Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter/December 1988
|◄ September 1988||Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter||March 1989 ►|
|Provided by Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online. Original at http://eamonag.org/newsletters/EAG8812.TXT.|
|This page is a verbatim reproduction of original source material, such as an instruction manual, newsletter, computer program, etc.|
Unlike a normal wiki article, its content is not meant to change and should not be edited except for maintenance by administrators.
The Eamon Adventurer's Guild
The EAG continues to grow and be healthy. We have gotten a couple of plugs here and there, and are enjoying strong support from nearly all of the major Public-Domain houses. These days, a new membership comes in about every ten days, and we presently have over 50 members. The back-issue and update programs have been moderately successful, too. The upshot of this is that we are taking in more money than originally projected. Therefore, on November 1 the annual membership/subscription fee was reduced to $7.00. This is very close to the cost of maintaining a membership, but we have every reason to anticipate a continued steady growth. Once membership reaches 100, the fee will probably drop to $6.00. Watch for it!
If any of you are interested in a $9.00 subscription that would put your newsletter in an envelope, let us know.
We are running a special Adventure List this time. A couple of notes are in order: 1) The "Difficulty" rating is pretty arbitrary, because of the large number of things that affect the tester: puzzle difficulty, mapping problems, monster strength, traps, and just plain luck, too. Therefore this rating should be looked at with a little skepticism, and may not reflect your own experience with the adventure. 2) There is a large number of 1988 "Last Revision" dates. A great many of them come from the addition of the speed-up mods, and if you haven't seen a bug fix listed for that adventure, don't worry about not having the current date.
The version 7.0 Dungeon Designer Diskette has been well-received. A few bugs have surfaced which have been fixed, and IIgs compatibility has been verified. A big thanks to Steve Bernbaum, Pat Hurst, and Nathan Segerlind for their bug reports and fixes, and especially to Doug Trueman for his input on user-friendliness and compatibility. This issue contains a review of sorts of the 7.0DDD.
The 7.0DDD was released without the promised multi-disk ability. Implementation of this feature opened a real can of worms, and it was skipped over in order to get the 7.0 into circulation. As presently implemented, you have room for (for example) 90 rooms, 120 artifacts, 50 monsters, and 30 effects, or any other combination that doesn't add up to more than 300 or so. With the "group monster" feature, Eamons will seldom have more than 20-30 monsters, so we're in pretty good shape. If your new adventure won't fit on one disk, contact us, and we'll help you out. There are well-established ways to split an Eamon onto two disks, such as used in #129 and #147.
The 7.0 Multi-Disk Supplement will be separate from the present 7.0, and will contain the extra programs necessary for multi-disk conversion and editing. Thus it will be an option, because the average author is not going to need it, nor want to mess with the extra decisions and steps that will be required to build a multi-disk dungeon. This Multi-Disk Supplement does not presently have a high priority, as I am hot to get started on my next Eamon adventure, and will probably do it first.
A reminder: be sure to check the expiration date next to your name on the address. If it is "DEC 88", this is your last issue.
All issues are $2.00 each
You may obtain updated versions of your Eamon adventures from the EAG. Send in a copy of the adventure to be updated and $1.00 per copy to cover costs and an updated copy will be returned to you. You must include a copy of each adventure for which you wish an update. We have also put together an "EAG Utilities Disk" that contains the best programs from the old Utilities set, deleting obsolete and duplicate stuff; this may be obtained thru the update program.
We want to improve Eamon all we can; this includes getting authors to use the latest and the best version. Therefore, the version 7.0 Dungeon Designer Diskette may be obtained from us for $1.00.
Eamon Adventurer's Guild
Thomas Zuchowski, Editor
Membership/subscription fee: $7.00 for 4 issues
The Eamon Adventurer's Guild is published 4 times per year in Mar., Jun., Sep., and Dec.
We are always looking for new material! If you would like to publish your own letter or article in this newsletter, feel free to send one in. If you would like to add your own Eamon adventure to the list, send it on a disk to the above address. It will be assigned an adventure number, and tested for bugs and other problems before release. An informal critique and disk with bug corrections will be returned.
|144||Gartin Manor||by Greg Gioia|
|162||Eamon 7.0 Demo Adventure||by Tom Zuchowski|
|163||The Sands of Mars||by Ted Swartz|
|164||A Real Cliffhanger||by Ted Swartz|
|165||Animal Farm||by Sam Ruby|
Huh? Why is Gartin Manor listed here? There has never been a working copy of #144, but it was added to the list before this was discovered. It had a version 5 MAIN PGM that had been upgraded to version 6; unfortunately, the upgrade was not complete, and most of it did not work. It has now been given a shiny-new MAIN PGM, version 6.2. In this story, you have been hired to "de-haunt" Gartin Manor, which is rife with ghosts and worse.
The Eamon 7.0 Demo Adventure is just that: a demonstration of many of the capabilities and recommended procedures of the Eamon version 7.0 Dungeon system. It only has 19 rooms, but manipulates new features of 12 different artifact types and 4 new commands, and has 140-odd artifacts and close to 800 monsters. It also demonstrates the Fast.Start feature, synonym checker, and much more.
The Sands of Mars takes you to Barsoom where you must choose sides in a war and figure out how to defeat the enemy. This adventure simulates running in REAL TIME, and if you sit around, things DO continue to happen. Lots of Good Stuff here.
A Real Cliffhanger starts you out on top of a high mesa, and it is up to you to figure out how to get down. The puzzles and traps are well-clued, and there is some nifty special programming. This one is not that hard but is well-written, and the specials keep your interest.
Animal Farm has absolutely nothing to do with George Orwell's novel. In this story, the pigs have taken over Old MacDonald's farm, taken Old MacDonald hostage, and converted the farm into a fascist compound. Your primary mission is to rescue Old MacDonald, and there are three secondary missions if you are up to them. This uses modern weapons and has cruder versions of the special weapons routines that Sam perfected in Operation Endgame.
Eamon Monster Lore - Part II
Loremaster: Pat Hurst
Another characteristic of an Eamon monster, but not of a player character (PC), is its courage rating. The courage rating influences the monsters actions in the event of combat. A rating of 0 means the monster will run away at the first sign of combat. A rating of 100 means the monster will never run away from combat. A rating of 200 means that the monster will always pursue if the PC runs away, which is sometimes necessary for even the most doughty warrior. With a rating between 0 and 100, a monster may run away if it takes enough damage. A lower rating increases the likelihood of the monster fleeing the scene. With a rating between 0 and 200, a monster may or may not pursue a fleeing PC. A higher rating increases the likelihood of pursuit. Some of the toughest monsters may also be the ones who will chase you to the ends of the earth. Good news, huh?
Having worked in a university setting for some time, I must say that the intellectual community of Eamon leads a much more exciting life than mine. These guys are constantly dreaming up super weapons of destruction, ways to warp time and space, or plagues which threaten all life on Eamon. These assorted mad scientists and absent-minded professors include DRS. CARTER, BROWN, CRANE, NO, PERCY, FEGG, LESTER, WHITEHEAD, HOO, ONSTIEN, APPLEBAUM, WINSTON, and MORKIN and PROFESSORS AXOM, MORIARTY, and WORTH. At the head of the pack must be the CLONEMASTER, star villain of two adventures, who specializes in assembling body parts. And speaking of body parts, let's take in the All-Star Body Parts Review: TWO FACE, MOUTH, WORMTONGUE, JAWS, BLOOD MONSTER, BONE GOLEM, FLESH GOLEM, EYE OF THE DEEP, DAMNED SOULS, BAREFOOT ZOMBIE, TREEBEARD, SHADOW, WARTHOG, CARDINAL FANG, SKULLCLEAVER, ORCS OF THE WHITE HAND, THE SCRATCH-NECKED FIEND, NOSE PICTS, and BADBUTT.
To give the enterprising adventurer an exalted status to which he may aspire, Eamon is heavily populated with royalty. They also provide opportunities for heroism by being regularly kidnapped or unable to protect their domains from evil depredations. Some of the ones who appear as monsters in Eamon adventures include EMPEROR ROGAN; KINGS OTTO, ESCHER, HOLFANE, TUT, ZIRCON, and DAVID; LORDS CREYN and DEMONWING; LADIES VALENTINE and AMRAT; the DUKE OF EARL; COUNTS VLADIMIR, MICTLA, and ORLOFF; and the EARL OF CANTOR. Prince and princesses are most prone to getting into trouble. In the prince category are CASTILLION, WILLIAM, and ROGAR, as well as the PRINCE OF DARKNESS. Princesses include LISA, MITZI, IRMA, LEIA, MARI, MARA, and JULENE.
The names of real people often appear in Eamon adventures. More famous ones include FRANK SINATRA, DEAN MARTIN, JACKIE GLEASON, TOOTS SHOR, ERNEST and JULIO GALLO, JESSE JAMES, ADOLF HITLER, JOSEPH STALIN, SAMUEL ADAMS, MARGARET THATCHER, ANDREW CARNEGIE, MAO TSETUNG, HENRY VIII, MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, GENE SISKEL, ROGER EBERT, ELIZABETH RAY, and MADONNA. For the intellectual crowd there are BLAISE PASCAL and KIERKEGAARD. For the less intellectual crowd there are ROWDY RODDY PIPER and the IRON SHIEK. And for those who think they have been missing something, there are AMELIA EARHART, JIMMY HOFFA, and the LINDBERGH BABY. The one which I find particularly interesting in this category is VICTOR MATURE. Of all the movie actors who have come and gone, why did the author of Blood Feud, #94, choose Victor Mature to feature in his adventure?
I'll close out the monster compendium with some fun categories. The first is THE category, as in ATTILA THE HUN. Sometimes this nomenclature is used to reveal what the individual is, such as BOB THE WANDERER, BILL THE CAT, MIKEY THE SKUNK, FRANK THE FISHERMAN, TOM THE SHOEMAN, TURK THE THIEF, MARV THE DWARF, HARRIET THE HAG, SAM THE BARTENDER, and CONAN THE LIBRARIAN. Sometimes the name is descriptive of the individual, as in SIMON THE SIMPLE, URBAR THE TIMID, GURROQ THE LAME, ANCALAGON THE BLACK, ULIK THE INVINCIBLE, VOLSTAGG THE OBESE, and DURIN THE DEATHLESS. Sometimes I don't know what the name means, as in HAROLD THE DUP and HARRY THE IT.
Another fun category includes the punny names. There are lot of entries in this arena as Eamonauts seem especially prone to this disease, and I am sure that I miss plenty of them. Sam Ruby, a prolific Eamonaut, was given to use the term neucromancer in referring to mages in his adventures. I thought this was a misspelling until it was explained to me as a play on the initials on the National Eamon Users Club. Anyway, here are a few of the ones that I did recognize: SLEE Z, KING KEY, VULL GAR, TOOTH PICTS, GRAB GRASS, BUD WEISER, DARRK NESS, FLEETUS LE FEETE, BRUISE LEE, SIR RENDER, and LORD HELPUS. I think all of the math classes I've had over the years have led to my top pick, HORATIO OF PI.
Finally, there are the names which are too weird to categorize. These include NINJA GRANDMOTHER, PAIR OF PANTS, MISTER DEFORMITY, ?, CLOSET ANXIETY, ASDFGHJKL, YOURSELF, and YOUR REFLECTION. If these aren't strange enough, try SOMETHING, A THING, A THING OR TWO, ONE THING OR ANOTHER, AND OF ALL THINGS, and NOTHING. Last but not least, no monster list would be complete without that star of every 'B' monster movie ever made - IGOR. Just remember for future reference, if your favorite character is killed by one of these dudes, I tried to warn you.
While we are on the subject of monsters, how about another contest? Do you remember the movie, The Magnificent Seven? Chris (Yul Brynner) found six gunmen to accompany him to protect a small Mexican village. Here's your chance to do the same thing. From the following list of thirty monsters, pick the best party of six to accompany you on an adventure. A party's quality will be determined by summing the ratings of the six monsters you choose. A monster's rating is the product of its friendliness and its hardiness.
Your choices are:
|1.||ANDREW CARNEGIE||16.||LUIGI VICOTTI|
|2.||AUNT BLABBY||17.||MIGUEL DE CERVANTES|
|3.||BLAISE PASCAL||18.||MIKEY THE SKUNK|
|4.||BOB THE WANDERER||19.||MISTER SNAGGLEDY|
|5.||CONAN THE LIBRARIAN||20.||NINJA GRANDMOTHER|
|6.||CRO-MAGNON MAN||21.||OLD JUDD|
|7.||DEAN MARTIN||22.||PAIR OF PANTS|
|8.||ELIZABETH RAY||23.||REVEREND BILLY|
|9.||FLEETUS LE FEETE||24.||ROWDY RODDY PIPER|
|10.||HAROLD THE DUP||25.||SHAGG|
|11.||HARRY 'SNAPPER' ORGANS||26.||SIGMUND FREUD|
|12.||HARRY THE IT||27.||SIMON THE SIMPLE|
|13.||HONEYCHILE RIDER||28.||TOOTS SHOR|
|14.||HORATIO OF PI||29.||VICTOR MATURE|
|15.||JACKIE GLEASON||30.||VOLSTAGG THE OBESE|
by Tom Zuchowski
Increasing free memory space for large adventures.
Every time a string is modified or read into memory from disk, it is allocated to fresh memory space. Eventually all of the memory space is used up, and Applesoft executes what is called a forced FRE(0) garbage collection. When this happens, everything grinds to a halt until all the old, discarded strings have been identified and flushed from memory. This can take more than a minute on a large Eamon, and looks for all the world like a hung computer. Very large and complicated MAIN PGMs can lead to low levels of free memory for string storage that can result in excessive FRE(0) garbage collections, causing annoying delays in play.
There are several things that you can do to free up more memory (examples are for version 7.0):
1) USE VERSION 7.0: It uses a special string routine that drastically reduces the garbage accumulation, allowing uninterrupted program operation with about 1/8 the free memory required by version 6.2. The routine resides at lines 45-50.
2) DELETE UNUSED COMMANDS: A command can be completely deleted from the pgm. For example, if you have no drinkable artifacts, you don't need the DRINK command. To delete DRINK: change the number in line 31910 from '32' to '31'; delete 'DRINK,' from line 31920; delete '22000,' from line 290, and delete lines 22000-22190. Or you can:
3) 'DUMMY' UNUSED COMMANDS: A lot of code can be deleted by converting a command to a dummy that doesn't do anything. For example, to 'dummy' DRINK, delete lines 22020-22190, and change line 22010 to:
22010 GOSUB 4900: GOTO 94
4) MAKE A COMMAND ARTIFACT-SPECIFIC: For example, if you only have a single drinkable artifact in your adventure (eg: artifact #47), and it doesn't do anything to the player's health (eg: a river), you can delete lines 22020-22190 and replace them with:
22020 IF A < > 47 THEN 94 22030 PRINT "OKAY.": GOTO 98
Feel free to contact us for more information.
In the Dungeon
by Nathan Segerlind
This month's hosts: the Burly Irishman and the Moleman
BURLY IRISHMAN: Today we'll be discussing the new version 7 Dungeon Designer's Disk. And we'll start with a few comments on combat by the Moleman.
MOLEMAN: Thank you. Since I personally like to kill adventurers, I really enjoyed the new version 7's expanded combat. The added battle verbs and responses were colorful and added texture to the usually routine battles. The most noticeable and important combat change is obviously the multiple monsters. This allows the designer to actually create more than one monster within a given monster. To explain this more fully, I'll have to roll the clip:
A SMALL STREET GANG OF PUNKS HEARD YOU OUT IN THE ALLEY AND DECIDED TO GET YOU OUT OF THEIR TURF. THEIR CHAINS AND SWITCHBLADES GLINT IN THE DIM LIGHT. - 15 STREET GANG MEMBERS ARE HERE. YOUR COMMAND? ATTACK STREET GANG FRED SLASHES AT STREET GANG MEMBER -- A HIT! STREET GANG MEMBER IS DEAD! STREET GANG MEMBER HACKS AT FRED -- A MISS! STREET GANG MEMBER STABS AT FRED -- PARRIED!
(etc. until up to 8 members of the street gang attack)
14 STREET GANG MEMBERS ARE HERE. YOUR COMMAND?
M: As you can see, this is great for gangs, patrols, armies and other ways to gang up on the adventurer. Also in the clip you should have noticed "slashes", "hacks", and so on in place of "attacks". Also in there but practically unnoticeable is an entirely reworked combat hit routine that uses a formula that involves relative monster agility and weight of armor.
BI: I myself prefer the numerous non-violent improvements, particularly the improved interface. Now all commands can be shortened down to one or two characters. No more lengthy typing!
M: How can you be so enthusiastic about that? That idea has been around since The Castle of Doom. True, now it is universal, and very quickly handled, but it's not as big a deal as the built in 40/80-column capabilities. Now, there's something new and improved!
BI: Yes, but I really prefer the improved interfacing. Did you know that its practically bug-free and about 3 times as fast as the 6.2 MAIN PGM? (Ed. Note: Let's hope so, anyway!)
M: You're absolutely right, and if you want something fast, look at the Fast-Start feature. It starts the adventure up about 4 times as fast as a 6.2 startup.
BI: Well, speed is nice, but I forgot to mention how the adventurer can better participate in his or her environment. You can determine the state of your wounds with the INVENTORY command, diagnose others' wounds by EXAMINING them, and INVENTORY them, too.
M: Wonderful. That reminds me of a feature that we adventurer-slayers loathe: spell abilities are now replenished if they are not used for a while, making it possible to BLAST and HEAL more than in the past.
BI: I see your point, but I am generally on the adventurer's side. But now I would like to point out the designers' point of view.
M: Good idea. It is much different, obviously, as they will have to adapt to the many changes described earlier, and that will be considerably, how should I say, of a different magnitude. Most designers are used to using default agility, single monsters, and so on.
BI: You are forgetting the redone artifact data fields and the new "wearable" artifact type. These are all much better than the old ones, and may be confusing. Designers should note that in some places version 7 is radically different from version 6.2, and should study the new manual and MAIN PGM before starting their first version 7 adventure.
M: Less confusing, but much more noticeable is the limit of 200 in each category: room, artifact, effect, and monster. This makes it possible to make 175 room labyrinths and to have an artifact for every little object in the adventure. And the program hardly slows at all, because of the machine-code search routine.
BI: Also, I liked how secret doors and objects found by LOOK were redone. I thought the previous system was unrealistic and unchallenging. What adventurer worth his sword wouldn't LOOK every time he entered a room? Now they are concealed through embedding, a new synonym checker, and careful room descriptions.
M: Well, I have nothing further to add. How about you?
BI: Me either.
M: Well, that's a wrap. I give it a thumbs up for speed of execution and expanded combat.
BI: I give it a thumbs up also, not only because of the speed but because of the expanded user interface and better general design possibilities.
M: The version 7.0 Dungeon Designer Disk: 2 thumbs up.
by John Nelson
Reviewed by Pat Hurst
MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: WEAR, PAY
Special Features: not exactly
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer's Rating: 5
Description: You received a letter from a friend stating he was in big trouble. On his way to visit you, he was riding through the province of Darland when he was stopped by the forces of the governor and questioned. He says he lost his temper and smarted off. Big mistake. This governor is somewhat of a tyrant. Now Jason (your friend) needs some gold to pay his fine and court costs. He asks you to bring some gold and free him. The fine and court costs are only 10,000 GP. And he says he needs to get out of here before he goes crazy. At the bottom of the letter are some little pictures that you recognize to be a code you used to use as scouts. It is a message that he didn't want his jailer to be able to read. It says, "If you are going to try to spring me (rather than pay these butchers), be careful. There's a lot more guards than you think. It may be a better idea to be sneaky than try a full frontal assault."
Comment: This adventure was troublesome due to a programming error. This adventure makes extensive use of embedded artifacts, which cannot be examined until the bug is fixed. (See #Bugs 'n Fixes, this issue.) With the fix in place the adventure is much better. It has an interesting variation on a theme of infiltrating an enemy castle which seems to offer ways to reduce combat, but in practice I don't think that things happen in exactly the manner that John intended. I didn't notice much difference in the play when I followed the variation and when I didn't. Of course, if you are a dedicated hack-and-slasher, you can arrange to have plenty of combat. A weak character may have some trouble completing the adventure, but an intermediate or stronger character shouldn't be taxed too much. The adventure isn't too long, and much of it is superfluous to your task. There are a few typos and grammatical errors, but not so many as to be overwhelming. The hardest puzzle to solve is how to get into the castle at the start. Program recognition of synonyms at this point would have been helpful. This adventure is in John's typically humorous vein (i.e., emphasis on bad puns) and has one of the all-time classic monster names, Sir Render. I would say that it's a fairly average example of a 6.0 adventure.
by Nathan Segerlind
Reviewed by Pat Hurst
MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: DEFLECT, SCRALET-TAPEWORM, PROPELLOR-BLOW, PRIME, THROW
Deleted Commands: POWER, SPEED, TAKE, GIVE
Special features: multiple monsters
Playing Time: 2–3 hours
Reviewer's Rating: 6
Description: Several years ago your brother moved to Japan. Lured by his success, you went to Japan, but your adventurous spirit led you to become a samurai for the local shogun, the noble Tokugawa Nobunaga. He recognized your fine skills as a warrior and decided to train you personally. He gave you two fine swords and magnificent armor; special training that improved your dexterity, hardiness, sword skill, and bow skill; and taught you Bushido, the way of the warrior. You became Nobunaga's fiercest warrior, and easily handled battles, secret missions, and adventures. After a fierce battle in which you eradicated the renegade Takeda clan, Nobunaga granted you three months vacation. You visited your brother for three days but grew bored and returned to Nobunaga's castle only to find it in ruins with dead bodies everywhere. You find Nobunaga's severed head in the debris. Clutching the head, you mutter with bitter rage, "If any of the butchers survived, may God deliver them to me!" Then the head said, "Don't drag Him into this. I bet you want revenge? Well, here's the list of names and addresses." He gives you a huge list of villains of all descriptions. So that's how you have ended up outside of Catzad-Dum, the lair of Fugu-Otoko, the blowfish who never smiles, organizer of Nobunaga's brutal murder.
Comments: This is an adventure for tough characters since there is more than enough combat to satisfy anyone. Even intermediate characters will find it to be rough going. In this regard, powerful weapons aren't the answer because the adventure provides sufficient firepower. Your character must have high hardiness, agility, and weapons and armor expertise. Some of this is provided by the author in the MAIN PGM so your character will be leaving the adventure stronger than when he entered.
The adventure is absolute lunacy, disguising mild satirical jabs at several targets. If you are new to Eamon, the inside jokes will escape you, but there is plenty of humor remaining. For full appreciation, you should play Sam Ruby's and Tom Zuchowski's adventures set in the worlds of Tolkien. Familiarity with Dungeons & Dragons (c) helps, too. The adventure is long and well-detailed. There are some typos and grammatical errors remaining but not overmuch in comparison to the body of text material. Some programming problems still crop up in this latest version, but hopefully these can be corrected in the near future by the efforts of the author and the EAG. I am unfamiliar with the Samurai Cat stories (the genre used in this adventure), but I had a good time playing this adventure anyway. I would recommend it over other hack-and-slash offerings because of its tongue-in-cheek attitude.
#161 Operation Endgame
by Sam Ruby
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
MAIN PGM Version: 6.2 (heavily modified)
Extra Commands: USE, ARM, ENTER, RELOAD, CLEAR, WAIT
Deleted Commands: TAKE, BLAST, HEAL, POWER, SPEED, SMILE, WAVE, SAY, LIGHT, OPEN, DRINK, FREE
Special Features: 3-disk adventure, 183 rooms, lower-case intro available, automatic weapons
Playing Time: 3–10 hours
Reviewer's Rating: 9
Description: The war with the Breakers is bogged down on the Eastern Front, though they are advancing on the South Front. Word is received that the Breakers have deployed a long-range missile, equipped with a nuclear warhead, and have installed it in a mountain fortress that is impervious to air bombardment. They are waiting until their southern forces cross the river before using it. Fortunately, they only have enough weapons-grade plutonium for the one missile, but one will be enough to smash our industrial base. There is only one option: to send in a Special-Forces Team to blow it up.
Priority 1... the mission must be accomplished at any cost. Operatives may take steps to assure their escape only if there is no interference with the mission. Once the mission is accomplished, operatives must find their own means to assure their survival.
Comment: The above is only a small fraction of the wealth of background offered in the intro program, which is a little 5-act playlet in itself. The MAIN PGM continues this intense detail, having a great deal to see and do. The detail is even carried into parts of the Breaker installation that a successful mission will never see. These extra rooms give a added dimension of realism when you realize that you really are trying to sneak through an enemy base, and randomly opening doors to see what you can find will promote neither the mission nor your life expectancy.
Sam has done some great things with modern weapons. The automatic weapon fire is well done, and the player must occasionally reload at most inconvenient moments. Knives are carried for the silent dispatching of sentries, and your team carries a variety of lethal hardware for use in any situation. There is an array of special equipment such as climbing gear, mine detectors, remote detonators, medi-kits, and more, that must be properly utilized to succeed AND survive. Your teammates will occasionally offer opinions and can take a small amount of independent action. (For example, they will use their medi-kits on themselves when badly wounded.) They also can do anything you can do if you GIVE them orders to do so.
This is a very subtle and a very dangerous adventure. It is virtually certain that you will die a number of times before you finally work out the right moves. It may sometimes feel like Sam has blindsided you with a no-warning deathtrap, but when you regain that spot, a careful reading of the descriptions will always show that the clues WERE there, after all. And always reasonable, once you think about it. For example, if you leave a dead sentry out in the open where he will be seen, it should come as no surprise when the base goes on alert and you are found and killed. Just the same, the SAVE command gets a workout here. SAVE has been modified so that you can perform a save and continue playing. This speeds things up a lot when you miss a clue and go down, for all you have to do is insert disk 1 and type RUN to resume from the saved location.
This adventure is loaded with scores of special effects and other Good Stuff. One of them is that the Intro program is in lower-case text but is automatically converted to all-upper-case for old II's by a small machine-code program. (Note-this is one of two M-C programs available for LC-to-UC conversion on the 7.0DDD.)
When I first played this adventure, I was appalled by how easily I was wiped out. But as I learned the capabilities of my Special-Forces Team, I got better, and I learned to watch for subtle clues and to choose the correct course BEFORE I got nailed. And when I finally pulled off a successful mission and escaped with most of my team, the satisfaction was tremendous! This is one of a very small number of Eamons that I have replayed once I had successfully completed the quest, and it seems to get better with each replay.
This is a very advanced Eamon and is one of the most difficult. It is very sophisticated, and you will see clues that may not be needed for hours. There is a fairly high frustration factor at first, but the rewards when you get the pieces together are correspondingly high. Highly recommended to advanced Eamonauts.
#164 A Real Cliffhanger
by Ted Swartz
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
MAIN PGM Version: 4
Extra Commands: GRAB
Deleted Commands: no Save
Special Features: GRAB used in real time
Playing Time: 1-1.5 hours
Reviewer's Rating: 6
Description: "As you leave the Main Hall you notice an abnormal number of large eagles circling as if on a hunt. Suddenly one swoops down, grabbing you in his talons. He begins to gain altitude, carrying you up the gorge. Your fear of heights soon gives way to admiration of the powerful bird. Circling between the east and west walls of the gorge, you see the Main Hall dwindle in size and finally disappear in the mists.
"The eagle flies toward the tallest promontory on the east cliff and jarringly deposits you on the top. With a screech of victory he flies off into the eastern sky.
"You find yourself alone on the top of a rocky plateau. Realizing your desperate situation, you look about."
Comment: This adventure is nicely written and laid out. It is has a fair number of puzzles that are not extremely difficult and tend to reward benevolent action towards others. There are several traps that start out very weak but grow more dangerous, and they all are preceded by a special clue so that the player can learn to avoid them. The special effects are well done. The real-time special effect using the GRAB command is fun.
This adventure may be well-suited for use in grade-school computer classes, and merits a look from teachers who use Eamon for such purposes. It is not that difficult, promotes benevolent actions, and the special effects make it fun. The (6) rating that I gave it comes from its being a little simple for my advanced tastes, and from its lack of a true quest other than the one of simply getting off the promontory.
Bugs 'n Fixes
It has been brought to our attention that, when exiting the adventure, older Eamons sometimes crash with
BAD SUBSCRIPT IN 23070. This is not a "bug", but a "feature"; the very old Eamons did not verify how many weapons were available and assumed that there were no more than 10. If you try to carry out 11 weapons, you will get the above error. A good rule of thumb is to carry out fewer than 10 weapons if the adventure doesn't have the modern commands OPEN, PUT (not a synonym for DROP), and FREE
Adventure #7 – The Devil's Tomb
Date Fixed: 10/16/88
Problem: Door is impassible.
Fix: In Line 3015, change
AD%(1,4) = 1
Adventure #11 – The Tomb of Molinar
Date Fixed: 10/16/88
Problem: GIVE cmd doesn't work right.
Fix: In Line 9030, change
GOTO 9020 to
Adventure #74 – DharmaQuest
Date Fixed: 10/16/88
Problem: Player's name not printed at Olympus.
Fix: In Line 21210, change
Adventure #99 – In the Clutches of Torrik
Date Fixed: 11/8/88
Problem: Examine can't find embedded artifacts.
Fix: In Line 6020, change
GOSUB 4800 to
Adventure #132 – Rhadshur Warrior
Date Fixed: 10/16/88
Problem: Player attributes not restored on early exit.
Fix: In Line 16080, change
GOTO 2010 to
Adventure #141 – The Infested Fortress
Date Fixed: 9/22/88
Problem: Incorrect screen formatting
Fix: In Line 140, change
Adventure #157 – The Pathetic Hideout of Mr. R.
Date Fixed: 10/11/88
Problem: Starts in wrong room.
1150 R2 = 1
Adventure #158 – The Lair of Mr. Ed
Date Fixed: 11/6/88
Problem: Riddle is too picky, and won't let you pass.
1159 ZF$ = "I AM ZOGAR THE FIERCE AND TO PASS, YOU MUST FIRST ANSWER MY RIDDLE!" 1165 IF DS = 5 THEN 1160 3510 IF R2 = 48 AND RO = 49 THEN PRINT: PRINT ZF$: PRINT: PRINT RI$: INPUT "YOUR ANSWER: ";ZE$: IF ZE$ < > RIGHT$(AS$,LEN(ZE$)) THEN PRINT: PRINT "DING-DONG, YOU'RE WRONG!":GET E$:PRINT:GOTO 300 3511 IF R2 = 48 AND RO = 49 THEN PRINT: PRINT "YOU'RE RIGHT! YOU MAY PASS, WISE":PRINT MN$(0): PRINT
Adventure #159 – Bridge of Catzad-Dum
Date Fixed: 11/1/88
Even though it had been tested, a number of serious bugs have surfaced, and a new copy was received from the author that had 60-odd modifications. An update is highly recommended.
Eamon Adventure Listing
|1.||Adventure Number||4.||Last Revision Date|
|2.||Adventure Title||5.||Speed-up Mods installed|
|3.||Difficulty (10=hardest)||6.||Reviewed in Newsletter|