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The source files and a precompiled ZMachine storyfile of this adventure were recovered from a salvaged "Infocom hard drive", and made publicly available on GitHub in an effort to preserve them.

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Moonmist

by Stu Galley and Jim Lawrence

Mystery
1986

(based on 38 ratings)
5 member reviews

About the Story

More ghosts haunt the misty sea-coast and stone ramparts of Cornwall than anyplace else on earth. One such soul roams Tresyllian Castle: a pale phantom with flaxen hair and a luminous, flowing gown. It seems like a fanciful legend... until the spectral "White Lady" threatens the life of your friend Tamara!

Arriving at the fog-shrouded castle, you meet a cast of eccentric characters ranging from a blue-blood debutante to an overly helpful butler. Has one of them donned the ghostly guise of the White Lady? Or has the drowned lover of Lord Jack, Tamara's fiancé, returned to haunt her successor? Perhaps the spectre is seeking the valuable treasure hidden somewhere in the lavish rooms and secret passageways of the castle. The solution to the mystery, as well as the location of the treasure, changes in each of the four variations of Moonmist.

Get ready to spend the night in a haunted castle. But don't sleep too soundly. The next victim might be you.

Difficulty: Introductory

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
IFIDs:  ZCODE-4-860918
ZCODE-9-861022
ZCODE-9-861022-1D20
TUID: c66u816v8kx2jzm2

Editorial Reviews

SPAG

The writing tries to convey a sense of the castle, but fails. Much of the description is left to the tour booklet included in the packaging, so the game itself neglects to add those touches necessary to make the locations spring to life. There are four variations possible in the game, but they did not add replayability as much as they made the plot feel random.
-- Stephen Granade
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(12)
3 star:
(17)
2 star:
(5)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Infocom’s Version of Clue, January 8, 2021
by End Master (The Outer Reaches Of Your Mind)
I’m pretty sure I just got this one out of the sense of not wanting to come away with nothing from Electronic Boutique at the time. Didn’t really read what it was about. The word “ghost” caught my eye, just looked at the cover and the name and figured, yeah this looks like horror, maybe this will be like The Lurking Horror.

Yeah, it wasn’t as I soon learned.

Of course that’s my own fault, so I can’t get too disappointed about that, well I can, but that’s not the only thing I didn’t care for.

I will point out a positive which is the fact of how they did four variations of the game. Doing it by your favorite color was an odd choice, but it was as good of way as any I suppose. About the only problem with this is I wasn’t really engaged in the game the first time around to want to replay it.

Time passes in the game so you only have a limited time with figuring out the mystery. There are also certain events that are scheduled, like dinner, gathering in the drawing room, bedtime, etc, but of course you’re not really bound to be present for things like this. It’s more of a flavor thing and probably during your first play through to gather information.

Amusingly you can by pass the formalities and solve the mystery as soon as you get in the castle assuming you know where all the needed items are and arresting the culprit. Pretty sure if you’re fast enough you can confront the killer with everything before dinner even starts.

You just don’t get involved with the other characters too much other than some brief talking. As I remember in my play through, I kept flirting and kissing with one of the female characters who seemed to be into it quite a bit based on her reactions. I tried visiting her in her bedroom later at night (through the secret passage) and doing more, but you don’t get much further. In fact the game says something to the degree of “Hey this is an nice game, not a video nasty.”

Yeah, that was more entertaining.

The thing about arresting/confronting the culprit should have been dangerous as well. Like maybe you’d need at least some sort of weapon on you to make sure you didn’t get shot or something similar. Seems sort of laughable they would just give up so easily.

All in all the game just rather dull regardless of what color you played as (Just like the boardgame!), but at least it came with some nice feelies.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Four enjoyable mysteries, September 7, 2010
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Like Seastalker, which I reviewed earlier this week, Moonmist is an Infocom game aimed at younger interactors. However, Moonmist is far more successful. Rather than writing down to children, or assuming that for a kid being given responsibility is enough of a thrill, we are treated to a solid combination of gothic horror and detective stories that is quite enjoyable for readers of any age.

This is not to say that Moonmist's plot and characterisation are deep: this is standard stuff. We are in an old castle. The previous lover of the young local lord has died or been killed; his new lover, a female friend of ours, has been threatened. In addition, a ghost haunts the castle. And finally, the previous lord has hidden a fabled treasure somewhere on the premises and uses hidden clues and audio-taped messages to direct us towards it. The eight guests, all of whom might be somehow implicated in the plot, are quite stereotypical: the older female artist, the grumpy doctor, the young débutante, and so on. Nevertheless: stuff is going on, the characterisations are miles beyond those of Seastalker, the British setting is British, there is atmosphere, the descriptions are almost lush, and we even get Edgar Allen Poe quotes.

After an introductory sequence, gameplay mostly consists of searching the castle for clues. There are of course secret passages, cryptic clues (including wordplay and riddles), and lots of hidden objects. You will be spending a lot of your time walking through the castle, which is large, and although you will unfortunately need to read some of the room descriptions from the feelies (hello, copy protection scheme!) this is generally enjoyable. Plus, you can instantly go to any room, person or object you have previously seen. With several different tasks to perform (follow the clues to the treasure, find out who the ghost is, find out what really happened to the dead woman) you won't quickly run out of ideas, especially since the difficulty isn't high. One tip: if you successfully "search" something, do it again, because there can be more than one object hidden.

At the beginning of the game, you are asked to state your favourite colour. This seems an innocuous question, but it is actually very important: choosing red, blue, green or yellow starts one of four completely different scenarios. (Choosing another colour will randomly select one.) The treasure will be different, hidden in a different place, and different clues will lead to it. The ghost will be someone else, and the real story behind the death will be different too. Thus, Moonmist is really four games in one; and although solving one will help you solve the others, it will far from make it automatic.

All in all, then, very enjoyable. It's not in the end truly memorable, but as a relaxed gothic detective romp, there is nothing wrong with it either. Three-and-a-half stars.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Classic but still a jolly jape, April 11, 2020
by eldis (UK)
Interesting playing a game that was set in Cornwall, UK by the sea but doesn't allow you to go explore outside much.
The castle is quite interesting and easy to explore. The mysteries are all pretty simple and straight forward and 1 or 2 clues allow you to solve the main one. The other ones can be solved by just exploring everywhere and examining everything.
I liked the layout of the castle but it did feel very simplified. There was also a classic Infocom maze, but thankfully easy to navigate.
I enjoyed the game and it's a good way into the IF genre.

See All 5 Member Reviews

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Moonmist appears in the following Recommended Lists:

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These are games where you play a detective or someone else investigating a mystery. Most of them are realistic games which I am splitting off of my realistic list. Some are more magical or science fi-ish.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Moonmist:

Most inappropriate response. by Biep
Sometimes responses simply don't make sense - but sometimes they DO make sense, but inappropriately so, with sometimes humorous results. If possible, please put how to elicit the response in the Quick Quote part of the comment, and the...

Games for Beginners by WriterBob
I'm looking for games that are suited for adults who are new to IF. My purpose is to share these games with friends and let them get experience IF without being frustrated by mazes or guess-the-verb issues. Please avoid children's games....

I'm looking for mysteries. by MCCLUTCH32
I like a game with a good story, good puzzles that aren't too difficult to understand and a good mystery. I was thinking more along the lines of horror, but murder mysteries work as well.

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This is version 6 of this page, edited by Zape on 23 August 2020 at 1:27am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item