The Biggest Adams Mystery Of All!

By Dave E

Originally published in EUG #54

A wizard by the name of H. Persson emailed EUG recently noting he was "sure it would have been pointed out by now" but did we know that a certain web page at the catchy address of:

had a lot of information regarding the 'lost' fourteenth Scott Adams adventure queried on in EUG #53's Pyramid Of Doom walkthrough. Well, it hadn't until then and what became very clear just a couple of mouse clicks later was that EUG was not the first to ask the question. In fact, over different formats with different software companies producing their different conversions in different countries, there is no "final truth" as to what adventure number fourteen actually is on the BBC series. It's likely that when Adventure International's UK base came to its sticky end in 1985 (on the production front; I realise its releases were supplied by Adventuresoft for a long time after that!), the fourteenth classic was either in or still awaiting production. Hence, it is not missing from anyone's collection as it never actually existed.

Out of interest, on the TI-99/4A (the American console Scott Adams originally wrote it for), its title was RETURN TO PIRATE'S ISLE, a sequel to Pirate Adventure (Adventure #2) and this is also the case with the list of Scott Adams' adventures that graced the Spectrum. Both end: ten SAVAGE ISLAND 1, eleven SAVAGE ISLAND 2, twelve Golden Voyage, thirteen Sorceror Of Claymorgue Castle and fourteen RETURN TO PIRATE'S ISLE. BUCKAROO BANZAI never made it to either of either of these machines and only with the Commodore 64 can be sure you have a version you can complete. Note even this completable version is bugged in some places too!

As you'll discover if you visit the web page, this is a very confusing area but thankfully it's not one BBC/Elk owners need worry about too much as on their format there is no adventure #14. Of course, as explained in EUG #53, there might as well be no Adventure #15 either as Buckaroo Banzai is so badly bugged, the game is unplayable on the BBC series' format. Electron User's review in Vol 5 No 5 did state however that unbugged copies did make it into circulation eventually. Has anyone reading this got one of them?

To round off with an apology, EUG stated some time ago that Scott Adams was now the creator of Dilbert and had made "millions of pounds". In fact, the two Scott Adams are totally different people. It's valid though that, providing you make no profit out of them, the games can now be freely distributed. Hoorah!

Dave E, EUG #54