Cannons and Castles

When I was in 7th grade at Kraxberger Middle School in Gladstone, Oregon, I got hooked on an Apple II game called Cannons and Castles. It's a two-player game in which each player tries to blow up their opponent's castle by typing the angle and velocity of the shot they want to fire, keeping in mind a hill and the wind.

A friend of mine showed me how to edit the BASIC code to make the game do all sorts of strange things - from changing the messages to making the entire screen explode in a “nuclear holocaust”. On my own, I figured out how to turn the whole screen upside-down. I still have a 5¼" disk with about twenty variations of this game saved on it.

My 8th grade year, the school got a new Macintosh lab, and I sort of lost interest in Cannons and Castles. However, I began to learn how to use HyperCard, and started doing some amazing things with it. I continued working with HyperCard, and came up with the crazy idea of porting Cannons and Castles to HyperCard. BASIC and HyperTalk are completely dissimilar languages, but I decided to try it. After working on it off-and-on for about two years, I finally finished it. However, I realized that there was a lot more I could do - add color, use more XCMDs for effects, saved games, etc. I began working on version 2.0, starting over from scratch and adding pieces of code from my first version.

The result of my efforts is finally here. Cannons and Castles for Macintosh is a shareware game created in HyperCard. It requires HyperCard 2.2 or higher (or HyperCard Player 2.2 or higher), System 6.0.5 or higher (compatible with Mac OS 9), and at least 2 MB of available RAM. You may download the game and play it for up to 30 days, after which time I ask that you either delete it or send me the $5 registration fee.


Download Cannons and Castles 2.1 (410 KiB)

Current Status

Version 2.1 fixes a few bugs and improves some things. Among the changes:

There is a bug involving fonts, which causes the title and the rules to display incorrectly (kinda squished up left-of-center). I haven't gotten around to tracking this down and fixing it yet.

Getting HyperCard

All newer Macs (all PowerMacs and some 68040 machines) come with the HyperCard Player. Use the Find File command to search for HyperCard. Choose Get Info from the File menu to make sure the version number is at least 2.2. If so, great. If not, when you try to open Cannons and Castles you'll get an error message saying you either don't have it or it's too old a version. If you can't find it on your hard drive, check your Mac OS (or System Software) install CD (or disks) to see if you can install it from there.

If you don't have the HyperCard Player, or if you just want to download the latest version (version 2.2 is not PowerPC native and therefore runs slowly on PowerMacs), you can download version 2.4.1 of the HyperCard Player from Apple.


The HyperCard Player is set to use 1024K of memory by default. For Cannons and Castles, you'll probably need to increase that number to about 2000K. To do this, go to the Finder (the basic desktop with folders and windows and stuff), find the HyperCard application (the icon look like a stack of cards with a hand holding a pencil over them), single-click the application, choose Get Info from the File menu. In newer versions of the Mac OS, select Memory from the popup menu. Change the Preferred Size at the bottom to 2000. If you have a large monitor (more than 640x480 pixels), you might need to use 3000. If it's set too low, you'll get an error message either saying there's not enough memory to load the game, or there's not enough memory to use color.

Shareware Registration

If you like the game, please pay for it! I worked on this game off-and-on for several years, and five dollars isn't that much money. Please include the ID code number listed in the game (on the shareware message and at the bottom of the About text). I'd welcome any comments you might have as well.


“I must say, these games usually bore the hell out of me, but I thought Cannons and Castles was pretty cool. Good work!”
“That was a great game and you did an EXCELLENT job converting it to Mac... The game is just as fun as before but even better with the sound effects and color graphics... Like I said, my girlfriend and I had a great time playing C&C. We played a couple of games against each other and then I had to do some other stuff on another computer so she played several games against herself. One time while I was on the other computer she said 'okay, I'm going to play a game against you and you're going first, come over here.' I replied, 'it's okay, just type in these values for me, 45 and 183.' Then she said 'yeah, but you can't even see the terrain or wind.' And I said, 'It's okay, just use those settings please for my first shot.' So she typed them in for me and hit return. Phooot, Kerblam! Ping, ping ping ping. I got her on my first shot without even seeing the screen!!!! Boy was she a poor loser on that one!”
“I downloaded your game, it is cool!” - Frédéric Rinaldi
“It's a fun, addictive game...”


Cannons and Castles is available for download from my home page, MacWare on Erehwon, various Info-Mac mirrors around the world. It's also listed on,, The HyperCard Gamers Group, VersionTracker; Mac 68k Games; and Apple's Mac OS Software and Hardware Guide. The Software of the Month Club included the game on its March '98 CD-ROMs and disks. Apparently Washington Apple Pi included it on their CD Pi Fillings Goes to School, but didn't bother to tell me.