An instant classic. This game is widely recognized among 8bit fans. Who haven’t played the “skulls and keys” game and doesn’t remember the characteristic “La Cucaracha” sound when picking an item?
You dig down into a mysterious piramid, as “Pedro” (or Panama Joe in certain versions). Pedro has a characteristic hat, and generally is an bigtime adventurer. He climbs ropes and ladders, jumps over deadly skulls and spiders, collects keys to doors and swords to fight back the evil stuff. That’s it, but it was all wrapped in quite entertaining package. There were many screens and while they’ve eventually repeated themselves somehow, they still presented a nice challenge. Montezuma’s level of difficulty was really a sweet spot – it was not easy, but not that hard, once you’ve mastered your way. This was a commonn problem of 8bit games and Robert Jaeger nailed it very well – if you were good, you actually wanted to play more. Montezuma was a prime example of labirynth arcade games – genre that’s long gone now.
The Atari version of the game was leaked to public before it was finished. Therefore the game could never be completed, even if you’ve reached the final screen with big Montezuma, who could stomp you to death – there was simply nothing to do. Back then, however, noone knew that, and many legends were born about how to complete Montezuma’s Revenge, including even such bizarre stories as touching the joystick’s port with wet finger. Additionally, there was another version of the game, called Preliminary Monty (“A-not-yet-finished-Montezuma”), which was smaller and fitted only 16k back then (full Montezuma was 48k), because that was the size of a game cartridge.
Thus, the game entered the canon as true aztec mystery. Probably very few know the fact that “Montezuma’s Revenge” is a funny word play, because it’s also a common name for stomach virus that tourists catch in Mexico, when they drink too much of local water.
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