Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Pitfall II: Lost Caverns", 1984.

See what I was talking about there?

LOST.

ENDLESS CAVERNS. ATTACKING BEASTS. FIND THE DIAMOND, THE GOLD. MAYBE

Get the number one software entertainment title of the year for your Commodore 64, Atari, Apple II and IBM PCjr computer systems. Also available for major game systems.
Designed by David Crane.

WE'LL OPEN DOORS FOR YOU.

This game sees Pitfall Harry searching for the Raj diamond in the Andes, which suggests to me that his grasp on geography is perhaps a tad suspect. The layout of this ad is, as I noted, essentially the same as the previous ad, but (as the vice cop said when he raided the fetish club) there are some conspicuous deviations. Particularly, one year later, we no longer say "major home computer systems", we name them. Sorry, TI-99/4A, you're officially out of the club now. (Mobygames reveals it also saw release on the Spectrum, MSX and CoCo, so systems needn't have been that major here! Then we see also that one of the major game systems it was released on was the SG-1000, Sega's first failed kick at the can. So just what does "major" meant then, anyhow? Why, whatever the marketers want it to. You know the C64 was legitimately major because it's the one modelling the game at the bottom.) I like how the picture's caption can nearly apply just as well to Crane's later "A Boy And His Blob", one of my favorites. Not until now do I see it as a spiritual inheritor to Pitfall. That and Tomb Raider, maybe the only time those two games will turn up together on any list. The photo is an odd one, taken of a spelunker from below. Forget the hero portrayed in the picture, the real brave character is the photographer who went down first into the darkness and set up the shot! Anyhow, these deeper caverns are one way in which the sequel expanded the world of the original game (an angle reaching full fruition in titles such as Ozisoft's A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.) That revelation combined with this promotional artwork puts me in mind of an Atari 2600 platformer adaptation of Crowther & Woods seminal text game ADVENTURE, more faithful than Warren Robinett's inspired attempt. But that there is a true, full-strength digression, and so here I must wrap it up.