Source:The Jim Jacobson Adventures Deluxe notes

From Eamon Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
◄ Previous This page is a verbatim reproduction of original source material. It should not be edited except for maintenance by administrators. Next ►
Description

The notes and reviews for Eamon Deluxe adventure collection #3, The Jim Jacobson Adventures Deluxe.

(Some repeated passages are omitted and marked with ellipses.)

Source

Eamon Deluxe 5.0 files EDX\C\EAMONDX\E003\INTRO.BAS and EDX003RV.TXT

Date

January 2012

Author

Frank Black and Luke Hewitt

License

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

Notes

After Donald Brown created Classic Eamon, his friend, Jim Jacobson, stepped into the shoes of what was to become the first Eamon author. Over thirty years have passed since he wrote The Cave of the Mind and new Eamon Adventures continue to be written and played to this day. While somewhat small and simple by later standards, I found all of Jim's adventures to be very well written and fun with a certain style to them that is distinguishably his own.

When converting them to Eamon Deluxe, I decided it would be fun to expand them and add new characters, items, and puzzles while still keeping in place all of the things he had written and integrating them into a sort of hybrid adventure set as a tribute to a great Classic Eamon author who is one of my personal favorites.

It should be noted that the plot lines of the first four adventures connect slightly and they should be played in sequential order for full enjoyment. You will meet characters who will reappear in later adventures and remember how you treated them previously.

The Quest for Trezore is a little different and doesn't "remember" anything.

Playing them again for the Eamon Deluxe 5.0 upgrade reminded me how fun it was when I first converted and co-authored them and I hope that the adventurers who wander through here have just as much fun because that is what Eamon has always been about. Well, that and pillaging...

Cheers,
—Frank Black
January, 2012

A Blast from the Past

The collection's original splash screen.

In older versions of Eamon Deluxe, the Donald Brown, Jim Jacobson and John Nelson adventure collections opened with a 40-column text splash screen. These screens each recreated one of the three commonly used boot screens from the Classic Eamon era, and were included for nostalgic amusement only. The splash screen effects have been removed and viewing them made optional with the upgrade to Eamon Deluxe 5.0.

Reviews

The Jim Jacobson Adventures Deluxe

Reviewed by Luke Hewitt

Jim Jacobson seems to have been one of the earlier Eamon authors, writing some of the better examples of dungeon adventures with a lighthearted fantasy atmosphere typical of the 1980s (they rather reminded me of fighting fantasy game books).

Yet in Eamon Deluxe these adventures have some quite advanced features and interesting specials. This is partly due to Jim's earlier work, but also because Frank has added many modifications to the games, as well as smoothing a few of the games' issues, such as providing alternative solutions for some of the more obscure puzzles.

The thing that really shines in these adventures is the setting and characters. While originally one adventure would reference elements from another such as the powerful wizard Trezore, Frank has expanded these so that the status of the characters you meet is remembered adventure to adventure, and people you meet in one, will pop up in another if they get out alive, (though you can always delete and edit the file that saves this info if you want to start fresh).

This adds a very nice overall continuous feeling to the whole pack. Plus, many of the characters have been customized to give comments or actions in various situations, making them far more believable than the usual Eamon allies who just run after you swinging at whatever you attack.

Most of the adventures have a distinct story of their own and quite dramatic confrontations with boss like characters too, which definitely ups the ante from the usual looting mission. Though puzzles do pop up, I found most to be fairly relaxed, and even if not, Frank has provided hints to get you through if you're really stuck.

The Cave of the Mind

Review of the Classic Eamon version:
The following is from the June 1995 issue of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild newsletter. The EAG supports the Apple II version of Eamon and not Eamon Deluxe. The review is for the old Apple II version.

The EAG rating system is from 1-10 (10 being the best), the average rating is displayed with the number of people who have rated it. e.g. 4.6/3 is an average rating of 4.6 by the ratings of three people.

Remember, these reviews were written for the old versions of these adventures; most Eamon Deluxe adventures have been enhanced considerably!

Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
Playing Time: 15–30 min.
Reviewer Rating: 3.0   Average Rating: 3.2/7

Comment: This is definitely a beginner-level Eamon. It has much of the flavor of the original Beginners Cave, with a little humor and simple map and such. It is pretty small, with 31 rooms.

Strictly for beginners and Hack'n'Slash fans. The difficulty will ring in at about (4) for beginners, and much lower for experienced characters with good weapons.

Review of the Eamon Deluxe version:
Though the original review puts this down as a short smash, grab and find your way out dungeon, this is not really a true description of the Eamon Deluxe Cave of the Mind since, possibly due to Frank's modifications, there is actually more to this adventure than you might think. [Editor's note: Roughly 50% or more of the content in these adventures is new, Eamon-Deluxe-exclusive material.]

Firstly, while usually in these sorts of situations you are simply transported to the dungeon and left by random events such as a cave in, here there is distinctly a malign (or at least illogical), force at work, which you do get to confront throughout the adventure. Several traps and enemies are set on you by the villain directly, complete with taunts and evil laughter, and you get to vanquish the menace at the end. This gave far more of a quest like feeling, only enhanced by the fact that the friends you make here on this introduction to the campaign are people you will meet later.

Secondly, the design was very compact. Though this is certainly one of the shortest games, each room had something interesting in it and I never felt I was wandering pointlessly through excess corridors. The descriptions also contribute to this feeling as most rooms have a nice background and appropriate enemies inhabiting them. I also appreciated the few light-weight puzzles (indeed I hesitate to call these puzzles at all since all seemed pretty obvious so long as you explore everywhere and remember what objects you've got), though this is undoubtedly much more a combat outing, albeit one with some fun effects to play with. The chance to control a robot was particularly nice — and to anyone who has only seen the modern Battle Star Galactica, originally the Cylons were clunking metallic robots with infra red eyes.

Speaking of combat, fights are around the medium mark though a couple might be tough for a character just out of The Beginners' Cave, but probably would be easy for someone more experienced. Indeed, the fact that I wanted to keep my companions alive gave quite a new spin to combat, especially with things like critical hits and fumbles which I don't believe were included in the original version of this game.

All in all a fun little intro to the pack combining a slightly lighthearted treasure and murder dungeon with (quite literally) an evil mastermind. Definitely worth the short amount of time you'll need to play it.

The Zyphur Riverventure

Review of the Classic Eamon version:
The following is from the June 1995 issue of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild newsletter. [...]

Reviewed by Tom Zuchowski
Playing Time: 20–60 min.
Reviewer Rating: 5.0   Average Rating: 5.7/7

Comment: This adventure is a very good example of an early Eamon. The large and somewhat complex map is well laid out, with competent room descriptions and it has a boat that is interesting and unusual.

Apart from the above, it's rather low in content by modern standards, with few monsters and artifacts. But it's a clean quest and a relaxing play. If you keep a careful map, you'll find the difficulty is certainly no more than (5).

Review of the Eamon Deluxe version:
If Cave of the Mind was the prologue to this volume, The Zyphur Riverventure is most definitely the first chapter, and a pretty great chapter at that. Right from the start you're given a distinct plot and objective, indeed quite a heroic one, rescuing a scientist from the clutches of villainy and preventing an attack on the Eamon Guild. The setting is also radically different from the usual underground dungeon, being a river surrounded by mountains and forests, navigating the river with your boat plays a significant part of the adventure, though the problem mentioned in the original review of needing to constantly enter the boat before sailing anywhere seems to have been fixed by Frank.

Boating however does provide a challenge to navigating through the rather large map, and understanding how the rooms link up along the river is certainly necessary if you don't want to get lost — though since the rooms are distinct enough (as well as being thematically described), this shouldn't be too much of a concern. Though this had fewer specials and effects than Cave of the Mind, this went well with the overall more wild and naturalistic scenario, and what affects were there were very nice, I particularly liked the appearance of the villain here, it was appropriately startling.

The companion system also comes into its own in this adventure too, since exploring out of the way places can meet some interesting allies who of course you get to encounter later on in the set, and indeed since there are some battles that would be quite hard for a beginning character solo, it pays you to make friends.

My only problem is that some of the enemies seemed a little random. The Black Warrior's various henchmen came across very well (indeed they gave the whole setup a rather James Bond sort of feeling), but the same is not true of the wildlife which seemed distinctly out of place being composed of a collection of Wind in the Willows rejects and general fantasy monsters. One in particular, the dragon, (one of the hardest fights in the adventure) seemed rather lackluster as there was no reason for it to be there, and you gained nothing special for killing it. Likewise, you meet some unique allies like the egotistical Gold Warrior and Doctor Benway from Interzone (whether from the William Burroughs novel or Frank's own later adventure I don't know, but a character with distinct personality either way). [Editor's note: he is from both.]

Other allies seemed flat and rather purposeless however, such as the character who is described as the professor from Gilligan's Island who seemed nothing but a walking reference to the American TV program, though it's possible that this reference is more humorous if you have seen the show in question.

There is also an interesting special (and one which challenges the loot and pillage approach to most Eamons), but unfortunately you can finish the whole adventure without tangling with it (though Frank's hints, particularly the "For your amusement..." section, do help here).

Overall treasure seemed a little low, but since it's distinctly a quest rather than a cash smash this wasn't too out of place, and is made up for nicely by the reward you get; indeed exploring fully can get some very nice rewards, though just on description and exploration alone this one is worth a play.

The Devil's Tomb

Review of the Classic Eamon version:
The following is from the August 1984 issue of the National Eamon User's Club newsletter which preceded the Eamon Adventurer's Guild. The ratings are from the EAG. The NEUC supported the Apple II version of Eamon and not Eamon Deluxe. The review is for the old Apple II version. [...]

Reviewed by Bob Davis
Average Rating: 5.0/7

Comment: Getting out of this one is the mission. Along the way you'll find gambling with the devil, a few demons and gargoyles, and the magical book of Trezore! One hint: The power spell can be very useful.

Review of the Eamon Deluxe version:
The plot here I found slightly uninspired, since like Cave of the Mind, you're transported instantly into a dungeon and need to find your way out, but with no direct villain involved other than the general demonic powers. (I presume Hades mentioned in the introduction was just a polite way of talking about Hell, since this seemed far more the western idea of the realm of fire than the underworld of Greek mythology.)

Either way, it's a fairly traditional dungeon with a few traps and dirty tricks thrown in, though thanks to saving and restoring this wasn't too bad even when he traps were fatal. Descriptions overall were reasonable, giving an impression of a subterranean complex one part Inferno, one part mental hospital with a good serving of fantasy dungeon on the side.

Reading the original review, I get the strong idea Frank worked to make several of the puzzles more logical, as well as adding in past friends and enemies to run into along the way, all of which definitely contributes to the overall experience.

The only thing I found a bit disappointing was the Trezore spell, which (especially given references to Trezore in Jim's other adventures), seemingly should've helped more than it did.

Fight-wise things could get tough. Like several of Jim's other adventures there is something of a final confrontation, albeit in this adventure one you just seem to stumble into rather than a planned encounter, and you need a good set of trusty companions there if you're a starting level character. Most enemies and allies you meet seem appropriate for the setting, though there did seem to be a couple of strange choices (what a tiger or a lady wrestler are doing in hell I don't know).

Overall a solid example of a traditional dungeon adventure, and therefore probably worth a visit, though not perhaps the most original adventure in the set.

The Abductor's Quarters

Review of the Classic Eamon version:
The following is from the August 1984 issue of the National Eamon User's Club newsletter which preceded the Eamon Adventurer's Guild. [...]

Reviewed by Bob Davis
Average Rating: 4.7/3

Comment:A friend of yours (who is a fellow adventurer, of course) has been captured and is being held in a nearby network of caverns. You must enter these caverns and rescue your friend before the Abductor executes him/her.

Review of the Eamon Deluxe version:
Though the Eamon club review of the original seemed to rate this as a fairly solid title, I felt slightly disappointed when comparing this to the other Jacobson offerings. The initial setup seemed very promising, a distinct objective in the form of a rescue, and a few rooms in, the need to escape, thus it seemed almost a combination of the ideas from previous adventures. Quickly however this feeling of novelty wore off, mostly and primarily due to the setting. Compared to the distinct and colorful underground rooms in Jim's other adventures, the dungeon here seemed mostly made up of extremely dull, rocky rooms and passageways with descriptions that often duplicated the room names and offered nothing in the way of scenery, in fact the only interesting rooms in the entire dungeon were the Abductor's quarters themselves. This was compounded by the map being fairly large with many empty stretches of corridor and dead ends, and indeed a very short maze where all room descriptions looked the same.

On the plus side there were some interesting effects and puzzles to play with, though perhaps not enough to make up for the rather empty dungeon map, though the Bandit mentioned in the club review was clearly fixed by Frank and now serves quite a nice purpose as part of the rewards. The maze, though having some switch back connections, was also far easier than some I've seen of this type in text adventures, and so very possible with some trial and error.

Characters-wise, there seemed to be fewer around here, both allies and enemies. Frank has modified some of the standard guards to have more interesting names and descriptions and I believe, to wander at random. While the descriptions are definitely good and provide some humor, there did seem to be a mild problem in that I always seemed to run into all the monsters in a clump, rather than wandering separately through the dungeon where they would've possibly been a welcome break to the rather drab surroundings.

Fewer allies seemed to show up here than in other titles, and indeed one (an admiral), seemed rather out of place for an underground dungeon (he might've actually been more appropriate to the Zyphur River setting). With the lack of allies, fights are hard, even for a character who withstood the other adventures. The confrontation with the Abductor and his minions in particular took a deal of luck and strategic use of spells on my part. Though this fight is theoretically avoidable, who's really going to enter the quarters of the evil Abductor and not fight him?

I was also a little disappointed that, being as this is the climax of the set, more friends and foes from other adventures didn't show up, though it's possible I just failed to befriend the right people earlier.

As far as rewards, things were pretty average; indeed I was a little sorry to not get anything for the rescue, though since it was a quest adventure it was satisfying just to complete the mission. While The Abductor's quarters has some nice points such as the specials and a very tough and dramatic fight, it's probably not one for those who are impatient with large maps or lack of descriptions.

The Quest for Trezore

Review of the Classic Eamon version:
The following is from the August 1984 issue of the National Eamon User's Club newsletter which preceded the Eamon Adventurer's Guild. [...]

Reviewed by Bob Davis
Average Rating: 6.2/4

Comment: You are searching for the wizard, Trezore, and come across a bronze door with three small holes in it. You know it must be opened somehow. The search for the key(s) is tough and dangerous, as you will encounter varied and pugnacious beasts & beings.

Review of the Eamon Deluxe version:
Though this adventure doesn't share the visitor's file with the others in the set, it still should most distinctly be thought of as the conclusion, since it revisits several concepts from the previous outings, like riding in a boat (indeed this could've been set along the Zyphur River), and some characters and situations such as the wizard Trezore.

As a climax to the other adventures it works extremely well. Though a dungeon, you have a distinct objective in mind, finding wizard Trezore and gaining his help in defeating an evil wizard (though why you don't just take the usual Eamon approach to wizard extermination is slightly unclear here). The adventure also has a distinct structure, since almost at the start you are introduced to the final objective, a door that requires certain items to get through, and thus the rest of your adventure is spent looking for those items.

The setting and map are very nice, large but interesting with some good specials and puzzles to play with, and some very nice descriptions and a good array of enemies. I will confess that meeting Skeletor was a little out of place, but Skeletor is so awesome I'll let that pass.

The Eamon Club review details this as a tough adventure both in its combat and in some of the puzzles. Frank obviously took this on board since right off the bat you are introduced to two companions, one indeed who you'll have met and another you'll have heard of frequently in the previous adventures. This pair help you in battle, provide some comic relief, and also give rather condescending advice, much of which actually involves giving out and out solutions to the puzzles in the game while blatantly scooping up most of the treasure for themselves. As an easy mode option this is pretty cool, and they certainly provide some laughs, but with Frank's more than adequate hint system I'm not sure how absolutely necessary these two were.

I was also waiting to see this annoyingly smug duo get their just deserts, but sadly it never happened, and in fact the sense of accomplishment from this adventure is rather lessened because of this. It also seems that the only way to remove this pair is to kill them, and since they're your allies that isn't such a good direction (besides it'd be quite a tough battle). [Editor's note: That actually isn't an option as there is special programming in place which doesn't allow the player to do anything aggressive towards companions.]

Apart from the companions, the ending to the adventure also seemed a little abrupt as well. It would've been nice to actually meet Trezore, or, with the way Frank has modified the games, for the friends whom Trezore rescues to be some of the friends from previous adventures, but you can't have everything, and the adventure is still a lot of fun.

Despite its problems, this is still definitely a great adventure to play and a worthy climax to the campaign, and thus absolutely recommended.

As a whole the Jim Jacobson Adventures Deluxe were a great play. High fantasy dungeon diving in the best tradition, but with enough magic and specials, not to mention a very consistent setting and great characters to give them a good deal of personality of their own.