Marty's Nightmare is a custom game that Steve Bjork wrote as an "in joke" for his good friend Marty Goodman, specifically for the 1990 edition of the Atlanta CocoFest. The intro screens above explain the basic premise, and the game itself is a PacMan derivative, but with mazes that are several screens high (using the vertical hardware scrolling), and features 4 mazes. You have to eat dots, but there are no power pills, and you have a time limit for each maze. You can get a coffee boost, which doubles your walking speed for 10 seconds. There is also a wandering Coco (which is a user with a hardware question) and computer mouse (which is a user with a software question); if either of these collide with you, you merely pass over dots (not eating them), until you can get the corresponding answer to the question (either a chip for hardware, or a floppy disk for software) (at this point, the maze color changes as well). You can occasionally get tokens to extend your time as well. It should be mentioned that, unlike PacMan, these were randomly placed in the mazes, vs. in fixed positions like the power pills. You also had the option of playing a one day seminar (once through each maze), or a 4 day (where you had to repeat them 4 times, with the difficulty increasing each time through - on these levels, there is more than one each of the Coco's and Mice to deal with). The game does have an end, unlike PacMan, as well.
The game is a cute tribute to both of the Coco personalities (Marty programmed Graphicom, and was also a hardware guru, and published regular columns in Rainbow magazine, and Steve wrote some of the most famous games for the Coco's). It features smooth hardware scrolling, digitized sound and voice effects (using Steve's own voice, with some effects), and multiple mazes. Steve also had a rather innovative way of keeping your time left on the screen while it was being scrolled; unlike other games that either didn't bother showing such a display (like Gold Runner 2000), or did specific hardware timing per scanline to keep it on (like Crystal City), or had it scroll down with you (like Those Darn Marbles), Steve kept it simple by strategically placing multiple copies of the timer in various walls in the maze, so that you would always see one of them, no matter where in the maze you were.
Title: Marty's Nightmare
Author: Steve Bjork (SRB Software)
Released: October 6, 1990
Requires: Color Computer 3, 512K RAM, disk, joystick.
Return to main Coco Game List page