Personal Computer News


The Quest Of Merravid
By Martech
Commodore 64/Vic 20

 
Published in Personal Computer News #040

The Arms Race

The joys of microcomputing - switch on, load up and you become Merravid, son of Aranord, on the road to fame and fortune.

Objectives

You are Merravid and the dwarves have chosen you from among many courageous candidates to rescue the magical firestone from the lair of a large, ill-tempered dragon on a mountain in the land of Thargon.

In order to afford you some form of protection, the dwarves will not allow you to confront the dragon without being fully armoured but there is only one set of armour in Thargon. And therein lies the problem. You have to find it all before battle can commence.

In Play

The Quest Of Merravid

A successful loading instantly dumps you in the environs of Lower Blackwood.

As with many adventures, no graphics are used. You are simply given a description of what the place looks like, what kind of objects are lying around waiting to be picked up, where you can find the exits and what course of action you want to take.

It is instructing the computer on your course of action (which can be done in sentences of up to nine words or simple by using keywords) that you need both plenty of imagination and plenty of patience. Although the instructions give you a few pointers as to the phrases the computer will understand you have to work out most of it by trial and error.

The Quest Of Merravid

I can tell you now that, whatever you try, the most frequent response I got was: "I don't understand you".

However, as you wander from place to place, you'll gradually get the hang of it and by the end of it all, you'll be ordering the computer around like the toiling, obedient servant it is!

But let's not over-simplify. There's a bit more to it than that: a riddle to decipher here and there, and the possibility of prematurely ending the adventure by making a wrong decision.

Verdict

One of the things this game has going for it, I feel, is its relative simplicity as far as adventure games for the Commodore go, and consequently it serves as a good introduction to computing's equivalent to the blood and thunder sagas.

For this reason I can forgive The Quest Of Merravid some of its shortcomings such as illogical answers and the occasional programming slip which, in one place actually gave away the existence of a vital piece of clothing miles from where it was actually to be found.

Bob ChappellKeith Mason

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