Seminal adventure game The Hobbit finally ported to the Dragon 64
Users of obscure Motorola-powered micro can finally see Thorin singing about gold
1982-vintage adventure game The Hobbit has been ported to the Dragon 64, 34 years after the program's release.
The back story: in 1982, The Hobbit was the hottest ticket in gaming, thanks to its addition of big bold graphics and a syntax that did away with adventure games' annoying habit of allowing only a limited set of verbs to be applied to in-game objects.
As one of the game's coders, Veronika Megler, explained to us in 2012, “Everything [in the game] was an object. If you killed a dwarf you could use it as a weapon – it was no different to other large heavy objects. That was something you could not do with other games of the time, they had fixed possibilities.”
The Hobbit was a colossal hit and was quickly ported to other big-selling microcomputers of the day, such as the BBC Micro, Commodore 64 and Apple II.
But not, it appears, for another early 1980s micro, the Dragon 32 . The Dragon was a well-regarded micro that, even at a time when system vendors cooked up proprietary systems, stood out with its choice of the Motorola 6809E for the CPU and Microsoft BASIC as its OS.
The machine took its name from its RAM – all 32 kilobytes of it. A successor, the Dragon 64, did likewise but also gained a serial port.
Now, boiling up from the recesses of Retrowiki, comes news of a Hobbit port to the Dragon and its Motorola processor.
Reportedly the work of a single coder, dubbed PSER1, the port is now in beta here.
The retrowiki post says the game will run only on the Dragon 64, for those of you with vintage hardware, but should also be fine in emulators. Whatever you use to run the program, feedback is eagerly sought to advance the project from Beta to final product. ®