Friends, if you were kind enough to listen to the Krull episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast – you are aware that as a tie-in for the epic science fiction/fantasy film – a game was produced for the Atari 2600. This would not be a port of the twin-stick arcade title by Gottlieb but a wholly new game – perhaps better suited for a gaming experience using a single joystick. I am extremely fond of the film that both the arcade and Atari 2600 title were based on – as a matter of fact – in the near future I would say that you can count on it being the subject of a Pop Culture Retrorama podcast.
As I understand it from reading online, Atari was originally planning on a port of the arcade game for their 5200 system – although in ’83 it appears that the sales of that particular Atari home console were less than rosy. The result was not just to focus on the more popular 2600 system but to craft an original game – made up of four separate mini-games as it were. The designer and programmer responsible for Krull was Dave Staugas – who would go on to have a hand in the port for Millipede the following year. Although I have read that the graphics were handled by Jerome Domurat who also worked on the likes of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pengo, Jungle Hunt, and Star Raiders.
As Earl will demonstrate in his latest Phosphor Dot Fossils video – Krull is by no means an easy title to say the very least. While the first mini-game which represents “Colwyn’s Marriage to Lyssa” isn’t all that tough – the difficulty in obtaining the Glaive weapons that are so crucial during the “Iron Desert” sequence is a bit harder. And even though the “Widow of the Web” mini-game basically comes down to really just timing your jumps properly – it is the “Black Fortress” segment where the difficulty seems to spike. Players must use their Glaive to chip away at the prison cell that is holding Lyssa captive – while making sure to catch the weapon as it returns and avoid the the fireballs hurled at them by the Beast. If you manage to lose all of the Glavies you have collected – you must beat a hasty retreat back to the “Widow of the Web” in an attempt to pick up more during your travels across the “Iron Desert”.
Remember that for even more pop culture related goodness – make sure to check out Earl’s own website, the Logbook.Com – absolutely one of the best and longest running sites for all your retro needs.