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About the Story
Since your escape, you have been wandering east through a wide valley of plains. Over the last three days you have passed by several farms. Now you see the gate to a small village surrounded by a wooden, lightly fortified wall. You take a breath, step through the gate, and pray that somewhere in this new land you may find the means to your redemption.
This is in my opinion the finest single-disk Eamon that Sam has ever done, and in many ways could be argued to be his best work of any size. I found it to be an immensely good play. Hack 'n'slashers may be disappointed, but anyone who enjoys complex Eamon scenarios will not want to miss this one!
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First, I should tell you that this game is a standalone Eamon game. If you are familiar with Eamon games, you know that they normally allow the player to bring their own character with improved stats, effective weapons and armour etc. and there will usually be a lot of combat.
However, in this game, you do not bring your own character (if you play the game through Eamon Deluxe, you have to bring a character on this adventure, but the stats, weapons etc. of that character will not be transferred to this game). You start off unarmed without armour and you cannot see your stats. And when you complete the game you do not get to keep your weapons. In that sense, it is similar to the popular "Leadlight".
Some randomized turn-based combat is unavoidable, though there is not a lot of combat, and as usual with Eamon games, it is a very simple combat system, not anything like say "Kerkerkruip". However, combat is quickly executed. Let's say you meet three pirates, it is sufficient to type e.g. "A PIR" (though you may type "ATTACK PIRATE" if you like). Subsequently, you just hit enter, which will repeat your previous command, and so you will quickly see if you have a chance to beat the enemies or if you are currently too injured or if you have too little armour or are in need of a better weapon.
Since combat is executed quickly, it becomes a sort of a puzzle, which enemies to attack and what weapons and armour you should buy first. You might have to solve some puzzles first to gain money or equipment before you will have a chance against certain enemies. For instance, it may pay off to attack a difficult enemy even though you will get mortally wounded since you might find some treasure you can sell and then you can pay someone to heal you. I personally enjoy such a combination of puzzles and turn-based combat.
The genre is classical fantasy with dragons, magic etc. You will need to talk a lot to people and ask about things to complete this game. I estimate that I used about 4-5 hours to complete the game without hints. However, there are in-game hints if you need that. The parser is a two-word parser with prompts, e.g. if you type "PUT SWORD", you will be asked "Put it in what?", If you type a verb which is not understood, you will get a list of all the verbs, which are understood. If you are to use an object, the command is normally USE <object>. Verbs can usually be abbreviated, e.g. "EX" for "EXAMINE". I had no problems with the parser, but it might be because I have played several Eamon games.
The locations are simple to map, as long as you have a separate map for the wilderness and separate maps for the cities. This you are told when the game begins along with some other information, which is good to keep in mind. So I recommend that you take notes while you play. It is also recommended to save often (you have 5 save slots), especially if you defeat a strong enemy.
The game is well written with typical Eamon quirks, which do not bother me, e.g. if you examine an object you will usually get the same message as you got when the object first appeared. If you don't have a problem with such old fashioned issues and if you don't have a problem with simple randomized combat, you might enjoy this game as much as I did.
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