PROJECT: Binary code addiction as a means of controlling
SCIENTIST: Prof NORMAN NUTZ Phd, Bsc, KP.
EQUIPMENT: C64, Amiga A500, Cray-2.
ASSISTANT: The Geek
people reckon small is beautiful but, to be honest,
I'm not convinced. Thanks to that Rand character's tips
special the Lab Report's been temporarily squeezed down
to just two pages. Take comfort though, from the fact
that hopefully (cross my fingers, chuck salt over my
shoulder, touch wood, kick the Geek six times, and one
extra for luck) it'll be back to its full quota next
month. Until then, happy adventuring . . .
are Arthur. Not Arthur Fowler, Arthur Scargill or even
Arthur I'vegotakipperstuckupmyassortedsocks. No, as
just plain 'Arthur' you're the rightful heir to the
English throne, and the hero in Infocom's interpretation
of the famous legend.
has been many years since King Uther has died and so
far no-one has been able to pull the famous sword from
the stone to become his rightful heir. It has even got
to the point where the people are willing to let a usurper,
King Lot, take the throne.
Arthur, you start the adventure at night in the churchyard
where the sword in the stone is located. You know that
King Lot has imposed a curfew and you'll be thrown in
jail if caught, but you were compelled to try to remove
the sword. Of course, being the rightful heir, you succeed
in pulling it out (no oo-ers here please) whereupon
Merlin materialises and, before disappearing again,
tells you that you're not yet worthy to claim the throne
and must first gain a hundred chivalry, experience,
wisdom, and quest points.
no sooner than Merlin disappears than King Lot's soldiers
march into the church to remove the sword and stone.
In the morning King Lot shows a copy of the sword
to the gathered villagers, claiming it is the magic
sword and that he must now be crowned High King. You
must work quickly if you are to stop him -- his coronation
is in three days time.
visit to Merlin's cave results in him giving you the
ability to transform yourself into an owl, badger, salamander,
eel or turtle. You might've preferred a nice, shiny
suit or armour and a good horse, but Merlin's Merlin
and it wouldn't be wise to argue. You can change into
an animal as often as you like, but never directly from
one animal to another (you must become human again first),
and never in public -- it would freak people out!
the surrounding countryside reveals a great many locations,
ranging from the village tavern to bogs, woods, a lake
(as a turtle or eel you can swim beneath the surface),
and King Lot's castle. Plenty of characters, both friendly
and hostile, can be spoken to and asked questions. The
village idiot isn't too helpful -- though he says he
can peak into the game's machine code when you are gone!
of the problems encountered revolve around transforming
into different creatures -- for instance, to go down
a hole in the ground you must be the badger, while as
the owl you can fly high above the land. Surprisingly,
as an eel you can even talk to a kraken in the lake.
However, you are not allowed to carry objects when in
animal form and this obviously causes more than a few
problems. It can also be frustrating finding somewhere
to change; there's never an empty phone box when you
in other recent Infocom releases, there's an in-built
hints facility, accessed by looking into a magic crystal.
The typically polished Infocom presentation also includes
various display modes: graphics, map, inventory, score,
the great puzzles, some attractive graphics and a superb
vocabulary and parser, plus the odd touch of humour,
Arthur has all the ingredients to make a first-class
adventure. A must for all Infocom fans.