Created in 1985 by Broderbund, this was one of the most difficult NES games ever. As the title implies, the game takes place within a cave. Your job is travel as deep as possible in the cave, using keys (of the red and blue key variety) to unlock the several doors that bar your way to the treasure.
The game has one main level (as far as I know). Which is split into 3 sub-level (you know you clear a sub-level when the music briefly changes and a elevator thing appears). After you beat the main level, the game repeats with a few major differences. One, the color palette changes, and second the keys are all now invisible. These keys are neccessay to advance, and the developers did nasty things like putting keys in places that you have to jump straight up to get (has anyone made it to the 3rd repeat of the main level?).
The game is incredibly difficult because the player character is extremely death prone. The following are just some of the ways to die:
- Falling off of the mine shaft elevator
- Falling more than the character's height
- Being hit by falling bat droppings (Don't worry. You have a flare gun to scare away bats)
- Being attacked by the ghost (Again don't worry. You carry a gun to shoot the ghost)
- Not running away quickly enough when you set a bomb
- Getting hit by fire, in the weird fire coming from the ceiling room
- Falling into a tiger trap
- Running out of time (time is short and can be refilled by picking up the right item (hint: it's the phallic item))
It is important not to be discouraged by the difficulty. The control is so touchy that it is easy to write it off as an awful game. Give it a chance, but realize that the game demands perfection to play. That is the beautiful part of the game. It is simple, but the player must be perfect to advance. Almost every mistake in control results in a loss of a life.
This is a rare game to find, but if you do find it, and you have nearly unlimited patience, I recommend it.