Thayer's Quest

The Arcade Video Game by RDI Video Systems

Thayer's Quest screenshot


Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Thayer's Quest © 1984 RDI Video Systems.

This is a fantasy title, and has unbelievable graphics (hand drawn animations pulled from a laserdisc). You guide young Thayer on a quest through the three kingdoms. You are supposed to defeat Sorsabal The Twisted at the end of the game. This game is far different from most laserdisc games. It is not a 'tweak' game, it works more like a 'Choose Your Own Adventure Story'. It doesn't always tell you all your available options, but you do not have to memorize complex, precisely timed movements like you do in "Dragon's Lair". Once you know what to do in a given Thayer's Quest scene then you will be able to do it every time. To make up for this ease of memorization the programmers decided to make the game automatically deduct a life every so often, to keep the player from being able to play forever on a single quarter (which was a big problem with "Dragon's Lair").


Thayer's Quest the  Arcade Video Game
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This game was not finished! Thayer's Quest includes only 3 kingdoms ('Weigard', 'Illes' and 'Iscar') of the 5 Kingdoms ('Far Reaches' and 'Shadoan' are missing). The game was simultaneously produced for the RDI Halcyon home system in 1984. The Halcyon's Thayer's Quest laser disc is double sided and it contains a great deal of material not found on the coin-op version disc.

Thayer's Quest was released only as a conversion kit for "Dragon's Lair" and "Space Ace". The kit replaced a lot of the original hardware, and included new side graphics (which consisted of a huge RDI logo, they didn't mention the game on the side, because they planned to release a whole line of games on the Thayer's Quest hardware, but those other games were never made). This game does not have a joystick at all. Instead it uses a keyboard for control (This was the first arcade game ever to have a qwerty keyboard). In an effort to save several dollars per unit, RDI decided to use a membrane style keyboard instead of a more sturdy switch based one. That was a really bad decision, the keyboards on these games do not last, they are easily damaged, and are not of high enough quality to use in an industrial coin-op product. Thayer's Quest also used a laser disc player, it could use either the Pioneer PR-7820, or the Pioneer LD-V1000.


• Humor : When prompted to type in your name, do nothing. After intervals of one minute or so, the game speaks out saying things like 'Do not be shy, enter your name', 'Have you gone to the toilet?', 'Do not be a stranger now, enter your name', 'Look lively now' and a whole host of other funny comments.


1. Thayer's Quest (1984)
2. Kingdom - The Far Reaches (Sega 32X CD [Unreleased Prototype])



RDI Halcyon System (1984)
Sega CD [Unreleased Prototype]
Philips CD-I (1995, "Kingdom")
Panasonic 3DO


PC - 1995

Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.

Page last modified on October 12, 2010