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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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!