Oh no - that's so frustrating! I've not heard of that happening before, sorry you were so unlucky! A save feature would have been really great here - I'm really sorry about that! Thank you for letting me know this happened.
If it brings you any comfort at all, finding the base just ends the experience. You have actually already seen pretty much all there is to see and experienced all the most important mechanics. I included that last objective to illustrate to my lecturer that the hypothetical full game would allow the player to move to different locations. It was also included to encourage the player to devise a strategy to generate gold as quickly as possible, which it sounds like you already figured out!
If you do make a gameplay video, please share it with me. I'd love to see it!