A spin-off of the "giant bug" sci-fi films of the 50's and 60's, It Came From
the Desert takes place in the desert town of Lizard Breath, California, a
Community populated with the typical mixture of town folks mired in the
backwater of cultural development. As the story evolves, you will become
acquainted with characters like the sheriff, the garage mechanic, the hard
boiled newspaper reporter, and an eerie gypsy fortune teller. All these people
have one thing in common - they can panic with the best of them when the
creatures show up.
You, Dr. Greg Bradley, are a relative newcomer in town, a geologist who has
come to study the mineral content of meteorite fragments in the surrounding
desert. However, more than rock collections await in the desert as your
wildest nightmares become scientific realities - giant ants who must be
discovered and destroyed.
The story begins at your small ranch house. You are being assisted in your
studies by a local college student named Biff. You have also enlisted the help
of a local prospector in gathering of meteorite samples.
Recently back from a much needed vacation, you are anxious to survey the
remains of a large meteor that crashed into a remote section of the nearby
mountains the week before. The town folks are abuzz with speculation about the
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Your goal is to stop the ants before they destroy the town. You accomplish
your mission by visiting locations, talking with people, obtaining
information, collecting physical evidence, and surviving direct confrontations
with the creatures while trying to develop a strategy for the town's survival.
Ultimately, you must destroy the queen ant and the nest to bring rest to...
Life in Lizard Breath is like that of any dusty little desert town of the
fifties. The townsfolk rise early, labor hard until the sun sets, and retire
to bed early in the evening. Most places of business are closed after dark, so
you must conduct your business during normal working hours. You are most
likely to encounter townspeople at their workplaces, although it is not
unusual to run into folks running around town conduction other matters of
business. As in real life, you can interact with people by direct conversation
or by telephone. You are also free to travel anywhere in town you wish.
Your life will be affected by the actions of others as the story builds.
Choose your allies carefully; it's not easy knowing who to trust.
You are susceptible to all mortal weaknesses, such as injury and the need to
sleep. Get plenty of rest each day, and always be on the alert for danger.
The story begins on June 1, 1951. With only 15 days remaining before disaster
strikes, you must utilize every second available to prove the existence of the
creatures to the townspeople, locate their nest and destroy the queen.
Since the story takes place in a time-based environment, the clock starts
ticking as soon as you begin the game. Approximately one minute of game time
passes for each second of real time. To keep from losing precious time, plan
each day's schedule carefully, making long trips only when necessary. Avoid
travelling aimlessly from one end of town to another.
The story uses a text-based character interface which allows you to think, act
and react to a situations as if you are the leading man in a motion picture.
The other characters in the story also act and react to their surroundings,
and each character has his or her own human dilemmas to resolve as the plot
As you character reacts to the situations taking place, his thoughts are
displayed in a thought box. If a decision needs to be made, your available
choices appear on a menu box. To make a decision, use the joystick to
highlight the desired selection and press the button.
Sometimes one of your choices will flash on screen. A flashing choice is a
temporary situation that can be acted quickly. Examples of temporary
situations include: phone calls, people knocking on your door, etc.
Conversations takes place each time you encounter one of the game's
characters. Your thoughts are displayed in the thought box. The other
character's dialogue is displayed in a black conversation box at the bottom of
the screen. Click the button as you finish reading the text displayed to move
Select GO TO MAP from the menu to see a large overhead map of Lizard Breath.
All locations you can travel to are located on this map. You can scroll the
map horizontally and vertically with the joystick to locate the place you wish
to go. As you scan the map you see icon windows depicting each locale and the
amount of time it takes to travel there from your current position. Once the
desired location is highlighted, simply press the button to travel there. The
clock automatically skips forward to reflect your travel time.
If you are in a location where a telephone is available, you can make phone
calls by selecting MAKE A CALL from the menu. After you select this choice, a
directory of phone numbers appears. Move the arrow using your joystick to the
desired number and press the button to select it. The operator appears and
tells you if she can connect your call. (Note: The operator is also an
excellent source of gossip!) If a person can be reached at that number, his or
her face replaces that of the operator in the upper left window.
Everybody needs sleep - even you! In fact, you must sleep a minimum of 7 hours
for each 24 hour period in the game to have full control of your senses. To
get some sleep, return to your home. Select the SLEEP option from the menu. To
choose the number of hours you wish to sleep, move the joystick left or right
until the desired number appears and press the button. You may sleep up to 24
hours at a time; however, choosing to sleep that much is unadvisable unless
you intentionally want to advance time.
In the event you fail to get your required amount of sleep, the chances of
misfortune (falling asleep at the wheel, etc.) greatly increase.
Lizard Breath has become increasingly edgy ever since the meteor hit just
outside of town. Tempers flare more easily than usual, and paranoia runs at a
fever pitch. With all this tension in the air there is a great chance you will
encounter peril along the way. Luckily, there's a good hospital in town. If
you should lose consciousness due to injury, one of Lizard Breath's Good
Samaritans will drop you off at the local hospital. Unfortunately, while
you're lying on your back you're not getting any closer to saving the town
from monster-sized damnation. Which leads us to...
Your stay in this hospital depends on the extent of your injuries. However,
time is of the essence, and even minor wounds can put you out of commission
for at least a day. Nevertheless, there is a way out. If you are stealthy and
fleet of foot, you may be able to escape the hospital unnoticed (or at least
Your room is on the second floor of the hospital. To get out of bed, press the
button. Use the joystick to move your character throughout the labyrinthine
corridors of the hospital. Don't let anyone capture you - if you are grabbed
by the hospital personnel or have your exit from a room blocked, you are
strapped to your hospital bed and forced to accept treatment (jello for lunch,
jello for dinner) for the duration of your stay. Avoid on-duty candystripers,
doctors, and security personnel by walking out of their view. Duck into rooms
when you see hospital staff approaching. If you've in a jam, hide under desks
or operating tables by walking up to the hiding place. If you enter a room
with an unoccupied bed, walk up to the bed and press the button. When the
coast is clear, press the button to get out of bed and continue your escape.
You may get to the ground floor by using either the elevator or the stairs. To
open the elevator, approach the doors and wait for the elevator bell to ring.
The elevator automatically drops you off on the first floor.
To use the stairs, simply walk down them (there is no wait...just a little
extra strain on the calf muscles).
The action gets more intense on the first floor, as more hospital personnel
learn of your escape plans and attempt to stop you. Look for the main entrance
- it's your only way out of this medical madhouse.
If you choose not to escape, but want to get out of the hospital, choose
ACCEPT TREATMENT from the menu and the game will advance to the appropriate
Wheelchairs allow you to move through the hospital corridors at a much faster
rate than by foot. Locate a wheelchair by searching the hospital corridors
during escape. There's bound to be one somewhere. To sit down in the
wheelchair, simply touch it. Press the fire button to resume standing.
Remember, you cannot go down the stairs while in the wheelchair, your health
insurance policy doesn't cover suicide attempts.
Beware of security personnel blocking exits to the hospital. You must use
quickness and a little finesse to edge your way past these surly security
CREATURE STOPPING Part 1: Collecting Evidence
To succeed in gaining support from the townspeople, the mayor, and the
national guard, you must collect evidence in order to establish the nature of
the creatures and their whereabouts. This information can be broken down into
Background Information/Sightings and Direct Evidence. With enough information,
you may be able to track down a creature part and get first-hand information.
Initially, the evidence you collect comes by second-hand accounts of strange
occurrences or unusual sightings. This information can be classified in three
1. Sightings. Gather information from townspeople's stories of contact with
2. Information on people with whom you come into contact. Learn the
reputations of those you meet. Discover who is trustworthy and who isn't.
3. Information concerning natural events, weather conditions, etc.
To convince the mayor into calling out the national guard, you must collect
all four samples of direct evidence, Samples include:
1. A creature's track(s); example Plaster Cast
2. A recording of creature sounds
3. Creature fluids
4. A creature part
If you are at a site where direct evidence is present, you will be prompted to
decide whether you wish to collect the evidence. If you respond YES you
automatically acquire that piece of evidence. After acquiring direct evidence,
take it to the University Lab for analysis. Analysis procedures usually take
one day, after which time the results can be received. Analysis results can be
used to convince the mayor of the necessity to bring in troops.
Some events you hear about are real - others are imagined or fabricated. It is
your job to sift through the evidence and decide which leads to follow. Some
sightings could be staged events by those with ulterior motives. Other
happenings may be coincidental or dead ends with logical explanations.
If the evidence you collect is conclusive, you will convice the mayor to call
a general alert. Based on your expertise in creature tracking (and his fear
for his life), the mayor will appoint you in charge of a local task force
designed to clear the community of the huger-crazed creatures.
Using the police station as your headquarters, you must plan how to use your
human resources (army, police, construction workers and townspeople) to fend
off the attacking insects. The actual locations where you will send forces is
depicted on a situation map you keep in the police station.
THE SITUATION MAP
Go to the police station and select SITUATION MAP from the menu (available
only during general alert). An overhead map appears which shows each location
in town. Ant icons appear at each location where the creatures are attacking.
A red "X" marks appears at each locations where the ants have destroyed. A
menu bar at the bottom of the screen displays your human resources. Move
across the map using the joystick until you see the window for the desired
location. Press the button down and move the joystick left or right across the
bottom menu to select which category of forces you wish to utilize. Once on
the desired icon, move the joystick up or down to transfer troops to and from
the location. Icons representing army troops, policemen, construction workers
and ordinary townsfolk appear at the location on the map, and the number of
units sent is displayed in the location window. In order to commit tanks to a
location you must assign at least two units of troops to the site. To exit the
situation map and return to the police station, highlight the EXIT icon,
release the button and press it once.
If you choose to let your forces fight the ants without being present, the
computer will determine who wins the battle based on how may ants were there
and how many and what kind of forces you sent to the site. The computer
tallies your gains and losses at the end of each day and displays the results
the next day.
CREATURE STOPPING Part 2: Confrontation!
Sooner or later you must meet the creatures face-to-face. In case of surprise
attack, you always carry a loaded hand gun. However, with adequate preparation
and support of the community, you may acquire additional weaponry and military
support to assist you in the enemy's destruction.
If you encounter a lone creature face-to-face, prove your prowess at
sharpshooting. You are equipped with a specially designed .45-caliber magnum
USING YOUR SIDEARM - Move the joystick horizontally or vertically to aim your
trusty peacemaker, and press the button to fire.
1. Watch where the bullets strikes and adjust your aim accordingly.
2. Attack the creature where it is most vulnerable. Remember - all monsters
have an Achilles heel!
3. Learn to become a good marksman. Your ammo supply goes down with each
If you engage in battle and are successful at killing the first creature, the
scene cuts from point-of-view to an aerial map view of that location. The map
view presents the features of the location, including mountains, building and
vegetation. Various weapons may be available based on the current state of
community alert. Press and hold down the joystick button to view your
available resources for the battle. A resource menu appears at the bottom of
THE OVERHEAD BATTLE RESOURCE MENU
A number of icons are represented on the resource menu, including hand
grenades, dynamite, tanks, and jets. Listed next to each icon is the number of
units of that resource available. For example: If the box to the right of hand
grenades show 10, you have 10 usable hand grenades.
To select an item, move the joystick left or right until the desired
selections is highlighted.
HAND GRENADES/DYNAMITE - To throw a hand grenade or stick of dynamite, face
the creature by moving the joystick and press the button. Time your throws
right and you can destroy more than one creature at a time.
TANKS - (available only during general alert) To enter a tank, move your
character next to the desired tank and touch it. Ounce you have entered the
tank, drive by pushing the joystick in the desired direction. Press the button
to fire. Your shots will go in the direction your turret is facing. Rotate the
turret by pressing the button down and push the joystick forward or back.
Tanks have unlimited firepower, and are functional until they are either
destroyed or the tank get overrun. Tanks not under your control will autofire
at the creatures. Be careful not to run into a tank's field of fire. Shell
shock is a sure way to win a trip to the hospital.
EXIT TANK ^ | Turret Fire Turret Left <-----Button-----> Right DOWN | V Exit
JETS - (available only during general alert) When the jet icon is selected, a
crosshair cursor will appear at the left side of the screen. Use the joystick
to move the cursor around the edge of the screen to position the jets' flight
pattern. Jets will fly a straight pattern from the point you place the cursor
to the opposite side of the screen. However, if you place the cursor in an
upper or lower corner, the jets will fly a diagonal pattern from that corner
to the corner opposite side of the screen. When the jets appear onscreen,
press the button to drop bombs. You have unlimited firepower as long as the
jets remain on screen. Since you have a limited number of strafing runs
allowed to you jet squadron (as listed in the window next to the jet icon),
you will want to use this resource only extreme circumstances. Be careful when
calling an airstrike that you are not in the jets line of fire - it's hard to
fight a war from your hospital bed.
FLIGHT GAME (The Airborne Exterminator)
It may be necessary to get a bird's eye view of the surrounding countryside in
order to locate the creatures and their center of activity. To track the
creatures by plane, select TAKE A FLIGHT when offered at Hilbers Airfield. An
overhead aerial map view appears. Move your character (the little guy with
arms) into the plane.
TAKE OFF - Push forward on the stick until the plane start to move. Use the
joystick to maneuver your aircraft, being careful to stay on the runway.
Accelerate down the runway by pushing forward on the joystick and your
aircraft will lift off when sufficient speed has been reached.
FLYING - Once you are airborne, move the joystick forward to increase altitude
and accelerate. Pull back on the joystick to lower altitude and decrease
FUEL GAGE - A bar gauge on screen displays your fuel consumption. Although you
fly faster at higher altitudes, you consumer fuel at a faster rate as well.
Monitor you aircraft's fuel usage and fly back to the airport when fuel runs
low. If you stay airborn too long and cannot make it back to the airport on
remaining fuel, you must try to crash land the plane elsewhere.
LANDING - Before landing, decrease the altitude of your aircraft by pulling
back on the joystick. Look for a smooth landing surface (preferably the
airport runway) and ease the plane down gently by slowly pulling back on the
joystick until the aircraft touches down. Once the plane has come to a
complete stop, push the button to climb out. Failure to safely land the plane
(crash! bang!) can get you an all-expense paid trip (courtesy of your
insurance company) to the local hospital or a long walk back to town.
CHEMICAL SPRAY - There is a strong possibility of sighting the deadly
creatures from the air. Fortunately, your plane has a limited supply of a
lethal chemical spray which may be used as a weapon against certain giant
creatures (namely, the ones in this game!). Press the button while flying over
the targeted creature to release a short burst of poisonous gas. Be frugal
with your use of the spray, however, for the chemical tanks are easily
CREATURE STOPPING Part 3: Elimination!
To stop the creatures from overtaking the city, you must locate and destroy
the queen ant, who is responsible for the reproducing these crawling creatures
of doom. Using information you have gathered on the whereabouts of the
creatures nest, find its hidden entrance and prepare to engage in a
battle-to-the-death with the ferocious beasts below.
INTO THE MONSTERS LAIR (The Nest Game)
Once you have located the nest opening, you may proceed down into its murky
depths. Equipped with a single load of timed explosives, a rope, and a flame
thrower, you must defend yourself against giant guardian ants as you explore
the netherdepths of the nest. Proceed carefully, as the nest is a labyrinth of
twists and turns. If you lose your way, you will become ant food, and nobody
will hear your screams as they echo through the deep and deadly tunnels far
below the earth's surface.
The queen ant rests in the deepest level of the underground nest. Once you
have sighted the queen in her chamber, the timed explosives are automatically
set and the countdown begins. Time is of the essence, and you must quickly
escape the nest once the timer on the bomb starts ticking. If you fail to find
the exit from the queen ant's level before the bomb explodes, you get to see
fireworks as your body becomes a cascade of colorful flying parts (Yuck!).
Unfortunately, they do not reassemble body parts at the hospital, so if the
nest blows up while you're inside you're history. Game Over.
THE LAST DAY
If you haven't killed the queen ant before June 15, you must defend Main
Street from an all-out ant attack. If you choose not to defend the town, the
ants will destroy it and the game is over. If you succeed in destroying the
first wave of ants it buys you more time to try and reach the nest and
exterminate the queen. You must hurry, for eventually another wave of ants
will attack Main Street. If you have not killed the queen by midnight on June
15, the game is over.
TROUBLE IN TOWN
The creatures are just part of the chaos in this crazy desert town. More
trouble than you can shake a stick at awaits at every turn, and each new day
promises added danger.
FIREFIGHTING (or "How Not to Get a Permanent, Deep, Dark Tan")
Sometimes the desert heat gets out of control. In case of fire, do not call
911 - Lizard Breath doesn't have a fire department. To cool things down, use
your all-purpose fire extinguisher - excellent for quenching overcooked pot
roasts, cooling overworked feet and drowning small apartment fires. Move the
joystick to position the nozzle horizontally and vertically over the flames.
Press the fire button to send a stream of water shooting at the rising flames.
Attack the largest fires first, working your way down to smaller fires as time
permits. If the fire gets out of control, you pass out (from smoke inhalation)
and must recuperate at the local hospital.
Extinguish one fire at a time. Rather than trying to spray the entire room,
concentrate on isolated areas, completely quenching the fire in one area
before moving on to the next.
If you spray an area and see no reduction in the flames, adjust your spray by
moving the joystick and try again. If you are on target, you should see
positive results with each spray of the fire extinguisher.
KNIFE FIGHT (The Way of the Old West - and small forgotten desert towns)
Some of the characters you encounter are easily angered, and may resort to
violence with little or no provocation. In case of such incidents, you should
know how to put your multi-purpose pocket knife to use.
Stab ^ |
Duck Fire Duck Left <--- Button ---> Right UP
| V Block
Stab ^ |
Fire Fake <--- Button ---> Swipe DOWN
| V Block
THE GAME OF CHICKEN (Hellraising on the Highway)
If you get caught in the right place at the wrong time, you may be provoked
into a game of "Chicken" by the Hellcats, a trio of psychopathic roughnecks
who rule the local roads. A modern descendant of the joust (made famous in
medieval tournaments), "Chicken" pits two cars in a classic confrontation of
speed and courage. At a given signal, the cars (strategically placed on
opposite ends of a stretch of highway) accelerate towards each other at top
speed until one car "chickens out" (thus the name Chicken) and leaves the
DRIVERS - Push the joystick forward to accelerate. Move the joystick left or
right to steer. Once you start forward, there's no slowing down or turning
CHICKENS - You may press the button and steer right or left to maneuver your
truck off the road if you sense the Hellcats aren't turning off. You'll save
yourself a fortune in body repair (both yours and the truck's), but your
vehicle will still be undriveable due to the ditches and rocks off-road (it's
not a dune buggy!). It's a long walk to town, but it's better than being
dragged to town in a body bag.
BRAVE IDIOTS - If neither you nor your opponent leaves the road, you're in for
one heck of a headache. The gut wrenching sound of metal on metal will fill
the desert canyon as bodies of steel collide. Needless to say, meeting your
opponents in this fashion ensures you a long stay in the hospital.
There is a way to scare the Hellcats off of the road. If you successfully do
so, you will be able to continue to your original destination.
by the Digital Dog