THE NINE DANCERS
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Text Adventure (Adventure No. 4 In THE LARSOFT COLLECTION)
Author : Geoff Larsen
Standalone Release(s) : 1987: THE NINE DANCERS, Larsoft, £3.95 (Tape)
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
The numerous Megalithic monuments which are scattered across these islands are the subjects of countless legends and folktales. One story common to many of the great standing stones is that of petrification in which persons have been turned into stone in retribution for some sinful misdemeanour. The petrification legend associated with the Nine Dancers differs from most others in that the unfortunate persons were not punished for sabbath - breaking.
According to local folklore a princess was engaged to be married to a prince from a neighbouring kingdom. An evil enchantress was so outraged at not being invited to the wedding celebrations that she decided to wreak a most terrible revenge.
On the morning of the wedding she assumed the guise of a travelling musician. She wandered down to the grassy plain where the princess was preparing her floral garland. The sorceress played such sweet music that the princess was overcome by a strong desire to dance. The lilting melodies brought others to join the dance. It was strange that music so fair could come from hands so evil. As the circling dancers whirled around the evil hag intoned:
"Wedding day, thou shalt have none,
From this day forth thou shalt be stone."
Within the instant the dancers had been turned into stone.
When word reached the prince he became heartbroken. Now, there was a wizard who acted as advisor to the King and Queen and so the prince went to consult him.
The wizard announced that one day the spell would be broken and the princess would be restored to life again. "Whilst she is in stone then so shall you be," said the wizard as he circled the prince three times. "Whosoever revives the princess shall revive you also and the wedding will proceed as arranged."
When the wizard had finished speaking the prince had become stone. In order that no harm should befall the stones the wizard left his abode and, turning himself into an elder tree, he took up position near the petrified dancers.
Other legends connected with prehistoric sites tell of fairies, ghosts, infernal black dogs, hidden treasure and (more recently) U.F.O.s. To those unfamiliar with fairy lore it should be emphasised that the conventional image of a fairy as a pretty little creature with gossamer wings is a recently introduced one. The older tales concerning fairies described that as Little People who were normally formed although small in stature. The association of the fairies with ancient sites is a strong one and prehistoric barrows are often referred to as Fairy Hills.
In the NINE DANCERS you play the part of a reporter for a local newspaper who has been asked to write an article on the stories connected with some of the local tourist sites. As the bus on which you are travelling winds through narrow country lanes, you gaze out at the passing scenery. The bus swerves to avoid a fox which suddenly runs out in front of it and you are jolted out of your seat. The bus stops in the village of Steignton and you get out.........
· Examine well the dried-up pond.
· Conversation, overheard within the White Horse Inn, will explain the policeman's reluctance to let you pass him.
· In order to proceed to the stones you will need to divert his attention. The acquisition of an antique will be helpful in this matter.
· To avoid being recognised you will need to change your appearance, twice.
· The pixie is open to temptation.
· At first appearance the black dog may be fetching but will it swallow your ruse a second time?
· An entrance to, and exit from, the fairy world exists when the full moon shines.
· There is a break in the clouds for only a short while.
· A message, in old words, should be exactly followed in order to transform the single stone.
· Once the princess is reverted to stone the game is beyond solution.
· To reverse the wizard's spell you should copy his actions.
Instructions' Source : THE NINE DANCERS (Larsoft) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "A Rival For Adams"
I was brought up to believe that you only get what you pay for. While that adage is true for most things in life it certainly doesn't always apply to computer software. At only £3.95 I can safely say that THE NINE DANCERS compares favourably with many adventures at three times that price.
The program is packaged in a very professional manner with superbly atmospheric background notes to prepare you for the adventure ahead. "In THE NINE DANCERS you play the part of a reporter for a local newspaper who has been asked to write an article on the stories connected with some of the local tourist sites." One such tourist attraction is a circle of nine standing stones about which legends and flights of fantasy abound.
You begin your quest at a bus stop in a narrow country lane outside the village of Steignton. A quick glance around reveals a litter bin (full of messy rubbish), an old button, a bus shelter and a sign post. My first instinct was to examine the sign which told me that Wychwood was only seven miles away. Having already been there, I turned my attentions to the old button.
This button, it turns out, is part of a very clever chaining puzzle involving a needle and some thread - but I'll leave you to solve that one.
The village of Steignton provides much of the focus of the adventure and all the shops are worth examining. The postcards and advertisements in the window of the general store reveal the first evidence of the debt that author Geoff Larsen obviously owes to Scott Adams in the writing of adventures.
The humour is refreshing and touches upon contemporary life. Above the door of the tea shop an emblazoned sign proudly displays the longevity of the company's continued business - EXAMINE SIGN shows: Purveyors of fine teas since 1986.
Also watch out for the antique dealer who is bound to rob you blind!
The inlay notes hint at magic and mysticism which certainly have a home in this adventure. The first sticking points could be the policeman who blocks your way to the Nine Dancers and, outside the general store, an alarm which must need ringing.
If you want an adventure which compares to Scott Adams at his best, then this it.
Presentation .................... 8
Atmosphere ...................... 8
Frustration Factor .............. 8
Value for money ................ 10
Overall ......................... 8
Pendragon, ELECTRON USER 4. 6
Solution (Acorn Electron Haven)
From the starting location go E, N to the pond. ENTER the POND and EXAMINE the RUSHES to find and GET a SHOVEL. Now go U and S to the tea shop. ENTER the SHOP and EXAMINE the COUNTER. GET the LOAF of bread you find before LEAVEing the SHOP and going N and E to the village inn.
ENTER the INN and LISTEN to discover why there is a police presence in the town. LEAVE and go W, N, E, E and E to the fields. DIG and GET the URN. Now go W, S, S and E before DIGging again. GET the PEG you find and EXAMINE the SCARECROW. GET its COAT and WEAR COAT as a disguise.
Go W, N, N, W and W. DROP the SHOVEL as you won't need it any more. Now ENTER the antiques SHOP and OPEN the PAMPHLET inside it. An envelope will fall out. GET the ENVELOPE and LEAVE SHOP. Outside, OPEN the ENVELOPE and a message will fall to the floor. DROP the unnecessary ENVELOPE and GET the MESSAGE. READ the MESSAGE and then DROP the MESSAGE.
Go S, S, W and N to the general store. THROW the URN at the window and the policeman will be alerted from where he was standing guard. Run S to the bus station and REMOVE the COAT. DROP COAT in the litter bin. Now proceed E, N, N, E, N, N, N and N to the stone circle. EXAM the ARCH here to discover a pixie barring the way. DROP the LOAF as bait and withdraw S to the arch. Now go back N and you will see he has made off with the food.
CLIMB the ARCH now and GET the cow-BELL. JUMP DOWN and GO ARCH. Go N and E then CLIMB the ROUNDBARROW and GET the PIXY-STOOL (a kind of toadstool). JUMP DOWN and go W and N to the derelict hut. THROW the PEG to get rid of the guardian mutt. Now ENTER the HUT and STUFF the dead HARE with the pixy-stool. GET the HARE and GET the horse SHOE. The sound of a bell or the touch of iron reputedly warns off fairies.
LEAVE the hut and go back S and E to the roundbarrow. DROP the HARE and the dog will eat it, falling asleep. Now CLIMB the ROUNDBARROW again and ENTER the ENTRANCE to the fairy world.
Go D and RING the BELL in the banquetting room. Move E and follow the fleeting figure W and W into the West Chamber. EXAMINE the DOORWAY then THROW the horse SHOE into him. ENTER the DOORWAY to the hidden chamber and GET the FIDDLE.
Now return all the way back to the stone circle: N, E, U, GO EXIT, JUMP DOWN, W, S, ENTER ARCH and S. PLAY the FIDDLE to reverse the witch's spell and TALK to the PRINCESS who transforms from one of the stones. Go E and EXAMINE the WIZARD. GET the KEY he offers you. Now go W and GET the GARLAND of flowers before going W again. At the lake, GO onto the GALLEON.
Now go W and OPEN the GATE. GO through the GATE and U. To revive the single stone, reverse the wizard's spell by typing "CIRCLE STONE" three times (If you do not do this correctly the princess turns back to stone and the adventure cannot be completed!) before finally you HANG the GARLAND over the stone. Something will happen!
TALK to the PRINCE and then TALK to the PIPER to complete the game!