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Andrew Davie

Boulder Dash (R) Demo Release

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Please contribute bug reports to

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/184968-boulder-dashr-bug-reports/

 

 

 

 

Atari 2600 Boulder Dash ®

 

Thank you for checking out our implementation of First Star Software's Boulder Dash ® on the Atari 2600. We are Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch, joint programmers. Together, we have been working on-and-off on this game for about six years.

 

The program is 32K in size, though it can nominally fit in 16K. This demo version includes the most challenging two levels of the original version, those that push the capabilities of our program to the limit. It demonstrates all of the 'creatures' and 'features' available in the original game. This includes butterflies, fireflies, an amoeba, magic walls and of course boulders and diamonds.

 

We would like to acknowledge First Star Software's role in bringing this to you as a free playable version. Throughout, we have had contact and support from First Star Software, Inc. in our efforts to develop this game. Boulder Dash ® is their intellectual property, and it is with gratitude that we acknowledge their generosity in allowing this version to be distributed to the Atari

community free of charge. Please respect their ownership of the Boulder Dash ®

property.

 

Andrew Davie -- [email protected]

Thomas Jentzsch --

July 2011

 

================================================================================

 

========

Controls

========

 

Special Switches

================

ABORT GAME Hold down RESET and SELECT switches (Stella: F1+F2) at

the same time.

 

SUICIDE Sometimes you get stuck, or make a mistake, and want to

re-start the cave. Except for waiting until the time

runs out the only way you can do this is by suicide.

Hold down RESET switch (Stella: F2) to kill Rockford.

 

NTSC/PAL TV Right difficulty (Stella: F7/F8) switches between NTSC

and PAL versions. There are trade-offs between each. The

NTSC version has nicer colours. The PAL version has more

processing time.

 

So, you might say the NTSC version looks better and

the PAL version is faster. Thomas and I have different

preferred versions. They both play OK.

 

MUSIC Left difficulty (F5/F6) toggles the music on/off during

game=play. The original did not have music, so this

option is off by default.

 

 

Moving Rockford

===============

Joystick UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT move Rockford

 

BUTTON + Joystick GRAB/SNATCH in the direction of the joystick.

You can grab diamonds and snatch out soil without

moving to the square by holding the button and then

pressing the direction.

 

Rockford will not move while the button is pressed.

 

Looking Around

==============

You can look around the cave without moving Rockford by holding down the

SELECT switch (Stella: F1 key) and using the joystick. The background colour

will change to a dark cyan when you are looking around. The cave timer still

counts down during look-around.

 

To quit from the look-around mode, release the SELECT switch. The view will

scroll back to the location of Rockford. You may move immediately, even when

Rockford is not visible on=screen.

 

After Dying

-----------

BUTTON press the joystick button to continue

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

===========

THE DISPLAY

===========

 

The top line has three display types, as described below.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISPLAY TYPE 1:

Player/Lives/Level

 

The display/scoring area shows this display when first starting, or resuming

after death. This display shows the player number, life counter, and cave level.

 

A. PLAYER NUMBER

================

When first starting a cave, the display shows the player number (top left).

This version of Boulder Dash ® only allows for a single player so this is

always "P1".

 

B. LIFE COUNTER

===============

The number of lives is displayed top-middle, alongside Rockford's head. You

start with three lives, and you lose a life every time you...

 

a) Have a boulder or diamond fall on you

 

b) Touch a butterfly

 

c) Touch a firefly

 

d) Are too close to an exploding firefly or butterfly.

 

e) Commit suicide (pressing RESET)

 

f) Run out of time for completing the cave

 

If you lose a life while the time is still running, Rockford explodes and dies,

and the cave continues. Press the joystick button to continue.

 

C. CAVE LEVEL

=============

The top-right of the display shows the cave letter followed by the level number.

 

Cave letters range from A to P inclusive. These correspond exactly to the

original Boulder Dash ® levels, with the exception of a small reduction of

the number of butterflies in level M.

 

This demo version contains two caves ("Funnel", "Apocalypse").

 

Level number ranges from 1 to 5.

 

On completion of all caves, the level number is incremented and the caves are

repeated.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISPLAY TYPE 2:

The score.

 

The score is displayed center top of screen, as a 6-digit number.

 

You earn points every time you collect a diamond, based on your current cave and

level.

 

You earn bonus points if you have time remaining at the completion of a cave

level.

 

The score is briefly displayed every time you earn points.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DISPLAY TYPE 3:

 

The diamond counter, and the remaining time counter.

 

A. DIAMOND COUNTER

==================

The diamond counter is shown top-left of screen and has two modes.

 

1. When shown alongside a diamond shape with a "-" inside it, the number

indicates the number of diamonds you must collect before the exit door will

open.

 

2. When shown alongside a diamond shape with a "+" inside it, the number

indicates the number of diamonds, MORE than the required number of diamonds

for the level, that you have collected.

 

B. TIME FOR COMPLETION OF LEVEL

===============================

The time for level completion is shown at top-right of screen, and counts down

to 0. You must complete the cave (collect all the diamonds and reach the exit

door) before this timer runs out. For the last 10 seconds of time, a sound with

increasing pitch will play. If you do not complete the cave in time, you will

lose a life.

 

The speed of the timer count-down is based on the level.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

=========

GAME PLAY

=========

 

Snatch/Grab

-----------

Rockford can collect diamonds (or dig dirt) in adjacent squares through the

use of button + joystick direction. When this combination is used, the square in

the given direction (if it's a diamond or dirt) is 'grabbed' by Rockford.

 

Pushing Boulders

----------------

If a boulder is in your way, you can push it to the left or right by placing

Rockford alongside it and moving towards the boulder. When the boulder moves,

Rockford moves to the square where the boulder was. You can also push

boulders without moving to their square; hold the joystick button down as

you are pushing, and the boulder will be pushed without moving Rockford.

You can only push boulders if there is a gap for them to move to.

 

Bonus Life

----------

Every 500 points you get a bonus life. The bonus life is shown by a pattern of

coloured dots in the background (cosmic ark star effect, for those who want to

know how it's done). The effect stops after a few seconds.

 

Running out of time

-------------------

When less than 10 seconds remain on the time clock, an ascending tone is played

every second. You better hurry!

 

Collecting Diamonds

-------------------

The aim of the game is to collect the number of diamonds shown in the diamond

counter. You collect diamonds by walking over them (if they are stationary), or

by grabbing them using snatch/grab.

When you have collected sufficient diamonds (the diamond counter reaches 0),

then the background will briefly flash white and the exit door will open. The

exit doorstarts flashing when you can go through it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

=======================

CREDITS & LEGAL NOTCES

=======================

Boulder Dash® is a registered trademark of First Star Software, Inc. The name

and likeness of Rockford are trademarks of First Star Software, Inc.

Copyright © 1984-2011 First Star Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

Boulder Dash ® was created by Peter Liepa with Chris Gray.

BoulderDash100.bin

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wrong here, nevermind :)

Edited by Thomas Jentzsch

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Glad to see this project is still alive! :)

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Using the DPC+ chip for this one?

Nope. Not extra hardware power, just extra RAM.

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This is still alive? Awesome!

 

I can't wait for this, I remember the tech demos from a while ago... and they were super impressive. :D

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This is still alive? Awesome!

 

I can't wait for this, I remember the tech demos from a while ago... and they were super impressive. :D

 

 

I want this sooo bad also!

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Three more sleeps.

Andrew,

 

Is the end game an official release by First Star? If so, this will be the first official retail (non-homebrew) game release on the Atari 2600 for many years....

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HOLY S**T!!! I don't friggen believe it!!!

 

Hats off to Andrew and Thomas!!! I can hardly wait to give this a go! I thought this would never see the light of day based on Andrew's previous posts. I'm so happy there has been a change of heart. This will easily be on of the best games released for the 2600... EVER.

 

You guys just totally made my day!

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Andrew,

Is the end game an official release by First Star? If so, this will be the first official retail (non-homebrew) game release on the Atari 2600 for many years....

 

It's a fully functional, free, playable demo of two caves of Boulder Dash® -- released with permission from First Star Software.

The demo has the two most difficult caves installed (in terms of difficulty in programming on the '2600).

It is not a retail version. You don't pay anything. It's totally free.

Two more sleeps!

Cheers

A

  • Like 1

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Andrew,

Is the end game an official release by First Star? If so, this will be the first official retail (non-homebrew) game release on the Atari 2600 for many years....

 

It's a fully functional, free, playable demo of two caves of Boulder Dash® -- released with permission from First Star Software.

The demo has the two most difficult caves installed (in terms of difficulty in programming on the '2600).

It is not a retail version. You don't pay anything. It's totally free.

Two more sleeps!

Cheers

A

I guess my question is whether it is intended to ultimately be turned into a full game and released by First Star?

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