Galactic Hitchhiker

A very early British text adventure for the UK101

Galactic Hitchhiker by A. Knight, for the UK101 computer.

Mr Knight, of Cleveland, UK, was an early pioneer and prolific author of UK101 software, being mentioned in the May 1980 issue of Practical Electronics for all the programs he had submitted. His listing for Le Passe-Temps was chosen for inclusion in the magazine.

Hitchhiker was not yet included in his advertising that appeared in that same issue...

Similar adverts appear in the June & July 1980 issues.

Galactic Hitchhiker was heavily advertised as early as October 1980, in a wide range of UK electronics and microcomputing publications.

Source: Practical Electronics - October 1980

Source: Personal Computer World - October 1980

Similar PCW adverts
January 1981 - February 1981 - March 1981

Source: Computing Today - April 1981

Similar adverts - Computing Today
June 1981 - July 1981 - August 1981 - September 1981 - November 1981

Source: Your Computer - June/July 1981

Source: Practical Electronics - December 1981

Is it a "proper" text adventure? It seems to be!

It is playable through the java Compukit UK101 emulator which can be downloaded here.

The game itself can be found in this stardot thread. Open the hex file in the emulator's tape player and press L in monitor mode to load.

Here are some screenshots of early gameplay...

The very specific and quite antiquated parser makes progress tricky, but it has the key features of a "proper" text adventure.

benkid77 has produced a comprehensive solution to the game and also a YouTube video that shows the adventure being completed.

Mr A. Knight continued producing software until at least 1985.
He went on to trade as Merlin (Micro Systems) Ltd and then as Knight Software.

Thanks to IanB from Stardot we have access to some of the catalogues, which include some helpful tips for Galactic Hitchhiker...

His later A. Knight and Merlin adverts and catalogues list another adventure, this time with graphics, Mad Monk. This was advertised as early as May 1981 in Practical Computing (advert link thanks to exploradorrpg) but it didn't appear until at least August 1982 prompting at least one complaint to the Trading Standards Agency. The game was recovered and archived in 2022.

Merlin & Knight Software went on to focus on the Dragon 32 (releasing software such as the Sprite Magic tool). They seem to have disappeared by 1985.




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