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    FAQ by SloDeth

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 08/21/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    *                          the 1983 Arcade Game                               *
    *                            FAQ/Walkthrough                                  *
    *                                                                             *
    *                          Guide By:  SloDeth                                 *
    *                                                                             *
    *                      v1.0            August 21, 2001                        *
     Table of Contents
     What is this game?
     What is MAME?
     What do I need to play this game?
     When I run the ROM, it just says THIS LOCATION...what do I do?
     Can I put this guide on my website?
     Level One
     Level Two
     Level Three
     Contact Info
    What is this game?
    This is Zoo Keeper, an arcade game from 1983.  This guide also encompasses its 
    clones/hacks, Zoo Keeper set 2 and Zoo Keeper set 3.
    What is MAME?
    MAME is an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.  To sum it up, it is a 
    program which can run ROMs, or arcade game files, allowing you to play thousands 
    of classic, nearly extinct arcade games on your own computer.  Check out 
    www.mame.net for more info.
    The intent of the program is to preserve a piece of video gaming history.  
    Unfortunately, this puts it on shaky legal ground.  While MAME itself is 
    perfectly legal, it is illegal to own ROMs for arcade games which you don't own.  
    However, like owning copyrighted MP3s, it is very unlikely that you will get in 
    trouble for owning ROMs.  I personally feel no remorse for owning illegal ROMs, 
    since the original developers can no longer profit from the game, and it is 
    impossible to find these games in real life without some serious trouble.  I 
    feel different when it comes to MP3s - almost all music is easy to legally 
    What do I need to play this game?
    First, you need the latest release of MAME - grab it at www.mame.net.  Follow 
    the simple installation instructions.
    Next, you need the ROM file for Zoo Keeper or one of its clones.  I can't 
    legally tell you where to find it(cough, edgeemu.com, cough), but if you fire up 
    your favorite search engine, you should have no problem finding it - search for 
    MAME, rom, and the name of the game.  When you download it, unzip it in the 
    correct folder([folder where you installed MAME]\[name of zip]) - mine is 
    If you have any further problems with MAME, don't ask me about it - read the 
    Help files and the FAQ on mame.net for the answers!  It's not too hard to 
    understand if you READ THE INFO FIRST.
    When I run the ROM, it just says THIS LOCATION...what do I do?
    Hit one of the F buttons...try F9, then the rest.
    Can I put this guide on my website?
    Yes, you may...this guide may be fully distributed, zipped with other files, and 
    even printed out, as long as it isn't edited or sold.  Don't change it, and 
    don't sell it!  The latest version of the guide will always be posted at 
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= GAMEPLAY =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Gameplay cycles between three different level types...typically, you will play 
    two rounds of level one, the one round each of level two and three.
    *LEVEL ONE*: As you walk around a rectangle, you lay some bricks.  These bricks 
    form a large cage for the animals inside.  Unfortunately, as you lay them, the 
    animals claw their way out.  If they escape, they run around the rectangle(note: 
    as soon as they escape, they go in the opposite direction that you're going - 
    this is useful if you want them all to go in the same direction).  If they touch 
    you, you lose a life.  You can jump over them for points.
    Notice the bar at the top - it is your timer.  The round ends when the bar 
    reaches the end.  Along the way, there are four items...they are either bonus 
    items or nets.  The bonus items simply add to your point total.  When you grab a 
    net(I know, it looks more like a frying pan), you send all the animals you touch 
    back to the center of the cage, just like those flashing dots in Pac-Man. 
    When you die, you have to start the round again.  The timer resets completely, 
    but the bricks you've laid remain in position.
    *LEVEL TWO*: You must rescue the lady at the top by jumping across moving 
    platforms and avoiding coconuts.  Jumping on these platforms is worth points, 
    and the items on the platforms are worth points.  These values increase as you 
    ascend.  As soon as you touch her, the round ends.  If you touch any coconuts, 
    you die.  Note that the longer you spend on the level, the more difficult it 
    becomes.  Coconuts don't disappear - they just bounce off the walls.  Also, the 
    bottom platform isn't replaced by another.  After a minute or so, it will be 
    completely gone, and you could easily fall off the bottom of the screen.
    This level type appears once after every two rounds of Level One.  Each new 
    round comes with different colors, more coconuts, and more points.  After Round 
    Ten, the platforms are black, i.e. invisible.  This is quite difficult, but 
    there are fewer coconuts.  The bonus items are still visible, so you can use 
    them to judge the position of the platforms.  Good luck...you'll need it.
    *LEVEL THREE*: Win a bonus Keeper!  In this level, you must jump over the 
    stampeding herd of animals and their cage.  This isn't too difficult at first.  
    Make sure you have enough room to jump over the cage at the end.  If you 
    misjudge, you get pushed backwards, usually onto an animal.  After jumping over 
    the cage, you land on an escalator, which takes you to the next line.  The lady 
    awaits you at the top with a bonus Keeper...and something else...
    This level type appears after each Level Two round, except the first time.  The 
    first round of this level has two layers/lines of animals to jump over.  The 
    second round has three, and the rest have four.  These last layers are much more 
    difficult, since the animals come out more consistently, thus fewer gaps.
    *SCORING*: Here's a list of all the actions that score you points in the game:
    LEVEL ONE: jumping over animals
               grabbing bonus items
               having animals in the cage at the end of the round
    LEVEL TWO: jumping on platforms(you score whenever you switch layers)
               grabbing bonus items
               reaching the top(5k the first round, then 10k, then +10k after that)
    LEVEL THREE: jumping over animals
                 reaching the top(gives you an extra life, but no points)
    All the scoring actions in the game use a scoring system roughly like the one 
    below.  This is the system of animal-jumping listed here - jump one animal for 
    100 points, two for 500 points, etc.  When you jump on platforms in the second 
    level, the first platform gives you 80 points, and the second gives you 150 
    points...roughly doubling as you ascend.
    The values for catching animals in your cage at the end of the round are listed 
    in the beginning.  The only explanation needed is for the lions - they're worth 
    30,000 points when they first appear in round six, then they increase by 10,000 
    each round until round ten, then they reset back to 40,000...at least, that's my 
    Bottom line?  You score the big points in the first level.  Keeping animals in 
    their cage turns out to be too difficult and inefficient...you score big points 
    by jumping over long lines on animals and surviving.  Grab nets whenever you can 
    to keep you from dying, then use it to bag as many animals as you can when the 
    round is close to ending.
    The other two levels are pretty much a waste, unless you want to exploit a 
    scoring bug...when you jump on the top platform, you score some points.  If you 
    jump off and back on, that number doubles.  If you jump off and back on again, 
    it doubles AGAIN until it reaches 300,000.  This is the quickest and cheapest 
    way to get points in the game.  As long as you avoid the coconuts, you can keep 
    doing this over and over.
    My high score is 223,080 without using any cheats or exploiting bugs.  I'm sure 
    you can do better!
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= GAME BACKGROUND =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Zookeeper is an arcade game, released by Taito in 1983.  Its unique, fast-paced 
    gameplay made it quickly addictive.  It was one of the most popular games of its 
    time...unfortunately, it was a rough time for arcades.  
    Here's the story straight from the mouth of John Morgan, one of the primary 
    programmers.  It's an interesting read...dig right in!
    "In 1982, Keith Egging was the Director of Creativity (or some weird title like 
    that). He always had a human skull on his desk which opened up on a hinge and 
    was filled with Hershey's kisses. One day a TV news crew came over to do some 
    interview, and Keith showed them around. He took them back into our area and 
    really played it up (feed them some pretty thick bull which they really ate it 
    up). He took them to the farthest office of cubicles and said that this was DEEP 
    THOUGHT - where all the heaviest thinking took place. Of course this was just 
    made up (the office being picked for it's distance only), but hey, they bought 
    it. The main programmers (me, Mark Blazczyk and Rex Battenberg) took off on this 
    and other of Keith's tall tales and frequently made up whoppers about everything 
    under the sun to one up each other with our far fetched stories. Pretty cool for 
    those days. 
    Anyway, Keith came up with a weird game idea which I was going to program (back 
    in those days there was only one programmer for pretty much all aspects of the 
    entire game). His idea was to have a game where a crab would run around a 
    rectangle on the screen. There were little eggs with faces on them that came out 
    of the inside of the screen and would bounce off the rectangle and take bites 
    out of it. When they went all the way through to the outside of the rectangle 
    they would become tadpoles running around the rectangle edge. If the tadpole 
    touched the crab it would be killed. 
    The crab would move around the screen and jump over the tadpoles, with it's 
    claws opening and closing. To repair the wall damage where the eggs bit off 
    chunks of the wall, you pressed a button and a thick line would shoot across the 
    screen from underneath the crab and away from it (horizontally or vertically as 
    appropriate). We were going to use the sound of castinets when this line was 
    fired out - he really loved that sound. 
    This is about the stage where Keith's input finished, and the rest of the 
    changes were almost entirely from my ideas. 
    Now, as a sidenote, we had no way to get art into the games. So I wrote some 
    software that would allow you to use a modified control panel (with more 
    buttons) so that you could create art (pixel by pixel) on the screen itself, 
    complete with animation control. We hired a part time animator to use it to 
    design the animals, complete with great motion for the time. 
    Secondly, we had to have sound effect and music. Tom Fosha (another programmer 
    and a bit of a sick puppy in his own right) had been playing around with code to 
    do some sound effects. Note that every sound sample was computer controlled 
    (just like the graphics were). I looked at them and saw that they all either 
    played with the volume of the samples (thus affecting the amplitude), or the 
    duration inbetween the samples as they were output (thus affecting the 
    frequency). I decided to write a single unified piece of code from scratch where 
    you had two 24 byte buffers. One buffer held the volume levels for the looped 
    sample (fairly traditional), and the second held the duration from each sample 
    to the next (cutting a bit of new ground here). I then allowed each of these two 
    waveforms to be independantly controlled. You could smoothly morph a waveform 
    from one to another (again pretty new for that time) or you could slowly add 
    waveforms. You could avoid clipping of the signal (where a value is too positive 
    and becomes negative etc) or you could force it to occur (this had some really 
    weird sounding effects). Since 24 samples is a multiple of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 12, 
    you could have samples which had different frequencies in the samples 
    themselves. They made me a switchbox with 8 switches, so that I could try out 
    code and use the swithes to select amoung 16 voltage waveforms, and 16 frequency 
    waveforms which combined with the particular controlling code I was trying. With 
    trial and error, I came up with a zillion really weird sounds that I had never 
    imagined. The ones I liked I kept, and that is where all of the sound effects 
    came from in the game. They were all experimentally procedural. 
    For the musical tunes, Tom Fosha wrote a seperate multi-tone player, and 
    composed the tunes himself which were used for all the melodies in the game. He 
    was really into jazz, and that came over beautifully in the game. 
    OK, back to the game. I wanted to somehow allow you to shoot out more walls to 
    hold in the eggs. So I put little locks on the screen randomly. When you shot a 
    line which hit a lock, it would shoot two lines out perpendicular to your line. 
    If any of these lines hit another lock, you would get a cascade effect. When 
    enough locks appeared it could be pretty cool visually. But the problem was that 
    so many walls evenly distributed could trap the eggs near the outside of the 
    rectangle (instead of the middle) and they'd just bounce & eat their way out to 
    the outside anyway. 
    So then I made the distribution of the locks more towards the four corners. This 
    tended to make solid walls around the outer edge, which helped, but you could 
    still trap the eggs near the outside and they'd still escape. That's about the 
    time when I said that seeing a big crab get killed by eggs which turned to 
    little tadpoles was a bit goofy. I suggested that we change the crab to a person 
    who ran around the rectangle and where he ran he would lay bricks which would 
    fill from the outside in. The brick laying would stop if there was an enemy 
    there so that there would be a clear space for it to return to the center. 
    I suggested we change the eggs to animals which kept their form when they 
    escaped, and would similarly kill the guy if he didn't jump over them. Since the 
    guy was trying to keep the animals in then it seemed to make sense that he was a 
    Zoo Keeper (I believe this was in a meeting with Ray Heidel, the Engineering 
    Director). So we put a small cage in the center from which the animals escaped. 
    I thought it would be cool to allow the Zoo Keeper to have a net which he used 
    on the escaped animals which would put them back in the cage. And so I made the 
    time line fuse which burned down, and along it were nets which would briefly 
    give the Zoo Keeper this power. The actual art made the net look more like a 
    frying pan (by accident), but that seemed pretty cool so I kept it and gave it 
    an appropriate sound and effect when hitting the animals. I thought it'd be 
    great to flash the entire screen for 1 frame when you did this. It had a pretty 
    amazing subliminal effect on the excitement level. 
    In the original version, when the animals escaped the rectangle they would 
    randomly decide whether to run clockwise or counter clockwise. This made it hard 
    to survive since you couldn't predict their behavior if they escaped near you, 
    and having roughly half of the animals running each way made it pretty hard to 
    survive for long by jumping over them. So I decided that when the animal 
    escaped, it would run in the direction away from you (where you were at that 
    time). This way they wouldn't escape near you and run into you, so you'd have a 
    lot of warning before they got you. 
    I made the reward for jumping over animals based on how many animals you jumped 
    over. For each extra animal I roughly doubled the score. This continued for as 
    many animals there were maximum in the game (16ish or so?, it's been a long time 
    :-) So if you jumped a really massive number of animals you would get a 
    gazillion points. But how do you get the animals to clump up for such a massive 
    That's when I decided to remove the initial bricks around the rectangle at the 
    start of a level. I delayed the initial animals escaping the cage, to give you 
    time to drop down and start laying the wall as you saw fit. The trick was to run 
    in one direction and cover just slightly over 50% of the rectangle with a wall 
    and then just stop. This would allow the animals to immediately escape, but 
    they'd always run away from you which forced them to all go in the same 
    direction. And since they were in the same direction it was easier to survive, 
    and since different animals moved at different speeds, they would tend to clump 
    together periodically so you could wait for that to happen and then jump over a 
    huge number of animals in a single jump - and voila - you could get huge scores! 
    Now, when the net came out, you would only want to knock in the animals that 
    were running opposite to the direction of the herd. This you'd try to stand near 
    a hole to force the escaping animals to run in the same direction as the herd. 
    This pretty much completed the game play of the initial level. It was really 
    fun, but I wanted to have something more to break up the monotiny. So I came up 
    with the idea of the ledge screen. You started at the bottom and could jump up 
    on the moving ledges to get to your girl and save her. She was help captive by a 
    gorilla throwing coconuts at you which would kill you (yeah, a bit of 
    inspiration from Donkey Kong was going on here). I think it was Keith who came 
    up with the name of Zeke and Zelda for the Zoo Keeper and his lady. 
    I decided to make the ledges come out in a pre-determined sequence to reward the 
    experienced player in that they would learn their preferred sequence of jumps to 
    get safely to the top. This level was pretty cool, but I wondered what else I 
    could do. 
    So, I came up with the idea of the escalator screen (similar to the ledge screen 
    but with a different game play layout). This time when Zeke got to the top Zelda 
    would give him a kiss. 
    Now you could cycle between these 3 levels for as long as a person could 
    survive. If they made it far enough to loop back to levels they'd already done, 
    I'd just speed things up a bit each time. Eventually they wouldn't be able to 
    survive. For added coolness, I made the last escalator level so that when you 
    saved Zelda a curtain would draw down over both of you, and a whole bunch of 
    kisses would be all that appear. I wanted to make the kisses go up and down but 
    we thought that would be a bit too much :-) 
    Anyway, I got to be pretty good at the game and could survive longer and longer. 
    I decided to add a visually frantic feel to the game at these levels by cycling 
    the color of the outer background. This massive color cycling effect would 
    slightly distort the screen image due to power blooming of the monitor. This 
    really cranked up the adrenaline. I'd survive so long that I'd have the maximum 
    number of animals out in almost the same direction and jumping almost all of 
    them at once occasionally for some phenominal score. This whole time I did this 
    I was wrenching the joystick like I was going to break it off and the whole 
    machine was rocking like the back seat in a drive in. I knew something was 
    happening here. 
    Then I survived so long that I came to a ledge screen where the ledges had 
    disappeared completely. Seems I found a bug. But the thrown coconuts were 
    bouncing off of them even though they were invisible. So I gave jumping a try. 
    Remember that the ledge sequence was completely predictable and I had gotten 
    quite familiar with it. So I actually had a chance of getting to the top. That's 
    when I decided to not fix the bug, but make it a feature (I guess the old saying 
    "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" really did apply here). 
    We were ready to test the game. I put in the needed diagnostics so the operator 
    could control it. Since speed of the game was key to how long people could play, 
    I made two operator speed adjustments. The first controlled the speed when a 
    person initiall joined. The second controlled the speed when a person played for 
    a long time. We put the machine out on test and I watched the players and timed 
    them with a stopwatch. Then I tweaked these adjustments until they seemed 
    optimal for fun and earnings. 
    The game went out in 1983 and was about the number three game of the year 
    nationwide, which was quite good. Unfortunately, this was right at the time when 
    the whole arcade market took one huge dive, so the game only sold a fraction of 
    what it would have if completed just a year earlier. As Keith said, "The cash 
    box is a cruel mistress!" It is indeed. "
    (       found on the Giant List of Classic Game Programmers at:              )
    (                 http://www.dadgum.com/giantlist/                           )
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= CONCLUSION =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    Contact Info
    E-mail:    slodeth@iname.com
    ICQ UIN:   15025844
    Web Page:  http://go.to/SloDethFAQs
    E-mail Rules(abbreviated):  Please be intelligent!  If I can understand you, you 
    will get an intelligent and polite response, most likely.  Use your best 
    judgment.  Praise is appreciated, as well as constructive criticism.
    Please do not distribute this guide in any way without my explicit permission.
    I'm sure you could use it and mutilate it to your pleasing, but I'd appreciate
    it if you ask permission first.  Do not sell this guide, or do anything to pass
    it off as your own guide.  I am well aware of my rights, and I will take the
    necessary actions to protect my work.  Check out 
    http://www.templetons.com/brad/copyright.html if you have any doubts.
    Or, as they say, This document Copyright 2001 by Martin Silbiger.
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