Manic Miner

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Manic Miner

Post  msistarted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:40 pm

Manic Miner is a platform game originally written for the ZX Spectrum by Matthew Smith and released by Bug-Byte in 1983 (later re-released by Software Projects). It is the first game in the Miner Willy series and among the pioneers of the platform game genre. The game itself was inspired by the Atari 800 game Miner 2049er[1]. It has since been ported to numerous home computers and video game consoles.

* 1 Gameplay
o 1.1 Objective
o 1.2 Version differences
* 2 Reception
* 3 Ports
o 3.1 SAM Coupé
o 3.2 BBC Micro
o 3.3 Amstrad CPC
o 3.4 Dragon 32/64
o 3.5 Z88
o 3.6 HP48
* 4 Sequels
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links

[edit] Gameplay
Manic Miner's animated loading screen

At the time, its stand-out features included in-game music and sound effects, excellent playability, and colourful graphics, which were well designed for the graphical limitations of the ZX Spectrum. The Spectrum's video display allowed the background and foreground colors to be exchanged automatically without software attention and the "animated" load screen appears to swap the words Manic and Miner through clever manipulation of this feature. A homage to this loading screen appeared in one episode of the 2005 British sitcom Nathan Barley.

On the Spectrum this was the first game with in-game music, the playing of which required constant CPU attention and was thought impossible. It was cleverly achieved by constantly alternating CPU time between the music and the game (which accounts for the music's stuttery rhythm). The in-game music is In the Hall of the Mountain King from Edvard Grieg's music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt. The music that plays during the title screen is an arrangement of An der schönen blauen Donau (popularly known as The Blue Danube), a waltz by Johann Strauß. Both pieces are royalty-free, possibly accounting for their selection for the game.
Manic Miner's first room, "Central Cavern".
[edit] Objective

In each of the twenty caverns are several flashing objects, which the player must collect before Willy's oxygen supply runs out. Once the player has collected the objects in one cavern, they must then go to the now-flashing portal, which will take them to the next cavern. The player must avoid enemies (listed in the cassette inlay) as Poisonous Pansies, Spiders, Slime, and Manic Mining Robots, which move backwards and forwards along a predefined length at constant speeds. Willy can also be killed by falling too far, so players must time the precision of jumps and other movements to prevent such falls or collisions with the enemies.

The game ends when the player has no lives left; extra lives are gained every 10000 points.
[edit] Version differences

There are some differences between the Bug-Byte and Software Projects versions. The scroll-text at the start is slightly different to reflect the different copyright, and there are also several other changes:

1. In Processing Plant, the enemy at the end of the conveyor belt is a bush in the original, whereas the Software Projects one resembles a PacMan ghost.
2. In Amoebatrons' Revenge, the original Bug-Byte amoebatrons look like alien octopuses with tentacles hanging down, whereas the Software Projects amoebatrons resemble the Bug-Byte logo - smiling beetles, with little legs up their sides.
3. In The Warehouse, the original game has threshers travelling up and down the vertical slots, rotating about the screen's X-axis. The Software Projects version has 'impossible triangle' sprites (i.e. the Software Projects logo) instead, which rotate about the screen's Z-axis.
4. The bug-byte cheat code was the numerical sequence "6031769" - based on Matthew Smith's driving licence.[2] In the Software Projects version this changed to "typewriter".

[edit] Reception

Manic Miner was placed at number 25 in the Your Sinclair official top 100 Spectrum games of all time.

It was the winner of a Golden Joystick Award for best arcade style game by Computer & video games magazine in the 1983 edition of the Competition. Placed third in "Game of the Year 1983" of the same competition.[3]

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