“Shadow of the Rose-Croix”

A Gothic adventure game by Eleanor Burns, with music by Clusterfuck.


This 3-D occult and Tarot-themed adventure game was a little labour of love I began a couple of years ago on Visual Basic 5 … which was obsolete even then, of course, and never designed for this type of work, but I do enjoy trying to get interesting results out of limited tools.


The absolutely invaluable tutorials that enabled me to create workable 3-D graphics in VB5 were written by programmer Jack Hoxley and are well worth a read for anyone interested in the mechanics of making little worlds and trying to give them character and atmosphere (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).




In order to install the game, unzip both of the files. Once unzipped, take the whole “SRCSounds” file just as it is and move / copy it to the c:\ drive (Do not put it within any other folders / directories).

Open the other file – “SRCGameSetup” – double-click the setup icon, and follow the instructions. Once installed, the link to play the game – “ShadowsRoseCroix” – will appear in your start menu.


This game is loosely based on an old Commodore 16 and Vic-20 game called “Ghost Town” programmed by Udo Gertz back in 1985, possibly the first “survival horror” game I ever played, eerie in spite of being utterly minimalist (There were many ways to die, but only ever shown as a text message on a blue screen, suddenly flashing up as and when you lost your one and only life … as you often did). I was initially going to make this game a straightforward remake of it, but since the solution to that game is now well known, I ultimately decided to make an original game with a few homages to it (such as the blue-screen deaths, and a couple of similar puzzles).

It is also heavily influenced by the object-puzzle arcade adventures of the mid-to-late 1980s, such as the “Dizzy” series and its various ZX Spectrum and C64 clones.


The wonderfully creepy mood music for this game was composed by Cardiff Punk / Goth band “Clusterfuck.” Check them out at Tantrum Records.



Rural France, Late twentieth century

A strange, half-forgotten dream and the map sold to you by a mysterious street vendor led you to this forest, but you have no real notion of why you came. Now you are here, though, you feel both fear, and an odd sense of déjà vu. You feel that some terrible event occurred here, yet you are drawn to the place almost with a sense of love. You get the urge, however unwise, to investigate further…



Cursor keys move the character, usually at a running pace.

Cursor keys (with Alt held) change position of camera, zoom and angle.

PgUp and PgDn change the vertical angle of camera.

Hold down W to walk (half speed).

Press X to examine scenery / area. Clues often indicate where best to examine.

Space to jump.

C to change character modes … when the time is right.

O to choose between your collected objects for the right one to use.

Ctrl to try to use your currently-held object, to climb a ladder, or to use certain nearby objects.

M to toggle switch on or off.

Q (or the Mouse Button) to quit to Windows.

Look out for the “?” sign in your status panel, indicating nearby clues.

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