Spelunker / game / commercial

From: Michael Current (aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 08/25/92-08:26:44 PM Z

From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Subject: Spelunker / game / commercial
Date: Tue Aug 25 20:26:44 1992

Reprinted from Atari Interface, Vol. 4, June 1992
Spelunker from Broderbund
Revisiting a 1983 Atari 8-bit Game
Dale Wooster (NWPAC)
     Webster's Dictionary says a Spelunker is "one who explores caves."  
Well, you can try to find the treasure at the bottom of this cave and 
not even get dirty.
     Of the thousands of games that have come along for the Atari 8-bit 
over the past 10 years or so, only a few can truly be called _classics._  
Spelunker from Broderbund is one of those near the top of the list.  It 
is a tough and challenging game for one player, with super scrolling 
graphics, some unique sound and positive crisp play action.
     Listen to the patter of the Spelunker's feet as he/she scurries 
throughout the cave picking up all the flares, picks, keys, dynamite and 
a couple items I'm not too sure about--but get them anyway as their 
point values count towards your point total.
     You learn where to use the items you find as you get farther down 
into the cave, so _never leave anything behind!_  You can use the 
elevator to start at any level you wish, but I found it's best to start 
from the top and _never go back up the elevator._
     Spelunker requires a _good_ joystick.
     There are also a few keyboard commands you will need to use.  The 
spacebar, for instance, is used to kill the Ghost.  You will hear the 
eerie sounds of the ghost approaching.  It can come from _any_ 
direction, so don't get caught on a rope or near the screen edge.  Turn 
to face the ghost while standing on the dirt floor, and when he is a few 
inches away, hit the spacebar.
     A blast from your air tank will blow him away.  Use this sparingly 
as it reduces your air supply faster.
     Another key fires a flare above your head.  You use this when you 
hear and see the vampire bats flying above you.  They live in the dark 
and hide from the flares.  I think they are dropping "acid bat guano" on 
you because if it touches you, _you are dead._  Sending off a flare 
gives you enough time to run safely under them.  If you feel _daring_ 
you can run under most of them without a flare.
     You set off dynamite charges by pressing yet another key.  Get 
close to one of the mounds you can't jump over, set your charge, and 
then _turn_ and _run like heck_ the other way!  If you place the charge 
in the right place, the mound will be gone and you can continue along 
that passage.
     The lower left corner of the screen shows the items you have picked 
up along the way.  At the bottom of the screen, a red "thermometer" 
gauge shows how much air you have left.  There are plenty "air pump 
bellows" throughout the cave, but you will have to watch the gauge and 
move about carefully to avoid running out of air.
     As you play, you will learn where the dead end tunnels are.  
Sometimes, you can pass by one of the pumps if you have plenty of air 
and you know you are coming back that same way, anyway.
     You also must watch our for the smaller mounds that shoot out puffs 
of steam that can kill you.  Some of the small holes will also kill you 
if you step in them.
     In Spelunker, you earn extra lives by scoring points.  As you get 
deeper into the _Ropes,_ and then the _Falls,_ the points you earn 
     This game is so challenging that you will keep coming back to it as 
you learn all the twists and turns.  I suppose you think I am going to 
tell you how to get through the Ropes and the Falls?  Guess what!  
You're wrong.  Have fun with this one.
     Oh, one more thing.  The disk will run a demo if you just let it 
load and go (boot without BASIC).
 Michael Current, Cleveland Free-Net 8-bit Atari SIGOp   -->>  go atari  <<--
   The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is the Central Atari Information Network
      Internet: currentm@carleton.edu / UUCP: ...!umn-cs!ccnfld!currentm
     BITNET: currentm%carleton.edu@{interbit} / Cleveland Free-Net: aa700

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