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Pitfall  
Harry's
Diary
 
 
Activision®
Atari® 2600 Series
 


We were all pretty worried about Pitfall Harry. We sent him and his niece, Rhonda, along with Quickclaw the cat, on a treacherous journey to an underground cavern. Well, not a word was heard from him--until today. We now present you with Pitfall Harry's diary--the journal he's been keeping in the lost caverns. It arrived this morning by carrier condor. Typical of Harry.



   Before you start reading, let's get your gear together. Here's the basic set-up:

  • Insert cartridge into your game system with the power OFF. Then, turn power ON.

  • Plug in the left Joystick Controller only. This is a solo expedition.

  • The difficulty and game select switches are not used.

  • To begin a new game, press the reset switch.

  • To start the action, move the Joystick.

  • The Joystick Controller does many things. Certain maneuvers really require practice.

    * To move Pitfall Harry left or right, move the Joystick left or right.

    * To jump, press the red button. For a running jump, press the red button while holding the Joystick left or right.

    * To descend a ladder, pull the Joystick back just before Pitfall Harry reaches the hole. To ascend a ladder, push the Joystick forward.

    * When Pitfall Harry travels by balloon (see 'Balloons') the balloon will follow the left and right movements of the Joystick. To speed it up, push Joystick forward; to slow it down, pull Joystick back.

  • There is no time limit. You and Pitfall Harry can explore the lost caverns as long as you wish.

  • The journey ends the moment Rhonda, the Raj diamond and Quickclaw have
    all been found.


And now...the diary.




Lost Cavern,
Machu Pichu, Peru
Lat. 13.31° S, Long. 71.59° W
 

IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING WHY I'M HERE

      Perhaps I've gone too far. I'm in an underground cavern beneath Peru. It seems to be a complex maze, perhaps eight chambers wide and over three times as deep. Niece Rhonda has disappeared, along with Quickclaw, our cowardly cat. I am beset by all manner of subterranean creatures in this vast, ancient labyrinth. And all because of a rock--the Raj diamond. It was stolen a century ago, and hidden here.

      Old friends, if ever you see this diary, I hope you'll read it and come to my aid. Help me find Rhonda, Quickclaw and the diamond. On the way, let's also look for a stone-aged rat. A large university wants it for research. Finally, lots of stolen U.S. gold bars were ditched here. The more bars we recover, the more "brownie" points we'll get at journey's end.

      For the record, if I want a perfect evaluation (199,000 points), I must find Rhonda, Quickclaw, the diamond, all 28 gold bars, and the rat. And never fall victim to a single danger. Again though, my contract only requires the recovery of





Rhonda, Quickclaw and the diamond. Everything else is gravy.

      But oh...danger prevails. Poisonous frogs, bats, condors, electric eels, albino scorpions. And leaps over dark voids that dare me to fall to their fathomless depths. All of these pitfalls must be avoided. I'm not really sure what'll happen, should I succumb, but it can't be good. I'll check it out tomorrow.

NEXT DAY: THE CONSEQUENCES

      Red Crosses are as good as gold--go for them! They'll never believe this when I get back but it's like this: whenever I succumb to any danger, I'm not put out of commission, as one might think. Instead, I'm magically transported back to the last red cross I touched!
      Here's my theory: these caverns are part of a land long inhabited by the Incas. This great civilization must have energized healing, and these ancient crosses mark their locations. Their magic is still potent.

BALLOONS!!??

      Today I was really out on a ledge. Suddenly, a balloon floated overhead-- a perfect cross-cavern transport.




      I wasn't about to ask questions, but I was curious. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that these "balloons" were actually the specimen bags Rhonda was carrying. She must've inflated them with steam from an underground geyser, to signal that she was still alive. Dear, ever-resourceful Rhonda.
      Anyway, just jump up and hang on. Float above the ledge you're headed to and wait for a bat to burst the balloon (that's the only way to let go). You'll gently fall onto the ledge. Careful now. You want the bat to get the balloon. Not you.
      Oh, yes--Balloons only appear up and down the length of one specific shaft.

GREAT LEAPS IN FAITH

      Courage and confidence may be necessary to leap across fathomless voids, but believe me, youcan do it!
      When you want to cross a shaft, especially the one with no balloons, stand at a ledge's edge and jump diagonally down to the ledge across the way. Press the red button right before you jump and hold it down as you move the joystick in the direction you're heading. You'll float to the other side or bounce off the shaft walls.



JUST REWARDS

      Sure, I love adventure. But let's give credit where credit is due. These are the amounts I agreed to before I left:
  • We're given an advance of 4000 points as soon as we begin.
Thereafter, we'll receive:
  • 5,000 points for every gold bar
  • 15,000 points for the primitive cave rat
  • 20,000 points for the Raj diamond
  • 10,000 points for Rhonda's safe return
  • 10,000 points for Quickclaw's safe return
      Now hold on. Each time I succumb to a hazard, I'll continually lose points as I regress back to the last healing station (red cross) I contacted. The longer the journey, the more points I'll lose. Also, 100 points are deducted for every unintentional fall.

HARRY STEPS ASIDE

      While floating on a balloon today, I realized that it is unfair of me to take all the credit for what we do together. I hereby establish the Activision
® Cliffhangers -- open to any co-adventurer who collects 99,000 points or more. Send me a photo of the TV screen showing your qualifying score, along with your name and address. I'll send the official Cliffhangers emblem. Be sure to write "Pitfall II" and your score on the bottom corner of the envelope. O.K.?



FAMOUS LAST WORDS OR WHAT DAVID CRANE TOLD ME BEFORE I LEFT

Since David taught me everything I know, I thought I'd share this letter:

Dear Pitfall,

Good luck in the Lost Caverns! Here are some tips that'll help you out:

Time your approach to condors and bats so that you run exactly below their highest elevation.

A free-fall down an entire shaft can be a short-cut to the river below. This particular jump must be timed, though, to avoid colliding with bats on the way down.

If you're unintentionally falling down a chute of ladders or past many levels, hold the Joystick to the left or right. The underground wind will slowly move you in that direction.

Don't get discouraged if a bat gets you whenever you go from a ladder to a gold bar. Listen up. Stay low on the ladder, wait until a bat is just over you, then climb up quickly and run to the gold bar. You'll barely miss the next bat, but miss it you will.

Finally, not everything you see is always easy to get to. Some things can be so close, yet so far away. Like Quickclaw, for instance. And the rat...who, incidentally, can only be subdued from behind.

Good luck and don't forget to write.

David Crane

David Crane is one of the most highly awarded video game designers in the world. Born in Indiana, he now lives in California and is an avid tennis player. His numerous works include The Activision Decathlon and, of course, the original Pitfall

With that, I'll bid farewell, my friends. I hope to see you soon!
Pitfall Harry

P.S. Please write to David for me. I've run out of paper!




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