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HSC01 Round 9: Crazy Climber / Missile Defense


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Crazy Climber is the main game for Round 9 of the Astrocade High Score Club. Since the library of Astrocade games is quite small, I've decided that rounds will no longer last just two weeks-- each round will be longer. This will keep us from running out too quickly of cartridge games to play in each round. Round 9 will last three weeks. The round ends on Sunday, July 10'th at 8pm MST.

Crazy Climber




The object of Crazy Climber is to reach the top of a nearly 200-story building. There are four buildings in total, each offering a variety of different challenges and obstacles that make the journey to the top more difficult.

Crazy Climber is an 8K homebrew game, released in 2011, by Riff Raff Games. This cartridge was written by Michael Garber.

The Crazy Climber cartridge ROM image (called "cclimber.bin") is part of this archive:


The Dangers of Crazy Climber

Windows (opening and closing) - If an open window closes on both of Crazy Climber's hands, then he will lose his grip and fall.

"Mad People" - These bald-headed scoundrels open and close the windows and drop items. Their goal: knock down Crazy Climber.

Falling Objects: If one of these hits Crazy Climber on the head and he is not holding onto a ledge with both hands, then he will fall and lose a "Life." If he is holding himself on two ledges, then he will only lose bonus points. The falling objects are:

1. Flower Pots - Beautiful as they may be, the pots filled with flowers must be avoided.

2. Condor Excrement - Just out of Crazy Climber's sight, a condor sometimes flies past. The condor doesn't attack Crazy Climber, but he does other, perhaps nastier things. Avoid his droppings at all cost. Not only do they cost Crazy Climber a "Life," but it's, well, gross.

3. Iron Dumbbells - The flower pots falling down were bad enough, but the "Mad People" eventually step it up and begin to drop out items that really hurt.

4. Falling Bottles - The "Mad People" are always looking for ways to keep Crazy Climber guessing. They start rummaging through the garbage and tossing glass bottles out the window when nothing else is within reach.

You will want to read the manual completely to score big points.

The Crazy Climber manual is here:



This game supports one or two controllers. If you play with two controllers, then it plays just like the arcade game!


Here is a video review of "Crazy Climber" by "Nice and Games:"

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There are no settings to choose when playing Crazy Climber.

As usual, 10 points can be earned this round (excluding bonus points).

"Crazy Climber" Bonus Points

There is just one way to score bonus points for Crazy Climber:

1) Climbing four buildings - 1 point to each player that climbs all four buildings.

Missile Defense (BASIC Bonus Game)




This month's BASIC bonus game is called Missile Defense. It was released by New Image in 1982 on Tape 3. Also on Tape 3 was Saucer Attack, but that game is not being played this round. Here is a summary of Missile Defense gameplay from a New Image advertisement:

"Save your city from fallout! You have three chances to block the missile from hitting your city. Don't blow them!!! Intensity increases with score. Also saves initials of high scorer of the day."

If this game sounds suspiciously like a Missile Command clone, then you're correct! That's not a bad thing though, right?

The instructions for Missile Defense have not previously been archived, but they were in the Fabris Collection, so I archived the docs today. You can read them in pdf format here:


I've used voice-recognition software to transcribe the game's instructions:

Missile Defense

"Save your city! You use your joystick to place three block-barriers in front of the oncoming missile. When you find the spot you want, pull the trigger, and go get another block. The faster you get all three barriers into place and stop the missile, the higher your points are. If you stop the missile and only get one or two barriers out, it's automatically a mere 100 points. You have to be fast! If a missile heads off your screen, you're safe, it goes on over to another town, maybe another state!

"After you've gotten 1000 points, the missiles come faster, and after 2000 points, they get faster yet. However, you get a small break, because then your barriers get wider. You'd better be careful, because if a missile hits, your city get eaten up by radioactive material.

"If you're lucky enough to get the high score of the day, though, you get a fantastic bonus-- you get to put your initials in. To do so, the screen says you have high score, wait for a letter to appear. As soon as it does, turn the knob until it gets to the letter you want, and then pull the trigger. In a matter of seconds, another letter will appear. You'll get three initials.

"Have lots of fun!!!!"

Here is an ad for the tapes that New Image carried. Missile Defense is among those listed:


Missile Defense Bonus Points

1) Playing Missile Defense - You get a bonus point just for playing Missile Defense.

2) Missile Defense High Score - You can earn another bonus point if you get the highest score for this game.

3) Video of Missile Defense - To continue to promote Astrocade BASIC programs, a bonus point will be awarded to the first person to upload a video of Missile Defense containing a full game, plus the game's title screen.

Please post all of your scores for both games here. Scores posted on the Bally Alley discussion group will no longer be accepted. If you post a video score, then please note the score obtained in the video-- as this makes it easier for me to keep track of all the scores.

Have fun playing Crazy Climber and Missile Defense.

Adam Edited by ballyalley
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  • 2 weeks later...

Chris and I both played Crazy Climber and Missile Defense last night. I didn't score high enough on Missile Defense to have a score to post here, but I did much better on Crazy Climber. I managed to get to the second building using the one controller method on real hardware.


The reason I say "real hardware" is because Chris and I also used my dual-stick X-arcade controller to play the game under MAME emulation. This monster controller joystick is more like a tank. It looks like this:




Playing this game using two controllers makes the Astrocade game play exactly like the arcade game-- which is mighty impressive... and really fun! Before the Crazy Climber was released, I remember play-testing this game. I found that I could get into a rhythm where I could climb really fast, but I was not able to do that again last night.


Crazy Climber - 34,800 (One controller on real Astrocade)




I didn't know exactly what to expect from Missile Defense. I picked it on a whim to play this round, not expecting much from it-- I ended up liking it enough that I expect to play it some more before the round is over. It certainly is not a Missile Command beater... but it also retailed originally for, I think, $5.00 on tape... and then, later, $8.95. That's a reasonable price to pay for one game, but the deal was sweetened when you recall that the tape included a second game: Saucer Attack.



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Well, I am back after my absence last round. Having some baby stuff going on, but I found time to briefly play these two games. I may be able to do more later, but I was sure perplexed by the controls on crazy climber. I was only able to play it for a few minutes, and I did not do well at all. However, I was pleasantly surprised by missile defense. Of all the basic games we have played I really like this one because it took the slowness of basic and changed the strategy of the game, using the slowness to its advantage. I hope to get some time to try these again.



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I was sure perplexed by the controls on crazy climber.


Nice to see you back. Playing Crazy Climber with one controller takes some getting used to, which is why when I created the game's manual, I made a diagram of how the joystick controls are configured. Here is a close-up on those controls.




Hopefully this diagram will help you play the game. This diagram is in the manual, but it's printed quite small.


I was pleasantly surprised by missile defense. Of all the basic games we have played I really like this one because it took the slowness of basic and changed the strategy of the game, using the slowness to its advantage.

Yes, Missile Defense is a fun little game. You make a good point about the game changing the rules of the game to work around the slowness of BASIC.



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I already posted this information in the thread that contains the latest updates to BallyAlley.com, but since it's also very relevant to this thread, I figured that I should post it here too.


I added the complete source code for the homebrew version of Crazy Climber, released by Riff Raff Games in 2011. This game was programmed by Michael Garber. Michael gave me permission to release this source code on June 11, 2016.

You can download the source code here:


The source code assembles to the final version of the game cartridge. Special thanks to Michael for allowing the release of this game's Z80 source so that others may learn from it.


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Chris and I played some more Crazy Climber and Missile Defense last night. My score improved with each game of Crazy Climber that I played. I finally got used to the one-controller method of playing the game. Once you're used to playing with one controller you'll find it becomes second-nature to move your character up, down and across the building.


Crazy Climber - 52,500 (One controller on real Astrocade)




I also played Missile Defense yesterday. There is more to this game than you'd first expect (Chris and I talk about this episode 3 of the Bally Alley Astrocast). It turns out that placing your barriers early (and quickly) really boosts your score for each missile that you destroy. I haven't gotten very good at this method of playing the game yet, but I aimed to play some more of this New Image game this weekend, as I want to see if I can beat my current high score-- which seems pretty low considering I've played quite a few rounds of this game.


Missile Defense - 2,100




When playing Crazy Climber last night, I was only three or four floors from reaching the top of the second building when I lost my last life. I came really close to getting those building-clearing bonus points, but lost them all due to carelessness.



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I just thought that I'd let everybody know that I'm not going to have a chance to wrap this round up until the end of this weekend, or (possibly) the beginning of the week. If you want to continue playing and posting scores through this coming Sunday (July 17'th), then that would be fine.



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Round 9 was supposed to end July 10'th, but due to my lack of being able to finished-up the point totals for this round, it was extended to July 17'th. There were five qualifying entries for the high score contest.

Final Tables

Crazy Climber

1st BallyAlley 52,500 10 pts
2nd Chris++ 28,500 9 pts
3rd ranger_lennier 8,800 8 pts

4th roadrunner 2,766 7 pts
5th nd2003grad 5,000 6 pts

No one managed to climb all four buildings, so no bonus point has been awarded for Crazy Climber.

Every player who played the BASIC bonus game gets a point. BallyAlley earned an extra point for scoring the highest.

Missile Defense

1st BallyAlley 2,760 2 pts
2nd Chris++ 2,440 1 pt
3rd nd2003grad 1,660 1 pt
4th ranger_lennier 1,100 1 pt

No one made a video for Missile Defense, so there's no bonus point awarded for that.

Total points awarded this round:

1st BallyAlley 10 + 1 + 1 = 12 pts @#
2nd Chris++ 9 + 1 + 0 = 10 pts @
3rd ranger_lennier 8 + 1 + 0 = 9 pts @

4th roadrunner 7 + 0 + 0 = 7 pts
5th nd2003grad 6 + 1 + 0 = 7 pts @

Bonus Points Key:

Crazy Climber

! - Climber all Four Buildings - 1 point to each player that climbs all four buildings. (No Point Awarded)

Missile Defense

@ - Playing Missile Defense
# - Missile Defense High Score
$ - Video of Missile Defense. (No Point Awarded)

Please, check your scores. ;)

Congratulations to Round 9's winner... me! (Does anyone demand a recount?)


Thanks to everyone that played this round. I hope that you all had fun with the homebrew game.

I'm not sure what the next main or bonus game will be for round 10 of the HSC. I'll post round 10's games tomorrow.


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