LOTUS 111: THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE
When we completed Lotus II, we didn't think that there was
anywhere else to take an arcade racing game, and we did not plan
to do any further Lotus games. Then many fans of the Lotus
games, however, continued to write and telephone us, demanding a
third Lotus game. After a while, we sat down, and over a period
of a few weeks discussed if there was anything else we could do
that would match the standard of the first two games, break new
ground, and once that was done take it sufficiently beyond the
other racing games that were around. If we couldn't take the
new game further than the competition, then we would be better
advised to spend our time on a different project. After around
a month of serious consideration, be believed that we could do
enough with a new game in the form of new features and
additions, to make it worthy of, and take it far enough beyond,
the first two Lotus games. People demanded Lotus III, so here
it is-The Ultimate Challenge. The ultimate Lotus racing game.
So What's New?
About three trillion tracks for a start, but more on that later.
Lotus III combines all the best elements of the first two games,
introduces a number of new features, and puts the control firmly
in the hands of the player. The expanded range of options
allows the player to alter the majority of features to suit
themselves. As well as all the features brought over from the
first two games, crammed in there are five new themed levels,
each with it's own unique graphic style, and new features that
affect the handling of your car. There is the stunning new
Lotus concept car, the M200. This car will never go into
production, so this will be the only opportunity you will ever
get to 'drive' one. On top of all that lot there's a whole host
of new music and sound effects, and loads of new graphics.
The most startling addition, however, is the stunning RECS
system, which will give you access to a practically infinite
number of different tracks. (For the more pedantic among you
the actual number is (26^D)x99 -somewhere around ten followed by
twenty three noughts.) Just about every other game to feature a
track creation system has followed the standard system of
including a track editor, which means having to spend maybe an
hour or more designing a single track, and then having to save
to a data disk, and then physically sending it to anyone who
wanted to see your stunning creation. Days, or even weeks,
might pass before anyone ever tried your circuits or designs.
With Lotus III, each track you design will take as little as a
minute, and will generate a code which can then be given to
anyone instantly, and they will then be able to play your
creation within seconds, and there's no messing around with
extra data disks either. In addition, you could enter your own
name as a password to see exactly how difficult or easy that is.
It's straightforward, easy and instant-and like all the features
of the earlier Lotus games, it's so good that other software
houses will be featuring it in their games in about six months
Playing Lotus III
The Quick Start Guide
Okay, so Lotus III isn't the most complex simulation around, but
the wealth of choices and options could throw you at first.
However, those who have played Lotus I and II will probably want
to get racing straight away, so here's a guide to getting down
to racing instantly. Once the first option screen appears,
click on 'Start', and, after pressing fire a couple more times
to select your sound effects and car, you will be taken to the
starting line of the first predetermined race in the Arcade
The Complete Works
For the more methodical amongst you, this section will explain
what each of the available options can do. First off, an
explanation of all the options available to you on the main
Main Playing Screen
Note: All input, even for Player Two, is input from the Player
One joystick on the Main Playing Screen.
This is the screen where you will make most of the decisions
regarding the game. To highlight a particular option, simply
move the red rectangle by using the joystick, until it surrounds
the icon of your choice. If two options are offered in a
particular box, hitting fire will toggle between the two. The
different options available to you are as follows.
This will allow you to alter the name of Player One. To do
this, highlight this option and then type in the new name.
This is the option which will begin the race once you are happy
with all the selections that you have made.
Exactly the same as for Player One, this option allows you to
alter the name of th~ second player.
Allows Player One to select Manual or Automatic Gears.
This option let's you select between Championship and Arcade.
Each is a mix of the circuits of Lotus I, and the checkpoint
sections of Lotus II.
In Arcade mode, represented by the clock, the aim is to complete
each stage within the allotted time (indicated on the screen).
This is a race for points, the aim being to get the highest
score possible. To make things even more straightforward, there
are no fuel stops required for Arcade racing.
The Championship mode, represented by the Cup, is very similar
to Lotus I. This takes the form of a championship season, where
overall success is dependant upo finishing in the top ten
drivers of each race. Points are awarded after each race, and
your starting position in the next race will be decided by your
finishing position in the last race. If you finished first, you
would begin the next race in twentieth, if you finished second
you would begin in nineteenth, and so on. For more information
on the different race styles, see the section entitled Racing
late Gears As for Player One, this allows Player Two to select
between Manual and Automatic gears.
Allows Player One to select whether pressing the fire button, or
pushing forward on the joystick will accelerate his/her vehicle.
Depending upon which is chofien, the following controls will
Fire Button Forward
Steer Left Joystick Left Joystick Left
Steer Right Joystick Right Joystick Right
Accelerate Fire Button Joystick Forward
Brake Joystick Back Joystick Back
Change Up a Gear Joystick Forward Joystick Forward/Fire
This option allows you to select either one of the predetermined
tracks, to chose single user defined track, or a whole sequence
of user defined circuits and tracks, as follows:
Selecting a predefined sequence
There are six different predefined sequences built into Lotus
III, namely an easy level, a medium level, and a difficult level
on each of the Championship and Arcade levels. Easy consists of
seven tracks, Medium of ten, and Difficult of fifteen, making a
total of sixty four predefined tracks. To select any of the
three, simply highlight one of the left three options in this
Selecting your own track
If you select the fourth option along, this will allow you to
race a track which you have previously defined on the RECS
screen. This option can be highlighted either before or after
you go to the RECS screen to create a track.
Selecting a sequence of player designed circuits
The final option will take the player to a new screen where a
sequence of user defined circuits can be created. To create a
sequence, see the 'Define' sequence below.
As for Player One, this allows Player Two to select his/her
chosen method of acceleration.
Control (Player One)
For player One this is always the joystick.
Number of Players
The Player selects whether it is a One Player or Two Player Game.
Control (Player Two)
If Player Two selects the joystick, then he should have the
joystick plugged into I 1(0 on ST). If the keyboard option is
selected, then the following controls apply:
L Emulates Joystick Forwards
, (Comma) Emulates Joystick Backwards
Z Emulates Joystick Left
X Emulates Joystick Right
Space Emulates Joystick Fire
Of course, which key is used to accelerate is dependant upon
whehter joystick forwards or joystick fire has been chosen as
the accelerate key.
Choosing this will take the player to the RECS screen, which has
a more detailed section later in the manual.
If the player knows the code of a particularly hot course, then
rather than going to the editor, the number can be entered here.
It is done in the same way that entering a players name is done.
Alternatively, if the player wants to find out how difficult
racing round 'FRANKIE 50' is, it can be typed in here.
The bottom panel is used to enter the codes for the predefined
circuits. The keyboard should be used to enter the first nine
letters. (You could, of course, choos to have a three letter
word followed by six blank spaces.) The cursor pad is used to
move the cursor to the right, and to put it in the correct
position to enter the last two numbers. Once the last number is
entered, the Down Cursor key should be pressed to take you to
the next line, and allow you to enter another track code. Once
you are happy with the selection you have made, use the joystick
to highlight the 'Exit' panel
That's everything on the Main Screen covered. Following is a
detailed explanation of the RECS system.
RECS is the innovative and original new track design system that
will allow the player to create stunning tracks in a matter of
seconds. Creating tracks is amazingly simple, and once created,
there's no messing around with saving to disk- or anywhere else
for that matter. Exchanging tracks with a friend to see who can
get the best time on it couldn't be simpler, and all you need to
do is pass on the code. Your friend can then enter the code,
and the track will be identical to the one that you created.
Once you've both practised on it, then the fun really starts
when you go head to head against each other! And with literally
billions of different tracks to play, you'll be playing Lotus
III for ages!
DESIGNING A TRACK
Each of the different sections on this screen allow you to
influence the style and form of your track. Most are rated from
0% to 100% in 4% increments. Each affects the track as follows:
Choose whether the race will be laps or stages.
This will determine how many curves your track is likely to
have. Obviously, the lower the percentage, the straighter the
track will be. Higher percentages will mean that your track has
a lot of curves.
Sharpness will influence the actual type of bends and curves on
your track. A lower number will make for gentler turns, whilst
the higher numbers will create some really tricky corners.
The determines the length of the track.
Once you are happy with the track that you have designed, select this
option and you will be taken back to the main playing screen.
This option allows you to decide on the number of hills that
there will be. A low number will mean that you will have a very
flat track, while a high number will mean that the track will
be extremely hilly.
Not surprisingly, this option will allow you to affect the
steepness of the hills on th circuit. Gently undulating scenery
or steep ascents and descents? It's your choice.
As if creating a tortuously bendy hilly circuit wasn't enough,
you now get to influence the difficulty of the track. This will
affect the aggressiveness of the other drivers, how tight the
time is on the circuit, and so on.
The code for the circuit that you are creating is displayed
here. To save you going through the trouble of designing the
same circuit again and again, you can simply make a note of the
code here, and enter it on the main screen in the future. A lot
more straightforward than messing around with data disks and
other such stuff.
Do you want to be racing through featureless deserts or scenery
packed oases? Again, the choice is yours. Obviously, the less
scenery there is, the more time the computer can dedicate to
bringing you an ultra smooth update, but even with scenery at
100% it's probably still got the fastest, smoothest and most
impressive update around anyway.
Neat park-like rows of trees and bushes and ornaments, or
greenery scattered about everywhere? Take your pick.
This will allow you to choose between an obstacle free open
freeway, or the sort of assault course normally associated with
This will allow you to select which of the thirteen different
scenarios you wish to race on. Each one will have different
effects on your vehicle, how it handles, and so on. The
thirteen, running from left to right, are as follows:
With more mud and water on the track than by the side of it,
this type of track will prove difficult for any driver, in any
Set against the background of a city of the future, this is one
of the most demanding types of circuit. Amongst the more usual
hazards, there are magnets by the side of the road which will
attract your vehicle, (Okay, you're right, Lotus cars are
constructed from fibre glass, but then this is the future after
all.) and a laser beam that will drastically slow your vehicle
if it should hit vou. Nlght The darkness on this level will
prove to be as hazardous as the fog. Limited visibility and
other drivers who are also hindered by the lac of light will
make for some tricky manoeuvring.
Oil and mud on the track, and sections which are completely
submerged by water cause some very tricky hazards. You're never
going to make ultra fast times on these sections, but then,
finishing these sections is an achievement.
With a cliff on one side, and huge mountains and hills on the
other, it's just about impossible to stray off the track on this
one. This lack of manoeuvrability and margin for error makes
this level particularly difficult for overtaking and
accelerating to any great speed.
Another favourite from the earlier Lotus games, the deceptively
pretty scenery creates some of the most hazardous racing
conditions around. There's not only the slippery surface to
deal with, but also the driving snow to obscure your vision.
Complete with road cones, signs, hazard barriers and potholes,
the roadworks make the roads ultra thin, and make overtaking
almost impossible. You're really going to need your wits about
you to succeed on this level.
Just the sort of driving experience to test the best. Beating
rain and roaring thunder serve to make the drive difficult, and
the road conditions can't exactly be described as the best. in
Like the snow, this is another level where it's best to stick to the
middle of the track if possible. As you drift from the centre, there's
more sand on the surface which will really slow up the Lotus. Get to
the edges of the track, and there will even be small sand drifts to
Definitely one of the most difficult stages, the fog will
obscure your vision, and make racing even the most
straightforward track a difficult task for the most experienced
One of the favourites from Lotus II, this section contains not
only your lane of traffic, but also oncoming traffic! It's up
to you whether you take the chance to cross into the oncoming
traffic-it's easier to overtake the other racers, but there's
also the traffic coming towards you to worry about.
This isn't the sort of wind that might dry your washing, this is
the sort of wind that will push your car from one side of the
track to the other without any fuss. A hurricane in pixels.
Dense trees line this stage, and you will find water, trees and
logs strewn across the track. Hitting a log, rather than
damaging the car, will cause the car to do a spectacular jump,
useful for overtaking or jumping over track hazards.
That's all the introductory stuff out of the way, now let's get
on with what you're here for-the racing. Just to recap, you
will remember that once you are happy with the current
configuration of the game on the Game Setup Screen, clicking on
'Start' will take you to the starting line of the first race.
This is done by Player One. Once you have chosen 'Start', you
still have two decisions to make. The first is to select the
music or sound effects that will accompany the race. The CD
screen, first featured in Lotus I will appear. To chang the
music track, simply move the joystick left or right, and wait a
few seconds while the new track loads. Once you are happy, hit
the fire button.
Selecting Your Car
The next decision to be made is which of the three cars you will
drive. Again, eac~ will appear on the screen in turn. Once the
car that you wish to drive appears on the screen, hit the fire
button to go to the starting line of the race. Again. Player
One selects for both players, as it would be unfair if the two
drivers were driving different cars.
Once you are at the starting line, what you will see on your
screen will be dependa upon whether you are racing in
Championship or Arcade mode.
In Championship mode the aim is to finish as the top racer over
a season. The player must finish in the top ten in each race in
order to go onto the next race. As stated earlier, the starting
position in the next race is determined by the finishing
position of the current race. If there are two players, then
providing that at least øl driver finishes in the top ten, then
they will both be carried into the next race. This is the more
difficult of the two types of race, and this is reflected in the
Pit Stops are required for some of the longer sections or
circuits in the Championship mode. Pitstops are situated
directly after the starting line in circuits or directly after a
Checkpoint for the linear sections. In order to refuel, simply
pull onto the wider strip of track situated on the right hand
side of the track directly after the signs, and stop the
vehicle. You will see that your fuel gauge indicator will
gradually fill up. As soon as you are happy with the amount of
fuel you have, push forward and hit the fire button on the
joystick, and you will rejoin the race. On all but the
mountain level, they are indicated by a sign.
Arcade mode is a straightforward race for points, the aim being
to finish each race with the largest number of points possible,
and within the time limit. There are no refuelling stops required
in Arcade mode. The display is similar to the Championship
mode, but differs in the following important areas. If one player
manages to finish within the allotted time, then both players will be
carried through to the next round.
Two Player Mode
In two player mode, a small box will apprear in the top right
corner of the screen, indicating either how far ahead, or behind
the other player you are. Your car is represented by the line
in the centre of the box, and if you are behind the other
player, a coloured band will form to the right of this,
indicating how far behind you are. If vou are ahead. then a
band will form to the left.
If the screen is showing a line here, this indicates that you
are in front of the other driver.
If a line appears here, this indicates that 10th other
driver is well in front of you.
Should the player fail to finish in the top ten in Championship
Mode, or fail to fin within the time allowed in Arcade Mode,
then the current game will be over, and Main Options Screen will
If you have problems loading Lotus III, then return it to your
retailer, or to Greml] Graphics at the address on the packaging.
If you have any questions relating to th game, then the Gremlin
Graphics Helpline is available between the hours of 2.00 and
4.00 U.K. time Monday to Friday, on 0742 753 423.