Crossbow: The Legend of William Tell
© 1989 Screen 7
The Background to the Story
To his homeland - suffering under the yoke of a cruel and oppresive
empire - he is a symbol of hope. The crossbow and the apple have become a flag
To the Emperor he is a dangerous spark that must be extinguished
before it can become a flame. To the Resistance he is a figurehead, a powerful
ally if they can only persuade him to adopt their cause.
To Gessler, the man who created him, he is Nemesis. Gessler pushed him
beyond the limit of human endurance...and now he is back for revenge.
William Tell. A reluctant hero.
A man forced to become a legend.
Gessler has placed the ducal hat on a pole in the market place and
pronounced that anyone who passed it without respectfully removing their hats
would be punished without mercy. Tell's son has been arrested and imprisoned by
Gessler's Black Knights for refusing to bow down to the hat, and they are on
the look-out for Tell himself, as a suspected subversive.
You lead Tell in his search for his son, and his continuing feud with Gessler.
This takes place in the woods and mountains near Tell's village, Claremont, and
the surrounding settlements, and the towers and dungeons of Gessler's castle.
Tell is an extraordinary croosbow archer, and can hit targets other people
cannot sometimes even see! He is also a natural leader and can hold the respect
asnd loyalty of the good people of the village and local area. It is only with
their help and co-operation and his constant vigilance against the forces of
evil and repression that Tell stands any chance against Gessler's obsessive
You must find and free your son, and then find Gessler, and deal him the
justice he so richly deserves.
You must interact with the characters from the surrounding areas - if you stop
and talk to them or give them useful items, they will help you and give you
objects in return. Only after trying other methods should you resort to
violence, as the penalties for killing innocent people can be high. Watch out
also for people who appear to be bad, but are simply angry or upset - Tell can
often be well rewarded for a little kindness.
The game will end when Tell's vitality sword disappears. However, before this
happens, Tell will often collapse from exhaustion and recover a little of his
The food found in various locations in the game can be eaten to increase Tell's
vitality. Fighting with other characters and using 'warp attack' are the only
ways to lose vitality.
The game is generally controlled with the mouse or joystick guiding a pointer
around the control panel, the left mouse button taking the player into specific
play modes, the right returning to the general 'Top Mode'.
When a message comes up in the top text box, game-play is halted for a few
seconds to give the player time to read; pressing the right mouse button will
remove the message more quickly.
Summary of Controls used in the game.
Amiga - with mouse moving pointer
Left Button Selects icons or fires arrow
Right Button Exits back to 'Top Mode' or exits from aiming down bow or
removes text messages
Help - Displays game map
Esc - Displays game save/load menu
4 arrow keys Selects appropriate direction icon (if highlighted)
Return - Stops Tell if walking (via stop icon)
Space Bar Enters 'Combat Mode' from 'Top Mode'
F1 - Toggles in-game music on/off
F5 - Pauses the game (any key to continue)
F6 - Gives the player's current score
F10 - Terminates the current game
The control panel is situated at the bottom of the screen, and has a pointer
controlled by the mouse or joystick which is used to select from the two groups
of icons on each side of the panel.
In the middle are two text boxes which give the player information duch as
their score or status and messages spoken by other characters they meet. The
bottom box contains any description of the current location of objects nearby,
while the top box is used for the view down the crossbow's sights when aiming,
spoken messages, or more specific descriptions of objects.
While next to an object which can be picked up, its general description will
appear in the lower text box by selecting this box with the pointer, a detailed
description can be called up onto the box above.
Objects and actions which are available to the player at that point in the game
will be indicated by their particular icon being in colour, any others not
available will have their icon in black and white. When a coloured icon is
selected with the pointer, the icon will animate or change colour for a moment
to confirm that selection.
Left-Hand Group of Icons
Selecting one of the left-hand group with the pointer will bring up a new
selection of icons connected with the icon. ie 'Valuables Mode' will show a
Ring, Crown, 2 Necklaces, a Jewelled Cup, and Coins, and Jewels, each of which
can be individually selected for use. The exception to this is the 'drink'
icon, which when selected, will simply increase the player's vitality ( and
reduce the stock of drink carried), and is handled in the same way as food.
With these new icons comes a new mode of play, which can be left to return to
the top (original) level by pressing the right hand mouse button (Space Bar for
Normal Right-Hand Group of Icons
Selecting any of the right-hand group with the pointer will operate a
short-term action, which does not have any extra, related icons. The 'Arrow
Ready' icon, when lit, will give the number of arrows currently loaded in the
bow if selected.
On each side of the main game area of the screen is a tiled area, the left is
overlaid with a gold sword which represents Tell's vitality: the more exposed
it is, the more strong and resiliant he is, when the sword's hilt reaches the
icon panel, Tell will die.
The right-hand area is overlaid with a silver sword which only appears when
Tell is in 'Combat Mode' and there is someone in front of him. This represents
the character's vitality in the same way as Tell's.
This shows which valuables are currently carried. When found and picked up, all
will give Tell a score bonus, and can then be used as general bribes to make
people more friendly.
Selecting any of the valuable icons once wheen no-one else is nearby, or
twice when next to someone, will give a description of that particular object
plus its value.
This mode brings up a new selection of action icons on the right-hand side
which are all to do with combat:
The Short Sword and Staff are short-range weapons, but all the others require
varying amounts of space between Tell and his opponent. If you cannot move the
weapon, try backing off from the character.
If there is more than one opponent on the screen, the enemy vitality sword
which appears in this mode is for the nearest character to Tell in the
direction he is facing. However, characters behind Tell can still attack and
'Parry' is the only defensive move available to Tell, ie only with this move
can he avoid injury from blows aimed at him.
The 'warp attack' forces Tell to stay in 'Combat Mode' for a set amount of time
but allows him to execute all combat moves much faster than normal, the effect
being to allow him to kill most other characters more easily. The disadvantage
of this is that Tell's vitality will go down faster than normal from the
immense effort involved, which can leave him very vulnerable to exhaustion.
At the start of the game or after Tell has collapsed, no weapon is selected,
and Tell can use his fists!
Shown here is a display of the type of bow the player has (wood, composite, or
steel). Any winding equipment picked up (this will speed up the arrow-loading
process, and increase the number of arrows that can be held loaded on the
bow if available), and any sights carried.
When a crossbow icon is selected, the panel crossbow is tilted to an end-on
position with a section of the side view, (as seen by Tell) shown (together
with any targets, if present) to aim at. At this stage, the number of arrows
currently loaded will be put up on the bottom text box, and is updated as
arrows are fired. The bow's sights can then be pointed at the desired target,
and pressing the left (or fire) button will fire the arrow.
The type of arrow and bow used will affect how easy or hard it is to actually
hit the target. Pressing the right button will return the player to the main
menu without firing the arrow.
Selecting any of the bow winder icons will give its description.
When Tell is at the apple-shooting location, he will not be able to move in any
direction or turn around. He has three attempts to hit the apple.
Shown here is a display of the type of quiver (smallest one at the start of
each game) and how many arrows the player has (wood, iron, or extra-sharp
An arrow can be loaded onto the crossbow by selecting one of the arrow icons;
at this point any coloured arrow icons will change to grey to indicate that the
bow is being loaded, these will change back to colour ( and so be open to
further use) after loading. This process will vary in time according to the
crossbow and winding equipment used, but when the arrow is ready to fire, the
'Arrow Ready' icon (on the right hand side) will change from grey to colour.
If winding equipment has been picked up, more than one arrow can be loaded onto
the bow, the only restriction being that they have to be of the same type. If
there is more space available in the bow and if there are more of the same type
of arrow, then that particular arrow icon will be re-lit, permitting further
The number of arrows loaded in the bow can be checked at any time by selecting
the 'Arrow Ready' icon on the right-hand side (unless, of course, it is grey
which would indicate that no arrows were currently loaded.)
When picking up arrows in the game, the type added to Tell's quiver will depend
on the type of bow he currently has: BLunt for the Wood bow, Sharp for the
Composite bow, and Broad for the Steel bow. If Tell already holds the maximum
for this type of arrow, and his current quiver can hold more, additional arrows
of the other twp types will be added to the quiver.
Any surplus arrows from the cache will be lost permanently once the quiver has
become full. At this point, Tell will not be able to pick up any more arrows
until he has used some from his quiver.
Selecting any of the quiver icons will give its capacity, whilst selecting any
of the arrow bar scales will show how many Tell has of that particular type of
Here are shown the eight manuscripts and the bible which can be found in the
game. These are mainly for use as identity papers to get past guards of Black
Knights on the look-out for Tell. When near to other people, they can be
offered to them by selecting first their own icon, then the 'Offer' icon on
the right-hand side, which will be coloured if the character is valid (ie not
The player has to be very careful in this, since although the guards won't take
the wrong papers, they will start to become suspicious (and so more hostile) of
anyone who obviously is not familiar with the correct procedures.
The bible, although it cannot be offered to anyone, has a beneficial effect on
some types of people.
Selecting any of the manuscript icons once when noone else is nearby, or twice
when next to someone, will give a description of their contents in the top text
Manuscripts can also be given to people who do not ask for them.
This shows which keys are currently carried, plus a key hole icon which, when Tell is
by a locked door and selected a key icon, will be in colour.
To unlock a door, Tell must first walk towards it until he gets a message
informing him that the door is locked (this will also tell him which key is
required). You must then go into Key Mode, select the correct icon, then select
the keyhole icon; you will then be told that the door is now unlocked. If the
wrong key is selected, you will be told that it is the wrong one, at which
point you can try again.
Selecting any of the key icons once when not near a locked door, or twice when
next to one, will give a description of that particular key.
Here are shown the various types of food that can be found during the course of
the game. Any icons in colour indicate that Tell is carrying at least one
piece of that food.
Food can be eaten by selecting a coloured food icon, and then selecting the
'Speak/Eat' icon on the right-hand side. At this point, Tell's vitality will be
increased by an amount relative to the food's nutritional value unless, of
course, his vitality is already at its maximum value. Some mushrooms, however,
are poisonous, and vitality will be list and Tell will suffer from the
poisoning is one is eaten. They are identical to normal mushrooms.
Pressing on any of the food icons a second time will give how many units Tell
has of that particular type of food.
Food can also be used as bribes to improve other people's attitude towards
This shows which shield is currently carried. Only one shield can be carried at
a time, so when a more protective one is obtained, the old one is discarded.
In addition, the chain mail and holy relic show up here when picked up. The
chain mail gives extra protection against certain forms of attack, and the holy
relic helps Tell see the current attitude in advance of the Monks.
Selecting any of these icons will give a description of that particular item.
Game Save/Load Options
Pressing the 'Esc' key will bring up a Game Save menu, which allows you to save
off your position and possessions at any particular point in the game. This is
very useful if you are about to start something dangerous, as if it goes wrong,
you can load your original position back in and try again with a different
Some versions will need a separate disk to be formatted by the program before
you can save off, this is done via a 'Format and Save' option. This has the
advantage of allowing several different positions to be saved off at any time.
These disks have to be formatted by the game itself, as any other formatted
disks will not be recognized by the program.
It is not helpful to kill good characters you meet, as any items they might
have given you if you had been nice will not be found on their bodies.
Bad people (Knights generally) will not respond to friendliness, and your only
options are to go away, or to kill them, as you will not be able to pass a
hostile person. However, some Knights and mad Monks take a few seconds to
become hostile. They can be passed quickly if you don't hang around or
antagonize them. If a bad person has anything of use, you will be able to pick
it up off their dead bodies.
When someone has been killed, their dead body will often remain at the place
where they died for the rest of the game.
It is inadvisable to go into 'Combat Mode' when negotiating with friendly or
ambivalent characters, as this will be interpreted as threatening behaviour,
which could lead to them to either refuse to offer useful items (otherwise
available in friendly situations) or actually start attacking Tell.
Since he starts with a fairly small quiver, it is a good idea for Tell to keep
the few better-quality arrows given to him at the beginning, becuasee until a
larger quiver is obtained, there is no way for him to collect more arrows of
greater accuracy, and thses are almost essential if Tell is called upon to
shoot the apple off his son's head.
The staff and short sword are of great importance to Tell if he is not to put
in a position where he cannot escape, since the wolf and the wart-hog can come
very close to Tell and therefore cannot be hit by any of the long-range
weapons, and also Tell will often find himself placed (eg on the edge of a
location or between two people) so that retreating to give more room for a
long-range weapon is not possible.
Picking up duplicate weapons is not useful, as Tell could lose his own copies
of them in the course of the game. At that point, it can be very handy to know
where to replace his weapons, so the player should keep track of any extras
found. It is important to enter the castle by the drawbridge.
Checking the game map is often more useful when Tell is at a major feature in
the game, as a red pointer on the map will then indicate exactly where Tell is.
Typed by Stryper/Oracle - 14/3/90
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