I created Dangerous Dave in ProDOS instead
of the older DOS 3.3 which I used for most of my games. ProDOS
was a fairly new operating system for the Apple II and it
was far superior. I believe that DD was the first game I did
in ProDOS. Above you see the CATALOG, or directory, of Dangerous
Dave. Each block is 512 bytes or 2 DOS 3.3 sectors which were
256 bytes (one "page" of memory). So, if you add
up all the blocks and convert them to KB you'll see that Dangerous
Dave was 89KB. But 33KB of that size was in full screens for
Help, Hints, Story, etc.
Let's see, the full screen graphics (help,
instructions, etc.) are stored in raw screen format (no compression,
not on anything in fact) in the DD.PICS and DD.PICS1 files.
The level files are stored in the DD.LEVELS along with the
graphics. The DD.OBJ1, I believe, is the GraBasic code and
the DD.OBJ is the actual Dangerous Dave game code. The DANGEROUS.DAVE
file just loads everything into memory and runs the DD.OBJ
code. And if you were wondering, the PRODOS file is the operating
system and BASIC.SYSTEM is there so you can interface with
ProDOS and write Basic code.
The explosion sound is a favorite of mine.
On the Apple II you can only make sounds by clicking the speaker.
One memory access on the speaker port will make it emit one
slight click. If you do them quickly they make a tone. Different
delays between clicking produces these different tones. For
the explosion, I made a bunch of random tones that were very
short in length - and I got the tone data from the Apple ROMs:
I just read whatever was in memory up there and used it for
the tone value! Nice trick.
You might wonder how does the game know
that Dave can climb something? Well, it's a little graphic
trick. Dave's shape is made up of "lo-bit" colors
only, that is: purple, green, white0, black0. When Dave encounters
pixels that are "hi-bit" colors (red, blue, white1,
black1), I make his code change the way he moves so you can
jump and jump and get higher instead of letting gravity pull
you down. On the PC version, I did climbing the correct way
with no tricks.
You'll notice that I have a couple callouts
on the main menu screen. "Dedicated to Kelly Romero for
her support" was for my then-wife Kelly with whom I had
two boys, Michael (1988) and Steven (1989). I was also good
friends with Lane Roathe and wrote "Special thanks to
Lane Roathe for his creative efforts and ideas". Lane
and I co-founded Ideas From The Deep in 1989 and wrote some
games with IFD. I got Lane to work at Inside-Out Software
with me and I'd show him my progress on the game and he'd
give me feedback.
There are two versions of Dangerous Dave:
the UpTime version and the original stand-alone version -
I'm including the stand-alone version here. When the Dangerous
Dave stand-alone disk boots up, you'll see the screen flash
some text quickly then the game comes up. Here's the text
you see on that screen. The "DuoLoader" program
is a fast-load program I wrote to get games into memory super
fast and it works in both DOS 3.3 and ProDOS (hence the name
Even from the beginning I had plans of
making more Dangerous Dave games. The title screen says Dangerous
Dave in The Deserted Pirate's Hideout. The sequel was named
Dangerous Dave in The Haunted Mansion. Those are the only
real, TRUE Dave games since Softdisk decided to make some
shitty sequels that were just a mishmash of earlier graphics
and crap. These are Dave's Risky Rescue and Dave Goes Nutz!
I've been doing screen captures of each
level in Dave. I've only gotten to level 6 so here's what
I have so far. If any of you know how and can do it, capture
the rest of the levels so I can put them up here. Click on
the graphic to display the full map of the level. Ok, here's
||You only need ONE TROPHY
to exit the level. If you see more than one trophy, you
can't pick it up. Why did I do this? Don't ask me!
||When you kill an enemy,
don't be in the exploding fireball or you will DIE along
with them. Wait for it to go away. And if an enemy kills
you, your exploding fireball will kill them if they hit
This level is really simple and
is where you should get the hang of jumping around.
This is very important because you'll need to be in
excellent control of your jumping by level 3. Make sure
you get used to using the RETURN key to stop yourself
from continuing your jump.
After getting the trophy, go to
the door. There's no secrets on this level.
Very strange level because of
the bizarre upside-down trees and the stars in the sky
- which is the ground! It's like the level is upside
down or in....The Twilight Zone! That was the inspiration
for this level because the door looks like the door
you see at the start of the Twilight Zone episodes!
And would you believe that 20
years later I would own a Twilight Zone pinball machine!
Yes, insane but true!
Oh, so anyway, to finish this
level you need to climb the trees by constantly holding
down the SPACE (jump) and aim yourself onto a girder
when you're near the bottom of the trunk.
Here's where things get tough.
You need to have gotten good at jumping because you'll
need the skills when you hop over the WeirdWeeds and
get close to the killer spiders (there's two of 'em).
The row of 3 weeds is particularly tough to get over
- you have to be right next to them before jumping.
Get the gun. Get close to the
spider and time it right and shoot it. Then, when you
get near the end where the fire is, you need to get
the backpack and fly up through the door.
The PC version has a lot more
going on in this area - but here it's clear-cut and
This one's where it gets tough.
On the PC version, the one enemy on this level is everyone's
bane. If you can spare the lives, go ahead and crash
yourself into him if you can and when you come back
he'll be gone and clearing the level is easy.
This one's a bit of a runaround
because you have to get to the end door where the jetpack
is, then come all the way back to the beginning to get
the trophy, then go all the way back to the exit. All
without a gun!
This level is tough right from
the beginning with the enemies that fly in a vertical
elliptical pattern - the first one is right next to
the gun you need to kill it!
The second one is tough as well
because it's over water. One hint about this level -
if you can climb the tree at the beginning, you can
jump off the screen to the left... I think this is a
bad thing to do in the PC version but maybe not this
If you get the jetpack, fly to
the top of the level and run all the way across - then
fly off the right side of the level!
Right at the very beginning I'm
evil. You get shot at pretty quickly but you can jump
over it - you should be pretty spry by this point in
the game. I'm not making it any easier on each successive
There's a MASSIVE treasure room
on the right side of this level - and you get it by
doing something completely non-logical. Get the jetpack
at the start...then get to the exit door without the
trophy. The exit door is useless without the trophy
in hand so just fly up through it and go right until
you reach the treasure room!
There's a trophy in the 2nd exit
room so you don't have to go back to the beginning.
Yeah. I started you in free fall
right at the start. As a homage to a favorite Mark Turmell
game called Free Fall - i'm the only person in existence
to get the reference.
This level isn't as difficult
as the previous one but you do have to watch out for
the water areas with the gumball monsters shooting at
There IS a curious second exit
on the right side of the level. You can either get there
by warping from another level...or by falling through
one of the water tiles - only if one of them is fake.
Don't blame me if you die!
This one's a little scary because
you have to get the jetpack then fly past fire off the
bottom of the level until you wrap-around to the top
of the level into the next area. Maybe if you go off
the left side of this level you'll wind up in Level
7's treasure area?
Incredibly, there are 3 jetpacks
on this level. You'll need them at the end since there's
two of the enemies guarding the trophy and exit door.
This is a level that Lane Roathe
made - you can see his name at the end spelled out.
Hence the credit I gave him on the menu screen.
Beware the girders that are fake
- you'll fall through them! There's an area at the bottom
where a couple fire tiles are missing - you can fall
through them and reach the top of the level.
Yeah, this level is pretty tough.
You have to reach the trophy but still be able to get
to the door. And don't neglect Lane's treasure stash!
I actually like this level a lot
as one of the best in the game - it's packed with hazards
and is interesting to traverse.
The trophy is all the way in the
rightmost corner of the level and it's an accomlishment
to just reach it - nevermind the arduous trek to the
There's no secret areas on this
level because I totally packed the entire map with gaming
goodness. Most people won't see this map, alas.
Special thanks to Frenkel Smeijers
for obtaining the game maps.
To play Dangerous Dave, I strongly recommend
downloading AppleWin and playing it in full screen mode!
The link to download AppleWin is on the links
Download DANGEROUS DAVE
for the Apple II
For more information on the entire Dangerous
Dave series, read the
Saga of Dangerous Dave on the main Games page!
Do you have any questions about this game or would like
to know something more specific about it? Email
me and tell me what you need to know and I may post
it on this page.
Have any comments about this game?
its was a super game romeo
A piece of erudition ulnike any other!
a nice n tricky game ever played! what a fantastic thinking by a developer
This game was the game of my childhood.
So simple yet so awesome. Greate game!