Explore hidden caves, discover lost treasures, and battle fierce monsters. "The Hermit," a complex text adventure, begins by placing you outside the underground domain of a most unusual recluse. Versions are included for the Commodore 64, IBM PC/PCjr, Apple II series, Amiga, and Atari 400, 800, XL, and XE. The IBM PC/PCjr version requires BASICA for the PC, GW-BASIC for compatibles, or Cartridge BASIC for the PCjr. The Atari version requires a disk drive.
In a secluded section of southern California (somewhere near Bakersfield), there once lived a nameless man. Referred to only as the hermit by his neighbors, rumors spread quickly about the life and possible occupation of this mysterious recluse. Many accused him of stealing, while others claimed he hoarded the riches of extensive gold and diamond mines that were hidden beneath his property. All stories, however, agreed on one fact: The hermit was rich.
The hermit is now deceased, and stories about him have dwindled. His shack, however, still stands. Was the hermit truly rich? Could his riches be somewhere on his property? Is it worth investigating?
The program presented here places you in front of the hermit's old shack—and all you've got is a grappling hook, flare gun, and flare. Your goal is to find ten treasures, to deposit them in a safe place (a spaceship), and to make off with your loot (blast off in the spaceship). As with any adventure program, however, your task is hindered by strange creatures, difficult puzzles, and wrong turns.
Program interaction is accomplished with simple one- or two-word commands (see "Command Summary"). In two-word commands, the first word represents the action to be taken (the verb), while the second word represents the object that is to be affected (the noun). Only the first six characters of both the verb and the noun are evaluated. Because of this, you have to enter only the first six characters of any word.
Most commands are self-explanatory. The PUT command, however, is a special case. Because of the two-word limit, the command PUT BALL IN BOX is illegal. To get around this, the PUT command requires two separate inputs. For example, the command PUT BALL IN BOX shouid be first entered as PUT BALL. Then the computer will ask where you wish to put it; you reply with BOX, and the program performs as instructed.
The commands QUIT and RESTART also require some additional explanation. The QUIT command allows you to exit the program and displays your score and final ranking as an adventurer. Before actually exiting the program, the computer asks you if this is what you really wish to do. The command RESTART starts the adventure all over from the beginning, erasing all your deeds and failures. Again, the computer asks if this really is your intention.
Typing In The Program
Because each version is almost the same, we've published one main program (Program 1) with line changes for specific computers (except for eight-bit Ataris—see below). If you are using a Commodore 64, IBM PC/PCjr, Apple II, or Amiga, type in all of Program 1 and then type in the line changes printed in the separate listing for your computer. Program 2 contains the Commodore 64 line changes; Program 3 lists the changes for the IBM PC/PCjr and compatibles; Program 4 shows the changes necessary for the Apple II series; and Program 5 contains the changes for the Amiga. Be sure to save the complete program before you run it, and be sure the Caps Lock key is activated when running "The Hermit," except when using the Commodore 64 version.
Amiga users must enter the following commands from immediate mode (at the OK prompt) prior to entering the program:
CLEAR ,25000 : CLEAR ,50000&
These commands must always be executed prior to entering or running The Hermit.
Amiga users should remember that, unlike most other versions of BASIC, Amiga Basic doesn't use line numbers. In an Amiga Basic program, line numbers are treated as labels; the numeric value of the line number is not significant. That is, if you type in the main program, then type line 20 from Program 5, the added line will not automatically be placed between the existing lines labeled 10 and 30. Instead, the line is added at the position where it is typed. When adding the lines from Program 5 to the main program, you must manually position the cursor in theproper spot in the listing before entering each line.
To save time in the future, you may wish to enter and save the following program line as a boot program for running The Hermit:
CLEAR ,25000 : CLEAR ,50000& : RUN "HERMIT"
Now, to run The Hermit, simply run this program. This line assumes that you saved The Hermit program using the file name HERMIT.
Two separate programs are provided for the eight-bit Atari computers (400, 800, XL, and XE models). If you have one of these computers, type in and save Programs 6 and 7.
Program 6 is the main game program for The Hermit. Before running Program 6 for the first time, you must run Program 7. (You don't need to run Program 7 each time you play the game, run it only before the first time you play.) Program 7 saves important data files to disk. These data files are vital to the adventure. In fact, when you run The Hermit (Program 6), you should make sure that the disk containing these files is placed in the disk drive. The computer will access these files while you are playing the adventure.
|CLOSE||CLOSE BOX||CUT||CUT VINE|
|DRINK||DRINK ELIXIR||DROP||DROP LANTERN|
|EXAMINE||EXAMINE PEDESTAL||EXIT||EXIT RAFT|
|PUT||PUT FLARE (then enter) GUN|
By default, program 7 creates its data files on the disk found in D1:. By altering the string variable DRIVE$ in line 20, you can change this. For example, if you own an Atari 130XE, you can set DRIVE$ equal to "D8:" in order to take advantage of the computer's ramdisk. (If you use the ramdisk, you must run program 7 before each game to create the necessary data files. Remember that the contents of a ramdisk are lost whenever the computer is turned off). If the data files are not on the disk in drive 1, you must change line 20 of Program 8 so that the main program knows where to look for its data.
Hints, Tips, And Clues
If you are the type of adventurer who does not need or want help, then read no further. If on the other hand, you find yourself stuck in a seemingly impossible situation, the following paragraphs should be of some assistance.
First, a good rule of thumb in any adventure program is to examine everything—clues may be hidden anywhere. And don't forget to make a map. Making a map of your adventure realm speeds up your journey and decreases your chances of missing any treasures. Also, pick up any object you find. You never know when an object may become useful. Finally, use your imagination. Successfully traversing an adventure takes a lot of creative problem solving.
Now for specific hints: If you are stuck in the hut, push the refrigerator. To take the pouch without falling through the floor, hook the pouch with your grappling hook. Drop the metal rod on the broken piece of track before entering the coal bin. To exit the room containing the pedestal,place has sapphire on top of the pedestal (don't forget to remove the sapphire before you leave).
You may climb the cliff by hooking it with the grappling hook. Build a raft out of logs and vine. Cut the vine from the giant oak. If you lift the mattress in the sunken ship, you will find a treasure. You may have to dive twice to avoid running out of air.
To avoid the bear, fire your flare at him. Light the mummy. Use the crossbow to shoot the stick at the leopard. If you rub the lamp while in the pentacle room, a demon will appear. Offer the demon the trident (you didn't really want it anyway). Answer the sphinx'squestion by saying water. Enter the door guarded by the dragon statue by putting sand in its mouth. Hit the rock using your pick to get the launch card. And last but not least, drop all treasures in the spaceship before attempting to blast off.
For instructions on entering these programs, please refer to "COMPUTE!‘s Guide to Typing In Programs" elsewhere in this issue.