Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Atari Emulator -> Frank Cohen's "The Scrolls of Abadon"

When you get certain game programmers like Frank Cohen, you will often know what you're in for.  As with "Ollie's Follies" and "Ghost Chaser," "The Scrolls of Abadon" has a musical theme that has the same low D and G notes pounding through it, but "Abadon"'s theme is surprisingly upbeat and seems to be of a faster tempo than the other two.
As for the game itself, well... those familiar with the Atari and its limitations as a game machine will be wowed by the usage of perspective.  Even diagonal scrolling would push the 6502 and 32K of RAM to its limits.  Alas, on my desktop, the Atari emulator adds some extra bits when the player moves down.  You know, player missile glitches and what not.  See, the old Atari 8-bits had these player missile things: vertical stripes that were eight pixels wide and 256 pixels tall, and if you tried to move a small character within said vertical stripe, you always had to make sure to erase any trailing bits that might get left behind, especially if your game had deadly walls that the player missile couldn't touch or walk through.
In certain levels of "The Scrolls of Abadon," the player will come across various "scrolls" that give valuable game tips, under the guise of being the diary entries of a previous player of the game, clearly driven insane by the mendacity... mundane-ness of it all.  But I did figure out that the filing cabinet that drops into the maze is a beneficial thing, if only worth a couple of points.  Also, I will admit that it's unusual in a maze game that a player will dictate the direction he can go in the maze as the game progresses.  Whereas Pac-Man is a free spirit and can travel at will, the avatar in "Abadon" leaves a trail of arrows every time he or she eats a dot... I mean, picks up an amaurote... amulet?  Amulates, they're called.  You have to type "WALK" to be able to walk in the opposite direction of the arrows you leave behind.  Also, you type "ICE" to freeze the very slow enemies that you can't help running into anyway.  And of course, they're still "deadly to the touch." ...okay, that's about all of that I can take.