Journey: The Quest Begins

aka: Journey
Moby ID: 1240
Macintosh Specs

Description official descriptions

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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Credits (DOS version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 11 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 1 reviews)

A winning, inventive approach to adventure games that was lost in the shuffle.

The Good
The story: this game had a great story, that kept me coming back to it over and over again. The story owed much to Tolkien. You play as a young, Frodo-like character, under the guidance of an older wizard, in a small party adventuring across a mythic countryside.
The design: Journey's design was classic Infocom: just about anything you tried would be met with a response. This game pushed that to the limit by allowing you to play through to one of many endings, then presenting you with an oracle's analysis of your game. You found out from the oracle where your mistakes were and could replay the game to get it right. The main character was spared from death, and was always returned to the oracle. This unique approach required tremendous design depth, with hundreds of possible pathways mapped out that could generate a complete storyline leading back to your encounter with the oracle. Of course, winning the game meant learning from the oracle and successfully completing the game in its entirety. I found this superior to both the Sierra (death around every corner) and LucasArts (you don't die, but the story comes to a halt while you try to figure out what to do next) adventure game design templates. The genius of designer Marc Blank (the Zork trilogy) was truly evident in this game. The graphics: I played this on my 128K Apple //c, and the lush 16 color graphics were one of the best uses of this palette I ever saw.

The Bad
The fact that it was supposed to be part of a trilogy, which was never completed. The fact that it was lost in the shuffle as the Apple II line sank to oblivion the year it was released. (I never saw the DOS version.)

The Bottom Line
If you are a fan of the older Infocom games, this is a gem that you should play. It was really a precursor of the type of adventure game design popularized by Legend Entertainment, yet is entirely unique and thoroughly enjoyable. It had a compelling storyline that was strongly influenced by Tolkien's Ring trilogy. You could play thrugh multiple versions of the story, always returning to an oracle at the end who would give you clues to where you got off the main storyline. It had a windowed interface, much like Legend's adventure games. It was created by a master of the genre, the legendary Marc Blank.

DOS · by Clyde Dodge (2) · 2003

Trivia

Cancelled sequels

It was named Part I of the Golden Age Trilogy, but no others came out.

Graphics

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.

Information also contributed by Trixter

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  • MobyGames ID: 1240
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Belboz.

Apple II added by John Romero. Amiga, Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: MAT, mo , Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 31, 2000. Last modified May 11, 2024.