HaiTaku 8-Way 8-Bit Extravaganza: The Solution

Seven-and-a-half out of eight ain't bad, as Meatloaf never sang. Kotaku readers managed to crack almost every part of yesterday's special 8-part HaiTaku dedicated to 1980s 8-bit classics. If none of it made sense to you, here's the full solution — including the clue no-one properly understood.

#1 I eat endlessly in endless corridors of dark blinking terror.

An easy one to start with. This is a straightforward outline of Pac-Man. (Buried clue: Blinky is the English language nickname for the red monster.) Gooky was the first one to get this right.

#2 My feet become cold. Those diamonds take forever. What's that buzzing noise?

This is a fairly literal description of Pengo, as DrCurlytek correctly deduced. Pengo involved kicking iceblocks, moving diamonds around and killing Sno-Bees — all referenced in the haiku. The Bond/Shirley Bassey reference was purely for my own amusement.

#3 This looks familiar. This reminds me of something. Batteries are fine.

It took a while, but Gundamguy eventually clicked that these are all quotes from the classic Seinfeld episode "The Frogger", where George unsuccessfully attempts to preserve a Frogger machine on which he has the high score:

#4 Jumping and jumping, some leaping, lots of scorching. Don't monkey around.

Donkey Kong: Easy! Mario has to jump over barrels to the top of the construction site to try and attack Donkey Kong (a monkey), while the barrels themselves end up burning in a steel drum. Cephalxn! was the first to answer this correctly.

#5 Pulling over lose energy, push on speed it's the issue of now.

Lots of people guessed this might be a racing game ("pulling over" made that fairly obvious). falkirion001 eventually worked out it was Pole Position, but couldn't actually explain why that was the best possible answer. This is why:

Pulling Over Lose Energy,  
Push On Speed It's The Issue Of Now.

So there you go.

#6 Closing in on me Dark forces cold and unseen Oh my hip pocket

DrCurlytek scored a second win by recognising these as lyrics from the Player One pop classic 'Space Invaders':

But we'll also give bonus points for 35's answer of "EA's fetish for microtransactions", even if it's the wrong era.

#7 The layers of dirt connect with my openings — Watch out for the rocks!

A double victory for Gooky, who identified the core elements of Dig Dug in this description — tunnelling through dirt and using rocks to destroy enemies while being careful not to kill yourself.

#8 Get to two hundred and fifty-six and you'll find every thing stops.

Pac-Man makes a second appearance, this time because of the infamous bug in the original arcade version which meant it crashed after 255 levels. B-ob spotted that one fairly quickly. My trouble-making colleague Chris Jager suggested that the level-255 kill screen meant that the "endless corridors" in clue #1 were deceptive, but in my head those were a reference to the continuous tunnels from left to right, not the non-existent "endless" nature of the game.

Thanks for playing, everyone — I had a blast, hope you did too.


    Thanks for the revival. I sucked, but I enjoyed sucking, so it was okay.

    You are a devious man. Love that Pole Position one.

    Dig Dug also has a kill screen at level 256. #8 was too vague.


      But Dig Dug wouldn't give the list symmetry the way Pac-Man did. I like symmetry.

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