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China Miner
Legend of Kuna
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Cart #dragowfall-2 | 2024-05-25 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️ move
⭕️ [Z] Fire / Jump
❎ [X] Skip / Continue

Shadowfax + Pitfall! + Dragonfire

Dragowfall is a mashup of these 3 games from the 80's, in the style of Intellivision, all glued together to form a more intense chivalry-themed adventurous experience: upgrade your stats at shops, save damsels in distress, acquire knighthood, get married, choose between greed and Honour!

You start your adventure as a weak bachelor squire with disproportionate ambition and as much recklessness, to the extent that you volunteered to a deadly quest: you offered your loyalty to the duke promising him to bring back his treasures since the Dragonlord took over the castle and the rest of forts in the region will soon be its next targets.


The full game manual is available as PDF file in the Dragowfall Itch.io page here

How to Play


Ride your white horse Shadowfax to reach the castle. On the way you'll encounter several (depends on level) dark horses, some mounted by the Dragonlord's minions. How to zap them: keep ⭕️ pressed and release when the lightning bolt is close to your enemies.
Grab lightning bolts (to refill the yellow bar at the top, you can't zap when empty) and health potions on the way; the red bar at the top is your Health. Hint: zapping wild horses could drop extra bolts and potions, while mounted ones drop more gold items.
Upgrades and shops:
A sign indicates that a mage shop is near, better move towards the top of the screen. You can invest your gold (in yellow at the bottom) to buy upgrades: some will be useful for the Shadowfax stage only (e.g. anything related to lightning bolts) while the rest is about your health and physical resistance and they're always valid for all stages. Note: the more you buy the higher the prices will be on the next shops.


The entrance to the castle must be near but you have to survive this complex maze of dungeons. One does not simply walk on the surface -which has its hazards too-, you'd need to wander underground... especially if you want to gather all gold items and extra potions. The gameplay here is a mix of Pitfall! and Pitfall II: jump pools and vines (the handy vines will appear rarely at higher levels), avoid rolling trunks, birds on the surface, bats and deadly scorpions underground. Far to the left a sign will finally indicate the castle entrance.

Ladders: to safely climb down ladders approach them "diagonally", keep both ⬇️ and left or right pressed, just like the original Pitfall games.
Swinging rope/vine: you don't have to press anything to hold on, as soon as you jump and collide with the rope the hero automatically grabs it and keeps swinging until you either press jump⭕️ or down. Also for the release the momentum/physics are a bit more natural than the fixed hop forward of the original. You're also immune to collisions while swinging.

Rescue the maiden:
A damsel, the daughter of the duke, is held captive in the dark cellar under the main entrance tower. Unless you've already gathered all the gold ingots, a greedy mage is blocking the access to the cellar. See bottom right of the HUD to know how many ingots still need to be found. Once inside, careful since it's pitch-dark and at least one bat is inside. Climb up to the left to reach a trapdoor, press down ⬇️ to reach for the damsel and lift her up. At this point she will follow you. Safely bring her to your horse, Shadowfax will take her back to the duke's residence, even if she's wounded or unconscious (her health will decide the bonus points, you could even lose points if she's in critical condition)


You're inside the castle walls and fireballs are thrown at you: ⭕️ jump or ⬇️ duck to avoid them (or even take shelter walking back at the tower door). As you advance on the drawbridge a ladder will appear, in case you need an extra potion but beware the electric eel.
Behind the door on the left there's the final stage of each level, the treasure hall where you'll come face to face with the Dragon, more fireballs thrown at you, especially on higher levels.
At the top you see two doors, the exit on the left will be unlocked once you gather all treasure items belonging to the duke.

Greed or Honour?

You finally escape the dragon and -before starting a new level- you visit the duke to declare the extent of the recovered treasure (use ⬆️⬇️ to select the percent, 10% is the minimum).
It is suggested to be greedy and keep a good amount of gold for yourself to spend on upgrades early and improve your initial weakness, at least until you're experienced enough.
Giving him back a high percentage will grant you honour and respect (and a higher score as you'll receive that same amount in points).
All the gold recovered in a single level -not spent in upgrades- is considered as current bounty and the percent of gold you give back to the duke at the end of the level is based on such amount; even if you select 100% you will still keep the gold saved on previous levels.

Marriage and Knighthood

While at the duke's court, you might notice a red heart appearing next to the damsel you've just saved. Clearly you've made an impression on her and -yes- you're also selecting the most honourable option declaring 100% of the bounty.
You think you're ready to take the plunge? Maybe too soon?
When you marry the duke's daughter you will:

  • be knighted in an Accolade ceremony with all the trappings, including the tapping of a knighting sword on your shoulders;
  • obtain a better Armour granting more resistance to penetration damage (see Damage section below);
  • receive a remarkable amount of extra points (especially on higher levels);
  • have your spouse sweetly wishing you Godspeed while departing to a new quest.


The game uses pixel-perfect collisions and the damage taken depends on the overlap between the hero and enemies.
In general damage is calculated as -1hp each pixel. While a superficial contact (3 pixels or less) will result in a very short invulnerable state (i-frames, you can tell by the hero flickering) regardless of your upgrades, if the penetration is deeper (4 pixels or more) you will still get the same damage per pixel but the invulnerability lasts longer. You can upgrade to increase this duration and the measurement unit is "frames": the game runs at 60fps (frames per second) so if you upgrade invulnerability to 30 it means you cannot take damage after a hit for half a second.
In the first Shadowfax stage it is slightly different: if the contact is superficial (3 pixels or less) you don't take any damage, it is considered "grazing" and you also score a few points.
Armour: your initial armour grants a maximum damage of 30 per hit. Once you're knighted your armour will further reduce the amount of penetration damage depending on level. For instance becoming knight at level 10 will set the threshold to 20 max dmg.


Items in the treasure hall are worth three times as much.
How many HP you get picking up health potions and lightning bolts can be upgraded in the shop.

Saved progress

The progress is saved at the end of each completed level. If you die you can still ❎ Continue from the last saved state (it works like a checkpoint) while pressing ⭕️ in the main screen will discard your progress and start a new game. Note: even when no "Continue Lvl." is explicitly shown at the bottom of the main screen, you can still choose ❎ to restart a game with the previous random 'seed': you could try this option at the beginning, especially if you failed to beat the Pitfall stage, so the dungeons layout and enemies will be identical to the previous game, it should be easier to beat it on a second run knowing where the hazards were.

Journey / Achievements

At any time during the game you can open the pause menu (P or Enter) and select "Journey" to display useful stats and info on your current game (level, status, armour and upgrades) also you can scroll the list of castles and forts to review the honour obtained in your past quests. Note: on the left you see the tower icons, the more the distance from the left side the longer the path to the castle will be (length of the Shadowfax ride, good chance of gathering more gold and upgrades at shops along the way).
By pressing ⬅️➡️ you can switch between Journey and Achievements page, showing the all-time best results; in the scrollable list the best Honour points for each level are recorded (excluding marriage and rescue bonuses) showing whether the dragon is still undefeated.


Code, art, SFX & Music: by @Heracleum two of the tunes are a tribute to audiovisual project iamamiwhoami (;john and n)
Thanks to:
thisismypassword for creating Shrinko8;
Feedback/proofreading: Trog
Bugs: @2bitchuck , @Jadelombax
you for playing the game!

P#148594 2024-05-19 14:57 ( Edited 2024-06-07 17:02)

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Hey @zep since you're testing version 0.2.6 on BBS I assume you could be interested in these weird bugs/glitches that are breaking a grand total of 4 out of my 6 game carts.

I immediately downloaded version 0.2.6 of the desktop app to bugfix them but they run perfectly fine on app!?!?
Links to carts having issues (unplayable):

Dinky Kong (featured)
Jungle Ping (featured)
Legend of Kuna

I think you can tell the intended vs broken behaviour as well comparing how they run on App vs on BBS.
As you can see the main issue (especially for the first 3) is that starting the actual game (⭕️ button) the _update seems to behave correctly, you can hear game sounds, while _draw shows the main screen (although they basically rely on the same conditions). The first two also show blank during title screen and it appears during the game. Jungle ping after losing a few lives starts showing something of the actual gameplay.
The 4th, Legend of kuna seems to have other issues (while game states update/draw seem aligned there) and also super slow, cpu over 2.5, no background of the isometric map is rendered (initial graphical title hides along with the simple text at the bottom, super weird stuff).
The glitches were so bizarre that I imagined having a hard time bugfixing them... but the App runs them fine so...
I have no idea why this version on bbs seems to run them in such broken state especially looking at the changelog for 0.2.6.
Let me know if you need more info, I'm also available in Discord same username.
Thanks a lot!

P#141817 2024-02-23 16:43

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Cart #chinaminer-2 | 2023-10-03 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Version 2

  • Added Tutorial/How to play (❎ from title screen);
  • Music: you can now play the music at a slower tempo like in the original game;
  • Added: "Last score" in Stats page;
  • Fixed bug: jumping while easing on ladders (thanks to Pico-8 Gamer)


⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️ move
⭕️ [Z] Jump
❎ [X] Skip / continue / Start tutorial (from title screen)


The original game for Commodore 64 is "China Miner" by Ian Gray.
(c)1984 Interceptor Software.

How to play

Miner Wally is the only person to know the location of the Jade Mines belonging to the Pong Dynasty in China. On each of the 30 screens you must collect four objects (pickaxe, candle, lantern and jade vase) before collecting the key to move onto the next stage. As well as the platforms to negotiate you must also avoid the various creatures that populate the mine and if you touch any of them then you lose one of the nine lives, are sent to the start of the screen and all objects reappear. There are various obstacles to avoid or use like lasers, moving platforms and platforms that disintegrate when stepped on. Falling from heights also loses you a life.

As in the original, the game starts immediately hard and in the first stage you quickly have to make a few steps to the left and jump UP to avoid the creature coming straight towards you (and you can't jump up or diagonal due to the lethal stalactites above you).
Press ❎ in the title screen to play the tutorial, read the signs for info.
Here's a short gameplay video that should help you figure out how to beat the first stage and play in general.
For reference and hints on how to beat any stage there's this China Miner Longplay of the original C64 version.

Differences with original:

  • The original game was notoriously difficult and brutal, you started from the first level and had to redo everything after game-over. In this remake you can select the starting stage, so you can train and find the best strategy to finish each level (why not, in the shortest time, see Stats and Achievements);
  • You start with 9 lives instead of 5 (you still gain an extra life every 1250 points / 5 stages as the original)
  • Some collisions with blocks have been simplified and made less frustrating: for instance you can jump diagonally without hitting the head on platforms higher than 2 blocks from your ground (unless it's the stage ceiling);
  • You cannot get stuck jumping up over the stage ceiling as it happened in the original;

Stats page:

⬅️ from title screen.
Aside from the high score, it keeps track of your best performances:

  • Longest Run: how many stages you've managed to complete in a single game and the timing of the best run;
  • Total Time: (not to be confused with the best run time) this is the sum of all best times recorded for each of the 30 stages;
  • Average Time: is simply the above (total time) divided by the 30 stages, see Achievements;
  • Take-Away: how many jade vases you managed to carry home; in other words how many stages you've completed in a single game and reaching the exit the cave (finishing 30th stage, e.g. for a takeaway of 5 you might want to start from stage 26);

While in this page press ⬆️⬇️ to select the starting stage (this option is saved).

Achievements page:

➡️ from title screen.
Move ⬆️⬇️ for info on each achievement:

  • Hard stages: simply complete stage 1, 5, 12, 21, 28 earning a yellow star each.
  • Take-Away: as explained above for the Stats page, reach the exit after completing 3, 5, 7, 10 or 15 of the last stages;
  • Average Time: in seconds, to earn the first star you need an average of less than one minute, this should be pretty easy although this row of achievements will likely to be still all greyed-out until you play each of the 30 stages at least once (default time is 15 minutes for an unbeaten stage!); while an average under 40 seconds is more challenging but still doable as you improve your strategy during the training on each stage;
  • Longest Run: earn a star for each milestone (3, 5, 10, 20 and 30) of your game progress. These are the toughest stars of course since they need to be achieved in a single game, fifth star
    Upon reaching the "Reset" you still need to move up other 4 steps to enable the "Reset progress" command which is confirmed by pressing the ⭕️ [Z or C] button. This will wipe any saved progress, score, timing and preferences.


Pixel-perfect collision with the creatures;
P8scii for extra gfx (see post: One-Off GFX);
SFX bank swap (see Music below);

  • Flicker (off by default, turn it on only on executable, on webplayer/browser it'll flash inconsistently) 60fps flickering effects for colour blending and transparency; if enabled it'll try to emulate the C64 colour palette, Pico-8 has no cyan and purple;
  • Music (slow) you can turn the music off at some point, play it normal speed or slower (like in the original game);
  • Particles FX (on) collapsing floor and colliding with baddies;
  • Classic Moves / New animation: the Classic mode will animate Wally as in the original, facing you when idle, while activating "New animation" Wally will move more or less like in Manic Miner holding the pose, a little step while jumping, coming down the slides etc.


The background music "Maple Leaf Rag" composed by Scott Joplin (in the original China Miner by Chris Cox).
The Pico-8 version used in this remake is by @ericb and his player cart is available: Player Piano: Maple Leaf Rag. Fun fact: see my comment there about "China Miner flashbacks"


Thanks to:
@thisismypassword for creating Shrinko8;
again to @ericb for the music;
feedback/proofreading: @bikibird, @SmartAlloc, @merwok
Bugs reported: Pico-8 Gamer
you for playing the game!

P#134801 2023-09-23 18:16 ( Edited 2023-10-03 00:43)

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Cart #arabnights-0 | 2023-08-19 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️ move
⭕️ [Z] Jump / Fire
❎ [X] Skip speech / continue


Guide Imrahil the Kalendar Prince through the perils of many Arabian nights. On certain nights, he must gather golden jugs, engraved with letters, in the correct order to spell out 'ARABIAN' (the platform stages).
At other times, he rides on rafts and flying carpets through Arabia, casting bolts of lightning at his foes. His quest for the princess Anitra is long and difficult - many dangers lurk in the Arabian night!


The original game for Commodore 64 "Tales of the Arabian Nights"
(c)1984 Interceptor Micros. Written by Ian Gray.

Differences with original:

  • The original game was notoriously difficult and brutal, based on score, you started from the first level and had to redo everything after game-over. This remake lets you visit immediately all stages and -rather than a high score, which is still saved- the aim should be finishing each stage in the shortest time;
  • The raft/carpet stages in this remake are not based on time/distance, you have to shoot and hit with lightning bolts the enemies (see the counter "ZAPPED" on top right);
  • You gain a new life every 3000 points;
  • The deadly genies in this remake will face in the direction they're about to fire their bolt so you can plan your moves (this was particularly needed due to the minimal screen space available in pico8, no time to react otherwise);
  • in the last two stages you can actually see Anitra, the young princess to rescue from the Sultan;
  • in the original you could fall down from an height of 4 characters, here you can fall from 21 pixels (twice the height of your hero's sprite for reference) you can immediately test this in the first stage, the ship;
  • about the "ARABIAN" jugs sequence, in the original you could pick any of the "A" jugs, while in this game there is in fact a visual difference among the "A" jugs: the first one to take is facing left, second center and the third facing right as in the picture below:


The original game featured Speech synthesis (SAM). I chose this game basically to try the awesome speech lib Speako8 by @bikibird
The challenging part is the lib and a few speech strings on their own already take ~35% of compressed characters 😮 still worth it


The music theme is from Scheherazade, Op. 35 (Festival at Baghdad/The Sea/Shipwreck) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Then arranged by Chris Cox in 1984 for the Commodore 64 version
In this game re-arranged as faithfully as possible for Pico 8 by @Heracleum (it took me more than a week 😓)


Thanks to:

P#133267 2023-08-19 16:35 ( Edited 2023-08-20 22:46)

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Cart #head8n-1 | 2023-06-30 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️ Change lanes
⭕️ [Z] Accelerator


Two cars continuously drive forward through rectangular channels in a simple maze. At the four cardinal directions are gaps where a car can change lanes. The player goal is to collect all dots in the maze while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is travelling in the opposite direction.
At higher levels of difficulty you'll face more opponent cars (max 3). Every 6 levels it goes back to one opponent car but it's faster!


This is a Pico-8 demake of "Head On" (1979 by Sega/Gremlin), the first game introducing the "collect dots in maze" idea. You can tell where Pac-Man took the inspiration from.
The game was hard, yes (I hated it actually lol). So in this version you don't race for points and have to redo every time from level 1 at game over, you just try on and on a certain difficulty level attempting to find the right approach.


Despite its looks (racing game?) it is mainly a strategy and logic game, it could even be defined as a puzzle game, still requiring a bit of timing and reflexes.
The opponent AI might seems implacable and infallible, there is in fact no handicap or random behaviour: use this at your advantage, it means their moves are predictable, so you basically control them!

Link on Itchio:

P#131499 2023-06-30 18:49 ( Edited 2023-07-01 10:58)

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a Head On demake for Pico-8
I started this speed-remake yesterday and worked like 7-8 hours in total. I'll have a couple off-dev relaxing weeks (posted the WIP so I can playtest) and finish it back home.

Arcade history: Head On (1979 by Sega/Gremlin) is the first game introducing the "collect dots in maze" idea. You can tell where Pac-Man took the inspiration from.

Still work in progress but playable (infinite lives, no score).
You can push ❌+⬆️⬇️ to change the difficulty level (after a crash the new level setting will be used).

Cart #head8n-0 | 2023-06-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️ Change lanes
⭕️ Accelerator

Two cars continuously drive forward through rectangular channels in a simple maze. At the four cardinal directions are gaps where a car can change lanes. The player goal is to collect all dots in the maze while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is travelling in the opposite direction.
At higher levels of difficulty you'll face more opponent cars (max 3).

P#130896 2023-06-13 14:39 ( Edited 2023-06-13 14:58)

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Cart #dinkykong-0 | 2023-03-07 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Welcome to the Pico-verse - a pixelated land of tiny horizons and even tinier characters. In the Little Apple, a bustling town on the seaside, something terrible has happened! An oversized simian sprite has escaped and taken a citizen in its cruel clutches! Making its way through town, it has climbed up the construction site of the town’s tallest building. But one brave soul stands forth, determined to rescue their fellow citizen from the dreaded… Dinky Kong!

How to Play

Select your hero - choose from Minio or Smalline.
Press ⭕️ to start.
Move with ⬆️⬇️⬅️➡️
Jump with ⭕️.
If you reach the top, Dinky Kong takes the Captive higher up and structure changes shape.
When certain structures are cleared, you save the Captive.


Jump over barrels and enemies for points
Get the hammer to destroy barrels and fiery enemies
Collect the pick-ups for extra points
Bonus points awarded based on time remaining
Extra life at 7000 points

Gameplay preview

On the Demake:

A group effort, the demake began as a simple reimagining of the original done as a series of Pico-8-sized pixel drawings and quickly grew into a full-fledged game. Read all about it here in the February edition of Pico View. The creators make no claim over the original game nor it’s characters - we simply sought to use our skills to humbly follow in the footsteps of true giants. No profit is made off of this game - it is quite simply a Pico-8 hobby project. We sincerely hope you enjoy playing it and, if you like it, we highly encourage you to purchase the original game or one of its many official ports - there’s nothing quite like the original Donkey Kong!

On Minio:

Well, he’s a courageous bundle of pixels with a knack for jumping. Seize a nearby hammer and he’ll pummel flaming enemies and barrels alike. It’s kinda difficult to get 64 colored squares to look like anything much less a whole person, but we’ve managed to squeeze as much character as possible into this tiny hero. It was delightful to see him first come to life inside Pico-8 and we hope you enjoy playing him (or rescuing him)!

On Smalline:

In researching the game, we read on an Atari modders forum about a dad who had introduced his little daughter to one of his favorite games as a kid - Donkey Kong on the Atari 2600. She loved the game but after playing it she innocently asked her dad if she could pick the Pauline character instead. She could not, and seemed dejected at discovering this. Wishing only to keep the love of playing the game in her heart, her father carefully modded the game to make her wish come true. Inspired by this, other modders followed suit, creating versions of their own. We are proud to follow in their footsteps with our own tiny version - Smalline!

On Dinky Kong:

Well, if our heroes are miniscule, then our “huge” villain, Dinky Kong, is merely small. Playing on this idea, the sprite in the menu depicts Dinky Kong wearing a tiny fez. A cap similar to ones worn by small monkeys rattling tin cups with coins in them next to a man playing a hurdy gurdy as seen in old cartoons. Maybe our “big” threat is simply an under-sized street performer loose in a strange tiny world!

Pro Tricks

If you're a DK Pro gamer, a few of the original arcade tricks have been implemented (like wall jump escape and points gained by jump proximity), other tricks like barrel-steering are not (yet?) in this remake, some other mechanisms have been simplified and other dirty tricks and exploits (like jumping next to Kong on Rivets stage) have been purposely removed or fixed.


Programmed by @Heracleum
Graphics & sound effects by @Trog
Music & sound effects by Trog's son

P#126683 2023-03-07 01:11 ( Edited 2023-03-07 23:40)

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Cart #trippywarp-0 | 2023-01-24 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

A very silly and cheap trippy effect using poke 0x5f54 (mapping spritesheet to screen).

P#124752 2023-01-24 01:58

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Cart #jungleping-1 | 2023-01-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Pico-8 demake of the classic arcade game Jungle King (by Taito 1982, shortly after renamed as Jungle Hunt, Tarzan replaced by an explorer)


  • 🅾️ [Z] Action (Jump or Stab while underwater)
  • ⬅️⬆️➡️⬇️ Movement, depending on stage:
    • Stage 1: none, just jump from vine to vine
    • Stage 2: swim in all directions while underwater
    • Stage 3: ⬅️ run faster, ➡️ slow down (they can be used during jump) and ⬇️ to duck
    • Stage 4: ⬅️ walk left, ➡️ walk right (no influence on jump)

The Game

It is divided into four different stages:

  • jungle and swinging vines (with monkeys on harder levels)
  • swimming in a crocodiles/alligators-infested river
  • running uphill with falling rocks and boulders
  • a camp with cannibals where our hero's girlfriend dangles above a boiling cauldron (an extra native will throw his spear from the tree on harder levels).

Keep an eye on the TIMER: it starts at 5000, quite generous but it speeds up in the last stage and if it reaches zero it's an instant game over, it means your girl ended up in the cauldron.

Completion bonus and Extra lives

So yes, your objective is obviously to save the girl. In the congrats screen you will also see (an addition to the original game) time bonus points are accumulated until you reach 1000, this will give an Extra life! Time bonus is remaining timer / 4. In the original Jungle King you will get 1000 pts regardless of timer which is a shame.
You also gain an Extra life every 30000 points.

Stage 1 - Swinging

Timing is crucial while jumping from vine to vine, try to focus on the speed and oscillation phases of the two. For instance jumping while the next vine is near might not be the best idea especially if it's faster, use some anticipation. After a while it will become the easiest of the stages, even when monkeys will show up (they could look cute but no, not your friends).

Stage 2 - Underwater

Use action button 🅾️/Z to stab the crocs but stay away when their mouth is fully opened! A minimum of 100pts + extra 100pts if the mouth is half open and stabbing them while deeper will gain extra 100pts.
Air bubbles will drag you and push to the surface (you can't move but can still stab at a slower pace).
Important: as obvious as it could sound, you need to breathe! When the 'diving' indicator is low a warning sound will signal it's time to come up to the surface and breathe some air.

Stage 3 - Boulders

What can I say? Just survive, avoid the falling rocks. You can jump (200pts) or duck (100pts), in some case you could even just run below the boulders (50pts). On higher difficulty you will face more rocks at the same time as some will come down faster and even bouncing differently.

Stage 4 - Cannibals

It is actually the easiest stage when you find the right time to jump both and save the girl... but it will be probably cause troubles at first (in order to be prepared for this last stage, you might want to practice a little maybe? by selecting stage 4 in the main screen). At higher levels remember a third native will show up on the tree and throw his spear.

Main differences from Jungle King

In the original game everything was predetermined, making longplays safer for those who memorized everything and virtually go on forever since difficulty stopped growing after the 4th iteration (=each time you save the girl).
This version is more randomized/unpredictable and the difficulty constantly grows at every level.
In this version you can start directly from a specific level of difficulty and stage. Good for training and figuring out how to play on a specific point of the game (without wasting time to redo everything from the beginning). Of course you need a regular start (st1-lv1) for a better high-score.

Other differences from the original

  • Title screen graphics (reason: too plain, since they also had stages demo);
  • Stage1: monkeys will just climb up the vine but watch as they keep moving up even when you're in the same vine;
  • Stage2: the bigger croc doesn't follow you but it's harder to predict when they will open the mouth (they are worth 50pts more than other two kinds) and they have a good chance to move faster;
  • Stage3: not having a predetermined behaviour/layout the growing difficulty is mainly rendered by speed/pace (notice how smaller rocks gradually become the real challenge at higher levels);
  • Stage4: the delicate timing between girl and natives has been carefully preserved close to the original while the spear-throwing one has its own gradually fast timing (currently no animation/sfx after his success/failure on throwing);
  • Congrats screen music (reason: not rewarding).


  • 60fps flickering tricks for:
    • alpha channel antialias (font)
    • transparency in general
    • colour blending
    • a few subpixel experiments (e.g. the girl in the title screen, in between it creates some blur and it's ok since she's in the distance)
    • (in case you can disable flicker in Pause-MENU P/Enter)
  • P8scii for extra gfx (see post: One-Off GFX)
  • PCM audio to replicate the (notoriously distorted) Tarzan yell
  • Hi-score is saved


Code,sfx,music,gfx by @Heracleum
Many Thanks to:
@Trog for betatesting and precious first-impression detailed notes
(...your name here...)


Please leave a comment and let me know.
For instance I have currently in the todo list:

  • Menu option to mute the main theme during action?
  • Compose some new music for the title screen?
P#123441 2023-01-01 20:39 ( Edited 2023-01-02 04:25)

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A couple options (totally different methods) to display big titles, e.g. a 'game over' screen or 'the end' in the style of silent movies.

Method 1 - Map and sprite tiles

You draw a few sprite tiles with corners and reusable portions to form your title.
Pros: all the advantages of Pico-8's maps and easy to edit your title
Cons: you need some free area in your Map and you spend tiles of your spritesheet

Method 2 - P8scii One-Off characters

You can use this spritesheet to P8scii string converter here to obtain a printable string that will display the title (or logo etc..).
Pros: no map, no spritesheet, just a big string
Cons: pick your image carefully, avoid one with many stray pixels (read hints in the linked One-off page) or it will eat compressed characters space.


  • Z to restart the animation.
  • X to swap the method (One-off gfx / map)

Cart #oldtimeytitle-0 | 2022-11-08 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#120294 2022-11-08 01:04 ( Edited 2022-11-19 16:14)

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Cart #legend_of_kuna-3 | 2022-11-08 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


  • ⬆️ Walk
  • ⬅️➡️ Turn left/right
  • ⬇️ Toggle basic HUD
  • ❎ [X] Hold for full HUD and ⬅️⬆️➡️⬇️ to inspect the surroundings
  • ⓩ [Z] Open Inventory/Actions menu

How to play

You initially can't do much -except gathering fruits- more items and actions will be unlocked as you progress in the game.
So just explore the islands and:

  • talk to the stone statue/head
  • walk under palm-trees to gather a couple fruits if any

Here be Dragons

The writing "Here be Dragons" at the edge of the map means you can't walk farther at that moment:
the game map is initially just a small portion of the full map, next areas will be unlocked by defeating the enemy creatures, just report your success to the statue (Kahuna).

Leader of the Pack

As soon as picking up starfish is unlocked ensure you're the leader (check the colour of the ⭐ leader on top-left, if white it's you). If one of the other members of the pack becomes the leader you will often lose the control and your instincts will guide you to join your leader. You can still use left/right to avoid troubles or pick up stuff.

Papa, the Cloud, Beasts, Hints & Unexplained Secrets

  • Papa: is Mother Earth (Papahānaumoku) and make your plants grow but multiplying Krystals (if placed on soil) drains more power. While holding ❎ her power is shown in the green bar at top-right (plant icon);
  • Cloud: it's goddess Hina's servant cloud (Ao-Opua). Its power is shown at top-right as a pink bar just below Papa's. It will perform way better at multiplying Krystals but of course you need to unlock the 'call cloud' action: spending only 1 Krystals could not be enough if it's far away, maybe spend a couple and it will circle around you (you can imagine how crucial is to place Krystals and plants for better results). Before calling it ensure its power is enough.
  • Fighting Beasts: against the first creatures you have no other option than physical attacks (yes you just walk/bump into them, you'll hear a sound), let you pack help you: you can "use" and control them as a weapon knowing they will circle around you briefly (you must be the leader). You later unlock more items to throw at them, each with its own damage; well you can't expect much throwing seeds at them but the rest of the pack would throw anything on hand (grab something you need if they miss);
  • Beasts spawning: they will appear from the west edge of the map, random location; also kahunas turn their head in the direction of the beast to show you the way.
  • Temple Bonuses: the quests to unlock the Mana Krystals explain the basics, but for clarity, when they say "Carry -50% weight" it's just that item you placed on that square in the center. Also if someone else steal from there the bonus will persist until you add other items there.
  • Field of Wonders: (?) I'll keep the mystery for you to solve but those fields will help with limited resources on the islands.
  • Patch with tall plants: you could find extra seeds while searching around, they will not produce fruits though.
  • adding more...


Code,sfx,music,gfx by @Heracleum
Thanks to:

Version history:

  • 3 Fixed bugs: two nasty bugs with dialogue selection/confirm (ericb, freds72)
  • 2 Fixed bug: mashing both buttons crash (Wolfe3D)

One Cart

This is my first Pico-8 full game. As a personal challenge I tried to squeeze everything in one cart including the start screen gfx and game data. So I basically have no tokens nor compressed character space left to add a line. Yes, this strongly limited the dialogues and room for taking full advantage of the isometric engine, pseudo-voxels and adding more features/stuff.
I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Thanks for playing!

P#120167 2022-11-06 03:09 ( Edited 2022-11-08 23:58)

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Comic 128x384px example using P8scii One-off chars

A vertical comic strip three fullscreens tall
An example for the gfx method and spritesheet-to-p8scii string converter described here:

Cart #comic1offx3-0 | 2022-10-25 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Please note, in this example the 3 screens are gradually less optimised for this method:

  • screen 1 at the top has been cleaned up of most stray pixels and recoloured manually in some parts;
  • screen 2 in the middle has a few minimal edits;
  • screen 3 raw image, not optimised, a few colours but stray pixels increase the char count.
P#119571 2022-10-26 00:06

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One-Off GFX

To display fullscreen images with a PRINT command. It doesn't take any space in your spritesheet, it uses p8scii one-off characters all in one string (~3000chars if used properly).

This is an old school method widely used in the 80s (e.g. on ZX Spectrum): each 8x8 block had a foreground (ink) and background (paper) colour, monochrome but using the colours well would deliver excellent pictures for title screens.
Now, One-Off GFX is based on that method but could also have more than two colours in a single block (at the expense of extra chars).
So -differently from other image compression methods- it doesn't really matter:

  • how complex the pixel patterns are in the gfx (dithered or plain)
  • how many colours are present overall on the screen

It just depends on how many colours are present in each 8x8 block; better keep it less than 4 and possibly just 2 in most of the blocks choosing wisely while drawing or editing the pic. A good drawing tool to improve monochrome skills is Multipaint (choose c64 hires mode)

Ok we have an optimised gfx, save it as .PNG, what now?

Spritesheet to P8scii string converter cart

Download this cart and use it as converter tool:

Cart #one_off_gfx-0 | 2022-10-24 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

How to use:

  • (optional) edit the code and choose your transparent color (default 0);
  • go to GFX editor, select the first tile marked with 'x'
  • drag and drop your PNG file;
  • you should see your image in the spritesheet;
  • RUN the cart
  • you see your image and how many CHARS the string will be long (if higher than 10k better optimise it further, e.g. kill stray pixels);
  • if the char count satisfies your expectations, press Ctrl+C to copy the image data (a string) in the clipboard;

Use it in your project/game cart:

  • use Ctrl+P to enter Puny font mode (to respect pasted binary data)
  • just paste the copied string in your code like scr="(paste here)"
  • and print your string on screen: ?scr,0,0
  • (you may need to use a cls(n) with the same colour code as the transparent one declared when converting)

Comic example (3 full screens)

A -not so well optimised- example of a comic:

The comic example cart is here

Taking advantage of P8scii

Wide,Tall, Striped and Pinball modes
See comment below

(More to mention... using smaller blocks as sprites, transparency, etc...)

P#119527 2022-10-25 00:57 ( Edited 2022-12-05 12:24)

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Cart #dynasfx-0 | 2022-06-13 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


The demo shows how your PICO-8 games could add dynamicity to sound effects depending on what happens and the action involving your sprites, depending on their position, speed etc... not just use a few prefab sfx or playing several different sounds to give the impression they react to the action (e.g. a vehicle acceleration, spaceship thrust).


There are 8 examples (presets, select them with 🅾️ and ❎) of sounds and each shows a simple preview of some game action. To interact with preset previews you basically change the Pitch with ⬆️ and ⬇️ keys.

The Note

At the top you see the two bytes representing the note, their address in memory (it's sfx 1), the values in binary (help you understand how 'components' such as Pitch, WaveForm, Volume, Effect are stored in the bytes) and their corresponding decimal values.
You can use ⬅️➡️ to select a different component and edit its value.

At the moment it's 'just a demo' (although it took me more than 2 weeks, longer than a single game dev) and it still doesn't offer some basic functions to copy into your game to implement dynamic sounds. I'll update it as soon as I test more myself on an actual game.

P#113089 2022-06-13 02:24

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the methods to detect or inhibit Pause button apparently do not work using the Web Player Pause button.

More Details:

In my game Amidus I needed to hide the stage during Pause to avoid cheating as it's based on a short time to realise what's the correct path to take.
So I implemented a few methods like checking for btn(6) and even inhibit pause during that short phase with the timer running using poke(0x5f30,1) as you can see in the code (carts below).

As both methods work beautifully using the internal Pause P/Enter, both failed to work using the Web Player Pause button that apparently overrides both checks.

I tried to ask in the Discord #help and they suggested to report the bug here as it's an unexpected behaviour.

On this version you can test the "inhibited Pause" poke(0x5f30,1) method:

Cart #amidus-4 | 2022-06-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

On this version you can test the "Hide stage on Pause" checking for btn(6) during _draw() method:

Cart #amidus-3 | 2022-06-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#112673 2022-06-03 13:34

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Cart #amidus-4 | 2022-06-02 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA


Any key to start/skip waiting screens.
➡️ Right Arrow to Speed up the loop while choosing the path.
➡️ During the waiting screen at the end of every success or fail, use Right Arrow to -recklessly- advance Level (added for testing purposes but you could use that to test your skills at advanced difficulty, no actual benefit to score obviously, you simply skip easier levels)

Game Description

The 80's arcade game Amidar had a bonus stage every two levels, this pico-8 game helps in training your skills for that stage until extreme levels. The difficulty and complexity of random stages gradually increases at every level.

For those unfamiliar with Amidar: at first it might seem "based on luck" but it's definitely not:
you should choose the correct path to the prize by following an ideal path starting from the bottom where the banana is and then follow the path upwards to know the correct one to choose (read below).

Path algorithm

The movement on path is based on "Amidakuji (Wikipedia)" method of lottery, basically move vertically up/down, follow the first horizontal line you encounter and so on.


It took me a week of development: 3-4 for the actual game, the remaining 3 for music and sound

P#112596 2022-06-02 02:22 ( Edited 2022-06-02 23:47)