Username: Password:
RegisterForgotten Password


Roger Plowman 1979

Thief's Quest
Roger Plowman
Atari ST, CP/M, PC info
Entered by:
Garry, iamaran, Strident



Quest is a text adventure game written in ADVSYS. The basic premise is that you stole a treasure map from a wizard. Totally infuriated, the wizard threw a spell at you, transporting you to the valley shown on the map.

The spell landed you in me. I am your body for the duration of the quest. You command me with short English commands like "Take the sword" or "walk west".

I understand surprisingly complex commands. I also understand most reasonable abbreviations. For example, to walk east you can type "walk east", "east", or "e".

Good Luck!


Thief's Quest has appeared in several different versions...

RSTS/E version: April 17, 1979
(Written in Basic-Plus)

CP/M Version: August 1, 1983
(Written in S-Basic)

MS-DOS Version: November 17, 1988
(Written in ADVSYS. It is the sample game in the AdvSys manual.)

Additional (partial?) PC versions were written using Alan, Hugo and TADS in 1996/7.

A PAWS/Universe version, written with Roger's own Python Adventure Writing System, was produced first in 1998 and then deemed complete by the author in 2007. The final version produced by Roger Plowman was dated 2008.

Note: The game was renamed Thief's Quest in 1996 to avoid confusion with other games and adventure systems called Quest.

The Python Adventure Writing System version has been updated by Matthias C. Hormann so it runs under the PAWS 2.1 environment.

Resources (Upload file)

by Canalboy
Further Info:

[+] Users who have solved this game

[+] Users currently playing this game


Quest_1.png Quest_2.png Quest_3.png Quest_Up_A_Beech_Tree.png quest_v3.0.png quest_map.png quest_woman.png


Average User Rating: — (0 rating)

Your Rating: —

User Comments

Canalboy (12-10-2023 11:47)

I've managed to ger this running in DOSBOX-X and it looks intriguing; a real piece of arcana from 1979 although I am playing v 3.0 from 1986 which ostensibly looks the same as the screen displayed here.

Canalboy (14-02-2024 15:16)

Apart from a flagrant bug whereby your inventory is always listed as empty this game is rather good. Once you have managed to elude the very annoying (and usually deadly) wolf there are multiple entrances underground and very evocative descriptions. Take a skull you find buried in the rubble and a long narrative unfolds detailing an entire skeleton slowly rising from the debris, reassembling itself, grabbing a sword and administering the coup de grace. I was metaphorically in a Ray Harryhausen film during this scene.

Canalboy (15-02-2024 16:56)

Sadly this game has proven too buggy to really continue. The lamp only lasts for two hundred moves before the batteries die; reading the Word document that came with the game itself the phial is supposed to provide you with a secondary and permanent light source when it is filled with a glowing liquid. If however you fill it (it is henceforth described as glowing) it still fails to light up any room locations. I suspect a conditional flag has been incorrectly set. Given the size of the game it is not possible to solve it before the flashlight dies.

There is another amusing bug whereby you can dip yourself into the magic bowl and the "me" dissolves! This then dumps you into a garbage screen with a sword that you can't leave. Together with the fact the inventory command parses nothing makes it ultimately unplayable. This is a shame as it showed real promise up to the light source impasse.

Canalboy (15-02-2024 17:05)

And I call myself a seasoned adventurer! Apologies to the programmers as I was too dim to see that the phial's lack of light was due to me not seeing there was another part to the puzzle that was unsolved. I literally had a Eureka moment. I can cope with the inventory not working (although I am now wondering if I am missing something there as well).

Canalboy (17-02-2024 13:49)

Alas there were some extra bugs waiting for me at the staircase that descends from Level 2 to Level 3. It is impossible to go down although the staircase heads downwards. There is also a pit that you can't enter that should be accessible. I have had a look at the source code and there is nothing that a cursory examination reveals to be the culprit or culprits. There is also more inventory weirdness as the blank inventory partially reveals itself if you stack objects in the gold cage (that must be one capacious cage). However it also claims that you are carrying the stairway landing around with you and duplicates some objects incorrectly. All in all it is not a great lesson in coding. And a classic typo - mistletoe is spelled "missiletoe." I thought maybe this was a deliberate pun and you could throw or launch the object but no, it is just atrocious spelling. I am only half surprised that the game isn't called "Kwest."