Source:Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter, December 1997
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The Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter, December 1997 issue.
The use of this item is permitted and constitutes fair use on the grounds that it's free or in the public domain.
The Eamon Adventurer's Guild
The saga of the Late EAG Newsletter continues. I have, as usual, a litany of whines and excuses, but the bottom line is that I only have about a quarter as much free time as I enjoyed in years past. I am afraid that the era of being able to count on the newsletter appearing in your mailbox the week before its date month is a thing of the past now.
We'll keep slogging along here as long and as best as we can. I must confess that overall low activity in the Apple II world has eroded my interest in the Apple II, and by extension, in Eamon. There is a better than even chance that the EAG will close down its present level of activities once all the reviews have been done. This is subject to change, of course. There might be a big upswing in interest and activity that turns things around. You just never know.
Rather than shut the EAG down completely, I will probably turn it into a shorter publication that comes out at irregular intervals as news and events merit. The full-set disk offer will probably be available indefinitely.
Speaking of Apple II activity, our online world can be divided into three major camps:
One is the Usenet, where the primary Apple II pastime is mutual character assassination. It is a very ugly and unpleasant place to visit. It's rare to see a question or comment not decline into a volley of vicious insults. In fairness, this is typical of all Usenet activity, not just Apple II.
The next is the A2 Forum on Delphi. This is the best place to be if your main Apple II hobby is telecom and the Internet. Easily 80%-90% of the A2-Delphi message traffic is in this area. The library is rich in GIF images of Apple II events and people, but pretty sparse in most other ways. The sparse library is in part because a major Delphi attraction is super-cheap telnet access, and file transfer via telnet is very unreliable. Delphi now has full graphical Web access, but my PC has crashed every time I tried it.
Finally, there is still the A2 RoundTable on Genie. Genie is absurdly expensive for what you get for your money, and message traffic is WAY down from just a year ago, but this is still the best and most pleasant Apple II community I know of. It's lost most of its true gurus to the PowerMac, but it's still a pretty good place to get questions answered. And, with over 11,000 files, the A2 RT's library remains unmatched in the world. There is Eamon stuff on Genie that is not available much of anywhere else at all.
In the Eamon world, I get at most a half-dozen letters and emails per month. We're a far cry from the days when I got a couple of new inquiries plus several member letters per week! Overall business activity is about a quarter of what it was at the EAG's peak. That probably sounds bleak, but it all depends on your reference. On the whole, Eamon is holding up remarkably well in comparison to all Apple II activity over the same time period.
I think I'll take a moment here to promote my two favorite television programs. Possibly my most favorite TV show is "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer", a new WB show that routinely exhibits astonishingly good scripts, special effects, and general production values. For those of you who missed the movie, Buffy is a 16-year-old high-school girl who also happens to be the "chosen one," born once into each generation, who has a not-quite supernatural ability to deal with Evil and mayhem in general. As luck and the Powers of the Universe would have it (and to supply fodder for a weekly TV show), Buffy’s town happens to sit atop a Hellmouth (whatever that is) that serves to attract all sorts of Bad Things. "Buffy" is receiving critical acclaim and is arguably one of the best shows of any kind on TV right now.
My other favorite is "Earth: Final Conflict", a show that is sort of a cross between "X-Files" and "Babylon 5" in its thoughtful scripts, continuing story lines, and interesting plots. This is a hard show to get into, because it uses a running plot line much like Babylon 5 does, and you won’t much understand what is going on until you have watched it for a few weeks.
For some reason, most SF fans I know continually whine about the lack of Good Stuff on TV and yet can't seem to find the time to check out these two shows. If you can trust me enough to watch three episodes of each before making up your mind, I think you'll be glad you did!
EAMON ADVENTURER'S GUILD
Thomas Zuchowski, Editor
Membership/subscription fee for 4 issues:
US-Canada: $7.00; foreign: $12.00; in U.S. funds
This newsletter is published 4 times per year, in March, June, September, and December
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. We make quarterly Eamon adventure giveaways to the best contributions.
If you would like to add your own Eamon adventure to the EAG 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. Once released, you will be given any Eamon Adventure of your choice in exchange, and may be awarded several Eamon Adventures if your Eamon is of superior quality.
NEUC 'Adventurer's Log':
Mar'84, May'84, Aug'84, Oct'84, Jan'85, Mar'85
May'85, Aug'85, Oct'85, Jun'86, Jan'87, Oct'87
EAG back issues: 1988: - Jun, Sep, Dec
1989,90,91,92,93,94,95,96: Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec
1997: Mar, Jun, Sep
Price: $1.00 each
241 The Shrunken Adventurer by Adam Myrow
A pretty good version of the "shrunk to small insect size and lost in the backyard" variety Eamon. Reviewed in this issue.
242 The Dungeon of Traps by Boris Guenter
A small but well written "Hack'n'Slash" Eamon with an absurd number of traps. Also reviewed in this issue.
Our mail-order Eamon vendor:
Eamons are available online at various sites. Some good sites I can recommend are Genie, ftp.gmd.de, ground.isca.uiowa.edu, and http://www.ecnet.net/ users/mumbv/pages/eamon/index.shtml
EAG EAMON DISK OFFER
EAG members can obtain the complete Eamon set from the EAG. This contains both DOS 3.3 and 80-col. ProDOS Eamon collections archived to 3.5 disks. These are ShrinkIt archives. To access the ProDOS titles, you must have a minimum of one 3.5 drive. The DOS 3.3 titles require both 3.5 and 5.25 drives.
The EAG members' price for the entire set is $25.00. To take advantage of this offer, take these steps:
1) This offer requires that you supply the disks. You must include 19 (note that I have added a disk) DD 3.5 floppies with your payment. NOTE that these MUST be DD disks. My drives cannot read nor write to HD disks, so don't send them.
2) You must use a shipping container that I can re-use to return the filled disks to you.
3) The $25.00 price includes formatting the floppies with ProDOS If you format the disks for me, the price is $20.00. This reflects the time savings I get from not having to do the formatting. It doesn't matter what ProDOS volume name you use since they will be rewritten.
4) If any of the above requirements are not met, the disks will be returned unfilled, and the shipping cost will be deducted from your refund.
5) Both versions of 8-bit ShrinkIt and basic instructions are included with the set.
Purchase of the set puts you on a mailing list that automatically gets free updates.
A Walk-Through of Eamon #145
by Adam Myrow
First of all, you need to understand what the introduction has to say. You are going to a public execution because you think that the pirate Henry Le Marque will reveal the location of some hidden treasure when "faced with the gallows." Remember that this is a medieval setting and public hangings of pirates were big events.
Here are some hints for those that want to solve this Eamon without the complete walk-through. This Eamon requires a lot of gold as stated in the intro. However, if you find yourself short on gold, there are some provisions for getting more. It also requires that you pay good attention to detail. Every detail is important. You will be retracing your steps a lot. Finally, you need to realistically think about how you would prepare for sailing a ship on the ocean.
Now, we shall begin the walk-through. Note that you may do things in a slightly different order if you wish. However, the order given here will work fairly well.
Go south until you come to the intersection of Sea Lane and Captain's Walk. Go east along Captain's Walk, noting details as you go. In particular, note the place that looks like a government building, and the Cartographer. Be sure to also note Ubask and his occupation. A mage may not seem important now, but he'll certainly prove useful. The last thing to note is the undertaker (where Le Marque will probably go) and the Chandler. By now, you should be at the intersection of Captain's Walk and Anchor Way. Since the jail yard is north, go that way. It looks like you made it to the execution in time. Let's see what Henry Le Marque says.
Wow! Talk about weird last words. Now what was that about treasure? Sounds like Le Marque has some good stuff for the taking. However, his little poem sure doesn't make sense. You could write it down, but fear not! Your character has done this for you. The locals think that Le Marque's treasure is on an island. How does one get to an island? Why, they use a ship, of course. Before you go running off to lease a ship however, you might want to stock up.
Exit the jail yard by going south. Go west once and south again. This should place you in the chandlery. A clerk will inform you of what he offers. You need fruit, food, and grog. The command to use is PAY CLERK, 3 times. Each time, you'll be asked what you want to buy. You won't lose any money if you make a spelling error. You'll just get a message to the effect that the clerk has no idea what you mean. Get used to the PAY command. You'll use it a lot.
Now, go through the south door of the chandlery and enter the shipwright's. Again, you need to PAY CLERK. Buy the caulk, pump, and the canvas. Exit through the north door to return to the chandlery. I will discuss the docks when you are ready for a ship.
A good start, but what about that riddle? Well, do you remember that Ubask guy? He is a mage. Let's give his slogan, "What man has devised, Ubask knows", a test. Go west twice after exiting the Chandlery. Now, go north. You should be in Ubask's home. Ubask is famous for breaking codes. Just what you need! Pay him and see what he has to say.
Well, that explanation of the first part of the riddle makes sense. Note that you were handed some information about the island. To check this out, LOOK UBASK'S ANSWER. This sounds like a perfect place to bury a treasure. It's time to move on in your search for goods.
If you wish, you may go back east and explore the marketplace and the other buildings. You will find some people who can set up trading lots for you. I wouldn't pay them until you have a ship. Also, trading is totally optional and will not be covered here.
Go west after exiting Ubask's house and then go north. You should now be at the cartographer's. You most definitely want a map. So, PAY APPRENTICE, and when asked what to buy, enter SEA CHART. Another important item taken care of. You might want to save your game now, to be safe.
Now, exit the cartographer's shop and go west. You can explore each and every building if you wish. You will find a tavern to the north called "The Crow's Nest." More people who can trade with you plus a few ship's officers are here. You may also try to GAMBLE if you are short on gold. Go west once again on Captain's Walk and try going north. Some regular crew members. Since you will be leasing a ship, it would be a good idea to write their names down. You can't hire them until you have a ship, and it's not a good idea to hire just anybody. You'll see why in a little while.
Now, go south twice from the inside of the club to enter that official-looking building you saw earlier. You simply PAY CLERK here and buy the various pieces of paperwork one at a time. Make sure you have everything to avoid any legal trouble later. That means the docking permit, trading license, and the harbor pass. If you are sure you won't be doing any trading, you may be able to skip the trading license.
Next, go west until you return to the intersection of Sea Lane and Captain's Walk. Enter the building to the west. This should be the Temple of Weyren. A priest is asking for an offering. Go ahead and pay it. You got a blessing. If you LOOK BLESSING, you discover it to be a prayer for when you get in trouble. You might find a use for it.
Since we haven't been on Sea Lane, let's explore it. Go east to exit the temple and south to start walking along Sea Lane. Once again, note details. Since you've already been in the Port Authority, check out the Registry. A clerk here can help you (for a fee of course) find out about sailors. Let's practice with the sailors here. PAY CLERK and when asked, enter each of the sailor's names here. So, Red and Ivan might work. Maybe it's time to finally get a ship.
Exit the Registry, go south twice, and you are on the first of many ships to choose from. Go east along the docks and explore each ship one at a time. Which one you choose depends on what you want to do. If all you want is to get the pirate's treasure and run, the cutter might do. However, if you want to do any trading, you might want a bigger ship. Of course, if you want to fight with other pirate ships, you need some guns on your ship. I personally like the Packet. Its only drawback is the large crew requirement. Pick the ship you like before continuing. If you haven't been doing occasional saves, save your game now!
Now that you have a ship, it might be a good idea to both continue preparations and start hiring crew members. Return to the Registry and hire Red and Ivan. Next, go back north past the intersection of Sea Lane and Captain's Walk. You might want to use the "LOOK" command to refresh your memory as to what's here.
Let's start by going west into Arkad Trom's shop. As you may have guessed, PAY ARKAD for the spyglass, sextant, and compass. You've already been in the other building but you might want to check out some of the potential crew members by returning to the registry and asking about them. This is the boring part of the game but it is realistic. The Crow's Nest, the Steerage, and various other taverns hold crew members and officers. You may also gamble in all of the taverns if you are short on gold.
While you are hiring crew, work your way back to the intersection of Captain's Walk and Anchor Way. Start south down Anchor Way. Keep going, (exploring as you go) until you come to a building with "mystic ruins" to the east. Enter it. What, somebody else wanting more money? You may as well pay the attendant. He might tell you the future, or at least something useful.
What was that? Where did you hear the word "soul?" Why, the last line of Le Marque's riddle says "but the precise spot hides in my soul." Since you were hearing and copying, it's possible that Le Marque actually meant "sole." As in the sole of ones shoe. There must be some important information in the sole of Le Marque's shoe!
Where would his shoes be? They are in the undertaker's shop. Head back to the intersection of Captain's Walk and Anchor Way. Go west and then north. That should put you in the undertaker's shop. When there, PAY HAGGIS. You are now viewing Le Marque's Corpse. You need to SEARCH CORPSE. That is a rather strange message. It may become more clear when you reach Cormorant Island.
There is one more thing to buy. Continue on Anchor Way until you come to the pawn shop. Enter it and buy at least the shovel. You may wish to buy everything else just to be on the safe side. At last, assuming you have your crew hired, you are ready to set sail. Go to your ship and type VOYAGE.
OK, after all that, we are on the water. Here is a brief explanation of sailing. Once out on the open sea, you get coordinates to tell you where you are. They are given in a west by south format. That means that the further you go west, the higher that number gets. Likewise for going south. Going southwest will increase both numbers. Before going too far, you should LOOK SEA CHART. Note the location of Cormorant Island. Also, give the STATUS command a try.
If you see any ships, what you do is up to you. Just don't attack unless you are told that the ship is flying the "Jolly Roger." Ship to ship combat will not be covered except that if you find yourself fighting hand-to-hand, and you see the message "<crewman> is sabotaging your ship," kill that traitor quickly to minimize the damage! That's why I recommended that you have some cannons.
Sail southwest so that you are as close to 9 west and 10 south as possible and maneuver around until you have landed. Notice the driftwood and go south onto the beach. It turns out that the driftwood is an oar. Type LOOK OAR to get more information.
So what's the big deal? Well, type READ and notice what that message you found on Le Marque's sole says. The first two letters are "or." That could be another homonym trick, and "or" actually refers to "oar." What about the rest? Well, if you read it carefully, you will notice that all of the remaining letters are either n, s, e, or w. It is a sort of map!
Use the PACE command and enter each of the letters following "or" at the prompt. That is the "see essene" part. Now, dig with the DIG command. Nothing but some skeletons are here! Dig some more. You dig up a wooden chest. Now try opening it. It's locked, so attack it and when it shatters, open it. What? All there is here is a stupid message about a practical joke!
Never fear, you haven't wasted your time. This is just another of Le Marque's tricks to stop you. Dig yet again. Now you found a strongbox. Do just like before. Attack it until it breaks and open it. There is your treasure! Pick it up. Congratulations! You've got what you wanted. You may now either explore the other islands, or go home with your treasure. If you decide to explore, you are on your own.
(Editor's note: Adam outlined the steps to fulfill the basic Quest, but there is quite a lot more to do than listed here. As Adam stated, the other things are optional, but they will add a lot of enjoyment if you are having a good time with this adventure. - Tom)
A Few Observations and a Change in Content
I do industrial electronic repair for a living, and one of my specialties is working on 10-to-20-year-old Bridgeport CNC equipment. The company I work for is the only manufacturer-recommended place in the world you can go to get repairs of Bridgeport computers. Not even Bridgeport does repair of their oldest CNC machines any more.
This is called "end of life cycle", and it is the mode that the Apple II world has slipped into during the past two years. I would estimate that there are fewer than 1,000 active Apple II users left in the world, and that only perhaps 200 of them are online.
Which brings us to Eamon. Our Eamon sets are pretty darned stable on the whole, and while there may be an occasional inappropriate response or spelling error, you can generally count on an EAG Eamon adventure to be playable.
Consequently I have decided to call a halt to trivial Eamon bug fixes. The nature of the online community is such that it is a great deal of work to track down and update Eamon revisions, and when you factor in that only a half-dozen or so people will bother to get the update, it's just not worth the effort for the small stuff.
This column will still appear for important bug fixes, when they are needed. But we are talking here about the kind that fix program crashes and the like.
- 136 the Mountain Fortress by Mike Greifenkamp
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
MAIN PGM Version: 5
Extra Commands: UNLOCK, DRINK, INSPECT
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: None
Playing Time: 30-45 min.
Reviewer Rating: 3.0
Description: "You overhear an adventurer telling a tale of a great fortress, high atop a lone, foggy, mountain. He says it is heavily guarded, but claims that Goff is there.
Goff has a price on his head. He's a torturer and killer. Waiting only long enough to find out where the fort is, you set out to rid the world of the man named Goff."
Comment: This is a pretty well done Kill'n'Loot type Eamon. There are no puzzles, just lots of combat and loot. The map is large for an Eamon of this difficulty level, but it is not extremely complex. The style is that of older Eamons that had a bit of this and that in them. It has no anachronisms, and is coherent.
The low rating reflects low content rather than any problems. With a difficulty of (2), it looks like a good pick for young Eamonauts.
- 144 Gartin Manor by Greg Gioia
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
MAIN PGM Version: 6.2
Extra Commands: DIG
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: 10-directions
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer Rating: 5.0
Description: "A friend of yours, Larrabbold, has just purchased a large, expensive manor-sight unseen. He went there only to discover it was haunted. He is not an experienced fighter (he is not a fighter at all, in fact). So he is offering you 10000 gold pieces to "de-haunt" it for him.
"Before you go he warns you that the previous owner installed many devious traps and secret doors are abundant."
Comment: This Eamon is a real mixed bag. It is a pretty fair "haunted house" scenario that is marred by bad room connections and massive spelling errors. The 10-direction aspect mostly offers redundant room connections and only serves to confuse the map; indeed, it apparently confused Greg as well, as almost all of the bad room connections are diagonals.
The DIG command as implemented doesn't work, but all it would do if it did work was allow you to dig up an unremarkable corpse.
Last but certainly not least, there is no exit from this Eamon. You begin in the entrance foyer of the house, which curiously has no front door!
Having said all that, it is pretty well conceived and written. It could easily have garnered a (6) or even a (7) rating, had it been properly debugged and cleaned up in the first place. Difficulty of about (4). Strictly combat, with no puzzling other than finding secret passages with LOOK.
- 241 The Shrunken Adventurer by Adam Myrow
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
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.
- 242 The Dungeon of Traps by Boris Guenter (aka "MARVIN")
Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
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.
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