Crossbow is a video arcade game released by Exidy in 1983. It was later published by Absolute Entertainment for the Commodore 64, DOS and by Atari for the 2600, 7800 and XE Game System starting in 1987. It was the first arcade game with fully digitized sound and speech (some earlier games such as Journey used a loop tape for music and speech effects). It also featured some of the most advanced graphics of the time. Crossbow featured an optical light gun. The game's light gun resembled a full-sized crossbow.
Gameplay requires the player to protect a band of adventurers (referred to as 'friends' by the game) from afar by shooting objects that threaten them. The adventurers enter from the left-hand side of the screen and attempt to cross the screen unharmed. If the player helps them reach the opposite side of the screen safely, the adventurers survive to the next scenario, and new adventurers are occasionally granted between scenarios.
In addition to the obstacles, the adventurers are vulnerable to the player's shots. The first time the player shoots an adventurer, an on-screen message is shown: 'DON'T SHOOT YOUR FRIENDS!' Thereafter, shooting an adventurer will cause him/her to emit a cry of pain, and to walk at a slower pace the rest of the way. A second shot will kill the adventurer.
Scenarios are chosen by shooting a destination on a map screen, which include: town, desert, volcano, cave, bridge, jungle, and castle. The goal is to reach the final scenario, past the castle, in which the player confronts the Master—who presumably created the dangers in the game. Defeating Master of Darkness to Shoot the a red eyes wins the game. The player is treated to a brief congratulation and a challenge to defeat the Master again, but if you dare. Following this screen the player starts over with however many adventurers survived the confrontation.
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You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller in Amazon or in some of your favorite online stores.