Source:Imagery! Player's Manual

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This page is a verbatim reproduction of original source material and should not be edited except for maintenance.
Description

The Imagery! Player's Manual for the Imagery! adventure game series.

Source

Dr. Evil Laboratories blog at commodoreserver.com

Date

1986

Author

Dr. Evil Laboratories

License

The use in this wiki of this non-free item is permitted on the grounds of fair use.

Other versions

File:Imagery! Player's Manual.pdf

Welcome to Imagery!

Imagery! is an exciting computerized role-playing adventure system for the Commodore 64 and 128 microcomputers. If you would like tc purchase a copy of Imagery!, please send $10.00 to:

Imagination
P.O. Box 190
St. Paul, IN 47272

For this amount, you will receive the latest version of Imagery!; the first adventure, Beneath Mount Imagery; a list of all available Imagery! programs; and a one-year membership in Imagination. Imagination is the national organization for Imagery! players. Members also receive The Image, the official quarterly newsletter. Each issue of The Image contains reviews of new Imagery! adventures, adventure corrections, designer's tips, and general club news.

Imagery! Player's Manual
Written by Kent Sullivan and Roy Riggs
Version 1.0   10/13/86
© 1986 Dr. Evil Laboratories

Super DOS 2™ © 1986 Prism Software

The Imagery! System

Imagery! is a computerized role-playing adventure system. Players create characters (assume their roles) and adventure in search of battle and treasure. Each adventure in the Imagery! library is unique and exciting; most are written by different authors. Imagery! adventures can be set in any place and time, from medieval to futuristic. Adventures range in difficulty from easy to impossible (almost!). Each adventure will test your skills in effective resource management and creative thinking. Good mapping skills are also essential, as many of the adventures feature intricate mazes.

Unlike most text adventures, in Imagery! you interact with monsters found in an adventure. The term monster is general, as it applies to any creature found in an Imagery! adventure. Some monsters may be friendly and join your party, while others are just downright nasty and will attack. Imagery! features a very complex and realistic combat system. All monsters are controlled by the computer, and all character actions are managed by you, the player.

Another unique feature is that your character grows as he explores new frontiers. Skills increase as your character earns experience. Also, once your character finds an item, it may be taken out of one adventure and used in another. The monsters and traps in the world of Imagery! can be fierce and deadly. Don't expect your first few characters to live very long if you are an inexperienced player. An important point: in Imagery!, once a character has died, he is dead! Unlike some games in which characters can be resurrected multiple times, your character in Imagery! has but one life.

Beginning characters in Imagery! start with average skills and $200, but this quickly dwindles after you purchase any equipment necessary for survival. The initial sum with which your character begins his travels is merely an incentive to seek out treasure and better weapons.

Loading and Running Imagery!

Imagery! is written for the Commodore 64 and 128 (in 64 mode). One Commodore 1541 or 1571 disk drive is required. To begin a new adventure, follow these easy steps:

For Commodore 64:

  1. Turn monitor, drive, and computer on.
  2. Insert the Imagery! disk, label side up, into device 8, drive 0 and close the drive door.
  3. Type: LOAD ":*",8,1 and press [RETURN].

For Commodore 128:

  1. Insert the Imagery! disk, label side up, into device 8, drive O and close the drive door.
  2. Turn on the monitor, drive, and computer.
  3. The program will automatically boot on power-up.

NOTE: If your 128 is already on, you may press the RESET switch instead of turning everything off then back on.

To restart a previously-saved game, please consult Appendix B.

If, for some reason, the game doesn't load correctly, turn everything off and try again from step 1. If the game still fails to load, try a different disk to check your equipment. Be sure that you are using either a 1541 or 1571 disk drive. Imagery! uses a fast DOS routine which will work only on the 1541 and 1571 disk drives.

If you are sure that the problem stems from an Imagery! disk, return it to Imagination at the address inside the front cover of this manual. We will replace it free of charge.

Character Generation

To play any Imagery! adventure, you need a character. To create a character, load and run the Imagery! disk. (See Section II, "Loading and Running Imagery!, if you are not sure how to do this.)

If all goes well, you will be prompted by the program to enter your name. Reply with the name you wish to be known by in the Imagery! universe. Names are limited to fifteen characters, including spaces. Many players prefer single names, such as Dirk or Aragorn, but you may use both first and last — Dirk Ironfist, for example, or even phrases such as Blink the Quick.

The program will now search to see if the name you entered is the name of a character stored on the Imagery! disk. If it is, the program will assume that you wish to play that character. You will then go directly to the Towne. (See Section IV, The Towne, for further details of events there.)

On the other hand, if the program doesn't find a character that has the name you entered, it will ask you if you entered the correct name. If you misspelled it or wish to change it, reply <cod>n. Be wary, though, of repeatedly replying negatively, or you might get roughed up a bit...

Once you have decided upon a name, answer y. The program will then generate your basic character. Every character is composed of three important traits: Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma. Each trait represents a different aspect of your character. Besides measuring the might of your character, Strength is a factor in determining how well your character hits his opponents in battle. Strength also determines how heavy a load your character can carry. Dexterity is a measurement of your character's overall agility. This attribute is used in calculating how well you react in battle, and in any other situation where fast, exact action is needed. Charisma is a measurement of your character's physical attractiveness and magnetism. Characters who possess high charisma will find that people and monsters will react to them more favorably than to characters with a normal or low charisma score. For example, most of the merchants in The Towne (Section IV) will have lower prices for characters who they like better, i.e., characters who have high charisma scores.

To determine your character's traits, the computer rolls three six-sided dice and totals them. Thus, traits can range in value from three to eighteen. The probability of acquiring a score near the middle of the range is greater than a score nearer either of the ends. Nine or ten is an average trait, three is low, and eighteen is high.

Every character starts with between ten and twenty hit points. The number of hit points determines how much damage a character can take in a battle before dying.

After your character has been generated, you will have a chance to read some information about the commands used in Imagery! adventures. For easy reference, a duplicate of this information can be found in Appendix A. Once you have finished with the book of Imagery! information, you will venture on into the Towne.

The Towne

The Towne is the center of the Imagery! universe. Here you can buy equipment, learn magic spells, visit the bank and pawn shop, learn from the wise seer, and have the mysterious gypsy read your palm. From here you begin each new quest, and from here you also leave the world of Imagery! You have nine possible actions in the Towne, each of which is explained below in detail.

Going on an Adventure

This option is the gateway to the adventure that you wish to play. The program will prompt you for an Imagery! adventure disk. If you happen to insert a disk and it's not an Imagery! adventure disk, the program will inform you of your mistake and allow you to change disks. If you choose this option by mistake, pressing any other key except [F1] will take you back to the main option menu. Once you have inserted an Imagery! adventure disk, the program will display an introductory paragraph describing the adventure. After you have read this screen of information, you are ready to begin your adventure.

The Weapons and Armour Shop

Freddie Fangface runs a reputable, well-stocked business featuring weapons from medieval, modern, and future times. Be sure to choose the appropriate aisle for for the adventure you are going to play. Beginning characters can only afford medieval weapons and armour, and only the most wealthy can hope to purchase the fierce arms of the future. Freddie does not make loans or buy back equipment, so deal wisely with him.

Nilrem, the Old Mage

Nilrem can teach adventurers any of four spells: Power, Heal, Blast, and Speed. Power is the least expensive and most unpredictable spell, while Speed is the most expensive because of its potency. Spells are very helpful tools in adventuring, although they don't always work. Each time you use a spell, your chance of successfully casting it again is halved, until you can no longer cast that particular spell. Your character regains his full spell abilities, however, upon successful completion of an adventure.

Nilrem can also recharge any magic items that your character owns. All magic items can be used a finite number of times before they are exhausted. Nilrem exacts a fee for each charge you wish to have replenished.

The Bank

The First Universal Bank is a secure institution. Any money you deposit there is safe from harm. They have a very good security system — it is mostly financed by the accounts from adventurers killed in battle! Unfortunately, you gain no interest on money in your account. Also, no matter how much money you have in your account, the bank will never loan you a cent. Talk about "tight" money!

The Pawn Shop

If you have any items that you wish to sell, the pawn shop is the place to go. The proprietor of this ramble-down establishment is a sly fox, but he's the only game in towne! Be patient with him, as he doesn't hear well.

Mumbo Jumbo, the Seer

Many articles you bring back from adventures will have hidden powers or values. For a fee, Mumbo Jumbo, the wise old seer, will reveal some of the mystery surrounding such objects. Do not expect detailed information, however, for sometimes Mumbo speaks in general terms.

The Gypsy

The gypsy performs a most useful service for all adventurers, free of charge. She can reveal everything about you by merely reading your palm. From her you can learn of your attributes, current hit points and level, what spells you know, what items you carry, and even how much money you have, both on your person and in the bank.

The Fix-It Shop

Whenever you break an item, or run out of oil for your lamp, go see the wizened old proprietor of the fix-it shop. He can fix all broken or exhausted items.

Leaving the Towne

When you leave the towne, you also leave the world of Imagery! Your character is carefully stored away until your next adventure. Make sure that you have the Imagery! disk in the disk drive when you leave so that your character is saved on the correct disk.


Going on an Adventure

Every Imagery! adventure begins with selecting option 1, "Go on an adventure". After you replace the Imagery! disk with an adventure disk and press F1, you are officially on your way! First, you will read a short introduction to the adventure. This description should help you identify where you are going and why. Then, the main adventure program will load, and the adventure will begin.

As you explore, it is mandatory that you make a map! Many adventures are complex enough for even the best adventurers to become hopelessly lost. Most dungeons are dark, so you will need a good lamp (or several torches) for investigating inside.

You communicate with the computer by typing in commands in response to the "Your Command?" prompt. To repeat your last command, just press [RETURN]. To give a command, type in the command followed by any appropriate object, such as get gold ring or attack goblin or wear leather armour. To help you identify the names of monsters and items in Imagery! adventures, contrasting text colors are used. All monster names are printed in red, while all item names are in blue. Your character's name is also shown in red.

Imagery! employs a sophisticated parser, which is the part of the program that interprets what you type at all command prompts. The parser only requires enough characters for each command, item, or monster that will uniquely identify it.

Some examples: 1) All directions can be abbreviated: n for north, sw for southwest, etc. 2) Inventory can be abbreviated i since no other command begins with the letter "i". 3) Nasty ore could probably be abbreviated as "nasty", unless some monster elsewhere in the dungeon is a "nasty" something or other. 4) >Attack ugly old troll can usually be abbreviated "a ugly", as long as nothing else has a description beginning with "ugly". If something else does begin with "ugly", you might try "a ugly old".

The general rule is: you can always abbreviate commands, but not always items or monsters since you can't know all of the names of items and monsters in an adventure until you have finished it. If you get stuck, remember the HELP command. It will display a list of all available commands. Appendix A is also useful to determine the limits of each action that you can take. If you confuse the program, it will tell you that it doesn't understand. You may wait as long as you wish at a prompt before replying, as the game is not played in real time.

After you have adventured some, you will undoubtedly collect two or more items with exactly the same name. For instance, a very common item in many adventures is a "sharp sword". Many players will have at least two such weapons in case one breaks during battle. In order for Imagery! to keep each identical item separate, a system was devised to keep things straight (at least for the computer). The solution is: if you possess two or more identical items, the second one you obtain will be preceded by a one pound sign (#). The third one you acquired will have two pound signs in front of it (##), and so on. For example, say Dirk Ironfist has two sharp swords. Whenever he checks his inventory, he will see, among other things:
  sharp sword
 #sharp sword

So, whenever he refers to a sharp sword, he will have to be specific — either "sharp sword" or "#sharp sword". If Dirk breaks, drops, or loses his first sharp sword, the second one will automatically become the "sharp sword".

Three ways exist for leaving an Imagery! adventure. The least desirable of these is dying. If your character is killed during an adventure, you will be prompted to insert the Imagery! disk. You will then be returned to outside the city's gates, ready to try again.

If you successfully complete an adventure, you will also need to switch disks, but this time you will return to within the Towne. How will you know if you have completed an adventure? The program will tell you. Each adventure ends in a different fashion, so no general statement can be made. Sometimes you will leave the way you arrived, and sometimes you won't!

The third way to leave an adventure is by saving it at your current position. The program will take a snapshot of the current game position and save it to disk. Important: To restart a previously saved game, you must start out on the adventure disk, not on the Imagery! disk. Complete instructions for restarting a saved game may be found in Appendix B.

Survival Tips

Some general rules for adventuring include:

  1. Don't attack more monsters than you can handle. Each monster can attack you once a round, while you only have one attack for all of them.
  2. Don't use a spell unless you really need it. Spells can be cast only a few times in each adventure, so use them wisely.
  3. Be careful in using unknown items. Many items are out to trick careless adventurers! Always examine an unknown item before using it.
  4. Searching for secret doors can take a lot of time, and often they are hard to find.
  5. If possible, make friends with monsters. Some might be friendly. You need all the help you can get.
  6. Start out playing easier adventures first. If you build your character gradually, you will have a better chance of survival in tougher scenarios.
  7. Never give up. All Imagery! adventures have a solution.

Designing Your Own Imagery! Adventure

One of the best features of Imagery! is that it is a system, not just a game. You can write your own adventure! Imagination publishes adventures, written by its members, at no charge. To create your own adventures, you need three things: 1) membership in Imagination; 2) the Imagery! Adventure Designer disk; and 3) some knowledge of Commodore Basic 2.0 (C-64 Basic).

After you have joined Imagination, you will receive a current price list for all Imagery! products, including the adventure designer. You can then order it and any other utilities we sell, and dig in.

Credits

Imagery! is loosely based on the game Eamon for the Apple II series computer. We wish to sincerely thank John Nelson and Bob Davis of the National Eamon User's Club for all their help and support. (See Appendix D for the club's address and more info.) Also, thanks to Donald Brown for writing the original Eamon!

The complete list of people who have in some way helped in this project is too lengthy to include here; however, we wish to extend special thanks to:

Scott Bullerwell, for helping with the Imagery! theme music

Craig Chamberlain, for his advice and support

Vince Martin, for creating the Imagery! title screen

Ray Moody, for all his designing and programming

Finally, we would like to extend special thanks to Prism Software for allowing us to use their speedy Super DOS 2™ fast load utility. Super DOS 2™ greatly enhances Imagery!'s playability.

Appendix A – Command Summary

These are the commands found in the basic adventure program. Commands may vary from adventure to adventure, as some authors may choose to add or delete commands to fit the scenarios of their adventures.

Attack
Players enter the name of the monster they wish to attack. (Provided the player has a weapon with which to attack.)
Blast
This spell causes damage to opponents in battle.
Drop
This allows players to drop any item carried.
Examine
Players can only examine items found. This command will show the long description of the item.
Extinguish
This puts burning or lit objects out.
Get
This allows players to pick up items found. Characters can carry up to 8 times their Strength in pounds.
Give
This is used to give an item to a monster. Heavy or worthless items will upset the monster. Magical or valuable items will please the monster.
Heal
This spell will remove damage taken from battle.
Help
This displays a list of commands for the adventure.
Inventory
This lists all items that the player is carrying.
Light
This will light any item that can provide some sort of illumination.
Look
This command is used to get the long description of a room. Normally, the long description is shown the first time the room is entered.
Movement
To move from location to location, type in the direction in which you wish to move. Diagonals can be abbreviated as ne, se, nw, and sw.
Power
The reaction to this spell is unpredictable.
Ready
This is used to ready a weapon for combat. Some magic weapons may provide light when readied.
Save
This saves the game at your current position. The game can be continued later by loading "*",8,1 from the adventure disk.
Search
Sometimes this will reveal secret passages.
Speed
This spell will temporarily double your dexterity.
Status
This displays all important info about the character.
Use
This command invokes an item's powers. Only magic or special items will produce an effect.
Wear
This is used to wear a piece of armour. Only one item may be worn at a time.

Appendix B – Restarting a Saved Game

When a game is saved, all of the vital items in the computer's memory are stored on the adventure disk in one file. The game is in fact "frozen" in that file. The character you are playing is also part of that file. Your character does not exist except as part of the program in that file. Therefore, if you load the Imagery! disk and ask for that character, you won't find him. So, it is obvious that you can't restart the adventure from that disk. Instead, follow these steps to restart an adventure:

For Commodore 84:

  1. Turn en the monitor, drive, and computer.
  2. Insert the adventure disk (not the Imagery! disk), label side up, into device 8, drive 0.
  3. Type LOAD ":*",8,1 and press [RETURN].

For Commodore 128:

  1. Insert the adventure disk (not the Imagery! disk), label side up, into device 8, drive O and close the drive door.
  2. Turn on the monitor, drive, and computer.
  3. The program will then boot automatically.

When asked for your name, reply with the name of the character that you used in the adventure you wish to restart. The program will search for a game saved with that character in it. If it finds a match, it will ask you to confirm that you want to re-start. If it doesn't find a match, you may start a new adventure.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A maximum of ten saved games is permitted at one time on an adventure disk.

Appendix C – Imagery! Disk Validation

After many hours of play, Imagery! disks may become unorganized and inefficient due to many scratched files (dead characters, etc.) on the disks. Disks are normally reorganized by the disk operating system in the disk drive. However, since Imagery! makes use of an autoboot sector to simplify startup on a Commodore 128, Imagery! disks must be validated differently.

When a disk is validated, each file is traced on the disk so that unused sectors may be collected and identified. The autoboot sector for the 128 is track 1, sector O. It is not a file, just a sector. So, when the disk is validated, it is mistaken for a free sector.

Then, as the disk becomes full, there is a chance that the boot sector would be overwritten, which would keep Imagery! from automatically booting on a 128.

To prevent this problem, always validate Imagery! disks (adventures included) with the program on the Imagery! disk named "DISK VALIDATION". This program validates a disk and it protects the autoboot sector from being accidentally overwritten. It will work on the Commodore 64 or 128 (in 64 mode).

Even if you are playing Imagery! on a C-64 and not a 128, it is a good idea to use this program when validating Imagery! disks.

Appendix D – Eamon

Eamon is an adventure game system for the Apple II series computer. It is similar to Imagery! in many respects. Well over 100 adventures have been written for the Eamon system, by many different authors. Imagery! players who also have access to an Apple II, II+, IIe, or IIe would enjoy Eamon. To find out more about Eamon, contact:

National Eamon User's Club
2701 Arnold Rd.
Des Moines, IA 50310