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Game screenshot
Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)
Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
pharao.img_.sit (150.80 KB)
MD5: 2c9e97538c9ef16e31c860654ee7b450
For System 6.x - System 7.0 - 7.6
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
This game works with: Basilisk II, Mini vMac

Pharaoh is a simulation game which gives you a chance to become the Pharaoh of all Egypt. (and possibly the whole world). By applying common sense and experience, you attempt to make a vast agricultural community thrive and grow. You make and break deals with other kingdoms, fight wars, manage revolts, and monitor the day to day operation of your farming communities.

You start with nothing, but the banks remember your heritage and are willing to extend you a small loan. You use the money they lend you to build the seeds of a huge empire. Over the years you expand your empire, gaining land, wealth, and power. And when your empire has reached the size and power which you deem necessary, you attempt to erect a monument of such vast enormity, that you will be remembered for thousands of years to come.

The going is never easy. There are many obstacles in your way. Famines, floods, aggressive neighbors, even terrorists. But with skillful management, and some clever strategies, you can prevail and grow. And if you do, you will become the greatest ruler of all time.

In 2009, the author made this registration code available to the public: fnjfgr,=k,su

Architecture: 68k

Black and White game, but runs under colour, even millions of colours.

Runs fine in System 6 to 7.5. Not tried OS 8.

Original (MacWrite v1.0) manual and RTF version included in game download.


Tanara Kuranov's picture
by Tanara Kuranov - 2016, December 28 - 4:35pm

I haven't seen much in specific notes for this game, so here we go. :3 If anyone has things to add, feel free!

I've been trying in vain to get past Hard difficulty on this game. Through save-scumming and the hidden debug mode (you can activate the menu for it with ResEdit), I managed to find some good ratios for manure/acre (5 tons per acre works best, btw...not sure about fractional amounts, but it gives more than 4 or 6) and work rates for different types of work in the game. So I can get enough wheat/manure to keep food going. Up until the rabbit-like reproduction of the slaves (+10-12 percent per month!!!) eventually overwhelms me and crashes the market. Even on Medium, the price of slaves was at half a gold per slave by the time I finished, oops.

Contracts are obviously the key (wheat contracts can be lucrative, and slave contracts are almost necessary for population control), but you have to have some form of clairvoyance to know whether you can meet them or not.

It's an interesting game, but everything's just so vague and random, for example, the work rate of slaves can be all over the place when loaded from the same save file with no changes.

Some notes for those curious:
Planting wheat: 30/acre
Spreading manure: 64/ton
Tending planted wheat: 20/acre
Tending growing wheat: 15/acre
Harvesting wheat: 0.14-0.16/wheat
Tending horses/oxen: 1/animal
Pyramid stones: (10+height)/stone

Planting seems to take 20 bushels of wheat per acre

(Tests with 500 slaves)
Test 7, 100 overseers:
9.594 14.64 9.362 8.268 12.67 8.962 9.954 10.52 11.22 9.760
Avg: 10.495

Test 8, 125 overseers:
11.46 11.71 12.70 14.42 13.02 11.59 9.963 11.85 12.80 11.61
Avg: 12.1123

Bushels/acre at 5 tons/acre (these are PLANTING DATES, not harvest dates, and likely varies):
Jan: 1491 Feb: 1916 Mar: 3251 Apr: 3497 May: 4671 Jun: 4989
Jul: 4039 Aug: 2669 Sep: 1835 Oct: 1676 Nov: 1008 Dec: 836.0

I had feed rates of 3.25, 45, and 52, though those might be cutting it a little bit low. I've done livestock tests, but I don't know what's efficient there, especially with horses. Oxen seem to consistently supply more work, horses seem to be all over the place. All I can say is that if you're trying to beat this on Hard, good luck, your local economy won't support your massive demands and outputs.

Oh, and for those curious, the finished 100 ft and 300 ft pyramids have 5786 stones and 54544 stones, respectively. As for the 1000 ft, I haven't a clue. Good luck!

IIGS_User's picture
by IIGS_User - 2012, April 1 - 2:59pm

Now this is a Disk Copy 4.2 disk image made from folder, stuffed with Stuffit 4.

bertyboy's picture
by bertyboy - 2012, April 1 - 2:32am

for seeing all the little tiny numbers in the game

Not just you, it's down to modern displays. Back in the day everything (Mac) was 72ppi, then monitor resolutions jumped to 96ppi and then 108ppi, 132ppi. Now we have the iPad 3 display over 300ppi. I find the same when I try to run an old 640x480 game on a 1920x1200 display, everything is soooo small.

watchsmart's picture
by watchsmart - 2012, March 31 - 11:34pm

I wanna go on record as saying that this game is great! And Uncle Bob is pretty cool for sharing the registration code for his great old game!

PS: Works well in Mini vMac with System 6. The screen magnification in Mini vMac is quite helpful for seeing all the little tiny numbers in the game (I am old and poor of seeing).

MZG's picture
by MZG - 2009, August 17 - 12:10pm

Hi guys,

Uncle Bob has been very kind in allowing me to post this registration code for us all to enjoy this fun game.

The code is:

Enjoy all! Smile

unclebob's picture
by unclebob (not verified) - 2009, August 16 - 5:43am

Here I am. I am the original author of Pharaoh. You can reach me at

monojoker's picture
by monojoker - 2009, August 10 - 1:20am

It would be great to be able to license it if anyone could track down the original author as I've only ever played on the easiest level. I've googled but never been able to find even a brief discussion of strategies, optimal feed/planting rates, etc. Personally my strategy has always been to run the maximum number of contracts (only purchases for me as supplying large contracts is too risky) and using the profits made on those maintain a pyramid building force of slaves and oxen with enough overseers to keep them going. I just can't get my slaves to plant and reap enough wheat to get self-sufficient. The plan works best (obviously) if the prices of manure and slaves goes up much more %-wise than wheat, but the price of wheat always manages to send me broke by about year 30. It's still a fun game to play but I'd love to hear strategies and tips from others on how they go about it. Cheers.

Liam's picture
by Liam (not verified) - 2009, August 9 - 7:05am

I'm in Australia too and would love to find a license number for the software if still available. Also, I'm trying to get it installed on miniVmac because by about year 9 or 10 it always crashes on me - it's as if the system locks up and I can no longer click within the Basilisk window to continue the game. Problem is I can't unstuff it using Stuffit 4.0.1 and 5.5 won't install on OS6... Anyone else had any luck?

MZG's picture
by MZG - 2009, July 29 - 12:47am

Hmm I am not having much luck contacting the author Robert Martin. Does anyone know if this is Uncle Bob, who also still lives in IL? He runs a programming foundation.

I have tried contacting him to verify, but he is not answering me in email, and I live in Australia, so calling is not practical for me.

Liam's picture
by Liam (not verified) - 2009, July 24 - 11:17am

Thanks heaps bertyboy it's working 100% now! Much appreciated.

bertyboy's picture
by bertyboy - 2009, July 23 - 10:44pm

It unstuffs OK for me with Stuffit 7, I'll try under emulation with an earlier version .....

I've re-stuffed it with Stuffit v5.5. Is this any better ?

Liam's picture
by Liam (not verified) - 2009, July 23 - 3:42pm

Bummer I can't get it to unstuff properly - all I get is a folder called Pharaoh with an 8K file in it named .DS_Store

What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Liam's picture
by Liam (not verified) - 2009, July 23 - 3:40pm

My favourite Mac game of all time - well up there with Syndicate, Xyphus and Daleks. Only problem is I can't get it to unstuff - it just creates an empty? 8K file called .DS_Store. Any clues as to what's wrong? Thanks.

MZG's picture
by MZG - 2009, July 29 - 12:48am

Thanks BertyBoy, I have been looking for this one for ages Smile

bertyboy's picture
by bertyboy - 2009, July 5 - 1:47pm

I went through hoops to get the manual into a recent format, preserving all the graphics. It's in RTF which opens perfectly in every word pro app I tried.

If there's any complaints, I'll produce a PDF.