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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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VR POD 2.5 and 3.0

Developer: Virtual World Entertainment
Year: 1996

VR Pod Inside POD

Similar to the Virtuality systems, the VR Pods are Amiga-based systems designed for the arcade. The Atlantis Cyberspace web site identifies the machine as a 'custom system based on Amiga computer', however the only information I have is that the machine uses the 68040 processor. Later Tesla pods are based upon the Pentium processor. The VR Pod unit contains two display screens and measures eight feet in length and five feet tall. It is reported that several of the BattleTech PODs can be found at the first BattleTech Centre in Chicago, Illinois.

Controls

The Atlantis Cyberspace cites the VR Pod FAQ:

In both cockpits, the throttle control is on the left arm rest of the seat and a joystick is on the right hand arm rest. There are two screens, mounted one above the other. The top screen is about 19" and is the main display screen, which displays the "world" as seen right out the front of the BattleMech. The bottom screen is 13" and is referred to as the secondary display screen, showing a radar screen and damage indicators. The cockpit also has around 100 buttons and switches of various kinds. In two banks on either side of the cockpit are the weapon controls. There are 24 weapon controls, which determine which of the three joystick mounted triggers fires which weapons. Each LED weapon display indicates the ready state of each weapon, and, in the case of expendable weapons, how many rounds remain. The joystick controls the direction of the mech as well as the elevation of the crosshairs. The throttle controls the forward speed of the mech, and has a toggle for reverse.

POD Games

Description of POD games reprinted with permission from the Atlantis Cyberspace web site.

Battletech

Battletech

Category: Shoot-em-up

Virtual World puts pilots at the controls of a thirty foot walking tank called a BattleMech (or 'Mech) on the surface of the desert planet Solaris VII. The Mech works like a futuristic suit of armor. At first, pilots chase each other around the desert landscape in informal competitions called "free-for-alls." As players improve their skills, they are able to work cooperatively in teams.

BattleTech tournaments and leagues are among the most popular events at Virtual World. In April of l994, the First International BattleTech Championship was held in Tokyo, Japan. Hidekazu Shigatomi, a 27 year old professional race car driver, bested seven other finalists, including the US & Japanese National Champions, to win the title of International Grand Master.

Red Planet

Category: Racing

In 1992, the crack research team at VGL Labs (the true location of which is still a secret) discovered and secured a second destination for Virtual World's inter-dimensional travelers: Mars, 2053. VGL pilots quickly named this possible future "Red Planet" and set about its exploration, using the paved corridors created by the Colossal Mining Corp.(CMC) to avoid the swirling winds on the surface.

Virtual World puts its Red Planet pilots at the controls of a CMC hover craft same ones Colossal employees use for work and "recreation" (i.e. racing). For their safety, VGL pilots are restricted to closed sections of the canals, where they are unlikely to encounter natives. To make the race even more exciting, VGL pilots have devised a variation of the basic race called "Martian Football," a team game similar to a roller derby. As in all Virtual World adventures, pilots choose from a wide variety of maps, vehicles, and other variables.

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Last Update: 22/6/2002

 

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