Saturday, 24 March 2018

RetroChallenge 2018/04: Dig Dug and FOD Updates

I have been fiddling away on both Dig Dug and Forest of Doom. On FOD I have been able to make some real improvements to the sound routines around combat and random messages. To make room for these new routines I have been combing the code for more memory savings. I found that I could really pare down the input routines. While doing so, I was also able to add a T structure for directional key input. Now TGFH can also be used in addition to the cardinal directions NSEW. I also found some redundant code that seemed to have been related to the Break key. And I improved on screen formatting. Since I have been playing the game quite a bit, I found a few places where I needed to add clearing the screen from the current cursor position calls. I sped up the sound and slightly fixed the music for Inns and also added back a few routines I had left out for space saving. I think I have sounds now for all the routines in the original program.  And I have more space left (300 bytes) than I had a week or so ago (250 bytes).  Here's a vid:
I have also been combing through DigDug. Found some more speed ups there too. It's quite fast now. In playing it, I felt I should re-adjust the scoring a little. I made rock dropping worth 80 if you kill the monster and inflating them worth 20. The disparity struck me as a little bit too extreme (90 versus 10).  Also adjusted the fire breathing and laser blast a little so they appear a little more clearly on the screen before being erased.
Played Dig Dug to the point that I confirmed that you earned a life recharge at 500 and 1000. Should also work for 1500 and so on. I still haven't played FOD to a win. Whenever I get to level 6 I run into something like a Dragon that just does me in.  At that level, especially after you get the scepter, the monsters just come thick and fast, almost every time you move a space. I haven't had much luck with getting the mirror or magic book from the innkeepers, nor much success with digging up X's. I play at level 2 so I can find the Xs but I just don't find them that often and they're usually a trap.  I think you must have to win the sword and find the mirror and book to have a chance to make it out alive.  I have tested these routines by way of  breaking and using GOTOs to get to them, as you can see demonstrated in the video. I have even won this way. So I know these routines work. But I wonder if there is some bug in my port that somehow makes it impossible to win. It would be nice if some of the pros out there could play the MC-10 version to see if it is operating comparably to the Coco version.  Maybe some folks at Cocofest?!

Anyway, I'll have to send the latest version on to Bruce.

Next postings I'll talk about my recent 10-Liner submissions to the 10-Liner Basic game contest.


  1. In the Forest of Doom title screen, Echoes is spelled wrong. Other than that, looks great! Congrats!