80s interactive fiction ID

I’ve been a fan of interactive fiction since the days of my 8088 but I’ve finally signed up an account here in hopes that someone can help me with something that’s been puzzling me for just as long.

I’m trying to identify an interactive fiction game that I played sometime in the 80s at a friend’s house. I can only remember a few details but I hope that they are specific enough that I can finally find out what it was.

-It was an adventure game that involved the player moving through a mansion / castle / dungeon of some sort with various rooms.
-In one of the rooms was a hermit. I remember this because we killed the hermit and then tried to pick up the dead hermit.
-In one of the rooms was a chest.
-In one of the rooms there may have been a Gorilla.
-There may have been some sort of armory where you could equip weapons.
-I believe it was played on an Apple ii.
-There were no in-game graphics.

Does any of this ring any bells for anyone or does anyone have any recommendations on places to look?

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help point me in the direction.

Eamon, maybe?

The Hermit?

atarimagazines.com/compute/i … Hermit.php

Yes, it definitely sounds like Beginner’s Cave, the first Eamon Adventure.

First you’d visit the armoury and such in the Main Hall, then you exit the hall and put in the disk for the adventure you want to play, or in the case of BC, leave in the original disk.

The IFDB page for Beginner’s Cave:


has tons of variations in different OSes and such.

Unfortunately, the Apple II disk images don’t have any kind of boot DOS on them. They SHOULD. I don’t know who removed the DOS, but it’s one of the worst decisions for posterity accessibility to have made all the disks unbootable in their own right.

So in case you want the Apple II version, I’m attaching my own bootable copy to this post. It has the graphics version of the Main Hall, which you may not recognise from the past, but which has the same armoury code in it. Then you leave the hall and play BC, which has no graphics and will be exactly as you remember.

It also plays music over the title screen that I did. This story sounds bizarre, but the music is an Apple II cover of the music from the C64 action game ‘Journey’, which in turn was a minor-key cover of Madness’s ‘Welcome to the House of Fun’. I didn’t know that last thing back when I was a teen and did this.

BEGINCAVE33.zip (47.9 KB)

If you feel brave enough to delve deeper, you can also check:

drive.google.com/folderview?id= … jFDUjlyQ2M

Open the D3 DOS disk in an apple emulator, then “insert the disk” for the D3 MAIN HALL. Then type “RUN HELLO” and it’ll boot the main hall. From then on it’ll be easy to explore Eamon and load up any game. You should find the lot in the link - the sorted folders only go up to 17, but you’ll find the rest under DSK.

It was absolutely Eamon and I cannot thank you enough for helping solve this mystery for me. I’ve been intermittently searching the internet for it for literally 20 years.

I’m about to fire this up and, well, that hermit’s days are numbered.

thank you all so much again!


Pleased you’ve found it. But 20 years? Do you know how google works? :wink:


Yep, it’s an old post, but I just came across Wade’s comments. The DOS was removed by Tom Zuchowski for three reasons:

  1. All of the games are supposed to be loaded by the main hall anyway, so your average player shouldn’t have needed to boot into the game disk.
  2. Removing DOS freed up an additional 32 sectors of disk space. When you only have 160k disks to work with, some of the adventures intentionally did not have DOS on them so that the designer could maximize the game without making it a multiple disk game.
  3. When the archives were originally created, they were uploaded to the old GEnie online service. DOS 3.3 and ProDOS were considered to be redundant, so in the days of 2400-baud modems, all of the ones that still had DOS on them had their DOS removed before uploading.

At one point, I went and corrected this as much as possible, at least for the DOS 3.3 disks, and restored the DOS to as many as I could. I then put the FRESH SAM utility on each disk as the HELLO program so that when the disk booted, it would launch using the generic “SAM” character for testing. My original plan was to have each one be loadable in JAVA using the Apple II emulator that Steven Huggs created. An example of this is at eamonag.org/java/Java-246.htm .

When I worked to convert the Eamon website to Joomla, part of the plan was to have each adventure set up to play in JAVA and I had over 200 of them set up. However, when someone hacked the Call-APPLE website via my Joomla account, the whole plan was scrapped. Seeing no demand, and having all of my work already deleted, I decided it wasn’t work the effort to create an individual JAVA page on the current EamonAG website.

The images with DOS still reside on my hard drive, but given the lack of interest in Eamon, and the existent Eamon database, I never really saw any demand to upload it.