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Mega Lo Mania

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Mega Lo Mania is a real-time strategy computer game developed by Sensible Software. Mega Lo Mania was released in North America as Tyrants: Fight Through Time.

Gameplay

The object of the game is to conquer 28 islands divided into sectors, with three islands per Epoch and one for the final Epoch. The player must take on the role of one of four Gods: Scarlet (Red), Oberon (Yellow), Caesar (Green) or Madcap (Blue). As their God, the player must lead his or her people by instructing them to do a number of different tasks such as create buildings, design weapons, mine for elements or form an army. The ultimate aim is to defeat all the other Gods by destroying their towers and their people.

File:Amiga megalomania.jpg
There are multiple sectors on each island, and multiple islands spanning different Epochs.

Each sector can be either empty, or be occupied by a particular people. Although the player cannot see before they occupy a sector, each has different types of minerals and elements available to it that can put the occupier at an advantage or disadvantage.

Every island has a differing shape with different numbers of sectors dividing it. Islands in this game can have anywhere between two and sixteen sectors on a four by four grid. Some islands are small enough to only allow two different Gods to play against each other, whilst others are strategically designed for various gameplay scenarios, such as islands that are not connected, requiring flight in the form of jetplanes or biplanes for armies to attack each other.

Epochs determine the base technology level that each group of people begin with. For example, in the 1st Epoch, the starting technology level is equal to that of 9500 BC, meaning that each starting tower resembles a caveman's dwelling. In each Epoch (except the final Epoch) there are three islands and each must be conquered before proceeding to the next. The player may use research to develop along the technology tree, eventually increasing in epoch.

In each Epoch the player selects an island, then allocates a number of men to place onto that island from a starting pool of 100 men (any unused men will carry over to the next Epoch and be added to a new pool of 100 additional men). Each God playing the island then chooses a starting sector. Once the game starts, the player allocates men to various tasks:

  • Create designs: There are three types of design; shields (to repair buildings), defences (to place in the building turrets), and weaponry. Designs only become available when there are enough appropriate resources, thus improved designs appear once mining has taken place. Creating designs will also increase the technology level of the player, resulting in more resilient buildings, faster design speeds, and makes the laboratory available for construction. The highest level designs for the current epoch only appear after a laboratory has been fully constructed.
  • Mine for elements: whilst some elements can be collected by hand and do not need to be mined, others must be mined by allocating men. When a mine is constructed (during the 4th Epoch or later), further elements will become available that were not previously discovered. Elements are the resources required to build shields, defences and weapons.
  • Deploy armies: Armies are created by selecting from available weapons. Simple weapons are constructed automatically from available resources and require one man; others must first be produced at a factory and may require two or more men to field. Armies are moved sector-by-sector and attack enemy armies and buildings automatically. Men can also be deployed unarmed, but as they cannot damage enemy buildings this is only useful for constructing a new tower in another sector, or in desperation whilst defending a sector.
  • Deploy defences: As with armies, defenses are created by selecting from available weapons, requiring one or more men each (with the exception of some automated defenses during the later Epochs). They are deployed in turrets mounted on buildings.
  • Construct buildings: Men can be assigned to construct a mine, factory or a laboratory when they become available. Towers may also be constructed by armies in empty sectors providing the player has not entered an alliance.
  • Start production runs: Advanced designs must be built in a factory. Men can be assigned to produce a certain number of designs or to keep production going indefinitely. Production ends when the required elements run out.
  • Do nothing: Men that have not been assigned will breed automatically, enlarging the workforce over time.

In addition, the player may undertake the following actions:

  • Repair buildings: if shields have been created and are available, damaged buildings can be repaired. Sectors can also be shut down through this menu (see below).
  • Check blueprints: The player may examine his current designs and the quantity of elements required to construct each. Designs can be trashed, leaving it available to be redesigned. This can be useful when new elements have been discovered, as the redesign may implement these new elements.
  • Forge an alliance: in any map where there are two or three opposing gods, the player may attempt to ally with another team by clicking on the shield of their opponent. The computer controlled teams sometimes offer the player an alliance. Allied gods are not able to construct new towers in empty sectors.

Final epoch: Mega-Lo-Mania

The final epoch has just one, square island: Mega-Lo-Mania. The rules here differ in that only one action is available - forming an army. Although you form the army as 'unarmed men', each man is in fact armed with laser pistols and the sole objective is to destroy every other tower and all other men on the island.

The number of men available to the player on this island depends on the number of men shut down in previous epochs, although a bug in the ST version meant that the maximum was 999 - any more and the counter would loop back round from 0. Shutting down a sector can only be performed when the highest tech level (2001 AD) has been reached, sufficient men are in the tower, and there are at least some men outside your tower (so that you are not defeated immediately). Every man in the tower is then cryogenically frozen to be made available in the final battle.

Table of epochs, their starting dates, and their islands

Epoch Date Islands Description Offensive Weapon Defensive Weapon
1st 9500 BC Aloha, Bazooka, Cilla Neolithic Rock Stick
2nd 3000 BC Dracula, Etcetra, Formica Bronze Age Slingshot Spear
3rd 100 BC Gazza, Hernia, Ibiza Iron Age Pike Bow and Arrow
4th 900 AD Junta, Karma, Lada Medieval Longbow Cauldron of Boiling oil
5th 1400 AD Mascara, Nausea, Ocarina Renaissance Catapult (two men per unit) Crossbow
6th 1850 AD Pyjama, Quota, Rumbaba Industrial Age Cannon (three men per unit) Musket
7th 1915 AD Sinatra, Tapioca, Utopia World War I Biplane (two men per unit) Machine Gun
8th 1945 AD Vespa, Wonka, Xtra World War II Jet Fighter (three men per unit) Bazooka
9th 1980 AD Yoga, Zappa, Ohm Cold War Nuclear missile Nuclear deterrent
10th 2001 AD Mega-Lo-Mania Information Age Flying saucer (ten men per unit) Laser Turret

Release information

Mega Lo Mania was ported to several platforms.

The original Amiga version was published by Image Works in 1991, in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. They also published the Atari ST version the same year in the United Kingdom and Australia.[1]

A MS-DOS version was ported by Audio Visual Magic, Ltd. and published by Ubisoft in 1992 in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France.[1]

Virgin Interactive published the Sega Genesis in the United States in 1992. It was localized for the Sega Mega Drive in Japan by CSK Research Institute Corp. and published in 1993.[1]

Imagineer published the SNES version in 1993 in France, Germany, United Kingdom and Japan.[1]

A sequel to Mega-Lo-Mania was in development by Sensible Software, but this was never released; a few screenshots were shown in an issue of Amiga Power.[2]

This game was also known (for the Sega Genesis) as Tyrants: Fight Through Time in the United States.

References

External links

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