|David Dentt (Programmer) & Jerry Huber (Graphics)
|Port of the 1989 Atari coin-op
by David Akers and Mark Stephen Pierce
If you were hanging out in arcades in the early nineties, then you
know they all had three things in common. Bright colors, amazing
sounds, and an unmistakable air of 'coolness'. If any one game embodies
the essence of the early 90's it's Klax. Not only was Klax a refreshingly
original concept in an era of 'Me Too!' beat 'em up games, but it was
also amazingly addictive. It was the nineties, and it was definitely
time for Klax!
Klax is a puzzle game along the same lines as Dr. Mario and Columns.
The concept is simple, as colored tiles come down the conveyer belt at
the top of the screen you must catch them drop them into the bin below.
If you line up three tiles of the same color you score a "Klax"
(hence the name of the game). Klaxes can be scored horizontally,
vertically, or diagonally. Each type is worth a different amount
of points. In addition to the simple Klaxes, there are advanced
patterns that are worth more points and can even trigger hidden events!
Depending on the type of wave your goal is one of the following:
||You need to complete a certain number of Klaxes (any
||You need to complete a certain number of Diagonals
||You need to complete a certain number of Horizontals
||You must score a certain number of points
||You must survive a certain number of tiles
The paddle can only hold six tiles, after that they will
begin to fall off. If you don't want a particular tile you can
temporarily throw it back by pressing up, but eventually it will come
back down the conveyer. Every time a tile falls off a miss counter
lights up, when all your miss counters are lit up it's game over. To
help you in your task, occasionally you will get a special glowing tile.
These glowing tiles are a wild card and can be used for any color.
Wild tiles are necessary to complete some of the more advanced
patterns such as the Ultra Star and Tengen Stax. , but use them wisely
as they are few and far between. For more information on
these advanced patterns check out KlaxWorld.com.
Of course Klax wouldn't be one of the greatest puzzle
games of all time if didn't contain a few secrets. By completing
the "Big X (a 5x5 X pattern) on certain waves, you can warp ahead
to the higher levels. Completing the Big X is rather difficult
as you must place the center tile last (otherwise you'll just score
a diagonal), but is the secret to getting those amazingly high scores.
The 7800 version of Klax is unique as it contains three"Impossible"
levels. These secret levels can be accessed after beating all
Impossible Level 1
All you have to do is get one simple horizontal, how
hard can that be? Look, they even set you up with two like colored
tiles! Just drop one in and you're golden. Unfortunately
all you'll get on this level are rust colored tiles, no yellows or greens.
Hmm... They also seem to have neglected to give you three empty
spaces to make your own rust colored Klax. How about using the
two rust colored tiles in column one and three by stacking four rust
tiles in the second column? Wait a minute, dropping the 3rd tile
scores a vertical Klax! How on earth do you get four in that column?
Impossible Level 2
If you thought the first impossible level was bad, then
you're gonna freak when you see this one. Here you only have to
get one diagonal, how hard can that be? Once again they've set
you up with several tiles, just stack a few in the center column and
you're done. Wait a minute, all the tiles on this level are wild
tiles! How do we make a diagonal Klax without having a horizontal
or a vertical Klax first?
Impossible Level 3
Unlike the first two impossible levels, this one doesn't
have any devious puzzles involved. This level is just a straight
forward point wave. Unfortunately it's a impossible point wave!
True to the hint's words, the game is cheating this time.
Try as hard as want, you'll never score those 140,000 points...
Or will you? Patience is the key....
While the 7800 version Klax may be one of the best
home versions out there, it was sadly never released. Around the
time Klax was completed Atari decided to drop all support for the 7800,
so many games that were completed or nearly so were shelved. Thankfully
in 2002 Lee Krueger of ResQsoft (http://home.earthlink.net/~resqsoft/products.htm)
was able to contact the programmer and obtain permission to sell reproductions
to eager Atari 7800 enthusiasts But one has to ask, if it's now
the 2000's, is there still time for Klax?
to 7800 Software