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Phil Wade
Utility: Game Editor
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Price
Chris Bourne

Gilsoft continues to add to the versatility of The Quill adventure writing system. The Illustrator brought graphics within everyone's reach but not everyone wants the full-screen separate location graphics it produces. Split-screen pictures are more the norm these days and The Patch will allow you to put graphics and text together. It will also do a few other things besides.

As usual, there are thorough instructions provided with the cassette, though it is assumed that by now you will be familiar with the workings of The Quill and The Illustrator. Gilsoft recommends that The Patch should be used with a C series Quill, though this is not essential. Do remember that you can get an upgrade of your earlier versions by sending off your cassette insert along with £2.99.

The main function of The Patch is to change the operation of the database and graphics programs to allow split-screen graphics and text. It does that by amending the code and allowing you to specify, using Flag 27, where your text lines should begin beneath the location graphic. With that system your picture will slowly scroll up the screen as you input text.

The other routines can be accessed by using Flag 28. There are a number of sound effects such as siren, telephone, electric shock and white noise. You will also be able to use different typefaces in the same game - instructions are provided on how to Poke them in and out of use. Different types of key-click noise are available as well as routines to turn pictures on or off.

To use The Patch you will first have to create your text and graphic databases in the normal way on Quill and Illustrator but incorporating the new instructions detailed in The Patch documentation. Those instructions won't have any effect on the usual operation of those utilities but, once you've loaded all the data, you'll find that you have your split-screens, sound effects or whatever in action in a complete adventure.

Gilsoft certainly isn't resting on its laurels and seems to be set on continually improving the adventure writing system - it's probably fair to wonder just where adventure would be without that stimulus. Hang on in there for the long-awaited text compressor!

Publisher: Gilsoft
Price: £5.99
Memory: 48K