GUILT-RIDDEN over all it had done to the planet in the previous centuries, humankind wised up. War was outlawed and everyone became as equal. The year of this revelation when the scales fell from the eyes? 1999.
I think this is a little optimisitic myself, the Channel Tunnel probably won't be finished by then and Wogan will still be on the telly, but I suppose anything can happen.
Everything was peace and light. The people of Earth had even begun to clean up the mess they made. Unfortunately, as Earth once again began to resemble a green and pleasant land, envious, greedy eyes were watching it. They belonged to a group of warlike alien baddies, chief of whom was a dude called Zeeke. They bombarded the Earth for a bit but were unable to break through the impenetrable force shield surrounding the planet.
Eventually they gave up and went away - all except one. Zeek was a bit of a fanatic, so if you do not mind, he bided his time.
Finally he got his chance and slipped through an anomaly in the shield. Hiding somewhere in the ocean he began sending out messages to an unknown recipient somewhere on Earth.
Fortunately for everyone, in all the peace, light, harmony and disarmament the Secretary General of the United Nations, the familiar Hardy Haigh, had maintained an elite squad of fighting men for just such an emergency. You are Ric Flair and your mission is to save the world - a task more dangerous than opening the fridge.
Zeeke's ship only becomes visible when in contact with water, so the plan is to be dropped in the ocean and attack from below. This introduced a bit more peril. The oceans are still a bit of a tip, full of toxic waste and old copies of ST User. In this almost alien environment the once friendly sharks and killer jellyfish have begun to get nasty. They are also breeding gaster. Some sort of weapon seems to be in order.
Initially you have little more than a harpoon gun, but more equipment will be dropped for you to pick up at designated points on your travels. This equipment may or may not be of any use to you since your enemy is an unknown quantity. All that is known is that the aliens are believed to be able to reproduce WW2 mines and depth charges, so watch out.
Most of the game takes the form of a sideways scrolling alien blaster. In this respect it does not excel. The scrolling is jerky and although the backgrounds are varied, there just is not that much to do at the beginning except stay out of the way.
Time limits between the drop points, hwere you must collect further supplies of oxygen, are too tight to allow much involved baddie bashing, though there is enough time in certain spots for experimenting with the equipment you may have picked up.
Graphics are not incredibly impressive, but some of the animation sequences, notably those of the diver as he enters the water and when he changes direction, are very well done, giving a real illusion of depth to the screen.
By far the best feature of the game is the sound. A palpable sense of atmosphere is created. The effects of bubbles rising through the depths is a nice touch.
Overall, although Aquanaut is not dangerously persuasive, there is a lot to it and it should survive at least until you have saved up enough to buy another title.