Klartz and the Dark Forces was a Quill based (on ZX Spectrum at least) adventure being produced for the Dragon 32, C64 and ZX Spectrum back in 1984 by an obscure company called Dragon Dungeon. It was advertised in a few magazines at the time, including BigK magazine in 1984.
The game was an interlinked series of adventures set in different time zones and on different planets. You are a member of a small group of survivors dedicated to a plan to rid the universe of Klartz and his Dark Forces.
The C64 version in particular was advertised as being a 120K extended graphics version for £9.95, but sadly it was never to be for reasons which are yet unknown. Nothing more was ever to surface of the game it seems, not even any screenshots showing the game (though we wouldn’t mind being proven wrong of course! ;-) )
Even the Spectrum version is currently missing in action, but the Dragon 32 version was actually sold and released. Looking at the Dragon Dungeon name, it seems that the company may well have been a Dragon 32 focused company, with a view to spread into other platforms. Maybe they hit troubles trying to convert their game to other platforms?
It is still early days yet – but with the game being almost 30 years old now, it is becoming less and less likely that anything could be found.
Mike Meineck talks to CASA back in 2009 briefly about Klartz and the Dark Forces:
I bought a ZX81 in 1981 and became hooked on playing with it, but at the time there was very little software available to buy so I taught myself to programme in BASIC. My first effort was a text adventure called The Crystal Maze. As you know things were moving fast in those days, and I soon switched to the Dragon 32 then to the Commodore 64. I did Crystal Chalice and Treasure Tombe.
Then I wrote Klartz and the Dark Forces (the name Klartz was a joke – Ronnie Barker in the TV sitcom Porridge used to refer to being in trouble as being in the clarts) A company called The Dragon Dungeon offered to publish the games and also a couple of children’s adventures but soon after they came out the PC started to take over, with slick graphic adventures, and so text games died out.
Klartz was a time travel game with each time zone being a different adventure with the object of collecting a treasure. One zone was in the time of Jesus, one on an alien planet and so on. An awful lot of thought had to go in to compressing the programme to fit it into the tiny memories we had in those days. What else can I tell you? Those were the days.”
30/11/20 – Added notes from the author and details thanks to Strident.
A few additions for this one…
Firstly, Mike Meineck was in contact with CASA back in 2009 and left a few brief comments about the game… http://solutionarchive.com/articles/notes/note_mikemeineck.txt
I think only the Spectrum version was Quilled; as that is specifically mentioned in the advert (pictured), which appeared twice in Big K magazine. Presumably the others were written in BASIC/assembler or a custom system.
There is, I think, a screenshot of the C64 version out there. See page 32 of the September 1984 issue of C&VG. The Dragon version is reviewed, but the screenshot seems to be from the graphical C64 version.
Re. Dragon Dungeon (aka Dungeon Software) of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, UK.
Dragon Dungeon ran the Dragon Owners Club, publishing a club magazine Dragon’s Teeth, as well as producing Dragonware/Dungeonsoft for the Dragon 32 computer.
Thanks Strident! Just updated the page and added the screenshot too – that does look C64ish!