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Below the Root is based on Zilpha Keatley Snyder's fantasy book series "The Green-Sky Trilogy". Following the events in those books, The Kindar and the Erdling societies have joined together. However unrest and distrust still remains. An old woman, D'ol Falla has heard the words "The Spirit fades, in Darkness lying. A quest proclaim, the Light is dying". Choosing one of five available people (of different ages and of either Kindar or Erdling descent) either she believes can help, D'ol Falla assigns the quest of discovering what these words mean and how to quell the racial and political tensions building between the races.

Below the Root is a adventure game and a platform game. Choosing one of five characters (each very different from one another), the player explores the tree-based lands Erdling and the underground-based lands of the Kindar. As an adventure game, goals are primarily accomplished by talking to people (though each character is treated differently by others) and finding the right items to use in specific situations, but also dealing with the challenges of level design in a platform game.

Each character can obtain different items to help with their movement as well as psychic abilities such as pensing (telepathy), kiniporting (telekinesis) and grunspreking (plant manipulation). Violence is abhorred among the Kindar and the Erdling and violent actions tend to harm the player's reputation. Kindar or Erdling factions may kidnap the player's character if they wander into the wrong areas, throwing them into a local "prison house" from which they must escape. The player must eat constantly to retain their energy, however Erdling characters do not eat meat.


Below the Root PC Booter Select a command from the menu (CGA with composite monitor)
Below the Root PC Booter The beginning location (CGA with composite monitor)
Below the Root Apple II Hmm, a shop...
Below the Root PC Booter Gameplay: choose a command (CGA with RGB monitor)

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User Reviews

This is the one I wish I still had! PC Booter Kat_Girl (9)
A true classic ... in every sense of the word PC Booter Jeanne (76226)
Side Scrolling Masterpiece PC Booter Joe Jackson (3)
I was 7 years old when I played this... I'm 17 now and I miss it so bad! Commodore 64 Lisa Bradley (3)
The best and most impressive adventure game ever made for Commodore 64! Commodore 64 Daniel Gagne (4)
A Great classic that could use an update! Commodore 64 JDonahue (3)

Critic Reviews

Lemon64 Commodore 64 Jun 16, 2004 8 out of 10 80
The Retro Spirit PC Booter Apr 13, 2008 3 out of 6 50


Topic # Posts Last Post
Sold on Ebay! 1 BostonGeorge (788)
Nov 11, 2011
Who is the publisher 15 BostonGeorge (788)
Feb 18, 2009



Below the Root is adapted from the original 1978 'science fiction fantasy' novel written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and is the first in Green-Sky Trilogy, Followed by the books: And All Between (1979) and Until the Celebration (1980).

The game was a direct result of readers' dissatisfaction with the ending of the books. Agreeing with a lot of the criticism, author Zilpha Keatley Snyder decided that a computer game might be used to continue the story and provide a better resolution to the series' events. Much of the game focuses on discovering the hidden truths behind some of the events described in the final novel.

Information also contributed by WildKard

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Contributed to by Andy Roark (268) and The Red King (34)
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