Olympic Decathlon

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Name: Olympic Decathlon
Programmer(s): Timothy W. Smith
Publisher: Microsoft
Year: 1981

Description: August 2007

Olympic Decathlon was Microsoft's & the Apple ]['s answer to the arcade game Track & Field released two years before ... Track & Field. Olympic Decathlon is a set of ten events from the Olympics. High Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Javelin, various lengths of dashes and hammer toss. The object of the game is to beat Bruce Jenner's record at everything.

Game play is all keyboard based which makes it pretty tough. The running events are fairly easy as all one needs to do is bash keys fast enough and keep the same patter to win. The other games aren't so simple. The high jump & pole vault I always found nearly impossible as your character came "skating" in from the left at a high rate of speed and either under shot the bar by a significant amount or (in the case of the high jump) did a face plant right in front of the "FOAM PIT".

Watch Andy Kick some ass. Also notice in the intro text how they point out that Bruce Jenner is the current world champ when it comes to the decathlon. This is circa 1981. Hope Caitlyn agrees.

The shot put was equally as hard not for speed but for the amount of keys needed to launch the ball. Nearly each muscle in the characters arm is mapped to a key on the keyboard. Each of the arm's movements must be triggered in the right order otherwise the shot put winds up on the ground. Actually I couldn't get the shot put ANYWHERE but on the ground.

Javelin toss again featured a skating character coming in from the left at a super high rate of speed (turning AppleWin to .5 real speed helps here) and throwing the spear before hitting the fault line.

It's interesting to see that the game's welcome screen uses the Olympic rings. Not really sure that the Olympic comity sanctioned Microsoft's use of the rings, but hey, back in 1981 I'm not even sure the Olympic comity knew what an Apple ][ was or if they did even knew what a computer game was. ;)