Galaxy’s Edge (1984) by Graham Nelson

[UPDATE: You can now play Galaxy’s Edge online.]

Galaxy’s Edge is a two-part text adventure game created in 1984 for the 8-bit BBC Micro computer by Graham Nelson. I believe it was this Graham Nelson, the creator of the interactive-fiction programming language Inform – at least, people seem to think it was him. [UPDATE: It definitely was.]

Loading screen

Loading screen for Galaxy’s Edge, part 1

Part 1 of Galaxy’s Edge is a conventional but well constructed adventure in which you roam the stars in the Scout Ship Orion and unravel an intergalactic mystery.

GE opening

Screenshot of the beginning of The Discovery, the first part of Galaxy’s Edge

The second part, Escape From Solaris, is an ingenious two-player game which was designed to be run either on a single machine, in split-screen mode, or on two separate BBC Micros connected together by a special cable (the wiring diagram for which now seems to be lost, together with all other original documentation).

GE duo

Screenshot of Escape From Solaris, the second part of Galaxy’s Edge

I don’t think Galaxy’s Edge was available to play or download anywhere till now. I recently grabbed a rare copy of the cassette tape that came up on eBay, and I converted the contents so that the game could be played in a BBC Micro emulator like BeebEm.


My copy of the Galaxy’s Edge cassette tape

Here’s a link to a BBC Micro disk image containing a transfer of my copy of the game.

I don’t know enough about the author’s oeuvre to be able to draw out any clever thematic connections between this early work and his subsequent legendary output. (Assuming I’ve got the right Graham Nelson, that is – I’m still not absolutely sure that I have. If you can confirm or deny the attribution, then please let me know. [UPDATE: Confirmed.])


A 1984 magazine review of Galaxy’s Edge

I’ve played the first part of Galaxy’s Edge – the single-player game The Discovery – and I’ve managed to get promoted, but I know that’s not the best possible result. Can you do better..?

Screenshot of The Discovery, the first part of Galaxy's Edge,

Screenshot of The Discovery, the first part of Galaxy’s Edge

Here’s the entry for Galaxy’s Edge at CASA, the Classic Adventure Solutions Archive:

And here’s another game for the BBC Micro that might possibly have been written by the same Graham Nelson:

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7 Responses to Galaxy’s Edge (1984) by Graham Nelson

  1. Dannii says:

    Toby is Graham’s brother and the current maintainer of the Inform 7 OSX IDE, so the fact that Crystal Castle was written in the same year for the same machine would confirm Galaxy’s Edge’s authorship beyond doubt IMO.

  2. Emily Short says:

    This is indeed a piece of juvenilia by the same Graham Nelson. He was surprised by the review, however, which he says he didn’t know about, and he claims to have no idea where they got the photo.

  3. Excellent work, Ant! Nothing like seeing old titles getting some well-deserved attention.

  4. Pingback: Escape From Solaris (1984) by Graham Nelson | Retroactive Fiction

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