The Terrors Of Trantoss (Ariolasoft) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


The Terrors Of Trantoss
By Ariolasoft
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #56

The Terrors Of Trantoss

Villagers in Hapshall, south of the mountains of Mortran, are disappearing nightly, and it is thought that an evil Xyradd called Thantoss (Oh no! Not a Xyradd!) is spiriting them away. His powers must be stopped by destroying his mace, but no-one is keen to carry out this dangerous quest. So a local thicko called Lobo and Scam, a shady character, are persuaded.

You are they, in this game. As well as being able to SWAP between the two characters, there are some novel commands in the increasingly popular adventure format of interchangeable roles. PART lets the two move around independently, whilst JOIN makes them move together, provided they are in the same place when the command is given.

At the start, it soon becomes apparent that there will be some frustration in managing to carry all the objects required.

In fact, kitting up is somewhat reminiscent of Lord Of The Rings, especially as there is a type-ahead buffer of one character, and a nasty delay before input is accepted, after the text has screened. This quirk succeeds in preventing the fast-thinking adventurer from getting into any sort of typing rhythm, and causes lots of "Pardon?"s.

Eventually, the adventurer is set on his way with the help of a stranger, who drags the party at high speed through the forest to the edge of a ravine, and promptly disappears. The forest turns out to be a maze, with self-sealing exits.

If the text is slow, then it is compensated by the speed of the graphics. These are held in memory, and flash on the screen instantly. What's more, they are very effective and detailed - as good as you are likely to encounter on a Spectrum. The whole screen design is attractive, with the graphics occupying a vertical third of the screen to the left of the text area.

The problems are not easy, and whilst I would not complain about that, the vocabulary, both input recognised and messages output, has a lot to answer for. "Not now" is received all too frequently, and it is unclear whether this means that the command is invalid, or the action can be performed later.

The poorer features of the game are a pity, for the problems look as if they made for a good, and somewhat unusual adventure.