Reprinted with permission from the Atari 2600 Connection Newsletter:
Welcome to the first installment of our Swordquest series. We've had a lot of people ask for this , and after some research, I'm happy to say that we can come through for all of you. Back in 1982, Atari launched their Swordquest Challenge, which would span four games and comic books that were included with the cartridges themselves. The four worlds encompassing the quest came for ancient science, when earth, fire, water, and air were thought to be the four basic elements of the cosmos. Each segment would have a separate playoff, and then there would be a showdown with the four winners for the big prize.
The prizes were indeed great. For each leg there was an 8 karat, jewel encrusted, $25,000 artifact designed specifically for the contest. The Earthworld Talisman was won by Steven Bell. The Fireworld Chalice was won by Michael S. Rideout. The Waterworld Crown was won by -- well, we don't know, since Atari never completed the contest. The Crown may have been awarded, but the Airworld Philosopher's Stone, and the $50,000 final prize, the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery, never were. What happened to them is unknown.But now, let's review our journey, courtesy of the DC comic books.
The first leg was Earthworld. We were introduced to the golden-haired twins, Tarra and Torr. After their natural parents were killed by King Tyrannus's guards, spurred by a prophecy from the wizard Konjuro, they are raised by thiefs as commoners to avoid their parents' fate.
They are interrupted while trying to plunder Konjuro's sea keep, inadvertently revealing their true identities to him, and they flee, followed by a conjured demon. A jewel, from Konjuro's keep, seems to attract the demon, and Torr knocks it away, causing it to break. A column of smoke arises, freeing two robed and hooded beings, Tyrannus's old councilors, imprisoned by Konjuro. After a brief conversation, the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery and the Talisman of Penultimate Truth are revealed to the twins and a pit opens up. The twins descend to explore Earthworld.
After many encounters with the zodiacal denizens and another thief, Herminus, they are transported to the central chamber for a glimpse at the Sword and the Talisman. As they reach for it, they each gain a sword, but not the true Sword, which burns a hole through the altar into the ground below and falls to the second world, Fireworld, followed closely by the twins as Konjuro watches in his crystal ball.
The Solution To Swordquest: Earthworld
|Room||Object||Skill & Action Sequence|
|(start)||Dagger, Grappling Hook, Rope|
|Gemini||Short Sword, Lamp|
|Taurus||Shoes of Stealth, Key||Charging Taurus Horns|
|Aquarius||Talisman of Passage, Water||Rafts in Aquarian Rapids|
|Sagittarius||Cloak of Invisibility||Sagittarius Spears|
|Amulet||Enter rooms in random order from doors|
|Cloak of Invisibility||Skip Charging Taurus Horns & Sagittarius Spears|
|Key||Allows use of side doors|
|Lamp||Lights Charging Taurus Horns|
|Leather Armor||Safe from Charging Taurus Horns & Sagittarius Spears|
|Necklace||Cancels effect of Amulet|
|Shoes of Stealth||Muffles footsteps|
|Talisman of Passage||Skip Leo Waterfall ; acts as key|
A hint was in the poem facing page 1. In purple letters are the words 'prime' and 'number', indicating that correct clues were only prime numbers.
|16-4||spire||--||(go to Aires)|
|Shoes of Stealth||Aries|
|17-3||tower||Cloak of Invisibility||Capricorn|
|Talisman of Passage||Cancer|
|Shoes of Stealth||Virgo|
|Talisman of Passage||Sagittarius|
|Cloak of Invisibility||Aquarius|
|Cloak of Invisibility||Aries|
|Shoes of Stealth||Aquarius|
|Talisman of Passage||Sagittarius|
(*) Supposedly, this was a clue relating to FireWorld, but it is unknown as to how. It depicts the Food and the Dagger.
(**) This is not hidden, but is boldfaced.
There seems to be some flexibility in when you can discover the 5-3 and 27-2 clues. Otherwise, you must follow this order. You must find the FW clue.
At the completion of the this, press the button, and you will discover the Warrior's Sword. The game does not end, but I don't know if there is anything else to be found (secret message? more clues? a less disappointing end?).
The correct phrase is "Quest in Tower Talisman Found".
|Number of Correct Word Clues||Title Bestowed by Atari|
|One or Two||Brave Venturer|
|Three or Four||Wise Warrior|
|Five||Supreme Sage of Sorcery|