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Written By Richard Arundale


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Opening Screen
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Game Screenshot

Caterpillar

Richard Arundale, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Caterpillar is based on the popular arcade game Centipede. The caterpillar moves horizontally but drops down a line and changes direction whenever it reaches the edge of the screen or hits a mushroom. Your task is to kill off the caterpillar before it reaches the bottom of the screen and kills you.

The mushrooms can be destroyed by shooting them three times. Their colour changes according to the number of hits sustained - no hits - red, one hit - green, two hits - blue. However, spiders often spin down from their webs above the mushroom patch to drop more mushrooms. The spiders can be shot for bonus points, but do not get in their way - they are lethal.

A snail also joins in the fun, poisoning any mushrooms in its way. Both the snail and the poisoned mushrooms can be shot for bonus points, but if the caterpillar comes into contact with a poisoned mushroom it will die.

If you manage to shoot all the segments of the caterpillar then you move on to the next mushroom patch, which contains more mushrooms and all the usual creepy-crawlies and, of course, another caterpillar. You have three bugs with which to fight off the caterpillars.

When asked if you want instructions, type Y or N. However, the instructions are more of an introduction to the inhabitants of the mushroom patch than an explanation of the game.

The program allows the use of both keyboard and joysticks. Although you are not asked if you want to use joysticks, a check is made, so you can use either, and you can in fact change in the middle of a game. For those without joysticks, the Adval commands in PROCmove and PROCfire can be omitted. A word of warning for those with joysticks: make sure that the lever is centred when using the keyboard, otherwise the program will be responding to the joystick as well as the keyboard. The keyboard controls are Z to go left, X to go right, and Shift to fire.

The program itself is well-structured using procedures and the minimum number of Go to statements. The following is a list of procedures used and their main purpose.

PROCmove : moves the bug.
PROCfire : fires arrows and checks if they hit anything.
PROCcaterpllar : moves caterpillar.
PROCdown : moves caterpillar down a line.
PROCpest : checks what pest needs moving - snail or spider.
PROCsnail : moves snail and poisons any mushrooms It passes over.
PROCspider : moves spider and drops mushrooms.
PROCscreen : sets up screen display.
PROCclear : resets variables after clearing a screen.
PROCdead : checks if last score is a highscore, displays high-score table.
PROCinstructions : displays characters, instructions, and controls.
PROCinit : sets up variables and defines envelopes.
PROCchars : sets up user-defined characters