The Zeigarnik effect

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

4 min read

Amberstar Amiga game cover

Today I will tell you about my all-time favorite Atari ST retro-RPG game. Also a favorite because of a memory bias name The Zeigarnik Effect.


Atari ST

Back in 1991, we had an Atari 520 STf, which was a popular computer at the time.

My cousin also had one, even better with two times the memory, the 1040 STf!

It looked like this:

Atari 1040 STf

Wow, looking back at this, I realize that this is kind of a Macintosh copy 🤔🤓


One of the best game I discovered and played when I was 14 (in 1992) on Atari ST was Amberstar. It was an Atari ST (or Amiga) Computer Role-Playing Game from a German studio called Thalion Software.

Those innovative graphics!

It had a mix of 2D and 2.5D which was real innovation at that time, at least for me. The Thalion Web Shrine has some screenshots:

2D screenshot

2.5D screenshot

There are a few YouTube videos showing the gameplay.


…Take 3

…Because I totally forgot about this.


And I still had the feeling I had not finished it the first time and felt the need to play it again.

So as I played it a third time in 2018, memories from the second time I played surfaced as déjà-vu.

Wow. Why did I remember so vividly not finishing it or being stuck because of the damn “Pharaoh Riddle” in the game, when I don’t even remember that I finished it already 20 years ago?

The Zeigarnik Effect

I think this is a case of a memory bias called the Zeigarnik effect.

people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks

It feels like a curse, I imagine I will have to play it again in 20 years from now.

…Take 4 in 2038?

I hope this blog will still be around 🤣, and I’m pretty sure that I will make another post telling the exact same thing with the fourth time playing it 😓.


In this post, I wanted to tell you about some cognitive bias that periodically affects me, and will also affect you.

I hope you learned a few things on the way or at least piqued your curiosity.

Thanks for reading this blog, If you have any questions, please use the Github Repository’s Issues to start a conversation, or use Twitter: my DMs are open.



Written by David Lacourt who lives in Senlis 🦌, works in Paris 🇫🇷, 🧡 building things with code.