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Adventure: Text
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Derek Brewster
Chris Bourne

Temple of Vran is the second part of the Ket Trilogy from Incentive Software. Your mission in this part of the trilogy is to enter the temple and once there to put an end to all of its evil occupants.

You start the adventure with a sword, some armour, a ring and, of course, Edgar, your friendly assassin bug, who can be trusted to sink his poison fangs into your neck should you decide to shirk your quest. This is a classic style text-only adventure with a large number of locations and many problems to solve which could take weeks to complete.

Your travels will take you across the plains of Ket, into the depths of the Wart's Lair and ever forward in time to the years 1940 and 2300 before returning for your final confrontation in the Temple of Vran.

There is a good number of useful (and not so useful) objects scattered around. Care must be taken not to waste useful objects or leave them in another time zone.

The locations are lucidly described and are consistent in creating an exciting and credible atmosphere. Input consists of Verb/Noun couplings which is adequate although limiting when communicating with other characters. The vocabulary is quite flexible but there are a few annoying omissions and the use of the verb 'examine' is confined to those occasions when you are actually carrying an object.

Combat is much more sophisticated than in most other adventures, giving your statistics for Prowess, Energy and Luck. Prowess is your skill in combat. Energy indicates your state of health and Luck your fortune in combat. The tussles take place in rounds in which either you or your opponent is hit. If you are struck you are given the option of running or continuing to fight. Running can often prove to be the most dangerous as you can be struck from behind. All this adds up to make a more interesting game charged with atmosphere.

One small bug I encountered occurred during one moment of gratuitous violence. I was involved in a fracas with a mouse in the same location as an elephant. To my horror the combat status appeared with the mouse having an energy of 20 compared to my meagre 10.

In the ensuing battle, which lasted nearly 20 rounds, I was knocked over and kicked several times and brought to the verge of death. Quite a blow to one's delusions of heroism.

Overall an excellent game which can be heartily recommended, particularly for novice adventurers as the problems are not too difficult.