Hi-Res Adventure #6: The Dark Crystal

aka: Gelfling Adventure, Gelfling Adventure: a Junior Adventure Game for Ages 9 & Up
Moby ID: 16877
Apple II Specs

Description official descriptions

The Dark Crystal is closely based on Jim Henson's film of the same name. The game is set in Thra, a world with three suns, which come together every thousand years in an event known as "The Great Conjunction". The player controls Jen, the last survivor of the Gelfings, a race of mole-like people. He must find a dark crystal and its broken shard, and repair it to end the reign of a tyrannical lord.

Like other installments of the Hi-Res Adventures series, the game is entirely text-based, with non-animated graphics to illustrate the areas. Movement between areas and interaction with the game world is performed by typing commands consisting of either one or two words (a combination of a verb and an object).

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Credits (Apple II version)

36 People (23 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Cover artwork by
Based on a story by
Graphics director
Graphic artists
Dark Crystal map by
Title screen by
  • Christopher Cerf Associates
Programming by
Text and educational concepts by
Edited by
Project manager for Henson Associates
Project manager for Sierra On-Line
Special thanks to
[ full credits ]



Average score: 86% (based on 3 ratings)


Average score: 4.3 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 1 reviews)

A nice, short game based on the movie

The Good
As a fan that enjoys movies with a fantasy theme, I watched The Dark Crystal, which was a movie that gained worldwide reception. Having said that, it comes to no surprise that Sierra cashed in on its success. The movie revolves around The Dark Crystal, which was shattered a thousand years ago in an event known as "The Great Conjunction". Now Jen - the last of his race - to fulfill an ancient prophecy which states a Gelfing must return a missing crystal shard to the Crystal and destroy the Skeksis' evil empire.

The last Hi-Res adventure for the Apple, The Dark Crystal combines both text and graphics, an element that it shares with its cousins. The game gives you a description of the scene you entered, followed by a prompt, in which you have to type a one- or two-word command. I say one because directions can be abbreviated.

You will see most of the characters from the movie, including Aughra, Kira, the Garthims, Chamberlain, and the Landstriders. As a person who has watched the movie before playing the game, it is nice to see how the scenes in the game compare to those from the movie.

While reading the description of each scene, I always pictured how that scene was represented in the movie, not what appeared on the monitor. I always liked that the game sometimes tricks you into thinking that when it loads up a scene, there is only description to read and that's the entire scene. Sometimes the game loads a scene, you read the description, press a key, and then it loads one or two more, then you get a prompt.

Before you get into the game, you are greeted with a nice title screen, consisting of the title with the same lettering used for the movie. All the scenes in the game are drawn nicely regardless of how "white" everything looks.

There is still that text-only mode that can be accessed by pressing the [Return] key without typing anything in. It is nice, because at least it provides some nostalgia for people who have gotten used to playing adventures from Infocom. Sound is missing from the game, although an early adventure like The Dark Crystal doesn't need it.

The Bad
The game is a bit short. Some more scenes could have been added to make the game longer. Also, while playing in text-only mode the game reverts back to graphic mode when it loads up a new scene.

The Bottom Line
As I said, this is the last Hi-Res adventure designed for the Apple ][ machine, and it is a lot easier to understand if you already watched the movie. If you haven't seen it, the game is still definitely worth playing. There is another version of the game called Gelfing Adventure, in the same vein as Dragon's Keep, that might appeal to children who do not have the vocabulary necessary to enter two-word commands.

Apple II · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2012


Subject By Date
Gelfling adventure, enhanced, reimplemented Pseudo_Intellectual (65481) Aug 23rd, 2014


Version differences

This game was also published as Gelfling Adventure with a slightly different interface. Gelfling Adventure allowed you to select actions from a short list instead of typing in commands.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by The cranky hermit.

Browser added by Luckspeare. FM-7, PC-88, PC-98 added by Terok Nor. Atari 8-bit added by Servo.

Additional contributors: Servo, Jeanne, jean-louis, RodeoInTheGreatWhiteNorth, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 18th, 2005. Last modified August 30th, 2023.