Downland stars a character who looks a lot like Mario (also seen in Donkey King), but is a completely original game as far as gameplay goes. A sequel done later was called Cave Walker. There are 10 chambers in all; you must navigate through them, dodging acid drops, boulders, etc. Each time you grab a key, a new door appears; unfortunately, some of these doors will open in a different chamber than you are currently in, so you may have to do some exploring to figure out where you just opened a door.
I have never completed the game (although, I have come close), so I don't know what happens when you complete the last
chamber. The author, Michael Aichlmayr, has added some other information and history of the game now, as well:
1) It was originally going to be called Cavern Climber, but that was too close to a game already being developed for Tandy by Steve Bjork called Canyon Climber, so it was changed to Downland.
2) The original game was too big to fit in the 8K ROM that Tandy wanted it in, so some elements from the original game were removed (and the rest of the code compressed) to fit it onto the ROM cartridge.
3) The cartridge version had extensive copy protection in the form of overwriting the ROM area. Unlike most, it also overwrote where the GIME chip in the Coco 3 (still 3 years down the road) was going to eventually be, which is why the cartridge does not work properly on the Coco 3.
Addendum: Tandy themselves released a version 1.1 that fixed it to work on the Coco 3. The cartridge label looks different on the updated version.
For other interesting trivia and history, please see the Author's Approval page.
Author: Michael Aichlmayr
Publisher: Licensed to Radio Shack/Tandy through Spectral Associates
Requires: Color Computer 1,2 ONLY, 16K RAM, cartridge, joystick. (A cracked version that will work from disk, and the Coco 3, has been done.)
NOTE: January 2,2000 - John Kowalski (Sock Master) has indicated that it IS possible to run the cartridge on a Coco 3. Here is how he says to do it:
There is a way to play the original cartridge on a Coco 3 (and the trick probably works for some other carts that don't automatically work). You put tape over the left-side pins like you normally do to disable the autoexecution, turn on your Coco 3, THEN insert the cartridge (CAREFULLY!), and then type EXEC &HE010.
Please note: If you misalign the cartridge when inserting it with the computer on, you can blow your computer up... so be very careful if you try this method.
Of course, as of May 23, 2002, you can just download the Coco 3 friendly version of DOWNLAND.BIN.
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