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I played this on a TRS-80 Color Computer 2 or 3 somewhere in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. It was one of those adventure games where you either typed commands in (e.g. "GO NORTH" "GET MIRROR" "SOLVE ASTROPHYSICS") or selected from a limited set of commands that essentially did the same thing of letting you pick a verb and an object. I believe I was a fairly young child at the time, and that my older brother had had much more success with the game. I want to say the screen background was black, with white text, and there was limited animation with a small color-set, although of course my nostalgia filters remember more graphical fidelity.

The only bit I remember clearly (and it keeps popping up in my head) was a room (I think perhaps you were moving within the rooms of a castle, or a large house) which had a mirror with a person shown in it, I think intended to indicate the player character seeing themselves in the mirror, except that the figure was getting closer and closer. I remember, as a child, thinking that he was doing jumping jacks, and my brother explaining that the limited animation was supposed to show him running toward the mirror.

In my childhood brain, I imagined that, if one waited long enough, he would burst through the mirror, something which occupied my brain enormously at times, but I think there was a limit of how large the sprite (if indeed it was a sprite, and not being animated by drawing lines and pixels) could get. I think I remember my brother explaining something about the puzzle involving managing to talk to the man in the mirror, maybe with the initial twist that he was initially unable to be communicated with since, well, he was inside the mirror.

I have a vague memory of one of the other rooms (possibly nearby) involving a box full of musty stored clothing, the use of which I did not know.

Part of me wants to suggest that this was a port of a known series like Kings Quest, but I haven't found any matching plotlines, and online gameplay footage does not match my memories.

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  • From memory parts go with Kings Quest 3 and Arthur Quest for Excalibur, but I cannot recall anything as distinctive as that mirror puzzle, and I'm pretty sure neither was old enough to be on a TRS-80. Early text adv. like Zork dont fit either.
    – Radhil
    Jan 24, 2023 at 19:39
  • Theres some Scott Adam's game collection on Valorums list. Voodoo Castle looks promising
    – Radhil
    Jan 24, 2023 at 19:44
  • 3
    "I think I remember my brother explaining something about the puzzle involving managing to talk to the man in the mirror" — ASK MAN IN MIRROR TO CHANGE HIS WAYS Jun 13, 2023 at 14:09

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I wonder if this might be a Zork spin-off/sequel called "Enchanter". Whether it was meant to be the fourth Zork game or not appears to have varied during development - see discussion at https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2017/08/missed-classic-enchanter-won-and-final.html

https://adventure.if-legends.org/Infocom.html includes "TRS-80 [Model I and III.]" and "TRS-80 Color" in their list of the machines it runs on.

If this is considered to be a Zork sequel, then you see your past self in a mirror early on in the game, but can't communicate with them. You need to find some way of bringing past/mirror you out of the mirror and into the present-day real world before the two/one of you can communicate.

You stated:

It was one of those adventure games where you either typed commands in (e.g. "GO NORTH" "GET MIRROR" "SOLVE ASTROPHYSICS") or selected from a limited set of commands that essentially did the same thing of letting you pick a verb and an object.

It certainly was, though I don't have many screenshots to back that up and I don't think they're from the Tandy/TRS-80 version:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Without screenshots, I'll need to rely heavily on blog quotes for evidence:

https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2017/07/missed-classic-43-enchanter.html#more

The north end of the castle is a long hall of mirrors that reflect on "another world". Sometimes, we can see an adventurer carrying an elvish sword and lantern on the other side of the glass. It's a view to Zork! I vaguely remember this puzzle from when I played as a kid and I think there is some way to bring the adventurer to your side of the mirror but I don't have any spell to do it quite yet or any idea why I would want to do it."

https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2017/07/missed-classic-enchanter-magical.html#more

Last week, I started my explorations of Enchanter by breaking into an ancient castle inhabited by an evil warlock. It seemed to be going well at first except I was too tired to memorize any spells, failed to find a safe place to sleep, and then was captured by cultists and sacrificed on an altar to a bloodthirsty god. I did manage to learn two new spells (one to open doors and another to repair damaged objects), found a mirror leading to the original Zork games, and encountered a door so heavily guarded that its defenses had defenses.

...

As I head back to the entrance, I pass again through the Hall of Mirrors. I mentioned this last week as the spot where I occasionally see the adventurer from Zork. I can't seem to talk to him, knock on the glass, or do anything else to get his attention yet and he doesn't even always appear. I'll have to come back later.

...

Just as before, there is a tower in the corner but I pass it for now to explore the southern hall. Roughly parallel to the Hall of Mirrors on the other side of the castle is the Portrait Gallery, a hall containing pictures of familiar faces including Dimwit Flathead (mentioned in Zork I and encountered in III) and the Wizard of Frobozz (from Zork II).These are the first real signs that this game takes place in the Zork universe! I cannot find anything useful I can do with them so I move along

https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2017/08/missed-classic-enchanter-terror-that.html#more

Next up, I'll try for the cartoonish man, whom I assume is the adventurer in the mirror. I search and find him in one of the mirror rooms and cast "zifmia" to summon him through. He's not very happy about it! He is certainly "me" from the Zork series, down to the elvish sword and trusty lamp, but he doesn't like "me" from the Enchanter series one bit. With some experimentation, I find that I can cast "vaxum" on him to get him to like me, but even then he just wanders aimlessly around the castle picking up random odds and ends. I think I'm on the right track, but what do I do next? I have no idea. (Incidentally, where does this game have to fall on the Zork timeline? My guess is somehow between Zork II and III since he knows about the Wizard of Frobozz but he still has his sword with him. It can't be after III because then he'd be transformed into the Dungeon Master. I probably am not supposed to think too hard about this.)

...

I summon the adventurer and follow him around. He seems to always take a fixed path around the castle at first, passing through the temple and the hallway junction without incident. After that, he seems to go aimlessly. If he sees any of my stuff lying around, he annoyingly picks it up. He seems single-mindedly in pursuit of treasures like in the first two Zork games.

...

https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2017/08/missed-classic-enchanter-won-and-final.html#more

In the process, I survived being sacrificed, watched a turtle be a ninja a full year before that would become a thing, and completely screwed up the Zork timeline by teleporting my character from the first games into an adventure that he wasn't expecting.

...

First up for this session, I need to work on the adventurer and the guarded door. Since the last post, I'm fairly convinced that these are one and the same puzzle: my dream (from two posts ago) showed a cartoonish man opening a plain door. When I dispelled all of the magic on the guarded door, it looked just as plain. It could be a coincidence, but I doubt they would throw in such a great hint and not have it be the correct solution. Each time I've cast that spell before, I did it while I could see the adventurer in the mirror; this time, I go to the guarded door and try the summoning spell from there except that doesn't work. It says that I can summon a powerful magic-user without seeing him, but everyday people can only be called if you can see them. That's good to know! ... How can I get the adventurer to the door? I spent a while following him last post and he never came to this room on his own.

The solution requires me to play off his (and, I suppose, my) inherent greed: I show him the silver spoon and he starts to follow me around. (Of course, I have to use "vaxum" to get him to like me first.) I lure him to the guarded door and he doesn't seem to notice any of the insanity there. I ask him to open the door and he looks at me like I've grown a second head; he just walks over and opens it (ignoring boiling lead poured on his head, attacking tentacles, and other magics which do not seem to be real for him). When he's done, the illusions disappear and I can see the plain door clearly. I follow the adventurer up the stairs to reclaim the pencil, map, and "filfre" scroll. Since I didn’t use "kulcad" to get in here, unlike the last time, I have it to use someplace else. As I leave, the adventurer wanders off to explore the castle on his own. Did I just break the Zork timeline? Do I need to un-summon him somehow? Am I still thinking too hard about this?

...

They are thrilled that their ploy of sending someone completely unqualified for the job worked and officially make me an Enchanter. I win the game and never even pause to consider the poor adventurer that I've left stranded in a Warlock's castle, very far from where he was supposed to be.

As an aside, you stated:

Part of me wants to suggest that this was a port of a known series like Kings Quest

Well, Zork was certainly a very well known series indeed!

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  • Unfortunately, as far as I can tell (and remember because I did play that one), that is text only. I do remember graphics albeit not terribly sophisticated by today's standards.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 12, 2023 at 22:20

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