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Terry Taylor
Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

From time to time out of the mass of readers' adventures that get submitted to me, week in, week out, there's the occasional gem, and The Labours Of Hercules is one of them. It's based around the Greek legend of Hercules, the world's strongest man, who was duped into killing his own wife and children and as penance was forced by the gods to undertake 12 awful labours. Only by completing all of these, each one considered to be all but impossible for a mere mortal, could he regain his freedom.

You may recall the multi-headed Hydra, which grew two heads for each one that was chopped off - can you cope with a monster like that? Or what about Cerberus, the terrible guardian of the Underworld? Or the exceedingly unpleasant task of cleaning out the Augeian Stables? Pooh, I'd rather face the Hydra any time.

You stand at the start of your labours outside the fabled Lion Gate, the entrance to the mighty citadel of Mycenae. All you have with you is a club, carved from wild olive. Close by you in a hut is Pholus, half-man, half- horse, and both halves are roaring drunk. Enter the Lion Gate and go to the Throne Room of King Eurystheus and you'll discover what your first labour is - bring him the body of the lion of Nemea. Take my advice and do some mapping out first, as only at this point are the various creatures created. The obvious answer isn't always obvious either. Arming myself to the teeth to deal with the lion, I discovered that weaponry wasn't the whole solution - there's more than one way to skin a cat!

This text-only tale has been written using The Quill and The Press, and a vast amount of data seems to have been packed in there. I like the way the author's made full use of the EXAMINE command, allowing you to inspect nonessential things like the Lion Gate and the track, as well as all the objects you'll come across. A fine loading screen from YS reader Sean Doran, and a very impressive first adventure from Terry Taylor. Worth a few drachmae of anybody's money.