Pitfall II

From C64-Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Pitfall II
Startscreen of game
Game No. 62
Developer Tim Shotter, David Crane
Company Activision
Publisher Activision
Musician Tim Shotter
HVSC-File GAMES/M-R/Pitfall_II-Lost_Caverns.sid
Release 1984
Platform {{{Platform}}}
Genre Platformer (Scrolling Screen)
Gamemode Single player
Operation {{{Width}}}{{{Width}}} C64-icon.png
Media Icon disk525.pngTape-icon.png Cartridge-icon.png
Language Language:english
Information Forerunner: Pitfall (Activision)


Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
6.38 points at 16 votes (rank 583).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 6 17th December 2013 - 19130 downs
Lemon64 7.8 17th December 2013 - 130 votes
Zzap!64 60% June 1987 - page 35


Harry is back! The hero and adventurer from Pitfall! has to meet a new challenge: With his niece Rhonda and their cat Quickclaw he travels to the Peruvian jungle to search for the legendary Diamond of Raj in the sunken town of Machu Picchu. The rumour that there are also 28 stolen gold bars in the underground caverns is an additional motivation for our hero. Unfortunately, the three are separated shortly after their arrival, so that Harry not only has to find the diamond but also his companions.

"Pitfall II - Lost Caverns" was published by Activision in 1984. This was a classic game sequel, based on the first Pitfall game.

The arcade adventure is very big and probably uses 100+ screens, and has the player climbing up and down ladders, falling through holes and even swimming in the water to get to the other side. Also the player can float upwards if holding a balloon.There are various baddies which the player has to watch out for as well. Those of which are scorpions, bats, rats, electric eels and also jumping frogs. If the player touched any of those creatures (except for the rats that just push you out the way), the player will lose points and start at the nearest safety point (marked with a red cross).


Harry in action

The graphics of the game were oriented recognizably on the forerunner, but in comparison were pimped a bit. The C64 version looks rather appealing in comparison with other systems, but it is quite a bit away from using fully the graphical possibilities of the system, probably as a consequence of being ported from the graphically weaker Atari VCS. The surface at least is rather coloured, but the underground caverns show up in relatively monotonuous shades of brown. The pixel-like display of the sprites is also not optimal for a game from 1984. The sound consists of a constantly repeating tune the type of a street organ, which at first seems rather joyful, but creates a rather bad earworm for the player and puts uninvolved spectators into a deep trance. The monotonuous tootle sound is only interrupted during the balloon flight happening later in the game, then it goes on as before. Apart from that, there are only few sound effects, e.g. when jumping or collecting gold bars.
The game is a classic Jump & Run with some really nice ideas as swimming and flying sequences. Strangely, the graphics are scrolled vertically, but the screens are switched horizontally. An unusual feature, already known from the forerunner, is the fact that Harry does not lose a life when touching enemies but is only transported to the last passed starting point. These starting points are placed at various places in the game and marked by a red cross on the ground. When stepping onto such a cross it will be seen as the new starting point. While being transported back to the last starting point Harry gets subtracted points continuously, so that a collision with enemies does only effect the highscore. The game can be continued as often as desired from the last cross.


F1  - start new game (also possible any time during the game)
Restore  - abort current game
Run/Stop  - pause/continue game

The enemies are scorpions that run over the ground, frogs that jump to and fro over the gaps in the ground as well as bats and vultures that fly around in the caves. In the end, also the water is not a calm place to be, as electric eels swim around there.

Harry in the water

At a certain place in the nether regions of Machu Picchu can Harry only continue his way by clinging to a balloon flying by with a dauntless jump. To now reach all the chambers with the gold bars inside, the balloon needs to be steered so that it bursts due to a touch by a bat. For this you can not only change the flying direction, but also the balloon's speed by pushing and pulling the joystick. So with a bit of skill will Harry land on the desired platform, otherwise he has to try again.

Harry clinged to the balloon

There is not time limit for the game. Harry does interstingly not start with zero points but with 4.000. Collecting a gold bar is awarded with 5.000 points. Finding nice Rhonda and the cat Quickclaw gets you 10.000 points. A stone-age cave rat is awarded with 15.000 points and the legendary Raj Diamond gets you even 20.000 points.

So the maximum number of points is 199.000.

Rhonda is rescued!


The game ends as soon as you have collected the ring, the niece and the cat.

Map of Machu Picchu


Cheats are dispensable in this game as the hero cannot die, but only lose points. However, the version by Remember includes a trainer that makes Harry invulnerable if required.


Flodder: "One of my very early C64 games, in which you clearly recognize its age and the origin at the Atari VCS. Surely a classic of the genre which you should have played and which is definitely fun. But this game cannot enthuse me for a longer time any more, as you have seen everything after a few minutes. No matter how deep you push forward into the caverns, the enemies and the course of the game stay the same. At the latest when you have done the balloon flight, there is nothing new to discover. A few other enemies in the further course of the game, as e.g. the crocodiles from the first part, would have been good for the diversity of the game."

Camailleon: "In general it is quite nice, the graphics are bearable and the possibility to swim and fly with the balloon and being able to steer it are kind of great. What they could have abstained from are the long passages on the way to the car in which you have to duck in turns below the bat and the vulture (?). As of course the position of the starting points are especially nasty here, it can easily happen that you have to go through those two parts scores of times because you have stood one pixel too far to the left or the right when ducking under the second to last animal of the passage. This is stressy and from my point of view unnecessary. By not having a Game Over you can either give up enervatedly or finally make it.


As with the predecessor, the game was originally developed for Atari VCS/Atari 2600 console. This version used additional hardware within the cartridge to expand the capabilities of the console. This allowed features like smooth scrolling and multi-channel music on VCS/2600.

The C64 version was released on disk, cassette and also on cartridge. This version was developed concurrently with the Atari 800 version. While the Atari 800 version was based on the code of the VCS/2600 original, the C64 version was programmed from stratch. Due to this the Atari 800 version was completed before the C64 version. This gave the developer of the former additional time, which he used to create additional content for this version as described below.

The Atari 800 version of the game offered a second level with the same size of the first, which was playable after collectin all items. As the publisher Activision did not want a preferential treatment for a certain system but some did not offer enough memory capacity for an additional level, the programmers were barred from expanding the game. However, they added the second level as an "Easter Egg", after ending the actual game, Harry could go through a kind of portal and thus get into the second level, which differed significantly from the first. Amongst others, the additional enemies that were missed sadly in the later course of the first level can be met (e.g. fire ants and bats that move randomly). The level design is also significantly more diversified, which makes the Atari 800 version by far the most recommendable version of the game.

The games of the Pitfall series reached an unusual wide spread, as they were programmed for most of the established computer systems of the 8-bit era.


Front and back of the packing.



Advertisement for the game.

Another version of an advertisement.

And again a different version.

Other versions[edit]

Atari VCS - the original
Apple II
ZX Spectrum


Topscore of Camailleon
  1. Camailleon - 147.817 (29.12.2013)
  2. Equinoxe - 70.197 (28.03.2014)
  3. Flodder - 57.535 (17.12.2013)

#2 Equinoxe #3 Flodder
#2 Equinoxe #3 Flodder


WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Pitfall_II:_Lost_Caverns