Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 7, NO. 2 / JUNE 1988

Game of the Month


Escape From Hell!

Abandon all hope, ye who don't use TYPO II

Your programming sins have condemned you to eternal suffering! But maybe-just maybe-you can gain absolution and ascend through the heavenly gates. Escape from Hell! is a BASIC program that works on 8-bit Atari computers with at least 48K memory, disk or cassette.

"There must be some mistake," whimpered Myron. "I didn't deserve to be sent to Hell!" But his guilty thoughts nagged at him, "Is it because I wrote yet another game ripping off Lode Runner? Or could it be...because I never used TYPO II, found in every issue of the Antic Software Library?"

Disconsolate, Myron began to wail, "But I didn't do anything bad enough to be damned to eternal torment! Let me out!" However, his pleas fell on deaf horns. And he knew he must learn to program the Antic way in order to Escape from Hell!

Step into the cloven hooves of Myron the Damned and walk through the infernal flames of the lowest and most fiendish levels of Hades-reserved for those who never use TYPO II even after continually getting all sorts of avoidable program errors and blaming everything on Antic.

You've got a time-limit to race through each of the six levels of Hell and snatch up every single back issue of Antic. If you succeed, you go up to the next level. If you fail, you must overcome an extra death.

Oh, and did anybody mention the Devil? Hey, that kooky Satan isn't going to make things easy or fair for you. That's why he's the Devil. He's going to chase you till he catches you, and if you lose your four deaths, not only will you burn in Hell forever-you'll also be forced to listen to constant bragging from owners of Commodore computers.


Type in Listing 1, HELL.BAS, check it with TYPO II (if you don't want to end up like Myron the Damned) and SAVE a copy before you RUN it.

If you have trouble typing the special characters in lines 9022 and 10001-10009, don't type them in. Instead, type Listing 2, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy. When you RUN Listing 2, it creates these hard-to-type lines and stores them in a file called LINES.LST

To merge the two programs, disk users LOAD "D:HELL.BAS" then ENTER "D:LINES.LST" Cassette users CLOAD Listing 1, then insert the separate cassette used for Listing 2 and ENTER "C:". Remember to SAVE the completed program before you RUN it.

After the title screen engulfs you in flame, press the joystick button to play Escape from Hell! Myron is the little green guy, and Satan's the little red one waving his pitchfork. Move around with the joystick, grabbing every Antic "A" logo you can. If you get them all without being dusted by the Devil, you'll go up to the next level.

You get between five and ten points for each back issue of Antic you grab, but the Devil decides how many points you need-it's different each time, anything between 2,500 to 5,000 points. In fact, if Satan so decrees, you might have to go through more than one cycle of the six screens.


Here are some hazards on your Escape From Hell:

If you step in a fire pit, the unbelievable pain and shock will send you skyrocketing-but that's the only way to move upward within a screen. No pain, no gain.

Watch out for shaky ground. You can only cross it once-the next time you try, it'll fall out from under you and send you plummeting. The Devil, however, can go wherever he wants, because it's his turf.

By the way, you can use your joystick to "fall" horizontally-the laws of physics are a bit hinky in Hell.

When you reach higher levels, watch out for the arrows. You can't travel against the direction of an arrow. But the Devil can, you betcha. If you wanted death to be fair, you never would have wound up in Hell.

There's also a suicide mode. On any game screen if you're in an impossible situation, press the joystick button. Sure, you'll lose a death, but at least you can start over.

After you have grabbed the Satanically randomized number of Antic logos, you'll be absolved and the Hallelujah Chorus will accompany your ascent into Heaven.

Antic Escape From Hell Team


The Antic staff hereby apologizes to author Tony Barnes, who will be very surprised to see what became of his game here. We originally accepted the game because it ran smoothly, was well-programmed and had some interesting variations at the higher levels. But when we actually sat down to prepare it for publication in this issue, a little jazzing up seemed to be needed.

As submitted, the game was titled "Dynamite Dan" and it had a little guy running through a dungeon maze while picking up dynamite sticks and jumping on trampolines to escape from a robot that searched in random patterns. Well-done, but nothing that hadn't been seen before.

So Antic Technical Editor Charles Jackson started idly changing POKE values to get a more ominous background color. Looking at the new hellish red that eventually wound up in the infernal flames and on the title screen, Editor Nat Friedland commented, "Escape From Hell! The little guy is condemned for his programming sins."

Ultimately the whole Antic staff became obsessed by this conversion project. Charles Jackson spent more time overseeing the program changes than we'd like to admit to Publisher James Capparell. Assistant Editor Gregg Pearlman wrote the new game scenario. Editorial Assistant Carolyn Cushman helped work on the new sound and graphics. The idea for the final ascension came from Ad Production Coordinator Katie Murphy.

In fact, we had so much fun putting changes into Barnes' clean, sturdy program that Antic challenges you to come up with a new adaptation which is totally different from Escape From Hell! Keep the same overall program structure, but change the character set, the look of the screen, the storyline, etc.


Antic will judge the entries and all best adventures will appear as a bonus on the November 1988 Antic Disk. Winners will receive a copy of that disk issue. The Grand Prize winner also gets any single Antic Software product from The Catalog.

Mail your programs and story textfiles on a standard, single density disk that's compatible wth DOS 2. Include a printed copy of your new scenario. Send entries to: Challenge From Hell, Antic Magazine, 544 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. All entries must be received by July 5, 1988.

On your disk label, please neatly print: Challenge From Hell, your name, address, phone number and the file name(s) on that disk. Contest entries become the property of Antic Publishing, Inc., and the disks cannot be returned.

Tony Barnes is a San Franciscan making his first appearance in Antic We hope he's not too upset about what happened to his program.


Listing 1: HELL.BAS Download

Listing 2: LINES.BAS (not needed)