Source:The John Nelson Adventures notes

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The notes and reviews for Eamon Deluxe adventure collection #4, The John Nelson Adventures.


Eamon Deluxe 5.0 file EDX\C\EAMONDX\E004\INTRO4.BAS


16 November 2003


Frank Black


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

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Source:The Jim Jacobson Adventures Deluxe notes

Who is John Nelson?

John Nelson adopted the (original) Apple II version Eamon after Donald Brown abandoned it, and started the National Eamon Users Club in March of 1984. He and a handful of other rogues published a semi-regular newsletter and assigned numbers to — and tried to debug — all the new Eamon adventures that came out in those busy years. John also rewrote the base programs up from Don's original version to version 6.2. John's new 6.2 Eamon borrowed a lot of "features" from SwordThrust, a commercial software cousin of Eamon that Donald Brown was selling at the time.

One of these features consisted of "hidden" items and secret passages that wouldn't show up in a room until you did a LOOK command. So you had to LOOK in every room to find stuff which got really boring and offered no real challenge.

Around November of 1987 John and his crew of scoundrels abandoned the Apple II and John moved on to an MS-DOS version of Eamon that he still tinkers with to this day. He shut down the NEUC and turned everything over to Tom Zuchowski who replaced the NEUC with The Eamon Adventurer's Guild. The guild continued publishing newsletters and tracking new adventures until January of 2001 (13 years!). And, as of 2004, Tom still adds new adventures to the EAG library and sends out an email version of a mini-newsletter when they pop up.

Tom also rewrote the base programs when he took over, to version 7.1. This was the most sophisticated version yet; the fastest, best looking, and the easiest to play. With version 7, Tom also "threw out" the SwordThrust features that John had added so that LOOK no longer found hidden items and exits: You had to actually EXAMINE [item name] to find them, using clues found in room and other descriptions.

Eamon Deluxe was based on the version 7 Eamon system and resembles it the most. Which brings us to this collection...

John's adventures

John was a very ambitious programmer and gamer and wrote 17 adventures over a period of about 4 years. Taking into account that all of these were original and had lots of special features in them, John wrote more than any other Eamon author ever. (Robert Parker wrote 18, but 12 of those were churned out one-after-the-other with little to nothing for special features.)

Tom Zuchowski also converted Curse of the Hellsblade, an adventure John wrote for his KnightQuest system to Eamon, putting John up to 18 adventures. When I put together this collection I decided to add Amateur Alley and Quest for the Fire Dragon, the other two KnightQuest adventures, making a total of 20 adventures. KnightQuest was a mix of Eamon, SwordThrust, and every other feature that John could think of. KnightQuest of course was too large for the computers of the time and was text-based when everybody was going graphical so it never took off.

It has taken me about four years to finish converting this collection to Eamon Deluxe. I would do a little bit here and there and then lose interest for a long time. Not that John's stuff was that bad, it just had so much code to convert (a lot of which many players would never see) and random features in each adventure — and many of the early adventures weren't that good — that it seemed more like work than fun.

But as I approached the end of the list this year, I began to enjoy it more and more (even though the code got larger and took longer). What started out as mediocre hack'n'slash adventures turned into really good, well-plotted stories. By the time I finished Orb of My Life I had a new respect for Mr. Nelson. It was also around this time that I played Don Brown's old SwordThrust games and realized that I had been blaming John for inventing a lot of annoying "features" that were actually Don Brown's fault!

Final notes on conversions

Since Eamon Deluxe doesn't support the aforementioned "hidden stuff feature", and I personally despise it, I had to find a way around it. For the most part, items that were "hidden" in rooms with no hints in the room description just got placed in that room. Likewise secret passages that had no clues (that you simply had to LOOK to find) are no longer secret, but have been left open by some careless dungeon dweller; rest assured, though, there are still a few important secret passages to find in almost every adventure.

With all my initial gripes aside, I now commend John Nelson for all his hard work with Eamon over the years and can honestly say I enjoyed making this collection and I hope you have fun playing these adventures.

—Frank Black
November 16th, 2003


Heroes Castle

The Caves of Mondamen


The Black Death

The Quest for Marron

Black Mountain

Nuclear Nightmare

Assault on the Mole Man

Revenge of the Mole Man

The Gauntlet

The Orb of Polaris

Picnic in Paradise

Temple of the Trolls

Caves of Hollow Mountain

In the Clutches of Torrik

Sorcerer's Spire

Orb of My Life

Curse of the Hellsblade

Amateur Alley

Quest for the Fire Dragon