Mountain King

EASTER EGG: Next to the spider’s lair are the initials “RWM” (for programmer Robert Matson – picture #1 and video).

EASTER EGG: When starting, let the opening music "demo" play completely though.  Start the game and go down to the spider’s lair.  Start by standing over the “M” initial (picture #1 and video), and jump LEFT onto the thin blue line.  Stand near the very right edge of this (just before falling off) and move DOWN.  You will drop down a little bit (up to the top of your legs).  If you then walk to the left of the blue center, you’ll fall down the rock wall (picture #2).  At this point you can exit the lair either by going left or by climbing up the blue center (note that the spider can still get at you in the left rock area), but you’ll want to go over to the right rock wall, at which point you’ll drop down a bit.  Walk either left or right and you’ll start falling and eventually land on top of huge letters that comprise the message: “MOUNTAIN KING BY BOB MATSON” (picture #3).  If you don’t wait for the demo to play all the way through, this message won’t be there when you first start falling through the bottom, although you’ll find it in the sprite mountain.  If you walk off these letters, you’ll start falling again and after about 40 seconds you’ll land on top of a huge mountain of sprite graphics (picture #4).  Touching any yellow chests or fire graphics is deadly, and occasionally certain yellow letters are as well.  In certain areas you’ll also be able to grab diamonds, get the flame spirit, and even increase (or decrease) your time and score! If you move down through this mountain, you’ll find a wall of treasure chests.  Steve Marcovici was the first to (publicly) deduce that the spider’s lair held a secret, via an old usenet posting dated February 6th, 1984.

However, the pirate versions floating around do not have this wall!  With these versions, you can drop through the bottom of this sprite mountain, where you’ll start falling again and land on another, more-difficult “graphics” mountain.  You’ll need to increase your time to get through this one, but if you do you’ll land back on the real mountain, although things will be a little different.  You may not see any shrubs along the top, but you may find a spider at the very top!

The 5200 version is different still.  There’s no huge wall of treasure chests at the bottom of the first sprite mountain, just a thin line of them with a huge gap that you can pass through (provided you fall through in the right area). When you fall through the bottom, you’ll encounter a few, small sprite mountains, and eventually you’ll land back on the real mountain (with the same odd issues the pirate versions have).

EASTER EGG: Programmer Bob Matson described a different method to finding his name at the bottom of the mountain!  Start a game (you don’t need to wait for the demo to play through), and collect all the diamonds on the bottom 2 level.  Next, find the flame spirit and bring it to the temple, triggering the skull to appear.  At this point, go back to the bottom-most level and start running right, towards the spider’s lair.  You’ll run right through it and fall through the bottom and eventually land on top of the message: “MOUNTAIN KING BY BOB MATSON” (picture #3). 

There are only 8 levels, after which you keep repeating level 8.




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