Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Text Adventure
Author : Paul Fellows
Standalone Release(s) : 1984: SPHINX ADVENTURE, Acornsoft, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+, Master 128
Supplier : ACORNSOFT, 4A Market Hill, CAMBRIDGE CB2 3NJ
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"This pack contains cassette plus instructions for SPHINX ADVENTURE on the Acorn Electron, a classic adventure in which you move through caves, fight with trolls, collect treasure and finally make your way to the Sphinx to collect your reward. But the Sphinx is not that easy to find, and along the way there are all the pitfalls - some predictable, and others not - typical of the adventure game."
The game starts by describing your immediate surroundings and possible routes that you can take; type in a command such as GO WEST, or just W (you will discover other abbreviations as you play the game). Press <RETURN> after each command.
As you travel you will come across various objects which you can take with you. To pick up objects type in TAKE followed by the name of the object. You can take as many as you want, but you can only pick up one at a time since the computer only looks at two words in one command.
The computer becomes your eyes, ears and hands. It tells you what is happening to you, and you must tell it, in return, your response to the situations that you find yourself in.
Some General Advice
Going North may take you North to begin with, but the path or tunnel may bend round so that you find yourself back in the same place. Take note, and try a different direction.
You will be travelling in the dark sometimes, and so will need a light source.
Don't be afraid to experiment with a wide range of verbs and nouns. Only in this way will you discover the vocabulary of the adventure; this is part of the fun but is also vital to overcome all the obstacles in your path to the Sphinx.
To move in some direction, try something like GO UP, DOWN, IN, NORTH or N etc.
To get or drop some keys, for example, try GET KEYS, TAKE KEYS or DROP KEYS.
To get a full description of where you are, LOOK.
For a full list of your current possessions, use INV or INVENTORY.
A selection of other words: FILL, ENTER, PAY.
To stop altogether, QUIT.
The score depends on two things: how much treasure you manage to bring to the Sphinx and how many mistakes you make on the way. So although the maximum score is 800, in the first few games when finding out what you can or cannot do, the penalties for errors may keep your score right down. Don't be discouraged (unless your score is less than 5!).
You can find out your score at any point during the game by typing SCORE.
Saving and Loading
An additional procedure on the disc version allows your current position to be saved and then loaded back into the adventure. Type SAVE or LOAD then enter the filename at the prompt.
Hints & Answers
Here is a list of commonly asked questions about Sphinx Adventure, together with a set of hints and answers.
I can't open the clam.
Hint: Find an implement that will help.
Ans.: A jack will open the clam.
What do I pay to get across the toll bridge?
Ans.: Anything will do, as you can regain it.
How do I kill the vampire?
Hint: In the usual way.
Ans.: With a wooden stake.
I can't get across the chasm.
Hint: Try magic.
Ans.: Wave wand.
I can't get across the glacier, as it breaks.
Hint: You need something magical.
Ans.: You need the mithril ring.
I can't get out of the serpent.
Hint: Try aggravating it.
Ans.: Set light to something.
I can't get out from under the bottom of the rock slide.
Hint: Try magic.
Ans.: Rub the magical mithril ring.
I can't get across the lake.
Hint: What do you need when crossing water?
Ans.: Find the boat.
The pirate can't be killed.
Hint: Is that disturbing?
Ans.: No, he can't be killed. He just dodges away.
The pirate steals something whenever I move away from him.
Hint: He will always try to steal from you, and only you.
Ans.: Put the objects down, and they will not be touched.
I have lost something. How do I get it back?
Hint: The thief does not keep it on him.
Ans.: He stores it in a safe place.
I can't pass the fiery walls.
Hint: Put out the fire then.
Ans.: Use the water, but don't just drop it.
After a time, my lamp runs out.
Hint: Use magic to brighten the lamp.
Ans.: Do as Aladdin did to his lamp.
I can't get past the goblins.
Hint: You need something they don't like.
Ans.: The dragon's teeth frighten them.
I lose a weapon when I kill the dragon.
Hint: Use a weapon that will remain with you.
Ans.: Be bold and use no extra weapons at all!
I can't find the dragon's teeth.
Hint: Make sure it's dead first.
Ans.: Look for them after killing the dragon. They are there.
I can't get past the crocodile.
Hint: Make him interested in other things.
Ans.: Feed him.
I can't pick up the mouse.
Hint: It is frightened of you, so make it happy.
Ans.: Entice it with cheese.
I can't get rid of the bear.
Hint: Divert his interest to something else.
Ans.: Orcs are frightened of bears, so find an orc.
I can't get rid of the orc.
Hint: Find something it does not like.
Ans.: It is frightened of bears.
I can't find my way out of some rooms.
Hint: Use magic.
Ans.: Rub the magic ring.
I can't get all the points.
Ans.: Either you have not found everything or something was used or stolen.
I have got to the Sphinx, but can't finish.
Hint: Use hints from the messages on the walls.
Ans.: Kneel and use magic.
Instructions' Source : SPHINX ADVENTURE (Acornsoft) Back And Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User)
SPHINX ADVENTURE was the first adventure to be released by Acornsoft and is, to my knowledge, still the only one available on cassette for the Electron. It's modelled very generally on the original Crowther and Woods' Colossal Caves. You'll meet some familiar characters in it, though, to be fair, it is nothing like Colossal Caves and is a very worthy adventure in its own right.
Your task is to search an underground complex to add yet more treasures to the pile you have built up from previous adventures. You start your quest on a well-trodden road and a quick search of the countryside should find you equipped for the start of your quest. Then it's off to the Valley of Doom and down the Hall of Spirits for the start of your perils. You'll soon come across a pirate and a dwarf who will leave you an axe.
Your first major problem is likely to be in getting past the fiery passage - this is where you find out whether you have the bottle for this adventure! Later you'll need to escape from a sea-serpent - match that if you can! The troll shouldn't prove to be much of a problem. You should be able to discover where he puts his loot. Right! That's enough clues!
One thing I couldn't discover was whether there was any meaning to the graffiti in the Inner Sanctum. I'm sure that there are more locations to be discovered here. Please let me know if you have figured it out.
I've managed to map more than 100 locations so it is a big adventure. In fact I must confess that it is one of those games that keeps you up until the small hours. Five o' clock in my case.
Overall, an extremely good adventure and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend. Let's hope Acornsoft do conversions for their other adventures. Excellent stuff.
Merlin, ELECTRON USER 2.11