Secret Quest is a video game developed by Axlon and released by Atari Corporation in 1989 for the Atari 2600. It was the last official release for the 2600 in North America. The player controls a humanoid character that fights monsters and gathers items on a series of space stations. The game was originally inspired by NES game The Legend Of Zelda, with the final space-themed concept developed and programmed by Steve DeFrisco.
Chris DeFrisco was hired to complete the artwork. A save game mechanic was incorporated due to the design concept of having lots of locations in an adventure style format. The development team faced data size issues when trying to fit the game onto the cartridge ROM.
According to Vintage Games, the title was created as a last-ditch attempt to prove the 1977 console's library could compete with those on more modern hardware.
The plot of the game is that you are a hero trying to stop several alien space station attacks. Your hero is dressed in a space suit fighting aliens released from the space stations. You are also trying to defuse a bomb set by the aliens, and detonate bombs in the space stations using codes.
Critical reception and legacy
NexGam felt the graphics were simple yet respectable. The A.V. Club thought the title was surprising and abstract in the wake of the Atari 2600's final days. Classic Home Video Games thought the game was ambitious, almost to a fault. Classic Videogame Hardware Genius Guide described it as a "final swan-song" and a way of squeezing the last cents out of the console.
Secret Quest has been re-released several times on several Atari compilations. The game has been featured on every version of the Atari FlashBack series of consoles since the Atari FlashBack 2. However, the game hasn't been re-released on any other Atari compilations. The game was also excluded from the Atari FlashBack 4.
- Good Deal Games interview with Steve DeFrisco, 2008
- Weiss, Brett (2011-04-04). Classic Home Video Games, 1972–1984: A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland. p. 103. ISBN 9780786487554.
- "Atari Compendium". www.ataricompendium.com. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Loguidice, Bill; Barton, Matt (2012-08-21). Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. CRC Press. ISBN 9781136137587.
- www.neXGam.de. "Secret Quest". www.nexgam.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Wanserski, Nick. "The last licks: 14 surprising games from a console's dying days". The A.V. Club Games. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Weiss, Brett (2011-04-04). Classic Home Video Games, 1972–1984: A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland. ISBN 9780786487554.
- Publishing, Imagine. Classic Videogame Hardware Genius Guide. Imagine Publishing. ISBN 9781908222220.
- "The Last Official Release: Atari 2600 – Klax". Old School Gamer Magazine. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Review: Secret Quest for the Atari 2600 at Game Chambers