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AirWorld Update - Comic is back on!


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  • 4 years later...
This project has been officially canceled. If I ever get the time I will revisit it, but it's not likely.


That is sad to hear. I was really looking forward to seeing a decent swordquest game! haha


Well, hopefully after Tempest you'll decide to revisit it @ some point. I for one would gladly shell out the $.



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Terrible news.

This is one title that I think would be on every retro games "to buy" list.

We all remember the promised 4 titles that sadly never came to be. I'd imagine news of a finished Air World title would probably make the rounds in the videogame mags (EGM, etc...)

I really hope someone picks this game up and finishes what was started so many years ago.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

The only "big deal" for me is how the Swordquest comic story would conclude: would Torr and Tara finally get the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery and get back to the real world to defeat King Tyrannus and his evil sorcerer accomplice Conjuro? Something I have the feeling we'll never truly find out.

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The only "big deal" for me is how the Swordquest comic story would conclude: would Torr and Tara finally get the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery and get back to the real world to defeat King Tyrannus and his evil sorcerer accomplice Conjuro? Something I have the feeling we'll never truly find out.



Pretty much all you would need is a comic that reveals the ending. The actual game never felt anything like what the comics implied. I know its Atari and you have to use your imagination, but these games made no sense to me.

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  • 8 years later...

The only "big deal" for me is how the Swordquest comic story would conclude: would Torr and Tara finally get the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery and get back to the real world to defeat King Tyrannus and his evil sorcerer accomplice Conjuro? Something I have the feeling we'll never truly find out.


Tonight I was referencing a favorite passage from the Atari Force comics and I looked over at the SwordQuest comics and like many wished there was an entry for the fourth of four comic books. Tonight I looked to see if there was an effort for making a Airworld comic book. Apparently from 2003 to 2015 there was an effort to make a Airworld comic by the Atariage community. This effort was squashed by the Infograms/Atari lawyers apparently.


I would pitch that the Atariage community could actually write a game and comic book that could be added in a future Flashback (as other fan efforts have been added in other Flashbacks). Ultimately, I only really care about the comic book series. But in retrospect I have to say this as I read the comic book series:


It is amazing to me some of the depth put into a pack in comic book.


For example, Atari Force #1 deals with the effects of war and depletion of a planet. This theme plays out as they travel the multiverse to find other planets which they find older races that met a similar fate they are dealing with. Finally by the fifth book they find a race that prospered after deciding to leave war behind and left the leaders, who started the war in the process, to fight it out among themselves. Profound. :D


And the Swordquest series you see other depth. Twins who lost their parents... twice! Both the normal parents and adopted parents to the same dictator. The path of revenge makes them renegades and thieves. So you see the consequence of taking that action. Through the quest they learn a great variety of lessons




So I was impressed at the story. I remember the video game gave you a little chance to play out some of the scenarios of the comics and to emmerse yourself in the comics so though crap games they provided that fun. And naturally the fun of finding the hidden clues both in the comic and in the game.


So what do you think the final story would be?


Here is my take on it:




To me the whole story has a central focus and it is of the advisors, both the two advisors (Mentorr and Mentarra) and the one that imprisoned them in the crystal and took their place, Konjuro.



You get to meet the original advisors later on in the first issue:




The Mentors make it known that they will need to learn some lessons before being able to weld the sword of ultimate sorcery and the talisman of penultimate * truth. Apparently according to the definition of penultimate it is not the ultimate truth, but the runner up truth. Uh huh. :P Anyway, the message from the Mentors:




The Mentors say they must learn the following, and I think in the course of the series a lot of these are learned.

* Have open minds and open hearts

--- which took place in Waterworld when they would pause in battle to consult their gods, and then later when they look within themselves.

* Put aside anger and hate

--- They learned this in Earthworld that battles are not always won by violence.

* Learn to think before acting

--- Tarra learned this when carefully considering the armor hanging from the tree (Fireworld)

* Learn to Judge before responding

---- One occurrence was how they heard King Tyrannus out on his offer before telling him where he could go (Fireworld)

* To remember that the most direct route is not neccessarly the correct one

* The greatest warrior is not always the strongest

--- I think this was learned by Torr when he spared the fire demons (Fireworld).


So to me the Airworld comic would feature one last object lesson not covered, "that the most direct route is not neccessarly the correct one". In that last comic of 45 pages there would be a lot of ground to cover. One last object lesson for Torr and Tarra before the final show down with Tyrannus and Konjuro.


So what is the direct route and the indirect route? In a world of air you think there would be nothing but open air for direct travel. I picture clouds, air elementals, and flying on carpets or winged creatures. One picture was of Torr on a pegasus.


I see this art from Airworld:




Maybe Airworld would play a bit into the Joust game mythos and have warriors fighting and jousting on winged birds? We know for a fact that Tyrannus and Konjuro would be there in the Airworld. No doubt Konjuro would bring the nether demons they talked about in the Fireworld issue.




So what would happen in the end? As they say, the most direct way is not always the right way and what I think would happen might surprise you.


Putting together the pieces:


So here are the pieces. We have a prophecy:




Virgo repeats this prophecy:




There are several things here.

1) They will claim the throne when the king is old and feeble. Granted he is probably 20 something in the throne room scene and about 40 in the later story when Torr and Tarra are grown, but I hardly call that "old and feeble".

2) Torr and Tarra are to "forge a great destiny". That could be a lot of things.


The first question we need to ask is, who is the real villian here? My thinking is the main bad guy is Konjuro. He orchestrated that Mentorr and Mentarra be out of the picture before Tyrannus took the throne and became the king's advisor. But that would be too easy. More than likely Tyrannus employed Konjuro to help him take his father's throne.


One thing to add is that Konjuro's name comes up in all the other worlds. Konjuro might have established a hold on the other realms (Earthworld, Fireworld, Airworld, and Waterworld) and was aligning with King Tyrannus to either take over that world, or just stage his magical operations there and paid rent by helping Tyrannus. Apparently while Konjuro had stirred things up in the other realms, maybe he was not entirely safe in those realms. Good to have a friend with an army to protect you. Granted he had the nether demons, but seems to be a matter of "You scratch my back Tyrannus, I'll scratch yours" arrangement. Or maybe they were an item. :D Ok this was the early eighties so probably not.


And I think there is a interesting reveal in the story.


Enter Herminus




So who exactly was Herminus (a name of a Greek Peripatetic philosopher BTW) ? A "Master thief" who tries to find the Sword of Ultimate Sorcery for twelve moons or twelve months is what I take from that. Not a great thief. And what kind of "pain" was involved? He was missing an eye. Why was that? Or is the eye patch just a disguise? For fashion rather than function.


One thing is for certain, the man has charm, persuasion, and cunning. He has the listening ear of Sagittarius and Leo before the twins even arrive. Herminus has a persuasive and even commanding presence (as we especially see in Waterworld towards the end when he has the twins fight each other.)


I never really got the impression Herminus had it personally out for the twins, but rather just wanted to get to the sword first. To this end he steals what means needed to get there first while throwing obstacles in the way of the twins.


But like all mysterious thieves, and very similar to the twins, he has his own story.


We know in this story universe what it takes to be a thief. Generally you are a renegade from committing some crime (like the twins ending the captain of the guards after he killed their adopted parents.) Perhaps Herminus commited a crime, or is on the run from someone? And like the twins, he is after the sword of ultimate sorcery more than likely for reasons more than reselling it.


Herminus goes to great lengths trying to find the sword. Twelves months before the story adventures, jumps into the inferno after the twins at the end of Earthworld. When he steals the fiery mount of Tarra he seems remorseful to leave her stranded and in peril. "I seeks the sword of ultimate sorcery too" he says. He doesn't seem like a sociopath but someone on a mission. When he passes Torr he says with some urgency "I've really no time" when Torr wants to get revenge.


We get to see the more jovial side of Herminus when they find the chalice...




Not a perfect guy, but a guy with an objective and suddenly two more people show up looking for his objective. So what is he to do? Make use of whatever those newcomers can offer, and get them out of the way short of beating him to it.


So in Swordquest there is a slant towards names so let me throw two together:


HermiNUS and TyranNUS. Can we say RemUS and RomulUS. Brothers?


My theory is Herminus was heir to the throne, the next in line.

Tyrannus was probably the second born. When Konjuro found his way into King Reullo's court, he might have sensed Tyrannus' desire to be king, made a pact with him, and had Herminus disposed of. And then later disposed of King Reullo. Herminus might not even be his name, though in this story those that are staying under wraps tend to call each other the real names anyway (like Tarra did with Torr in Konjuro's tower, which, BTW, those names were never shown to be mentioned in the presence of King Tyrannus or Konjuro in the flashback). Chances are Herminus, heir to the throne, shaved his head and wore the eye patch as part of his disguise.


Herminus' true objective is the same, retrieve the sword of ultimate sorcery to claim the throne.


When Torr and Tarra try to grab the sword, it splits off two copies and then jets on. The sword even flies them to Airworld but makes sure to snare Herminus with them. The reason I believe is that the sword in the end is destined for Herminus to wield but the sword also knows that Torr and Tarra have a great destiny of their own and must also travel the four worlds.


The Destiny of Torr and Tarra


So was it obvious to anyone else the connection between MenTORR and MenTARRA and TORR and TARRA?


Overall theory I have is that Torr and Tarra were not meant to rule, but to be the next advisors. They were born after the mentors disappeared and around the time of King Reullo's death. So to me more than likely the Mentors when trapped in the crystal, or maybe just before, released a part of their essence which found it's way to the womb of Lady Wyla with the warrior Tarr as the father.


(This story arc has played out in recent ElfQuest where Timmain was trapped in a pit, travelled the world in astral form until finding a developing womb where her spirit was reborn (and shared) with the leader Cutter. Cutter would go a quest decades later and rescue Timmain from the pit.)


So Torr and Tarra were born, grew up, and in time were drawn to the crystal and freed their kindred spirits, Mentorr and Mentarra from the crystal prison.


I believe at the reason for the quest for wisdom was so that Torra and Tarra could remove Konjuro and become the new advisors. Actually the title of mentor or "Men" would be added to their names, becoming the new Mentorr and Mentarra, or the spiritual successors to the original Mentorr and Mentarra.


AIRWORLD : Book 4.


So the final book I would see as Torr, Tarra, and Herminus all arriving in the Airworld, flying around in a world of floating cities (like Bespen in Star Wars or the Floating City of the Hawk people like in Flash Gordon.) Angel or winged people I'm sure would make an appearance, along with all the other creatures you'd picture on a world of air. Bimp like creatures, air dragons, etc.


In this ad we get to see at the very bottom the concept art for Airworld with a pterodactyl, clouds, tornados, ect.





Using the description of the final game - Getting some facts....

"One flew around in a (sort of) first-person flying scenario with 64 hexagrams on the horizon, dodging some stuff in the air, and picking some other stuff. When you picked up a certain token, you entered the 'in hexagram' phase, where you locked on a hexagram of your choice on the horizon, and it zoomed up to fill the screen, where you played one of 64 simple games...”


Philosopher’s Stone - The philosopher's stone is a legendary substance, allegedly capable of turning inexpensive metals into gold. It was sometimes believed to be an elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and possibly for achieving immortality.



So Torr and Tarra fly around for a bit, aquiring flying horses as we see in the concept art...




They learn from the Mentors of the Philosophy Stone, they try to fly directly to get it but the wind currents of the world blow in particular patterns and what's more King Tyrannus and Konjuro are sending nether demons at them from many sides and sectors. So through strategy the two learn that the most direct path is not always the best path. They devise a clever way to reach the objective.


In this scenario, Herminus as usual knocks out some in the way as the race is on for the sword. Finally as a the twins reach the philosopher's stone the sword reappears and Herminus manages to successfully claim the sword before the twins.


But his attention is not on the twins or their threats, but rather on King Tyrannus himself. Konjuro tries to destroy the sword as he did Tarr's sword in the flashback, but the sword of ultimate sorcery is more than a match for Konjuro's magic.


Konjuro tries further magic, but is set apon by Torr and Tarra who realize that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and distract Konjuro so Herminus can fight Tyrannus.


While Torr and Tarra have no magic of their own, using their newly aquired wisdom they learned through the quest and some items picked up along the way, they are just enough of a match to keep Konjuro occupied. Plus now armed with the talisman of penultimate truth they are somewhat immune to most of the magical attacks. Most.


In the battle of Herminus and Tyrannus it is revealed their relation to each other and what really happened to Herminus and King Reullo. Both battles wave on the air world until Tarra picks up on some of the infighting of Tyrannus and Konjuro. It is there she uses her cunning to turn the two against each other in their underlying distrust of each other. The twins and Herminus use that distraction to steer the two towards a vortex of the Airworld, which disorients the two as they are swept into it.


Torr and Tarra call on the mentors one last time. Channeling through the philosopher's stone the Mentors imbue the twins with great power of the mentors and immortality. It is revealed in the transfer that the twins were originally created from the essence of the Mentors as they were being imprisoned by Konjuro. As the former mentors ascend into their new state of being forever, the twins turn their new powers and combine their abilities to trap Tyrannus and Konjuro in a crystal prison much like Konjuro had devised for the original mentors.


As the scene changes, a coronation of a new king is seen. The new reign of King Herminus, who then appoints his newest advisors, Torr and Tarra, renaming them Mentorr and Mentarra combining their names with their new Mentor titles.


With the cunning guidance of Herminus and his charm over the other realms, and the wisdom of the Mentors, the land once more was ruled by a beloved king, and the realm prospered once again for many years to come.


The End. :D




So is that about the way you all thought it was going to end?


If not, tell your version of the story.


Edited by doctorclu
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Great story doctorclu!


I do remember speaking with Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway back when I was working on the airworld game and comic. They did tell me that Torr and Tarra did not become mentorr and mentarra as far as they could remember. Our revamped story had the climax with Torr facing Tyrannus and Tarra facing Konjuro.

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  • 6 years later...

A dream come true... Airworld is released with the Atari50 Collection!




All it needs now is a comic book to make it complete.  


HEY ATARI!   If you need a story, just read above.  If you need the complete script... just contact me.  :D

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  • 1 month later...

I wish Airworld on Atari 50 did have a digital comic like the other Swordquest games, it would have make it a complete quest to finish instead of Airworld feeling like a Flappy Bird clone...

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