THE FERRYMAN AWAITS
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Text Adventure
Author : Phillip A. Gibbs
Standalone Release(s) : 1986: THE FERRYMAN AWAITS, Kansas, £3.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : KANSAS CITY SYSTEMS, Unit 3, Sutton Springs Wood,
CHESTERFIELD. Tel: 0246 850357.
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
Welcome to the world of Adventure!
You are about to embark on a magical quest in the comfort of your own home. I will act as your eyes and ears, telling you of your present surroundings and condition etc. Whenever I expect you to type in another command I will ask 'What next ?'.
All you have to do is type in a short English command (without punctuation) and press the key marked RETURN to let me know you've finished. The DELETE key will delete the previous character and holding down the CTRL key and tapping U will delete the entire line. Here are some useful words to get you going:
GET (something), DROP (something), WEAR (something), EXAMINE (something), INVENTORY
To move around my world type UP, DOWN and the 8 main compass directions.
Words can be abbreviated, i.e. N ...for... NORTH, NE ...for... NORTHEAST, G BO ...for... GET BOX. Please keep your commands simple: 'GET something FROM something' is about as complex as I can understand.
Commands can be strung together, so 'NORTH THEN GET SHOE' is fine.
The words SAVE and RESTORE can be used to save and restore your current state of play (to disc or tape) at the end of a session, or before trying anything dangerous. I will ask if you're sure before I let you RESTORE a game.
Now on to a few basic questions I'm sure you want to ask about the game world. Who? What? When? Where? and How?
Firstly, you are Mold, son of Mold, grandson of Mold.
Secondly, if I tell you your former job was infinitely preferable to your present employment and that you were a dung heaper in the prosperous City of Furgle, (the job of dung heaper is not particularly good, no pay, permisson to sleep near the warmth of the dung pits and 5% of all you can salvage from the nearby refuse tips), you might not be surprised when I tell you that you hold the post of part-time human sacrifice, (a job with few prospects).
Thirdly, the year is 3004 in the land of Juh, which is where you are.
Fourthly, you are in the tower of Kluf, surrounded by wasteland and poisoned seas, a haven of evil, populated only by fanatical devil worshippers and savage pirate hoards. The tower is the home of the demon Agrogorggan, brother (well sort of) of Naggrogorga (also a demon). They were originally, one creature, (called Gellnarga). Long, long ago, Gellnarga attacked the land where Kluf now stands. (It was ruled then by the elves). As a prophet had predicted that '...death will never wield his sythe against Gellnarga...' he was very sure of himself. Unfortunatly, the elves had been too busy prancing around in the forests to listen to the prophet and so made a magic sword (by capturing a powerful air spirit as it happens, but that's beside the point) to try and kill Gellnarga. Their King rode to battle, the sun gleaming of his golden armour, and hacked Gellnarga in two, and the sword then faded away (as magic swords are wont to do), leaving the two halves to rip the poor King limb from limb. They overran the land, butchering the entire population, poisoning the sea and turning the earth into a lifeless waste. When they had finished, Agrogorggan (gready for yet more power) tricked his brother and sent him back to Hell. Naggrogorga was reputedly just a trifle bit miffed at being double-crossed and has ruled there ever since.
Finally, you got into your present predicament after trying to better yourself from your post of dung heaper. You were trying to join the adventurers guild. They seemed quite pleased when you asked about joining. To join the guild you must first go on a quest. They showed you in to their 'meeting hall' to discuss a quest with you. 22 pints of mead later, they finally told you what you had to do to join - kill the demon Agrogorggan!
They had worked out this really great plan of how to do it. They would get you to the tower by selling you as a human sacrifice to the pirates who supplied these to Kluf (they would keep the money for you till you returned). When you got there you would reveal you really weren't a sacrifice, escape, overpower the guards and kill Agrogorggan. It all seemed so logical at the time! Next day you were carried comatose to the docks and sold for a large purse of gold.
After some weeks of sea travel you were dragged screaming from the ship, over desert wastes to a dark temple within the tower of Kluf.
Well, that's about it for the instructions. Good luck, you will need it!
Instructions' Source : THE FERRYMAN AWAITS (Kansas) On-Screen Instructions
Review (Electron User) - "Gallons Of Gore"
I must start by saying that I have not been greatly impressed by Kansas City's previous offerings, though they were better than a lot of the trivia posing as adventures which can be bought today. However, THE FERRYMAN AWAITS is a marked improvement which will keep many of you up until the early hours of the morning trying to fathom out who, why, what or how.
Kansas boasts that this adventure contains about 60k of text - some of which admittedly is used in the introductory passage - and room descriptions are evocative if rather macabre. Instructions are given in simple sentences, usually no longer than five words - certainly a welcome improvement on RING OF TIME.
The adventure is one of the most gory I have come across and as such should give immense pleasure to horror buffs. It is also riddled with dry humour - try this offering: "You play Mold, son of Mold, grandson of Mold. Your previous job was that of Dung Heaper for the City of Furgle. One of the perks of the job was permission to sleep near the warmth of the dung pits! Your present employment is part-time human sacrifice!"
Unfortunately, the adventure is also riddled with spelling mistakes - I noticed unfortunately and hideously on the first couple of screens. This is becoming all too common with recent releases.
Some of the problems are rather obscure and complicated, chiefly because the game has such a small vocabulary that you can do little except GET and DROP objects. It's a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for any hint that may lurk in the room descriptions.
Good imagery is created by more than six screens of introduction, which set out your task for you in black and white. It seems you are doomed to wander the wasteland of Juh which appears to be wholly populated by demons, pirates, devil worshippers and deformed creatures.
You are apparently filling the role of hero-adventurer after you made frantic attempts to leave your last employment (I can't for the life of me understand why).
As the adventure opens, you find yourself lying across a stone tablet waiting to be sacrificed by a crazed priest. You are "magically paralysed from the neck down! and your only salvation is to utter the immortal word: Nimlax.
If you enjoy a plethora of blood and guts and can tolerate the "Righty oh, matey" response to almost all you do then this adventure is for you. Otherwise I suggest you try Database's MAGIC SWORD.
Presentation .................... 5
Atmosphere ...................... 8
Frustration Factor .............. 8
Value for money ................. 8
Overall ......................... 7
Pendragon, ELECTRON USER 4. 4