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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:The game which confused me, even as it taught me about Mesoamerica., January 21, 2011
Kukulcan (1984) is an educational graphic adventure game set in 1519. The player takes the role of an Aztec scribe summoned by Montezuma to seek knowledge of the Feathered Serpent, in hopes that this knowledge may stave off the arrival of evils portended by recent omens. The Aztecs were right to have been worried around this time; the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez was soon to invade Tenochtitlan (the future site of Mexico City), arrest Montezuma and bring an end to the Aztec Empire. Thus Kukulcan is a game which allows you to experience some of the events, atmospheres and customs of the end days of that empire from the perspective of a man on the ground.
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mdg, January 30, 2012 - Reply
I just googled my name and came upon this review of Kukulcan. I was the author of that program back in the early 80's. I liked your review, Mr. Clarke, and think you were fair with the praise and criticism. I'm also very happy that you enjoyed the program and maybe learned a little history while you played. You mentioned that the original documentation isn't available. I do have a copy of the documentation and would be happy to make that available. It is rather short and probably not as detailed as you or I would like; the publisher was looking for the minimum in size, printing requirements & weight.
Please allow me to make a couple of comments about the simplicity of the parser and game in general. Memory or should I say lack of memory was a very big issue when this program was written. The Hi-Res graphics would take up all of the disc space and more, had they not been packed. The program itself had to be small yet react to the users' input. Time and again as I was writing the program the memory available would be over run. I would have to go back and make changes or eliminate something. I would have loved to use a full sentence parser and respond to more user input but the memory just wasn't available to do that. Anyway, thanks for the review and if you want a copy of the documentation (as minimal as it is) I would be happy to provide that. - Mike
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Wade Clarke, January 31, 2012 - Reply
Hi Mike. Thanks a lot for making the game! It's a strong memory in my childhood, and I'm glad you enjoyed the review. As an Apple II game author myself, I know the kind of challenges you face with the tech limits of the machine. My comments in this review about the parser etc. are just to let modern players know what they might be dealing with if they try it.
If you haven't already, you should contact the gentlemen at the GUE (Gallery of Undiscovered Entities) where there is a page about Kukulcan:
They would love to hear from you, and also to host a PDF copy of the manual. They may have a physical manual already, but they haven't had time to scan it yet.