i've always made it a point to, as a pure matter of principal, pick up every Artdink game released in the U.S.: Tail of the Sun, Aquanaut's Holiday, No One Can Stop Mr. Domino and so on. I can only hope that i'm sending a message with my dollars, and that message is 'YES! Please continue developing these innovative, unique games!" (these thoughts would be better fleshed out under Artdink itself, so i digress).

imagine my joy upon finding out Artdink was releasing a game about GIANT BATTLING ROBOTS! and not only that, you get to program them! about this point i swore to name my first child 'Artdink'

first and foremost, this is the one thing above all others you should know:

You Are Required To Learn A Programming Language To Play This Game.

this little facet of the game must've scared off the majority of console gamers since stateside sales were rather abysmal. trying to locate even a used copy now however will run you at least $10 over original retail.

Jewel Case Contents

'Mission Briefing' Disc : this is vital to the first time player, think of it as a movie version of the instruction manual. watch this before playing. seriously.
'Strategy Guide' Booklet : details various aspects of programming and a little info about the different mechs themselves
'Instruction Manual' : so you're the type who jumps right into a game with wanton disregard for the manual. better not do this with Carnage Heart. even if you watched the Mission Briefing 'Game Disc' : self explanatory i hope

The Exposition

By the year 2025, the human population of Earth had exhausted the planet's natural resources. The lack of resources combined with the residue of the rampant inflation of the late Twentieth Century created a growing schism between the rich and poor. Tension between the deprived and the privileged resulted in violent crime waves and uncontrollable rioting. World order was nearly gone and it looked like the downward spiral would end in the extinction of the human race.

In 2031, the remaining governments of the world looked to the stars for the answer. Led by the United States, several countries opted for expanding into space to gather the much needed resources that could end the worldwide crisis. The U.S. Space Mining division began operation on the moon and soon many other countries joined suit.

With so many interest intensified on the lunar surface, misunderstandings were inevitable. In June of 2032, a minin dispute between France and Brazil arose over an area of the moon known as Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms). This dispute led to a small scale skirmish that quickly developed into a full blown war. It looked as if the war would last for many years until France unleashed, for the first time ever, a "heavy armor unmanned robot," (now know as an Over Kill Engine of OKE). This new type of weapon proved to be highly effective and soon after it was deployed, Brazil surrendered.

The World Federation, a reformed United Nations, monitored the situation closely and quickly created a new bureau, the Space Mining Resource Probe Association (SMRPA). Peace was regained by assuring all countries involved that mining operations would be regulated to be safe and fair. With this agreement, a new order came to the world.

Twenty-eight years later, in 2059, the human race, which had alrady exhausted the resources of the moon and Mars, was forced to locate new sources of minerals. Feedback from mining probes sent to Jupiter showed that three of its moons: Callisto, Europa and Ganymede offerend abundant mining opportunities.

Unfortunately, this opened a new era of human greed.

The super powers of the world stepped up their espionage activities in order to obtain mining rights first. Upon increased SMRPA surveillance of these activities, they discovered several unscrupulous acts benng carried out were not those of a nation, but of a single corporate group. The object of the SMRPA's scrtiny is the Drakken Group, the leading force of the capitalist sector.

The Drakken Group is a huge conglomerate comprised of a few hunderd of the world's largest corporations. Its net assets exceed $8.9 trillion. The Drakken group has contibuted greatly over the years to space resource development, capital, and research. In return, they now demand their fair share of new contracts form the SMRPA.

Without the proper constraints, an ievitalbe event occurred. In trying to enforce the Mining Rights Policy, a World Federation ship fired upon a Drakken owned space cargo ship. Although this action was necessary to prevent Drakken from gaining an unfair advantage in the market, the incident was deemed unnecessarily harsh by the public. Fanning the flames of the issue were the Drakken based media teams using a contoversial photograph of the incident provided by NASA.

To the average citizen, the photo reperesented proff of the overbearing nature of the SMRPA tactics. It was alos a troubling glimpse of furure events. The dispatch of a mutlinational force by the Word Federation to Jupiter was mad public by Drakken journalists. The situation degenerated further.

In September of 2073, in accordance with the Treaty of Belmia( treaty conclude in Belmia, Switzerland in 2036 three months after the infamous Ocean of Storms conflict. It stipulates that, in the case of any conflict or war not originating on Earth, all related destructive activities shall be prohibited on Earth), the World Federation found their only remaining course of resolution was to officially declare war on the Drakken Group. The Drakken conlomerate acknowledged this declaration and a war the like os which had never been seen before broke out between the super power nations of the World Federation and the enourmous corporate conglomerate Drakken.

A Brief Explanation Of Play Mechanics

starting out you choose one of three campaigns: Europa(Easy), Ganymede(Normal) or Callisto(Hard). from here you begin creating your mechs. design mech hardware. code the mech program. test the mech, repeat untill you have what you think to be a good mech.

under the 'Tactics' menu is where you give orders to your mech units(three mechs to a unit normally) and manage your factories(gotta build those mechs somewhere). unit orders available are Move, Defend Base, Capture Enemy Base, Patrol and Standby. factories require monetary funds to build mechs and storage space to but them once built, running out of either of these stops production at the factory.

under 'Negotiation' you will contact various arms dealers and buy blueprints to different types of mechs, weapons, mech parts and the like. you can also see items currently under development and choose to fund it's R&D if you wish to speed it's progress along. boy that money's starting to run short eh?

'End Turn' takes you to the map screen where the orders you gave under Tactics are carried out. for this portion of the game Carnage Heart is pretty much your standard turn based strategy game. your units move, executing the orders you gave. then the enemy units move. if they come into contact and do battle, it switches into real-time battle mode and you watch, having absolutely zero control, as your mechs execute the program(s) you wrote and war with the enemy mechs. may the best coder win.

once all orders are executed. you're back at the Tactics/Design/Negotiate menu. redesign/reprogram mechs as needed. purchase new blueprints to manufacture. go to next turn...etc.

personally, i played the game for a couple weeks before even beginning Turn One.

The Mechs

in total there are 12 different mechs. 4 unique body types, each with 3 different mech bases:

Two Leg OKE: Prowler, Jujuman and Vypor
Multi Leg OKE: Rogue, Manticore and Livewire
Tank OKE: Kouger, Jackhammer and Ronin
Flying OKE: Valiant, Irondeath and Raptor

When designing your OKE you have 7 basic slots to fill:
OKE Body : see above
Engine : Powers OKE, maximum weight is determined by the engine
Main Weapon : Armor Peircing Rifles, Shotguns, Lasers, etc
Sub Weapon : Missles, Rockets, Mines, etc
CPU : Larger CPU's provide more available programming icon slots(see Programming)
Fuel Tank : Yes you have to worry about 'Fuel' for your OKE (and it can overheat too!)
Armor : select from different thickness armor
then there're the optional equipment slots for cooling devices, missle jammers, armor repair and so on.

Specific OKE and Equipment Info:
See Carnage Heart OKE and Equipment Specifications
due to WU size limitations this had to be moved to its own node

Programming Your OKE:

See Carnage Heart Programming: Introduction and Examples
due to WU size limitations this had to be moved to its own node

info gleamed from:
the Carnage Heart instruction manual and strategy booklet

sooper sekrit:

to gain manual control of your OKE during battle, press select 12 times and select 'Manual' these are now your controls:

Up or Down: Move forward or back.
Left or Right: Rotate left or right
L1 + Left: Move left
L1 + Right: Move right
L1 + Up: Move higher
L1 + Down: Move lower
Square: Grapple
Triangle: Jump
D-pad + Triangle: Jump in corresponding direction
X: Fire primary weapon
Circle: Duck down
R2 + Triangle: Fire secondary weapon
R2 + X: Double fire secondary weapon
R2 + Circle: Triple fire secondary weapon
R2 + Square: Quadruple fire secondary weapon
L2: Take control of next friendly OKE

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