Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 53 / OCTOBER 1984 / PAGE 59

Canyon Runner

Vic Neale

In "Canyon Runner" you are a pilot on a mission through a very perilous canyon. You must survive this test. The only way to do so is by maneuvering your tiny plane through the endlessly scrolling canyon. Versions for VIC-20, Commodore 64, Atari, and Apple.

At first, it's easy. But chunks of rock and other obstacles soon get in your way as you maneuver through the canyon. Any of these could lead to the destruction of your plane.

To avoid disaster, you have to avoid all the dark areas and hit all the areas marked BONUS. When you begin to think that everything is going to be fine and that you are home safe, things suddenly become difficult and you encounter a mind-boggling time warp. The time warp has enveloped part of the canyon. The pulsing colors of the time warp can easily distract you, so be careful. If you make it through this time warp, you will be faced with a narrower canyon.

The game is joystick-controlled. At the start of the game, you may choose at which skill level you would like to begin. The easiest level is number 5 and the hardest is number 1. Between 1 and 5 there are other degrees of difficulty. Every time you make it through a color zone, you advance a level, so it might be best to start at the easiest level just to get some practice. You gain points in the game according to how long you can manage to survive.

The VIC version of the game is divided into two parts so that it will fit into the limited memory of the unexpanded VIC. The first part (Program 1) will automatically load and run the second part (Program 2), provided you save Program 2 with the filename CR. If you are using tape instead of disk, be sure to change the 8 to a 1 in line 50 of Program 1. Be sure to save Program 2 immediately following Program 1 on the same tape. When you load and run Program 1, leave the PLAY button on the Datassette depressed to load and run Program 2.

Commodore 64 And Atari Notes

Kevin Mvkvtyn, EcHtonal Programmer

In the Commodore 64 and Atari versions of "Canyon Runner," you are trying to guide your helicopter through an ever-changing canyon, shoot your opponent's helicopter, and avoid the salvos your opponent may fire at you.

Both programs are written entirely in machine language and must be entered using the MLX machine language editor. Be Store you read and understand the MLX article elsewhere in this issue before you begin typing.

The Commodore 64 version of MLX will ask you for the starting and ending address of the machine language. For Canyon Runner (program 3), the starting address is 49152 and the ending address is 51720. To run the program, load it by filename followed by,1, 1 for tape or, 8, 1 for disk, then SYS 49152

Atari MLX also asks for several addresses. The starting and ending addresses 8192 and 9904, respectively. The run/init address is 8192. MLX will allow disk users to create either a boot disk or a binary file. If you select the binary file option, the program must be loaded with DOS menu selection L (binary load). If you use the filename AUTORUN.SYS for the binary file, the game will automatically load and run when you boot the system. Tape owners should create a boot the system. Tape owners should create a boot tape using the appropriate MLX option.

The game requires two joysticks and has many options. You may choose the type of shot by pressing A for altitude bombs or D for detonation bombs. Altitude bombs will always explode at the altitude they are fired, while detonation bombs will change their altitude as you change the altitude of your helicopter. On the Commodore 64, you may also choose the solo option. This allows player 1 to practice flying through the canyon, although firing will not work properly.

At the bottom left and bottom right of the screen are the numbers from 1 to 9. The present difficulty level will be highlighted. These numbers indicate each player's individual difficulty level. The lower, the more difficult. Each player can change his difficulty level by moving his joystick from side to side.

The width of the canyon is also selectable, with three widths to choose from. On the 64, make your selection by pressing the 1, 2, or 3 key. On the Atari, use the SELECT key. Choosing width 3 will give a very narrow canyon that can challenge even an experienced player.

After the options have been chosen, begin the game on the 64 by pressing both joysticks up simultaneously, or on the Atari by pressing the START key. All action is controlled with the joysticks. You can change your altitude by moving the joystick back and forth and fly from side to side by moving the joystick left and right. The 64 version provides a graphic altimeter at the bottom of the screen to indicate your altitude, while the Atari version's altimeter has a digital readout.

To fire a bomb at your opponent, simply press the joystick button. The flight of the bomb can be heard as a whistling sound. The Commodore 64 version utilizes sprite priorities to simulate explosions above and below the target. The Atari version achieves the same effect with player/missile graphics.

Apple Version Notes

Kevin Martin, Editorial Programmer

The object of the two-player Apple version of "Canyon Runner" is to navigate through a twisting canyon while trying to shoot down an opponent. But beware, your opponent will also be shooting at you.

The program is written in two parts and requires game paddles and a disk drive. Program 5 is all machine language and must be entered with the built-in monitor (see your Apple manual if you are unsure of how this is done). After Program 5 is entered, BSAVE it with the filename CANYON.ML using a starting address of $6000 and length of $923. Once you have saved Program 5, enter the loader program (Program 6) and save it. To play the game, load and run Program 6, which will load in and check the machine language from Program 5, then start the game.

When the program is run, you will be presented with a screen containing many options. Each player can choose his own level of difficulty. Player 1 increases or decreases his difficulty level by pressing X or Z, respectively, while player 2 uses the left and right arrow keys to accomplish this. If you wish to play alone, press S for the solo option.

There are two types of shots. If you press A at the start of the game you will be playing with altitude bombs which explode at the altitude at which they are fired.

The second type of bomb, the detonation bomb (chosen at the start of the game by pressing D), will change its altitude as you change the altitude of your, plane, so you can continue to adjust your altitude to the altitude of your opponent after the shot is fired.

The overall width of the canyon can be adjusted by pressing the numbers from 1 to 3. The higher the number picked, the narrower the canyon.

Once the options have been chosen, you can start the game by pressing both paddle buttons simultaneously. The planes are moved from left to right using the paddle. Altitude is changed using the keyboard. Player 1 can increase or decrease his altitude with the A and Z keys. Player 2 can make his plane climb using the semicolon and descend using the period. An altitude reading for each player is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

At any time during the game, you may fire a bomb at your opponent by pressing the paddle fire button. A countdown reading will appear at the bottom of the screen showing the time until impact.