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The Quest
For The Rings


You are about to become a legend in your own time and enter an alternate world where dreams (and nightmares) come true with fire-breathing reality.

Special microcomputer circuitry will generate the alternate time frequencies and dimension warps necessary for finite control and monitoring of your alter-presence via television - while you remain physically secure in the relative safety of your home dimension.


THE RING
FULL CIRCLE
BENDS
ITS BEGINNINGS
TO ITS
ENDS

Prologue

THE CRUCIBLE. The falling Ring pitches end over end down the volcano's gaping maw. It's lashed by furious whips of fire from subterranean updrafts miles below. Far above, roaring kettledrums of thunder boom - DOOM - DOOM - DOOOM! The Mountain shudders - and dark towers crumble into slag. Unceasing bolts of lightning flash into the mouth of the volcano like the spears of avenging gods. The Ring spins to a rest on a white hot outcrop deep beneath the mountain. Its color changes - from gold to red - from blue to white - to another hue not seen before on earth. It is the final tempering- with an intensity unmatched even by the fires of elven smiths or the furnaces of the dwarf lords. The Essence of the Ring is freed from its cocoon of arcane metal. The earth moves. The mountain groans. Its infernal gorge spews skyward. The eruption's unleashed fury carries the Essence of the Ring far from the shattered mountain and covers it with a tower of protective lava.

THE CREATION. There are few places on earth that are shunned by every living thing. But sometimes even mindless lichen know when something unspeakable lies below. Undisturbed, the Ring-spawn sleeps and dreams beneath its lava tower. It dreams of Windwielders and their hurricane storms of diamond sands and black lightning. The Windwielders use the fell elements like builder tools to carve and change the lava tower into myriad gleaming crystal caverns and shining black obsidian labyrinth caves. In its birthsleep, the Ringspawn dreams of the lesser Rings now scattered with their power faded. The dreams turn into nightmares. Nightmare macabre hordes leave trails of blood as they gather the lesser Rings to well fortified places of safekeeping. Waiting for the Ringspawn's wakening. The eons pass. The day comes. The Ringmaster wakes. The land shadows.


The Heroes

You are a member of a small company of legendary Heroes who embark on the supremely dangerous search for the Rings. You choose your own role in the Quest. Whichever identity you choose will provide you with potent weaponry. As the Warrior, you carry an enchanted sword. As the Wizard you cast formidable spells. As the mysterious Phantom, you can walk through walls. As the elven Changeling, you can wear the Mirrorcloak of invisibility.

THE WARRIOR is a legendary hero of the Troll Wars who carries Theor's sword - Bloodeater - an enchanted blade of great power against man and demon. He is the heir to the Kingdom of the Seven Countries and the direct descendant of Flaxell and Willowan I (12th chieftain of the Arnelm Knights).
THE WIZARD'S weapons are the old spells which he casts at the enemy. If an enemy falls under the Wizard's spell, it will be neutralized for a short period of time.
THE PHANTOM is a spectral knightshade who will find no peace until all the Rings are recovered. The Phantom has the supernatural power to walk through walls of solid stone and crystal.
THE CHANGELING is possessor of the Mirrorcloak of invisibility. When the Mirrorcloak is worn, the Changeling becomes invisible and can move undetected by enemies.

The Monsters

The Ringmaster dispatches his dread nightmare minions to guard the rings - treacherous Firewraths and Orcs - the unspeakable Spydroth Tyrantulus - malevolent Doomwinged Bloodthirsts - and the hideous firebreathing dragons - Scortha, Goldfang and Mythrog.

THE DRAGONS - Scortha, Goldfang and Mythrog - are the largest of the hideous armoured witchworms which were originally thought to come from the stars.
THE SPYDROTH TYRANTULUS is horror and death incarnate. It delights in the devouring of living flesh which it believes will enhance its life span.
DOOMWlNGED BLOODTHlRSTS are the winged terrors thought by some to have given birth to the vampire legends. They impale their victims on their fangs.
THE ORCS are diminutive ogres and the natural enemies of everything on earth. They are quite ugly, belligerent and malicious. They even kill for sport.

THE FlREWRATHS are the enslaved souls of the dragon's past victims. Their touch is death.


The Quest

The Quest begins with the Ringmaster secretly hiding the ten Rings of Power deep in gloomy dungeons, crystal caverns, mysterious shifting halls and infernoes of still molten lava. To succeed in your Quest, you must overcome forces of evil so awesome that your physical prowess must be matched by unstinting courage and supreme gallantry. Unlike other games, players must work together as a team to outwit and outfight the Ringmaster's minions of horror. The Ringmaster's monstrous Nightmares are so powerful, it requires close coordination, cooperation and sometimes even personal self-sacrifice to capture a Ring of Power. The Heroes win if they recover all ten of the Rings before their turns run out. The Ringmaster wins if they do not.

The Dungeons

These are in castles which were built by men and then captured by the Ringmaster's nightmare armies.

The Infernoes

These towers of lava are kept molten by the Ringmaster's magic.

Shifting Halls

The Earth shivers under the Ringmaster's evil spell. The very walls of the castles conspire to block the Heroes.

Crystal Caverns

The Windwielders built these labyrinths with invisible walls at the Ringmaster's command.

"Tread softly into unknown lands."
Willowan I

This section is an introduction to the different capabilities of each of the Heroes and a first look at the awesome horrors lurking in the Dark Lands. The more time you spend familiarizing yourself with the elements of the game, the more chance you will survive unspeakable danger and undertake a successful Quest for the Rings! This is the first game of its kind, so be ready for many unusual features.

Take the rules one step at a time and you will find the Quest for the Rings a fascinating game of endless challenge - which, once learned, is not difficult to explain to others.


Important! Always be sure that the power to your Odyssey2 console is turned off before inserting a game cartridge. This protects the electronic components and extends the life of the unit.

1. Insert the keyboard overlay so that its edges fit into the ridges at the rim of the alpha-numeric keyboard.

2. Insert the cartridge into the slot of the Odyssey2 console with the label of the cartridge facing the keyboard.

3. Turn on the power by pressing the power button on the console. SELECT GAME will appear on your TV screen. If it does not, press the RESET key on the keyboard overlay. (On-screen colors may vary according to individual TV's color adjustment.)

4. Press RINGMASTER on the keyboard overlay. The name of the Heroes will travel along the lower part of the screen. Press the action button of the left hand control when the word WARRIOR is on the screen.

The left hand control will now control the Warrior with the Enchanted Sword.

Press the action button of the right hand control when the word WIZARD is on the screen.

The right hand control now maneuvers the Wizard who casts magic spells.

5. Press DUNGEONS on the keyboard overlay (Things will happen fast. You may want to continue reading #6 through #10 first so you know what to expect.)

6. The Warrior and the Wizard will travel through the blood red fogs of the Dark Lands till they arrive at the first of the Dungeons. They are immediately attacked by the Firewraths and Orcs who guard the flashing Ring deep in the dungeon.

Caution: The Ringmaster's evil magic makes the Orcs and Firewraths look very much like Heroes. The Heroes will always make their first appearance at the center of the screen.

The Warrior and the Wizard work as a team to capture the Ring. A Ring is captured if touched by either Hero and is considered a victory for both.

7. Controlling the Warrior. Use the joy stick of your hand control to maneuver the Warrior on the screen. Push the joy stick up and your Warrior will move to the top of the screen. Pull the joy stick down to maneuver him to the bottom. Push right to go right and left to go left.

Press the action button to swing the sword. The enchanted blade must make contact with the enemy to be effective. The point of the enchanted sword will kill Orcs and Firewraths MOST EFFECTIVELY FROM A HEAD-ON POSITION. THE WEAPON WILL NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH AN ENEMY FROM ABOVE OR BELOW.

The Warrior can use the enchanted sword to create confusion among the monsters. If the sword touches another Hero, he or she will be magically transported out of the dungeon. Push the joy stick controlling the transported hero to the left to return to the dungeon. The transported hero will always reenter the dungeon from a random point on the right hand side of the screen.

8. Controlling the Wizard. Use the joy stick of your hand control to maneuver the Wizard on the screen.

Press the action button to cast a spell. The spell must make contact with the enemy to be effective, BUT WILL NOT WORK ON AN ENEMY FROM ABOVE OR BELOW.

9. Firewraths and Orcs. The Ringmaster's magic makes the treacherous Firewraths and Orcs look very much like the Heroes on your screen, but the Firewraths' peculiar shambling gait and the Orcs' lurching walk always gives them away. If you are ever in doubt about your identity on the screen, press the action button to confirm your location. The Warrior will flash a sword. The Wizard will cast a spell. Their weapons must touch an enemy to be effective. AGAIN, BE CAREFUL OF ENEMIES COMING AT YOU FROM ABOVE OR BELOW. YOUR WEAPON WILL NOT REACH THEM AND YOU WILL BE CAPTURED IF TOUCHED.

10. The Warrior and the Wizard must fight their way to the flashing Ring hidden in the depths of the dungeon. If one of the Heroes reaches the Ring, lightning will flash and victorious trumpets will sound. If the Heroes are captured by their enemies, they will always manage to make their escape from the dungeon. To return to the endless labyrinths of dungeons, press DUNGEON on the keyboard overlay.

11. Before you go on, practice playing the roles of the Warrior and the Wizard until you are proficient with their weapons.

12. When you are ready to meet the two other Heroes - press RESET on the keyboard overlay.

13. Press RINGMASTER on the keyboard overylay.

14. Press the action button on the left hand control when the word CHANGLING is traveling across the lower part of the screen. The left hand control will now control the Changling.

15. Press the action button on the right hand control when the word PHANTOM is on the screen. The right hand control will maneuver the Phantom.

16. Press DUNGEON on the keyboard overlay (First read through to #19 so you're ready for anything). The Changling and the Phantom will travel to one of the dungeons where they will immediately be attacked by Orcs and Firewraths.

Use the action button to don the Mirrorcloak of Invisibility. The Changling will then move at half speed invisibly. Any nearby monsters will turn away and search elsewhere. Just don't blunder into one of them

17. Controlling the Changling. Use the joy stick of the hand control to maneuver the Changling on the screen.

The Changling has no edged weapons and is most effective when teamed with a Wizard or Warrior.

The Phantom can hide in walls or even walk through them at half speed. He can be an important stategic element in the game because the monsters will flock to him when he employs his supernatural powers and gives his companion a better chance to get to the Ring. The Phantom CANNOT walk through the walls of the Infernal Infernoes (a dungeon of eternally molten lava).

18. Controlling the Phantom. Use the joy stick to maneuver the Phantom on the screen.

Press the action button to penetrate walls.

19. Capturing a Ring. A Ring is captured when touched by either hero. If the Phantom and the Changling are both overcome by the Orcs and Firewraths, they will automatically escape from the dungeons. To return, press DUNGEONS on the keyboard overlay.

20. Do no go any further until you are proficient at playing the roles of the Changling and the Phantom.

21. When you are ready to encounter the Ringmaster's most malevolent Nightmare monsters, press RESET.

22. Press RINGMASTER.

23. Enter Warrior and Phantom into the computer by pressing the action buttons of both hand controls.

24. Press the NIGHTMARE key on the keyboard overlay.

25. The Spydroth Tyrantulus is repelled - BUT NOT KILLED - by the Warrior's sword and the Wizard's spell. The Spydroths scruttle slowly across the screen but will drop quickly on an unwary Hero beneath.

26. Doomwinged Bloodthirsts can be temporarily subdued by the Wizard's spell - and the Warrior's enchanted sword. They will back off, flutter and fall when hit, but quickly recover to attack again. THEY CANNOT BE KILLED.

27. Press DUNGEONS.

28. Good Luck

29. At the end of each combat, press the NIGHTMARE KEY - then press DUNGEONS on the keyboard overlay.

30. Do no go any further until you have encountered the Nightmares with different combinations of Heroes.

(Warrior and Wizard, Wizard and Changling, Phantom and Warrior, Warrior and Warrior, etc.).

It is important to the grand strategy of the game that you see what happens when the Heroes travel in different combinations.

Two examples:

(1) The Wizard's spells can hold the Ringmaster's evils at bay while one of the other Heroes slips through to the Ring.

(2) Monsters will cluster about the Phantom safely hidden in the wall of a labyrinth to give a fellow companion a better chance of capturing a Ring.

31. Since you've survived so far, the Dragons are ready when you are. Dragons are immortal, but can be turned back by the Warrior's enchanted sword or momentarily halted by the Wizard's spell. It is possible for the Warrior to slip by a Dragon's head. Then - if he keeps the enchanted sword up, the Dragon will turn away.

The Wizard can cast a spell which will stop the Dragon's flame on contact. The Changling can slip past the monster when invisible. The Phantom is protected from the Dragon when inside the dungeon walls.

32. If you Heroes are already entered into the computer -

A. Press the DRAGON key.

B. Then press DUNGEON.

If your Odyssey2 has been turned off -

C. Press RINGMASTER.

D. Choose your roles with the action buttons on the hand controls.

E. Press DRAGONS.

F. Press DUNGEONS.

33. There are four different kinds of labyrinths within the castles of the Dark Lands. Each is enchanted in its own way. But even the simplest one will change in its interior structure every time it is brought to the screen. Explore each type by entering it into the computer in a succession of encounters. (See Rules 21-27 to review programming Heroes and Monsters into the computer.)

A. The Dungeons. These are in castles which were built by men and then captured by the Ringmaster's Nightmare armies. Press DUNGEONS on the keyboard overlay.

B. The Crystal Caverns. The Windwielders built these labyrinths with invisible walls at the Ringmaster's command. The maze will appear on the screen for a blink and then vanish. The Heroes must travel through them by feel. They are especially dangerous because the monsters in them can magically sense the invisible walls and select their routes of attack shrewdly. The Heroes must escape by feeling their way. Press CRYSTAL CAVERNS on the keyboard overlay.

C. The Shifting Halls. The Earth shivers under the Ringmasters evil spell. The very walls of the castles conspire to block the Heroes by changing position every few seconds. The walls always shift to the right. Press SHIFTING HALLS on the keyboard overlay.

D. The Infernal Infernoes. These towers of lava are kept molten by the Ringmaster's magic. A player coming in contact with the flaming walls is snuffed out. Even the Phantom dares not touch. Press INFERNOES on the keyboard overlay.


Game Components

1 Odyssey2 Master Strategy Game Cartridge

1 Keyboard Overlay
[represented by the following chart]
Overlay Button Keyboard Equivalent
START 0 (zero)
RESET RESET
NO RING W
MONSTERS
-
The Dragons T
The Nightmares I
LABYRINTHS
-
The Dungeons Z
Crystal Caverns C
The Infernoes B
Shifting Halls . (period)
RINGMASTER CONTROL   Space

1 Game board map.
[crudely - due to space restraints - represented by the following chart. This will help to actually play the game, as all roads to castles and ports are acurate. The actual map from the game looks much, much better than this though!]

Key: # = Castle, P = Port

            P       P
            \      /           #---\
   P         \    /           /     #
    \         \--#-----------#
     \           |           |      #
      #--------\ |           \     /
                \|            \#--/
  P------#-------#
        / \      |\     #-----\
       /   \     | \   /       \
      /     #    |  \ /         \
     P      |    #   #           P
            |    |    \
            /     \    \
           P       #----#-------P
                  /|    |
                 / |    |    #
                /  #    #---/
       P       /   |    |
        \     /    |     \
         \---#     #      P
                   |
                   |
           #---#---#
          /
         /
        P

Tokens
23 Castles (Symbols on underside - The Dungeons [x7], Crystal Caverns [x6], The Infernoes [x4], Shifting Halls [x6])
3 Dragon Monsters
3 Nightmare Monsters
10 Rings
1 Quest
1 Hourglass
8 "Possessions"


The Rules of the Game

3 PLAYER VERSION
(2 players as Heroes, 1 player as Ringmaster.)

1. One of the players acts as the Ringmaster. The Ringmaster inserts the overlay into the alpha-numeric keyboard.

2. The Ringmaster secretly places the ten Rings at any of the castle locations on the game board map. The Ringmaster then places six of the monsters on top of any six Rings. Only one Ring and one monster token may be placed at any single location.

3. The Ringmaster covers the Rings with castle tokens so that the castle is face up on the map. Ring and monster tokens should be hidden beneath the Castle token. All remaining castle locations are covered only by castle tokens.

4. The Ringmaster keeps the Possession tokens.

5. The Ringmaster inserts the cartridge into the master control console.

A. Press the power button.
B. Press RESET.
C. Press RINGMASTER.

D. The other two players each choose a role in the adventure by pressing the action button on the hand control as the character's name is traveling along the lower part of the screen. Both players may enact the same role or choose different roles. The Heroes will work together in their Quest.

6. The Hourglass token is set at one on the scale at the bottom of the game board. It is advanced one segment every time the Heroes visit a castle. The Heroes decide in advance on how many turns they will need to capture all ten of the Rings. The standard games are 50, 75 or 100 turns. Hint to new players: Start with 100 turns. You'll need them.

The Heroes win if they capture all ten of the Rings before their turns run out. The Ringmaster wins if they do not.

The Ringmaster receives:

4 Possession tokens/50 turns
6 Possession tokens/75 turns
8 Possession tokens/100 turn

7. The Heroes decide together where to enter the shadowed lands. Begin at any of the entry ports indicated by the ships on the map. Place the Quest token at the entry port.

8. The Hourglass token is advanced by one. The Heroes move their Quest token along the road from the port and stop at the first castle.

9. The Ringmaster turns over the castle token.
If no Ring is present:

A. Press NO RING on the keyboard overlay.

B. On the underside of the Castle token, the Dungeons, Crystal Caverns, Shifting Halls or the Infernoes will be indicated. Press appropriate labyrinth key. (Orcs and Firewraths will always be found in every labyrinth.)

The Heroes must fight their way to the secret passage indicated by the arrow. The Heroes must touch the arrow in order to escape. They will then continue their journey to another castle.

If the Heroes are defeated, they must try again. Reenter the NO RING key and appropriate labyrinth key. (DO NOT PRESS RESET!) The Hourglass is advanced by one for each combat.

10. If a Ring is present, press appropriate labyrinth key. Ring will automatically be entered by the computer. The Heroes must fight their way through to it. The Ring is captured if it is touched by either one of the Heroes. Lightning will flash and trumpets will rejoice to celebrate the Heroes' success.

The number of Rings captured will be indicated at the top of the screen.

If a Ring is captured by either Hero, it contributes to the strength of both Heroes and gives them more maneuverability on the game board. They can go to one additional castle location on each turn for every captured Ring WITHOUT ADVANCING THE HOURGLASS. (Note: Unused bonus travel cannot be carried over to succeeding turns.)

If the Heroes are defeated, they may:

A. Try again.
B. Move on to another castle and return later to try again. (Advance the Hourglass in both cases.)

When a Ring is captured, the Ring and castle tokens are removed from the board.

11. If a Ring and a Monster are present:

A. Press the appropriate monster key on the keyboard overlay. (Ring will automatically be entered by the computer.)
B. Press appropriate labyrinth key.

If Heroes are defeated they may:

1. Try again (Advance Hourglass token one)
A. Press appropriate monster key.
B. Press appropriate labyrinth key.

2. Move on to another castle (Advance Hourglass token by one for each castle visited or bypassed) and return later.

If the Heroes flee a victorious Dragon, the Ringmaster can move the Dragon to any adjacent castle unoccupied by another monster. Dragons must travel by road - never by sea. (Nightmare monsters MUST remain where they are.)

12. The Heroes may elude pursuit by making their way back to a port at any time and traveling by sea to a port in another sector. Advance the Hourglass one segment for each castle location and port passed along the way.

13. Possession!
The Ringmaster can take possession of either hand control by orally declaring "POSSESSION." The player at that hand control MUST relinquish it IMMEDIATELY.

The other Hero is now only pitted against the monsters - but also against his teammate who is now possessed by the Ringmaster's magic.

If the unpossessed Hero captures a Ring or vanquishes the possessed Hero in combat, the Ringmaster loses the "Possession" and one of the Possession tokens. The Hourglass is moved back by five and the hand control is returned to the original player. (The Hourglass can never move back farther that 1 on the turn scale at the bottom of the gameboard.)

After losing all of the "Possession" tokens, the Ringmaster can no longer take possession of either of the Heroes' hand controls.

If the possessed Hero defeats the other Hero in combat, the Hourglass is advanced by five and the Ringmaster continues "Possession" in the next combat.

If the unpossessed Hero is captured by the monsters or defeated by the possessed Hero, the Ringmaster should leave the dungeon by touching the arrow or by touching a monster.

The Ringmaster should never touch a Ring. If the Ringmaster should inadvertently touch a Ring, it is credited to the Heroes and the Ringmaster loses "Possession."

The Ringmaster can evoke "Possession" only when both Heroes are on the screen.

Heroes may not be possessed in between combats when they are en route to a new location.

The Ringmaster cannot possess a Hero commanding a clear path (unobstructed by monsters) to a Ring or an arrow.

If captured by one of the monsters while the unpossessed Hero is on the screen, the Ringmaster loses "possession" but does not relinquish a "Possession" token.

If the unpossessed Hero is captured by a monster, the Hourglass is advanced by one. The Ringmaster retains "Possession," and the unpossessed Hero chooses the next castle location.

14. The Quest ends when the Heroes recover all ten of the Rings or when the Hourglass signals they have run out of turns.

THE 4 AND 5 PLAYER VERSION
(3 or 4 players as Heroes. 1 player as Ringmaster.)

Follow the computer programming and rules for the 3 player Quest. One player acts as Ringmaster. The other players alternate hand controls after each combat.

THE 2 PLAYER VERSION

Read the rules for the 3 player Quest before playing this version.

1. Player one places the Rings on the board, guards them with monsters and secretly hides them with the castles.

2. The Players will work together in their Quest. Player two will lead the Quest by choosing the course on the map WITHOUT ANY HELP from Player one.

3. Press the power button.

4. Press RESET.

5. Press RINGMASTER.

6. Press the action buttons of both hand controls to choose roles.

7. The play is according to the 3 player Quest with these exceptions:

A. Undefeated monsters are not free to roam the board.
B. There is no player as Ringmaster so there is no "Possession."

1 AND 2 PLAYER PRACTICE SESSIONS
The computer as Ringmaster.

1. Press the power button.

2. Press RESET.

3. Press START.

4. DO NO press RINGMASTER.

5. Press the action buttons of both hand controls to choose roles. In a one-player practice session, choose your roles carefully. For instance, if one of your heroes is the Phantom, you can divide your antagonists by hiding the Phantom inside a wall and then switch hand controls. Using this strategy, one player can actually recover all ten of the Rings.

6. The computer will play the role of the Ringmaster providing virtually endless combinations of monsters and locations.

7. (Optional) Play against the clock or the Hourglass token on the game board.


The Magic Of Rings

One of the Ring's most potent enchantments is its appearance in the fables, folktales and legends of peoples widely separated geographically at widely separated times.

Wagner's Ring Cycle is based on old Germanic, Icelandic and Norwegian legend.

Luned's Ring of Invisibility was given to Owain, one of King Arthur's knights. He was also given the Ring of Ogier by Morgan Le Fay. It was a Ring of Youth that removed all infirmities from the aged.

Otnit, a king of Lombardy, wore a Ring of Invisibility which also had the virtue of directing a traveler to the right road.

There are tales telling of Solomon's Ring of power which game him victory in battle and transported him to the heavens where he learned the secrets of the universe. It also allowed him to understand the language of animals and seal troublesome djinn into jars.

Tolkien, the gifted linguist, took thirty years to translate only one of the four volumes of ancient writing which, of course, led to The Lord of the Rings. It is to be hoped that the remaining three books will eventually be deciphered.

Mankind's quest for rings of enchantment has been going on for thousands of years. Many have been rumored yet few finds have ever been documented.

There have been no recent authenticated discoveries. This would seem to indicate that the Quest for the Rings is still very far from over.

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