8-bit computing power OVERLOAD!!!

Today – between bouts of doing laundry, working on FembotWiki and wishing I had more time off – I loaded up my Commodore 64 emulator and played a bit (several hours) of Questron.

Back when I was a young lad, my Father bought me and my brothers a Commodore 64.

It was the first computer I’ve ever owned, though not the first computer I had ever used.  That honour belongs to the venerable Apple ][.

I’ve got an emulator and some games for that as well.  But back to the topic of Questron.  I would spend literally hours and hours at the old Commodore 64 playing Questron.  It’s a role-playing fantasy game… the only one I’ve really played much or enjoyed.  The fantasy RPG genre doesn’t interest me much.  Probably because there are (usually) no fembots.  If someone made an “invade Dr. Franklin’s base” RPG game, I’d buy it immediately.

But anyway, I played Questron so much when I was a kid that I kept a binder full of detailed notes of the game.  I even made maps of both “islands”, all the towns, all 3 cathedrals and the Castle.  The dungeons on Island 2 are too vast and complex to map… though I think I did attempt doing so.

I still have that binder.  It helped me grow my character strong and get lots of stuff accomplished within the game.  I never did finish the game though.  The Commodore 64 started acting funny, and very soon after that it refused to boot at all.

But thanks to emulation, I can use my really fast PC with the crisp, clear 21″ monitor and awesome Logitech stereo speakers to play this vintage 1986 8-bit video game.  I have a comfy game controller with a thumb-action joystick and about 10 superfluous buttons with which to emulate the old-school Atari-style joystick I used to have.

The game play is still the same, the graphics are still in 16-colour glory and the sound is still bloops and blips.  Actually Commodore 64 sound was way ahead of its time, and was basically a synthesizer on a chip compared to Commodore’s main competition at the time.

But anyway, even though I can get the game running on my emulator, there are two things that don’t work:

  • The “casino games” inside the towns.  They can be played, but the game crashes after you leave the casino.
  • The dungeons.

That latter point is basically half the fucking game.  There are 3 dungeons on Island 2, and you must explore and retrieve items from each before defeating Mantor (the baddie) in the final dungeon.  And I can’t get into any of them.  As soon as I descend the ladder, the (emulated) Commodore 1541 disk drive (5¼” floppies! YEAH!!!) just spins and spins and spins.


I can give the Apple ][ version a spin, but the graphics and sound are so terrible, it’s not really worth it.  Besides, I can’t seem to make it OUT of the first dungeon alive when I do that.

So I still really don’t know how the game ends.  I’ve heard it has a very good ending, with a surprising twist at the end.  But I’ll only find out when I’m a 100 year old man in the old folk’s home, and I’m being mollified by my compu-goggles playing this game again.  The compu-goggles will have AI sufficient to fix the bad disk copy I have and probably take pity on me and finish the game for me so I can watch.

And then I’ll soil myself and have to get a sponge bath from the lovely fembot nurses.


Questron had a sequel, oddly enough called Questron II.  Here’s a pic:

I took both of these screenshot pics from Wikipedia, where I had uploaded them a couple of years ago when I was a regular Wikipedia editor.  I’ve since regained my sense and no longer get involved in the many Poke-Mon vs Star Wars Trivia Wars they have there.

Citation needed indeed.