Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Two Interviews With Teoman Irmak

Introduction by Joe Pranevich

This week, we have a special treat: not one, but two interviews with artist Teoman Irmak. I first stumbled onto Teoman’s work while reviewing the Questprobe games. You may recall that I didn’t quite understand why some systems had different graphics than others and I interpreted this to being due to Adventure International optimizing the art for each platform. Not so! As I learned later, the different art was because the two “Adventure Internationals”, the US and UK ones, were targeting different platforms (the common ones for their regions) and employed separate groups of artists to do so.

Teoman’s work is likely to be more familiar to European adventure game fans, but we’ve seen his art in the original Elvira game and Robin of Sherwood, as well as the UK editions of the Questprobe games. He also worked on many more including Sorcerer of Claymorgue Castle, He-Man, Gremlins, Personal Nightmare, and others that I hope we will eventually cover as part of our Missed Classic series.

So why do we have two interviews? Teoman has been kind enough not only to answer a few questions for me, but also to provide us an unabridged interview that he did last year for Sam Dyer’s book, ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium. There’s a bit of overlap between the two interviews, but together they provide a fantastic glimpse at some of the processes that underscored early adventure gaming.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Missed Classic 24: The Islands of Beta (1984)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Time for an educational adventure?

As this blog and countless other can attest to, we live in an age where digital archeology allows us to replay and relive many our childhood software adventures. Thanks to commercial offerings from companies like GOG.com, as well as organizations like the Internet Archive, many classic games, once forgotten, have returned to us. Until I started writing here, I didn’t realize how many adventure games I was influenced by, most of which had completely disappeared from thought until I stumbled on them again while researching this or that. It’s a great time to be a so-called digital historian and I love the work that we (and others) are doing to keep those memories alive.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Heart of China - Immigration issues

Written by Aperama

Heart of China is already striking me as though it is a game that really, really wanted to do something amazing and unique, and probably found itself struggling a little with the effort of doing it 'all'. It's not that I'm not enjoying myself, but I've already found a few puzzles in the opening little area that have definitely made me shrug my head in spite of them being undeniably solvable. The game starts in Hong Kong, with Lucky Jake Masters (he insists that his name is simply Lucky, with several characters already having belittled him for that little idiosyncrasy in the little section I've played) having just freshly been told by Eugene Adolphus Lomax (E.A.) that he needs to go and rescue his daughter. Well, perhaps I come slightly ahead of myself here – the game actually starts with a little cinematic, and an incredibly long credits sequence over Lucky's flapping aviator's scarf blowing in the distance. The cinematic I feel is best summed up in a short GIF:

I particularly like the evil man's 'glint'..

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Missed Classic 22: Robin Of Sherwood: The Touchstones of Rhiannon – Living the Legend

Written by Alex


Friends, Romans, Adventure Gamers and fellow writers, lend me your eyeballs. You have all been exceedingly patient in waiting for me to get on with this game. The issue has not been finding time to write, but finding time to play. And since this is a blog about adventure games (hint: games are things you play), this is a problem.

Work/life issues are nothing you are interested in, nor that I feel like going into great detail about here, except to say that my family and I are fine, I didn’t lose my job, I’m not getting divorced, and nobody is dead, in jail, or both (don’t ask).

With that said, I’m eager to continue sharing my play-through of Robin of Sherwood: The Touchstones of Rhiannon with you. As I said in Post 1, published about one-thousand years ago (according to the carbon dating), this is my first non-DOS game for the blog, as well as my first text adventure.

So strap on your quiver, heft your quarterstaff, and sharpen your sword for more bad jokes, inappropriate comments, and hopefully a good old-fashioned longbowing or two!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Elvira II ‐ Warlock

Written by Deimar

Dirk Gentley Journal Entry #5 "So after the burns, butcher’s knives, vampires, succubi and even Dr. Frankenstein himself, I finally got the memo and got my ass out of the haunted mansion. My only prize was an indian peace pipe which I got from the house’s safe, but it didn’t seem to be especially magical. Let’s hope the next haunted set is a bit more welcoming than the last one..."

Time for a change of scenery. But first, I decided that I would prepare a kit of the all­-around spells. We will begin mixing the brainboost spell, which increases intelligence. This is important because intelligence determines how many copies of a spell you get when you create it. There is only one ingredient needed, something that stores information. I have tried many things such as books, a movie reel, a document filer... but the only thing that is capable of mixing this spell is the diskette we found back in the office. The spell doesn’t last too long, so I started mixing quite a few spells:

Just because of the use of the diskette I think this is my favourite spell so far

  • Fireball - A combustible substance - Every single piece of paper I have found in the game 
  • Protection - A metal band - Buckets, cans, etc…Sadly nothing from the Black Sabbath altar was allowed... 
  • Resist Fire - A fire extinguisher - Well… what do you know? I used several fire extinguishers. Although those could have been used for the protection spell also 
  • Mindlock - A padlock and a book - I found the padlock inside a drawer in the desktop at the haunted house’s office. For the book I just used one found in the nursery 
  • Breathe underwater - Something edible - FOOD! GIVE ME MORE FOOD! 
  • Telekinesis - A magnet - The radio cassette contains a magnet to read and write on tapes. I don’t know I would have solved this one on my own, as I remembered it from my previous tries to complete the game. 
  • Courage - A vial of alcohol - There were a lot of bottles in the offices 
  • Magic muscles - Three metal objects - Every metal object in the house’s kitchen 
  • Glue - An adhesive - I found glue inside a metal box in the kitchen 
  • Fear - The eye of a witch - What a coincidence that I happened to be carrying one since the very beginning of the game 
  • Revive - Some strong smelling item - A cheese from the pantry 
  • Detect trap - Any shaped glass - There are a lot throughout the game