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Episode 24: The Quest
This week, let's look at 1983 Penguin Software adventure The Quest -- the very first game designed by Dallas Snell, who would go on to co-found Origin Systems with none other than Richard Garriott. I think Mr. Snell still works with Garriott at Portalarium to this day, although I know there are some industry scions that follow this series that could let me know for sure!

The Quest is exceptional for its comparatively mature themes and sophisticated graphics. If you liked last week's minimalist, terse Escape from Rungistan, you'll find it hard to believe The Quest is only two years younger, with its vivid, painterly landscapes and poignant, evocative prose.

What's most interesting about this game for me is that the parser is personified, in a sense -- you're a newly-appointed advisor to the king, and the "true" hero of the game is his champion, Gorn. All of your text inputs are treated as instructions to Gorn, who may humorously dismiss or disobey you. I think this is a fascinating way to approach the central conflict between the player and the text parser -- two creatures from different walks of life who may not always want the same things nor speak the same language. 1983 is quite early for someone to've come up with a narrative-oriented solution to the fact that the player is doomed to be naive to the game universe and its cruel vocabularies

This is primarily a map-making and inventory management game; it's not sophisticated enough for object or language puzzles, but nonetheless I remain impressed by the fact that every playthrough I make is different. I tried four separate recordings of The Quest to try to get the most thorough and interesting look at the game for you -- I'm confident this is the one, yet the others revealed completely different parts of the world and story.

I'll include more details in the upcoming newsletter! Thanks everyone for bearing with me as I get settled in to doing this series again -- once the payments for these first two videos have been processed I'll be able to buy and start experimenting with the promised binaural mic, and my first newsletter will be coming out in the next ~2 weeks to backers at that level, with more stories, images and emulation tips regarding the games we'll have looked at up to that point in time. Most LFLPs explore Apple IIe adventure games because it's my personal favorite platform and genre, but from Amiga to C64 to DOS to System 7 & HyperCard, clickables nad edutainment and more, we have so much to do. I'm so excited!

Whether you're a backer or not please, please subscribe to Lo-Fi Let's Play on YouTube and share your favorite episodes with friends. I'm so grateful to have so many of you along with me for this weird niche project!

Love,

L