This is a strange, but true tale. Reader, you may care to stare with disbelief at the page and disregard these words as piffle. But, believe me, as this hack sits before his heated monitor, these eyes are still shocked and agog. This is the bizarre story of how Brutal Sports Football came to lie in my sweaty palm...
It is a warm July evening, it is late and little Keithy Smith lies in his Sydenham love nest wrapped in a troubled slumber. Somewhere outside there is a commotion, a cat screeches and several dustbin lids clatter to the ground. There is a large bolt of static and out of the night two hunched shadows materialise. Without effort they snap the lock on Keith's back door. Hissing and snarling the two shrouded figures shuffle upstairs to where an unwitting Mr Smith lies dreaming about becoming a rock star. In one gruff instant Keith is shaken, rather alarmingly from his tangled encounter with Morpheus.
"You! Are you Keith Smith, PR man for Millennium Software?" hisses one of the figures.
"Yes," squeaks Keith.
"Good, you little runt. Now listen and listen good. I am Bob Tanner and this is Jim Skinner... and you are comin' with us," growls the other.
Through sleep-crusted eyes Keith stares into the half light in an attempt to recognise the unknown adversaries. But it is too late, in a blinding flash all Keith's pupils register is a white piercing glare.
The next thing Keith is aware of is noise. The noise of a crowd, a very large crowd. As his burned-out eyes open and look around for answers he realises he is no longer in suburban Sydenham.
Instead, he stands in a large brightly lit room. Keith, mouth draped open. Slowly traverses his head to take in the scene. Around him people hurry by dressed in strange clothes carrying weird equipment. Then, out of the corner of one eye Keith notices tow figures pointing in his direction laughing hysterically.
"Ha-ha, look at you punk!" points the one who called himself Bob.
Keith slowly stares floorwards and is aghast to find he is standing clad in only a pair of white Y-fronts and a pair of slightly holey M&S socks. But, before he can contemplate the unquestionable loss of credibility of the situation, or question what has happened to a man of such natty dress code, he is wrenched right back into his dilemma.
"Right, Mr. PR man. We have got just five minutes to explain this to you so you'd better listen," balls Jim. Wide-eyed, Keith tries to weigh up his incredulous situation. Why am I standing half naked being screamed at by a hybrid rhino in a T-shirt and a reptile-type lizard wearing a rather loud sports jacket? Have I been spiked? Have I gone mad? But before Keith can question his sanity further...
"Listen bud, this is the future. We have beamed you into the year 2023 to show you the ultimate destiny of sport. Me and this stinking warthog Bob are the top commentary team for TV network G.O.R.E."
"Out that armoured window takes place the most gruesome, violent, blood-lusting sport in the known universe... Brutal Sports Football. We get 600 million psychotic viewers a week who want to see the mutants knock seven shades of..."
"Mutants?" intervened Keith, hoping his question would not render him an idiot.
"Are you stupid? Don't you know nothin'... Shoot! Just after the second apocalypse, scientists discovered a crack in the space-time continuum which revealed a parallel world full of ugly mutants."
"A bit of fine-tuning from the boffins and these freaks can regenerate like insects. The humans love it, watching two teams of gooks engage in end-to-end bone-biting action, where the ball has sweet nothin' to with the outcome. Awesome!" drooled an enthusiastic Bob as he drained another tin of Grunt beer. "But... what do you want with me?" trembled an unknowing Keithy.
"It is like this drippy-draws, Bob and meself do not wanna wait 40 years to earn big bucks, so we are given' you somethin' to make your time aware of our beloved sport".
With this Bob stuffs a computer disk into Keith's clammy palm and barges by.
"See ya worm. We are live in five!" snorts Jim slapping Keith on the back, rendering him desperate for breath. But before he can splutter any words of response, the blinding light again fills his world.
Now, imagine my surprise to be waken up in the middle of the night by a man in singed underwear whose hair is standing on end, burbling on about what a hairy ordeal time travel is and do I know the way to Sydenham?
One surreal story and a glass of the strong stuff later and Keith has passed on the said disk and is heading towards outpatients. Leaving one hack to finish this saga.
The above story explains a great deal of the background and atmosphere to the setting of B.S. Football. In fact, Jim and Bob playa major role in the overall presentation of Millennium's latest romp.
They are also totally responsible for the 'Brutal Speak' which also features frequently.
Play in the sport of the future is battle out between eight different teams of muties from the nether world (although a match only features two at a time).
Spectators of the future have a choice of who to support, so us present tense folk have the same option.
You can choose between 16 different teams and perhaps take on the matle of the lizards, rams or rhinos. There are also less mutated human-
Once you have pledged allegiance to a particular bunch of marauding muties the next step is to decide what form of onslaught is your preference. The choice varies from league action, knock-out (no pun intended) cup or an unfriendly. In the footy of the future there are no structured rules and guess what? Jim and Bob's version from times to come is no different.
Once you are in control of your band of ruffians, whether it be against the computer or someone who started as a friend, it is no holds barred. The only real prerogatives are to either put the rugby-esque type ball into the net (well, it is more like a cave) or to totally rip your opponents limb from limb.
In the future the players will have an ample amount of weapons and power-ups. Being an accurate simulation, rest assured carnage lovers, the computer version contains all you will ever need. Whether it is a simple sword you require to perfect a belly vent (see guide) or whether you would like to employ the lightning, fireball or force field, they are all there to help cause chaos and carnage.
Play is absolute madness and there are tons of ways to maim or inure your opponents, all depicted with some gruesome graphics. As the debauchery ensues and the mangled carcasses start tumbling on the ground, soothe blood-stained grass churns itself up. By the time the pea in the whistle squeaks and the remnants of the teams stagger or are dragged headless from the turf, it is the devil's own task for the poor grounds man to renovate the flesh-tattered turf.
Meanwhile in the changing rooms the remnants of the grunts can relax and enjoy an energy boost and some first-aid while perusing the stats. They also get the opportunity to regenerate severed limbs, craniums and then throw copious amounts of beer down their lacerated larynxes. This may sound futile (not the beer) but when engaged in a league battle, it is important that your battered bruisers get the elixir of life they require to win. The main reason for this is that the more knocks your geezers get, the weaker they become.
Overall B.S. Football is first rate. The sprites are well defined and large enough to make sure all the OTT carnage is there for your gory eyes to take in. The sound too is excellent and very beefy. In fact, when one of your poor unfortunates takes a 'stomping' you can really feel it.
Brutal Sports is a great way to spend a lazy evening with some mates relieving that pent-up aggression. It is brilliant fun and because it is interactive with friends, it will keep you in stitches for months.
As for the future, we will have to ask Keith what to expect. That is, when he is released from Cambridge Sanatorium for the Mentally Impaired. In the mean time, dwell on this thought. Buy Brutal Sports or keep one eye open late at night for a T-shirt cladded Rhino accompanied by a Lizard in a chequered sports jacket!