The Level 9 
 Fact Sheet
The Level 9 
 Fact Sheet

                Level 9 Fact Sheet                        V1.1 -- 1999/JAN/25

Copyright (c) 1998, 1999 Miron Schmidt <> and Manuel Schulz <>.

This file attempts to list all relevant information about the British company
Level 9 and their published games.
The most recent release can always be found at the IF-Archive on

This first public release contains some information that was submitted to us
and which we couldn't confirm. So please contact us with any different
experiences you might have.

List of contents:

        1    Overview
        2    Distribution and Packaging Details
        3    ClueSheets
        4    Game File Versions
        5    Trivia
        6    Chronology
        A   Appendix
             A.1    Non-Level9 Games
             A.2    The Level9 Authors
             A.3    Interpreters and Tools
             A.4    Lenslok FAQ
        T    Special Thanks
        I     History of This Fact Sheet

  1   Overview

a) The company

Level 9 published 20 games, and were in one way or the other connected to a
number of other games.

This extraordinary feat makes them the second largest text adventure company
right after Infocom, blatantly ignoring Sierra On-Line (whose early and
middle-period games did have text parsers after all, but counting the
3D-animated adventures as text adventures would be pushing the definition).

They were founded in 1981 by Pete, Mike, and Nick Austin: Mike was a fan of
Advent (aka Colossal Cave) and was disappointed that there was no port for
the British micro computers, so he simply wrote his own -- and that's how it
began, concerning text adventures. Before that, they had already published
software for 8bit computers, such as Extension Basic, and a couple of arcade
games for the Nascom.

The decision to publish the games mainly on tape and to port them to many
platforms made them the leading adventure company in England. Furthermore,
their games featured a decent parser with a dictionary of sometimes 1000
words and more, making them the most advanced adventure games ever available
on tape. Needless to say, this added to their success: Scapeghost, their last
and least-successful game, still sold about 15,000 copies.

The commercial decline of the text adventure genre finally forced them to
close down in June 1991, after they had desperately tried to stay in business
by selling their programming efforts to other companies. For instance, they
ported Cinemaware's Amiga game It Came from the Desert to the PC.

b) A-Code

Level 9 used their own interpretation language, A-code, which was more memory
efficient even than plain Z80 assembler. It was developed around 1979, long
before the first L9 game appeared, as the Colossal Cave port was intended
to fit into 8 KB.

A-code underwent a couple of revisions: there are three distinct versions in
all, plus a couple of extensions which form new A-code versions of their own.

The A-code data files were usually incorporated into the executable file for
specific machines, together with the interpreter part. Still, even those
executables were significantly shorter than pure assembly code files would
have been!

This efficiency was partially due to advanced text compression routines that
reduced the memory need for texts to about 50% of their true length.
Infocom's text compression, in comparison, only reduced text strings to about
67% of their real length (abbreviation alphabets notwithstanding: see
elsewhere for details).

A strength of the A-code system -- and at the same time one of its greatest
weaknesses -- is a system of script variables, of which there are a fixed
number: generally more in higher A-code versions.

For the later three-part games, Knight Orc, Scapeghost, and the Ingrid
series, the script variable system was extended by an NPC movement and action
system which was internally called KAOS. The framework of this new system was
originally developed by John Jones-Steele who had gained first experiences at
Melbourne House. KAOS was able to make NPCs appear "intelligent": they move
independently of the player's commands, pick up things, utilise weapons,
etc., following so-called "racetracks," which could be quite complex (as
Knight Orc demonstrates impressively). The name "KAOS" is a mangled acronym
of "Knight Orc Adventure System."

Finally, an animation control system named HUGE (The (w)Holy Universal Game
Engine) was added, which was actually a new system on its own, but derived
from A-code. HUGE drivers existed for the Amiga and Atari ST only. It was
never used for issued Level 9 games, but e.g. their conversion of It Came
from the Desert was programmed using HUGE.

c) The adventure games

The Middle Earth Trilogy

The next three games first formed the Middle Earth Trilogy, but were later
repackaged in a single box as the Jewels of Darkness Trilogy.

- Colossal Adventure
   Their first game, and the reason to start Level 9 as a commercial company.
   Colossal Adventure is a modified version of ADVENT, the very first
   adventure game. The modifications are mostly an enlarged master game, and a
   more detailed outside world.
   Written by Mike, Nick and Pete Austin. Based on ADVENT, written by Will
   Crowther and Donald Woods.
   First published: 1983

- Adventure Quest
   The first adventure game of their own design. Mainly a collection of
   puzzles which don't always make sense in the context.
   Written by Mike, Nick and Pete Austin.
   First published: 1983

- Dungeon Adventure
   A strange dungeon-crawl and treasure-hunt adventure. It introduces a magic
   system that was in part derived from the one introduced in the role-playing
   game D&D.
   Written by Mike, Nick and Pete Austin.
   First published: 1984

The Silicon Dreams Trilogy

These games center around Kim Kimberley, the legendary secret agent and space
navigator. In early advertisements, the trilogy was called the "Silicon
Dream" trilogy: without the "s".

- Snowball
   The spaceship Snowball 9 has to be safely landed on the planet of Eden.
   More than 7000 rooms, 6800-odd of which form a tricky maze on board the
   Written by Mike, Nick and Pete Austin. Additional expertise: Ian Buxton.
   First published: 1983

- Return to Eden
   After approaching Eden, you have to escape to the city of Enoch before
   certain imprisonment due to false accusations.
   Written by Nick Austin and Chris Queen. Pictures by Tim Noyce.
   First published: October 1984

- Worm in Paradise
   Yet a couple of years later, Kim Kimberley has become a legend on Eden. The
   player sets out to uncover the government's dark secrets. This game
   features lots of political statements.
   Written by Mike, Nick and Pete Austin. Pictures by James Horsler. (Delayed
   by: Adrian Mole.)
   First published: December 1985

The Time and Magik Trilogy

Not originally planned as a trilogy, these three games center around "magik"
and magical events.

- Lords of Time
   Time-travelling through the distant past, you collect a number of items to
   defeat the evil Lords of Time. The first Level 9 game not designed by the
   Austins. It was initially to be published as "Timelords."
   Written by Sue Gazzard. Additional expertise: Ian Buxton.
   First published: 1983

- Red Moon
   The Red Moon crystal has to be retrieved.
   Written by David Williamson (design), Simon Aspinall (implementation), Pete
   Austin (design and implementation). Pictures: James Horsler.
   First published: July 1985

- The Price of Magik
   Written by Pete Austin (design), Nick & Mike Austin (implementation),
    David Williamson (original idea). Pictures by James Horsler.
    First published: May 1986

The Gnome Ranger series

The third game in this series was already written and designed, but never got

- Gnome Ranger
   Ingrid the Gnome and her diverse adventures. This game consists of three
   parts, each a game file on its own.
   Written by Pete Austin. Gnomish by Peter McBride.
   First published: 1987

- Gnome Ranger II: Ingrid's Back
   Ingrid's further adventures. Again, the game comes in three distinct parts.
   Written by Pete Austin (game design) and Graham Jones (game programming
   and text). Game text polishing: Peter McBride. Graphics by Dicon
   Peeke. Additional programming by Mike Austin, Nick Austin, John
   Jones-Steele and Mike Bryant.
   First published: 1988

The Adrian Mole series

These games were based on the children's books by Sue Townsend.

- The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4
   No text parser, but a series of multiple-choice questions. Divided into
   four parts, each a game file on its own.
   Written by ...
   First published: 1985

- The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
   Like the first Adrian Mole game, this one is based on the book of the same
   name, features multiple-choice questions rather than a text parser, and is
   divided into four distinct parts.
   Written by Pete Austin. Pictures by Joan Lamb.
   First published: 1987

Individual games

- Emerald Isle
   Stranded on an island, the protagonist finds a lost civilisation. This game
   was at some point meant to be the first game in the same trilogy as Red
   Moon and The Price of Magic.
   Written by Shaun D. Abbott (design). Pictures by James Horsler.
   First published: 1984

- The Saga of Erik the Viking
   Based on Terry Jones' book of the same name (later filmed by Terry Gilliam
   with Tim Robbins as Erik).
   Written by ...
   First published: 1984

- The Archers
   Based on the British soap opera of the same name. The dialog was supposedly
   written by the series' real authors. No text parser, but a sequence of
   multiple-choice questions.
   Written by Pete Austin. Pictures by Joan Lamb.
   First published: 1986

- Knight Orc
   As Grindleguts the Orc, the player has to solve many adventures. Like the
   Gnome Ranger games, the game consists of three distinct parts. In the third
   part, the player is in for a surprise.
   Written by Pete Austin.
   First published: 1987

- Lancelot
   The player assumes the role of Lancelot, the noble knight, replaying his
   adventures of chivalry, love, and the Holy Grail. Three parts, like the
   Gnome Ranger games.
   Story and final game text: Christina Erskin. Pictures by Joan Lamb, Neil
   Scrimgeour, Dicken Peeke, Nusarath Jahan. Systems: Mike and Nick
   Austin, John Jones-Steele, Mike Bryant.
   First published: 1988

- Scapeghost
   A dead detective returns to the world of the living to solve his final
   case. Like the last few games, Scapeghost comes in three distinct parts. It
   was originally announced as "Spook."
   Written by Pete Austin, Sandra Sharkey and Pete Gerrard.
   First published: 1989

d) Non-Interactive-Fiction Software

- Extension Basic
   Level 9's first ever program.

- Missile Defence

- Champion of the Raj
   A colonial India strategy game. Written mainly for a commercial burst, this
   was the only non-adventure game Level 9 published in their later period.

e) Games for other companies

- It Came from the Desert
   PC port only. The original was the Amiga version by Cinemaware.

  2   Distribution and Packaging Details

All dimensions are given in millimeters.

a) "Ziploc Bag" releases

The first five games were initially released in simple transparent Ziploc
bags. Each contains a 12-page manual, a game tape, and a Hint-request card
plus an envelope to mail it. The early Hint-request cards allowed the player
to pose three questions of their choice which were then laboriously answered
individually by the Austins.

        (1) Colossal Adventure
        (2) Adventure Quest
        (3) Dungeon Adventure
        (4) Snowball
        (5) Lords of Time

b) "Cardboard Box" releases

In late 1983, the same five games were re-packaged in 224 x 146 x 19
cardboard boxes. The boxes have a small hole below the upper edge to allow
retailers to hang them on display hooks.
The contents are the same as in the "Ziploc Bag" releases: the 12-page
manual, a game tape, and the early Hint-request card plus envelope.

        (1) Colossal Adventure
        (2) Adventure Quest
        (3) Dungeon Adventure
        (4) Snowball
        (5) Lords of Time

c) "Wallet" releases

In 1984, the packaging went through another revision: the games were issued
in 215 x 160 x 15 soft plastic wallets. Each package contains a 420 x 300
poster with detailed instructions on the flip side, a 420 x 300
advertisement poster, an early Hint-request card, a 144 x 205 system-specific
reference sheet (with loading/saving instructions), and a game tape; all the
contents are slipped in a pocket on the wallet's inside.
The wallets have a clear plastic cover in which an inlay is slipped for each

(Possibly, the Wallets' contents were changed shortly before the release of
the MK II packages. In this case, the contents given here would refer to the
later packaging: but we have no confirmed details available.)

        (1) Colossal Adventure
        (2) Adventure Quest
        (3) Dungeon Adventure
        (4) Snowball
        (5) Lords of Time
        (6) Return to Eden
        (7) Emerald Isle

d) "MK II" releases

The expensive large wallets were dropped by 1985 in favour of smaller,
130 x 86 x 18 "Microcase MK II" boxes. The inlay is slipped into the
box' cover; each bears the game cover on the front side, and instructions
on the insides, which are folded away. The unfolded dimensions of the inlay
are 180 x 487. In addition, the package contains but a mere game tape.

        (1) Colossal Adventure
        (2) Adventure Quest
        (3) Dungeon Adventure
        (4) Snowball
        (5) Lords of Time
        (6) Return to Eden
        (7) Emerald Isle
        (8) Red Moon
        (9) The Worm in Paradise
                Contents: See header.

       (13) The Price of Magik
                Same contents as above. Additionally, The Price of Magik
                contains a Lenslok device.

e) "Virgin" and "Mosaic" releases
The Archers and Erik the Viking were developed for, and released by Mosaic;
the Adrian Mole games were similarly published by Virgin Games.

       (10) The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4
                Comes in an MK II box such as described above. The inlay
                contains a brief instruction sheet. Additionally to the tape,
                the box contains a Hint Request Sheet.

       (11) The Archers
                Comes in a black, 132 x 90 x 18 plastic tape box in the cover
                of which an inlay is slipped. The inlay (181 x 294) has
                instructions and notes on the main characters of the game
                printed on the back. Apart from that, the box contains only
                the game tape.

       (12) The Saga of Erik the Viking
                The black, 220 x 140 x 29 plastic box (similar to a video
                tape box) contains an instruction booklet (which also
                features extract of the Terry Jones book), and a game tape.
                The cover is slipped into the box' front.

       (17) The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
               Packed in a 140 x 108 x 17 clear plastic box for two tapes,
               this game contains a folded instruction sheet and one game

f) "Rainbird" releases

Two of the trilogies and Knight Orc were published by British
Telecommunications, Inc. In the UK (and Europe), these went under the
Rainbird label.

The Rainbird games come in blue two-part, 215 x 153 x 27 cardboard boxes
which are printed with the game cover and a bar-code for retailing.
In addition to the detailed contents below, each game contained three game
tapes or one game disk, and a new Hint request sheet to request the ClueSheet
for the respective game.

       (14) Jewels of Darkness Trilogy
                  - 150 x 210, 68-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and Peter McBride's novella "The
                     Darkness Rises"
                  - Lenslok and Lenslok instruction sheet, OR
                     notice about absence of Lenslok
                  - translation of the instructions (German release)

       (15) Silicon Dreams Trilogy
                  - 150 x 210, 68-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and Peter McBride's novella "Eden Song"

       (16) Knight Orc
                The box of the German release of this game has "Deutsche
                Version" printed on the box in red letters.
                  - 150 x 210, 52-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and Peter McBride's novella "The Sign of
                     the Orc", OR
                     150 x 210, 78-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and the AGC Hamburg translation of Peter
                     McBride's novella "Im Zeichen des Ork"
                 -  4-color map (410 x 294) by P.R. Human

g) "Firebird" releases
In the US, the British Telecommunications releases went under the Firebird
label. Those games come in 227 x 163 x 30 black, video tape box-like plastic
boxes with a clear cover in which an inlay is slipped. The contents are the
same, with additional registration and warranty cards thrown in.

       (14) Jewels of Darkness Trilogy
                  - 150 x 210, 68-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and Peter McBride's novella "The
                     Darkness Rises"
                  - Lenslok and Lenslok instruction sheet, OR
                     notice about absence of Lenslok

       (15) Silicon Dreams Trilogy
                  - 150 x 210, 68-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and Peter McBride's novella "Eden Song"

       (16) Knight Orc
                  - 150 x 210, 52-page booklet with loading instructions, a
                     game play guide, and Peter McBride's novella "The Sign of
                     the Orc"
                 -  4-color map (410 x 294) by P.R. Human

h) "Mandarin" releases

These games were developed by Level 9, and distributed originally by Mandarin
Software. Later, DataSoft distributed the games in different packages in the

       (19) Time and Magik Trilogy
                A two-part, 227 x 150 x 28 cardboard box with a printed
                cover, containing:
                  - game disk
                  - 26-page instruction booklet with brief system-specific
                    details, plus Peter McBride's short story "Time and
                  - 40-page clue book including maps and numbered hints much
                     like the Clue Sheets for other games

       (20) Lancelot
                The two-part cardboard box (213 x 152 x 27) has a printed
                cover and contains:
                  - game disk or tape
                  - 44-page booklet with instructions (general and loading)
                    and the novella "King Arthur and the Knights of the
                    Round Table"
                  - 282 x 196 map of England
                  - "Holy Grail Contest" sheet

i) "Late" releases

       (18) Gnome Ranger
                Comes in a clear tape box (even the disk releases) with
                slightly varying dimensions.
                  - 4-color, 130 x 219 inlay with instructions and system
                  - Ziploc bag, containing game disk or tape, and a booklet,
                    190 x 108, 52 pages, called "The Gnettlefield Journal"

       (21) Ingrid's Back: Gnome Ranger II
                The 215 x 152 x 25 cardboard slipcase with printed cover
                contains a 211 x 148 x 21 tray (also printed with the cover
                motive), which in turn contains:
                  - The game media
                  - 4-color poster (278 x 199) with advertisements for the
                    then-available L9 games
                  - Clue Request Card
                  - 44-page booklet (with detailed instructions, an "Official
                    Secrets" ad, and "The Second Gnettlefield Journal,"
                    written as usual by Peter McBride) inside a Ziploc bag.

       (22) Scapeghost
                Black plastic, 185 x 150 x 25 multi-casing-box with game
                disk or tapes.
                Further contents:
                  - 4-color poster (270 x 350) with instructions and general
                    loading instructions
                  - Clue sheet order form
                  - 4-color poster (230 x 153) with an advertisement for
                    several adventure games

  3   Clue Sheets

The games didn't come with clues other than those hidden in the
documentation, but Level 9 offered to send hints for a self-addressed,
stamped envelope.

In the early years, buyers were allowed to ask a certain number of questions
which were personally answered by the Austins. Later, time didn't permit this
anymore, as the volume of hint requests increased steadily.

Therefore, the general hint request form was replaced by a request form for
so-called Clue Sheets, which gave answers to all the puzzles and listed
locations and items. Electronic versions of these Clue Sheets are available
at, in the /level9/clue-sheets/ folder.

  4   Version Information

The A-code game files are all that is needed if you have a suitable
interpreter at hand (see section A.3) -- though game files were regularly
linked to the machine-dependent interpreter.
It is possible, however, to "cut down" game files to their minimum length:
those lengths, and further information used for testing or by interpreters,
are given below.

All game file versions are given in the following form: length, A-Code
version, checksum (2 bytes in hexadecimal), CRC16 checksum (4 bytes in
hexadecimal: never used by interpreters, but more useful for identifying
game file versions than the 2-byte checksum), publishing information for
this version.
Abbreviations used: JoD -- Jewels of Darkness Trilogy
                    SD  -- Silicon Dreams Trilogy
                    T&M -- Time and Magik Trilogy
                    TO  -- Text-only version
Game files prepended with an asterisk are those we haven't actually seen:
please contact us if you have one of these.

Finally, game files marked "game-data only" are not playable with an
interpreter: they lack a similar file of A-Code instructions, the format of
which has not been entirely decoded as of yet.

Adrian Mole I, pt. 1
    14897  3  e5  0bdb  BBC
    33587  3  b7  e2ac  C-64
    31855  3  0f  ba24  CPC
    29434  3  8b  6f12  Speccy

Adrian Mole I, pt. 2
    14321  3  77  d231  BBC
    33869  3  50  5353  C-64
    29582  3  5b  7e3d  Speccy

Adrian Mole I, pt. 3
    14592  3  1c  5d9a  BBC
    33361  3  5f  862a  C-64
    29557  3  e5  3f3e  Speccy

Adrian Mole I, pt. 4
    14608  3  ac  07f9  BBC
    31352  3  5e  6ea3  C-64
    30933  3  e3  cd7d  Speccy

Adrian Mole I, pt. 5
    15062  3  a7  95d2  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 6
    14501  3  0f  defc  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 7
    13854  3  7e  fd9f  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 8
    14644  3  75  e141  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 9
    13585  3  cc  d829  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 10
    14557  3  31  2534  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 11
    14784  3  44  89df  BBC

Adrian Mole I, pt. 12
    14866  3  8f  c2bd  BBC

Adrian Mole II, pt. 1
  * 22842  3  00     0  BBC
    31025  3  b9  c51b  CPC/C-64
    26689  3  4a  94e7  Speccy

Adrian Mole II, pt. 2
  * 22502  3  00     0  BBC
    31967  3  a5  43e3  CPC/C-64
    27584  3  62  ab3d  Speccy

Adrian Mole II, pt. 3
  * 22553  3  00     0  BBC
    31244  3  97  4bea  CPC/C-64
    26924  3  21  2015  Speccy

Adrian Mole II, pt. 4
  * 22427  3  00     0  BBC
    30851  3  e2  ee0e  CPC/C-64
    26378  3  94  a2a6  Speccy

Adventure Quest
    28256  3  83  18e0  Amiga/PC JoD
  * 23384  3  00  0000  Atari JoD
    25526  3  2e  ef38  C-64 JoD
    26984  3  32  0c01  CPC JoD
    26992  3  d6  a820  Speccy128 JoD
    23246  3  11  f118  Speccy48 *patched* JoD
    23246  3  11  dc12  Speccy48 JoD
    28252  3  f6  d356  ST JoD

The Archers, pt. 1
    22580  3  42  cc9d  BBC
    30301  3  cd  fc02  C-64
  * 27877  3  00     0  Speccy

The Archers, pt. 2
  *     0  3  00     0  BBC
    28248  3  07  bffc  C-64
  * 26842  3  00     0  Speccy

The Archers, pt. 3
  *     0  3  00     0  BBC
    32408  3  6a  95e5  C-64
    27751  3  9a  9a6a  Speccy

The Archers, pt. 4
  *     0  3  00     0  BBC
    33250  3  d5  b278  C-64
  *     0  3  00     0  Speccy

Champion of the Raj, pt. 1
    18502  4  00  d9c1  ST German

Champion of the Raj, pt. 2
     4597  4  00  7aa4  ST German

Colossal Adventure
    30452  3  5e  1fe5  Amiga/PC JoD
    23318  3  3b  e2aa  Atari JoD
    27790  3  b6  9be3  C-64 JoD
    28493  3  cb  e8f2  CPC JoD
    28526  3  78  28cd  Speccy128 JoD
    23182  3  f2  2c96  Speccy48 *patched* JoD
    23182  3  f2  7cca  Speccy48 JoD
    30452  3  5a  cf4b  ST JoD

Dungeon Adventure
    25358  2  8d  7d7d  CPC
    22842  3  80  7a34  Atari JoD
    27602  3  65  a41f  C-64 JoD
    28096  3  63  5d95  CPC JoD
    28136  3  4c  d795  Speccy128 JoD
    22691  3  38  a1ee  Speccy48 *patched* JoD
    22691  3  38  8ce4  Speccy48 JoD
    28428  3  95  1f64  ST/Amiga/PC JoD

Emerald Isle
    25534  2  d6  cf5d  Atari/C-64/Speccy/CPC

Erik the Viking
    13491  2  20  ccda  C-64
    13491  2  c7  9058  CPC
    13491  2  53  8f00  Speccy

Gnome Ranger, pt. 1
    44353  4  a8  42c5  C-64 TO
    45481  4  80  5fb7  ST/Amiga
    24560  5  f8  3a13  CPC  (game-data only)
    21162  5  df  7b5b  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Gnome Ranger, pt. 2
    42805  4  f7  2e08  C-64 TO
    43933  4  31  be6d  ST/Amiga
    24612  5  01  aaa9  CPC  (game-data only)
    28666  5  db  dde2  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Gnome Ranger, pt. 3
    43456  4  9e  0d70  C-64 TO
    44584  4  87  b6b6  ST/Amiga
    24630  5  3d  6c6c  CPC  (game-data only)
    29242  5  69  039b  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Ingrid's Back, pt. 1
    53640  4  13  dc60  Amiga
    37001  4  44  eff4  C-64 *patched*
    46960  4  03  9a03  C-64 TO
    37001  4  ce  c5e2  C-64
    53659  4  ad  306d  PC
    35511  4  68  ee57  Speccy48
    53635  4  83  ef72  ST
    23096  5  f7  876e  CPC  (game-data only)
    30368  5  3a  b803  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Ingrid's Back, pt. 2
    50580  4  03  ea95  Amiga
    37005  4  f6  2a11  C-64 *patched*
    46913  4  b6  2aa5  C-64 TO
    37005  4  80  30c7  C-64
    50597  4  fe  3c98  PC
    35614  4  84  2538  Speccy48
    50575  4  65  f337  ST
    21274  5  ed  cf3f  CPC  (game-data only)
    30324  5  0b  e92f  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Ingrid's Back, pt. 3
    55199  4  b5  1661  Amiga
    37022  4  15  f4da  C-64 *patched*
    46993  4  a1  d065  C-64 TO
    37022  4  9f  decc  C-64
    55214  4  9e  1878  PC
    35612  4  a8  9262  Speccy48
    55194  4  57  49c5  ST
    22500  5  19  b354  CPC  (game-data only)
    30302  5  ba  086d  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Knight Orc, pt. 1
    48019  4  36  6a05  Amiga
    35184  4  e2  b6f3  C-64 *patched*
    35184  4  6b  3c7b  C-64
    47982  4  a6  9753  PC
    34512  4  b7  adbd  Speccy48
    47982  4  ad  4d40  ST
    29920  5  92  885e  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Knight Orc, pt. 2
    35728  4  4e  098c  C-64
    50574  4  43  e9ce  PC
    34949  4  22  e293  Speccy48
    50574  4  4a  4e9d  ST/Amiga
    28092  5  97  6f55  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Knight Orc, pt. 3
    35562  4  4e  ca54  C-64
    52122  4  08  6c36  PC
    34789  4  0e  dc33  Speccy48
    52122  4  0f  0804  ST/Amiga
    29698  5  07  385f  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Lancelot, pt. 1
    48036  4  94  0871  Amiga/PC *USA*
    36843  4  ba  a800  C-64
    35550  4  f2  fffb  Speccy48
    49359  4  4e  b7fa  ST/Amiga/PC
    20434  5  9d  799a  BBC  (game-data only)
    30348  5  e8  8fc6  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Lancelot, pt. 2
    53440  4  56  8c48  Amiga/PC *USA*
    36715  4  fa  0f7e  C-64
    35598  4  fb  0bab  Speccy48
    54761  4  6a  4192  ST/Amiga/PC
    19884  5  a8  86ed  BBC  (game-data only)
    30384  5  1d  0fcd  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Lancelot, pt. 3
    46764  4  c6  aea0  Amiga/PC *USA*
    36721  4  2f  0ddc  C-64
    35507  4  c1  cb62  Speccy48
    48015  4  1a  7487  ST/Amiga/PC
    20374  5  22  30f8  BBC  (game-data only)
    30302  5  4f  3b73  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Lords of Time
    24249  2  30  e99a  CPC
    24249  2  6e  c689  Speccy
    45655  4  f8  fbd5  Amiga *USA* T&M
    46454  4  2a  7239  Amiga T&M
    36216  4  3a  ba6e  C-64 *USA* T&M
    45664  4  e5  c5b2  PC *USA* T&M
    46460  4  44  7779  PC T&M
    35152  4  a1  1ea2  Speccy48 *patched* T&M
    35152  4  a1  bb16  Speccy48 T&M
    27134  5  56  ecfb  CPC T&M  (game-data only)
    28446  5  da  2ce0  Speccy128 T&M  (game-data only)

Price of Magik
    28614  3  14  f9b6  C-64
    23204  3  c1  bbf4  CPC
    29712  3  5e  60be  Speccy128
    23204  3  c1  10a0  Speccy48 *corrupt*
    23204  3  c1  8a65  Speccy48 *patched*
    23204  3  c1  eda4  Speccy48
    46999  4  1f  84a9  Amiga *USA* T&M
    47818  4  3a  221b  Amiga T&M
    35910  4  f0  caf6  C-64 *USA* T&M
    47008  4  7e  2226  PC *USA* T&M
    47815  4  7f  ddb2  PC T&M
  *     0  4   0     0  Speccy48 T&M
    23120  5  a9  a5fa  CPC T&M  (game-data only)
    24840  5  dd  efe7  Speccy128 T&M  (game-data only)

Red Moon
    20588  2  f0  ba72  BBC/CPC/C-64
    20573  2  32  2dcf  Speccy
    41880  4  82  d031  Amiga *USA* T&M
    42642  4  d1  6a99  Amiga T&M
    36182  4  d3  146a  C-64 *USA* T&M
    41892  4  df  6732  PC *USA* T&M
    42654  4  6c  b268  PC T&M
    34835  4  11  d0cd  Speccy48 *patched* T&M
    34835  4  11  22de  Speccy48 T&M
    26760  5  8d  7f6a  CPC T&M  (game-data only)
    28064  5  b8  3802  Speccy128 T&M  (game-data only)

Return to Eden
    24676  2  bd  73ec  Atari
    24676  2  01  5b3c  BBC
    24676  2  da  e610  C-64
    23713  2  33  1c43  Speccy/a
    23735  2  64  0790  Speccy/b
    24823  3  68  c2bc  Atari SD
    30511  3  ca  8602  C-64 SD
    31999  3  f8  6044  CPC SD
    32020  3  e8  fbab  PC SD
    31829  3  18  daee  Speccy128 SD
    24387  3  ca  6e1b  Speccy48 *patched* SD
    24387  3  ca  828c  Speccy48 SD
    32022  3  e6  5438  ST/Amiga SD

Scapeghost, pt. 1
    49458  4  14  7adc  Amiga *bak*
    48811  4  2d  94d9  Amiga
    48788  4  cc  04b8  ST/PC
    23740  5  a5  0dbe  CPC  (game-data only)
    30254  5  82  8848  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Scapeghost, pt. 2
    39357  4  65  032e  ST/Amiga/PC
    22834  5  4e  b2b5  CPC  (game-data only)
    23510  5  35  79ef  Speccy128  (game-data only)

Scapeghost, pt. 3
    48310  4  7a  7d4f  ST/Amiga/PC
    22624  5  95  3227  CPC  (game-data only)
    28584  5  a4  62c2  Speccy128  (game-data only)

    24491  2  5c  a309  CPC
    27640  3  3f  c9f7  Atari SD
    29539  3  65  a0ab  C-64 SD
    31535  3  70  6f6c  CPC SD
    31535  3  70  6955  PC/Speccy128 SD
    25921  3  02  028a  Speccy48 *patched* SD
    25921  3  02  2e6c  Speccy48 SD
    31537  3  6e  2e2b  ST/Amiga SD

Worm in Paradise
    28036  3  f9     0  C-64
    30507  3  cd  a503  Speccy128
    21612  3  b7  9420  Speccy48
    24929  3  f3  e6d7  Atari SD
    30861  3  72  888a  C-64 SD
    31959  3  0e  4feb  PC/CPC/Speccy128 SD
    24251  3  f1  cc1a  Speccy48 *patched* SD
    24251  3  f1  4dec  Speccy48 SD
    31961  3  0c  4df1  ST/Amiga SD

  5   Trivia

* A themed attraction based on a UK television series named Crystal Maze (in
  Blackpool, UK and near Tokyo, Japan) was driven using HUGE. This was an
  action course where the players had to perform certain exercises which were
  then concluded by pushing buttons or pulling levers. Which actions to
  perform and confirmation of the correct actions was controlled by the HUGE

* Margaret Austin worked for the company for a few years, handling some of
  the marketing aspects. Therefore, two "M. Austin"s appeared on some
  personal replies.

* As mentioned above, "KAOS" is a mangled acronym of "Knight Orc Adventure
  System." The reason for this was that "KAOS" simply sounds a lot more cool
  than "KOAS."

  6   Chronology

1979            A-Code devised.

1981            Level 9 founded by Mike, Nick and Pete Austin.

                    Early non-adventure releases:
                    (a) Extension Basic

1983            Ziploc bag releases:
                    (1) Colossal Adventure
                    (2) Adventure Quest
                    (3) Dungeon Adventure
                    (4) Snowball
                    (5) Lords of Time

                    Packaging update: (1)-(5) re-packaged in cardboard boxes

1984            Packaging update: (1)-(5) re-packaged in plastic wallets

        Oct      (6) Return to Eden

1985            (7) Emerald Isle

                    Packaging update: (1)-(7) re-packaged in smaller plastic
                    wallets (130x86x18).

         Jul       (8) Red Moon
                    (9) The Worm in Paradise
                    (10) The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 (for
                    (11) The Archers (for Mosaic)
                    (12) The Saga of Erik the Viking

1986            Lenslok introduced.

                    (13) The Price of Magik
                    (14) Jewels of Darkness Trilogy (for BT)

                    Lenslok excluded again.

                    (15) Silicon Dreams Trilogy (for BT)

1987            KAOS devised.

         Jul       (16) Knight Orc (for BT)

                    Level 9 no longer use any standard packaging format.

                    (17) The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (for Virgin)

        Sep      (18) Gnome Ranger

1988            (19) Time and Magik Trilogy (for Mandarin)
                    (20) Lancelot (for Mandarin)
                    (21) Ingrid's Back (for Mandarin)

1989            (22) Scapeghost

                    H.U.G.E. devised.

1991            Champion of the Raj
                    It Came from the Desert (PC port for Cinemaware)

                    Level 9 decide to quit writing games. The individual brothers
                    go on working for software developers.

  A   Appendix

  A.1   Appendix 1: Non-Level 9 Games

- It Came from the Desert

  A.2   Appendix 2: The Level 9 Authors

Shaun D. Abbott
Simon Aspinall
Mike Austin
Nick Austin
Pete Austin
Christina Erskin
Sue Gazzard
Pete Gerrard
Peter McBride
Chris Queen
Sandra Sharkey
David Williamson

  A.3   Appendix 3: Interpreters and Tools

a) Level 9

The interpreter "Level 9" was written by Glen Summers <>. The current version 2.0 is capable of playing
all V2-V4 games.

Ports exist for the Amiga and the PC (both done by the ever-present David

The latest version for all supported systems can be found in the
/level9/interpreters/level9 directory at

b) L9Cut

L9Cut is a tool that "cuts" a pure A-code game file from an executable. It
recognises versions 2-4 and works mostly automatically -- but there is an
option to even cut game files it doesn't actually recognise.

Note that L9Cut appends two zeros (0x0000) to any game file for
identification reasons.

It was written by Paul David Doherty <>.

The latest version (portable C source code plus PC executable) can be found
on Paul's web page at

c) L9Dis

A "raw" A-Code disassembler: dictionary entries and messages are printed in a
formatted form, but the actual code is simply printed one instruction at a
time. Written by Paul David Doherty <>, L9Dis is
currently in beta stage.

  A.4   Appendix 4: Lenslok FAQ

a) What is Lenslok?

Lenslok was a copy-protection system. Games with Lenslok protection were
shipped with a little plastic device with a slit lens, which was placed on
the computer screen, enabling the user to read otherwise unitelligible lines
and dots as genuine letters. The Lenslok had to be "calibrated" each time in
a painstaking process that included positioning the device in a slightly
non-orthagonal way against the screen.

b) Who developed it?

The Lenslok device was invented (and patented in the US) by ASAP
Developments Ltd.

c) From when to when was it used?

From 1985 to 1986.

d) Who used it?

It was included in the original release of Elite for the Spectrum, OCP Art
Studio, Tomahawk, and Starglider, among other games. -- Notably, of course,
the mentioned Level 9 adventures.

e) Why didn't it work for longer?

The characters were rather difficult to identify: if you don't place the
Lenslok on your screen *exactly* as prompted, the lines appear blurry and
colour-shifted. On some tv screens, it was virtually impossible to read the
text at all. Growing unrest among the players -- who had, after all, paid good money for the games -- resulted in companies gradually dropping this form of copy-protection.

  T   Special Thanks

Paul David Doherty has provided us with the basic framework of this file, and
with lots of valuable information, most notably facts from his conversations
with the Austin brothers, and game file listings. Also, Paul maintains the
version database.

Peter Schoen never hesitated to send us new packages, data files, or secrets
about his own collection.

Much of the publishing information was initially taken from Hans Persson's
(mildly unreliable) Adventure Game History at
Hans' email address is <>

Many thanks to Richard Hewison, whose "Level 9 -- Past Masters of the
Adventure Game?" proved to be a very useful source of never-before unearthed
early company details.

The Museum of Computer and Video Games in Berlin (Rungestr. 20, 10179 Berlin) has offered some moral support.

Graham Nelson unfolded some precious memories about the Middle Earth Trilogy.

The packaging details for Erik the Viking were submitted by Christian Lemke.

Contributors of new game files: David Gorst.

Eagle-eyes (finders of typos or wrong "facts"): Brendon J. Wyber.

Last but certainly not least, Pete Austin himself has helped to verify the
more doubtful details.

Nevertheless (standard disclaimer), all inaccurate information is entirely
our own fault and might have arised from a) sloppiness, b) typos (Miron's,
most probably), or c) sneaking in unverified tidbits.

  I   History of This Fact Sheet

V0.1 (970918)   -  First rudimentary version, typed in by Manuel from info we
                              had established in our first two meetings.
V1.0 (981227)   -  Last (very refreshing) meeting before final publication:
                              filled in the final details, corrected some typos, added
                              information about Erik, Lords of Time, and packaging types.
                              Uncapitalised the "G" in "Scapeghost." Renamed "Other"
                              releases to "Late" again; added info about Time and Magik;
                              added comment about possible early and late "Wallet"
                              versions. --Mi & Ma.
                              PUBLIC RELEASE.
V1.0.1 (981228) - Corrected two small typos. --Mi.
V1.0.2 (990103) - Corrected URL (Volker apparently moved it to .../info/...).
                              Added thanks item for Brendon Wyber. Added PDD's
                              maintaining of the version database to thanks list. Slight
                              rewording of one paragraph.
V1.0.3 (990112) - Changed a non-ASCII character for its ASCII equivalent
                              (thanks to PDD for the somewhat cryptic report).
V1.1 (990125)    - Added David Gorst to thanks list. Rephrased sentence in
                              L9Cut description. Preliminarily took out sentence about
                              ME Trilogy and Tolkien: check later. Now uses PDD's
                              database 022 (instead of 016). --Mi.
                              PUBLIC RELEASE.