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The Vectrex Game

Fortress of Narzod



Introduction

Given its size and the state of art at that time, the source code for the Fortress of Narzod was broken into several files to compartmentalize the code and make it easier for me to edit. The top-most file (the one that was submitted to the assembler) was NARZOD.ASM and in-turn, it would would link to the associated files.

The top most file for the Fortress of Narzod:

NARZOD.ASM

The associated files:

CITDEL.NAR GBULET.NAR MAIN.NAR TAIL.NAR
COLLIDE.NAR GGUARD.NAR PACKS.NAR TIMERS.NAR
GAME.NAR GSPIKE.NAR PRSPCT.NAR WALLS.NAR
GBIRD.NAR INIT.NAR SOUND.NAR  
GBLAST.NAR KILLER.NAR SUBR.NAR  

Just a couple of comments:

  • The following game description comes from the document that I wrote to describe Fortress of Narzod. When asked about the game, this is the document that I would pass around. You'll see mentions of the Gatekeeper. In the code, you'll see where I named the Gatekeeper 'Killer' - it's not what you might expect.

    The cabin I lived in was all glass on one end and overlooked a lake. I happened to be looking out the window when a hummingbird flew into the glass. I had assumed that it was dead until I noticed it moving. I brought it inside so that an animal wouldn't get it. Suiting my sense of humor, I named it 'Killer' - it was a little over an inch long. At that time, I was working on the Gatekeeper logic. After a couple of days with no sign of improving, I searched around and found a shelter that would accept it.

Game Description

The playing field for Narzod consists of four (4) sections -

  • Lower Roadway (and gateway)
  • Middle Roadway (and gateway)
  • Upper Roadway (and gateway)
  • The fortress (and gatekeeper)

The player must survive three types of guardians on each roadway -

  • The 'Crabs'
  • The 'Spiders'
  • The 'Stompers'

Each guardian type has similiar motion, the prime difference being the rate of motion. Each guardian is equipped with one spiker that is dropped in a random downward cone and at random timers. The guardians require one or more shots to be killed. If the shot does not kill the guardian - the guardian cries in pain, throws his one and only spiker (if it has not already been dropped), jumps to the side and downward to escape the next shot and becomes dimmer. As the guardian becomes dimmer, it becomes more susceptible to the hits. It can not be told by appearance if a guardian has a spiker, the player has to be keep track of spikers mentally (it can be done). At certain levels, the spikers when hit, split into two smaller spikers.

When all the guardians are killed on a given roadway, a message is displayed above the gateway signalling that the player may move thru the gate to the next level. Until all the guardians are killed, the player is confined to the lower 2/3 of the roadway.

Another character that occurs at the moderate and upper game level is the warbird. The warbird can only be shot when over the roadway (one shot is sufficient). When a warbird has been shot, the warbird turns into a shield that can protect against bouncing bullets and falling spikers. The shield gradually fades until it disappears. The shield also blocks the motion of the blaster. If the warbird contacts the blaster, the blaster is destroyed.

There are two (2) types of warbirds - passive and active. The passive warbird merely flies around, looking for warbirds of the opposite sex. The active warbird will fire on the blaster when it gets close enough. The warbird bullets can go thru a shield and do not effect the guardians, spikers or other warbirds. A single warbird bullet can kill the blaster.

If the player makes it thru all three (3) roadway levels and passes thru the last gateway, the fortress is exposed. However, the fortress is protected by the gatekeeper - one mean mother. The gatekeeper like the guardians require more than one shot to die (about six (6) shots are required). The gatekeeper moves from side-to-side only, throwing spikers as fast as he can. Most the spikers are aimed directly at the blaster, but the others are thrown on either side (trying to catch the evasive blaster motions of the player). There are no limits on the number of spikers that the gatekeeper can throw. As this sequence is continued, the gatekeeper moves and throws the spikers faster. The spikers on this level will split in two smaller spikers when hit by a bullet.

Scoring -

Standard spiker   =   50 points
Splitting spiker   =   100 points
 
Crabs   =   10 points
Spiders   =   10 points
Stompers   =   10 points
 
Warbirds   =   100 points
 
Gatekeeper   =   10 points (And a bonus blaster)

Game Levels -

Game Level #1

Lower Roadway
    Crabs   =   6 points  
    Spiders   =   8 points  
    Stompers   =   10 points  
 
Middle Roadway
    Crabs   =   10 points (3 passive warbirds)
    Spiders   =   12 points (3 passive warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   14 points (3 passive warbirds) - splitting spikers
 
Upper Roadway
    Crabs   =   10 points (3 nasty warbirds)
    Spiders   =   12 points (3 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   14 points (3 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers

Game Level #2

Lower Roadway
    Crabs   =   16 points (3 passive warbirds)
    Spiders   =   20 points (5 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   20 points (6 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
 
Middle Roadway
    Crabs   =   30 points (6 passive warbirds)
    Spiders   =   30 points (6 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   40 points (6 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
 
Upper Roadway
    Crabs   =   40 points (8 nasty warbirds)
    Spiders   =   8 points (8 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   8 points (8 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers

Game Level #3

Lower Roadway
    Crabs   =   32 points (5 passive warbirds)
    Spiders   =   36 points (6 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   38 points (6 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
 
Middle Roadway
    Crabs   =   40 points (8 passive warbirds)
    Spiders   =   42 points (8 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   48 points (10 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
 
Upper Roadway
    Crabs   =   40 points (8 nasty warbirds)
    Spiders   =   56 points (8 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers
    Stompers   =   62 points (8 nasty warbirds) - splitting spikers

For game level #4 and beyond, the game #3 level sequence is simply repeated. The active game level message is incremented correctly (i.e - 4, 5, ... 10 etc.). This approach was used because I ran out of room. I doubt that the player would notice that the game sequence is simply repeating beyond level #3. (Remember that it would probably take the player more than 15 minutes per game level at this point).