Mysterious disasters have begun the once thriving fantasy land. Natural disasters and diseases trouble the population. A group of villagers was sent to seek the assistance of the reclusive wizard Astrix - but it has never returned. A new group is sent, led by the young carpenter Bergon, who is accompanied by the wizard Praxix, the healer Esher, and the true protagonist of the game - a merchant named Tag.
Despite its "RPG-like" premise and the player's control of a party of four characters with unique powers, Journey: The Quest Begins
is a puzzle-solving adventure game without role-playing elements. Unlike most Infocom
games of the time, no typing is required in this game; the interface provides the player with a multiple choice of actions that the player selects in order to make the story progress. The game has plenty of text and detailed interaction possibilities. Using the abilities of the four controlled characters is often required to solve the puzzles.
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The game supported CGA, but only in "monochrome" mode, which was CGA's two-color 640x200 mode. This was necessary because the text-heavy nature of the game, coupled with the graphical interface, required a screen mode 640 pixels across to be usable.