Another game, another title which was never really mentioned in the press – probably because this was a submission to a magazine, rather than a full commercial game it seems.
This game was discovered on a disk in Darren Melbourne’s collection, which seems to have been given to him by Gary Liddon. It was found alongside another adventure game by the same author – both of which seem to have been submitted to the White Wizard at Zzap 64.
The game was the first of an “Arlia” trilogy. There is not much back story to the game and things kick in pretty quickly. The game does give away on the title screen that Keith Matthews was from Cardiff, so we hope to track him down!
Both games though are dated from 1984, which suggests they had been sat on for a period of time before the author then submitted them. Were they submitted for review? Does this mean they were on sale at any point?
Well, the author commented on the CASA website that the games were only distributed to close friends and never submitted for publication. He no longer had any copies, so these were possibly the last remaining copies of his game. Thankfully the author was able to see their work once more. See Creator Speaks for more details.
I’m not much of a text adventure player, but the game seems detailed enough with some good puzzles throughout. It is a shame that more people back in the day didn’t get to experience it!
We hope that some day the author will see his games and will get in touch to shed some light on them and we can finally close the door on this case. For now though, check out the games for yourself and see what you think!
Contributions: Darren Melbourne, Strident
From the CASA website:
“I wrote this game!
I was 18 at the time and I had just had a baby, so that’s basically why I never got around to finishing the rest of the ‘trilogy’.
It was never submitted to a publisher and only distributed to a few friends on the software scene, so it was quite a surprise to see it (and my first attempt, Andromeda III) here. Unfortunately I no longer have the files, but if anyone has a link to where I might download them, I’d love to have them for nostalgia’s sake. I’m also quite happy for them to be freely available too.
@Alex, re: the solution. My memory is a bit vague, but to score maximum points I think you had to drop the Pearl somewhere (small spring maybe?) at a certain specific time, which (iirc) made Magmar appear to you with a message. Or something like that.”
09/03/20 – Author speaks via CASA, so we’ve added here.