Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pitfall 2 - Lost Caverns

Here I am, Pitfall Harry, plummeting toward the dark thunder of rushing water below... and thinking of the night David Crane called. "I hope you're well rested," he had said. Too rested, I said. I was ready for action. He asked if I'd heard tales of the legendary lost caverns of Machu Picchu in Peru. Or of a roaring, uncharted underground tributary of the Urubamba River replete with waterfalls and deadly electric eels. "Yes," I said. He asked if I knew of the infamous, cursed Raj Diamond. Or of the recent robbery of gold bars from the U.S. Gold Bullion Depository in Fort Knox. And had I heard of vampire bats? Poisonous frogs? Albino scorpions? The dreaded Andean condor? "Yes," I said. And could I still run? Climb? Jump? Could I... swim? "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes." "Good," said Crane. "Then you'll do it?" "Of course," I said. If only I had known...
Review By Philip Feidamion
I remember I was about five or six years old when my mother offered to buy me an Atari game so I would have some fun while I rested my injured leg. We saw Pitfall 2 at Toys R Us, and at the suggestion of my mother, I bought it, and found myself playing yet another classic game!
GRAPHICS: This time, you explore an underground cavern (hence the title ''Lost Caverns.'') Although it only scrolls vertically (you advance scene-to-scene horizontally) the detail is well done. There are things like bats, vultures, cave frogs, and even electric eels that are waiting to stop you in your tracks. The diamonds also have a real sparkle to them (no pun intended!)
SOUND: The only sound from the original is the classic 'Blee-ee-eep' Harry makes when he jumps. There's background music played in one of three ways: When you are hit by an enemy, you pick up a treasure, and the normal song. Either way, it's a big thing for an Atari game, and the music sounds great! You even hear a thud when you fall too far!
CONTROLS: All you do is run and jump. No weapons, just dodge those enemy creatures. What if you get hit? Well, you will be spirited away to the last checkpoint (cross) you touched. While being spirited back, points are taken off your total. However, even if you have zero points, you won't die. The only way to end the game is to find Rhonda, your niece, Quickclaw the cat, and the Raj Diamond (although it looks more like a ring!) So if you get stung by an electric eel, bitten by a bat, or attacked by a vulture, you are penalized points, but there's no game over! If you fall too far, you are penalized a couple hundred points, but you don't die.
REPLAYABLE: A HUGE cavern, indeed! See if you can find every treasure! Then, go after Rhonda and Quickclaw. See if you can beat it by getting every treasure and never touching an enemy or falling too far! (It's possible!)
OVERALL: It's a shame that this game became lost in the caverns of the video game crash of 1984! If you come across this game, I strongly suggest playing it. It's one cavern you won't regret getting lost in!
SYSTEM: Apple II, Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit family, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, MSX, PC Booter, Sega SG-1000, ZX Spectrum



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