Castle of Doom
|Castle of Doom|
|◄Eamon adventure #5►|
|Revised||15 December 1984|
|EDX set||The Donald Brown Adventures|
|Native format||Apple DOS 3.3|
Castle of Doom is the third adventure written by Donald Brown for Eamon. While Doom retains the slightly absurdist and irreverent mood of The Beginners Cave and The Lair of the Minotaur, employing, e.g., three dwarves named "Huey," "Dewey," and "Louie", Brown also increases the complexity of the programming. Doom has a "snapshot" feature that the disk records the state of the dungeon upon a player's exit so that he or she may return to the Main Hall without interrupting the adventure.
Castle of Doom lacks a detailed plot; the premise of the adventure is that "two kindly old ladies" maintain the circular Castle of Doom as a challenge to members of the Guild of Free Adventurers. The player is expected to explore and plunder the titular castle. The tongue-in-cheek suggestion of some inherent artificiality in the world of Eamon is in character for Donald Brown's adventures, cf. The Beginners Cave, in which a character called the Warlord is tasked with keeping the cave stocked with treasure, rats, and pirates.
As Tom Zuchowski notes in his review, the "kindly old ladies" provide a rationale for the "snapshot" feature programmed by Brown. This is billed as the old ladies' willingness to preserve the castle intact as a service to adventurers while they "heal up" in the Main Hall.
The castle is a multilevel circular structure, encircled outside by a wall. You enter the grounds through a single small break in the wall and begin the adventure at the castle's main door.
- Enter the castle and you'll be at the north end of a hallway that leads into the structure. There are four such hallways, all radiating out from a central stairwell, and you can explore them in any order. The rooms occupying the spaces in between these halls are all shaped roughly like quarter-circles or arcs, and all have two entrances/exits.
- First walk south to the middle of the corridor and go through the east door. This is the castle's main hall where you'll find three dwarves named Huey, Dewey, and Louie; they're a friendly bunch and will be useful allies.
- Return to the entrance and enter the room to the west, an arc-shaped Hall of Heroes with its other exit south. If you attempt to pick up the golden statue that stands here, it transforms into an adventurer named Lilith who explains that he'll return to statue form if he's killed — but if he kills you, you will become the statue. You may wish to ignore Lilith: if released and then defeated, he'll simply transform back into a statue and will not drop any weapons or loot. (He can, however, occasionally fumble while fighting and drop his scimitar.)
- Exit south, cross the hallway, and go into the next room — an arc-shaped chamber with its other exit leading east. A mummy attacks; dispatch it and take the scroll. (Attempting to study the scroll will cause it simply to crumble into dust and disappear.)
- Exit east, cross the hallway, and go into yet another arc-shaped room, this one a kitchen with its far exit to the north. Kill the troll and take his trident, as well as the lamb chop.
- Exit north into the next corridor, go west, and then south into another smaller arc-shaped room. Befriend the quiet Charlene and collect the bottle of Acme holy water.
- Exit west, go north along the corridor, then west into another room — this one a quarter-circle-shaped library. Take the book you find there; you can read it to increase your charisma.
- Exit north, cross the corridor, and enter another quarter-circle room. A tiger attacks; kill it and take its jeweled collar.
- Exit east, then go south to the central stairwell of the castle. Ascend the stairs.
- On the second level of the castle are rooms in all four directions, each shaped like a quarter of a circle. Investigate them in any order.
- North is a guest bedroom where you find a woman bound to a bedpost with a gold chain. You must free her to get the chain, but freeing her allows her to transform into a succubus who attacks your party.
- South is the castle's master bedroom where you find two chests, one brown and one blue. Open the blue chest to reveal a valuable red opal. Open the brown and it will transform into a dangerous, tentacled mimic.
- East is a side chamber occupied by a sphinx.
- West is a room where a "carrion crawler" lives.
- Once you're done exploring the second level, go up the stairwell again to reach the roof of the castle. Defeat the two harpies who swoop in to attack your party, then pick up the ruby necklace.
- Just one room inside the castle remains unexplored. Return to the bottom of the stairwell and go east and south (or south and east) to reach a small chamber dominated by an emerald in a stand — tellingly labeled as being from the "Brown Travel Agency". Touch the gem and you and everyone in the room are magically whisked away.
* * *
- You reappear in a dank subterranean chamber. Follow the tunnel north until you reach an east-bound side passage. Follow the side passage.
- The passage bends east and south, and brings you to a long east/west corridor.
- Go west into a chamber where you find a deranged member of your guild, plus a valuable silver cross. (The adventurer, who may join your party, is armed with the short-sword "Sting" from The Hobbit.)
- Exit and follow the corridor east all the way to its other end where there's another small chamber, this one occupied by a couple of nasty hobgoblins. Kill them and (if your strength allows) take the heavy golden cow idol.
- Retrace your steps to the original corridor and follow it north until it terminates at a T-intersection. Go west.
- At the end of the tunnel is a chamber occupied by a bunch of rats. Kill them and collect the wooden stake.
- Exit and go east along the east/west corridor. Along the way enter a north side chamber to collect a valuable pearl guarded by three orcs.
- Reach the east end of the corridor. Here a tunnel goes south (toward the east/west passage you already explored) and chambers lie to the north and east.
- First enter the north chamber, which turns out to be the lair of a vampire, complete with a coffin and a painting of Dracula's mother. Open the coffin. The vampire may be here, or he may not — he tends to roam the tunnels. When and if you encounter him, the wooden stake and holy water you collected earlier will prove useful.
- Enter the east chamber. This one contains an Academy Award "Oscar" statuette for special effects — it's the emerald's return-trip counterpart. Touch it to be magically transported back to the emerald room in the castle.
- Make your way back to the north side of the castle, out through the break in the wall, and you're done!
Thanks to the snapshot feature, your adventurer can return to the castle again later and you'll find things just as you left them. If you discovered more loot than you could haul away in a single trip, you can return for the rest.
Tom Zuchowski's review of Doom awarded the adventure a 4/10 in both quality and difficulty. Zuchowski praised the "snapshot" feature but regarded the adventure as primarily a "kill'n'loot" affair with no plot development.
In other adventures
- Brown references The Beginners Cave when reintroducing the mimic, noting that the adventurer has encountered one before during that adventure.
- In Jim McGivern's EAC Express article "A Review of Eamon: A Public Domain 'Adventure' Series," McGivern mentions Castle of Doom (misattributing it to John Nelson). In particular, he points to the three dwarfs Huey, Dewey, and Louie as an example "the wit (whole or half) which permeates some of the [Eamon] games."
- Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the names of Donald Duck's three nephews.
- The carrion crawler, like the mimic, originates from Dungeons & Dragons where it's normally described as a tentacled, centipede-like aberration. Crawlers also feature in Fiends of Eamon (1996) and The Vile Grimoire of Jaldi'al (2020).
- Creator Donald Brown refers himself in the description of the teleportation emerald, which is labeled as being courtesy of the "Brown Travel Agency".
- In the description of the gold coins, Brown notes that the adventurer has a friend named Ingemar Hansen who is a coin collector.
- "Lilith" is the name of a mythological demonic woman, sometimes identified as a succubus (two of which also appear in the adventure).
- In Frank Black's version of the adventure for Eamon Deluxe, Lilith is renamed Grond.
- Eamon Adventurer's Guild Library Master List
- The Interactive Fiction Database: Castle of Doom
- Interactive Fiction Reviews: Castle of Doom