Disassembly of Deathmaze 5000 for the Apple II
Deathmaze 5000 is a punishing adventure game played from a first-person perspective. The game was written for the TRS-80 and ported to the Apple II.
The game was part of a larger series of games for the TRS-80, including Rat's Revenge, Labyrinth, Asylum, and Asylum II. Only Deathmaze 5000 was ported to the Apple II.
Presenting a first-person view of a maze on the hi-res screen was something of a novelty in 1980. Unlike some other contemporary efforts, Deathmaze 5000 was fast and responsive, though there were limits on the sorts of things it could display. For example, all items found in the maze are simply displayed as rectangular boxes.
The game is primarily known for its extreme difficulty. There are a large number of ways to die, and some of the puzzles have solutions that don't seem entirely logical.
Deathmaze 5000 is copyright 1980 by Med Systems Software.
- Disassembly listing of the game.
- Project set - project files and binaries (requires SourceGen v1.7.5 or later).
- Hints for solving the game (spoiler-resistant).
- Full walkthrough for the game. Includes maps generated directly from game data structures.
- List of words and messages. Includes the full list of recognized verbs and nouns.
- Explanation of maze rendering. The game uses an unexpected approach, relying on character glyph rendering rather than line drawing.
- Magic Chris' ASYLUM Page. Lots of information about Deathmaze 5000 and other games in the series.
- Manual for the TRS-80 version.
How to play
The game presents a first-person view of a maze with five floors. Moving through the maze is done with four keys: Z to move forward, Left Arrow to turn left, Right Arrow to turn right, and X to turn around. Only Z changes your position.
You can also type commands, using verb-noun pairs, such as "Get Food". For some verbs, such as "Charge", no noun is required. Supported verbs are Raise, Blow, Break, Burn, Eat (Chew), Throw (Roll, Chuck, Heave), Climb, Drop (Leave, Put), Fill, Light, Play, Strike, Wear, Examine (Look), Wipe (Clean, Polish, Rub), Open (Unlock), Press, Get (Grab, Hold, Take), Kill (Stab, Slash, Attack, Hack), Paint, Say (Yell, Scream), Charge, Fart, Save, Quit, Instructions (Directions), and Help (Hint). In all cases, only the first four letters matter.
There are a number of objects in the game, which initially appear as boxes on the floor. You can pick them up while standing over them. If you drop an item it is automatically re-boxed. You can have up to 7 items in your inventory (besides torches). As with verbs, only the first 4 letters matter.
Time pauses while the game is waiting for input, but every forward step reduces the level of your torch and increases your hunger. If you take enough steps without eating or lighting a new torch, you will starve to death or end up in the dark.
Games are saved in track 2, sector 15 of the current disk. This sector is usually unused by DOS, but it's best to use a blank disk.