Group DescriptionAtari's SwordQuest series of adventure games.
ContestIn 1983, Atari ran the SwordQuest contest, in which contestants would play the game to get clues (2 numbers) that would lead them to a certain page and panel in the included comic book that contained hidden words. They then sent in the correct words and their entry and a certain number of contestants were flown out to Atari to compete in a championship game.
In the case of EarthWorld, it was 50 contestants who found the correct clues in the EarthWorld comic book and were trying for a gold Talisman of the Penultimate Truth that had 12 diamonds and the 12 zodiac birthstones around it and a white gold sword on the front. This item was won in August of 1983 by Steven Bell. It is rumored that Mr. Bell kept the sword but sold the rest for $15,000.
The FireWorld round also had 50 contestants who found the correct clues in the FireWorld comic book. This round was played for the Chalice of Light, which was made of gold and platinum with jewel decorations. This was won by Michael Rideout, who still has it in a safe deposit box.
SwordQuest: WaterWorld was initially sold only through the Atari Fan Club by mail order. Forty-five people found the correct clues in its comic book but only 10 were to compete in the championship round (drawn randomly). They were to compete for the Crown of Life, a gold, jewel-decorated crown.
But before the WaterWorld round was played, Atari was sold and the contest was canceled. The remaining copies of SwordQuest: WaterWorld were sold in stores and SwordQuest: AirWorld, which was in development at the time, was canceled and it and its comic were never released.
The 10 finalists of the WaterWorld round were offered compensation checks of an unknown amount. Steven Bell and Michael Rideout were also offered compensation checks of $15,000 because they would not play a Grand Prize round.
Had the contest continued, the prize for the AirWorld round was to have been the Philosopher's Stone, a large piece of white jade in a gold, jewel-decorated box. The grand prize was to have been the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery, a full-size sword with a silver blade and a gold, jewel-encrusted handle.
What became of the crown and stone is unknown. It is rumored that the sword was kept by Jack Tramiel, but this is unconfirmed.
The Atari SwordQuest contest prizes were created by the Franklin Mint.
Information also contributed by LepricahnsGold
Front cover for SwordQuest: FireWorld
Front cover for SwordQuest: EarthWorld
Screenshot from SwordQuest: FireWorld
Screenshot from SwordQuest: WaterWorld
Screenshot from SwordQuest: EarthWorld