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Catacomb  1990

Catacomb started as a shooter for the Apple II by John Carmack, who ported the game to DOS while he worked for Softdisk. The hero is a magician named Petton Everhail, who is contacted to rescue the Kieralon Empire from monsters. Petton can cast an infinite number fireballs, and can also charge his attack to release a super fireball. He can also acquire scrolls that allow him to cast Bolt, which fires a powerful thunderbolt in one direction (great for fighting enemies that can take more than one hit), and Nuke, which attacks in every direction (useful when Petton is surrounded by enemies). Petton can collect potions that he can use to restore his health completely at any time, but this is a balancing act: using them when Petton's hasn't taken much damage is a waste of potions, but waiting until his health is too low is dangerous. Petton has only one life, and there are no saved games or continues, so running out of health ends Petton's quest. Besides charged shots, another novel feature of Catacomb is the ability to strafe, so that you can continue to fire shots while retreating, or fire shots across a long wall while searching for hidden breakable walls. Finding breakable walls is often necessary to enter new areas or find keys to unlock doors. One final novel feature of Catacomb is that Petton fires with at a different row/column depending on whether the fireball comes from his left or right hand (he alternates), so it's possible to open only one side of a hidden doorway so that Petton can attack the enemies on the other side without them being able to fit through the door to attack him. Petton's gets points for killing monsters and collecting treasures, but his goal in every level is to find a mirror that warps him to the next level. With its combination of action and exploration, Catacomb is an absolute classic.

Added by DOSGuy


CGA Mode 04h

Screenshot of Catacomb
EGA Mode 0Dh

Screenshot of Catacomb


Catacomb and Dangerous Dave Gamer's Edge Sampler (224,112 bytes) xxxx DOS Play online

Source code

Source code for Catacomb in Turbo Pascal 5.5 (98,955 bytes) 2014-06-05


Catacomb was never sold as a standalone product, but was used to promote Softdisk's Gamer's Edge brand.

Cheat Codes

While the gameplay demo is running, press C + T + <spacebar> to bring up a dialog that lets you warp to any level.