Myorem, a text only, machine code adventure for the BBC and Acorn Electron, brings to a close the Rick Hanson series of thrilling adventures. (Or does it?!)
The game has been written using Midge 3, our updated message compression system, and the new Robico Advanced Parser. Midge 3 achieves an astounding 59% compression percentage on Myorem's location descriptions and has allowed us to create our best cassette-based adventure to date!
Myorem uses the newly developed Robico Advanced Parser which allows you to type, in upper or lower case, full sentences and multiple statements. The program analyses your command and acts on certain 'key' words.
The Robico Advanced Parser allows 'described objects' to be used in a game. For example, an adventure may contain more than one book, say the red book, the green book and the yellow book. Sentences such as: PICK UP ALL THE BOOKS EXCEPT THE RED ONE THEN EXAMINE THE GREEN BOOK AND READ IT are understood.
From time to time, certain error messages may appear. "Please give more information" means that the computer could understand part of what you typed, but needed an extra word or phrase to carry out the command. For example, PUT BOOK would not be sufficient. The correct phrase might be PUT THE BOOK IN THE BASKET.
The message "Please specify" appears when the computer has a number of options open to it and isn't sure which one to take. For example, if all the books were present when you typed PUT BOOK IN BASKET the computer would reply "Red book. Green book. Yellow book. Please specify." You might then type PUT THE RED BOOK IN THE BASKET.
The error message "What with?" means that the computer required you to specify an object with which to carry out your command. For example, DRY WITH THE TOWEL or KILL GUARD USING SPANNER.
"You can't do that" means exactly what it says and the messages "I don't understand you", "Strange!" and "That only flummoxed me!" mean that the computer became totally confused and gave up!
All the above error messages cause the computer to stop performing multiple statements and return control back to you.
Multiple statements can be entered by separating them with the words AND or THEN or with full stops (.) or commas (,). A space, as used in our previous games, is no longer enough. The maximum line length has now been doubled to 78 characters.
Most words can be shortened, the abbreviation usually depending on where the word comes in the vocabulary list. For example, LOOK becomes L, EAST becomes E, EXAMINE becomes EX and EXCEPT becomes EXC. NORTHWEST can be shortened to either NORTHW or NW. The directional commands can all be abbreviated to one or two letters. There are twelve in all: N, S, E, W, NE, NW, SE, SW, U(p), D(own), I(n) and O(ut). If in doubt, type the complete word!
Myorem has a limited understanding of the words IT, THEM and ONE. IT and THEM act on the last object mentioned. For example, INSPECT THE SUIT THEN WEAR IT. ONE substitutes for the last 'described object' mentioned. For example, DROP THE RED BOOK AND THE GREEN ONE.
ALL, EVERY and EVERYTHING may be used with GET, DROP, EXAMINE and their various synonyms in connection with objects and also in actions relating to doors. For example, DROP EVERYTHING BUT THE SUIT, THE BASKET AND THE YELLOW BOOK.
Doors may be opened in the following ways. OPEN DOOR causes the first door the computer 'sees' to be opened. OPEN THE SOUTH DOOR or OPEN THE DOOR LEADING IN causes the specified door to be opened. OPEN DOORS, OPEN ALL or OPEN EVERY DOOR causes every door in the room to be opened. CLOSE and SHUT are used in a similar way.
SAVE saves your current game position to cassette.
RESTORE or LOAD restores a previous game position.
CLS clears the screen.
QUIT restarts the game from the beginning.
CTRL-I repeats the last command line.
The following example game play (not Myorem) has been included to help you:
WHO AM I
You are Old Jake, the sexton.
WHERE AM I
Gazing around you see that you are standing in a large graveyard illuminated by the mysterious, shimmering rays of the full moon which hangs in the night sky like a beacon. Mist swirls around you, forming a damp, icy cloak which engulfs the headstones and hides you from prying eyes! There are visible exits north to a path, south to a large tomb, southwest to the old church and down to a deep hole. You find a shovel and a small pipe.
EXAMINE THE SHOVEL AND THE PIPE
You look at the shovel. It is strong, made from toughened steel. It has a long, wooden handle.
You inspect the small pipe. It is exquisitely fashioned from polished wood. The bowl is empty.
You carry the shovel.
You carry the small pipe.
You are carrying a basket, a shovel and a small pipe. You are wearing a tattered suit. The basket has a towel and a packet of Deke's Mild Original.
WHAT IS MILD ORIGINAL
I'm not sure.
LOOK AT THE PACKET
You examine the packet of Deke's Mild Original. It is filled with tobacco.
You can't do that.
You carry the packet of Deke's Mild Original.
You carry the tobacco.
PUT SOME TOBACCO IN THE PIPE THEN SMOKE IT
O.K. You can't smoke. The pipe hasn't been lit. Anyway, think of your health!
WHERE IS MY LIGHTER
The shed in the church garden.
THROW THE PIPE AWAY THEN JUMP IN THE HOLE
You drop the small pipe.
You leap into the gaping hole. It is very deep and you fall awkwardly, cracking your head on the hard floor! You fracture your skull. You are dead. (It seems to be the in thing around here!)
OG (BBC Micro version only)
You are standing in a large graveyard illuminated by the mysterious, shimmering rays of the full moon which hangs in the night sky like a beacon. Mist swirls around you, forming a damp, icy cloak which engulfs the headstones and hides you from prying eyes! You can go in the following directions: north to a path, south to a large tomb, southwest to the old church and down to a deep hole.
You find yourself outside an enormous tomb, constructed from marble and granite. The huge figure of an angel towering above you seems to survey the graveyard and, beneath it, a small, marble door is set into the tomb wall. Ways lead north to a path through the graveyard and south via a closed door. You find a brass plate fixed to the wall of the tomb.
READ THE BRASS PLATE
The brass plate is covered with a century's grime and you are unable to read it.
CLEAN THE PLATE
CLEAN THE BRASS PLATE USING THE TOWEL
You can't do that.
GET THE TOWEL THEN CLEAN THE PLATE WITH THE TOWEL
You carry the towel.
You clean the brass plate and slowly writing becomes visible!