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Introducing SKY SCRAPER - 20 years late! :)

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Hi everyone ...


Many valuable hours of my youth in the late 80's and early 90's were wasted on my old Atari 130XE computer, programming and playing a TurboBASIC XL game called Sky Scraper, which sadly never really saw widespread release, apart from my local Atari club and maybe a couple of friends here in Tennessee.


Well, thanks to a kind soul on here who was able to rescue this piece of fun from a slowly decaying floppy disk that has been sitting in a moldy basement for the last 10 years, I can finally say that this game is now available!


This game ain't much. It was done entirely in TurboBASIC, no fancy graphics, no player-missiles, entirely character driven and in Graphics 1 ... but it has 40 levels to it, and the higher you go the more ridiculously difficult it gets ... and oh, the musical themes are quite nice too. And each level gets loaded in from disk as you complete the previous one, thanks to the magic of POKE 842,13. :)


The plot: You are a jet-pack man in the future who has to enter into a construction site and deactivate the security system on all 40 levels by traversing the platforms, whilst trying to avoid a guided missile that wants to kill you ... REALLY badly. That's it! Simple gameplay, but terribly addictive.


Have at it. Let me know what you think of this, maybe someone can do a more current version with fancier graphics?


Oh, be sure to boot with skyscraper-a.atr in D1: then switch to skyscraper-b.atr in D1: when prompted. And ENJOY.


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Tried my hardest, but I cannot make it past that security level 39!


I love the music before each board! If not for that, I would have given up after level 2 :)


I was curious, how many levels have you all been able to finish on this game?


It took me 4 days but I finally made it past level 40 and finished the thing. I almost forgot how difficult it was!

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Well, I can give some tips ...


Level 39 is not as hard as you might think. It requires a couple of moves ...


First thing to remember, is that you can dig through the structure surrounding the two bricks you must change. You do this by flying into the structure from the side and holding your button down. So what you must do is try to find a clear path, which can be difficult as the traps are built into the structure randomly. Also, when you are inside the structure, moving left + right without using your rockets will allow you to dig diagonally down, just watch for traps. A good place to dig out is right below the two blocks you must change, and then try to lure the missile away, get it to chase you. If you can do this successfully, the two blocks will be more easily accessible.


Also, if you have plenty of men, sacrificing one to clear a trap and open up a path is a good idea. In the example below, a good place to dig through is above the left ledge, about 4 spaces up. There are a couple of mystery blocks, and a trap barring your way, but opening up this hole will allow you to fly up from below and get the two blocks, if you can lure the missile away.


Note on the pic of level 39, you have a corridor on the left side and one on the right. Remember that you can fly through and wrap around to the left side of the screen from the right, so fly up till you almost hit the ledge, then move to the left. If you want to fly higher, repeat until you almost hit the ledge, then nudge to the right and let go. You will find yourself on the top ledge in the left corridor. Careful, if you hit either ledge from below your rockets shut off and you fall to your doom.


Also, if you have a few men to spare, you can try some of the mystery doors if you like. If by some stroke of luck you get an adrenaline pill, count yourself lucky. Fly up through the center, wipe out the traps, and make a date for the party room at level 40! ;) On no account should you try these mystery doors if you have 2 or fewer men, because of the risk of a double-death and a GAME OVER.


Edited by Synthpopalooza
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Some other survival tips:


Randomizers, coins, and adrenaline pills can be used as temporary stops while you are falling. Holding down your rocket button as you fall and land on these will allow you to take off before these items take effect. It also works if you are under the influence of an adrenaline pill and you land on a trap. You can also hold your controller to the left or right to use these items as temporary ledges as you fall. On "The Pit" level you are required to use these coins as temporary ledges in order to complete the level.


The missile will not harm you as you fall. So if you are flying up and the missile is far below you, you can safely hit a block, fall through the missile and land safely without harm so long as there is a block beneath you.


The missile can also be used to eliminate traps. Get it to chase you, and trick it into flying through traps.


You can wrap around the left and right side of the screen, which can be useful in evading the missile. This comes in very handy on the Bunk Bedroom level. Wait till it comes almost near you on the left side of the screen, then wrap around to the other side.


On earlier levels, if you can find a row of two or three blocks, luring the missile above or below these and trapping it will allow you in most cases to complete the level without worrying about the missile. On later levels, it becomes more difficult, but you can still trap the missile diagonally behind one block and then proceed to complete every block that you can safely complete without untrapping the missile. Trapping the missile is a vital survival skill, especially on levels 26 and above.

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  • 4 years later...

Nice game you have there! Like the fact that the graphics change each level, being a ZX spectrum owner I'm quite envyous!

It kinda annoys me that the sound for the atari 800XL in MESS stutters... I hope it's just my laptop...

I'm looking forward to the Atari 7800 version! ;)

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