Exile Tribute: Frequently asked questions

Included here are a set of questions which I have seen asked several times and have asked myself. They will hopefully be interesting during a quick visit to the site especially. If you know better for any of the questions here then please contact me.
1. How can I play Exile?

Exile exists for the BBC range of computers, the C64 the Amiga 500 and 1200, the Atari ST and CD32 console. As far as I know Superior Software can still supply the BBC version. I don't know how long this situation will last and it is for this reason that I hope Exile will be re-released in some form. Otherwise, it may be lost except for those relatively few people who owned an original copy.

Audiogenic can supply the other versions except for the C64 and CD32.

It is unlikely a company will object to you playing the game under emulation provided you have bought an original copy e.g. Exile using !6520em for RISC OS. I do not know about the process of transferring the other versions onto a modern computer although there is information on the BBC Lives! website.

For RISC OS you will need a 5.25" disc drive fitted (which requires a fair amount of technical knowledge on later machines and the existence of 5.25" drives and interfaces for earlier machines is most likely through second-hand purchase. Alternatively, you could try to acquire the BBC Master Compact 3.5" disc version which will run using a program supplied with !6502em, although I was told that Superior was unable to duplicate this.

Tape transfer software and hardware is available from Warm Silence Software which can be used to transfer the BBC tape version data onto a new machine.

Also, John Kortink (remove spaces) supplies a cable and software (65link) to allow transfer to and from most modern Acorn/RISC OS machines and BBC Micros.

Superior Software's address is:

3 Manor Drive
North Lincolnshire
DN20 9NH
Tel.: 01652 658585

Superior are still selling their BBC range at the point of writing (June 2002) to my knowledge.

Various 'images' (the whole of the data provided on the original version of the particular game disc) exist on the internet for the BBC, Amiga, Atari ST but not CD32 versions of the game. Their stability under emulation is variable according to the emulator and image combination involved.

Given the copyright issues I've tried to highlight I should probably only say that if you have an original version, then I would suggest looking at the other Exile sites mentioned in this section.

2. Isn't there a standalone version of Exile for 32-bit Acorn machines?

Also, almost unbelievably, an emulator was written specifically for the purpose of playing Exile and this was released, I understand, on comp.sys.acorn.games in 1995. The hacker calls himself 'Dan' - read into that what you will! The text which I assume accompanied the emulator is available from the BBC Lives Website and is mirrored at the archives of Winchester College. The URL for the latter was: http://archives.wincoll.ac.uk/~bbc/pub/bbc/doc/games/

I further assume that the emulator itself was removed under legal instruction as it presumably contained the original game code and the BBC Micro ROM I believe.

I have lost a copy of this version which I had so I cannot comment on its functionality - saving and loading games for example.

3. Are there plans for any further conversions to Exile or any sequels?

For a while, there was some excitement relating to a new updated version of the game for the Acorn RISC OS range of computers, known as 'ArcExile' with Wayne Bagguley at the helm. This evidently has not been developed further than basic behaviour code for game objects and a particle plotter. The address for this seemingly long-abandoned project is:- http://www.majic12.demon.co.uk/exile/index.html

Further conversions and sequels are 'not unlikey' according to Peter Irvin, the co-creator of Exile who has all rights to the games. Therefore, official spin-offs from the original game may not emerge until Peter has time to do them. I understand he does not at the moment. As Peter is interested in the internet, the next time Exile surfaces it could feature internet gameplay.

Peter has recently said that he is interested in plans to convert Exile providing they are intended to make significant use of the platform's capabilities. In this way, the reputation of Exile will hopefully be upheld. Peter now has a dedicated email address for Exile-related enquiries!:


¸A conversion has been started for the PC by Simon Storr (an Acorn owner and author of possibly the last game for the BBC Micro —Citadel 2). He has created a site for this project:-


Please read more about this project and a possible Acorn / RISC OS update on the news & updates page.

¸ Another conversion project for the PC platform that I've been made aware of by Simon is The Columbus Force project by Jim Howat. His objectives seem similar to Simon's so it will be interesting to monitor their respective projects.

4. Is there a solution to Exile and how does the game end?

Really I can speak only for the BBC (and probably Electron) version with any accurracy. Although there is some help for Amiga owners below.

A solution was published as a series in Acorn Computing in 1994 and in Acorn User over 3 months in 1991. Another solution was published by the Electron User Group at the Electron Haven website in around 1993 if I remember correctly. That there were several solutions published underlines the claim in the Exile manual that the game was designed to allow more than one way of achieving different things. At the time this most definitely went against the grain of regular graphical platform adventure games!

The Acorn Computing solution was accompanied by a map in !Draw format on the cover disc and was serialised over a number of issues (I don't know how many).

The solution makes reference to caves with distinct names so I assume the map was included on the disc accompanying the respective magazine.

The Acorn User solution, was serialised over three issues in a condensed form. The first two of these issues included, remarkably, two halves of an entire map, made from screenshots.

The game ends when you have placed the retrieved destinator in the place from which it was stolen by Triax at the beginning of the game.

As far as I know, you do not /have/ to do anything else to complete the game although a read of the accompanying novella indicates that this alone would not be the humane course of action!

However, I understand there is a slightly different ending on the Amiga which may be generated by rescuing the survivors — maybe this happens as well on the BBC? See the Updates page.

5. What help is available for players struggling with the game?

Due to depth and complexity of Exile, it is not hard to imagine that many would find the game very difficult and would eventually give up trying therefore never seeing much of the game or be able to appreciate it.

Statements which may be of some help:

¸The Micro User solution together with Drawfile map (a RISC OS filetype) was available by following the link to Winchester College archives given above. It is now available from Simon Storr's Exile site and Jim Howat's site (see above).

¸Acorn User published a solution and an outline map betweem January 1991 and March 1991. This may have been the first solution published.

¸A limited set of hints together with a partial map made from screenshots were given in the Micro User in 1990 (vol.11 no.7) which is of course useful only to those who have kept the issue. However I recently acquired a copy of these hints and a rough scan of the partial map from 8-bit Software which I can send to anybody by email if requested.

¸The Micro User then published the listings for an Exile cheat (which has subsequently been modified by Peter Smith), saved game file editor and mapper program written by James Bonfield (vol. no. ). The mapper and file editor would work with the standard cassette version but the cheat would only work with the 5.25" disc version of Exile. More information from James Bonfield can be found on the Game Development page.
The cheat enables various game features to be switched off or modified like the level of water at the bottom of the map and for the player to have infinite energy. The editor allows modification of any aspect of the status normally seen within the status display of the game loader (game manager) and also the player's location and time elapsed. The mapper enables the movement throughout the entire map using the arrow keys. Not all game objects appear and everything remains static but interestingly some objects do have a fixed location such as Triax's robots suggesting that the game constantly monitors their position and some trigger is responsible for their appearance or change in frequency of appearance around the player.

¸An alternative file editor (by Peter Smith?) exists called the Exile Datafile Editor and allows you to hold any game object (sensible or not sensible!) in addition to the other options available in the Micro User version. Peter's modified Micro User cheat also allows a 'smart bomb' facility which I'm not certain of the workings of but doesn't seem to allow the firing of boulders as the Micro User cheat does. This may be to allow for the 'extra function key' utility in Peter's cheat that allows the firing of, in theory, /any/ game object such as magenta deathballs and fireballs some of which lead to instant teleport! Interestingly the game 'forgets' about these objects when the player leaves the vicinity. That this ability of the game engine has been exploited shows a remarkable flexibility in the original programming by Smith&Irvin.

¸The Electron User Group also published a solution which was written by John McHugh and serialised in three of their magazines along with unanswered questions about the game and alternative means of completion. This solution is notable for being theoretically possible to follow without a map it is claimed! It is available as an MSWord file from the aforementioned 8-bit software or I could mail you a copy.
If I can find out a bit more information about the solution perhaps from the edition of the magazine (disc-based magazine?) in which it was published I plan to include Mr.McHugh in the Hall of Fame for his efforts. Update: this solution is now accompanied by screenshots on the Electron User Group section of the Electron Haven website.

¸A map made from full screenshots under emulation is available thanks to the dedication and hard work of Simon Storr on his Exile pages (see above). There is also a map on Simon's site contributed by somebody who used the Micro User mapper program.

¸Cheat it Again Joe 4 released by Impact Software (who became The 4th Dimension ) contained a cheat for Exile for the standard tape and disc versions allowing, amongst other things, the firing of any object (e.g. imps) also used later by other cheats mention above. This allowed the user to really push the flexibility and openended-ness of the game to the full creating scenarios that the game engine permitted but were not intended as part of the gameplay!

¸I know of only one, arguably disappointing, game ending to the BBC version.

¸I have read of several people who have completed the Amiga version. Try the comp.sys.amiga.games newsgroup for help in this version. Alternatively try T.R. Schmidt's Amiga Ressurrection Site which has various help available.

ConradTM has produced a massive screenshot map for the original Amiga version of the game and this has been submitted to the Hall of Light Amiga games database. A snapshot of this can be seen here.. Well done ConradTM.

¸An 'Exile Rediscovery disc' was released by Audiogenic in 1995 alongside the Amiga 1200 update and the re-released Amiga A500/600 (ECS) version. This contains several saved files apparently to enable people to see most of the game.

¸I was considering doing something similar and following the lead of this good idea with the BBC version of Exile and making available saved files which will allow people to see more of the game than they perhaps would otherwise. In view of the cheats (mapper, Micro User cheat, Cheat it Again Joe, saved game file editor) for Exile that do exist on the Internet there shouldn't be too much difficulty in players who have been struggling for years to finally gain an appreciation of the scale and features of the game using these resources.

For those playing the game on original BBC Micro machines there are several options

Summary table of cheats, solutions and maps available for BBC Exile (TBC)
Exile hints&partial mapMicro UserVol.11 no.7Hints for early in the game. Decoding of manual's runes.
Exile Cheat James BonfieldMicro User December 1990 and April 1991Numerous cheats including infinite energy, alteration of certain events in the game, firing grenades or boulders as determined by a value in the type-in listing. The cheat was originally puiblished in 1990 but James discovered that the version did not work on a batch of the game that had a different disc copy-protection mechanism nor on the BBC Master version of the game so a revised listing was published in 1991.
Exile EditorJames BonfieldMicro User April 1991This is an extra program that was published alongside the listings for the revised Exile cheat and mapper in 1991. This was the most sophisticated help available for owners of the tape version of the game.
Exile MapperJames BonfieldMicro User Micro User December 1990 and April 1991A program to enable the mapping of the entire Exile map without playing the game. Using this program gives an insight into the game's design as certain areas appear differently to when you encounter them during the game.
For example a wall which the map displays might be an open passage in the game and many objects are not drawn in the mapper program. This is presumably to avoid having to unnecessarily update game objects that have no relevance unless you are in the vicinity. In turn this might explain why the 4 robots of Triax /do/ appear in their starting positions. The exact trigger for their teleporting I am not certain of although it is certainly at low frequency early on in the game but nevertheless does happen as I recall before you encounter them at their starting positions.
Revised in 1991.
Exile SolutionDan Doran, Peter Tillotson, Kevin RooneyMicro User/Acorn Computing, Vol.11 no.1Solution serialised over several parts which refers to the caves with individual names that presumably the solution authors have ascribed. The first part appears in March 1993 but did not reappear until either the end of 1993 or early 1994. I do not have vol.11 no.10 or any 1994 issues so I can't be certain of which issues exactly all the individual parts were in only of the gap. I suspect the reason for the gap is partly due to the sad death of the columnist who took over from Hacman shortly after the HacMan 2 column was started. This was his first column.
Exile MapDan Doran, Peter Tillotson, Kevin RooneyMicro User/Acorn Computing, Vol.11 no.1?The map containing the cave names referred to in the solution is in the format of a RISC OS 'Drawfile' which Dan Doran emailed me out of the blue once to tell me he had constructed. However there is no mention of this file in the issue in which the solution first appeared so I'm not certain when it was released. At the time Acorn Computing was offering a cover disc and a separate disc for subscribers (for Archimedes machines and BBC Micro owners) so it is possible the Drawfile was on one of the discs.
Exile SolutionSam Greenhill, Peter Irvin, Jeremy SmithAcorn User January-March 1991Complete solution as the authors of the game would do it! Solution is abbreviated to save space. Caves are referred to by their features.
Exile MapSam Greenhill, Peter Irvin, Jeremy SmithAcorn User January-March 1991Low detail but complete map constructed apparently by photographing the screens - no small feat!
Exile SolutionJohn McHugh, Gus Donnachaidh, Dave Edwards.Electron User Group disc magazine. Now available from the Electron Haven website and up until recently 8-bit Software, a long running BBC Micro User group with a subscription disc magazine.As described above a compete solution to Exile with location descriptions, alternative strategies and further comments and posers. As of 2006, also with screenshots - incredible work, well done!
Modified Exile CheatPeter SmithStairway to Hell websiteAppears to be a modified version of the Micro User cheat allowing the firing of in theory any object. In practice I have not been able to fire all objects and some make the game crash. Interesting nevertheless!
Exile Datafile EditorPeter SmithStairway to Hell websiteAppears to be similar to the Micro User editor but allows any object to be stored in the pockets.
Cheat it Again Joe 4Mark GidleyZentrix Software — postal address given in 1989 Acorn magazines (CIAJ 1-3 released by Impact Posters.)Similar range of features to the Micro User cheat.
Helpsheet(?)Impact PostersImpact Software/Posters now 4th Dimension. Probably unavailable.?

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Last modified 10/06