Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

Games for Spectrum, C64, Amstrad, Amiga, Apple ][ and the rest of the 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Pleas for help, puzzles, bug reports etc.

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jgerrie
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Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#1 Post by jgerrie » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:15 am

Why is there so little on the Net, including in the CASA database, on Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's "Mysterious Adventures" for MCX computers 1985? Is there something I'm missing in my searches regarding these programs? Were they just crap? They truly are mysterious.
Gotham Runner
Golden Nugget
Into the Unknown
3-D Maze/The Memnonite Stone
The Patriarch
The Explorer

https://acpc.me/ACME/LIVRES/[ENG]ENGLIS ... [RARE].pdf

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Strident
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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#2 Post by Strident » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:06 am

There are so many type-in books out there that some are bound to be overlooked; particularly for machines like the CPC where most of the preservation effort is being spearheaded by the French community. The Spectrum scene is still plugging type-in gaps and their archives are a lot more extensive.

Despite the name of the book, and is often the case, I think only a few of the games in that book would qualify for inclusion in CASA. I'm guessing some of them might be pretty similar to other Hartnell or Gifford games that appeared in the multiple books they wrote for other platforms.

Clive Gifford's output is amazing. He was prolific back then... as a teenager... but he's written hundreds (and hundreds) of books since! I don't think he was necessarily the best coder back then... A lot of those type-in games are pretty disappointing and shallow.

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Garry
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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#3 Post by Garry » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:19 pm

Thanks for finding this book. On a quick skim, only the first (The Explorer) and last (Golden Nugget) look like adventures. The others are RPG or CYOA.

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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#4 Post by jgerrie » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:50 am

Thanks. I'm going to work on Gold Nugget and Explorer.

Jim

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Garry
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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#5 Post by Garry » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:14 am

I typed in both of those last night. Do you want me to send you the source?

I've just finished playing The Explorer. This is a tiny little game, but it's a real bug fest. For example, you can CHOP TREE or CHOP LOG multiple times and the log keeps reappearing, even if you're carrying it. GO <direction> gives some strange responses and sometimes sends you to the wrong room if <direction> is an unknown word. If you GO UP in the last room, the program crashes with a subscript out of range error. If you don't have the gold with you in the last room, you can GET WITCH, thus bypassing the need for the gold, then GET PRINCESS to win the game. Overall, for such a tiny game intended to teach beginners how to write an adventure, it's a real disaster.

Personally, I would give The Explorer a miss, unless you intend to expand it and correct all the bugs. It really annoys me that these make-a-quick-buck authors from the past (Clive Gifford is not the only one) always published untested, buggy games, especially considering that the books were aimed at beginners and were meant to teach you how to write an adventure.

I will play Golden Nugget shortly to make sure I don't have any typos in the listing. According to the text in the book, this one was written by Brian Beesley, although Clive Gifford claims co-writing credits in the remarks. This one actually looks like it might be quite good, but I won't know for sure until I've played it. Let's hope that Clive Gifford's input was minimal.

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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#6 Post by Garry » Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:27 am

Hmmm, it doesn't look like I can add an attachment to a personal message. Here's a zip file for The Explorer. I'll add one for Golden Nugget after I've tested it. It might take a day or two.
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Explorer, The (Clive Gifford).zip
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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#7 Post by Garry » Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:25 am

In the meantime, I've submitted an entry to CASA for The Explorer, together with screen grabs, map and solution. I'll do the same for Golden Nugget in due course.

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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#8 Post by Garry » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:03 pm

I got side-tracked on some other new discoveries, but eventually got back to 'Golden Nugget'. It turned out to be a real dog. I was really stumped at one point until I realised there was a bug in the listing that made it impossible to finish the game. Specifically, when I tried to DIG DIRT in the tunnel, it told me I had nothing to dig with, even though I was carrying the pick and the spade. After I'd fixed that (and a few other bugs), I was able to finish the game. It's still got bugs, but I did not feel inspired enough to fix them all.

Here's a zip file with the original listing and the bug-fixed listing as plain text files. Do with them as you will.
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Golden Nugget.zip
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jgerrie
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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#9 Post by jgerrie » Wed Dec 23, 2020 2:14 pm

Sorry for the delay getting back. Thanks for all that work. I'll certainly be looking at these, and maybe adding some bug fixes of my own. I'll let you know.

Jim

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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#10 Post by Strident » Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:31 pm

Clive Gifford was interviewed in the recent issue of The Classic Adventurer http://classicadventurer.co.uk/

It's a very interesting read. His young age (only 15 when he started), the fast changing nature of the computer landscape, and the hectic sounding production process make all the bugs a little more forgivable. :)

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Re: Tim Hartnell and Clive Gifford's Mysterious Adventures

#11 Post by jgerrie » Wed Feb 10, 2021 1:26 pm

Thanks Garry for the walkthrough and Strident for the Interview link. I've just made a 10-Liner version of Clive Gifford's "The Explorer." Hopefully with most bugs fixed;)
explorer.png
explorer.png (2.78 KiB) Viewed 262 times
It can be played here:
http://faculty.cbu.ca/jgerrie/MC10/Australasian.html

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