(One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Phone
(617)494-1224). Up to 1984, the company was called Trillium. Some
of their games are published on the "Windham Classics" label.
The 1984 released titles by Trillium/Telarium were eventually sold
three different ways. In 1984, they were from Trillium and
released in double-folded over folders (8" X 10") with seals
holding in the contents. In 1984, the folder form remained the
same as the games were marketed by Telarium. Around 1986, the
folder concept was dumped and the games came in regular flap type
boxes (6 3/4" X 9") with a plastic insert tray.
Telarium went defunct sometime before 1989, but some of the games
continued to be marketed by Spinnaker a while after that.
They are or have been distributed by Spinnaker Software Corporation.
Type: Bitmap graphics/Music
Written 1984 by Len Neufeld and Byron Preiss.
Notes: Based on the novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury. Comes
with a manual, Notes from the Underground and a Criminal Alert
Comments: You are Montag, a fireman whose job it is to burn books, but
instead you join a secret organization that tries to preserve
The time is not too long from now. The place is New York
City. Yet it is a setting few of us would ever recognize.
For this is a world where simply owning a book is dangerously
illegal. Where Firemen come not to save houses, but to burn
them for the books inside. And where you, once a dedicated
Fireman, are now a rebel with a passion for books --- and the
most wanted fugitive in the country.
There are still a few people who can help you --- your fellow
members of the Underground. They can tell you how to fool the
deadly Mechanical Hounds, how to steal a Fireman's uniform,
how to avoid the military ID checkpoints.
Yet escape is not your main concern. You are possessed,
driven onwards by your own unflinching ideals. You feel a
desperate need to fight, to push back ignorance, to vindicate
every page a Fireman has ever burned.
But how? How can a hunted criminal bring the books of the
world back from the edge of extinction? The chances seem
pitifully small. And yet, with a little cunning, a little
stealth, a little careful planning...
Fahrenheit 451 is the first computer adventure game to
be produced in collaboration with Ray Bradbury. It offers an
advanced parser, mutiple disk sides for extended play, and
the ability to be played with or without graphics. Also
included with this package is a specially written prologue by
Mr. Bradbury that establishes the background for the game.
RAY BRADBURY, world-renowned author of such science fiction
classics as The Martian Chronicles and The
Illustrated Man, has written for television, theatre,
radio, and film, and has been published by virtually every
major American magazine. Written over thirty years ago,
Fahrenheit 451 remains his best-known work, and is an
acknowledged classic as well as one of the world's finest
science fiction novels.
"I'm thrilled to be participating in the evolution of my
Fahrenheit 451 into a computer adventure. For anybody
curious about what happens to Montag after the book ends, or
about what science fiction software might be, here is an
exciting place to start."
-- Ray Bradbury
Rendezvous with Rama
Type: Drawn graphics/Music
Written 1984 by Ronald Martinez.
Notes: It is based on the book of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke.
The package includes a 9-page Rendezvous with Extraterrestrial
Phenomena Commander's Handbook with a seal on it (comes with a
cover in both black and red - the black may be from the
Trillium release and red, the Telarium), a coded hint sheet
featuring LRSC protocol messages to Commander Norton
(originally contained inside the sealed manual) and a 21" x 9"
fold-out blueprint-type grid map of the ship. The map is
necessary so solve the game.
The game contains two action sequences that can be practiced
with a special command.
Comments: Explore the strange alien vessel Rama, complete with cities and
some very extraordinary inhabitants.
Type: Bitmap graphics/Music
Written 1984 by Michael Crichton.
Notes: This game contains two arcade sequences. The plot more or less
follows Crichton's novel "Congo", except it takes place in the
I have reports that it was published by a company called
FilmTrack (Michael Crichton's own software company). This
report also says the game is from 1982. Could it
have been published there first and then later by Telarium?
Comments: You must penetrate a South American jungle, along with your
sidekick, the obnoxious parrot Paco, to find a lost city and
discover why an entire expedition was killed.
Type: Bitmap graphics/Music
Written 1984-1985 by Byron Preiss and Michael Reaves.
Notes: Based on the book by the same title by Michael Reaves and
Byron Preiss. This game was released in two different
versions, one of which contained arcade-style games that were
added to the overall game. The arcade games were accessed by
entering certain locations (one was in a swamp). It was
possible to complete the game without entering the arcade
sequences. The Commodore 64 version was 5 disks (with the
arcade games on the last one). Another source reports a
Commodore 64 version on two 5 1/4" disks (both sides) with
The package contains Amsel's 12-page notebook with a winged
dragon on the cover, featuring a wordlist and a coded hint
section. Some packages also came with a large sticker of a
dragon designed to look like stained glass.
Comments: The main character was a king and the adventure begun with a sea
voyage. After a ship wreck the hero eventually reached a friend of
his called Hawkwind who accompanied him from then onwards.
You are Amsel of Fandora. Scientist. Researcher.
And somewhat of a visionary. Until now, you have led your
life as a hermit. But a lot has happened, and your life has
changed. You can no longer afford to seek the peace and
solitude you once enjoyed. For there is much to be done. But
you are not alone. You have your friend Hawkwind. He knows
the terrain of Simbala, for he is the leader of that great
country. And, in light of what has just happened, you'll need
his help and guidance. The Last Dragon has been kidnapped.
The message came to you through the mystical Dragonpearl. It
can tell of the past and predict the future. And though the
image in the Dragonpearl is clouded with mystery, the message
it conveys is clear: The Last Dragon is being held captive
deep in the Southland of Simbala. Only you and Hawkwind can
save him. The bond of friendship shared by the three of you
permits you to do nothing less. It won't be easy. But then
again, you and Hawkwind would fight to the death to save the
Written 1984 or 1985 by Ultrasoft.
Notes: From Volume 1, No. 1 of the Trillium newsletter (Fall/Winter
Alan Dean Foster, whose book Shadowkeep(TM) is the first
novelization of a computer game (the game was created and
designed by Ultrasoft), was excited about the project from the
start, "Everyone seems to look upon the computer as a tool,
but it's actually not a tool, it's a gate. It's a gate into
other worlds, the fringes of which we've only begun to
explore." Foster's understanding of computers allowed him to
easily translate the book from the software (a computer
The book by Alan Dean Foster is called "Shadowkeep" and bears
the text "A tale of wondrous adventure based on the fantastic
universe created by Trillium." The book is (C) 1984 by
Spinnaker Software Corporation and published by Warner Books.
This is the first game to have inspired a novel by a major
science fiction writer.
Nine Princes in Amber
Type: Bitmap graphics/Music
Notes: Based on the books "Nine Princes in Amber" and "The Guns of
Avalon" by Roger Zelazny. Written by a group of about 20 people.
Also available in Spanish. The PC version comes on 3 5 1/4" disks.
The Spanish version (at least) would only run on Amstrad PCs, but
could be hacked to run on any PC.
Comments: Corwin, one of the Princes of Amber, must fight his brothers for
power and travel from our world into Amber.
Perry Mason: The Case of the Mandarin Murder
Type: Bitmap graphics/Music
Written 1985 by Erle Stanley Gardner and Paisano Productions.
Notes: Based on the works of Erle Stanley Gardner. Came on two 5 1/4"
disks for Commodore 64/128. The package includes Criminal
Defense Procedures Lawyer's Handbook Vol. 67, No. 3 containing
a fold-out verb/sentence structure chart. Also includes a
survey to be filled out and sent to Telarium concerning what
the player thought of the breakthroughs in this game.
Her name is Laura Kapp, and she looks as if she's in trouble.
It doesn't take long for you to find out how: her husband
wants to divorce her: Not your favorite kind of case at 7 in
the evening. But then, it isn't like Perry Mason to leave an
attractive young woman in distress either -- especially when
her husband is Victor Kapp, the most famous restaurateur in
You take the case.
And what a case it is. Because barely 12 hours later, Victor
Kapp is dead -- murdered. Laura is in jail, charged with his
death. And facing trial very, very soon.
Only she swears she didn't do it. And you think she might be
You'll have to work fast -- and smart. Dig into people's
lives. Like Russell Miller, the food critic whose career was
ruined when he gave Victor's restaurant a bad review. Margot
Duboq, Kapp's chef and the secret of his success -- she seems
to have a secret of her own. And the Master's couple, Julian
and Suzanne, he a bitter partner of Kapp's, she reputedly a
very close friend.
You'll have help: the savvy Della Street -- your secretary --
and the wily detective Paul Drake. And if you're good, you'll
convince the jury that your client isn't the killer. If
you're very good (after all, you are Perry Mason), the real
murderer will break down and confess -- but only after you've
figured out the true twisted story.
Of course, for a person of your talents, it ought to be just
another day at the office...
Written 1986 (rerelased by Spinnaker 1989) by Jonathan Merritt [story] and Dale Disharoon, Inc [programming].
Notes: Based on a 1930s story by Agatha Christie and the London
Detection Club (Dorothy L. Sayers, E.C. Bentley, Anthony
Berkeley, Freeman Wills Crofts, and Clemence Dane.
Features menu choice input, and recommends a joystick. This
was probably the last game published under the Telarium label
(though it was later published as by Spinnaker as well).
Came with an 18-page manual and a newsprint front page from
The Morning Star (Monday, November 9, 1930). The PC version
came on two 5 1/4" disks. (compatible with Tandy 1000/3000).
The Spinnaker version of the game is pretty much the same as
the original. The title screen is altered some and the
graphics and sound are a bit improved.
Comments: A reporter from a rival is murdered while investigating the
death of a young woman. As a crime reported for a London
newspaper, it's up to you to "get the scoop" on who committed
these deadly crimes.
Get the scoop, and you'll be the top reporter in London.
Fail, and you'll go back to writing obituaries ... or be one
You're the new reporter at the Daily Courier, and you've just
been scooped! Geraldine Tracey is murdered. No one knows who
did it. Your rivals from the Morning Star have beat you to
the story, and your editor is furious. Save your paper - and
your job! - by solving the murder and scooping the Star.
You'll have to work quickly. Question witnesses. Follow
suspects. Search for clues. Why did Fisher, who discovered
the body, go there that fateful Saturday night? What happened
to the murder weapon? Where is Mrs. Tracey's husband?
You'll have to work carefully. Some people you meet won't
want to talk to you, but you might overhear what they tell
their friends. Others may hide the truth, and you'll have to
find them out. And remember - someone has killed once and
could kill again to get rid of a troublesome reporter!
Notes: Based on work by Robert A. Heinlein. This was probably never
published. It was never published by Telarium, says another
source, but may have sold by Spinnaker after the Telarium name
The Grand Adventure
Notes: Based on work by Philip Jose Farmer. It was never released,
according to Farmer himself.
In 1984, the boxes were somewhat derivative of Infocom boxes from
1984-1987. The box resembled a book with a lift up flap and a
built in plastic tray containing the elements. The difference was
Infocom's games came with a plastic lid and shrinkwrap over the
tray. WC's had a perforated cut out cardboard flap sealing in the
contents. In 1985, the boxes were regular flap types with the
plastic tray sliding out.
Below the Root
Type: Moving character graphics/Music
Written 1984 by Zilpha Keatley Snyder [story], Dale Disharoon [programming] and Bill Groetzinger [graphics].
Notes: Partial map included in the package. Joystick was required to
play the game. It also featured a menu choice input system.
The story was based on the Green Sky Trilogy by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
The game's name is the name of the first book in the trilogy.
Ms. Snyder writes mostly for children and young adults. The Green
Sky Trilogy was for young adults. The three books in the series are
"Below the Root", "And All Between", and "Until the Celebration".
Green-Sky is headed for a certain disaster. Uncover the hidden
secret and save this mysterious land from a resurgence of
Swiss Family Robinson
Notes: Comes with a Nature Key to help you identify things on the
As Fritz, you and your family face the challenge of survival
on a deserted tropical island.
The Wizard of Oz
As Dorothy, you'll meet many unusual and wonderful characters
like the Munchkins and Scarecrow as you make your way to the
Type: Bitmap graphics/Music
Written 1985 by Ann Weil and Lee Jackson.
Notes: Follows Stevenson's classic fairly close.
As Jim Hawkins, search for pirate gold and for a way to
outwit Long John Silver, a clever and cunning buccaneer.
Alice in Wonderland
Notes: Features menu choices like The Scoop, but requires joystick to
As Alice, you'll meet the Mad Hatter and other famous
characters on your journey. But hurry! You must get out of
this magical land before it vanishes.
Notes: This game is mentioned in a Spinnaker catalog, but it is
likely that the game never was published.