Hunt the Wumpus

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Hunt the Wumpus
Hunt the Wumpus Manual Front Cover
Hunt the Wumpus (Front Cover)
Publisher(s) Texas Instruments (TI)
Original Retail Price $24.95 (USD)
Programmer(s) Kevin Kenney
Part# PHM 3023
Format(s) Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module
Release 1980 (4th quarter)
Genre(s) Adventure, Maze, Strategy

Hunt the Wumpus for TI-99/4A is based loosely on the 1975 text-based adventure game of the same title created by Gregory Yob. Kevin Kenney's TI-99/4A version differs significantly from the original in that it introduces graphical gameplay versus the original's text-based gaming system. Hunt the Wumpus was published and distributed by Texas Instruments (TI) in the fourth quarter of 1980. It initially sold for $24.95 (USD), and was distributed on Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module. It was programmed for the TI-99/4A by Kevin Kenney.


1981 Hunt the Wumpus Manual (Old-Style)

Hunt the Wumpus pits the player in a contest to search for, and hunt down a mythical creature known as the Wumpus. The player navigates through an invisible cave. The visited chambers of the cave become visible once they have been visited. If the player enters the chamber where the Wumpus resides, he/she loses. Besides the beastly Wumpus, the cave system hosts other dangers including bottomless pits and cave bats. As the player navigates from chamber to chamber within the cave system, certain chambers will alert him/her to dangers close to him/her.

Advertising Blurbs

Front Cover of Manual

An exciting simulated hunt in a hidden maze of caverns and twisting tunnels! Seek out the lair of the Wumpus, while avoiding perils along the way!

Back Cover of Manual

Deep in a dark and twisting maze lives a creature called the Wumpus. Hiding in its lair, the Wumpus waits to ambush careless explorers who enter its cavern.

In Hunt the Wumpus, you play a hunter, looking for clues to help you find the Wumpus and fire an arrow into its cavern. At the same time, you must avoid perils of the maze. . .slime pits, giant bats, and the Wumpus itself.

Fun Facts

This was the first title programmed by Kevin Kenney who went on to create multiple titles for the TI-99/4A home computer including A-MAZE-ING and Tunnels of Doom.

Hunt the Wumpus, A-MAZE-ING and Blasto were originally intended to be included on a single cartridge. However, Kevin Kenney added extra features to each of the titles making them viable stand-alone products.



Deep within a maze of caverns and twisting tunnels lives a creature known as the Wumpus. Protected by giant bats and pits of slime, the Wumpus feeds on unwary visitors to its cavern.

You are the daring hunter who tracks the Wumpus to its lair! Armed with a single arrow, you explore the maze of caverns, searching for clues to tell you where the Wumpus is hiding. Once you think you've found the Wumpus, you fire your arrow into its cavern. But be careful! If you choose the wrong cavern, you will be the next victim of the Wumpus.

The Hunt the Wumpus Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module combines the excitement of a hunt with the fun of colorful graphics and lively sound effects. With the module plugged into the console of your Texas Instruments Home Computer, you can:

  • Play each game in a new, randomly generated maze
  • Choose a maze based on your own level of skill
  • Challenge your powers of deduction, memory, and concentration with exciting options you can include in the hunt

The module is also programmed with several convenient features. With a few simple keystrokes, you can view a map of the maze at the end of each game, reselect options for a new game, or begin a new game with the same options.

Getting Started

Maze Difficulty

After you select the module, the title sequence for HUNT THE WUMPUS begins. At the end of the sequence, you are given a choice of three levels of maze difficulty.

Hunt the Wumpus Maze Options Selection Screen

This selection list lets you choose the complexity of the maze. As a rule of thumb, the approximate number of caverns for each level of maze difficulty is as follows:

         EASY MAZE - about 32 caverns
         HARD MAZE - about 24 caverns
         PRO MAZE - about 16 caverns

If you choose a level with fewer caverns, the caverns are connected by long, twisting tunnels. This makes it harder for you to find the location of the Wumpus and avoid the slime pits. Each curve of a tunnel may be an important clue to unexplored areas of the maze, and you may have to take unavoidable risks to reach the Wumpus.

To select maze difficulty press 1, 2, or 3. A small black Wumpus symbol appears to the left of your choice.

Options Selection

Once you select the maze difficulty, a selection list appears with four options.

Hunt the Wumpus Options Selection Screen

Your choice here decides how much of your exploration is "mapped out" on the screen. The four following options are available:

NORMAL - Here, the screen displays a map of all the territory you explore as you move through the maze. You can always see the caverns and tunnels that you've been through.

BLINDFOLD - The Blindfold option tests your memory by erasing the map behind you. Only the cavern or tunnel segment you are in appears on the screen.

EXPRESS - The Express option adds a new element of deduction and risk. As soon as you leave a cavern, you are instantly transported to the cavern at the other end of the tunnel. The location of each cavern you enter appears on the map, but the tunnels do not. This makes exploring more of a risk, since you can't tell where a tunnel leads until you are already there. It also makes it difficult to retrace your steps, because caverns have several openings, and you may not be sure which one you came in. Watch your step!

BLINDFOLD AND EXPRESS - This option combines the effects of Options 2 and 3 to create the game's ultimate challenge. Hunters beware!

Press 1, 2, 3, or 4 to select an option. A black Wumpus symbol appears to the left of your choice.

Note: During the middle of a game, if you decide that you would like to change options, hold down the SHIFT key and press Z. The computer returns to the Options list so that you can select a new option. If you wish to change both the maze difficulty and the option during a game, press SHIFT Z (BACK) twice and reselect as desired. In both cases, the computer constructs a new maze, and a new game begins.


After you select an option, the computer constructs a hidden maze. The screen blanks, a bugle call sounds, and the hunt begins.

The game starts in an empty cavern. The blinking figure of a hunter appears in this cavern.

Exploring the Maze

You explore the maze by moving the hunter through openings in the maze. You can move up, down, left, or right by pressing the appropriate arrow key on the console keyboard [ Up-Arrow.png (E), Down-Arrow.png (X), Left-Arrow.png (S), or Right-Arrow.png (D)]. Although these are normally shift functions on the computer, you don't have to press the SHIFT key to activate the arrow keys in this game.

You can also use the Wired Remote Controllers to move through the maze. Only one of the controllers can be used; the other is inoperative and should be set aside. To use the controller, push the lever in the direction you wish to move.

The directions in which you can move depend on the openings in the maze around the hunter. When inside a cavern, you may move in four directions (any one of four tunnel openings). When inside a tunnel, you can only move in two directions (either advance or retreat a step). If you move in a direction where there is no opening, the computer sounds a low error tone, and your position in the maze does not change. With each correct move, the computer gives a high beep, and the hunter moves in the direction you pressed. More than one move can be made in a direction by holding down the arrow key (or controller lever).

Adding to the excitement of the game is the computer's "wrap-around" feature. If you move the hunter off the edge of the maze, it reappears at the opposite side. The screen "wraps around" both horizontally and vertically to connect all the tunnels and caverns, helping you imagine that you are in a three-dimensional maze.

In the HARD and PRO mazes, a tunnel sometimes "wraps around" the screen several times. A tunnel may "wrap" from one side of the screen to the other, or from corner to corner. In the hardest mazes, a ··wrap-around tunnel may even form a loop that leads you around in circles. When this happens, remember that you can always move in two directions. Just carefully retrace your steps to find your way out of the loop.

SURPRISE! Sometimes a tunnel going out of a cavern loops back into the same cavern. If you move through a loop when playing with the express option, a black looping symbol (Circle Arrow.png) appears in the cavern, briefly replacing the figure of the hunter.

Tracking Down the Wumpus

The Wumpus makes its lair in one of the caverns in the maze. You know you're getting near the Wumpus when you enter a cavern with bloodspots (shown on the screen as a large red dot in the cavern). These dots appear in all caverns within two caverns of the Wumpus.

In the example below, nine out of the nineteen caverns explored by the hunter (the yellow figure in the middle right cavern) contain bloodspots (the dots inside some of the caverns). The Wumpus is probably somewhere in the middle of the eight spotted caverns.

A Hunt the Wumpus Map During a Game

Here's a hunting tip: If you are in a spotted cavern that is connected to a clear cavern (no red dot), you can explore one cavern further before you risk entering the Wumpus' cavern. (That's because all caverns within two caverns of the Wumpus have a red dot.)

The trick to finding the Wumpus is to determine which cavern is more than two caverns away from all unspotted caverns. That cavern is the Wumpus' lair. NEVER enter the Wumpus' lair, or else you lose the game.

Caution! Slime Pit

When you enter a cavern that has green walls instead of blue walls, you are approaching a slime pit. Slime pits are vast pools of stagnant water that fill a cavern. If you enter a slime pit cavern, you fall in and lose the game.

Slime pits can usually be avoided, since all caverns within one cavern of a pit have green walls. But move carefully - there are two slime pits in the maze, and sometimes they are right next to each other.

The example below contains two slime pit warnings (shown as caverns with green walls) in the upper left area of the maze. The warnings indicate that the slime pit is probably located in the lower left corner of the maze.

A Hunt the Wumpus Map During a Game

Sometimes the Wumpus makes its lair in a slime pit. You'll know that the Wumpus is located in or near a slime pit if you enter a cavern with green walls and a red dot.

Do Not Disturb the Bats

Some of the caverns in the maze are inhabited by very large bats. The first time you enter a cavern containing bats, a bat symbol appears in the cavern. The bats know that you are there, but they ignore you for now.

If you later reenter a cavern with bats, you may disturb them. If you do, they pick you up and carry you off to anywhere in the maze ... a tunnel, a slime pit, the Wumpus' lair, or even the cavern where your flight began. Then they choose a new place to live.

The bats may set you in either a mapped or unmapped area of the maze. (Remember, if you selected the BLINDFOLD or BLINDFOLD AND EXPRESS option, there is no map.) But if the bats drop you in a slime pit or the Wumpus' lair, the game is over.

The bats enjoy playing tricks on unwary hunters. Some of their more fiendish tricks include placing you in a cavern where slime pits block the way, or in a tunnel next to a slime pit or the Wumpus. In the latter case, you have no warning of the danger, since tunnels do not have red spots or green slime warning signals.

A Maze with Two Bats Exposed

Note that bats can be in a cavern with bloodspots and/or slime (green walls). All of the symbols appear, but the bat symbol covers the bottom half of the red dot. In the above example, the hunter has "discovered" two caverns with bats. The cavern on the far right only contains bats, while the cavern in the upper left contains both bats and a red dot.

Once the Wumpus Is Located

When you think you know where the Wumpus is, it's time to fire your arrow. (You should be in a cavern or tunnel that connects to the Wumpus' lair.) Press Q to indicate that you are ready to fire. The hunter figure turns from yellow to blue. Then press an arrow key to direct the arrow into the tunnel that you think leads to the Wumpus. The arrow follows the tunnel to the next cavern.

When using the Wired Remote Controllers, press the FIRE button to indicate that you are ready to shoot. Then move the lever in the direction you wish to fire the arrow.

If the cavern you fire into is the Wumpus' lair, you win! If you are wrong, the Wumpus hears the arrow and comes looking for you. You only have one arrow, so if you miss you lose the game.

Note: If you change your mind and decide not to shoot after you've pressed Q (or the controller FIRE button). hold down the SHIFT key and press R. The hunter turns from blue back to yellow, and you can then continue to explore the maze. Once the arrow has been fired, however, pressing SHIFT R will have no effect.

At the Hunt's End

The hunt is over when you fire your arrow, fall into a slime pit, or enter the Wumpus' lair. If you win, the screen says GOT IT! and a fanfare plays. If you fall into a slime pit, the screen shows the hunter figure falling, followed by the word PIT. If the Wumpus wins, you see its teeth close while a funeral march plays. Then the display shows a message about the outcome of the hunt and a tally board of the scores for this round of games:

The Hunt the Wumpus Tally Board Screen

The tally board contains three scores:

  • The number of times you have "gotten" the Wumpus, next to the yellow hunter symbol.
  • The number of times the Wumpus "got" you, next to the red Wumpus symbol.
  • The number of pits you have fallen into, next to the green pit symbol.

The display also offers you these four options:

  1. Press Q (or the FIRE button on the Wired Remote Controller) to look at a complete map of the game that just ended. The map indicates the location of the Wumpus· lair with a small red Wumpus symbol. Slime pits are green and contain a solid green circle. The map also shows the most recent location of the bats. (Note: In the more difficult mazes, there may be sections of the map you can't reach. In such cases. the computer begins the hunt in a section of the map containing the Wumpus.)
  2. Press Up-Arrow.png (or move the lever of the Wired Remote Controller upwards) to start a new game immediately. A new maze is constructed on the same level of difficulty as the previous one. and the same options are in effect.
  3. Hold down the SHIFT key and press Z (BACK) to choose a different level of difficulty or new options. The computer returns to the Maze Difficulty selection list.
  4. Hold down the SHIFT key and press Q (QUIT) to end this round of games and erase all scores from the tally board. The computer returns to the master title screen.


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