Lode Runner

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Lode Runner Title
Lode Runner
Lode Runner another maze


Name: Lode Runner
Programmer(s): Doug Smith
Publisher: Brøderbund Software
Year: 1983

Description: Lode Runner is a level platformmer maze game where you play a character who's only goal is to collect all the gold hidden through out the maze and open up a latter to climb to the next leve.. Also running around in the maze are three to five bad guys who's goal it is to stop you. Your character has a gun however, he can only dig holes with this gun. Similar to Apple Panic as you dig holes the bad guys will fall in, and also like Apple Panic after a few seconds the hole will begin to fill in.

There is almost no AI to the enemy characters. When one does fall into a hole you're able to run over them without being captured. If the enemy falls into freshly dug hole he will be able to climb out after a few seconds. Hoewver if the hole is a few second old and an enemy falls in the hole will fill up and the enemy will then be buried... a few seconds later a new enemy will fall from the sky to take his place. (or is it the same enemy just reincarnated?) Enemeys who fall into holes with no bottom get stuck while your character will fall through the hole to the level below. If you're character falls into a hole with a bottom the hole will close up and you loose a life.

Lode Runner's maze/puzzle aspect is what makes the game. The orignal game had over 200 different mazes to solve and stats off simple enough but got more and more difficult. Most mazes require digging multiple holes to get to buried gold. If a bad guy runs over a gold bar they will pick it up and carry it requiring the player to dig a hole to trap them in. As the bad guy falls into the hole they drop the gold.

Lode Runner was one of the first games that I can remember which had a sequel and "expansion packs", the first being Championship Lode Runner. It was also one of the first games which included a level editor/creator. By adding these features Broderbund extended the life & reach of this game with user generated content. There were BBSes dedicated to Lode Runner games and home brewed expansion packs were everywhere. Lode Runner was ported to the NES and also a version was built into a coin op arcade machine and variants can still be seen in games today.



A couple levels played of Lode Runner

Miner an early Lode Runner


A fantastic Lode Runner port with thousands of levels can be downloaded for free from Spoonbill Software http://www.spoonbillsoftware.com.au/apple2.htm

A great article about the history behind Lode Runner http://entropymine.com/jason/lr/misc/ldhist.html

A Load Runner FAQ :: Lode Runner FAQ


Lode Runner Documentation from Corrupt Computing

        ** DOCUMENTATION FOR **
    *** L O D E   R U N N E R ***


       *** PLAYING THE GAME ***
    You are a Galactic Commando deep
 in enemy territory.  Power hungry
 leaders of the repressive Bungeling
 Empire have stolen a fortune in gold
 from the people by means of
 excessive fast food taxes.  Your
 task?  To infiltrate each of 150
 different treasury rooms, evade the
 deadly Bungeling guards, and recover
 every chest of Bungeling booty.


            ** TO START **
    After booting, the program
 automatically begins a self-playing
 demo of three different levels of
 play.  Watch them to get a sense of
 game play.  To begin play, press any
 key (except RETURN) or push a
 joystick button.  Your player will
 start to flash.  Move you player or
 push a joystick button to begin game
 action.
 KEYBOARD COMMANDS  JOYSTICK COMMANDS
 I = move up       Up/Down/Left/Right
 k = move down     Button 0=dig left
 J = move left     Button 1=dig right
 L = move right
 U = dig left
 O = dig right


           ** GAME PLAY **
    To complete a level, you must
 collect all the gold chests in a
 scene.  When you succeed, you may
 then climb a ladder to the top of
 the screen and enter the next level.
 You will also gain bonus points and
 earn an extra life for each level
 you complete.  You start with five
 lives.
    You will use your laser drill
 pistol to drill pits and passageways
 through brick floors.  You may dig
 through fissured bricks only, not
 through solid surfaces, and holes
 must be drilled all the way through
 to be effective.  If a Bungeling
 guard falls into a pit and gets
 stuck, it will become safe (for a
 moment) for you to run over him;
 also, he will release any gold he is
 carrying.  Any holes that you've
 drilled will fill in again after a
 period of time, and guards caught in
 them when they refill will die and
 be replenished by new guards at the
 top of the screen.  Be careful:
 Guards can climb out of pits that do
 not close up around them.  Your
 player, however, cannot climb out of
 pits and will die if trapped in a
 pit that is only a single brick
 wide.
    You will notice that gold chests
 carried by enemy guards cease to be
 visible.  If you have picked up all
 the visible gold on the screen and
 the ladder leading to the next level
 has not yet appeared or you cannot
 reach the next level by climbing to
 the highest part of the screen, one
 or more of the guards is still
 carrying gold.  You must trap the
 guards in a pit and pick up their
 gold.  If an enemy carrying gold
 falls into a "dead end" that he and
 you are unable to leave, you will
 not be able to get that gold chest
 safely.  If stuck in a "dead end,"
 press CTRL-A to continue (see below)


            ** SCORING **
                               Points
 Completing a level..............1500
 Picking up a gold chest..........250
 Trapping an enemy.................75
 Enemy dying in a hole.............75


          ** HIGH SCORES **
    If you achieve a new high score,
 a high score list will appear on the
 screen at game's end.  Type in your
 initials then press RETURN.  Note:
 You can use the left and right
 arrow keys to make corrections
 before pressing RETURN.


          ** SPECIAL KEYS **
 CTRL-A = aborts man if stuck without
          means of death or escape.
 CTRL-J = sets game to joystick
          control.
 CTRL-K = sets game to keyboard
          control.
 RETURN = displays current high score
          list.
 CTRL-R = terminates current game
          (enter demo mode).
 CTRL-S = toggles sound ON/OF.
  <--   = slows down overall game
          speed (press repeatedly).
  -->   = speeds up overall game
          speed (press repeatedly).
 CTRL-X = flips x-axis on joystick.
 CTRL-Y = flips y-axis on joystick.
  ESC   = freeze action until ESC is
          hit again.
           ** CHEAT KEYS **
 CTRL-SHIFT-N = advances a level
                (CTRL-SHIFT-6 on //e)
 CTRL-SHIFT-P = adds additional lives
                per players
                (CTRL-SHIFT-2 on //e)
    Using either of the two "cheat
 keys" forfeits your high score
 attempt for that game.  So does
 beginning a session at any level
 other than the first (level 001).


    *** MAKING YOUR OWN GAMES ***
    The Game Generator ("Edit mode")
 lets you design, move, erase,
 playtest, and save to disk your own
 unique Lode Runner games-with no
 programming knowledge required!  You
 may also use this editor to access
 directly (then play) any of Lode
 Runner's 150 different game screens,
 an well as to erase high scores and
 prepare new data disks for use in
 saving your own game creations.
 Don't panic.  It's all remarkably
 easy.
    The following chart summarizes
 the steps involved in making your
 own games.  Detailed instructions
 are given in the  sections that
 follow.


 HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN GAMES: SUMMARY
 +----------------------------------+
 !  ! WHAT TO DO !   HOW TO DO IT   !
 !--!-------------------------------!
 !1.!   enter    !press CTRL-E from !
 !  !"edit mode" !demo mode         !
 !--!------------!------------------!
 !2.!place inited!(see "initializing!
 !  !data disk   !your data disk"   !
 !  !into drive  !                  !
 !--!------------!------------------!
 !3.!design your !use I-J-K-M keys  !
 !  !game        !to move cursor;   !
 !  !            !use 0-9 to make   !
 !  !            !shapes            !
 !--!------------!------------------!
 !4.! save your  !   press CTRL-S   !
 !  !   game     !                  !
 !--!------------!------------------!
 !5.! play your  ! press CTRL-S to  !
 !  !   game     !   "quit" game    !
 !  !            !     generator    !
 !  !            ! press P to "play"!
 +-----------------------------------


       ** ENTERING EDIT MODE **
    First you must enter Edit mode.
 If you are playing a game, press
 CTRL-R to end. the game, then press
 CTRL-E (for "Edit").  If you are
 starting from the self-playing demo
 mode, simply press CTRL-E.  The Lode
 Runner Board Editor screen will
 appear, allowing you to enter the
 following single-key editing
 commands:
            E (for "edit")
            P (for "play")
            I (for "Initialize")
            C (for "clear")
            M (for "Move")
            S (for "Score")
 These commands are explained in the
 instructions below.
  ** INITIALIZING YOUR DATA DISK **
    Before designing your first game
 board, you must prepare a Lode
 Runner data disk on which to save
 your creations.  Enter the Edit mode
 (if you haven't down so already) and
 press I for "Initialize."  Remove
 your Lode Runner disk and insert a
 blank disk of your own into the
 drive.  Press Y (for "Yes") in
 response to the screen question
 ("Are you sure?") When the disk
 drive stops whirring, your data disk
 is ready to use, and you can use it
 to creat and save 150 different
 boards without reinitializing.  Note
 Use this I command with caution as
 it erases the entire data disk!  By
 the way, the program will prevent
 you from initializing (and erasing)
 your Lode Runner master disk.
   ** DESIGNING YOUR GAME BOARDS **
    Now that you have an initialized
 data disk, you are ready to create
 your own games.  From the Lode
 Runner Board Editor screen, press
 E (for "Edit").  You will be asked
 to type in the number of the game
 board you want to work on (001-150).
 For your first board, use 001.  Type
 in the number, then press RETURN.
 The selected screen will appear.
    NOTE:Whenever you type in board
 numbers in response to prompts in
 the Board Editor,you must type the
 entire three digit number before
 pressing RETURN (i.e. 3 must be
 entered as 003, 47 as 047, etc.)
 You may use the forward and back
 arrow to skip over digits or to make
 corrections before pressing RETURN.


    The process of designing your own
 boards is simple. There are nime
 basic shapes that make up all Lode
 Runner game boards.  Each of these
 shapes is controlled by one of nine
 number keys (1-9). Zero (0) makes a
 blank.  To design a game screen, you
 simply move the cursor around the
 screen with the cursor movement keys
 and place the shapes where you want
 them by pressing the appropriate
 number keys.
    Remember:  You MUST have an
 initialized data disk on hand if you
 are going to save your creations to
 disk; you cannot use the Lode Runner
 master disk for this purpose.
    IMPORTANT:  SEE TIPS ON SAVING
 YOUR CREATIONS BELOW.  YOU MUST SAVE
 YOUR GAME EACH TIME YOU QUIT THE
 GAME GENERATIOR, EVEN TO PLAYTEST.
    ** CURSOR MOVEMENT CONTROLS **
           I = up a line
           M = down a line
           J = left a line
           K = right a line
       ** LODE RUNNER SHAPES **
 0 = blank          5 = blank
 1 = diggable       6 = ladder that
     floor              appears after
 2 = undiggable         gold.
     floor          7 = gold chest
 3 = ladder         8 = enemy
 4 = hand over      9 = player
     hand bar
    There are a few practical
 limitations regarding the number of
 objects you can use:
 YOU MUST HAVE ONE "PLAYER" ON YOUR
 GAME BOARD FOR YOUR GAME TO PLAYABLE
 i.e. NO MORE, NO LESS THAN ONE LODE
 RUNNER COMMANDO (Shape #9) MUST BE
 INCLUDED IN YOUR GAME BOARD DESIGN.
 OTHERWISE, WHEN YOU TRY PLAYING YOUR
 GAME, YOU WILL BE RETURNED TO DEMO
 MODE.
    You may have 1,2,3,4, or 5, enemy
 guards (Shape #8) on a board. no
 more than five, no less than one.
    The other shapes 1-7 also have
 numerical limits, though you are not
 likely to exceed them.  If you do
 the program will simply ignore the
 excess.
    From within the game generator,
 you may also view adjacent Lode
 Runner boards by pressing the
 forward or back arrow keys.


     ** SAVING YOUR CREATIONS **
    When you finish designing a
 screen or when you want to play test
 it or take a break...
 YOU MUST SAVE THE BOARD ON YOUR
 INITIALIZED DATA DISK BY TYPING
 CTRL-S (for "Save").  IF YOU DO NOT
 SAVE THE GAME ON A DATA DISK, THE
 BOARD WILL BE LOST WHEN YOU EXIT THE
 GAME GENERATOR!
       ** PLAYING YOUR GAME **
    After you have saved a board
 (using CTRL-S), type CTRL-Q (for
 "Quit").  CTRL-Q returns you to the
 Board Editor screen.  From there
 simply type P (for "Play") and
 RETURN to play the game board you've
 created.


    ** OTHER EDIT MODE COMMANDS **
   The other single-key commands
 available from the Board Editor
 (CTRL-E screen) are as follows:
 P(lay) - Lets you select any game
 board you desire.  After pressing P,
 you will be asked to enter the three
 digit number of the level you wish
 to play (001-150).  Type in the
 number and press RETURN.  Note:  If
 you attempt to enter Play mode using
 a disk that has no level 001,
 control is returned to demo mode.
 To resolve this, enter Edit mode and
 create a first level.
 S(core) - Clears high scores from
 the disk; you stat hish scores over
 again with a clean slate.
 C(lear) - Erases a game board from
 the disk (blanks the board).
 M(ove) - Copies a board to another
 level number.
 Note: you cannot Clear, Move, or
 edit the game boards on the master
 disk.  These functions are available
 for use with a data disk only.


        ** TROUBLESHOOTING **
   Whenever there is a disk error,
 the game will return to demo mode.
 If this happens, check to see if
 Lode Runner master disk is in the
 disk drive and if the drive door is
 shut.  If this doesn't resolve the
 problem, check to see if you have
 a level 001 on your game disk. If
 not, creat one.
    Playtest your own board creations
 to make sure they are beatable.  If
 you want to refine or improve them,
 simply return to editor.
    Remember, as mentioned in "Game
 Play," if a player becomes stuck in
 a "dead end" with no way out, press
 CTRL-A to Sacrifice that "life" and
 resume play.
=========================

Documentation entered into text file by:

    Mr. Binary's assistant
     Corrupt Computing