It’s taken a couple of days of hard work, but I’m pleased to report that my Retrochallenge project – creating a character editor for the classic C64 RPG Questron, is completed. I’ll mostly let the pictures do the talking in this post, but I thought for the finale that it was important to see the editor running on actual Commodore hardware. When you first start Questron Ed, it asks you to insert side 1 of the Questron disk. It then reads the list of character names and presents the character select screen, which you can see above.
Once it reads the save file for a character, it presents the edit screen you see below. I wanted to include the most important character attributes in this screen – the stuff that would really save you from a lot of grinding if you wanted to play the game. Naturally, that includes the character’s hit points, food supply, and gold. I also included the five ability scores the game uses.
There’s one important caveat – I’m not really sure what the safe maximum values for these attributes are. Questron Ed will let you enter any value between 1 and 32,767, but that doesn’t mean the game will handle it well. I suspect that Questron will have problems if the character’s gold, food, or hit points exceeds 9,999. As for the ability scores, I already noticed a curious result when I jacked the charisma score up to 105. In the game, food prices are influenced by charisma, and I suddenly found that purchasing food in the cities now cost 0 gold. What a bargain!
There are more features that could be added – maybe Questron Ed 2.0 will let you edit the character’s inventory, but for now I didn’t have time to work that out. For now, let’s just save the modified character and then load the game to see if the changes took effect.
Now that I’ve got it working, it’s time to share. I’ve put a zip file with the source and a .d64 image with an executable file on my main project page. Of course, you’ll need a working copy of Questron to use it!