Saturday, June 18, 2011

Atari Emulator ---> Ghost Encounters

I didn't save a picture of it. Shame on me. Well, I was mildly freaking out last night. When it says 800 OS-B, it MEANS 800-OS B! All t's dotted, all i's crossed... all hyphens in the right place. Ah, another blast from the past. I dare say the action in Ghost Encounters is more ferocious than the so-called "Action Quest"! At least... no, not just that one! There's one where you have to keep shooting at walls, making them bounce away from you. I always like to overstudy stuff, but there's things here worthy of overstudy, especially for the sit-com writer. You gotta exploit every last un-thought of opportunity these days on TV! So even though the "Ghost Encounters / Action Quest" duet is an ol' dorky thing in Graphics 7, it's still mentally stimulating enough to go back to... at least for me. I've probably got a simple mind.

(9/21/14) - Let the overanalysis begin!

Level 1 - ...clearly, takes the longest time to draw.  Damn locks.
Tight Squeeze - Your first shapeshifting challenge to get through the special ghost-proof walls.  On the Atari emulator, for me anyway, it's the '=' key for vertical, and the '*' key on the 10-Key pad for horizontical.  Piece o'cake.  If I were a pianist, I could reach both of those keys with one hand a little better.
Jumpies - Good name!  All these rooms have a certain simplicity to them, and this one certainly is, save for the behaviour of the two baddies involved.  One comes after you, one makes sure you have to get through it to get to the prize.
Pirates Treasure - Alas, you have to turn yourself into a shovel to get to the door... but isn't it so worth it?
Pirates Treasure -> Blocked.  Once you dig your way to the door (being careful not to erase said door in the process) it's time for a little randomness to make things more exciting.  All you have to do is get to the right side of the room without getting stopped by one of the randomly appearing walls, then get back over to the left side of the room again, avoiding the same problem.  Boy!  I never realized being a ghost was so damn hard!!!
Bombs Away - Can you make it through the room without getting hit by falling minus signs of two different thicknesses?  Well, CAN you?

Level 2 - easier to draw
Wrong Way - ...wait, it just came back to me.  Fortunately, the bad guys don't come at you as ferociously as this one does... save for the walls in "The Other Way", of course.  This seems to be the only level where the side of the door you pick matters.  Use the name of the room to figure it out...
Determined Advance - Every game programmer for Atari had to cope with the fact that player/missiles were stripes of eight pixels wide, and 256 pixels tall.  What better way to go through that phase than with a game?  Laser Gates sorta did it as well.  Alas, our gunslinging ghost caught between worlds can't do as much damage as the ship in Laser Gates.  Also, some of these rooms have doors that lead to the other four rooms.  Makes it easier; the programmers decided to go with that to make the gameplay a little less tedious.
Not Much Here - Oh, but isn't there?  A bad guy that looks like a turnip; plus, you gotta figure out which tool to use.  I'll give you a hint: 'T' for torch.
Not Much Here -> A Gift... no, you gotta figure this one out for yourself.  It's just that good.
An Opening - More 'Blocked'-style randomness, but with bad guys!  Reminds me of William Mataga's Shamus.

Level 3
It Won't Always Pop - ...that's what she said!  Drumroll... seriously, though, I think they're referring to the randomness of the prize's position.  It won't always be where you'd like it to be to shoot at it, and it won't always be readily available to be grabbed, especially if you shoot down at it, der.  I guess that's part of the fun or something.
Caged In - A lesson in mutualism or symbiosis.  But really, aren't all relationships this way?  He needs to be released from behind a wall, she needs a big strong Pac-Man to chew through a box so that the gift is exposed.  But who can say what the gender roles are anymore in this crazy world on the verge of losing most of its great beachfront property?
Beat This One - A lesson in passwords, or maybe it's a metaphor for safecracking.  It's kind of a pain in the ass either way, as the unlocking mechanism clearly doesn't provide enough clues.  Oh, and you have to turn yourself into another tool.  I'll give you a hint: it's not the torch.
Beat This One -> Congratulations.  Meh.
Always One Left - This one fiddles with the bad guy dynamics.  Normally, you shoot the bad guy, and the bad guy freezes, changes to a slightly darker shade of its original color, then vanishes after about a second or so.  Welp, the third part is on hold here, spoiler alert, and it just couldn't come at a worse time.

Level 4
Take a Dive - Similar to Caged In, except it's a one-shot type of deal.
Back to Basics - Indeed.  But it's a lot like Wrong Way in certain parts, as the game player gets to exploit the bad guy's weakness for following your movements too closely.
Play the Odds - Ghost Encounters's tribute to Pachinko, or Plinko on The Price is Right.
Well Guarded - Man, it took me forever to figure this one out.
Well Guarded -> Blockers - The only instance of one room depending on what goes on in another room.  I'll leave it at that.

Level 5
The Right Order - More literal than Beat This One, anyhow.
The Right Order -> Smash - Ah, Frogger.  How Seinfeld re-immortalized you
The Beam - Time to use the magnet!  Diabolical
The Other Way - For the lazy like me, this one might kill you right away.  But eventually you'll learn how to shoot left and right at the proper moments.
Obstacles - And finally... the game's last secret.  This requires a good understanding of ghost physics as decreed by the rules in Ghost Encounters.  Dare I spoil it for you?  Okay, one hint: it has to do with the purple doors...........

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