Hacker was a game of espionage for the Atari ST, written by Steve Cartwright and released by Activision in 1985.
The game came with no instructions. Starting up gives you a logon prompt, and you can try to guess the password. After a few failed attempts, a system error occurs, and you will find yourself accidentally logged in after performing a diagnostic test on some sort of robot. Over the course of the game, you navigate the robot around the world through tunnels and trade with spies for information. Eventually you will discover the evil plants of Magma, Ltd. and can put a stop to them.
This was a game you had to replay many times, each time gaining more information. You need to figure out how much cash you start with, what to trade with whom, map out the tunnels, and take other notes on things you may need to answer security questions. Eventually you learn where the test site is and can bypass the system error / diagnostic test and just jump right into the game. You need to work out the shortest route, because the game is timed by the number of moves you make, and if you make one mistake, you’ll get disconnected before you finish. Most of the spies don’t speak English, but you should quickly figure out what’s going on. I had a lot of fun trying to figure this thing out when I was younger.
After the end game sequence I show what happens when you take too many moves, which ends the game but also leads to the game title screen (very unusual place for it, but appropriate).
0:00 – Beginning
1:12 – A system error lets you in!
1:53 – Learn your robot.
2:54 – Set your name and time zone.
5:10 – First trade in Switzerland.
15:02 – Get nicked by the security sweep. Better check your notes…
16:35 – Another error disables your navigation system, hope you have a map.
23:30 – Get the last piece of the document in San Francisco.
24:54 – Show it to the FBI and win the game!
26:10 – …or take too long and lose the game.
26:39 – Credits.
27:24 – Start of the game if you know the password.
Solution used is here: http://www.cheatbook.de/wfiles/hackerfaq.htm
– Unit number is different.
– You want to buy Stocks and Bonds in Japan instead of the diamond.
– Trade the jade carving in Cuba, and the camera in London.
Video created with SainT emulator: http://leonard.oxg.free.fr/SainT/saint.html
You can find this game on Automation disk 202, though I had trouble getting that to run on SainT, so I used a different disk image for this video. The audio in SainT was also a bit glitchy, but I tried to edit out the offensive noise bursts by hand. Sorry if I missed any.