Joystick Action
UP Move Forward/Attack (with FIRE pressed)
DOWN Rest/Fire Arrow (with FIRE pressed)
LEFT Rotate Left/Parry Defensive (with FIRE pressed)
RIGHT Rotate Right/Thrust (with FIRE pressed)
◯   ⬤ Fire
⬤   ◯ Fire
◸   ◥ Drop Treasure
◤   ◹ Get Treasure
●○○○ Search for Doors
○●○○ Open Doors
○○●○ Search for Traps

Temple of Apshai Trilogy

Create a character, buy equipment, enter the dungeon and prepare for adventure. Explore and fight your way to hidden treasure and magical items. Gain experience, cure your wounds, recover from fatigue and survive to reach the next level. This game requires a keyboard. Read the full online instructions for more details. Best of luck, adventurer.


The Oracle of Apshai

The Sphinx is drowsy, Her Wings are furled: Her ear is heavy, She broods on the world. “Who’ll tell me my secret. *The ages have kept? - * I await the seer While they slumbered and slept…

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

You are a lone adventurer, strong of sinew and keen of blade and mind. Your sense must be sharp as the talons of an eagle, to warn you of swift dangers. You must be strong. Only the stoutest of constitutions will stand against the rigours of the journey that lies ahead. Yet, you must be subtle. Only a deep mind can fathom the mysteries to be unfolded. Sometimes, when strength falters, only sleight of hand will save you.

Yet all will not be darkness. At times your quick wit with a wandering monster or cleverness in parlay with the Innkeeper will greatly advance your course. Such is intelligence. Logic will also be indispensable to you.

In the end, when all visible resources are depleted, you will fall back upon ego - the well of the self which is man’s last great reserve.

I could tell you tales of horror and madness, but this would not serve. The Trilogy of Apshai, like truth and beauty, cannot be told. You must experience to know. The ear is to listen, the heart is to feel, the soul is to know. These three are the simple truths of Apshai.

So, the realms of Apshai are three: first, the Temple; second, the Upper Reaches; and last, The Curse of Ra. Of these three I can only say that the first is a depth of blackness - it’s evil power lashes viciously at those who dare to enter its very heart. To survive, your war-like spirit must be raised to a fever pitch. The second knows tragedy, and the sage laugh that turns away from terror and horror. It also knows the path of the spirit, shown by the priests. And the third is a place of blinding sand and mazy rooms which are the sanctuary of the Sphinx - the spirit, the last mystery.

To fight or flee, such will be your dilemma in the Temple of Apshai. It’s said the Minotaur of Crete knew of such mazes. Therein you will meet creatures hard and soft - carrion beasts and the foul leech. Therein, it is said, lie gems of many colours, and healers such as the lilly. Of the friends you meet, natural and unnatural, some may help you on your way. You can speak with some of them in this place of many tongues.

“No cross, no crown” was said by the religious in ancient times. The price of glory is pain. Your mark of courage will be your body, laced with wounds and battered by blows. You will need salves and elixirs to heal yourself after combating the monsters of the Temple.

Within the Apshai Temple there is a compression of experience. Time seems to slow as you tread the massive halls, their sheer number presenting a viel to the senses. Then a creature lunges at you, and time stops. For this realm, sharpen your sword well. Gather treasure, but know that the journey to the Alter of Ra, in the third realm, is long.

After the eternal horrors of the Temple, you will seek respite in the second realm, the Upper Reaches. You will still find struggle, but it will wear a different face, of both comedy and tragedy. Instead of blood on monsters, you’ll find ketchup on a chicken. Can the gods be crazy, or are they laughing at you? The effort of combat will now bring you to your knees, as you struggle onward.

In the Upper Reaches you will find"Benedic’s Monastery” and “Merlis the Mage”. These places of prayer and magic spells may help show you the way. You will find old bones which lay where they fell, daggers still clutched in skinless hands.

Here, the tearing of limbs by rabid monsters has left spirits crazed in the night. The dead cannot sleep and the living cannot awaken from their nightmares. The simple souls who sought to strive and gain are now caught in eternal anguish.

Many before you welcomed death by flame, by sword, by sand. But you must go onward into the third realm, The Curse of Ra.

How long can you endure? This you will know in the third realm. Here is a place where wealth of the senses is transcended by a greater importance. For, it is said, only the Secret of Ra can relieve the curse that afflicts those here on land.

You will pass the “Well of Forever”. You will meet creatures of the desert - scorpions, jackals, the dust wraith. Sand storms will dim the glitter of diamonds. beyond the Sphinx is the Pyramid.

When your travail is greatest, think of Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert… Near them, in the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies…

And on the pedestal these words appear: My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

(Percy Bysshe Shelley)

But, no grip of hand is surety against every terror, or poison. The truest heart may fail when it sees the blackness of the dungeon, or itself.

All that lies before you cannot be foretold, even by the Oracle. I can tell you that the greatest adventure ies not in the din of sword against shield, or in the rapacious hoard of silver and diamond. Nor in the gleam of distant sunsets, or the firm visage of mailed warriors who guard ancient kingdoms. It lies within. Within Apshai. Within you.

I knew. The quest was to begin."

Playing the Game

Screenshot 01

If you cannot resist the lure of the dungeon, and must rush forth, these instructions will help you survive for at least “one minute…”

Much of the initial setting up in the game is done via options selected by pressing keys 
on a keyboard. Either use the supplied virtual keyboard available via the MENU button, 
or connect a USB keyboard into a spare USB port and use that instead.

Five Steps to the Gates of Apshai

The time has come for you to set out upon your personal fantasy adventure into the fabled dungeons of Apshai.

  1. Select a Character: The Innkeeper menu screen will appear first. have the “Innkeeper” select a character for you. Select C> from the menu.
  2. Name the Character: The following Character Screen lists the attributes of the adventure character selected for you. Name your character and type in his (or her!) name. (A name can be up to 12 characters long.) Press RETURN.
  3. Purchase Weapons and Armour: After you’ve named the character, the next Innkeeper Screen summarises your character and lists his Weapons, Armour and amount of Silver. A menu of choices are listed at the bottom of the screen. Select any one, and a new Innkeeper “Purchase” screen will greet you and ask you for what you’re willing to offer.
  4. Haggling: The retail prices for the Innkeeper’s “adventureware” are listed at the bottom of the Purchase Screen. If you’re in a hurry, you can go ahead and pay “retail” and enter the dungeons broke 0 the Innkeeper will take you for all you’re worth! Or you can Haggle with the Innkeeper and save yourself a few silver pieces for when you’re in dire need of a broad sword to clean out a nasty little section of the dungeon.
  5. Enter the Dungeons: First select G> ENTER THE DUNGEON from the main Innkeeper Screen. Next select from “Dungeon Screen” any one of the three Temple of Apshai trilogy adventure realms: The Temple of Apshai, The Upper Reaches of Apshai or the dreaded Curse of Apshai. Once you choose the realm, you then select one of the realm’s four Levels to Enter. level One is the easiest and of course Level Four will be the most challenging. If you make a mistake or change your mind, press (0) for the next selection choice and you can “Exit” to the main Innkeeper Screen.

Go ahead… Enter the dungeons… you may be just in time for lunch…

Using THEC64 Joystick in the dungeons

THEC64 Joystick is used to rest your character, rotate them left/right, or move them 
forwards. With either FIRE button pressed with a direction, the joystick is then used 
to attack, parry, thrust or fire arrows.

THEC64 Joystick's additional buttons have been pre-configured for Taking and 
            Dropping Treasures, Searching for and opening Secret Doors and Searching for 
            Hidden Traps.

As the game is played with you and the computer-controlled characters taking turns 
            to perform actions, you have time to access those commands NOT handily 
            configured on THEC64 Joystick by using either the supplied virtual keyboard or a 
            real USB keyboard to press the appropriate command keys (explained later).

Thirteen Steps to Staying Healthy

Screenshot 02

  1. Building a Character: It’s easiest at first to let the Innkeeper choose a character for you one who will embody a balance of Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Intuition and Ego.

  2. Buying Weapons and Armour: Don’t arm yourself to the hilt. Remember, you have to carry your Weapons and Armour. A heavy sword cuts down on your mobility - a Great Sword requires two hands, which means you can’t carry a shield. You’ll soon grow tired, weary and despite your impressive appearance down at the “Ye Olde Dragon Tavern,” in the heat of battle, you’ll perform like a giant tortoise on its back!

  3. Entering the Temple: Try out Level One of a new realm. The three Trilogy realms all offer different strange and terrifying challenges, so it’s smart to take it easy at first. Learn the first few rooms thoroughly, checking for hidden traps, doorways and the monsters that join you for fun and games. Note the intensity of their attacks, how badly you were wounded and how much strength you retained after an attack.

  4. To Move: Point your character in the direction you want to go by pressing keys or using the joystick:

Key Action
L Rotate Left (-90 degrees)
R Rotate Right (+90 degrees)
V Volte-face (+180 degrees)
Using THEC64 Joystick, tap LEFT or RIGHT to rotate your character, then push UP/forward 
to move in that direction, assuming you want your next action to be a move. To change 
the distance you move for your next go, press the number keys as explained below.

When you step forwards, you move five feet (in distance) in one go. If you need the number to be adjusted, press 0 - 9 on the keyboard - virtual or real - to immediately move that many feet forward for that one turn only.

  1. To Fight: Fighting commands are represented by letter keys on your keyboard. To mix it up with a monster you press the appropriate letter key. See 10) Commands.

  2. Wounds and Fatigue: Despite your best efforts, you will suffer wounds. Salves bought from the Innkeeper and Elixirs found in the dungeons can heal you. Fighting and moving cause Fatigue, which is a rating of your energy. You can simply stop moving in order to rest and regain your energy. If Fatigue reads 100% you are in great shape. If it’s below zero (0) , you are too tired to defend yourself. Similarly, if Wounds are 100% then you’re perfectly fit. Keep an eye on your character’s Fatigue and Wounds rating - it’s the key information you need to make snap decisions on whether to stand and fight or cut and run!

  3. Levels: Each of the three Temple\xB7 Trilogy realms has four Levels for a total of twelve Levels. Level One will always be the easiest. Monsters grow progressively fiercer and more intense in Levels Two through Four. But the treasures and rewards are richer.

  4. Chance and Probability: How fast you the mortal press the Command letter keys or the red fire button on the joystick will not help your character in a sword melee with a giant Apshai ant. The outcome will be determined by your character’s Wounds and Fatigue, Strength and Weapons, whether he stands close enough to the enemy to strike them, and so forth.

  5. Monsters: They either haunt and terrorise a single room, or wander the passages and rooms of Apshai in search of prey. Thus by fleeing a room you can only escape the “single room” Monsters.

  6. Commands: Keep a note of the basic Commands and instructions you’ll need for your adventure into the dungeons of Apshai. There are Commands that locate and open Secret Doors, discover hidden Traps, administer healing Elixirs and allow you to speak with monsters.

Movement Commands

Key Action Joystick alternative
0 Rest for One Turn (i.e. do nothing!) DOWN
1-9 Move from 1 to 9 Feet (distance)
R Turn 90 degrees to the right RIGHT
L Turn 90 degrees to the left LEFT
V Turn Around 180 degrees (Volte-face)
Space Bar Each press, Move Forward 1 Foot (distance)

The more steps you take each turn, the more tired you become (Fatigue). Since monsters cannot follow you out of a room, you only need to ‘run’ for short intervals.

If you don’t manually adjust the distance you travel in each move, then you travel 5 Feet per move.

Battle Commands

Key Action Description Joystick alternative
A Attack A simple stroke with your sword FIRE + UP
T Thrust A complete attack likely to wound your enemy, but also likely to end in you being hurt FIRE + RIGHT
P Parry (Defence) Shields against an attack and conserves energy, but you’ll find it more difficult to hit the monster FIRE + LEFT
F Fire Arrow Shoots an arrow in the direction you are facing - assuming you have some arrows! FIRE + DOWN
M Fire Magic Arrow Shoots a magic arrow in the direction you are facing - assuming you have some magic arrows!

You must be within striking distance of your foe or the DunjonMaster will display the message: “TOO FAR TO HIT”.

Thrust increases your chances to strike and damage monsters, but it makes it easier for the monster to return the favour. Thrust also requires more energy which means your Fatigue rating drops substantially.

Special Commands

Key Action Joystick alternative
E Examine Wall for Secret Door ‘A’ button
O Open Door ‘B’ button
S Search for Traps ‘C’ button
G Pick up a Treasure ‘TL’ button
D Drop a Treasure ‘TR’ button
Q Query (Listen) for Monsters
! Speak with a Monster
H Heal (Apply a Healing Salve)
Y Ylixir (Drink a Healing Elixir)
I Inventory your Treasures

Nearly every room has at least one Door which must be opened before you can go through it. An open door stays open unless the entire game is restarted.

To search for a Secret Door, face the wall to examine before starting your search. Don’t be fooled by a NOTHING message. Sometimes you have to search more than once.

It is wise to search for Traps before grabbing any Treasure. Repeat a search to be absolutely sure. Once found, you can usually avoid a Trap by going around it.

To drop some treasure, initiate the command then enter the number of the treasure you wish to drop using a keyboard.

You can see that most commands can be issued via THEC64 Joystick, with only a small 
number needing access to a (virtual or real) keyboard.
Whenever the game says to PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE, just press one of the 
pre-configured buttons on THEC64 Joystick.
  1. Experience: The longer your character survives the gruelling adventure into the dungeons of Apshai, the more Experience he or she gains. As long as you don’t turn your computer off, this “experience” remains with your character as you proceed through the various Levels of the three Apshai realms. Even if you are slain and rescued by Lowenthal the Wizard, your character will retain his existing Experience rating. The higher your Experience, the better your chances are of meeting the even more terrifying challenges of the Temple dungeons.

  2. Treasures: A glittering collection of Treasures are hidden within the dungeons of Apshai. Use the “Get” command to pick them up. Once out of the dungeon, the Innkeeper will be more than pleased to help you evaluate your Treasure.

  3. Magic: You’ll discover wonderful and exotic forms of Magic in special healing potions, and in weapons of unusual power and in odd herbs and flowers.

The (Abridged) Rules of Apshai

As in other role playing games, in the Temple of Apshai Trilogy, the incredibly complex factors that make up the simplest human being have been abstracted into a few basic characteristics, related numerically from a low of 3, to an average of 10 or 11, and up to a high of 18. The higher the number, the greater/higher/stronger is the attribute.

There are Six Basic Attributes - three physical and three mental - used in The Temple Apshai Trilogy to give a distinctive character to each dungeon adventurer:


… determines how physically strong your character is: how much weight (treasure and equipment) he can carry, for instance. The Strength attribute also controls how heavy a weapon he can use and how much damage one of his blows will do to whomever or whatever he’s fighting.


… is a measure of health and endurance general physical fitness. e higher the Constitution, the farther a character can run before collapsing, and the more wounds he can sustain before dying. Since the ability to move or fight without becoming exhausted is also responsible for keeping an adventurer alive, this is perhaps the single most important attribute.


… is a matter of reflexes, coordination and even eyesight. Someone with high Dexterity has an edge in weapons use; he’s more likely to hit what he’s aiming at and is better at keeping his shield between an attacking weapon, claw, or mandible and his mortal self. Someone with a really low Dexterity might be so clumsy he would have trouble hitting the proverbial barn door.


… is reasonably self-explanatory. In The Temple of Apshai Trilogy, the major function of Intelligence is to affect a character’s ability to bargain with the Innkeeper or to parley with monsters.


… the complement of Intelligence, is a measure of right… brain functions (real and hypothetical); spatial perception, getting an answer from “inadequate” data, an awareness of the spiritual or mystical aspects of the universe, ESP, and plain, pure luck. Someone with a high Intuition attribute is more likely to detect Secret Doors, Traps, and unpleasant surprises. A character with an exceptionably low Intuition might be doing well to find an open doorway without a signpost.


… measures mental toughness and willpower. A character with a strong Ego can more easily influence others (the Innkeeper or monsters) and is more likely to fight fiercely despite his wounds “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” as the saying goes . Someone with a weak Ego will not do as well when the tide of battle turns against him.


All three physical attributes may influence your choice of Equipment, which, in the Temple Trilogy includes five kinds of bladed weapons (swords) , a bow and arrows, five types of armour, and two different sizes of shields. Generally, the bigger, heavier, and more expensive an item, the more effective it is, although heavier equipment is more tiring to wear, use and carry. A larger sword is naturally capable of doing more damage than a smaller one though not every time, but it takes more strength to use. A character with low Strength is restricted to the lighter weapons. The most powerful weapon, a Great Sword, requires two hands and, consequently, cannot be used with a shield.

Because it is not Fatiguing and is, at least until a monster gets within chomping range, the safest form of combat, firing arrows at a beastie from a distance is often desirable. However, arrows will only hit if the monster is on a straight line vertically or horizontally away from you, and a good sword blow may do more damage. Trying to play Robin Hood while an unpleasant critter is chewing or clawing on your arm is also dangerous, but distance shooting certainly saves wear and tear on the armour and body.

If you are hit, bit or struck, the armour you are wearing will protect you from some damage. The attack has to penetrate a layer of leather or steel to get at the stuff that counts your tender flesh. Plate Armour naturally provides much more protection than leather. Shields make it harder for you to be hit, although a particularly good chomp may glance off the shield, the armoured sleeve, and your character’s body. A large shield is, obviously, a bigger barrier to such incursions than a smaller one, but in the hands of a character with high Dexterity a small shield may be nearly as effective.