TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY
Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Text Adventure With Graphics
Author : Trevor Hall
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY, Bug Byte, £9.95
1987: TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY, Bug Byte, £2.99
Compilation Release(s) : 1987: FIVE STAR GAMES, Beau Jolly, £9.95
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+ and Master 128
Supplier : BUG-BYTE, Liberty House, 222 Regent Street, LONDON W1R 7DB
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"Over 175 full screen high-res locations in the treasure trove Valley of the Twin Kingdoms. Keep your wits about you and a shard sword handy. A classic complex adventure."
Collect as much treasure as you can without being killed. Your score increases as your success rate increases. The maximum score possible is 1024 points. The game begins with you standing on a road running from East to West. Nearby is a cabin which you have rented from the innkeeper of the 'Sword Inn'. Where you go and what you do is up to you. The best of luck...
Enter your commands using the keyboard and the <RETURN> key. You can delete commands by pressing "CTRL" and "U" together. You may use <DELETE> and <COPY> to make corrections and copy words off the screen. The computer will follow commands such as compass directions and: DRINK, SWIM, WAVE, WAIT, ASK, EMPTY, POUR, FILL, GIVE, OFF, ON, LIGHT, UNLOCK, OPEN, CLOSE, SHUT, LOCK, GET, TAKE, DROP, THROW, CUT, HIT. For example "HIT THE GUARD WITH A HAMMER" will let you hit the guard, presuming you
have met one and you have a hammer!
Use the HELP command to list available commands. Other commands to help play the game include: SCORE, INVENTORY, OPTION, QUIT, END, LOOK, VIEW, PICTURE, DRAW. These are all self-explanatory. LOOK lets you look at the description, and so on. A dotted line will appear after commands which take up time. The pictures of the Valley sites will contain clues and help you draw a map. The picture will normally vanish after 10 seconds, or when you type your command or if you press <DELETE>. Remember to always press <RETURN> to action your command. If you are in a maze, remember each place in the game has a name; you will find that more than useful. If you are set upon by meanies keep on the move until you can recover your strength or find weapons.
FOUR SPECIAL COMMANDS must start with an asterisk. i.e. *.
*SAVE to save the current state of a game,
*LOAD to load a previously saved game,
*MODE for Electron only, this changes 25 lines by 40 characters to 32 by 40. Typing *MODE again will revert to 25 by 40. Type LOOK after a *MODE command.
*TEXT alters the speed of printing on the screen to suit yourself from 0 to 9.
Instructions' Source : TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY (Bug Byte) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
This graphical adventure combines some of the better elements of monster-bashing with the puzzles usually associated with text-only adventures. There are 175 "pictures" in the adventure and since you can "look" at some of the objects within the locations this leads me to assume that there are about 160 actual locations.
You play the typical greedy adventurer and the object of your quest is to collect all the treasure you can find and deposit it safely. When you've scored the maximum points of 1024 you will find that you have a further problem. What to do next.
The program loads in several parts and full loading instructions are given during loading. When the adventure starts you're asked to choose one of six options. These determine whether you have the graphics displayed or not and the type of messages you want about your location. You can alter these during the course of the game by typing OPTION. As soon as you have made your choice the adventure proper begins.
You find yourself on a road outside the cabin. Inside the cabin are three objects that will come in handy. At this point I would suggest that you save the game as should you die the program simply ends. If you have a game saved you can restart by using *LOAD otherwise you have to load the game back in from the start.
I think it is quite inexcusable for Bug-Byte not to have given you the option of playing another game. On saving the game, using SAVE, you will see that you're in fact saving three programs, one of which is 24 blocks long.
Anyway, back to the game. You'll find that over 100 locations are readily accessible and are generally logical.
For example, moving North and then South brings you back to the location you started from. However, this isn't always the case, especially when underground, so making a map is a must.
You will meet various characters most of whom, if armed, will attack you on sight.
An elf will carry things for you, but is sometimes reluctant to let you have them back. This same elf is also a positive nuisance when mapping underground - he kept picking up the objects I was dropping in order to make my map!
It is possible to frighten off or kill the characters you meet but you need to be at maximum strength (190 points) and armed with a better weapon than them.
This is also a good way of obtaining any treasure they may be carrying since they quite often drop them if you are winning. Watch out for your strength points after doing battle, they will be very low and any further combat will probably finish you off.
A good tip if your strength is low is to WAIT for a bit since every command you give builds up your strength. If you are near Watersmeet, a quick dip will work wonders.
On the subject of strength points, don't drink too much ale in the local inn - it's definitely not good for you.
The graphics are excellent and quickly drawn but tend to slow the game down a lot, so doubtless you'll do the same as me and use the Option command to turn them off.
I've mapped about 140 locations and collected a few treasures but frankly, I don't think I'm nearer to finishing than when I started.
I've tried giving the crystal ball to the castle witch but keep getting killed. I've tried throwing water, oil and everything else at the dragon but still can't get the master key. I'm afraid that the adventure doesn't generate enough atmosphere for me to want to persevere with it. Having said that, if anyone has completed it and would like to send me a map of it I will mention them in my bedtime prayers.
Overall, TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY is impressive. It is extremely well-programmed and packaged. However, the save game facility and the abrupt ending, along with the characters in the program, who are more of an impediment than a problem, tend to make me reluctant to recommend it.
Yet the mail I've received about it tends to indicate that a lot of people do like it. My advice therefore is to go to your friendly computer dealer, grovel and try before you buy!
Merlin, ELECTRON USER 2. 9
Review (Electron User)
This is a graphics adventure with 175 locations each portrayed in full colour. The program is by no means new, in fact it has been around for years, but the novelty lies in the price - just £2.99!
In traditional adventure style, you play a treasure seeker, in this case aiming to score 1024 points. Your journey takes you through forests, over and under mountains braving deserts and ravines. You will encounter elves and dwarves, dragons and witches, and droves of rather nasty guards and gorillas.
TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY is not one of those adventures where you must spend three weeks pondering how to escape from the first location. In fact about 100 of the sites are easily accessible by the usual direction commands.
You'll have no problem finding the lamp which you will need for the tunnels, or a bag for carrying things. If you do get a bit stuck then typing HELP lists all the verbs you can use.
Some of the other travellers you meet are a nuisance, not only to your quest, but also to the smooth flow of the game. Some can be helpful, but if in doubt, check your own strength and indulge in a little violence. The best cures for weakness are waiting around or swimming in Watersmeet.
One technical feature of the game is seriously amiss. With a Plus 1 fitted, the save game feature doesn't work. The most annoying part is that without a saved position there is no re-start option, so you have re-load the entire game. Even when it does work, saving a game is a long, long process.
Despite its shortcomings, I like this game. It has an interesting atmosphere and it straightforward to map. TWIN KINGDOM VALLEY is a real bargain, and is one adventure I am determined to solve.
Atmosphere ...................... 7
Frustration Factor .............. 6
Value for money ................ 10
Overall ......................... 9
Rog Frost, ELECTRON USER 3.12