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(c) 2000 James Burrows

   
 
   
  Review by
Kati Hamza
(Chuck Vomit)

 

 
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!

Lancelot
1988 Level 9 Computing/Mandarin
Programmed by Pete Austin & Mike Austin

 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the forty fifth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: December 8th, 1988).
 

 

LANCELOT
Level 9/Mandarin, Amiga 19.95

 

ight, you lot! Get ready for Chuck Vomit's special culture spot. Oi! Get that turkey leg out of your nose, you at the back. It's not every day you get your hands on a bit of learning from Vomit himself.

Cast your mind back to a land of myth and mystery. A time when Arthur ruled from Camelot, when the mystical powers of Merlin held sway and the virtuous queen was Guinevere. A time when jousts and contests were held everywhere, when damsels relied on knights to free them from distress and a nobleman's virtue was measured by his deeds. Into the midst of all this peace and harmony rides a knight called Lancelot. He is to become the greatest knight of the kingdom, he is to search for and gain a glimpse of the holy grail, and he is to betray his king on two counts -- once as his friend and once as his subject.

Level 9's adventure is divided into three parts. In the first, you're just a novice pipsqueak of a knight with a reputation to gain. Rescue enough damsels, knights and ladies, and you might just make it through to part three and the quest for the Holy Grail itself.

It's all the more absorbing because the text gives a constant indication of how well you're doing. If you behave dishonourably, you not only score minus points, but get called Lancelot the filthy, Lancelot the dishonest, Lancelot the cowardly -- and so on. Can't see what all the fuss is about myself -- what's wrong with lying, cheating and cutting people's heads off? As for that other business -- Courtly Love. Bleuch! Count me out of that. All that mooning and sighing and wearing namby pamby ribbons! Yuk! Down here, if you're after a she-troll, you just bash her over the head with a billy-goat -- it's the only way to make her blush.

The packaging comes complete with a map, so if you can't be bothered to make a detailed plan straight away, you can launch right into the action and use the GOTO and RUN TO commands to visit any location named on the map. Play this way and you really get into the questing atmosphere.

Puzzles are graded in difficulty from the very easy to the pretty hard with all the usual emphasis on interaction. Also pretty much as usual, I reckon that this would be quite hard to get into if you hadn't come across Level 9 before. Although none of the tasks in the first part are all that demanding, there are so many redundant locations and so many possible starting points that it's quite hard to work out what to do first. Still -- that's something you could say about all Level 9 adventures, not just Lancelot. If you've played and liked all their other games, you won't care; if you haven't, try this out before you buy.

Oh yeah, the parser. Well, it's good but not that good. You can type in all sorts of really complex commands, speak and ask questions, but over something as basic as ENTER TOWER, the program gets a bit confused; it only recognises enter -- any word that comes after just doesn't make sense.

Can't say I was bowled over by Lancelot when I first saw it (it takes a ten-ton truck to bowl me over, anyway) but the more I got into it, the more I began to enjoy it. Well designed and unusually constructed, it really makes you feel as if you're riding around in a medieval world -- and you get some dead atmospheric graphics to boot, or should I say spur? Maybe I shouldn't. After the relative disappointments of Knight Orc and even Gnome Ranger, Level 9 are really getting their act together. It makes a refreshing change to get away from all those cutey gnomes and bashful elves. In fact, I've always fancied myself as a bit of a knight errant: Sir Vomit, the Chuck -- noble gobsmacker and keeper of the honour of the Holy Snot . . . Whaddya think?

 
Atmosphere 90%
Puzzle Factor 85%
Interaction 85%
Lastability 88%

Overall

87%
 


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

The tape text-only version (above screenshot) contains a lot more text in descriptions etc, since there is no need to reserve memory for graphics.

Lancelot Complete Artwork Gallery!

Total Pictures Count: [25]

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (27 Sep 2007)
There were no screenshots in the original review.

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