GS WorldView: January MM
 back to GSWV.archive contents page



Long-Play Fantasy Maze Adventure originally released by SoftSide, 1983;  released as
shareware ($3) on 31 Dec 1999 by Jeff Hurlburt
Display: Text character 'graphics'
Compatibility: Apple II series
Requires 48K, one 5.25" drive


     For eons the forces of technology threatened to obliterate even the memory of something
called "magic"; yet, by the twenty-third century, an astonishing reversal is evident. Many
machines function sporactically-- even 'ancient' personal computers must employ complex
'boot-up spells' and rely upon moonbeam power! In "Super Quest", your objective is to
penetrate the maze of Saladin and activate the fabulous Mega Crown, the one device that
might restore the balance of technology and magic.

The Maze

     The maze has more than one-thousand chambers and corridors arranged in four large
sections or "levels". Throughout the labyrinth are treasure chests containing gold, jewels,
and other valuable items as well as weapons,  vials of healing elixir, and a magic lamp.
Some chests, however, are full of junk or even empty. Monsters guard the treasures to
guarantee that only a hero of tested mettle reaches the Mega Crown.

     There is only one known entrance, through an underground passage to the middle of
the first level. The Mega Crown is said to reside somewhere in the fourth level. Just
outside the maze is a bazaar and inside it are two hospices (the latter are maintained by
maze gnomes). These are places where you may rest (do a game-save), sell treasures,
and bargain with greedy merchants for weapons and other supplies.

Human, Hobbit, Elf, or Dwarf?

     Upon booting you are first given an opportunity to review an introductory narrative
and game directions. Next, you may return to the quest with a previously saved character
or create a new one. There is ample space on the game diskette to maintain fifty or so
active characters.

     When creating a hero, you name the character, enter your initials, and select his/her
race. Briefly, Humans are best in close combat; Hobbits are best in the use of magic;
Elves are the best archers; and Dwarves are physically the toughest. A detailed
breakdown of attributes is available in the game; so you can pick the race best-suited
to your skills and style of play.

Weapons, Armor, and Potions

     Each hero is initially furnished with light armor, a longknife (for "hand combat"), a
crossbow with a supply of iron quarrels and magic quarrels, a few vials of Tana Powder,
and some healing elixir. Race and "strength" determine the number of quarrels which
may be carried into the maze. No such limits exist for Tana Powder or healing elixir.
Once in the maze, you will discover that you can carry anything you find.

     A weapon's accuracy and hit power depend on the weapon, distance, the attributes
of the hero who wields it, and the monster against which it is directed. The longknife
("hand combat") is effective only against monsters in an adjacent space; quarrels and
Tana Powder can work at long distances. Magic quarrels are inherently more accurate
and inflict greater damage than iron quarrels. Tana Powder has the hit power of a magic
quarrel but is effective only against demons and "undead" monsters. (It is the only
weapon effective against the dread Afreet.)

     The light armor supplied each beginning character is better than no armor at all, but
provides minimal protection against dragon fire. Dragon Fire Armor (fashioned from
dragon ears) is much more effective. As soon as you acquire sixty dragon ears and enter
the bazaar or a hospice, a coat of Dragon Fire Armor will be crafted for you. This is a
free service of the empire.

     Healing elixir restores strength. One vial brings your strength to 100% of current
potential. Strength Potion, on the other hand, increases the absolute level of your strength;
though expensive, it is an excellent investment. Strength Potion is rarely, if ever, found in
treasure chests. You can purchase it at the bazaar or a hospice.

Experience and Strength

     As you obtain treasure and vanquish monsters you acquire experience. The more
valuable the treasure or the tougher the monster, the greater the experience gained.
Experience increases the accuracy and hit power of a character's attack. It compensates
for initial deficits and accentuates positive attributes. Thus, an experienced Hobbit may
be a better archer than a beginning Elf.

     Strength is the other major factor in accuracy and hit power; it also impacts attack
resistance or "toughness". An Elf who has acquired extra strength might be able to absorb
more punishment than a normal strength Dwarf. Both experience and strength are
unqualified positive attributes. Stronger, more experienced heroes do not attract more
numerous, more deadly monsters.


     Except for weapons, elixirs, and the Magic Lamp, treasure obtained from the maze is
valued in Gold Denars. The only way to obtain the gold needed to buy supplies and
potions is to go into the maze and take it.

     Your magical backpack can hold enormous quantities of treasure and render it nearly
weightless; but, it can not disguise the scent of gold, gems, and other valuables from the
monsters which rove the maze.  The more treasure you carry, the greater the probability
of  meeting roving monsters, and the more deadly these are likely to be.

The Magic Lamp

     Normally, to get from one point to another in the maze, you must fight your way
through a host of hostile monsters. The Magic Lamp provides the single alternative. One
rub and you are transported elsewhere immediately. Regrettably, you don't know where
"elsewhere" may be, except that it is somewhere in the labyrinth. The Magic Lamp is
placed at random; and so may be discovered in almost any room in a treasure chest.
Once used, it vanishes (back into another treasure chest). You cannot remove the Lamp
from the maze; if you enter a hospice or the bazaar, it leaves your possession.


     Thirteen kinds of monster inhabit the maze. Some (imps, skeletons, vampires, zombies,
mummies, and afreets) may be attacked using Tana Powder (wraiths are only slightly
susceptible). Other monsters must be killed with quarrels or in close combat. Table 1 lists
monsters showing relative strength and weapons effectiveness for each.

Table 1: Weapons Effectiveness

*Note: NV = generally "Not Very" effective

Known         Relative   Hand   Iron   Magic  Tana
Monster       Strength   Combat Quarl  Quarl  Powder

Imp             12       Yes    No     No     Yes
Skeleton        25       Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes
Goblin          38       Yes    Yes    Yes    No
Zombie          55       Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes
Vampire         77       Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes
Giant Spider    85       NV*    Yes    Yes    No
Mummy           97       Yes    Yes    Yes    Yes
Troll          106       Yes    Yes    Yes    No
Ogre           121       NV*    Yes    Yes    No
Wraith         181       No     No     Yes    NV*
Afreet         250       No     No     No     Yes
Dragon         500       NV*    NV*    Yes    No
Rogue Dragon  1000       NV*    NV*    Yes    No

     While the "relative strength" numbers are a good indicator of both hit power and
toughness, there are individual attributes and quirks which remain to be discovered. Spiders,
for instance, move nearly twice as fast as other monsters; trolls are tougher than they seem;
dragons breathe fire which can inflict great damage at a distance, etc..

     Most treasures are guarded by one or more monsters. Other monsters rove ravenously
in search of warm-blooded prey. Roving monsters are especially attracted by the scent of
jewels and precious metal.

     Whatever the number of monsters present, you face just one at a time. Your hero
appears as a flashing "H" with monsters identified by the first letter of the monster type,
except for giant spiders, whose symbol is "#". The type and number of monsters is also
shown at the bottom of the screen.

     Bow shots and Tana Powder attacks are automatically directed at the current monster;
you see the quarrel or powder zip towards the monster accompanied by sound effects.
(Thus, though movement speed is moderately brisk, play emphasizes planning, strategy, and
other maze adventuring skills.)  In case things get desparate, you can always try running for
an exit; however this allows the current monster in the room exited to regain its full strength.

Maze Display and Key Functions

As you move through the maze the screen shows an outline of the current chamber or
corridor (walls and barriers), your hero, any treasure chests ("+") and monsters, plus vital
status information. The latter includes counts for quarrels, Tana Powder, and healing elixirs,
along with % strength, experience, value of treasure carried (in Gold Denars), and current
room number.


     Special "large rooms" are an exception, since they fill most of the screen.


     You can still obtain room, status, etc. information, along with a count of dragon ears and
a summary of key functions by pressing "I" (for "Information").  The only requirement is that
you not be under attack at the time.

     The Information display does NOT pause the game. Should monsters enter the current
room while you are viewing the "I" screen, the display will revert to the room view and
action continues; so, don't press "I" and go out for a cup of coffee!

     In-maze key functions are listed in Table 2. With a little practice, you will have no trouble
remembering which key does what or which weapon to use against a particular monster.
To aid beginning questers, the "Information" and "Weapons Effectiveness" displays are
available for relaxed perusal just after exiting the bazaar or a hospice and before actually
entering the maze.

Table 2: In-Maze Key Functions

             Move up

  Move left  A     D  Move right

             Move down

S  or "SPACE" or other non-movement key stops movement
F  Fight monster in an adjacent square ("hand combat")
<  Fire an iron quarrel (actually "," unshifted)
>  Fire a magic quarrel (actually "." unshifted)
P  Toss a vial of Tana Powder
H  Drink a vial of healing elixir
O  Open a treasure chest (hero must be adjacent to a "+")
R  Rub the Magic Lamp
I  Information/Help display ("RETURN" exits this display)

Traps and Maze Renewal

     Traps of various kinds proliferate throughout the maze. Most of these are simply feints
of the maze itself, though a few are less subtle. In no case, however, is a trap inherently
escape proof.

     Each time you load-in a character and start play the maze is reinitialized (treasures and
monsters are restored, etc.). To assure that any maps you make will remain valid from
session to session the maze configuration, with the exception of a very few "random rooms"
, remains unchanged. "Random rooms" may vary in appearance from one session to the
next and sometimes open additional exits to provide shortcuts.

Saving Your Character and Exiting the Game

     There are two usual ways to end a gaming session. One is to select the character Save
option offered whenever you are about to enter the maze or have left the maze and are
about to enter the bazaar or a hospice. Responding "N" (NO) when asked if you wish to
enter ends play and Saves your character.

     The other way to end play is to be killed by a monster. If your character's "% Strength"
ever reaches zero, he or she is dead, dispatched to heroes' heaven, and that character's
file is deleted.

     If you are in the middle of the maze and must leave the computer, you can pull your disk
and turn OFF power. Any gains since the last Save will be lost; but, your character will still
be alive to return again.

The Hall of Heroes

     Normally, ending play takes you to the "Hall of Heroes". This is a scrollable display
listing up to two-hundred heroes, living and dead, ranked in order of experience points.
Shown here are each heroe's name, race, 'sponsor' initials, and experience, with the names
of living characters in inverse text. All of this information is maintained in a 'heroes file'
created the first time you end a gaming session.

     A character who reaches the Mega Crown (thus winning the game) is awarded the rank
of "Prince". Any princes are ranked ahead of other characters in the "Hall of Heroes",
regardless of experience, in chronological order. That is, the first character to reach
princehood is ranked first, etc..

Getting Started

     Before starting play, it's a good idea to make a backup of the game diskette. Then, from
time to time, update your backup. This way your characters and the heroes file will not be
lost in case of a bombed diskette.

     To begin, just boot the game disk. If you are playing on a IIgs, speed and display colors
will automatically be set correctly and restored when play ends. If playing on some other
Apple II, II clone, or emulator which offers speed acceleration, be sure to set speed to
"Normal" (1MHz).

     Most parts of the game expect letter inputs to be capitals. If your keyboard can output
lower-case letters, set Caps Lock to ON.

     Read through the on-disk "Introduction" at least one time. It includes a few helpful hints
relating to puzzles.

     Once you are in the game explicit prompts get you quickly into the action. Soon you will
find yourself in the sun-baked bazaar grounds facing a grinning merchant whose chief
pleasure in life is fleecing greenhorn questers!



Super Quest (.sdk ShrinkIt disk archive) from.Ground
Super Quest (.dsk emulator disk image) from.Ground
Super Quest (.sdk ShrinkIt and .dsk emulator disk image in .zip) from.GSWV

Copy of Directions
Apple II Text files 40 & 80 col format and IIgs Teach file (.shk files in .zip) from GSWV