Bongo's Bash

1983

Written in Written for Language Graphics Published Size
Apple II+ Apple II+ Applesoft BASIC, 6502 functions Hi-Res inCider's HotCider disk & Cauzin Softstrip ads 35 sectors

Bongo's Bash was the project where I finally got to recreate my favorite game of all time, Pac-Man.  Of course, I didn't want to directly rip it off - that had been done already on the Apple II with a few direct clones: Taxman by Brian Fitzgerald (H.A.L. Labs, 1981) and Puck Man by Jun Wada (Broderbund, 1981).

My brother Ralph came up with the idea of having a gorilla in a maze being hunted by robots and his only defense is dropping trees in the paths of the dumb robots.  Yes, Bongo can carry a bunch of trees somehow.  You have a limited amount of trees, but can get extra ones on each screen along with the periodically appearing bonus items in the center of the maze.

By this time, I was pretty good at writing the half-BASIC, half-6502 games so they would be accepted by all the magazines.  I had a pretty cool random maze generator that I snagged from an old book by David Ahl (Creative Computing).  The code drew a maze on the Lo-Res screen (not the Hi-Res screen, which is what I needed for this game), so what I did to get the maze on the Hi-Res screen was let the code run, then actually peek at the Lo-Res screen and translate it into Hi-Res lines.  Sneaky, but typical hacking for game programmers back then.

 
Yeah, I had plans to make a sequel to good ole Bongo someday (he's a cool little dude!), but I guess I just "moved on" and forgot about the little fella.  As you might be able to tell from the drawing, it was going to be a "platformer" like Donkey Kong

Yeah, I had plans to make a sequel to good ole Bongo someday (he's a cool little dude!), but I guess I just "moved on" and forgot about the little fella.  As you might be able to tell from the drawing, it was going to be a "platformer" like Donkey Kong

The Cauzin Connection

Back in 1984, a company named Cauzin was selling a hardware product called The Cauzin Softstrip Reader - it was basically a barcode reader that had a hardware card that decoded the barcode into Applesoft BASIC program code.  The company was hoping that all the Apple magazines would start printing barcode next to the type-in program listings, but alas, there was no future for type-in program magazines.

Anyway, Cauzin needed a demo program to place in their ads and they picked Bongo's Bash as something that would show how cool scannable programs could be.  I never saw any cash for Cauzin publishing Bongo's Bash since inCider sold the game straight to Cauzin.  Oh well, no biggie since it only took me about 2 weeks for make this game.

 

UpTime Acquisition

Years later, I found out that UpTime Disk Monthly had gotten permission to "reprint" Bongo's Bash from inCider, and published BB way back before Lane Roath joined UpTime and wrote their snazzy pull-down menu system shell.

The Inspiration

The one, the only... Pac-Man.  My massive addiction that ate more of my quartersthan any other game I've ever played.  I could play through the first 4 screens of Pac-Man without even looking at the screen - that's how sick I was at the game.  I created my own patterns and never used the ones shown in all the "How to Beat..." books that were out back then.

The highest level I ever attained in Pac-Man was 13 keys... that takes a *long* time to get to, so eventually I was getting way more bang for the quarter.  But the game gets so fast in those upper levels that it's just insane, even if you do have a pattern.


Source Code

I actually have the 6502 assembly language source for Bongo's Bash (and several of my other Apple II games). Here's what I have left for you to check out. The source has the date of 1984 because that's when I sold the game to Nibble and I had to modify the source to reflect that.

The end of the source code ends abruptly due to bit-rot, so it's not all there.


Gameplay Instructions

To play Bongo's Bash, I strongly recommend downloading AppleWin (Windows OS) and playing it in full screen mode! The link to download AppleWin is on the Emulation Zone page.

Objective:

Collect ALL coconuts and avoid robots.  When all the coconuts are gone, exit through either the left or right door to go to the next level.  The top and bottom doors are only for the robots.  Drop a tree for robots to run into and be destroyed.  Keep doing this forever and get the highest score.

Controls:

Use A,Z, arrows to move.  SPACE drops a tree.  ENTER picks the tree back up.

Extra Info:

When you run into a bonus item or tree to pick it up, sometimes you will stop before picking it up.  Keep moving in the direction of the item to eventually pick it up.