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This Atari 2600
game was the first part of an overall series of games and a contest by Atari
at the time of release. Players who were able to solve the game could win real life prizes and a chance to win an overall prize from playing all four games, EarthWorld, FireWorld
. The final game AirWorld was never released, and the final ultimate contest was never completed.
Swordquest: EarthWorld was released in October of 1982. The FireWorld game followed in February 1983, as did the WaterWorld game, but in a limted number of copies.
Players of the game had to solve puzzles that involved picking up and dropping items found in the game in different rooms that would then result in clues. The structure of the game was based upon the classic Zodiac
. The clues could then be looked up in the game's comic book game manual. If all five clues in Swordquest: EarthWorld were found the player could mail their answers into Atari for a chance to play a special version of the game and win a valuable prize.
The prize for the first game, Swordquest: EarthWorld, was a Talisman, The Talisman of Penultimate Truth
. It is said that the Talisman was actually made of 18k gold and was encrusted with gems, worth approximately $25,000 at the time of the contest. This first contest had around 5000 entries and only eight of those entries were correct. There was only one final winner of the first contest , Steven Bell of Detroit.