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lost.z5
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
lost.z5
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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The Lost Spellmaker

by Neil James Brown

Fantasy/Romance
1997

(based on 12 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

Spells are in short supply, and spellmakers are disappearing one by one. So your boss T sends you on a mission to find the famous Drew Tungshinach so that he may entertain the community further with his spells.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 3
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 132
IFIDs:  ZCODE-3-980116-D65F
ZCODE-2-970927-5A63
TUID: m7bgf8mop636i32o

Awards

Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 1997 XYZZY Awards

8th Place - 3rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1997)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


A small and excessively cute game concerning a dwarf town (that's Munchkin-style dwarfs, not Tolkienesque ones) where the people who create magic spells have been disappearing. You play a member of the town's Secret Service, assigned to the case. Has a female protagonist and in-game hints. Warning for homophobes: Features same-sex puppy love.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

I can't deny that I personally find it quite refreshing to play a game where heterosexuality isn't the implied norm, but The Lost Spellmaker has more than that to recommend it. It's a snappy quest in a creatively conceived world, a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
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SPAG

The gameplay is slightly uneven; there are some actions whose syntax might defeat the less persistent, notably the problem of a certain well. [...] There are several well-coded features, though, notably characters who manage to move around without obvious bugs (at least, not very many), a series of candies that can be regenerated, and a hint system in the form of a magical door that leads you back to the central office. Though the game revolves around magic, your contact with it is limited -- one instance -- and the story depends more on the silly characters in the village than on the ostensible plot. (Duncan Stevens)
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SynTax
I enjoyed the story in The Lost Spellmaker, but found nothing really new in the way of puzzles. [...] In conclusion it is an enjoyable but non-taxing short adventure.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(6)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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Shortish allegorical game with magic using little people, February 3, 2016
This 1997 IfComp game is notable for several reasons. It was nominated for best PC and best NPC in the XYZZYs. It features a romance between two women and also a character of indeterminate gender, which is unusual for a 90's game. Finally, it is an allegory.

The game is set in a town of little people who love chatting, eating sweets, reading books, etc. Your character is a member of the secret service in this town, and has to investigate the disappearance of one of its members.

The puzzles generally lead you on bit by bit. There is one annoying thing in that you know you need a very specific kind of help from someone, but only one person in the game can actually do it, and you have very few clues who.

Bizarrely, the game is an allegory for the conflict between home brew video game programmers and the Big Consoles. The names of characters and places in this game are anagrams for Usenet groups and for programmers.

If you enjoyed The Lost Spellmaker...

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