I've been going through and making tweaks to a laundry list of subtle and minor things. I'm using the CONSOLE keys more than before so that you can play the game on an XEGS without needing the optional keyboard. START resets you back to Game Over / Rankings screen, SELECT Revives you to a Checkpoint, and OPTION is Pause. If you play on a computer like the 800XL etc, you can also rely on the SpaceBar for Pause, "R" for Revive. You can also Revive after getting eaten by just pressing the Fire Button on the joystick which is really the only time I ever use Revive when I play the game.
Why Revive if you aren't eaten? Well, just in case you play as a bigger alt icon and get stuck in a bush , or the Troll steals your bridge and you are stuck .... the revive is a safeguard - it takes you back to the last checkpoint. Or players might use it as a shortcut back to the checkpoint screen when they are deep in a castle and don't want to manually find their way out. You have the option to do that. But you don't bring any carried items with you back to the checkpoint screen. That would be cheating!!!
There have been approximately 1,000 changes made to the Atari 5200 Adventure II base code, give or take a hundred.
So, the last 2 changes I made were:
Bridge Building - when you drag a wood plank to either of the 2 island screens, you can build a walkable bridge. I opened up the path more so that all icons can cross over to the left-screen island area now. That wasn't possible on the 5200 unless you build the path AND used the bridge sprite.
You build bridges to reach items, but you might also find a secret bat egg that way too.
More Rankings tweaking - I had been noticing wrong rankings. One statistic that the game tracks is Time Played. The game gives you 10 minutes for Small mazes, 15 minutes for Mediums, and 20 minutes for Vast mazes. If you exceed those limits, the game will reduce your final ranking. But even on some games where I exceeded those limits, I was getting great rankings. WHY WHY WHY?? So, I found the problem, I was using Hexadecimal $10, $15, and $20 and not Decimal 10, 15, 20. Thus, the game was checking 16 minutes for Small mazes, 21 minutes for Mediums, and 32 minutes for Vasts! I fixed that. You can play a level for that long, especially if things just go wrong. I've played some games from 45 minutes. On the other hand, I've beaten small levels in under 4 minutes as the Square, and under 2 minutes playing as the Bat.
Adventure II XE shows which statistics are considered bad by marking those with a little "x". If you quit out of the game, are eaten too much, didn't kill any dragons, excessively Revived, or took longer than the Time budget ... you'll get dinged on those categories and it affects your final ranking.
All in all, the rankings are more complicated and robust than the original 5200 Adventure II , and the actual rankings are different with the exception of one which I kept. There are unique rankings for the Bat, Crab, and Knights.
The game won't be published for many months because of the AtariAge store workload ... so I'll tweak a few more things in the meantime until I consider it done. That [email protected]#$ Troll sometimes seems to BAMF! around, like X-men Nightcrawler, so I'll look into that next. And I'm still playing around with some new sounds. I have the ROM space for some new sounds and music, but I don't want to overload the game with repetitive music. The silence is golden ... and when a sound does occur, it can add suspense.