Sunday, August 7, 2016

Atari Emulator -> TwoMaze (Muscha disk 49)

You know, we've all got our little dreams in life.  Better home life, more money, better job, what have you.  But judging from the fever dream that is "TwoMaze", I think Frank Ostrowski's dream was something like this: I, Frank Ostrowski, will program a Pac-Man clone for the Atari 800, but instead of the same old maze, I'm going to generate a random maze with lots of dead ends.  And instead of Pac-Man's ghosts, I will have three ugly spiders, and a diamond that can breathe.  Also, there will be TWO Pac-Mans on the screen at the same time... but the typical user will be using a PC emulator to play, so this second Pac-Man will typically lie there, dormant, waiting for a keypress.  That is my dream.  That is the dream that I am having, and have had since I was but a wee tot.

But wait! someone cries.  That's SIX player-missiles you're talking about!  You'll have to make them glitter!

You're right.  Make that TWO ugly-ass spiders and a diamond that can breathe.  And the power pills, instead of being in each of the corners, they will all be in the lower half of the screen in an upside-down T formation.  The two Pac-Mans will occupy the upper left and right hand corners, respectively, like giant power pills that can move and eat other pills.

But will there be a box that the ghosts live in, and come out of when the game starts?

No, no.  No time for fancy-schmancy stuff like that.  Strictly no frills.  Also, I don't have time to program a decent A.I., so the ghosts will just move around randomly.  No rhyme or reason to it, just strictly random.  Mostly going back and forth, so you can't follow them too closely, lest they turn around and touch you.  Also, if they even touch you slightly, you instantly die and reappear in your corner.  No time for the whole disappearing act of quote unquote "regular" Pac-Man.  Harumph!  So much wasted time.

Will there be a fruit for each level, like cherries and peaches?

...what?  Oh, Lord no.  Nothing like that.  No, the action just gets faster and faster.  That's all the player really wants, really. 

But won't the action eventually be TOO fast, like the "Expert" level of Mataga's Shamus 1?

Oh, Lord no!  Atari computers aren't that fast.  This isn't an early MS-Dos text game (with no timer whatsoever) we're talking about, after all!

Then, go, the one they call Frank Ostrowski!  Go and make ALL our dreams come true!

And scene.  My One Act Play, ladies and gentlemen.  Revel in its glory!  Shower me with your applesauce... I mean, applause.

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