Monday, September 17, 2012

HyperCard Eamon, In Pictures

I find the minimalism of Eamon appealing. I enjoy getting the essentials from the written word and manufacturing the rest in my mind. But a sizable population would disagree; graphics and sound are all the rage... why shouldn't Eamon catch up?

I'm going to let you in on a secret: Eamon did catch up about twenty years ago. In 1991, Whit Crowley brought the Main Hall and Beginners Cave to HyperCard on the Apple IIgs, providing adventurers a point-and-click graphical interface.

To acquaint the reader with this vision of Eamon, I've taken some screenshots of HyperCard Eamon in action. We'll start with the approach to the Main Hall, resting idyllically on the horizon.

The above is the screen meeting the adventurer on loading HyperCard Eamon (absent are any dragons!). Clicking on the Main Hall itself brings the player to the gates. Gates guarded by fierce warriors...

... or, better yet, extras from Beau Geste. The player reads the instruction "Click on the Door to Enter" and, presumably, ought to meet up with the Burly Irishman upon so doing. So what's behind the gates?

Well, I can't tell you yet. Either as a function of poor emulation or a buggy HyperCard stack, I'm not able to get beyond the doors. But we can venture over to the Beginners Cave to get a sense of how HyperCard Eamon plays.

And we're stopped by the Knight Marshall, whom I'd never pictured in a cowboy hat and bolo tie. He's kind enough to let us pass- this time- so let's venture forth.

Here is the entrance to the Beginners Cave. Navigation is handled graphically, with tiles corresponding to directions surrounding the image of the tunnel. Hitting "Command" yields a menu listing the familiar commands. Venturing further, unfortunately, we run into trouble in the form of some monsters.

We encounter three rats in full color, primed to attack! Now, here is the source of the trouble: since I'm running the Beginners Cave stack independently, there are no values for the player's stats supplied by the Main stack. So meeting monsters compels the program to ask for values not defined, consequently crashing the program.

Our tour thus ends prematurely. Should the reader insist on trying to get past those gates for himself or herself, HyperCard Eamon can be downloaded at (the site is in French) by searching for "HyperCard IIgs Eamon Stack." Emulating a IIgs... well, you're on your own on that one.

I'm adding the following warning: If you do try and run this on an emulator (or on a proper IIgs) and run the Beginners Cave without first passing through the primary Eamon stack, the above described crash will destroy the disk image

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