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Acornsoft info 1984

Peter D. Killworth info, Rod Underwood
BBC/Electron info
Magic, Treasure hunt
Entered by:
Alastair, Gunness, iamaran



Welcome to the medieval land of Quondam, where all things magical are possible. The land is full of wonders, but is also full of traps for the unwary. Your task is to find all the treasures and a safe place to deposit them. But beware, things are seldom as they seem. This is a text adventure for advanced players.


Based on the mainframe game, which is lost.

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User Comments

Canalboy (23-06-2023 15:34)

I don't know the record low number returnable by dividing the number of locations in a game by the number of ways to die, but this one must be a podium finish at least. I can so far report having visited 58 locations (19 of these being a spider's web where it is possible to die at each individual web location) but taking the web deaths as just one death; 58 divided by 19 (ways go die) equals 3.05 to two decimal places.

I thought Colombia and Midsomer were hazardous.

Canalboy (04-07-2023 11:03)

There are some subtly humorous flourishes to this game which act as something of a palliative to its crushing difficulty. I particularly like the smiling apothecary whose shop has an empty rack which once (quondam?) contained pairs of dark glasses. He has a nice little racket tied up with some other characters you meet in the game. Hints given out? Me? Pshaw.

Canalboy (05-07-2023 16:49)

Well, progress has been inevitably faltering (I have of course found a new way to die) but the problem of how to use the playing cards has finally bitten the dust. Unsurprisingly it involves using two more verbs which you would do very well to guess. This game has more obscure verbs and off the wall object manipulation than any I have come across in forty years of text adventures.

Canalboy (07-07-2023 17:58)

I am pleased to have emulated the suffragette Emily Davison at Epsom in 1913 as I too have been crushed to death by a horse. That makes 24 ways to die now, or 2.66 cats' deaths in feline money.

Canalboy (17-07-2023 11:59)

I have made some more agonisingly slow progress in this laugh out loud difficult game. I have now identified 33 ways to die and several more excruciatingly difficult puzzles have been solved. Aside from that statistic the game must have more soft and hard locks than any others I have tried. I think I am beginning to understand the skewed mind of the author at this stage though and tend to try ridiculous actions right from the get go. As well as obscure verbs and deceptively described objects this game must also hold the record for the most tortuous inventory juggling ever required in a text adventure. Even the rucksack has a hole in it that can't be repaired! I have now attained 208 points out of 250 although I am still not sure how in some cases.

Canalboy (17-07-2023 19:57)

I have finally finished after my latest assault! And without any recourse to hints. A few observations:
There are some very clever logic puzzles here. The rucksack / serpent problem and the time travel sequence are particularly clever;
I have never played a game with such off the wall use of items and tortuous inventory manipulation;
I have never played a game where dying so often is necessary to glean information;
I have never played a game where an object is described differently depending on which direction you approach it from;
I have never played a game with such a high deaths to locations ratio. I think 34 ways to die in 79 locations.
I have never played a game where EXAMINE and SAVE kill you.
Quondam is the hardest text adventure I have ever played.