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About the Story
Your mission is to recover the Golden Baton, a priceless artefact that holds within it a kind of life force that maintains the equilibrium between good and evil. Stolen from the Palace of King Ferrenuil, the kingdom is already beginning to feel the effects of drought and pestilence.
More or less your standard minimalist fantasy adventure with a two-word parser - the kind of thing where nearly every object is used exactly once - but with only one treasure to collect and a greater emphasis on monsters than most games of this type. I found one puzzle quite difficult, and the per-room help wasn't adequate for solving it.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
The Golden Baton
The Adventures covered in the last three issues could only be played on a disk based system. I don't want cassette owners feeling left out of the fun of Adventuring, so this issue we'll take a look at a series of Adventures available on cassette. What makes them all the more interesting for most of you is that they are written and produced in the United Kingdom! I'm referring, of course, to Brian Howarth's Mysterious Adventures.
Brian Howarth had been playing Dungeons and Dragons for some years before being introduced to computer Adventures by a TV program called The Adventure Game. When he realised the potential for computer moderated Adventures, he raced out and bought the first computer he could find. Unfortunately, this happened to be a TRS-80, but we can't really hold that against him, as the Atari wasn't available at the time.
Howarth became obsessed with Scott Adams' Adventures before trying to write his own. He started writing an Adventure in BASIC, but concluded that it couldn't be done. We can probably put this down to inexperience, as many others (including Scott Adams himself) have proven him wrong. Nevertheless, he started learning machine language and after six months of excitement and frustration, he finished his first machine language Adventure. It was called The Golden Baton and made its first appearance in the Molimerx catalogue in 1981.
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Played through with my 11yr old son. It was a fairly simple and short cave crawl. There was one time we had to have a hint but apart from that it was all fairly logical (which I like) not too much head scratching. There was some nice humour which made my son laugh out loud. All in all a good place for an 11yr old to start! (And a returning 40 something!!)
Played on Spectaculator ZX spectrum emmulator.