MAIN PGM Version: 6 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 10-directions Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "The king's beautiful daughter, Heleena, was abducted by a vile, scummy thief type person by the name of Sampson Gremonis. Rumor has it that he is holding her for ransom in an abandoned fort located somewhere in the Cunnamulla Foothills. The fort (Vanavara Outpost) is unusual in that it is built into the side of a hill, and is, therefore, totally underground. One village Elder has told of an old secret hideout under the fort itself that the kidnappers may be staying in.
"Rumor also has it that Gremonis has a couple of friends with him: one a powerful warrior, the other a necromancer, an evil mage with the power to raise the dead and use them as his slaves. Your mission is to enter the fort, find the secret hideout, rescue the princess, apprehend Gremonis and bring him back dead or alive. You will get 2000 GP for the safe return of Heleena. For bringing back Gremonis, you will get 2000 GP if he is alive or 1000 GP for his dead body."
Comment: First off, let me tell you that as far as I could tell, there is no way to bring Gremonis back alive. This is a simple "killíníloot" foray with the Quest tacked on top. There are quite a number of locked things to open, but they all open with simple keys that are found with LOOK, usually in the same room.
This is a pretty well written Eamon, but it is a little low in content to achieve a high rating from me even though it has 87 rooms, good descriptions, and well-executed Effects. However, it should be a fun outing for Hack'n'Slash fans, as there is a fair amount of intense, difficult-to-survive combat. Using FRESH SAM, I had to cheat-resurrect myself at least a half-dozen times. There are at least two locations where FRESH SAM can be killed in just a couple of rounds of combat.
Difficulty is a little hard to gauge, since the mapping and locked-door puzzles are simple enough while the combat is quite tough. Perhaps a (7) is the closest balance.
MAIN PGM Version: 6 Extra Commands: none Deleted Commands: none Special Features: a few special effects Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Description: "You have been left on the plain of Srevi A hot breeze blows from the south and as far as you can see, there is only waving grasses. As you gaze to the west, you spy a tree. One solitary tree on a treeless plain. "Thunk! Ouch! You've been hit in the head by something. You look around and see a goose lying nearby. As you stagger towards the goose it disappears and in its place is a scroll. You unroll the scroll and it says...'Beneath, below, riches abound, below the plain, under the ground.'"
Comment: This adventure has a simple map of about 50 rooms. There are quite a few things to be found using LOOK, so keep track of them. The puzzles are about medium-tough, being mainly of the 'key' variety but with some twists. Combat isn't too difficult, as the monsters are geared for 'Main Hall' weapons. There are 3 no-warning 'Gotcha!' traps: one is a cave-in that kills you, and the other two are no-exit dark rooms (you can escape these with the POWER teleport).
There is no plot; it is a simple 'wander and loot' scenario. While a quest as such isn't given, you shouldn't feel that you have successfully explored the place until you have freed Maryanne, and gotten the hidden big treasure. There are several fun effects (including these two events), and a few interesting clues become evident as you explore.
Though it was rather aimless, this was a pleasant enough sojourn which might well have rated better with me except for my well-known dislike of no-warning traps. I give it a (7) for difficulty, for the puzzles. One hint: Maryanne is tied, not manacled as it says, and only one weapon will cut the ropes.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: Lower-case text option, 40-col. Only Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 5.0 Average Rating 5.5/2
Description: "Many years ago, the kings of ancient Eamon maintained a summer residence known as the Ervuol on a tiny isle in the stormy sea. Its location has been lost for ages, but an art fancier has discovered its location through careful research. You have been offered 5,000 GP to go there and recover a priceless art treasure: a bronze statuette of the goddess of love in ancient Eamon, Etihw Annav."
Comment: This Henry's first Eamon, and he has worked hard and come up with a nicely done adventure. The descriptions are pretty good. The map is coherent enough, although there is some mapping weirdness that was apparently thrown in for fun (like a mine shaft on the second floor of the castle!) Good utilization was made of 7.0 features, and he went the extra distance and did it in lower-case with an upper-case option.
The place had a somewhat random feel to it, but was pleasant to play. After wading through an assortment of generic goblins and thieves, things get really weird towards the end as you must win your way past a number of fantastic adversaries. This serves as a climax of sorts, as you escape from the castle once you get past the last of them.
This is a basic 'kill & loot' scenario with no plot beyond a simple quest. It doesn't worry overmuch about being consistent but throws new things at you for laughs and variety. Lots of hidden doors and secret passages to discover, and that is the biggest part of the puzzling. I give it a 5 for difficulty.
MAIN PGM Version: 6.2 (heavily modified) with 7.0 database structure and lots of new goodies Extra Commands: REMOVE, FILL, USE, EAT, SWITCH, WEAR, RESUME Deleted Commands: BLAST, POWER, SPEED, WAVE Special Features: can READY artifacts in both hands; 2-game SAVE; can RESUME a saved game at any time; true distance fighting using a bow with real arrows; comprehensive SOLUTIONS program; detailed player instructions can be dumped to printer; 2-disk adventure; uses 7.0 ML search routines Playing Time: 2-10 hours, depending on how much you use the SOLUTIONS program. Reviewer Rating: 9.0
Description: Your people were nearly wiped out when they were driven from their homeland generations ago. Now, their numbers have grown, and many think that it is time to march and reclaim the homeland. But the coming battle is anything but certain, for the enemy is very formidable. A party must first recover the Staff of Retribution, a talisman of enormous power that was hidden by the priests when the final battle was fought outside the great temple named "Sanctuary". With this power, victory would be more assured.
So you find yourself leading the party, sneaking into enemy territory in a desperate bid to win entry into Sanctuary and then to try to discover where and how the Staff was hidden. But when you near the site, your entire band is wiped out in a surprise attack! You are the only survivor...but the Staff must be found!
Comment: Every time I think that Sam has peaked out, he comes up with something new that amazes me. With this adventure he again breaks new ground. Starting with the 'encumbrance' system that originally appeared in 'The Boy and the Bard', it has been greatly expanded into what Sam calls 'ACE': Advanced Combat & Encumbrance. ACE has many new features never seen before in Eamon. Among them is a combat system that takes distance into account--for example, you might be pinned down by enemy bowmen who you would have no choice but to shoot with arrows. You carry a quiver and must actually nock an arrow for each round (this isn't as inconvenient as it sounds, for there are several different types of magic arrows available).
There is TONS more Good Stuff. Surprise attacks are possible. You must brew your own healing potions. More magic than you can shake a stick at. Lots of sophisticated combat. Dozens of subtle puzzles. Sam buries you in clues; which are real and which are bogus? Most are real, but you will have to work it all out.
Hack'n'Slashers can pass this one by; even the combat requires careful thought: sword or bow? What kind of arrow? Is this thing supernatural? Is it charging? Omigod, what weapons do I have readied? A mindless approach will not give satisfactory results! And some of the puzzles are pretty complicated, though I found them all to be reasonable.
It's hard to judge the difficulty. The SOLUTIONS program gives you a progression of hints that work right up to outright solutions of each puzzle and trap. If you do it all yourself, it probably rates a (9) or (9.5) difficulty. If you use the hints, it of course drops considerably.
One hint: if you think that you have run across some typos or mapping screwups, the odds are pretty good that you haven't! I missed entry into a series of important puzzles because I made this mistake.
I can't decide if this is the best Eamon that Sam has ever done, but it is certainly a contender!
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 6.5
Description: You have been daydreaming of a very obscure, tranquil, and charming planet. Suddenly your head reels and you feel disorganized. Things are not as clear as they should be. As you reach for your ale, the tankard shrinks from your grasp. That is the last conscious thing you remember...
Your mind is foggy with confusion as you find yourself being steeped in shadowy legend. Your survival depends on your wits and recognizing certain magical practices older than Eamon itself. Your mission lies in the legends of:
*Sinope *Wroteus *Adrastea *Oberon *Veda *Rosalines *Elara *Larissa *Dione
Study these words well, for the answer lies within.
Comment: This adventure, though set in a fantasy world, is a commentary on our own planet Earth of today. The planet of the adventure is dying from a multitude of man-caused maladies and short-sighted plans. As you explore, it becomes obvious that Something Must Be Done before it is too late, if it is not too late already.
The quest, believe it or not, is clearly stated in the intro, which is condensed above. As you travel about you gradually uncover clues and messages to piece together what you must do to fulfill the quest.
As she did in her last adventure, Pat made full use of 7.0 features, especially hidden doors and containers. There isn't much combat; however, the puzzles aren't that complex and mainly consist of finding stuff that is hidden in rooms in various ingenious ways. There are a couple of red herrings that were nicely done.
This is a well-executed adventure with well-written text. The reason why I didn't rate it higher is because it was a bit lonely and I felt rather lost at times, and because it took a lot of time to find all the hidden stuff, which got a little old. Also, I felt that it was too much of a dark commentary on our own world for a fantasy. Still, Pat is an excellent writer and it is worth playing for that reason alone.
Some bits of this adventure are a little obscure, and I give it a (7) for difficulty in figuring these bits out. Pat writes really good text, and I eagerly look forward to her next Eamon adventure.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 7.5
Description: "It happened one day that you chanced upon a wondrous sword of black metal. This sword had a marvelous edge that did not dull, and it sang eerie melodies as you tested its edge against nearby saplings. But you cannot put it down! The most you can do is pass it to your left hand to free your right for other weapons.
"Later you met with some friends. One of them recognized it as a weapon of Hell, and told you of a cave that is reputed to hold the key to lift its curse. You listened closely as he told you how to find it.
"Still it is a marvelous sword, and you could do worse than to be saddled with such an obviously magical blade. The sword began its strange song as you prepared to demonstrate it for your friends. You felt a tremendous surge of strength as you severed a 6-inch limb with one blow!
"And then, even before you knew what was happening, you swung about, and you watched in horror as the sword slew all of your friends! Its song grew deeper and stronger as it tasted the blood of each. You realized then that this blade is more than just cursed, but must be possessed by a demon.
"It's plain that the sword is stronger than you, and if it drinks much more blood it will control you completely. Apart from that, it simply won't do to go about slaying everyone that you meet. Without a doubt, you must find that cave and rid yourself of the curse of this Hellsblade."
Comment: I should start out by mentioning how this Eamon came to be. It was originally designed by John Nelson for his "KnightQuest" system, which was supposed to be a sort of "Super-Eamon", but because of memory limitations of the Apple II was never finished. The only reason this was important is that the version 7 Eamon does not support a couple of things that were in this adventure to begin with, which made conversion to Eamon a bit more difficult, so I kept this in mind when reviewing it.
Anyway, I liked this one a lot. It has a clean, coherent map that wasn't too simple yet not so insanely dense that it was easy enough to map. There are a couple of unmarked secret passages that can only be found by going in that direction. When this was originally written, version 7 did not exist yet, and older adventures supported finding secret passages by LOOKing in the room. This is not a big deal, but this sort of unmarked passage really irritates me when I try to EXAMINE everything in the room, and when I don't find anything, I ignore it, only to be forced to come back later and finally figure out that there is a passage there.
(Author's Response: I must say in my defense that every room with a hidden passage had a clue in the room description, and the room name had the unusual "feature" of not listing the exits in the usual way. Even so, EXAMINE should have revealed the passages, for consistency. TomZ)
There is not a huge amount of combat here. There are a couple of tough monsters, but I didn't have much trouble getting by with a slightly "above average" character. I actually prefer this to having lots and lots of easy monsters that can be killed with one shot-- it makes play a lot less tedious. I'm not a huge "hack'n'slash" fan, but I do like a decent amount of combat. Not a lot of puzzling, either, but there were a couple I had to think about for a minute before I got by them.
I put the difficulty at about (6). It is a fun play that does not wind up requiring lots of play-through before you finally complete it. I won on my third try.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: GROWL, PLAY Deleted Commands: None Special Features: No DOS on disk Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "For many years, the world of Eamon had no trouble with renegades. But recently there have been quite a few people who decided to go out on their own. After a month or so, these rebels founded what is now known as the Eamon Renegade Club. Many of the rebels stayed with the ERC, and now it poses a major problem for all of us who don't need it around. So you have been commissioned to get rid of the ERC. There is a big chance for you to better your character's fighting skills, so be sure to take advantage of it."
Comment: Lots of combat, indeed. This is a pure Hack'n'Slash outing with heavy combat against multiple foes, and the companions you pick up aren't good for much more than absorbing some of the punishment for you. I was forced to cheat heavily to survive while using an "average" character, so you will want to bring your best weapons to even things up some. The difficulty of (8) stems entirely from the combat. The map, though large, is very simple in layout, and I saw no puzzles.
This game's largest flaw is in its text, which tends towards bad line breaks and uses very awkward-sounding phrasing. Nearly every monster's description reads as if the first sentence is missing, and most of the names start with THE. You'll want to be careful about using ATTACK THE in combat, or you might accidentally do in some of your companions, as I did. The artifact descriptions are seldom complete sentences, but merely embellish the name a bit.
The map felt rather contrived, and Phil was obviously straining to make a large map for his first Eamon. The last 15 or 20 rooms are bizarre and meaningless and not within the context of the theme of the play.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 40-col. only Playing Time: 1 hr. Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Description: Throughout recorded history, there have always been Adventurers, and their enemies. For a long time, these brave Adventurers fought the enemy, and they usually won. But recently, there have been rumors of a large enemy city somewhere in the Eamon world. The city is supposed to be the legendary city of Helstar. You don't know if you believe this or not. The last recorded sighting of Helstar was over 1000 years ago near a small African village. But if it has arrived here in Eamon, the chance to destroy it forever is finally here.
Legend has it that Helstar can only be destroyed by 'the two jewels'. After a long month of research, you learn that when these jewels are brought close together and a special phrase is said, there will be some sort of magical explosion and the entire city of Helstar will vaporize forever.
Both of the jewels have been guarded by powerful people for millennia. One of them is in a cave somewhere, inside an indestructible magic field. The other was in a Wizard's chest but about a year ago it was stolen. If you do not get it back, Helstar will be destroyed anyway...except that you'll still be in the city when it happens. And then you'll vaporize too.
Comment: Overall, I liked this adventure pretty well. There are several little specials that are interesting to play with; I especially liked the magic boots. Although it is described in fantasy-adventure terms in the intro, most of the adventure is quite contemporary in its map, rooms, and artifacts. There's even a wrecked car alongside a highway at one point. But it is a fantastical adventure in terms of magic and monsters.
Though the overall adventure is of average difficulty, there are a couple of puzzles that aren't all that easy to work out. Therefore, I give it a (7) for difficulty.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: KISS Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 45 min. Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: You have just been contacted by the people of Wagramtown concerning an attack by the Marauders, a very powerful group of cyborgs, mutants, and hired thugs. The Marauders have turned the old high school into their headquarters. They have been attacking and destroying nearby towns and villages. They employ a science that has been all but lost since the Great War.
You have been asked to help rescue the captured people of Wagramtown, which includes the mayor, his daughter Meg, and Captain Josh of the Wagramtown Guard. All of the material wealth of the town was also taken. You will be given a reward based on the success in rescuing the captured and returning their stolen valuables. A young warrior who was not captured will assist you.
Comment: This is a clean, solid adventure, refreshingly free of errors. There's a ton of combat here and the puzzles are minimal; this is one that the "hack'n'slash" crowd will enjoy, for sure. Many of the opponents are not lightweights; be sure to bring your heavy artillery along with you.
It's biggest flaw is that it isn't all that much fun to map. This comes as no big surprise, since the adventure takes place in an old abandoned high school, and settings in institutional buildings often have this failing.
On the plus side, it is well-assembled and choreographed and had some nifty specials that I greatly enjoyed.
As you well know, I am not a "hack'n'slash" fan but am a puzzle nut, and this type of adventure is not my favorite. Eamonauts who enjoy combat and get bored by puzzles may well rate it higher than I did. I give it a (6) for difficulty.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 45 min. Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: Once again, travelers and people in the area of the old ruined citadel are being attacked by odd creatures and strange robed figures. You had thought the demon exiled from the Earth with the destruction of the medallion.
Could someone have reconstructed the medallion? The King wants you to take a look into the situation. To help you, he has sent runners to find and enlist the aid of those who helped you fight Ngurct before.
This time, the King wants you to wipe out the cult members, recover the reconstructed medallion, and destroy the demon Ngurct. The King will give you 5,000 gold pieces upon the successful completion of your task.
Comment: As you can figure out from the title, this adventure is a sequel to "The Temple of Ngurct", by the Plamondon brothers. Once again, you are tasked to get rid of the demon.
Hoyle is a "hack'n'slash" kinda guy, and this adventure will please people who share his tastes in Eamon adventuring. There is a puzzle or two, but they aren't that tough. Some of the combat, though, is very intense. Be sure that you are well-prepared when you fight Ngurct!
Like all of Hoyle's adventures, this one is solidly crafted with a good map and few errors. It might have rated higher with me, except that there are lots of monsters and artifacts; by the time you reach the final confrontation you will have a following of about two screensfull of companions. Make no mistake, you will need all the help you can get to nail Ngurct, but it got a little tiresome to wade through all those --IS HERE messages after every command. I give this one a (7) for difficulty, mainly in staying alive during combat.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 30-45 min. Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Description: The Marauders are back in business. They have set up shop in an old abandoned military complex. Several of the old Marauders are still alive and are presently trying to beef up their ranks. Adam of Wagramtown has gone to try and stop them before it is too late. He is strong, but lacks the power and experience to take them alone. You decide that you must go help him to take on the Marauders if you are going to save your rash friend. Hopefully you will get there before he is killed.
Comment: Well, you do get there in time, of course. And the two of you proceed to lay waste to the Marauders' stronghold.
This is a good adventure for young Eamonauts, with a good map, lots of simple combat, and simple puzzles. Even though it is on the simple side, I liked it for its clean, solid construction. I give it a (4) for difficulty.
Let me give you one hint about all of Hoyle's Eamon adventures: it's usually worthwhile to INVENTORY your companions; you never know what kind of stuff they might be carrying...
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "In years past, the Haunted Keep belonged to the Ratus family. It has been abandoned for many years. As the legend goes, the Ratus family mysteriously disappeared. The keep is now rumored to be haunted. Passing townspeople often hear sounds and see strange lights coming from the keep. Most of the keep is in ruins. Only two towers remain. They are connected by a falling gatehouse. The upper levels of even these towers is in decay.
"Recently a tribe of goblins, which live in the ruins of Haunted Keep, have been raiding the countryside. One of their last raids was on an Elfin village, and eight prisoners were taken. (Some were friends of yours,) your help is needed to help rescue them.
"Unwilling to let your friends down, you pick up your weapons and depart for the keep."
Comment: This is a well-written "Hack'n'Slash" foray. It does not get a higher rating from me because I am not a big fan of this type of Eamon, but I am sure that lovers of "Hack'n'Slash" will enjoy it a lot more than I did.
Not much more to say. Kill all the bad guys and rescue your eight friends. There's one key and a couple of hidden passages.
Two hints: search the Chapel, and remember that werecreatures are very hard to kill without the right weapon.
Difficulty of (4).
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Description: While you were returning from a distant adventure, you decided to stop and visit your old friend Lorin. He is a cleric at the Abbey of Light. Days earlier, a wizard had left a golden ankh for safekeeping. The ankh is the key to a gateway from our world to a demonic realm. Recently the Darklord had used the gate to summon a powerful demon which wreaked havoc before he was finally defeated by the wizard and a small band of adventurers. Since the ankh had been housed with the Brothers, the Darklord has concentrated a large force of his minions against the Abbey. In the last three days, there have been several attacks which left many Brothers dead or wounded.
You find the Abbey wrecked and most if not all of the Brothers dead. A strange, supernatural black wall of darkness now stretches out of sight and blocks travel to the north. Is it the doing of the Darklord?
There is no one else. It is up to you to find the ankh and put things to right.
Comment: This is Hoyle's best adventure to date. A good map, lots of nice special effects, and a clear quest add up to enjoyable adventuring. The puzzles are minor, mainly consisting of finding and opening hidden doors. A couple of additions were made to the USE command. The combat is plentiful but unusually well-balanced; though I am decidedly "notē a Hack'n' slasher, I enjoyed fighting my way through the many undead that were everywhere.
This is by no means a deep or complex adventure. No mental heavy lifting is required to win through to the end. But its nice execution makes it a fun, relaxing hour of adventuring. I give it a difficulty rating of (4), making it an excellent Eamon adventure for young Eamonauts.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: BLOCK Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 40-col. text only Playing Time: 1 hr. Reviewer Rating: 6.5
Description: The Deathstalker is again threatening the world. If something isn't done soon, doom will overtake all. His power has grown, and now he claims to be immortal. The only weapon that might be able to kill him is the Sword of the Gods, which is rumored to be hidden somewhere in his castle.
Your mission is to enter the castle and kill the Deathstalker. His castle is huge, and his lair is protected by two enormous mazes. The task is formidable; can you do it?
Comment: The above is not the actual intro but is a summary. The actual intro has a rambling style that eases you into the scenario from other activities that you are doing at the Main Hall.
This adventure is certainly Phil's most ambitious undertaking to date, with 143 rooms and several interesting but not too difficult puzzles to solve. The two mazes are quite straightforward without insanely twisting room connections, but they are both very large. These mazes would definitely not be for amateurs, but Phil has thoughtfully provided maze maps for those who are clever enough to find them.
This adventure has one new twist that is new to Eamon. Every hit that is deflected by your armor "weakens" it until it breaks apart. There is plenty of armor available in the dungeon to replace yours if you should need it.
I was somewhat worn down by the sheer enormity of the place. It would have played a little better if there had either been fewer hallways or else more content in the hallway descriptions. Still, this is a pretty good dungeon with interesting special effects and a decent quest. The mazes are killers, but the maps bring the difficulty down to about (7).
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 40-col. text only Playing Time: 30 min. Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Description: You found an old map in a pirate's treasure chest. There was a note on the map saying that there were a lot of treasures on an island in the ocean. You thought you could use some more money, so you found a boat and went sailing out to look for the island. By following the map, you found it. It is a very small island, so it should be easy to find the treasures. You pull your boat up on a small sandy beach, get out, and start looking.
Comment: This adventure was written specifically for Margaret's 8-year-old nephew. It is a small, simple 'kill & loot' type scenario, with very simple puzzles and just 34 rooms. It is well-written and effectively error-free, and has a half-dozen very nicely done special effects.
This is a very easy adventure; I give it a (3) for difficulty. At the same time, I'd say that this is the best game of this difficulty level that I've ever played. If you are looking for Eamons for very young people, take a look at this one. I think you'll like it.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 40-col. text only Playing Time: 30 min. Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: Dirty Dick is the meanest pirate there ever was. He and his crew have kidnapped Prince Charlie. Dirty Dick and his crew left their ship at the Pirate Cave and went to town. You think that it is a good time to check the cave and see if you can find Prince Charlie. There are also a lot of treasures in the cave. Good luck.
Comment: This too is an adventure that was written for an 8-year-old boy. It seems to have hit the target audience very well. This adventure is a bit more sophisticated than #215, getting plus points for a fair number of locked doors to open and a clear quest to fulfill. I felt that the 39-room map was a bit less interesting to explore than the one in #215; hence the slightly lower rating.
Still, it seems to be an excellent selection for young Eamonauts. I give this one a (3) difficulty rating.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: TALK, BUY, SELL, EAT Deleted Commands: SAY, PUT Special Features: None Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Description: "You have been contacted by the king of Dorier to aid in the fight against the forces of the Darklord. Your journey to the capital city if perilous. The Undead have overrun much of the country and have laid siege to Dorier itself. Fighting your say through to the city, you are greatly praised for your skill and bravery.
"The king needs you to complete a most vital mission. You are to travel to the city of Duron, enlist their help, and return with the Eye of Agamon. The Eye is an ancient magical charm that can be used once each one hundred years to defeat the Undead.
"You are given the 'Seal of Dorier', a magnificent golden ring, to prove that you are the king's messenger. Do not lose it! You will be slain if you cannot prove who you are.
"Hurry! We cannot hold out for long."
Comment: Hoyle has crafted his most complex Eamon in this nice offering, using several ideas and features in ways that have been rarely used in the past. The TALK command was done well. There is a well-done seafaring segment. Plot development occurs, sometimes dramatically, as you progress on your Quest. You can even hire assistance at one point.
A bit of advice: things aren't really as grim as they may seem. Don't make needless enemies, and be sure to use TALK and INVENTORY to find out who are and are not your real friends. I give it a solid (7) for difficulty. A couple of points require careful reading to determine how to proceed. This is a sophisticated play and well worth a look.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: TALK, USE Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 30-60 min. Reviewer Rating: 6.5
Description: "Traveling near the Shadow Wall (from 'Demongate') one day, you notice the trail of three humans heading into the wall. You decide to follow and see what they are doing here. After a short distance some Orc tracks appear. They seem to be following the humans. This could be trouble. You had better help."
Once you catch up with them, you discover that they are on a quest to save the world from an evil wizard. They mean to slay him and recover the magical artifacts that he has stolen.
Comment: The first paragraph of the above description is the entire introduction. You only find out what your quest is once you join up with the three humans. This is done by using the TALK command to converse with your new-found companions. This is nicely done, but the TALK command only works within a limited window--be sure to TALK with them as soon as you can, before going anywhere.
Hoyle has come up with some interesting special effects that are triggered by the USE command. There are two artifacts that you can USE that will greatly aid you in certain battles, and one artifact that you can USE to completely avoid combat with certain foes. Be sure to explore this command and don't dismiss an artifact just because it doesn't do anything in an empty room. The effects are pretty neat ideas and I enjoyed them.
This adventure was certainly enjoyable and is well-crafted. I was mildly disappointed that the quest wasn't more clearly spelled out. Indeed it is quite possible to play it through without ever learning what you are supposed to do or knowing if you did it correctly. This is good news/bad news; it requires some thinking to successfully complete, but at the same time it's a decent 'Hack'n'Slash' foray if you miss any or all of the quest elements.
I give it a (4) for difficulty in its role as a 'Hack'n'Slash' adventure. The quest and special effects add a lot to the play and raise the difficulty only if you desire to solve them. One hint: both cornerstones are important.
MAIN PGM Version: 4 Extra Commands: PUT, PAY, SAVE Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1.5-2 hr. Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "In the Main Hall, you meet a strange pair of Adventurers, a Dwarf named Dworkin, and Lightfoot, an Elf. They tell you of a quest that they are about to start in the city of Griswald.
"The jewel that serves as the Eye of the statue of the god Barantu has been stolen. Without its magic protection, the ancient city will soon fall under the control of the evil magician Arach. Your friends plan to find the gem, and to try to release Griswald from his grasp. They ask you to help them in their quest.
"Realizing that there is probably gold to be had in this adventure, you accept their invitation."
Comment: This is a moderately ambitious adventure, as early-version Eamons go. It is rather large, with 92 rooms. The map didn't have to be that large, given the content of the quest, combat, and puzzles, but it's done well enough that I didn't get bored while mapping.
There are no secret passages, but there are several unmarked room exits and a couple of bad room connections. But the map is sensible enough that neither of these flaws caused me any difficulty. There are a couple of special effects that are mildly interesting; one concerns a real vampire and the other describes a rather nifty reward scene that occurs if you complete the quest.
I enjoyed this adventure quite enough to give it a higher rating, but didn't do so for several reasons: First, this early version requires that you type in the full verb and object, and I have been spoiled by later versions that don't require that. Next, the special effects and confrontations were very terse and could have used more development. There is no notice if you fail to complete the quest. Last, I don't think that this adventure was completed. While all the necessary pieces are in place to complete the quest, there are a number of tantalizing tidbits that promise interesting play but do nothing. These include a weapon shop and a tavern, and the PAY command.
This adventure was discovered by Jeff Hurlburt of Softkey, who forwarded it to me. We don't know anything about Mr. Osgood. Roger developed a very nice Eamon adventure, given the fact that it was his first and that he was using version 4 tools. It's too bad that he's no longer with us. With the experience he gained and with modern Eamon, he could do some dynamite stuff.
This adventure rates a 4 for difficulty, if you can remember that the PUT command is new.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: HIRE, DISMISS, THROW, JUMP Deleted Commands: POWER Special Features: Mercenary companions Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "The time has come for you to go on yet another adventure in the land of Eamon. After all, you get rather bored sitting around in the Main Hall all day doing nothing but sipping ale and looking at the other poor adventurers who have barely made it back alive.
"There is a cave not far from here which is rumored to be the entrance to some ancient catacombs. Your mission: just find all sorts of valuable treasure. But once you get there, you find that it is not so easy to leave...."
Comment: Phil has come up with some pretty original ideas in this adventure. The potential companions are mercenaries for hire and some are jealous of one another. There's a gaming room of sorts where you can bet as much as your lives on the outcome, if you desire.
Though there is no clear quest, once you have begun the adventure there is no turning back until you have solved five tests of your mettle. These tests are rather difficult puzzles to solve and require special paraphernalia in most cases. However, Phil has made it easy to temporarily escape from each test in order to scour the catacombs for the stuff you need.
While the tests are tough, they are somewhat alleviated by numerous hints that are scattered all over the place. The companions will offer sage advice--listen to them!
This adventure had plenty of sophisticated and interesting stuff. It would have received a higher rating but for a few inconsistencies of play that didn't sit just right with me, and the high difficulty of a couple of tests.
I give it a (9) for difficulty, for the puzzles and some tough monsters. Here's a hint that should lower this number a bit for you: the diamonds are important.
MAIN PGM Version: 5 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 30 min. Reviewer Rating: 2.0
Description: "One fine day, after having one too many root beer floats, you layed down to take a nap. It was an awful nap, and you had a bad dream. You dreamt of vampires! But the really scary part was when you dreamt that you woke up, and you were there..."
Comment: This is a very simple adventure, with no puzzles or secret stuff. The bad guys are easy enough, though there are a lot of them. I give it a (4) for difficulty.
The map is simply laid out. Just about the only monsters that you see are bats and vampires, which gets a bit old. The descriptions were quite simple, with numerous spelling errors. The adventure does have a "quest" to fulfill, though it's not spelled out: kill the Count.
I suspect that this adventure may be a pretty good pick for young boys, with tons of combat and absolutely zero mental heavy lifting. It's actually not that bad of an adventure; it's just way too simple for my tastes.
MAIN PGM Version: 5 Extra Commands: OPEN, READ, UNLOCK, SIT, STAND, WEAR, REMOVE Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 10-directions, secret door screen effects Playing Time: 30-60 min. Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Description: "The king needs your services. He informs you, 'The beautiful princess Aeriel has been kidnapped by an evil Adept.
"This is bad enough, but it is worse. A war may break out if she is not returned in time to marry the barbarous king of the Northern Reaches. It is said that the king has the aid of Demon magic, and Eamon would be destroyed if you fail.
"The king offers you a reward of 7500 gold pieces for Aeriel's return, and another 2500 for the Adept's body. And of course, you may keep whatever you, well, acquire while questing. He cannot send another man with you, as they are preparing for war."
Comment: After a lapse of 150 adventures, Tim Berge rises from the dead with a quite competent offering. It is rather dated by being based on an early version 5 MAIN PGM, with such flaws as requiring full object names and having virtually no screen pauses. But it is simply jammed with nonstop specials and effects. This adventure has all the right elements: a clear quest, interesting companions and foes, magical devices, and some minor puzzling.
The POWER spell is loaded with special stuff that you won't want to miss. There's a (literally) fire-breathing companion that makes combat rather more interesting. There is a special screen gimmick for secret doors that I really enjoyed. There are a number of random traps, but most are not fatal.
This could possibly have garnered an 8 or 8.5 rating if it had been based on the more solid footing of the version 7 MAIN PGM. But the massive special programming required by the use of such an ancient version is a little uneven and a bit cantankerous in spots, which accounts for the lower rating.
I guess I give it a (6) for difficulty. This one is worth a play for all the specials; they are pretty neat.
MAIN PGM Version: 4 Extra Commands: SWIM, READ, OPEN, PULL, DIG Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 30 min. Reviewer Rating: 4.0
Description: There is no actual intro text, but the story is basically this: you find yourself at the entrance of a small cave dungeon. You decide to explore it.
Comment: This is a small 27-room dungeon. While there is no quest, a cave-in prevents your exit and you must find an alternate means of escape. Strangely, the adventure's title has nothing to do with its content. There is no time travelling that I could see.
For such a small, simple adventure, there is a surprising number of special items that kept my interest quite well. I would likely have rated it higher if it had been larger. There are a couple of death traps, but they are fairly well marked and are survivable if you luck into having the right artifacts with you.
I give it a (3) for difficulty. I'd say that this is a good pick for the Young Eamonaut.
Main pgm version: 7.0 Extra commands: REST, CLIMB Deleted commands: None Special features: None Playing time: 2 hours and up Reviewer Rating: 6 Average Rating: 6.5/2
Description: "Once again, you find yourself captured in a far away castle. So find your way out and kill your enemy.
"You have come into possession of an ancient platinum coin. You know you must return it to the Free Adventurer's Guild as they will know what to do with it."
Comment: Above is the entire introduction you get for this adventure. If it sounds like an easy quest, let me assure you that it is not! In fact, this is a surprisingly difficult Eamon. There is quite a variety of monsters in this one. If you're tired of games with monsters named GUARD1, GUARD2, and GUARD3, you'll appreciate the trouble Phil went to in order to come up with some unique monsters. There is a lint monster, coal elemental, and my favorite, the horned cave-dwelling thing.
The game has a number of small puzzles, mostly consisting of finding embedded artifacts that are sometimes quite obscure. There is also a spot where you are seemingly stopped by a fire, a point where you must make a magic potion, and a series of small favors you must do for other monsters. You'll want to read each and every room description carefully and examine anything that is mentioned.
With all the special effects and stuff, you may wonder why I don't give a higher rating. There are two reasons. First, the Eamon really has no plot. While the player knows that they are to escape and return a coin, there is no explanation as to why. The game is somewhat haphazard. Both the monsters and puzzles seem to have been thrown in randomly. Second, the game has some annoying bugs that make it a bit hard to play.
The first reason was the main one that made me downrate this Eamon. It just left too many loose ends. For example, when you escape and return the coin, you are given a large reward, but no reason is given as to why the coin is so incredibly important. Also, you never find out who captured you nor why. I just would have liked to see a bit more plot development.
Overall, I would call this Eamon a decent game. It's definitely not for the impatient nor inexperienced. The combat can be tough and some of the artifacts are extremely well-hidden. If you don't mind the lack of a plot, then this would be a good challenge. It gets a difficulty rating of 8 from me.
Now for some hints and discussion. First, there is something you need in the torture room. Also, the ball of lint hidden in a bedroom is important. Next, make sure you have at least 2000 gold pieces in hand when you start, otherwise, you can't complete the game. You end up getting spit back to a previous room and told that you need more gold. However, there doesn't seem to be a way to get more. Lastly, you are not supposed to be able to survive the attack by the 8 mine monsters. The way the author wrote things, however, you are likely to kill them if you use a decent character. This causes the programming to get flaky, so be sure to let them kill you. This is a rather odd thing, as the author was quite forgiving of errors near the beginning of the game. It appears as if he lapsed off in the end. With this advice and some thought, you should be able to complete the game.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 (heavily modified) Extra Commands: BOARD, CLOSE, RESUME, SHORT, QUIT Deleted Commands: None Special Features: Lower-case text Playing Time: 1-2 hr. Reviewer Rating: 8.0
Description: To make a long and amusing introduction short: while Hokas Tokas was away on a trip, you got into his stuff and drank all his best imported beer. When he returned, he cast you into the Interzone, to teach you a lesson-perhaps a permanent one!
Comment: Let me lead this off by saying that the above rating may well be on the low side. I downrated it for some details that didn't hit me just right; if these same details catch your fancy, you are liable to rate it a good bit higher than I did.
Frank has crafted one of the most sophisticated Eamons ever done. The player interface is virtually flawless, with careful attention to every detail. It is all lower-case text, with optional all-caps display for II+ users who don't have a lower-case chip or 80-column card installed. Text formatting is done on the fly, with none of the extra-space line padding (such as is used in this newsletter) that many people find irritating.
Though the map is only 54 rooms, there are 90-odd Effects, and the play is jammed with special events and plot developments. Frank has provided against all kinds of ways that you might find to go astray; as I read through the Effects after completing play, I was amazed to see some of the things he had planned for. In short, here is an Eamon in which the author worked "hardē to make as perfect as he could, and it shows.
The play is a Puzzler's delight. The puzzles are subtle and require careful reading and thought, often being presented as plot developments that require interaction with other characters to solve. Though there is very little combat for the Hack'n'Slasher in most of the map, there is a ton of combat to wade through at one point.
You are liable to get killed out several times before you solve the first major puzzle, which is to survive an assault by a gang of thugs. Let's just say that you will need some help. Spell ability gets a workout in several places. And don't forget the fine art of bribery!
I peg the overall difficulty at (8), due mainly to a couple of potentially deadly puzzles. But even if you're not a puzzler, don't miss this one. You'll want to experience the excellent player interface, which is a significant upgrade from the one found in the standard version 7.1.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: TROLLSFIRE, PASSWORD, SUICIDE Deleted Commands: None Special Features: Not finished (see below) Playing Time: 30 min. Reviewer Rating: 7.5
Description: 'Hokas sits in jail. An orc lies in a hospital bed. Luke loves Laura, but doesn't want to tell Beth, his wife, who secretly loves Daniel, Laura's son.
Scratch that last sentence. Where was I? Oh, yes. The Bookworm has once again disappeared!'
Comment: Robert Parker no longer has an Apple II. Though he had been working on this Eamon for years, it was not finished before he lost his Apple. It can be cleanly divided into two parts: the first half was a collaboration with Nate Segerlind; it is a send-up of the "Beginners Cave" and is hilarious! The second half is set on a space station; it is much poorer in quality and is not finished in this release.
The first half is so good that we simply couldn't let it go unreleased. Some special text and code has been added to permit the player to quit any time he wishes once the "Beginners Cave" segment is completed. NOTE that the above rating is for the "Beginners Cave" segment only! Players are welcome to explore the space station if they wish, but they will find it an unsatisfactory experience.
I was so unimpressed with the space station segment that I didn't feel that it was worth any attempt at debugging and cleanup. I seriously considered deleting it completely from the database for this release. 'Nuff said.
I give a difficulty rating of (3). This adventure is strictly for laughs, with absurd puzzles and super-lightweight foes. You'll see 38 rooms of great stuff.
One caveat: this is not exactly a "G"-rated adventure. It touches on some, uh, mature themes and uses some language that give it something like a "PG-13" rating.
MAIN PGM Version: 6.0 Extra Commands: HINT, RUN Deleted Commands: EXAMINE, BLAST, HEAL, POWER, SPEED, WAVE, SAY, LIGHT, OPEN, PUT, DRINK, FREE Special Features: None Playing Time: 30 min. Reviewer Rating: 2.0
Description: 'A neighborhood has been terrorized!
'The police chief of De Bunk, Iowa, has called you to stop 5 renegade hackers who have barricaded themselves inside a local software publishing house. These persons have lost their minds after feeding piles of confusing commands to innocent machines.'
Comment: As noted above, the EAMON.NAME file shows this to be version 6. But it much more closely resembles a late-version 5 Eamon, as shown by the extensive list of missing commands.
As near as I can make out, the five renegades are the staff of the National Eamon Users Club, and I suspect that the house is John Nelson's.
This is a very simple adventure with 26 rooms, no puzzles, 7 bad guys, no secret doors, and no Quest. It's not badly done, but there's little of interest to do or see, hence the low rating.
I put the difficulty at (6) for some pretty tough bad guys. Apart from the strong opponents, this is a low-difficulty no-brainer.
MAIN PGM Version: 6.0 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 10-directions Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 4.0
Description: 'As you were on your way home from your last adventure, which was across a distant ocean, the ship you were on became lost in a violent storm and for several days you drifted aimlessly until suddenly on the horizon you could make out what appeared to be an island.
'As you ship is washed ashore it is torn to shreds by the sharp coral near the beach. It is several hours before you regain consciousness. And as you look around you find yourself on a deserted island.'
Comment: And here you have an exact reproduction of the introduction in its entirety. This is a basic "escape" scenario.
Though there is 84 rooms, there's very little here to see and do. The map breaks into three parts: 28 rooms of uninteresting beach, 25 rooms of a complex maze, and the rest jungle trails. You may rate this adventure lower than I did. I like breaking mazes, but if you hate mazes, you may be less pleased. However, the maze isn't all that bad, with four of the maze rooms giving you exact directions on how to escape.
I put the difficulty at (4).
MAIN PGM Version: 7.1 Extra Commands: GREET, CAST, DISASSEMBLE, REASSEMBLE, TRAIN Deleted Commands: POWER, BLAST, HEAL, SPEED, SMILE, SAY Special Features: magic spell points, "roving guards", no DOS on disk Playing Time: 2-3 hours Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Description: "For the last eight months, the city has been occupied by an elite army from the other side of the world. This army is about to burn the city down. They have found a way to summon a supernatural being that will destroy the city in one fiery blast-- the Firestorm.
"You have one week to save the city. You must find Thorak, the army's leader, and defeat him before his power grows any more. But Thorak is not the easiest person to find. You figure that your confrontation will be in a far-off place, just the two of you, fighting to the death."
Comment: This Eamon has a lot of unusual and special stuff in it, as you can see from the above command and feature lists. Many of the people you meet will give you advice through the GREET command, and there are several mini-quests that you must fulfill to get needed aid from some of them.
This Eamon can be divided into two parts. The first half involves much exploring and most of the mini-quests, as you acquire the stuff and the magical skills needed to continue onward. The magic stuff was nicely done. We don't see enough original magic in Eamon.
The last half takes place in Thorak's fortress, and is very combat-oriented. You will find lots and lots of combat with the "roving guards", a set of four special monsters that are used over and over to save memory space. Phil went to some trouble to vary the names and descriptions of these guys so that they would seem less tedious as you fought them multiple times. There is also a disguise available at one point which cuts subsequent combat by about half.
All in all, a fine job. I give it a (7) for difficulty. One hint: don't do any teleporting until you have obtained the herbs; you will need them later on!
MAIN PGM Version: 6.2 Extra Commands: USE Deleted Commands: FREE Special Features: None Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "Evenhold is in great danger! Signs of impending doom are all about us. Among others, a woman reported seeing her son, who was three weeks dead, stalking the hills above the vast Arcosian Swamp.
"All of the trouble is emanating from the swamp. Therein lies a temple, an eldrich place of aeon-ridden Evil. A madman now seeks there to reopen that which should never be.
"You must proceed north into the swamp to the temple, and stop this madman. His hour of triumph is nearly come, for when the stars are right, the great Old Ones will rise again."
Comment: Pat Hurst sent this Eamon to the EAG nearly two years ago, in a severely flawed and unplayable form. It turned out that neither Mike nor Pat had an Apple II available, and that Mike had borrowed one to enter the adventure, and had never played it even once. We exchanged some correspondence, and I waited all this time for a fixed version to come in. It never did. Therefore, I took it upon myself to fix what needed fixing, and to add every unimplemented feature that I could figure out from the database. The result is likely well beneath Mike's vision, but I can only do so much without becoming a full co-author and reworking it to my own ideas and fashions.
This is a pretty fair example of a foray into Lovecraft's "Cthulhu" Mythos. It's very dark, and if you manage to call up one of the Old Ones, you will surely die. It does a good job of conveying the desired atmosphere, which is one of great unpleasantness and danger.
I had a lot of difficulty rating it, oscillating between a (4) and a (7). Some elements are masterful, while others are poorly done. I have no doubt that it would have attained a (7) if Mike had finished it.
I give it a (6) for difficulty, mainly because the legions of zombies and such soon wear down your HEAL spell. Though they are not necessary to the Quest, you may enjoy trying to decipher the incantations scattered about, and playing with them. Some of them will soon kill you in very horrible and entertaining ways. <grin>
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Playing Time: 30-60 min. Reviewer Rating: 4.0
Description: "You have been requested to find the famous Amulet of Bhaal. The amulet was made by the god's priests many years ago, making it the oldest remaining relic of the god and very valuable to them. The Priesthood of Bhaal will pay you very well to return it to them.
"You leave to find the amulet. It's going to be very hard due to the fact that an evil wizard has moved into the place you're going. Rumor has it he's building an army!"
Comment: The actual adventuring has very little to do with the intro. There is no Wizard and no army; I have no idea what that is doing there. This is your basic "hack'n'slash" Eamon, with exactly two locked doors and one secret passage. Just kill everyone who doesn't smile at you and read the descriptions, and you'll do fine.
I give it a (5) for difficulty. I might have given it a higher playability rating, but there are FOUR no-warning death traps. By and large, you would be well-advised to ignore anything that isn't an honest stairway (hint).
There are a couple of doors that don't go anywhere valid, so I simply locked them. So don't worry about getting past any doors that you can't find the keys for.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: TALK Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Description: "While on a Quest to free the people of Arenjun from an evil priest named Yara, you were beset in your sleep by a band of thieves. Chained and beaten, you endured several days of misery when you saw your chance.
"You smashed the first guard and grabbed your armor, which lay near. However, the alarm had been sounded. Wolf-dogs trained to track and kill had been unleashed. You have no choice but to run!
"Alone and unarmed, the adventure begins."
Comment: While this is a pretty large Eamon, it is laid out in four sections with connecting roads, and I had no trouble playing it without a map. Two of the sections really have nothing to do with the Quest, but they serve well to flesh out the map and story. Actually, there is quite a bit of stuff in the database that serves no purpose. This was Hoyle's last Eamon, and I suspect that he lost interest and wound it up quickly.
This Eamon does some pretty neat stuff and is well-conceived and well-written. I really liked the first section for its tense pace. However, the adventure winds up quite abruptly, in stark and unwelcome contrast to the earlier portions of the foray. More evidence that Hoyle decided to wrap it up not fully finished.
Here are a few hints: first, pay attention to what you learn in the descriptions. If it says, for one example, that there are too many guards, believe it. And if you aren't making progress in Arenjun, maybe passing some time in the tavern will bring forth an opportunity (but explore the city first.)
Difficulty of (5) if you take the above advice.
MAIN PGM Version: 4 (heavily modified!) Extra Commands:FREE, UNLOCK, modified WAVE Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 80-column ONLY, ProDOS ONLY, on-the-fly text case conversion Playing Time: 1-3 hours Reviewer Rating: 4.0
Description: An evil wizard named Zenoqq has taken control of the kingdom, and made a prisoner of the previous ruler, the good wizard Maryex.
You are hired to destroy Zenoqq and rescue Maryex. You are given a magic staff that can turn foe into friend, and promised a reward for a successful Quest. You are also intrigued by rumor that Zenoqq's slayer will find a powerful magic weapon.
Comment: Bob includes some Author's Notes that tell of this Eamon's history and recent modification. In short, it is a very old version 4 Eamon that has been updated to modern ProDOS-Eamon standards. It requires ProDOS and 80-column display, and it does work on an 80-column-capable II+. The most remarkable thing you will notice while playing is that all commands are automatically converted into nice-looking lower case. Like any Eamon, you must type in all-caps, but when you type "ATTACK MONSTER", "Attack Monster" appears on the screen. Very nice.
But while Bob did a wonderful job with that feature and regular ProDOS-Eamon capabilities, he neglected to fully uprate the command parser to version 6. Thus, while you can abbreviate the command, the object name must be fully typed. Also, he added a very crude screen-pause line counter that throws in a "Hit any key to continue" after every 20 lines or so. This screen pause appeared every one to three commands and drove me nuts with its pseudo-random appearance.
A couple of things really knocked down its rating for me. The first is a wealth of spelling typos which are beyond easy repair, because Bob uses a special machine-language method for loading the descriptions that is not compatible with the Dungeon Editor.
The second problem is that the descriptions make the dungeon feel uninteresting with a studied effort to sound sarcastic and jaded. Here's a typical example: "Guess what! You're in a north/south corridor, and you can even go through a doorway to the east. Now, isn't that fascinating?"
The Wave command is a major enhancement over the normal WAVE/SMILE in that you have a magical staff that can turn foe into friend when you wave it. But while this is a nifty gizmo, it only works about three times, and it does not work on Zenoqq. You won't really need it to battle the typical enemy you encounter, but I suggest that you use it in encounters with multiple foes so that you will have more companions when you finally meet Zenoqq. Zenoqq himself is a very tough customer who can kill you with about three hits, and I could not beat him without cheating to preserve my health.
The main mapping gimmick is an overuse of secret doors. I counted no fewer than 17 secret doors in 97 rooms of mapping. It's easy to get lost while backtracking old ground as the haphazard screen pauses readily eat movement commands when you miss them.
I am upping the difficulty rating to (7). You will need a good magic weapon, and even so may well have to cheat to restore the HEAL command and to survive Zenoqq.
Finally, even though this is not a great Eamon, it's well worth a play just to see and experience the good stuff it has. One last comment: you are forced at the end to keep the Key of Zenoqq, but it's a 6D4 weapon, so that's not so bad.
"Gimme that ring, ya hairy-footed varmint! Gimme that ring or I'll blast ya!"
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: 80-col. only; Lo-res puzzle Playing Time: 2-3 hours Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: An assassination attempt has been made on the King! He was cut by a poisoned blade, and now lies near death.
The attempt was done by the King of Assassins, himself. You must find him and obtain the antidote to the poison, before the king dies.
Comment: This Eamon was written for Softdisk back when they were first soliciting an Eamon from us. It had 5 or 6 minor problems, and when Rob learned that Sam had submitted "Redemption", he gave up in the face of such overwhelming competition. While I was waiting for Rob to resubmit this as a regular Eamon, he got himself a PC and is now permanently out of the Eamon business. After checking with Rob, I fixed the problems and released it.
It has a much better finish than most of Rob's Eamons, with many little touches and specials that enhance the play. However, its 90-room map is largely empty. Mapping the seemingly endless tunnels got tiresome enough that I considered a lower rating, but in the end the Good Stuff won me over. If the map had been somewhat smaller, it would likely have gotten a (6) rating.
There are a couple of puzzles that don't make any sense at all to me, but I was able to solve one by simply guessing from the 4 alternatives. To solve the other, make a point of searching out seemingly unimportant junk and toting it along with you, and it will solve itself.
The bad guys are heavy enough that you'll want to bring along a magic weapon. A (7) is about right for difficulty, mostly for the puzzles.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0 Extra Commands: SEARCH, CAPTURE, SWALLOW, KISS Deleted Commands: SAY, DRINK, USE Special Features: Optional lower-case intro Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: Pyotr Baranov, the emperor of Vaalpa, has gone insane, borrowing and spending money on a wild spree to pay for his huge palace and military, which he is using to oppress his people and raid the surrounding lands.
The banker Shylock and others are doing much to aid the underground resistance, but things are going badly. Therefore Shylock has hired you to enter the kingdom and capture or assassinate Baranov.
Baranov's soldiers are expert at recognizing members of the Resistance. You will have to enter the city unarmed and unarmored, and find your way to a cache of locally-made weapons that will be waiting for you.
Comment: This little foray has a few interesting specials, but is otherwise unremarkable, though it is quite competently written. One such special is that you can read the intro text in lower-case or upper-case text, at your option. The adventure itself is all upper-case, and everything is 40-column text.
The map is coherent and logical. The monsters, however, seem over-armored for the weapons you are provided, with most melees taking dozens and dozens of rounds with only slight damage being incurred every third or fourth round. They seem closely matched to your own fighting ability, which is no doubt realistic, but can be rather tedious to play. It soon gets old to see a seemingly endless series of BLOW BOUNCES OFF ARMOR messages during combat.
You start out with no weapons or armor and must make do with what you find in the adventure. But don't worry about your good stuff that you brought from the Main Hall. You will get your original armor back, and your original weapons will be made available on your way back to the Main Hall.
This is a comparatively easy, relaxing play, but the combat is closely matched and needs careful watching during play, making this a good pick for the Hack'n'Slash crowd. I give it a (6) for difficulty, for the combat.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: You receive a message from the Princess: "I need a favor. As you know, the Sicilians have been at war with us for many years. We have now learned that King Charles has implemented monsters in his garrison.
Two days ago, the monsters infiltrated my father's castle, and kidnapped the royal Cat, McKenzie. They are now holding him for ransom.
Rescue Mack, and your payment will be 5000GP.
Your mission then is: - Infiltrate Castle Charlast, and get McKenzie. - Kill King Charles and as many of his monsters as possible.
Comment: Clayton submitted this Eamon over a year ago with a severely damaged EAMON.DESC file. I told him about it, and awaited a fix. He fixed it all up, then inadvertently deleted his only copy. He was too dispirited to start over again, and quit, asking me to fix it up and release it for him.
I had to invent the descriptions for all the monsters and the Effects. I am quite sure that some of Clayton's intended specials are missing, but I don't know what he wanted to do and had to leave them out. I suspect that my version is somewhat easier than his would have been, also.
In any event, the resulting Eamon is a relaxing play, with no puzzles and no particularly life- threatening combat. I confess that I enjoyed it rather more than I normally do Eamons of this level. I peg the difficulty at (4). The only downside I saw was that the room descriptions use confusing terminology, but if you make a map while exploring you will have no trouble.
It appears that you do not get any gold at the end as promised. However, you do get a very enthusiastic reward from the Princess that pushes this Eamon into at least a hard PG13 or soft R rating and may not suit female Eamonauts.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.1 (highly modified) Extra Commands: FILL, ASK, RESUME Deleted Commands: UP, DOWN Special Features: Optional 40/80 column display; optional upper/lower case text; PRODOS ONLY Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 8.0
Description: "The end of Eamon is near, and it's all your fault! Years ago, you barged into the Clone Master's lab, slew him and his guards, and destroyed his equipment, ending his reign. Or so you thought...
"It seems that the Clone Master created a clone of himself and sent it out to meet you while he went into hiding. Now he is back, and he seeks revenge. Soon his Clonatorium will be perfected, and he will unleash his wrath upon us all!"
Comment: This Eamon uses Frank's very heavily-modified Eamon 7.1 system. Frank calls it his version 8 Eamon with considerable justification; no one but Sam Ruby so completely guts the MAIN PGM and rewrites it to his own specification.
It's extremely well-crafted. While there is little that you can point to that says, "this is special", it is all special in little ways that add much to the gaming experience.
Frank had fun using bad guys from other Eamons, and you'll enjoy seeing the familiar faces. He also adds individual touches to many of them that keeps your interest up. It's very funny!
This is primarily a Hack'n'Slasher's Eamon, with tons of combat, but there are so many variations and clever touches during combat that even a combat-hater like myself had a good time.
There are a few secret passages to be discovered, and you must figure out how to enable the teleport machines, but these puzzles aren't bad. I give it an overall (6) for difficulty.
At the time of this writing this Eamon is PRODOS ONLY. I looked into the possibility of doing a DOS 3.3 conversion, but Frank's mods are so complex that it would be very difficult to do. However, this ProDOS version works perfectly on my II+ in both 40-col. and 80-col. modes.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.1 Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 20 min. Reviewer Rating: 2.0
Description: "Fight your way through Sagamore's Castle!"
Comment: Joey originally submitted this Eamon to me about three years ago in a severely flawed, unplayable form. We exchanged some correspondence, and he eventually sent me a letter that said that it enclosed the final version, though it did not. He did not respond to any further communication. It's been long enough now that I went ahead and fixed the worst of the problems so it could be released.
This is a VERY simple Eamon. Twenty-two rooms, 8 artifacts, and 11 monsters. Most of the monsters are multiples, and it is a heavy slugfest in the finest traditions of Hack'n'Slash.
Two things lowered my rating: first, the text has almost no punctuation, which makes reading it a chore. And most of the artifacts are absurdly strong magical weapons with huge values; sell everything and you'll get over 100,000 GP!
I give it a difficulty of (2). It's a fine selection for the young Eamonaut who prefers lots of combat.
MAIN PGM Version: 7.1 Extra Commands: JUMP, HELP, THROW Deleted Commands: WEAR Special Features: "Arcade game" action at end of game Playing Time: 2-4 hours Reviewer Rating: 8.0
Description: "In the Incan writings of a time forgotten by all but a few, there exists a priceless and beautiful idol, known as the 'Idol of the Incas', which has never been found. Many explorers have tried to discover the legendary 'Path of Adventure', to where the idol was kept in the days of the Incas.
"There is legend that all who have taken this 'Path of Adventure' have never returned. Some say the idol is cursed, and that all who have found the idol and tried to remove it have died. Many well-known explorers have gone before you and never returned. In times past you have traveled to the ends of the Earth with some of the most famous adventurers, but taking this 'Path of Adventure' may be the most dangerous and rewarding adventure you have ever taken.
"You have climbed high in the Peruvian mountains to get to the once-lost Incan city of Machu Picchu, to find the 'Idol of the Incas'."
Comment: This Eamon is very reminiscent of the "Indiana Jones" movies, with you of course in the role of Indy. It does a very good job of conveying the ambience of exploring a lost and dangerous ruin.
This is a puzzler's Eamon. There is so little combat that you are very unlikely to need the HEAL spell at all! But there is something to take note of or solve in every second or third room of movement. Clyde makes very heavy use of embedded artifacts to conceal parts of the puzzles in plain view. If you've played my own "Thror's Ring", then you will have a good idea of the kind of puzzling in store for you here.
At the same time, this is a very forgiving play. It's darned near impossible to get killed here; you just get stopped from further progress until you find your way past whatever is stopping you. Yet, while stopping your progress, the text of the play encourages a state of high anxiety and danger where the plot requires it. You'll have a great time if you buy into the story line.
The HELP command gives players a boost by way of some heavy hinting about some crucial puzzle elements. If you're a hard-core gamer, you will have a lot more fun if you ignore that command altogether and work to solve the puzzles the old-fashioned way. And those who get bored by too much puzzling can use this command to keep things moving at a pace more to their liking.
A hint: Never forget that artifact descriptions may themselves contain words that lead to other artifacts. And here's a go-faster: the Eamon 7.x PUT command does not require you to be holding the object; it can also be in the room.
At the very end there is a little arcade-game action loosely based on the mine cart ride in "Temple of Doom". It makes clever use of the text screen and is an amusing novelty. A lot of effort went into making sure it would work right at any CPU speed.
Difficulty of (8), I think. The actual difficulty will vary according to how good you are at Eamon puzzling and how much you make use of the HELP command.
Good play. Great atmosphere. Highly recommended for puzzlers, but Hack'n'slasher fans will find it less well suited to their action appetite.
MAIN PGM Version: 7, HIGHLY modified Extra Commands: CLOSE, CONNECT, CONSULT, EAT, ORDER, TALK, PANIC, SMELL, WAIT, HELP, SHORT, RESUME Deleted Commands: BLAST, HEAL, POWER, SPEED, READY, LIGHT, FREE Special Features: PRODOS ONLY; 40/80 display works with all Apple II's; standalone design does not use Main Hall Playing Time: 2-3 hours and up Reviewer Rating: 6.5
Description: "Several years ago a stranger named Ford Prefect appeared at the Main Hall, and you became friends with him. He seemed like a good chap, if a bit odd. He was known to stare at the sky for long periods of time, claiming to be looking for "flying saucers".
"Then one day a green shape appeared in the sky. A voice boomed out of it saying that planet Eamon was in the way of the new hyperspace bypass and was going to promptly be destroyed in two minutes.
"Ford suddenly pulled you aside. 'Another ship has appeared!' he said. 'I'm trying to hitch a ride. Don't worry, I'm bringing you with me!'
"'I've succeeded!' he suddenly yells with joy. 'Prepare to be transported...'" You feel a gut-wrenching sensation and black out. Somewhere off in the distance, you hear the world of Eamon being completely destroyed!"
Comment: If you don't recognize the above, this Eamon is based on Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books. Frank set out to purposely write a very difficult Eamon that is very much like an Infocom game. In other words, it has no combat and a series of small puzzles that must be done precisely in order and on a tight timeline.
Because the puzzles must be done in order and on time, there are many, many ways to get killed out, and you will almost certainly start over at least a dozen times before winning through to the end. In fact, the only thing that makes it solvable with only a dozen or so restarts is the detailed hints available via the HELP command. Without this command, the adventure would be nearly unsolvable for the vast majority of players. Even when using HELP, the difficulty falls near (8).
This Eamon only has about 15 rooms, making maps unnecessary, but takes a couple of hours to play even if you cheat and use the hints, which should give you a good idea of the number and difficulty of puzzles.
This is a technical masterpiece, which is only what we have come to expect from Frank. It gets its lukewarm rating for two reasons: because I got tired of starting over, and because I felt somewhat deflated because I had to use the hints at every turn to lower the difficulty to something I could handle.
One hint: don't SAVE too often. It's better to have to repeat a dozen or two actions than to discover that you have saved an unwinnable game.
I should mention that this Eamon stands alone without the Main Hall. You can launch it from the Main Hall, but the FRESH.MEAT file is not used, and it does not return to the Main Hall at the end.
This Eamon is PRODOS ONLY. Like Frank's previous work, it supports both 40 and 80-column display, works flawlessly on any Apple II in both modes, and has an all-caps option for II+ users.
Highly recommended for serious puzzle junkies, who may wish to try to solve it without use of the hints.
MAIN PGM Version: 7 Extra Commands: HINT, RIDE, WAIT Deleted Commands: None Special Features: ProDOS ONLY, REQUIRES 80-column capability Playing Time: 30-45 min. Reviewer Rating: 7.5
Description: "One day you visited your friend Professor Eric Johnson, the most famous inventor in the entire Eamon universe. When you arrive, you discover that he is missing! While investigating his disappearance, you accidentally expose yourself to the potion he was working on.
"In a flash, you are shrunk to insect size and flung through a vent into the backyard. Now you have two goals, for you must not only find the professor but must somehow find a way to return to normal size!"
Comment: This is an outstanding Eamon from a first-time author. It is well written, involving combat, puzzling, and plot development in fairly equal proportions. As the intro summary above describes, this is a member of the "shrunk to insect size in the back yard" variety, and this is the best example of this genre.
You will want to read each description carefully and be on the lookout for key words to be examined more closely. Feel free to use the HINTS command; it is useful yet doesn't give away all that much information.
Combat with insects can be intense and difficult to survive. If you can't seem to stay alive, then you haven't equipped yourself with the best weapon and armor that is available here. Finding these items and putting all the elements together may take a couple of restarts before you win though to the end. Difficulty of about (7), what with the combat and the puzzles.
MAIN PGM Version: 4 Extra Commands: OPEN, READ, DRINK, DESTROY, ASK, UNLOCK, KILL Deleted Commands: None, no SAVE Special Features: Hi-Res intro screen Playing Time: 30-60 min. Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Description: "Only a fearless Adventurer may survive my dungeon of traps!" says the mighty Lord Barrington to you. "The most warriors which have entered this Domain of Death have never been seen again, but if you really want to die, go in and try to bring me the Diamond of the Necromancer as an evidence of your stay in the dungeon.
"With this mission you ride to the mountains of the Lord. After a short search you find a small wooden chute that seems to be the only visible entrance in the vicinity."
Comment: The above is the intro in its entirety. I must point out that the text reads awkwardly in spots because Marvin is German, and English is not his native language. I thought he did an incredible job, working in a foreign language!
This is an unusual Hack'n'Slash offering. It only has 24 rooms and 16 monsters, but it has at least 8 traps! Normally I hate traps, and there is no SAVE to boot, but for some reason I had a good time with these. Most of the traps offer a random chance of survival, and even when I died it was usually something original and entertaining. I had to restart six times, but when all is said and done it doesn't take long to race back through a dozen or so rooms to regain your previous spot.
Although it was extensively modified and extended, this is based on a primitive version of Eamon, and the commands must be fully typed in. Marvin did what he could to make command typing easier without a full-scale rewrite of the parser.
A couple of hints: ASK can get you out of at least one sure-death trap, and you might find it worthwhile to skip using the Main Hall and put FRESH SAM right on this disk for quick restarts.
When done, you'll want to run the RESET LAST ADVENTURE program to clean up after yourself.
I don't know if you will enjoy this simple, trap-laden Eamon as much as I did, but I do think you will find it an uncommonly enjoyable example of its genre.
MAIN PGM Version: 1 (I think) Extra Commands: THROW, GIVE, DRINK, READ, ENTER, UNLOCK, OPEN, ASK, EAT, REST, SAVE Deleted Commands: None Special Features: stick-figure animations at beginning; "town visit" in introduction; food, drink, and rest required during play; has many version-6-like features Playing Time: 1 hour Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Description: The intro is a little vague in letting you know what your quest is while it runs you through quite a number of hoops. It appears that you have a dual quest: to rescue a royal relative named Caliban, and to destroy a dragon. Once you get started, escape will be of some interest, also.
As the introduction opens, you get the chance to buy a special potion that will help you with the dragon. Then you move on to a town where you can gather provisions, rest, enhance your magic abilities, and pick up some local folklore.
Shortly after you leave the town, a bridge collapses beneath you and leaves you stranded on a ledge high above a raging river.
And thus the adventure opens.
Comment: As noted in the front of this issue, this Eamon was recently discovered on the Internet in DSK form. As discovered, it had a badly damaged database. Tony used some disk tools to recover the database, but a dozen or so records were mangled in various ways. Some of the lost data could be inferred from related information, but some is just gone. In the end, the monsters and artifacts look pretty good. There are a couple of lost Effects; these were part of the folklore and there is no way to know what was contained in them.
Besides these items, you may find that there are as many as ten rooms or so that you canít access during play. This is because there is an initialization section in the program that randomly opens or closes the passages to these sections. I guess that the author was trying to make his adventure different every time you play it, but the odds are set such that you are unlikely to ever see these rooms. Iíve never understood why an author would go to the trouble of designing in some rooms and specials and then hiding them so they will never be seen, but itís happened before. I guess they lose sight of the fact that very few Eamonauts ever play an Eamon through more than once.
But the Eamon plays well enough, and there doesnít appear to be anything in the "lost" rooms that is needed for anything. You will still see 80-odd rooms of adventuring, and might see a bit more.
Given that this is a version 1 Eamon, this is a very remarkable adventure. Not only are there a bunch of new commands, but also there is light, fog, canoeing, roping, wandering monsters, readable artifacts, magic spells, special events and more. The player needs to eat, drink, and rest as time passes during play. All in all, I was very impressed.
The original version had a few "features" that vastly increased the difficulty level as well as player aggravation, and that version rated no better than maybe a (4). I made three very minor program changes to up the rating to the (7) that I gave it.
This is a moderately difficult Eamon. There are a couple of no-warning "Gotchas" and several places to get yourself killed if you misread the warnings. I think that the difficulty might set in at about (8) because of the no-warning problems. Still, if you use the save command regularly, you shouldnít get too annoyed when you find yourself in a terminal way.
Here are the inevitable hints, and this Eamon needs them:
Do not ever use the command GET ALL while on water. You will "get" your canoe and drown.
Anything lying on the ground in the room will disappear when you invoke the dragon-weapon spell. That includes your canoe!
Buy lots of food and water. I mean like 300 GP worth or more of each. And eat and drink what you find on the road, too. Try to occasionally catch a bit of rest when you think you are in a safe place.
The spell requires EYE OF CYCLOPS. Thatís what it is called. Youíll need to say that exactly when you try to get it. (That is what the hag called it the intro, so it really counts as a pretty good clue for a word-hunt puzzle, but we all hate word-hunt puzzles.)
Hang out on that first ledge until you hook up with the eagle. Likewise, hang out in bat country until you are able to pick up a dead one. Donít be too quick to kill rats and orcs; they have a random friendliness, and if you get a friendly one, that stops the procession of unfriendly ones.
Be sure to learn the local language when you get the chance. Itís a bit of work but worth it. (If you decide that itís too much work, you can cheat around it by setting LAN=1 once the main adventure starts.)
MAIN PGM Version: 4 Extra Commands: USE, OPEN, DRINK, QUIT Deleted Commands: None Special Features: unusual save Playing Time: 1-2 hours Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Description: You read a news item: "Archeologist needs great person to retrieve artifacts from the famous Eamon Sphinx. Will pay handsomely, plus other benefits.
"Intrigued, you found an elderly scientist specializing in ancient history. He explained to you the nature of the quest. The Eamon Sphinx, it seems, had been created by a wizard in ancient times. He made it for a museum of all the strange and rare beasts of the time. This wizard was defeated by stronger, evil wizard who had died a few hundred years before. Rumors claim that an acolyte remains. The major obstacle, however, is the variety of strange and magical monsters that abound. The most valuable artifact is the necklace that is rumored to be worn by the Sphinx himself. It is a pure mithril. Many have tried this task, but none have returned with anything of value. Many have not re-turned at all.
"After telling him you were willing, he wished you luck and told you where the Sphinx was. He also mentioned that there was only one known exit, although more were suspected."
Comment: this Eamon adventure is pretty much a straight "hackíníslash" romp. It is well written and well crafted, and I thoroughly enjoyed my outing. The monsters were not overly difficult, and I didn't use my heal spell at all. There were a couple of puzzles related to the new commands, but they were straightforward and I did not have to think hard to solve them. The map is rather large, with 91 rooms, so the biggest portion of the Eamon play is simply mapping your route.
Several of the monsters are interesting specials in their own right, sometimes coming alive as the result of your actions. There were a few secret passages, but all nor-mal room connections were properly described in the descriptions. I remember seeing one death trap. On the whole I think this Eamon rates a (4) for difficulty.
This Eamon is far older than the standard version 6 SAVE command, and in its place it has the QUIT command. This command exits the adventure in much the same way that the SAVE command does, with one exception. When you restart the game, you have to give your adventurer's name in order to resume the save game. This feature works well and is a worthy substitute for the standard SAVE command.
If you enjoy mapping an Eamon adventure as I do, I think you'll find this a worthwhile play.
MAIN PGM Version: 4 Extra Commands: READ, DIG, SHOOT, HOLD, OPEN, UNLOCK Deleted Commands: None, no SAVE Special Features: None Playing Time: 2 hours Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Description: after a rather silly introduction, you find yourself in the basement of Dracula's chateau, and you will be facing many classic movie monsters. Along the way you'll find several artifacts that will help you de-fend yourself.
Comment: this is a very old Eamon that dates from the early days, but it has many excellent additions and specials. It is very large with 99 rooms, but the mapping is very straightforward except for two locked door puzzles. Because of the large size of the map and low con-tent in spots, it would be an ordinary and even some-what tedious "killíníloot" scenario except that there are enough specials and cool effects to keep you interested and having fun. If you can keep your map straight, the difficulty is no more than (5).
Some of the puzzles and events here are obscure enough that it surely rates a few hints:
Nearly all of the monsters have random friendliness, and you canít tell friend or foe from the descriptions. Any time you encounter someone new, try going in the direction you just came from before you do anything else. If the stranger is an enemy, you will be prevented from leaving the room because there is unfriendliness about.
Eventually you may run into a bad guy named Belg. You'll quickly find that he is far stronger than you in battle. Do not cheat your way to a win. He is supposed to defeat you. You won't really die, and a special effect will be triggered.
The POWER spell has several additions that mainly have to do with enhancing your personal abilities, but it is not required at any point in the adventure. There is a bug somewhere in the program that "resurrects" Belg if the spell's resurrection routine is triggered. This is pretty much a disaster for you if it occurs in any room but the room you meet Belg in. Therefore, it might be best to leave the POWER spell alone.
Dracula's flaming sword, Goldenwrath, is a very heavy weapon when it is not flaming, but it is weightless when it is aflame. You can relight Goldenwrath by saying FLAME ON.
I'll save you a lot of time and trouble by telling you that there is only one place worth digging, and that is on the beach by the rocks. There is no shovel. When asked if you want to dig with your hands, answer YES.
I didn't have too much trouble killing Dracula with Fresh Sam's Crystal Sword, but if you are finding him too much to deal with, there is an artifact that will make him flee from the room if you hold it up to him.
The glass wall is passable with the right magical help.
There is only one movie monster that can be killed by a silver bullet, and you only have one bullet, so don't waste it.
That pretty well sums it up. Have fun!
MAIN PGM Version: 8.0 (Frankís 6.0/7.1 cross) Extra Commands: PLAY Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 30 minutes Reviewer Rating: 4.0
Description: In a nutshell, a crazy old man tells you there is treasure to be had in "the Alley." You decide to go see.
Comment: This was the "Beginners Cave" of John Nelsonís aborted KnightQuest gaming system. It is very easy and very simple. You just wander around and take everything you can pick up. Combat is easy, too. It appears possible that Frankís conversion to Eamon may have stripped off the secret passages and made them normal passages, but it hardly affected the playability in any way.
It distinguishes itself among the various beginner offerings in that the alley is a very icky place, with garbage and derelicts everywhere you go. Yuck.
Difficulty of (2).
MAIN PGM Version: 8.0 (Frankís 6.0/7.1 cross) Extra Commands: None Deleted Commands: None Special Features: None Playing Time: 30 minutes Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: A nearby village was attacked by a monster. The monster burned it to the ground and killed most of the inhabitants. From the description, it seemed that the monster must be a fire dragon.
But before you embark on a quest to find and kill the dragon, a stranger convinces you that the dragon is gentle and innocent, and there much be some other explanation.
You convince the local sheriff to give you 24 hours to find evidence of the truth before he declares open sea-son on the fire dragon. You realize that you must have concrete proof, or the gentle dragon is doomed.
Comment: This is another of John Nelsonís aborted KnightQuest games. Like Amateur Alley, it appears possible that Frankís conversion to Eamon may have stripped off the secret passages and made them normal passages, but it still played fine.
As Frank explains in his introduction notes, this adventure was not complete. Frank extrapolated the rest of the data from what was already there, and finished it up.
It plays much like an early John Nelson Eamon and lacks much of the sophistication of his later efforts. But I had a good time.
Hereís a hint: when faced with north/south intersections, try the north one first. You will almost certainly die if you find the hill giant before you find the means to get past him unharmed. The giant lies south, but the help lies north.
Difficulty of (5).
MAIN PGM Version: 7.1
Extra Commands: None
Deleted Commands: POWER, HEAL, SPEED, BLAST
Special Features: Lower case intro text and descriptions
Playing Time: 2 hours
Reviewer Rating: 7.0 Average Rating: 7.0/1
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
Description: "The war between the Zarpathian Empire and the Centauri Confederation has gone on for almost a century. Looking to make some money and win some glory, you enlist as a mercenary for the Zarpathians. Grudgingly they allow you to keep your favorite weapons, but they insist on issuing you a quantum blaster rifle.
"A vessel to which you are assigned crash-lands on the desolate planet Osiris 5, and you are knocked unconscious. When you come to, you realize that the rest of the crew has used the only functional escape pod and left you behind. There is another escape pod onboard, but it lacks a dyrillium power crystal.
"You have crashed near some ruins. With no more than your personal weapons and a sensor helmet, you must find a way off this planet!"
Review: This adventure is our second by new author David Owens. Once again, David set out to make as good as adventure as he could make with little to no special programming, relying instead on the strengths of the 7.1 DDD. This adventure came out even better than his first try.
This is mainly a game for puzzlers. There are 52 rooms and several containers, and you must work your way around as you search for the keys, tools and protective gear you will need before you finally escape.
The SF aspect is fairly low-key, and I didn't find it to be a particular plus or minus. David did an excellent job of setting up a succession of goals to achieve. I did not find the opponents excessively difficult with the standard "Sam" character, although I did take the precaution of fleeing from multiple foes to thin them down. There is a healing potion that was ample to keep me going, making the removal of spells possible.
Perhaps the item I enjoyed the most was the desert, which was the best maze that Eamon has seen in a very long time. I've always enjoyed a good maze, and this no doubt contributed to my overall scoring.
If you like puzzling and mazing, you won't go wrong here.
Difficulty of about (7).
This page last updated on 01/29/2005.