Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 56 / JANUARY 1985 / PAGE 80

Rescue Of Blondell

Grant Albrecht

"Rescue Of Blondell" is a fast-action game with smooth horizontal scrolling. All versions (Atari, Commodore 64, and VIC-20 with 8K or more expansion) are written completely in machine language and offer the challenge of artificially intelligent attacking birds. A joystick is required.

When the king summoned you before him you were sure it was for a magic carpet parking violation, but now you know better. His only daughter, Blondell, has been kidnapped by an evil sorcerer—and the king wants you to rescue her. You were chosen for the task because you're the most reputable genie in the kingdom.

The princess is being held captive in a tower. You must try to save her from the clutches of the evil sorcerer by flying your magic carpet toward the tower, picking her up, and flying back to your base. It won't be easy, though. The sorcerer owns very swift and. powerful birds that he sends out to combat you. These birds are intelligent and will home in on your flying carpet. Worse, the sorcerer has bestowed some of his powers on the birds. They can summon the elements and hurl fiery lightning bolts at you.

Since you are a genie, you'll have magic on your side, but beware—magic lasts only for a while. The more times the birds crash into you or strike you with lightning bolts, the less magic you'll have left to defend yourself. You have one other defense; you, too, can summon lightning and throw bolts at your foes. Try to strike the swooping birds.

Multiple Skill Levels

"Rescue Of Blondell" is an arcade-style game that features smooth horizontal scrolling and multiple levels of difficulty. On the Atari version, choose the level at the beginning of the game by pressing one of the number keys (1 = hard, 9 = easy). On the Commodore versions, you can choose the number of attacking birds (1 to 3 on the Commodore 64, and 1 to 9 on the VIC).

Once the game begins, you fly toward the right of the screen by pushing the joystick while keeping a watchful eye out for the sorcerer's birds. At the bottom of the screen is your score, the amount of magic you have left, and the bonus points you'll receive for rescuing Blondell. The Atari version awards 50 points for each bird you destroy with a lightning bolt, and 10 points for each bird that crashes into the ground while in wild pursuit of your flying carpet. The Commodore versions award only 10 points for birds, no matter how they meet their end. In all versions, the rescue bonus decreases with time, so you might want to be expedient in your quest.

Remember that the king is counting on you to rescue Blondell, so don't retreat to your base until you have her. Trying to land on your base without Blondell has unfortunate results.

Program 1, for the Atari, is a BASIC program with the machine language for Rescue Of Blondell in DATA statements. The program gives you the options of using this data to create either a boot tape (select option B) or a binary file on disk (select option D). Make sure that the disk or tape on which you wish the machine language to be stored is in the drive when you run the program. The BASIC program will check the DATA for typing errors, then write out the machine language file.

If you use Program 1 to create a boot tape, you start the game by turning off the computer and removing the BASIC cartridge if one is present (and turning off the disk drive, if you have one connected), then mounting and rewinding the boot tape. Next, hold down the START button (both the START and OPTION buttons if you have a 600XL or 800XL) and turn the computer on. When the Atari beeps, press PLAY on the recorder and then RETURN. The tape should load and the game screen will appear. If you cre­ated a binary file on disk, go to the DOS menu and use the L option to load the binary file you created. The game will start automatically after it is loaded. Alternatively, if you use the name AUTORUN.SYS for the file you create, it will load and run automatically whenever you boot the disk.

Swarms of hostile birds attack this genie as he hovers over the tunnel leading to the imprisoned Blondell (VIC version).

The genie is being pursued by one of the evil sorcerer's dreaded birds (64 version).

Commodore 64 And VIC-20 Notes

Both the Commodore 64 and VIC-20 versions of "Rescue Of Blondell" are written entirely in machine language and are presented as BASIC loader programs. Programs 2 and 3 POKE the machine language stored in DATA statements into memory, then use a SYS to start the game. Both programs check the DATA statements for typing errors.

To use the VIC version, at least 8K of memory expansion is required. It is necessary to reconfigure memory before loading this version; otherwise, the program will overwrite itself as it executes. To reconfigure memory, enter the following two lines in direct mode (no line numbers), pressing RETURN after each, before loading Program 3:

POKE 44, 32 : POKE 32 * 256, 0 : NEW
POKE 648, 30 : SYS 58648

The Commodore 64 version of Rescue Of Blondell offers a choice of from one to three attack birds to add to the challenge, while the VIC version allows up to nine. Although the birds in the VIC version do not fire, eventually they may overwhelm you by their numbers.

The princess in the Commodore 64 version is at the top of the tower. To save her, simply approach her with your genie. After a safe rendezvous, she disappears and your genie turns blue. In the VIC version, the princess is held captive at the bottom of a deep tunnel. To save her, you must fly to the bottom of the tunnel and land. Then a secret door opens and the princess

becomes visible. Just touch her to pick her up. Finally, carry her back to your base through the swarming attack birds.

For the Commodore 64, plug the joystick into port 2.