Madness and the Minotaur is a text adventure game for the Tandy Color Computer, also known as the CoCo, with 16K of RAM, and it was released in 1981. It was especially fun to replay because every time you started it up or died and had to restart, it randomly placed the items all over the map, and reassigned what was needed to pick up the special items and learn the magic spells. With 256 rooms (four levels of sixty-four rooms each), that made every game unique! Of course, with such randomness, it is most likely that some items would be placed and/or require certain elements to retrieve them which would make the game impossible to solve.
One problem with the game was that it was originally released on cassette and would not work on a system that had the disk controller installed. (In case you stumbled across this page and do not realize it, cassette tapes were once used as a storage medium for some of the older home computers.) This made it take a while to load, and also made saving games a little difficult, especially if you wanted to store more than one game or program on the same cassette.
Another problem was that it would not work on the CoCo 3 when it was released. Though it was supposed to be backwards compatible with previous software, there were a few changes made to the operating system which made some programs unusable. For a number of programs there was a way to get them to work on the CoCo 3, but not for others, including Madness and the Minotaur.
I started getting frustrated wondering how to get from one place in the game to another, so one day I decided to sit down and create a map of all of the levels. This proved to be a difficult task, especially since some areas of the map would send you to a random location! Fortunately, in certain cases, it would not do so every time.
After a while, I got a good idea of what the map should look like, so I filled in where the rest of the rooms should be on the graph paper I was using. That was when I discovered there were no obvious ways to to get to certain rooms. This lead me to read some room descriptions closer, and finding out that that I had to use the JUMP command to cross certain room attributes, like the "shallow hole at the west end." I was finally able to fill in the remaining rooms.
I completed the maps, redrew them on other graph paper so they looked better, then made copies of them. Eventually, that wasn't enough for me. I purchased a nice new dot matrix printer, the DMP-110. I also had a subscription to The Rainbow Magazine, which was dedicated strictly to the CoCo. Some articles were aimed at the printer and how to print special graphics with them. So I looked in my printer manual, found out the specifics of sending commands to it, plotted how things should look, and then wrote a program which would print the map.
I thought about sending my program, along with an article explaning the specifics of and how I wrote it, to The Rainbow Magazine in hopes that they would publish it, but ended up not doing so. First, because I thought no one who had a different printer (I believe there was only the DMP series printer for the CoCo, but each new number seemed to have a different code set to make it work) would not want to take the time to change my program so that it would work with their printer. (Perhaps I underestimated what other CoCo owners were willing to do with/for their computers. Some people might have loved the chance to modify my program for themselves.) Second, I was afraid that it was too specific a subject for what may have been too old a game, for the editors to consider publishing my article.
Years went by, my CoCo stuff went to the wayside (especially since we live in a small house and I was using our PC more and more) and finally got packed away. Then, a friend of mine who was also a CoCo fan (I have always loved the CoCo, even though I was no longer using it) showed me the CoCo 2 emulator. After a bit of searching, I found an image of Madness and the Minotaur. Now I was able to play a great game once again!
My maps, however, were looking old, so I decided to update them. For this, I used AutoRealm, a program for RPG game masters to easily create maps for themselves and their players. The process was still time consuming, but I think the results were wonderful.
It was because they looked so good, and because I view the CoCo web sites every now and then and they still seem quite active, that I decided to place the maps out there for others who might be interested.
The maps should be pretty self explanatory. The main detail I realize that I left off was to say that any passageway with an arrow is one-way. But you could figure that out, couldn't you? Also, the room on the Ground Level with the number one in it is the room in which every game starts.
If you want just the maps, they are at the bottom of this page. You need to right-click on each one and then "Save As...". They are also archived together with a text file of all of the room descriptions and reference maps for that file. You can get those here.
I named the first level of the map the Ground Level because on the upper 8x5 rooms you do not need a lamp to see. All other "rooms" except the Forest require the lamp to be on or you will fatally injure yourself if you move more than once. I simply named the First and Second Levels such because they were the first and second levels away from the "Ground floor." I named the fourth level the Maze Level because every room, with the exception of the Forest, starts with the phrase, "You are in a maze of tunnels..."
In other words,
Due to the randomness of the game, I cannot guarantee that the maps are 100% accurate. They should, however, be extremely close!
Thank you, Sean Murphy, for hosting my Madness and the Minotaur web page.
Check out some of the other web sites dedicated to this game. Check out coco3.com for more information about the CoCo (including CoCos 1 and 2), CoCo emulators and links to other CoCo web pages.
When referring to specific rooms, I will use a code that references the room descriptions in the archive available above. For instance, F13 is the room numbered 13 on the First floor. Also, if I'm not specific about a particular room, it is because that room changes each game.