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Dig Dug - tips and history  

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Dig Dug was released in 1982 by Atari and, under licence, by Namco (there is also a clone version called Zig Zag). This simple yet addictive features two basic controllers. One is a four-directional joystick (up, down, left, right) and a pump button. The objective is to clear the mine of monsters. You do this by chipping at the rock and when within sight, you pump the monsters full of air until they explode. You can also kill monsters by dropping rocks on them - they tend to score higher this way. Like Pacman, the monsters will follow an initial sequence, so this allows the player to develop a map for each level. It won't work as effectively as Pacman, but it can get you started. You get killed if you drop a rock on yourself, touch either monster or get burnt by the dragon's (Fygar) fire. The monsters can travel as ghosts through the rock, although it is slower than their normal pace.

Dig DugDig Dug starts off very simply, with just a handful of slow moving enemies. Level 1 is pictured right. As the the player progresses through each level, more creatures are added and they move faster. The value of the fruit/vegetable increases each round. These fruits range from 400 points for the carrot up to high thousands. Missing a fruit in later rounds will greatly affect your chances at getting the high score.

There are two enemies in Dig Dug, called Pooka and Fygar. Pooka is a round shaped creature who can only kill you by touch. Fygar is a dragon that can also breathe fire - but only horizontally. Dragons are worth more points and they can also kill you through thin walls, so watch out.

  • When the second rock is dropped in each level, this will cause the fruit to appear. Drop this rock when you are ready to collect the fruit as it will only appear for about 15 seconds.
  • Dragons can only breath fire horizontally
  • You can kill monsters through thin walls, but the dragon can also get you (see top picture)
  • The deeper the monster is in the mine, the more points it scores when killed
  • You can half pump a monster - this will stun them for a few seconds - you can also run through them in this state. The middle picture shows one stunned Pooka on the left while the dragon is pumper. This is ideal solution if lots of monsters are closing.

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