The Revenge of Moriarty

Spectral Images (1989/2019)

ZX Spectrum

ZX Spectrum


Written by Gareth Pitchford

'You are the world's most famous detective. After your recent successes on the continent you could've retired and spent your time engaged in academic research.

But for many years something has been bothering you. You felt as if a veil of darkness was descending over London. To anyone else the wave of unsolved, and often even unreported crimes, would appear unconnected. But you spotted patterns. You realised that they'd all been meticulously planned and directed by the same unknown hand.

You followed the threads of crime until the spider at the centre of the web was revealed. The mastermind behind it all. You vowed that you would not rest until he was stopped. You have worked tirelessly to this end these past few months. Now, the plan is in motion. The trap is in place. Soon the capital will be free of the menace that has plagued its streets for so long.

But he is aware. He knows you are poised to strike. He has put his own agents to work. He will be coming for you. You need to be ready.'

The Revenge of Moriarty was one of the first ever game designs I wrote, back in about 1989, when I became interested in creating my own text adventures. It was a project I tried to make work several times but it never quite made it into a finished form. Designed as a small, four-location adventure, you played Sherlock Holmes, trapped in his consulting rooms by Moriarty's goons, and had to lay a tray to snare your archnemesis and save your own life. I initially tried to make it with Tom Frost's Adventure Builder System and Scott Denyer also had a look at producing it using PAWs, several years later.

The problem with the design was that it was intended to replicate Sherlock Holmes' room in detail, using lots of information from the original books and stories, but that meant there were far too many objects to deal with... about fifty items across just four locations... with lots of naming clashes!

I've always wanted to get the design off the page and into a computer, even if just for my own amusement, and this version is my attempt to address some of the issues with the original concept while staying true to all the plans my teenage self wrote over thirty years ago. Apart from addressing the object issue, I've not changed anything. It's a fairly straightforward mini-game that most adventurers shouldn't struggle to complete.

The 2019 game was produced by using inPAWs to make a Spectrum prototype and a version for CP/M. The code was then ported to DAAD using Stefan Vogt's ANTUR. There are versions of the mini-adventure available for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Commodore Plus/4, Atari ST, and Commodore Amiga.

In 2023 a slightly tweaked version of the DAAD game was produced that will run in a browser using Uto's jDAAD interpreter. New builds were also made for MSX1, MSX2 and Amstrad PCW.

The Revenge of Moriarty (2019) - DAAD Version:

  • The Revenge of Moriarty (jDAAD) v1.2 - Play Online! (2023)

The Revenge of Moriarty (2019) - PAWs Prototype Version:

  • The Revenge of Moriarty (Spectrum PAWs Prototype) v1.1 - Z80 / SNA / TZX / TAP

The Revenge of Moriarty - Other Related Documents & Files:

The Revenge of Moriarty - Reviews:


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