Aztec Tomb Revisited seems to have been a big joke programmed by
Brandon James in 1984 and released by Alligata Software. I can't
imagine anybody ever played this game through to the end unless it
worked by adding a RAM expansion cartridge to your C-64. The BASIC
programming is amateurish and ends up using so many resources just
to run gosub routines that the game continually fails due to memory
overflow issues. I kept pushing through the errors thinking that I'd
be able to get through the entire game eventually but when I
couldn't pick up the bottle opener given to me by the wino and
couldn't take the plane out of Geneva (even without the bottle
opener which I gave up on!), I had to call it quits.
Also, one line of code made it through production
with a syntax error which keeps you from getting to China. Yes. A
syntax error. I fixed it and continued to run the game with my fixed
version. I'm willing to bet there were many kids out there who fixed
the code themselves. The only problem was the game came on a
cassette tape! I don't recall how easy it would have been to
overwrite the tape with the fixed code. But imagine trying to load
this game on a cassette tape after every crash! How many frustrated
kids were out there in 1984 smashing this game in the driveway?
The plot of the game is also a big joke. Ha ha,
Brandon James, I get it! The first Aztec Tomb Adventure never
actually lets you adventure in an Aztec Tomb, so now you've made a
sequel that begins in the Aztec Tomb you finally found in the first
game and it's only two rooms! So you end up leaving the tomb and
searching the entire world for four pieces of a map which will tell
you to dig for the treasure in the room you started in.
Really, Brandon James? Who are you, the M. Night
Shyamalan of Graphical Adventures? This is especially ridiculous
because the maps only lead you to the other pieces of the maps and
the actual clue about where to dig in the tomb is given to you in an
area of the Aztec Jungle, your starting location.
The writing is poor and filled with many, many
misspellings and errors. Not as many as the first Aztec Adventure
but enough to make me think that Alligata Software just didn't care.
The graphics to the first game were poor and these
graphics were even worse. A tiny little box in the upper right
corner was all the room they gave for the picture. This wouldn't be
so bad if the text describing the rooms was more interesting. I'm
quite sad that I never got to see the Air Traffic Control in China.
Overall Puzzle Review
Once again, the puzzles were really limited and many
were nearly impossible simply because of the inconsistent parser.
The game begins by telling you two kinds of objects exists: those
you can take and those you can only examine. ONLY EXAMINE! But not
long into the game, you are called upon to LOOK at the objects while
EXAMINING them does nothing special!
The constant crashing of the game also caused me
trouble since if I tried a command that worked and the game crashed,
I sometimes wrote off that command or just forgot to retry it after
reloading the game and getting back to the place I was before the
crash. Killing the Abominable Snowman was a nightmare and the first
place where I really considered quitting.
Checking in at the hotel was a particularly stalwart
puzzle, Brandon James! A booking desk at a hotel but nobody manning
it. I tried GO ROOM about a thousand times without typing CHECK IN
because I'm a masochist. I figured it was a hotel and there must be
a way to some rooms even though the text simply read something about
being dropped off at a hotel from the airport. Who checks in at an
empty desk? Guess how I solved that problem and a few of the others?
The best thing about playing games in BASIC is that
the hints are right there for you! If you can dig through and
interpret all of those pokes, gosubs, returns, rems and $s.
Brandon James. I will find you! I wonder if you
wrote any other games? I wonder if you're on Facebook? I owe you a
kick in the balls, sir.