|Full name: Pitfall!
(Pitfall Harry's Jungle Adventure)
Pitfall is undeniably one of the most creative, entertaining,
and challenging games ever to grace the 2600. Not only did
Pitfall maintain the Billboard charts top slot for 64
consecutive weeks, but it was named Video Game of the Year in
1982. Not many games can boast that kind of
popularity! Pitfall is a true classic in every sense of
the word, so if you haven't played it yet stop reading this page
and go buy it now!
Pitfall! is an action game starring none other than the famous
Pitfall Harry (nothing like having a game named after you to tweak
your ego a bit). You must guide Harry through 255 screens of
hot steamy jungle in order to recover all 32 fabulous treasures
which just happen to be laying around in broad daylight (isn't
that always the case?). However your journey is not without
peril: deadly snakes, blazing fires, scorpions, swamps, tar pits,
and deadly crocodiles all stand between you and the treasures.
Oh did I forget to mention that you only have twenty minutes
to complete your quest?
Each screen is separated into two parts, the
jungle and the underground tunnels. The underground tunnels
are a special shortcut which will allow Harry to advance three
screens for each section of tunnel he runs through. If
you're going to have any chance of grabbing all 32 treasures
before the timer runs out then you're going to need to learn how
navigate these tunnels. Unfortunately the tunnels happen to
be inhabited by scorpions which must be jumped over (proper timing
is critical). These nasty little buggers even managed to
make their way into the sequel!
Above ground Harry must avoid a large variety of
||Ever wonder what set these things in motion
in the first place? Whatever it was, it appears that
it gave these logs some kind of perpetual motion because
they never stop rolling. If Harry happens to be
flattened by a log he'll only loose a few points.
This may not sound so bad, but being hit will also
slow you down for a sec, which can throw your timing off!
||These have to be the laziest snakes I've
ever seen, because they won't move a muscle to try and
bite Harry. Snakes are completely stationary and
only deadly if Harry accidentally touches one.
Carefully jump over them and move on.
||Guess there are some Boy Scouts in the
area, because campfires just don't light themselves (or do
they?). Either way, fires act just like snakes and
are only deadly if Harry happens to jump into one.
Harry should really douse these fires or they'll
burn the jungle down! No time for that however,
Harry has a timer ticking away.
||The absolute worst enemy in Pitfall!
Not only are these guys deadly, but time consuming
too! Harry must carefully jump from head to head as
he makes his way across the swamp, but if he's on the
crocodiles mouth when it opens it's bye bye Harry (Harry
can safely stand on the head however). Careful
timing will allow Harry to quickly jump across all three
crocs before they snap.
||Looks like some idiot has decided to dig
holes all over the jungle (probably looking for buried
treasure). Falling into a hole will cause Harry to
drop down into the tunnels, and cost him a hundred points.
Try not to fall into the holes, that's what the
ladders going in and out of the tunnels are for!
|Tar Pits & Lakes
||Tar pits and lakes come in two flavors:
stationary and moving. Stationary tar pits and lakes
are always visible on the screen and have a vine for Harry
to swing over them on (time to do your best Tarzan
impression). However moving tar pits and lakes are a
little more devious, for they open and close
unexpectedly. Moving tar pits and lakes are timed to
open without warning (sucking poor Harry down if he's
caught), and close just as rapidly. There's just
enough time between the opening and closing for Harry to
run across the screen safely. Timing is crucial
however, as even a slight delay can mean death.
Collecting all 32 treasures in the twenty minutes
you're allotted is a difficult proposition, but can be done with
the help of a map and alot of practice. Unfortunately
there's no special ending for getting all the treasures, and the
game will abruptly stop as if the timer had run out. Still,
being able to collect all the treasures is a huge accomplishment
and well worth the bragging rights. Most gamers will never
be able to accomplish this feat.
While most people consider Pitfall to be one of the
best games on the 2600, many people complain about its rather high
difficulty level. If you think beating the game on three
lives is difficult, just think how hard it would be with only
one? According to recent interviews, David Crane had been
experimenting with making Harry mortal (that's one life folks)
only a week before the game was released! Thankfully David
came to his senses and left Harry with three lives, but you have
to wonder what the game would have been like with only one life.
Would Pitfall have been anywhere near as popular with such a
high degree of difficulty? Probably, but it sure as heck
wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.
||Late Stage WIP
|Pitfall 3/18/83 Activision
|Bug Fix Beta?
to 2600 Software