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You are Pitfall Harry, a dashing explorer who cannot resist a chance at fame, an opportunity to face untold dangers, and most importantly, the lure of treasure. So it should come as no surprise that you're placed inside a jungle filled with scorpions, rolling logs, disappearing pits, raging fires, snapping crocodiles and deadly cobras.
Don't worry, you are a world famous adventurer, so you'll be able to jump over enemies, swing on vines and climb ladders to find shortcuts. Besides survival, the aim of the game is to collect 32 pieces of treasure, consisting of gold bars, diamond rings, money bags and silver bars. There's also a time limit: Harry has twenty minutes to find the treasure and return to the starting point, which means traversing through 255 jungle scenes.
You'll begin the game with three lives and 2,000 points, but your score will decrease with every hole you fall down or log you hit. Other hazards such as scorpions, pits or fire will take one of Harry's remaining lives. The ultimate goal in Pitfall! is to achieve a perfect score of 114,000 points while making it back in time. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide