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Video Game / Night Stalker

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Night Stalker is a 1982 game created and published by Mattel Electronics for the Intellivision, the Aquarius Home Computer, the Apple ][, and the IBM Personal Computer. An Atari 2600 version of the game called Dark Cavern, featuring somewhat different gameplay, was published around the same time period, and years later a homebrew remake called Dungeon Stalker was created and published for the Atari 7800. A demo of a modern remake for the Intellivision Amico has been posted on YouTube.

In the game, you play a man trapped in a hedgerow maze full of killer robots, bats, and spiders. The robots will attempt to exterminate you with their shots, while the bats and spiders can immobilize you upon contact. Your only shelter is a bunker in the center of the maze, but as the bunker has only one exit, you must be careful not to be trapped by the patrolling robots. Your only defense is a randomly-spawning gun that has limited ammunition, which fires up to six bullets before it runs out, forcing you to find another gun. There is no goal but to survive (and score) as long as possible.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: To Berzerk, which was at the time ported to the Atari 2600 by Atari.
  • Bandit Mook/Blob Monster: The zig-zaggy blobs in the Atari 2600 version, that steal your bullets when you come into contact with them.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Purposely averted in all adaptations of this game. In the Intellivision version you get six shots for each gun. In the Atari 2600 version each gun gives you up to 10 shots, which you can accumulate throughout the game, up to 99 shots. Played straight in the Atari 7800 remake, which has a mode that lets you have an unlimited number of shots.
  • Difficulty Levels: Four in the Intellivision version.
  • Endless Game: You play until you run out of lives.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The Intellivision version of the game had a constant heartbeat sound in the background.
  • Killer Robot: The main antagonists of the game. The Intellivision version introduces new killer robots as your score rises, with each new robot introducing a new feature (in order: the ability to track you, a force field, an energy pulse that can absorb your own shots, an energy pulse that can destroy your bunker, and invisibility).
  • Maze Game/Shoot 'Em Up: One of those hybrids from the early 1980s.
  • Non-Indicative Name: There really is no "stalker" in the game, unless you count the robots themselves.
  • The Paralyzer: Bats and spiders.
  • Recycled In Space: Dungeon Stalker is basically Night Stalker in a fantasy genre setting, also combining elements of Wizard of Wor, even including the Dragnet theme.
  • Scoring Points: For shooting robots, and in the Intellivision version, bats and spiders. In the Atari 7800 remake, you also score points for collecting treasure and shooting the wizard.

Alternative Title(s): Dark Cavern, Dungeon Stalker