Quondam (1980)   3 comments

Let’s take a break from light TRS-80 games and bring the pain instead.

From IFDB.

Quondam is the third game written for the Phoenix mainframe at Cambridge University. If you’re a regular reader, you might recall the first was Acheton, which was somewhat intended as a more challenging version of the original Crowther and Woods Adventure.

Philosopher’s Quest followed and was even harder than Acheton. Philosopher’s Quest is one of the hardest games I’ve ever played.

Rod Underwood must have taken a look at both games, decided they just weren’t hard enough, and wrote Quondam.

The original mainframe version has been lost, but a port by Peter Killworth survives for the BBC Computer, so that’s the version I’m playing. To give you a sense of what I’m up against, here is my attempt to “save” at the start of the game:

This marks the first and possibly last time a save game feature ever killed me. (At least you get some cool shades to die with.)

Quondam is otherwise (so far) bog-standard fantasy, although it’s clear the tone is tending to the silly:

There’s treasure collection (again) but the manual is enigmatic about what to do with the treasures:

During the game you can display your score by typing SCORE and pressing RETURN. You can earn points by visiting risky areas, but most points are scored by depositing treasures in the ‘safe place’. This place is accessible at various times, but needs thought. Beware of puns!

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Posted September 12, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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3 responses to “Quondam (1980)

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  1. This is full of spoilers, obviously, because it’s a video playthrough of Quondam (and it’s very good), so perhaps I shouldn’t have posted it till you’d solved it yourself, Jason, but I thought I might forget later. Sorry if it distracts, or spoils anything.

  2. I’m going to try playing along. I discovered your blog after you’d completed Acheton and Philosopher’s Quest, and those playthroughs make for fascinating reading. Looking forward to this.

    • Incidentally, my future posts might be a bit spoiler-ful to read if you’re attempting this on your own, but feel free to update your progress in the comments here. I’m curious how you’re doing.

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