Your Spectrum
Issue 12, March 1985 - Adventures
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Calls this month have seemed to centre around Domark's Eureka!. For this reason, we've enlisted the aid of Eureka! wizard, Steve Dale ... and you can write to him for hints and tips on this adventure c/o Your Spectrum, 14 Rathbone Place, London W1P 1DE (please enclose an SAE for Steve's reply). But don't ask him about other adventures - he's still busy trying to fathom out the final clue in Eureka!. All other queries should be directed to Peter Marment, Gary Smart and Neil Mackintosh as usual.
Valhalla is still proving popular with callers, though some purists may argue that it's more of an arcade game than adventure. A fair proportion of the questions asked about Valhalla refer to problems in finding Drapnir. No problem - Drapnir is located north of Despair. Something else that seems to be hampering apprentice adventurers is that, having come across a chest or cupboard containing a quest object, there's no way to get the blasted lock open. No offence, but you're just too puny to attempt such heavyweight tasks on your own - try enlisting the help of a friendly God, such as Bodir, to help you.
Moving on, the Green Goblin, Peter Shaw (still trapped in the bowels of Castle Rathbone, stapled to the YS Helpline) has some hints and tips for those still floundering around with Ram Jam's Valkyrie 17.
According to ol' Green Fingers, the woman in the bar of the hotel is not actually a woman at all, but a male agent in drag! This may suggest the idea of stealing his wig, etc, and making an escape from the hotel in disguise ... but, unfortunately, this just won't work. What you have to do instead is collect the sheets from the laundry room on the first floor and move down to the window at the end of the corridor. Here, you have to open the window and climb out on to the ledge. Make a rope out of the sheets you have and move around the ledge until you can find something to tie the sheets on to. Then, you can climb down and wander around the town.
But what's the use of hitting the town without any money? Luckily, there's a safe in one of the rooms, which you'll need to prise open with the object inside the glass case in the infirmary. Of course, you'll have to break the case, but if you look around the room under construction you should find the odd piece of rubble. Need I say more!

England and Wales: Gary Smart (nnnn) nnnnn and Peter Marment (nnnn) nnnnn. Scotland: Neil Mackintosh nnn-nnn nnnn.


Starting this month, we're going to be presenting a number of routines that can be incorporated in your own programs. It may seem an arduous task to write a full- blown adventure, but you'll find that
F R O M   T H E

Clive Gifford, the Black Baron of Castle Rathbone, gets on-line with Peter Marment, Gary Smart and Neil Mackintosh to check out your adventure problems this month. Also enlisted are Hairy Hacker Dave Nicholls and Green Goblin Peter Shaw.


The routine given assumes that any command input will be stored in the string a$; the punctuation is then removed and the input is checked against the words held in the string c$. Type the routine in and RUN it; try replacing the words in quotes in the IF ... THEN statements in lines 1070-1080 to customise the routine for your own adventures.
When you input a word, it's stored in string c$ and that's then checked against the words stored in the IF ... THEN statements. Of course, there's more than one way of checking the words input - for example, for a one-word command like 'QUIT', you could include line:


Of course, if you're offering the player the choice of a number of words, the program will have to be programmed to accept them. Try using a line like the following:


Certain words, such as 'NORTH' will always be used in adventure programs - but it soon becomes tedious to have to
most of the individual routines are no bigger than the one given here. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of adventure programming is making sure that all the component parts of the program fit together in full working order. Of course, you'll need to get your imagination in gear - but that's up to you!
Moving on to specifics, your first task is to give the computer the ability to recognize commands entered by the players.


IMS Software / £7.50

It's rather sad that certain adventure games on the market find it necessary to hide their origins. I refer, of course, to those written using Gilsoft's Quill utility. I assume the reasoning is that the buying public are prejudiced into thinking they're in some way inferior. True, there are some awful adventures, but most are quite good and often very competitively priced. Just because someone is the best machine- codist in the world doesn't mean they have the ability to write good adventures - Quill simply gave people with adventure ideas an easy way to try them out without the hassle of machine crashes; in fact, software houses have been using utilities like it for years! In Ghoulies, the code has been changed and graphics added, but the basic adventure was obviously written using Quill. Come on IMS Software, it's a good adventure, so why not show your appreciation by giving Gilsoft a mention!
Enough gripes about the software industry and back to Ghoulies. Your task is to find some magic treasure produced and hidden by an alchemist, Father Gilbert, before he died in the torture chamber of the Spanish Inquisition. It's now many years after his death and you've arrived on the ferry to start searching.
Ghoulies has all the features you'd
expect from a Quilled adventure - two word commands, instant responses, and save and load facilities - but there are extras. The screen is the standard Quill format, but there's a small graphics section at the top illustrating the current location. Also, when you enter a building, the first letter of the location's description is enlarged (like an old fashioned scroll) to match the special typeface used throughout the game.
The first thing that'll strike you when you begin playing Ghoulies is the way in which the graphics, typeface and descriptions together produce a superb Gothic atmosphere. Another surprise is that there's so much going on - fat men with cheeses wander about, and ghouls steal corpses from gibbets, to name but a few. Ghoulies has so much atmosphere, it's difficult to get around to solving any of the problems (that's my excuse anyway!)
It's a shame IMS Software haven't admitted using Quill, but, all in all, Ghoulies deserves 10 out of 10 - but don't play it in the dark!
Although it's a Quill-ed adventure (on the quiet!), Ghoulies still rivals most of its adventurous competitors.

Beyond Software / £9.95

When Lords of Midnight appeared on the software scene, it immediately carved itself a place in adventuring history - nothing like it had been seen before and many adventurers turned into tacticians overnight in their attempts to defeat the Witchking. Now, with debates about the best way to succeed at LOM still raging, the sequel has arrived and Luxor the Moonprince's problems are far from over!
Doomdark's Revenge takes over where Lords of Midnight left off with the Ice Crown destroyed and the Witchking killed. Unfortunately, Doomdark's daughter, Shareth, Empress of the Icemark, swears revenge on Luxor and kidnaps Morkin, Luxor's son, and locks him away in her fortress. At the start of the game, Luxor, Rorthron the Wise and 1,000 Riders have just entered the Icemark to attempt to rescue him; as the player, you get to control all of these characters as well as Tarithel, daughter of the Lord of Dreams and Morkin's newfound love. As the game progresses, other characters may be recruited and controlled by the same 'SELECT' key mechanism used in Lords of Midnight.
Doomdark's Revenge comes in the same packaging as its predecessor but the keyboard overlay has been changed to accommodate the extra functions offered; these include four separate keys
to perform the functions that the 'THINK' key did in LOM so that the progress of battles and states of health can be checked without reading through all the other information. Movement controls haven't changed with keys '1' to '8' heading you in a certain direction and the 'Q' key actually making the move. The playing area has been expanded and now offers some 48,000 different views to be examined. There are also underground tunnels crossing the land which you can enter via pits and gates.
The object of the game is twofold - firstly, Morkin must be rescued, and, secondly, Shareth must be destroyed. It's possible to gain a 'minor' victory by just rescuing Morkin but to find out the 'Watchwords of Midnight' and win the prize of a model of Icemark with figures of the major characters, both parts must be completed.
Doomdark's Revenge is a much more difficult and, in a lot of ways, more interesting than Lords of Midnight - save up those pennies and buy it!
The long awaited followup to The Lords of Midnight has finally arrived ... but is it different enough to be a hit?
type the word in each time. Thus, you should use:


The above sorts out how many characters you've input and then, using string slicing techniques, compares them to those already stored in c$. For example, if all you'd typed was 'N', the routine assumes you've entered the command 'NORTH'.
You'll probably find that you will need to have two routines like this in your adventure program - one to check the verb and one for the noun. Be here next month and we'll look at numeric arrays and their role in structuring an adventure game.
1 POKE 23658,8
10 INPUT a$
20 GO SUB 1000
30 GO TO 10
1000 REM Command recognition
1010 FOR a=1 TO LEN a$
1020 IF (a$(a)<"0" OR a$(a)>"9") AND (a$(a)<"A" OR a$(a)>"Z") THEN LET a$(a)=" "
103 NEXT a
1040 FOR a=1 TO LEN a$
1050 IF a$(a)=" " THEN LET c$=a$( TO a-1): LET a$=a$(a+(1 AND (a+1)<=LEN a$) TO ): GO TO 1070
1060 NEXT a: LET c$=a$
1990 IF (LEN a$=LEN c$) AND a$=c$ THEN RETURN
2000 GO TO 1040
The 'command recognition' routine, that compares the input words in a$ to those stored already in c$.
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