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Written By Brian Lewis


Cover Art
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Loading Screen
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Opening Screen
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Game Screenshot

Introduction

Brian Lewis shows you the ropes in a humdinger of a game

You play the part of the famous Quasimodo whose only true love Esmeralda has been imprisoned by evil French soldiers. You must rush to save her by first clearing 14 screens to reach her. To clear a screen you just first reach the far right-hand edge of the screen then you must jump up to reach the bell rope.

Lose One Of Seven Lives

If you are hit by an arrow, a spear or you fall down a hole or pit you will lose one of your seven lives and start once more at the left-hand side of the screen. There is also a super bonus where if you gain four bells by clearing four screens without losing a life you will be given a 100 points bonus and if you manage to reach Esmeralda then you will be given 400 points and are sent back to the start of the course but this time the game will be faster.

My main problem was the small amount of memory I had to work with which made it hard to cram in the fifteen screens and forced me to find a way to condense the screens. So I based all the screens on a brick wall and then devised a system where each time a screen was displayed a brick wall was drawn. Then any extras - like turrets and pits - were cut out of the wall.

These extras are also stored in a condensed fashion which uses a form of binary, but instead of representing numbers, the 0s and 1s represent arrows, soldiers, turrets, etc, and these binary numbers are stored in line 40 of listing 2. The number 0000 represents a bell screen as this screen was a very late addition to the program and so the binary number was too small to cover all the variables.

Written In Mode 5

The program is written in Mode 5 as this provides a reasonable amount of memory a good resolution in four colours which is all that is needed to write an addictive arcade game. The game is written in machine code but other functions which do not require speed are written in Basic. All the screens are condensed thus making the listing quite short and this should aid you when you are typing it in. However, this type of screen storage also has its disadvantages, a scrolling routine would be impossible as there would be nothing to scroll onto but a plain brick wall whatever the sheet was.

Controlling Quasimodo

If you are looking for something to aim at in the way of scores then my personal best is 4,500. If you feel the need to design your own screens then you could change the "binary" numbers in the data statement at line 40 or listing 2 but remember that some of the combinations available offer no sort of challenge whatsoever - i.e. a flat brick wall with an arrow flying overhead - and there are few combinations I have not included in the 15 screens within the game. To control Quasimodo use the keys Z - Left, X - Right, SHIFT - Jump, to take a run and jump press both a directional key and the jump key together.

As the game was written for the electron, BBC owners will find it too fast. To slow it down, change the values of SP(1) and SP(2) in line 20, SP(1)=180 should slow the game down sufficiently.