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|Black Hornet is another SWIV-clone, vertical shoot 'em up game. It was developed by PAL Developments (and published by Hi-TEC Software in 1991 for the Amiga and Atari ST. A year later, a Commodore 64 version followed.|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
You fly a state of the art military aircraft over four different combat terrains (a desert, valleys and mountains, the sea and space). A main feature of this shooter is that you can increase or reduce your aircraft's height during combat to be able to hit either ground or air forces! A shadow is visible on the screen, below the aircraft to indicate Black Hornet's height relative to the ground. The aircraft can fly under some bridges provided that you select the correct height. Also, when an airfield or aircraft carrier is encountered you have the option to land. Another difference between this and every other vertical scrolling shoot 'em ups is that your plane carries bombs instead of guns! This means that you cannot kill enemies directly by simply getting them in your line of sight but you have to get them in the right bomb range otherwise your bombs will fly over their heads and explode harmlessly on the ground! There are several air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons (such as homing missiles, torpedoes, decoy round and radiation missiles) with which you can destroy the enemy forces (aircrafts, ships and ground installations). Black Hornet can be shot down if it receives enough direct hits or runs out of fuel. Points scored from your kills enable you to stop at the airfields to restock with a variety of weapons and tip up with fuel and shields. During combat, weapons can be switched by hitting the Spacebar and then the Enter to activate one. You can buy any weapons you can afford but note that not all weapons are suitable over every terrain. There is also the option to buy a Turbo boost. The game is nice to play, though the action is a bit repetitive with nothing innovative to see. Black Hornet is a typical shoot 'em up and is recommended only if you're into this genre. Personally I love playing most kind of shoot 'em ups, so if you're also a fan, give it a try.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
The Atari ST version features nice graphics and quite smooth sprite animation but the scrolling suffers quite often from slowdowns. All terrains are nicely drawn with several details here and there. The sound is mediocre though, featuring a rather repetitive music during gameplay but there is the option to choose sound effects instead (chip sounds that are very loud for your ears).
GAMEPLAY SAMPLE VIDEO
On our video below you may watch the Atari ST, Amiga OCS and Commodore 64/128 versions of the game.
|CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus.|
MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB
GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images.
SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).
|9-bit RGB 512-color palette |
(16 on-screen and up to 512 in static image)
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