Dark Fortress (Atari ST)

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Title screen from Dark Fortress (as seen in an Atari ST emulator)

Dark Fortress is a single-player platform game for the Atari ST computer.

In Dark Fortress, each screen presents a new themed setting. The player can run, duck, jump and shoot, and they must solve puzzles to reach the exit, grabbing jewels and items along the way.[1]

Herb Flower created Dark Fortress in the late 1980s, but it wasn't released widely at the time. The game was written in GFA BASIC. The HISCORE.DAT file on the extant version has a last-modified date of July 8, 1989.

Title screen from Thieves' Guild front-end client for the Atari ST


The player must complete each level before a time runs out. Every shot fired by the player costs two points from the score.

At the title screen, pressing "D" will launch a demo; pressing "I" will display instructions and the game's storyline.

There are several artifacts that can be collected within the game:

  • Diamonds: Collecting five will give an extra life
  • Quartz: Gives an extra life
  • Neptune's trident: Allows you to breathe underwater
  • Shield: Reduces damage by enemies
  • First aid: Restores health
  • Clock: Adds extra time to the clock
  • Zap: Kills all enemies
  • Potion: Used by pressing the spacebar
  • Magic lamp: Unknown


King Victor the Victorious ruled a happy, prosperous people. He was killed by an evil wizard, and his fortress was cursed. The land fell into chaos and ruin.

The person who can enter the dark fortress and wear the crown will restore happiness to the land.

Origins and influences

Flower wrote the game as a teenager. He has described it as an educational experience that helped him to learn graphical techniques such as bit-blitting and page-flipping.

Flower later developed a graphical front-end client for the BBS door game Thieves' Guild, founded the studio Rewolf Entertainment, and helped developed the MMORPG "Linkrealms."

Break Into Chat articles

Unearthed: Dark Fortress for the Atari ST



  1. Jaycie Erysdren (5 May 2017). "Gunman Chronicles Development Timeline". Valve Archive. Archived from the original on 23 Aug 2017. Retrieved 4 Jun 2020.