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Review of Dark Chambers for 7800

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Hope everyone is doing well!

 

I've had this game for a while now, and it really is a decent title, but can anyone shed some light on why they didn't just port Gauntlet? My other question is why this version of Dandy didn't have as many onscreen baddies. The 7800 could have easily matched the other 8 bit versions (it did Robotron after all.)

 

 

 

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Taken from the Atari 7800 ProSystem Gamers group via Facebook, thanks to Jeremy Holloway, for the following:

 

"Just to recap on the history of Dark Chambers.

Originally, there was “DANDY” on the Atari 8-bit computers. John Palevi(t)ch (sic) was at MIT when he wrote it and landed a job with Atari Inc.
Ed Logg at Atari Coin - the original/“real” Atari and the arcade division of Atari Inc - later the separate Atari Games [Corp], wanted to create an arcade game similar to it. He created GAUNTLET.
Palevitch sued and was given an arcade cabinet of either Gauntlet I or II and his name was added to the credits. He licensed the IP to his game to Atari Corp who then made it into a clone of Gauntlet and christened it “Dark Chambers”.
This was when Atari Corp and Atari Games Corp were feuding and none of Atari Games’ post July 1984 arcade titles were made available to Atari Corp to license for the 2600, 5200, or 7800."
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The box art is the best part of Dark Chambers. Deeply disappointing game for me. It's not unplayable, it's just totally lacking any kind of fun factor. Different strokes and all that...

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Taken from the Atari 7800 ProSystem Gamers group via Facebook, thanks to Jeremy Holloway, for the following:

 

"Just to recap on the history of Dark Chambers.

Originally, there was “DANDY” on the Atari 8-bit computers. John Palevi(t)ch (sic) was at MIT when he wrote it and landed a job with Atari Inc.
Ed Logg at Atari Coin - the original/“real” Atari and the arcade division of Atari Inc - later the separate Atari Games [Corp], wanted to create an arcade game similar to it. He created GAUNTLET.
Palevitch sued and was given an arcade cabinet of either Gauntlet I or II and his name was added to the credits. He licensed the IP to his game to Atari Corp who then made it into a clone of Gauntlet and christened it “Dark Chambers”.
This was when Atari Corp and Atari Games Corp were feuding and none of Atari Games’ post July 1984 arcade titles were made available to Atari Corp to license for the 2600, 5200, or 7800."

 

 

So I guess they hugged it out at some point before the Lynx game? I have it for Lynx, but it isn't a pure Gauntlet is it? Thanks for the background. I hope he gets residuals for Gauntlet titles. Actually, I hope we get more Gauntlet titles for him to get residuals. :)

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So I guess they hugged it out at some point before the Lynx game? I have it for Lynx, but it isn't a pure Gauntlet is it? Thanks for the background. I hope he gets residuals for Gauntlet titles. Actually, I hope we get more Gauntlet titles for him to get residuals. :)

 

Per IGN circa 1999:

 

"Gauntlet: The Third Encounter is not a Lynx adaptation of any of the Gauntlet arcade games. Instead, this was originally a similar game developed by Epyx called Time Quests and Treasure Chests. When Atari bought the rights to the Lynx, they gave it a quick name change in hopes that the Gauntlet title would enhance its market appeal."

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So does this have an end? I remember turning it off because it seemed like there was no end or kept repeating itself.

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I believe the end is only after you beat the game at the last difficulty level.

I think I started it at novice and reached X or W at the last difficulty level (advanced/expert I think it is called but maybe there's more) before losing my last life but as the review says boredom is an enemy of the game and I never picked it up again to try and finish it (or at least try to get past level Z at the highest difficulty level)

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I loved Dark Chambers for the 2600, but I've also got a sealed copy for the 7800 and I guess I just haven't gotten around to breaking the seal yet.

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So does this have an end? I remember turning it off because it seemed like there was no end or kept repeating itself.

I'm uploading a reaction video of my kids watching me beat the game... spoilers... highlight to see it...

 

It does the same nothing as regular, you just waste more of your life to see nothing. :)

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I won't have you go a third time because my memory is what it is.

But if I remember correctly Beginner/Standard/Advanced are the default levels accessible in the menu, once you finish Advanced there's an Expert mode and that's the one I got stuck towards the end to never face again .... now don't go thru it once more 'cause the tedium of it all is aggravating and may as well loop you back in to A.

 

Example here:

http://www.atari7800.org/darkchambersmap/darkchambersmapz.png

initial link at http://www.atari7800.org/darkchambersmap.htm

 

Read the text at the bottom of the pic, there's a new loop in Expert mode after Advanced is complete that I couldn't finish and I wouldn't impose onto you to try just to get disappointed once more or worse not manage to finish at 2 or 3 rooms from Z (happened to me).

I seem to remember that once you complete Advanced the Expert mode is even selectable on the initial screen (until power cycle that is).... once more unless you really are a glutton for punishment let it rest, my memory could be way off.

 

I actually enjoyed it quite some before noticing how boring it quickly becomes, such a pity. Not sure what they could have done to make it more fun though, I believe a little less raw monster count and some more strategy/level design could have been a step in the right direction.

 

EDIT: the whole mapping effort was documented here http://atariage.com/forums/topic/152938-dark-chambers-maps/

 

EDIT2: also if you play on a CRT via composite you'd see there's some use of artifacting/analog-blurring in the coloring of the halls while over SVideo it looks like weird dotted patterns on black

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One thing I had thought of doing was to hack to graphics of 7800 Dark Chambers to make it look like Dandy.

Someone hacked the 2600 Dark Chambers to make it look and play like Gauntlet.

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The Atari 8-bit version is almost as good as the 7800 game.

 

It's a good port. The flickering is annoying though. But the A8 is not going to rival the 7800 in this department.

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The Atari 8-bit version is almost as good as the 7800 game.

 

It's a good port. The flickering is annoying though. But the A8 is not going to rival the 7800 in this department.

 

Druid on the 8-bits is better than Dark Chambers -- and better than Gauntlet, for that matter.

 

The release version is PAL only, but there's an NTSC hack here (Post #8 in the thread), which gets a nice speedup.

 

Here are some of the keys needed to play it:

 

Atari Keys Commands
-------------------
P - Powers: water, fire, electricity (Cycles)
1 - Key
2 - Invisibility
3 - Golem
4 - Chaos
A - Golem: Follow, Send, Wait (Cycles)
And here are the C64 Instructions (for the generalities of the game).
Edited by MrFish

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"Boring"... "Museum Piece"...

 

Exactly, and feels the same on the 8-bit computers... it's not much fun for more than a few levels...

 

I played through it as well, thinking something was going to happen. It never did...

Edited by MrFish

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GCC (Gorf Cadet Company): Perhaps you should try my version. I call it Marilyn Chambers. You want an ending? There is an ending at each crossing. All men dream of Marilyn only to end in a nightmare.

 

THIS IS THE TITLESCREEN THUS FAR. IT'S NOT COMPLETED WITH HER PHOTO YET.

post-65655-0-66504400-1542090645_thumb.jpg

 

THIS IS THE GREEN DOOR ENTRANCE. 'M' IS FOR MARILYN.

post-65655-0-25539500-1542090749_thumb.jpg

 

GORFCADET you do a really great job on these videos. You should keep this as your day job! /BBA

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That is a cool looking game. Thanks for sharing!

 

Druid is a kind of hidden gem on the system.

 

Into the Eagle's Nest is another good Gauntlet type game on the system.

 

Gauntlet itself is on the system too, of course; but it's a rather lackluster port. But, hey... at least.

 

And then there's the grand daddy, Dandy. A little dated by comparison; but, respect for the roots. It has it's charm.

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Druid is a kind of hidden gem on the system.

 

Into the Eagle's Nest is another good Gauntlet type game on the system.

 

Gauntlet itself is on the system too, of course; but it's a rather lackluster port. But, hey... at least.

 

And then there's the grand daddy, Dandy. A little dated by comparison; but, respect for the roots. It has it's charm.

 

 

I honestly could not get into Into The Eagle's Nest. I've had it for a few years and found it kind of dull myself. Just my opinion. I used to have Gauntlet when I had my disk based XE system and agree ... not the best port. Actually surprised the A8 got a port of it, given where it was in its commercial life at that point. By 1986, most software publishers had walked away from the platform.

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I honestly could not get into Into The Eagle's Nest. I've had it for a few years and found it kind of dull myself. Just my opinion.

 

I find it good, but not great. It's better than Gauntlet, on the system, with some faster action; but there's nothing revolutionary going on here.

I find all of the Gaunlet-type games somewhat dull/monotonous, except Druid, which has enough other things going on to keep the game

interesting.

 

 

I used to have Gauntlet when I had my disk based XE system and agree ... not the best port. Actually surprised the A8 got a port of it, given where it was in its commercial life at that point. By 1986, most software publishers had walked away from the platform.

 

Gauntlet plays OK on NTSC (feels painfully slow on PAL). If they'd done a little better on the graphics (used character mode for extra color and

better speed, and taken some some more time on the title screen and player selection screen), it would be worth playing. I also think the home

versions fell down by not adding speech/samples. I think that was one of the things that made the arcade game interesting.

Edited by MrFish
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