Saturday!

When I was a kid, we had an Atari 2600. By today’s standards, of course, the games were incredibly crude. Frogger and the like.

One of the more complex games was called Adventure. Adventure actually had a plot, of sorts. Your job was to get a chalice from a castle. To get the chalice, you had to get a key. There was also a sword and a couple of dragons that you had to avoid. And a maze. You can play the game here.

There were three levels, though the story was the same. To make things more complicated, one of the rooms in Level 1 was a half-visible maze with another castle tucked away. The dragons were faster. There was another maze inside a castle. But the biggest thing was that there was a bat. The bat would fly around and steal stuff, placing whatever it previously had at the spot where it took its next item. So unlike with Level 1, you never knew exactly where things were on Level 2.

I was reminded a bit of the bat in Adventure recently because my real life has begun to emulate the game in a similar respect. Which is to say, I don’t know where a lot of things are because there is a little bat coming and going and picking things up and putting them down somewhere else. The bat’s name is, of course Lain.

So as with the sword and the chalice and the key, things sort of enter and exit the periphery at random. The other day, Lain produced the tape measure, which had been missing forever. Then, the next day, it was missing again. Batbaby had swooped in and taken it to parts unknown. As with Adventure, there is a limited range of places it could have gone. But in the main area, there are more things she could have hidden it behind and such. So it may be a while before it resurfaces again.

Thankfully, there are no dragons involved.

What are you playing?

Feature Image: “Atariadventure” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atariadventure.png#/media/File:Atariadventure.png


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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12 thoughts on “Saturday!

  1. Not too long ago I was talking to someone and we were trying to remember what this game was called. All we could remember was that it was terrible, and that the dragon looked like a duck.

    We eventually recalled its name.

    Boy that was a bad game.

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      • Good 2600 games:

        River Raid
        Pitfall
        Frogger (yeah, the graphics weren’t great but the gameplay was pretty consistent with the arcade)
        Defender
        Missile Command

        Hmm…nope, Adventure is definitely not on that list.

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        • The joy of Adventure was not “oh, this is good” as must as “imagine what is possible given that this is possible”.

          I admit to having beaten level one with my eyes closed at one point.

          It’s like ET. As much crap as it got, dang! Its reach exceeded its grasp. As failures go, I’d rather have noble ones.

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          • I actually didn’t have that one. But the wikipedia gameplay description is a thing of beauty:

            The player controls an insect-like creature called a Yar who must nibble or shoot through a barrier in order to fire his Zorlon Cannon into the breach. The objective is to destroy the evil Qotile, which exists on the other side of the barrier. The Qotile can shoot at the Yar, even if the barrier is undamaged, by turning into the Swirl. The player is warned before the shot is fired, and he can retreat to a safe distance to dodge the enemy’s energy blast. The Yar can hide from a pursuing destroyer missile within a “neutral zone” in the middle of the screen, but the Yar cannot shoot while in the zone. The Swirl can kill the Yar anywhere, even inside the Neutral Zone.

            To destroy the Qotile or the Swirl, the player has to either touch the Qotile or eat a piece of the shield to activate the Zorlon Cannon, aim the cannon by lining up with the Qotile or Swirl, then fire the cannon and fly out of the way of the cannon’s shot.

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            • it’s magic and the sound fx are brilliant. i highly recommend it even now, which is not something i would say about any other 2600 game.

              unrelated but binding of isaac: afterbirth comes out oct 31.

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  2. I checked back on the Out of the Park baseball site to see if there was a demo for their (gridiron) football game and found that it’s in limbo due to it being basically a one man project and the one man had health problems. They’re advertising for a replacement – for kicks I’m going to send a resume, but I expect that I’m overqualified (in terms of compensation expectation).

    XCOM 2 got pushed back to February, and Shadow Warrior 2 (with multiplayer co-op in the campaign!) is still “2016”. Jagged Alliance Flashback, which I kickstarted $125, is terrible.

    My English team got relegated to the old 4th division, so I dusted off the old (97-98) Championship Manager 3 to bring back the glory days, and am stuck in the “The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard” stage, and I don’t know if I have the fortitude to stick through it yet again.

    So, um, XCOM Long War? Go all-in on Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, or Total War? Start (the brilliant) Jagged Alliance 2 one last time to see if I can finally get through the last two sectors to finish the damn thing?

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