Around a hundred years ago, a Dr Josef Agon distinguished
himself in the eyes of the Victorian intelligentsia
as one of the world's greatest scientists. Agon probed
into the untapped powers of the human mind, and eventually
sank to reclusedom, never venturing from his Victorian
mansion, performing strange experiments and practically
living in his cellar laboratory. The years of research
finally paid off and the culmination of Agon's life's
work was The Eidolon -- a craft powered upon
mind energy and capable of propelling its user into
the cavernous spaces within their own identity. A hundred
years on and Agon's creation is discovered, American
software house Lucasfilm have managed to recreate the
antiquated mind-probe in a slightly more accessible
silicon form. All you need is a Commodore 64, a cassette
or disk drive, and willingness to experiment within
your own personna.
in the recesses of your mind, you encounter
a dragon guardian -- before you approach too
close, he is harmless, inanimate stone ...
its original form, The Eidolon is a spherical
shaped man-sized globe, just large enough for one voyager.
Mounted upon the globe's apex is a multi purpose cannon/capturer
for firing and retrieving the energy-composed globes
populating your id. Sitting upon three stalk-like antennas,
The Eidolon floats when in action, gliding upon
the mind's limitless energy waves. To begin, just sit
in the control chair and pull the trigger at the side
of the main operating lever and relax. The machine will
then transport the viewer to a subterranean maze-like
system of caverns. Using a joystick, The Eidolon
can be moved through the grey cave system. When
using Lucasfilm's computer circuit-based personna prober,
the bottom half of the TV is dedicated to conveying
the information displayed upon the control panel. Above
this is a three-dimensional representation of what can
be seen from the cockpit. Cave walls and vaulted ceilings
move realistically around as the joystick is manipulated.
On your first venture, The Eidolon is placed
within the first level; the object is to progress through
to the seventh level of identity. Each cave has an entrance
into a deeper level of the mind, but is fervently defended
by one of the caverns' guardians. Bathed in a key operated
force field, you have to capture the key to the field
and then destroy the gate's warder. As The Eidolon
nears a force field, the space around it glows with
a coloured aura. To pierce the barrier, a power jewel
of a similar glow to the field's aura must be collected
and projected at it.
but then he comes to frightening life!
the caverns are first entered, a full complement of
power is supplied and indicated upon the lower screen.
If anything of a detrimental nature happens to The
Eidolon, the needle on the power-meter fluctuates
away from the plus sign and towards the minus. Hanging
before you in mid-space on the first level are a number
of conveniently placed yellow energy spheres that hum
and glow; these can be collected to replenish a flagging
power supply. If the sphere is in central view, then
a diamond-shaped field suspends itself around the globe;
this means that The Eidolon can capture the sphere
with the collector/discharger on its roof. A pound on
the space bar activates collection mode and boosts the
energy needle accordingly. Extra ammunition is also
awarded. Not only gold fireballs hang near the cave's
roof; there are also blue spheres which not only boost
The Eidolon's energy level but also alter the
course of time, freezing all objects in motion for a
brief spell. Since a time limit is imposed on your journey
to the next level, the blue globes can be handy for
time extensions or temporarily halting a nasty in pursuit.
Eidolon's control panel is of suitably Victorian
technology. Top left, the hot/cold indicator shows
how near a guardian you are. Below it, the three
gem indicators show what gems have been collected.
In the centre is an animated clock, while around it
are the four fireball indicators in their different
colours -- the flashing one is selected. Top right
is your energy gauge and below, the two dials are
(left) whole minutes remaining before return to the
real world and (right) the level you are on.
creatures inhabit the twisted mind tunnels, and each
of them guards a power crystal of its own. Since you
need the power crystals to destroy the guardians' force
fields, you have to find and destroy these monsters.
Most of the creatures are quite lethargic, sitting statuesquely
frozen in front of their power gem. But should The
Eidolon approach an id monster, the energy radiated
by the machine stirs them to life, draining all they
can from your supply; proximity can be very damaging.
If the supply reaches zero, then you get thrown out
of your mind and back into the real world. When approached,
a nasty changes from a stone-like grey into its original
colour and the creature attacks. To vanquish your opponent
it's best to let off a volley of red spheres by pounding
on the fire button. One of four powerspheres may be
selected for firing from by pressing the keys 1 to 4.
Red, Gold, Green and Blue spheres are numbered one to
four respectively. Each release of a fireball drains
your energy supply and diminishes ammunition. Care must
be taken to avoid using more red fireballs than are
required to defeat the foe, for they are only detonated
on contact with the monster. Too many in the system
and you could run into one that has just rebounded from
a far wall! In this situation you can either dodge or
try and shoot it with another red fireball. If you hit
true then the two fireballs merge into one. Though still
bouncing and rebounding off the walls, the newly merged
fireball is yellow and can be picked up if you're fast
green bug-eyed creature blinks in alarm
as the first bolt of energy hits home.
fireball has a different effect on the creature before
the machine. Red is normally best because of its powerful
nature; on the first level there's nothing that a blast
of red fireballs can't trash. However, when you reach
the later screens some of the creatures are just too
powerful to be destroyed easily. For this the green
and blue fireballs come into their own. Blue freeze
an enemy for a short amount of time, giving extra time
to destroy your foe. Green transforms your opponent
into another monster of the caves, though it is possible
to conjure up a foe of greater power. Gold balls seem
to have no real effect upon any of the caves denizens.
later levels other creatures appear, all fully animated
when stirred into action. So far encountered are Trolls,
Biter Birds, Rotoflies, Puffer Birds, Greps, Bottlenecks
and Hellhounds. There are seven layers to be
travelled through and, though no one knows what lies
beyond the seventh barrier, Dr Agon's diary contained
the following passage:
night, I had a strange vision -- half dream, half fantasy.
I imagined I had made it through the seventh level,
past the final guardians. Suddenly, against an immense
and limitless sky, I beheld a many-headed dragon more
fearful than anything I have encountered. With the light
of morning, the vision lingers, too vivid and haunting
to be dismissed.'
this was only a dream, it is likely that Dr Argon's
repeated ventures into his own mind endowed him with
the skill of premonition. Though as yet unconfirmed,
the lowest levels of human consciousness are probably
an awesome domain indeed.