Source:The Boy and the Bard notes

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Author's notes, comments, and solutions for Eamon adventure #183, The Boy and the Bard.


The BASIC files "THE BOY AND THE BARD" and "SOLUTIONS" from the original game disk


September 1989


Sam Ruby


The use of this item is permitted on the grounds that it's free or in the public domain.

Author's Notes

The Boy and the Bard
A Fairy Tale by Sam Ruby

This is a simple, self-contained chapter of an epic storyline that I may develop in future adventures, but for now it stands alone as a sort of fairy tale, in which your character (a new one, not the one you brought from the Main Hall) will rely on his wits, his courage, and a little luck to get by. You should feel satisfied by the end of the game, but if you still have a few questions... good! I suggest that you use this character only for Boy and the Bard sequels.

I originally had a very detailed set of notes on commands for you, since almost all of them have been modified/expanded, but for lack of space here, you'll find them out for yourself. What follows is what you need to know right away. These instructions can be printed out if your printer is turned on.

GET/DROP — there is no "get all" or "drop all".

LOOK has no discovery power.

ATTACK is any aggressive action using what's in your right hand. There is one instance in the game where you only want to threaten but not actually hit something; the program will understand.

GIVE works like this: (your action?) Give something (to whom?) Someone — the something is an artifact or "gold".

INVENTORY is a cursory look at what you're carrying. It does not take up an action, but it doesn't tell you what you have in containers.

READY has been greatly expanded. You can ready things in both your right and left hands, and what you ready need not be a weapon. There are also objects that require two hands. This command only works on something you're carrying, but there are other ways, such as open and get, to ready something. The program will automatically "unready" something to replace it with a new artifact; the "unreadied" object will not be dropped (unless it's a light) but it will not be put away, either.

PUT means to put things away (put sword — in/on what? Scabbard) and it's also an all-purpose command for "hang", "pour", "tie", etc.

WAIT is to sit and wait for something to happen, or for something to come or go.

SWITCH switches things from one hand to the other.

SAVE is quick and painless and highly recommended. Saved games maybe RESUMEd at any time.

My new encumbrance system is not only concerned with how much you're carrying but where you are carrying it. The encumbrance value of what you're carrying will count as a penalty against you in combat, unless (1) it is in a container that you are wearing, such as a pack, or a weapon's sheath (2) it is in your right hand — since the weapon's odds will take into account its weight, it won't count against you from the encumbrance point of view. Everything else is considered to be tucked under an arm, tucked under a belt, slung over a shoulder, etc. And affects your combat ability. Things in containers don't count against you, but the container itself may if it's a chest or something. So put things away!

Timing: some of the events in this game take place in a limited simulation of "real time"; that is, you only have a certain number of moves to accomplish something (usually, it's saving your neck!). Sometimes monsters will not attack you immediately because they are waiting for you to make a move, or try to run, or something else (maybe they just don't take you too seriously); take advantage of their hesitation/overconfidence. And don't waste moves!

Boot on this disk to restart play or access the SOLUTIONS program.

Sam Ruby
1718 41st Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122


Note: Since writing the author's notes, I've decided this game isn't so easy, but you should not resort to this program because you're too lazy to figure out something yourself. This program gives hints that progress to outright solutions.

Starting out

Hey, this is the easy part. Check out the doc for future reference — he'll fix you up anytime to need it, though the long trek to the town should discourage you from getting yourself banged up.

The only other thing you need to do in town is go to the supply store and get a rope (give 3 gold) and then a torch (give 1 gold). Might be a good idea to keep them in your backpack.

You should now head south; exploring is OK, but you are looking for something. If you don't have a good idea of where you're supposed to be going, you should read the intro again.

The first instrument (pond)

Have you found the pond? It is due south of the first area outside of the town.

The bad guy in the tavern said he threw the triangles into the pond. Maybe you should search the pond.

Enter the pond.

If you are caught by the pond creature, who tries to drown you, ready your sword and whack him!

Don't forget to go up for air immediately.

You'd best flee from the lizard men. But you should have noticed something important when you entered the room.

Did you notice the stump? Well, you should have. Go west of the pond and see if you can find it above ground.

Well, entering through the tunnel got you nowhere, so this stump must be the key. Problem is, even if the lizards weren't down there, you wouldn'tbe able to climb out of there, unless...

Unless you tie (put) the rope to the large, sturdy root.

Well, that's solved, but those lizards are still down there. It would be pretty stupid to just climb down while they're there. You've got to lure them out. So say something to them and see if they'll come out to get you!

Of course, you should wait a moment and not climb down until they've left the cave!

All right, grab the triangles, put them in your pack — or your handy secret pocket — and climb up!

Uh oh, looks like two things went wrong — the lizards saw the rope and went over to investigate, and some females showed up to block the tunnel! Well, in Eamon we always expect the unexpected...

Of course, we always try to flee first. Since that doesn't work, and you know you won't be able to fight your way out of here, you've got to think of something else — and there's only one other thing to think about (OK, maybe there are three of them, if you want to be technical).

Those eggs must belong to the lizard men; do you think they'd like to see them hacked to bits?

If you turn around and charge at the eggs with sword ready, the lizards are going to charge you, thinking that you've given up and are bent on doing some damage before you're done in. So calmly pick up an egg; then, sword in hand, point the sword (waving it) at the egg (attack); they'll get the message and will let you go as long as you don't harm the egg. As I hinted in the author's notes, the attack command in this case is only for threatening.

Go north and you're free! Round 1 successfully completed (with some help).

The second instrument (cabin)

You should search for the second instrument in the far southwest.

Ready your sword and enter the cabin.

Caught in the chest? You don't have the key (and if you did, you couldn't open it from the inside anyway) and you can't hack your way to freedom. In fact, there's no ordinary way to get out of it.

So what can you do that's extraordinary?

Remember the trick that the bard taught you? The open spell?

Ready the triangles and play "open". Then go up!

Problems with the bear? His description holds the solution.

Go get the meat from the kitchen and drop it in front of him.

Caught by the ogre again? You can't run past him out the door, and running further into the cabin won't do any good. You can't fight him and you've no tricks. You've got to flee, though...

Dive out the window!

The third instrument (cave)

You should search for the third instrument (you should know what it is) in the northwest.

Ready your sword and enter the cave. Don't forget to light your torch.

The web holds you fast and you can't hack it. What else could you do to it?

Try lighting it.

The spider is scared of something; not your sword...

He's scared of your torch! Ready it in your right hand and attack!

If you haven't found a lot of droppings yet, go back and look for them.

If the spider gives you more trouble, do what you did the last time.

The minotaur is the most fearsome creature you've encountered so far. Fight him? No chance. You need help.

Remember when you used to call small animals with the pipes?

In front of the minotaur, play the pipes and play "summon".

Get the lute and get out!

The structure (stronghold)

You cannot scale the wall south of the gate, so you'll have to try the gate itself.

The gate won't open, and since the gate is kept shut by bars and not locks, your triangles won't be any help; in fact, they could alert whoever's in the tower to your presence.

Your only choice is to go north. It seems safe to do so, and there's nothing else to do.

It seems you could get over the wall here, except that there are at least two people standing watch.

It's late, and they've had a lot to drink. No doubt they are very susceptible to drowsiness... but simply waiting for them to fall asleep might be a little hopeful.

Of course, if you could "help" them fall asleep...

Playing "sleep" on the lute could do the trick.

Up you go, then down you go into the empty yard. Then enter the keep.

Kroger is nowhere in sight, but his men are all sitting around the table near the stairs that you'd like to use. You obviously could not fight all those men.

They still haven't seen you; perhaps it's time to make use of the lute again. They'd be asleep before they could find you.

The door upstairs needs to be "unlock"ed.

You should remember that Torin once told you that some locks do not open after one playing.

Can't find Kroger? You know he's not downstairs. He doesn't seem to be upstairs either. However, if you've been noting the geometry of the keep, you should know something...

You haven't found the northwest corner of the keep.

Better take a look at the bookshelves.

Now's your chance to get revenge! Ready your sword (it should be readied already) and attack!

Oops, tricked. And now you've lost your sword. You have two seconds to act before you're stabbed. If you try to flee, he'll get you as you run by. You need a weapon.

Get the poker and attack.

Time to get away. Don't be foolish and try to fight Kroger's men.

You're going to need to slow them down. You can't slow them down yourself but perhaps you can call in the cavalry.

Ready the pipes, then flee to the intersection near the cellar... and call the rats.

That has bought you some time, but eventually the ruffians will get past the rats. When they do, they'll get on their horses and run you down.

So perhaps you should steal a horse. You'll also want to somehow scare the rest of the horses away.

(Get) a horse! (Examine) them first and pick one out.

You can get a saddle near the northwall. Then put it on the horse.

Now, how are you going to get the rest of the horses out of the fort?

A fire might convince them to leave.

You could light the straw with your torch. You'll want to open the gate first.

Now, head for home, and don't fool around. You should realize that Kroger's men will eventually get their act together, and when they reach the town they'll go on a rampage.

You'll have to rally the town. A good place to start would be the tavern.