The Bridge of Catzad-Dum
|The Bridge of Catzad-Dum|
|◄Eamon adventure #159►|
|EDX set||The Nathan Segerlind Adventures|
|Native format||Apple DOS 3.3|
The Bridge of Catzad-Dum is an Eamon adventure written by Nathan Segerlind and released in September 1988, adapted from a story of the same name by Mark E. Rogers in his book The Adventures of Samurai Cat (1984). The story parodies the dwarven kingdom of Moria from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, with the dwarves and orcs replaced by cats and "porks" (pigs).
Samurai Cat began as a series of paintings and illustrations made in the 1970s by American artist Mark E. Rogers (19 April 1952–2 February 2014) meant to spoof martial arts films and fantasy stories. Rogers decided in the early 1980s to write some short stories to fit his paintings, and in 1984 published the first five as The Adventures of Samurai Cat, a collection that included "The Bridge of Catzad-Dum", an anachronistic satire of a portion of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Fellowship of the Ring.
Segerlind's adaptation is very true to Rogers' original story, faithfully reproducing the quest, monsters, weapons, order of encounters, and even the solutions to defeat the final enemies. Tom Zuchowski announced the adventure in the September 1988 issue of the Eamon Adventurer's Guild Newsletter. Segerlind later adapted a second Samurai Cat story, "Against the Gods", and released it as Ragnarok Revisited in July 1989.
In this adventure you (implicitly) play as Samurai Cat, the hero of the adventures by Mark Rogers upon which Segerlind's story is based, and have at your disposal Samurai Cat's signature combat moves: the Deflecting Blow which can deflect incoming projectiles; the Scarlet Tapeworm which can disarm an opponent; and the Whirling Outboard Motor Propeller Blow which doubles your damage while halving your chance to hit.
- Follow the path east around the lake to the door where the betentacled and bioluminescent "Gardener in the Water" is trimming the vines. Slay the Gardener and collect one of its glowing hands to use as a light source, then read the inscription on the door: "AYS-AY EOWM-AY NDA-AY NTERE-AY". (Say meow and the door will open.)
- Go north through the main gate and large hall, then descend the stairs.
- Go north to an intersection and slay the two porks guarding it.
- First follow the east hall to where a door opens south.
- Explore the south rooms (the archives, the art room, and the theology department) and collect the books you find there.
- Return to the hallway, fight the pork waiting near the east end, and go east to the stairwell.
- Climb the stairs and fight the three spiders.
- If you're so inclined, explore the north hall; it leads only a lookout post and there's no treasure to be had, but you'll be able to hone your weapon on a rock python and a flying fell beast. Return to the stairwell.
- Take the east hall and follow it as it bends south. Fight the slug.
- Go east into the vandalized throne room and slay the three porks. Return to the hall.
- Go south to find an intersection littered with the corpses of humans and porks, and with rooms east and west. The east room is occupied by three porks, and the west by a deranged Dungeons & Dragons fanatic.
- Return to the intersection near the bottom of the first set of stairs.
- Step into the north hall. Continuing north will take you only to a ready room occupied by 20 porks, so unless you're up for taking them all on, go west and you'll be at the top of a stairwell guarded by a single pork.
- Descend the stairs and go west to "Fluffy Anorm-ay" ("Fluffy Manor"), previously home to some of Catzad-Dum's cats. The south cat house leads to a fight with a harpy-like "herpe".
- Go west and you're in the Catzad-Dum's "Main Hall". The north exit leads only to a decrepit cathouse and playroom (and a fight with a single pork), so continue west to reach the top of a stairwell.
- Descend the stairs. Along the way you'll meet author Sam Ruby, and at the bottom you'll fight a pork.
- Make your way south through the flooded hall and corridors, passing first an exit to the west (which leads only to a vandalized memorial) and then one of the east (leading to an empty alcove). The second door to the east is a burial chamber that holds a semi-valuable electrum scratching post.
- Wade to the south end of the hall and climb up the stairs.
- Go south through some more empty halls and descend another set of stairs.
- Go east, bend north, and climb up into a long hall; dispatch the two pork waiting there.
- Follow the hall east, first fighting a single pork, then a crowd of 30. Your special moves won't work against the crowd, so carve your way through them with your strongest weapon, then heal yourself as much as possible. Continue east.
- You've finally reached the throne room of Fugu Otoko, the villain who killed your master, who's guarded by two porks armed with submachine guns and a platoon of 15 others wielding tire irons and bicycle chains. The porks block you from attacking Otoko directly, and as a warrior of honor you're not allowed to flee, so you're committed to the fight! Start by killing the gunners, then hack your way through the 15 porks.
- If you survive the battle, Otoko summons the dreaded B'aalhop to finish you off, but as you swing your weapon you accidentally knock loose a stalactite which falls on your head and knocks you unconscious. When you regain your senses you're chained up in a large amphitheater north of the throne room, draped in grenades and surrounded by the forces of Fugu Otoko who with a sadistic scream gives the order for your execution. However, a platoon of D&D fanatics suddenly charges into the chamber and attacks the porks, and during the fighting a burst of gunfire cuts your bonds. Otoko flees east, leaving you to face the surviving force of 20 porks and three pork machinegunners.
- As in the earlier battle, first kill the gunners, then cut down the other porks. (Feel free to use your newly-acquired grenades to expedite the process.) If you're successful, you'll hear Otoko taunting you from the bridge to the east.
- As you attempt to cross the narrow Bridge of Catzad-Dum you're met again by the B'aalhop who blocks your path. Instead of attacking him directly, attack the bridge itself: the narrow stone span will split, sending the monster crashing into the abyss. Go east.
- You're now alone with Fugu Otoko, but as you move to attack him he'll jump back, draw a Luger pistol, and prepare to shoot. Use your
deflectmove and the shot will ricochet back into Otoko's face, dropping him. Collect his pistol and exit south, happy in the knowledge that you've avenged your master.
If you're carrying more than four weapons when you leave, Sharkey, the local sheriff, will "threaten to smack you upside the head with a Buick" if you don't sell the extras.
As you're about to leave you again meet the other party of adventurers that you briefly encountered before, and notice that their wizard is missing. "He fell into shadow," explains the Elf; one of the others interjects, "It was his own damn fault. We should have took a right at the Burger King..." You bid them farewell and sail for the Main Hall "via the Bay of Belfalas, the Gulf of Lune, and the Panama Canal."
Finally, the game promises that if you're looking for a big reward, "check out your stats!"
Pat Hurst gave the adventure a generally favorable review in the December 1988 issue of the EAG Newsletter, calling it "absolute lunacy" and fun to play. Though he noted some minor errors in language and programming, Hurst praised the adventure's humor, length, and detail, and recommended it for hack'n'slash players.
The EAG lists the adventure's average rating as 6.5 based on two reviews.
- The "mysterious tongue" used in the inscriptions throughout Catzad-Dum is Pig Latin.
- The other party that the adventurer briefly encounters traveling through the mines is Gandalf and his companions from The Fellowship of the Ring.
- The MP 40 ("Schmeisser") submachine gun carried by many of the porks was one of the primary firearms used by Germany in World War II.
- The name of the B'aalhop is a play on the word bellhop.
- Dick Van Patten (1928–2015), depicted in a mural being devoured by a horde of mutant shrimp, was an American comic actor best known for his role in the TV series Eight Is Enough.
- Edwin Meese, shown wielding a censor stamp, was President Ronald Reagan's Attorney General from 1985 to 1988.
- Eamon Adventurer's Guild Library Master List
- The Interactive Fiction Database: The Bridge of Catzad-Dum
- Interactive Fiction Reviews: The Bridge of Catzad-Dum
- The Unofficial Home Page of Eamon Games: The Bridge of Catzad-Dum