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.
You are a skilled samurai warrior in the service of Tokugawa Nobunaga, a wise and noble shogun who lived in Azuchi Castle in Japan. Nobunaga trained you in the ways of bushido, equipped you with weapons and armor, and taught you how to perform the three secret but devastating Sword Blows of Death: the Deflecting Blow, the Scarlet-Tapeworm, and the Whirling Outboard Motor Propeller Blow. With these you've become Nobunaga's fiercest warrior, nearly invincible in battle.
After a recent engagement in which you wiped out the rival Takeda clan, you asked your master if you could take a short vacation to visit your brother, and Nobunaga happily agreed, saying that no enemy would dare attack after Takeda's fall. You spend the next three days resting with your brother and his family, but on your return to the castle you're shocked to find it in ruins, littered with the remains of the colossal army that attacked it. Frantically searching through the wreckage you find the severed head of your master, and are amazed to find him still able to converse! Nobunaga shares the names and locations of those who attacked him, and you set off to seek vengeance.
You now find yourself outside the mountain stronghold of Catzad-Dum, home of your first target, Fugu-Otoko, the villainous blowfish who orchestrated the attack on your master.
You have accidentally set yourself on a quest that you would rather not have to do. But, like all things, we must start at the beginning...
It all started several years ago when your brother moved to Japan. He married a Japanese woman, Hanako, and settled down. They had several wonderful children and were very prosperous.
Of course you were lured by his success! An adventurer to the core, you decided not to settle down like him, but become a samurai for the local shogun, or military ruler. This was the noble Tokugawa Nobunaga. He saw your fine skills as a warrior very early and decided to train you personally.
He gave you two fine swords, a katana (long) and a wakazashi (short) and the most magnificent armor you have ever seen. It was a cross between lamellor and plate, with the strength of plate and the flexibility of chain.
But, your gains were not merely material...
Nobunaga gave you special training that improved your dexterity, hardiness sword skill, and bow skill. and more importantly, Nobunaga taught you bushido, or the way of the warrior. This was a rigid set of ancient rules that every samurai had to obey. They were a rigid set of oaths vowing ascetism and honor and banning most less than moral activities. But there was more. Nobunaga personally banned alcoholic beverage for it poisons the body and slows the reflexes, which samurai depend on.
Nobunaga then gave you advanced training. Among things he taught you, the most important were the three Sword Blows of Death...
The first is the Deflecting Blow, which if properly timed can deflect anything from arrows to bullets to disarming cruise missiles in mid-air.
The second is the Scarlet-Tapeworm, or disarming strike. It will render the strongest of opponents weaponless.
And third, the Whirling Outboard Motor Propeller Blow. This allows double damage, but halves chances to hit.
Note: You need a sword to effectively accomplish these maneuvers.
And that is how you became Nobunaga's fiercest warrior. With you at his side he became invincible. Battles, secret missions, and adventures, all were easily accomplished by you.
Recently, in a fierce battle, you completely eradicated the renegade Takeda clan. After the revelry in Azuchi Castle (Nobunaga's stronghold) you politely asked him if, after several years of service, if you may take a 3 day vacation. He laughed heartily, "Oh, take the next three months off! There will be no battles, nobody desires the fate of the Takeda clan! You may take your vacation."
Well, you decided it would be fine just to take three days off and visit Hanako and your brother. But you still feared for Nobunaga...
There you and your brother talked of the old times, and the children asked you to tell them the story of the battle of Azechwan hill. While in the middle of the story, you noticed the children getting tense and anxious. You immediately suspected a prank. Glimpsing out of the corner of your eye, you saw that your nephew Shiro had decided to see how tough you really are. Just as he was about to strike with his bokken, or wooden training sword, you caught him and flung him across the room.
This turned out to be the most exciting moment you had at your stay so after the third day, you packed up, said good-bye and left.
You had a bad feeling that day, and it was confirmed. For as you neared the castle, you saw dark clouds of black smoke billowing over the hill. Worried for Nobunaga, you spurred your horse to a gallop. When you finally reached the castle, what you saw filled you with rage and fear. The courtyard was covered with blood, tank tracks, craters and dead bodies. As you neared the main gate, it appeared to be blasted in. Al Capone and Bugs Moran, the ones who set the charge that blasted the main gate, had fatally miscalculated the length of the fuse. In spite of your rage and fear, you marveled at the insane bad taste of their purple and green pinstripe suits.
You pushed through corpses and wrecks to get into the castle. Apparently, Nobunaga's enemies were well prepared for the battle. All over the perimeter of the wall were burning Tiger tanks with corpses littered in and on them. And the device that broke the wall was apparently a marvelous land-going replica of the Monitor, filled to the brim with now dead Japanese and Apache spearmen.
Inside, you could tell the fiercest fighting took place. The walls were chewed with bullet holes, cannon blasts and black flag. As you searched for Nobunaga, you noticed most of the attackers were foreigners. Dead Apaches, dead Cossacks, dead Romans, dead Vikings, dead trolls. And the weaponry was even more varied. A dead dragon in a red army uniform bore a sword-hacked recoilless rifle. The prow of a Viking longship protruded from the floor and a B-17 bomber manned with Mongols had crashed through the ceiling. A ring of Ostrogoths armed with Uzi submachineguns surrounded a single bullet-torn samurai.
Frantically you searched for Nobunaga and finally, next to the body of the "alien" from Alien you found his severed head. Filled with horror and hatred you clutched your lord's head. With bitter rage you mutter, "If any of the butchers survived, may God deliver them to me!" And then the head said, "Don't drag him into this..."
More joyous then surprised, you gently put the head down.
Nobunaga said, "Thank-you and now I bet you want revenge?" You insisted, "Yes, yes!" "Well here's the list of names and addresses." He then gave you a huge list of villains of all description. "And finally Fugu Otoko."
The last thing Nobunaga said to you before you left was, "Remember! The giant monster may be cowed by high tension wires or oxygen destroyers and be stayed from levelling Tokyo; but a warrior sees to his duty and does it."
So that's how you ended up here, just outside of Catzad-Dum. Lair of Fugu-Otoko, the blowfish who never smiles and organizer of Nobunaga's brutal murder.
Welcome to my first grand adventure based on the noble exploits of the great Maiowaro Tomokato, commonly known as Samurai Cat. The game is based quite heavily upon the first chapter of The Adventures of Samurai Cat so if you have read the book, you will find it much easier. Those of you in the puzzle solving genre won't like this very much, even though it isn't a mindless hack and slash adventure, there is a lot of violence.
Some have complained that the section involving hand grenades is confusing. To fix this I will add: to use a grenade you must prime it and then throw it. If you do not throw it immediately afterwards, you will be blown up, as you are holding a live grenade. The grenades are not obtained through the normal channels. I shall only tell you to read the text thoroughly.
That's all I can say that won't ruin your fun, so good luck and happy slaying!
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!" Your hardiness and agility scores have been increased two points, your bow ability by 15, and your sword ability by 30.
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 villain Fugu Otoko first appears in Segerlind's The Computer Club of Fear, released three months before Catzad-Dum.
- 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.
The "Segerlind logo" from the Main Program
- 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