Source:Eamon Adventurer's Log, June 1986
|This page is a verbatim reproduction of original source material and should not be edited except for maintenance.|
The Eamon Adventurer's Log newsletter, volume 2 number 3.
John Nelson (editor)
The use of this item is permitted and constitutes fair use on the grounds that it's free or in the public domain.
We were going to try to explain why we were four months late getting a newsletter out, but we couldn't come up with any one answer. So we had to rely on a lot of answers.
The newsletter is four months late because:
At the end of the year (actually starting at Christmas time) we were very busy – oh, if you are the type of person that doesn't like whiny excuses and made up stories and such, please skip to the next column at this point. – Bob and I had a nice Christmas and New Year's and didn't get a chance to work on the newsletter than. Then we each started putting in lots of overtime at our full time jobs and had even less time. Then we had to do the books for the club and our contract programming affairs as well as finish up some major contract programs, then my car got a flat tire and Bob's suit didn't come back from the cleaners and he ran out of gas while we were headed for a convention in California.
The bus that finally picked us up in the Nevada desert was hi-jacked to Cuba and we spent the next two months trying to explain Eamon to a bunch of Cuban refugees. They thought it was some kind of code word for covert activities related to the investigation of terrorist attacks by CIA agents and – well to make a long story short, we didn't get to start on the newsletter until April 12th.
On with the show...
by Bob Davis
Item: New adventures.
|115||Ring of Doom||by Sam Ruby|
|116||The Iron Prison||by Sam Ruby|
|117||Dungeon of Doom||by Dan Knezek|
|118||Pitfall||by Scott Starkey|
|119||Grunewalde||by Pat Hurst|
|120||Orb of My Life||by John Nelson|
|121||Wrenhold's Secret Vigil||by Bob Davis|
Ring of Doom and The Iron Prison complete Sam's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Dungeon of Doom has an 80- and 40-column version and is Dan's first adventure.
Pitfall – we dunno.
Grunewalde is another adventure by a first-time author and looks very interesting from initial poking around.
Orb of My Life and Wrenhold's Secret Vigil are two of the three "uncontest" adventures; both are reviewed in this issue's Spotlight On.
Item: The first IBM Eamon adventure is being converted – adventure #16 The Caves of Mondamen by (who else?) John Nelson. Although not set to be available any time soon, the data has been transmitted to the IBM and is in the process of being changed. Even though the standard MAIN PGM has already been converted to the IBM, the one used in Caves of Mondamen has had severe modifications made to it and will be time consuming to convert.
A set of programs have seen developed to help in the conversion. These programs were used to convert the Apple files to be transmitted to the IBM and converted back to random files. Anyone interested in the conversion programs may obtain listings (these are small) of the programs by just writing to us and include an explanation in 50 words or less on why you want the listings and any letters we find entertaining, embarrassing or useful for blackmail purposes will receive a prompt (if not unnecessary) reply.
Item:: C-64 version of Eamon. Kent Sullivan and Roy Riggs are working feverishly converting the Eamon system to the C-64. Rumor has it that enhancements have been bantered about and that technical assistance has been requested from yours truly. Cleverly, I have been working 12 hours a day and could not be reached. (Sorry, Kent. Let's try it again. If you're done with it, maybe I could scarf a copy for suggestions, direct criticism and praise.)
Club Staff (sounds redundant):
|John Nelson||– On the loose|
|Bob Davis||– Whose mind controls insect armies|
|The Dover Boys||– Masters of Mayhem|
|This spot open||– This description, too|
|Dan Cross||– On educational leave|
|Gary Flanagan||– Retired|
by John Nelson
This issue we would like to express our thanks to all of the people who made the un-contest the truly great success it was. That's what we'd like to do, but the problem is, it wasn't all that great a success. Three very good adventures were added to the list of Eamon adventures, but we were expecting a lot more. I guess we had too narrow a time frame and too small a prize for a really great success. Of the three adventures we received, all three should have been disqualified. As a result, we have no real winner, but unofficially, we have three winners. (What do you expect from an "UN-Contest"?)
The three entries were:
Orb of Mevtrelek – disqualified because it was sent out for distribution before we received a copy for judging. However, since this was not clearly stated in the rules prior to the receipt, we cannot truly disqualify it, either.
Secret Vigil of Wrenhold – disqualified because it was written by a guy named Davis. Since Bob is on the club staff (sounds redundant), he was disqualified. It also did not meet deadline, although this was because other club duties prevented timely completion, and we certainly shouldn't penalize Bob for performing club duties, right?! (Right!)
Orb of My Life – disqualified because it had a stupid name. Also it did not meet deadline. Like Bob's disqualification, this was because of club duties.
Actually we had a tough time even disqualifying these adventures, since we didn't have any judges, and the rules were very vague. Even in being disqualified, there is no real penalty, since there aren't any prizes. What's the point? Why am I talking about this here – in Designer's Den? Because all of these three adventures, for all their faults and strengths, they had to be designed and programmed. What can be learned from the programming for these adventures?
The Orb of Mevtrelek and the Secret Watch of Wrenhold have a moderate amount of programming to them. In DDD version 6.0 it's hard to put too much programming in because the base program is already pretty big. In the Orb of My Life I put a lot of special programming in, but had to remove a bunch of code that was already in the base program to make room for it.
In developing Orb of My Life, I made a few enhancements to the base program that may become standard features in the future, because they are so handy. One of these things is the ability to examine something and get some further information about it (without that item having to be an embedded artifact).
For example, you can examine the bed that Sagonne is lying on, even though it is not in the room, even as an embedded artifact. Some of this sneakiness makes it more interesting and fun to discover while playing the adventure.
An idea I came up with when developing Orb of My Life is a text search routine, coupled with an effects file. I didn't put this into my adventure because of space and time limitations, but my idea is to put in a routine that will scan through the description of a room, looking for words in that description. If a match is found, the program will know you are talking about something in the room and can make an intelligent statement about the item. An effects file could be added where a keyword will be used to activate an effect, a secret passage discovery or an artifact or monster being brought into the room or vanishing.
As a direct result of some of the improvements made for this adventure and because there were other things needed in the base program, the base program was modified to do some additional things. Also, remarks were added to the code to make changes by designers easier.
I have placed the version number 6.2 on this base program. Below is a summary of the features that were added, or little known features that were already there, but never documented that you may find useful when modifying your base program.
- Monsters unconscious – This was already in place, but never documented. If you want a monster to be in the room, but unconscious, set
MD%(m,15) = 2(where m is the monster number). This will cause the main program to treat this monster as though he was in the room, but he will not participate in battle.
- Some error messages were somewhat common or generic enough that they were placed at the front of the program and any routine that needs them can simply branch to the appropriate line number. These lines are:
90 – I don't understand.
91 – You aren't carrying it.
92 – Okay.
93 – That's not what you do with it.
99 – It's too dark to see.
This was done to help conserve memory in the base program. A worthy goal, since the program now takes 80 sectors of disk space.
- Exits are now printed automatically (except the exit to the Main Hall and secret passages). This was done to help save the designer from having to use part of the description of a room for the exit descriptions. This will hopefully encourage more elaborate detail in the descriptions. This code can be easily removed, if desired.
- Abbreviations are now allowed in all routines (unless I missed some, but I don't think so).
- Fleeing is now allowed in a direction. This code was in the program before, but was not documented and in some cases it didn't work properly. It has been improved and made more efficient.
- Examine routine has a place to add special discoveries.
- You can now blast doors, gates or containers to attempt to open them.
- The power routine was improved and corrected. There were some power effects that were wrong or could never be attained. The raise dead monster was made a small subroutine, so that if you ever want to put code into your program to resurrect a particular monster, all you have to do is set
M= monster number and do a
GOSUBto the resurrect routine. The new default effects of a power spell using this program are:
10% chance – teleport somewhere
15% chance – armor thicken by 2
10% chance – all wounds heal (only if injured)
10% chance – increase all magical abilities (only if uninjured)
20% chance – Sonic boom
25% chance – resurrect any dead monsters in room
If none of these actions occur, you will get a speed spell placed into effect.
- Some of the messages will be different than before. You will never get "You don't know how to read" when trying to read something that is illegible. Instead, you will get "You can't read it." If you try to open an artifact that is not openable, you will get "That's not what you do with it" instead of "You'll make a mess, wait till you leave." When you light a torch or lantern, you'll get "OKAY" instead of "You managed to light the..." This was to help conserve memory.
- Line counts are more accurate now, so you shouldn't be scrolling off while trying to read the descriptions.
There is a drawback to having all these changes put in at once, and that is to get the new program, you'll have to request another DDD 6.0. The changes were pretty lengthy and we didn't keep a listing of every line that was changed.
by Bob Davis
Things have come to quite a standstill here at the club. John and I both have been required to work extra hours at our real jobs and this throws a wrench into the whole schedule. (Obviously, the schedule is too tight.) We are trying to get things back on track and have not forgotten our commitments.
Your memberships may have expired without your knowledge (or ours). Admittedly shabby. At the moment (which in our case could be months), do not send us anymore membership money (unless as a donation, of course). The newsletters will continue to be sent out to each member which receives this newsletter, regardless of expiration dates.
We will be re-organizing the club based on the results of the questionnaire included as the last page of this newsletter. Our objectives are:
- Provide members with new, tested adventures on a regular basis without waiting for a newsletter.
- Provide information on an as-needed basis, rather than give all the information to everyone when they may never use it.
This is designed to give us more time to work on the ever increasing World of Eamon. The final result hopefully will be improved order processing time (cutting down the number of new adventure orders), reduced bug reports, less duplication of effort and lower costs.
Although a stamped reply envelope is not enclosed, please take the time to fill out and mail in the questionnaire.
By John Nelson
Bugs are still alive and kicking and we're still stomping them when we can.
One of the things that helps us most is when you write to us with bugs and tell what bugs you have discovered and if you fixed them, tell us how you did it. Sure we could find them and fix them, but we don't want to hog all the fun, and sometime we don't have all the time we'd like to have to kill these little buggers.
To help you help us, we have developed a form for reporting and correction of bugs. We are including a copy of this form with this newsletter. This form will give us an easier way of quickly filing and categorizing the bugs. Please use one form per bug. If you need more forms, we will gladly supply you with them. (Our Xerox will do the best to keep up!)
We have also developed in-house forms to help us keep track of bugs and are using these to make it easier to inform you of possible life threatening situations and other such emergencies. But as little time as we have to play adventures, we still count on you to report bugs. Let's hear from you.
So, now that we've wasted the last couple of paragraphs, let's tackle some of the bugs that have been reported.
Adventure #45 – SwordQuest
|Problem:||You aren't supposed to ready the Excalibur that you find in this adventure and will get in trouble if you do. Therefore, when you are unarmed and try to pick up Excalibur, you get in trouble because the Main Pgm automatically assumes you want to ready it.|
|Cause:||Base program assumption.|
|Fix:||Don't try to pick up Excalibur when you are unarmed. Or put in the following change in Main Pgm:|
Adventure #53 – Feast of Carroll
|Problem:||Inadequate messages when you attempt to pull the sword from the stone.|
Adventure #91 – Future Quest II
|Problem:||Lt. Slade was not beaming down all the time properly. Author sent in these fixes.|
Changes were made to the missile firing routines:
7295 IF IB = 1 THEN OF = 0: DF = IC: D = 95: S = 6: GOSUB 7635: IB = 0: GOTO 100
16807 IF MD%(10,5) = ROOM THEN IB = 1: IC = 10: S$ = MN$(10): AD%(5,4) = 0; GOTO 7000
16813 IF MD%(11,5) = ROOM THEN IB = 1: IC = 11: S$ = MN$(11): AD%(6,4) = 0; GOTO 7000
16818 IF MD%(24,5) = ROOM THEN IB = 1: IC = 24: S$ = MN$(24): AD%(7,4) = 0; GOTO 7000
Some bugs were fixed by the author in the following lines:
3031 IF ROOM = 27 AND IA = 0 THEN IA = 1: INVERSE: PRINT CHR$(7);CHR$(7);"WARNING!": PRINT "WARNING!": PRINT "MINEFIELD!": NORMAL: GOTO 20015
3032 IF ROOM = 63 AND CJ = 0 THEN CJ = 1: PRINT "A KRELL LIGHT CRUISER DIVES OUT OF THE": PRINT "SKY AND BEGINS A STRAFING RUN.": GOTO 20015
An edit fix is also needed for this adventure. Use the DDD 6.0 (5.0 will do) to change the room number of monster 2 to a 0 (zero). This can be done by unlocking the EAMON.MONSTERS and EAMON.DESC file and placing the Dungeon Designer Diskette in the drive and typing
RUN DUNGEON EDIT. Then insert the FutureQuest II diskette and press a key. Select option
2 (edit) and
M (monster) and
2 for the monster number. Press
ESC until you reach the room number field. Then key in
0 <RETURN>. Press
ESC until you get back to the main menu. Then select
7 (quit), You can then lock the files again and you're ready.
Adventure #99 – In the Clutches of Torrik
|Problem:||Exits E & W were swapped. Exits were not as stated in the description of the room. This was corrected using the DUNGEON EDIT program.|
|Problem:||Silver Key was misspelled SILER KEY. This was fixed using the DUNGEON EDIT program.|
|Problem:||If you leave the adventure while disguised, you will be killed inexplicably.|
|Fix:||Change variable |
|Problem:||The examine routine did not allow abbreviations.|
|Cause:||The artifact search routine was not performed in the examine routine. This is not a bug, but the Club copy has been changed to allow this.|
|Fix (optional):||New copy of the adventure would be the easiest way to get this correction / enhancement.|
|Problem:||Typo error in artifact search routine.|
|Fix (required):||Line |
Adventure #113 – Orb of Mevtrelek
|Problem:||Light not working correctly. Darkness lasted only one turn and as soon as you moved it was light again.|
|Cause:||Variables were set up incorrectly for light.|
|Problem:||Light runs out before you find the fuel for the lantern and there is no way to continue the adventure.|
|Cause:||Light routine was incorrect and Power routine had several bugs in it caused by errors in the base program (not Rick's fault!).|
|Fix:||Power routine was rewritten:
Adventure #115 – Ring of Doom
|Problem:||Description of mission is in upper and lowercase. Apple II Plus do not normally display lowercase letters. The intro was changed to uppercase.|
Adventure #116 – The Iron Prison
|Problem:||Mission was in lowercase. This was changed to uppercase only.|
Adventure #117 – Dungeon of Doom
Corrections and enhancements have been made by the author. These changes were not detailed to the club, so a new copy will be required to get a current version. This diskette has an 80 column version and a 40 column version. Please specify which you want. If not specified, 40 col. will be shipped.
Adventure #118 – Pittfall
Since this is a new adventure, we have not distributed any copied of it yet, but this bug is reported here to aid those people who may have received the disk from the author or some other source.
|Problem:||Undefined line number at 9120|
Adventure #125 – The Mattimoe Palace
Since this is a new adventure, we have not distributed any copied of it yet, but this bug is reported here to aid those people who may have received the disk from the author or some other source.
|Problem:||Undefined statement 26040 – this line was not needed and was deleted.|
|Cause:||Used Adventure #12 as a base instead of DDD|
|Fix (required):||Delete line 26040|
|Problem:||Syntax error in line 27060|
|Fix (required):||A colon is missing.|
|Problem:||End of Data when entering room 4.|
|Cause:||Room 4 was trashed.|
|Fix (required):||Need a new copy to get this fix.|
DDD 6.0 MAIN PGM
This program has been changed very extensively to allow more features than ever. It now has the capability of allowing blasting doors or containers, the search routines have been improved, all routines now use the search routines, and comments were put back in to help explain the code. A new copy of the DDD should be ordered to get all these enhancements and fixes.
A list of the improvements and some new previously little known or undocumented features may be found in the Designer Den column.
Things appearing in this column must not be confused with actual facts.
Once again, several books have been published about Eamon, just in tine for the Barbaric Festival! Several of these works have been long awaited, and Eamon fans should rejoice at their final appearance. The new titles and authors just released:
- Behind the Scenes at the Main Hall by The Irishman. An in-depth, never-before accounting of what really goes on in the Main Hall while you are out adventuring. Warning: Contains childish situations.
- What is Eamon Anyway? by the Postal Service. A stunning tale of postal employees' step-by-step investigation to find the horrifying answer to one of this centuries most puzzling questions. (A true story.)
- Donald Brown: Man or Machine? by CE Software. A human that once had a creative outburst or an incredible simulation? Are the rumors true that he can go without sleep or being turned off for 72 hours? These and other probing questions are addressed in vague detail only the way CE Software can avoid.
Books still to come –
My Struggle to Power by John Nelson
The Looter's Guide to Cities by The Dover Boys
by Bob Davis
(Ratings are given on a scale 1 to 10 with 10 highest. Format is R:D where R = rating for setting, description and plot; D = rating for difficulty, problem solving and survivability.)
#109 – The Forest of Fear (7:6)
by Sam Ruby
Reviewed by Bob Davis
Extra commands: None – standard 6.0 commands
Special features: None
Playing time: 3 – 4 hours
Dol Guldur lies at the head of some foothills in Mirkwood Forest. The forest was once a bright place, but Sauron and his evil poisoned it. The Wood-Elves of the North renamed the forest "Mirkwood"... the "Forest of Great Fear".
Worst of all, the Black Captain of the Nazgul has captured and locked away in his prison a wise and mighty ranger, who is much needed in the fight against the Dark Lord.
Your mission is three-fold: One, to secure Southern Mirkwood (where the trouble is) and drive off or kill all the foul creatures you find there. Two, to rescue the ranger and bring him out alive. Three, if possible, destroy the chief of the Nazgul.
Comments: A noble mission; however, I feel one and three should be switched – one, destroy the Chief of the Nazgul and three, if possible, drive off or kill all the foul creatures in southern Mirkwood. Have you ever tried to kill all enemies in an adventure? In this particular case, special weapons would be needed (and some may be found/earned) but even so, good armor, ability, agility, heal spell, etc. would still be required. Friends can be found and are most welcomed on this adventure – but rest assured, killing all of the fiends is not required to leave the forest. I suggest just killing as many as you can and then make a dash for the exit (all the while keeping the ranger from being killed.)
This is a good brute-force adventure. And it makes you think about the survival of others. (By the way, there is no way to heal the ranger once he is hurt unlike some sneaky authors' methods.)
The characters are interesting and plentiful, the treasure valuable, but the descriptions were lacking once inside Dol Guldur. Overall, the play is good. I was continually getting myself in trouble the first time I played it (mainly by poking my nose into everything that came along) but got through the adventure on the second try with a little more common sense.
This adventure is recommended for those times when you want to kill something or have a strong character who is bored with the usual "wimps" (normal hardiness characters) in most dungeons.
#114 – Thror's Ring (9:10)
by Tom Zuchowski
Reviewed by Bob Davis
Extra commands: None – standard 6.0 commands
Special features: 40/80 column text, SAVE is done to a separate disk
Playing time: 15 – 30 hours
Description: While lounging about in the Main Hail, two newcomers (an uncommonly fair high-elf and dingy-robed wizard) approach and proposition you.
"I represent sponsors of a forth-coming expedition into the abandoned mines of Moria," the wizard states. "There will be a worthy quest, fabulous loot and incredible danger. Dost thou have interest in such an adventure?"
(Who does he think he's talking to?!!) You nod and try to act nonchalant.
"This is good, for you are my choice among the many worthies of this hall. As all know, the Dwarfish stronghold of Khazad-Dum, that many know as Moria, was sacked by the Orcs many hundreds of years ago," he explains. "It was then that the ring of power that controlled Moria was lost."
The wizard leans closer, "I have reason to know that the ring is still there, and may be recovered by one both cunning and strong."
Again you nod and state, "I am that one."
The wizard stands stiff and tall and invokes, "Peiah!... Arrah!... Zero!"
You suddenly find yourself in a lovely forest, surrounded by elves. Before you is a high-elf lady of great power. Thus did she speak:
"I see that the wizard has chosen well, a strong warrior of good heart."
"Know you the ring, should you find it, is the rightful property of the Dwarf Hight Thror, who is of the Lonely Mountain far to the north. And we of the forest Lothorien would see the ring of power recovered, for we do not like the threat of such falling into evil hands.
"I have chosen two stout companions for the quest. The first is the good Dwarf Gorim, nephew of Thror. The second companion will be the Wood-elf Galahir, a master bowman.
"And know that I have enhanced your own power spell. It will not fail you for five invocations, but then will be exhausted; use it wisely. It may be invoked by any of the three companions."
Comments: The descriptions are fantastic! I felt I could actually see some of the rooms. The puzzles are interesting with a few tricks thrown in. The hardest part of the adventure is finding where to look for a needed object.
This adventure makes good use of 6.0 features (hidden objects locked/unlocked doors, etc.), has some special effects (once in awhile the characters converse) and can be very frustrating. I found a torch (which doesn't last very long) but could not find anything to light with it to help me see in the mines. This problem went on for several tries. Once solved, I became very alert of the surroundings and questioned the existence of most everything I saw. This proved to be helpful. In the end, I realized that I have been taking most Eamon adventures for granted (expecting them to work via my knowledge of the MAIN PGM) and this adventure got me to think again.
One word of warning, especially to those of you who already have this adventure in your possession: The records room is described as having doors on both ends of the room and that they are strong enough to hold off an army. You could meet an army and therefore decide this is where the army needs to be trapped. Although this as the original intent of the author, due to the size of the adventure program, this feature was deleted. However, the descriptions remained. Do not trap the army in the records room! If this is done, there will be no way out of the adventure once the mission is completed.
This is the second adventure we have received set in Moria from The Lord of the Rings; the other being #108 The Mines of Moria by Sam Ruby. Both are excellent, but do not resemble each other in plot, mission or description.
#121 – Wrenhold's Secret Vigil (9:8)
by Bob Davis
Reviewed by John Nelson
Extra commands: Standard 6.0 commands, Dig
Special features: SAVE is done to separate diskette.
Playing time 3 – 6 hours if you don't get lost
Author's note: Wrenhold's Secret Vigil was written with the idea of creating a serious adventure with an atmosphere of mystery, much unlike the frivolity and general good time of my last adventure, The Prince's Tavern. I found seriousness a lot harder to accomplish, with a lot of detail to attend to and having to use logical (!?) thought processes to make the adventure flow smoothly and actually make sense. Although I am very pleased with this adventure, I believe I'll be back to writing humorous scenarios because they are just plain fun.
Note: This is a very shortened version of the description for this adventure. The full-length description (or book, as some have said) is included on the adventure diskette and can be read or skipped at your own leisure. Very little of the below is in its actual context.
While napping by the edge of a lake, you wake to a heavy-set balding man shouting at you as he hastily wades from a nearby rowboat.
"My king has sent me for a hardened rogue to help save his kingdom. One such rogue would surely be well paid for his services," the man states.
You state you are what he seeks and insist he look no further. You learn his name to be Adrelik, the king's scribe, and engage him in conversation about your task.
"Things are not right within our kingdom," Adrelik volunteers. "Nightly raids are made on the king's fields, scouts do not return from assignments and the wild animals run mad killing peasants and livestock.
"Our wizard, Wrenhold the pure, his life-orb stolen, grows weaker by the day. He can no longer cast spells to protect the kingdom."
The boat lands at a dock where a royal entourage awaits you. A dark-robed man silently escorts you through a door surrounding the lake-side of a castle and ushers through many passages before entering a conference chamber.
"I am King Argas," the black-robed figure states. "Our land is troubled, crops razed, people hurt and killed by the most timid of creatures. Master Wrenhold, our wizard in counsel, was seeking an answer when he lost possession of his life-orb. Now he lies destitute, his health slipping each hour.
"We need you to either find the life-orb of Master Wrenhold or, better for us all, eliminate the travesty that plagues us. Master Wrenhold has become much too expensive lately for services all too often not rendered and we are uncertain of any solution he may propose even with his life-orb returned.
"If you succeed in your task, you shall be rewarded with 4000 gold pieces and a special weapon hand-made by elves that used to dwell in these lands before the Great Battle of Darkness."
You are then escorted to the base of a mountain, Mt. Eilaak, where the most incidents of attacks and disappearances have occurred.
This adventure could more accurately be described as an electronic novel in adventure form. The story is elaborate and interesting with lots of visual verbiage. Room descriptions, monster descriptions and all of the other descriptions in the adventure are very detailed and realistic. I found the adventure quite pleasing to play and fun to solve as long as stuck to the main routes. The most unpleasant part of the adventure is a nasty little maze that is difficult to escape from or avoid. Staying out of this maze is a definite advantage.
Talking with Bob after playing this adventure, he told me a great deal more about the story that doesn't come across completely in the adventure. I think it would make the adventure better to have some of this story elaborated more, but like I said before, it is already an electronic novel as it is.
I had little trouble surviving this adventure once I learned my way around and avoided unnecessary battle. You can take anyone from a moderate to heavy-hitter on this little romp. Keeping your eyes open, checking out almost every little nook and cranny is also advisable, and you will get some mental exercise too.
I would rate this adventure as one of the top 5 or 6 Eamon adventures and well worth any Eamonite's playing time. A must for the collector of top notch adventures.
#113 – Life-Orb of Mevtrelek (7:8)
by Rick Volberding
Reviewed by Bob Davis
Extra commands: Standard 5.0 commands, STEALTH, SEEK, WEAR, FILL
Special features: none
Playing time: 3 – 5 hours
Description: You are anticipating a few mugs of ale and a soft bed after returning from a difficult adventure. You sit down at your usual table and then become aware of the strange absence of conversation.
Most of the patrons, though seemingly immersed in their cups, are staring at you. The rest are looking at a small wizened man half-hidden in a dim corner. The dark robe and high collar indicate that the man is a sorcerer and the single spiral worked in silver thread is the badge of apprenticeship. Eyes quickly turn away as the muffled figure approaches you and silently sits down. A hand, dark with age, rises and slowly pushes back the cowl.
The wrinkled, bald head contains a pair of cold, black eyes and a near-lipless mouth.
"I am Kulath, apprentice to the magician Mevtrelek A'Haet. He has sent me here to engage the services of an experienced adventurer. I have had little success with those you see here. All say you would be the most appropriate choice."
Though you silently curse the generous recommendations of the others, the name of one of Eamon's most powerful mages excites your curiosity, and, of course, your well-known avarice. You nod at the wizard to continue.
"Recently, strange disturbances in the usual order of things have occurred. The most timid of animals attack those who come near. Fields are ravaged at night and dogs howl during the day. Lightning appears in cloudless skies and thunder is heard beneath the ground.
"Mevtrelek was attempting to determine the cause of this chaos when his life-orb disappeared in a flash of red light. He was able to trace its location before coming too weak to continue.
"Now bedridden, he is losing strength day-by-day and will surely fail soon unless the orb is returned. My presence is needed here to care for Mevtrelek, else I would go.
"We are prepared to pay the successful adventurer 5000 GP upon his return!"
Kulath leads you to his nearby rooms and carefully locks the door. He chants a short incantation and the air becomes hazy.
"Just a de-scrying spell to confuse the sight of any enemies. Now, take this amulet and wear it. Then quickly memorize the spells in this book." The small, thin book contains but two spells; STEALTH and SEEK. You have no trouble learning them but there is no explanation of their effects.
You lay the book down and turn to Kulath to ask him about the spells when he shouts, "Now!", and his room disappears. A moment of disorientation and you reappear in the midst of a dark forest.
Starting in the middle of a forest with little information, the road to success starts slow. Putting together what information can be found is a bit tedious at first, but after an hour or so, the plot becomes intriguing. I have to admit it took me three tries to survive this adventure, even with Bill of Accounting who was armed to the teeth with an IRS long form and a pad of pink slips.
Life-Orb of Mevtrelek has good room descriptions, interesting situations and kept me enthralled with the story. I was always asking myself how each item or new event fit into the plot and what could I deduce from the extra knowledge. I liked the special effects, but unfortunately cannot even hint at them lest I spoil the fun/surprise/etc.
The problems I had with the adventure consist of an unhealthy number of rats, all of which were described the same; the POWER routine is the same as the base program; and the game wouldn't restart once saved using the DOS on the original disk. We have changed the DOS and are fixing a bug concerning the light routines – the oil lamp never really goes out (see Bug Bytes, this issue).
I was also somewhat disappointed with the lack of 6.0 features that were used. However, the good points outweigh the bad points and I recommend this adventure to all, experienced and inexperienced alike. I believe with a cautious effort, a beginning character can complete this mission.
#120 – Orb of My Life (9:9)
by John Nelson
Reviewed by Bob Davis
Extra commands: Most standard 6.0 commands, WEAR and CLOSE
Special features: none
Playing Time: 6–8 hours
Description: Scarcely in recorded history has Eamon experienced such calamity. It seems all of nature has finally run amok. Animals normally possessed of mild temperament attack on sight and fight to the death. Strange winds and storms cone up without foresight or warning, and then just as quickly are gone. No one so far seems to have an answer.
You are at a loss at what to do, if anything, when you are summoned to the royal palace. Sagonne, royal wizard to the king, has sent for all experienced free adventurers to come to his aid. The palace guard reports that you are the only one they could find. All the others have run off in search of the solution to this crisis on their own, or are hiding out until it passes.
Sagonne greets you from his bed, for the life-force seems to be draining from him each passing minute. He explains, "I need your help. I was going to use the power of my own life-orb to battle the strange forces that are tearing at Eamon, but upon reaching its magical resting place, I discovered it missing. I suspect there may be a link between its disappearance and this crisis.
"During the last few nights, I have had nightmares about someone trying to take the orb away. I woke up each night with a hideous scream in a cold sweat. I took the precaution of placing a powerful force-field around the orb. Apparently it wasn't powerful enough.
"The orb is a magical vessel of great power and value – a powerful magic amplifier. It can increase the amount of magic a being can generate. If the possessor is willing to make the sacrifice of linking his life-force to that of the orb, the level of power that can be achieved is triple what would normally be possible.
"I made that sacrifice. But now that the orb is missing, my life-force has almost gone with it. I must have the orb back before my life-force ebbs and I die.
"Recent I sent a party of adventurers to the lair of Tolor, a good friend of mine, to seek his aid, but there was a cave-in. Some of the party were trapped and buried, others returned saying the entrance was forever blocked.
"Tolor seems to have what we need to get where we must go, but he is forever buried now, possibly dead. There is only one hope – a rumored alternate route. I have instructed the palace guard to take you to a temple. There you may find the way. And please – be thou careful with the orb – for it is the orb of my life!"
With that, Sagonne passes out.
I believe this is John Nelson's best adventure to date. The layers of discoveries coupled by deception are interesting and I received great satisfaction with each step of the problem-solving. The adventure is broken-up well into three different environments, the temple, the cave and the intriguing dimension of dreams.
Loaded with special effects, unusual situations not normally found in Eamon and interestingly hidden items (just using a LOOK command will not reveal all), this adventure kept my interest and made me want to keep trying even when the frustration was rising. Even when the solution is known, luck can still play a part in the carrying out of the final triumphant acts.
I recommend this adventure to all Eamonites, young and old, novice and experienced. The difficulty is mostly in the problem solving rather than survivability. Moderate characters and above should be able to complete this adventure, although it may take a couple of tries.
Eamon Adventure Listing
Compiled by the National Eamon User's Club
This listing is provided to you as a public service of your local National Eamon User's Club. Any public broadcasting or reproduction of this listing is strictly prohibited without written permission and will be punished by endless litigation, legal hassles, strange meandering beings following you about on dark streets at night, and a curse upon your best character.
The listing gives the names, authors and a rating and difficulty for most of the Eamon adventures currently available. These ratings are our own opinions and in no way express the opinion of any political figure of this country.
The newsletter column is given as a reference for looking up reviews of adventures or references to same in the newsletter issues.
Some ratings are 0 : 0 for the simple reason that we haven't rated them yet. These are not to be confused with those that are 0 : 0 on purpose! Those that are 0:0 on purpose are bad adventures and should be avoided. Some of these ratings are from an old listing we've had laying around the old clubhouse for the past decade or so, and others have been rated when we played them, but an actual review has never been done.
I hope this listing serves your needs in selecting an adventure you'd like to play. We will continue to update this list whenever we have time to play more of the Eamon adventures and get them rated.
'Nuff said! — John
Bug Report Form
Reported by: _____________________________________ Date _____________ Address ____________________________________________________________ City _____________________________ State _______ Zip _______________ Diskette name ____________________________________ No. ______________ Received from _______________________________________________________ Date received ___________ Revised date (if any) ___________ Program name (if known) _____________________________________________ Have you corrected the problem? < > Yes < > No Description of fix (if yes) - Attach extra sheet if needed _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Give full description of all errors found below (give line numbers if appropriate): Line Error message / Description of problem _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ --------------------- For Club Use Only Please --------------------- Bug No. _________ Date received ____________ Fixed ___________ Version _________ Newsletter _______________ Fix type ________ Status __________________________ Action _______________________
National Eamon User's Club Questionnaire II
1. Would you like to see the club offer an "Adventure of the Month" (eliminating annual dues!) somewhat like record and book clubs? (New adventures that would be fully tested and standardized.)
If so, what setup, per month, would you prefer?
|___ A)||One adventure per month.|
|___ B)||One adventure and some newsletter articles on disk.|
|___ C)||Two adventures on one disk.|
|___ D)||Two adventures on one disk with newsletter articles replacing one of the adventures quarterly.|
|___ E)||Two adventures on disk each month with a small newsletter published quarterly.|
And at what price per month do you think would be fair? ______
2. Please rate the newsletter articles on the following scale:
___ Bug Bytes
___ Eamon News
___ Utility Lines
___ Customizer's Corner
___ Designer's Den
___ Club News
___ Adventure Tips
___ Spotlight On:
1 = Very useful
2 = Somewhat useful
3 = No opinion
4 = Somewhat unuseful
5 = Unuseful
3. How often do you play Eamon?
___ Once a day
___ 2-5 times a week
___ Once a week
___ Once a month
___ Once a year
4. If the club accepted VISA and MasterCard, would you use them for your Eamon purchases? (yes / no)
5. Has your enjoyment of Eamon increased or decreased since you started playing, and why?
Comments / Suggestions: