The Death Star
|The Death Star|
|◄Eamon adventure #6►|
|Revised||14 December 1985|
The Death Star reproduces settings and characters from Star Wars, the second highest grossing film of all time in the US after Gone with the Wind. Brown's adventure was written and released in 1980, the year that the film's sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, premiered.
This is one of the earliest Eamon adventures and features several distinctive elements, including some basic sound effects and numerous randomly-placed enemies. It also features a roaming enemy that moves around the map on its own, similar to the wandering vampire in Brown's previous adventure, Castle of Doom.
As you leave the Main Hall a sudden reality shift takes you from Eamon and puts you at the helm of the Millennium Falcon, a captured spaceship that now sits within the Death Star, the evil Empire's massive space station. Equipped only with a lightsaber, you must find a way to disable the station's tractor beam and escape.
Your mission on the Death Star is straightforward: find the tractor beam equipment that's preventing your escape, destroy it, and flee the station in the Millennium Falcon. Accomplishing this can be exceptionally challenging for even a strong adventurer, for a variety of reasons:
- You start with only a single weapon ("your father's light sabre").
- Your magic spells don't work.
- Allies are scarce.
- Enemies are abundant.
- Key rooms are widely separated.
The enormous number of soldiers who fill almost every corridor and room of the sprawling station is perhaps the single biggest challenge. With only a handful of exceptions, every room is randomly populated with a variable number of soldiers, so getting from point to point can become a slog. Each individual solider is weak — almost always killed by a single strike — and is a very poor shot with his blaster, but due to the number you have to fight, rare critical hits will sometimes occur and can slowly erode your health. Without your heal spell, lost hit points cannot be restored. More dangerous still is the fact that the large amount of combat makes it likely your light sabre will break somewhere along the way and you'll be forced to rely on a less effective blaster.
Beyond the army of stormtroopers, there's only one other significant foe in the entire station that you may have to tangle with, and — not unexpectedly — it's Darth Vader. Vader prowls the station, moving randomly from room to room, and is armed with a "dark sabre" of nearly identical power to your own weapon. (The only rooms Vader won't randomly appear in are the garbage compactor and the launch tube death trap by the TIE Fighter hangar.) A lucky player can beat him, but given the many soldiers you'll have to carve your way through, it can be more effective to simply flee when he shows up. In fact, fleeing even from regular soldiers when they appear in groups of more than four or so can improve your odds of success, though it can make progress slow.
For the quickest escape:
- Exit the Falcon and kill whatever soldiers you encounter.
- Go into the east corridor, then south into Bounce Tube 1.
- Float down to the bottom of the tube and exit north into a corridor.
- Take the corridor east to the T-intersection, then south to the vicinity of the tractor beam.
- Step west onto the ledge and destroy the tractor beam equipment. The Falcon is now free!
- Retrace your steps to the hangar and escape on the ship. "You shift back into your normal reality, ready to do battle with simple things like dragons and ogres."
- Go into the east corridor, then south into Bounce Tube 1.
- Rise to the top of the tube and exit north.
- Go west into the Hangar Control Room where you find C-3PO and R2-D2.
- Go east down a long corridor. Continue to follow it as it turns north, then west.
- Find and enter Bounce Tube 2.
- Rise to the top and exit north into the Detention Block.
- Find Princess Leia in cell #3 (the second cell on the east side of the corridor).
- Find the Wookiee in cell #10 (the fifth cell on the west side).
- Escape down the hole in the corridor floor, dropping into the garbage compactor.
- Defeat the garbage monster and exit north into a corridor.
- Take the first side-corridor west, then the next corridor south, and you'll be back at the hangar.
- If you've previously disabled the tractor beam, hop in the Falcon and make your escape.
Scattered across the map are a handful of other notable locations. The thorough explorer may wish to visit them for a sense of completeness, but the absence of loot makes that pretty much the only reward:
- A TIE Fighter hanger, complete with a fighter you can board and use to escape — but not successfully, since you'll wind up getting destroyed by the rebels. The hangar also contains a death trap in the form of a "launch tube" which opens into the fatal vacuum of space.
- Rooms containing the station's power machinery and weapon control equipment, located on the same level as the tractor beam controls.
- Stormtrooper quarters (abbreviated ST, which the adventurer initially misinterprets as "Star Trek").
- A cafe inhabited by a cat-like alien Kzin.
- A briefing room.
- The Death Star is one of the very few Eamon adventures that features sounds effects — for the light sabre and blasters, and for the escaping Falcon.
- The cat-like Kzin in the station's cafe is not from Star Wars but is lifted instead from the works of science fiction author Larry Niven. The Kzinti race debuted in Niven's short story "The Warriors" (1966) and feature prominently in his novels Ringworld (1970) and Ringworld Engineers (1980). The fact that the Kzin smiles despite being hostile is a detail Brown added for accuracy.
- The garbage monster is officially known as a dianoga.
- That the light sabre is described as "your father's" suggests that the adventurer has taken the place of Luke Skywalker. Han Solo's absence is unexplained, despite the presence of his ship. (Obi-Wan Kenobi is also omitted.)
- "The Wookie" is not named, but is presumed to be the Han's Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca.
- "Bounce tubes" as a form of personal transportation feature in the science fiction novel Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein (1956).
- Of all the adventures in the Eamon universe, this one may take place the farthest from the Main Hall, occurring as it does in a galaxy very distant from the Milky Way.