I downloaded this nice OpenGL game for my SGI-Indy, some days ago, and
realized that an Amiga port would be not too difficult. The game is
very playable with my 604e/233 on a CV64, although I don't have 3D-
acceleration. Maybe even an 68k-port would make sense, but I'm not
The game was compiled with vbcc 0.7 (what else? :). Full source is
It follows the original instruction, which is very funny to read.
Also have a look at the documentation in GIF format, which you will
find under battalion.data/HELP. Not everything mentioned here is true
for the Amiga port, but a lot more than for other non-SGI ports:
Battalion is a giant monster game where you are a giant monster
fighting to survive against the military while causing as much
destruction as you can.
You can choose to be one of four possible monsters: Googelon,
Techs, the Vapour or Flutter:
An idealistic young monster from Osaka bay heads off to America
to seek his fortune.
A communications satellite gains consciousness while broadcasting a
Sam Peckinpah retrospective. After several more hours studying the
films of Sergio Leone and John Woo, Techs heads down to Earth, ready
to integrate into society.
- "the Vapour"
A dangerous experiment on a college campus goes terribly wrong an the
vapour escapes from a dorm room after a really excellent party.
A bug zapper is accidentally cross connected to the atomic pile of a
nuclear reactor. A thunderous ZAP! The sky is filled with blue light ...
and something else.
Your sudden arrival caught the military off guard, but they're
on their way.
The military is equipped with Tanks, Rocket Launchers,
Maser-Tanks, Helicopters, Jet Fighters, and Bombers.
More powerful weapons are currently under
development and will be deployed against you when available.
And if the situation looks hopeless ...
Your current health is displayed in a coloured bar at the top left
corner of the screen. You lose energy when you move, activate your
weapon, or get hit. You slowly regenerate energy throughout the game.
When your energy runs out, you die and the game is over.
You get points for destroying military vehicles and buildings (but not
Battle without the aid of other monsters.
Run without the textual overlays, making battalion
more suitable for use as a backdrop or a screensaver.
Select the rendering quality from 0 (low) through 1 (med) to 2 (high).
The Mesa version of battalion defaults to level 0 and
the OpenGL version to level 2.
Turn on the background music at startup.
Turn on sound effects at startup.
Show a listing of the command line options.
Battalion starts out in demo mode, cycling through the monsters and
unleashing them upon a small unsuspecting town. The monsters aren't
very bright but demo mode will give you an idea what you are up
against. When you want to get in on the fun, press the spacebar.
You can then choose your monster and start senselessly destroying things.
The 1, 2, 3, 4 keys control your view:
(1) Monster view. You see the battlefield from the monster's point of view.
(2) Overview. You see an overview of the battlefield. The i,j,k,l keys
rotate the battlefield in this view.
(3) Army view. You see the battlefield from one of the military vehicles
(4) Map view. Shows city map which can be zoomed by using the q and w keys.
The mouse and the arrow keys move the monster:
Mouse forward/up arrow
moves monster forwards
Mouse backward/down arrow
moves monster backwards
Mouse right/right arrow
turns monster to its right
Mouse forward/left arrow
turns monster to its left
The left mouse button and the 'ctrl' keys on the keyboard activate the
The 'a' and 'z' keys on the keyboard tilt the monster's head up and down.
tilts the monster's head down
tilts the monster's head up
You can resize/iconify the battalion window as you like. The game is
paused while it is iconified.
The d (detail) key steps through the detail modes -1, 0, 1, and 2
(vector, low, medium, high), and can also be set at startup using the -d
option. Mode 1 is the default on SGI machines with mode 0 as the default
on all other systems. Mode -1 (vector) simulates what the game would look
like as a vector-graphics game. Mode 0 (low) removesd some detail to
speed up the game. Mode 1 (medium) is the satandard graphics mode.
Mode 2 (high) will make the graphics look better (with fog, transparent
explosions, and a bit of texture mapping) but will play slower.
The h key activates displays the showcase help file (which contains
the same information as this man page, but with lots of pretty pictures.)
The game is temporarily halted while you are viewing help.
SGI version only. If you are running battalion on a Sun or with Linux
then you can view the help files as individual GIFs in the help directory.
The g key can be used to toggle pointer grabbing, which keeps the mouse
pointer inside the battalion window.
The m key turns the background music on/off. Music will slow the game down
slightly; and I wouldn't recommend running any other sound-intensive
programs at the same time as battalion.
The Solaris version of battalion includes very basic audio support -
the music samples are not synchronized, and battalion
blocks the audio device while it is running.
The p key turns pause on/off. Pause freezes the action (you can't move,
and neither can the army) but the other controls (123,ijkl,dhmpsv)
are still active.
The s key turns the sound on/off. Sound will slow the game down slightly;
and I wouldn't recommend running any other sound-intensive programs at
the same time as battalion. The Solaris version of battalion includes
very basic audio support, and battalion blocks the audio device while it
The v key turns 3D video on/off. If you have a pair of 3D glasses
attached to your computer and a capable monitor you will see the
game in 3D. The size of the 3D area will match the size of your current
2D window, allowing you to speed up the 3D game by shrinking the size
of your window before invoking 3D video. SGI GL version only.
The high score file is kept in /usr/tmp/battalion_hiscore. If you wish to
use a different directory, you can set it using the BATTALIONSCOREDIR
If the environment variable BATTALIONSCOREUNIQUE is set, the number of high
score entries per user is limited to only one (the top entry).
The networking code allows multiple monsters to
collaboratively or competitively rampage through the same city. For a
collaborative session there is a single server and multiple clients
which can be started in any order. The server uses the -network parameter
to declare itslef a server and the -port #### to declare what port number
is being used (default is 6000.) The clients use the -client parameter
to delare themselves to be clients, -host <ip address> to give the
location of the host, and -port #### to match the server's port.
For example the server could be started as "battalion -net -port 6000" on
machine akemi. A client wishing to join would be started
as "battalion -client -host akemi -port 6000". The host machine IP address
can also be specified instead of its name.
SGI and Linux (and probably Sun) versions only.
No giant monsters were harmed during the development of this game.