Source:Super Eamon Manual

From Eamon Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page is a verbatim reproduction of original source material and should not be edited except for maintenance.
Description

The Super Eamon Manual, written by Paul Van Bloem and published by Little Green Software for use with the Super Eamon game system.

Source

Photos supplied by Thomas Ferguson

Date

1985

Author

Paul Van Bloem / Little Green Software

License

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

Other versions

File:Super Eamon Manual.pdf

Welcome to Super Eamon
from Little Green Software

Super Eamon is a replacement for your Eamon Master disk. It uses high resolution graphics and animation to bring the old Main Hall alive. The much expanded concourse simplifies playing, and eliminates the cheating that once was necessary (to resurrect a character, for instance).

Super Eamon' also uses a fast DOS both to allow for faster disk access within the Main Hall, and to speed up the loading of adventures.

Unlike the original Eamon Master, and most adventures, Super Eamon is copyrighted. Copyright law allows the purchaser (you) to make backups for his or her own use, and Little Green Software encourages you to impress your friends with Super Eamon. However, you are not allowed to give copies to your friends (even for free).

Many software companies charge ridiculous prices to make up for the copies that they believe their customers are giving away; these high prices just encourage more illegal copying. Little Green Software sells Super Eamon for a relatively low price; we ask your help in keeping this price low by not giving away copies of Super Eamon. (Don't even think about selling copies!!!)

Super Eamon contains routines from other companies and authors, as noted below (more details appear on the Credits page toward the end of this manual).

The neato color pictures you see when you enter a shop are displayed using routines from Penguin Software's Graphics Magician™; these are used under license.

Super Eamon's fast DOS is used under license from DSR, Inc. and Apple Computer, Inc.

The characters (letters, numbers, etc.) used to write on the graphics screen were created using Beagle Bros' Apple Mechanic program; the original map of the Main Hall and the Side Alley were created with Beagle Bros' Alpha Plot program. See the How Did They Do That? page for more information on these.

The Dragon picture on the introductory screen of Super Eamon is a modification of the picture by R. L. Phillips & Friends, which is in the public domain. Little Green Software is not claiming copyright to it, or other similar public domain material.

Getting Started with Super Eamon

First, make a backup
Before doing anything else, you should make a backup copy of the Super Eamon disk. In this way, if anything happen to the original you will still be able to play.

You can make a backup with the COPY program on your DOS 3.3 disk (sometimes the program is called COPY A), or with any other copy program you may have. When you have the backup, store either it or the original away in a safe place, and use the other. (If you use the original, you will be able to pick it out quickly because it's a different color.)

Attention IIe and IIc owners
If you have an Apple IIe or IIc, check now to make sure that the caps lock key is down.

Boot the disk
Now, boot the Super Eamon disk (or the backup) on your computer. The easiest way to do this is to turn on your computer with the disk in the drive (Drive 1 if you have more than one). If your computer is already on, you can type PR#6 with Super Eamon in the drive, or do a control open-apple reset if you have a IIe or IIc.

And you're off!
Follow the instructions on the screen, and you will soon encounter The Irishman. Now what you should do will depend on what kind of character you are using or going to use.

If you are creating a new character, just give your name. When The Irishman asks if you have given it to him aright, answer Y. When he asks if you are an old adventurer transferring from another branch, answer N. You will then get to create your character.

If you want to transfer a character from another disk (your old Eamon Master, say), then answer Y when asked if you have given your name correctly. Then answer Y when The Irishman asks you if you are transferring from another branch.

If you want to play with a character already on the Super Eamon disk, just enter his (or her) name as usual. If you forget how to spell it, or wonder how many characters are on the disk, just type READ instead of a name, and you will get a list of all the living characters on the disk.

On to the Main Hall
After The Irishman has found your character (or you have created him), you will wander out into the Main Hall.

The Map

Moving Around

When moving around on either the Main Hall or Side Alley maps you will be able to move your character (distinguished by his or her staff) by use of the keyboard. To accommodate the different Apple II keyboards, there are several ways to move your character.

These keys move your character UP: A ↑ I <RETURN>
DOWN: Z ↓ M /
LEFT: →   J
RIGHT: ←   K

On Apple IIs and II+s, these keys are easiest to use:

<RETURN>
/
I
J K
M
A
Z


If you have an Apple IIc or IIe, remember that the caps lock key must be down. You will find these keys easiest to use:

I
J K
M


Instant Inventory

In addition to the above "movement keys", there is one other key active when you are moving on a map.

The <ESC> key will give you a short inventory of your weapons, the amount of gold you have on you, and the number of spells you know. A more complete description is available in the Hall of Mirrors.

Other Eamonites

You will notice, as you move around on the Main Hall and Side Alley maps, that there are other people also moving around. This should not surprise you; after all, how could Marcos keep going if his only customers were your Adventurers?

There are basically three kinds of other people moving around the Main Hall with you. There are Other Adventurers (male and female), Non-Adventurers (indistinguishable from Adventurers), and Guards. The Guards have been hired by the Main Hall owners and shopkeepers to maintain order and prevent stealing. Thanks to them, you do no have to worry about being robbed while in any store or office (including the Hall of Mirrors and the Information Counter).

However, remember the notice you found posted on the Guild Hall bulletin board (reproduced below).

Notice found on Bulletin Board

Attention, fellow Adventurers!

There has been an epidemic of picked pockets lately! You are advised to keep watch on your valuables, especially in the unpatrolled Side Alley.

Sir William Misslefire, by order of the Owners of the Main Hall, has offered a reward of 200 Gold Pieces to anyone assisting in the capture of one of these thieves! Pickpockets, when caught, will be banned from the Main Hall forever!

signed,

The Guy on the Night Shift

Places to Visit

The Main Hall

As you can see from the Main Hall map, there are 7 places to go, not including the "This Way to Adventure" tunnel. A brief description is provided below for those Adventurers who prefer to be informed.

Tavern
A pleasant place where you can buy drinks.
Bank
A place where you can deposit your ill-gotten gains, or obtain a loan (inexperienced Adventurers need not apply). This bank is a branch of the Sixth National Bank, and is managed by one Shylock McFenney.
Weapon Shop
One of a chain of Weapon Shops around the galaxy (similar ones have been described by A. E. van Vogt). It carries normal weapons and armor, will buy used armor and equipment, and is managed by one Marcos Cavielli.
Information Counter
A free service to help new Adventurers and visitors get oriented.
Hall of Mirrors
Another free service provided by the Owners of the Main Hall.
Side Alley
A tunnel leading to the Side Alley.
Guild Hall
This is the office of the Super Eamon branch of the Free Adventurers Guild (of which you are a member). You can rest in one of the Guild's rooms upstairs, or visit the Bar.

The Side Alley

There are a number of interesting places to visit in the Side Alley; a background sketch of the more important ones follows.

Smithy
Dubro is well-known for his ability to improve almost any weapon, though his services do not come cheap. Although Dubro is a smith, he will work on non-metal weapons too.
Weapons Training
YD-038 runs a Monster Preserve elsewhere on the planet, and allows Adventurers (for a fee) to improve their fighting ability against some of his spare monsters. Because of their unpredictable breeding habits, he can only offer a small selection at any one time; some monsters are more tame than others, so the same type of monster will not always fight as well each time you encounter one.

In addition to this fee, the risk of death (to you) forces Whitey to require a 500 GP deposit in case he has to call a resuscitation team in to revive you. You'll get the deposit back if you aren't killed.

Temple
The Temple of Tash was once the subject of a prolonged boycott. Eventually, greed overcame doctrine, and the Priests at the Super Eamon Temple no longer practice human sacrifice. (Now they only collect arms and legs in a financial sense.)

Their powerful incantations and chants can resurrect a dead Adventurer to life (for a price!). If you die in the line of combat, a friend can arrange for the Priests to resurrect you. In most cases, Main Hall policy allows the dearly departed's bank account (if any) to partially offset the cost of resurrection. Your Priest will know more about this.

Sam Slicker's
You've always wondered where his shop was; now you know. In addition to buying your accumulated treasure at the end of an adventure, Sam also sells rare weapons; in his enormous inventory are more weapons than even an Adventurer can imagine. Even if one you request is not in stock, more arrive every day (every hour, in fact), so you should check back if Sam doesn't have a particular weapon.

Going on an Adventure

In most respects, going on an adventure from Super Eamon is the same as doing it from the original Eamon Main Hall. In essence, you just follow the instructions on the screen. Below is a brief rundown of the procedure.

  1. First, move your character out of the tunnel marked "This Way to Adventure" at the top of the Main Hall. This disk drive will spin a bit, and then you will be instructed to insert the disk containing the adventure you want to go on.
  2. Now insert the adventure disk (for example, the Beginners Cave disk). Again, the drive will whir, and you will be told which adventure you are going on. After a short wait[1], you will be in the adventure you chose, fighting monsters and rescuing distressed persons.
  3. When you have finished the adventure (or it has finished you), the adventure program will tell you to insert the Eamon Master Disk; you should insert the Super Eamon disk, and soon you will be back with your friends in the Bar.

Problems with an Adventure

Because the Eamon standard is a loose one, some adventures may not be compatible with Super Eamon's fast DOS. If this is true of one of your adventures, you will find out as soon as you try to go on that adventure; you will either get an error message, or your computer will hang (nothing will happen).

If this does happen, please write Little Green to tell us the name of the adventure, and exactly what happened. We want as many adventures as possible to work with both Super Eamon and the old Eamon Master. Chances are that we will be able to supply you with an improved version of that adventure which will work.

In our experience, only one of the dozens of adventures we tried failed to work correctly, so chances are you will not encounter this problem at all.

Continuing a Saved Adventure

Some Eamon adventures have a save option, which lets you solve a long adventure in several sessions, saving the adventure in between. Because Super Eamon uses a fast DOS, it will not run correctly under Apple's DOS 3.3. Therefore, when you wish to continue a saved adventure, you should not boot the adventure disk directly! If you do, you will not be returned to the Main Hall, and you character may even be killed (this is known as "death by DOS").

To continue a saved adventure, you should do the following:

  1. Immediately after you have booted the Super Eamon disk, while the dragon picture is still shown on the screen, press C.
  2. The program will ask you if you want to continue a saved adventure, and you should answer Y.
  3. Insert the disk containing the saved adventure, and press G.
  4. If the adventure is a standard one, all will be fine.
  5. If it is not standard, you can only continue the adventure by booting the adventure disk, which will cause problems. However, we have gone to great lengths to make sure your adventurer does not suffer "death by DOS".[2]

The Beginners' Cave

Included in your Super Eamon package is a copy of the Beginners' Cave adventure, which was written by Donald Brown, and donated to the public domain. Eamon tradition recommends that any new character explore this easier adventure before going on to more difficult ones.

(If you have an Eamon Master disk, please note that the adventure on the Beginners Cave disk is essentially the same as the one on your master disk. A few minor improvements have been made, but they will not affect play.)

The Beginners' Cave is run by the Free Adventurer's Guild, and contains only mildly dangerous animals, and only moderately valuable treasure.

Guild Hall rules prohibit non-beginning adventurers from entering (Sir William Misslefire will prevent you from entering if you are not a beginner). Also, you must have a weapon when you enter the Beginners' Cave; without a weapon, it is very unlikely you will survive for long.

Apart from these difference, the Beginners' Cave is a full-fledged adventure. You can die, or get rich, just as in any other adventure.

Beginner Hints

New adventurers fight best with a club, so you stand a better chance of surviving if you bring one. Eventually you will need to learn how to use a Sword, Bow, etc., but for now you should start small. Remember that your character will be unfamiliar with his (or her) armor, too.

Make a map of your moves to help avoid getting lost. Draw a circle for the room you're now in, and move in some direction. Now draw another circle and label it as the new room, and connect the two with a line in the right direction. For example, if you started in North Hall, and moved South to Small Room, draw one circle labeled "North Hall", another one to the south (below it) labeled "Small Room", and draw a line from one to the other.

But: when you leave a room from the south, you will not necessarily enter the new room from the north! Some halls and passages are very twisty, and you may even find yourself back in the same room! Be careful about this when making your maps.

When you are injured, you will be told how you feel. If you are close to death, you should Flee the fight. Remember that dying will not rescue the princess (or whatever you are trying to do), and if you don't survive you will have to get another adventurer to come "bail you out" in the Temple.

Other Adventures

The Beginners' Cave is only the first of more than 75 adventures in the Eamon Adventure Series. Most of these are in the public domain, which means you are allowed to make copies to give your friends (and vice-versa). People are writing new adventures all the time; maybe you could write one?

The easiest (and cheapest) way to get adventures is to make copies of your friends'. (Remember that this is legal only for public domain software; Super Eamon, and most games, business programs, etc., are not public domain.)

If you belong to a users' group, you may have access to a library of public domain software, which will probably include Eamon adventures. If your group doesn't have what you want, maybe you can convince them to get it (tell them to try the places below).

There are a large number of mail order places which will send you a copy of public domain programs, including Eamon adventures, for a fee (usually 3-6 dollars per disk).

The definitive source for all Eamon related stuff is the National Eamon Users' Club, which carries (and fixes) all Eamon adventures, and publishes a newsletter 5 times yearly. Membership is $12 per year, and entitles you to a lower disk price:

Member price   Non-member price
1-4 disks    $4.00 each    $5.00 each
5-9 disks    $3.75    $4.50

If you are serious about Eamon, we recommend you join N.E.U.C. Unlike other places, they will try to help you if you have problems (members get priority). For more info, write:

National Eamon Users' Club
2701 Arnold Road
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

Another source for public domain software, including most Eamon stuff, is the Apple Avocation Alliance, in Cheyenne. They will not help you if you run into trouble (only N.E.U.C. does that), but their prices are good, and we have never had any problems with them.

3A also carries computer equipment, and about every brand of disk on Earth, so you might want to get their catalog for $2 (free with a $25 order).

Each adventure (or other public domain disk) from 3A costs $3, plus $2 shipping per order. You can write to them at:

Apple Avocation Alliance, Inc.
1803 Warren Avenue
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82001

Did You Know?

(Miscellaneous facts about the world of Super Eamon)

  • The average adventure lasts a month? (That's Eamon time, not Eastern Standard.)
  • Most pickpockets are lightly built, and so cannot carry more than 500 GP or so at a time?
  • Many students of magic believe that some pools contain powerful magic?
  • Casinos can make money even on fair odds, because most people keep on betting until they have run out of Gold?
  • Anthropologists have notes that Adventurers usually hang out in bars for long periods of time?
  • Magicians (or either sex) do, too?
  • The Priests of Tash have a galaxy-wide reputation for the potency of their curses?
  • A Light-Year is a measurement of distance, not of time? (Star Trek fans please take note.)

Credits

Original Eamon Design: Donald Brown

Super Eamon Design: Paul Van Bloem

With an assist from a thousand or so SF and Fantasy Authors including (but not limited to) the following (in no particular order):
C. S. Lewis   L. Neil Smith   Lynn Abbey
Robert Aspirin   A. E. van Vogt   Robert Adams

Programming: Paul Van Bloem

Testing: John Van Bloem

Special Consultant: Ray Morton

Manual Design: Paul Van Bloem, with special thanks to Tom Hardart for the use of his Macintosh computer

Original Dragon Picture: R. L. Phillips & Friends


The following is hereby declared "a conspicuous place".

Super Eamon contains a high-speed operating system called Diversi-DOS™, which is licensed for use with this program only. If you would like to speed up disk access with other programs, you should send $30 directly to DSR, Inc.: 5848 Crampton Court; Rockford, Illinois 61111. You will receive a Diversi-DOS utility disk with documentation.

Apple Computer, Inc., makes no warranties, either express or implied, regarding the enclosed computer software package (aka Super Eamon), its merchantability or its fitness for any particular purpose. The exclusion of implied warranties is not permitted by some states. The above exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty provides you with specific legal rights. There may be other rights that you may have which vary from state to state.

DOS 3.3 is a copyrighted program of Apple Computer, Inc. licensed to Little Green Software to distributed for use only in combination with Super Eamon. Apple Software shall not be copied onto another disk (except for archival purposes) or into memory unless as part of the execution of Super Eamon. When Super Eamon has completed execution Apple Software shall not be used by any other program.

Super Eamon uses some graphics routines from Penguin Software's Graphics Magician, written by Mark Pelczarski, Steven Neuse, David Lubar, and Chris Jochumsen; these are copyrighted 1984 by Penguin Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may find this hard to believe, but Penguin Software is a trademark of Penguin Software, Inc. (!) Graphics Magician is a registered trademark of Penguin Software, Inc.

A Caveat about Color

If you have seen Little Green's ads for Super Eamon, you know that we recommend you use a color monitor, but may not be required. If you have a b/w monitor, you're probably aware of what you're missing; if you have a color monitor, you may wonder if using a b/w would be all that bad. Here's a brief discussion of color vs. b/w with Super Eamon.

Using a color monitor will allow you to see all the neat shades of color in the different Super Eamon shops and makes the pictures more life-like. However, there are a few disadvantages to using a normal color monitor or TV with Super Eamon.

The printing on the screen may be hard to read[3]; it may often be shaded in funny colors, rather than straightforward black-on-white or white-on-black. Similarly, other details may be a bit blurred (people moving on the maps, for instance). On top of this, color monitors and TVs can strain your eyes more than monochrome (b/w, green, or amber) monitors do.

Monochrome monitors generally cause less eyestrain, and have crisper detail; so the printing will be pretty easy to read.

Of course, they will not show colors, only shades of grey. Because there are few shades of grey compared to the number of possible colors, some pictures will look a bit odd. We have gone to some length to make sure that this is no more than an aesthetic problem (some manufacturers' games are unplayable on b/w monitors).

You can get the best of both worlds by buying an RGB monitor, which will show color very crisply. This is expensive, however; it will cost about $600, and you also need an input card for it.

Instead, you can hook two monitors up to your Apple with an RCA-type cable Y connector, which will split the Apple Output into two. The cable is about $3, and another monitor would cost around $150 for monochrome, or $300 for color.

If eyestrain becomes a problem, try to reduce the amount of time you spend staring at your Apple. After all, adventures can happen in the real world, too.

How Did They Do That?

Super Eamon is a complex program, with many different routines meshing to produce what you see. Disk and memory space limits (both are full) have required that routines not be designed with the inquisitive programmer in mind. To make up for this lack of "listability", we have included below some information about some parts of Super Eamon; if you have a question about something in particular, please write us.


The Dragon picture, and the maps of the Main Hall and the Side Alley, are stored in a compressed form on the disk; they are "uncrunched" by a Little Green Software routine. This saves disk space, and makes loading the pictures somewhat faster.

The shop pictures (e.g., Weapon Shop, Guild Hall, Shellie pictures) were created using Penguin Software's Graphics Magician™. This creates very compressed "picture code" which a routine turns into pictures; because of this system, a picture that normally takes up 8k will use as little as 200 bytes. The longest Super Eamon shop picture takes up less than 1100 bytes (1.1k).

The writing on the screen is done using shape tables created by Beagle Bros' Alpha Plot program. The text is stored in a string, and sent to a Little Green Software writing routine to be written on the screen. You can see shape tables put to good use in the mirror-writing in the Hall of Mirrors; note that it is not really mirrored.

The other Eamonites moving on the maps are animated (though not very) by a Little Green Software routine; this routine is intelligent enough to prevent them from ever bumping into you, a wall, or each other.

Separate BASIC programs are used for the Introductory sequence, the New Adventurer routine, the Main Hall, the Side Alley, the Weapon Training Area, and returning from an adventure.

Extra memory space was created for the programs and pictures by moving DOS into the top 16k of memory (aka "the language card"). That is why Super Eamon requires a 64k Apple. (This moved DOS carries over into adventures, so with Super Eamon an adventure program has lots more room to play with.)


If you have any suggestions for improvement, we would be glad to hear them (read them, actually. Please let us know through the mail).

Please address Super Eamon questions and comments to:

Little Green Software
S.E. Questions
P.O. Box 1190
Columbia, MD 21044

Notes

  1. Because of Super Eamon's fast DOS, this wait will be anywhere from 20 to 50% shorter than with the old Eamon Master.
  2. If you encounter a non-standard adventure with the save feature, we would like to know so we can see about standardizing it.
  3. If Little Green Software gets complaints about the readability of the print in Super Eamon, we will design a more legible form for a future update.