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(c) 2000 James Burrows

  Review by
Steve Cooke
(The White Wizard)


Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!

The Ket Trilogy
1985 Incentive Software
By M. Nelson

Most text of the present article comes from the preview published in the twenty sixth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: May 14th, 1987).


Ever wondered how Melbourne House would follow up Lord Of The Rings? Find out below as the Bearded One casts his wand over Shadows Of Mordor. Plus everything you wanted to know about SHADES, a sneak preview of Fergus McNeill's latest game, and a few words of frustration from a disappointed Wizard about Mountains of Ket . . . What more could you want, apart from a year's supply of fresh bat tongues?


Incentive Software

his is something of an old chestnut -- the Wiz can remember reviewing these games back in the days of Personal Computer Games magazine . . . they weren't bad in 1984!

How they've stood the test of time, however, remains o be seen, since the Wiz's copy failed to load -- as did two other copies in the ZZAP! office. If Incentive get us another copy by next month, the Wiz will tell all . . .


There was no proper review of this adventure game in ZZAP!64, however you can read following review by Keith Campell, as published on Commodore User issue 44 (May 1987):

Incentive Software, GrA, Commodore 64/128, Price 7.95 cass

The Ket Trilogy is something of a Spectrum classic, consisting of three games entitled Mountains of Ket, Temple of Vran and Final Mission. The adventures were originally released separately, during 1984, and there was a modest prize of a video recorder for the first person to solve the series.

That, of course, is past history, for the prize was indeed won. However, the games were not played primarily for the prize, for they were good adventures in themselves, and the trilogy has now been revived for the Commodore 64. The three games come on one cassette -- and without a doubt the Commodore owner gets the best deal! Not only is the C64 package 2 cheaper, the format has a decidedly original feature.

These are not, and never were, graphic adventures. But Incentive have added a graphic display showing the map of the game. This doesn't spoil the surprises at all, for the map starts off blank, and locations are only added as you enter them for the first time.

To keep track of where you are, a little 'man-icon' with a pointer, hops about to indicate your position on the map at any given time. Exits are shown open where they exist, so you can see at a glance the choices of movement that are open to you. So there is simply no need for map-making, sometimes one of the most tedious tasks in playing an adventure, for it is all done for you automatically! The map itself is not artistically spectacular, but the feature itself earns the high graphics rating.

You play the part of a framed murderer under the sentence of death. At the eleventh hour, you are given a reprieve by the Lords of Ket, provided you agreed to carry out a mission for them. To ensure you don't do a runner once released, a bug called Edgar has been implanted into your neck, and at the slightest sign of defection, he will release poison into you.

Edgar is also able to provide help in your task, which is to bring about the death of Vran and Delphia. These two head a feuding group known as the Mad Monks, who are responsible for a series of vicious attacks on the land of Ket. Vran is the Priest-King, and Delphia their High Priestess.

In Mountains of Ket you set out to pass through the mountain range from beyond which the attacks come. Temple of Vran takes over as you emerge from the far side of the mountain, and from here you seek out the villains at their temple, and aim to kill Delphia. It is in Final Mission that you get to killing the powerful Vran himself.

The games have their original two-word parser, which is sufficient if a little annoying at times. EXAMINE is a command that it doesn't like, unless you are holding the object. I also found that if a space is inadvertently typed onto the end of the second word, the parser thinks that you have, in fact, entered three words and tells you not to!

The puzzles have a reasonable range of difficulty, and many are quite clever. The games also have a 'Combat mode' which is entered automatically when a foe decides to attack. The map screen clears, and energy and luck points are displayed and updated for both you and your opponent, as the battle proceeds. Attacks, lunges, and dodging is all shown in a commentary, accompanied by suitable sound effects.

During combat, the player is sometimes offered the option of escaping, and sometimes fails to do so! Adventurers might blanch at the thought of this interruption to their adventuring with random effects, but it is far less obstructive than it sounds, and usually the player wins.

It is pleasing to see these adventures have not been lost, and the plots and solutions have remained identical to the Spectrum originals. What undoubtedly makes the Ket Trilogy outstanding is the totally original idea of providing map-making graphics. A stroke of sheer brilliance, in a real value-for-money package!

Vocab/Parser 5
Graphics 8
Sound 6






You may also want to check out the original versions...

If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (20 Jun 2005)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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