Platoon, Spectrum screenshot
This is the second screen, just before the main menu; the soldiers were “stolen” with my video capture interface from the Commodore 64 version.

This version is not really +3 specific. The whole game loads from disk in a single pass, but nothing more.

An additional screen appears, just after the game finish its loading. The music during this second screen is just the high-score music, it is not a new creation. If you want to listen that music again, you have to exceed 68000 points !

The timing routine of the border effect is slightly 48K/128K dependent, to compensate the actual hardware difference.

This version has a powerful cheat mode implemented. To enter the cheat mode, you have to type (in blind) the word “EQUINOXE” while on main menu. Wait until the menu changes (by itself) and a “CHEAT” message should appear. To leave the cheat mode, just type “EQUINOXE” again.

Platoon, Commodore screenshot
This is the original main menu from Commodore 64 version.

History:

  • 1986 Ocean's original version, Speedlock protected.
    Lot of bugs (if a tape error occur when loading a level, you cannot reload that level; original levels had different length each other and if loaded on 128K machine, when passing from one level to other, some bytes were lost; on first level, if playing hardly, if some of the control keys were pressed simultaneously, the game crashes; on second level, being inside a house in the village, if you drop a grenade, you are taked instantly outside the house with no more possibility to do anything; entering the cheat mode, the "CHEAT" message appeared, but nothing else changed).
    The original loader had a XXmXXsXX counter somewhere on the grass on the main screen.
  • 1987 The Hit Squad release. Distributed in Spain by Erbe Software. Erbe edition is not protected.
    Level loading bug fixed, the "PRESS PLAY" message was added when passing to next level in 48K mode.
    The main screen has no more pixel corruption, since there is no more a tape counter.
    The basic loader on tape has the message “Los usuarios del +2A o +3 jugaran en modo 48K por incompatibilidad del juego si se hace en modo 128K” – more or less that means “for +2A & +3 computers, play the game in 48K mode”.
  • 1992 all bugs removed (by me :) The Commodore screen with border effect added & music activated. Works well on either Spectrum model.
    The cheat option now really does something !
    I consider this one version 2.0.
  • 1993 the cheat mode on level three modified: now the ammunition cannot be finished before killing the enemy soldier behind the table.
    I consider this one version 2.1. The +3 version is based on this build.

The cheat option works preferential, to keep alive the interest of playing.
For each level:

  1. (the forest) you have infinite lives, but not infinite ammunition
  2. (the village) the same as above
  3. (the tunnel system) you have infinite lives and unlimited ammunition; however, after killing the enemy soldier behind the table, the ammunition becomes limited and may finish
  4. (skirt by night) you have infinite lives
  5. (the 3D jungle) you have infinite lives and unlimited time, but not infinite ammunition
  6. (the bunker) you have infinite lives, but not unlimited time and not infinite ammunition

A picture of the Erbe Software edition front cover inlay can be seen here . The most relevant versions mentioned above are available here:

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