Sorcerer’s Castle Adventure (1979)   Leave a comment

More Greg Hassett! (Previously seen: here, here, and here.)

sorscreen1

Not much preface or plot: looks like we’re at a castle and just here to rob the guy of his treasures. He’s probably evil. Or we are. Or both.

sorcastle

The map above looks fairly logical, but it has just enough trickiness with the endless loops and the turns that I had to map it like a maze; in fact I had to randomly wander until I got out, grab some items, and then use them as a breadcrumb trail to go back and map. But it doesn’t really look like a maze! The layout still forces the player to stall. I’m starting to suspect this at this phase in adventure games mazes were a technique to extend play-time, and when mazes persisted all the way to the late 80s they just became an expectation. I put them in the adventures I wrote when I was a child without thinking. It’s a sort of ritual.

Once getting inside the castle, there are two more mazes besides, both of the “twisting maze of little passage” kind. Mr. Hassett’s having a hard time getting over Adventure.

sorscreen2

What I’ve enjoyed most so far are random appearances by Chester the Jester (seen above) dispensing hints. He reminds me strongly of the jester from Zork Zero. Just that single addition made the game better for me; somehow his presence made the minimally-described rooms feel like a real environment.

There’s also a “black knight” who appears quite briefly but is easily shot down by a pistol. I am presuming the sorcerer is somewhere as well.

There’s not been much in the way of puzzles, just exploration. I don’t think this one will take long to wrap up, because I’m only facing a few issues:

1.) A vault that I can’t open.

2.) A spell book with a word “ALAKAZAM” that I haven’t found the appropriate place to use (alas, it doesn’t work on puzzle #1)

3.) I still have to finish thoroughly mapping one of the mazes.

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Posted January 21, 2016 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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