Timequest

Moby ID: 1026
DOS Specs
Buy on Windows
$6.99 new on Steam
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Description official description

By the year 2090 AD, the usage of time machines (also known as "interkrons") became restricted. Temporal Corps strictly forbade traveling to the past due to potential unforeseen consequences of the traveler's actions. However, Zeke S. Vettenmyer, a Lieutenant in the Temporal Corps, has illegally acquired an interkron, traveled to various time periods and altered well-known historical events. As a result, the temporal disruption caused by his actions is threatening to destroy reality as we known it. A Temporal Corps private is sent to the past in an attempt to pursue Vettenmyer and reverse the changes he made to the world's history.

Timequest is a text adventure with graphics utilizing the same interface as Legend's first game: it provides a long list of verbs to interact with still first-person screens displaying locations and people, but also allows and encourages typing commands for the same purpose. The player travels to six geographical locations within nine different time periods from 1361 BC to 1940 AD. It is possible to access any location at any time as the game begins. The player can opt to work on one location continuously, but often it is necessary to acquire items from different areas to solve puzzles.

The famous events Vettenmyer has tampered with include the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, the attempted overthrow of the Caliph of Baghdad in 800 AD, Genghis Khan's siege of Peking in 1215, Napoleon's attack on Egypt in 1798, etc. Among the illustrious people the player encounters are baby Moses, Pope Leo I, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, and others.

Spellings

  • Time Quest - Common misspelling

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Credits (DOS version)

33 People · View all

Writing
Programming
System Architecture
System Programming
Graphics System Development
Additional Game Programming
Additional Programming Support
Screen Art
Cover Art
Music Composition
Music Production
AdLib Transcriptions
Sound Effects
Testing Coordination
Additional Testing
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 7 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings with 2 reviews)

Travel through time with this masterpiece from Legend!

The Good
Well, for starters, TimeQuest was one of the first adventures by Legend, and one of the best ones as well. It was created by Bob Bates, one of the founders of Legend (who previously worked for Infocom), and one of the most talented adventure designers ever.

TimeQuest has everything in it: intriguing story, rich, literary language, smart puzzles and lots of interaction with surroundings. To explain the general concept, it looks alike other adventure games by Legend that came out in early 90th. These adventures can be described as a mix between IFs and graphical adventures. Along with very smart text parser, they have all the necessary attributes of graphical adventures, like the pictures of the places you visit (the objects on which could be clicked with a mouse to interact with) and the mouse-driven interface, where you can make sentences by making different commands from given verbs and nouns. But, like in any IF, the detailed description of every place you visit is given to you in a great literary language. All in all - one of the most suitable interfaces for adventure games.

In the beginning of the game you find yourself in the near future, in the role of a cop of some sort who works for the Temporal Corps - organization which was created to control time travels (using time machines, of course, which are called "interkrons"). One of your mates, Vettenmyer, being an evil person, decided to put an end to the world by traveling to the past and changing different historical events, so that this'll create a time paradox. Your mission from now on is not only to stop Vettenmyer, but also to repair all the mess the evil guy managed to create.

And that's the beginning. In your journey you'll travel to all six continents, to 6 different countries, from Mexico and Dover to Peking and Rome, in ten time periods beginning from 1361 BC! How do you like this premise?! And more than that, you'll take part in different historical events, like chariot races in Rome or World War II. You will also meet a lot of famous persons, like Ceaser, Cleopatra, Napoleon and Hitler. Yes, the game, apart from its excellent adventure part, also contains a great educational value, as you'll get information on many historical subjects (but, unlike in awful Cryo games, in a very appealing manner).

Puzzles in the game are also very unique and well constructed. Many of them require you to find objects or information for one epoch in the other one, while others are the result of changes in different time periods. Just one example: when you take part in chariot races in Rome, you'll get acquainted with Cleopatra, who was a special guest of Ceaser. The other time you'll meet her in Cairo, she'll remember you and invite to her private apartments... The principle of time changes was used later in a game by Lucas Arts - Day of the Tentacle, but in a much less appealing form, though it's usually considered to be unique (the result of the lack of popularity of Legend games :( ).

The other aspects, like graphics and music, are also very well done. Pictures, while usually motionless, are beautifully drawn, and in-game map is usually also presented like a beautiful picture of the area, being unique for every country you visit. The music is also nice, especially one melody that is played in a small garden with an old bench, which you'll find in Rome - it is so beautiful!

The Bad
Well, I just loved everything about this game. The only things that might frustrate new gamers is a quite high level of difficulty and the lack of graphics-cutscenes (which can't be called a problem by real adventure lovers, only by those who consider Syberia and other similar games "the only true adventure games").

The Bottom Line
The game is a true gem. It has everything to be called an all-time classic and one of the top adventure games ever created. It's just the lack of popularity (as with other Legend games), due to the modern standards that demanded "less words, more graphics". If you want to experience a classical graphic adventure that is played like IF, this one would be the best choice. And if want just to play a great game - TimeQuest is also for you.

DOS · by Afex Tween (129) · 2004

I didn't have time for time quest

The Good
Clearly this is a very clever and original game. On paper all that time-travelling through history sounds amazing. I enjoyed playing it for 5 or 10 minutes, but after that my concentration strayed. Problem is, for my taste it was just too clever.

The Bad
I have simple needs when it comes to gaming. I like adventure games that tell stories, and have characters that you care about and can believe in. Timequest is too dry and humourless, puzzle-driven not plot driven. In fact there is a plot, but its so implausible it doesn't work as a plot, rather it is just a premise for a series of history-themed puzzles. In the end I didnt care what happened, I lost interest, and went and played something else.

The Bottom Line
If you like an intellectual challenge this game is for you, if you like old-time text adventures this game is for you, and if you like games that are intricately structured with complex puzzles, its for you. If not go and play Spellcasting or one of the other more playful Legend games. Personally I prefer them.

DOS · by jossiejojo (37) · 2005

Discussion

Subject By Date
Creation of group for "Legend's interactive fiction games" ZeTomes (36265) Jun 19, 2017

Trivia

Debugging code

Similar to Spellcasting 101's 'gwcheat' cheat, Timequest has some debugging code (zmem, zget, etc), 'zget' allows you to take any item in the game, it can however mess up the interpreter if you 'zget player'.

European release

The European 5,25'' version of Timequest has a different screenshot on the upper right of the back cover. While the US version features a screenshot of Mussolini and Hitler with the caption "Rome 1940 Deceive Mussolini and Hitler into thinking England has surrendered" the European version has a screenshot showing Winston Churchill and the caption says "Dover 1940 Give Churchill time to evacuate the troops at Dunkirk".

Also the 3.5" Disks of the European release show version number 1.1 instead of version 1.0 (US release).

References

The name of the villain in Timequest (Zeke S. Vettenmyer) is an anagram of "Steven E. Meretzky", Legend co-founder and author of the Spellcasting series.

Steve Meretzky

One of the listed play testers is none other than Steve Meretzky (author of Legend's Spellcasting series) himself.

Awards

  • Game Players
    • 1991 - PC Excellence Award
  • QuestBusters
    • 1991 - Game of the Year
  • Games Magazine
    • 1991 - Top 100 Games of the Year Award

Information also contributed by Indra was here, partykiller and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe

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  • MobyGames ID: 1026
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Yakumo.

Windows added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 11, 2000. Last modified January 19, 2024.