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thayers: MAME ROM Information.


Thayer's Quest (c) 1984 RDI Video Systems.

This is a fantasy title, and has unbelievable graphics (hand drawn animations pulled from a laserdisc). You guide young Thayer on a quest through the three kingdoms. You are supposed to defeat Sorsabal The Twisted at the end of the game. This game is far different from most laserdisc games. It is not a 'tweak' game, it works more like a 'Choose Your Own Adventure Story'. It doesn't always tell you all your available options, but you do not have to memorize complex, precisely timed movements like you do in "Dragon's Lair". Once you know what to do in a given Thayer's Quest scene then you will be able to do it every time. To make up for this ease of memorization the programmers decided to make the game automatically deduct a life every so often, to keep the player from being able to play forever on a single quarter (which was a big problem with "Dragon's Lair").


This game was not finished! Thayer's Quest includes only 3 kingdoms ('Weigard', 'Illes' and 'Iscar') of the 5 Kingdoms ('Far Reaches' and 'Shadoan' are missing). The game was simultaneously produced for the RDI Halcyon home system in 1984. The Halcyon's Thayer's Quest laser disc is double sided and it contains a great deal of material not found on the coin-op version disc.

Thayer's Quest was released only as a conversion kit for "Dragon's Lair" and "Space Ace". The kit replaced a lot of the original hardware, and included new side graphics (which consisted of a huge RDI logo, they didn't mention the game on the side, because they planned to release a whole line of games on the Thayer's Quest hardware, but those other games were never made). This game does not have a joystick at all. Instead it uses a keyboard for control (This was the first arcade game ever to have a qwerty keyboard). In an effort to save several dollars per unit, RDI decided to use a membrane style keyboard instead of a more sturdy switch based one. That was a really bad decision, the keyboards on these games do not last, they are easily damaged, and are not of high enough quality to use in an industrial coin-op product. Thayer's Quest also used a laser disc player, it could use either the Pioneer PR-7820, or the Pioneer LD-V1000.


* Humor : When prompted to type in your name, do nothing. After intervals of one minute or so, the game speaks out saying things like 'Do not be shy, enter your name', 'Have you gone to the toilet?', 'Do not be a stranger now, enter your name', 'Look lively now' and a whole host of other funny comments.


1. Thayer's Quest (1984)

2. Kingdom - The Far Reaches (Sega 32X CD [Unreleased Prototype])


* Consoles :

RDI Halcyon System (1984)

Sega CD [Unreleased Prototype]

Philips CD-I (1995, "Kingdom")

Panasonic 3DO

* Computers :

PC - 1995


Game's rom.

Machine's picture.

MAME Info:

0.118u2 [Andrew Gardner]

Artwork available


* Dump Laserdisc


- 0.144u6: Replaced 'Laserdisc Analog' sound with 'Pioneer PR-7820'.

- 0.143u4: Changed VSync to 59.940057 Hz.

- 0.141u4: Changed description to 'Thayer's Quest (set 1)' and clone to 'Thayer's Quest (set 2)'.

- 0.129u4: Changed Custom sound to Laserdisc Analog.

- 0.127u3: Added Custom sound.

- 0.127: Aaron Giles added DISK_REGIONS to all laserdisc drivers. Changed visible area to 704x480 and VSync to 59.940052.

- 0.125u5: Thayer's Quest changes [Curt Coder]: Cleaned up driver. Added LED layout from Dragon's Lair. Mapped keyboard and dips correctly. Added laser disc drive selection. Fixed Z80-COP communications. Figured out ports from disassembly. Added cart presence detection logic. Fixed SSI-263 timings, service mode works now. Changed to use COP421 (2MHz). Added dipswitches 'Service Mode' and 'Unused'.

- 0.125u4: COP4xx updates [Curt Coder]: Added HALT opcode and halt mode to the COP410. Added Microbus support, clock divisor selection and CKO mode selection to the COP420. Changed Thayer's Quest keyboard interface to at least slightly resemble the schematics.

- 0.120u3: Atari Ace added static qualifiers and renamed symbols in MAME in an effort to further tidy up the global namespace. Generally generic names were targeted and some symbols that were both static and extern. Some specifics: Dead code in thayers.c was discovered and commented out.

- 30th September 2007: Mr. Do - A few months ago, Jcroach finished up the vector job for a Dragon's Lair scoreboard. I wasn't in too big of a hurry to release it, as the games still aren't working yet; plus I didn't have a speaker cover for it yet. Well, I finally got the speaker cover, so here it is. The games still aren't working, but at least you'll have the artwork when it's ready. The scoreboard is used in Dragon's Lair, Thayer's Quest, and for cabinets that were converted to Space Ace. (Still looking for a dedicated Space Ace scoreboard, btw. Let me know if you find one. You can see one here). Also included in Thayer's Quest is a scan of the keyboard, so you know what you're doing. And thanks to Ad_Enuff for that nice little graphic to finish off the speakers.

- 0.118u3: Andrew Gardner added clone Thayer's Quest (Alternate Set). Andrew Gardner added counter emulation to the COP420 CPU core. Hooked it up to Thayer's Quest and added an alternate set.

- 0.118u2: Andrew Gardner added Thayer's Quest (RDI Video Systems 1983).

Other Emulators:


Romset: 41 kb / 3 files / 22.4 zip

MAME XML Output:

       <game name="thayers" sourcefile="thayers.c">
              <description>Thayer's Quest (set 1)</description>
              <manufacturer>RDI Video Systems</manufacturer>
              <rom name="tq_u33.bin" size="32768" crc="82df5d89" sha1="58dfd62bf8c5a55d1eba397d2c284e99a4685a3f" region="maincpu" offset="0"/>
              <rom name="tq_u1.bin" size="8192" crc="e8e7f566" sha1="df7b83ef465c65446c8418bc6007447693b75021" region="maincpu" offset="c000"/>
              <rom name="tq_cop.bin" size="1024" crc="6748e6b3" sha1="5d7d1ecb57c1501ef6a2d9691eecc9970586606b" region="mcu" offset="0"/>
              <disk name="thayers" status="nodump" region="laserdisc" index="0" writable="no"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="maincpu" name="Z80" clock="4000000"/>
              <chip type="cpu" tag="mcu" name="COP421" clock="2000000"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="laserdisc" name="Pioneer PR-7820"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="lspeaker" name="Speaker"/>
              <chip type="audio" tag="rspeaker" name="Speaker"/>
              <display tag="screen" type="raster" rotate="0" width="704" height="480" refresh="59.940057" pixclock="28636362" htotal="910" hbend="0" hbstart="704" vtotal="525" vbend="44" vbstart="524" />
              <sound channels="2"/>
              <input players="1" coins="2">
              <dipswitch name="Time Per Coin" tag="DSWA" mask="7">
                     <dipvalue name="110 Seconds" value="7" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="95 Seconds" value="6"/>
                     <dipvalue name="80 Seconds" value="5"/>
                     <dipvalue name="70 Seconds" value="4"/>
                     <dipvalue name="60 Seconds" value="3"/>
                     <dipvalue name="45 Seconds" value="2"/>
                     <dipvalue name="30 Seconds" value="1"/>
                     <dipvalue name="Free Play" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Coinage" tag="DSWA" mask="8">
                     <dipvalue name="2 Coins/1 Credit" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="1 Coin/1 Credit" value="8" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Lives" tag="DSWA" mask="16">
                     <dipvalue name="3" value="16" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="5" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Demo Sounds" tag="DSWA" mask="32">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="0"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="32" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Attract Mode Audio" tag="DSWA" mask="64">
                     <dipvalue name="Always Playing" value="64" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="One Out of 8 Times" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unused" tag="DSWA" mask="128">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="128" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Service Mode" tag="DSWB" mask="1">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="1" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unused" tag="DSWB" mask="2">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="2" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unused" tag="DSWB" mask="4">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="4" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <dipswitch name="LD Player" tag="DSWB" mask="24">
                     <dipvalue name="LDV-1000" value="24"/>
                     <dipvalue name="PR-7820" value="0" default="yes"/>
              <dipswitch name="Unused" tag="DSWB" mask="224">
                     <dipvalue name="Off" value="224" default="yes"/>
                     <dipvalue name="On" value="0"/>
              <driver status="preliminary" emulation="preliminary" color="good" sound="preliminary" graphic="good" savestate="unsupported" palettesize="256"/>

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