IFReviewed by Phil Schulz on 2006-05-14 09:43
MAIN PGM Version: 7.0
Extra Commands: None
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: None
Playing Time: 1-2 hours
Reviewer Rating: 7.5
Description: "It happened one day that you chanced upon a wondrous sword of black metal. This sword had a marvelous edge that did not dull, and it sang eerie melodies as you tested its edge against nearby saplings. But you cannot put it down! The most you can do is pass it to your left hand to free your right for other weapons.
"Later you met with some friends. One of them recognized it as a weapon of Hell, and told you of a cave that is reputed to hold the key to lift its curse. You listened closely as he told you how to find it.
"Still it is a marvelous sword, and you could do worse than to be saddled with such an obviously magical blade. The sword began its strange song as you prepared to demonstrate it for your friends. You felt a tremendous surge of strength as you severed a 6-inch limb with one blow!
"And then, even before you knew what was happening, you swung about, and you watched in horror as the sword slew all of your friends! Its song grew deeper and stronger as it tasted the blood of each. You realized then that this blade is more than just cursed, but must be possessed by a demon.
"It's plain that the sword is stronger than you, and if it drinks much more blood it will control you completely. Apart from that, it simply won't do to go about slaying everyone that you meet. Without a doubt, you must find that cave and rid yourself of the curse of this Hellsblade."
Comment: I should start out by mentioning how this Eamon came to be. It was originally designed by John Nelson for his "KnightQuest" system, which was supposed to be a sort of "Super-Eamon", but because of memory limitations of the Apple II was never finished. The only reason this was important is that the version 7 Eamon does not support a couple of things that were in this adventure to begin with, which made conversion to Eamon a bit more difficult, so I kept this in mind when reviewing it.
Anyway, I liked this one a lot. It has a clean, coherent map that wasn't too simple yet not so insanely dense that it was easy enough to map. There are a couple of unmarked secret passages that can only be found by going in that direction. When this was originally written, version 7 did not exist yet, and older adventures supported finding secret passages by LOOKing in the room. This is not a big deal, but this sort of unmarked passage really irritates me when I try to EXAMINE everything in the room, and when I don't find anything, I ignore it, only to be forced to come back later and finally figure out that there is a passage there.
(Author's Response: I must say in my defense that every room with a hidden passage had a clue in the room description, and the room name had the unusual "feature" of not listing the exits in the usual way. Even so, EXAMINE should have revealed the passages, for consistency. TomZ)
There is not a huge amount of combat here. There are a couple of tough monsters, but I didn't have much trouble getting by with a slightly "above average" character. I actually prefer this to having lots and lots of easy monsters that can be killed with one shot-- it makes play a lot less tedious. I'm not a huge "hack'n'slash" fan, but I do like a decent amount of combat. Not a lot of puzzling, either, but there were a couple I had to think about for a minute before I got by them.
I put the difficulty at about (6). It is a fun play that does not wind up requiring lots of play-through before you finally complete it. I won on my third try. Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.