Tower of Mystery

I came recently accross an old adventure game while I was trying to sort the numerous files on my main computer. I had dowloaded « Tower of Mystery » several years ago, forgot the file somewhere and never tested it.

Yes, I know, this is yet another two-word parser adventure game, from the eighties, and implemented in old BASIC. However, you might find this one interesting, as I do.

Detail from the corver of « Compute!’s… »

I started to do some researches on the Internet about Tower of Mystery. There is an entry in IFDB with a short description and a review of the game. Tower of Mystery was published in the book « COMPUTES!’s Guide to Adventure Games » by Gary MacGath. The game was written to illustrate some of the concepts of adventure programming, and is an example of how to create your own adventure game.

Introduction from Gary McGath

There is a Microsoft BASIC version that runs with no adaptation on most computers from that time; Applesoft, PET Commodore 64, VIC 20 (with memory expansion), IBM PC, TRS-80. I’ve tested it on my Apple II and it just works fine. You can find the listing on page 166 of the book. And also hereafter:

Several adaptations must be done for Atari 8bit computers, as the way Atari BASIC handdles strings is different from Microsoft BASIC (see here for more explanations). The required modifications are given in programme 2, on page 171. I did some tests but the parser didn’t work exactly like the one from the Microsoft BASIC version:

  • Shortcuts N, S, E, W, U, D did not work;
  • When you enter spaces before the first word, the command is not understood.

I found that annoying so I fixed these two bugs. Here is my Atari version which – apparently- works fine:

The plot

There is no actual plot… The aim is to enter an old factory building where the world’s only remaining copy of Adventure is stored, and to leave with a tape containing a copy of the programme. The game is minimal, but short and easy to finish.

The map

I’ve drawn this map if you find the game too difficult (!):


There is a translation for TI BASIC on page 172 of Compute!’s guide to adventure game, but I haven’t tested it.

You can also find a version for Amstrad CPC here. I haven’t tested it either.

The BASIC programme has been converted to Python by Jason Wells, and you can find it here… and also hereafter (tar format):

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