Jim Storer
Lunar Landing Game Related Documents

After some articles in 2009 about the history of computer games, I had a number of requests for old documents relating to the Lunar Landing Game (made on a PDP-8/I at the Lexington MA high school following the 1969 Apollo moon landing); here is some stuff from an old box of TTY tapes and printouts, along with some related things.

Lunar Landing Game
(a.k.a "Lunar Lander Game", "Moon Landing Game", "Rocket")
Technologizer Article 2009 from http://technologizer.com/2009/07/19/lunar-lander

Article from Mr. Walker's Blog 2009 from http://mrwalker.greshamhs.org/2009/09/the-first-great-computer-game-lunar-lander

Article by Grant Robinson, 2009 from http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2009/07/20/worlds-oldest-time-waster-lunar-lander

Guardian Article 2019 from https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/jul/18/how-the-moon-landings-inspired-a-generation-of-game-designers

Wikipedia Article from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Lander_(video_game_series)

Article from Atari Archives from http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/showpage.php?page=106

"Rocket" Description from 101 Basic Games

Lexington High School "System Symptoms" Moon Landing Article 1/13/1970

Lunar Landing Game Submission to DECUS

Lunar Landing Game Source Code Listing
Lunar Landing Game Source Code Listing - transcribed text (thanks to M. Markowitz)

Lunar Landing Game Sample Output - fail

Lunar Landing Game Sample Output - success

2019 Lunar Lander Simulator
In September 2019 Stefan Trenkel published a web simulator for Lunar Lander:
He said that the code was implemented to operate as close to the original code as possible. In fact when run using the same numbers as the two original sample outputs shown above, the results are nearly identical. Here are screen shots (for the second game, the mistake of first typing a zero instead of the letter O to type NO was duplicated):
Lunar Landing Game Simulator Sample Output - fail

Lunar Landing Game Simulator Sample Output - success
Playing on the simulator reminds one that, although it is a very simple user interface, the game is not so easy to win if you have not already seen others play. Here some screen shots. The first always chooses 75 fuel rate and results in a crash with fuel left, and the second always chooses a 76 fuel rate and results in a crash with no fuel left. The third screen shot shows a horrible game where fuel was aggressively used (even mistakenly trying to use more that a rate of 200) and it ends with the lander briefly rising up, running out of fuel still at a high altitude, and then free falling and crashing hard.
Lunar Landing Game Simulator Example - fuel left

Lunar Landing Game Simulator Example - fuel out

Lunar Landing Game Simulator Example - horrible game
* See also the 2023 RetroFocal software of M. Markowitz.

2020 Lunar Lander Translations
Here are some Lundar Lander translations created by Kristopher Johnson in 2020; I tried the c program and it compiled and ran nicely in a terminal window on my mac.

c translation

FORTRAN translation

COBOL translation

Rust translation

Other Stuff
Moon Landing Wikipedia Page, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing

Excerpts from 101 Basic Computer Games (16 pages)
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 138, 139, 140, 182, 183, 184, 253
Project Local:
Local Link News Letter (pdf 22 pages, April 1970)
"Project Local - Bridging the Gap" (pdf 7 pages, from ACM SIGCUE 9:Sl, Jan. 1, 1975
Haven Article (pdf 1 page, American Association of Physics Teachers, 1972)
Lexington High School PDP-8 Photo (Getty image, found by J. Cook)

PDP-8 Wikipedia Article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pdp8

TSS-8 Wikipedia Article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TSS-8

FOCAL Wikipedia Article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOCAL_(programming_language)

BASIC Wikipedia Article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC
Pollution Game
(a.k.a. "King")
"King" Article from Atari Archives from http://www.atariarchives.org/basicgames/showpage.php?page=96

"King" Description from 101 Basic Games

"Pollute" Article of "Call A Computer"

Check Stub from Sale Of Pollution Game to "Call A Computer"

Pollution Game Submission to DECUS

Pollution Game Source Code Listing (5 pages), or Pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Hammurabi, known as "Hamurabi"
(A DEC Game That Motivated the Pollution Game)
Hamurabi Wikipedia Article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamurabi

Hamurabi Lexington High School Handout 9/9/1969

Hamurabi Source Code Listing (1 page)
GE 200 Series Wikipedia Article from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE-200_series (the GE-265 computer was reported to be used by "Call A Computer")

Golden Lunar Lander Machine Learning Page from http://www.learningmachines101.com/lm101-049-experiment-lunar-lander-software