Bigfoot

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Bigfoot
Bigfoot Manual Front Cover
Bigfoot Manual (Front Cover)
Publisher(s) Milton Bradley
Original Retail Price $49.95 (USD)[1] [2]
Programmer(s) Warren Amerman
Part# PHM 3151
Format(s) Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module
Release 1983 (4th Quarter) [3] [4]
Genre(s) Action

Bigfoot is a video game released by Milton Bradley for the TI-99/4A home computer system. It was released during the fourth quarter of 1983 and retailed for $49.95 (USD). It was distributed on Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module and programmed by Warren Amerman. The gameplay was enhanced with the addition of Texas Instruments' Solid State SpeechTM Synthesizer and Mitlon Bradley's MBX systems (both sold separately). The MBX system allowed for voice recognition, improved speech synthesis, a 360° analog joystick, and an action-input keypad.

Gameplay

The player's goal in Bigfoot is to climb a mountain on top of which Bigfoot stands ominously to impede his/her progress. The player needs to collect green boxes, which contain food, and then focus on yellow piles which contain bundles of gold. The player can use the fire button which will throw ropes higher up the mountain which allows him/her to climb up the mountain on other platforms.

Bigfoot, meanwhile, chucks boulders at the player as he/she attempts to scale the mountain. If the player attaches his/her rope too close to the edge of a platform, it leaves him/her more vulnerable to the rocks hurled by the Bigfoot. Throwing ropes closer to the center of platforms is a protective move. Birds, during the later levels of the game, fly through the screen and snag the climber's ropes which proves fatal if climbing one at the time.

Advertising Blurb

Triton Catalog - Fall 1986

Edge your way up one ledge at a time, while Bigfoot hurls snowballs at you from above. Pick up supplies of food and gold before you reach the summit and the beast. Cage Bigfoot and you'll get to climb the next of six mountains each more challenging than the previous one!

Fun Fact

According to Warren Amerman, the programmer of Bigfoot, the original title of the game was Yeti.[5]

Review

Grade A+: Now here stands a game that is literally at the pinnacle (or one of the pinnacles) of TI-99/4A gaming. As with Blasto and Hustle from last months article, Bigfoot is another one of those Milton Bradley masterpieces. Considering how well Milton Bradley programmed their games, one has to wonder why they never came out with their own video game system as it sure would have been a great machine. But enough of my rambling, on to the Bigfoot review!

The game pits you, a mountain climber, against the dreaded Bigfoot who stands at the top of the mountain. The goal of the game is to reach the summit and lower a cage to capture the beast. As with any video game it wouldn't be a challenge if all you had to do was simply get to the top of the mountain, so there are a number of obstacles that stand in your way of getting there. The biggest obstacles are the boulders that Bigfoot himself rolls down the mountain at you. These big rocks will roll along the ledges of the mountain until they fall off at the bottom of the screen. The only way to avoid them is by clinging to the ropes that you can throw to each ledge (as seen in the screen shot to the right). This can prove to be very tricky since you have to keep a sharp eye out for the boulders and make sure you throw a rope out before they get too close or otherwise you'll be knocked off the ledge and plummet to your death.

In addition to the ropes helping you avoid boulders being rolled down the mountain, they also are your only device to get to the summit or travel from ledge to ledge. This is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game since there is no predefined path like in a game such as Donkey Kong. Many games from this time period would have had ladders on the mountain that you would have had to climb, but not here! You must seek out your own path to the top, which not only makes this game more difficult but also much more unique. It's mostly because of this twist that the game has been considered one of the top TI-99/4A games. Now in addition to just climbing the ropes and avoiding boulders, there are actually crows that will fly past at random that can snatch the rope you are on and leave your climber yelling "Put me Down!" (if you have the speech synthesizer or MBX system). Well the crow does indeed put you down, he drops the rope right in mid-air! Needless to say this leads to the loss of one of your lives.

The final aspect of the game that needs to be mentioned is that you cannot just climb to the top of the mountain, but actually need to pick up the gold and climbing supplies which are strewn about on various ledges. However, you must collect these items in a certain order (one of the climbing supplies must be gathered before you can pick up one of the gold piles), and only after all these things are collected can you reach the top and cage Bigfoot.

Overall, this game really shines not just in terms of its gameplay but also because of the beautiful graphics and the speech synthesis. From the realistic sound of a metal hook latching on to a ledge to the sound of your climber yelling "Put me down...Ahhhhh!!!!!" (as he falls his voice slowly fades away) this game really demonstrates how well Milton Bradley knew the TI-99/4A! In addition, if you happen to have an MBX system then the player can take advantage of the comfortable 360º Analog Joystick that Milton Bradley made for the device. All in all, this game is a MUST HAVE and is in my TOP 10 games for the TI-99/4A. I've seen this game pop up on eBay every now and then and it is highly recommended for anyone interested in collecting/playing on the TI-99/4A system, so be sure to grab it.[6]

Manual

Two Ways to Play Bigfoot

This Bigfoot cartridge can be played with the Texas Instruments Home Computer or with the Texas Instruments Home Computer and the MBX Expansion System. The MBX Expansion System adds new dimensions to your Texas Instruments Home Computer. This booklet contains instructions for using both systems. Instructions for each method are separated by a bar format. The first bar, which is color coded in blue, tells you how to play the game with your MBX Expansion System. The second bar tells you how to play the game with your Texas Instruments Home Computer alone.

TI Home Computer with the MBX Expansion System

The MBX console plugs into your Texas Instruments Home Computer. Refer to the set-up instructions in your MBX Expansion System booklet to properly connect the systems.

Here's What the MBX Expansion System Includes
  • MBX console with built-in action keypad
  • Triple-axis analog joystick
  • Headset microphone (not used with this cartridge)
  • Power supply
  • Fully-illustrated instruction booklet
Playing Bigfoot with the MBX Expansion System
  • Triple-axis analog joystick allows total maneuverability of screen objects
  • Action-input keypad allows for quick response and flexibility
  • Speech Synthesis allows you to hear phrases, prompts, and sound effects that are true-to-life, well-modulated, and full of inflection.
TI Home Computer without the MBX Expansion System
  • You can play Bigfoot with the TI Home Computer using the keyboard, the Joystick Controllers (sold separately), or a combination of both.
  • Speech makes the game more exciting. You need the Texas Instruments Solid Stale Speech* Synthesizer(sold separately) to activate speech capabilities of your Home Computer.

Introduction

It's 50 degrees below zero, your guide is nowhere to be found, and you are clinging to a snowy ledge by a rather shaky-looking piton. Can you make it to the top of the mountain, collect food and gold on your way up, and cage the raging Bigfoot?

The Bigfoot cartridge challenges you to move a climber, ledge by ledge, up a mountainside. Your climber scales upward on ropes that have been tossed to ledges. Bigfoot hurls giant snowballs at your climber and sky-diving eagles try to carry him a way.

You score points by collecting food and gold on your climb. If you collect all the goodies, reach the summit, and cage Bigfoot, you score bonus points.

There are six mountains to climb. If you are clever and sure-footed, your climber reaches the summit and scores high.

Getting Started

After the title screen appears, you see a short demonstration of game play. This is the DEMO MODE. Watch all the action on the mountain playing field. Then, read the start-up instructions for the system you are using.

Actions in DEMO MODE

Bigfoot - Actions in Demo Screen

TI Home Computer with the MBX System

  1. After viewing the DEMO MODE, press any key on your TI computer keyboard to start the game. If you do not press a key on the computer keyboard at the end of the DEMO MODE, the computer automatically replays the title screen and the DEMO MODE until a key on the computer keyboard is pressed.
  2. Press either the 1 or 2 key on your TI computer keyboard depending on whether one or two people are playing.
  3. Next, player 1 types his or her name by pressing the appropriate keys on the TI computer keyboard and presses ENTER.
  4. If a two-player option is chosen, player 2 types his or her name on the TI computer keyboard and presses ENTER.
  5. The game begins.

TI Home Computer without the MBX System

  1. After viewing the DEMO MODE, press any key on your TI computer keyboard to start the game. If you do not press a key on the computer keyboard at the end of the DEMO MODE, the computer automatically replays the title screen and the DEMO MODE until a key on the computer keyboard is pressed.
  2. Press either the 1 or 2 key on your TI computer keyboard depending on whether one or two people are playing. If you wish to bypass these options, press REDO on the TI computer keyboard to begin a one-player game.
  3. Next, player 1 types his or her name by pressing the appropriate keys on the TI computer keyboard and presses ENTER.
  4. If a two-player option is chosen, player 2 types his or her name on the TI computer keyboard and presses ENTER.
  5. The game begins.

Playing the Game

The object of the game is to accumulate the most points by collecting food and gold, climbing the mountain, and caging Bigfoot. The game begins with Bigfoot at the summit of the mountain and a climber on the starting ledge (center bottom ledge). Each player starts the game with three climbers. The number of climbers you have is shown by a climber symbol near your scoring box. Each time you lose a climber, a symbol disappears. Your climber moves up the mountain by throwing ropes up to overhanging ledges and scaling up the ropes. Remember there are 6 mountain screens which are the 6 levels of play-each more difficult than the preceding one.

Levels of Play

The skill level you are playing on is displayed on the screen before you begin your climb. This screen is called the Level of Play screen. You face anew maze of ledges and different perils on each mountain or level of play.

Throwing a Rope

You throw a rope and climb up it to advance from ledge to ledge. Here are some rope-throwing tips.

  • If the rope does not catch, it is sent back to the climber and does not appear on the screen. Each time a rope is thrown and secured, you hear a sound effect.
  • There are three possible rope targets to which you can toss your rope: the edges of the upper ledge, as shown in A and C (see diagrams below), or the middle of a ledge, as shown in B. You cannot toss a rope to a diagonal ledge or to an adjacent ledge.
Bigfoot - Throwing a Rope Screenshot

You can throw more than one rope onto a ledge ( even a narrow ledge) but there must be adequate spacing between the ropes to do so..

Note: If you are too close to an adjacent rope, you cannot throw another rope to that ledge.

To throw a rope, read the instructions below for the system you are using.

TI Home Computer with the MBX System
  • Squeeze the TRIGGER button on your MBXjoystick and your climber throws a rope upward.
TI Home Computer without the MBX System
  • Press the FIRE button on your TI Joystick Controller or the Q key on your TI computer keyboard and your climber throws a rope upward.

Climbing the Mountain

Mountain climbing involves going up and down ropes. The climber must be careful when climbing and moving on the mountain. Falling off the ledge is always a danger! Follow the climbing instructions below for the system you are using.

TI Home Computer System with the MBX System

  1. To climb a rope, your climber must be positioned directly below it. Once in position, push your MBXjoystick forward to make your climber scale the rope.
  2. Pull the MBXjoystick backward to make your climber go down the rope. A climber can also remain on a rope and dangle there if you prefer.
  3. To move your climber back and forth on a ledge, push the control knob of your MBX joystick to the left or right. If you move too far to the left or right, your climber might fall off the ledge! If there is another ledge on the very next level, then your climber is safe and still in the game.
  4. If your climber falls two ledge levels or more, he falls off the mountain and is lost.

TI Home Computer System without the MBX System

  1. To climb a rope, your climber must be positioned directly below it. Once in position, push the lever of your TI Joystick Controller forward or press the (↑) E key on the computer keyboard to make your climber scale the rope. Note: The ALPHA LOCK must be in the OFF(up) position if you wish to move the lever on your Joystick Controller forward (away from you).
  2. Pull the lever of your Joystick Controllers backward or press the (↓) X key on the computer keyboard to move your climber down the rope. A climber can also remain on a rope and dangle there if you prefer.
  3. To move your climber back and forth on a ledge, push the lever of your Joystick Controller left or right, or press the(←) S key to move left and the(→) D key to move right. If you move too far to the left or right, your climber may fall off the ledge. If there is another ledge on the next level, then your climber is safe and still in the game.
  4. If your climber falls two ledge levels or more, he falls off the mountain and is lost.

Collecting Food and Gold

If your climber is on a ledge containing food or gold, move your climber over it and the goody is automatically collected. To collect the food or gold, read the instructions below for the system you are using.

You must collect at least one more food goody than gold goody before you can collect another gold goody. If the gold stacks are shimmering, it is legal for you to pick up the gold. If your climber moves over a non-shimmering gold stack, nothing happens.

TI Home Computer with the MBX System

  • To collect food or gold, move your climber over the object by pushing the MBX joystick to the left or right.

TI Home Computer without the MBX System

  • To collect food or gold, move your climber over the object by pushing the lever of your Joystick Controller to the left or right.
  • Or to collect food or gold, move your climber over the object by pressing the(←) S key on your TI keyboard to move your climber left or the(→) D key on your TI keyboard to move right.

Beware of Obstacles

There are two kinds of obstacles: giant rolling snowballs and flying eagles. Both must be avoided. If a snowball hits you or an eagle carries you away, you lose your climber! Follow the strategy hints listed below for defense tactics.

Giant Rolling Snowballs

Snowballs seek out climbers, so wherever you are, they will soon find you. The illustrations below show some sure-hit situations-positions in which your climber has a hard time escaping from a giant snowball.

Bigfoot - Giant Rolling Snowballs screenshot

Sky-diving Eagles

Eagles also seek out climbers. These eagles fly at the levels on which your climber is positioned. An eagle enters from the left side of the screen. As it passes the mountain, it grabs at anything near its claws-an empty dangling rope, or a climber on a rope. To escape the eagle, move your climber up or down to another ledge.

Strategy Hints

  • Throw ropes to the center of a ledge to provide safety against rolling snowballs.
  • Eagles can pick up one object per flight. If you leave a dangling rope in its path, it can grab the decoy rope first, leaving your climber safe.

Losing a Climber

Each player begins the game with three climbers. When a climber is lost, you hear a blood-curdling yell! The screen changes, and the game continues or goes to the next player, depending on the number of players.

You can lose a climber in three ways:

  • Being hit with a rolling snowball
  • Being carried off by an eagle
  • Falling off a ledge and dropping more than one ledge level

After you lose a climber, follow the instructions below for the system you are using.

TI Home Computer with the MBX Ssystem

One Player Game

Press any control button or the TRIGGER button on your MBX joystick as directed by the Level of Play screen. The mountain reappears and another climber is on the starting ledge. One climber symbol disappears near your scoring box.

Two Player Game

When you lose a climber, it is now your opponent's turn. Your opponent presses any control button or the TRIGGER button on the MBX joystick button and begins to play. There is now one less climber near your scoring box.

TI Home Computer without the MBX System

One Player Game

Press the FIRE button on your Joystick Controller, or the SPACE BAR on the computer keyboard as directed by the Level of Play screen. The mountain reappears and another climber is on the starting ledge. One climber symbol disappears near your scoring box.

Two Player Game

When you lose a climber, it is now your opponent's turn. Your opponent presses the FIRE button on the Joystick Controller, or the SPACE BAR on the computer keyboard and begins to play. There is now one less climber near your scoring box.

Note: When playing with either system, if you or your opponent loses the last climber allotted to you, the mountain screen freezes and the score in the box is your final score.

Capturing Bigfoot

After collecting alt the goodies, you can go to the top ledge just below the summit to capture Bigfoot. To do so, move your climber to the far right side of the top ledge, toss a rope to the summit, and climb up. Now capture Bigfoot. Read the proper instructions below for the system you are using.

TI Home Computer with the MBX System

  1. Once on top of the mountain, lower a cage over Bigfoot by pushing your MBX joystick forward.
  2. When you have caged Bigfoot, move the MBXjoystick backward to haul Bigfoot away.
  3. Then, your score is totaled in your box.
  4. As directed by the Level of Play screen, press any control button or the TRIGGER button of the MBX joystick. The climber appears on the starting ledge of another mountain for more play.

TI Home Computer System without the MBX System

  1. Once on top, lower a cage over Bigfoot by pushing the lever of the Joystick Controller forward or pressing the (↑) E key on your TI computer keyboard.
  2. When you have caged Bigfoot, move the lever of the Joystick Controller backward or press the (↓) X key on your TI computer keyboard to haul Bigfoot away.
  3. Then, your score is totaled in your box.
  4. As directed by the Level of Play screen, press the FIRE button or the SPACE BAR.

Scoring and Ending the Game

Each time you collect food, you are awarded 100 points. Each time you collect gold, you are awarded 150 points. Once you collect all twelve goodies, then you can cage Bigfoot and earn 1500 points plus bonus points.

Ending the Game

In a two-player game, the game is over when you and your opponent lose all of your climbers. The person with the highest score after all climbers are lost, wins the game. If you are playing by yourself, try to improve upon your previous score each time you play!

Starting a New Game

To start a new game, follow the instructions for the system you are using.

TI Home Computer with the MBX System

Press RESET to return to option screens.

Press GO to bypass option screens.

TI Home Computer without the MBX System

Press BACK to return to option screens.

Press REDO to bypass option screens.

Special Features

Bigfoot contains many special features. These include new mountains to climb, bonus climbers, and bonus points.

New Heights to Climb

After you cage Bigfoot, a new mountain appears for you to climb. All the ledges are in new places, so you must discover a new route to the top! There are six different mountains to climb.

Bonus Climber

As more mountains are climbed, play becomes increasingly more difficult. Bigfoot starts tossing two snowballs at once, a.nd the eagles fly around the mountain more frequently. If you score high and continue your play, you are awarded a fourth climber. The Bonus Climber is noted with a climber symbol near your scoring box.

Bonus Points

Bonus points are based on how quickly you climb the mountain and how many snowballs you avoid on your way up. The fewer snowballs thrown, and the less time taken to reach the summit, the more bonus points you earn. The more snowballs thrown, and the more time taken to reach the summit, the fewer bonus points achieved.

Downloads

References

External Links