Monthly Archives: December 2013

Atari 2600 Friday’s #17 – Swordquest: Waterworld

Once again, back dating this to get caught up from Christmas. I really didn’t want to back date these, but I need to get them out of the way if there is going to be any attempt at all to keep things in order.

The Story: The Story: Earthworld is the first of four worlds you must travel through on your quest for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery. Although I’m going to note here that the fourth game Airworld does not exist, it along with WaterWorld’s and all future Swordquest contests were cancelled due to Atari being sold to new owners.

From the Manual: “WATERWORLD is the third in a series of four individual contests comprising the ATARI SWORDQUEST CHALLENGE. The ultimate objective in the WATERWORLD contest is the jewelled Crown, made at a cost of $25,000. To win that Crown, you will have to pass certain tests of dexterity and cleverness – in both the video game and the accompanying comic book. Your goal in the WATERWORLD game cartridge is to discover the seven “numerical clues” that will refer you to the appropriate page and frame number of the accompanying comic book. There you must look artfully for “word clues” to send to ATARI on the enclosed SWORDQUEST CHALLENGE entry form. Not all the numerical clues are valid. Three are decoys. A careful poetic reading of the comic book is required in order to obtain information that will be helpful in selecting the valid word-clue answers from the false ones.”

From the Box: “Join the SwordQuest Challenge. Dive into the depths of Waterworld and search for clues to win the Grand Prize of the WaterWorld contest — a jewel-encrusted Crown made at a cost of $25,000. Capture the Crown and compete for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery — a silver-bladed sword made at a cost of $50,000. You’ll need expert hand-eye coordination to navigate the school of octopi, the sea of sharks, and the fast-moving ice floes that block your journey. You’ll also need a detective-type mind to figure out the numerical clues of this adventure-puzzle game, and to decipher the clues in the accompanying comic book.”

What the comic’s about: The twins land in Waterworld, and are separated almost immediately. Tarra swims to the surface and is on the ice floes, Torr almost drowns tangles in seaweed only to be attacked by an octopus. Tarra thinks Torr dead as a skeleton floats to the surface with his armor stuck to it. The twins struggle onward ever watched by the evil wizard Konjuro as they seek the Crown of Waterworld.

The Game Play: Waterworld like the other games is based on a theme, it is based on the seven centers of chakra. Waterworld has 7 rooms in which to use the 16 objects, just remember you can only carry 6 at a time. You are going to have to use these objects to gain the clues to find the crown and the clues in the comic for the contest.  Apparently this time the game gives you hints for which objects are used where, never misleading you, but they can be confusing as certain objects supposedly have dual purposes. Since these games are almost all identical there isn’t a whole lot of info to give for Waterworld that hasn’t already been given for the others and you should be playing and reading these in order if you haven’t been.

The Controls: Remember, all of these games play the same with the same set of controls. Assuming you made it through the first two, this one should be a piece of cake. The games are fairly simple, just remember they are puzzle games and you should be able to work out a system for getting through them.

Post Review: Coming Soon. if you don’t know why by now, you are reading these in the wrong order. I promise to start this soon.

Atari 2600 Friday’s #16 – Swordquest: Fireworld

I’m going to backdate some things here. Because if I don’t get cause up here, who knows if I ever will, or if I’ll abandon this whole thing and I’d rather not do that. I just got too busy with Christmas.

The Story: Fireworld is the second of four worlds you must travel through on your quest for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.

From the Manual: “Welcome to FireWorld. You may have already traveled through EarthWorld and succeeded in solving the EarthWorld puzzle. FireWorld is the second in a series of four worlds that you must pass through on your quest for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery. You enter FireWorld as a mighty warrior. Your skill and courage will be tested with dangerous trials and obstacles. The object of the game is to solve the puzzle. The FireWorld puzzle is based on the Tree of Life, with ten rooms linked together by ten rooms with doorways. FireWorld has ten treasure chest rooms, some containing different magical objects. These objects will help you on your journey through FireWorld. Carrying particular objects will help you find clues. Before you can explore these rooms, you’ll be called on to demonstrate certain skills, just as Torr and Tarra are tested in the FireWorld comic book. As a warrior, your skills are important to conquering FireWorld. To help you on your quest, you will be armed with the FireWorld comic book which contains additional clues. Some clues will come from a combination of both the comic book and the Game Program cartridge. These clues will refer back to the enclosed comic book and hint at the solution to the FireWorld puzzle. You have just leaped into the blazing flames of FireWorld – see if you can survive and triumph!

From the Box: “Study your comic book before leaping into the blinding, fiery world below the earth. Search for clues, and 16 magical objects to solve the mysterious puzzle for valuable prizes.”

What the comic’s about: The evil wizard Konjuro watches the twins as they travel through Fireworld. The first part of the comic is a flash back to the twins teenage years when their guardians were killed. The twins argue and split ways, after which they remember the talismans and talk to the good wizards who sent them on this journey and learn about the ‘Chalice of Light’, the object of this games contest.

The Game Play: Once again, if you read through the previous Atari Friday about Earthworld, then you know the whole point of these games was the Swordquest contest. Using the included comic with the game to find the secret words, to enter. Fireworld is based on the Tree of Life and only has 10 rooms total, with 16 objects you need to use to solves all the puzzles and get the clues. This game requires you to get the Chalice to enter a  secret room at the center of the Tree of Life. Otherwise this is the same deal as Earthworld, use the objects in different combinations in different rooms to get clues. Go through the action sequences between rooms to get the objects. I scanned through the comic, and it feels like Fireworld would follow it less than Earthworld followed it’s comic, but it might still provide some clues and you do need it to locate the words for the contest.

The Controls: Fireworld plays exactly the same as Earthworld. The controls are simple, obviously up/left/right/down/diagonally makes the character move. Pick up objects by moving over them and pushing the button. To use an object go to the bottom of the screen, position your cursor over the object, and press the red button.  You have to be in a room to leave an object. You move through doorways by going to them and pressing the button.

Post Review: Coming Soon. Once again, planning this whole thing where my group plays through all three of these.

December 15, 2013 Pickup

Alright, some of the thing’s I picked up this weekend.

First big one is I picked up a PS4 sunday. So that’s going to be fun. Also, I have completely zero desire to touch a Xbone.

Anyways, here’s all the cool retro stuff you want to see.

A NES Power Pad, tested and working as best as I can tell with World Class Track Meet. Oh boy does it make me realize I’m not fit enough for prolonged activity though.

I got a box for my Clash at Demonhead the girlfriend got me last year. making it CIB.

And look here at this cool old Nintendo product, a Super Mario Bros dixie cup holder.

Atari 2600 Friday’s #15 – Swordquest: Earthworld

I have been waiting for something exciting like this to show up. It’s one thing to talk about the next of a hundred shooters or something, but it’s a complete other thing to talk about something like Swordquest: Earthworld. The first of what was supposed to be 4 puzzle adventure games, which only turned out to be three with the third game being very rare now. Atari also held a contest surrounding these games, which I will go into in a few weeks.. This is about Earthworld specifically.

The Story: Earthworld is the first of four worlds you must travel through on your quest for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.

From the Manual: “WARNING: All you who enter EarthWorld will encounter danger, trials, tests, and obstacles. All will have an equal chance to decipher the hidden message. Welcome to EarthWorld. This is the first in a series of four world that you must pass through on your quest for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery. As you explore EarthWorld, you will traverse 12 rooms, each named after a sign of the zodiac. You will encounter danger such as the horns of a charging Taurus bull, and you will be called upon to demonstrate your skill and ingenuity. A variety of magical objects will assist you in the challenging journey ahead. These are strewn about the various zodiac chambers. Carrying certain objects along with you helps with game play. For example, the lamp allows you to see the charging horns in the dark bull pit of Taurus. By leaving the right combination of objects in the right zodiac chamber, you’ll discover illuminating clues. These clues may: 1. Refer back to the enclosed comic book and hint at the solution to the EarthWorld puzzle. 2. Refer to the next world in the SWORDQUEST series, FireWorld. 3. Help you solve the final puzzle of all four SWORDQUEST cartridges combined. Be off with you! EarthWorld awaits your careful exploration.”

From the Box “Armed with a comic book and 16 magical objects, you descend into a fantastic world below the Earth. Your quest is for clues that are pieces of a mysterious puzzle. Solve the puzzle to win prizes.”

What the comic’s about: Two orphaned twins Tarra and Tor after their natural parents were killed by King Tyrannus’s guards, spurred by a prophecy from the wizard Konjuro, are raised by thiefs as commoners to avoid their parents’ fate. They are interrupted by Konjuro summoning a demon to chase them, and escape by diving into the ocean and swimming to shore as it attacks their shadows. However Tarra got away with a magical jewel, that breaks and reveals two robed figures who reveal the four worlds and five magical items (the real life prized to the Swordquest contest) to the twins. Thus they begin their journey to find the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery.

The Game Play: First of all, I’m going to mention that as far as I can tell, the whole point of this game is to get the secret phrase which is done by collecting all the clues and getting the sword. How you entered the contest was that each clue referred to a page in the included comic book. Now if you don’t have the comic, you can’t find the phrase but I believe you can still try to get the sword. Anyways there are twelve rooms based on the zodiac, your job is to move between rooms collecting items and finding the right places to use them in order to get clues.  You can carry six objects, out of the total of fifteen, at one time and leaving them in the right rooms will unearth clues. There are 11 clues, but only some of them are real. One clue even seems to relate to the next game Fireworld. Scattered around are action rooms with require things like raft jumping, but usually end in the reward of an enchantment. You can always leave the room by pressing the red button. Once you do the right things with all 15 items you get transported back to the title screen which holds the final clue. Once you push the red button, you get to run around with the Warrior’s Sword and are ready to move on to Fireworld. It is worth note that if you read the comic, the game basically follows the events that happen in it.

The Controls: Are simple, obviously up/left/right/down/diagonally makes the character move. Pick up objects by moving over them and pushing the button. To use an object go to the bottom of the screen, position your cursor over the object, and press the red button.  You have to be in a zodiac room to leave an object. You move through doorways by going to them and pressing the button, but until you get a certain magic item you can’t go through the left or right doorways. Apparently Earthworld has a kind of screensaver, after twenty minutes it returns to the title, but pressing the button lets you pick up where you left off.

Post Review: Waiting to get the whole group together to conquer these games.

Atari 2600 Friday’s #14 – Demon Attack

It’s been a few weeks since the last Atari 2600 Friday, I’ve been packing up to move my things over to the girlfriends and then it was thanksgiving and I still have to work (I work overnights and sleep during the day). Sorry to anyone who looks forward to this, but I just did not have the time. I try to do these, but occasionally it just doesn’t happen. There’s my apology, now on to what we really care about.

This week we’re going to take a look at a game called Demon Attack.

The Story:  Another of the space invader’s style shooters that were so popular in the early gaming days.

From the Manual: “Marooned on the ice planet Krybor, you watch legions of eerie creatures scream overhead. They hover ominously. They give you no quarter. Attack and destroy them, or be destroyed! Armed with your Laser Cannon, you confront the ultimate challenge: SURVIVE!”

From the Box: “Destroy you! That’s what these space demons aim to do. Blast ’em and survive. But each wave of demons is tougher to destroy. These strange interplanetary foes are tricky. When hit, some are split in two. All are replaced by even more attackers. If you can’t beat these demon’s from alien worlds, you can always beat your own score, or your opponent’s. The challenge never lets up as you fight back with Joystick controllers.”

The Game Play: Standard left and right only movement we’ve come to know and love of these games, fire with the red button. You start with 3 lives or bunkers according to the manual, and you can gain more, up to six, by surviving a wave unscathed. Each time you get hit you lose a bunker, lose all bunkers you get game over and your ship is destroyed. The game gets harder with each wave until the 84th wave, which was supposed to be the end of the game until a kid beat the game withing days of release and the creator had to go back and change a line of code to make the game never ending.

The Controls: Left and Right movement, Red Button to fire.

Post Review: I’m going to come right out and say this far from being a good shooter. There were many times I was thinking this was bad. First of all, the only enemy that even shoots at you is the lowest one. There are only ever the three on screen at a time, with each one being immediately replaced as long as there are still enemies in the wave. It is possible to continuously kill the low enemy shooting at you until only the other two remain and then take your time on them without being shot at, although I feel those two just run away from shots anyways.  Speaking of shooting, I think the character has a single shot pistol or something, because you get one shot at a time and have to wait for it to load the next shot which is basically when the current one is no longer on screen. The final issue I have is that when you die, most often you get respawned directly under another enemy shot and instantly die again.

The High Score: 400 points or about wave 5

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