It's well known that, following the publication of Chuckie Egg by A&F in 1983, Nigel Alderton stopped freelancing and
took his first PAYE job at Ocean Software alongside such gaming legends as Joffa Smifff and, later, fellow
Chuckie Egg coder Mike Webb.
However, what has only been hinted at so far is a game that Nigel had been working on prior to joining Ocean. Nigel
had been developing a Spectrum 'MR.DO!' style game that featured the 'Hen House Harry' character from Chuckie Egg.
Although it was never finished, Joffa saw it during development and described it as "... really good - lots
of bouncing apples and things". The idea of a sequel designed by Nigel appealed to many Chuckie Egg fans, especially
those who felt that Chuckie Egg 2 (Choccy Egg), which was produced by A&F with no input from Nigel, had little in
common with the original except the brand.
Of course when we finally tracked down Nigel, we barraged him with questions on this mythical sequel which had never
seen the light of day. It is with awe and reverence that we are now finally able to reveal below, 23 years later and
thanks to Nigel's generosity, the original design for Chuckie Apple
. If you've read it
and think you have what it takes, check out our Chuckie Apple Implementation Challenge
where you'll also find details of any fan attempts we hear about!
This design for Chuckie Apple and all related images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.
Chuckie Apple © 1983 - 2006 Nigel Alderton
Keys: Up, Down, Left, Right and Kick
Man [Hen House Harry] can walk through stuff making channel as he goes. He can push apples through stuff. When he walks
under an apple, it drops slightly to rest on his head. He is now carrying the apple. It will move with him as he moves up,
down, left and right but it will not move into stuff, another apple.
If the man is moving up and changes to move down, the apple leaves his head and falls freely under gravity i.e. rising
slightly - decelerating, then falling - accelerating.
If an apple ever has space underneath it, it falls towards the bottom of the screen - accelerating as it goes and only bounces
off the ladder, the man or stuff. If one apple lands on another, the one underneath explodes.
If an apple is supported by < 50% of its base and their is 2c room for it to move into when falling, it will fall as
If an apple is kicked, pushed or lifted into one of the gates, it disappears. When all apples have disappeared, the
etc. and the man is free to move to the next sheet by walking through the exit.
If the man pushes an apple, it moves along in front of him but slows him down. Pushing two apples at the same time e.g.
slows him down further, 3 further still etc.
The initial positions of the apples are different for each level but not random.
* If the man attempts to kick an apple that cannot move (i.e. it is against a wall) the apple explodes and only re-appears
when the man walks through the position where the apple was (x,y). The apple re-appearing is in the form of an explosion
in reverse and takes about 1 sec. If the man has not moved out of the way 1 sec. after he was at (x,y), an outline of the
apple appears at (x,y). The outline will change to a real apple when no part of the man is on the square occupied by the
outline of the apple. Until the outline changes to a real apple, it is ignored (i.e. it cannot be kicked, pushed or
exploded etc.): it is simply an image on the screen.
If two or more apples are in a line and the man kicks the end (i.e.
then the apple at the other end slides (i.e. the apple marked 'c'). If apple 'c' cannot slide (because it is against a
wall) the apple marked 'a' explodes as described above. (See *
) The apple tally is not increased.
The apple tally at the top of the screen indicates the number of apples that the man has removed from the screen i.e.
when an apple is pushed, kicked or lifted through a gate or one apple falls onto another apple causing the lower one
to explode, an apple is added to the tally. Apples are added to the tally from the top downwards.
If all six apples are pushed through a gate in a continuous line i.e.
a super bonus is obtained. The super bonus is ten times the bonus shown at the top of the screen. The super bonus
feature does not operate above level 17. If it is attempted above level 17, the apples re-appear in their respective
initial positions as they are pushed through the gate. Obtaining the super bonus also advances the player four levels.
The bonus at the top of the screen is 1000 pts at the start of level one, 2000 pts at the start of level two, 3000 at L3
etc. up to a max. of 9000 pts at level nine and above. The bonus decreases during play at a rate of 100 pts every 5 secs
irrespective of level. When the bonus reaches zero, it stops decreasing. The bonus reaching zero has no side-effects.
When the screen has been cleared, the bonus is added to the score.
Kicking an apple
If the man is stood next to and facing the apple, pressing the 'kick' button gives that apple a velocity of constant
magnitude along a line from the man to the apple. If the velocity 'v' is horizontal, the apple will slide with decreasing
speed until it stops. If 'v' is vertical, the apple moves as if under the force of gravity i.e. constant downwards
acceleration. If, when the apple is moving, it hits a wall, stuff or the man its speed is halved and direction reversed.
If the apple hits another apple or a box, it stops, and the object it hit is given a velocity of half the magnitude in the
same direction. If the object it hits cannot move, the apples speed is halved and direction reversed.
The original pencil and paper design is available for download in PDF (8.39 MB).
This historical document contains Nigel's original description of Chuckie Apple, along with his first notes for the
Spectrum 48K implementation.