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Overview

Adventure is a 1979 action role playing game for the Atari 2600 developed by Warren Robinett. The game is often cited as the first game to contain a virtual space bigger than a single screen as well as being notable for containing one of the earliest examples of an Easter Egg within a game.

Gameplay

The hero must find the enchanted chalice and return it to the golden castle, while avoiding dragons. Gameplay begins outside of the hero's own golden castle. Various difficulty settings control the number of dragons, castles, and objects that exist in the game world.

The game features three difficulty settings:

1. A simplified version of the game which includes the yellow and green dragons, and a single maze-like castle

2. This setting adds the bat and the Red Dragon. This is the full version of the map, and includes all three castles and multiple mazes.

3. The hardest of the difficulty settings, this uses the same map as setting 2, but all items and enemies are randomly placed at the beginning of the game.

Creatures

Dragons

The hero confronts the green dragon with the sword in hand
The hero confronts the green dragon with the sword in hand

These are the main enemies in the game. They pursue the hero throughout the game world.

The dragon's behavior is modified by the difficulty switches: When the right difficulty switch is in position B they ignore the fact that your character has a sword, and will sometimes impale themselves on it. In position A, they will flee from the sword.

The left difficulty switch dictates the speed of their bite. In the B position, their mouth hesitates before chomping down, allowing for a chance of escape. In the A position, they are much harder to avoid because there is very little pause between roar and bite.

Bat

The bat grabs items and dead dragons, and carries them throughout the game world. The bat will trade items with the hero, and can retrieve items stuck in walls. Like other items in the game, the bat can be grabbed and carried by the hero. The bat does not appear in skill level 1.

Items

The Enchanted Chalice

The hero with the chalice outside of the golden castle
The hero with the chalice outside of the golden castle

The goal of the game is to retrieve the chalice from its place inside the black castle and transport it to the golden castle. When it is inside, the game is won.

Keys

Scattered throughout the game world are three keys, each of which grants access to the castle corresponding to their color.

Sword

The hero can use the sword to kill any of the dragons. When the right difficulty switch is in position 'A' the dragons flee from the hero if the sword is carried.

Magnet

The magnet attracts all objects toward it (though only one at a time if there are multiple objects in the room). This can be useful if an item is stuck in a wall, or is far away on the other side of a given screen.

Bridge

The bridge laying across a gap
The bridge laying across a gap

The bridge allows passage between gaps in the game world. It will span any vertical gap in the game, but cannot be used to cross gaps horizontally. The bridge cannot be used to travel to a different screen or across a locked castle gate.

Easter Egg

Adventure is notable for containing the first known example of an "easter egg" in a console game.

Inside the black castle, in the south wall of a sealed chamber (accessible only with the bridge), is an "invisible" object referred to as the Gray Dot. The player must "bounce" the avatar along the bottom wall to "grab" the dot. The dot is not actually invisible, but is simply the same color as the wall and is easily seen when placed in a catacombs passage or over a normal wall. The dot is not attracted to the magnet, unlike most other objects in Adventure.

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Bringing this dot to the east end of the corridor below the Yellow Castle while other differently colored objects are present causes the wall object to similarly become effectively invisible, allowing the player to pass into a room displaying the words "Created by Warren Robinett".

Robinett kept the Gray Dot a secret for over a year. He was unsure of whether or not it would be discovered by other Atari personnel prior to publishing; the dot was not mentioned in the game's manual, as the manual's author was unaware of the dot's existence. After the game was released, a fifteen-year-old from Salt Lake City discovered the Dot, and sent a letter to Atari explaining how to retrieve it. Robinett had already quit the company by this point, so Atari tasked designers with finding the responsible code. The one who found it said that if he were to fix it, he would change the message in the game to say "Fixed by Brad Stewart". Atari eventually decided to leave the Dot in-game, and dubbed such hidden features Easter eggs, saying they would be adding more such secrets to later games.

Post Release

Microsoft Game Room

Adventure was included in Microsoft's Game Room.

This game is available to play for free at Atari's Arcade Website.

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