Pit Pot

Pit Pot is basically an action puzzle game for the Sega Master System.  It came out in 1985, and in 1986, it was rereleased in Europe with Astro Warrior.

The first screen in Pit Pot shows the witch flying by her castle.

The game is basically a scavenger hunt.  Your knight grabs a hammer dropped by a witch in the introduction, and heads in to save a princess.  You need a number of items to get the best ending.  A cross keeps the witch from attacking you, a potion to wake the princess up, and a ring.  You find these treasures while exploring an area that looks a lot like the dungeons in Zelda.

A path to the cross appears as you collect treasure.

There’s a number of “tricks”.  For example, you can drop blocks into the chasm if you separate them from the edge or surrounding blocks.  This kills enemies standing on the blocks, and may reveal hidden items.  The edge of the screen has blocks which cannot be dropped.  When you collect treasure, you sometimes reveal paths.

Dropping the tiles in the center here reveals the ring. The tiles reappear with time.

The maps are identical each time you play the game, so the main challenge is getting the best score and finding all the items.  It’s a very simple game.  However, it is interesting on a historical level.  Your hammer’s attack range is precise enough that you can consistently hit the blocks you want, and it doesn’t feel as tiny and powerless as the tiny dagger of Lagoon (SNES).  The enemies respawn, but since your hammer is pretty dependable, this doesn’t feel impossibly difficult.  Compared to Dandy (FDS), the dungeon feels like it has a much slower pace for exploration.  There’s simply less monsters, and they move a lot more slowly.  Thanks to the simplistic graphics, they’re also a lot more “visible” than the sprites in Dandy.

Here, you can end the exploration by touching the princess.

While I don’t think this game is an RPG, it’s interesting to see how it’s using Zelda esque dungeon mechanics to make a simple puzzle game.  I don’t think it’s really “truly” an RPG, since the challenge is purely finding how the items are hidden without dying, and getting to the princess.  To improve your game, you simply kill more monsters.

The princess is saved along with a very odd rendition of the hero.

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