Atari 2600 Starpath Supercharger Game
Produced by: Starpath
Dragonstomper was the second multi-load game for the Supercharger add-on for the Atari 2600, and was thus only available on cassette. It was a role-playing game of scale unknown on consoles of the time, equivalent in scope to something found on the computers of the day - some have even considered it the very first console role-playing game, as previous attempts (such as Adventure) were rather limited.
The game consisted of three seperate "stages". The first stage, was a nice simple countryside. There were a few castles, huts, trees, and such scattered around. Your adventurer was represented by a small dot, and you wandered around the land, entering the castles and such, and when you'd find a monster, would fight by selecting commands from a little menu with the joystick. Killing monsters would net you gold, and magic items such as potions, crosses, and charms - however, the exact effects of these magic items would vary from game to game, so you wouldn't know what they did until you used one - and they were fixed for each load, so if you didn't want to play with the current effects, you needed to turn off and reload the game.
Eventually, when the player felt they were ready to head off and challenge the dragon, they'd go attack a difficult monster at a gate to the second stage, and if they defeated them, they moved on. You'd be directed to load the tape, then you'd find yourself in a small town. This stage was simple, as you simply sold any items you'd collected and no longer wanted, and buy anything you felt you needed to challenge the dragon. There were magic scrolls, guards you could hire, and many many others.
When you were all ready, you would head to the dragon's cave, a long dark tunnel full of various traps and dangers, and eventually, you'd reach the dragon at the end. The dragon was large, filling up most of the screen, and the game now became sort of real-time - you'd try and do what you could as fast as possible, and the dragon would beat on you from time to time. If you defeated him, the gate at the top opened up, and the special amulet you'd been going after opens up, and you just touch it to win the game. If you die at the dragon, well, too bad - you have to start from the beginning again. Upon winning, the game sits with the screen flashing various colors and music playing - you have to turn off the machine to play again.
Note: I shall eventually get an emulator running to play this game again, and enhance my writeup with more facts and info.
This game is worth around $40 USD. Games with boxes and manuals are worth more. (Pricing is for an original copy of this game that still works). Dead copies and tape recorded versions are worth less.
Execute the "Use Shield" command while the image of the axe is displayed. "SHL", the initials of programmer Stephen H. Landrum, will appear.
Intentionally die near a castle during the first attempt at game play. Press Reset and run into one of the castle traps before the copyright information disappears from the screen. Your character may now leave the trap without any penalty, although "Trap" will still appear. Note: There is a limit to how many times this trick may be done.