Jewels of Darkness - Information
Level 9's Jewels of Darkness was a compilation of three previously published text entry adventure games (Colossal Adventure, Adventure Quest, and Dungeon Adventure) that had illustrations added for every single location.
Colossal Adventure was based on the original Crowther & Woods "Colossal Caves" (aka "Adventure"). Colossal Cavern was rumoured to contain incredible riches and untold danger. Most people considered the cave to be a myth, the product of a fevered imagination, but every year a handful of people would set out to find the cave, driven by necessity or overwhelmed by greed. Most returned empty-handed with tales of volcanoes, dragons, gigantic snakes and the like, but some never returned, and speculation held that they were the successful ones who found enormous wealth, or died trying.
The player starts the game having just lost a map that allegedly showed the location of the infamous cave. The location description paints the scene:
You are standing beside a small brick building at the end of a road from the north. A river flows south. To the north is open country and all around is dense forest.
Adventure Quest was Level 9's first completely original text adventure. Hundreds of years had passed since the time of Colossal Adventure, and the land had become tranquil. The last elves sailed for the West long ago, after the rescue of their fellows from the dungeons below Colossal Cavern. However, a year ago a drought to the north brought crop-failure, followed by attacks from maddened wild animals. The people fled to the south. Unseen enemies ambushed and decimated troops sent back into the north, and finally an army of orcs invaded, commanded by Lord AGALIAREPT - a Demon Lord renounced for his ferocity and skill in battle.
At the start of the adventure, the player has been sent by the Wizards Guild (under order of the King) to find four stones-of-the-elements that can be used to enter the Demon Lord's Black Tower. They must also locate the Amulet-of-Life, an artefact that can destroy Lord AGALIAREPT. The first location takes the player back to familiar territory:
You are at the end of a road from the north, outside a small brick building. A river flows south through a narrow valley, and there is dense woodland all around.
Dungeon Adventure was the final part of the trilogy. Only a day had passed since the defeat of Lord AGALIAREPT, but thoughts were already turning to ran-sacking the Lord's own hordes of treasure, held within the Black Tower. The player sets off on their journey, but within one mile of the tower, a spell catches them off-guard. They wake up the next morning robbed off all their provisions and floating in the river by a bridge. The first location describes the scene:
You are on a wide stone bridge which stretches north-south across the placid waters of a huge river. At the north end, the bridge enters a gaping stone mouth in the cliff, below which is a narrow mud-bank.
The Jewels of Darkness was published in 1986/87 for a wide variety of different computer formats - Amstrad CPC (cassette and disc), Amstrad PCW, Apple II, Apple Mac, Atari ST, Atari XE/XL, Commodore Amiga, Commdore 64/128, IBM PC, MSX 64k, Sinclair QL, Spectrum 48k/128k.