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The Essential Myth
1987
Adventure: Text
£8.95
£3.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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86
Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

Good to see an independent house produce something original, rather than the usual Middle Earth clones, and you have to admit that the start of this GAC'd two-parter is certainly different: "You are in a spheroid, swimming in gooey albumen. The sound of someone knocking comes from outside." Assuming you can extricate yourself from that situation, you go on to face a task so obviously different that I wonder no-one's thought of it before, as the aim of this game is to die.

The plot and the problems, so far as I was able to get before peeking at the cheat sheet, are well thought out and logical. The story mainly takes place in ancient Egypt and you are Kteth (no, not Keith, Kteth), a falcon-headed minor God, who presumably spends part of his time looking for falcon-headed minor goddesses to take round the Cairo wine-bars. But when he's not doing that he's enjoying the blissful life of a typical Egyptian Godling, till, wouldn't you just know it, someone comes along and cocks it all up. Namely your dad, Set. He bumps off Osiris, the big cheese among Egyptian Gods, and so the whole family gets booted out of Paradise. You have friends in high places, though, who recognise your innocence, but to regain your Godly status you'll first have to find the Book of the Dead, which tells you how to die and travel back again to the Other World.

Enjoying all the facilities that GAC provides, such as the decent parser, TEXT/GRAPHICS options, IT/THEM options and so on, the only drawbacks to The Book Of The Dead seem to me to be the redesigned old-fashioned character set, which is very hard on the eyes, and the rather slow response time. But they're minor faults in an otherwise unusual game, and one well worth sending off your pennies for.

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