Dig Dug

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Dig Dug is an Action/Maze game created by Atarisoft for the TI-99/4A home computer system. It was released on Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module cartridge during the fourth quarter of 1983. It was programmed for the TI-99/4A by James G. Landowski. The original retail price for Dig Dug on TI-99/4A was $49.95 (USD).

Dig Dug
Front of Retail Packaging for Dig Dug for the TI-99/4A
Dig Dug Retail Packaging [1] [2]
Publisher(s) Atarisoft
Original Retail Price $44.95 (USD)
Programmer(s) James G. Landowski
Part# RX 8509
Format(s) Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module
Release 1983 (4th quarter)
Genre(s) Action, Maze


The player in the Dig Dug, plays the character by the same name. The objective is to destroy enemies on each screen. The enemies are called Pookas, red tomato-like creatures with large goggles, and Fygars, green, fire-breathing dragons. Dig Dug can destroy enemies in one of two ways: 1. Using a pump to expand them, causing them to explode, and 2. By crushing them under large boulders in the maze itself. The player can earn bonus points by squashing more than one enemy under a rock at the same time, or by dropping two rocks in a stage, after which a bonus item appears in the middle of a screen which gives the player bonus points once collected.

Enemies have the ability to travel through the solid soil to approach Dig Dug, and while so doing, appear only as the enemy's eyes. Partially inflated enemies pose no threat to Dig Dug allowing the player to pass through them unharmed. When Dig Dug moves, a short musical jingle plays, which stops when the player stops moving. The enemies move faster as each level progresses, so it's critical that the player clear each level as quickly as possible. The number of flowers in the upper right-hand portion of the screen indicated the level the player is currently on. The color of the dirt layers changes color as levels progress.

Advertising Blurb (From Back of Retail Packaging)

Dodging and blasting Pookas, and dropping rocks on fire-breathing Fygars; Dig Dug burrows his way through a maze of subterranean paths. Ripe fruits and veggies, loaded with points, are his passion. But the evil denizens of the underground pack a potentially lethal wallop, and can hide behind fruits. Even when Dig Dug kills them they may come back as Ghosts. Ghosts don't need tunnels and are harder to kill. Luckily, when the chips are down, they turn out to be cowards. . . and worth points.


How Many Veggies Can a Dig Dug Dig?

Load the Dig Dug cartridge into your Tl 99/4A Home Computer, as explained in your computer owner's guide, and turn on your computer. Plug the Joystick Controllers into the Controller Jack.

Select Player Options

Press the FIRE button on your joystick or the ENTER key to get the Option Menu. Be sure the ALPHA LOCK key is up.

Start Game

Press the FIRE button on your joystick or the ENTER key again to start the game. Each time Dig Dug finishes a round, he moves to the next higher level. Press the Space Bar to pause during a game. Press the Space Bar again to resume play.

Difficulty Level

Press the Plus key to select the level of difficulty.

Dig Dug* starts each game with three lives. After he burrows to the center of the earth on his own, use your joystick to send him where you want. When he enters a tunnel where Pooka* is lurking, the monster begins to chase him. Explode Pooka quickly by pressing and holding the red button, or by pumping it repeatedly. Pumping the button just once or twice will stun the monster so that Dig Dug can slip past. Touching Pooka when he's not stunned will knock Dig Dug out.

You can handle Fygar· in almost the same way, but dragons breathe fire, so be careful if you approach him while he's looking at you. Attacking him from the side is worth more points than attacking from above or below.

Another way to handle the monsters is to drop rocks on them. To do this, tunnel underneath a rock when one or more monsters are chasing you. If you're tunneling upward, make a sharp turn just before you reach the rock and let it fall on them! If you're tunneling sideways, time yourself so that the rock falls just as they run underneath!

After two rocks have fallen in any round, a veggie or fruit appears at the center of the earth for ten seconds. If Dig Dug can gobble it up, he earns extra points. But there's something very strange about Pooka and Fygar. Unless you destroy them quickly, they turn into GHOSTS and move through the ground directly toward Dig Dug. As soon as they enter a tunnel completely, they become solid again, but while they're still ghosts, Dig Dug can only drop rocks on them.

The last monster left in any round gets scared of Dig Dug and runs to the surface, turning into a ghost, if necessary, to make his trip as fast as possible. Once on the surface, he scampers to the left side of the screen. To catch him, Dig Dug has to race toward the surface himself. If Dig Dug doesn't catch the monster before he reaches the left corner, the round ends.

*DIG DUG, Pooka and Fygar are created and designed by Namco Ltd., manufactured under license by Atari, Inc. Trademark © Namco 1982.


Dig Dug - Fygar.png

The flowers at the upper right of the screen represent the number of the round you are currently playing. Each white flower counts as one, and each red flower counts as ten. You and Dig Dug score points in several ways:

Each chunk of dirt Dig Dug digs . . . . . . . . . . 10

Blowing up Pooka and Blowing up Fygar
Fygar from above of below Blowing up Fygar from the side
200 Surface 400
200 Top level of earth 400
300 Second level down 600
400 Third level down 800
500 Bottom level 1000

Dropping rocks on monsters

(score per rock)

One Monster . . . . . . . . . . . . 1000

Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2500

Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4000

Every extra monster . . . . . . 2000

Gobbling fruits and veggies

Dig Dug - Carrot.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400

Dig Dug - Turnip.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600

Dig Dug - Mushroom.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800

(From the Zucchini on, the sequence of food repeats itself.)

Dig Dug - Zucchini.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1000

Dig Dug - Egg Plant.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2000

Dig Dug - Bell Pepper.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3000

Dig Dug - Tomato.png . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4000



External Links