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Hawkquest - NTSC 8mbit flashcart version

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For those who haven't played Hawkquest before, because it was PAL only - here's a NTSC version that runs off a 8mbit flashcart - tested on a Atarimax flashcart. Paul Lay has kindly worked on this and it seems fitting to release this now.

Originally it was a 2 disk - 4 disk sides = 360k of data game. Flipping disks was a chore - now all that is eliminated including the disk drive.



It is now about 15 years ago in mid-September that Andrew Bradfield has passed away - due to the sudden onset of a terminal illness. He was only 35 years old, at that time - and lived about 2 years longer than expected due to a trial of new drug. For some, it did provide a cure - but in his case it extended his life a little bit longer.


Hawkquest was developed from 1986 to 1989 - about 3 years in development. Laser Hawk - Andrew's first proper game was worked on in 1985, and as soon as that was completed work started on Hawkquest.

It was conceived as being a 2 game concept from it's very start.


It is one very tough game. This is a 1990 game in which nothing has been changed within it - ie. it plays the same as the version released in 1990. In NTSC you do get slower missiles in the main game - which is helpful.


For the main game - there is a cheat enabled:

If you type cheat (anytime other than the loading screen) you will no longer lose a helicopter when hit.

If you then want to stop cheating you can type truth.


For those who want a proper trained version - I will recommend someone could add the following:

In the main game - that instead of the 1 Helicopter hidden target pickup - that this be changed to 3?


(I'm not sure if more than 9 can work in this game - as Andrew may have made this not possible? As he was

concerned about the game being hacked).

And that the time of the invincibility pickup could be extended to 2x or 3x the current time limit?

As this should enable you to go in search of and bomb various hidden targets.


Also the secondary game could be hacked such that - instead of the 2000 point bonus pickup - that this be changed to being 5 lives picked up?



There are 2 versions here.

One with secondary game saves from Level 1 and the other with saves from Level 2.

The secondary game levels are entirely different in Level 1 and 2.


In Altirra you can save the cart at any time with
File – Save Firmware – Save Cartridge.


You can play this with the original hardware (using a 8mbit flashcart) or via emulation with Altirra.


hq (5).zip


Instructions can be found here...



In brief - the secondary game takes you on a scavenger hunt, in which only 3 items are essential - the blaster upgrade, key and explosive. Explosive need to be used on the vault door where the crystal segment is kept, once you've picked up the crystal segment - you need to go to where the teleport departure point is - which has just appeared. It is a Gauntlet like game with a bit of Shamus thrown in. The keyboard is used to turn the Trapfinder on/off, plant the explosive, etc.

The main game is all about reaching the end with as many helicopters as possible and bombing the entry point target for the secondary game. You can bomb targets in the landscape by going up or down, with the fire button pressed at the same time.


A guide to some hidden targets is here:



You need to resize the browser window such that the screens line up stacked above each other.




Edited by kiwilove
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Much appreciated Harvey! You're such an important pillar of the community!


A shame that we stateside folk never were able to experience your games from back in the day. And a shame that your partner on the programming side died so early in life.

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I'm curious how difficult was it to convert to NTSC, and if anything had to be cut out/reduced due to less time for VBI and DLIs. Any chance that Lazer Hawk will be converted, as it doesn't run optimally (or at all) in NTSC, correct?


I enjoyed reading the article you wrote on Lazer Hawk/HawkQuest in remembrance of Andrew: http://www.ataritimes.com/index.php?ArticleIDX=183.

Edited by pedalpowered

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Thanks for the comments.


It has to be said that Laser Hawk was really nothing special at all - as it was Andrew's first proper game project. Only after it was completed - that it was tested on a NTSC Atari 800 - and noted that there was a minor glitch present, whereas Hawkquest was a no-go --- from what I can recall...

I haven't asked for any work to be done on Laser Hawk - so that it can run flawlessly in NTSC - perhaps the only thing noteworthy about this game, is that it has proper end-of-game sequence built into it - an example for others to follow?


I did get around to putting up a video of Andrew's 3 previous efforts - of game routines as he was learning to program the Atari 800 hardware - which illustrates his progress in doing this. These are just mini-games - like 1K type games are, and are not playable - though you can try to play them. I think these can show how one can progress in their programming expertise? and offer encouragement to carry on doing so? That it's simply the case of putting in the work, to get the results out.



Back in the day - we tried doing something special with Hawkquest - whether it stands up today as being that still - will be up to those who are willing to give it a try and are willing to persevere with the game. It does have it's faults but I also think it has a few surprises hidden in it.



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