By KickahaOta 8 Comments
I used to love Food Fight. I would dump quarters into it like there was no tomorrow. When it was released on the 7800, I was overcome with joy, for not only was Food Fight available on a home system, it was actually not a bad port at all.
One of the cool features of Food Fight was "instant replay". Every few levels -- especially if you had a narrow escape -- the game would replay the whole level again, complete with bouncy music.
The Atari 7800 version of Food Fight had an interesting quirk in this regard. It didn't actually record the action for instant replays; it essentially recorded your controller inputs during the level and played them back during the replay. Due to the way that it handled character movement and hit detection, this meant that the replay wasn't guaranteed to play out in exactly the same way that your actual playthrough did. In particular, if you had a very narrow escape -- if a piece of food only missed you by a pixel or so during your actual playthrough -- it was possible for that food to actually hit you during the replay. If this happened, the game would stop, play the death animation, deduct a life -- but then it would immediately catch its error, display "OOPPS MISSED", play the extra-life music, add a life, and carry on with the next level.
Up until now, I would have sworn on my very soul that everything I said in the previous paragraph was true, even the typo in "OOPPS". Long ago, I posted about this in some forum or another. And as a result, as near as I can tell, I am the source of the "OOPPS MISSED" Food Fight story that has lingered in the back alleys of the Internet ever since, even making its way to this very site.
Well, last year sometime, Atari Museum actually released the source code for a number of 7800 games. I recently stumbled across this fact. And when I saw that Food Fight was on the list, it occurred to me to check to see whether "OOPPS MISSED" was actually in the source code. I used to program on the Apple II, so seeing 6502 assembly language again was a fun little trip down memory lane. So it didn't take me long to find that, yes, there's a routine that gets called if the player manages to die during instance replay, complete with this comment:
; THIS ROUTINE IS CALLED FROM GAME IF PERCHANCE CHARLIE CHUCK WERE TO DIE
; ON AN INSTANT REPLAY. BUT, AS WE ALL KNOW THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE (?).
And yes, it plays the extra man tune and adds a life, and yes, it displays a text string... and that text string is... "ALMOST MADE IT".
The word "MISSED" never even appears in the source code. Neither does the word "OOPS", with or without a typo.
My childhood is a hollow lie, and I am a fountain of deceit.
(Update: I've now submitted an edit for the page in order to conceal my error from history.)