This page will contain blogs about Icy Tower, as they become available.|
Icy Tower is a freeware video game created by Johan Peitz of Free Lunch Design, inspired by Xjump. In the game, the player controls Harold the Homeboy whose goal is to climb the tower as high as he can by jumping up floors, and earn points while doing so.
The Tower consists of floors in different sizes and is of infinite height. The player's goal is to reach higher and higher floors without falling (i.e. jumping but missing a floor and falling past the bottom of the screen), as well as to keep ahead and above of the ever-faster upward scrolling of the game (explained under 'Scrolling').
Your character will constantly accelerate as long as it moves. The faster it runs, the higher and longer it will jump. Hitting walls (the sides of the tower) and immediately turning around generally maintains your character's speed.
As the player escalates the tower, it will start to scroll upwards slowly and the player will have to keep up in order to not fall off the screen. This is not so hard in the beginning since the scrolling is very slow, but every 30 seconds, an alarm clock will sound and the scrolling will go slightly faster. There is a clock in the upper left corner of the screen that shows how much time is left until the next speed-up.
You will get 10 points for each floor you reach. This alone will not gain you any great scores however. To be really victorious, you will have to make cool jumps, combo-jumps, for which you will be awarded n2 points for every n floors jumped in one combo.
Players either thrive for the highest score they can achieve (by making the biggest combo they can jump), or to reach the highest floor they can.
After making a combo-jump, you are given a reward as well as points. The bigger the combo, the greater the reward. As of 1.2, rewards are simply a flashy message along with the following words, spoken after the player has successfully finished a combo.
Every 100 floors, the floor type (the way the floors look) changes. As of version 1.2, there are a total of 10 floor types, type 1 being floors 0-99 and type 10 being floors 900 and above. Version 1.3 features one more floor type (called "chain-floor"), which starts off from floor 1000, and can not be unlocked or seen in lower floors.
Icy Tower features the ability to start the game with a floor type of your choice, but only after you have successfully landed on the actual floor where that particular type begins.
Version 1.2 introduced the ability to save replays of games. This gives the player the ability to provide proof of their highest scores, combos and floors. The offspring of this ability is the global High Score List, which lists the best Icy Tower scores, combos, and floors, and allows internet users to download replays of those events.
Note: You must have Icy Tower installed on your computer to view downloaded replays.
Version 1.2 introduced the ability to play with custom characters. Icy Tower comes with two default characters: Harold the Homeboy and Disco Dave. Icy Tower also comes with a template character, allowing fans to create their own characters, with their own graphics, sound effects, and background music. Characters can be downloaded from the internet. The Icy Tower resource page or Icy Tower fan page offers some of them.
A few mods exist for the game. Some of them are graphical mods, and some of them change the gameplay. The following are gameplay mods by RamboBones, which work only for version 1.2:
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The following are gameplay mods by RamboBones, which work only for version 1.2:. Clips from early episodes—including several from the Woolery–Stafford era, early Sajak daytime episodes and Vanna's first show—surfaced on the recent E! True Hollywood Story episode chronicling the show's history. Some of them are graphical mods, and some of them change the gameplay. (Although Vanna's first episode indeed exists, some sources say that most of the remaining daytime episodes up until about 1984 have been destroyed.). A few mods exist for the game. The status of the Sajak/Benirschike/Goen daytime versions is unknown, though it is likely that all of Vanna White's episodes were preserved since a clip of her first show was played during the 1997 April Fools episode of Wheel, in the 4000th episode celebration. The Icy Tower resource page or Icy Tower fan page offers some of them. All Sajak syndicated episodes are intact, however, and have been shown on GSN.
Characters can be downloaded from the internet. Most of the Woolery–Stafford episodes are believed to have been destroyed by NBC, which still has yet to be proven; however, surviving examples circulate among—and are treasured by—game show tape traders. Icy Tower also comes with a template character, allowing fans to create their own characters, with their own graphics, sound effects, and background music. A clip was shown in the 3000th episode celebration in 1998. Icy Tower comes with two default characters: Harold the Homeboy and Disco Dave. The original pilot with the host Edd "Kooky" Byrnes still exists from 1974, this pilot was made for NBC. Version 1.2 introduced the ability to play with custom characters. FORTUNE!" audience chant that comes from a machine when a player gets to spin the wheel.
Note: You must have Icy Tower installed on your computer to view downloaded replays.. OF .. The offspring of this ability is the global High Score List, which lists the best Icy Tower scores, combos, and floors, and allows internet users to download replays of those events. Indeed, one can hardly walk through a casino anywhere on the continent without repeatedly hearing the "WHEEL .. This gives the player the ability to provide proof of their highest scores, combos and floors. The Wheel slot machines are widely believed to be the most popular slot machines ever distributed in North America. Version 1.2 introduced the ability to save replays of games. In 2004, a version featuring Sajak and White was produced as a "Special Ediiton," the only machines in the series to feature human voices, aside from the familiar show-opening audience chant.
Icy Tower features the ability to start the game with a floor type of your choice, but only after you have successfully landed on the actual floor where that particular type begins. These also feature wide-area progressive jackpots. Version 1.3 features one more floor type (called "chain-floor"), which starts off from floor 1000, and can not be unlocked or seen in lower floors. In more recent years, as video-based slot machines with many paylines have become popular, video versions of Wheel machines have appeared, all with the familiar wheel above the screen. As of version 1.2, there are a total of 10 floor types, type 1 being floors 0-99 and type 10 being floors 900 and above. Lining up three "Wheel of Fortune" symbols wins the progressive jackpot, which is usually linked with other Wheel machines throughout a given state and reaches into the millions of dollars. Every 100 floors, the floor type (the way the floors look) changes. When a "SPIN" symbol lines up on any reel, the player presses a button to start the wheel spinning, and a player could win as many as 1,000 credits (with no "Bankrupt" wedges).
As of 1.2, rewards are simply a flashy message along with the following words, spoken after the player has successfully finished a combo. The first machines (and still the most popular) featured standard IGT traditional three-reel slot machines, each with a reporoduction of the show's famous wheel above the reels. The bigger the combo, the greater the reward. International Gaming Technology licensed the rights to make Wheel-based games in the 1980s. After making a combo-jump, you are given a reward as well as points. Given creator Merv Griffin's fondness for gambling (including being a successful casino owner), it would seem natural that Wheel would be featured as the basis for a slot machine. Players either thrive for the highest score they can achieve (by making the biggest combo they can jump), or to reach the highest floor they can. (see Wheel 2000).
To be really victorious, you will have to make cool jumps, combo-jumps, for which you will be awarded n2 points for every n floors jumped in one combo. (see Wheel in Culture). This alone will not gain you any great scores however. Plus often times the four letters the contestants choose would not be in the puzzle. You will get 10 points for each floor you reach. Since then, the difficulty of the bonus puzzles has gone up, sometimes with only 1 or 2 instances of the automatic letters appearing in the puzzle. There is a clock in the upper left corner of the screen that shows how much time is left until the next speed-up. The contestant is then given the reduced time of 10 seconds to solve the puzzle.
This is not so hard in the beginning since the scrolling is very slow, but every 30 seconds, an alarm clock will sound and the scrolling will go slightly faster. Starting in 1988, the contestant was automatically given the R, S, T, L, N and E, and the aforementioned 3+1 selection was given to the contestant. As the player escalates the tower, it will start to scroll upwards slowly and the player will have to keep up in order to not fall off the screen. Occasionally, puzzles would feature none of these letters (or the selections would only produce one or two letters); at that point, the host would allow the contestant to pick three more constants and one more vowel. Hitting walls (the sides of the tower) and immediately turning around generally maintains your character's speed. A statistical analysis shows that R, S, T, L, N, and E are the best choices, and these were almost always selected by contestants. The faster it runs, the higher and longer it will jump. Contestants stood behind the wheel during the bonus round during the first week; after that, they would be standing on the other side of the wheel, with the chosen prize just upstage, and the "Wheel of Fortune" logo on the floor (sometimes a car would be between the wheel & the puzzle board, causing the logo to not be shown).
Your character will constantly accelerate as long as it moves. If correct, he/she won the prize. jumping but missing a floor and falling past the bottom of the screen), as well as to keep ahead and above of the ever-faster upward scrolling of the game (explained under 'Scrolling'). The contestant was given 15 seconds to solve the puzzle. The player's goal is to reach higher and higher floors without falling (i.e. He/she then was asked to choose 5 consonants and a vowel. The Tower consists of floors in different sizes and is of infinite height. He/she then was presented a puzzle and told its category.
. When it debuted in 1981, the winner of that's day/night's show chose a prize (tagged with a special gold star, usually worth $1,500 or more). In the game, the player controls Harold the Homeboy whose goal is to climb the tower as high as he can by jumping up floors, and earn points while doing so. Pat Sajak's first show in 1981 was also when the current bonus round became permanent. Icy Tower is a freeware video game created by Johan Peitz of Free Lunch Design, inspired by Xjump. Then, there was the possibility that the Star Bonus token would not be landed on at all; plus, some haphazard editing also irked viewers. RamboMod - enables customization of the speed and floor sizes of the game. Also, the Star Bonus prizes were available during shopping rounds, meaning a dominant player could buy that $13,000 Chevrolet Corvette and thus render an opponent's Star Bonus token useless (since no available prize would allow him/her to overtake the first-place player).
SolidFloor - floors are completely solid, so you can't jump on them from below. It was possible for the day's eventual first-place contestant to land on the Star Bonus. ProFloor - the floors are shorter. Critics of this format point to several flaws, most notably that merely landing on the space did not guarantee the Star Bonus would be played. FastFloor - the game goes slightly (~120%) faster. As before, the contestant was asked to pick 4 consonants and a vowel, then given 15 seconds to attempt to solve the puzzle. The contestant had to play for a prize that was more than the difference between him/her and the first-place contestant; just like the hour-long Bonus Round, the prize's value corresponded with the puzzle's difficulty.
If the contestant landed on the wedge, he/she was provisionally entitled to play the Bonus Round if he/she was the second- or third-place contestant that day. A special "Star Bonus" disc was placed on the wheel. The "Star Bonus" round was played for a time in 1978, which would enable a second- or third-place contestant to possibly become champion by solving a Bonus Round-type puzzle. The prizes varied widely.
For example, if the contestant chose an easy puzzle, he/she might win a $1,000 television-stereo console, while solving a difficult puzzle would win them a $13,000 Cadillac Eldorado. If the puzzle was solved, they won a prize based on the puzzle's difficulty. Then they were given 15 seconds to guess the puzzle. When they chose the puzzle, they were asked to give 4 consonants and a vowel.
The winner of the show would play a sort of bonus round, and have the choice of 4 different puzzles—easy, medium, hard, and difficult. version tinkered with a bonus round format for 6 weeks in 1975, when the show was 1 hour long. The U.S. Several versions of the Bonus Round – including the long-familiar format introduced in 1981 – have been used, and are detailed below.
Occurrences of these letters are revealed and the contestant has a small amount of time, but as many guesses as necessary, to solve the puzzle. A final puzzle is put up and the contestant chooses several consonants and a vowel. The record for the most money won in the speed-up round is $54,000, set during a February 2005 episode from Las Vegas and again in October 2005. To save on TV air time, those spins are edited out for broadcast, unless they may be found especially humorous.
In other versions, the host gives a random spin. Since an average spin is around one rotation, this increases the odds greatly. version, for example, the Speed-Up Round often, in more recent shows, starts before the round has begun, at which point the wheel is pointed at the $5,000 space. In the U.S.
On some versions, such as in the U.S., the host intentionally aims for the top dollar value with the final spin; the wheel is set to give the host a better chance of hitting it. Previously, the speed-up round was often anticlimactic, especially when the leader had a huge lead over the second- and third-place contestants and Sajak landed on a small dollar amount. seasons beginning in late 1999, $1,000 is added to the value of the final spin (for example, landing on $550 means consonants are worth $1,550). In recent U.S.
This round had background music in late 2000. The audience is told to remain silent so the answer is not accidentally revealed. In slower games, the final spin will start the fourth round. Oftentimes, the speed-up round occurs in the middle of a round (usually the fourth round) although some fast-paced games continue to a fifth and, rarely, a sixth round.
The prize awarded, like the regular round, is proportional to the number of correct letters; unlike the regular round, they don't get another turn if they guess correctly. When the round commences, each player in turn is given the opportunity to guess one letter, and a few seconds to solve the puzzle if they guess correctly. In this round, a fixed dollar amount is set by one final spin of the wheel by the host - if the host spins bankrupt or lose-a-turn, or a remaining prize (when they were on the board on the final round), he spins again. Late in the game, if a fourth round has not been played or time is running short in the middle of a round, four consecutive bells are sounded, signifying the start of the speed-up round.
It is not known how the five digits are computed, and it is possible that either the numbers are randomly generated or how they come up with the digits is kept a secret. The 2 letters are the winning home viewer's first and last initials. Apparently somewhere around this time, the prizes given away became exclusively trips. The rules for claiming the car are the same as the Prize Puzzle rules.).
(Also, starting in the 2005-2006 season, if a contestant won a car in the Bonus Round, a home viewer with the matching SPIN ID would also won the same car as the on-air contestant. only) were given a chance to win the same prize as the contestants with a "Special Prize Identification Number" (S.P.I.N), consisting the first letter of their first and last name, and five numbers (example: AB12345) from the show's web site, and having 24 hours to log on and claim their prize. Starting sometime near the end of 2004 (which was during Season 21), home viewers (in the U.S. Example: If the solution was "FUN IN THE SUN", the player would win a trip to a tropical island.
(Similar to the 15th season)(Starting in season 23, there would be a prize puzzle every night, appearing in either round 1, 2, or 3.). As indicated at the beginning of a puzzle, at seemingly random intervals there are Prize Puzzles that award the winner with a prize somehow relating to the puzzle. Because of this rule, the letter that is painted red is always a consonant. given Australia's other rules, if a person spins $300, picks a P, and one of the P's is red, the person gets $600).
Only one letter is made red, and guessing the red letter doubles the value of the spin (e.g. In Australia, the rules for the red-letter round are different. The answer is 9, and guessing 9 earns $3,000. The answer to the blanks is Sweet, and correctly guessing that earns the player $3,000.
Categories for this puzzle include:. version). Some puzzles have a question that can be answered in order to win some extra money (previously $500 in 1992, $2,000 in 1995) ($3,000 on the current U.S. Beginning in Season 23, the producers show the home audience what's behind the mystery wedge before a decision is made by the contestant.
After one mystery wedge is revealed, that space becomes a normal cash wedge, and the other mystery wedge acts as a regular $1,000 space for the remainder of the round. If the player reveals the prize, as with any other wheel prize, they must solve the puzzle without hitting Bankrupt to win it. On the other side of the mystery wedge contains either a Bankrupt or a prize (usually $10,000–$13,000 cars or a $10,000 prize). If a player lands on one of these mystery wedges and guesses a letter in the puzzle, they may either take $1,000 per letter as normal, or turn over the mystery wedge.
Two $1,000 spaces (originally $500 from the round's debut in Season 20 through Season 22) marked with a stylized question mark are placed on the wheel. A crafty spinner could pick up several of these prize cards in a single round. As of 2003, along with the announced prize, there were two or three smaller "gift tags" on the wheel – usually gift certificates, gift packages or items such as an XM Satellite Radio, each gift tag carrying a value of $1,000. Its identity was not revealed unless it was won.
The Surprise worked just like a normal prize, except that its identity was kept a secret. For a time in the 1990s, there was also a Surprise on the wheel in Round 1. By 1989, a contestant had to guess a letter to be able to pick up the prize. Originally, a contestant who landed on the prize simply picked it up and it went into his/her bank.
The prize value is usually worth between $4,000 and $10,000. The prize – which is almost always a trip – now carries over to later rounds. The Prize Round has changed several times through the years, and currently is played in Round 1. The player had to avoid "Bankrupt" and solve the puzzle to win the prize.
The Prize Rounds were added to the daytime show in 1989. When the "all cash" era began in 1987, a second Prize Round was added, usually in Round 4; both prizes were specific to that round. The prize space originally concealed a $150 amount. It was played in Round 2, and the prize usually was worth anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.
The Prize Round was added in 1983, for the syndicated version only. The resulting Jackpot was not a cash prize; it became available for shopping. The Jackpot started at $1,000 and increased by $1,000 for each show it went unclaimed. The Jackpot space went into the player's bank (for correctly guessing a letter), and won the value for solving the puzzle AND avoiding Bankrupt.
That version of the Jackpot Round worked just like the syndicated Prize Rounds. The current Jackpot Round debuted in the 3rd week of Season 14, and was quite different from a Jackpot Round that was part of the NBC daytime show from 1987-1989. Until the end of Season 17, the Jackpot Round was played in Round 3. Pat usually asks the contestant if they'd like to solve for the Jackpot, so they know that if they can solve it, they'll win whatever is in the Jackpot.
If a player spins and lands on Jackpot, they must call a letter in the puzzle and solve the puzzle all in that turn. The jackpot starts at $5,000 (when the Friday Finals existed, the Jackpot on that certain episode starts at $10,000 rather than the usual $5,000). After each spin, the value of the spin is added to the jackpot, regardless of whether or not the letter chosen is in the puzzle. The Double Play was discontinued after Season 13 ended.
A contestant was not required to forfeit the Double Play if s/he landed on a Bankrupt while possessing the token. If the wheel landed on a prize after using the Double Play, the Double Play was returned. If the wheel landed on a penalty space, the Double Play token was lost, but the penalty was only endured once. If the wheel landed on a dollar amount, that amount was doubled for that turn.
The player in possession of the Double Play could use it before any spin. A player won possession the token if s/he landed on the space with the token and called a consonant in the puzzle. version, a special token called the "Double Play" was put on the wheel. During Season 13 of the U.S.
This space was originally on top of one of the two bankrupt spaces, but is now over the orange $800 space in round one. When this space debuted in Season 12, it was on the wheel starting in round three and remained on the wheel until a contestant landed on the $10,000 slot and claimed it. The $10,000 prize cannot be used to buy vowels; Pat will often say "You don't have any spendable cash" if the $10,000 is one of the first prizes claimed in the round. If he/she is correct, the player picks up the wedge and it is treated as a prize.
Landing on Bankrupt results in a normal Bankrupt; landing on the $10,000 allows the player to guess a letter. In the first round, a wedge is placed on the wheel that reads $10,000 in the middle peg gap and Bankrupt in the other two. In 2002, Germany had its own version of a toss-up (called a Turborunde). The Australian version added their version of a toss-up (called a Flip Up there) in 2004, when the puzzle board was switched from a mechanical one to an electronic board.
No money is at stake in this round. If 2 or all 3 players are tied at the end of the game, then a toss up round is played for the right to go to the Bonus Round. If all of the spaces are filled in or all of the players are incorrect, no cash is won, and play began with either the left-most contestant or (if it was Round 4) wherever it left off before. An incorrect guess disqualifies that player for the rest of the puzzle.
(The first one determines who the host introduces first.) The $3,000 toss-up determines who starts the fourth round, which is usually the speed-up round. version, two toss-ups for $1,000 and $2,000 start the game, with the second one determining who starts round 1. In the 19th season to the present U.S. In Toss-Up, usually the player will start the first round after the introductions, and before the fourth round which is still $1,000 in the 18th season.
The Toss-Up Round debuted in Season 18. version). A player may buzz in to solve the puzzle for a set amount of money ($1,000, $2,000, or $3,000 in the U.S. A puzzle is revealed one letter at a time except for the last letter (similar to the Speedword on the Scrabble game show).
This was made possible with the advent of an electronic board, compared to the mechanical board. In recent years, various special rounds have been introduced. Like the shopping format, the total value of any prizes won is added to the contestant's overall score. In any event, the person who solved the puzzle won whatever amount he/she had in cash, excluding prizes the contestant won earlier in the round.
In one episode, Wheel tried to incorporate the $10,000 wedge as a normal space not surrounded by two Bankrupts, but it was eventually scrapped. Earlier this decade, to account for inflation, the top dollar value changed to $2,500 in round one, $3,500 in rounds two and three, while the $5,000 space remained in round four. It began with the $1,000 space as top dollar value for round one, $2,500 for round two, $3,500 for round three, and $5,000 in round four until the maingame was over. From 1987 to the turn of the previous decade, to generate building interest as the game continued, the maximum dollar amount for each round increased significantly.
Now, 6 maingame puzzles are rare with all the time taken up by toss-up puzzles, prize puzzles where a home viewer can win the same prize as the contestant via SPIN I.D., and advertisements for various rounds, most notably the Jackpot round. In 1987, the syndicated version of Wheel switched to an all-cash format that, while originally planned to last only for the month of September of that year, became a permanent fixture as it sped up gameplay where it would be common to see 4, 5 or even 6 puzzles on a given night. When the show started, the emcee, either Woolery, Sajak or Benirschke would say, "Watch out for the black space, "Bankrupt", because you will lose your cash, but not your merchandise, because once you buy a prize it is yours to keep." That saying became one of the most famous lines in game show history. During a special "Retro Week" in 1999, shopping was re-instated except the "shopping" portion was treated as a special space, and the contestant "bought" a prize package from a turntable.
When the player spent enough to not be able to buy the least expensive prize, or when they didn't feel like shopping anymore, they could choose to put their money on a gift certificate or "on account" (which meant they risked their money for the next round; they had to avoid Bankrupts and also had to win the succeeding round in order to keep the money and use it for shopping.) The "on account" option was rarely used. From 1975–1989 on the NBC daytime version, and from 1983–1987 on the nighttime syndicated version, after a contestant won a round, he/she had the option of shopping for prizes amidst the studio, like cars, furniture, trips, furs (until animal activists complained), and jewelry. In the current season, the house minimum is $1,000 per player, meaning during special weeks where two players compete on each team, the minimum is $2,000. In the early 1990s, the minimum was boosted again to $500, where it remained until 2005.
During the show's early months, the house minimum was $100; this was quickly increased to $200. If the player's total is less than $1,000, a house minimum of $1,000 is awarded. Only the player who correctly solves the puzzle keeps the earnings from the round. If the solution is incorrect, the player's turn ends, although this seldom happens.
Once enough letters have been revealed, a player can attempt to read the solution to the incomplete puzzle. The host usually (if not always) asks if you want to buy a vowel before you spin the wheel, assuming you have the money. That is, if it gets to your turn and you spin the wheel, you lose the ability to buy vowels until it's your turn again. In Australia, not only do you need the $50, you also must not have spun the wheel for the turn.
(For those who are interested, if they consistently kept rising the cost of the vowel to keep up with inflation, and $250 was the value now, vowels would've originally cost approximately $65.). However, when you account for inflation, $250 in 1975 would be worth almost $1,000, meaning if you use this inflated price to buy a vowel with the current values on the wheel, most of the time you'd have to spin the wheel twice and/or get more than one instance of a letter to be able to buy a vowel — which, it should be pointed out, was exactly the situation in 1975. Indeed, the lowest value on the wheel nowadays is $300; for many years it was $100, then $200. Some argue that, because of the inflating dollar values, the amount spent for vowels should increase.
It is rarer in the UK and Australia. version, mainly since many puzzles have large numbers of vowels, particularly E's (it is not uncommon to see five or occasionally even more of a vowel, especially E, in a larger puzzle—the record appears to be 11 E's). Vowel buying is very common on the U.S. When the daytime show moved to CBS in 1989, vowels became $200, and then $100 by 1991.
This proved to make the game ridiculously hard, and the space was scrapped in favor of a dollar amount before the show logged one month on the air. network run, contestants had to land on a space marked "Buy a Vowel" in order to ask for a vowel. Very early in Wheel's U.S. The contestant does not pay for every copy of the vowel revealed; in the above example, if the contestant guessed E, although 2 E's are in the puzzle, the contestant would not have to give up $500.
If the letter is not in the puzzle, the player's turn ends, but the $250 must still be paid. If a player has at least $250 in cash ($50 on the Australian version), the player can pay that amount to have all instances of a single vowel (A, E, I, O, or U) in the puzzle revealed. run, and sometimes still happens today if a contestant is asked to clarify his/her choice (for example, "S as in Sam," although this is quite rare). This does not happen in the United States, although it was common early in the U.S.
Hence: "C for Charlie" and "I for indigo" and the famous (in Australia, anyway) "N for Nellie". In many countries, the contestant gives a word beginning with the chosen letter along with it. (Note: Through 1989, the wheel had a "Free Spin" space in the game's first round, which automatically gave that player a Free Spin token; this idea was scrapped as skillful contestants often racked up six or more tokens before actually attempting to play the game). If he or she later lands on Bankrupt or Lose a Turn, or guesses a letter not in the puzzle, the Free Spin can be redeemed to continue playing.
If the pointer lands on a Free Spin space, the player can win the free spin in the same way as a prize. If the pointer lands on "Bankrupt", not only does the player's turn end, the player loses all earned cash and prizes in that round. If the pointer lands on the wheel's "Lose a Turn" space, the player's turn ends. The prize is lost if he/she lands on "Bankrupt" later in the same puzzle.
They must then solve the puzzle in that round to win the prize. If the pointer lands on a prize, the player gives a consonant, and if it is in the puzzle, the player picks up the prize and sets it in front of them (previously, if a contestant had landed on a prize wedge, they could automatically pick it up, call a right consonant and spin again). If the letter is not in the puzzle, or the player guesses a letter that has already been guessed, the player's turn ends. For example, if the puzzle was "TOO LITTLE TOO LATE", and the player spun $700 and guessed L, he or she would win $2,100 (on the Australian version, the spun value is not multiplied; in the previous example, despite the fact that the player has three L's on the board, he or she would only earn $700).
If the letter is in the puzzle, the co-host reveals all instances of that letter in the puzzle, and the player receives the cash value multiplied by the number of instances of that letter. If the pointer lands on a cash value, the player names a consonant (Y counts as a consonant). On a turn, a player can choose to spin the 24-sector wheel, buy a vowel, or attempt to solve the puzzle. Any punctuation (hyphens, commas, periods for abbreviations, apostrophes), and ampersand signs (&) are revealed.
When a normal round begins, the spaces in a puzzle are shown as blank white spaces on the board. Three players take turns. Besides the Australian version, France's La Roue de la Fortune is the most famous non-American version. Some other countries that air "Wheel of Fortune", and the titles used, include Belgium (Rad van Fortuin), Malaysia (Roda Impian), Brazil (either Roletrando Novelas or Roda a Roda), Vietnam (Chiếc nón kỳ diệu), Ecuador, Spain (both use La Ruleta de la Fortuna), Italy (La Ruota Della Fortuna), Germany (Glücksrad), Canada (La Roue Chanceuse in French, Wheel of Fortune in English), Israel (Galgal Hamazal), Turkey (Çarkıfelek), Poland (Koło Fortuny), Finland (Onnenpyörä), Denmark (Lykkehjulet), France (La Roue de la Fortune), and Argentina (La Rueda de la Fortuna, inside a show called Tiempo Límite XL).
Actor Rustom Padilla hosted the Philippine edition of the show on ABC-5 during its short run from 2001-2002. This version ran from 1991 to around 1996. There was a version in New Zealand with Phillip Leishman as host and Lana Coc-Kroft as co-host. There have been three Glücksrad versions in Germany: 1988-1998 on Sat.1 hosted by Frederic Meisner and Peter Bond, 1998-2002 on Kabel 1 hosted by Frederic Meisner (-2001) and Thomas Ohrner (2002), 2004 on 9 Live hosted again by Frederic Meisner.
The 5000th episode is set to be recorded at ATN-7 on Thursday 16 February 2006, for airing in late February/early March 2006. On the first episode of 2006, the car (Mitsubishi Colt) was won by Sara from Blacktown, NSW. On the 19th January 2006, Seven officially announced Wheel of Fortune's new host, Larry Emdur, with Laura Csortan as co-star and John Deeks returning as announcer. In December 2005, rumours abounded of the Wheel's return in 2006.
In mid-2005, the show was rested, with Seven filling its 5pm timeslot with reruns of M*A*S*H. John Deeks has been the announcer since 1984. Sophie Falkiner was co-host from 1999-2005. This record stood until 2001 when Vanna White surpassed that total.
Co-host Adriana Xenides became the longest serving game show hostess in the world having featured on Australia's Wheel Of Fortune from 1981 until early 1999; a total of 18 years. Other hosts included John Burgess (from 1984-96), Tony Barber (1996), Rob Elliott (from 1997-2003/04) and Steve Oemcke (from 2004-2005). The first host was Ernie Sigley, who hosted from 1981-86. It then moved to ATN-7 in 1996, where it has stayed ever since.
The show moved to SAS-7 when the 2 stations swapped callsigns & affiliations at the end of 1987. The current Australian version began in 1981 on the Seven Network at ADS-7. Steve Hamilton was the announcer. It was hosted by Nicky Campbell, Bradley Walsh, John Leslie and Paul Hendy with Angela Ekeate, Carol Smillie, Jenny Powell and Terri Seymour in turn being co-hosts.
The British version ran from 1988 to 2001, produced by Scottish Television for the ITV network. The very first away-from-home theme song was made specially for those shows; it is unknown at what point the same away-from-home theme was used over and over again. Wheel has always had a special opening theme for away-from-home shows. In pre-taped promos that appeared before each "New Orleans" episode, Sajak and White urged viewers to contribute to hurricane relief charities via the American Red Cross (via the show's Web site), and noted that the show would provide up to $100,000 in matching funds; they also commented the shows were a celebration of what the city once was and would someday become again.
A third week of shows was cancelled, and Wheel's production team barely made it out of New Orleans before the storm struck. Two weeks of shows were taped at the New Orleans Convention Center in August 2005, just days before Hurricane Katrina struck the region and caused incredible devestation to the city and Gulf Coast region. Perhaps the most poignant of these "road" shows was New Orleans, Louisiana. Due to all the election coverage it was not aired in many places on Election Tuesday.
The show was again aired on the following Saturday. Contestant Raymond Lee made it entertaining with his answer to a particular puzzle. The November 7, 2000 airing was interesting especially since the taping was in Washington, DC with it being a very close election between George Bush and Al Gore. Through the years, other stops have included Las Vegas, Honolulu, Hawaii, Philadelphia, Nashville, Atlanta, Georgia, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C, Miami, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and more.
The first of these shows was taped in the fall of 1988 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. Frequently, Wheel went "on location" to cities across the United States. (Source: The Wheel of Fortune Timeline). They switched back the next day.
On one of these theme weeks, College Week in 1996, Pat had laryngitis for almost that whole week, which became so bad that on the Monday episode (aired on November 21), Pat and Vanna had to switch roles for the bonus round. Other weeks invite sports stars to play for charity along with some of their fans. Wheel is notable for having 'theme weeks' in which all of the set decorations revolve around a common theme. Wheel is syndicated by King World, although Griffin, through Califon Productions, still holds the show's copyright -- which has been lucrative through its use in casino and lottery games.
When Griffin went into retirement that year (but kept a small financial stake), Sony Pictures Television, which had bought Griffin's company several years earlier, took over fully. by Merv Griffin's company, Califon Productions, until 2002. The series was produced in the U.S. One of the clips included rare footage of a circa-1978 Wheel opening, which featured the "Big Wheels" theme, the prize sets and Charlie O'Donnell's opening-spiel (including a shot of a Ford Fairmont station wagon, one of the prizes offered on that day's episode).
In November 2003, Wheel celebrated its 4,000th episode in syndication with a retrospective of the series. The puzzleboard's border was changed to match that of the wheel. The gold, glitzy decoration that surrounded the wheel was changed to a neon blue decoration. In 2003, as part of the 21st season, the entire studio was revamped.
Sometime around 1976, the display was changed to allow for five-digit figures (along with the "$" sign); six-digit figures have never been achieved in maingame play, although the eggcrate display was again changed in the late 80s or early 90s so a six-digit figure could be displayed with the dollar sign. Incidentally, the eggcrate display had room for the "$" sign and four digits in 1975-1976 (although the "$" sign could be removed in the rare event someone had more than $10,000). In 2002, the tote boards that showed the totals for each player were changed from eggcrate lights to monitors; the eggcrate lights had been in use since 1975. (Actually, the old four-row trilon puzzle had 52 spaces like today's board, with 13 in each row; the light border got in the way with the spaces in the corners, leaving only 11 trilons in the top and bottom rows).
The puzzle board itself has 52 spaces, divided into four rows (with 12 spaces on the top and bottom rows and 14 spaces in the middle rows, making it one column wider than the old trilon board; occasionally puzzles will use up almost all of the board). A fill-in-the-blank puzzle is displayed on a grid of video displays in front of the players. Also, when the puzzle is solved, instead of the hostess turning the hidden letters to reveal the entire puzzle, the missing letters electronically fill in themselves. On February 24,1997,the original board for displaying the letters was replaced with a digital electronic puzzle board, touching the letter spaces instead of turning them.
This puzzleboard would remain the same, except for light border changes and the "half-trilons" on the sides of the board being removed on road shows, and in 1994 and 1995. On December 21, 1981, a new four-row puzzleboard (consisting of 11 trilons on the top and bottom rows and 13 trilons in the middle rows) was introduced, allowing for bigger puzzles and more cash to be given away. The original puzzleboard was three rows consisting of 13 trilons on each row. Shopping was eliminated beginning with the syndicated Wheel's 1987–88 season premiere, though it would remain on the daytime version until 1989, when the show moved from NBC to CBS.
Eliminating shopping sped up the game, and allowed more time to plug the big prizes, such as cars. When the show first aired, the money the contestants won had to be used to shop amongst prizes on the TV show, but now the game is played for cash. All others are alterations of this theme from 1989-92, 1992-94, 1994-97, 1997-2000, and a somewhat new variation from 2000-present. The original theme song from 1983-1989 is called "Changing Keys" by Merv Griffin.
Pat Sajak and Vanna White have hosted the nighttime version since its debut. This version still airs today, and after two decades the show continues to have the highest Nielsen ratings of any syndicated program. A nighttime version of Wheel, which is syndicated to stations around the country, debuted on September 19, 1983. The daytime show moved back to NBC on January 14, 1991, and was canceled for good on September 20 of that year.
Former football player Rolf Benirschke hosted the daytime show until NBC dropped it on June 30, 1989; Bob Goen became its host when it moved to CBS on July 17 of that year. Sajak left the daytime show on January 9, 1989, to do a nighttime talk show for CBS that would fail after one year. She was replaced by Vanna White. Susan Stafford left a year later to pursue volunteer work.
Three days later, Pat Sajak replaced him. Chuck Woolery left Wheel on December 25, 1981, after a salary dispute with Merv Griffin. The theme song used from 1975 to July 1983 is called "Big Wheels" by Alan Thicke. After Clark passed away in 1988, Los Angeles-area disc jockey MG "Machine Gun" Kelly briefly filled in until O'Donnell, who was still under contract with Chuck Barris Productions, was able to take over permanently.
Charlie did come back on occassion to fill in for Clark, who was also announcing on other game shows. Announcer Charlie O'Donnell has been "the voice of the Wheel" since episode one in 1975, except between 1980 and 1988 when Jack Clark announced due to O'Donnell's obligations to other shows. Woolery was the show's original host, and Susan Stafford was the original hostess. Wheel debuted on January 6, 1975, on NBC; it was put on the air as compensation for cancelling Jeopardy! (which Griffin produced; ironically enough, Wheel is now paired in syndication with the current version of Jeopardy!) with one year remaining on its contract.
The theme song used in the 1974 pilot was "Give It One" by Maynard Ferguson. The early pilot for Wheel was called Shopper's Bazaar; Edd Byrnes and Chuck Woolery hosted pilot episodes in 1974. . version has been distributed by King World since 1983.
The current U.S. The highly-successful format has been seen daily in one form or another since its NBC debut in 1975. The name of the show comes from the large wheel that determines the dollar amounts and prizes won (or lost) by the contestants. It involves three contestants competing against each other to solve a word puzzle similar to Hangman.
Wheel of Fortune is a television game show originally devised by Merv Griffin which runs in local editions around the world. Some other versions, like Glücksrad in Germany, still use the 15-second time limit for their bonus rounds. Theoretically, enough money ($38,000) can be earned so as to call every consonant. In Australia, the contestant earns two consonants and a vowel, but can earn an extra consononant for every $2,000 scored in the main game.
In other foreign countries, the "R, S, T, L, N, E" is never given to the contestant, although Germany used this sort of format around the late 90s to the early 2000s. Natasha and Robert Purdum $132,000 February 6, 2006. Babette Dominguez and Bob Griese (former NFL QB for the Miami Dolphins) $114,310 January 24, 2006. Denise and Ariel $120,170 November 21, 2005.
Jessica Derenbecker $121,650 November 14, 2005. Taylor and Vlada $117,640 February 3, 2005. Nancy Coon $105,500 May 21, 2003. Byron Pope $119,100 April 24, 2003.
Bonnie Malone and Karen Davy $121,831 December 4, 2002. Douglass Ross (first winner) $113,800 December 19, 2001. The remaining envelope concealed the grand prize of $100,000. There were 4 wedges for each of the 3 cars available that week.
11 of the wedges held $25,000. The contestant first spun a small 24-section wheel to determine which prize he/she would be playing for. 2001 (The Bonus Wheel) – The Bonus Round was revamped and allowed the contestant a chance to play for $100,000. In keeping with the lower stakes of the CBS show, the other bonus prizes typically included trips and sub-compact cars.
This was not done on the CBS daytime version (and later on when it moved back to NBC for the final few months); contestants picked one of five prizes on offer, one of which was always $5,000 cash. The extravagant prizes continued on the syndicated version, meaning someone could win such items as a Hummer, a speedboat or a log cabin as their bonus prize. Each prize could be won just once in a week. 1989 – Each of the week's prizes went into a blind draw, each hidden in an envelope and placed behind a letter in the word "WHEEL".
On the CBS run, one bonus prize was always $5,000 in cash. The NBC daytime show, meanwhile, used the 1981 Bonus Round format until the blind-draw method was introduced in 1989, no cash was offered and contestants just chose what prize to play for. The cash quickly became far and away the most popular bonus prize, while cars were second. One of the prizes was always $25,000 in cash.
Examples: a Ferrari, a vacation for six on a private island in Jamaica, a 5-acre plot in Maine, a motor home plus an invitation to tour Alaska with an RV club, a cabin cruiser, tickets to every major sporting event for the next year, a time-share vacation home at Lake Tahoe, and valuable annuities. 1987 syndication – When the syndicated "Wheel" began its all-cash format, much larger bonus prizes were offered. It was used until 1997, when the puzzle board was switched from a mechanical board to a electoronic board. If the person who solved the puzzle could unscramble the word, s/he won bonus money.
Red-Letter Puzzles: From 1992-1997, a puzzle would occasionally have a few red letters that were scrambled on the board. Due to its extreme unpopularity with the show's fans, this category is no longer used. The person who solved the puzzle could win extra money by using the word in a sentence. Megaword: This puzzle is a word of at least nine letters.
For example, a Fill in the Number puzzle would look like this:. The person who solves the round has to fill in the number/s. Fill In The Number/s: The puzzle contains numbers, except that the number/s is/are replaced with sharps (#). Who Said It?: Like the category quotation, except that the contestant must identify who said it.
The contestant has to guess where the puzzle "is.". about the location. Where Are We?: Similar to to Who Is It? except that the puzzle gives landmarks, traditions, etc. The contestant must identify the person/people the puzzle is talking about.
Who Is It/Are They?: The puzzle is a description of (a) person/people, dead or alive, real or fictional. Slogan: The contestant must identify the brand or company that uses the slogan used in the puzzle. Next Line Please: The puzzle is a sentence of some sort; the contestant wins money for continuing the sentence. After guessing the puzzle, the contestant can identify the word that goes in the blank.
Fill In the Blank: Three question marks appear by themselves in the puzzle, representing a common word. Clue: The puzzle describes a person, place, thing or event, and the contestant wins money for guessing that object.