Sea Dragon (video game)
Atari 8-bit title screen
|Developer(s)||Wayne Westmoreland & Terry Gilman|
Sea Dragon is a side-scrolling game for the TRS-80 computer, written by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman, and released in 1982 by Adventure International. It was one of the most popular games for the TRS-80. Its success on the TRS-80 led to ports to the Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, and the TRS-80 Color Computer.
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 usesdigitized 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 an interesting technical achievement, shared with several other 1982 Apple II games: Dung Beetles, Creepy Corridors, and Plasmania.
The Color Computer version is the only other version that features speech; it says "Welcome aboard, Captain!" on the title screen.
Ports and Remakes
The original version was developed by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman in 1982 on the TRS-80. In 1995, Wayne Westmoreland released the game into the public domain.
- The Tandy Color Computer port was done by Jim Hurd of Coniah Software
- The Atari 8-bit version was done by Russ Wetmore.
- The PC DOS port was done by Hervé Thouzard
- The IBM-PC color-graphics version was done by Dan Rollins
- The Apple II version was done by John Anderson
- The Commodore 64 version was done by David H. Simmons
- The ZX Spectrum version by Andrey Zhiglov, 2010 
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
- Sea Dragon video clip of game play on YouTube.
- Sea Dragon download the original game (requires TRS80 emulator to run).
- Review of Sea Dragon at TRS-80.org
- Reminiscing: Sea Dragon Screenshots from the Atari 8-bit version
- Sea Dragon Intro - (mp3) Audio
- Sea Dragon Intro - Ringtone (.m4r) for iphone
- Video of Sea Dragon for TRS-80 (YouTube)
- Berger, Ivan (May 1983). "Computer Ease: Graphics–What to Expect and Why". Video (Reese Communications) 7 (2): 24–25. ISSN 0147-8907.