by Ross McNaughton
QUEST is a roleplaying game in the hack-and-slay tradition - that is, the
character development centres around killing monsters and collecting treasure.
Additional points are gained for solving certain objectives, the main one
being to find (and kill) whatever is at the bottom of the dungeon (getting out
alive is quite important, too!)
QUEST will run on any ST in high or medium resolution. It is possible that
after a long session on a 512K machine, the game will run out of memory, but
provision has been made to save the game and restart if this happens.
STARTING A GAME
The first thing QUEST does is to ask you for the name of a character. If the
name is that of an existing saved game file, the game will be loaded,
otherwise a new character will be generated.
After entering the character's name, you will be asked to enter a sex and race
(Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling or Half-Orc) for the character, after
which the program will generate some stats. Depending on race and stats, you
will be given a choice of character class. If you don't like the choice, there
is no option to reroll the stats, but I have left the break key (Control-C)
enabled so you can return to the desktop and try again.
There are fifteen different character classes, each of which has different
abilities and starting equipment. They are:
ALCHEMIST: Alchemists are expert with potions and begin the game with several.
They are quite good at magic use but are poor fighters.
Humans, gnomes and elves may be alchemists.
BARBARIAN: Barbarians are the toughest characters in the game, with good
fighting ability and hit points, but have almost no skill in magic use.
Humans and dwarves may be barbarians.
CLERIC: Clerics are good at using magic but have only average fighting ability
and hit points.
Humans, elves, halflings and half-orcs may be clerics.
DRUID: Druids are similar to clerics, although slightly worse at fighting and
slightly better at magic use.
Only humans may be druids.
FIGHTER: Fighters have slightly lower attack bonuses and hit points than
barbarians, but start with a more balanced set of equipment and are not quite
as useless with magic.
Members of any race may be fighters.
ILLUSIONIST: Illusionists are very similar to wizards, but as befits their
more specialised magic use, they start with different spells.
Humans, gnomes and elves may be illusionists.
JESTER: Jesters have very special skills; they are skilled at throwing
objects, at landing safely after a fall, and also have an unusual amount of
luck which allows a saving throw against dangerous actions such as drinking
Gnomes and halflings may be jesters.
KNIGHT: The knight is a very powerful class, having the same hit points as a
fighter but better equipment and more skill at magic. However, the standards
for knighthood are very exacting and only a few characters will have
statistics which allow this class.
Humans and elves may be knights.
MONK: Monks are experts at hand to hand combat and have a bonus to hit and
damage when fighting without a weapon. They also have good hit points and
reasonable magical skills.
Only humans may be monks.
NINJA: Ninja are experts with all weapons and receive a bonus to hit with any
weapon. They start the game with a variety of weapons.
Only humans may be ninja.
PEASANT: Peasants are average at everything, and start the game poorly
equipped. Peasants require no minimum statistics: they can be perfectly
viable characters, but if a peasant is the only choice you are offered, your
character is probably not good enough to survive very long.
Members of any race may be peasants.
RANGER: Rangers have reasonable skill at both fighting and magic-use. They
begin the game with a variety of useful items.
Humans, elves and halflings may be rangers.
SMITH: Smiths have similar abilities to fighters but start the game with
Humans and dwarves may be smiths.
THIEF: Thieves are average at both fighting and magic use. They are adept at
avoiding traps and have the advantage of beginning the game with a couple of
keys - very useful later in the game.
Members of any race may be thieves.
WIZARD: Wizards are the experts at magic use, and start the game with a couple
of scrolls, but have poor hit points and little skill at fighting.
Humans and elves may be wizards.
Regardless of class, characters can improve their skills in all areas as the
game progresses. Advancement is not automatic: you must find the correct room
and object to increase your level.
The rooms of the dungeon are described in a similar manner to a normal text
adventure, starting with the general room description, then a list of
available exits, then of monsters in the room and any treasure lying around
(all of this assuming you have sufficient light to see what's going on! Light
is not needed in the upper levels but it is essential as you go deeper).
Finally there is a description of any effect which applies to your character
(poisoned, paralysed etc.) and then a prompt asking "What now ?".
There are over fifty different monsters in QUEST. Some have more than one
attack, others have special attacks and defences. You will gradually learn the
capabilities of each monster; those on the first couple of levels tend to have
only simple attacks and do minor damage, as you go further down the monsters
get meaner and more imaginitive. The tougher monsters tend to have more
As well as gold, there are 50 different special or magical items which you can
find as treasure, including scrolls, potions, gems and keys. These items are
initially only identified by their description, to find out what they do you
will either have to use them or find some other method of identification.
However, unlike some similar games, the items are consistent from game to
game, so once you've played a few games you should have an idea of what at
least some of the items are.
Depending on your character class, you may already possess some items at the
beginning of the game, but you still won't know what they do until you try
Weapons and armour may also be found as treasure.
QUEST uses 16 commands, all activated by single key presses. They are:
Use these keys to move in the four possible directions. Available exits are
always shown in the room description.
Attack a creature in the room. If you face more than one opponent, you must
kill the first which was generated before you can attack the next.
Pick up any treasure or items which are present in the room.
C CAST A SPELL
Entering this command will present you with a list of the scrolls you are
carrying, simply choose the one to cast or enter 0 to abort. Spellcasting has
a chance of failure depending on your character's class and level.
D DRINK A POTION
Similar to the above command, you will be shown a list of the potions you are
carrying and asked to choose which to drink.
U USE AN ITEM
Again, this command presents you with a list. GEMS and KEYS can be used with
this command. Using a gem will affect either yourself or the room you are in.
T THROW AN ITEM
GEMS and POTIONS may be thrown, in which case they will affect any monster in
the room. Thrown items have a chance of missing, dependent on your character's
R READY A WEAPON
This command allows you to change your active weapon. You will be given a list
of each type of weapon you are carrying and asked to choose one. If you have
more than one weapon of a particular type, choosing it will ready the weapon
of that type with the highest magical 'plus'.
W WEAR ARMOUR
Similar to the above command, but for armour.
L LOOK AT INSCRIPTION
Occasionally, walls or objects in rooms will carry inscriptions. This command
allows you to read these inscriptions.
Q QUIT AND SAVE
This command saves your character and current position, then exits the
program. If you wish to quit without saving, use Control-C.
This command shows a full inventory including character status, active weapon
and armour and items carried. This command does not count as a turn, so you
can examine your inventory during a fight without giving your opponent an
? LIST COMMANDS
This command displays a list of all available commands. Does not count as a
Mapping is essential in QUEST. The map is generated randomly as you play, so
it changes for every game. The map generator treats each location as a square
of equal size, so squared paper is ideal for mapping. Start the first level in
the middle of a sheet: each level is the same size and shape so once you've
mapped the edges of a level you'll know how large each map needs to be.
Don't forget that in a location which reads, for example, "stairs lead up to
the North", moving North will move you both North a square AND up a level.
Pits always lead to the same square on the next level.
There are some 'trick' locations which can mess up your mapping. Apart from
these, the map is completely logical, so if you move, say, West and then are
unable to return East, you know you have found a trick location.
DO make a map, there are quite a lot of extra points earned for getting out of
the dungeon, so knowing where the stairs are is very useful.
When your character dies or escapes from the dungeon, you will be given a
description of the character's performance, including treasure and experience
gained and objectives achieved. These achievements will generate a score which
is also displayed.
As mentioned earlier, this game has been known to run out of memory on a
520ST. I have added a routine which will, if available memory becomes too low,
allow the player to save the game and quit to the desktop. This will release
the memory back to GEM; the game can then be reloaded and resumed.
Version 0.9, Version 1.0 (1990)
These versions were never released, 0.9 was a version that I knew still had
bugs in it and in version 1.0 I soon discovered them!
Version 1.1 (1991)
This version was released to a PD library but they managed to leave out the
datafile so it wasn't much good for anything!
Version 1.5 (1991)
This was a major rewrite to the monster generation routine, to try and reduce
the number of string assignments and thus the memory usage.
Version 1.51 (1992)
Naturally, the new routine introduced a new bug (I hope it was just the one!)
but with luck, this is the final version.
4 Davenport Road
30th July 1992