Congratulations! You are about to play the most sophisticated
game program yet devised for any microcomputer.
Melbourne House in association with the Tolkien Estate are very
proud to be able to present to you The Hobbit, an amazing program
based on J.R.R. Tolkiens brilliant fantasy novel.
In The Hobbit program, you take on the role of Bilbo, the hobbit.
You will be able to roam freely throughout Middle Earth, explore
and discover this wonderful enchanted land. You will meet all
types of creatures, some friendly, others much less so. Your
adventure will be dangerous and exciting - it will be up to you
to face the challenges which confront Bilbo.
If you are unfamiliar with Hobbits, you should know that hobbits
are a little people, about half ouor height, and smaller than the
bearded dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no
magic about them. For a fuller description you will have to read
The Hobbit, but this description should be enough for you to
realise that most other creatures you will meet in this
adventure, including dwarves, will be bigger and stronger than
You will therefore need to exersise all your cunning and skill
At the point where this Adventure commences Gandalf, who is a
wizard, has talked you into entering a new and exciting adventure
to help out Thorin, the dwarf.
Your mission is to seek out the evil Dragon and return the
treasure he hoards back to your home and place it for safe
keeping in the chest. As a secondary mission, you must look out
after Thorin and protect him. Should he be killed during the
adventure, it is most unlikely you will be able to survive the
dangers ahead of you on your journey!
Best of luck Bilbo: may you return with wonderful tales to tell
on a cold evening in front of a log fire.
COMMUNICATING WITH THE COMPUTER
The computer in this Adventure acts as a go between for you.
You tell the computer inplain Inglish exactly what you want to
do, and the computer will translate that request and execute it.
The computer will also be your source of information about where
you are, what you can see and what the other creatures in the
adventure are doing.
If the computer is not sure of something you meant, or if there
is any ambiguity about what you said, it will come back to you
with queries asking for clarification.
The computer has a large vocabulary - it knows over 500 words,
and it can perform over 50 different actions (made up by over 30
verbs listed at the back of this booklet, combined with over 10
prepositions) so it is capable of very sophisticated
communication. The use of plain INGLISH allows you to enter your
instructions in normal sentences.
The Screen Display
The screen display has been divided into two "windows" -
The bottom five lines of the screen is your "communication
window" with the computer. Everything you type will be shown
here in capital letters, and this part of the screen will scroll
independantly of the rest of the screen. If doe some reason
there is confusion about what you typed in, the computer will
prompt oyu in the same "communication window" area.
An obvious example is where you mistyped a word, such as DOOR -
the computer would return with the prompt -
I don't understand the word "DOR".
Other messages will also be printed here when the computer is not
able to execute what you typed in.
The rest of the screen is the "Adventure window" - this is where
you will be able to find out what is happening in the adventure,
what you can see, and so on.
The "Adventure window" is shown on the screen in upper and lower
case. Every action that you take is also printed on the
"Adventure window" (usually in more detail than what you
Any action that takes place, whether performed by you or one of
the other characters will be shown:
You take the short strong sword.
Thorin examines the curious map.
Descriptions of the locations, objects, what is in the objects,
and so on, is also shown on the "Adventure window".
The "Adventure window" scrolls independantly of the bottom
screen. Usually what happens will be able to be printed on
screen without losing anything. Occasionally, such as if you
have typed in many sentences at once, or if there is a lot of
action going on, the information will take up more than one
The screen scrolling speed is slow enough to be able to be read
at normal reading speed. You may however want to examine a
particular message more carefully - holding down any key will
stop the scrolling. Taking your hand off the key will return to
normal scrolling speed.
GENERAL CONCEPTS FOR The Hobbit ADVENTURE
The Hobbit Adventure is an adventure simulation where you have
to instruct Bilbo on what to do in various situations.
The map of WILDERLAND, where the action takes place, can be found
in the book of The Hobbit, and over 50 of the locations described
in the book are represented in this Adventure.
On first entering a new location, the computer will give you a
full description of where you are, and what the p[lace looks
like. You will also be given a list of the visible exits from
where you are. It is a good idea to draw a map of the way the
different locations connect to each other, should you need to go
back or if you should get lost.
The second time you arrive at any location, the computer will
give you only a short description of where you are. If you want
a complete description again, you can obtain it by asking the
computer to have a look around. It's that simple.
On your adventure you will find many strange and wonderful
objects. Some may have magical properties, while other may not
be what they first seem to be! Some can be sued as weapons,
others can be be eaten, and so on.
There are however certain general laws of physics inWilderland
that must be obeyed:
* You cannot lift any object that is too heavy, or, if you are
carrying too much, lift another object if that would mean
carrying too heavy a load. The same obviously applies to all
other creatures in the adventure, but as they are likely to be
stronger than you are, they may be able to lift things you can't.
* You do not have to be carrying an object in order to be able
to use it. For example, if there is a sword lying on the ground,
you can say KILL THE GOBLIN WITH THE SWORD
The major exception is if the sword (or any other object you want
to do something with) is carried by someone else - as everyone
else is stronger than you, they won't let you take anything they
* Some objects can act as containers - for example, sacks,
barrels, and so on. You cannot put an object into a container
if it's too large to fit, nor can you put in or take out any
objects if the container is closed.
* Some containers may be transparent, while others not. You will
be able to see the contents of any transparent container but if
it is not transparemt, you will not be able to see inside it
unless you open it.
* Liquids behave just like liquids - this means that you can't
carry them around without putting them in a container; if the
container breaks the liquid spills to the ground, and so on.
* Some things may be locked - doors are an obvious example, but
so many windows, secret caches, and so on. To unlock them you
will need the right key.
* Some things are breakable, and you must be careful in how you
handle them. In other cases, you may want to deliberately break
an object. Be careful what you try to break things with, because
you may find that trying to break a door with a bottle, for
example, will result in the bottle being broken instead!
* Fighting makes you weaker, as it requires so much energy. You
will need to eat regularly to get your strength back, as
otherwise you may find yourself too weak to lift even the
smallest object. Be warned though - don't be a glutton.
THE RULES OF INGLISH
With the help of this program, your program is now able to talk
to you in INGLISH. What's more, woul will be able to talk to the
computer in INGLISH, and it will understand what you say!
INGLISH is the most sophisticated natural language recognition
program yet developed on any microcomputer, and Melbourne House
are very proud to be able to bring this implementation to you in
The Hobbit program.
The rules of INGLISH are simple - you probably already know
INGLISH without even being aware of it.
* Each sentence must have a verb.
As a minimum sentence, you can have just the verb.
For example: RUN
These sentences are all fine.
The meaning of the verbs may be altered by the use of adverbs,
or VICIOUSLY BREAK THE DOOR
* Normal grammar applies, and the order of the different parts
of the sentence is not critical.
For example, the following two sentences are both valid, and
both have the same meaning:
WITH THE SWORD CAREFULLY ATTACK THE TROLL
ATTACK THE TROLL CAREFULLY WITH THE SWORD.
* Adjectives which describe objects must come before the noun.
If it sound right, it probably is right.
OPEN THE GREEN DOOR is right.
but OPEN THE DOOR GREEN is not.
This is pretty obvious. If it sounds odd to you, you can be sure
the computer is likely to think so too.
* Prepositions, such as WITH, UNDER, ON, OFF and so on, usually
come before the noun in INGLISH:
ATTACK WITH THE SWORD.
PICK UP THE GOLD.
There are some verbs where the preposition could go before or
after, or where the more natural sounding sentence is with the
preposition last. For example in:
TURN THE LIGHT ON.
PICK THE GOLD UP.
These are also acceptable.
Use of AND
You can use the word "AND" in all its normal meaning in INGLISH!
This means, among other things, that you can enter more than one
sentence at a time.
The following sentences illustrates different meanings of the
TAKE THE LAMP AND THE ROPE OUT OF THE BARREL.
DROP THE SHORT AND THE LONG SWORDS.
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN.
With the use of INGLISH, your computer will be able to understand
all the sentences correctly.
Different sentences should be separated by some sort of
punctuation - use AND, commas, semi-colons, and full stops as you
The only limitation placed by the computer on how many sentences
you can enter at one time is a total limit of 128 characters.
Of course, keep in mind that each time you do something, the
other creatures may also decide to do something and you could end
up with some unexpected results if you enter too many commands
Using ALL, EVERYTHING and EXCEPT
It may not be convenient for you to enter the description of
every object in the room if you should wish to pick everything
Therefore you can generalise by the use of ALL, EVERYTHING and
EXCEPT, just as you normally would.
You may qualify what you actually want to manipulate - in other
words you can say ALL DWARVES, or you can say EVERYTHING EXCEPT
The following are examples of valid sentences:
OPEN ALL EXCEPT THE GREEN BOTTLE.
BREAK ALL BOTTLES EXCEPT THE GREEN ONE.
Limitation of INGLISH
* To describe an object, you can only use the objects name and
its adjectives (if any). For example, if you see that there is
some delicious foaming beer in a bottle, you could say:
or DRINK DELICIOUS BEER
or DRINK FOAMING BEER
or DRINK DELICIOUS FOAMING BEER
or DRINK FOAMING DELICIOUS BEER
All these would result in quenching your thirst.
You cannot use the position of an object as its description.
This means that a sentence such as
DRINK BEER IN BOTTLE
is not acceptable.
* You cannot have more than one indirect object in a sentence.
Basically this means that you cannot specify doing one thing in
more than one way.
For example, you could say
PUT THE ROPE ON THE TABLE
or you could decide to put it on the chair:
PUT THE ROPE ON THE CHAIR
but you cannot put the rope on but the table and on the chair at
the same time.
You therefor can't say
PUT THE ROPE ON TABLE AND CHAIR
This is a general rule, and means that you can't say things like:
ATTACK WOLVES WITH EVERYTHING.
We feel that these limitations are fairly minor, and that you
should be able to express yourself exactly the way you feel most
FINDING YOUR WAY IN WILDERLAND
There are a number of ways you can tell the computer that you
want to move from one location to another.
Let's assume that you are at home (Biblo's home, that is), and
the computer tells you:
You are in a comfortable tunnel like hall
To the east there is a green door
You can do any of the following, all of which are valid.
Using arrow keys
The four arrows keys can be used for fast movements in the main
direction: north, east, south and west.
(You do not have to press SHIFT - just the keys 6, 6, 7, or 8 -
and there is no need to press enter when using the arrow keys.)
Note that the arrow keys can only be used as the first key of
your command to the computer. You may not for example, start
entering a word, backspace to the beginning of the line and then
press an arrow key.
Note also that the arrow keys cannot move you in the other
directions, such as southeast or up or down.
Specifying the direction
The eight directions of the compass (north, northeast, east
southeast, and so on...) and up abd down can be specified either
by their full spelling, or by abbreviation, or in a sentence.
For example, E. EAST. GO E.
RUN EAST. QUICKLY GO EAST. are all valid.
As you may enter more than one sentence at a time, you can use
the directions as part of a longer command, such as
TAKE EVERYTHING AND GO EAST
or TAKE ALL, E.
If you are very brave, you can try:
E, E, SE, W
Passing through entrances
If you want to go through an entrance or a passageway, it is
quite valid to say, as in this case,
GO THROUGH THE GREEN DOOR.
You may also go through windows, or any other open passageways.
An interesting point is that you can also LOOK THROUGH doors and
windows. This can be very useful if you want to see where you
would get to by going in that direction, or to see who is there
waiting for you!
If you know where you are going, you can specify the location;
as you well know, going east from your home leads you to the
lonelands. You may therefore say:
or GO INTO LONELANDS
Following other people
If you know, as in this case, that someone you want to talk to
has gone out, you can follow them:
Crossing rivers, ravines, chasma, and so on can be both dangerous
You could try to jump across a ravine or swim across a river -
in some cases, you may be able to use material you find to build
a temporary bridge, or use a rope to swing across.
The general instruction for such a crossing would be to secure
your means of crossing, and then to
LIGHT AND DARK
In order to reach the Dragon and his treasure, you will need to
go through caves, dungeons and other underground locations.
Some places have natural light, while others are dark and
forbidding. It goes without saying that if you go into a
location without a light, you won't be able to see anything.
However, you are likely to be disoriented and lose your sense of
direction - it's very dangerous to move in the dark.
SEEING WHERE YOU ARE
In addition to the many ground-breaking features implemented in
The Hobbit, you will also be able to see the view as Bilbo would
see it in most of the locations you take him to.
As you enter the new location, a visual representation will
appear on your Spectrum screen, and the game will pause to enable
[you] to view the scene. Pressing any key will also allow you
to continue with the game.
The visual representation of each location will normally only be
shown to you the first time you enter that particular location.
If you wish to refresh your memory as to exactly where it is you
are, you may enter the command LOOK.
This visual image is an artists impression of the scene, and will
not change as the game progresses.
There are a number of special commands that are unique to THE
HOBBIT Adventure. These are:
LOOK (or abbreviation L): This gives you a full description of
where you are, all exits, and all visible objects, except for
what you are carrying.
INVENTORY (or abbreviation I): This gives you a description of
everything you are carrying.
EXAMINE object: This enables you to have a closer look at any
object you may encounter.
WAIT: This allows the passage of time.
@:(Does not require ENTER key to be pressed)
This is an exceptionally useful key which performs the function
of "DO LAST COMMAND AGAIN".
This command can only be used as the first entry for a line.
PRINT: This command turns on the ZX Printer (if you have one
connected to your Spectrum), and sends the contents of the
"Adventure window" to the printer as well as to the screen. This
is very useful in trying to solve the problems of The Hobbit, as
it allows you to go over athe events of the day at your leisure.
The print-out of the "Adventure window" makes excellent reading
comparable to a novel, but one in which you decide on the course
NOPRINT: This command disables the PRINT printer function.
SAVE: This command allows you to save the data about your
Adventure thus far on to tape for later playing. After the game
has been saved the computer will ask you to rewind it for
verification. When you have finished SAVEing your progress thus
far, the game continues normally. The SAVE feature is very
useful if you have progressed deep into Wilderland and don't want
to start from the beginning again should you accidently get
LOAD: This command loads from tape the previously saved
QUIT: Restarts the game.
SCORE: Tells you how ell you are going.
PAUSE: Suspends the game until any key is pressed.
It is possible to be extremely brief with the computer, and still
be understood perfectly well. Obviously, though, the briefer
your sentence or abbreviation, the more likely the possibility
It is also possible to type in less than a full sentence, and if
there is no mistaking your intention, the computer will do what
You are in a comfortable tunnel like hall
To the east there is a green door
You see: a wooden chest
Let us assume you want to open the door, you would obviously say:
OPEN THE GREEN DOOR
You could, however, also be brief and only say
In this case, the meaning may seem obvious to you, but in fact
the computer knows that it is also possible to open the wooden
chest, and the computer will therefore ask you:
You have a complete choice of answers here, including typing in
a new sentence altogether, or just the object you want to open.
Let us assume that you answer the query with
OPEN WHAT? ALL
The computer will now process your instructions, and you will see
on the "Adventure window" the results of your instructions:
- You open the green door. -
If you were to now again enter the command OPEN, the computer
would tell you, very reasonably:
I see nothing to open.
Note that if you had typed in the full sentence
OPEN THE DOOR
the reply from the computer would have told you
The green door is open.
There is a price to be paid for being too brief!
ANIMACTION IS HERE
Amazing as it sounds, all the other characters you will meet in
The Hobbit have an independant character of their own.
This is another unique feature of The Hobbit which distinguishes
it from most other microcomputer games. Each character of
creature is capable of performing a wide range of actions and of
making decisions based on what is happening. Just as in real
life, they are doing something almost all of the time - they are
Each character will follow a course of action that is in keeping
with its character, and obviously the specific actions they take
will be different each time you play The Hobbit.
They will react in some way, not only to what you do, but also
to what every other creature they come into contact with does!
Even when you're not around, they will go about their business.
Because of this unique feature, you will find that each time you
play The Hobbit things will proceed in a slightly different way,
and the further you get into the Adventure, the more different
it may be. While this also means that there is no unique
solution solving the problems in The Hobbit, it also means that
you will face slightly different problems each time you play THE
This is not an Adventure that you will play only once! Every
time you start, you will be on a new Adventure.
Time marches on
The Hobbit is played in real time - this means that things happen
as time goes on. The only time the computer doesn't do something
is when you are entering a new instruction.
If you just sit and watch the screen, you will find that after
about 30 seconds, the following message will appear:
Time passes . . .
And while you wait, every other creature will be doing its own
TALK TO THE ANIMALS
The Hobbit features ANIMTALK, the amazing implementation that
allows you to talk to the other creatures in the Adventure.
Now, at last, you can answer questions the other creatures may
put to you, and moreover you can say to the other creatures what
you would like them to do.
Of course, because every creature in The Hobbit is animated
through ANIMACTION, they will make their own mind up and decide
if they want to do what you suggested.
The format is exceptionally simple. You enter
SAY TO whomever "sentence".
SAY TO GANDALF "READ MAP"
If he wants to, he may do it, or you may see the message:
You must have the message you want to say between quote marks,
and all the normal rules of INGLISH apply to what you say to the
Try not to say too much to one person at a time, because if you
are long winded they will think you are a bore, and will tend not
to agree to help you. It is a good idea for the same reason to
try to limit the use of ALL in commands to other creatures.
You must be more careful than usual in typing what you say to the
other creatures. They, unlike your computer, won't tell you if
they don't understand what you are saying to them - they'll just
think you are a little odd.
And if the other creatures think that you make little sense, they
are unlikely to help you much.
Cooperating with other creatures
You should know that for some of the problems you will find in
The Hobbit, a solution only exists if you are willing to
cooperate with the other creatures in the Adventure.
As you are only a hobbit, and have no magic, there will be many
things other people will be able to do better than you are able
to do, such as lifting heavy weights, fighting monsters, and so
So you must be sure to stay on good terms with your friends. Of
course, sometimes you will be on your own, and will have to fight
your own fights.
Fighting with other creatures
There would be no Adventure without danger, and many of the
creatures you will meet in WILDERLAND are less than friendly.
Many will attack you on sight. Some will try to kill you, while
others will try to capture you. It is also safe to say that any
creature will fight back if attacked.
As you are only a hobbit, you will need weapons to help you, but
you will still be able to fight even without weapons.
If you do not specify a weapon (even if you are carrying one) ,
the computer will assume you wish to fight the enemy with you
Because of ANIMACTION, and the viciousness of some of the
creatures, do not be surprised to find dead bodies in your
travels - these are the results of fights going on in WILDERLAND
Due to the immense size and complexity of this game it is
impossible to guarantee that it will never be completely error-
A great deal of time has been spent testing this program to
ensure it will behave as described within these instructions.
If, however, any problems are found we would like to know about
them so that future versions may be corrected. We would also
like to hear any comments or criticisms you may have about the
HINTS FOR The Hobbit
The best hints you can get for this Adventure come from the book,
This Adventure follows extremely closely the plot of the book,
and if you should find yourself stuck, the best solution is to
carefully reread the book.
Some parts of the adventure have slight departures from the book
to make it more interesting - the riddles that Gollum may ask
you, for example, are not the same as in the book! That would
be too easy!
At some points in the game you may use the word "HELP" to get a
clue to help you continue. These clues are meant to be somewhat
DOWN D EAST E NORTH N NORTHEAST NE NORTHWEST NW SOUTH S
SOUTHEAST SE SOUTHWEST SW UP U WEST W
EXAMINE HELP INVENTORY I LOAD LOOK L NOPRINT PAUSE PRINT
QUIT SAVE SCORE
BREAK CLIMB CLOSE CROSS DIG DROP DRINK EMPTY ENTER EAT
FILL FOLLOW GIVE GO KILL LOCK PICK PUT OPEN RUN SAY
SHOOT SWIM TIE TAKE THROW TURN UNLOCK UNTIE WEAR
ACROSS AT FROM IN INTO ON OUT OFF THROUGH TO UP WITH
The plot of The Hobbit, the character of the Hobbit, and the
other characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel are Copyright (c)
George Allen and Unwin Publishers 1951, 1975, 1979 and 1981.
The program of The Hobbit is copright (c) by Beam Software 1982.
INGLISH, ANIMACTION and ANIMTALK are trademarks of Melbourne
The program was written as a group effort by Phillip Mitchel and
Veronika Megler, with Alfred Milgrom and Stuart Ritchie over a
period of 18 months.
The illustrations are based on drawings by Kent Rees.
The cover drawing is by Con Aslanis.
Published by Melbourne House.
[end of booklet]
here were two sequels to The Hobbit released, both based on the
sequel to the book The Hobbit, called Lord of the Rings.
The Tolkien Trilogy (Beau-Jolly, 1989) contained The Hobbit, Lord
of the Rings Part One and Shadows of Mordor. The manual, which
was rewritten to cover all three games, was quite good by the
standards of compilations.
The following text appeared in the Sinclair User Top 50 Spectrum
Software Classics, of which The Hobbit was number 1:
The world of computer games is divided into two types of people
are still stuck there.
The Hobbit was ahead of it's time when it was released in 1982
and remains the adventure by which all others are judged. You
must follow the footsteps of Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins in his quest
for the treasure of dragon Smaug. The game features
illustrations, character interaction, and a text interpreter
allowing the input of English sentences. The plot changes each
time you play it, and the list of possible solutions is still