Castlequest: Underground   2 comments

I’ve reached a point I’m fairly sure is near the end, so I’m in my finish-or-bust phase.

After killing the vampire from last time, I went into an underground section.

I should mention, first, that while underground the werewolf attacks drop off, and you get attacked by gnomes instead.

There is an ugly little gnome in the room with you!

The gnomes are functionally identical to the dwarves in Adventure, including throwing the hatchet to kill them — shooting with the gun doesn’t work.


You killed a dirty little gnome.

There is a blood stained hatchet here.

You are in a perfectly square room carved out of solid rock. Stone steps lead up. An arched passage exits south. Above the arch is carved the message:



You are in a long sloping N/S passage. The darkness seems to thicken around you as you walk.


You are in a narrow room which extends out of sight to the east. Sloping paths exit north and south. It is getting warmer here.


This is the fire room. The stone walls are gutted from centuries of evil fires. It is very hot here. A low trail leads west and a smaller one leads NE. A sloping trail goes north.

A wall of fire bars the way to the NE.

If you have a bottle of water you can EXTINGUISH FIRE to get through. This lets you find an empty room with the word “POOF” — it’s a magic word that teleports you back to the second floor, although unlike Adventure it doesn’t work until you’ve found it — and a vault.

This is the safe deposit vault, an immense room with polished steel walls. A closed circuit T.V. camera hums quietly above you as it pans back and forth across the room. To the east is an open elevator. Engraved on the far wall is the message:


I’ve found a bit more in the way of treasure but not a lot: a jade figurine, a champagne bottle, and a sapphire. I still suspect whatever treasure hunt remains is not that extensive.

This is the honeymoon suite. The entire room is finished in red. In the center of the room lies a heart shaped bed. To one side is a heart shaped bath. A large mirror is mounted on the ceiling above the bed. The only exit is back the way you came.

There is a bottle of vintage champagne here!

The sapphire was past a maze. Veterans of Adventure might notice the room descriptions vary:

You’re in a short and winding maze of passages.


You’re in a maze of long and winding passages.


You’re in a long and winding maze of passages.

That is, by all appearances, this is another clone of the maze of rooms, all different. But! The room descriptions change.

Yes, trying to utilize the facts room descriptions change will get you hopelessly lost. I’m not sure if the logic is extensive or minor, but using the standard “drop objects to form a trail” method works instead just fine. I’ve never seen a room description fake-out quite like this before.

Past the maze, in addition to there being a sapphire, is a glacier marked with an “X”. I can melt the glacier with a helpful torch to form a hole, but I don’t have any other command I can use on the hole (I’ve tried entering it, looking in it, and so forth). If I try melting it again the glacier melts all the way and kills me.

For the same place I can go up and meet up at that room past the moat — where I needed to use a rowboat before.

You are on the far side of the moat. You can see a full view of the castle here in all its deadly splendor. A small town can be glimpsed far off in the distance. An old sign nailed to a tree reads:

There is a large opening in the ground.

However, the boat is on the wrong side to then go over the moat. I’m not sure what to do here, but I found the re-use of geography — on what seemed previously like a dead-end — to be fascinating. I think it’s possible what I need to do is open this area, walk all the way back around (maybe using the POOF teleport if I want to), then take the boat back across the moat so I can take it down? Remember, if I try to take the boat in the castle through the other way it doesn’t fit, but assuming I can get it to fit going down, there’s a candidate place for using it.

You are at the base of a magnificent underground waterfall. A cool mist rising off the surface of the water almost obscures a small island. A tunnel goes west and stone steps lead up.

You can’t swim, but maybe you can cross to the island with the boat.

The other bit of oddity is even though I have a grappling hook and a place to use it (the window at the very start of the game, you can melt the bars with the acid and clearly it is meant to then let you climb a rope) I still have yet to find a rope! I might be just missing an obvious exit with the rope in the open, or it might be a late-game item.

Either way, by next time I’m going to hang this one up for now or cruise to victory.

Posted April 9, 2021 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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2 responses to “Castlequest: Underground

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  1. The maze have unique descriptions for each room but they are different for the long description and the short description. Very confusing…but as you mention, the traditional way to map mazes works fine.

    If you haven’t found the rope yet, Rknzvar lbhe znc, lbh znl unir zvffrq na rkvg.

    • Aha! That’s a seriously meta way to cause the difference (especially since it means you can “fix” the puzzle by having it only show brief descriptions).

      I did find the rope! Should hopefully be done in a few days.

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