External Links

Playable in Java, or by running file in VCC CoCo Emulator
Mocha - Java CoCo Emulator
Black Sanctum playable within the Java Emulator; F8 to Save, F9 to Load.
Amiga Installer
Story File
Bob Withers' links to binary files for his CoCo adventure games, playable in VCC CoCo Emulator.
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

The Black Sanctum

by Stephen O'Dea & Bob Withers


Web Site

(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

"Encounter the forces of black magic as you roam around an old 18th century monastery. See all the evil locations in this spooky adventure in full hi-res detail. If you like suspense, you’ll love searching out and destroying the evil in this classic tale."

"Once upon a time, in a previous life, my friend, Steve O’Dea and I developed a series of six graphic adventures for the Radio Shack Color Computer. These adventures were marketed by Mark Data Products and were considered rather revolutionary for their time. The adventures stored all images compressed in memory and were usable from cassette based systems as well as from diskette. These games were all written in MC6809 assembly language and assembled with the fantastic Micro Works MACRO-80C assembler. To this day this is one of the best assemblers I’ve ever used. A little known fact is that these adventure games were also ported to the IBM/PC using a CGA graphic screen. These versions entered the market too late and did not take full advantage of the available hardware and were not widely distributed."

Game Details


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Thirty Years Anniversary for Classical Adventures, January 17, 2011
by smartgenes (Newcastle, UK)

When seeing the year of game release I was very surprised - 1981. What was also surprising was how playable this game is. The game was released on the Radioshack CoCo (Tandy) (AKA TRS-80 or Dragon) and can be played via an emulator. The genre is occult/suspense but also has a sort of fantasy feel to it.

First things first, the fact that the screen is animated with clouds rolling past is even more surprising. OK, after a while this might be a little irritating, but first impressions are intriguing, even by today's standards it is not so bad.

At first I thought I was in for trouble.. was this a game with hundreds of identical screens and I was going to have to walk north 300 times before getting anywhere? But actually this initial temptation to wander off runs counter to playing the game. The first requirement is to find the actual game location (Spoiler - click to show)with the command GO CABIN. Then there was a nice atmospheric "It's cold.. shut the door!" Limitations of the game parser mean that you can't necessarily GO UP but you can GO STAIRS, or at times you have to GO DOOR etc (very forgivable for the age of game). The graphic of the female victim you have to rescue is disturbingly good for 1981. I did find myself a little fortunate that I came upon the inspired command to enter the game proper (Spoiler - click to show)GO MIRROR, but as I did so I felt a wave of nostalgic excitement. Perhaps it is a fairly obvious command, but it is a missable one. Mapping was required so as not to go mad, but there weren't actually too many locations, it was just designed well, so that it gave you the impression of a circular area. There is also a bit of Latin spell-magic thrown in, and not a Harry Potter in sight.

Puzzles are of a fetch quest nature, and are standard fare 30 years on. (Yes, thirty!) Because of this fact, it can be completed fairly quickly, even if it was designed with some time (light) limitations. But there are plenty of objects to provide interest. It has the flavour of a King's Quest game, where you suspect instant death at any moment, but in actuality the game is fairly reasonable if you take sensible precautions. Nevertheless it keeps you on your toes with a slightly eerie atmosphere. I suppose it's real value is as a piece of history, because a lot of the ideas are still replicated in games today, and so you won't be scratching your head much, but it provides nice light (and suspenseful) entertainment.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

This is version 2 of this page, last edited on 25 August 2011 at 8:47am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page