TO SELECT GAME SPEED: 1, 2, 3, Disc
TO SELECT NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1, 2, Enter
TO LOCK A DOOR: any side button
TO MOVE THE THIEF: Disc
Lock 'n' Chase was the first in a series of conversions based on Data East arcade games.
Mike Winans almost killed himself trying to fit the game into 4K. He finally proclaimed it couldn't be done and, reluctantly, 6K was authorized. Mike managed to just squeeze it into the 6K, although the control of Lupin wasn't ideal. (In the arcade game, the thief is named Lupin, a nice touch of personality that Mattel left out of our version.)
When the game was released, press and customers complained about how difficult it was to control Lupin. (You had to time turns precisely, or Lupin would stop dead.) The problem was considered bad enough that a running change was ordered: after the 6K cartridges were sold out, improved 8K versions would be released. By this time, Mike had transferred to the Design & Development department, so Julie Hoshizaki was assigned to make the improvement. The improved versions aren't marked on the package; the easiest way to tell if you have an improved version is to watch what happens when a cop catches Lupin. In the arcade game, Lupin collapses into his hat -- an animation there wasn't room for in the 6K version. The collapsing animation is in the 8K version.
Once you get 300,000 points, the scoring begins at zero again. At the end of each game you will see a number under the center score. [NOTE: A bug in the program keeps this number from showing up in a one-player game.] This tells you how many times you have reached 300,000. You can reach 300,000 a total of 200 times... for a possible score of 60 million!
In the arcade version, the thief is named Lupin, but not in the Mattel Electronics version. Why not? In the early 1900s, French author Maurice LeBlanc wrote a series of books featuring Arsene Lupin: Gentleman Thief. The books became popular in Japan, where they later inspired a series of comic books that were even more popular. The problem: the comic books were not authorized by LeBlanc. At the time, it was difficult enforcing a French copyright in Japan, so Lupin entered Japanese culture, eventually becoming synonymous with the word thief. The copyright was enforced in the United States, though, where the Japanese Lupin comics developed a following. In English translations, the name Lupin is often changed to Rupin to avoid the copyright problem. For the game Lock 'N' Chase, Mattel avoided the copyright problem by leaving out the name altogether.
An insignificant typo almost caused Mattel to dump tens of thousands of dollars of perfectly good ROMs and to delay the release of Lock 'N' Chase by several months. The legal department required programmers to include an ASCII copyright notice somewhere in every game so that it could be read if someone dumped the cartridge's object code. Traditionally, if there was room, the programmer would also include his or her name. (It was forbidden to hide your name in the game such that it could ever show up on screen, but object code was OK.) For Lock 'n' Chase, Mike included his, Peggi's, and Bill's name in the code. The day the game was to be shipped to the ROM factory, the three of them went to lunch to celebrate. At lunch, Mike realized for the first time that Peggi's last name is spelled 'Decarli'. He had spelled it 'de Carli' in the code. No problem; he went back after lunch, corrected it, then bid everyone farewell and went off to his new job in Design & Development. What Mike didn't know was that Bill Fisher, who was in charge of coordinating with the factory, had copied the finished game off of Mike's hard disk during lunch and shipped it out. Three months later, ten thousand plus ROMs were finished. Sample chips were sent back from the factory. Bill loaded one into a ROM reader, then compared the chip's checksum to the checksum of the archived version on Mike's hard disk. To Bill's horror, they didn't match. There was a bug in the ROMs! Programmers started playing the game for hours on end, trying to see how bad the bug was -- would the game crash? Marketing needed to know instantly if the game was releasable. Should they toss out tens of thousands of dollars worth of chips and lose at least three months time, or should they risk the bad publicity of sending out a bug-filled version? Finally, after a couple days of panic and anxiety, they asked Mike to come up from Design & Development to help track down the bug. After working on the problem for awhile, he slowly remembered lunch that day three months earlier. Learning how to spell Peggi's name.... Mike went to the archived version of the game, changed 'Decarli' back to 'de Carli' and recompiled the program. Now the checksums matched. Crisis averted, the cartridges went out.
The scores show on the screen at all times: left player's score on the left, right player's on the right, and highest score since RESET in the center.
Each gold coin the thief picks up is worth 20 points.
Your thief can pick up four cash bags while he cleans out each vault:
Get 1st cash bag: 500 points.
Get 2nd cash bag: 1000 points.
Get 3rd cash bag: 2000 points.
Get 4th cash bag: 4000 points.
As the thief cleans out the vault the FIRST time he picks up hats.
HAT = 200 points.
As the thief cleans out the vault the SECOND time he picks up crowns.
CROWN = 300 points.
As the thief cleans out the vault the THIRD time he picks up briefcases. BRIEFCASE = 500 points.
As the thief cleans out the vault the FOURTH time he picks up phones. PHONE = 100 points.
Discover 6 more treasures when you advance to higher levels.
* You can lock the thief behind doors to keep the cops away. Hope they move on and you can escape when the door unlocks!
* The police can come through the open side doors too...so don't stay around these areas!
* You can set the speed for the next game and at the same time keep the high score from the last game. Do this at the end of game by pressing 1, 2 or 3 for the slow speeds or press any LOCK DOOR (side) button for fastest speed. [NOTE: a bug in the program keeps this from working properly. Pressing the LOCK DOOR button will replay the game at the SAME speed instead of FASTEST. There is no way to go from a slower speed to the fastest while keeping the high score.]
* When the police are tailing close in any of the four corners, try to trap him in the corner by locking a door behind and in front of him. Get extra points for this!
* When you get 100,000 points, the game automatically sets up at the highest speed.