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The Wizard of Oz (1985 video game)

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The Wizard of Oz is a 1985 educational video game made for early home computers such as the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PCjr. It is a text adventure game loosely based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with elements from The Marvelous Land of Oz. This move may have been to capitalize on Disney's Return to Oz released during the same year.


The game was released by the now defunct Windham Classics as a subsidary of Spinnaker Software which created other book adventure games for children from 1984-1986 focusing on "classics" such as Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island. Another subsidary of Spinnaker Software called Telarium released text adventures for adults around the same time period before all was acquired by The Learning Company in 1991. The Learning Company was then bought by Mattel in 1999 but was quickly sold off to Gores Technology group at a big loss who contracted the publishing of games to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt who is willing to sell franchises through licensing. Since then and after all these purchases were made however, none of the Spinnaker games have ever been released again but they have been made available with online emulator technology.

The Wizard of Oz was the 3rd game in the Windham series and was followed by an Alice in Wonderland game.

Game Description

(from the manual uploaded by the Museum of Computer Adventure Game History)

"You awake, and as your eyes blink open, you begin to remember what happened . . . Aunt Em, Toto, the cyclone snatching your little farmhouse from the middle of the big Kansas prairie. But only Toto is with you now, and your house has landed in a world that doesn't look like Kansas at all.

In this marvelous adventure game you are Dorothy, the brave young heroine of L. Frank Baum's beloved story THE WIZARD OF OZ - and you'll set off exploring the magical land of Oz. Along the way you'll meet some unusual friends, like the Munchkins, the Scarecrow, Tip, and Jack Pumpkinhead. You'll have challenging adventures too, as you learn to use the magic powder of life, escape from flying monkeys, find the Wizard of Oz, and more. Best of all you'll actually "talk" with characters and make all the decisions about where to go and what to do - because WIZARD OF OZ is interactive software at its finest.

In addition to colorful graphics and the ability to understand complete senteces, WIZARD OF OZ uses Word Window, a special "help" device that makes game play even smoother and more fun. Plus, you'll get a poster that will introduce you to many of Oz's wonderful characters.

Based on the series of novels written at the turn of the century by L. Frank Baum, WIZARD OF OZ adventure game was designed for ages 10-adult."


"Suddenly, a distant flash catches your attention. You run to the open doorway of your little farmhouse to look - and away across the open the wide open prairie, you watch in horror as a sharp black funnel drops from the sky and races toward the tiny house. The wind picks up fiercely, the sky darkens. Aunt Em calls to you from the open cellar door in the middle of the room - "Quick, Dorothy, into the cylcone cellar!" But its too late. As you grab Toto and start to run for shelter the whole world begins to shake. Then with a crash and a shudder, the house lifts up into the air, spinning wildly. Hours pass, and the spinning becomes a gentle rocking motion. Finally with Toto in your arms, your eyes close and you fall fast asleep...

Your Journey Begins.

As Dorothy, you'll explore the land of Oz, meet its intriguing characters, and find your way to the Emerald City - all before you return to Kansas.

When you awaken after the cyclone, your house is a terrible mess. But all is quiet now, and you and Toto are unharmed.

What next? You have lots of options: you can GO places, TAKE objects, TALK to people and do many other things. Suppose you decide to venture out. You type GO OUTSIDE.

The program responds by showing and describing what you see - the strange, but beautiful, land of Oz. You notice a pair of feet with silver slippers on them sticking from under your house - it's the Wicked Witch of the East! You may decide to  TAKE SLIPPERS; you'll discover that they fit perfectly. Now you're off on your journey through Oz.

Along the way, you'll meet many fascinating characters. Here's one - a scarecrow. If you EXAMINE SCARECROW, he winks at you. Maybe he knows something about where you're going. You type SCARECROW TALK ABOUT THE EMERALD CITY. He tells you he'd like to go there someday too - so you TAKE SCARECROW, and head off on your adventure together. Good luck!


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