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Playable online or through a Scott Adams interpreter
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Play GHOST KING online in ScottFree for DOS format
MS-DOS Application
Story file
IF Archive. Contains .dat game file, source, and docs. ScottFree or other Scott Adams interpreter required.
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
Story File
Commodore 64 image containing a C64 port of ScottFree and the Ghost King story file
Commodore 64 Application
Story File
TRS-80 version, using Scott19 interpreter
Defaults - All Systems Application
GHOST KING documentation
To view this file, you need an Acrobat Reader for your system.
Story file
Z-Machine conversion via scott2zil
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.
BBC Micro version
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Ghost King

by Jason Compton profile

Episode 1 of S.A.L.A.D.

Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

Your father is dead and you’re sure your uncle is responsible. You tried to tell your mother so. Instead of believing you, she married him. Now you’re going to uncover the truth and set things right...

GHOST KING is the first entry in the fictitious Scott Adams Literary Adventure Diversions (S.A.L.A.D.) series, not-actually-launched in 1980 to adapt classic tales to 8-bit microcomputer adventures. Based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare and the style of Scott Adams and Adventure International.

Game Details


ScottFree, usually associated with *nix systems and DOS, has been ported to the Commodore 64. This enables most Scott Adams .dat files to be run directly on the 8-bit platform, including Ghost King. Prebuilt disk images are available at the project site.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
An often witty but difficult Shakespeare game in the vein of Scott Adams, July 25, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This Scott Adams game was designed with the retro format in mind. The download includes source code with design notes, and it's fascinating to see the discussion of how many lines of text will fit where and what needs to be removed.

This game is a shortish text adventure using the Scott Adams format (short in the sense of 7 treasures and about 16 rooms; it takes a good hour or more to finish without hints, longer if you get stuck like I did). It's based off of Hamlet and contains many joking references to it.

This is a hard game. Much of the ease of modern parser games comes from adaptive hints or helpful responses to incorrect actions. This game has some of that, but only so much can fit into the constrained format. I had to request help and then discovered the (well-commented and organized) source code provided in the download.

While I appreciate the craftsmanship in the game, it definitely is the type to be solved by careful exploration of the state space and deliberative thinking, as opposed to my general play style of 'charge ahead recklessly and see where the story takes me'.

I will say that I think this is much more successful as a game than Graham Nelson's adaptation of The Tempest or my own Sherlock Holmes adaptations.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Something Not So Rotten, June 20, 2020
by J. J. Guest (London, England)

A game designed to answer the question, what might have resulted had Scott Adams decided to release a series of games based on Shakespeare's plays. Ghost King is written in the same programming language, and within the same tight memory constraints as the original Adventure International titles. The author has tried very hard to capture the essence of those early text adventures, right down to the terse messages, odd use of capitalisation and occasional typo. In this he succeeds magnificently, and at times you could really believe you're playing a game made in 1980. It also succeeds in translating the main story beats of Hamlet into a series of object-based puzzles, retaining some of Shakespeare's best lines, and including a "find the *treasures*" side-quest into the bargain.

If I were to assign an Adventure International difficulty level to this game, I'd have to make it "advanced". You do need to be reasonably familiar with the play to get very far with it, and some of the puzzles are less intuitive than those in the early Scott Adams Adventures. I was a beta tester, but I was unable to solve it without hints from the author, whereas I've solved most of Adams's "moderate" games without hints. Ghost King does a great job of juggling the complex subject matter with the antiquated authoring system and quirky style of an Adams game, but loses something of the latter in translation. If anything, the author could have been a little more irreverent with his source material, thrown in the odd anachronism, perhaps, or a little more low-brow humour. (There is one particular word-play puzzle, though, that made me laugh out loud!)

Overall, this is an excellent pastiche, right down to the cover art, and highly recommended to fans of the Scott Adams Adventures. It does exactly what it sets out to do, and does it well.

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This is version 15 of this page, edited by Anthony Hope on 10 January 2022 at 8:52pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page