Many radio call-in shows had an oft-repeated, somewhat cliched line: "Hi! I'm a long-time listener, first-time caller." I suppose that describes me. I've been reading and commenting on the blog for a handful of years, and finally got around to writing my story and
Around 1985, when I was about 7, my grandfather showed me this new toy he had. In the family room of his house, he had set up his new IBM Model 5160 computer (known as the PC/XT), complete with an amber monochrome screen and a daisy-wheel printer. It had the latest in cyber-security: that round key that would lock the keyboard. And along with some software programmed "borrowed" from the engineering firm he worked at, he also had some shareware and freeware programs, obtained from mail-order shareware vendors like PC-SIG.
|The keyboard and printer were in a constant battle, over which one could make enough noise to drive my grandmother crazy.|
The game was Castle Adventure, by Kevin Bales.
|Another game would soon steal this title screen, adding a moat and playing Greensleeves.|
It appears that Kevin Bales was just 14 years old when he wrote this game, and that seems appropriate to me, as I also had a popular program in the shareware world when I was that age. I learned this from a fan site for the game, and there was even an unofficial Windows remake of the game in the early 2000s.
So, let's take a look at the game, shall we?
|Well, this seems simple enough.|
|I wonder If the Random capitalization Of Words means anything Special? Or is It Just the poor english Skills of a Fourteen year-old?|
The game was designed using the ASCII character set, which many games afterwards would expertly improve upon.
|Scott Miller programmed this gem of a game, and then later published Wolfenstein 3D.|
one hint: be sure to look at everything carefully!
So, the description mentions there is a gate.
? LOOK GATE
|I'm feeling somewhat inferior to a castle gate.|
|Never, never, ever, eat Noontonyt Nectarines....|
|"I'm the butler, sir." "What do you do?" "I buttle, sir."|
|I suspect this screen sounds like this.|
So, this seems like a great time to pause, and let everyone guess how well this game will fare. After all, there's 83 rooms, and we've only seen 4 of them so far, and not one of the 13 treasures, so it's an open playing field. It's black and white, having been designed at a time when many users might not have had a CGA monitor yet. It predates King's Quest I with an animated character and a parser, so let's see how entertaining it is, or if I'm just looking back on childhood with rose-colored glasses.
|In 1984, a monochrome monitor was around the price of Zork I, II, and III combined.|