Sea Dragon (video game)
Atari 8-bit title screen
David H. Simmons
Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Tandy CoCo, IBM PC
|Release||1982: TRS-80, Apple, Atari|
1983: CoCo, IBM PC
Sea Dragon is a horizontally scrolling shooter for the TRS-80 computer, written by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman, and released in 1982 by Adventure International. The gameplay is similar to the Scramble arcade game. It was ported to the Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, TRS-80 Color Computer, and IBM PC.
The player controls a submarine that can shoot torpedoes both forwards and upwards. The gameplay involves navigating "past underwater mountains and through labyrinthine passages while avoiding webs of explosive mines that rise from the sea bottom. Additional dangers include mine-dropping ships, enemy attack stations, falling stalactites, and deadly lasers—any of which could keep you from your ultimate goal: destruction of the incredibly powerful nuclear reactor at the end of the undersea course." (Adventure International catalog, 1982)
The Apple II version uses digitized voice that says "Sea Dragon!" When the user starts the game, he or she is told, "Captain! Your ship's computer is now ready. Please wait while I initialize systems!", and during the game will be informed, "Air level critical!", "Checkpoint!", and "Approaching maximum damage!" The use of speech was a novelty, as the Apple II speaker is only able to emit a one-bit click. Programming Sea Dragon to play back an audio sample is a technical achievement shared with Castle Wolfenstein (1981), Dung Beetles (1982), Creepy Corridors (1982), and Plasmania (1982).
The Color Computer version is the only other version that includes speech. It says "Welcome aboard, Captain!" on the title screen.
Writing for Video magazine in 1983, Ivan Berger noted that Sea Dragon's graphics were dominated by "simple patterns and primary colors". This Berger contrasted with the "more subtle colors and shadings that go into professional animation", however Berger noted that while Sea Dragon was emblematic in this regard, the chromatic and graphical simplicity of the game was endemic to the home computer game medium.:24
- Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
- Three Atari 8-bit games source code have been released on commodore.ninja by Paulo Garcia (on Jan 5, 2016)
- Berger, Ivan (May 1983). "Computer Ease: Graphics–What to Expect and Why". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (2): 24–25. ISSN 0147-8907.