Magnetic Scrolls were on a bit of a roll by the time Jinxter was being developed in 1986/87. They had an award winning adventure game system which could be easily converted across multiple platforms, and they could do little wrong in the eyes of the UK computer press and most text adventure players.
Jinxter was being developed in parallel with The Guild of Thieves, which helps explain how Magnetic Scrolls were able to get two significant games released closely together.
Georgina Sinclair had the initial stab at writing the in-game text for Jinxter, and then Michael Bywater was given the task of script-doctoring what Georgina had started as well as write ‘The Independent Guardian’ newspaper that came supplied in the box.
The Amiga version loading screen was accompanied by a rather odd sounding piece of music composed by Ken Gordon’s friend John Molloy, who had also written the original Amiga music for The Pawn.
It’s fair to say that some adventurers (including me) found the ending to be a bit disappointing… possibly even a little annoying. You see, the game begins with a Guardian saving you from being knocked over by a bus and giving you the quest to save Aquitania. Once you finish the game and defeat Jannedor, you’re put right back where you were before the quest and are killed. Don’t believe me? Here’s the actual text from the end of the game:
Congratulations. You have died.
No, really, you are dead. Really really dead. We mean it. This NOT A JOKE. You have died. Just accept the fact.
You still don’t believe it, do you? Perhaps this will convince you:
Do you want to quit or restart (q/r)?
Michael Bywater’s second coming
Michael Bywater’s script-doctoring job on Jinxter was ‘the script-doctoring job of all script-doctoring jobs’. The data structures and the logic behind the puzzles were already in place, but there were problems with the script.
Working on a Toshiba ‘portable’ computer in Magnetic Scrolls’ office located off Borough High Street in South London, Michael spent many long hours working on getting the text right and occasionally altering plot elements to fit.
To be able to implement the new text into the game, Michael also had to learn the intracies of Magnetic Scrolls’ data-driven adventure system. It wasn’t easy (especially for a non-programmer) but he soon got to grips with it.