Note for the maps below: The player will start each level in the chamber marked as "Screen 1".
Gem Quest is one of Floyd Resler's most ambitious BASIC09 games for the OS-9 / NitrOS9 operating system. The mission in the game is to recover the Gem of Knowledge, which was shattered into 8 pieces, and it is your job to find them all while going through a huge dungeon (of which you see only one chamber at a time). There are multiple monsters after you that will cause you damage if they collide with you. You also will sustain damage if falling too far (which can go between multiple chambers). There are inflating plants that can kill you, that you can't see until they start inflating. There are also giant floating stone heads that guard the gem pieces and take multiple hits to destroy; fire pits that kill you if you fall into them (and some special ones with rocks on them that will appear and disappear), and a time limit as well. On the plus side, there are gold coins, treasure chests, and even magical statues that, when you touch them, will come to life and allow you to buy health, armor and weapon upgrades (upgrading your mace extends the chain size on it so that you can start hitting monsters from further away, keeping yourself safe). But be forewarned: a statue can only be visited once and then it disappears forever, even you didn't buy anything (or couldn't afford to). You also have to find keys to unlock doors, and you can't change direction (except up and down) while on a ladder, so some chambers have to be navigated in specific ways for you to be able to get all the treasures and keys.
There are 8 levels, each with 9 chambers (screens) that interconnect together, and one gem piece per level. Floyd also set it up so the player plays with the joystick whose fire button the player hits first, so it doesn't matter which port your joystick is in. The primary joystick button will fire your mace (for it's current range) in the direction that you are facing (left or right); you can not fire up and down while climbing a ladder or falling. The 2nd button (or SPACEBAR) lets you jump across gaps between tiles, and also diagonally slightly up; this can even include landing on to of the head of some monsters without any damage to you. There are also some special keyboard keys in the game; P will pause the game (so the timer stops counting seconds), R will restart the current level (if monsters end up blocking some paths, you may get trapped and this is the only way out), Q to restart the game from level 1, and E to exit the game.
The game was originally released as Shareware for a $5 donation, and with all the speed ups in NitrOS9 over the years, it was actually playing too fast, so I (Curtis) added some walking step sound effects to help slow it down a bit.
You can download Gem Quest as part of NitrOS9/EOU (Ease of Use) (see download link below).
Title: Gem Quest
Author: Floyd Resler
Publisher: Shareware via Compuserve
Requires: Color Computer 3, 256K RAM, disk, joystick (2 button optional).
Download NitrOS9/EOU (latest version), which includes Gem Quest, here. Pick the version that best matches your hardware or emulator.
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