RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

EASTER EGG: The manual mentions the appearance of a ‘special signature’ on the final screen if your score is high enough (although this isn’t entirely true). On the final screen showing the Ark, the initials HSW2 (for Howard Scott Warshawthe 2 denotes this is his 2nd game) appear in your inventory (picture #1 and video).  {Scott Stilphen}

EASTER EGG: A screenshot showing graphics artist Jerome M. Domurat’s initials (as a graphic “logo”) in the mesa field appeared in several publications on at least 8 separate instances:

Consumer’s Guide book, How to Win at Home Video Games, (page 56)

Electronic Fun with Computers & Games (November 1982, page 64 - picture is flipped horizontally)

Electronic Games (November 1982, page 8)

Electronic Games (March 1984, page 24 - picture is upside-down)

Joystik (November 1982, page 5, and December 1982, page 56  – picture is flipped horizontally)

Video Review (January 1983, page 73)

Videogaming Illustrated (December 1982, page 59)

Book, Videospelletjes - Complete Handleiding Voor Winnaars, (by Arnie Katz, Bill Kunkel and Kees van Toorn, page 52)

The graphics for the initials were removed in the released version, although there are some "holes" in the program that hint where it belonged and how it was to be used.  From Jerome: "I'm pretty sure what happened was, there was a problem with the game's scoring when it was added in.  It might have doubled the score or something like that, so Howard was forced to remove it.  We were both kinda bummed about it, so when E.T. came along we threw a bunch in :)  Howard used part of the Raiders Easter egg code in E.T. though, because he was convinced that there must have been something else causing the problem, and he figured if the game testers came back with a problem, then the code was really to blame, but nothing came back about it."

A fake, pixel-perfect screenshot (picture #2) was created by Scott Stilphen to more clearly illustrate the photos (pictures #17 and #18), although the colors are wrong due to imperfect emulation.

EASTER EGG: The manual also states the possibility of an extra-terrestrial YAR near the Flying Saucer Mesa.  This is true and here’s how to find it: go to the FSM with the Chai and a parachute.  Walk off the bottom of the mesa and drop the Chai when you start falling.  The YAR will appear above you at the top of the screen (picture #3 and video). Uncovering the YAR is required to reveal the initials. {Russ Perry Jr. and Scott Stilphen}

It’s possible to solve the game without the use of the map room.  It’s also possible, with a bit of tricky playing, to finish the game with both the Ankh and Hourglass - the only 2 items that give you the grappling hook (picture #6)!  {Scott Stilphen}

Temple Treasure room objects (order of appearance): Hourglass - Ankh - Chai.  Sometimes this order is reversed.  A different treasure appears at every time increment (on the timepiece).

The spider can shoot web between Indy’s head (hat) and body w/o harming him (much like in Berzerk).

The 2nd grenade’s icon is the reverse of the 1st grenade’s icon (picture #7).  Any reason/meaning to this?

The key can also be found in the Black Market basket at the first 2 positions on the timepiece (”12” and “1:30”).

Bribe for the lunatic lasts unless you touch him or walk almost as far as the left side of the basket.

Master thief can’t kill you if less than half of your body is visible from the bottom margin (in the Valley of Poison).

Tsetse flies can’t bite you if move all the way to the bottom of the screen (in either the Valley of Poison or the Spider room) so that only your hat will be visible, and avoid roughly 1/3 of the left side of the screen.  This is because the swarm is made up of 4 distinct clusters, and its ‘center’ is the right cluster.  When you’re in this specific position, the right cluster is centered over Indy (but since both are off-screen, there’s no collision-detection taking place) so the top cluster will continually swarm right by your hat.  If you start in the right corner and slowly move towards the left, you can actually move the swarm w/o getting bit!  When you’re within a step or two of your range limit, the top cluster will flicker in a pattern much like a tiny Atari Fuji symbol.  There’s only a few points beyond that (in the Spider room) where you can stand and not get bit.

Auto-fire module - By using an adjustable auto-fire module with the whip, strange things start to happen.  On the Entrance screen, you can get Indy to appear in the left margin (the whip actually becomes a grappling hook!).  On nearly every screen, if you start moving with the FIRE button down, you’ll start falling and end up in the Valley of Poison.  If done inside a mesa, you can get the screen to stretch at the top and bottom, and the pile of dirt will appear to rise on a column of more dirt!  You can also walk in the left margin (in the mesa field) or do the grappling hook trick using the whip & firing plug in the Tiny Thieves room, inside a mesa, etc. (after falling, start walking left or right to do the wrap-around trick).  If the auto-fire is set too fast, you’ll most likely end up falling past the side of a mesa from most any screen you’re on – including the Valley of Poison. {Scott Stilphen}

Head to the staff of Ra: The headpiece appears in each of the 3 baskets (in the Marketplace) the instant the hand on the timepiece moves.  It will only be there for a second or so. {Scott Stilphen}  Besides its use in the map room, it can also be used to enter the Temple Entrance room from the Marketplace, even if the entrance has been sealed off (by triggering the secret walls).  This allows you to by-pass having to blow a hole in the Entrance room wall (which costs half a point). The existence of the Marketplace entrance was hinted at in the manual’s description of the Temple Entrance Room.  {Luc Pycke}

Hidden key - A 2nd key exists in the program which cannot be found in the game.  It seems the key was originally going to appear on the Entrance screen, but due to the way the kernel displays objects, it couldn’t be used.  This is most likely why it now appears in a Marketplace basket.  This was mentioned in the May 1984 issue of TV GamerA modified version of the code shows what the key would have looked like, had it been implemented (picture #4).  {Luc Pycke}  A similar picture also appeared in Atari’s VCS Sales Planner brochure (picture #15) and an Atari dealer ad (picture #16)!

Inside the Mesa – As with the master thief, if a tiny thief steals something from you, you can shoot any of the 4 thieves to retrieve it.  You can also shoot into the pile of dirt to recover it {Simon Howard, TV Gamer, Winter 1983}.  However, if a thief steals 2 or more objects, you’ll only recover the last object stolen.

Rock – Does the rock on the Entrance room have any purpose?  The manual even makes mention of it, going so far as to label it in a screenshot.  It seems to be more than a static image.  If you touch the left side of it, you bump off it, but if you touch the top, bottom, or right side, you are pulled across it to the left side.  If you drop enough coins on it while moving across it, the game will crash.  There’s also a rumor of the snake interacting with it to trigger a large Chai, but there’s nothing in the code to indicate the snake and the rock are related.  The hidden key might have been replaced by the rock, since the kernel is designed to handle 3 playfield objects.

Secret Dungeon Exits - About 1/2” to the left in each dungeon is a spot on the floor where you can just pull back and Indy will always escape (see video).  The exits are always there despite the manual stating they only appear occasionally.

Secret Walls - When the secret exit is used, it triggers hidden walls in the Temple Entrance room to appear.  Temporary walls close off the two lower exits (see video).  These can be shot out like the dungeon walls.  A solid wall also appears at the exit to the Entrance room (upper left).  This wall cannot be shot away, and it slowly moves down every quarter (1/4 or 15 “minutes”) on the timepiece.  The wall takes four “hours” to completely move down, but it is impassable after 3 (picture #5).  It can be “destroyed” by using the grenades- place them by the right Entrance room wall (place the second one inside the blast hole).  Note however, the wall isn’t actually destroyed, but “reset”, and it begins to come down again until the entrance is permanently sealed off.

Scoring: The manual explains the scoring system as such - "The height of the pedestal is a measure of your score in adventure points." For years it was believed that each circle on the pedestal = 1 'adventure point'. But if you've ever noticed, the pedestal doesn't always stop on a full circle. The reason is, 1 circle is actually worth 4 AP (1 point for each line of resolution).

The lowest possible score is 5 AP and the highest is 82 AP (out of 92), or 20.5 circles.  Here are all the known actions, with the correct point scale:

+24 (start with)
+14 LOCATING ARK IN MAPROOM
+12 USING SHOVEL IN MESA
+10 FINDING ARK
+ 9 USE OF ANKH
+ 5 UNCOVERING YAR
+ 3 USE OF PARACHUTE
+ 3 LANDING IN MESA
+ 2 FINISHING GAME WITH 2 LIVES LEFT
+ 1 FINISHING GAME WITH 1 LIFE LEFT

-13 USING SECRET EXIT IN DUNGEON
- 4 SHOOTING/WHIPPING THIEVES
- 2 BLOWING HOLE IN ENTRANCE ROOM

Valley of Poison – As the manual states, if the “master” thief that roams the valley steals something from you, you can retrieve it if you shoot him before he leaves the screen. Once he leaves, he can only convert the following items to bullets (#), and will take these items first: key (6), shovel (5), coins (3), magic flute (3), parachute (3).  If any tiny thieves (in either the Room of Tiny Thieves or Inside the Mesa rooms) take one of these objects, the master thief will get the bullets for it.

BUG: Crash - (1) If you stand on the dirt pile (inside a mesa) and drop at least 4 bags of coins, the game will crash.  {Travis Sagert}  (2) If you drop 5 bags of coins while standing in the grenade hole in the Entrance room or on the rock, the game will crash.  If you drop 4 bags of coins instead, you’ll only be able to pick up 4 other items!  If you drop 4 more bags of coins, the game will crash.  {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Extra-Terrestrial YAR - (1) The YAR is missing part of its left wing!  (2) After uncovering the YAR, a parachute should be used to land safely in the Valley.  If the Ankh is used instead, the following glitch will appear:  If you manage to get out of the Valley without missing with the hook, the next time you try to jump and use a parachute, the YAR will still be there, and if the chute is opened too early, it’ll touch the YAR and break!  If you miss with the hook and keep pressing the button, Indy will keep falling (he’ll be unable to get back on top of the mesa).  If you have a parachute (and use it), be sure to drop it before the thief touches you, or he’ll take all your objects at once!  If you don’t have one, the only way to get out is to lose a life.  When Indy reappears in the Valley, the screen will shake and Indy will be stuck in place unless the Ankh is dropped.  It can be used to get back to the mesa top, but you have to press the button twice (the first time Indy will start falling again). {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Grenades - (1) If you drop a grenade in the Black Market and exit to the Room of Tiny Thieves, the grenade will still be there (although it already went off).  {Scott Stilphen}  (2) When visible, snakes can eat them and thieves can steal them too (but it still goes off)!  {Scott Stilphen}  (3) If a grenade is set off inside a mesa, Indy will appear to melt in a beam of light (picture #14)!  {Dave Harvey, TV Gamer May 1984}

BUG: Map room - While opening the Map room with the key, Indy can walk freely from one side of the screen to the other without falling (picture #13 and video)!

BUG: Mesa Field - By using the grappling hook you can maneuver Indy onto the screen margin and actually walk along the right side of the screen (picture #11 and video)!  {Dave Harvey, TV Gamer May 1984Get on one of the mesas that are on the right margin and position Indy so that the hook swings over into the margin.  Only go into the margin about the width of Indy; any more and Indy will warp around to the mesa on the left side and possibly fall off!  After dropping the hook, it will appear somewhere in the mesa field.  If you go up into the Marketplace and start walking right, it makes an interesting effect (you’ll eventually wrap-around to the left side!  The snake will go crazy trying to catch you.). {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Parachuting - After jumping off a mesa, move Indy as far left as possible without entering the opening.  The parachute will burst when Indy reaches to bottom!  Moving right instead and holding the joystick in these directions causes:  UP & RIGHT - Indy will descend faster; RIGHT - Indy will descend while scraping wall; DOWN & RIGHT - Indy will stop descending and hang up on wall (see video)! {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Revolver -The revolver has 7 bullets, not 6.  You can have up to 128 in reserve (including those with the revolver).  Due to the way the game keeps track of your bullets, if you have between 129 and 256 bullets, your gun won’t work, but the next 1-128 bullets you purchase will make it active again, and so on. {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Room of the Shining Light – The first time you enter it, the Guardian is in the same spot (top-center) but often will keep whatever position it was last in when you leave it and return (ex: going between that room and the Temple Treasure room).  For some reason, it will occasionally be much lower in the room when you re-enter it.

BUG: Scoring - Every time the Well of Souls screen appears, the pedestal starts moving down from the maximum height of 92 (picture #8).  Even with a perfect game and score (picture #1), the pedestal will still move down 10 points. The missing 10 points are the result of some code being removed (most likely to actions relating to the “JD” initials and/or the extra key).  Also, there is a carry-over bug in the code, which is why a point isn’t subtracted if you lose all of your lives.

BUG: Snakes - When entering a screen with snakes (Entrance, Marketplace, and Temple Treasure room), go to the right side of the screen.  When the snake appears from the top margin, it will briefly wrap-around, after which it will fall into a “pattern”.  There will be certain areas along either sides of the screen where Indy can stand and the snake will never touch him.  This is true of any spot along the right wall in the Temple Treasure room.  {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Spider room - Go to the top of the screen.  Get hit (barely) by web and move towards the corner.  The spider will go up and disappear, and reappear a few seconds later from the bottom.  If you exit left (before the spider returns) and go back in, the spider will reappear at the bottom and slowly return to its nest (picture #9).  If you exit right instead, you’ll appear in the dungeon and the Guardian appears at the bottom, slowly moving back to its normal position (picture #10).  Note- this is how you can trick the guardian into a dungeon, since once you enter one, it automatically moves to its “spot” (see video). {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Tsetse flies - While in the Valley of Poison, if they chase you (from the top of the valley) and you run fast enough so that they scroll off-screen (note the swarm of flies gets slightly wider just before this happens), they’ll fly in the opposite direction, and eventually wrap-around the valley from the top back to the bottom.  Normally Tsetse flies appear from the bottom-center of the screen, except when doing this trick.  A similar effect happens in the Spider room (see video).  If you stand near the top of the screen (at least up to your waist), they will wrap-around after biting you (or missing you, if you’re moving).  {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Valley of Poison - If you do the wrap-around trick in the Mesa Field and fall, when you reappear in the Valley of Poison, the wrap-around effect will still be working, and it will cause the Master Thief and Tsetse flies to chase your “shadow” (picture #12).  {Scott Stilphen}

BUG: Whips - On some screens, repeatedly firing the whip into either the left or right borders causes it to wrap-around to the other side, or sometimes in the middle of the screen.

FRYING: Start inside the Temple Treasure room. Your character’s graphics will be corrupted (and possibly the screen “border”).  You can actually walk through the ‘initial blast hole’ and it will seal up behind you!  If you try to use/drop objects in your inventory, the game will probably reset.  If you get killed, the game will end, with the pedestal fully raised.  Other frying results may distort the music/sound effects, reveal the HSW2 initials, or even show Indy jammed inside the ark (on a 108 AP pedestal)! {Scott Stilphen}

RUMOR: If a snake goes exactly through the crack in the rock on the entrance screen, the rock will turn into a large, blue Chai and Indy will turn into small dots.  Does this only work with PAL versions?  {Dave Harvey, TV Gamer May 1984}

RUMOR: There’s a Yar in the Black Market.  Also, one flies up the screen if you get the special signature at the end.  {Dave Harvey, TV Gamer May 1984}

RUMOR: If you are in the Flying Saucer mesa at a certain time, the tiny thieves turn into ETs.  This is highly suspect since Warshaw programmed E.T. after Raiders.  {Dave Harvey, TV Gamer May 1984}

RUMOR: According to Howard Scott Warshaw in the 2nd issue of Classic Gamer Magazine, “There's one point in the Treasure room where you're digging for treasure, and if you have the right configuration in your inventory, when you start digging, a Yar will fly up through the room."  I think Warshaw was mashing up the Yar Easter egg with the one in E.T.  The E.T. Yar will fly up through the screen; the one in Raiders does not.  Also, you don’t dig for treasure in the Treasure room, you simply grab coins to make objects appear.  The only digging that’s done is inside a mesa, for the Ark.

 

 

 

 


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