Press Kit: Details
These descriptions came from Alliance Corporation in February 1995.
Ever wonder how a computer really works? What happens when you turn on the
power and boot up? Ask BOB. Bob knows because he lives
inside your PC in the magical city that comes to life when you turn on the
switch and electrical impulses surge through all those microchips and
what-not. The city is called MAINFRAME and its a
bustling super-high-tech metropolis filled with computer
SPRITES just like Bob. Well, sort of like Bob. Bob is
a new arrival to Mainframe having only recently modemed in from the
advanced technology of the SUPER COMPUTER, where
things are even faster, bigger and more complex than in Mainframe.
Since his accidental arrival, Bob has become Mainframe's most popular hero.
With the use of GLITCH, a multi-functional gizmo he
wears on his wrist, Bob can prevent and repair electronic damage in
Mainframe. His Super Computer training also give Bob an edge in fighting
two computer viruses that threaten Mainframe, the eloquently evil
MEGABYTE who is programmed to take over the computer
and HEXADECIMAL, a Medusa with mood-reflecting
masks, programmed to create chaos.
The electronic environment of Mainframe is controlled by an invisible
character, THE USER, the operator of the computer in
which Mainframe is located. When the User decides to play a computer game,
the Game descends from the 'sky' in an ominous dark cube, taking over a
whole SECTOR of Mainframe. THE
GAMES can strike anywhere at any time, forcing the Sprites trapped
inside to compete with The User in a battle against alien invaders, demonic
hedgehogs, jet planes, tanks, ninjas, NBA All-Stars and the Italian guys
with big moustaches. But the Games aren't all fun. Should The User win the
Game, the entire sector goes OFF-LINE, destroying it
and transforming the hapless sprites trapped inside into mindless,
energy-eating NULLS. Bob's masterful performance has
saved many a sector from ruin and its citizens from becoming nullified.
Since Bob's arrival, the peaceful citizens of Mainframe have a champion to
protect and defend them - and they want to keep it that way. They work hard
to make Bob feel welcome and wanted by his new neighbourhood. And as he
struggles to fit into a different life, he grows more and more attached to
his new home, especially to an attractive entrepreneur,
DOT, who owns the local diner, and her energetic little
Before coming to Mainframe, Bob was a top level Guardian Program at the
Super Computer's Port Authority. He was designed to prevent unauthorized
access and apprehend illegal entries. In the Super Computer, Bob may have
been at the top of his field, but he was still just one of hundreds of
In Mainframe, Bob is a big hero. This new status makes Bob feel important
and good about himself. Because he hails from the Super Computer, Bob moves
faster than anyone in Mainframe and exhausts his hew friends with his
non-stop energy. Bob is always doing something, initiating action and
taking the lead. He's a hands-on, do-it-now, figure-it-out-later kind of
His speed and take-charge attitude makes him the best gamester in Mainframe
and the unofficial protector of the other Sprites. Whether he is taking
part in a Game or outwitting Megabyte, you can bet that Bob is fighting for
the underdog and the safety of Mainframe.
Although in Mainframe Bob is a hero, at heart he is an ordinary working
class Sprite with ordinary dreams - and what we would recognize as very
human fallibilities. As he struggles to fit into the slower community-style
family life of Mainframe, Bob finds himself liking it more and more - and
he's grown particularly fond of two of its residents, Dot and her little
Dot is an irrepressible steady planner or more precisely, a workaholic who
seems to plan everything in advance. Organized and independent, it's Dot's
function to be productive and orderly. Her deep sense of compassion and
community make Dot the de-facto leader and problem solver of Mainframe.
Dot likes to have fun but it's not easy to find the time in her busy
schedule. An ambitious low-key entrepreneur, Dot energetically dabbles in
one business after another. Her favourite enterprise is Dot's Diner, a
popular community hang-out and gathering place located near a busy
intersection on the GROUND LEVEL.
Like Bob, Dot is a bit fearless herself. She doesn't like the Games, but if
trapped inside one, she'll roll up her sleeves and jump in to do her part
Although Dot loves her neighbours and her businesses (and even harbours a
special feeling for Bob), without any competition, her greatest love is her
little brother, Enzo.
Enzo is Dot's kid brother, a hyperactive tyke who's two pints of pure
adrenaline crammed into a pint-sized kid. He's a digital Dennis the Menace
- at 1000 RPMs - a whirling bundle of misdirected energy.
Enzo envies his sister for her savvy business abilities. He thinks Dot is
one of the coolest people he knows. But Enzo dotes on Bob. Enzo doesn't
just like Bob - he wants to be Bob. He'd give his left node to
come from the Super Computer like Bob and he follows Bob around Mainframe -
he tackles him and hangs on, hoping to get dragged into one of Bob's
adventures with him.
Enzo is always following Bob into the Game sectors and making a nuisance of
himself with his bubbling enthusiasm and his complete lack of
concentration, caution or practicality. At times, when Bob is trying to
save a whole Sector of the city from ruin, he has to turn his attention to
the hapless Enzo - to save him from a fate worse than homework.
Megabyte is a virus created by a mischievous computer hacker. Megabyte
'invaded' Mainframe by stealth, attached to an innocent word processing
program. Megabyte's function is to grow: to continually gain as much power
and control as is virally possible.
No screaming megalomaniac, Megabyte is a gentleman with an evil grace about
him. He is polite and intelligent, hiding his vicious viral nature behind a
suave English accent and an unctuous feigned concern for others. Megabyte
knows that this smooth style is his best weapon, but beneath the tolerant
surface is a boiling impatience and an insatiable frustrated ambition for
more and more.
Because he is a virus, Megabyte's appetite for power can never be satisfied;
it's his function in life to extend his power indefinitely. Megabyte
controls about one-third of Mainframe and his vision is to expand that to
include all of Mainframe and beyond. He is constantly seeking out new
access routes to the Super Computer. He doesn't really understand how the
Super Computer works, but he knows its BIG and he likes the sound of that.
Megabyte may be the most powerful program in Mainframe, but he isn't
invincible. He knows he has to use caution around clever do-gooders like
Bob and Dot.
Hexadecimal is another virus that has infected the Mainframe PC. She lives
in a warped section of the city called the City of Lost Angles, a bizarre
and dangerous floating sector of Mainframe, accessible only by crossing the
horribly distorted Gilded Gate Bridge.
Hexadecimal is Mainframe's queen of chaos and malfunction. Unlike Megabyte,
Hexadecimal wasn't programmed to take over the computer. Like the real live
'Leonardo' virus, she's designed to disrupt the computer's functions. Her
love is not power but chaos.
Hexadecimal has an array of masks with different expressions that she
changes to suit her mood or more often, the impression she wants to create.
As a personality, Hexadecimal is erratic and difficult to track. She is
scary and dangerous because she is completely addicted to chaos and
confusion, even if it means threatening her own existence. She is a
Her influence is strongest in Lost Angles and across the
LOWER LEVELS of Mainframe, the dark and eerie places
infested with Nulls. Hexadecimal has the uncanny ability to exert some
control of the masses of mindless energy-eating Nulls.
Hexadecimal often stirs up trouble in Mainframe for both our heros and
Megabyte. A dislike for her attacks and a healthy respect of the threat she
poses is one of the only things Bob and Dot share with Megabyte.
Mainframe's spiritual mentor (of sorts), Phong is the oldest sprite in
Mainframe, left over from the days of IBM 360's. In fact, Phong was the
original command.com way back when. His years of
experience have given him an eclectic wisdom which he dispenses while
levitating Buddha-like in his rec room. Unfortunately, Phong's pithy
pronouncements came be more than a little confusing, as if he were
translating them (poorly) from another language. Perhaps it's because he
still thinks in Fortran.
The eccentric Phong was a champion P.O.N.G (Puck Oriented Non-linear Game)
player in his youth. Anyone who comes seeking enlightenment has to beat him
in a game of P.O.N.G. before he'll share his wisdom. This is incredibly
easy for Bob, who, hailing from the Super Computer is about 10 times faster
Though Phong is 'retired' and seems a bit loopy at times, he still holds a
very important position in the Mainframe community. He is the Executive
Secretary to the new command.com who resides in the massive Principle
Office, a large hub-like building in the centre of Mainframe. Phong is the
executive doorman, not unlike the one seen in the Wizard of Oz. The new
command.com is usually so busy that we never actually see him. Phong brings
messages in and out of the Principle Office. He also dispenses all awards
and medals to citizens in the name of the command.com.
Bob and Dot suspect that Phong is still the command.com but the eccentric
Phong will never admit it.
Hack and Slash were designed to be Megabyte's muscle machines. They can
suddenly bristle with weapons that can mechanically telescope, extend, and
unfold into shape. Unfortunately, they're so heavily armoured that there
isn't much room inside for things like brains. The have a combined IQ
approaching that of a toaster oven. They're almost unbeatable in a fight,
but laughably easy to confuse long enough to escape from them.
Megabyte's pet Null, a sort of executive toy with an attitude. Nibbles is a
cross between an ill-tempered lap-dog and a balloon. Megabyte loves to
bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate him - it's good for his stress. Nibbles
always bounces back to his original bulbous shape, unhurt despite the
horrendous screeching noises he makes while Megabyte is 'petting' him.
Scuzzy is Hexadecimal's little pet spy, a speedy wheeled "wotsit" who can
replay scenes it has captured through a domed projector on the top of its
round, somewhat feline body. Scuzzy is devious and slimy - a nasty piece of
work willing to sell out to anyone. Scuzzy can't talk but he can
communicate as well as any Sprite by replaying past recorded images to pull
together patchwork sentences or mean-spirited comments. Whenever Scuzzy
takes off, he spins like a top before zipping at high speed - usually smack
into a wall or a door.
Frisket is a tough junk-yard dog, an alley stray who has adopted Enzo and
Dot as his extended family. When the feral dog isn't roaming Mainframe, he
hovers protectively just outside the door of Dot's diner, watching the
comings and goings. To everyone in Mainframe, Frisket is an unapproachable
cur. He'll growl at any Sprite who even thinks about touching him - except
for Enzo. And if anyone tries to give Dot or Enzo a hard time, Frisket will
let them know just how wild an animal he can be.
Mike is the ultimate in live TV. He doesn't just bring the world into the
Sprites' living room - he walks into the living room himself and tells them
what's showing on his screen, with the voice and mannerisms of an obnoxious,
hyped-up, motor-mouth emcee. And nobody can turn him off because the
remote control ran away. It isn't easy to escape Mike because he can follow
his reluctant audience all over Mainframe, bombarding them with news, talk
shows, bad soap operas and commercials.
Back to the table of contents.
- The super high tech metropolis that comes to life when
The User boots up his computer. Mainframe is home to all of
- THE SUPER COMPUTER
- The much bigger city of advanced technology outside
the world of Mainframe where Bob lived before he modemed
- THE USER
- The human operating the computer that contains the world
of Mainframe. The User is never visible but still competes
in The Games.
- Mainframe's mayor (of sorts) and mighty leader. He is never
seen as he has his Executive Secretary, Phong, make the
proclamations, dispense wisdom and hand out commendations
on his behalf.
- THE GAMES
- A recurring phenomena in Mainframe. Electronic interferences
caused by The User that descend upon Mainframe and take over
an entire sector. The citizens trapped inside can 'reboot' to
transform into game characters to compete against The User in
- A sort of computerized Swiss Army knife that Bob acquired
while working for the Super Computer Port Authority. It can
change into whatever mechanical object or tool Bob needs to
- COMPUTER SPRITES
- The digital citizens of Mainframe who come to life
when the computer is turned on and booted up. There are two
types of Sprites: BINOMES and DATA SPRITES.
- The majority of Mainframe's population. Robotic-looking
sprites, most shaped like 0's and 1's and some in the form
of other numbers. They do the physical labour such as word
processing, graphics, and number crunching to keep the
- DATA SPRITES
- Highly-evolved sprites like Bob, Dot and Enzo. They keep
the Mainframe functioning by operating services such as
buses, shops and restaurants.
- Mainframe is divided into sectors. Each sector has a
different function devoted to ensuring the smooth running of
the computer. Sectors can be divided into four Levels:
Towers, CAPACITOWERS, Ground Levels,
and Lower Levels.
- The tallest building in each Sector that oversees daily
- GROUND LEVELS
- The freeway running through a Sector providing a
transportation route for the computer commuters.
- LOWER LEVELS
- The desolate and dingy underground industrial areas of a
Sector that Sprites are wary of.
- OFF LINE
- A Sector can go 'off-line' when The User wins a Game or due
to an electronic malfunction. The Sector is completely
demolished and the hapless Sprites inside are transformed
- Disgusting little energy-eating slugs who dwell in the Lower
Levels. They were once unfortunate Sprites who were
'nullified' when their Sector went 'off-line'.
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Maintained by Joe Smith