Labyrinth: The Computer Game
Labyrinth cover art
Developed by: Lucasfilm Games
Pack-In-Video (MSX2 version)
Published by: Activision

Labyrinth: The Computer Game is a graphic adventure computer game, inspired by the Jim Henson fantasy film, Labyrinth. The game was developed by Lucasfilm Games (now LucasArts) and published by Activision in 1986 for the Apple IIe and IIc, Commodore 64/128, and MSX2. It was the first adventure game to be developed by the LucasArts development house, and as such it can be seen as a more primitive precursor to the development of the SCUMM game engine. It is also one of the few adventure games made by the company to not use a variation of the SCUMM game engine (the other games being the GrimE-based Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island). The game engine and graphics are very similar to a later work by Lucasfilm Games called Habitat.


Labyrinth: The Computer Game is a menu-driven adventure game, played from a third-person perspective. The game begins by asking the player their name and gender, the game then opens as a text-based adventure. During the text-based portion of the game the player goes to the theater to see the film Labyrinth. The movie starts and an image of Jareth comes on the movie screen, after which the game becomes a graphic adventure.

Development Edit

Lucasfilm Games was offered the opportunity to do a game based on the movie before it came out, since the film was produced by Lucasfilm. It was the first time Lucasfilm Games actually did a game based on a film.

A team which included Steve Arnold (Lucasfilm Games General Manager), Brenda Laurel (Activision producer), Charlie Kellner (Lucasfilm Games lead programmer), David Fox (Lucasfilm Games designer/project leader), and Christopher Cerf (writer, known for his work on Sesame Street and other CTW projects, friend of Jim Henson), met with Douglas Adams in London for a week of brainstorming.

Many of Adams' ideas made their way into the final game, including the suggestion that the game open as a typical text adventure, when the player gets into the movie theater playing the film, Labyrinth; then, the screen fills with David Bowie's image, and the player enters the full color universe of the Labyrinth as a graphic adventure.

The team came up with a "slot machine" text interface to drive the game. There were two vertical strips of words next to each other. The one on the left had verbs (pick up, give, use, etc.), and the one on the right had nouns (objects in the room or inventory). Actions are performed by combining verbs with nouns.

The obscure word "adumbrate" meaning "To prefigure indistinctly; foreshadow" was chosen by Adams to be included in the verbs. It was used in an obscure puzzle at one point in the game — you had to "adumbrate the elephant" when you were stuck in a prison, and an elephant would come and break a hole in the wall, freeing you.


Labyrinth: The Computer Game also received a Famicom version, but with a completely different design and gameplay.


External links Edit

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