Eamon Deluxe Newsletter/March 2012
|◄ February 2005||Eamon Deluxe Newsletter||July 2012 ►|
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The Official Eamon Deluxe Newsletter
Volume 2 Issue 1
Frank Black, Publisher & Editor Emeritus
This newsletter follows no regular schedule and will be published, as time permits, when there is Eamon Deluxe news to share . It is distributed by email only and subscriptions are always free.
Contributors are welcome and any material relating in some way to Eamon or Eamon Deluxe will be accepted. Adventure reviews aren't limited to new or previously reviewed adventures and multiple reviews of adventures are encouraged.
Please send subscription requests, new adventures, reviews, articles, bug reports, thoughts, suggestions, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Eamon on the Web
- 2 Articles
- 3.1 #252 – Cliffs of Fire by Wade Clarke
- 3.2 #253 – The Prism of Shadows by Wade Clarke and James Anderson
- 3.3 #254 – Dawn of the Warlock by Wade Clarke
- 3.4 #PC1 – The Ice Cave by Jon Walker
- 3.5 Eamon Deluxe #3 – The Jim Jacobson Adventures by Jim Jacobson and Frank Black
- 4 Eamon Deluxe Adventure List
Eamon on the Web
- The Eamon Adventurers Guild website is by far the best Eamon resource in the entire world. It is also the gracious host of the Official Eamon Deluxe homepage as well as the most current downloads and updates.
- The Eamon Deluxe page at the Eamon Adventurer's Guild can be found at the above address.
- The Guild blog is where the latest Eamon/Eamon Deluxe news is posted. New material is always encouraged here and contributors can submit their work to Matthew Clark at EamonAG@gmail.com.
- The Official Guild Facebook page. A good way to meet and interact with other Eamon fans and sometimes former Eamon authors as well.
- Once called the "Unofficial Homepage of Eamon Games." Although it hasn't been updated in several years, the website at Lysator still survives and its webmaster, Fredrik Ekman, is quite friendly and happy to answer questions via email. Though it contains no Eamon Deluxe material and much of its material can now be found at the Eamon Adventurers Guild site, it does feature some interesting, historical facts and is worth reading.
- A further, thorough resource for information on Eamon (including Eamon Deluxe) is the Wikipedia page.
A Note on "Lost Eamons"
The reader of this newsletter probably best knows of Eamon in either its Apple II origin or the PC Eamon Deluxe port. Almost from the start of Eamon, competing variants arose for a variety of reasons such as competing technology, commercial pursuits, and aesthetic interests. Indeed, the creator of Eamon, Don Brown, soon left development for the quite related commercial game SwordThrust in 1981 while the splitting of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild from the National Eamon User's Club was due to the latter choosing to devote its resources to development of Eamon on the PC. While a number of these are well-documented on the Eamon Adventurer's Guild website, such as the aforementioned SwordThrust and Little Green Software's 1985 Super Eamon, there were yet a number of additional, lesser-known ports of Eamon.
Many of these ports either quickly reached a dead end or focused on making available the Apple II corpus to users of other computer systems. The only available Atari 800 conversion, for example, involves a single master disk with the Main Hall and The Beginner's Cave. Paul Gilbert's conversion to the PC similarly (apparently) stopped after the master disk. (A brief caveat: Virtually everything that follows is gleaned through the odd internet posting or other apocryphal sources. E.g., there may have been a hundred Eamon titles for the Atari 800; unless someone runs across a cache of them, we'll never know.) John Nelson's conversion to the PC was fruitful, yielding at least twenty converted Eamons, but (again, so far as I know) no original adventures were produced for this platform.
Yet not all conversions ran out of steam before producing new material. In 2008, Paul Sanders rediscovered a "lost Eamon" for the Atari ST, The Crypt Crashers and the Tomb of Horrors by Michael Penner. Apparently, the development on the Atari ST—spearheaded by Michael Detlefsen—was stronger than that of the Atari 800. Recently, a complete (with the above qualifications) collection of Eamons for the ST surfaced, including in addition to Crypt Crashers a further ST-unique Eamon, The Sub-Aquan Laboratory, also written by Michael Penner. This pair of adventures are extremely well-written and will be forthcoming in Eamon Deluxe #23, The Lost Treasures of Eamon; a copy of the collection has also been submitted to Matthew Clark. Also worthy of mention is a conversion of Eamon #7, The Devil's Tomb, rechristened as The Goblin's Tomb, though I don't know if the changes were superficial or not.
Similarly, the January 1987 issue of the NEUC newsletter made mention of Jon Walker's PC conversion including an adventure erroneously referred to as “Ice Caves." Once the error was addressed, a copy of this Eamon was swiftly recovered and converted to Eamon Deluxe. While not on a par with the “lost" Atari Eamons (check out Frank Black's review below), The Ice Cave is a part of Eamon history, and worthy of a run through.
What this suggests is that there may be a few more dark corners of Eamon not yet brought to light. Jon Walker, in the notes accompanying his PC conversion, acknowledges the local high school students for producing such great dungeons. The commercial conversion of Eamon to the Commodore 64—titled "Imagery!" for copyright reasons and also described in the January 1987 NEUC newsletter—was supported by a relatively stable software company, best known for support of the Kermit file-sharing suite for the Commodore. At the price of $10 a disk it wouldn't be surprising if a number of additional Eamons were penned for that platform as well.
I think it's fair to concede that the bulk of Eamon work has now become a project of preservation. While the January 1987 issue of the NEUC (I don't know why this issue keeps popping up) describes twenty three Eamons authored during the summer of 1986, there have been five or six penned in the last decade, such as the truly awesome Leadlight. With any luck, there will be a few more Eamons to come. But if the above is any indication, there most likely remain a great many Eamons that never received their due. I'm looking equally forward to their recovery, shedding a bit of light on a forgotten peninsula of the topography of Eamon.
#252 – Cliffs of Fire by Wade Clarke
Reviewed by Thomas Ferguson
|MAIN PGM Version:||7.0|
|Playing time:||30-45 minutes|
Description: "In the small city of Kathros in West Eamon, the high priest's sacred white sceptre has been stolen by the evil renegade priest, Elrem. He has fled south to the Cliffs of Fire, and using the powers of the sceptre, built himself a tower and created monsters to defend it. If Elrem is given time to unlock the sceptre's full powers he will destroy the entire city!...
"The high priest of Kathros has come to the Free Adventurers Guild to find an adventurer willing to brave the dangers of the cliffs and the tower and bring the scepter back. The task has fallen into your hands..."
Review: This Eamon, I take it, was the first of three Wade Clarke-authored adventures. While the adventure is relatively short with 37 rooms and 10 enemies, the map is well-thought out and the puzzles are abundant. One can view it as a dry-run for the more expansive and artful latter two adventures Clarke authored.
A particular scroll found in the adventure provides intuitive clues on how to navigate the tower in which the antagonist hides. There are no "death traps," though challenging opponents face the adventurer who fails to heed the scroll's advice. The story and setting are consistent throughout, with captive friends to rescue and daunting enemies to vanquish.
Despite the adventure's brevity, the player won't be disappointed with it and Wade Clarke's talent can be seen in miniature through the compelling plot and insightful design.
#253 – The Prism of Shadows by Wade Clarke and James Anderson
Reviewed by Thomas Ferguson
|MAIN PGM Version:||7.0|
|Extra commands:||PLAY, PRISM, TIE, PULL|
|Special features:||theme music|
|Playing time:||1 to 1.5 hours|
Description: "In his search for the greatest warrior in the realm, the powerful archmage Marduz is holding a contest. Renowned for your previous exploits in the Free Adventurers' Guild you have been invited as a participant. The object of the contest is to find the mystical Prism of Shadows, stolen by invaders many years ago and subsequently split up and lost in the harsh wilderness to the north of the city.
"You now stand in the city square, the contest about to start... The time has come to make your way north to the city gates..."
Review: This Eamon, written by Wade Clarke and James Anderson, has turned out to be one of my favorites. It bears a pleasing balance between combat and interesting, fleshed out "side quests," one of which must be undertaken in order to secure each of four "charms" required to recover the prism. Each hints at a broader, underlying story and is laden with special effects and secret treasures. There are, to boot, a number of items hidden around the map that, while unnecessary to the success of the quest, reward the completist with additional treasures.
Once all that is cleared and the prism itself is recovered, the additional command PRISM comes into play. By activating one of the charms on the prism, the player is able to master a new talent required to navigate and conquer the puzzles found in the final dungeon. There are throughout the adventure a number of "immanent doom" type puzzles, where time ticks away as the player seeks after a solution. The solutions are, by and large, either intuitive to the attentive player or can be discovered by exploring the map. The foes are generally tough, but not insurmountable, and the terrain is varied, broken up into smaller dungeons, castles, and forests.
It is apparent from the moment the opening notes of the adventure's theme plays (yes, it has its own theme music) that Clarke and Anderson created a worthy adventure. From the interesting characters and map to the expanded options available, The Prism of Shadows is certainly one of the best Eamons I've played.
#254 – Dawn of the Warlock by Wade Clarke
Reviewed by Thomas Ferguson
|MAIN PGM Version:||7.0|
|Special features:||theme music|
|Playing time:||1 to 1.5 hours|
Description: "One night in your sleep you are granted (plagued with?) a vision:
"In your vision a vague hooded figure, wreathed in ethereal vapours, beckons to you from the western kingdom of Agimen. Its voice is familiar, yet chilling and distant at once. It whispers:
"'Our city has fallen under the influence of an undead warlock—this evil being was returned from the beyond when its remains were unearthed, the seal of its tomb broken during recent excavations...'
"With these last words the figure is lost in the clouds of your dream, leaving you with a dread urgency for action...
"The following day sees your hurried departure for Agimen, your belongings hastily thrown together with the sun's cold rise... On the approach you see that a visibly grimy red sky hangs over the city like a pall. Your footsteps are the only sounds as you near the overwhelming and dark structures that form the rotting skeleton of the once great city..."
Review: This adventure is no less ambitious than Wade Clarke's earlier The Prism of Shadows; an underlying mythology seems to present itself at every turn. The story and mood are consistently spooky and dire, and dozens of special effects and secrets await. A number of potential companions can be found, each of which is granted special dialogue at important moments in the adventure, providing either important advice concerning future traps or dialogue enhancing the overall mood.
A wide variety of locations, each quite detailed, keep the adventure exciting, and a few hidden rooms force the player to remain alert for anomalies in the room descriptions. The puzzles and magic items that further open the map to new areas are typically intuitive; on those occasions in which the solutions are not so intuitive, the player can (in theory) rely on his or her companions to offer the necessary insight.
The only thing that makes this a less satisfactory adventure than The Prism of Shadows is the overwhelming difficulty of the enemies (the attributes of which I felt forced to downgrade upon converting the adventure). Part of the charm of the adventure follows from holding onto the companions, whose words add to the setting, but even with a souped-up character, there are a number of occasions upon which the player may have to watch his or her charges die at the hands of the undead enemies. A number of turns thus become de facto "death traps," in turn depriving the player of information needed to avoid the traps proper. There should be no shame in "POKE-ing" one's companions back from the dead.
The story is tight and intriguing, dispensed to the player through readable books and companions' comments, and the number and variety of areas ensures that the exploring never becomes dull. For one looking at the MAINPGM, one will also recognize that the programming is extremely well-done. If one is willing to cheat a bit here and there, defeating the titular warlock ensures a satisfying and dramatic conclusion to the adventure.
#PC1 – The Ice Cave by Jon Walker
Reviewed by Frank Black
|Extra commands:||DIG, PULL|
|Playing time:||10 to 15 minutes|
Description: "You have spent the last two years living in the woods with your girlfriend, Lovely Lil. [Or Gorgeous George, in case the adventurer is female.] But living in bliss can set you up for nasty surprises.
"You came home from the weapons maker (his shop is near the Main Hall) and found the cabin locked. This of course would not upset you except Lovely Lil is nowhere to be found and the place certainly looks like there was a fight. After careful examination you find broom tracks and realize that your old enemy Broomhandle the Witch stole her.
"Being a gentle natured person, you decide that you are going to have to kill that [expletive] witch and find your girlfriend.
"You see a message in the dirt that says: 'ICE CAVE.'
"A challenge if ever there was one!"
Review: From the intro: "A challenge if ever there was one!"
That is quite the understatement actually. This is in fact a very simple beginner-level adventure even for the loose standards of the early time period of Classic Eamon in which it was written, with the biggest of the few specials for this adventure being a hackneyed find your missing lover" quest that is powered by routines lifted straight out of Lair of the Minotaur and The Abductor's Quarters.
The only mildly challenging puzzle in the game is one you face at the very start and involves you being locked out of your house. Once you find your keys, which are a step away from being left out in plain sight, you can pass through your unremarkable cabin, into your back yard and onward toward the Ice Cave (although why you can only enter your sprawling back yard from the house is never explained.) Just past your yard you stumble upon the life-companion-kidnapping old witch from the intro who is supposedly your mortal enemy (also never explained) and whom I dispatched easily with a couple swings of an average Marcos sword.
Yes, the "end boss" for this adventure is a total wimp and you dispose of her before you even get to the Ice Cave. And speaking of the adventure title bearing caverns, you would think that it would be hidden or require some sort of effort for entry, but no, apparently: "A huge gate that once would have blocked your way lies in disrepair." Sheesh. [Note: This was a textual change made during conversion. The Walker PC text reads that the huge gate does block your way. But it doesn't. I took some editorial license when converting it. -TF]
All in all you are looking at 41 rooms, one locked door, one secret passage, a handful of minor specials and 6 monsters (not counting your pal and their gender twin dummies). Ice Cave has been labeled as being written by "Anonymous" around the internet but Thomas and I each sifted through the compiled executable code (as far as I know, no BASIC source code exists anywhere for this one), and we both found text strings indicating it was written by Jon Walker so, unless someone else comes forth to claim this relic, I'm going to assume that he is indeed the author.
This gets its place in the Eamon Deluxe Museum with a "Lost Treasure" status because it was an original Walker-PC-Eamon-only adventure that was designed for that little known, sub-par Eamon port from the 80s and is actually somewhat rare and unknown. Have no delusions though, the adventure material in and of itself is far from a treasure. Thomas did an excellent job cleaning it up and fixed a lot of bad room connections along with other minor surgeries to make it playable, and I did a second sweep of enhancements afterwards to bring it up to par as a very low grade Eamon Deluxe adventure. Were I currently reviewing the Ice Cave in its original format, I would have rated it even lower than I did. All in all, it's not the worst adventure ever written but it is pretty far from the best as well. Recommended for beginners or those seeking a minor distraction and for the experienced Eamon Adventurer: it's worth checking out at least once for the sake of nostalgia as it does hold an obscure place in the very early days of Eamon.
Eamon Deluxe #3 – The Jim Jacobson Adventures by Jim Jacobson and Frank Black
Reviewed by Luke Hewitt
|Reviewer's rating:||9 (Average 7, plus 2 for visitors file and general fun)|
Review: Jim Jacobson seems to have been one of the earlier Eamon authors, writing some of the better examples of dungeon adventures with a light hearted fantasy atmosphere typical of the 1980's (they rather reminded me of fighting fantasy game books).
Yet in Eamon Deluxe these adventures have some quite advanced features and interesting specials. This is partly due to Jim's earlier work, but also because Frank has added many modifications to the games, as well as smoothing a few of the games' issues, such as providing alternative solutions for some of the more obscure puzzles.
The thing that really shines in these adventures is the setting and characters. While originally one adventure would reference elements from another such as the powerful wizard Trezore, Frank has expanded these so that the status of the characters you meet is remembered adventure to adventure, and people you meet in one, if they get out alive will crop up in another, (though you can always delete and edit the file that saves this info if you want to start fresh).
This adds a very nice overall continuous feeling to the whole pack. Plus, many of the characters have been customized to give comments or actions in various situations, making them far more believable than the usual Eamon allies who just run after you swinging at whatever you attack.
Most of the adventures have a distinct story of their own and quite dramatic confrontations with boss like characters too, which definitely ups the ante from the usual looting mission. Though puzzles do crop up, I found most to be fairly relaxed, and even if not, Frank has provided hints to get you through if you're really stuck.
Adventure #1 – The Cave of the Mind
Review: Though the original review puts this down as a short smash, grab and find your way out dungeon, this is not really a true description of the Eamon Deluxe Cave of the Mind, since possibly due to Frank's modifications, there is actually more to this adventure than you might think. [Editor's note: Roughly 50% or more of the content in these adventures is new, Eamon Deluxe-exclusive material.]
Firstly, while usually in these sorts of situations you are simply transported to the dungeon and left by random events such as a cave in, here there is distinctly a malign (or at least illogical), force at work, which you do get to confront throughout the adventure. Several traps and enemies are set on you by the villain directly, complete with taunts and evil laughter, and you get to vanquish the menace at the end. This gave far more of a quest like feeling, only enhanced by the fact that the friends you make here on this introduction to the campaign are people you will meet later.
Secondly, the design was very compact. Though this is certainly one of the shortest games, each room had something interesting in it and I never felt I was wandering pointlessly through excess corridors. The descriptions also contribute to this feeling as most rooms have a nice background and appropriate enemies inhabiting them. I also appreciated the few light weight puzzles, (indeed I hesitate to call these puzzles at all since all seemed pretty obvious so long as you explore everywhere and remember what objects you've got), though this is undoubtedly much more a combat outing, albeit one with some fun effects to play with. The chance to control a robot was particularly nice, and to anyone who has only seen the modern Battlestar Galactica, originally the Cylons were clunking metallic robots with infra red eyes. Speaking of combat, fights are around the medium mark though a couple might be tough for a character just out of the Beginner's Cave, but probably would be easy for someone more experienced. Indeed, the fact that I wanted to keep my companions alive gave quite a new spin to combat, especially with things like critical hits and fumbles which I don't believe were included in the original version of this game.
All in all a fun little intro to the pack combining a slightly light hearted treasure and murder dungeon with (quite literally), an evil mastermind. Definitely worth the short amount of time you'll need to play it.
Adventure #2 – The Zyphur Riverventure
Review: If Cave of the Mind was the prologue to this volume, The Zyphur Riverventure is most definitely the first chapter, and a pretty great chapter at that. Right from the word go your given a distinct plot and objective, indeed quite a heroic one, rescuing a scientist from the clutches of villainy and preventing an attack on the Eamon Guild. The setting is also radically different from the usual underground dungeon, being a river surrounded by mountains and forests, navigating the river with your boat plays a significant part of the adventure, though the problem mentioned in the original review of needing to constantly enter the boat before sailing anywhere seems to have been fixed by Frank.
Boating however does provide a challenge to navigating through the rather large map, and understanding how the rooms link up along the river is certainly necessary if you don't want to get lost, though since the rooms are distinct enough (as well as being thematically described), this shouldn't be too much of a concern. Though this had fewer specials and effects than Cave of the Mind, this went well with the overall more wild and naturalistic scenario, and what effects were there were very nice, I particularly liked the appearance of the villain here, it was appropriately startling.
The companion system also comes into its own in this adventure too, since exploring out of the way places can meet some interesting allies who of course you get to encounter later on in the set, and indeed since there are some battles that would be quite hard for a beginning character solo, it pays you to make friends.
My only problem is that some of the enemies seemed a little random. the Black Warrior's various henchmen came across very well (indeed they gave the whole setup a rather James Bond sort of feeling), but the same is not true of the wildlife which seemed distinctly out of place being composed of a collection of Wind in the Willows rejects and general fantasy monsters. One in particular the dragon, one of the hardest fights in the adventure, seemed rather lackluster as there was no reason for it to be there, and you gained nothing special for killing it. Likewise, you meet some unique allies like the egotistical Gold Warrior and Doctor Benway from Interzone (whether from the William Burroughs' novel or Frank's own later adventure I don't know, but a character with distinct personality either way). [Editor's note: He is from both.]
Other allies seemed at and rather purposeless however, such as the character who is described as "the professor from Gilligan's Island" who seemed nothing but a walking reference to the American TV program, though it's possible that this reference is more humorous if you have seen the show in question.
There is also an interesting special (and one which challenges the loot and pillage approach to most Eamons), but unfortunately you can finish the whole adventure without tangling with it, though Frank's hints, particularly the "For your amusement" section, do help here.
Overall treasure seemed a little low, but since it's distinctly a quest rather than a cash smash this wasn't too out of place, and is made up for nicely by the reward you get, indeed exploring fully can get some very nice rewards, though just on description and exploration alone this one is worth a play.
Adventure #3 – The Devil's Tomb
Review: The plot here I found slightly uninspired, since like Cave of the Mind, you're transported instantly into a dungeon and need to find your way out, but with no direct villain involved other than the general demonic powers. (I presume "Hades" mentioned in the introduction was just a polite way of talking about Hell, since this seemed far more the western idea of the realm of fire than the underworld of Greek mythology.) Either way, it's a fairly traditional dungeon with a few traps and dirty tricks thrown in, though thanks to saving and restoring this wasn't too bad even when the traps were fatal. Descriptions overall were reasonable, giving an impression of a subterranean complex one part Inferno, one part mental hospital with a good serving of fantasy dungeon on the side.
Reading the original review, I get the strong idea Frank worked to make several of the puzzles more logical, as well as adding in past friends and enemies to run into along the way, all of which definitely contributes to the overall experience. The only thing I found a bit disappointing was the Trezore spell, which (especially given references to Trezore in Jim's other adventures), seemingly should've helped more than it did.
Fight-wise things could get tough. Like several of Jim's other adventures there is something of a final confrontation, albeit in this adventure one you just seem to stumble into rather than a planned encounter, and you need a good set of trusty companions there if you're a starting level character. Most enemies and allies you meet seem appropriate for the setting, though there did seem to be a couple of strange choices (what a tiger or a lady wrestler are doing in hell I don't know).
Overall a solid example of a traditional dungeon adventure, and therefore probably worth a visit, though not perhaps the most original adventure in the set.
Adventure #4 – The Abductor's Quarters
Review: Though the Eamon Club review seemed to rate this as a fairly solid title, I felt slightly disappointed when comparing this to the other Jacobson offerings. The initial setup seemed very promising, a distinct objective in the form of a rescue, and a few rooms in, the need to escape, thus it seemed almost a combination of the ideas from previous adventures. Quickly however this feeling of novelty wore off, mostly and primarily due to the setting. Compared to the distinct and colorful underground rooms in Jim's other adventures, the dungeon here seemed mostly made up of extremely dull, rocky rooms and passage ways with descriptions that often duplicated the room names "you are in a dark east west tunnel with a chamber to the south" and offered nothing in the way of scenery, in fact the only interesting rooms in the entire dungeon were the Abductor's quarters themselves. This was compounded by the map being fairly large with many empty stretches of corridor and dead ends, and indeed a very short maze where all room descriptions looked the same.
On the plus side there were some interesting effects and puzzles to play with, though perhaps not enough to make up for the rather empty dungeon map, though the bandit mentioned in the club review was clearly fixed by Frank and now serves quite a nice purpose as part of the rewards. The maze, though having some switch back connections, was also far easier than some I've seen of this type in text adventures, and so very possible with some trial and error.
Characters-wise, there seemed to be fewer around here, both allies and enemies. Frank has modified some of the standard guards to have more interesting names and descriptions and I believe, to wander at random. While the descriptions are definitely good and provide some humor, there did seem to be a mild problem in that I always seemed to run into all the monsters in a clump, rather than wandering separately through the dungeon where they would've possibly been a welcome break to the rather drab surroundings.
Fewer allies seemed to show up here than in other titles, and indeed one (an admiral), seemed rather out of place for an underground dungeon (he might've actually been more appropriate to the Zyphur River setting). With the lack of allies, fights are hard, even for a character who withstood the other adventures. The confrontation with the Abductor and his minions in particular took a deal of luck and strategic use of spells on my part. Though this fight is theoretically avoidable: who's really going to enter the quarters of the evil Abductor and not fight him?
I was also a little disappointed that, being as this is the climax of the set, more friends and foes from other adventures didn't show up, though it's possible I just failed to befriend the right people earlier.
As far as rewards, things were pretty average; indeed I was a little sorry to not get anything for the rescue, though since it was a quest adventure it was satisfying just to complete the mission. While The Abductor's Quarters has some nice points such as the specials and a very tough and dramatic fight, it's probably not one for those who are impatient with large maps or lack of descriptions.
Adventure #5 – The Quest for Trezore
Review: Though this adventure doesn't share the visitor's file with the others in the set, it still should most distinctly be thought of as the conclusion, since it revisits several concepts from the previous outings, like riding in a boat (indeed this could've been set along the Zyphur River), and some characters and situations such as the wizard Trezore.
As a climax to the other adventures it works extremely well. Though a dungeon, you have a distinct objective in mind, finding wizard Trezore and gaining his help in defeating an evil wizard (though why you don't just take the usual Eamon approach to wizard extermination is slightly unclear here). The adventure also has a distinct structure, since almost at the start you are introduce to the final objective, a door that requires certain items to get through, and thus the rest of your adventure is spent looking for those items.
The setting and map are very nice, large but interesting with some good specials and puzzles to play with, and some very nice descriptions and a good array of enemies. I will confess that meeting Skeletor was a little out of place, but Skeletor is so awesome I'll let that pass.
The Eamon Club review details this as a tough adventure both in its combat and in some of the puzzles. Frank obviously took this on board since right off the bat you are introduced to two companions, one indeed who you'll have met and another you'll have heard of frequently in the previous adventures. This pair help you in battle, provide some comic relief, and also give rather condescending advice, much of which actually involves giving out and out solutions to the puzzles in the game while blatantly scooping up most of the treasure for themselves. As an easy mode option this is pretty cool, and they certainly provide some laughs, but with Frank's more than adequate hint system I'm not sure how absolutely necessary these two were.
I was also waiting to see this annoyingly smug duo get their just deserts, but sadly it never happened, and in fact the sense of accomplishment from this adventure is rather lessened because of this. It also seems that the only way to remove this pair is to kill them, and since they're your allies that isn't such a good direction (besides it'd be quite a tough battle). [Editor's note: That actually isn't an option as there is special programming in place which doesn't allow the player to do anything aggressive towards companions.]
Apart from the companions, the ending to the adventure also seemed a little abrupt as well. It would've been nice to actually meet Trezore, or, with the way Frank has modified the games, for the friends whom Trezore rescues to be some of the friends from previous adventures, but you can't have everything, and the adventure is still a lot of fun.
Despite its problems, this is still definitely a great adventure to play and a worthy climax to the campaign, and thus absolutely recommended.
As a whole The Jim Jacobson Adventures Deluxe were a great play. High fantasy dungeon diving in the best tradition, but with enough magic and specials, not to mention a very consistent setting and great characters to give them a good deal of personality of their own.
Eamon Deluxe Adventure List
Eamon Deluxe Classic Adventure Conversion Sets
Eamon Deluxe Original Adventures
|20||Journey Across the Muerte Sea|
|21||Realm of Fantasy|
|22||A Runcible Cargo|
|23||The Lost Treasures of Eamon|