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Christmas Carol: A Short Story - Part XVI



You know how in the [url="http://www.CarolVsGhost.com"]Christmas Carol[/url] game the Bad Toy goes rogue and supersedes even the Snowman's reprogramming and attacks him?  (Of course [i]you[/i] know, because [i]you[/i] is [i]me[/i] -- the only reader of this blog. DOH!)
Well, I just found out why that happened.  It turns out that the new model [font='courier new']3000[/font] of the [font='courier new']T.O.M.Bot[/font], contrary to the earlier [font='courier new']Toy-Of-Mischief 2000[/font], is equipped with a new artificial intelligence chip to give him a little personality.  The Snowman didn't figure this, so when he re-wired the toy robot, he messed with the A.I., and -- well, who knows what will ensue!  (Actually, we know -- and by [i]we[/i] I guess I mean [i]me[/i] -- he will go rogue and attack the Snowman.  I wish you paid attention.  And by [i]you[/i] I mean ... oh forget it!)
The other thing I learned is that the special A.I. chip is called the [font='courier new']Robotronic Think-o-Matic Mark I(tm)[/font], which I think is a deliciously silly, yet exceedingly cool, name.
[font='courier new']T.O.M.Bot 3K[/font] ... [font='courier new']Think-o-Matic Mark I[/font] ... I should really trademark these names.  Heh! Heh!  Once my book is published and it sells a bajillion copies, I can merchandise the characters as real toys.  I mean, who doesn't want a programmable toy robot that can think for itself and does mischief for you?  Did I mention it shoots laser bolts too?  :cool:
Anyway, I just thought I'd share that part, which I found very cool.  Hasta la vista!
     See ya'!


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I'm reading your blog, but haven't played the game. :)


Oh, you must be the only one!  Thanks for that, then.


If you haven't played the game, perhaps you should give it a try.  It was well regarded when it came out.  The ROM is free for download, and comes bundled with an emulator for Windows or Mac, so it's ready to run. :)



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You can also download a PDF of the instruction booklet:

It's not your typical Intellivision game booklet.  It's in a large format and Joe and I worked really hard to make it read like its part of a children's story -- treating all game mechanics as part of the world.   :)

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Carlsson, it just occurred to me that if you are not familiar with the game or its cut-scenes and story, then this blog probably won't make too much sense to you.  Sorry about that.

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Actually I may have downloaded the free version previously and briefly tried it, but got interrupted by something else. I'll see if I can play it some more later on. The story is entertaining to read even without knowing the game. Have your grandchildren already played the game for hours so they'd be familiar with the setting?

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The book I'm writing is completely independent from the game, so there is absolutely no need to have played the game beforehand.  In fact, I expect that the audience for the book will not be even interested in Intellivision games.


I just thought that since I'm writing this blog from the perspective of "I'm turning my game into a book," that if you're not familiar with the game then my comments would not make much sense.  I realized that a lot of my posts allude to things in the game, which I guess is my way to keep it grounded in the AtariAge world. :)


Anyway, give the game a try and let me know what you think.  Every two levels you get a new cave introduced by a cut-scene.  The animation sequence gives a brief introduction to characters or depict short vignettes of the characters' antics.


All together they sort of tell a story of Carol hiding from the Snowman and encountering the mysterious Ghost, then discovering that the Ghost is just goofy and playful.  Also, you get introduced to the Bad Toy and the Snowman makes a trap to catch Carol, but instead catches the Ghost.  This leads to the boss level where the toy robot melts the Snowman into a snowball, and both are hunting Carol, while the Ghost is trapped in an ice cube.


And finally, at the end, when Carol completes the boss level, the cut-scene shows her beating up the toy with the left over twig-arm of the Snowman (now Snowball), lighting it on fire with the resulting sparks, and thawing the Ghost out of his cage.  They then become friends.  The End.


That's pretty much the story I'm writing, except now with a lot more detail and no 8-bit cut-scenes.   :)



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