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Quest for the Sangraal

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Jonathan Partington



Copyright 1987, Topologika

Duncan Steven’s review at Baf’s Guide to IF says it all about this great – but very difficult – text adventure from Topologika that ranks among some of the best they produced:

“Written in the mid-80s at Cambridge University, published by Topologika, and recently ported to Inform, Quest for the Sangraal is on a distinctly different wavelength than most IF produced nowadays. In one sense, it’s a puzzle-fest with only the slenderest strand of plot to bind it together, but the puzzles themselves are pretty unusual: many of them turn on puns, wordplay, and literary allusion to an extent largely unfamiliar to those who grew up on Infocom.

The gameplay can be frustrating–the parser, true to the original, is limited to two words and doesn’t recognize a lot of verbs that are now standard, notably EXAMINE. The saving grace is the literacy and intelligence that went into the writing of the game: the allusions are varied and sometimes rather subtle, and the writing is usually dryly funny. Sangraal is not an easy game, however–finishing it involves some major intuitive leaps–and the player is advised to seek help rather than trying to make all the leaps himself.”

The storyline goes as follows: “The Dark Ages have arrived, and in King Demas’s kingdom the knights of the Chaise Longue have been sent forth from Castle Moan to redeem the honour of the realm by a quest for the Sangraal (or Holy Grail). Visions of this mystical object have been vouchsafed to knights of great purity and prowess, but, so far, nobody has managed to bring the thing back for the royal trophy case. It is up to you…” Originally released for the Phoenix computer only, the game has now been ported to Inform format thanks to the company who released the source code into the public domain.

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