Costello starts with the tutorial. As you can see in the screenshot below, you begin the game in a small classroom where a kitten will teach you the most important commands in the game. There are 26 tasks that you must complete in the tutorial before you can start the Costello game. Read what the kitten says slowly and carefully and check you understand well. If you don't understand what to do, entering 'Help' will give you a hint.

You will find that it takes some time for you to finish all 26 tasks and you may not finish in one session. If you don't have time to finish the tutorial enter 'Quit' to finish the game. The next time you enter the game you will see a 'Tutorial Menu' on the Costello start menu. Enter 'T' to go to this menu and you will see a list of the tasks you have finished. You can also enter 'L' to see a list of all the tutorial tasks. You can continue the tutorial at the task you finished or you can go back and do some tasks again to make sure that you have understood them completely. In fact going back and doing tasks again is a great way to make sure that you master the game.

Tutorial Menu example(21K)

When you have finished all the tasks on the tutorial the start menu will have one more option: '1' to start the game as your character. Choosing this option will take your character into the Costello game itself.

Start Menu example(5K)

The real game starts on the 'Temple Hill'. If your character dies in the game then you must come back to this place to 'pray' in the Temple so that you can come alive again. So this is one of the most important places in the game and that is why you start here. You will always start here until your character becomes level 4 (Traveler). This is so that new players don't become lost in the large Costello World. After you reach level 4 you will start the game from the place where you quit. To enter the temple from the temple hill you must type 'Enter the circle'. The temple is a large stone circle and the power to bring you back to life is inside the circle. Dying is never a pleasant idea but there are many powerful monsters in Costello and so it is very possible you will die at some point. So it is a good idea to buy an insurance policy from the Insurance salesman just north of the temple hill. Policies are free for new players (up to level 3) and so you should make sure you get one. However, the most enjoyable and important part of Costello is doing adventures or 'quests' and there are no very strong monsters you must fight for the Costello quests.

What should I do once I've started the game?

The first thing you should do is start exploring the Costello world and the Costello Village, where you start the game. You should make a map (with paper and pencil!) so that you don't get lost. Making a map is one of the most important parts of playing the game. Below is a map of part of the Costello village:

You can always type "look" to see where you are. At the end of the description you will see a line telling you where the "obvious exits" are. These are the directions you can go. So for example if you see:

Obvious exits are north and east.

it means you can go north or east. You move by typing the direction you want to go (for example "north") or the first letter of the direction you want to go (for example "n").

What to do

When you start the game you will be given a costello scroll ( a scroll is a piece of paper rolled up so that it is round). You can see what you are carrying by typing 'i' . You can read the scroll by typing 'read the scroll'. The scroll will tell you some advice about playing the game. It will also give you a free coupon to get some equipment from Cos the Cat. If you give the scroll to Cos the Cat (who lives just down the temple hill) you will get some things to help you start the game. You will only be given these things once. When you type 'quit' to end the game up to 20 items that you are carrying will be kept for you and will be given back to you the next time you enter the game. You can also keep a certain number of items and money safe in the bank.

Let's look at the game from the beginning and do one quest. If you read this part of the manual carefully and follow the instructions then you should begin to get more of an idea about how to play the game. All commands to the game are written in blue. When you first enter the game this is what you see:

You are standing on top of a large grassy hill which has a circle of huge
blue stones
all around it. The stones each stand taller than a man and you
wonder who brought them here and when. Whoever it was, it must have been a
long time ago because the stones look very ancient. You are now outside the
circle. Inside the circle there seems to be a thick fog and you would have
to enter it to see what is there, but even from here you can feel enormous
magical power. Below, you can see the Costello Village to the east and a
large forest to the west but you would have to go down the hill to reach
them. Someone has set up a small wooden office on the northern part of the
hill. It has a big sign outside saying 'Insurance' on it.
Obvious exits are down and north.
You see a Stone Circle.

You are carrying a costello scroll (total weight less than one pound).
Your Costello Scroll has a lot of useful hints about the game. Please type
'Read the scroll.' to read it. The advice is very important!

You can look at some things here if you want. For example:

Look at the village

and you will see:

You can see the houses and shops of the Costello Village to the east. You
will have to go down the hill first to go there.

First, let's go and get some equipment from Cos the Cat. You can see that the obvious exits on the temple hill are down and north. To move down you can type:


You should see:

You are now halfway up the Costello Temple Hill and it is possible to go up
to the top, or down to the bottom. The hill is covered in grass and there
is a large oak tree standing on a flat part of it. Someone has put a small
wooden bench for people to rest on under the oak tree.
Obvious exits are down and up.
You see a wooden bench, a basket of costello scrolls and Cos the cat.

Cos says, "Hi there! I'm Cos, the coolest cat in Costello. If you listen
to me, you can learn a lot about Costello. I can also answer a few

This is where Cos the Cat always lives. You are carrrying a Costello Scroll. (check by entering 'inventory' or 'i'.) If you give this scroll to Cos then he will give you some equipment:

Give the scroll to Cos

My name in Costello is Adonis so I when I give the scroll to Cos, I see:

You give the costello scroll to Cos.
Cos exclaims, "Ah, I see you are new to our world. It can be a tough place
as I remember when I started adventuring many years ago. I have a store of
equipment that Adonis has asked me to pass on to new adventurers like
yourself. Good luck!"
Cos gives a torch to Adonis.
Cos gives a suit of leather armour to Adonis.
Cos gives a shortsword to Adonis.
Cos gives a pair of soft leather boots to Adonis.
Cos gives a pair of soft leather gloves to Adonis.
Cos gives a square wooden shield to Adonis.
Cos gives a leather cap to Adonis.
Cos gives a costello scroll to Adonis.
Cos gives a compass to Adonis.
Cos gives a premium insurance policy to Adonis.

It is important to equip your equipment:

Equip everything

The equipment Cos gives you is very basic. You should try to get money to buy new and better equipment in the shop as soon as possible. Also if you die the insurance policy will bring you back to life and will also return your items to you. However, it will only work once. If you die you must go to the insurance office and buy a new policy. Don't worry, until you are level 4, insurance is free.

Your first quest!

Ok, now you are ready to try your first quest. You can start by going to the Adventurer's Guild in the middle of the Costello Village to find out what quests to do. Look at the map of the Costello Village on the 'Maps' page. Remember this map is only part of the village. You should copy the map onto paper and add new places that you go to. To get to the Adventurer's Guild from the oak tree (where Cos the cat is) you need to go down the hill and then east three times and then south. So, you enter:






You should then see the guild:

The Adventurer's Guild of Costello is a large round open room where
adventurers come to plan their next adventure or relax from their recent ones. The walls and floor are made of grey stone which gives a cool and
relaxing atmosphere. A small doorway leads north to the village road, while
to the east another door leads to a Combat practice room. There is a very
dark room to the west.
Obvious exits are east, north and west.
You see Andrew the guildmaster, a bulletin board (updated Oct 28), a ranking
of skill levels, a list of quests and a table of spells.

Andrew can tell you about some of the quests in Costello, but first you should read the list of quests, to see what quests you can do:

Read the list of quests

You will see a list of the quests in Costello. at the top of the list you can see:

Very easy
Costello Village

This first quest is very easy and is in the Costello Village, so it's a good quest to start with. To get more information you can ask Andrew:

say Andrew, please tell me about Betty.

and you will see:

Andrew says, "Ah yes, a very easy quest for beginners. Betty wants someone
to take her husband Jake his lunch box. You'll find Betty in her farmhouse
near the west of the Costello Village."

So, you know that you need to find Betty who is in a farmhouse near the west of the Costello Village. The quest is to take a lunch box to her husband Jake. If you were reading carefully when you came to the guild (and you should always be reading carefully when you play Costello!) you should have seen the farmhouses on your way. If you leave the guild (north) and go west two times you should see the following description:

You are walking along a dirt road through the edge of the Costello Village.
To the south, are two wooden farmhouses with smoke rising up from the
chimneys. You could reach them by going down a small path. A hill rises up
to the west of the village, while to the north is a large tower which is
owned by Zoroander, one of the most powerful wizards in Costello. The road
continues into the village to the east.
Obvious exits are east, north, south and west.

To the south are two farmhouses. So if you go south you may meet Betty.

This small path leads to two farmhouses. It is a pleasant walk, with flowers
planted alongside the path and the trees of the Costello forest behind them.
The path curves as it cuts through the trees, which offer shade on sunny
days and some protection from the weather when it rains. To the east is one
of the wooden farmhouses you could see from the main village road, while
there is another house futher down the path to the south. However the gate
to the southern farmhouse seems to be shut for the moment. Perhaps if you
come back later it will be open.
Obvious exits are east and north.

You can see that the only farmhouse you can go to is east.

You are standing on the porch of a small wooden farmhouse. The house itself
is made of logs of wood that have been carefully fixed together and the
roof is made of thatched reeds. It doesn't look like there could be more
than two or three rooms inside the house but there is a large chimney on
top with smoke coming out, which gives the place a welcoming feeling. To
the side of the house is a small vegtable garden and flowers have also been
planted to give some colour. The door is made of wood and has an iron
knocker on it.
There is a closed and locked farm door to the east.
Obvious exits are east and west.

Now, you need to read very carefully. At this point many players decide that this 'Very Easy' quest is too difficult and give up? Why? Because there is a locked door to the east and they cannot open the door. It is true that you can try a number of diffferent commands and the door won't open. For example:

Open the door

You can't do that

Unlock the door

That doesn't make any sense.

Why doesn't unlock the door make any sense? Well you need to check the list of commands on the commands page and look at how to use the 'unlock' command:

Unlock Used to unlock a door if you have the correct key. E.g. Unlock the door with the silver key.

You don't have a key so of course you cannot unlock the door. So how can you meet Betty? Well, read the description of the farmhouse porch again carefully. It says:

The door is made of wood and has an iron knocker on it.

If you use your imagination and really make a picture of yourself standing in front of the door it is obvious what you would do. You would knock on the door, because it has an iron knocker on it!

Knock on the door

You knock on the door.
Sounds of movement can be heard from inside.
You hear someone opening the door.
A farm door unlocks.
A farm door opens.
A rather plump middle-aged woman appears in the doorway.

What next? Well maybe this woman is Betty. anyway it would be nice to say hello to her!

say Hello!

You exclaim, " Hello! "
Betty says, "Hello! Would you take my husband Jake his lunch? He forgot it
Betty smiles.
Betty grins.

Ok it's Betty and she wants you to take Jake his lunch just like Andrew said. Of course you should answer 'yes'.

say Yes!

You exclaim, "Yes!"
Betty says, "Oh thank you. Jake is always forgetting his lunch!"
Betty says, "You should find him working in the fields at the east of the village."
Betty gives the lunch box to you.
Betty says, 'Ok, I'd better get back to my housework. Thanks again!'
Betty goes back into her house.
A farm door closes.
A farm door locks.

Great! Betty gave you the lunch box! You can check you are holding it by entering 'i' (or 'inventory'). Now all you have to do is find Jake and give the lunch box to him. Betty said that he should be working in the fields to the east of the village. So, you need to go back to the village road and then go east looking for some fields. You will need to read the descriptions very carefully until you see some fields. Here is the first field:

The road that leads north to the village ends abruptly here in a field.
Well-kept fields on all sides grow the crops needed by the village and small
dirt paths lead to other fields. You notice something colorful amongst the
plants by your feet.
Obvious exits are east, north, south and west.

This is a good example of how important it is to read everything carefully in Costello and to look at things. Here you notice something colorful amongst the plants. Ok, so why don't you look at the plants?

Look at the plants

There is something blue hidden amongst the plants. Maybe you could search
the plants.

Ah! There's something hidden there! Let's search the plants!

Search the plants

You search the plants.
You search the plants and find a small blue ball!

Ok! You found a blue ball. Type 'i' (or 'inventory') and you will see that you are carrying it. Sometimes when you search you will pick up what you find automatically. Sometimes you will have to enter a command to pick up what you find (for example, 'Pick up the ball'). Now, you may not think that finding a ball is very useful, but it may be useful somewhere else in the game, so keep it. But for now your job is to take the lunch box to Jake, right? Now, where is Jake? Well, in fact the Costello fields are very wide and there are lots of different fields. You will need to look carefully to find Jake (don't forget to make a map with a pencil and paper!). I will give you one hint. Jake is busy planting lettuces in the south of the fields. When you find him you will see:

You are walking along a narrow dirt path between the fields of crops. Some
young lettuce plants are growing to your north where it seems that someone
has just finished planting them. Paths continue into other fields to the
northwest and northeast.
Obvious exits are northeast and northwest.
You see Jake the farmer
Jake the farmer exclaims, "Oh you've brought my lunch from Betty! Thanks! I
thought I was going to go hungry today. Please give it to me!"

Jake may say some other things too (he's very unhappy that he forgot his lunch!) but the important thing is that he asked you to give him the lunch box. Ok let's do it!

Give the lunch box to Jake

Jake the farmer says, "Oh thanks! I wasn't sure if I was going to starve to death today!"
Jake the farmer says, "Let me give you some potatoes. You should get a good
price for them at the shops now because the season has only just started."
Jake the farmer sits down and eats from his lunch box.

You finished the quest! If you check your score (enter 'score') you'll see that you got 400 quest points and also 400 experience points. Don't worry if Jake still says he is hungry, this is because other players may want to do this quest too. If Jake stopped wanting his lunch then other players couldn't finish the quest. Jake also gave you some potatoes (type 'i' or 'inventory' to check). You can take these to the shop in the center of the village and sell them. You should get about 150 gold coins for them. Maybe your character is hungry and thirsty so you may want to go to the village pub and buy some food and drink. The pub is just to the north of the village road (look at the map at the top of this section). In the pub you will see:

This is the Costello Arms. It is a cosy place, with a polished wooden floor
and low wooden beams along which are placed various brass objects as
decortaions. There are a number of small round tables and stools and a few
customers enjoying a drink. A menu hangs on the wall and a small door leads
west into the village.
The only obvious exit is west.
You see a trashcan and George the bartender.

If you enter:

Read the menu

you will see:

Item Description Cost
Fresh fruit ....................................................................... 6
Packet of nuts ................................................................. 6
Glass of water .................................................................. 8
Bottle of beer .................................................................. 10
Special of the house ........................................................ 16
Firebreather ..................................................................... 36
Glass of Boddingtons bitter ............................................. 60

You can buy some water by typing:

Buy water

Then you can drink the water:

Drink the water

You drink the glass of water.
Ahh, cool and refreshing.

Remember, eating and drinking is very important in Costello. If your character doesn't eat and drink he or she will die!

After this you can think about the next quest. Go back to the guild and look at the list. Or maybe you'll want to just explore the Costello world some more and make your map bigger. Be careful not to get lost though. Remember to use the compass (just 'Look at the compass' if you leave the Costello Village.

Some quests are very easy and some are very difficult. It's probably a good idea to start with one of the easier quests in the Costello Village. The quests are designed to be puzzles and it is important that you read the English slowly and carefully if you are to finish them successfully. Quests are always being added to the game so you should check the quest list and the Costello news to see if there are any new quests.

Quest List Example(24K)

What are Costello Scores and Levels?

There are three main scores in Costello. You can see them with the 'score' command.

Exploring points Given when you go to new places in Costello. However, some areas (for example the Costello Forest) have descriptions that are all the same and you are not given exploring points in such areas. When you get exploring points you also get the same number of experience points. So, if you get 10 exploring points you also get 10 experience points.
Experience points When you finish quests you are given experience points. You also get experience points when you kill monsters. This score is important for when you want to raise your character's level. By entering 'Help levels' you can see the experience points needed for each level.
Quest points Given when you finish quests. You can see how many quest points you get for each quest by reading the Quest List in the Guild. Quest points are also sometimes needed to advance your character's level.

Advancing your level

As you play the game and finish quests you will begin to get more and more experience points. If you look at the list in 'help levels' you will see how many points you need to advance your character to the next level. You also need money to advance. You can also type 'cost' when you are in the Guild to see how many points and how much money you need for the next level. When you have enough points and money you can type 'Advance' in the guild to advance to the next level. When your level advances your character gets stronger. From level 3 you also start being able to use magic.

How to stay alive!
Costello is a dangerous place. If you are not careful, you will be killed by a monster. To stop yourself being killed you should get a weapon and some armour. The easiest way to do this is to buy a cheap weapon and some armour at the shop. You will need to get some more money by finding things, bringing them to the shop and selling them. You can sell almost anything at the shop, but you will get less money when you sell something than you paid for it. When you get more money you can buy better armour and weapons.

One of the most interesting things to do in Costello is talk to other people who are playing the game. There are 3 commands you can use to talk to people:

The say command will repeat your message to anyone who is in the same place in the game as you. For example, if John and Jim are in the shop and John types:

say Hello, how are you doing?

Jim will see on his screen:

John says: Hello, how are you doing?

The tell command will repeat your message to anyone who is in the game. It doesn't matter where in the game they are, they will still be able to get your message. For example, if John is in the shop and Jim is in the temple and John types:

tell Jim Hello, how are you doing?

Jim will see on his screen:

John tells you: Hello, how are you doing?

The shout command will repeat your message to everyone who is in the game. For example, if John types:

Shout Hello, how are you doing?

Everyone in the game will see on their screen:

John shouts: Hello, how are you doing?

However the shout command is very powerful and uses spirit points (magic points). If your spirit points fall below 30 you will not be able to shout.