Sunday, 6 October 2019

RetroChallenge 2019/10: Akalabeth-- Another Error in the Original Code?

L Curtis Boyle (of Coco game list fame) suggested that I could speed up the text a little more by not reprinting all the labels in the lower windows.  It was a good idea. So now only the numbers for your FO, HP and GP are reprinted.  The labels remain. Similarly, the "Command" prompt is only reprinted if it gets erased.  I think I've got it to a very good speed now.  It's hardly frustrating at all!

While I was testing the new mods I ran across what I think is another error in the original code. If you use a playthrough trick I learned about from the website I mentioned in one of my prior posts, of choosing Mage and then using the Magic Amulet "Bad" spell to turn into a lizard man, your stats can get doubled or tripled.  If you do this *before* going to the castle to get your mission, when Lord British gives you your task, the program looks at your stats to determine the power of monster you will get next.  But in the case of the powerful lizard man, this seems to result in the calculation of a number higher than the max number of monsters in the dungeons, which is 10 (the Balrog).  This blows the lid off the monster array and causes an error.  So I put in a little code to detect if a monster # higher than 10 is generated, and if so to change it to 10.

Curtis says he's hoping to convert the game to Nitros9 and Basic09 to run in a window on a high res screen.  It will look pretty cool to see it running with other programs at the same time.  It will take a lot of work to convert all the graphics commands to GFX2 subroutine calls, but I have done some of this myself in the past with a minesweeper conversion and an Astronomy program for plotting the moons of Jupiter. It's tedious but can be done.  I might be able to help him.

Still not 100% sure that there are no more errors, but I will keep bug testing. I played down to a level to get the Balrog and then cheated myself back to the surface.  The routine of returning to Lord British's Castle seemed to work okay and recognized my accomplishment and then offered to bump me up to the next level of difficulty.  This game continues until you kill a Balrog on difficulty level 10. Then all you get is a measly "Congratulations!" and can keep playing some more. Achieving this would be pretty brutal without a game save feature.  Well, there's another mod I can consider doing--adding game saving!  But first, I'll try porting the program to Coco and Extended Color Basic.

I don't know who else is doing RetroChallenge this month.  All the best to anyone out there who is also doing the contest.  And thanks to anyone for reading!

I'm now up to AKALABETH_MCX13.TXT


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