8-Bit Software
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Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : Text Adventure

Author             :

Standalone Release(s)   : 1986: ISLAND OF SECRETS, Usborne, £1.99

Compilation Release(s)   : None

Stated compatibility    : All 8-bit machines

Actual compatibility    : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128

Supplier            : USBORNE, 20 Garrick Street, LONDON WC2E 9BJ

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00




"The first two books in this series mark the beginning of a completely new kind of adventure game. They each contain an exciting adventure program for you to type into your computer. As you play the game on the computer, the imaginary world of the game is vividly recreated in the colourful pictures in the book and you can find clues hidden in the pictures to help you.


"An adventure game takes you into a different world where you have to pit your wits against magical forces, evil creatures and powerful tyrants. The books give thorough instructions on how to play and hints on what to do if you get stuck.


"The programs are written in a standard BASIC and there are conversions listed to make them suitable for Commodore 64, expanded VIC 20, TRS-80 Colour Computer (32K), Apple II, BBC (32K), Electron and 48K Spectrum"


About this game

The book contains an exciting adventure game program to type into your computer and play. ISLAND OF SECRETS is a text adventure. It doesn't show any pictures on the screen. Unlike most adventure games, the computer will not tell you all you need to know about the world you are travelling through. There are no directions for instance. You will need to create a map and work out for yourself whether you can go North, South, East or West.


The game is also different from a traditional adventure because you play a role. You are Alphan and you must try to decide what he would do in a particular situation (based on the clues in the book) rather than what you would personally do. Other roles are played by the computer and characters sometimes move around or do surprising things which you cannot control. You are given a certain amount of strength and wisdom at the beginning of the game and these vary according to what happens to you in your role of Alphan.


Alphan's Quest

To find out who Alphan is and what he has to do with the ISLAND OF SECRETS, you must read the story below. His task is to find the objects of power, though he doesn't know what they are, and take them to the ISLAND OF SECRETS. He must then work out what to do with them to restore light, warmth and life to the world.


If you do something wrong you may find you have lost the game. The computer will tell you you have failed and give you a score based on what you have done up to that point. You will then have to start again and try somthing different. Perhaps you said the wrong thing or didn't pick up something you needed.


About Adventure programs

You have probably heard about Adventure Games even if you've never played one. They were invented in the U.S.A. in 1976 and first played on huge mainframes with huge memories.


The player wanders round an imaginary world by typing in commands such as GO SOUTH or TAKE SWORD and the computer describes the surroundings and events as the game unfolds. Some more recent Adventure Games draw pictures of the characters and locations on the screen too.


The object of an Adventure Game is usually to collect treasure and escape from a series of dangerous situations. They are difficult to play and can take weeks, or even months, to solve.


The Story

In the dim and distant past, the sky was blue and the grass was green. The Ancients had built The Pyramid and established communication with the Sky People. It was even agreed that one or two specially selected Earthlings should visit Sky Land.


The first (and last, as it turned out) Earthling Sky visitor was Omegan, youngest son of the most influential of the Ancients. He was fascinated by what he saw - the Sky People knew a lot of things Earthlings didn't.


Shortly after Omegan arrived, conflicts began between the Sky People and the Outer Ones. Sky messengers came down to The Pyramid and gave each of the Ancients an object, telling them to hide it carefully.


The Ancients wondered why the Sky People should bother to give them such ordinary looking objects. But, who were they to ask questions? They set off to hind hiding places, little knowing they would never meet again.


It became obvious to the Sky People that a great war was inevitable, they sent Omegan back to Earth with a mission. The war would darken the Earth, they said, but when it was over Omegan must collect the secret objects and release the power than had been locked into them, thus restoring the Earth to normal.


Then they gave him the Cloak of Entropy which they said was essential for releasing the power of the objects and, because the task was too long for one person's lifetime, they also gave him the secret for prolonging his life.


The war was more catastrophic than even the Sky People had anticipated. A huge dark cloud enveloped the Earth blocking out light and heat, the ground ripped apart forming the Crimson Canyon, and the lakes were poisoned.


Omegan set out on his task, but it soon became apparent that it was of immense and incredible difficulty. He didn't know what he was looking for or where to look or even how many things he had to find.


He began to realise that the Cloak had enormous power. With its help, he built a caste for himself and assembled the secret equipment for extending his life. So what if the Earth stayed dark? he though. No-one would find all the objects and, as for the Cloak, that was his now...


That was all a long time ago, but the land is still in darkness and Omegan still lives on his Island of Secrets. No-one found the objects or discovered the secret of

Omegan's long life, though there are rumours of some who have tried.


Tales are told, for instance, of a wanderer named Median who entered the Castle of Secrets. He even drew a plan, they say, which he put in a bottle and threw into the Lake.


It could be true - who knows?


No-one thought Alphan would take on the task. Intelligent and wise he certainly is, but surely too slight and gentle to wrestle the will of Omegan. True he has that map left to him by his explorer grandfather.


What if he really could bring the Earth back to normal?!


Characters You Will Meet

Canyon Beasts

You may come across canyon beasts anywhere in the forest, though you won't be able to catch one without help.



She guards something precious. She'll need proof that you are serious about your mission.



A famous scholar of Ancient times, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances.



He moves around the castle, so you can't be sure where you will come across him.


Sage Of The Lilies

The Sage has meditated for so long that she has forgotten how to move anything other than her head. She has been vaguely worried for the last 500 years by a slight, but persistent, irritation in her back. The lilies she guards are said to revive old memories.


Speaking Stone

Despite its name, this strange glassy boulder sits in dull silence.



He lives in the stumps of the great bluewood trees, which his ancestors planted. He is a sworn enemy of the Logmen but cannot leave the swamp to get revenge or to get the liquor which he believes would restore the trees to their former glory.


The Boatman

Even the intrepid canyon beast won't go near him, so beware. It would be wise to approach him at some stage in your quest though.


The Logmen

These unfriendly characters are always on the look-out for something to entertain them. They are addicted to a lethally strong liquor which they brew themselves. Their logging activities include the destroying the last of the great bluewood trees in the east.


The Scavenger

He appears to have lost his memory. Alphan will need to help him recover it somehow.


Places you will visit

Grandpa's Shack   - Alphan's grandfather built this shack as a hideaway for himself.

Grandpa's Chest   - Grandpa kept useful things in here.

The Pyramid       - The view from here is quite impressive. Watch your step - there's a kind of hard grey stone here.

Well of Weakness  - Don't approach if you're not feeling strong. Omegan may not be far away.

Clashing Stones   - If you peer closely at these you can just make out the following inscription: "Stony silence is not the thing Say stony words that you must bring"

Petrified Village - Lava engulfed this village so quickly that everything was preserved in stone. It gives you some idea of what life was life long ago.

Logmen's Cabin    - Don't hand around too long in here. Stolen goods often end up on the table.

Clone Factory     - Can this be the secret of Omegan's long life?

Adobe Hut         - Someone appears to have lived here in recent times, but there's no sign of anyone now.

Snelm's Lair      - It is said that one of the Ancients left a clue with Snelm. Look for a piece of old "paper".

Omegan's Sanctum  - The end of your journey, whatever its outcome. You can't escape. Watch your step here too.

Marble Column     - This is all that remains of the Unversity of the Ancients.


How To Play

When the main screen appears the computer will wait for you to type in what you want to do. It only recognises certain words and so won't understand everything you say. In most cases it needs two-word commands, such as GET WATER.


Sometimes you will be asked a second question, e.g. GIVE THE AXE TO WHOM? You should then answer with one word. There are also special one word commands for save, load and quit as you will see below.


You will notice as you begin to move around that the "time remaining" shown top-right of the screen, constantly decreases. The game is over when the time is up, no matter what else has happened.


You will also see that your strength and wisdom scores vary as the game progresses. You can increase your strength by eating and drinking, providing you have stocks of food and drink. You can only increase your strength by eating or drinking, providing you have stocks of food and drink. You can only increase your wisdom by doing the right things in the game.


Now type INFO and your screen will change to show what you are carrying. You start the game with two units each of food and drink and can add to this by picking up any food and drink you spot on the way.


You can stop at any point in the game and save your progress so far. Do this by typing XSAVE. Make sure you have your cassette recorder linked up and a tape ready first though. You will need to know how to make your computer save on tape too.


When you want to continue the game, load in the game program as usual, then type XLOAD. You can then continue the game from where you left off.


If you feel you are stuck in the middle of the game and want to give up, you can type QUIT at any time and the computer will give you your score. (Though you won't get any time bonus.)


Hints & Clues

Here is a list of instructions the computer understands. If you type a different instruction, the computer will not understand even if it makes sense to you.

      GET             TAKE            GO

      GIVE            DROP            LEAVE

      EAT             DRINK           RIDE

      OPEN            PICK            CHOP

      CHIP            TAP             BREAK

      FIGHT           STRIKE          ATTACK

      HIT             KILL            SWIM

      SHELTER         HELP            SCRATCH

      CATCH           RUB             POLISH

      READ            EXAMINE         FILL

      SAY             WAIT            REST

      WAVE            INFO            QUIT

      APPLE           EGG             FLOWERS

      JUG             RAG             PARCHMENT

      TORCH           PEBBLE          AXE

      ROPE            STAFF           COAL

      FLINT           HAMMER          CANYONBEAST

      LOAF            MELON           BISCUITS

      MUSHROOMS       WATER           WINE

      SAP             BOAT            CHEST

      COLUMN          STONE           TRAPDOOR

      VILLAGER        LIQUOR          SWAMPMAN

      SAGE            BOOKS           ROOTS

      WRAITHS         CLOAK           OMEGAN

      SNAKE           LOGMEN          SCAVENGER

      MEDIAN          NORTH           SOUTH

      EAST            WEST            UP

      DOWN            IN              OUT


Here are clues to specific problems you will encounter.


Snelm's inner chamber

Notice the scrap of parchment here. You need to have opened grandfather's chest to read it. It must be a clue!


Dactyl's nest

Dactyl needs proof that you are serious.

Visit the petrified village first.


The "unclimable" oath

The beast can climb up here. Perhaps it will take you. You will need something to catch it with though.


The logmen's settlement

If the logmen catch you, they will take things from you. You can get them back though. Look on the split log table.


The lilies

Perhaps you could do something about the Sage's itch. The flowers have memory-restoring powers so take some if you can.


Omegan's sanctum

Take a good look at the floor. It may help you work out what to do. You need to have found all five objects of power to be successful.


The Scavenger

There's a very close connection beteen him and Median. You could try to bring back his memory. Give him two things and say something too.


The Speaking Stone

A rag will be useful here. Keep trying if nothing much happens first time.


Marble column

This might job Median's memory. Chip a bit off and see.


The Pyramid

There's a piece of flint up here.


The blue wood stumps

There's something here, but you'll need a gift for the swampman to get it.



Instructions' Source   : ISLAND OF SECRETS (Usborne) Booklet


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