Denny's Quest I

July 2023

During one of my C64 games streams, a seemingly uninteresting game appeared in the ‘Desolate 90s’ random game list — Denny's Quest.

Dennys Quest title screen

It looked much like a game from the early 1980s, so our initial thought was that the year 1994 was a misprint. But in the instructions, even the year 1993 was mentioned. It could easily have been dismissed as a waste of time.

But the more we played it, the more we enjoyed it. It's one of these games that the C64 streaming community seems to get a kick out of—challenging as it is.

Denny's Quest sports multiple worlds, items, and even bosses, and wrapped up in tough gameplay that puts your memory and reflexes to the limits!

Even though I personally quickly gave up on it, as I have too many games to play—and a wafer thin patience, it continued to be played by others for quite some time.

Perhaps even more today than when it was released.

Dennys Quest level select screen

Some discussion arose; Who is the author, and what's the story behind this game? We could find very little information online.

In addition, there was a ‘Sunrise Software’ who made some games for the C64, but they were based in Texas and were active in the early 80s.

Intriguing. I tried several avenues of contact without luck.

Just as I was about to give up the search, I got a signal - and kindly got answer to a few questions.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the author Philip Cillo for taking the time for this brief interview!

What's the background of Denny's Quest?

I was always a fan of video / computer games since I was a kid. I was hoping to make some money, but the C64 was already out of favour then. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much incentive to be a game programmer since, like Denny's Quest, it will just get stolen and nobody will pay to play it.

Well, at least someone liked it enough to steal it.

Who is Denny?

Denny was just some cute little guy I made up that I thought would be attractive to anyone who played the game.

And what is Sunrise Software?

At the time I lived close to the Sunrise Mall and that was a big part of why I named it Sunrise Software.

What was the development process?

I used the C128's assembly language monitor (MONITOR) to type in the code and its sprite editor (SPRDEF) to design the sprites. This was around 1991. I bought the C128 in 1985 when it first came out.

Denny's Quest was my first and only real program; I would have liked to make many more.

The C64 was virtually dead at that point, did you consider other platforms?

Yeah, if I would've put it out there in 1984 instead of 1994 the results would probably have been quite different.

I never made any games for other platforms; I honestly wouldn't even know how at this point.

As the sales were low, do you keep a stash of original Denny's Quest disks somewhere?

There was only one copy of Denny's Quest on floppy disk; I may still have it in storage somewhere. Honestly I'm not even sure. I definitely don't have a working disk drive to access it even if I did find it.

(I mentioned that if he does come across it, we'll definitely help archive it!)

There was a reference to a possible sequel - Denny's World?

I was planning on a sequel(s), but since I got practically no interest in the original, obviously there was no reason to proceed with it.

Is there a definitive ending to the game?

If you kill a huge ghost in a cemetery you finished the game! :)

I'm so happy you could clear things up for us, thank you very much!

I am glad you and some others have enjoyed it, especially after all this time.



All screenshots from Lemon64

Dennys Quest instruction screen

Dennys Quest in-game screen

Dennys Quest in-game screen

Dennys Quest in-game screen