DOS title screen of Llamatron
Llamatron is a computer game written by Jeff Minter of Llamasoft, and released as shareware in 1991 for the Atari ST. The game was converted to the Commodore Amiga and PC (DOS) the following year. It is very similar in gameplay to the 1982 arcade game Robotron: 2084, although filtered through Jeff Minter's distinctive style. The title screen gives the title as Llamatron: 2112.
The player controls a llama which can move on a single-screen playfield. The llama constantly fires a stream of white energy bolts in the direction it is moving. The player can 'hold' the fire direction, so that the llama can move freely whilst firing in a direction; alternatively the player can control the game with two joysticks, choosing the move and fire directions independently.
A large flock of enemies attempt to attack the llama, and must all be destroyed in order to end the wave (level) and progress to the next wave. Contact with any enemy causes instant death. These enemies, referred to in the game as grunts, take a variety of forms, ranging from boxes of Rizla cigarette papers to the Eye of Providence, taking in cans of Coca-Cola, hamburgers and cutlery along the way.
The player's secondary goal is to save the various ruminants (referred to as 'beasties') that wander each level, by collecting them into a docile herd which will then follow the player in a line for the rest of the level. This is not necessary except on certain special waves called Herd Waves, but saving all the beasties before the end of a wave gives a point bonus.
As well as the main flock of 'normal' enemies, there can also be any number of other 'special' enemies and hazards on a level, including:
- Green 'hedgehogs' with white spikes that are more resilient than normal enemies. When destroyed, they explode into four diagonally-moving spikes.
- Blue 'Brains' that turn the beasties into green 'Zombeasts', which then advance on the llama, firing some kind of homing projectile.
- Pulsating purple-yellow blobs that split into smaller and smaller blobs when shot.
- Laser guns that float freely throughout the level. They come in two types - horizontal or vertical - and periodically fire a deadly laser beam across the full width or height of the screen, instantly obliterating the llama if it is lined up with the laser gun at the wrong time. On later levels, there can be both horizontal and vertical lasers in a single level, which fire simultaneously.
- Blue raindrops that fall diagonally through the level. To stop them, a number of umbrellas must be erected in the level, but the player has to catch them first.
- A large sixteen-ton weight that hovers at the top of the level and attempts to crush the llama when it passes underneath.
- A large Mandelbrot fractal, known as the "Screaming Mandy" that blinks in all colours and screams when you shoot it.
- A huge Toilet that shoots toilet paper rolls with accompanying scatological sound effects and explodes in a shower of feces when destroyed.
- The "alien in sheep's clothing", which acts similarly to the blue brains but masquerades as a beastie.
- The final boss: a snake composed of parts moving based on a particle algorithm - named the "Ozric Tentacle", a reference to the UK underground band Ozric Tentacles.
The player can collect various bonus items which give extra lives, weapon improvements, smart bombs, and so on.
Like most of Jeff Minter's games, the graphics and sounds are rather psychedelic, with bright colours, strobing flashes and bizarre audio effects.
Variants of Llamatron
- Format: Atari ST
- RAM needed: 512k
- STE required? No
- Notable notes: All sounds from 1MB version intact, but reduced quality to save space.
- RAM needed: 1024k
- STE required? Unknown
- Notable notes: Same sounds as 512k version, but with enhanced quality.
- Same sounds as the 1MB version, but with the addition of profane sound effects encountered upon player death.