Gateway to Apshai

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Gateway to Apshai
Title image from the game
Game No. 83
Developer Connelley Group
Company Epyx
Publisher Epyx (Value-U-Line)
Release 1983
Platform C64, C64DTV, Atari 400/800, ColecoVision
Genre Adventure, Arcade 2D
Gamemode Single player
Operation {{{Width}}}{{{Width}}}
Media Icon disk525.png Tape-icon.pngCartridge-icon.png
Language Language:english


Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
6.71 points at 14 votes (rank 412).
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C64Games 7 3rd August 2008 - "very good" - 2740 downs
Lemon64 8,3 3rd August 2008 - 57 votes


Fights shock the country and the only rescue can be found in the magic of the temple of Apshai. Unfortunately, in the course of time the location of this temple has fallen into oblivion. Many heroes have tried to find it, but all of them were killed. A legend says that only the blood of the greatest hero of Apshai will be able to relocate the lost temple. Stupidly this "greatest hero" has no blood any more as he was killed during the fights. But hope is not lost yet, as a wise man, Merlis, has found the son of this fighter, who also fulfills the prophecy. And so you are led to the entrance of the dungeons to find a save way to the temple...


... an image from the game.

"Gateway to Apshai" is an action adventure (role play) for one player with a view from above and scrolling in four directions. The aim of the game is to reach as many points as possible. You have 6,5 minutes to explore as much as possible of a level. After this time you are autoamtically teleported to the start of the next level.

Each of the 8 levels consist of 16 dungeons. Every dungeon has about 60 rooms. So this makes altogether about 7500 different rooms. Each of the 128 dungeons is built differently.


Investigate the dangerous dungeons of Apshai to collect experience points, money and mighty magical items.

By pressing the fire button the game is started. Your character automatically starts with 3 strength, agility and luck points. 9 health points and 5 lives. To choose one of the 15 dungeons press the joystick up or down. By pressing the fire button you enter the dungeon.


  • Move the adventurer with the joystick.
  • To pick up items, as e.g. weapons or treasure chest, just walk over them.
  • With the key F3   the collected items can be used
  • With the key F5   different modes can be called up. These are:
Keys: use the keys to open doors. Closed doors are shown as red squares at the walls. Choose "Keys", stand in front of a door and then press fire to open the door.
Locate Trap: some areas of the floor are traps. Choose "Locate Trap" with key F5 and then press fire to detect the traps.
Search Spell: some areas have hidden secrets. Choose "Search Spell" with key F5 and then press fire to detect the secrets.
Drop Item: If you have picked up too many objects, you need to put down some. Choose "Drop Item" with key F5 and then press the fire button. Now choose the item that you want to put down with the joystick and press the fire button.
Check Supplies: Choose "Check Supplies" with key F5 and then press the fire button. The items that you have collected will be shown.
Check Status: Choose "Check Status" with key F5 and then press the fire button. The state of health and the constitution of your character are shown.
Check Weapons: Choose "Check Weapons" with key F5 and then press the fire button. Your weapons and armour are shown.
Next Level: To get to the next dungeon before the time is over, choose "Next Level" with key F5 and then press the fire button twice.
  • To fight monsters, you need to be in the fight mode. For this you press the key F7  . "Fight" appears in the upper screen area. Keep wepaon ready or fire your weapon by aiming towards your enemy with the joystick and pressing fire.
- The screen flashes red when you are hit by a monster, and green when you hit a monster.
- With F7 you can change the weapon.


You get points by collection treasures. The type of treasures are: necklaces, chests, coffers, chalices, sceptres, crowns, and plaques. The number of points result from the type of material of the treasure and the level number, where it is found. Exampled: if you find a crown of gold in level 6 and gold has a basic value of 100, you will receive 600 points.

Lead = 0 points
Iron = 10 points
Bronze = 25 points
Silver = 50 points
Gold = 100 points
Jeweled = 1000 points



  • Monsters and traps: If you encounter a monster you can run away or fight. After a fight you should check your health. If you have been wounded you will have lost some health ponts. If these fall to zero you will die. Health points are also reduced when you have run into a trap. Only "Freeze" and "Teleport" traps have a different effect.
  • Weapons, magic and elixirs: The strength of a weapon or a spell is shown through the name. Other magic as "Luck Charm" and "Agility Amulet" each raise your points. If your health points fall to a low number, use a "Health Potion" to rehabilitate your health.
  • Treasures: The higher the level in which the treasure is foznd, the more points it will be worth. But the more points it is worth the more dangerouse it will be to collect it.


  • Unlimited lives (not tested): POKE 2264,99

Cheats and Info from Reverse Engineering (working)

The above POKE didn't work for me, so I reverse engineered/disassembled a bit.

The information below comes from an analysis of the cartridge image, probably work on tape/disk, but the analysis was done with the game running.
After getting all the info I used a hex editor to create a modified cartridge with unlimited lives, unlimited time, and initial stats set to higher value only for fun. I should say that, as with most cheats, this ruins the gameplay on the long run.

Lives are decremented here:

.C:8d62  CE 13 19    DEC $1913 # you can replace with 3 NOPs, or simply with LDA $1913
.C:8d65  F0 03       BEQ $8D6A
.C:8d67  4C B6 80    JMP $80B6

Initial stats are set (to 3 points each) here:

.C:807e  A9 03       LDA #$03
.C:8080  8D 15 19    STA $1915 # Luck
.C:8083  85 45       STA $45
.C:8085  8D 16 19    STA $1916
.C:8088  8D 14 19    STA $1914 # Agility
.C:808b  8D 17 19    STA $1917 # Strength
.C:808e  85 46       STA $46
.C:8090  A9 09       LDA #$09
.C:8092  8D 18 19    STA $1918
.C:8095  85 47       STA $47
.C:8097  A9 05       LDA #$05
.C:8099  8D 13 19    STA $1913 # Lives

For some reason it didn't accept changes to Strength or Luck on the first try if done directly at memory locations $1915 and $1917 (Agility changes worked), need to check further.

Health is not stored, but calculated as Strenght+Agility+Luck.

The inventory starts at $1902, and total number of items is stored in $1912, so if for example you want to have 2 items in your inventory you must set the item number in $1902 and $1903, but ALSO set $1912 to two.
The item numbers are (this is taken from very old notes of myself around 2004):

$01 - bow
$02 - arrows
$03 - short sword
$04 - healing salve
$05 - stun spell
$06 - small shield
$07 - chain armor
$08 - map
$09 - healing potion
$0a - confuse spell
$0b - shield spell
$0c - long sword
$0d - large shield
$0e - luck charm
$0f - agility amulet
$10 - fear spell
$11 - magic arrows
$12 - disarm spell
$13 - helm
$14 - paralyze spell
$15 - gauntlet
$16 - 2-hand sword
$17 - breast armor
$18 - healing amulet
$19 - strength stone
$1a - magic shield
$1b - wand
$1c - cross
$1d - teleport spell
$1e - protect spell
$1f - magic helm
$20 - magic sword
$21 - magic sword (yes, there're 2 magic swords)
$22 - plate armor
$23 - healing spell
$24 - stone spell
$25 - death spell
$26 - blast spell
$27 - reflect spell
$28 - magic armor
$29 - staff

Note 1: I've never seen a staff while playing, was able to get one by modifying the inventory, so I don't know what it is used for (does not seem to be a weapon, or at least using one it didn't change my sword).
Note 2: by mistake you can use a 2-hand sword AND shield (3 arms? lol).

The number of arrows is stored here (of course you also need a bow to use them):

$191a # arrows
$191b # magic arrows

TIMER, this one was trickier to find.

.C:a03e  CE 23 10    DEC $1023
.C:a041  F0 03       BEQ $A046
.C:a043  4C 69 A0    JMP $A069
.C:a046  A9 F0       LDA #$F0
.C:a048  8D 23 10    STA $1023
.C:a04b  CE 27 48    DEC $4827 # seconds, you can replace with 3 NOPs, or simply with LDA $4827
.C:a04e  AD 27 48    LDA $4827
.C:a051  C9 AF       CMP #$AF
.C:a053  D0 14       BNE $A069
.C:a055  A9 B9       LDA #$B9
.C:a057  8D 27 48    STA $4827
.C:a05a  CE 26 48    DEC $4826 # 10 seconds, you can replace with 3 NOPs, or simply with LDA $4826
.C:a05d  AD 26 48    LDA $4826
.C:a060  C9 AF       CMP #$AF
.C:a062  D0 05       BNE $A069
.C:a064  A9 FF       LDA #$FF
.C:a066  8D 26 10    STA $1026
.C:a069  A9 01       LDA #$01
.C:a06b  24 1C       BIT $1C
.C:a06d  F0 09       BEQ $A078
.C:a06f  20 9F A7    JSR $A79F

The controls:

  • Joystick in port 2.
  • F3  - cycles through the inventory, push fire button to use/equip the item
  • F5  - cycles through the possible actions (except fighting)
  • F7  - cycles through fighting/shooting (the late only if you have bow and arrows or magic arrows)


Robotron2084: "I have digged up Epyx's commendable attempt to deliver an action role play with joystick operation some days ago after a 20-year long pause, played it intensely and would more or less describe it as monotonous monster bashing with marginal graphics.
Compared to other games of this genre at this time as Sword of Fargoal or Telengard GTA drops off, instead there are too many defects in the game design. So essential data as characteristics and life points e.g. constantly need to be called up laboriously over the keyboards and constantly needed actions as fighting and opening of doors/locating of traps need repeated pressing of the corresponding buttons. This just sucks!
In addition there is the excessively represented idling, that you have literally, as the once occupied parts of a dungeon will not be refilled with monsters. This might be "realistic" - as far as this term is appropriate in a fantasy role play - but it also takes the excitement away. It is also irritating NOT to give points for killing the monster, it is very unusual. So you walk mediumly bored through the eventless dungeons until you at best reach the eighth level, whereupon the games will not progress any more but just loop. Unless you will get the victim of one of the in 95% of all games appearing programming mistakes with teleport traps, which beams you out of the game area and at worst at the same time switches the keyboard off so you cannot go on. The game can also do spontaneous crashes, but this happens much less frequently.
GTA is classical case of a game, that I had better in mind, but which I today can only give gnashingly 5 out of 10 points due to its many weaknesses".




Box contents of the cartridge version.


Ad for the game


Topscore of Robotron2084
  1. Robotron2084 - 47.300 (31.05.2011)
  2. Camailleon - 29.595 (29.08.2010)
  3. Sledgie - 2.565 (07.07.2012)

#2 Camailleon #3 Sledgie
#2 Camailleon #3 Sledgie


WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Gateway_to_Apshai