The Swordquest Series & Contest
Swordquest Swordquest EarthWorld Swordquest FireWorld Swordquest WaterWorld Swordquest AirWorld Swordquest Challenge Atari Atari 2600 Adventure Sword of Ultimate Sorcery
Today I want to talk about the Swordquest series and the sudden end of the series & contest due to the crash of '83. Five golden prizes were to be awarded to the contest winners, including The Talisman of Penultimate Truth, the Chalice of Light, the Crown of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, and the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery. These are the holy grail of the gaming industry and in the nerd world.
The Talisman of Penultimate Truth was awarded to the winner of the EarthWorld contest, Steven Bell. He melted it down, but multiple reports say he did it to pay taxes, or pay for his rent. He kept the baubles and the sword as keepsakes, with the sword being stolen from him later, probably lost forever.
The Chalice of Light was awarded to the winner of the FireWorld contest, Michael Rideout. Unlike Steven Bell, Rideout stated in an interview in 2005 that he still has possession of the chalice, which is kept safely in a safety deposit box in an undisclosed location.
The Crown of Life was awarded to the winner of the WaterWorld contest, which took place right after the Video Game Crash of 1983. The winner is still unknown to this day, and no one knows where the Crown of Life is, even if the Crown still exists.
AirWorld was never released, and the series ended without a formal or official end.
The Philosopher's Stone and the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery follow the same unknown path. Some say Jack Tramiel, the man who bought Atari Inc.'s assets after the crash, acquired the prizes from Atari and displayed the sword in his living room. ( He passed on April 8th, 2012.) This claim though is unproven. Some say Franklin Mint repossessed them and melted them down and reused the metal for other items.
Even though the contest ended suddenly 34 years ago, the series is one of the founding fathers of the adventure genre in video games, inspiring other games like it including the likes of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Minecraft, and Red Dead Redemption. Comic books were also included with the games, mostly used to solve the clues the game gave. They were made by DC Comics and illustrated by George Perez.
T-shirts were also made that were given out to Atari Club members. members also received the final Swordquest game, WaterWorld. It was made in limited quantities and is one of the rarest games for the Atari 2600.
The legacy of the series still sticks around the Atari fandom today, even with a new comic book being made, Swordquest RealWorld.
The fact that the original series is still unfinished to this day bothers me, and I still hope, but doubt that the winner of the Crown of Life will step forward. I think it would be cool if the former contest would be given a formal ending, with the last two contests being played and the final two prizes being reincarnated and awarded to the winners, the former winners being reunited with the new winner, and they battle it out for the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery. with the AirWorld game being released, along with the final comic book of the series.
A legendary series needs a legendary ending.
Suggestions are welcome for what I should write about next.
Did you ever sign up for the Swordquest contest?
Which Swordquest game is your favorite?
Adventure or Swordquest?