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WANTED: Feedback for Dungeon Stalker


Dauber
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I'm looking for feedback for the next episode of the Atari 7800 Homebrew Podcast (you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or use this feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/homebrew78 )

What are your thoughts on Dungeon Stalker on the 7800? Feel free to share your memories of its earlier incarnations as Night Stalker on the Intellivision or Dark Chambers on the Atari 2600, too.

This game will be covered on Episode 5.

You can also e-mail text or audio to homebrew78 -at- fab4it -dot- com

Deadline is, kinda-sorta, 11:59pm CST on Thursday, February 23. Any comments from after then will be addressed in a later episode.

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I've had my Intellivision II for a few months now and Night Stalker was one of the first games I purchased. I've owned Dungeon Stalker since it first came out and wanted to try out the game that it pays homage to. I like Night Stalker but it's too slow and the controls are a bit difficult. So I decided to purchase an LTO Flash! cart and the very first ROM I bought was Ms. Night Stalker. That game is a step up from the original, but still a bit hard to control. It may just be me, but there are some INTV games that I just can't seem to play well, even with my new Flashback Controllers.

Dungeon Stalker, however is great!. The title screen is well done and if you remain on it, the game will go into attract mode, complete with in game sounds. All of the characters are (Spider, Bats, Snake, Demon Bat and Skeleton Warrior) rendered nicely and scroll smoothly. I really like the animation of the Skeleton Warrior as well as the Wizard. The Wizard is a treat to watch as he teleports throughout the dungeon while trying to kill you, and killing him provides a nice explosion and sound effect.

Lastly, adding an AtariVox makes this great game even better. It supports Hi Score saves and of all of my homebrews, this game by far, includes the greatest variety of speech that I have heard.

I give it 5 out of 5 quivers. :thumbsup:

 

Note: The game manual includes the awesome label art and the last page includes a Strategy and Secrets section that requires you to hold it up to a mirror to read (a really nice touch in my opinion).

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A cross between Night Stalker and Wizard of Wor, Dungeon Stalker improves on Dark Chambers. I like the ability to dodge shots, and the spider's web is an added strategy challenge. Sometimes, the Atarivox freaks out and gets stuck in 'Wall-E swordfight' mode, which is a cross between amusing and annoying. The challenge ramps up slowly, but steady. A great 'marathon' game, and the only homebrew box in my collection.

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Starting with the introduction screen, the player knows they are in for a treat. A polished presentation providing atmosphere and ambiance for a game in which the individual will likely feel as if they are being drawn into dark dungeons of danger.


Several game play options allow players to start easy with unlimited ammo, while those seeking the ultimate challenge can begin on a higher level where there is no place for protection and the offense of the enemies' encounter is most deadly and fast.


Providing a gambit of enemies coupled with different attack patterns as well as vulnerabilities, quickly one realizes that this is not just a run around randomly taking shots at things kind of game.


Will you go for the treasure, even when embedded in the huge spider web slowing down your player considerably? Should you take that extra shot at the enemy, or clear the newly created tiny web(s) of the terrorizing arachnid? Is now the opportunity when you should refill that quiver, or is the enemy too close, and you will likely be killed before being able to kill? Will the bats interfere and freeze our heroine or take a shot intended for a different enemy?


Once reaching certain scoring thresholds, you are invited for the ultimate stand-off against the all-powerful and agile wizard, including the wizard's ability to teleport and reappear in various parts of the maze. Is it Super Wizard and Wor, Dark Cavern Pro/Advance, or reminiscent of something else for the player? It borrows the best elements of those forerunners while providing a fresh, exciting, and challenging game for the Atari 7800 ProSystem.


Those familiar with the classic Dark Cavern under the Atari 2600, or Night Stalker under the Intellivision platform, will feel right at home here while the game offers up some familiarity with new twist, tricks, and challenges. Newcomers will revel in the slick presentation and smooth game mechanics that will keep you coming back for more action and higher scoring. With or without an AtariVox enabling speech, this is a great game and one to own on the 7800.

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A great game. I play it often and bought it as soon as it was released. It is challenging and btw I hate the webs. They infuriate me when I see them evil spiders making a web. I wish player 2 could launch a grenade with the light gun at those sum bitches screwing up my playfield with their spider goo. Yeahso I play on easy mode with unlimited arrows etc. There is plenty of dodging action from the enemies fire. The wizard makes it atari with the blinking out teleporting going on. The bugger talks to us too with the atarivox?!? Says stuff like haa haa haa or something like that. A real conceded prick he is. Would he laugh if I could teleport?? I doubt it..Cause he'd be exploded thats why.

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Love this game that seemingly came out of nowhere. Especially cool that it uses the AtariVox for speech (first 7800 homebrew to do so?) and high score saves. One of the best homebrews for the 7800 to be sure. Improves on Intellivision's Night Stalker and VCS's Dark Cavern, plus adds Wizard of Wor elements, so what's not love? :love:

 

Btw: at first, I was caught off guard by the spacing of the maze in relation to the size of your guy. There's wiggle room in the vertical channels, but adds a bit of depth to the gameplay as you can sometimes avoid shots headed your way when there's no time to duck around a corner. Nice!

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My family's first console was an Intellivision, and Night Stalker was one of my favorites. I thought I was such hot stuff waiting on that bottom corridor, timing my shots to kill the robots just as they appeared. Of course, 20 years later I realized that's how everybody played the game. :) There were a few things that kept it from being an all-time great for me, though. It was a little too predictable, large chunks of the maze weren't worth going to, and it starts awfully slow. That said, I still love it and it's a game I can go back to and enjoy.

 

I was pretty excited about Dungeon Stalker. It keeps all the stuff I love about Night Stalker, but fixes the weak points and adds a lot of variety. It's also the first 7800 homebrew I bought (along w/ KC Munchkin). It really was a must-have for me. Love the variety, graphics, different difficulty levels. It plays well, it has a smooth difficulty ramp. The wizard stage is awesome. I have a pattern with classic games where I often enjoy the sequel more than the iconic original: I like Millipede much more than Centipede, Ms. Pac Man more than Pac Man, etc. Dungeon Stalker falls in that category.

 

The only thing I don't really like is that aiming can be tricky because of the room to wiggle in the corridor. I don't care for it, but as noted above, maybe I just need more time to get used to it and find ways to take advantage. The demon/skull/bat graphic is a little weird, too. Minor quibbles, the game is outstanding.

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I bought it along with a new AtariVox at the same time, and I was pretty much in love with it for a few weeks. I wrote a review of my thoughts, here: http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-12512-7800-dungeon-stalker/

 

The only problem is I have one of the 7800 decks that has the glitch where the Vox hangs up sometimes at the Wizard. The game keeps playing but speech ends when this happens. I simply reach over and unplug/plug the Vox back in and resume playing w/the voices when this happens. Unfortunate, but I get around it , until a software fix is eventually discovered.

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