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Note to users of Windows, Linux and Mac OS

The text adventure games Gateway to Karos and The Mirror of Khoronz are written for the RISC OS operating system which first appeared on the Acorn Archimedes series of computers. Although few of these computers remain in use the RISC OS operating system lives on and is still being developed for a more modern range of ARM-based computers including the Raspberry Pi series. To play these games on a computer running Windows, Linux or Mac OS you will need a RISC OS emulator. RPCEmu meets all requirements - indeed, both games have been thoroughly play-tested using this emulator.

Here at last is the RISC OS version of Gateway to Karos!

Written originally in 6502 assembly language for the BBC micro, Gateway to Karos was published by Acornsoft in 1984 and reviewed in Acorn User the following January. Acornsoft long ago gave permission for that version of the game to be released into the public domain and it has long been available from sites which specialise in this type of game. The sequel, The Mirror of Khoronz, remained unpublished but in 2020 it was completely rewritten in a greatly enhanced form for RISC OS and made available for free download from this website.

If you're playing Gateway please keep an eye on the version number. Updates are being uploaded almost every day as bugs are reported. The most recent version is 2.77 dated 11-Nov-2023.

It was always intended that Gateway to Karos would be rewritten to the same standard for RISC OS. It's been a lengthy process and at times it's seemed as if it would never be finished. But is has finally been completed and you can download Gateway to Karos (v. 2.78, 14-Nov-2023) from this link. Instructions in HTML format are very similar to those for "Mirror" and are accessible from the icobar menu when you run the game. Also on that menu is a rough map in !Draw format of the island of Karos. It doesn't give too much away but I felt it was necessary since travelling around has fewer constraints that were the case with "Mirror"

Here is v.2.10 of "Mirror" (10 Nov 2020)

Over the past few months I have held an extensive exchange of emails with Roger Durrant who has played the game - to a successful conclusion - over a lengthy period. Thanks to his feedback (including, but by no means limited to bug reports) the game has been substantially rewritten and improved.

Please note. Game-position files saved from earlier versions will not work properly with v.1.10 and will almost certainly cause crashes. I apologize to anyone who is part-way through the game and has a collection of saved positions, but lack of "backward compatibility" is often the price of progress.
The Mirror of Khoronz - a text-based adventure game for RISC OS systems
Way back in 1976, when computer graphics were still fairly primitive, text adventure games enjoyed considerable popularity. The genre was created by two Americans, Crowther and Woods, with a game called simply "Adventure". Written in Fortran and running on a PDP10 mainframe, "Adventure" was set in an undergound complex which the authors called Colossal Cave. The game quickly became the most frequently-accessed program on the system - no-one had encountered anything like it before and it proved very addictive.

My first text adventure game for the BBC micro was published by Acornsoft under the name Gateway to Karos and was favourably reviewed in Acorn User. Encouraged by this I followed it up with a sequel: The Mirror of Khoronz. By the time Mirror was completed, however, graphical games were all the rage, text-only adventures were old hat, and Acornsoft were no longer interested. Mirror was made available from several PD libraries but no commercial version has ever appeared.

RISC OS machines liberated us once and for all from the severe memory constraints of the BBC micro and made possible a more polished version of Mirror. The project was begun, postponed, begun again and now, finally, here it is. Download The Mirror of Khoronz from here and have fun! It's a 222Kb zip file and comes with instructions in HTML format. My intention is to produce a polished RISC OS version of Gateway to Karos in the near future (years ago Acorn generously gave us permission to re-release it into the public domain) and there is even the possibility of a third part (The Far Islands, yet to be written) to complete the trilogy.

Feel free to email the author for help, hints, bug reports, criticisms, suggestions etc.

Derek Haslam