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So I was reading an issue of Electronic Games and a reviewer was going on about how much he loved the port of the 1981 arcade game Space Dungeon on the Atari 5200. He only wished he could tie two controllers together so that he could play it better. And he couldn't understand why the arcade game wasn't more successful than it was.

 

In my mind, the answer is that the arcade game is too damn tough.

 

So here's what I'd recommend if you want to get into this game:

 

Throw MAME for XBOX onto a modded original XBOX. The game is already mapped as:

 

Left analog stick = move

Right analog stick = fire

 

Then map the coin-op settings to the d-pad and set the arcade machine Location Programming to:

Ships per game = 6

Bonus Increment (000) to 1

 

I originally tried setting ships per game higher, but it seems to ignore anything past 6. So I instead opted to set it as a bonus ship for every 1000 points.

 

The game's laid out on a 6x6 grid. It's a bit like playing Robotron on a huge map. There's continuity, so monsters will follow you from room to room. There's also a timer, so the longer you wait around, the more waves of monsters will appear. Similar to Gauntlet, there's a thief on level 2. So if you can't find any treasure, he's the reason why. Once you nab him, he'll drop all the treasure. You'll drop all your treasure in the room you were killed in. The flashing square on the map marks the last room that you died in. The light yellow square is the room you're currently in.

 

On each level, you collect treasure (crosses and asterisks). Bring those to the room marked in dark yellow and drop them off in the box that reads, "Collect Bonus". That'll take you to level 2. Similar to Xenophobe, you don't have to collect all of the treasure to qualify for moving on to the next level of the dungeon.

 

Enjoy!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Dungeon

 

https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9648

 

https://www.giantbomb.com/space-dungeon/3030-19413/

Edited by Nebulon
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Posted (edited)

If I'm not mistaken, I think there was a mount for the 5200 that you could put the two controllers in to use them with this game. I'm a black widow fan myself.

Edited by CMR
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On each level, you collect treasure (crosses and asterisks). Bring those to the room marked in dark yellow and drop them off in the box that reads, "Collect Bonus". That'll take you to level 2. Similar to Xenophobe, you don't have to collect all of the treasure to qualify for moving on to the next level of the dungeon.

 

 

 

You don't.. but I always felt a failure in the early levels if I didn't clear every room and every treasure before moving on. That is until the upper levels 6+ then I make out with whatever I can get! :lol:

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I spent a few hours playing that game several years ago when it came up in the MAME HSC. The concept is great and I thought it was a lot of fun at first. But it didn't take long before I just had to stop playing it because it was so damn frustrating, to the point where I was wanting to punch my cabinet. A very common way to die was having an enemy appear right on top of you when you move from one room to another and boom, all of the work you've done collecting stuff is lost in the blink of an eye. I am generally willing to tolerate a great deal of brutal difficulty in classic arcade games, but stuff like this goes beyond the realm of "challenging" to "cheap" and cheap is just not fun. I tried the game again for a few minutes semi-recently and quickly arrived at the same frustration level so I moved on.

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I spent a few hours playing that game several years ago when it came up in the MAME HSC. The concept is great and I thought it was a lot of fun at first. But it didn't take long before I just had to stop playing it because it was so damn frustrating, to the point where I was wanting to punch my cabinet. A very common way to die was having an enemy appear right on top of you when you move from one room to another and boom, all of the work you've done collecting stuff is lost in the blink of an eye. I am generally willing to tolerate a great deal of brutal difficulty in classic arcade games, but stuff like this goes beyond the realm of "challenging" to "cheap" and cheap is just not fun. I tried the game again for a few minutes semi-recently and quickly arrived at the same frustration level so I moved on.

 

It's funny that you mention that. I got hit a couple times last night by things that just materialized right on top of my ship. Like, how is that possibly fair?! I've recently started to dodge in and out of the same doorway to force it to reset the enemy positions. I shoot toward the room that I'm moving into and just go back and forth, build up score, and rack up a ton of extra lives. Then I zip around, pick up treasure, and shoot out those damn wall-laser-sniper things as soon as I enter rooms with them. What kills me is that damn thief doesn't die when you shoot him. In fact, he just looks stunned for a second and then picks up more treasure and scurries off to steal more stuff somewhere else. At least in Gauntlet the thief stays dead. ;-)

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It's funny that you mention that. I got hit a couple times last night by things that just materialized right on top of my ship. Like, how is that possibly fair?! I've recently started to dodge in and out of the same doorway to force it to reset the enemy positions. I shoot toward the room that I'm moving into and just go back and forth, build up score, and rack up a ton of extra lives. Then I zip around, pick up treasure, and shoot out those damn wall-laser-sniper things as soon as I enter rooms with them. What kills me is that damn thief doesn't die when you shoot him. In fact, he just looks stunned for a second and then picks up more treasure and scurries off to steal more stuff somewhere else. At least in Gauntlet the thief stays dead. ;-)

Here is a tip from a top SD player:

 

This is one of my all time favorite games. On the off chance some of you haven't tried this: do NOT worry about the treasures -- the goal (and only goal on later stages) is to visit each room at least once. You get a big bonus for this -- 10K on the first level, 20K on the second, etc. Since you get a free guy every 10K this means lots of extra guys on later stages. I have flipped the score by doing this and makes for a very fun game. The game is like Defender in that everything you hit is an extra man from 990,000 until a million, where the score flips to zero.

 

Sometimes if you die multiple times on a level some of the doors will disappear and actually give you no way out -- the game is basically over at that point unless you sit around and shot the guys that appear out of nowhere. Otherwise, there is not much you can do. This is rare though.

 

"Stay Alive on Level 5" :-)

 

 

I have the same gripes as others mentioned: Difficulty and respawning of enemies

 

I did wonder if Taito did a rom revision to tone down the difficulty, did come across one - didn't notice a difference. It really should've incorporated a smart bomb option when enemies get to hectic - nuke everything on screen.

 

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I rubber-banded the controllers together & it worked pretty good!

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