Fantasia Diamond

Hewson

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Delve deep into the age of fantasy with a host of intriguing characters that may help or hinder your exploration of this dream world.

Retrieve the magnificent Fantasia Diamond recently stolen and rescue Boris the master spy from the imposing fortress and its evil guardian. Talk to the Robot, Violinist and other characters to illicit their help. An enthralling and sophisticated graphic adventure by Kim Topley for the Spectrum 48k, Commodore 64, BBC Model B* and Acorn Electron SRP £7.95.

Despite Hewson Consultants Ltd releasing games prolifically on both the Spectrum and Commodore, little is known about Fantasia Diamond, a text adventure written by Kim Topley. It managed to find its way out on the Spectrum, as did another Kim Topley game, Quest Adventure. Looking at the adverts for the game, viewable from the Fantasia Diamond entry on World of Spectrum, it was a typically Tolkien-esque style fantasy game.

It’s hard to imagine why the game wouldn’t have been released on the C64, simply because Hewson were so prolific releasing games on both systems. Kim Topley wrote no other games, but has now written several widely available books on Java. Given the popularity of The Hobbit, which had come out two years earlier in 1982, it’s even harder to understand why the game wasn’t released on as many formats as possible.

Well, Kim Topley kindly got in touch with GTW and tells us that there was no C64 version simply because he didn’t own one…

"In your page about my game, Fantasia Diamond, you ask why it didn’t appear for the C64 and in other formats. The answer to your question is simply that I didn’t own a C64 at the time. The game was written first for the ZX Spectrum and then ported, by me, to the Electron and then the Amstrad CPC 464."

Kim finished the game masters and passed them to Hewson for publication. When asked about the possibility of a C64 conversion being done by someone else, Kim responded:

"I had the only copy of the source code for both my games. At the time, Hewson did not have any in-house programmers who could have done that work, although they did build a team shortly afterward. In fact, they offered me a job as leader of that team, but I decided that my position as a senior programmer at ICL in West Gorton, Manchester, was more secure and I was later proved to be correct."

What with possibly low sales of the game, Hewson may have decided to let the C64 conversion go. It seems that this was a non-starter sadly!…

Case closed!

Contributions: Unknown, Martin Smith, Kim Topley

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