers, each having its own distinct shape and color. The catch is that a container may not end up on or next to a container of the same type. If it does, POW-the end of your little corner of the world!
Momentary contact between containers of similar waste is allowed. For example, a container of Type 1 waste may be dropped onto another Type 1 container as long as it bounces to a different location and does not come to rest in contact with Type 1 waste.
Also, you can only hold a can for a short time (depending on which speed you selected). When you are handed a can, a timer in the upper right-hand corner of the screen counts down. When it reaches zero, a buzzer sounds and you must drop the waste in your tracks. Needless to say, this could be disastrous.
You get 10 points for every container successfully dumped. If you manage to fill the pit by placing just one container of waste as high as the pit's rim, you get a 1,000-point bonus, some neat special effects and an early retirement. If only it were that easy...
Surviving Uncle Henry's Nuclear Waste Dump does not depend solely on your reflexes, but also on quick, logical decisions. Speed 1 allows quite a bit of time to decide where to drop the waste, while Speed 5 only gives you a split second. Plan ahead, because each move may drastically affect subsequent moves.
The game may seem simple at first, but as the pit fills up, you must consider the physics of how each container will react when it hits the pile, which makes things extremely tricky. Only by playing can you learn. But here's a tip: if a container has the choice of falling left or right, it will always go left. And as you play, you will be treated periodically to words of wisdom from Uncle Henry himself.
Now get back to work. Uncle Henry is counting on you. Good help is hard to find.
James Hague lives in Richardson, Texas and has worked in assembly language and BASIC for four years. His game Rockslide, appeared in the May, 1986 issue of Antic.
Listing 1: NUCWASTE.BAS Download
Listing 2: LINES.BAS(not needed)