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The arcade game Frogger involved players guiding their frogs across a busy, several lane street, then maneuvering through a water area in the second area of the game, jumping on logs and the backs of turtles and crocodiles in order to reach and fill up the five frog home bays at the top of the screen. Various obstacles and enemies would kill the players' frogs upon contact, as well as if they were to run out of time, hit a top wall or pass too far to the left or right edges of the screen.
V-Frogger is a clone of the arcade original with some graphical changes and enhancements. It was developed by Christopher Salomon and published in 1998 by Vectrex carts and Classic Game Creations.
In the first area of the game, the player moves their frogs across a five lane road; colliding with a vehicle will cost them a life and the game will end if the player runs out of reserve frogs.
Once the player is able to cross the road, the second area of the screen is a swamp that they must guide their frog across by jumping on turtles, logs, and later crocodiles. Once the player is able to jump into an empty frog home at the very top, it becomes filled and the player’s frog starts at the bottom of the screen again after bonus points are awarded for time remaining and if the player captures any additional bonuses along the way in the later levels (such as allowing a female frog to jump on them and they make it to a frog home with the female, or if the player eats a fly that randomly appears in one of the empty frog home bays). Frogs will be lost if they are bitten by snakes, drown, hit the left, right, or top screen edges, try to jump into an occupied frog home or are eaten by an otter or crocodile.
If the player is able to fill up all frog bays, they earn an end level bonus and move onto the next level, which its difficulty increases with more and/or faster moving traffic, turtles start diving into the swamp (which the frog will drown if it is on a turtle), snakes and otters start appearing, as well as crocodiles that can eat the frog if the player does not jump on them in the correct spot if they are riding on them, or if the majority of a crocodile is in an unoccupied frog home when the player tries to jump their frog into the bay. Crocodiles will also start speeding up their appearances in the home bay areas and the time limit will dissipate quicker as well.
The game has 16 levels total.
Differences from originalEdit
Obviously there are changes in display, as the original arcade game was in raster, and the Vectrex version was in vector. Proportionally the player’s frog is larger and the frog bays smaller, along with the traffic being viewed from the side and including bicycles and mopeds this time around. Once snakes start appearing in the middle screen strip that separates the street from the swamp areas, originally they would appear from the left side of the screen and move to the right, but on this version they start from the right and move to the left. Various sounds and animations were also changed as well (the player’s frog’s legs do not move as it jumps, for instance), along with some levels.
The game also has several brief cinematics as well that the original did not, such as whenever the frog makes it to a home bay, dies or advances to another level, the frog will morph into a gravestone and the reason for the player’s death is stated onscreen for the latter. There are also messages displayed for when certain bonuses are earned, such as when the player earns an extra life, they catch a fly or safely transport a female frog home.
V-Frogger also has continuances, which the original arcade game did not, but the game is for one player only, rather than up to two players alternating like on the original. There is also no in-game music, due to the Vectrex only having a single microprocessor, but in between lives, levels, and with each time the player gets a frog home, a few bars of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” will play.
- Although the game title, box and cartridge label is V-Frogger, it reads “Vectrex Frogger” after the bootup screen is shown.
- Due to Vectrex material being public domain, the title screen music of Star Trek: The Motion Picture was reused, as well as the brief musical piece in between lives and levels from Clean Sweep during the continue screen.
- In the attract mode, the screen display gives several shout-outs to the programmer's stuffed pet animals, along with showing the programmer’s cursive Chris signature, which was also seen in Moon Lander. The extended version of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” is also played during the sequence (rather than only a few bars during the actual game).
- The pause screen shows the player’s score, frogs remaining, and the current level they are on.
- The instructions claim the player will receive an extra frog with every 10,000 points; however, if 10,000 or a multiple thereof is scored in the middle of a level, the player will not receive that extra frog unless they are able to place that frog successfully into a frog bay. If the player loses their last frog, the game will end, even if they earned enough points for an extra life.
- The game was originally available through the Vectrex carts site but was sold through Classic Game Creations later.