Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Text Adventure (Adventure No. 5 In THE LARSOFT COLLECTION)
Author : Geoff Larsen
Standalone Release(s) : 1987: THE PUPPETMAN, 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
Towards the end of the last century, there lived a puppeteer whose puppet shows always attracted large crowds wherever he performed.
Such was the skill of the puppeteer that rumours abounded that the puppets were not made of wood at all but were actually tiny people who were under the puppetman's control.
There was to be a Summer Fete centred around the village of Owlsmore. When it was announced that the puppetman was to attend with his little people, crowds from all over the surrounding country began to descend on the tiny village hoping to witness the much acclaimed spectacle. On the morning before the opening of the Fete it was discovered that the most important marionette of all had been mislaid or possibly even stolen.
The local people on hearing this news began to speculate that this was indeed proof that the puppets were, as they has always suspected, living creatures and that one of them had decided to leave.
Personally, you are astonished to learn of the puppet's disappearance because during the night you had had a most peculiar dream.
During your dream you had been visited by Mnemosyne, wife of Zeus and mother of the Muses. She had spoken thus - "I am Mnemosyne, I am memory."
"In the morning there will be the discovery that a valuable puppet has disappeared. If you are able to help some of my daughters, they in turn will help you find that which has been stolen."
These words from your dream now come back to you but you are unsure as to what to do next. Then a strange feeling comes over you and you hear the voice of Mnemosyne once again...
· If you are still in a dream you should come to your senses.
· You may learn much by talking to people.
· As the story unfolds situations may change.
· You should be above the bear's attentions. A tasty morsel may be a bait to trap it.
· During the adventure other characters may leave objects behind.
· Some locations will require a few visits.
· There will be a handy protection for you somewhere.
· You will need legerdemain to operate a trap.
· You may spend some time in a nursery rhyme but the stage will be primed for a pantomime.
Instructions' Source : THE PUPPET-MAN (Larsoft) Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "No Strings Attached"
Geoff Larsen is fast becoming one of the prime adventure writers for the Electron. With the release of this, his fifth adventure, he confirms his mastery of the genre. THE PUPPET-MAN is one of the most original and engrossing adventures I have seen for a long while, and must be Geoff's finest offering yet.
At the end of the last century there lived a puppeteer whose puppet plays were the talk of the land. In fact his puppets were so lifelike it was rumoured they were little people, made up to look like puppets. At the midsummer fair in the village of Owlsmore the Puppet Man is due to perform but the day before, his star marionette was stolen or mislaid.
During a dream, you are visited by Mnemosyne, mother of the Greek muses. She tells you that if you can help three of her daughters; the muses of dance, comedy and poetry, they in turn will assist you in a search for the marionette.
The adventure becomes a trilogy of inter-related plots in which you first help a ballerina, then an auguste clown and finally Pierrot.
The backdrops incorporate nineteenth century theatre and circus giving the whole adventure the heady atmosphere of vaudeville. The puzzles are complex, but totally logical and require careful thinking and revisiting of different scenes.
The beginning reminds me of something of a cross between Level 9's WORM IN PARADISE and Robico's MYOREM. To be compared even in part to those two masterpieces is sure testimony to the quality of this adventure.
Later on there is a beautiful scenario involving a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker, and a wooden tub. Another scene involves trapping a bear, while on the stage is a struggling Covent Garden escapologist. As suggested, the adventure involves dancing, comedy, poetry and sleight of hand, and like all of Larsoft's adventures is totally non-violent.
The multi-use of each location and the facility to talk to the characters you meet, means Geoff has used the Quill to its utmost. The mind boggles to think of what he might achieve given machine code programming and better text compression.
This adventure is superb and you will be hard pressed to find a better release for the price. Larsoft is going to be a name worth watching over the next few years. All I can say is buy it, you won't be disappointed.
Presentation ..................... 9
Atmosphere ....................... 8
Frustration Factor ............... 9
Value for money ................. 10
Overall .......................... 9
Pendragon, ELECTRON USER 4.11
Solution (Electron User, Contributed by G. Livesey)
Section 1 : WAKE UP, EAST, EXAMINE STUMP, TALK TERPSICHORE then SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH, EAST, ENTER the MANOR. Go UP then WEST and TALK to BALLERINA. EAST, NORTH, GET LADDER, SOUTH, DOWN and LEAVE the MANOR. WEST, NORTH, NORTH, WEST, DROP LADDER and CLIMB TREE. EXAMINE HOLLOW and EXAMINE JACKET and GET SILVER KEY. DOWN and GET LADDER.
EAST, SOUTH, SOUTH, EAST and ENTER the MANOR. Go NORTH into the lounge and UNLOCK CLOSET. EXAMINE CLOSET and EXAMINE SKELETON. When it crumbles away, you can GET the SKELETON KEY. Then return SOUTH, LEAVE the MANOR, WEST, SOUTH, WEST and UNLOCK the DOOR.
ENTER the village HALL and EXAMINE the GOODS on the table to find the ballet shoes. GET the SHOES and LEAVE. Return EAST, NORTH, EAST, ENTER the MANOR, go UP and WEST and GIVE the SHOES to the ballerina.
At this point a Harlequin will appear and you will be transported to section two.
Section 2 : Go EAST and TALK THALIA. Then go SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH, WEST then NORTH and GET CLEAVER. Now go SOUTH, EAST, EAST and ENTER the MANOR. Go SOUTH into the dining room and EXAMINE the TABLE. Get the SALMON then travel NORTH, UP, NORTH, EXAMINE the SHELF to find the GLOVE. (You can pick up the GLOVE at this point - although it is not required until the third section)
Go SOUTH, DOWN and LEAVE. ENTER the MARQUEE and ENTER the RING. Now OPEN the CAGE, ENTER the CAGE and DROP the SALMON before you LEAVE the CAGE. Next OPEN the CAGE which has slammed shut behind you.
Go NORTH then EAST and DROP the LADDER then CLIMB the LADDER so that you are on top of the cage. OPEN the CAGE - a bear will lumber out and, smelling the salmon, will be tempted by it. Go DOWN then WEST and ENTER the MARQUEE and CLOSE the CAGE, thus trapping the bear.
Next go NORTH, WEST and UP into the living wagon and TALK to MAN. Now go DOWN, EAST, EAST and ENTER the CAGE. EXAMINE the BOX to discover some netting. GET NETTING and LEAVE CAGE.
Now go WEST and ENTER MARQUEE again then go SOUTH, SOUTH, WEST, SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH, EAST then THROW NETTING to trap the attacking owl.
Journey EAST and EXAMINE the BUILDING. EXAMINE CHAINS then CHOP the CHAINS (with the meat cleaver). ENTER the BUILDING and go UP. EXAMINE the NEST to find the clown's stolen eggshell 'face'.
Finally go DOWN then LEAVE and go WEST, NORTH, NORTH, NORTH, NORTH, EAST and ENTER the MARQUEE yet again. ENTER the RING and go NORTH, WEST, UP then GIVE the EGGSHELL to the man and go DOWN.
Harlequin will now appear and you will be transported to section three of the game.
Section 3 : Go EAST and TALK to ERATO then go SOUTH, SOUTH, WEST, ENTER the WILLOW and TALK to PIERROT. EAST, EAST, SOUTH, WEST, SOUTH, GET the CANDLE, NORTH, EAST, EAST and ENTER MANOR. Go UP and NORTH then GET the GLOVE (if you don't have it already), EXAMINE the SHELF and READ the NOTE.
Go SOUTH, DOWN then LEAVE. Now ENTER the STAGE and TALK to the JUGGLER. He will be distracted and drop one of his clubs. GET the CLUB then JUMP DOWN and go WEST, SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH, WEST and SOUTH. A man will rush off to the west.
Now you can go WEST, WEST, WEST. DROP the CLUB in order to set off the trip-wire. Go SOUTH, SOUTH, WEST, SOUTH, EAST into the clown's house. EXAMINE the FIREPLACE, WEAR the GLOVE and GET the POKER.
Go WEST, NORTH and WEST into the tavern. EXAMINE the FIRE and POKE the CINDERS. Still wearing the glove, GET the BLACK KEY.
Go EAST, SOUTH and EAST then LIGHT the CANDLE from the clown's fire. Go WEST, NORTH, WEST, UP, ENTER the DOORWAY, UNLOCK Pierrot's DESK and GET his POEM. ENTER the DOORWAY again then go DOWN, SOUTH, EAST, NORTH, NORTH, EAST, EAST, EAST, NORTH, EAST, NORTH, NORTH, NORTH, EAST and ENTER the STAGE again. GIVE the POEM to Columbine.
Now JUMP DOWN and go WEST, NORTH, NORTH, NORTH. Erato will advise you to EXAMINE the tree STUMP. GET the MARIONETTE then go SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH, SOUTH and EAST into the Inn. GIVE the MARIONETTE to the Puppet-Man and prepare for one of the most thankless endings in the history of Adventures!