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Mega Lo Mania

Mega Lo Mania

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Encyclopedia
Mega Lo Mania is a real-time strategy
Real-time strategy
Real-time strategy is a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns. Brett Sperry is credited with coining the term to market Dune II....

 computer game developed by Sensible Software
Sensible Software
Sensible Software was a software house active during the 1980s and 90s, from the United Kingdom.The company was well-known for the very small sprites used for the player characters in many of their games, including Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder and Sensible Golf.- Early history :Sensible Software...

. It was released for the Amiga
Amiga
The Amiga is a family of personal computers that was sold by Commodore in the 1980s and 1990s. The first model was launched in 1985 as a high-end home computer and became popular for its graphical, audio and multi-tasking abilities...

 in 1991, and ported for a variety of other platforms. It was released as Tyrants: Fight Through Time in North America.

Gameplay


A new planet is being formed in the orb at the top of the cosmos. This would be an exciting time by itself, but this planet hosts intelligent life, and every civilization must have a god to oversee it. Would-be rulers come from all directions to wage war through the planet's history.

The object of the game is to conquer 28 islands, divided into nine Epochs that span mankind's history. 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.

There are multiple sectors on each island, and multiple islands spanning different Epochs.

Islands are divided into sectors. 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, while 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.

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.

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:
  • Do nothing: Men that have not been assigned will automatically forage
    Foraging
    - Definitions and significance of foraging behavior :Foraging is the act of searching for and exploiting food resources. It affects an animal's fitness because it plays an important role in an animal's ability to survive and reproduce...

     for the simplest elements and procreate. (The Amiga and Mega Drive manuals note that there are (unseen) women in the tower too; the Genesis Tyrants manual states that the men are very clever and miraculously clone themselves.)
  • 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.
  • Mine for elements: Most things more complex than sticks require mineral resources. Some may be available automatically through open-cast mining
    Open-pit mining
    Open-pit mining or opencast mining refers to a method of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow....

    , and the rest are revealed with the construction of a mine. Mined elements are exhaustible. Elements are varied but functionally identical: an cannon may be constructed out of solarium and tedium in one sector, parasite and moron in another, and work the same.
  • Create designs: Shields (to repair buildings), defenses and weapons must all be designed before they're used. 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.
  • Start production runs: Advanced designs must be built in a factory. Men can be assigned to produce a certain number of products or to keep production going indefinitely. Production ends when the required elements run out.
  • Deploy defenses: Defensive weapons are far more powerful than army weapons, but their numbers are limited by a requirement to place them in turrets mounted on buildings.
  • Deploy armies: Armies are created by assigning available weapons to men. Simple weapons are constructed automatically from available resources and require one man; others must first be produced at a factory and need several men to field. Expended elements cannot be refunded, but the weapons will return to stock if an army returns. In battle men mill about, suffering and inflicting casualties. They can only be commanded by moving them into an adjacent sector, causing heavy casualties if an army retreats from a battle, or into a tower. 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, as cannon fodder
    Cannon fodder
    Cannon fodder is an informal, derogatory term for military personnel who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire. The term is generally used in situations where soldiers are forced to deliberately fight against hopeless odds in an effort to achieve a strategic goal...

    , or in desperation while defending a sector.

    Nuclear weapons of AD 1980 follow special rules. A single nuke irrevocably destroys a sector. The same epoch's defensive weapon is the nuclear deterrent, a nuke that does nothing to save its sector, but is automatically launched at the attacker. The defensive weapon of AD 2001 is the laser turret, which both shoots at ground forces and automatically overheats and self-destructs to shoot down a nuke. All are unmanned.


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.

Epochs

Epoch Date Islands Description Offensive Weapon Defensive Weapon
1st 9500 BC Aloha, Bazooka, Cilla Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

Rock Stick
2nd 3000 BC Dracula, Etcetra, Formica Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

Slingshot
Slingshot
A slingshot, shanghai, flip, bean shooter or catapult is a small hand-powered projectile weapon. The classic form consists of a Y-shaped frame held in the off hand, with two rubber strips attached to the uprights. The other ends of the strips lead back to a pocket which holds the projectile...

Spear
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

3rd 100 BC Gazza, Hernia, Ibiza Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

Pike
Pike (weapon)
A pike is a pole weapon, a very long thrusting spear used extensively by infantry both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults. Unlike many similar weapons, the pike is not intended to be thrown. Pikes were used regularly in European warfare from the...

Bow and Arrow
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

4th 900 AD Junta, Karma, Lada Medieval Longbow
Longbow
A longbow is a type of bow that is tall ; this will allow its user a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw....

Cauldron
Cauldron
A cauldron or caldron is a large metal pot for cooking and/or boiling over an open fire, with a large mouth and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger.- Etymology :...

 of Boiling oil
Boiling oil
Early thermal weapons were devices or substances used in warfare during the classical and medieval periods which used heat or burning action to destroy or damage enemy personnel, fortifications or territories.Incendiary devices were frequently used as projectiles during warfare, particularly...

5th 1400 AD Mascara, Nausea, Ocarina Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

Catapult
Catapult
A catapult is a device used to throw or hurl a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive devices—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines. Although the catapult has been used since ancient times, it has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during...

 (two men per unit)
Crossbow
Crossbow
A crossbow is a weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles, often called bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow was called by many names, most of which derived from the word ballista, a torsion engine resembling a crossbow in appearance.Historically, crossbows played a...

6th 1850 AD Pyjama, Quota, Rumbaba Industrial Age
Industrial Age
Industrial Age may refer to:*Industrialisation*The Industrial Revolution...

Cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 (three men per unit)
Musket
Musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

7th 1915 AD Sinatra, Tapioca, Utopia World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

Biplane
Biplane
A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two superimposed main wings. The Wright brothers' Wright Flyer used a biplane design, as did most aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage, it produces more drag than a similar monoplane wing...

 (two men per unit)
Machine Gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

8th 1945 AD Vespa, Wonka, Xtra World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

Jet Fighter
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 (three men per unit)
Bazooka
Bazooka
Bazooka is the common name for a man-portable recoilless rocket antitank weapon, widely fielded by the U.S. Army. Also referred to as the "Stovepipe", the innovative bazooka was amongst the first-generation of rocket propelled anti-tank weapons used in infantry combat...

9th 1980 AD Yoga, Zappa, Ohm Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

Nuclear missile Nuclear deterrent
10th 2001 AD Mega-Lo-Mania Information Age
Information Age
The Information Age, also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously...

Flying saucer
Flying saucer
A flying saucer is a type of unidentified flying object sometimes believed to be of alien origin with a disc or saucer-shaped body, usually described as silver or metallic, occasionally reported as covered with running lights or surrounded with a glowing light, hovering or moving rapidly either...

 (ten men per unit)
Laser
Laser
A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...

 Turret
Turret
In architecture, a turret is a small tower that projects vertically from the wall of a building such as a medieval castle. Turrets were used to provide a projecting defensive position allowing covering fire to the adjacent wall in the days of military fortification...


Release information


Mega Lo Mania was ported to several platforms.

The original Amiga
Amiga
The Amiga is a family of personal computers that was sold by Commodore in the 1980s and 1990s. The first model was launched in 1985 as a high-end home computer and became popular for its graphical, audio and multi-tasking abilities...

 version was published by Image Works
Image Works
Image Works was a publishing label of video games publisher Mirrorsoft created in 1988. The first two games published under the Image Works label were Fernandez Must Die and Foxx Fights Back...

 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.

A MS-DOS
MS-DOS
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...

 version was ported by Audio Visual Magic, Ltd. and published by Ubisoft
Ubisoft
Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. is a major French video game publisher and developer, with headquarters in Montreuil, France. The company has a worldwide presence with 25 studios in 17 countries and subsidiaries in 26 countries....

 in 1992 in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France.

Virgin Interactive
Virgin Interactive
Virgin Interactive was a British video game publisher. It was formed as Virgin Games Ltd. in 1981. The company became much larger after purchasing the budget label, Mastertronic in 1987. It was part of the Virgin Group...

 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.

Imagineer published the SNES
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a 16-bit video game console that was released by Nintendo in North America, Europe, Australasia , and South America between 1990 and 1993. In Japan and Southeast Asia, the system is called the , or SFC for short...

 version in 1993 in France, Germany, United Kingdom and Japan.

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
Amiga Power
Amiga Power was a monthly magazine about Amiga computer games. It was published in the United Kingdom by Future Publishing, and ran for 65 issues, from May 1991 to September 1996....

.

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

External links