Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns Adventurer's Edition
Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns was designed by David Crane and published by Activision for the Atari 2600. After being released in 1984 the game was later ported to the Atari 5200 by Mike Lorenzen. The 5200 port was titled the Adventurer's Edition and included bonus content in the form of an extra playable level.
The game once again stars Harry as he platforms through treasure collecting bliss. Unlike the first game, the sequel takes place in the caverns below the jungle. The player earns points by collecting treasure and keeps the points by avoiding enemies. Scorpions return in this sequel along with bats, condors, frogs, and electric eels. As Harry explores the caverns he will stumble across continuation points that take the form of a red colored cross. At any point when he “dies” after hitting an enemy, he will be transported back to the last touched continuation point and lose some points in the process. Reaching zero points will not kill Harry, as this version of Pitfall offers unlimited lives and unlimited continues. The game is won when Harry's pet mountain lion, Quickclaw, and his niece, Rhonda, are successfully rescued, along with a large diamond ring.
Pitfall II built upon the platforming success of its predecessor by offering more treasure, more enemies, a complex musical score, larger levels, and additional gameplay elements such as water, ladders, long drops and deep caverns. It was such a popular game that it was eventually ported to 9 additional gaming systems. The Atari 5200 and 8-bit ports took separate development paths, where the 5200 was ported based on the 2600 code which allowed for less debug time. The extra time gained from this was used to build an entirely new level that offered a greater challenge with more complexity. The extra level was released as an easter-egg as Atari did not want it included in the final product. Along with a new maze of corridors, this level included rabid bats that fly in unpredictable patterns, frogs that chase after the player, fire ants and piranhas. The second level can only be beat after Harry collects a pot, a trumpet, a rope, and a snake charmer. The charmer will play the instrument which causes the rope to rise from the pot, allowing Harry to escape the second maze and complete the game.
The same great feeling of adventure is present in Pitfall II as it was in the original Pitfall title. The addictive gameplay is both challenging and fun, while the musical score will have you humming a tune long after the game has been turned off. If you have never experienced a classic Pitfall adventure then Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns Adventurer's Edition is where you should start.
Release Date: 1984
Developed/Published by: Activision
Designed by: David Crane
Ported by: Mike Lorenzen
System: Atari 5200
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