Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

CBS Electronics Mountain King -Atari 5200
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewCBS Electronics Mountain King for Atari 5200 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Mountain King
Manufacturer: CBS Electronics
Platform: Atari 5200
Release Date: 1983
Part #: 4L 2716
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: CBS Electronics Mountain King Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
CBS Electronics Mountain King Screenshot:
CBS Electronics Mountain King for Atari 5200 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

In true Indiana Jones style, your Adventurer will try to become the Mountain King by bringing a golden crown to the mountain top. Released on the Atari 5200 between the first 2 Indiana Jones films, there is no mention of Dr. Jones so as not to incur any copyright infringement issues or necessary licensing fees. This Indy-free adventure appeared on other Atari platforms as well as other manufacturers including Coleco.

As with many games of this era, Mountain King was deemed too blocky-looking by critics while being praised for it's use of music. It's all about memory, folks - the 5200 didn't hav a lot of it! The game begins in silence and the music comes in during later game play giving it a lot more emphasis. It's classical music as opposed to the rhythmic blip of many games.

Mountain King's Story Arc

Inside an ancient diamond mine is the secret Temple Chamber containing a priceless Golden Crown. It is guarded by denizens of the mountain who have no qualms about killing in order to protect it. Anyone in possession of the crown can become the Mountain King - which is the ultimate goal of the game. Music plays a background role in a fairly unique manner, but is also used to cue certain elements of the game.

CBS Electronics Mountain King Adventurer character - Atari 5200

A Perpetual Flame burns at the peak and finding the matching spirit will give access to hidden areas. As with many RPG games you must find and collect objects in a particular order to gain access to other areas. Your mileage may vary...

Mountain King's Game Play

The joystick moves you in any of 8directions. One anomalie is the 45° angle nudged on the joystick will cause your adventurer to jump in that direction. Up and Down movements enable him to climb up and down ladders. The bottom fire button turns on his flashlight. The top fire buttons are not used. Your adventurer will do an intro-dance at the start of the game showing all the different ways he can move - but not in a Dance Dance Revolution sort of way. Falling isn't fatal, but if he falls too many levels he'll be briefly stunned and unable to move for a few seconds.

A kneeling stance is necessary for claiming the Flame Spirit, opening treasure chests and convincing the sentry to let you into the temple. You begin by collecting 1,000 points to qualify for fabulous prizes like possession of the Flame Spirit which you'll need to get into the Temple. When you reach 1,000 points a flame will ignite on top of the mountain and you'll need to whip out your flashlight to fully reveal the Flame Spirit. As you get closer to the FS, the music will grow louder. If you don't locate it in time, it disappears and you have to get another 1,000 points. This is one of the most challenging parts of the game.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Mountain King has a hidden level reached only by jumping from the ledge on the peak at the top of the game screen.
You can catch the bottom rung of a ladder leading into the hidden level. At the top of this area are two figures, but there is no bonus. This level is can be very difficult to navigate.

Ten Treasure Chests are hidden in the mountain and they are only visible with your flashlight that has unlimited illumination - batteries not required. One always hopes to find treasure inside a treasure chest, but some of these contain gray bats. You won't know about a treasure chest's contents until you open it.

The Skull Spirit guards the Temple entrance and is only visible with your flashlight. Are you getting the idea that keeping the flashlight on is a good idea? Offer the Skull d00d your Flame Spirit and he will give you a brief time in which to dart into the Temple. Don't fuck it up here or you'll be pissed at yourself for a long time. Inside the Temple, climb the wall to reach the Golden Crown. Pop it on your head and get ready to jet.

drop to the floor and run back into the mine. You have to get the Crown to the mountain top, avoid those pesky bats and rule supreme as the Mountain King! Your bonus, assuming you get to the top, is based on elapsed time. Success will take you to the next level.

Mountain King's Foes

Two kinds of bats (black ones and gray ones) will try to hinder your quest. Black ones can only be seen with your flashlight, but are harmless. Gray bats are always visible, but they're a bit pissed that you're pillaging the Crown and will try to take it from you as you venture toward the Temple.

A giant spider lurks at the bottom of the mine and can wrap you up in it's sticky web. You can escape by quickly moving the joystick up & down but you'll have to do it quickly as the spider may return and eat you, thus ending the game.

Game Over

Mountain King is fairly forgiving of personal injury, but there are a few certain ways to die or end the game. Obviously it ends when the time runs out, but man-eating spiders and being burned by fire also will do you in. Beware!

If you're looking for a real challenge, select a level then push the "Challenge" button on the Mountain King Overlay. This will "turn off the lights". The plateaus of the mine will become invisible without the flashlight!

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

CBS Electronics Mountain King

is an Indiana Jones like game involving more RPG skills than fighting prowess. It involves various challenges and navigating the mountain in order to return the crown. Fun game and very different from most releases of the same era.

The use of music makes this a gem of a game ;)

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