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Post  msistarted on Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:00 am

Pitfall! is a video game released by Activision for the Atari 2600 in 1982. It is one of the best selling games ever made for the Atari 2600, with over 4 million copies sold.[1]

* 1 Gameplay
o 1.1 Scoring
* 2 History and development
* 3 Sequels
* 4 Ports
* 5 Television adaptation
* 6 Marketing
* 7 References
* 8 External links

[edit] Gameplay

The player must maneuver a character known as Harry through a maze-like jungle in an attempt to recover 32 treasures in a 20-minute time period. Along the way, he must negotiate numerous hazards, including pits, quicksand, rolling logs, scorpions, and crocodiles. Harry may jump over or otherwise avoid these obstacles by climbing, running, or swinging on a vine to avoid them. Treasure includes gold and silver bars, diamond rings, and bags of money. Under the jungle, Harry can travel through catacombs.
[edit] Scoring

The player starts with 2,000 points and has three lives to complete the course within the 20 minute time limit. Each treasure collected varies in points:

* Money bag: 2,000 points
* Silver bar: 3,000 points
* Gold bar: 4,000 points
* Diamond ring: 5,000 points

There are eight of each treasure. A perfect score by claiming all 32 treasures without losing points is 114,000.

Points are deducted by either falling in a hole (100 points) or coming in contact with either stationary or rolling logs; point loss depends on how long contact is made with the logs.

The player loses a turn if Harry comes in contact with any obstacle (except logs, see above) or falls into a tar pit, quicksand, water hole, or mouth of a crocodile.

The game ends when either all 32 treasures have been collected, all three turns have been lost, or time runs out.
[edit] History and development

Pitfall! was created by David Crane, a programmer who worked for Activision in the early 1980s. In a November 2003 interview with Edge he described how in 1979 he had developed the technology to display a realistic little running man and in 1982 was searching for a suitable game in which to use it:
Screenshot of Pitfall! for the Atari 2600
“ I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and drew a stick figure in the center. I said, “Okay, I have a little running man and let's put him on a path [two more lines drawn on the paper]. Where is the path? Let's put it in a jungle [draw some trees]. Why is he running [draw treasures to collect, enemies to avoid, etc.]?” And Pitfall! was born. This entire process took about ten minutes. About 1,000 hours of programming later, the game was complete. ”

Its technical achievements included non-flickering, multicolored, animated sprites on a system with notoriously primitive graphics hardware. Pitfall! was a massive success for the 2600. Several ports were made for computer systems (such as the Commodore 64, Atari 800, and TRS-80 Color Computer), as well as for home consoles (such as the ColecoVision and the Intellivision). It was also one of the first Platform games ever created.[citation needed]
[edit] Sequels

Crane also produced a popular sequel, Pitfall II: Lost Caverns the following year. It sold well, though not as well as the original. Unlike most games of its day, it had a definite ending.
Screenshot of Pitfall! on the ColecoVision

In 1985, Activision licensed Pitfall! to Sega, which made an arcade version of Pitfall II: Lost Caverns. The game, which is now quite rare, is thoroughly remade with a first level resembling the original Pitfall! a second level resembling the caverns of Pitfall II and later levels that were completely original. This version was adapted for the SG-1000.

Pitfall! was also created for the Commodore 64 and Apple II using Activision Gamemaker as a demonstration of the game building software.

Pitfall! appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 as Super Pitfall, but was not successful and received poor reviews.

The series sequel, the popular Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure made its debut on the SNES and Genesis-Mega Drive systems in 1994 and also showing up on the subsequent Sega 32X system a short time afterward. The game was ported to the Windows 95 operating system and the Atari Jaguar the following year. Its most recent release was in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance. The Mayan Adventure was well known for having the original Pitfall! available to play on it.

In 1998, Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle for the Sony PlayStation, featuring the voice of Bruce Campbell as Pitfall Harry, was released.

In 2004, a sequel was released for PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox. It was titled Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, though it had many cartoony effects with tributes to the original Pitfall! The first two original games are playable in the game. A port of this game titled Pitfall: The Big Adventure was released for the Wii on September 23, 2008.[2]

In 2006, the original Pitfall! resurfaced as a mini-game in Arcade's Murderworld in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. There is a sequence where the player has to rescue Jean Grey from an arcade machine. The player has to go through a Pitfall!-type game in order to reach Jean and free her from the machine. In The Jungle Book for the SNES it was also a hidden mini-game.
[edit] Ports

Pitfall was made available on Microsoft's Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and for Windows-based PCs in May 2010.
[edit] Television adaptation

In 1983, Pitfall! made its animated television debut as a segment on CBS' Saturday Supercade cartoon lineup, under the name Pitfall Harry. The basic plotline involved Harry, his niece Rhonda, and his cowardly mountain lion Quicksilver exploring various lands for hidden treasure.[3] After only one season, Pitfall Harry and Frogger were replaced by Kangaroo and Space Ace. The series has not been officially released on DVD or VHS.

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