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pawntakespawn.com - A Retrospective Easter Egg


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Chopper Command is a horizontally scrolling shooter released by Activision for the Atari 2600 in June 1982. It was written by Bob Whitehead.


In Chopper Command the player controls a military helicopter in a desert scenario protecting a convoy of trucks. The goal is to destroy all enemy fighter jets and helicopters that attack the player's helicopter and the friendly trucks traveling below, ending the current wave. The game ends when the player loses all of his or her lives or reaches 999,999 points. A radar, called a Long Range Scanner in the instruction manual, shows all enemies, including those not visible on the main screen.


A player who achieved 10,000 points could send in a photo of the TV screen and receive a "Chopper Commandos" patch.

















Hacker is a 1985 video game by Activision. It was designed by Steve Cartwright and released for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, MSX2, and ZX Spectrum.


Activision executive Jim Levy introduced Hacker to reporters by pretending that something had gone wrong during his attempt to connect on line to company headquarters to demonstrate a new game. After several attempts he logged into a mysterious non-Activision computer, before explaining, "That, ladies and gentlemen, is the game". The player assumes the role of a hacker, a person experienced in breaking into secure computer systems, who accidentally acquires access to a non-public system.


The game was shipped with no information on how to play, thus building the concept that the player did hack into a system.


The player must attempt to hack into the Magma Ltd. computer system at the beginning of the game by guessing the logon password. The password becomes obvious only after gaining access, through another means of entry, to the later stage of the game, but typing help or h in the initial command line gives a clue.












Kaboom! is an Activision video game published in 1981 for Atari 2600 that was designed by Larry Kaplan. David Crane coded the overlaid sprites.

 It was well received and successful commercially, selling over one million cartridges by 1983.


Kaboom! is an unauthorized adaptation of the 1978 Atari, Inc. coin-op Avalanche. 

The gameplay of both games is fundamentally the same, but Kaboom! was re-themed to be about a mad bomber instead of falling rocks.

As an ex-Atari programmer, Larry Kaplan, originally wanted to port Avalanche to the Atari 2600.

In Avalanche all the boulders are lined up at the top which is difficult to accomplish on the 2600, hence the shift to the Mad Bomber.


The player uses a paddle controller to move buckets back and forth near the bottom of the screen to catch the bombs before they reach the bottom.

The player starts with multiple buckets arranged over each other, which makes it more likely to catch the bombs in one of them.

If the player fails to catch a bomb, it explodes, along with any other bombs still on the screen in a chain reaction from bottom to top.

This also causes one of the buckets to disappear, the game ending when the player loses the last one.

Points are awarded for every bomb caught, and extra buckets (maximum of three) are awarded at every 1,000 points.


While the Mad Bomber is dropping bombs, he has an unhappy face.

If the player misses and a bomb is dropped, he smiles while the bombs on the screen explode.


The game manual mentions that something "special" will happen after 10,000 points.

When the player reaches that score threshold, the Mad Bomber's face appears open mouth (surprised) even if the player drops a bomb.


When Kaboom! was originally sold,

anyone who scored above 3,000 points could send Activision a picture of his or her television screen to receive membership in the Activision Bucket Brigade and a Bucket Brigade patch.







ZORK I: The Great Underground Empire



Zork is one of the earliest interactive fiction computer games, with roots drawn from the original genre game Colossal Cave Adventure.

The first version of Zork was written between 1977 and 1979 using the MDL programming language on a DEC PDP-10 computer.

The authors—Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling—were members of the MIT Dynamic Modelling Group.

When Zork was published commercially, it was split up into three games:

Zork: The Great Underground Empire – Part I (later known as Zork I)

Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz

Zork III: The Dungeon Master.


Zork is set in "the ruins of an ancient empire lying far underground". The player is a nameless adventurer "who is venturing into this dangerous land in search of wealth and adventure". The goal is to return from exploring the "Great Underground Empire" (GUE, for short) alive and with all treasures needed to complete each adventure, ultimately inheriting the title of Dungeon Master. The dungeons are stocked with many novel creatures, objects, and locations, among them the ferocious but light-fearing grues, zorkmids (the GUE's currency), and Flood Control Dam #3—all of which are referenced by subsequent Infocom text adventures.



FrobozzCo International is a fictional monopolistic conglomerate from the game. FrobozzCo products are littered throughout all Zork games, often to humorous effect.



Several treasures and locations in Zork reveal that there used to be a large aristocratic family called the Flatheads, who reigned supreme over the GUE. The instruction manual to the Zork Trilogy tells the reader that there were twelve rulers from this family, referencing the book The Lives of the Twelve Flatheads. Some Flatheads are named after historical figures. For example, in Zork II, one treasure is a portrait of "J. Pierpont Flathead".


In each game, there are several light sources the player can pick up and use, among them a battery-powered brass lantern and a pair of candles, which both have a limited lifespan, as well as a torch that never expires. The player must be carrying at least one light source at all times when exploring the dark areas of the games, or else, if they continue navigating through the dark, the player will be caught and devoured by a carnivorous grue, ending the adventure in defeat.



You have moved into a dark place.

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.








To be continued...


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