Vixen

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Vixen
Title image from the game
Game No. 216
Developer Nick Jones, Marc Eason, Malcolm Smith
Company Intelligent Design Ltd.
Publisher Martech
Musician Jason Brooke
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/B/Brooke_Jason/Vixen.sid
Release 1988
Platform Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, C64, PC-DOS
Genre Action, Jump'n'Run,
Gamemode Single player
Operation {{{Width}}}{{{Width}}}
Media Icon disk525.png
Language Language:english
Information also released as "She-Fox"


Voting[edit]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
6.35 points at 17 votes (rank 540).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 6 22nd May 2011 - "good" - 2.659 downs
Lemon64 5 03rd July 2010 - 26 votes
Kultboy.com 4,4 26th June 2011 - 10 votes
ZZap64 44% Issue 08/88

Description[edit]

In Germany many slaps were handed out, when the children urged their desire to have Vixen as a present for Christmas at the end of the 1980s, see also further below. Actually, the erotic content of this game was probably overrated not only due to bad knowledge of English, but also due to the lightly dressed and whip-cracking heroine with red boots.

Story[edit]

Mission: Cracking the whip and jumping over gorges.

The beautiful Vixen does not at all work in Susi's Massage Palace around the corner, no. She does also not scream at the TV-viewers at night "Call (whip) me (whip) now (whip)!". Actually, she has a completely decent mission, behind which lies a totally obvious story. The lady in the tight textiles is an orphan girl who was abandoned by one of the last humanoids on the planet Granath, otherwise occupied by dinosaurs. Because mammals have to stick together in such a situation, threatened by reptiles from primitive times, foxes have brought up the heroine. These foxes have taught Vixen how she can mutate to a fox with the help of magic. The dear animals have given her also a magic whip for the fight against the evil dinosaurs. And who else than the friendly foxes should have equipped Vixen with a blue bikini and sexy boots. Well, does that sound a bit gaga? Of course!

Course of the game[edit]

Vixen mutates from bikini babe to vixen and back.

Standard level/surface[edit]

The heroine runs level for level over the Planet Granath, where eternal night seems to rule. Except for hostile dinosaur mutations there seems to be lots of water on the planet, so the player has to mainly jump over straits and process to fossils dinosaurs with the help of the whip. Vixen is equipped with the proud number of 10 lives, of which she loses one every time she is touched by a "dinosaur mutation" or falls into the sea, because unfortunately the foxes did not teach her to swim. The level needs to be crosses within a certain time span or else a life is lost. In the human shape, Vixen collects during her adventure at the planets surface fox heads which she uncovers by whipping golden balls and gets for this Fox-Time on a "Vix-O-Meter". If this display is utterly right at the end of the level, Vixen mutates to a fox and gets into the "Fox Level", a kind of bonus cave.


Bonus level/"Fox Level"[edit]

The "Fox Level" is a kind of bonus sequence.

Here Vixen collects next to normal gems, as they also exist on the surface, so-called "Mega-Jewels" or also a "Mega-Whip" while being in the shape of a fox. As long as you do not lose a life, you keep these items and get per super jewel (you can own a maximum of 5) at the end of each following level (including the Fox Level) full 1.000 bonus points. In the Fox Level the Vix-O-Meter moves to the left again. If you do not make it to cross the Fox Level before this display has run out, you will lose all gems and where applicable also the Mega-Whip. For comfort no life will be suctracted in the Fox Level, even not when the non-swimmer fox lands in the water after a badly coordinated jump.

Aim of the game[edit]

There is no real aim - except for to reach the highest score. After a certain number of levels the game will repeat endlessly.

Design[edit]

This slide show presents the gigantic spectrum of graphical diversity.
Graphics: The rather mediocre loading screen is forgettable - not even Corinne Russells parents have probably recognized the advertisement icon, the leaves are the most successful object on the screen. So let us attend to the actual ingame graphics. The fluent bi-directional scrolling can be marked as "1988 State of the Art". But wait a second, monotonuous backgrounds and mostly unicoloured sprites, somehow this has a familiar ring... You do not have to be an expert, but if you have once seen a few Spectrum screenshots, you will recognize that a lot has been converted here but only few has been reworked.

Alone for the sprite of Vixen and her foxlike alter ego have the creators made the effort to use the multicolour possibilities of the C64 and animated the sprites real well. Allegedly, the movements of the human and foxlike shape were digitised from the real model. Concerning the "dinosaur mutations" one has to add, that this is a matter of midget dinosaurs, which partially remind one more of arachnides, bats or sheep than of reptiles. When you have seen enough of the beautiful woman in the blue bikini, the whole graphical package soon seems monotonuous. The in the higher levels appearing trunks or bridges instead of the constantly identical landscape of scarcely overgrown stones can only partially restore this impression.

Sound: The short, but meaty title tune brings high spirits and appetite for more. With the ingame music, Jason Brooks has even landed a small hit on the SID, due to the percussion a jungle feeling arises, the tune is really catchy and fits the game well. The FX on the other hand, pose some problems not because they are badly done, but because the same jingle is used for different actions. If you die, this sounds the same as e.g, when you touch the smart bomb (which additionally looks like a skull to irritate even more) or when you finish a level or the time bonus is counted down at the end of a level. If you pick up a bonus item in the Fox Level, this sounds as if you collect Fox-Time on the Vix-O-Meter, but dream on, the wolfs head continutes constantly to move towards zero. Also when touching the alarm bell you hear this jingle. It is not that these problems hinder completely the playability, but the original target of FX, to clarify the course of the game, is missed.

Hints[edit]

The magical abilities have unfortunately not sufficed for swimming lessons, so beware when jumping!

Versions[edit]

Basically, the title was published on the German-speaking market almost identically as "She-Fox". Except for the title nothing has been changed. With this Martech reacted to the rather embarrassing circumstance, that Vixen is pronounced in German the same as a synonym for masturbating.

Although Wanderer and Crypt could have taled a bit too big with the percentage in "+6 HD 101%", because two of the six trainers do not work, this is probable the best known version.


pro highscore saver (a bit strange to handle)
pro loading screen
pro manual
pro trainer
pro non-conformist-mode for anti-blond: Vixen's hair colour is changeable to "Redhead" or "Punk"
pro NTSC fixed

Controls[edit]

Contrary to different information in the original manual and other tutorials, the game works in the C64 only by Joystick in port1, not by keyboard.

  • Joystick left and right walk left or right
  • Joystick backwards duck (only as human)
  • Joystick right backwards crawl to the right (only as human)
  • Joystick left backwards crawl to the left (only as human)
  • Joystick forwards jump upwards (unnecessary or not recommendable)
  • Joystick right forwards jump right
  • Joystick left forwards jump left
  • press fire button crack whip (human) or pick up treasure (fox)
  • C= Key pause


Overview over items and enemies[edit]

Dinosaur mutation (example)
"Dinosaur mutation (example) This is not half a chicken escaping! This way or similarly bizarre look the unicoloured enemy-sprites. What moves is an enemy and should not be touched, either defeat it with the whip or avoid it (duck, jump, run away). They exist in scores of variations and colours at land and in the air, they die in the water. The moving patterns differ depending on the type (walk, jump, fly, going around otherwise), so that some enemies can also climb ladders or get over gaps.
Golden ball
Golden ball They hang down from trees or palms on a chain. They have to be whipped once, then they turn into fox heads.
Fox head
Fox head The fox heads freed from the balls are collected by touching them to raise the "Fox Time" on the Vix-O-Meter.
Jewel hideout
Jewel hideout All not dark blue capsules of this type with the heart badge contain jewels. The capsule are opened with a crack of the whip.
Jewel
Jewel Both on the surface and in the fox level you find these jewels in hideouts. Depending on the colour you get different points for collecting by touching them: 20 (purple), 40 (white), 60 (red), 80 (turquoise) or 100 points (green). As a fox you need to press fire to collect them.
Extra hideout
Extra hideout The dard blue hideouts always contain other bonus items, which means, time bonus, smart bomb, extra life or question mark. The content is allocated identically after every start of the game, so you should keep in mind especially the positions of the bonus lives.
Time bonus
Time bonus If you touch the alarm clock symbol you get 10 time units (surface time not Fox Time).
Smart bomb
Smart bomb The graphics (skull) and FX suggest irritatingly that one will lose a life when collecting this so that generations of gamers always tried to jump over this object. Actually all enemy sprites die when Vixen touches the skull.
Extra life
Extra life You can be happy if you find this brown mini fox head. Despite the confusing FX it does not get you Fox Time, but an extra life!
Question mark
Question mark The question marks can symbolize any other bonus item or only give you points.
Hideout (Fox Level)
Hideout (Fox Level) These underground hideouts look a bit smaller than on the surface and they contain either standard gems, the Mega-Whip or a Mega-Gem. They are opened by a touch.
Mega-Gem (Fox Level)
Mega-Gem (Fox Level) As fox you can collect up to five of these "Gems" by pressing the fire button. Each Fox-Level contains two or three of them. After every (!) level including the Fox Level you get per gem a bonus of 1.000 points. If you die you lose all gems.
Mega-Whip (Fox Level)
Mega-Whip (Fox Level) If the fox finds this symbol and activates it by pressing the fire button, you have a "Mega-Whip" until you lose a life. The "Mega-Whip is theoretically supposed to be better than the standard version, but offers practically no advantage.

Solution[edit]

As there is no aim, there is no solution, but the following information can be helpful to stay alive as long as possible and make lots of points:

  • You can really make a lot of points by carrying as many gems as possible for as long as possible through as many levels as possible without losing a life. The gems and also killed enemy can be neglected concerning the score so you should think well, whether you risk a life for them or not.
  • You cannot load the Vix-O-Meter fuller than full. When it has arrived at the rightmost point, you can easily leave out risky manoeuvers often combined with jumps to reach a golden ball; boosting the Vix-O-Meter does not give you any more points. There are enough golden balls, normally you mutate without problems every two levels.
  • Items are always allocated identically in every game, so you can memorise well, where to find the extra lifes, gems and other goodies.
  • In the Fox Level the gems/super-jewels often lie at the end of dead ends. As there are a maximum of three per bonus cave, you have always enough time to collect them all, if you know where they are. In the first bonus cave you have to go once down left and then stay down. In the second bonus cave you have to stay up to take with you all gems/super-jewels and the power-whip.
  • Depending on the moving pattern of the enemy sprites they are unequally hard to defeat with the whip and on different heights, as they are all dwarf dinosaurs, usually on knee height. It does no harm to simply jump over tiny, only horizontally moving sprites or ducking from flying sprites. The few points for a dinosaur-kill are not worth risking an attack with the whip.
  • Especially for jumps, timing is an important factor. Thereby you should always keep in mind that the dinosaurs on this planet are also non-swimming as are also the humans and foxes. So partiall you just have to wait until the enemies are close to falling into the sea and then jump.
  • Gouty or lazy players can just keep pressing fire in the Fox Level. The animation of the fox might not look very nice then and the fox will chatter its teeth nervedly and noisily, but this way you can collect all goodies in passing.
  • The Mega-Whip has no recognisable use, but looks very decorative in the status screen of the upper third of the screen and makes you feel very mights for once.

Cheats[edit]

You do not prefer blondes? No problem!
The Wanderer & Crypt "+6 HD 101%" with probalby the highest numver of trainers contains the following:

contra Infinite Fox Time: Does not really work in the Fox Level, the Vix-O-Meter stays at the right, but the time runs out anyway. If you loiter, the fox will go west and with it if the case all gems and the Mega-Whip and all the boni.
pro Invincibility: works. But you can still die through falling into water.
pro Infinite Vixens: works.
pro Infinite Time: does work, but is rather superfluous, as there is lots of time on the surface.
neutral Whip Strength: As the Mega-Whip has no recognizable effect, one can only assume due to the symbol that this cheat works.
contra Use RESTORE  to finish Level: Fail! Probably due to the fact that the keyboard and joystick share some of the circuit paths, one will never find out if this cheat works, as pressing RESTORE  only has the effect, that you move to the left and the game crashes when you are Game Over... :(
pro Blonde/Redhead/Punk mode: works well, see image! :)


Crypt has corrected a few of the errors in the game. First, the Fox Timer cheat now works properly. The use of the Restore key for skipping a level has been replaced with the in-game Q key to quit. Now when you press C= to pause, Q will skip a level. I can also confirm the in-game keyboard does work provided you press F1 to use Keyboard instead of joystick. See link section to download.

Critics[edit]

TheRyk: "I find it difficult to rate this game, because it is neither good nor really bad. One significantly noticed already in 1988 that the software industry wanted to make most of the money on the 16-bit systems Amiga and ST. There were more or less thoroughly-made 8bit versions often only as a byproduct. One cannot talk about a loveless spectrum portation, because some approaches as the well-animated player sprite and the music are well-done. But some more affection would not have been bad. It would have been easy to bring in a bit of liveliness. Already some multi-coloured enemy sprites or a more interesting background than this eternally black starry sky could have changed a lot, not to mention the end of the game or respectively the end boss(es). If you come up with such an absurd story, there should be also no problem to create an aim for the game. That Vixen is clearly the most graceful sprite that has ever run over a C64 svcreen, deserves to be considered benevolently, so I end up by the skin of my teeth with 6 points."

mombasajoe:"Not my type of game. Dull, notchy, gets unfair very early."

Miscellaneous[edit]

Trivia[edit]

PR-glitches happen every now and then, often the knowledge of foreign languages would have helped to avoid them. Whether Ford tried to dispose of the Pinto (Portuguese: small penis) in Brazil or Coca Cola (Cantonese: bite the waxen pollywog) wondered, why the chinese market was so hard to conquer or the very Martech tried to provide the economically important German-speaking region with a game that appealed in the national language for masturbation. The renaming into She-Fox probably brought more malice (and saucy jokes as you find numerous of them in this article) than a limitation of damage, as the game had already been reviewed in all German-speaking software magazines as "Vixen" at that time. To top it one needs to mention, that Commodore had almost made the same mistake, but finally avoided it, by naming the VIC20 in Germany neither "Vixen" nor "VIC20".

But also in Great Britain there was some scandal around the game. The page-3-girl Corinne Russell posing on the cover of the box and on an enclosed poster lasciviously was clearly too erotic for some Britons, so that Martech had to also react here and had hastily produced a less provoking cover. Also the Sinclair magazine "Your Sinclair" pictured Corinne Russell as Vixen for the release of the game on the title cover in May 1988 and brought many complaints onto themselves, but also the best-selling print run of all times. In a millenium, in which every female participant in "I am a Celebrity...get me out of here" wears less, one can only smirk about this piece of Western European moral history.

Video[edit]

Note how skillfully this player at e.g. 0:36 avoids the smart bomb, because he probably thinks - irritated by the graphics and the FX - he would else lose a life.

Youtube video from the game

Cover[edit]

"Front cover German version 'She-Fox'" "Back cover German version 'She-Fox'"

[edit]

VixenAdvert.jpg
Advertisement for "Vixen"

Disk label[edit]

SheFox DiskLabel.jpg
Disk label "SHE FOX"

Highscore[edit]

Topscore of TheRyk
  1. TheRyk - 41.730 (21.01.2014)
  2. Werner - 40.880 (25.05.2011)
  3. mombasajoe - 17.370 (07.10.2012)

#2 Werner #3 mombasajoe
#2 Werner #3 mombasajoe


Links[edit]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Vixen_(video_game)


Videos