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sloth-machine

Any point to the Swordquest games outside of the contest?

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The Swordquest games where something I always just looked over, never bothering to play them for decades since they seemed to be programmed entirely around the contest, sending clues to Atari in a chance to compete with others. However was there ever an obtainable goal or score to achieve?

 

If not, then it was interesting that 2 of the games where released in Japan officially by Atari, and as far as I know the contest was never eligible for international players (unless they were planning to). Also the games relied heavy on the comics, I wonder if they actually translated them to Japanese.

Edited by sloth-machine

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They're puzzle/adventure games with a pinch of action thrown in, not entirely unlike Raiders of the Lost Ark. Even without the contest, some people may be in for the thrill of trying to solve the puzzle. EarthWorld is serviceable enough that anyone into such games can probably get some enjoyment out of it. FireWorld, on the other hand, is an obviously rushed, poorly programmed travesty. I haven't tried WaterWorld so I don't know how it fares.

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These games have tremendous value as an interesting piece of history that will never be repeated, and as jokes. Plus, they're amazing filler to bulk up Ebay lots.

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Video games in general have no value beyond the pleasure they elicit from playing them. (Well, they sometimes also have value as inducers of twitchy movements, sleepless nights, meal-less days, mental breakdowns, and stuff like that.) So whether the SwordQuest games have any value beyond their contests depends mainly on whether you gain any pleasure from trying to crack a combination or password-- since that's sort of what trying to figure out the correct combinations to trigger the in-game number clues amounts to-- and to a lesser extent on whether you like playing the "skill and action" sequences.

 

The games don't actually depend on their accompanying comic books at all. The *contest* did, or trying to figure out what the correct words were to qualify for entering the contest, but the video games themselves don't really use any information from the comics. You can successfully play and win each of the three SwordQuest games without ever laying eyes on their comic books-- well, in theory you can win EarthWorld, although I personally found it to be the most "unwinnable" of the three, since there's no discernable pattern to triggering the in-game number clues. WaterWorld is the easiest to play and win because of the in-game "clues" that help you figure out what combinations to use to trigger the number clues, whereas FireWorld is somewhere between EarthWorld and WaterWorld. It's like Atari realized how difficult EarthWorld was to win, so they made each subsequent game progressively easier to win.

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But Michael, and correct me if I'm wrong, you could also crack the combination by not playing the games at all, but by studying each picture of the comic with a magnifying glass, right?

 

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter

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I've been considering trying to solve these games.. Maybe speedrunning them as well.

 

Why? Because I'm crazy.

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They are good for young children that want to play your atari and dont really understand the point of games yet. They can wander around, explore, etc, and when they ask you what they are supposed to do you can just shrug your shoulders and sip your pabst blue ribbon. Good way to kill some time.

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But Michael, and correct me if I'm wrong, you could also crack the combination by not playing the games at all, but by studying each picture of the comic with a magnifying glass, right?

 

8)

 

Yes, if you know there are words hidden in the panels of the comics then you can search each panel for words. However, it's possible that a word is hidden differently than the others, or that what looks like a word actually isn't, as was the case with EarthWorld-- one word (which was one of the five "correct" words) was simply in boldface in a speech bubble rather than being hidden in the picture, and what looked like a word hidden in a picture turned out to be a red herring. So unless you knew the number clues from EarthWorld you might not get all the words correctly.

 

FireWorld was a different story, since the "number clues" were apparently dummy placeholders that never got replaced with the actual number clues, hence the only way you could find the words in the comic book was to search through the comic book.

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They are nearly useless outside of the contest... as well as being exceedingly boring to play.

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The whole Swordquest situation is such a massive disappointment. That contest had a lot of potential, but all that potential was largely squandered.

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Yes, if you know there are words hidden in the panels of the comics then you can search each panel for words. However, it's possible that a word is hidden differently than the others, or that what looks like a word actually isn't, as was the case with EarthWorld-- one word (which was one of the five "correct" words) was simply in boldface in a speech bubble rather than being hidden in the picture, and what looked like a word hidden in a picture turned out to be a red herring. So unless you knew the number clues from EarthWorld you might not get all the words correctly.

 

FireWorld was a different story, since the "number clues" were apparently dummy placeholders that never got replaced with the actual number clues, hence the only way you could find the words in the comic book was to search through the comic book.

So the clues you get in Fireworld do not mean anything? That is disappointing. I just bought brand new sealed copies of Earthworld and Fireworld and a loose copy of Waterworld with instructions just to do a personal version of the contest. I guess it won't really affect the games themselves, but it is disappointing.

 

On another note, if anybody knows where I can pick up a copy of the Waterworld comic and the hint sheet let me know.

Edited by jeremiahjt

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FireWorld was a different story, since the "number clues" were apparently dummy placeholders that never got replaced with the actual number clues, hence the only way you could find the words in the comic book was to search through the comic book.

 

What?!

 

So the numbers in the game didn't correspond with the pictures in the comic book?

 

That's weird.

 

8)

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What?!

 

So the numbers in the game didn't correspond with the pictures in the comic book?

 

That's weird.

 

8)

Yeah that is weird if true, since the Fireworld manual tells you flat out to refer the in game number clues to the comic. Plus fireworld received the most correct contest entries out of the 2 contests held. So everyone just solved the word puzzle by combing through the comic?

 

I've been playing Earth world and I don't find the game boring at all, I feeling like I am playing a board game, actually. I do think it's a bit too ambitious for the Hardware, but every console has games that overstretch the system capabilities.

Edited by sloth-machine

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I've been playing Earth world and I don't find the game boring at all, I feeling like I am playing a board game, actually. I do think it's a bit too ambitious for the Hardware, but every console has games that overstretch the system capabilities.

You must be new here ;)

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Yeah that is weird if true, since the Fireworld manual tells you flat out to refer the in game number clues to the comic. Plus fireworld received the most correct contest entries out of the 2 contests held. So everyone just solved the word puzzle by combing through the comic?

 

Yep, the manual indicates that you should use the in-game number clues to find the words hidden in the comic book, but the number clues are just sequential numbers-- 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. If you try to find any correspondence between those and the comic book, you'll just go crazy (or crazier, if you were already crazy). :) I read much later that the sequential number clues were (most likely) just "place holders" that the programmer had evidently meant to replace with the actual page and panel numbers from the comic book. Maybe the unfinished ROM got put into production by mistake instead of the finished ROM, or maybe the comic book wasn't ready soon enough for the programmer to go back and put in the page/panel numbers before the game had to be put into production to meet a deadline. So everybody just combed through the comic book to find the hidden words, then used the extra clue inside the front cover to figure out which of the words were the correct ones. That was probably also how a lot of people found the words hidden in the EarthWorld comic book-- except the last of the correct words was hidden differently than the others, so a lot of people (including moi) found only four of the correct words. Said we-uns didn't get to play in the EarthWorld contest, we just got a certificate to show off to the world.

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You must be new here ;)

Well it's a new account, but I've been using various accounts since about 2000-2001.

 

However I am new to playing Sword quest. I have the Earthworld comic and loose cart in storage since the late 80s though, never bothered with it...until now of all days.

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Yep, the manual indicates that you should use the in-game number clues to find the words hidden in the comic book, but the number clues are just sequential numbers-- 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. If you try to find any correspondence between those and the comic book, you'll just go crazy (or crazier, if you were already crazy). :) I read much later that the sequential number clues were (most likely) just "place holders" that the programmer had evidently meant to replace with the actual page and panel numbers from the comic book. Maybe the unfinished ROM got put into production by mistake instead of the finished ROM, or maybe the comic book wasn't ready soon enough for the programmer to go back and put in the page/panel numbers before the game had to be put into production to meet a deadline. So everybody just combed through the comic book to find the hidden words, then used the extra clue inside the front cover to figure out which of the words were the correct ones. That was probably also how a lot of people found the words hidden in the EarthWorld comic book-- except the last of the correct words was hidden differently than the others, so a lot of people (including moi) found only four of the correct words. Said we-uns didn't get to play in the EarthWorld contest, we just got a certificate to show off to the world.

Crazyness, makes me second guess the efforts to play.

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Well, they make for interesting collection padding. Not terribly fun without (or even with!) the comic, but they're still very interesting historically. Also, of course Waterworld can make you a good amount of cash if you're willing to part with it, so I guess you could call that a point. Otherwise, they're really not the kind of 2600 game worth playing too much,

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SQ: WaterWorld IS a good game, and that not just me talking, if you enjoy deciphering clues and with a little trial and error it can be solved in about an hour.

It is NOT just randomly dropping objects everywhere hoping something triggers like the first 2, however, IF you ignore the Item/Room Number clues that appear on the bottom of the screen, then it WILL be very hard.

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I thought the game was going to be like adventure imagine my disappointment

Same here. I remember the listings for "Adventure 1", "Adventure 2", and "Adventure 3" (placeholder names) in a magazine ad prior to their release. I was so excited, because Adventure was my favorite game. I was so sad when I finally got Earthworld home months later and it wasn't like Adventure at all.

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