Sea Dragon

Sea Dragon advertisement
Adventure International advertisement
from the March 1983 issue
of 80-U.S. Journal

Title: Sea Dragon
Authors: Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman
Publisher: Adventure International
Released: 1982
Compatibility: Model I and III, disk and tape
Sound: Yes
Voice: No
Joystick: Yes

Sea Dragon, written by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman, was one of the most popular games for the TRS‑80. It was released in 1982 by Adventure International, which also sold versions for other computers:

  • the Apple II version, written by John Anderson, was released in 1982.
  • the Atari 400/800 version, written by Russ Wetmore (Star Systems Software), was released in 1982.
  • the TRS‑80 Color Computer version, written by Jim Hurd (Coniah Software), was released in 1983.
  • the IBM PC version, written by Dan Rollins, was released in 1983.
  • the Commodore 64 version, written by David H. Simmons, was released in 1984.

As far as I know, Sea Dragon was the TRS‑80 game that was adapted to the most computers.

According to Wayne Westmoreland, Sea Dragon was inspired by the arcade game Scramble, which was released in 1981. The ending of the game (which involves destroying a nuclear reactor) was inspired by the arcade game Phoenix, released in 1980. Of all the TRS‑80 games that he and Terry Gilman wrote, Sea Dragon was his favorite.

Title screen of Sea Dragon
Title screen

Underwater mines in Sea Dragon
Underwater mines

Sea Dragon was described this way in a 1982 Adventure International catalog:

Sea Dragon is a slick, arcade-ish simulation that puts you in command of a nuclear sub that’s armed to the hilt with deadly missiles and torpedoes. You guide your submarine past underwater mountains and through labyrinthine passages while avoiding webs of explosive mines that rise from the sea bottom. Additional dangers include mine-dropping ships, enemy attack stations, falling stalactites, and deadly lasers—any of which could keep you from your ultimate goal: destruction of the incredibly powerful nuclear reactor at the end of the undersea course! Maneuver around these dangerous obstacles and surface to refuel your ever-decreasing air supply—if you can!

Underwater passage in Sea Dragon
Entering an underwater passage

Falling stalactites and lasers in Sea Dragon
Falling stalactites and lasers

The playing field of Sea Dragon scrolls horizontally and is very wide; one advertisement described it as “the equivalent of two dozen screens laid end-to-end.” The goal is to pilot the submarine to the very end and destroy the nuclear reactor found there.

Colliding with an underwater mine destroys the submarine, as does hitting the ground or any of the other obstacles in the water. Another complication results from the need of the submarine to surface periodically and replenish the air supply. This creates a problem when the game moves into a series of underwater passages with no open air.

Sea Dragon was one of the original games featured on the scoreboard in “The Gamer’s Cafe,” and it was often mentioned in the column. Long-time readers of “The Gamer’s Cafe” may remember that Sea Dragon played a pivotal role in the departure of Winthrop from the column.

Mine-dropping ship in Sea Dragon
Mine-dropping ship at open sea

Nuclear reactor in Sea Dragon
Nuclear reactor at end of game

Like most of the Adventure International games, the various versions of Sea Dragon differ in some details. Several have enhancements specific to that version, such as the voice effects in the Apple II and TRS‑80 Color Computer versions. (And who can forget the dancing sailor from the title screen of the Color Computer version!) But the game play and the look of the games remained quite close to the TRS‑80 original.

Sea Dragon for the TRS-80
Sea Dragon for the TRS‑80

Sea Dragon for the Apple II
Sea Dragon for the Apple II

Sea Dragon for the Atari
Sea Dragon for the Atari

Sea Dragon for the TRS-80 Color Computer
Sea Dragon for the Color Computer

Sea Dragon for the IBM PC
Sea Dragon for the IBM PC

Sea Dragon for the Commodore 64
Sea Dragon for the Commodore 64

In 1995, Wayne Westmoreland released all of their TRS‑80 games into the public domain. You can download Sea Dragon and all of their other games here:

Games by Wayne Westmoreland and Terry Gilman

Comments

  1. Great post. I appreciate the effort put into getting up screenshots of the different versions. I happen to have the Atari 8-bit in the plastic snapcase, but it seems like it would be worth it to try and eventually get some of the other versions for the enhancements.

  2. Thanks. I always find it interesting to see how the versions of Adventure International games differed. Their authors usually put a personal spin on each game version.

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