Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Alias : HEX: THE LEGEND OF VIANNA
Game Type : Text Adventure (Adventure No. 6 In THE LARSOFT COLLECTION)
Author : Geoff Larsen
Standalone Release(s) : 1988: HEX, Larsoft, £3.95
Compilation Release(s) : 2002: THE LARSOFT COLLECTION, Larsoft, PD (Disc)
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : LARSOFT, 4 Chantry Road, Clifton, BRISTOL BS8 2QD
Disc compatibility : ADFS 1D00, CDFS 1D00, DFS 1D00
Whilst on a hiking holiday in Cornwall, you find yourself in Padstow during the Hobby Horse celebrations. These take place on May Day when the hobby horse dances through the crowd grabbing at and bumping into watching spectators.
After the celebrations you become engaged in conversation with a couple of old Cornishmen in one of the taverns. When you inform them of your interest in legends and folklore, they start to mention the local legend of a witch named Vianna who lived by the coast between Padstow and Bude, farther north.
A couple of hundred years ago, the woman Vianna was accused of being a witch and was put to death. The people say, however, that at certain times she returns to stalk the night along with various demons and familiars which she conjures up to help her in whatever diabolical deeds she performs.
Now that King Edward has succeeded to the throne, people are less likely to be alarmed by ghost stories and witchcraft in these modern Edwardian days. However, in recent years there have still been a number of respectable people reporting eerie occurrences. Why, only last year a local doctor reported hearing the sound of voices and the whinnying of horses on the moors whilst there was no sign to be seen of anybody.
These days, however, Vianna is more euphemistically referred to as Vi and many scoff at the mention of witchcraft.
One of the men to whom you are talking mentions that he is driving in the morning to Bude and that he will happily offer you a seat on his carriage so that you can visit the village where Vianna lived.
So it is that the following day, the man drops you off after a journey of about an hour or so and continues on his way Northwards.
"If you should meet the old witch, give her my regards," he laughs as the carriage is driven away.
Now is it my imagination, or is it just a little bit more chilly than it was a moment ago?
To Load Game:
Type *RUN <RETURN>
To Redescribe Current Location:
Movement through the game is usually effected by N, S, E, W, U and D
An inventory of your current possessions can be found by typing I
Commands are entered in the usual verb-noun or verb format
To Save Game Position:
Type SAVE. The current state of play can then be resumed by typing LOAD
Instructions' Source : HEX: THE LEGEND OF VIANNA (Larsoft) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Atmospheric Adventure"
He's done it again. Geoff Larsen's last adventure, THE PUPPET MAN, gave rise to an excess of superlatives in my review. Now, I shakily pluck out my thesaurus in an attempt to find more words of praise for his latest QUILLed masterpiece.
While on a hiking holiday in Cornwall way back in 1902 you find yourself in Padstow during the Hobby Horse celebrations. After the celebrations you talk to a couple of local Cornishmen in one of the taverns.
When you tell them of your interest in myth and folklore they recount the legend of Vianna, a witch who lived in the area some 200 years earlier. Thus the scene is set and as you accept a lift in a carriage to Bude the next day, the story you heard the previous evening sends a shiver down your spine.
With no obvious purpose, it will take you some time to realise exactly what your quest is to be. As with previous Larsoft adventures, flags are set as you move, which put into operation important events.
For instance after about thirty moves the trinket shop will be open for business, and thirty moves later a fisherman will appear outside the inn and explain that the tide is turning. Shortly afterwards a means of reaching the island will be uncovered.
That is as much of the plot as I can give away without spoiling the enjoyment for you.
However, I will say that it is essential that you talk to the characters you meet, as they will provide the most important hints to unravelling this mystery.
Once again this Larsoft adventure is only restricted by the utility which Geoff has used to write it. I long ago groaned at having to use two word, verb-noun input. Considering such limitations, the adventure reeks atmosphere and is incredibly addictive.
I won't go so far as to say that HEX surpasses THE PUPPET MAN in quality, as it is constructed and carries a plot in a totally different vein. However, once again THE QUILL has been taken to its limits by the creativity and ingenuity of Geoff Larsen.
This adventure immediately jumps into my all-time Top Ten of personal favourites.
Presentation .................... 9
Atmosphere ...................... 8
Frustration factor .............. 9
Value for money ................ 10
Overall ......................... 9
Pendragon, ELECTRON USER 5. 8
Solution (Acorn Electron Haven)
HEX is a pseudo "real-time" adventure where you must wait around at certain locations at certain times. To advance time quickly, simply hit the <RETURN> key without input as it has the same effect as typing WAIT.
From outside the Kingfisher Inn, go E then GO into the village STORE. GET the SACK of flour before LEAVEing then go E again and you will be outside a closed trinket shop. Hit <RETURN> about 25 times to hang about outside then GO SHOP when it opens. Inside the shop, EXAMINE the SHELF and EXAMINE the URN you find there. GET the CLOD of earth only. Taking the other items will result in a beating from the locals.
LEAVE the SHOP and go W, W, S and S to a gateway. GO through the GATE to the grounds of the parsonage and keep LOOKing (Key L then <RETURN>) until the parson gets tired of looking at you (after about twenty such inputs). Go W and LISTEN to soak up the atmosphere. GET the TROWEL and go E, N, N, N, E, E and D onto the pebbled beach. WASH the CLOD in the seawater to reveal a ring. Now go E.
GO onto the revealed TOMBOLO off the shore and follow the path N, U and N to the old house. RING the BELL and a man will appear. TALK to the MAN and, on seeing the ring, he will invite you inside. ENTER and CHOOSE a tarot CARD as requested. You will be told what to do next.
LEAVE and head S, D, S, D, W, U, W and W. ENTER the INN and READ the PLAQUE chronicling the legend of Vianna. Now LEAVE and keep LOOKing (L) until darkness falls and a lit lantern is placed before you. GET the LANTERN then go S, W, W and W. You can now GO into the COTTAGE you passed earlier. TALK to the MAN inside and he will introduce himself as Baines, whom you have been told to seek. SAY TREGARETH sent you and you will have access to the whole of his possessions.
GET the COMPASS before LEAVEing then follow the road W, W and W. Lots of eerie things will be happening around you as you do. Go S into a dense mist and wander W and S through it onto the crest of a hill. Go D and D again into a combe dominated by a large manor house. GO into the MANOR courtyard (which belongs to the parson you saw earlier) and LIFT the WINDOW.
GO through the WINDOW into a library and walk E and E through the house into the study. EMPTY the SACK of flour then retreat W. Hang around by hitting <RETURN> until you hear movement within the study. Go E to investigate and you will find the room empty. EXAMINE the FOOTPRINTS on the floor and EXAMINE the CORNER they lead to. The inspection reveals a loose tile. MOVE the TILE and PULL the ROPE to reveal an opening to a secret passage.
GO OPENING and then go N. EXAMINE the FLOOR and LIFT the TRAPDOOR. By going D, E, E and N, you can return to the churchyard by this new route. Now the crypt will be open so GO into the CRYPT and GO along the TUNNEL littered with keys. Go N and E past the clump of trees to the shore. DIG here with the trowel and OPEN the wooden CHEST you unearth.
GET and LIGHT the FLARE to expose the smugglers' operations and then return W. GO into the CLUMP of trees. In amongst them you can GET a white HORSE and should RIDE the HORSE. Ride S, E and S to Snake Lane where it will throw you off. Walk S and you will be faced by a short man with a gun. EXAMINE the MAN to reveal the real secret of Vianna but do not try to escape else he will shoot. Hit <RETURN> until Tregareth
attacks him from behind. Both men will plunge over the cliff edge.
Hit <RETURN> three more times and the church bell will toll. Go E, S and S then ENTER the lychGATE. Go W and GO onto the church PORCH. TALK to the PARSON in the church and he will ask you to return to the Inn where the adventure started. LEAVE and go E, GO GATE, N, N and E. You will then see a Kingfisher proving both that the legend may have been true and that you have completed the adventure.