IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-05-13 08:16
MAIN PGM Version: 6
Extra Commands: JUMP, WEAR, SWIM, THROW
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: 10-directions, water consumption
Playing Time: 1-4 hr.
Reviewer Rating: 8.0
Average Rating: 7.3/3
Description: You are enjoying a quiet tankard of ale when you notice that it is getting dark outside. And it is only 9 o'clock in the morning! A large black cloud has formed over the town and is sending down jagged bolts of lightning. The frequent flashes show the cloud to be shaped like a giant taloned hand. The townspeople surge into the temple square to implore the priests to come forth and repel the evil manifestation. Pindar Rambis, the High Priest, appears, and his voice rings out:
"Be afraid, people of Eamon, for the conflict between Good and Evil is at hand and the evil ones have found new strength. My commune with the spirits has revealed that the tomb of beloved Anharos has been desecrated by grave robbers. His Diamond of Purity has been stolen! Anharos will reveal the gem when he is made whole again. Woe unto us if his tomb be not restored."
The tomb is in the Desert of Terza. Terza is the goddess of purification through pain and sacrifice. The desert is her personal domain, but it is inhabited by tribes of desert nomads, the Riffs, reputed to be thieves, slavers, and murderers. Anyone who could restore the tomb would be deemed the savior of Eamon and amply rewarded. It is an ideal quest for an Adventurer of your ilk; big dangers - big treasures. Before you go, you might want to hire a desert guide.
Comment: This adventure has a number of unique features that make it stand out from the crowd. First, you get to hire a guide at the beginning to get you through the trackless wastes of the desert. Second, the desert is hot; you (automatically) consume your water at a scary rate, and you must be on your toes to replenish your water bag. Next, Pat is up to his usual tricks, subtly rewarding good behavior and punishing evil behavior.
Pat is a master at the good/evil thing. You must be properly purified and protected before you can win through into the interior of the tomb. The scenario's atmosphere is top-rate, and the puzzles are well balanced. There's plenty of combat, too.
One thing kept this adventure from getting a (9) rating from me: the water consumption. The water goes fast and you will probably die and have to restart several times before you find sources of water replenishment. And once you do, you have to go off and replenish your water bag every 50 moves or so, and the traipsing back and forth gets a little old. (If you aren't opposed to a bit of cheating, the water counter is variable KW.) Apart from that one item, this adventure is high up among the best-written and most sophisticated of Eamons.
If you are a puzzler and/or appreciate well-written adventures, don't miss this one! It gets a difficulty rating of (8) as well. Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.