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Ballyhoo (TRS-80)

Ballyhoo TRS-80 Title and introduction

MISSING COVER

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Advertising Blurbs

Advertisement in COMPUTE!, October 1986:

    Infocom introduces four new games.
    One really smells.



    Infocom, the crazy people who brought you "Zork" and "The hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," has a habit of coming up with games that add a new dimension to interactive fiction. And the best keeps getting better. Case in point: "Leather Goddesses of Phobos." It has a scratch n' sniff card and a 3-d comic book to excite all your senses. Once your interest is piqued, you'll embark on a rowdy romp through the solar system. This hilarious spoof of 1930's pulp science fiction has 3 "naughtiness levels," for the prude to the lewd. "Leather Goddesses" is sure to amuse members of either sex.

    One's really warped.



    Then there's "Trinity." It answers the question of whether a game can be both light-hearted and profound. You journey through a time warp into a mischievous fantasy world where all atomic explosions are mysteriously connected. "Trinity" takes you back to the dawn of the atomic age and puts the course of history in your hands.

    One's a real circus.



    It has been said that the circus is the only really mysterious thing left in civilization. One thing's for sure, there is plenty of mystery in "Ballyhoo." While trying to locate the circus owner's kidnapped daughter, you are somersaulted into a three-ring world of deception and crime. To solve the crime and save your hide from a permanent spot in the freak show, you'll need to stretch your puzzle-solving skills to the limit.

    One's really haunting.



    Wrapping up this new quartet is a classic gothic mystery set in a haunted castle on the mist-shrouded seacoast of Cornwall. In "Moonmist" you'll explore the darkest reaches of Tresyllian Castle and get involved with an eccentric cast of characters, including British nobility, while trying to save your best friend from a vengeful ghost. "Moonmist" offers four distinctly different sets of clues, problems, solutions and hidden treasures. So you'll die to replay it again and again.

    All four are easy to get.



    Simply follow your nose to your local software store today.

    Contributed by Belboz (6513) on Oct 14, 2001.

From PASSPORT To The United Products of Infocom 1986:
    BALLYHOO
    Ladies and gentlemen! Children of all ages! Welcome to Spangleland! A world of sawdust and glitter, buffoons and cotton candy! At least that's what you think, until you peek behind the scenes. Overhearing that the circus owner's daughter has been kidnapped, you're off to the rescue. But be careful, danger lurks in the seedy back alleys of the Big Top.

    In BALLYHOO, you'll need to solve puzzles in order to solve the crime. Rather than interviewing potential suspects, you'll spend much of your time gaining access to places where the child might be hidden. Actual circus lingo and locations produce a vivid picture of life in Spangleland.

    "BALLYHOO fills yet another wing of the incredible Infocom library. For those who enjoy their visits to its hallowed halls, this is a wing they should explore."
    -Analog Computing

    Contributed by Belboz (6513) on Oct 09, 2001.

From The New Zork Times, VOL.V No.1 Winter 1986:

    An Heirloom to Cherish - Yours From Infocom!



    Imagine the thrill of owning an authentic numbered, autographed copy of Infocom's latest interactive mystery, Ballyhoo! Imagine the envy of your friends and neighbors when you proudly display this rare edition! And imagine the tears of gratitude when you pass this valuable heirloom on to your children fifty years hence!

    Unbelievable as it seems, this wonderful opportunity can be yours! A limited edition of Ballyhoo signed and numbered by author Jeff O'Neill is now available exclusively through The New Zork Times. These are the very first copies to roll off the production lines! Only 150 per version are available for your IBM, Apple, or Commodore. And only 75 per version are available for your Atari, Atari ST, Amiga, or Macintosh.

    We're sure you'd pay plenty for an heirloom item of this caliber. But even more unbelievably, this special edition is available at the regular price of only $39.95! To order, simply call our toll-free number (800-262-6868). But hurry! This is a first-come-first-served offer!

    Don't miss the chance to own a copy of the very first Infocom limited edition! Amaze your friends! Satisfy your desire for the best! Order today!

    Contributed by Belboz (6513) on Aug 26, 2001.

From The New Zork Times, VOL.V No.1 Winter 1986:

    Now Introducing . . . BALLYHOO!



    You always wanted to join the circus, didn't you? Heck, we all did. The only question was whether to put on clown makeup, walk the highwire, or brave the wild beasts. Now you get to do all these things, in Infocom's new puzzle-packed mystery, Ballyhoo.

    Ballyhoo sets you down outside the big top at the end of the show. As the last circus-goers filter out the gate, you decide to stick around. Maybe you'll get to see an impromptu clown act, or watch the late-night feedings of the exotic animals, or peek at the gadgets and glitter inside the prop tent. Maybe you'll even get to meet that gorgeous trapese artist or those high-wire hunks!

    But no such luck. Instead you're plunged into a mysterious underworld where everyone has a secret to keep - and no one wants to clue you in. Exploring the seedy corners of the lot, you overhear a conversation about the owner's young daughter. She's been kidnapped, and the hired gumshoe finds his bottle more engaging than the case.

    It looks like you've got two choices: forget about the tot, or set off on a search of your own. Naturally, you go for the role of hero.

    As the night progresses, you realize that the life of a hero, like the back yard of the big top, is about as glamorous as a tarnished piece of costume jewelry. Rather than applauding your efforts to find the child, the circus folk see you as an outsider messing about in their very private business. You find yourself getting a quick lesson in the daring stunts you admired from afar, as you seek clues and dodge danger.

    To get you ready for the big time, the Ballyhoo package includes a colorful circus program, a balloon, a trade card for Dr. Nostrum's Herbified Extract, and your ticket to Spangleland. The program introduces you to the unique characters you'll meet in the story and gives you a glimpse of life in the back lot.

    In Ballyhoo, you'll need to solve puzzles in order to solve the crime. As a standard-level game, it's a great introduction to our mystery line. And when you leave the circus, keep honing your investigative skills with our other popular whodunits - Deadline, The Witness, and Suspect.

    Ballyhoo was written by Jeff O'Neill, who fulfilled the promise of the American dream by rising from game tester to game designer at Infocom. Ballyhoo joins a distinctive list of great "first works" of interactive fiction, including Zork I (by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling), Suspended (by Michael Berlyn), Planetfall (by Steve Meretzky), The Witness (by Stu Galley), and Wishbringer (by Brian Moriarty).

    Contributed by Belboz (6513) on Aug 26, 2001.

Back of the Box:
    Spangleland! Sawdust and glitter, buffoons and cotton candy! It's a place where your wildest dreams can come true! At least, that's what you think...until you get behind the scenes at the big top. Then you learn how easily sweet dreams can turn into nightmares.

    Beyond the spangles lies a seedy world of deception and crime. Exploring the tattered corners of the circus lot, you overhear a conversation about the owner's daughter. It seems she's been kidnapped, and the hired gumshoe couldn't find the nose on his face. Good samaritan that you are, you start poking around on your own.

    But watch your step. As the night progresses, you realize you're in as much danger as the little girld. For the kidnapper is lurking right there on the lot, trying to set you up for a permanent slot in the freak show.

    Contributed by andyhat (1910) on Jun 10, 2000.