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FAQ/Walkthrough by JDaily

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 01/06/00

                          ADVENTURE  [Atari 2600]
                          A FAQ by  John N. Daily

---   Credits   ---

To Atari, for publishing what is arguably the first ever Adventure/RPG game.
To Warren Robinett for creating what is definitely the first ever "Easter Egg"
    in a game, as well as one of the greatest and most influential games of 
    all time. Adventure was a true original in the world of Space Invaders and 
    Pong clones that was 1978 Video gaming.
To my kids Zachary and Caleb, for making me realize how much fun the 2600 can 
    still be.

---    Contents    ---

1: Why a FAQ?

2: Gameplay
   a) The Story of Adventure
   b) Using the Controller
   c) Difficulty Switches
   d) Characters and Items
      1) Hero
      2) Evil Magician
      3) Yorgle, Grundle and Rhindle
      4) The Black Bat
      5) The Keys and Castles
      6) The Magnet
      7) The Sword
      8) The Bridge
      9) The Enchanted Chalice
   e) Variation 1
   f) Variation 2
   g) Variation 3
   h) Tips
      1) Tempt the Bat With Used Keys
      2) Use the Bat to Do Your Dirty Work
      3) Learn the Mazes!
      4) Help! There's a Dead Dragon In My Way!!
      5) Lock Him Up and Throw Away the Key

3: The History of Adventure

4: Tricks
   a) The Very First "Easter Egg" Ever
   b) Walking Through Walls
   c) Walking On The Game Select Screen

5: Useful Links

6: Bibliography and Copyright Information

7: Version history

     Well, I began to feel nostalgic. I wanted to produce a FAQ that would 
help reproduce the fascination I felt as a child popping the game cart into 
what was a relatively new medium at the time: the video game. For a game 
produced in the late 1970's on a very limited machine (only capable of moving 
two objects at once, for example), it's pretty amazing the depth this game 
has. It's also easier to find a loose cartridge at a flea market or garage 
sale than it is to find the actual instructions for 2600 games. For these 
reasons, I decided the poor, forgotten, old Atari 2600 deserved better than 
to fade away with so little documentation as proof of its existence. Thus, a 
new series of FAQs is born! I hope you enjoy them; drop me a line and let me 
know that someone is actually reading this! :-)


    Apparently, it's not *always* in the details. In Adventure, you play a 
    nameless hero trying to set right the nasty deeds performed by a nameless 
    evil magician in a nameless Kingdom. It seems the evil magician has stolen
    an Enchanted Chalice from a Golden Castle. The Chalice is hidden somewhere
    in the Kingdom, and you must find it and return it to its proper home. 

    Assuming you are playing the actual game cartridge on an Atari 2600 (or 
    Sears compatible system), hold the joystick so that red button is in the 
    upper left corner. Pushing the joystick up, down, left and right moves 
    your character in the same direction. To pick up an item, simply run into
    it. To drop an item, press the red button. In Adventure, you may only 
    carry one item at a time.
    Again, assuming you are playing the actual game cartridge on an Atari 2600
    (or Sears compatible system), the LEFT Difficulty Switch will control 
    "bite speed". If it is set to "B", the Dragons will pause before they bite
    you. If it is set to "A", they will bite without hesitation.  The RIGHT 
    Difficulty Switch, when set to "A" will cause the Dragons to run away from
    the sword. 

    1) HERO
       This is your character. You're the most handsome square in the Kingdom.
       This is the guy that stole the Enchanted Chalice. You'll never see him,
       but he's responsible for all the Bad JuJu in the Kingdom.

       These are the three infamous duck-like dragons in Adventure. Bet you 
       forgot they had names, didn't you? :) Yorgle is the Yellow Dragon. He 
       is found in all three game variations, and is a bit slower than your 
       character. He guards the Enchanted Chalice in Game Variation 2. In Game
       1, he will be roaming around the Kingdom. Yorgle is afraid of the 
       yellow key. He will not go near you if you are carrying it, and he will
       not be found in any room in which it appears. Grindle is the Green 
       Dragon. He travels at the same speed as Yorgle, but will chase you 
       regardless of what you may be carrying.  He guards the Black Key, the 
       Bridge and the Magnet. Rhindle is the Red Dragon. He is the fastest 
       Dragon and travels at the same speed as your character. Thus, he is the
       most difficult to evade. He mainly guards the White Key, but in Game 
       Variation 3 he can be found guarding the Enchanted Chalice.. If any of 
       the Dragons succeed in getting you between their jaws, all it takes is 
       one direct bite and you will be swallowed whole. The only thing you can
       do is move around a bit in the belly of the Dragon who has made you his
       lunch, which is fun but not too helpful in finishing the game. You do 
       have a saving move however; simply press the Game Reset switch and you 
       (along with any Dragons you might have slain) will be reincarnated. Any
       item you might have been carrying at the time of your demise will be 
       where you dropped it.
       The Black Bat will be the cause of most of your misery. If you have 
       never played Adventure before, be prepared for the frustration this 
       little bugger will be causing you. The Black Bat is like a crow: he 
       loves to pick things up. However, his taste is not limited strictly to
       shiny objects. He will pick up anything he can find, including Dragons.
       He also loves to trade things, giving you whatever he may be carrying 
       in exchange for whatever *you* are carrying. It is not unheard of for a
       player to be nearing a castle gate with the proper key, only to have 
       the Bat come out of nowhere and exchange it for a Dragon! There are two
       fairly good points about the Bat though. The first is that it can 
       retrieve items that have become stuck in walls. The second is that you 
       can catch the Bat and whatever item it may be carrying. For example, 
       the Bat is carrying the sword. You may catch the Bat and carry it 
       around until you find a Dragon. Maneuver the bat so that the sword 
       stabs the Dragon, then let the Bat go. Chances are, it will drop the 
       sword and carry the dead Dragon away (this is especially easy to do at
       the start of Game Variation 2). The Bat moves at the same speed as the
       player, and it does not appear in Game Variation 1. 
       There are  up to (depending on the Game Variation you are playing) 
       three different colored keys: Yellow, Black and White. Each Key 
       corresponds to the same color castle. At the start of the game, each 
       castle is locked and can only be opened with the same color key. Like 
       any other item, you may only carry one key at a time.

       The magnet attracts any items that may be in the same room with it. 
       I've never found it to be all that useful, although it is good for 
       getting items that may be stuck in a wall.

    7) THE SWORD
       Fairly obvious, use the sword to kill the Dragons.

       The bridge is used to walk through certain walls (mainly in the mazes).
       With the exception of the "Easter Egg" trick, I've never found it to be
       that useful. To use it, pick it up by an end, place it over the wall 
       you want to walk through (both ends of the Bridge must be on a area the
       player can actually walk on), then press the button. A word of caution:
       be careful when using the Bridge. As the game is set up so that 
       touching an object causes you to pick it up, if you touch any part of 
       the Bridge while walking through it, it is possible for you to become 
       trapped within a wall.

       This is the Holy Grail of Adventure; the reason for playing. You must 
       find it and return it to the Yellow Castle to win the game.

    The easiest game. If you have never played Adventure before, start with  
    this. There are only two Dragons (Yorgle and Grundle) to deal with, and 
    two castles to explore. There is one maze (the Blue Labyrinth) to 
    navigate. There is no Black Bat in this game and Yorgle roams freely about
    the Kingdom. He *may* be guarding the Enchanted Chalice.

    This game features all three castles, keys and Dragons. There are also two
    more labyrinths that must be navigated; one in the White Castle and 
    another in the Black Castle. The Black Bat makes his first appearance in 
    this game. This variation has "fixed" settings. That is, all of the items 
    and characters will always be in the same place every time you play. 
    Yorgle guards the Enchanted Chalice.

    This game variation is exactly the same as Variation 2, except that all 
    object, key and character placement is now  completely random. Rhindle 
    guards the Enchanted Chalice.

       Some players like to use a key to open a Castle gate and then place 
       that key inside the Castle for safe keeping. I say, once you've raised 
       the gate (you don't have to walk inside the Castle to do this) drop the
       used key somewhere else in the Kingdom where the Bat can get at it. The
       more used items scattered around that he can play with, the less likely
       he's going to grab something you need.
       Just like the example I gave in the Black Bat section, grab that little
       bugger when he's carrying around the sword. Use him to kill any Dragons
       out in the open, then let him go to (hopefully) carry off a carcass, 
       leaving you with the sword in the process.

       They are not terribly complex, but as they are designed in such a 
       manner that they can't exist in the 'real' world, they can be 
       confusing. It's very easy to find yourself at a dead end when a Dragon
       is in pursuit. Learn them, so that you can navigate them more quickly 
       when you're in a hurry.

       Well, it's possible to get the bat to take the Dragon out of your way, 
       but it doesn't happen very often. If possible, find and deposit two 
       another item or two near the Dragon. The Atari 2600 had a problem with 
       drawing too many things on screen at once, and the result is an 
       annoying flickering that can enable you to actually walk through the 
       It is possible to lure the Bat into any of the castles and then leave 
       towing the key behind you, thus locking the door and trapping him 
       inside. Note that, although rare, he does occasionally manage to find 
       his way out (by osmosis through the walls?) anyway. 

     In 1978, the climate for home video game design was fairly static. Sports
and combat styled games (tanks and bi-planes) were common themes. The arcades,
however, were a different story. That was the year that Tatio, a Japanese 
corporation, had tapped into their (and our) country's increasing fascination 
with UFOs and the possibility of life on other planets. Using this as a base 
theme for a new game, they created a monster. The game was Space Invaders, and
they sold 6 times (60,000 in the United States alone, distributed through 
Midway) the normal number of units. Everyone saw these little goose stepping 
aliens in their dreams, and the companies with home video game systems (at 
that time Atari, Magnavox, Fairchild, Bally and RCA) saw gold. Space had 
become the theme of the times, and Invader clones were at the front of the 
pack. While Atari hadn't yet licensed Space Invaders for their VCS home 
system, and while their in-house development team was given the freedom to 
pretty much do what they want, this atmosphere becomes important later.
     Enter Warren Robinett. Having joined Atari in 1978, he single handedly 
(all the game developers worked alone back then) was responsible for 
Adventure, from conception to creation. The policy at Atari at that time was 
not to publicly give credit to their designers, for fear that the recognition
and increasing popularity of credited designers would start bidding wars and, 
thus, raise the designers' fees. As a result, many developers left Atari; most
notably, David Crane, Larry Kaplan (who, ironically, was Robinett's boss at 
Atari), Bob Whitehead and Alan Miller (who formed Activision, the world's 
first software only company). Robinett would leave too, to form The Learning 
Company (still in operation today; their latest hits are the Pokemon Blue and 
Red Project Studio Print Shop programs for home computers), but not before he 
exhibited his frustration with Atari's "no names" policy by creating the first
ever "Easter Egg": his name hidden within the Adventure game. Surprisingly, 
not only *didn't* Warren get into trouble over this, Atari apparently liked 
the idea so much that they later created a series of games where the object 
was to find hidden items: The SwordQuest series.
     Jump forward to 1979. Home systems are inundated with space games when 
Adventure arrives. While not the incredible hit it is made out to be now, it 
is a breath of fresh air. A new genre is born and the release of The Legend 
of Zelda seven years later for the Nintendo Entertainment System may have owed
more than a little to Warren Robinett. 

    If there is anyone reading this who doesn't know what an "Easter Egg" is,
it's simply anything hidden within the game; tricks, codes and messages all 
are examples. If you have enjoyed any of these in any games over the past 21 
years, you may thank Mr. Robinett. 
Here's how to find his message in Adventure:

    1) Start Game Variation 2 or 3

    2) Enter the Black Castle. Make sure you have the Bridge handy.

    3) Make your way through the maze until you get to an screen where 
       everything begins to flash. As we know by the limited amount of objects
       available on screen at once, this can only mean one thing: there is 
       something else in this room.

    4) Using the Bridge, enter a small square room at the bottom center of 
       your screen. This room contains a small "dot" that is only 1 pixel in
       size (by comparison, your character is 16 pixels in size; four wide and
       four deep). The dot is not invisible; rather, it is the same color as 
       the ground. If you want to make sure you have it, simply walk near a 
       wall on the side you're carrying it. It should show up.

    5) Take the dot to the room just below and to the right of the Yellow 
       Castle. This is the room with a black band running up and down the 
       right side. Drop the dot somewhere in the room.

    6) Go and get two more objects and drop them in this room. The black line
       should flash. Simply walk through the line and enjoy a little piece of 

     The Bridge can be a fun little time waster. Experiment a bit with it; it 
     is possible to use it to travel to screens you shouldn't be allowed to 
     travel to! :)

     On the game select screen, simply pull down on your joystick and your 
     character will appear. Appropriately, you will be the same color as the 
     border of the Select screen (depending on what number you have chosen).

     For those of you who wish to view an actual Instruction manual, Greg 
Chance hosts an archive of them at http://videogames.org
I can not guarantee that this FAQ's game is available, as I have not looked. 
Nor can I be responsible for the accuracy of information provided there. 
Nevertheless, it is an extremely useful and entertaining site for those people
who are interested in "Classic" video gaming.

For those of you who can't find a cartridge of Adventure (or don't have a 2600
to run it on), Vgr has created a terrific PC port called "Indenture".
Hop on over to http://www.clark.net/pub/vgr/ to get it.

For this and other useful FAQs, visit Game Faqs at http://www.gamefaqs.com
I will be adding more Atari 2600 FAQs shortly.

   Bloom, Steve. Video Invaders. Arco Publishing, Inc., 1982.
   (Author Unknown). Interview With Warren Robinett. Game Over net 

This entire document Copyright 2000 by John N. Daily
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, by any means,
without permission in writing by the author. This document may not appear in 
any electronic format, including CD Rom, other than on Game Faqs 
(http://www.gamefaqs.com) and the author's own site, without permission in 
writing by the author. This document is not to appear with any emulation 
related materials, nor be compressed with emulation related files. While I am
not entirely against emulation, most Atari games still have active copyrights
attached to them and are not in the public domain. Besides, it's sooo much 
more fun finding an actual copy of the game, popping it in, and grabbing that
cheesy, wrist cramping joystick! :)  


v1.1 (This version) - fixed a directional error in Section 4A

v1.0 - first release - v1.0 (1/6/2000)                      

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