MAIN PGM Version: Modified 7
Extra Commands: None
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: Entry restricted to prevent super character cheating
Playing Time: 50 minutes
Reviewer Rating: 7.5
"As you sit in the Adventurer's Lounge at the Main Hall, a small Blue
Pixy flies over to ask for your help. It tells you a sad tale of a
The Valley of Cold Iron was once a peaceful and prosperous Barony under the Honorable Baron Randal, but then the evil Baron Kellum attacked the Barony with a band of mercenaries. The Mercenaries, acting on orders from Baron Kellum and coordinated by an experienced Mercenary Captain, killed Baron Randal and many of his followers, and tried to take the Valley of Cold Iron for their own. They could not, however, win the cooperation of the Elven Queen by force, nor could any amount of violence directed against the workers of the Valley cause the old Cold Iron Mine to produce its famous anti-magic ore.
Now all those who live in the Valley, and the Elven Queen in particular are poor and hungry and in great need of a Hero to rescue them from the evil Baron Kellum. The Hero who destroys the evil Baron, saves the starving Elven Queen, and restores the Heir of Randal (rumored to be imprisoned in a cell beneath the Castle) must have many qualifications. The Hero must be strong and brave (of course) and know at least a little magic. He must be kind to the poor and willing to listen to them, respectful of the Elves, and must also be able to swim.
Comment: Another new adventure by another new author. I'm glad to see that there is still some interest left in Eamon after all of these years.
The Pixy Oak was written several years ago by Bruce Haylock. He only recently found it on a backup disk. He rescued it, cleaned and polished it up quite a bit, and produced a very nice Eamon adventure, especially for a first time writer.
The goals of your quest are laid out pretty well in the intro. If you try to leave the adventure, you will get rewarded or punished according to your accomplishments. After some tweaking, I believe this feature works rather well at letting you know exactly what you need to do during the adventure before you leave.
The adventure also restricts you from bringing in a super character or a weak character as an attempt to play balance the game. Overall, I found it to be much more puzzle oriented than combat oriented, so this isn't really an issue. The puzzles are not too hard and can be easily solved with some common sense. I'd put difficulty at around a 4 or so.
The map was laid out pretty well. There are some interesting tricks involved to get at the castle with the evil Baron including some fun playing (and drowning) in the moat of the castle. The forest is a bit tricky to navigate at times, but I usually don't map adventures as I'm playing them. (Conan didn't draw a map either!)
Overall, this is a great effort and a welcome addition to the Eamon world. I look forward to more adventures from Bruce!
Reviewed by Thomas Ferguson
MAIN PGM Version: 7.1
Extra Commands: Wave
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: None
Playing Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Reviewer Rating: 7.0
Comment: This Eamon, I take it, was the first of three
Wade Clarke-authored adventures. While the adventure is relatively
short with 37 rooms and 10 enemies, the map is well-thought out and the
puzzles are abundant. One can view it as a dry-run for the more
expansive and artful latter two adventures Clarke authored.
A particular scroll found in the adventure provides intuitive clues on how to navigate the tower in which the antagonist hides. There are no "death traps," though challenging opponents face the adventurer who fails to heed the scroll's advice. The story and setting are consistent throughout, with captive friends to rescue and daunting enemies to vanquish.
Despite the adventure's brevity, the player won't be disappointed with it and Wade Clarke's talent can be seen in miniature through the compelling plot and insightful design.
Description: “In his search for the greatest warrior in the realm, the powerful archmage Marduz is holding a contest. Renowned for your previous exploits in the Free Adventurers' Guild you have been invited as a participant. The object of the contest is to find the mystical Prism of Shadows, stolen by invaders many years ago and subsequently split up and lost in the harsh wilderness to the north of the city.
“You now stand in the city square, the contest about to start... The time has come to make your way north to the city gates...”
Review: This Eamon, written by Wade Clarke and James Anderson, has turned out to be one of my favorites. It bears a pleasing balance between combat and interesting, fleshed out “side quests,” one of which must be undertaken in order to secure each of four “charms” required to recover the prism. Each hints at a broader, underlying story and is laden with special effects and secret treasures. There are, to boot, a number of items hidden around the map that, while unnecessary to the success of the quest, reward the completist with additional treasures.
Once all that is cleared and the prism itself is recovered, the additional command PRISM comes into play. By activating one of the charms on the prism, the player is able to master a new talent required to navigate and conquer the puzzles found in the final dungeon. There are throughout the adventure a number of “immanent doom” type puzzles, where time ticks away as the player seeks after a solution. The solutions are, by and large, either intuitive to the attentive player or can be discovered by exploring the map. The foes are generally tough, but not insurmountable, and the terrain is varied, broken up into smaller dungeons, castles, and forests.
It is apparent from the moment the opening notes of the adventure's theme plays (yes, it has its own theme music) that Clarke and Anderson created a worthy adventure. From the interesting characters and map to the expanded options available, The Prism of Shadows is certainly one of the best Eamons I've played.
MAIN PGM Version: 7
Extra Commands: Ring, Eat
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: Theme music (removed in Eamon DX conversion), lower case option
Playing Time: 1- 1.5 hours.
Reviewer Rating: 8
Description: “One night in your sleep you are granted (plagued with?) a vision:
“In your vision a vague hooded figure, wreathed in ethereal vapours, beckons to you from the western kingdom of Agimen. Its voice is familiar, yet chilling and distant at once. It whispers:
“'Our city has fallen under the influence of an undead warlock- this evil being was returned from the beyond when its remains were unearthed, the seal of its tomb broken during recent excavations...
“With these last words the figure is lost in the clouds of your dream, leaving you with a dread urgency for action...
“The following day sees your hurried departure for Agimen, your belongings hastily thrown together with the sun's cold rise... On the approach you see that a visibly grimy red sky hangs over the city like a pall. Your footsteps are the only sounds as you near the overwhelming and dark structures that form the rotting skeleton of the once great city...”
Review: This adventure is no less ambitious than Wade Clarke's earlier The Prism of Shadows; an underlying mythology seems to present itself at every turn. The story and mood are consistently spooky and dire, and dozens of special effects and secrets await. A number of potential companions can be found, each of which is granted special dialogue at important moments in the adventure, providing either important advice concerning future traps or dialogue enhancing the overall mood.
A wide variety of locations, each quite detailed, keep the adventure exciting, and a few hidden rooms force the player to remain alert for anomalies in the room descriptions. The puzzles and magic items that further open the map to new areas are typically intuitive; on those occasions in which the solutions are not so intuitive, the player can (in theory) rely on his or her companions to offer the necessary insight.
The only thing that makes this a less satisfactory adventure than The Prism of Shadows is the overwhelming difficulty of the enemies (the attributes of which I was forced to downgrade upon converting the adventure). Part of the charm of the adventure follows from holding onto the companions, whose words add to the setting, but even with a souped-up character, there are a number of occasions upon which the player may have to watch his or her charges die at the hands of the undead enemies. A number of turns thus become de facto “death traps,” in turn depriving the player of information needed to avoid the de jure traps. There should be no shame in “POKE”-ing one's companions back from the dead.
The story is tight and intriguing, dispensed to the player through readable books and companions' comments, and the number and variety of areas ensures that the exploring never becomes dull. For one looking at the MAIN PGM, one will also recognize that the programming is extremely well-done. If one is willing to cheat a bit here and there, defeating the titular warlock ensures a satisfying and dramatic conclusion to the adventure.
This page last updated on 04/04/2012.