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About the StoryYou're on maintenance duty aboard the USS Sea Moss, patrolling the icy North Atlantic waters with an arsenal of twenty nuclear missiles.
The Sea Moss is no ordinary sub. She's the first to carry the Navy's new experimental sonar-jammer that can make her "invisible" to even the most sophisticated enemy sensors. The 50-kiloton cruisers in her missile bay are the pride of the Pentagon: fast, silent, incredibly accurate.
The enemy would love to get their hands on the Sea Moss and her secrets. It's not likely to happen, though. The only way they could possibly breach the hull would be from the inside - and your fellow crewmembers have been carefully handpicked for their unswerving patriotism and utter lack of imagination. No "moles" in this bunch of sailors. No, sir!
The intercom in the equipment bay clicks to life. "I've got a bad line in the forward escape tube," a voice from the command deck crackles. "Wanna come up here and take a look at it?" You grab a screwdriver, scoot up a ladder and slam the hatch of the escape tube behind you.
It's all over in a few seconds. The General Quarters klaxxon blares to life. You hear the shrieks and choked coughing of friends as they stumble through the passages outside, and a single hoarse shout: "Gas!" Some poor sucker pounds weakly on the escape hatch. Then the alarm cuts off as suddenly as it began. Everything is silent as death. Frozen with fear, you sit trembling in the airtight escape tube, knowing that now it's just you and the Sea Moss against whoever shut off the alarm.
Crash Dive! is a machine-language text adventure that pits you in a race against time. As the sole survivor of a terrible act of naval sabotage, you must find a way to keep your ship out of the hands of The Enemy. No sacrifice is too great to achieve this important goal. The question is, how do you get rid of a giant nuclear submarine and everything in it?
As the start of the game, the Sea Moss is assumed to be cruising along the surface of the ocean. Your mission is as follows:
1. Find a way to survive in the submarine's poisoned atmosphere.
2. Get the sub under water, so that enemy ships will not be able to reach it easily. You have a limited number of moves after the game begins to accomplish this, or the Enemy will capture the sub and kill you on the spot!
3. Find a way to completely destroy the Sea Moss.
Some of these goals will be relatively easy to accomplish. Others will require careful thought and a little bit of resourcefulness. Don't forget that there may be somebody left alive on the Sea Moss besides yourself - and that somebody might not be very friendly!
Crash Dive! was a type-in text adventure game published in the A.N.A.L.O.G. Atari 8-bit magazine, issue 18, in 1984. It is coded in 6502 assembly language.
Gaming After 40
Adventure of the Week: Crash Dive! (1984)
The author's first published text adventure, Adventure in the 5th Dimension, was written in Atari BASIC; this one is completely in assembly language (encoded in printable form for its magazine type-in debut), so it fires up immediately and plays speedily. The original magazine (link above) is well worth referencing, as it includes a photograph of several key props containing clues for the game, an interesting print approximation of the Infocom "feelies." As a matter of fact, while this game is a two-word parser affair, it was Moriarty's last magazine effort; he would shortly move up to begin work on Wishbringer for Infocom.
Crash Dive! opens in a confined space, and it's highly unusual in that the player's goal is not necessarily to escape the doomed submarine, but to keep it from falling into enemy hands by any means necessary. The user interface is a nifty extension of the Scott Adams "windowed" screen, divided here into several fixed windows. The display approach handily establishes the player's carrying capacity -- beyond six items, the game tells us Your arms are full! The layout also inadvertently imposes a visible item limit on every room, yielding Not enough room here when the junk piles up too much. There's also a turn counter in the upper right-hand corner, handy for tracking some early "time"-limited events but not otherwise essential to play.
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This is version 3 of this page, edited by greg-kennedy on 8 July 2017 at 6:35pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item