Rick Brewster is the creator of freeware graphics editor Paint.NET, but back in the early 1990s he was a precocious young developer of videogames. One of those games, made when he was only 12, was The Golden Flute 4: The Flute of Immortality. Until recently Brewster thought his game was gone forever, the only copy given away to a cousin and then lost.
But earlier this month he saw Macaw, a streamer who specializes in retro games, playing it in during a dive into obscure DOS game hosted on the Internet Archive. Though Macaw wasn’t super impressed by a low-fi Quest For Glory made by a 12-year-old, Brewster was thrilled to see his work had somehow survived and been uploaded onto the internet. He’s since explained a bit of the history behind the project in a tweet thread.
Here’s the story of a game I made in 1994, when I was 12, that somehow — like some kind of lost, drunken cat — finally found its way home on Christmas Eve after 25 years.THE GOLDEN FLUTE IV: THE FLUTE OF IMMORTALITYcc @Macaw45 and @textfiles pic.twitter.com/V1fKBiB6wXDecember 26, 2019
As Brewster explains, it was part of a series of fan sequels he made to a text adventure called The Golden Flute, which was published in a book teaching basic programming skills so readers could make their own games. The young developer obviously went beyond the adventure game flowcharts in that book, creating his own homages to the Sierra games of the era.
Firing up a Twitch stream and seeing someone play something you made 25 years ago and thought was lost must be a hell of a feeling. You can play The Golden Flute 4: The Flute of Immortality in a browser or download it to play with DOSBox.