Empire of the Over-Mind (1979)   3 comments

Empire of the Over-Mind was Gary Bedrosian’s follow-up to Lords of Karma. While he wrote it in 1979 it didn’t get published until 1981.

The powerful magic of King Alcazar summons you beyond the boundries of time and space to a different plane of reality, to the Empire of the Over-Mind. The Over-Mind is tyrant of the blue and red planets; part machine, part spirit of evil. Long ages past, it cleverly overthrew the great King Alcazar, but the king escaped to safety and planned revenge that has taken a thousand years to fulfill. Now, at the Conjunction of the Seventeen Planes, the stage is set for YOU to travel to the Empire of the Over-Mind and destroy the infernal abomination!
— From the back cover of the published game

It has a reputation for being one of the best text adventures of the era, so let’s see if it lives up to that!

First, though, I need to pick a version. Here is the Apple II version:

Here is the 1986 “Deluxe” version, in DOS:

Gary Bedrosian’s own website links to the latter, so it seems to be the “author preferred” version. The main difference appears to be the longer room descriptions in the right column, although after playing through a little of both games there are clearly other tweaks here and there.

In a way I like the minimalism of the Apple II version, but it does run very slow; while the “speedup key” works it also makes the cursor blink insanely fast. I’ve also tried the Atari version which doesn’t have a blinking cursor but cranking up the speed seems to cause issues with the keyboard.

I’m not going to play both of them. Before I decide, I’d like you, the readers, to weigh in. Which one should I play?

(Note I do have override veto here, but I will definitely lean to the version everyone else wants.)

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Posted June 9, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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3 responses to “Empire of the Over-Mind (1979)

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  1. Well, if I were going to play it, it would be the deluxe version since the information is neatly laid out. However, I too like the minimalism of the Apple version, so I vote for that one.

  2. Well, I think that if the idea is to experience the games as they were played in their original form, the Apple II version is the one to go, specially if the dos version have new things going on. There’s also a TRS-80 version that I imagine is the same as the Apple II.

  3. I have no preference, but… when I play games on Spectrum emulator I usually put the speed at 120% – 160% and the input is more agile without additional problems as excessive blinking.

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