8-Bit Software
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Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only


Game Type          : Arcade Adventure

Author             : Tony Oakden

Standalone Release(s)  : 1987: QUEST, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

Compilation Release(s) : 1989: PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 8, Superior/Acornsoft, £9.95

Stated compatibility    : Electron

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

Supplier            : SUPERIOR/ACORNSOFT, 3 Manor Drive, Scawby, Brigg, NORTH

                    LINCOLNSHIRE DN20 9AX

Disc compatibility     : CDFS E00, DFS E00



The Scenario

You play the role of Walter Cobra, a clever but absent-minded young lad who has two favourite hobbies: exploring and inventing. One day you stumble across a faded old map which shows the route to a buried object marked as "The Golden Dragon". The starting-point on the map is a wishing-well located a couple of miles from your home.


The next day you amble over to the wishing-well and climb down the walls of the well. Eventually you reach the bottom. You then suddenly realise that you have left behind a very important item: the map.


You decide to press on regardless. You remember some of the places shown on the map but, bearing in mind the size of the map, this quest will surely be the greatest challenge of your life!


Your Objective

Your objective is to seek and find the legendary Golden Dragon. En route you must collect twelve power crystals and destroy three reactors. You must investigate: the Chapel, the Joke Shops, the Elephant House, the Armoury, the Ghost Maze, the Music Rooms and the Time Warps.



At the beginning of the quest your energy is at its maximum. Energy is lost by:


(1) encounters with creatures and robots,

(2) falling from a great height,

(3) colliding with the wall at high speed,

(4) falling into the vats of acid,

(5) stepping into electrified spikes.


Energy can be replenished by: (1) solving puzzles,

                              (2) collecting the power crystals.


If, at any stage, you are losing energy very quickly, you will automatically be transported away from the danger.


If your energy reaches zero, you will be unable to continue and you will die. However, before you die try pressing certain keys simultaneously - and you may be able to live again. Of course, nothing lasts forever and you will, at most, be offered the opportunity to reincarnate four times.


You must complete the quest without the use of reincarnation in order to see the congratulatory message which finally appears.


Using Your Jet Boots

Your jet boots are a fantastic invention, enabling you to fly for short periods of time. The jet boots' thrust is controlled by two keys:-


?  -  gives half thrust - allowing you to sustain a steady velocity or

      hover, and

*  -  gives full thrust.


Pressing both keys simultaneously produces a powerful 'hyperthrust'.


However, the jet boots can only be used in locations where there is a large triangular object present. This object is a transmogrifier - providing power for the jet boots. You will notice a large triangle on the starting screen;  therefore, you are able to fly by using your jet boots on this initial screen.


Sometimes it is possible to thrust at high speed on one screen, and then coast through the next screen. It is also possible to jump from some screens - where there is no transmogrifier - onto the next screen, and then use the jet boots to thrust away.


Stun Grenades

You start your quest with eight stun grenades. These are represented by small triangles on the console at the top of the screen. They may be used to:


(1) stun some of the creatures and robots,

(2) blow up the reactors,

(3) exorcise the ghosts.


The grenades may be replenished by logging on to the terminal in the Armoury. One extra grenade will be granted each time - at the expense of one unit of energy.


Collectable Objects

There are many collectable objects to be found lying around. These can be picked up by standing upon them (exactly in the centre of the object) and pressing the 'P' key. At most, two objects can be carried at any time. The objects currently being carried are shown at the top-right of the screen along with a brief description.


Power Crystals

There are twelve power crystals to be located. A power crystal is indicated on the console at the top of the screen by a small diamond. They must be collected by walking or flying towards them. Each time a crystal is collected, a diamond on the console will be disappear and you will receive an energy bonus. When all twelve crystals have been collected, a force field which blocks your route will be destroyed.



You must locate the three reactors. These are represented on the console at the top of the screen by small canisters. All three of the reactors must be blown up. This is accomplished by getting into the reactor and firing a stun grenade. The reactor will then close down, one of the canisters on the console will be removed, and a force field will be destroyed.



There are eight terminals to be interrogated. To operate a terminal, you must stand at the edge of it - and you must also be carrying a certain object. To receive a message from a terminal, you need to have the correct password. You should find the appropriate passwords as you wander around. The password for the terminal in the Armoury, for example, is to be found just to the west of the Chapel. Once you have seen a password, it will be automatically remembered.


The terminal display shows:-

on the left  -  message from the system,

on the right -  a list of the passwords obtained.


Each of the eight terminals needs to be interrogated. If a terminal's function is not immediately obvious, try exploring further before you operate it. To log off from a terminal, press SPACE.



You will come across many doors during your quest. Some of them can be opened by keys. At the bottom of these doors you will see a small symbol which corresponds to the shape of the handle of the appropriate key. But beware because there are duplicate keys, and using the wrong key to open a door may result in the quest being impossible to complete.


The Clock

On the left of the console is a real-time clock. This starts at 10:45 and runs continuously throughout your journey. You will notice that time passes more quickly in the Time Warps. Certain puzzles are time-related, so it's wise to keep an eye on the clock.


General Hints

All the creatures and robots you meet follow a predictable pattern of movement. If you can discern the patterns, it is possible to complete the entire quest without losing any energy. Try not to use a stun grenade unless it is essential to do so - a robot may be left blocking a passage and a ghost can reappear at an inopportune moment. Only four stun grenades are needed.


Try to map the scenario. As you move around, you will see several location signs. These show your current sector and level. Sector A is at the extreme left, and Sector H is at the extreme right. These signs should assist you with your orientation.


Some creatures will turn and attack you if you get too close; others will run away and hide. So try to figure out how each creature behaves. You will usually be able to outpace them with vertical movements, but not necessarily with horizontal movements.


Game Controls

Z - Walk/Fly Left,   X - Walk/Fly Right

* - Use Jet Boots, Full Thrust,   ? - Use Jet Boots, Half Thrust

<RETURN> - Jump/Swim,   <SPACE> - Fire Stun Grenade

P - Pick Up Object (When Standing On It)


S - Sound,   Q - Quiet,   <COPY>/<DELETE> - Pause On/Off,   <ESCAPE> - Exit game


Instructions' Source   : PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 8 (Superior/Acornsoft) Inner Inlay


Review (Electron User) - "Spring Into Adventure"

Releases from Superior's stable are always to be taken seriously, and the latest game, QUEST, is no exception. It is an arcade adventure - always one of Superior's favourite themes - in which you play the part of Walter Cobra, a clever but absent-minded young chap who has two favourite hobbies - exploring and inventing.


One day you stumble across a faded old map which shows the route to a buried object marked as the Golden Dragon. The starting point is a wishing well located a couple of miles from your home.


The next day you amble over to the well and climb down it. Only after reaching the bottom of the well do you remember the map, which is still at home. However, having come this far you decide to press on regardless and so - according to the cassette inlay - begins the greatest adventure of your life.


The objective is to seek and retrieve the legendary Golden Dragon shown on the original map. In the process, twelve power crystals must be collected and you must destroy three reactors. Destroying a reactor is achieved by getting inside it and firing a stun grenade - one of Walter's little inventions.


You control Walter with three keys: Left, right and jump. He is equipped with another of his little inventions - a pair of jet boots which will only function in rooms containing large triangular objects called transmogrifiers.


A great deal of the game's strategy derives from how you use these boots. Some rooms are so lethal it is safer if you fly through them. But no transmogrifier means you have to build up each momentum from a neighbouring location to literally coast across in free fall.


Scattered throughout the maze are eight computer terminals, which can be interrogated if you are carrying the right object and know the password.


I played this game for a long while without ever encountering a terminal, let alone a crystal. This goes to show just how large the adventure is, and it should certainly keep the old grey matter buzzing for a long time.


QUEST lacks the clean-cut feel present in some of Superior's other games. While remaining an extremely challenging and very stimulating arcade adventure, little things niggled me. The screens are very clustered and sometimes it's not too clear just what is going on.


Some floors can look solid, but you will fall through them because the screen seems to contain some actual program data, which lies across the bottom of the picture.


Summing up, QUEST is a nice arcade adventure, following in the footsteps of CITADEL and PALACE OF MAGIC. The addition of gimmicks like the jet boots and computer terminals keep the interest up and I can certainly recommend it for its addictiveness alone.


Sound ........................... 5

Graphics ........................ 8

Playability ..................... 9

Value for money ................. 9

Overall ......................... 8

Barry Wood, ELECTRON USER 5. 7