Game of the Month
Robot miners vs. radioactive mutant prairie dogsby Stephen Stout
Diamond Dave is a humorous action game that's refreshingly non-violent. Your job is to guide robots through a radioactive diamond mine while dodging mutant prairie dogs. This BASIC program works on 8-bit Atari computers with a minimum of 32K memory, disk or cassette.
Big trouble has come to the Diamond Dave Corporation. It seems that the head of Diamond Dave, Mr. Dave himself, risked most of the company's assets to start a diamond-cutting factory in the Philippines. Unfortunately, Mrs. Marcos liked jewelry so much that she had her husband confiscate all the diamonds before they left for their permanent vacation in Hawaii.
Upon hearing of Dave's bad luck, the Boesky Investment Insiders, never one to miss an opportunity, began attempting to take over the Diamond Dave Corporation.
"Look, just give me a month," Dave begged the DD Corp. stockholders. "I'm really close to a major strike. If I don't find it in the next month, then you can sell your stock to Boesky."
The stockholders agreed to give Dave a month before they sold him out. Dave, of course, was lying and didn't have any idea what to do.
ARIZONA AWAITSDave thought and thought. Then he thought some more. Then he watched a re-run of The Beverly Hillbillies. (Jed bags a talking three-eared rabbit, while Granny accidentally swallows the cement pond. Guest appearances by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs as their evil twins.) And he listened to his favorite record, ''Slim Whitman's Greatest Hits" (not available in stores). He still didn't know what to do. Then, while he was going over some geological studies, it struck him—Arizona!
There was a section of Arizona desert with an abandoned mine that looked like a good prospect—except for a small problem. During the 1950s this desert was used for underground nuclear testing. The radiation level would still be too high for humans to mine there. Also, there have been persistent rumors of mutated giant killer prairie dogs being seen in the area.
Dave sought help from his DD Corp. Genius Department. His senior technical genius, Duane "The Wild Man" Buane, said it might be possible to do the mining with some new car-manufacturing robots, but it's never been tried before.
However, Dave was at his wit's end-by now he'd try almost anything. So he took his company's few remaining dollars, bought five robots and set up a small base in the desert.
START MININGThe fate of the Diamond Dave Corporation now hangs in the balance. And you have just signed on as Dave's chief robot operator. You must move the robots through the mine, picking up all the diamonds you find.
The robots are already hooked up to their long spools of cable. Yes, they must be controlled and powered by wire. Radioactivity in the mine is so high that shortwave remote-control transmissions would be jammed.
As your robots enter the mine, you swiftly discover that those rumors of giant mutant killer prairie dogs aren't rumors at all. Mutated prairie dogs are cruising the tunnels. And just one of their radioactive touches would be enough to destroy your robot or its control line. Luckily, those cables attached to the robots allow you to pull them out of the mine instantly.
Control your robot with a joystick plugged into port 1. Each robot starts the game at the top of the screen. Robots can travel through any clear passage in the mine, although they cannot go off either side of the screen. The blue line trailing behind a robot is its control cable.
The green and red mutant prairie dogs move horizontally. If one is about to destroy your robot, press the joystick button and your robot will be whisked to safety at the top of the screen. Remember, Dave could only afford five robots. If all five are destroyed, you have lost the game.
Your goal is to collect all the diamonds in the mine. (The high radioactivity in the area makes them glow.) Each screen has five diamonds, and when you collect them all, you go to the next screen.
The number of mutants on a screen is the same as the Level number. If you complete Level 11—a mutant in every mine passage—you win the game.
TYPING IT INType in Listing 1, DIMNDAVE.BAS, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. If you have trouble typing the special characters in line 620, Listing 2 will create that line for you.
Type in Listing 2, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. When RUN, Listing 2 creates a file called LINES.LST. (Cassette owners should use a separate cassette). Now, disk owners type LOAD "D:DIMNDAVE.BAS" and then ENTER "D:LINES.LST". (Cassette owners should CLOAD Listing 1 and ENTER "C:" the file created by Listing 2). Remember to SAVE the completed program before you RUN it.
WARNING: Repeated playing of this game has resulted in hair loss and occasional glowing in the dark.
Stephen Stout, 18, hails from Fort Walton Beach, Florida and shows disturbing signs of being another wild game designer in the tradition of J.D. Casten.
Listing 1 DIMNDAVE.BAS Download