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25th Jul2011

Ti-85 Calculator Games

by walaber

The Ti-85 calculator was one of my first experiences with computer programming.  You could write little programs in BASIC on the calculator directly… I remember making some text adventures during math class (IIRC called “CheeseQuest” 1, 2, and 3).  I soon discovered a community of people on the internet who had hacked their calculators to be able to run assembly code, the most famous of these hacks being called “zshell”.

I ordered a special link cable and started learning z85 assembly programming in order to make some more interesting games.  Here are the games I made (big thanks to the ticalc.org archives for keeping these files around, I sure didn’t think to save them myself!)


“Weave 3″

This was a simple avoid-the-walls game, and my frist assembly game.



This was a more complex side-scrolling shooter.  As I described it at the time:

Mutiny is a full-scale, action-packed, pedal-to-the-medal, side-scrolling
shooter, complete with 2 weapons, and 5 enemies to battle!!!!


A Joust clone. From the readme at the time:

Zjoust is a simple game, similar to some old Atari game I can't remember...
anyway, just move around with the arrow keys, and jump with the 2nd key.
Try to kill those "bad guys" by landing on their pathetic heads.  But
be careful not to die yourself.  Anyway, this is version 1.0 and currently
has 3 levels.  I intended for 5, but the game is already too big.  I'd
try to optimize its size, but I'm off on another game project (pinball)
so It'll have to wait.  anyway, let me know what you think!

(I never made the pinball game)



An excitebike clone:

Here is version 1.3 of ZBike, the motorcycle game for the TI-85.

Apparently I didn’t have much to say about this one at the time either :)   It did have a level editor though, making this the first of MANY games in which I would incorporate some kind of built-in editor.



This was going to be a top-down “Lemmings” style game, that I never finished:

|     Your goal is to keep the   |
|     morons alive by directing them to the finish without any of      |
|     the above happening.  But, in an ingenous twist, you can't       |
|     change the morons themselves (into builders, climbers, etc.)     |
|     you must change the ENVIRONMENT around them!!!  Ingenious,       |
|     isn't it??  Anyway, you change tiles into other tiles that make  |
|     the morons behave differently.


This was a Pole-Position-like game that I apparently made one afternoon when I was grounded:

Well I haven't made a game in a long time, and since I'm
grounded and today has been really boring, I decided to whip
out a quick ZShell game, and a racing game came to mind.  this
game was made in about 4 hrs, so don't expect much.  The graphics
aren't bad, however.  The gameplay is okay, and the game is almost
entertaining.  So far there is a simple, EXTREMELY repetitive
track, and thats it.  you can speed up, slow down, and maneuver
around.  kind of cool.  Anyway, give it a try and let me know if
I should finish it up with a timer, score, etc.


I made all of these games in 1996, making me 15-16 years old at the time. If for some reason you have the ability to play these games and would like to check them out, you can download them all from the link below:


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