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The game runs in the BASIC of the C64, Vic 20 +16k, Apple II, TRS-80 (32k), TRS-80 MC-10, Electron, 48K Spectrum and BBC (32k) computers. Some or all of these versions of the game may be found online in respective disk archives.
Contains VMC10.exe
Type CLOAD & hit ENTER. Select SILVER.​C10 in the JimG subdirectory of the Cassette directory. Type RUN...
Windows Application (Windows XP and later) (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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The Mystery of Silver Mountain

by Chris Oxlade and Judy Tatchell


(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

A two-word parser BASIC fantasy game players could type in themselves from Usborne's 1984 "The Mystery of Silver Mountain" book. The game is intended to be played with the book beside you. Illustrations stand in for graphics and the game is impossible to complete without the written clues and visual cues the book provides.

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Visual Elements are Neat, but a little Slow at Parsing, November 1, 2015
by jgerrie (Cape Breton Island, Canada)

In a review I did of the game "The Temple of Apshai." I argued that the early TRS-80 version of this classic RPG should also be considered as a kind of interactive fiction. The reason I argued this was that the TRS-80 version was really so slow and the graphics so spartan, that the main focus of the game really was on engaging with the narrative of the prologue and the detailed room descriptions of the printed manual. The computer program just provided a structure for bringing that narrative experience to a satisfactory conclusion. The Mystery of Silver Mountain is a lot like that. It is a pure text adventure program, but it really cannot be played without the aid of the original book by Osborne Computing in which the source code was published. The reason is that that book contains graphic images (containing visual clues) of the various locations and additional written materials (codes and clues) that are necessary for completing the adventure. The BASIC program does provide a bare bones set of descriptions and it handles and responds to the input (it's a simple 2-word parser). But there would be little point in attempting to solve the mystery using the program alone. So if you want to play this game on one of its various 8-bit platforms (Commmodore, Atari, TRS-80, etc), you should also find a PDF of the original book. Alternatively there are many copies available on the regular used book sites. The puzzles and clues are very challenging, especially due to the added visual nature of some of them. This is not a simple adventure to solve. That being said, it was meant as an introduction to computer adventuring for 8-bit home computers, so it is not diabolical. It was such a popular program in the mid 80's that I would certainly recommend that anyone interested in surveying some of the greats of 8-bit BASIC IF gaming from that period should probably try it.

My only critical comment is that the parsing engine is a little on the slow side. This might just be my TRS-80 version that I played, but I suspect it is due in part to the program being written in as generic a form of BASIC as possible so that it could easily be modified for a bunch of different systems. In other words, it contains many program remarks and no special programming shortcuts (unique to any particular 8-bit computer) to speed up execution. However, the delay is not too bad--I recall some Scott Adam's BASIC IF games being worse!

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The Mystery of Silver Mountain on IFDB


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Type-in games by Fredrik
I can only guess that I was not the only one spending hours upon hours typing in those BASIC listings from magazines and books back in the 80s. And unavoidably learning the art of programming in the process. Not to mention gleaning...

This is version 3 of this page, edited by jgerrie on 23 September 2015 at 9:43pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page