by NADAV GUR
40 crypts full of monsters & magic
Antic's first program from Israel, Dungeon Arcade is an epic-scale fantasy role-playing adventure. Not only that, it also offers elements of arcade action when you fight the monsters in the 40-room dungeon. This BASIC program works on Atari 8-bit computers with at least 32K disk or 24K cassette.
So you want fame and fortune, huh? Well, fame and fortune will cost you, and right here is where you start paying--it might just be with your life!
You're an adventurer who descends into a 40-room dungeon and you have to come out. . .somehow. In your explorations, you'll encounter obstacles -- from hideous monsters to deadly traps. And if you're good enough, you may emerge both famous and fortunate -- not to mention alive.
Each of the 40 rooms in the dungeon comes with traps, walls, treasures and a monster. In order to get past the door, you will have to fight your way past the monster, or somehow escape its clutches.
The top two lines of the screen display status information about you and the monster:
HP--Hit Points are the measure of your health. They decrease when you're hit by something--be it a monster, trap or wall--and when they fall to zero, you're dead.
CS--Creature Strength is the monster's hit points.
HS--Hit Strength is the damage you inflict on your opponent.
XP--eXperience Points (XP) are awarded when you kill a monster and are the measure of your fame.
Inventory consists of the items you find along the way.
STICK OR KEY
You can play Dungeon Arcade with the joystick or the keyboard. The basic movement commands are:
Joystick Keyboard Up [U] Down [M] Left [H] Right [K]
To exit a room, move to a doorway. If you walk into a wall or step on a trap, you'll get hurt. But if you bump into a monster, something strange might happen.
To fight a monster with your sword, press the joystick button or the [J] key. You must be to the left or right of a monster in order to hit it.
When you strike, your hit strength will be displayed under HS. An estimate of the blow's severity will also be displayed at the bottom of the screen. This bottom area often displays messages. It's up to you to figure out which ones are important and which are just red herrings.
To pick up an object you find, just move over it. But aside from arrows, which are always found along with bows, you can't have more than one item of each kind. Items such as potions and food are consumed immediately and do not go into your inventory. Some inventory items like shields or suits of armor are used automatically. However, weapons are generally used only at your command.
Magic Scrolls--Those useful scrolls contain a Freeze Spell. To wield this spell, press [N]. A jet of ice emerges from your adventurer's hands and hits the monster--if it is within range. The monster's current strength determines how long it will be paralyzed. The jet itself destroys everything in its path, which can also be useful.
Fireball--When you acquire a Fireball Spell, FB appears at the top right corner of the screen. Pressing [,] shoots it in the direction last traveled in. The fireball explodes either when it hits something or when it reaches the end of its range. Anything in the area of explosion will be damaged--including you.
Bow and Arrows--These are a package appearing on-screen as just a bow. Your inventory shows them as BOW, followed by the number of arrows left. Press the [I] key to shoot an arrow in the direction you last traveled.
When you kill a monster in face-to-face combat, you get some gold pieces--one of the measures of fortune in this adventure. You can also use gold pieces to buy things at various shops in the dungeon that will sell you whatever you need--at their price. To buy something, move to the appropriate counter. The item will appear behind you and the price will be deducted from your gold pieces. If you don't have the money, you might be able to steal the item--if you're cleverer than the shopkeeper.
To play Dungeon Arcade, type in Listing 1, DUNGEON.BAS. Check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. Be especially careful when you type the data in lines 2500-2750, because these are enciphered text lines to be displayed at the bottom of the screen-coded as not to spoil the surprise.
If you have trouble typing the special Characters In lines 30020-30040, don't type them in. Listing 2 will create them for you. Type in Listing 2, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy. When you RUN Listing 2, it creates these hard-to-type lines and stores them in a file called LINES.LST.
To merge the two programs, disk users LOAD "D:DUNGEON.BAS" and then ENTER "D:LINES.LST." Cassette users: CLOAD Listing 1, then insert the cassette used for Listing 2 and ENTER "C:".
Remember to SAVE the completed program before you RUN it.
When you RUN Dungeon Arcade, the title screen appears and you will be prompted to type your adventurer's name and press [RETURN]. The computer will greet you, pause for a bit, and then begin the game.
Dungeon Arcade uses Graphics Mode 0 with a custom character set. The animation is all done by simple character movement. There is a lot of text manipulation. Boolean algebra is used to optimize the program's speed and size.
Some PRINT statements may be unclear. These are mostly statements which restore information to the screen.
Israeli high school student Nadaw Gur has been programming on his Atari for three years. His professional-quality page design program, Antic Publisher is this issue's Super Disk Bonus.