Assault on the Clone Master (Dechant)
|Assault on the Clone Master|
|◄Eamon adventure #275►|
|Released||14 August 2017|
|Native format||Web (Eamon Remastered)|
Assault on the Clone Master is an Eamon adventure written by Keith Dechant as part of his web-based Eamon Remastered system. The game is based on the 1980 adventure Assault on the Clone Master by Donald Brown, but though it draws some features and inspiration from the earlier piece, Dechant's work is an original adventure distinct from Brown's. The game is notable for its unique custom effects, its steampunk setting, its support of multiple successful paths to success, and as the first complete remake of a classic adventure.
In correspondence with Huw Williams in February 2020, Dechant recalled that Brown's original Assault on the Clone Master was one of about 14 adventure disks he had as a kid, and was one of his favorites since he'd learned how to quickly beat it (by immediately heading straight for the Clonatorium). He continued to play and enjoy the adventure as a means of testing his characters in combat against the endlessly-respawing clone guards.
Dechant chose to rewrite Assault for a couple of reasons: "First, despite my nostalgic fondness for it, the original is a fairly monotonous adventure. Then, when Frank converted it to EDX, he changed things, like trying to give the guards personality. I think Frank didn't quite get the joke, that all the guards should be exactly the same because they're clones. So, when I went to port it to ER, I decided it would be an interesting adventure to set in a steampunk setting."
One of Dechant's goals with the rewrite was to allow for multiple paths through the adventure, ideally with at least two ways of accomplishing each major plot point, allowing weaker and stronger characters to take different approaches: the outer walls can be broken in two places; the inner gates can be breached by force or by disguise; the Clonatorium guards can be distracted, bypassed, or fought; and the Clonatorium itself can be overloaded or blown up. Dechant said the large amount of custom code the game required was a challenge, as was handling some of the longer descriptions which he addressed by adding screen pauses and spreading the starting scene in the camp and outside the fortress across multiple rooms.
Unlike Brown's original Assault which sees the adventurer accidentally transported into another universe, Dechant's version opens with the adventurer traveling in the distant and technologically-advanced land of Knieriem which is under attack by the forces of the infamous Clone Master. A group of rebels promise to help you get home if you first join their attack on the Clone Master's headquarters, located in a mountain valley on the borders of Knieriem. You travel to a camp overlooking the headquarters and there meet rebel leader Nasreen who gives you your goals: to kill the Clone Master, destroy his cloning machinery, and if possible rescue a captured rebel named Natty.
You were traveling in the far-away land of Knieriem, a land with technology far beyond your own. You marveled at the towering cities and majestic arches and goggled at the wondrous metal vehicles and flying machines powered by the most exquisite clockwork.
But, all was not well in Knieriem. A day before you were to leave for home on a massive, steam-powered ship, word came that the harbor was being blockaded by the dreaded fire fleets of the infamous Clone Master!
The Clone Master was known all over Knieriem and the surrounding kingdoms, feared for his vast armies made up of human clones!
You managed to get in touch with a group of rebels, who were recruiting seasoned adventurers for a dangerous mission. They promise you safe passage home if you join their commando raid directly into the heart of the Clone Master's headquarters and secret research facility, in the mountains on the border of Knieriem.
You travel for two days in a big, hulking steam locomotive. Then for another day you soar high above the mountains in a monstrous flying machine. You arrive at a camp where a rebel army has gathered, overlooking the Clone Master's headquarters in the valley below.
You are summoned to the command tent, where you meet the commando leader, Nasreen of Northampton. She tells you, "Our mission is to kill the Clone Master and destroy the cloning machinery. Another of our commanders, Natty of Nickelton, is already inside the fortress. We believe the Clone Master has taken him prisoner. We should rescue him if we can. Are you ready, soldier?"
You begin in the rebels' command tent with the friendly Nasreen of Northampton.
- Exit south to meet the two other rebel soldiers who will accompany you: Nevil the Gnasher and Norwood the Nervous. Collect the sticks of dynamite.
- Follow the road south toward the fortress; the main rebel army is here and will join you. You observe that the distant fortress has a tall black tower surmounted by a glowing sphere that the rebels believe provides the power necessary to run the enemy's cloning equipment.
- Go south again and you'll enter the parade grounds where a clone army, led by the Clone Master himself, guards the main gates to the south.
Attackthem and the forces will engage in furious battle, giving you and your team an opportunity to slip away along one of the side roads.
- Take either the east or west roads, dispatching the soldiers you encounter, and go south to the side of the fortress where the wall is cracked. Though your companions will object, drop the dynamite and
lightit to blast open an entrance you can climb through.
- Inside the walls you'll find a wide courtyard with impassable gates north and south and structures in each corner: barracks in the southwest, empty servants quarters in the southeast, an armory to the northwest, and a guard station to the northeast.
- Go first to the barracks and check the west bunk room to find some clone army uniforms for your group to
- Next go to the armory and collect the halberd.
- Finally visit the guard station, kill the officer, take his cutlass, and examine his desk to discover a drawer containing a pass key.
- Climb the stairs to reach the top of the fortress wall where you can observe the battle raging beyond the gates. A team of clone gunners is manning a nearby cannon; defeat them and
use cannon. Targeting the battlefield will kill some of the clone soldiers; targeting the power station will reveal that the tower is protected by an invisible protective barrier; targeting the inner gate will blast it to rubble. The cannon will jam and become useless so return to the courtyard.
- Exit the courtyard south through the ruined gates. (It's also possible to leave the courtyard without breaking the gates by wearing the clone army uniforms from the barracks and tricking the guards into letting you through.)
Power station and prison
- From the inner courtyard you can go west toward the power station spire or east toward a palatial building. Start by taking the west road.
- The first section of road passes the clone lab; it's heavily guarded so pass it for now and keep going west.
- The road ends with exits south into the power station and west into a prison.
- In the power station you'll find a console that you can
useto shut down power to parts of the complex. Beyond it to the south is a lab where a captured Knieriem inventor greets you; he points out a small device he created called a "resonant transformer" capable of damaging the cloning machines.
- In the prison are three cells — in the north a friendly hill giant, in the west the captured rebel soldier Natty of Nickleton, and in the south a large bound dragon. Free Natty and give him a weapon, then free the dragon, which will smash its way out of the prison and fly off toward the inner courtyard spreading havoc.
- In the power station you'll find a console that you can
- Return to the intersection and head east.
Command area and palace
- The road first passes the entrance to the clone army's weapons laboratory which you can open with your pass key. Inside pick up the powerful rifle and the "glass grenade", a round container filled with a glowing, hazardous liquid.
- You find yourself in a well-appointed officers' lounge, currently empty. South are the officers quarters (where you can collect a bronze statue) and east are the kitchens (where there's food and water).
- Climb the stairs to the balcony and go west into a command center where the Clone Master and three of his generals are directing the battle; dispatch them.
- Return to the balcony and go south into the Clone Master's personal quarters, inhabited by his unfriendly pet lion.
Examine paintingto uncover a secret vault containing gold bars and a diamond.
- South is the Clone Master's bedroom (a dead end) but west is a servants' exit that leads out to a hallway.
- Take the servants stairs down to a tunnel. The north exit leads into the officers' lounge kitchens which you've already visited, so head west.
- You've reached an intersection. The north tunnel leads back to the servants quarters in the outer courtyard, so take the stairs up/west and follow the tunnel.
Cloning lab and victory
- You emerge into the equipment-filled cloning lab (having neatly avoided the soldiers standing guard in the entryway to the north).
- Go south into the clone room where you'll find the massive Clonatorium, source of the Clone Master's endless army! A freshly-grown Clone Master and three soldiers await you; defeat them and destroy the machine. You have two options with the Clonatorium: either use the resonant transformer to overload it or the glass grenade to blast it to pieces.
- Return back to the parade grounds where the victorious rebels are resting and take the road north to complete the adventure. "After the destruction of the clone army, the remaining fire fleets are quickly subdued. The rebels escort you back to Knieriem City and throw a party that lasts three weeks. Then they book your passage on one of the mighty, smoke-belching Knieriem steam ships and send you home."
The adventure takes place in the land of Knieriem on the world of Eamon, a place of technological marvels and "towering cities", including Knieriem City whose harbor is blockaded by the Clone Master's ships. The clone army fortress is situated next to a bay in a coastal valley some distance from the city, three days' travel by locomotive and airship across a range of mountains.
Dechant says he hopes at some point to write another adventure in a similar setting; "I think Knieriem has potential to be a good place for something airship-themed."
- Dechant retains from Brown's original adventure a couple of features of the Clone Master's private chambers, including the pet lion and the "very, very odd painting" signed by an artist with a name like "Pickleman". (Dechant speculates that the signature is meant to be that of Picasso.)
- The captured inventor in the electricity lab represents Nikola Tesla; "resonant transformer" is the technical name for a Tesla coil.
- Eamon Remastered: Assault on the Clone Master
- The Interactive Fiction Database: Assault on the Clone Master (Dechant)