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The Sword of Inari

by Matthew Clark profile

Episode 246 of Eamon
RPG
2003

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Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online

Description: In a rather long and complicated introduction you are hired to recover the magical Sword of Inari from an evil kingdom that has aggressive designs on your own country. This is a sneak mission in which you and a companion are inserted by an airship, which drops you off on a very high tower in the enemy stronghold. You are given several magical items to assist you in your Quest.

Comment: This is a very pleasant and relaxing outing. It is primarily puzzle-oriented, but the hints are strong and the puzzles are not overly difficult. Those who love combat will be disappointed, as a successful Quest will show you just a few easy opponents. However, an unsuccessful foray might find you facing as many as 400 at once!

The play is very linear and you will see very few options outside of the correct course. The map is small, just 36 rooms. Matthew did a nice job of adding a number of special texts to explain why you would not go in this direction or that, helping to preserve the illusion of a larger space than what you actually see.

One hint: you were given those magical items for a reason, and you will need to use them all to be successful.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Sophisticated but very unfriendly., December 7, 2010
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: Apple II, Eamon, fantasy, RPG
In this fantasy adventure you must recover the eponymous sword which will save the world from oppression. The intro story is overly long for such a typical plot, but does set the scene for an atmospheric opening in which you are dropped off atop a cathedral by sky ship.

Unfortunately, the initial thrill of going on something like a thieving spy mission in enemy territory quickly gives way to some pretty aggravating puzzles. The precautions you must use to spirit the sword to safety without being detected are not unsophisticated in design or programming (you would hope not from a 2003 Eamon, as this is very much post-heyday) but they are well irritating, because you can wreck your game if you don't do the right things in the first few rooms, but you won't be told about your mistakes until you make it all the way to the end, at which point the game really rubs it in.

Other problems in this adventure are the stacked nature of some locations (in a handful of rooms, you need to examine almost every noun mentioned in the description to unveil a heap of embedded items - most other rooms contain nothing) and the vagueness of what you're trying to do once you get out of the cathedral. Some side puzzles have a lot of programming devoted to them but deliver unimportant payoffs which don't help you to complete the game. I spent ages trying to string together the right series of commands to achieve something in the blacksmith's shop.

In spite of its moments of undoubted sophistication, I found Sword Of Inari to be pretty hard going, even with its relatively small map - because of how easy it is to wreck your game without knowing about it, and how spread out and unpickable the most important puzzles are, and how hard it can be to dredge up the right command to interact with those puzzles.


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