INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [#5305]
Release #29 May 6, 1982
Working title: Attacker
Design & Program: Steve Montero
Graphics: Peter Allen
Sound: Russ Lieblich
Package Illustration: Jerrol Richardson
Steve Montero is an expert on robotics, so it was natural for him to program Night Stalker. In development late in 1981, the game was a favorite with other programmers, who didn't need their arms twisted to spend hours testing it. Unfortunately, the first time Marketing brought in some 12-year-old kid to try it out, he got further than any of the programmers had. A new, tougher robot had to be added to the game, at the cost of losing one of the best features: the spider's web (the game was only 4K in size). Originally, as the spider crawled around the maze it left a web that would slow you down considerably as you ran through it. You could shoot the web away, but you'd use up bullets. Without the web, the spider became like the bats: just a nuisance.
After Night Stalker was finished, game cartridges began getting larger in size, so Steve proposed Ms. Night Stalker, a 12K sequel that would include the web and all the other features he had wanted, including multiple weapons (bazookas to blast through walls!), multiple scrolling mazes and smarter robots. Marketing shelved the idea and Steve was assigned to program Space Shuttle instead, which may have been a contributing factor toward Steve leaving Mattel and the game industry not long after.
Mattel Electronics released M Network versions of Night Stalker for the Atari 2600, the Apple II and the IBM PC. (The Atari 2600 version was called Dark Cavern.) A version was also released for the Aquarius Home Computer System.