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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by intric8 Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:27 am

One of my earliest and fondest gaming memories with the Commodore 64 revolved around an oft-forgotten classic platform called Miner 2049er. It was originally made for early Atari computers and ported over to the C64 in the early 80s. When I first played it, my C64 was hooked up to a giant hand-me-down color TV in a wooden cabinet with very low contrast. It was pretty bad. But the game didn't care. It all worked the same.

It has all kinds of cool turns and twists. The basic idea is you have to run your character (a hideous and portly miner) across the entire floor of each level, changing the floor (or picking up something) from a hatched pattern to a solid color. And it’s timed. There are bad guys with no AI that walk around each level based on the designer’s intricate placings. If you pick up special items, this gives you a brief moment to eliminate the bad guys, sort of like power pills from Pac Man. And sometimes you have to kill them or you won’t be able to finish a level.

As you get beyond level 2, the levels become more extravagant and demanding. Maddeningly, there doesn’t seem to be a way to earn bonus men (at least, not that I can remember). You only have 3 men to start. Woe be the gamer who foolishly dies on level 2 or 3. Getting past level 5 requires a lot of patience, study and skill.

The mechanics and pretty fantastic and the game is extremely easy to pick up and start playing. It’s sort of like Donkey Kong in a way. But instead of just four different levels, it has 10 (although I’ve never seen all 10 of them).

In any case thought I’d trot this great old game out. I never see it discussed amongst the great games of the era, but it really was. At least to me.
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The informative yet uninspiring intro screen (sans crack text/intro stuff - my copy looks like the original, which is nice).
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The game has a very Donkey Kong / Loderunner feel to it, if a bit chunkier.
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Level 1 gives you a false sense of security as you mow through it with ease.
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Certain jumps have to be just right. You can actually fall off some platforms and survive. But if you jump and miss? You die. And the height of the falls you can survive, or nor, is sometimes hard to discern. It really is a pixel-perfect platformer with no "close enough" passes.
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The colors of each level seem to be random. Or, at least, they change. And your character is probably one of the least attractive characters ever designed. And yet... I like him.
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I remember the elevator level bafflingly my young brain for a brief moment then giving be an insane thrill when I learned how to navigate it. The level design is really pretty awesome.
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Level 2 is a literal take on Chutes and Ladders. It takes some practice to understand how to pick up the stuff off the ground - whatever it is - without barreling down a slide.
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This level is really hard to figure out your jumps. And the countdown timer only adds to the stress. And if you die? Start over. Brutal. Awesome yet brutal.
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mattsoft

Re: There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by mattsoft Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:39 am

Great game. You ever tried Bounty Bob Strikes Back?
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by intric8 Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:50 am

That's the name of the character from Miner, isn't it? No - I don't remember playing that. Some sort of follow-up?
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by LambdaCalculus Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:57 am

Yup, Bounty Bob Strikes Back is a sequel to Miner 2049er and stars the same character.
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by intric8 Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:59 am

Well dang I'll have to check that out. I don't think I ever played it, but it'll be wild if it scratches some ancient brain cell of mine I didn't know existed anymore! And if not? Woo-hoo! Good times either way. Thanks for the rec.
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mattsoft

Re: There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by mattsoft Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:01 pm

For some reason I always liked Bounty Bob Strikes Back better, but I think Miner 2049er is considered the better game. Bounty Bob may have been easier. :)
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A10001986

Re: There's (radioactive) gold in dem hills

by A10001986 Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:28 pm

Strangely, I see the filename in c64-typical letters before my eyes, but I have no recollection at all of the actual game...

Anyway, appreciate the reminder! :)

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