Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Glimpse into "Bird's Paradise," a Lost Eamon...

The internet-trawling I've done in search of lost Eamons this past year has been rather fruitful, with quite a few disk images recovered. Sadly, sometimes "lost" really means "lost." But I find that in focusing on the recovery of disk images, it's easy to miss the important feature of Eamon: the stories that are told. Truth be told, I think being told about the content of a lost adventure is just as good as finding it.

Paul Balyoz has been kind enough to share his recollections of such an Eamon, an adventure he wrote titled "Bird's Paradise," and has graciously allowed me to share it here:
As I recall, playing Bird's Paradise went sort of like this: You started in your apartment up high in an apartment building, and in one room there was a bird cage with a bird, like a Parrot. He was... [a] "friend", so he would follow you around throughout the game and not attack you (unless you attacked him first). Exploring your house you realize there is an open window, so you go out the window and onto the ledge. Walking along the ledge you can go in the open window of the apartment next to you, and there's a different bird in there - I think it was a Toucan. The Toucan is your friend too, and follows you around. Now you have two friends.
At the end of the level you confronted the enemy - an Evil Bird King and four ravens, I think, who immediately start attacking! It's a giant epic melee, you and your four friends attacking the evil birds alongside you... [S]ince you have friends who are attacking the enemy, the enemies would not just focus on you - everyone gets one "swing" per turn, and so you'd be swung-at about 1/5th of the time (because you have 4 other pals). The odds were in your favor, but you could still die, just due to random occurrence of being attacked more than normal; or being too novice of a character. 
Paul was also generous enough to provide a related anecdote which will be humorous to any veteran Eamonaut:
I was all proud of my Eamon adventure and played it a few times before unleashing it on the world. A day or two later I invited a friend over to play it. He had a pretty advanced character that I felt would probably survive the end-battle that I didn't tell him about. He had fun playing it - then, when he got to the epic battle he did something I never thought of - the room happened to be a four-way intersection, so he typed "flee" and fled to another room! He did that over and over again, until only one enemy was in the room with him - then he'd attack that monster until it was dead, go back and do it again! "Hey," I said, "that's cheating!" Later I realized, no, it's just an advanced strategy when playing Eamon adventures. 
Paul's blog can be found at paulio10.wordpress.com and is filled with interesting reflections on myriad topics. In particular, the original post that led me to contact him is a charming and sincere meditation on memory and is well worth a read.

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