Z-Out is the obvious sequel to X-Out but looks and plays more like a R-Type style game. It is a good 2D horizontal-scrolling shoot 'em up with impressive visuals and sound. The game was released only for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST home computers.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The HQ of the Earth's Defense thought everything was safe after their first victory against the alien forces in X-Out. But it appears that enemy activity is growing and once again you are called to action although this time you do not need to be alone as another brave enough can join you. Thousands of hostile organic enemies threaten the safety of your planet again and they must be destroyed over the course of six (huge) levels. There are power-ups available, but this game is less centered around these than others of the genre. Z-Out is a classic R-Type clone that features similar weapons like the force device, drones and charge beam! The six levels contain hundreds of varied aliens and host scenic targets and mounted guns. You'll also encounter two huge guardians per level and a series of moving pillars that must be avoided at all costs. It is obvious that Advantec Software team made a great game inspired by the Japanese shooters like R-Type!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The quality of the graphics on the ST varies a lot throughout the game. Levels 1 and 3 look great! Some parts on levels 2 and 4 seem to lack imagination. Levels 5 and 6, however, are absolutely stunning (obviously designed by a different artist). The ST version has different colors (25-47 in total) compared to the Amiga OCS (53-86). Also the ST version suffers from occasional framerate issues when the screen is crowded with too many enemies and the overall action is a bit slow. But these flaws do not seem to affect this great shooter game. The sound on the ST includes a nice intro theme, composed by the great Chris Hülsbeck of the Turrican series and, during gameplay, Z-Out has some nice chip sound effects but unfortunately no in-game music.
On our video below you may watch both the Atari ST and Amiga OCS 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).