Level 9 16K Text Adventures
A collection of references to the early Level 9 adventures being also available in 16K format for the Nascom, BBC, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum; in addition to the more well-known, and archived, 32K versions.
(The other early Level 9 advertising has been moved to this page of the site)
The early Level 9 adventures were available in both 16K and "32K" format until the release of Dungeon Adventure; after which only the "32K" versions were available.*
*although a 16K version for Nascom was advertised.
Mike Austin: "We targeted computers down to about 8K. I have a feeling we may have done a 4K version [of Colossal Adventure] at some point. The text usually compressed to about 25% of its original size."
Sadly, there appear to be no archived copies of any of the 16K versions of Colossal Adventure.
This material was collected together, initially with the help of the users on the Stardot forum.
See the threads here and here.
Thanks also go to Mark Hardisty who contacted Mike Austin, gaining the following quote:
"Yes, there were quite a few 16K versions in the early days. The main difference was usually that the text was precised down to a very small size. I don't have a comprehensive list unfortunately."
Here's the relevant year from their 5 year celebration document...
Advertising showing 16K and 32K versions of Colossal Adventure and Adventure Quest
Earliest mention (so far) - April 1982
Source: 80-Bus News April-June 1982, Volume 1 Issue 2
The original 16K Nascom version of Colossal Adventure...
(First mention in a more mainstream publication? July 1982)
Source: Computing Today - July 1982 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
Source: Computing Today, August 1982 [Credit: Fuzzel]
The following adverts are the first (found so far) that list both a 16K and 32K option available for Colossal Adventure and Adventure Quest. Both come from the same issue of Computing Today.
Source: Computing Today - September 1982 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
Various formats, including ZX Spectrum, ZX81, BBC, and Nascom
See also: Large multi-format advert from 80-Bus News July-October 1982 -> Click here
Source: Your Computer, September 1982
Similar advertising appeared, listing these ZX81/Spectrum/BBC/Nascom formats in multiple publications (such as Computing Today) over an extended period of time.
BBC Micro 16K/32K advertising...
Source: Acorn User October 1982
A Laserbug review of the 32K version of Colossal Adventure for the BBC that specifically mentions that a cut-down 16K version is available...
Source: Laserbug, Issue 9 (February 1983)
Advertising from December 1982... showing that upon the release of Dungeon Adventure, only the 32K versions were being sold/advertised in the multiformat adverts. The ZX81 versions are now no longer listed.
Note... the accompanying Nascom advert, in the same issue, does list a 16K version for Nascom of Dungeon Adventure.
Source: Computing Today - December 1982 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
The January 1983 Computing Today adverts
(issue was on sale in mid-December 1982)
Source: Computing Today - January 1983 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
Source: Computing Today - April 1983 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
Source: Computing Today - May 1983 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
And the top of the (more than slightly rubbish) initial advert announcing that the Level 9 games were now available on the Atari 400/800, Commodore 64, and Lynx...
Source: Computing Today - June 1983 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
...and adding the 380Z...
Source: Computing Today - August 1983 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage
The review, from which the above quote appears, is shown below...
An extract from the slightly more professional multi-format advert in September 1983...
Source: Computing Today - September 1983 - magazine scan by Flaxcottage