THE NIGHT 6FT BLACK-EYED ELF MAN PAID ME A PERSONAL VISIT
The other thing I remember is a red folder he gave me, which contained several sheets of yellowing lined A4 paper, each with an adventure solution written on it. On the front of the folder there was a cut out photograph of Mike Gerrard and the words 'Book of God' written above or below it in biro. There were about 30 adventure solutions in all, most of which have ended up on this website and also on the YS Tipshop site. I had the red folder up until fairly recently.
Wracking my brains, I can't honestly recall why Jason gave me that precious binder. I have a feeling it was down to something to do with him leaving the adventure scene. But after that visit I don't think I ever heard from him again. I remember writing plenty of letters but I'm not sure I ever got many or any replies.
After his visit, it appears Elven slowly wound down and then ceased to exist. WoS notes that Dreamare was re-released by Global Games in 1991 and a demo version of Conman the Barbaric appeared on the YS Issue 80 Magnificent Seven covertape in August of that year and was attributed to the 'Northern Underground' label.
In the very next issue of YS (September 1992), Mike Gerrard mentions that the NU is a new software house with "a couple of games already out and several more very promising sounding titles in the pipeline". Sadly, it never managed to push out another title and Northern Underground of Carlisle was soon six feet under the ground and buried.
As I have been writing this article, something very vague has started rattling in some distant corner of my brain about a disagreement between Elven Adventurers and Northern Underground over the distribution and promotion of the game. Perhaps this contributed to the demise of Elven or perhaps it's just a load of old guff that I've dreamed up.
Precious little information about Elven Adventurers can be found in the public domain; try a Google search and you won't find more than a few relevant pages. However, a little program called Newsdesk, which can be found on Side B of those few copies of The Haunting that still exist, does throw some valuable light on this matter. This electronic newsletter gives an interesting insight into Jason Nicholls, Julie Nicholls, Judith Woods and Brent Ash, who comprised the Elven collective.
I did actually turn Newsdesk into a working TZX for the Spectrum Tape Preservation project but they told me there was some type of error in the conversion, so they haven't uploaded it to the WoS archive. It always works fine for me, albeit at the second attempt, so I have made it available through my own site. Click here to download it.
the Barbaric (1991)
To play them, go the WoS Archive