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Welcome to Mike Snyder's COCO Quest!

What is this place? This is Coco Quest, a site for my TRS-80 Color Computer 2 and 3 (COCO2 and COCO3) programs. I wrote dozens of games between 1987 and 1991 which were sold to and distributed by T&D Subscription Software of Holland, Michigan. I have obtained permission to release my COCO games to the public - so they may live forever.

What is a COCO? Tandy/Radio-Shack's 8-bit Color Computer home system. This amazing system was popular in the 80's but quicky died out in the 90's. It's considered a vintage computer today - like the Commodore 64, Vic20, Amiga, the TI99/4a, the Apple 2c, and others.

Who cares about COCO games? I do, for one. I spent every spare moment during high school and my first year of college writing these games. That's thousands of hours. That was my passion. Furthermore, it was the prelude to my eventual career as a professional software engineer.

Why put them online? Originally, I wanted to convert my COCO games into QuickBASIC and compile them as stand-alone .exe's for PC systems. After seeing some of my early stuff though, even if I could port them (and I'm not sure I could), they're essentially worthless as IBM/PC games. I don't want to lose them though, so here they are in their native form for COCO systems!

How can I play? The easiest way is to use a COCO emulator (available in versions for DOS, Windows, and Macintosh). Most emulators are freeware. The COCO3 emulator (required to play better/newer games) is available for a modest charge. The emulator sites are not affiliated with Prowler Productions.

What's an "Emulator?" An emulator is a program that "pretends" to be a different computer. It's a virtual machine; soft-hardware. In order to use an emulator, you need the system ROM (a single file, usually) from an actual computer. Some sites will provide the system ROM for download, but I'm not sure of the legalities involved in that.

Can I use a real COCO? Definitely you can. The disks I'm providing here are in ".dsk" format, which is the standard for use with emulators. The emulators will allow you to assign real drives and .DSK files as if they were the same. For example, pick MSNYDER1.DSK as Disk 0, and B: (if you have a real 5.25" Drive) as Disk 1. With a blank disk in the B: drive, do DSKINI1 from the emulator, then BACKUP 0 to 1 to copy the emulator disk to the real disk.

Can I buy a real COCO? Probably. I found quite a few good deals on Ebay by searching for "COCO2" or "COCO3" or "Color Computer" or "TRS80" or "TRS-80" or "Tandy Radio Shack Color Computer." Hunt around and you may find one. You can use a cassette tape drive or (more preferrably) a COCO disk drive. A real COCO can hook to any TV (no need for a monitor) with the proper cables. You'll want the optional COCO joystick too.

Latest COCO Quest News (Newest First)

Sunday, December 10th, 2023:

      Here's a fun bit of news worth breaking my almost ten years of silence for. I was a guest on The CoCo Nation podcast yesterday. You can find Episode 342 on YouTube and various other places.

      It didn't sink in at the time, but I was on a call with people who were not only influential big names in the CoCo world back in the 80's and 90's, but continue to push this retro platform forward with new innovations and an unending dedication to it today. I can't stress enough how cool that is. It was an honor to bump elbows (proverbially and digitally speaking) with these guys, and talk about my time writing these games in BASIC back in the day. Most of my stuff is what might be called "shovelware" today, but I had a blast doing it.

      My own podcast ended several years ago when Addie (now just "D") outgrew it. See the prior news for a link to old episodes. I don't have much else in the way of news, but this was something I just had to post about. I'm interviewed for the first couple hours of the show, before I had to head out. People are going to be competing for a high score in Monster Mash over the next three weeks, and I might join them. We'll see. :)

Monday, July 21st, 2014:

      I recently started a podcast with my daughter, where we discuss all manner of videogames. Our focus is on console games (Nintendo, PlayStation, XBox), but we sometimes talk about interactive fiction, BBS games, old shareware, mobile games, and more. It's new, and we need to build up our subscriber base. We hope to keep it going, every week, for many years to come.

      You can find the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, among other places. Some browsers let you subscribe directly to a podcast by using our feed.

      Or just head over to Videogame Generations for the latest episodes and show notes.

Saturday, March 7th, 2009:

      This one was a surprise. A few weeks ago, I got a tip that "The Entity" could be found on a CoCo compilation CD (the legalities of which I didn't really question). My first thought was that it must be some other "Entity." I think I sold it to T&D, but it may never have been published. When marketed independently as "Biware Enterprises" prior to that, very few copies (maybe eight or so) were actually sold. So finding that somebody actually had kept a copy was, at this point in my search, unthinkable.

      Sure enough, it was my CoCo 3 text adventure "The Entity," now available for download as "msnyder0.dsk" in the download section. I would have preferred to include it with "Monster Mash" on the ninth disk, but even though both disks have quite a bit of free space remaining, both games take up too much room to fit on a single disk. Perhaps if I find any of the few I still need to find, I can do some merging then. I'm still holding out hope for "Time Attack," which I'm positive was on the "flip side" of a T&D issue (maybe only on cassette, though).

      Now the bad news. This game stinks. There may be some jewel of a story lurking under the bad design -- maybe a clever puzzle or two -- but it's virtually unplayable. I suppose this is true of every 80's text adventure I wrote, but this one is doubly disappointing because my nostalgic memories are of an incredible, well-designed, worthwhile adventure. The only graphics are the title screen and the room "frame" (border), making it unnecessarily slow and hard to view without any trade-off benefit for losing the standard text screen. The screen clears when full, and it of course has no scrollback. The writing is as rough and uninspired as my earlier games. It features instant-death, plus time limits on performing certain tasks even though it's not clear at all what those tasks are. It has no save/load ability (at least, none that I found -- the source code is no longer available so I can't check there), so it's a slog just to make progress through trial-and-error. The parser is as bad as was typical for my games, with simple conveniences like "x" for "examine" not supported (you must look" at things -- although don't try too hard, since very little scenery is actually implemented). Looks like it features a number of obvious misspellings, too. Even just getting started requires waiting through a slow and unskippable title sequence. It really is a dud.

      So now that you're sold... feel free to download and play it! :). Some advice, though. If you use an emulator, take advantage of CPU speed-up (in the Keil emulator, for instance, press [F6] two or three times and watch the speed at the bottom until it's maxed at "????"). When I have nothing better to do, I might export the data files and see if I can get some hints, and then maybe try to solve the game (and post a walkthrough). But don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005:

      I have rolled the old news off to the archive page, but that's not what has prompted a CoCo Quest news update for the first time in five year. The big news is, Brian Palmer has sent me a copy of my game Monster Mash, written and self-published (as "Biware Enterprises") in 1990. We only sold half a dozen copies, if I recall. This jogged my memory that this (and perhaps some of the others I still need) may not have been submitted to T&D at all. Although I'm amazed that Brian had a copy, I'm more worried now that Gnome Quest 3, Space Ace (aka Space Race), and The Entity may be gone forever.

      At any rate, I have added Monster Mash to a new 9th disk in the download section. I'll probably update this later, to include more games (maybe even some new stuff -- I'm kind of inspired by this new discovery) and a .BAS program with documentation for the game. I don't remember the story, exactly. I believe the character is Kerwin. Play using a Joystick. Left and right moves him, Up + Button to jump, Down + Button to shoot a fireball (or something), and Button (maybe Up + Button -- it isn't easy to tell using a mouse with an emulator, and I haven't loaded it on my real CoCo3 yet) while standing directly in front of a door to enter. The P key will pause the game. That's about all I can remember. I think you have to collect ten bags of gold scattered in and around the castle in order to enter a "locked" door to the final confrontation. Maybe I'll be able to find the original manual if I dig around in old boxes long enough, but I doubt it. I won't spoil the identity of the ending boss for you.

      The game features black bats, flying mummies, and sliding pumpkins. The game covers dozens of screens (seemingly more than I remember), and enough hearts (lives) are provided that it's really playable (but challenging). I'm kind of surprised that it's fairly well-designed. The initial screen load takes a few seconds (black the whole time), as does each transition between screens, but it's really not too bad. I think the game was originally distributed with a freeware RAM Disk program (anyway, one was on the .DSK image from Brian), but it didn't seem to work with the emulator, and I figured the benefit would be negligible anyway. I removed it, for this new download.

News Archive

Older/archived news is available here.

My COCO Games Are Available For Free

Dsk1 | Dsk2 | Dsk3 | Dsk4 | Dsk5 | Dsk6 | Dsk7 | Dsk8 | Dsk9 | Dsk0
Or, download all 10 disks in a single WinZip/PkUnzip Archive (539k).

Thanks to Tom Dykema of the former T&D Subscription Software for granting me permission to release my games to the public. I haven't been able to find all my old games yet, unfortunately. Check my wanted area to find out what I still need. Some of these might be games I'll never find because I'm not sure they were ever even published.

Before you download, keep in mind that you sometimes have to “trick” a CoCo 3 into running some of them. For instance, games like Lord Silvercape, Police Cadet 5, Virus D, and some of the other “BASIC” games are too big to fit in memory on a disk system unless you do this trick first:

POKE 38543,33 : POKE 38563,33 : PCLEAR 0

Actually, you might be able to save time by just typing:


If you get an OM (Out of Memory) error running CoCo 3 games, try that. Also, you might have to “reset” your computer or emulator before running some games. After a decade, I don't remember why, but I've found that it helps.

Click to download **** DISK #1 (All For CoCo2) ****
DIR.BAS  T&D's Directory/Menu Program
RODOC.BAS  Rodoc: A Text Adventure
HOSTAGE.BAS  Hostage: A Text Adventure
ORBDERRA.BAS  Orbs of Derra Graphic Adventure
CADET#1.BAS  Police Cadet Part 1: Text Adventure
JAVA.BAS  Java: A Generic Video Game
CRIOLOAD.BAS  Crionaut Warrior Boot Program
CRIO.BAS  Crionaut Warrior (Run Boot Program Instead)
CHAMBERS.BAS  Chambers of Krid: Maze Game with a Twist
TRIORACE.BAS  Triorace: Video Game Featuring 3 Races
TROOPER.BAS  Earth Trooper: Invaders-Style Arcade Game
STARLOG.BAS  Info on Star Trek Episodes (Not A Game)
SANDSTON.BAS  Sandstone: A Text Adventure
MONSTERS.BAS  Monsters & Magic: Unique Graphic RPG
SNOFIGHT.BAS  Sno-Fight: A 2-Player Snowball Battle
Click to download **** DISK #2 (All For CoCo2) ****
DIR.BAS  T&D's Directory/Menu Program
DUNMAZE.BAS  Dungeon Maze: Generic 1st Person Maze
BLASTER.BAS  Blaster: Typical Mothership Shooter
TILERTWO.BAS  Tiler Tex Part 2: Sort of Pacman-ish
D-TUNNEL.BAS  Dream Tunnel: Fly Through Dangerous Tunnel
MNTDEATH.BAS  Mount Death: Another Difficult Tunnel
TERRON.BAS  Terron: Original Zap-and-Dodge Game
MAXOMAR.BAS  Maxomar's World: A Text Adventure
CADET#2.BAS  Police Cadet 2: Haunted Carnival Adventure
SHOWDOWN.BAS  Starship Showdown: Another 2-Player Battle
CADET#3.BAS  Police Cadet 3: Gadget Factory Adventure
CHEMIST.BAS  Crazy Chemist: Potion-Making Simulation
JOURNEY.BAS  Journey Up: Multi-Level Jumping Game
SUBMANIA.BAS  Submania: Submarine Video Game
GENESIS.BAS  The Genesis Project: Text Adventure
Click to download **** DISK #3 (All For CoCo2) ****
TILERTEX.BAS  Tiler Tex: A Pacman-ish Arcade Game
CADET#4.BAS  Police Cadet 4: A Graphic Adventure
GHOST.BAS  Ghost Hunter: Arcade Based on Ghostbusters
ROBO.BAS  RoboCrook: Text Adventure, Capture A Robot
TREASURE.BAS  Treasure Search: A Typical Text Adventure
SNAKSHAK.BAS  SnakShak: An Original Simulation Game
DESTIN.BAS  Destination Unknown - Text Adventure
SILENCE.BAS  Silence Syndrome - A Cool Text Adventure
WARRIOR3.BAS  Crionaut Warrior 3: Yet Another Maze Game
SAUCER.BAS  Flying Saucer Adventure: Text Adventure Game
MOWER.BAS  Mower Madness: A Robotron/Pacman Hybrid
Click to download **** DISK #4 (For CoCo2 & CoCo3) ****
SPEEDGAM.BAS  Speed Games: 7 simple arcade games in 1 prog.
ONTARGET.BAS  On Target: A point-and-click game of speed.
TIMETRAP.BAS  TimeTrap: Arcade game inspired by “Tempest”.
COUNTRY.BAS  Country Club Adventure: Get there by noon!
SHADOW.BAS  Shadow World Adventure: Experiments in Time.
ADVTUT.BAS  Adventure Tutorial: Learn to write adventures.
ADVSAM.BAS  Adventure Sample: Sample adventure for above.
The following games on this disk image are for CoCo-3 systems only.
RAHINST.BAS  Rahul's Quest Instructions: Info for below.
RAHUL.BIN  Rahul's Quest: Help Rahul with the letter of love.
NAMETUNE.BAS  Name This Tune: Guess song titles for 2-players.
VIRUS-D.BAS  Virus-D: Beat the virus in this circuit board arcade.
Click to download **** DISK #5 (All For CoCo3) ****
FACTORY.BIN  Food Factory: A simple, interesting arcade game.
BREAKIN1.BIN  B.E. Breakin 1: A simple arkanoid-style game.
BREAKIN2.BIN  B.E. Breakin 2: Faster, inspired sequel to the above.
SILVCAPE.BAS  Lord Silvercape: A unique graphic adventure.
MANUAL.BAS  Gnome Quest 1 Manual: Instructions for the game.
GNOME1.BIN  Gnome Quest 1: Launch this to play it!
2.BIN  GQ1 Data File: Just a data file for the above.
3.BIN  GQ1 Data File: Another data file for above.
Click to download **** DISK #6 (All For CoCo3) ****
DIR.BAS  T&D's Directory/Menu Program
SMURFINS.BAS  Smurf Quest Instructions: Info for the game below.
SMURF.BIN  Smurf Quest: The “Gnome” re-used as a Smurf.
QUESTINS.BAS  Cavern Quest 2 Instructions: Info for game below.
CQUEST2.BAS  Cavern Quest 2: A poor-man's Pitfall. No vines.
GOPHER.BAS  Gopher: My very first CoCo3 game. Pacman-ish.
MANUAL.BAS  Gnome Quest 2 Manual: Instructions for the game.
GNOME2.BIN  Gnome Quest 2: Launch this to play it!
2.BIN  GQ2 Data File: Just a data file for the above.
3.BIN  GQ2 Data File: Another data file for above.
4.BIN  GQ2 Data File: Last data file for Gnome Quest 2.
Click to download **** DISK #7 (All but 1 are CoCo3) ****
SNOW-SKI.BAS  Snow Ski: Vertical scrolling CoCo2 Game.
CADET#5.BAS  Police Cadet 5: Final adventure in the series.
ALIAX.BIN  Aliax: Inspired by the “digging” in Super Mario 2.
GALAXYQ.BIN  Galaxy Q: Good idea ruined by slow scrolling.
ELDUS.BAS  Eldus Intro: Intro/Instructions to game below.
ELDUS.BIN  Eldus: Tile-based Quest for the Pool of Life. Hard!
PROG1.BIN  Eldus Resource File: Run ELDUS.BIN instead.
PROG2.BIN  Eldus Resource File: Another one, see above.
PROG3.BIN  Eldus Resource File: The last one, see above.
Click to download **** DISK #8 (All For CoCo3) ****
WHOPART1.BIN  Doctor Who, Deadly Alliance: Escape from Ru.
WHOPART2.BIN  Doctor Who, Deadly Alliance: The Island Search.
WHOPART3.BIN  Doctor Who, Deadly Alliance: Iron City.
WHOPART4.BIN  Doctor Who, Deadly Alliance: Planet of Destruction.
RIVERINS.BAS  River Raid Instructions: Info for game below.
RIVER.BIN  River Raid: Vertical scrolling boat/blasting game.
RIVROOMS.DAT  River Raid Data File: Run RIVER.BIN instead.
Click to download **** DISK #9 (All For CoCo3) ****
MM.BIN  Monster Mash: Action platformer. Good design.
X2.BIN  Monster Mash Data File: Run MM.BIN instead.
X3.BIN  Another Monster Mash data file.
X4.BIN  The last Monster Mash data file.
Click to download **** DISK #10 (All For CoCo3) ****
FONT.BIN  Font definition data file for The Entity.
ENTITY1.BIN  The Entity text adventure game (exec this to play).
ENTITY2.BIN  A data file used by The Entity.
ENTITY3.BIN  Another data file for The Entity.
(blank file name)  Room/description data for The Entity.
Games and T&D Issues I Still Need

I've now collected T&D issues beginning with my contributions, up to #121. Are there any issues higher than that? Does anybody know? I haven't been able to find several of my best games (as fate would have it) which include Space Ace (I was unaware of an existing arcade game by the same name, so T&D listed it as Space Race), Gnome Quest 3, and Camel Quest (which, the more I think about it, may never have even been completed, let alone sold or distributed). If you have any T&D issues above #121 let me know. I think some of the disks may have been double-sided or something (I know Time Attack was on a T&D flip-side -- maybe cassette only -- but I haven't yet found that one either) and perhaps I've only gotten the front side (and only disks) and that's why I haven't been able to find those programs. I'm really not sure. If you can help me out, contact me by emailing wyndo@prowler-pro.com.
This site is copyright © 2000 by Prowler Productions.
Mike Snyder's COCO Games are copyright © T&D Software.
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