Playing GORILLA.BAS With My Family

GORILLA.BAS

One of my favorite old video games was GORILLA.BAS. It was actually a demo that came with MS-DOS. I spent a lot of time knocking around in QBasic, and while I never became an astute programmer, I did develop a fondness for one of the included BASIC programs: GORILLA.BAS.

BASIC Programs

Later versions of MS-DOS came with the QBasic programming environment. This in turn came with several sample programs, which were roughly the DOS equivalents of Minesweeper and Solitaire.

  • REMLINE.BAS removed line numbers from old GW-BASIC programs.
  • MONEY.BAS was a text-based money management program. I ran it once, saw that it was boring, and never touched it again.
  • NIBBLES.BAS was a basic Snake game. Though it was one of two included games, I never got into it. In fact, I never really liked any of the Snake games.
  • GORILLA.BAS was awesome and I loved playing it. Note that the actual name of the game is “Gorillas”, but MS-DOS file names could only contain up to eight characters. So the “S” got lopped off.

Playing GORILLA.BAS

Gorillas was a simple two-person artillery game. (Though I didn’t learn was an artillery game was until recently.) The game involved two King Kong-like gorillas on top of skyscrapers throwing bananas at each other. The controls were simple. When it was your turn, you entered numbers for angle and velocity. Then you watched as your gorilla threw a banana. When he did, one of three things would happen:

  • The banana would fly off the screen, never to return.
  • The banana world hit a building. Every time this happened, it would leave a hole.
  • The banana would hit your opponent, blowing him up. After this, your gorilla would beat his chest and do a victory dance. This was the best part of the game.

Fond Memories

I remember GORILLA.BAS better than many of the commercial games I played back then. I think that’s because Gorillas was a social experience. As a simple BASIC program, it contained zero AI. You could play the part of both gorillas, of course, but that wasn’t much fun. The fun part was watching the victory dance when you beat your little sister. Or laughing at the funny names your dad would make up for the gorillas. Because of these memories, I’ll always have a soft spot in my gear for GORILLA.BAS.

Did you ever play Gorillas or any similar artillery games? Let me know your experience in the comment section

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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4 Responses

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