Super Pitfall … 2???

After the passing of Steve Bjork, his personal possessions ended up in an estate sale. Among them were some fantastic Disney collectables (Steve worked at Disneyland in the 1970s), and a bunch of CoCo stuff.

After the estate sale, much of this ended up at an auction. Roger Taylor spent over $6700 to acquire and preserve a huge bundle of Steve Bjork diskettes and source code printouts. To support him in this endeavor, I am now backing Roger’s Patreon with a $50/month “hardcore supporter” level. If you would like to help out, consider chipping in, even at a $5/month level, to help offset these investments.

Yesterday, Roger shared some photos of the source code printouts that had been kept in a storage box:

There are listings from pre-CoCo TRS-80 Model I/III software, as well as highly recognizable CoCo programs such as Clowns & Balloons, Mega-Bug, Micro Painter, Rampage, Bash as well as something called Marty Goodman Game which was written in 30 days. This would be released as Marty’s Nightmare for the 1990 Atlanta CoCoFest (the first time I ever met Steve in person).

One of the more curious things in the printout collection is a listing for Super Pitfall 2, which does not exist. It seems Super Pitfall was only released for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Color Computer 3, and a Japanese machine called a PC-88. The Wikipedia page has this comment:

Activision initially was going distribute Sunsoft‘s Atlantis no Nazo in the United States in a rebranded form as a sequel to Super Pitfall on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This release did not happen.

YouTube does have a few videos of a game called Super Pitfall 2, described as a prototype and unreleased:

If this Atlantis no Nazo game, which was only released in Japan, was going to be converted to be Super Pitfall 2 for the USA audience, was Activision also going to have a CoCo 3 version done? This seems unlikely, but the source code clearly says “Super Pitfall 2” and also has that text on its title screen! It also shows that Steve worked on this game from 11/11/1987 to 4/6/1988.

Super Pitfall 2 source code listing, from the collection of Roger Taylor.

I do have a theory. Mine Rescue was a game very similar to Super Pitfall that Steve released in 1989. I cannot find the game in the Color Computer Archive (most likely since Steve was still active in the CoCo community and protecting his copyright), but the manual is there:

It was very similar to Super Pitfall. (photos from L. Curtis Boyle’s site)

This was much like Steve’s game Bash was very similar to Arkanoid. (photos from L. Curtis Boyle’s site)

Steve had a library of routines he would use in various games. You could see how the scrolling perspective of his port of Zaxxon might have been re-used for one of the levels in his Ghana Bwana game (photos from L. Curtis Boyle’s site):

I am wondering if this “Super Pitfall 2” might have been the code that was later released as Mine Rescue. But, at the moment in time that printout was noted with “4/6/88”, both the source code and the embedded text for the title screen read “Super Pitfall 2”.

I am looking forward to following Roger Taylor’s exploration of this archive of Steve Bjork material. I wonder what other things will be discovered…

Until then, stop by Roger’s Patreon and please consider supporting him at whatever level you can justify.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.