Swordquest Earthworld was programmed by Tod Frye
Cartridge, Box, and screen pictures – courtesy of
The game is based on the Tree of Life, which is found in the Jewish Kaballah. The Kaballah is based on 4 worlds, and has 10 "spheres" or "levels" called the Sephiroth. The 4 worlds are as follows:
1. Atziluth (Kether & Daath): The World of Origination.
2. Briah (Chesed, Geburah & Tiphareth): The World of Creation.
3. Yetzirah (Chokmah & Yesod): The World of Formation.
4. Assiah (Binah, Netzach, Hod & Malkuth): The World of Expression.
It's possible to "warp" up into adjacent rooms. In some rooms corner warping can be used to also go left, right, and down. Was this by design or a glitch? In room E, sometimes when trying to warp to room G you will reappear on the other side of the room instead. You can also get stuck on the walls in this room when trying to do corner warps.
The doors in room E are affected by what items are placed inside. While the B doorway is always open, and holding the chalice opens all doors (including J), the following doors are opened with these objects:
F – Dagger
D – Warrior’s Sword
H – Amulet
G – Oil Lamp
C – Ring
I – Cloak of Invisibility
Click here to see Swordquest: Fireworld (by Atari) Championship pictures, Sunnyvale, CA, 1984
The clues don't have to be found in order. The meaning of the clue numbers is unknown, but it's possible that being they were simply numbered from 00 to 09 meant that there were 10 word clues to find in the comic book.
In the Salamanders skill test (room J), your "line" character gets longer each time you are hit.
When you find a clue, occasionally a block (cursor) will appear in the inventory. To get rid of it, go in a treasure room and place your cursor over it and "drop" it, otherwise you won't be able to carry 6 objects.
Normally you have 8 chances to finish some skill tests (all but the Snakes and Dragons). Each time you fail, you’ll hear a "miss" sound. With the Goblins test though, you only get 7. Notice that when you first start the test you'll hear a "miss". There's also a way to hear 9 "miss" sounds with the Goblins test – at power up, wait until you see the screen showing your character and then start the game. If the very first test you do is the Goblins, you'll actually hear 2 "miss" sounds at the start, instead of 1.
There are numerous glitches that appear with the skill tests. With the Snakes test, you may be stuck on the screen when you start (your character won't appear) or when you kill all of them (and the screen doesn't change); with the Flamedragons, you may see a "bolt" of fire shooting up from the bottom when you start; with the Salamanders and Firebirds, the bottom border may disappear as you are hit. All tests seem to suffer from poor sprite-collision detection (ex. a goblin or knife may slip past you and not be counted as a miss).
PAL Version notes
As with the PAL Earthworld, there was no comic book, poster, contest entry form, or contest sticker on the box.
Did you know the PAL version of FW has a different solution? The solution below was also obtained by Luc Pycke.
The PAL Fireworld box is also slightly different from the NTSC version – "Swordquest" appears in solid white lettering, with "FireWorld" in large letters underneath it.
It is believed that this PAL version is actually the "Special Edition" version used for the contest.
The inventory "block" glitch is more prevalent in this version. Clearing the block creates another rope item, which will appear in the room. You can actually create enough ropes to have 6 in your inventory and one in each room!
Fireworld PAL solution
1. Shoes in A
2. Talisman of Passage & previous object (i.e. Shoes + Talisman) in I
3. Food & previous objects in H
4. Leather Armor & previous objects in G
5. Rope & previous objects in F
6. Dagger & previous objects in E
7. Short Sword & previous objects in D
8. Shield & previous objects in C
9. Amulet & previous objects in B
10. Chalice & previous objects in J
There were 73 total finalists - according to the winner, Atari had a "run-off" whereby they sent everyone a piece of paper with some questions, and the finalists had to write in so many words or less what they liked about the game. Out of those entries, the judges picked 50 contestants.
At least 50 "championship" carts were made.
The deadline for entering the contest was July 15, 1983. All the finalists were to be flown to Atari to compete in November of 1983, but the contest didn't take place until January of 1984. The reason for the delay is unknown.
The winner was Michael S. Rideout of Aiken, SC., who finished the game in 50 minutes.
Ad from Atari Age issue #5
Fireworld Contest finalists article, from Atari Age issue #9
Fireworld Contest winner announcements article, from Atari Age issue #11
The Tree of Life glyph
Room layout, using Russ Perry Jr.'s solution
PAL end label
Fireworld Prototype cartridge
Fireworld PAL box
Fireworld "Japanese" box
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