A steeplechase is a horse race which involves jumping over obstacles, such as walls and hedges. In this simulation of the sport, you can race against the clock or another player. You'll need Flankspeed (see page 79) to type in and save a copy of Steeplechase. After loading the program, type SYS 49152 and press RETURN to play.
The title screen appears, prompting you to select a course length from one to three miles. Move a joystick plugged into Port 2 to the left or right to change the highlighted selection. When you have made your choice, press the fire button to begin.
The game screen displays two separate windows. The joystick in Port 2 controls the horse in the top window, while the joystick in Port 1 controls the horse in the lower window in a two player race. The elapsed time is shown in the upper left corner of the screen in minutes, seconds, and tenths of a second. At top center is the course length, and in the upper right corner is the lowest elapsed time recorded for the. completed course. The distance traveled by each horse is shown, along with a bar meter representing the current speed. The horses enter from the left side of the screen, and when the gun sounds the race begins.
To control a horse, move the corresponding joystick right to increase speed and left to slow down. Smooth scrolling is used in each window to simulate movement. In the background, mountains and clouds scroll slowly, while obstacles in the foreground (stone walls, hills, hedges, and fences) move toward your horse more quickly. Press the fire button to jump over an obstacle. Although some are easy to jump, others require you to build up speed to make it over. Stumbling over an obstacle causes your horse to slow down, so you have to time the jump just right in order to keep your speed high.
The course is randomly created at the beginning of each game. However, in the interest of fair play, both players run the identical course simultaneously. The window of the first player to reach the finish flashes, and if the time is lower than the best so far, it is recorded and displayed during the next game.