Solomon's Key

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Solomon's Key
Title image from the game
Game No. 241
Voting 7.78 points, 27 votes
Company Probe Software Ltd.
Publisher U.S. Gold
Musician David Whittaker
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/W/Whittaker_David/Solomons_Key.sid
Release 1987
Platform Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, C64, DOS, Master System, NES, Virtual Console, ZX Spectrum
Genre Platformer, Single Screen
Gamemode Single player
2 players (in turns)
Operation Icon Port2 1.pngJoystick
Media Diskette Datassette
Language Language:english

Description[edit | edit source]

The aim of the game is to solve all levels of the King Solomon’s mines. Basically: first get the key, then head for the door and go to the next level. To make your way you need to conjure up or remove blocks. But beware: not all blocks can be removed!
To make it not too simple, there are some nasty creatures in the mines that of course have it in for you. To defend yourself, you can either lock them into blocks or shoot at them with fire balls (if you have collected some already). Some of these monsters also do not like it if you remove a block from under their feet. Scattered in the mines are also useful things, such as fireballs, extra points, extra lives, etc.. These bonus items can also be invisible or hidden behind a block. To make an invisible item visible you need to conjure up a block at the place where an invisible item is placed and then remove the block again. Caught fairies help you to get an extra life.
The logic puzzles in some levels are very hard to solve without the right bonus items, therefore you should search each level very thoroughly. It is an additional difficulty that the time is not unlimited.

Design[edit | edit source]

The game Solomon's Key offers static single screens, many moving sprites, sound effects and corresponding background music. At the top the current player, the number of points, the bonus time left and the current bonus points are shown. At the bottom the number of lives that are left are shown in yellow.

Level 2

Hints[edit | edit source]

Controls[edit | edit source]

In the menu

  • S   = save highscore table on disk (only "Nostalgia" version)
  • C=  = choose 1/2-player mode
  • press fire button = confirm

In the game

  • Joystick left/Joystick right = walk left/right
  • Joystick left forwards/Joystick right forwards =jump left/right
  • Joystick backwards/Joystick forwards = duck/jump
  • press fire button = conjure up/remove block in viewing direction
  • Joystick backwards and press fire button = conjure up/remove block in viewing direction diagonally downwards
  • C=  = shoot fire ball (if available)
  • Run/Stop  = editor mode (if switched on in the cheat mode)

In the highscore list

  • Joystick left/Joystick right =choose characters
  • press fire button = confirm
  • "?" = character stands for ENTER (end input)
  • "*" = character stands for BACKSPACE (delete characters)

Level editor[edit | edit source]

It is relatively unknown that there is already a level editor built into the original game. In the version (Nostalgia) the editor is available any time during the game (not in the menu!) as soon as this option is switched on in the cheat menu, and can be reached by pressing the key "RUN/STOP". By this you get into the editor mode.
When you are in the edit mode, you will notice a cursor coordinate at the upper rim of the screen. Move them with the keys F1, F3, F5, F7 or a joystick in port 2. The cursor itself is invisible until you press the key "N" (next object).

Do not try to play the levels "HI" or "ST" as the game will crash, if you do not call them up from the game routine!!

Keys in the editor:

  • F1   = Cursor left
  • F3   = Cursor right
  • F5   = Cursor up
  • F7   = Cursor down
  • N   = next object
  • P   = previous object
  • *   = place object
  • Space  = remove object
  • F   = edit next level
  • B   = edit previous level
  • C   = show current cursor position
  • 1   = place object under block
  • 2   = place invisible object
  • Q   = end editor mode and play level

Solution[edit | edit source]


  • Blocks can also be destroyed by jumping up.
  • The hint in level 4 Cast a spell on the key at "III-III" describes how hidden extra rooms can be reached: Before collecting the key in room 3-3 (level 5) you need to transform it per spell (fire button). Extra rooms can be activated in the levels 5, 14, 22 and 30.

Cheats[edit | edit source]

  • POKEs:
    If you urgently need more lives, here are the POKEs (not tested):
POKE 2213,234
POKE 2214,234
Restart with SYS 2063
  • The version by "Nostalgia" has next to the manual and a saveable highscore also the following cheat modes: level editor in cheat menu enactable and selectable in the game (Run/Stop), unlimited lives, invulnerable, jump level by press on key.
    Beware: In this version you cannot shoot a fire ball, as the suicide was placed on the "C="-key (very sensible!!)

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
7.78 points at 27 votes (rank 160).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 8 26th May 2010 - "super" - 2668 downs
Lemon64 8 26th May 2010 - 51 votes 7.60 26th May 2010 - 10 votes
ASM 6/12 Issue 11/87
Happy Computer 83% Games Special 11/87 (CPC)
ZZap64 86% Issue 87/11

Reviews[edit | edit source]

H.T.W: "This successful conver5sion of the arcade machine is an inventive puzzle with a strategic touch that challenges the brain cells and also requires skill from the player. The built-in level editor should also be mentioned and the fact that (as far as I remember) the C64 version has 33 levels and the Schneider version only 20 levels. "

Robotron2084: "The game cannot score graphically and sound-technically, but instead with a highly good gameplay. The controls are precise, the course of the game is smooth and the difficulty grade rises continually without creating unnecessary frustration. But you should keep in mind the list of bonus items, as they round it off. Nice game! 7 out of 10 points."

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]


... Front cover ...
... Back cover ...

Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of Werner
  1. Werner - 464.940 - 5-5 (28.12.2016)
  2. Robotron2084 - 290.620 - 5-2 (15.07.2010)
  3. Camailleon - 168.280 - 3-3 (27.08.2013)

#2 Robotron2084 #3 Camailleon
#2 Robotron2084 #3 Camailleon

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Key Wikipedia: Solomon's Key