Tiny Lynx Adventure

It’s been a while since this was released, but I never got around to putting this on my blog. You see, I created my first complete game for the Atari Lynx and put out both the ROM file in LNX format and the source code.


The game is based on a sample called adventure.asm by Norman B. Lancaster which you can find on the www.6502asm.com website. Simply select that file from the dropdown, press Compile, then Run and play with the WASD keys to move. I found that small sample so enjoyable to play, simple as it looks and works, that I chose it as my learning project.

Here are some simple instructions from the original source:

; Thank you for trying my game! You are Good Guy, and you are on a
; quest to defeat Bad Guy, the only other guy in this area of The
; World.
; You start in the forest. Somewhere within the forest are a pair of
; flippers, which will allow you to swim in the river. Somewhere along
; the banks of the river there is a key to the White Castle. Within the
; White Castle are a protective crown and a deadly weapon (it looks
; like a red star thingy). These two items are needed to defeat Evil
; Evil Guy lives in the Black Castle, which you can get to through the
; desert. Conveniently enough, the key to the Black Castle is somewhere
; in the desert.
; Find Evil Guy in the Black Castle while wearing the crown and weapon
; and you win! If you lack either the crown or weapon, the screen will
; flash only red, and you will loose!

The game is minimalistic and has no sound and only simplistic graphics (like the original). Yet it also has a nifty feature that might make it fun to replay: random item placement. The world stays the same, but the items will spawn at random locations in the world.

Known issues:

  • The game can only be played once. You will need to turn your Lynx off and on (Flashcart or EEPROM burner owners) or reset Handy (F3 on Windows)
  • No savegame feature
  • The screen does not flash red when you loose from Evil Guy. Instead you get the Game Over screen.

Here are screenshots to  give you an impression of the game:


The pictures show the start screen, the death star weapon and crown items and the entry of the black castle. Finally there’s Evil Guy and the victory screen.

Somehow the game got picked up by Retro Gamer Magazine in the Homebrew section. Jason Kelk reviewed the game and had this to say about it:


“The dastardly Bad Guy is in need of defeating and Good Guy, the only other person in this particular part of The World, has been sent to sort him out. But evem getting to Bad Guy is going to take a lot of exploration. Not only that, but Good Guy will also need to locate a pair of floppers to swim through otherwise impassable lakes, search the desert for a key to open the ominous-sounding Black Castle and, unless the protective crown and deadly weapon are also retrieved, trying to take on Bad Guy will automatically prove fatal for our hero.
The blocky graphics and non-existent sound – both due to the original game being written for an online 6502 emulator – really don’t do the Lynx system any justice at all, but somehow, even though the gameplay is limited to just exploring and collecting the occasional object, it’s still and entertaining undertaking.
We’d really like to see an improved version of this game which adds some enemies to fight, treasures to discover and audiovisuals that take proper advantage of the hardware.”

Jason Kelk gave the game a whopping 80%, which is pretty good for the game it is.

Included for your convenience are the game and its source code: Source code and Rom file in my Atari Lynx SkyDrive folder. You can read about the discussion around TLA on the Atari Age forums for the Lynx.

Drop me a comment if you are interested in reading a technical lowdown on the game or if you want the source code to be upgraded to the latest CC65.

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