not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TI-99/4A, Tunnels of Doom

The Atari 2600, the Apple II, and Kevin Kenney’s Tunnels of Doom on the TI-99/4A first got me interested in computers in grade school.  Most TI games were coin-op type games that you’d play for maybe half an hour, but Tunnels of Doom was hugely more interesting, and I’ve been hoping to revisit it and beat it since the 80’s.  Well, now the deed is done.

Here’s the TI-99/4A.  You can load programs and save games using a tape recorder.

This is the iconic TI welcome screen.

Here’s the Tunnels of Doom splash screen.  The game's endearing theme music plays while the splash screen is up.

To win, your party of four characters has to descend ten dungeon levels, rescue the king, and find the Rainbow Orb.  You spend most of the game navigating with the automap and 3D tunnel view, and fighting monsters in each room.  It took me about twenty hours to reach the tenth level.

You have 100 time steps to find the king.  Here I’m rescuing the king from the vault where he’s trapped.

You have a little more time, 120 time steps, to find the Rainbow Orb.  Here, I’m fighting arch-devils for it.

You win when you return the king and the orb to the surface.

Here are my party's final character reports.  Beowulf reached level 20!  They found some good items listed there as treasure in the dungeon: Beowulf and Conan’s Dancing Shields, Conan’s Hero Mail, Kasskar’s Bow of Strength, and Tim’s Cloak of Hiding.

I love Matt Barton’s Matt Chat retro gaming videos, and Matt Chat 57 describes Tunnels of Doom in a little more detail.