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HSC12 Round 12: Pitfall II

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Starting the 2nd half of the season is the excellent platform adventure:

Pitfall II

join in and play; everyone welcome just post a score. If you need any help just ask :)


Fandal XEX

Atarimania Info: Activision USA Activision UK Ariola Germany Post #7 (below) has more info :thumbsup:


The game features regular restart points which is a nice feature but, for this game only, save states are allowed (so you can take a rest), as it can take a long time to play. BUT, if you are out, you must restart. For real hardware players (like me) best to set aside some time for a serious go. Once you complete the game you will discover there is another game! Readers of Pro© magazine might have seen my wish for a hack to start on the 2nd part "The Lost Caverns". .. well, HSC regular ballyalley recently replied to this (below) :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: so once you reach this point you can start here using this version - or you can have a go just for fun but it's hard (top players no practicing on the 2nd part) ;)

Standard HSC scoring with some bonuses for completion etc. There is a maximum score to aim for! See Tables on Post #21

Round ends Sunday in 2 weeks. Don't make me get out the calendar thingy... oh ok it's Sunday 9th August 10pm (again) UK time :)


Yes, I've beat the game from start to finish. I came upon this thread because I'm currently reading "Pro© Atari," issue 6. In Jason's article about the High Score Club, he wonders if anyone has hacked "Pitfall II" to start from the second section that is exclusive to the Atari 5200/8-Bit. Indeed, yes! Eleven years ago (2004), I asked for a hack like this in an AtariAge thread:




Within an hour or so, someone had hacked the game! The hack is included in the second posting of the above thread. I still play with that hack now and then; I'm grateful that it exists.


In the 1990s, my friend and I used to have a newsletter called "Orphaned Computers & Game Systems." We still add articles from time to time to our webpage. The latest article on that page is from June of this year, and we'll be adding another article this month:




In three different articles written across three issues of the newsletter, he and I cover "Pitfall" in great detail, including how we both beat the "Pitfall II: Adventurer's Edition." You can read the series of articles here in the pages that were converted to html from the newsletter (sorry, like the original newsletter, there's no screenshots on the web version of the article; I really should remedy that someday):


1) "The Legend of Pitfall Harry From the VCS to the PC," by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo (Orphaned Computers & Game Systems," Vol. II, Issue 2, February 1998)


2) "Pitfall Update: Pitfall III," by Chris Federico and Adam Trionfo (Orphaned Computers & Game Systems," Vol. II, Issue 3, April 1998):


3) "Pitfall Update: The End of the Secret Level!," (Orphaned Computers & Game Systems," Vol. II, Issue 3, April 1998)



I hope you find the articles fun to read, and the "Pitfall II" hack useful-- I know it's fun for me to play. For those that haven't played the second part of "Pitfall II," you'll find it an exciting experience, and really quite difficult.


I wonder if "Pitfall 2" can be played during the HSC: Round 12 (which is the current round, that is about halfway through right now).

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I've never played "Level 2". I look forward to it! :) :thumbsup:

I used to play Pitfall II with my friend taking turns to do a bit each - he knew where to go so mainly I just supplied him with coke and twiglets to keep him sustained - I remember finding the Lost Caverns really hard so gave up, but who knows perhaps we can beat this too?! There will be some serious bonus points on offer for this guys :)


Talking of points, we've reached the half way point in the season: checkout the Season 12 Current Standings to see how you got on :thumbsup: McKong has kindly let me get back on top on goal difference ;)


If we get a coupe of new players or if anyone wants it? I'll start a new table for the 2nd half (the season will still count for overall score for both halves).


Have fun :)

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The game features regular restart points which is a nice feature but, for this game only, save states are allowed (so you can take a rest), as it can take a long time to play. BUT, if you are out, you must restart.


I don't understand how we can save our games and yet we must restart when we're "out." What do you mean by when we're "out?" The player always continues off from the last cross; we can't run "out" of lives (there are infinite lives in this game). Do you mean that we can't save between crosses, and that we can only save a game for later use to continue from the last cross we returned to when last we died? If so, then just leaving your real hardware on will allow us to continue. I've left my Atari one with this game running for days at a time so that I could continue.


A game with infinite lives seems like it may be hard to figure-out a descent method for keeping track of scores. Are we are playing for high score or reaching the furthest cross (or both)? If we're playing for score, then do we just report the highest score on level one and two as one score after one lost life?




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I used to own the original game and box (which I bought new in about 1984) for the Commodore 64. The box was pretty plain:


The box opened-up and there was a pseudo movie poster inside that looked like this:



The above two pictures of the fold-out movie poster are low-quality. I'd love to have a very high-quality scan of this (say, at 600dpi) so that I could combine the images and print it as a small poster for my office. Although the pictures above are from a scan I found online for the C64, I bet that the Atari box opened-up too. Can anyone find high-res versions of the "poster," or does anyone have this box that opens up into a poster (If so, could you please scan the inside of it for me)?

(That's a cool poster, right?)

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It's worth noting that the second cavern in Pitfall II is not a secret; the Atari computer and the 5200 versions of the manual do specifically mention it. I put a text version of the manual together for all you non-manual-reading members of the HSC:

The Task Before You

Help Pitfall Harry find his niece Rhonda, the cowardly cat Quickclaw and the great Raj diamond. Be on the lookout for a pesky stone-aged rat! Then, venture through the forbidding second cavern and solve its surprising mystery of freedom. Throughout your journey, grab all the gold bars you can. There is not a time limit!

Starting Out

  • Insert cartridge into your computer with power OFF. Then, turn power ON.
  • Press START to begin, or to restart the game at any time.
  • Press the Space Bar to pause. Press again to continue.
The Joystick Controller
  • To move Pitfall Harry left or right, move joystick left or right.
  • To jump, press the red button.
  • To descend a ladder, pull controller back just before Harry reaches the hole. To ascend a ladder, push controller forward.
  • To catch a balloon, push the red button to jump. Move Joystick left or right to float left or right. To speed up, push Joystick forward; to slow down, pull back.
  • To cross a shaft; press the red button right before you jump and hold it down as you move the controller in the direction you're heading.

Keep away from frogs, bats, condors, eels and albino scorpions. And if you make it to the second cavern, you'll also encounter rabid bats, fire ants and piranha fish. Touching any of them will really set you back!

Red Crosses

Whenever Pitfall Harry succumbs to a danger, he is magically transported back to the last red cross he touched. So, be sure and touch each of these mystical Incan healing centers as you encounter them.

Your Score

You start out with 4,000 points. Thereafter, receive:
  • 5,000 points for every gold bar
  • 15,000 points for the cave rat
  • 20,000 points for the Raj diamond
  • 10,000 points for Rhonda
  • 10,000 points for Quickclaw
  • BONUS points for surprise findings in the second cavern.
Touching dangerous creatures or falling unintentionally loses points.

Be a Cliffhanger!

Score 99,000 points or more and you qualify. Fill out and send in the attached coupon and we'll forward you a patch.

Original design by David Crane.
This version masterfully designed by Mike Lorenzen.


The Atari 8-bit manual is small, four-pages, and is spia toned. It contains grayscale pictures of the two game programmers, which I've cut-out and pasted into their own picture:


The Atari 2600 version of the manual is completely different and is set-up like an eight-page diary:


If you haven't read it before, then you should really look it over, it's neat, and everything in it pertains to the Atari home computer game too:


I found a great high-quality close-up scan of David Crane that is from the 2600 version of the manual:


If you managed to get more than 99,000 points, than the patch looked like this


I used to love Pitfall II in the mid-eighties, and I still love it now. I hope you have just as much fun playing this classic game as I do. This sequel is arguably better than the original Pitfall!, and yet somehow is tragically overshadowed by it.

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Re the scoring I'm open to suggestions from those who know the game - I've not played this for years; I thought you lost score when you were killed (back to the last restart point) (perhaps could be out if back to 0?) so what I thought was you can use a save state if on emulation to continue your go only - not for exploring then re-playing to get a better score. Real hardware of course can be left on etc. When you get to the 2nd part you can play on from here using the hack to save playing through the first stage again :)



Looks like SHiNjide has picked up an early bonus point for first completion of part 1, and ballyalley 1 for finding the hacked version and 1 for posting some great Pitfall reading :thumbsup:


[] just read the diary and it sets the scene nicely. So they're stolen U.S. gold bars are they? :ponder: you guys :-D

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I'm open to suggestions [on scoring] from those who know the game [...] I thought you lost score when you were killed (back to the last restart point) (perhaps could be out if back to 0?)


I like this idea of being out of the game when all of the player's points are gone. This gives some insevtive to collect all the gold (which I normally don't bother doing). I'll continue playing from zero points in order to finish level one-- else I'll never finish it because of that last part before Quickclaw (with all the bats and condors in a row); it always slaughters me many times over!


When you get to the 2nd part you can play on from here using the hack again


It's worth noting that the Pitfall II hack doesn't start you playing at the very beginning of the second cavern. You begin on the top-left of the second level's game map just floating in the air. When play begins you fall into the water near a deadly piranha. In the hack, if, you die after touching a cross, then you return to that cross. If you die before touching a cross then you return to the top-left corner again. If you'd rather play the second cavern for the first time from the correct starting point, then you might be better-off playing the game through to the second cavern, saving the state, and then restarting from there in order to play the second level.


ballyalley [scores bonus points for,] 1 for finding the hacked version and 1 for posting some great Pitfall reading :thumbsup:

I love these bonus points. They're like Easter eggs in a game, as I just never know when I'm going to come across them!

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I completed the 1st level after hours of trying I resorted to a map!


Since you already knew the game's basic layout, I hope that you used a map of Pitfall II's caverns that was online rather than mapping the game yourself. It was not being able to find a map for the Temple of Apshai Trilogy game that get me caught-up in my quest to map the complete Dunjonquest series-- a very slow-- but entertaining-- process.


!!! Attention: Map Spoiler !!!


If you haven't played Pitfall II yet, then definitely play it without a map, otherwise you'll spoil the fun to be had in the exploration and discovery that is offered to the player. Once you've gotten accustomed to the game's layout, then these two maps will be helpful. I didn't make these maps myself (I found them online many years ago); these maps were both made by someone named Peter. They are 100% complete and an excellent resource for game player's familar with the game (or those who just like to see what they're in for before they begin playing).


Pitfall II, Cavern 1 Map




Pitfall II, Cavern 2 Map




I've always thought that these games would make great miniature wall posters. If you examine the map, or play the game, you'll see that where you begin on the second map doesn't match-up with the location of the ground on the second match. To fix this in your mind that imagine after the first cavern ends, you take a tunnel that runs deeply into the Earth, where you've heard of an easier way out to the surface. Except that this way out is more difficult, and a cave-in closes-up your entrance back to the first cavern.


Perhaps I'll play through tomorrow to get a better score


That's a great score. If I end up with any score at all when I finish the first cavern, then I'll be satisfied. I love this game, but I'm quite terrible at it!

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Players can always replay to improve scores for the first part. Don't be in a rush to beat it (using maps), half the fun is working everything out and once you've done it, part 2 will almost certainly be too hard ;)


jb - Glad it wasn't just me remembering the 2nd part was very hard!


If anyone want's a break then lets see some Ramp Rage v1.2 scores or if you're feeling creative knock up a level for Mr.Robot or Electro Maniac eh :P

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I've got the first part of the game down pretty good and can zip right through it. But the second part is tough. It helps that we just played this in the Atari 5200 HSC, as well, but I'm used to the ColecoVision version which seems a little easier and doesn't have a second part to it.



jb - Glad it wasn't just me remembering the 2nd part was very hard!



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Mr Robot 17,050

erm... the idea was to create a new level (and save it) using the construction set - press Option I think - you will need a formatted disk image to save them on - it's fun so give it a go ;)



YES!!! This is a new personal best level 1 score for me! :)


Level 1 - 198221

Level 2 - 202318


Not much to do at work today, that's why it's emulated this time.

If the max score was 199k+ that must be a pretty good effort - the vidoe on Atarireviewer (above) had a perfect go - which would get a bonus point or two :)


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If you have any scores post them as you go... probably, like me you are waiting for a day with some serious Atari time to play this classic ;)


First table

Pitfall II

1st SHiNjide (p) 199,900 12pts+1pt*+2pts**
2nd McKong (p) 174,000 11pts
3rd jblenkle (n) 166,538 10pts

4th roadrunner (n) 141,420 9pts

5th therealbountybob (p) 130,874 8pts

6th sleepy (n) 103,233 7pts
*bonus first person to complete Part I.

**bonus perfect score Part I

Part II - The Lost Caverns 1pt per special item
therealbountybob (p) 1 item (194,441-130,874) 1pt+1pt*
SHiNjide (p) ? item (202,318-198,221) ?pt - let me know if you reached anything ;)

*bonus best net score
If anyone beats this they will get some 5 serious bonus points: :thumbsup:

Edited by therealbountybob
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Yes, finally I archived the perfect score at level 1! First time in my life!


Congratuations on your perfect score! I can't recall beating the level without anything higher than zero points (after dying so many times on that final, long leg of the journey to Quickclaw; there are far too many bats and condors along the way for my taste-- and slow reflexes). Pitfall Harry has great reason to jump around when he gets a perfect score-- or with any score. How many tries did it take to get the perfect score? On the last try (when you beat it with a perfect score), about how long did the game take to play?

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Thank you, ballyalley! :) I think this was try number 5 or 6 since we started round 12 at the HSC. But I play Pitfall II a lot. I think I play it through 10-20 times a year?! (yeah yeah, I love it!) But on different versions too, like C64 or A2600. But this was the first time, I got the perfect score! I think this round took me 15 Minutes or something.

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