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Chip's Challenge NES

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The Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly abbreviated as NES, is a video game console first released in the 1980s.

A NES port of Chip's Challenge was developed, but never commercially released.

History[edit]

The port was developed by Images Software, like most other ports of CC. It was first announced to the public in January 1991 at the Consumer Electronics Show, and exhibited again at Summer CES in June 1991. The exact reason why it was never released are unknown, but it has been speculated that this is due to the initial publisher, Bullet-Proof Software, changing their mind.[1]

In 2014, a prototype cartridge of the NES port was put up for auction on eBay. It was ultimately sold for on 14 December for $4,123.99.[2] In 2015, A ROM dump was posted on the Internet, and can now be downloaded from several locations. This development build is dated 5/8/1992.

Description and gameplay[edit]

The NES ruleset is largely similar to Lynx, including key behaviour and block slapping. The original "boot" designs — water shield, fire shield, magnet, and cleats — remain. There are no major gameplay glitches, although the game's graphics sometimes fail to refresh properly, and there is a noticeable lag when stepping on a hint tile. The hint is displayed in white text with a black background, over the middle of the gameplay area.

The most noticeable difference between the NES port and other versions of the game, is the viewport: a 16 by 13 tile area is visible at all times, rather than the usual 9 by 9. This has the side effect of making several levels, notably Cellblocked, much easier. The level number, chip count, time limit and player's inventory are superimposed over the left of the map.

Prior to starting a level, its name, number, and password are displayed in green text on a black background. The player must then press A to start the level. The level, however, remains paused until Chip moves.

The game features all the original Lynx's game's decade messages, although in a different order, and between different levels. These are also displayed in green text on a black background.

The player can press A before starting a level to skip to the next one, or B to go back to the previous one, without having to enter the level's password; this is most likely due to the game's beta state. There are are no sound effects or music, also likely due to the game's beta state. The game also lacks a proper ending sequence, crashing after displaying the final message.

The game features an Easter Egg: entering the password CRED at the beginning displays the game's credits.[3] However, unlike Thanks to..., this is not a credits level; instead, it is once again green text on a black background. The first credits page reads:

NES VERSION
PROGRAMMED BY
JAMES SMART
GRAPHICS BY
STEVE BEDSER,
AT IMAGES
SOFTWARE LTD.

The second credits page reads:

HELLO TO RICKY.
THANKS TO
KARL JEFFERY!

Levels[edit]

The NES port features 149 levels. 148 come from the original Lynx game, albeit in a different order. One level, appropriately called Exclusive, is exclusive to this port. Levels level 133 to 136 are secret and can only be accessed by entering the right password, which is found in Cypher.

In a significant departure from Lynx, levels 137 to 149 are hidden within an Easter egg: they have no passwords themselves, but entering the special password HARD will warp to level 137, Forced Entry, and they can be played in order from there. Many of these 13 "hard" levels are well-known for their difficulty; others, like Yorkhouse, are more curious choices.

As this port is based on the Lynx edition, most levels match the originals, and for example the alteration to Spirals found in MSCC is not present. However, some levels do have new differences:

Notably, all of the hints are identical to those in the Lynx levels, meaning that the hint in Cellblocked still prompts the player to press Option 1 (a button on the Lynx) to restart the level.

# Lynx # Title
1 1 Lesson 1
2 2 Lesson 2
3 3 Lesson 3
4 4 Lesson 4
5 5 Lesson 5
6 6 Lesson 6
7 7 Lesson 7
8 8 Lesson 8
AFTER WARMING UP ON THE FIRST LEVELS OF THE CHALLENGE, CHIP IS RARING TO GO! "THIS ISN'T SO HARD," HE THINKS.
(originally seen between #10 Brushfire and #11 Trinity
9 57 Strange Maze
10 9 Nuts and Bolts
11 10 Brushfire
12 12 Hunt
PICKING UP CHIPS IS WHAT THE CHALLENGE IS ALL ABOUT. BUT ON THE ICE CHIP GETS CHAPPED AND FEELS LIKE A CHUMP INSTEAD OF A CHAMP.
(originally seen between #50 Digdirt and #51 I Slide)
13 13 Southpole
14 14 Teleblock
15 15 Elementary
16 17 Nice Day
17 19 Digger
18 36 Ladder
BUT THE CHALLENGE TURNS OUT TO BE HARDER THAN CHIP THOUGHT. THE BIT BUSTERS WANT IT THAT WAY--TO KEEP OUT LOBOTOMY HEADS.
(originally seen between #20 Tossed Salad and #21 Iceberg)
19 42 Beware of Bug
20 34 Cypher
21 77 Invincible Champion
22 79 Drawn and Quartered
23 84 Wars
24 11 Trinity
25 20 Tossed Salad
26 21 Iceberg
27 85 Telenet
28 24 Oorto Geld
29 26 Chchchips
30 37 Seeing Stars
31 39 Glut
CHIP READS THE CLUES SO HE WON'T LOSE
(originally seen between #40 Floorgasborg and #41 I.C. You)
32 41 I.C. You
33 47 Pier Seven
34 51 I Slide
35 67 Chipmine
36 78 Force Square
37 98 Shrinking
38 16 Cellblocked
39 18 Castle Moat
40 27 Go with the Flow
41 28 Ping Pong
42 29 Arcticflow
CHIP'S THICK-SOLED SHOES AND POP-BOTTLE GLASSES SPEED HIM THROUGH THE MAZES WHILE HIS CALCULATOR WATCH KEEPS TRACK OF TIME
(originally seen between #30 Mishmesh and #31 Knot)
43 31 Knot
44 35 Lemmings
45 38 Sampler
46 40 Floorgasborg
47 46 Three Doors
48 54 Grail
49 64 Spooks
50 65 Amsterdam
51 66 Victim
CHIP USED TO SPEND HIS TIME PROGRAM-MING COMPUTER GAMES AND MAKING MODELS. BUT THAT WAS JUST PRACTICE FOR THIS BRAIN-BUSTER!
(originally seen between #80 Vanishing Act and #81 Writers Block)
52 75 Steam
53 83 Up the Block
54 86 Suicide
55 94 Now You See It
56 89 Block Buster
57 43 Lock Block
58 44 Refraction
59 48 Mugger Square
"I CAN DO IT! I KNOW I CAN!" CHIP THINKS AS THE GOING GETS TOUGHER. BESIDES, MELINDA THE MENTAL MARVEL WAITS AT THE END!
(originally seen between #90 Playhouse and #91 Jumping Swarm)
60 53 Traffic Cop
61 56 Deepfreeze
62 58 Loop Around
63 59 Hidden Danger
64 60 Scoundrel
65 69 Bounce City
66 74 Playtime
CHIP IS HALFWAY THROUGH THE WORLD'S HARDEST PUZZLE. IF HE SUCCEEDS, MAYBE THE KIDS WILL STOP CALLING HIM COMPUTER-BREATH!
(originally seen between #70 Nightmare and #71 Corridor)
67 80 Vanishing Act
68 95 Four Square
69 97 Metastable to Chaos
70 101 Apartment
71 104 Jailer
72 111 Time Lapse
73 117 The Marsh
74 25 Blink
75 45 Monster Lab
76 49 Problems
77 50 Digdirt
78 52 The Last Laugh
BESIDES BEING AN ANGEL ON EARTH, MELINDA IS THE TOP SCORER IN THE CHALLENGE--AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE BIT BUSTERS.
(originally seen between #100 Colony and #101 Apartment)
79 72 Reverse Alley
80 73 Morton
81 88 Spirals
82 91 Jumping Swarm
83 92 Vortex
84 93 Roadsign
85 96 Paranoia
86 106 Kablam
87 110 Chiller
88 114 Deception
89 116 Block Buster II
90 118 Miss Direction
CHIP CAN'T WAIT TO JOIN THE BIT BUSTERS! THE CLUB'S ALREADY FIGURED OUT THE SCHOOL'S PASS-WORD AND ACCESSED EVERYONE'S GRADES!
(originally seen between #110 Chiller and #111 Time Lapse)
91 119 Slide Step
92 120 Alphabet Soup
93 121 Perfect Match
94 122 Totally Fair
95 123 The Prisoner
96 124 Firetrap
97 125 Mixed Nuts
98 127 Skelzie
99 128 All Full
100 129 Lobster Trap
101 135 Trust Me
102 138 Partial Post
103 141 Underground
104 142 Pentagram
CHIP HITS THE ICE AND DECIDES TO CHILL OUT. THEN HE RUNS INTO A FAKE WALL AND TURNS THE MAZE INTO A TRASH-A-THON!
(originally seen between #60 Scoundrel and #61 Rink)
105 61 Rink
106 63 Block Factory
107 70 Nightmare
108 81 Writers Block
109 99 Catacombs
110 103 Memory
111 107 Balls O Fire
112 108 Block Out
IF CHIP'S GRADES AREN'T AS GOOD AS MELINDA'S, MAYBE SHE'LL COME OVER TO HIS HOUSE AND HELP HIM STUDY!
(originally seen between #120 Alphabet Soup and #121 Perfect Match)
113 113 Open Question
114 130 Ice Cube
115 143 Stripes?
116 144 Fireflies
117 55 Potpourri
118 76 Four Plex
119 82 Socialist Action
120 112 Fortune Favours The
"I'VE MADE IT THIS FAR," CHIP THINKS. "TOTALLY FAIR, WITH MY MEGA-BRAIN." THEN HE STARTS THE NEXT MAZE. "TOTALLY UNFAIR!" HE YELPS.
(originally seen between #130 Ice Cube and #131 Totally Unfair)
121 131 Totally Unfair
122 132 Mix Up
123 136 Doublemaze
124 137 Goldkey
125 140 Icedeath
126 105 Short Circuit
127 115 Oversea Delivery
128 68 Eeny Miny Moe
129 71 Corridor
130 90 Playhouse
131 109 Torturechamber
GROOV-U-LOIDS! CHIP MAKES IT ALMOST TO THE END. HE'S STOKED!
(originally seen between #140 Icedeath and #141 Underground)
132 Exclusive
GREAT JOB, CHIP! YOU FINISHED THE CHALLENGE! NOW YOU CAN TAKE MELINDA THE MENTAL MARVEL TO THE BIT BUSTERS E-PROM!
(Different from the Lynx text, which was about gaining entry to the Bit Busters. Game crashes after this.)
133 146 Cake Walk
134 147 Force Field
135 148 Mind Block
136 149 Special
(Plays the same ending as completing Exclusive.)
137 22 Forced Entry
138 23 Blobnet
139 30 Mishmesh
140 32 Scavenger Hunt
141 33 On the Rocks
142 62 Slo Mo
143 87 Cityblock
144 100 Colony
145 102 Icehouse
146 126 Block N Roll
147 133 Blobdance
148 134 Pain
149 139 Yorkhouse
(Plays the same ending as completing Exclusive.)

References[edit]