Encyclopedia > MIDI Maze

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An early first person shooter video game for the Atari ST developed by Hybrid Arts and released around 1987. It is mainly remembered now for the innovation multiplayer "deathmatch" combat by the construction of networks using the MIDI interface.

Up to 16 computers could be networked in a "MIDI ring" by connecting one computers MIDI-Out port to the next computer's MIDI-In port, although more than 4 players tended to slow down the game to a crawl and make it unstable.

Graphically the game was very simple with a humorous twist. The game area itself occupied only roughly one fourth of the screen and consisted of a first person view of a flat-shaded Pac Man-like maze with a cross-hair in the middle. All players were shown as 3D-rendered smileys in various colors. Shots were illustrated as small balls which were shot at each other.

The game was started by one designated master machine which set rules, divided players into teams and selected a maze. A number of mazes were supplied with the game and additional mazes could be constructed using one of various 3rd party tools.

The game was very popular at gatherings of Atari ST users until the end of the Atari ST era circa 1993. A MIDI Maze II game was later developed by Sigma-Soft and contained a lot of gameplay improvements, but lacked some in finish and ease of use.

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