Fahrfall is the very first commercial game for the Coco released in cartridge form since the demise of the Coco in the early 1990's. John Linville, the author, based the game on the concept used in a homebrew Vectrex game called "Spike Goes Down", which itself was released as an unlockable bonus game on the 2003 Vectrex cartridge game Protector LE. This game got ported to several other systems, including the Atari VCS (Man Goes Down) and the Atari Jaguar (Downfall), the latter of which was John's original inspiration. Originally started at the end of 2011 and planned as an entry for the RetroChallenge contest, it was designed from the start to be a Coco 1/2 only game, and to use all 9 colors by using a higher Semigraphics mode (SG-12). At the time, almost all new Coco game development was for the Coco 3 only, and John wanted something exclusive for the Coco 1/2 audience (the higher semigraphics modes don't fully work on a Coco 3, unless you have a GIME-X). The first Alpha was released for the RetroChallenge at then end of January, 2012, and ended up being one of the winners. John continued refining it over the next few years, and in 2014 decided that he wanted to release an updated version in cartridge format. The first Beta for this came out in July 2014, and the cartridge version came out officially at CocoFest 2015 in Chicago.
When John decided to make the Game Master Cartridge (GMC) (which adds a period correct soundchip to a cartridge ROM game), Fahrfall was the first game chosen to be in the new enhanced cartridge format, and he added a multi-voice soundtrack and additional sound effects. This version was released in 2018. He has also since released the Pandemic version (featuring new music), which one can download for a limited time here, that can also be burned onto a ROM and put into the GMC cartridges that John still sells. To contact John about getting a GMC cartridge, please email John for a GMC hardware request.
If you want to read through the first 4+ years of Fahrfall's development, you can read John's entire blog here.
The game itself is an easy concept to grasp - you are continuously falling in front of an animated background, and have to keep jumping (you can steer your jumps) to different sized platforms coming up towards you. The game ends if you fall off the bottom of the screen, or if you ride a platform too long and your head hits the flames at the top of the playfield. As the game progresses, the speed will gradually increase, and the platform colors change after you have successfully survived a certain number of platforms. The game is nice and fast paced with smooth scrolling. And, as was John's original intention, it is a very colorful Coco 1/2 game.
Author: John Linville
Publisher: Retro Tinker
Released: 2015; GMC version 2018
Requires: Color Computer 1/2 ONLY, 16K RAM, joystick.
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