In "Goblin" (for the unexpanded VIC, 64, Atari, TI, and Apple) custom characters are used to create a simple yet entertaining game. The object is to capture the scowling creatures with your goblin while avoiding the many block-shaped obstacles that lie in your path.
After obstacles and sad faces have been positioned, "Goblin" begins when the main character appears at the bottom of the screen. As the game progresses, the goblin moves continually upward and the player controls only its horizontal movement. The "O" and "P" keys, in conjunction with the GET command in line 260, enable the player to move the goblin left and right, respectively. Children especially like the cumulative effect of the GET statement; they make rapid key punches and then wait for the delayed effects.
As each sad face is captured by the goblin, the score is updated and printed at the upper left. If the goblin successfully clears the screen of all the faces, an entirely new playfield will be provided. A game lasts as long as you wish.
A single round ends when the goblin crashes into an obstacle. At this point, the remaining sad faces smile, and you are asked if you wish to play again. If you don't, it is probably best to respond by typing "N" so that full memory is restored to the VIC.
On the other hand, if you play again, your previous highest score will be posted as the new game begins. The incentive to exceed a record score makes any game more fun.
Chasing goblins on the VIC-20 version of Goblin.
64, ATARI, TI-99/4A And Apple Version Notes
The 64, Atari, TI-99/4A, and Apple versions of Goblin are almost identical to the VIC version. Minor differences do exist, however, in the Atari and Apple versions.
The Atari version uses the " + " and "*" keys to control left and right movement of the goblin. The Apple uses the left and right arrow keys.
The Apple version requires that you have a disk drive with the DOS Tool Kit disk in the drive when the program is run. This version defines certain characters using the program "Animatrix" from this disk. As Goblin is run, these custom characters are placed in memory as shapes and are later drawn on the high-resolution graphics screen. When the game begins, they are simultaneously POKEd into the areas of memory associated with the text and the high-resolution graphics screens. So, although you see these redefined characters on the high-resolution page, collision detection is actually carried out by PEEKing text screen memory.
Goblin on the Commodore 64.
Atari version of Goblin
Goblin, TI-99/4A version.
The Apple version of Goblin.