IFReviewed by Tom Zuchowski on 2006-04-29 01:30
MAIN PGM Version: 4
Extra Commands: LAMP, USE, READ, OPEN
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: Room light
Playing Time: 1 hour
Reviewer Rating: 6.0
Average Rating: 6.2/5
Description: "You are about to face your most trying task. A powerful and evil wizard has captured a friend of yours. You cannot fight this wizard.
"But another wizard can. You must therefore set off to find Trezore, the powerful and great wizard whose spells have helped you before.
"However, Trezore does not like just anyone to barge in on him. He has set up a test to find out if adventurers like yourself are worthy of him.
"You will undertake many tasks, but this is probably the most difficult. Good luck to you."
Comment: And how many times have we heard that before? But it could have even been true if you had played this in the early days when there were only a dozen Eamons. Jim Jacobson specialized in difficult plays. During his brief stay in the Eamon world, he wrote two of the three most difficult Eamons of the period.
The difficulty here is on several fronts. The first is the combat. The foes aren't any tougher than you, but several are well armed and as well armored as you, so be sure to bring your best weapons. While using my standard "good" weapon, I was getting "bounced off armor" results from four out of five tries. Even after changing over to "Druinval", a 4D8 sword, I was still having to cheat heavily to survive. Zobar was so tough, killing me every third round while remaining nearly unscathed himself, that I finally resorted to upping his damage to lethal levels (MD%1,13)=MD%(1,1:POKE51,0:GOTO100) so he would die the next rare time that I marked him.
The second difficulty level is in the puzzling. There are a couple of tricks in the mapping and the special commands, and there is a secret word to decode. None of these are killers, but they are all well beyond beginner level.
Finally, much of the map is in darkness, and you will find a very limited amount of lamp oil to see you through. I wound up having to refill my lamp several times (the technical term is "cheat") to get through to the end. (If you start seeing "almost empty" warnings, you can refill the lamp by hitting control-C and typing this: LP=500:POKE51,0:GOTO100)
All this adds up to a difficulty rating of (8).
Given the time it was written, this is a pretty sophisticated play, foreshadowing many of the standard features found in later versions. Apart from the brutal combat, it is not the sort of dungeon that offers death at every turn. I saw no death traps, except for one that you deserve to die from if you pull such a dumb stunt.
The text is well written, and the map is coherent and reasonable. The bad guys are all in context. Had it been written a few years later when Eamon had become more sophisticated, it would likely have earned a notably higher rating.
Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.