This remake of the excellent Pitfall! is very accurate. Well, it is excellent too ! I was way better at Pitfall II, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to test it to the end.
Zeroone, you would be certainly the best programmer beside David Crane himself, to develop an unofficial Pitfall III : Beyond Lost Caverns, in the old 8 bits style, that players like me have been waiting for tens of years now !
I tried to do this remake on 2009 (http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/pacpitfall4k/19916/view.html). I had all the screens but I didn’t have enough room to put better sprites… so I improvised and add a Pacman player instead of Harry… I didn’t had enough time to improve it.
zeroone, it’s really amazing all your atari remakes under java4k. Great work!
yeah, I had thought I had seen this before somewhere :P.
this one is really difficult sir…
But as a 4k game with source code available it’s also really really cool and fun to play sir!
Yeah MeatFighter 4k games always supply source code. I have crack attack’s and simply can’t understand “how can it displays that with this code?!”
Very cool! Even has the scrolling “Activision” logo, brilliant!
You might want to use a url shortner on http://meatfighter.com/java4k2012/pitfall4k/map.html to stop the Java4K site from expanding too far across.
I just noticed that you had included a secret compass in your Pitfall! remake ( by pressing 8 ), so the player can be guided through the optimal pathway. Was it already implemented into the first release of your game, or did you add it more recently ? Anyway, this is really a great addition to your game.
Woo easter egg. I could make my life easier with that compass back there.
It was there from the beginning.
To collect all the treasures within the 20 minute time limit, you need to be running continuously, pausing only for opened pits and open crocodile mouths. Per the original game timing, you can jump off a vine, run to the next screen and catch the next vine without stopping. You’ll have to keep up that kind of pace the entire time. I found that if I paused every-now-and-then to check the map in that pdf file, I would run out of time. So, I added the compass to guide the way, a feature not in the original game.
I tried to make this reproduction as authentic as possible to the original game. Getting the timing of all the game elements to match the original was critical to ensure that it is possible to win. Though, I did add 2 enhancements: First, the pattern of the scorpion is slightly different. In the original game, the scorpion simply approaches the player from either direction until the distances between the 2 is zero and then it stops. Aside from being aesthetically displeasing, that pattern made it difficult to jump over scorpions since the scorpion would change direction when the player reached the apex of the jump. In this remake, the scorpion is always moving and it targets a spot beyond the player before changing direction. Second, the player can change direction midair. With those 2 features, it is easier to beat the game, but you’ll still have only seconds remaining on the clock when you win.
There is another hidden feature that I was considering adding. Most of the optimal pathway involves the player running left. Though, there is a small percentage of the time when you have to run right. If you run rightward onto a screen with 3 rolling logs, you need to jump almost at the instant that you enter the screen to avoid hitting a log and consequentially losing points. The new feature would display an icon if the screen to the immediate right contained 3 logs. That way, you would be prepared to jump. I have yet to beat the game with the maximal score.
If anyone is up to the challenge of collecting all the treasures, don’t worry about losing a life or 2. You don’t need perfect play to beat the game. In fact, when you lose a life, the next player is positioned on the left-side of the screen. Meaning, you effectively skipped an entire screen assuming you are running left. Good luck to anyone striving for this achievement. Post a screenshot if you make it to the ending.
Shame on me for not noticing this really cool feature of your game… I read far too quickly your instructions, as I thought I knew too well Pitfall!. Count on me to try to finish it.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to do much better than this score :
I think I needed maybe 10 more seconds to get the final treasure. And I would have to train for hours to have a chance to get a perfect score !
Anyway, your compass was incredibly helpful to go so far in this game.
You are here:
One screen to the left of the final treasure and the ending of the game! The gold brick is worth 4000 points, which would have brought your final winning score to 113865. That’s only 135 points away from a perfect game. Well played sir.
As a child, I was very good at Pitfall II: Lost Caverns on Atari 2600, so it certainly helped me with your remake. As well as your compass of course ! I would have never find the courage to go so far without it.
Now I wonder what is your own score, zeroone. I suppose it is a perfect one, with all three lives, so the real question is : how many seconds had you left in your best try ?
I have yet to get a perfect score. I matched the timing in my remake as closely as possible with the original Atari 2600 game. I played through my remake a few times and each time I had less than 30 seconds on the clock when I won. There are plenty of recordings of the game played in emulation on youtube that confirm this is normal. For instance, see the ending of a perfect game here (2x speed):
The key is to keep running left continuously, tapping on the jump button when necessary. The only time you should stop running is to wait for a pit to open or for the crocodile mouths to close. Ideally, jump on the crocodile heads to save a bit of time.
Concerning the secret compass arrow, someone asked me why it changes direction whenever he goes down a ladder. The answer is that the compass remains accurate only if you use it as a guide. If it doesn’t point down, don’t go down. Unfortunately, there was not enough room left to make it act like a GPS device. But, if you remain on course, it will leave you all the way to the final treasure.
This Pitfall! is very faithful to the original one, including for the crazy timing. And I confirm that your secret compass arrow is very accurate and useful.
zeerone, about your performances, I really imagined your best score was perfect, as you’re such a Pitfall! fan. Alas, I’m still far from getting the perfect score. Thanks for the tip about jumping on crocodile heads, but my gaming skill is not high enough to benefit from it !