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Temple of Apshai Trilogy Maps


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#26 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:26 AM

Just as the original "Temple of Aphai" manual has a short story that introduces the game, so does the original manual for "Upper Reaches of Apshai." This story is not another adventure about Brian Hammerhand (we don't hear word of him again until "Morloc's Tower.").

This new tale is a VERY short story about William Nailfoot. Even in this short chronicle (just six paragraphs) the player knows right away that "Upper Reaches" is going to be quite a bit different from the original game. William Nailfoot instills humor into the game before the player reads even one room or treasure description.

Here is the story from "Upper Reaches of Apshai" so that you too can get an idea of how the second adventure of the Apshai Trilogy begins to unfold.


"The Adventures of William Nailfoot"
Prologue from "Upper Reaches of Apshai"
By Automated Simulations, Copyright 1981


Walking at last!

After four long months of pain and limping and crutches and foul medicine, I finally stood up and walked around without aid. I was beginning to think I'd be holed up in this foul-smelling, disease-ridden infirmary forever.

I was one of the original thousands of adventurers who poured into the small town above Apshai a few months ago. When word of the treasure to be had in the gloomy dunjons of Apshai got out, just about every young lad (and lassie) with any spirit of adventure at all came running here. By boats they came, mainly, but also by land, afoot, or on horseback.

I came over 200 leagues by boat . . . for what? As I stepped off the boat and walked down the plank happy to be back on land again, I can tell you-- I caught my foot on a nail: a big, sharp, rusty nail. And BOY did it hurt! I ripped it right . . . but I bore you with my injury.

Suffice it to say that I was laid up for months while the fortune and glory fell to others. Now the village is almost abandoned, and the locals talk about life getting back to normal.

I have to pay for my trip home somehow, and there's cleaning, painting, and repairing to be done in homes and yards above Apshai. It's not what I imagined when I left home, but if you want to come along, we may find adventure yet!

#27 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 6, 2014 8:58 PM

I'm looking to play the Dunjonquest series again and map some more of the levels.  I'm confused about the chronological play order of the games after reading about all the different games in the series.  I'm aware that the games do stand on their own (although the expansions do require the original game in the series).

 

I've placed the games in what I think is the correct chronological order of the Dunjonquest games.  Am I correct?

  1. Dunjonquest: Datestones of Ryn (1979) [MicroQuest]
  2. Dunjonquest: Morloc's Tower (1979) [MicroQuest]
  3. Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai (1979) [Apshai Dungeon Levels 1-4]
  4. Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior (1980) [Apshai Dungeon Levels 5-8]
  5. Dunjonquest: Upper Reaches of Apshai (1981) [Temple of Apshai Expansion #1]
  6. Dunjonquest: Curse of Ra (1982) [Temple of Apshai Expansion #2]
  7. Dunjonquest: The Keys of Acheron (1981) [Hellfire Warrior Expansion #1]
  8. Dunjonquest: Danger in Drindisti (1982) [Hellfire Warrior Expansion #2]
  9. Dunjonquest: Sorcerer of Siva (1981)
  10. Dunjonquest: Gateway to Apshai (1983) [C64 or Atari]
  11. Dunjonquest: Gateway to Apshai 1983) (Does the Colecovision really have totally different dungeons?)

There is also 1985's Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  This game is an exception and doesn't really work on the above list.  It contains the original Temple of Apshai plus the Temple of Apshai Expansions #1 and #2.  This would not be the correct chronological order for the games.  I wonder why Temple of Apshai and Hellfire Warrior weren't merged together to make the series complete in 1985 with improved graphics instead?

 

Do I have the chronological play order of the Dunjonquest games correct?

 



#28 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 7, 2014 3:25 PM

I'm mapping the Temple of Apshai Trilogy again.  I'm trying to figure-out how much experience each monster is worth (as it varies).  Has anyone compiled this information before?  Can anyone point me to it?



#29 Centurion OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 8, 2014 8:58 PM

I'm looking to play the Dunjonquest series again and map some more of the levels.  I'm confused about the chronological play order of the games after reading about all the different games in the series.  I'm aware that the games do stand on their own (although the expansions do require the original game in the series).

 

I've placed the games in what I think is the correct chronological order of the Dunjonquest games.  Am I correct?

  1. Dunjonquest: Datestones of Ryn (1979) [MicroQuest]
  2. Dunjonquest: Morloc's Tower (1979) [MicroQuest]
  3. Dunjonquest: Temple of Apshai (1979) [Apshai Dungeon Levels 1-4]
  4. Dunjonquest: Hellfire Warrior (1980) [Apshai Dungeon Levels 5-8]
  5. Dunjonquest: Upper Reaches of Apshai (1981) [Temple of Apshai Expansion #1]
  6. Dunjonquest: Curse of Ra (1982) [Temple of Apshai Expansion #2]
  7. Dunjonquest: The Keys of Acheron (1981) [Hellfire Warrior Expansion #1]
  8. Dunjonquest: Danger in Drindisti (1982) [Hellfire Warrior Expansion #2]
  9. Dunjonquest: Sorcerer of Siva (1981)
  10. Dunjonquest: Gateway to Apshai (1983) [C64 or Atari]
  11. Dunjonquest: Gateway to Apshai 1983) (Does the Colecovision really have totally different dungeons?)

There is also 1985's Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  This game is an exception and doesn't really work on the above list.  It contains the original Temple of Apshai plus the Temple of Apshai Expansions #1 and #2.  This would not be the correct chronological order for the games.  I wonder why Temple of Apshai and Hellfire Warrior weren't merged together to make the series complete in 1985 with improved graphics instead?

 

Do I have the chronological play order of the Dunjonquest games correct?

 

 

Hi Bally, according to Wiki the chronology is as follows:

 

1. Temple of Apshai (August 1979)

2. The Datestones of Ryn (November 1979)

3. Morloc's Tower (January 1980)

4. Hellfire Warrior (September 1980)

5. Upper Reaches of Apshai (September 1981)

6. The Keys of Acheron (September 1981)

7. Sorcerer of Siva (December 1981)

8. Curse of Ra (1982)

9. Danger in Drindisti (1982)

10. Gateway to Apshai (1983)

11. Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985)

12. Cliffs of Tyyr (unreleased) :(

 

Hope that helps on the chronological order. It gets pretty confusing, since wiki also lists Datestones as being released under Automated Simulations in 1978, but then later goes on to saying...

 

"Unlike Temple, players have a time limit - 20 minutes - in which to complete the game. Given this, the adventure is much shorter than its predecessor, consisting of just one level. Thus it served as Epyx's first MicroQuest and sold for half of their regular games. This was also Epyx's first attempt at making RPG's more action-oriented and ushering the creation of the action role-playing game.[1]"

 

Which makes me think it came after Temple of Apshai that Wiki claims was released in 1979... Hmmm



#30 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 9, 2014 9:00 AM

 

Hi Bally, according to Wiki the chronology is as follows:

 

1. Temple of Apshai (August 1979)

4. Hellfire Warrior (September 1980)

[...]

 

I think that there is a basic misunderstanding of what I am asking.  The posted Wiki list seems to be the order that the games were released.  I am not asking for the release order of the games for this is not the order that they should be played.  At the very least Temple of Apshai is followed directly by Hellfire Warrior.  There are no games that would be played between those games.  Temple of Apshai has the player exploring levels 1-4 of the Temple.  Hellfire Warrior has the player exploring levels 5-8.  These games should be played one right after the other.  That's why it's strange to me that The Temple of Apshai Trilogy doesn't included Hellfire Warrior.

 

Also, Datestones of Ryn is a prequel to Temple of Apshai; Brian Hammerhand (the player character's name) is younger is this game then in Temple of Apshai.

 

Does my question about the chronology of the Dunjonquest series make more sense now?



#31 ilaskey OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 9, 2014 3:54 PM

Were there two Atari versions of Apshai? I'm sure when I first played TOA it was in basic but the later TOA trilogy was machine code and has much better graphics. Is that right?

#32 Centurion OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 9, 2014 6:26 PM

 

I think that there is a basic misunderstanding of what I am asking.  The posted Wiki list seems to be the order that the games were released.  I am not asking for the release order of the games for this is not the order that they should be played.  At the very least Temple of Apshai is followed directly by Hellfire Warrior.  There are no games that would be played between those games.  Temple of Apshai has the player exploring levels 1-4 of the Temple.  Hellfire Warrior has the player exploring levels 5-8.  These games should be played one right after the other.  That's why it's strange to me that The Temple of Apshai Trilogy doesn't included Hellfire Warrior.

 

Also, Datestones of Ryn is a prequel to Temple of Apshai; Brian Hammerhand (the player character's name) is younger is this game then in Temple of Apshai.

 

Does my question about the chronology of the Dunjonquest series make more sense now?

 

Yes, that makes sense. I had overlooked the "chronological play" portion of your post. It's still interesting for me to see the months listed on those release dates. And I never knew there was an unreleased title, which is interesting also. As far as proper chronological play order, I'm pretty much clueless. I think what you're saying makes perfect sense, if you're planning on playing each game in order storywise. Your guide so far looks really nice and the most detailed I have seen of this series. Keep up the good work Bally! Maybe one of these days I can delve deeper into the temple and figure out some of those monster Exp points for ya.



#33 Centurion OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 9, 2014 6:35 PM

Were there two Atari versions of Apshai? I'm sure when I first played TOA it was in basic but the later TOA trilogy was machine code and has much better graphics. Is that right?

 

Yes, you're correct ilaskey. And the different ports of both titles varies as well. I think the Amiga and ST versions of Trilogy have some dropdown menus for example and also enhanced graphics.



#34 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 9, 2014 7:10 PM

Were there two Atari versions of Apshai? I'm sure when I first played TOA it was in basic but the later TOA trilogy was machine code and has much better graphics. Is that right?

 

Yes, there were two versions of "Temple of Apshai" for the Atari (and other computers).  The first game, by release date (1979) is called Dunjonquest - Temple of Apshai.  It was written in BASIC.  Here's a link to it on AtariMania:

 

http://www.atarimani...pshai_5312.html

 

The later release was called The Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  It has improved graphics, was rewritten in machine language and updates a few rules.  My favorite updated rule is that fatigue doesn't wear down the player's character so quickly anymore.  Here's a link to the Trilogy:

 

http://www.atarimani...logy-_5313.html

 

The Temple of Apshai Trilogy did more than just update the graphics.  It included two previously released expansions (also with updated graphics).  The first was called "Expansion Kit #1 for The Temple of Apshai: Dunjonquest - Upper Reaches of Apshai."  I'm not sure if that mouthful is the official title (I don't think so) but it's printed on the manual that way.  Here are some details:

 

http://www.atarimani...pshai_5628.html

 

"Expansion Kit #2 for The Temple of Apshai: Dunjonquest - Curse of Ra" is the third game included in the excellent re-release.  Details on that are here.

 

http://www.atarimani...of-ra_1456.html

 

Epyx choose not to include the actual sequel to "Temple of Apshai" in the updated Trilogy.  The true sequel is called "Dunjonquest - Hellfire Warrior."  This game had two expansion kits as well, but they were never sold together like was done with The Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  There is more on Hellfire Warrior here:

 

http://www.atarimani...rrior_2430.html

 

Hellfire Warrior also had two expansions.  The first was called "Expansion Kit #1 for Hellfire Warrior: Dunjonquest - The Keys of Acheron." 

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-dunjonquest-the-keys-of-acheron_2776.html

 

The second expansion was called "Expansion Kit #2 for Hellfire Warrior: Dunjonquest - Danger in Drindisti."  There's information here:

 

http://www.atarimani...disti_1499.html

 

There are other games in the series too.  In Dunjonquest - The Datestones of Ryn you play as Brain Hammerhand, the same character in The Temple of Apshai.  Here's info on this game:

 

http://www.atarimani...f-ryn_1525.html

 

In another game, Dunjonquest - Morloc's Tower, you also play as Hammerhand.  Here's information about that game here:

 

http://www.atarimani...tower_3533.html

 

This accounts for eight of the game in the series.  The ninth game in the Dunjonquest series is 1981's Dunjonquest - Sorcerer of Siva.  This game is the only game in the entire series that was not released on the Atari at all.  It was only released on the Apple II and TRS-80.  Information for this game is much harder to come by, but this will get you started:

 

http://archeogaming....iva-1981-i.html

 

Some may notice that I overlooked Gateway to Apshai.  This game actually doesn't hold the DunjonQuest moniker at all.  Officially it's not part of the Dujonquest series, but I do consider it right in line with it.  It's definetely not like Temple of Apshai or Hellfire Warrior as it's more action oriented.  Here's information on Gateway to Apshai:

 

http://www.atarimani...pshai_2168.html

 

In 2006 Gateway to Apshai had a utility that was written for it that will automatically map the Atari 8-Bit game.  Check it out, here:

 

http://bringerp.free...E/Gta/news.php5

 

I've read that the Colecovision version of Gateway to Apshai has completely different dungeons too all the other versions.  I've not played the game, so I can't vouch for this (anyone here know?).  Here's a link to the Colecovision version:

 

http://www.colecovis..._to_apshai.html

 

This brings us back around to 1985's The Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  This game brought the Apshai series to many computers that didn't even exist when Apshai was first released in 1979 such as the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, IBM PC, and the Apple Macintosh.  If it weren't for The Temple of Apshai Trilogy, then the last game in the series would have been in either 1982 (Danger in Drindisti) or in 1984 (Gateway to Apshai).  Also, the release of The Temple of Apshai Trilogy brought the series up-to-date graphically, probably making it more accessable to computer users at the time.



#35 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:03 PM

For the last couple of years I've wanted to play the Temple of Apshai Trilogy on the Commodore Amiga.  I've finally done just that.  In this post I compare the Amiga game against the Atari and C64 versions of Temple of Apshai Trilogy.

In 2006 I bought a Windows front-end for the Amiga UAE emulator.  It is called Amiga Forever.  I've been buying annual updates for the front-end ever since 2006; I'm glad that I do it as it makes using the Amiga on a PC SO much easier.  Amiga Forever 2014 was offered at a discount last week to owners of the 2013 version of the software.  Upgrading gave a great excuse to play one of the two best-looking Temple of Apshai Trilogy games ever sold (the other, judging from screenshots, is the Atari ST version of the game).

I began by slipping the disk into the emulator's drive (so to speak) and Temple of Apshai Trilogy begins booting.  Right from the start when game's title screen appears you can see that you're in for a treat.  This is just a taste of the games improved visuals:

 

Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Title%20Screen)(Amig

 

Compare the Amiga title screen to an actual Temple of Apshai Trilogy ad from the computer magazines of the 1980's era:

Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Ad).jpg
 

The ad for the game and the title screen are remarkably similar for 1986.  The Atari 8-Bit and C64 didn't attempt to do anything of the sort for their title screens.  Thank goodness those versions didn't overextended themselves, as those 8-bit title screens have a class of their own.  For instance, here is the Atari 8-Bit title screen (which looks about the same as the C64 title screen):

 

Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Title%20Screen)(Atar

The completely different screen is much simpler, but it serves its purpose well.  It introduces the game and the player knows what is in store for them.  The player's character will be holding a sword soon enough.

The Amiga version of Apshai Trilogy uses the low-resolution 320x200 screen-mode for the game.  This appears to be about the same resolution as the hi-res Atari and C64 screens.  Though the Amiga could have used Extra Half-Brite mode for 64 possible colors, I don't think that it does that.  The 32 colors that are used do a great job of helping to give the game a much-needed facelift for a 1986 audience of gamers who may not have been familiar with the original releases of the Temple of Apshai on earlier systems.

I wanted to compare the Amiga, Atari 8-Bit and Commodore 64 screenshots side-by-side, but that didn't  work-out as well as I'd hoped.  I tried it out and discovered that these three versions all look basically the same.  Sure, there are graphical differences, but they are not as pronounced as I'd expected them to look.  For example, here is Room 1 on the first level on the Amiga:

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20(Amiga)(Level%201

The Atari 8-Bit version, here, looks about the same:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20(Atari%208-Bit)(L
 

I wondered, what does separate the games?  The monsters do look significantly different across the platforms; strikingly different when compared side-by-side.  I made many screenshots from the three games and I created what I call a Monster Summary Comparison Chart.  Here it is:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20-%20Mon
 

From left to right the graphics are: Commodore Amiga, Atari 8-Bit and then the Commodore 64.  Notice that the Amiga version looks the most colorful and detailed.  Those 32 colors really do make a huge difference here.  The C64 pulls ahead of the Atari's graphics too.  It would be a mistake to say that one version of the game is better than any other purely for graphics alone.  Playing them is where it counts, and in this regard I'd say none of these three games has an advantage over the other.  They all play just as well.

The graphics are for all of the monsters that I encountered on Level One for the Temple of Apshai for the Amiga and Atari 8-Bit.  I may have encountered more monsters on the C64, but when I originally played and mapped that version of the game I wasn't keeping careful track of the monsters I encountered.  In order to get most of the C64 graphics for the monsters on the chart, I had to play the C64 version again to take some additional screenshots.

A commonly encountered enemy in the Temple of Apshai is the Antman.  Antmen are encountered all over the Temple's first level on the Atari and C64 versions of the Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  Yet these Antmen are conspicuously absent from the first level of the Temple in the Amiga game.  I never encountered any of them in Level 4 of the game either.  Where I would normally encounter Antmen on the Atari or C64, I instead encountered Giant Ants on the Amiga.  The Giant Ants are not new monsters, as they also did exist on the Atari and C64 too.

This lack of Antmen is really one of the few changes that I wish hadn't been made to the game.  It's an extremely minor change, perhaps almost insignificant, but it made the game just a little drier for me.  It was these Antmen that created the ancient Apshai civilization.  Without them in the game the game's storyline sort of unravels a bit and shows its edges.  It almost becomes just a collection of monsters and treasures that are hanging about in some dungeons.

One difference that the Amiga has is that hitting the Enter key while in any room brings up a description of the room straight from the manual.  Here is Room One's description:

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20-%20Descriptions%
 

I'm already used to referencing the Apshai rulebook for room descriptions, so this added feature didn't make a difference to me.  I imagine that it probably is quite beneficial to a first-time player.  Of course, the Atari and the C64 were unable to this in their releases.  Those two 8-bit machines were limited to 48K and 64K respectively, as compared to the Amiga's whopping, for the time, half-megabyte (512k) of memory!

The Amiga uses Intuition for the game's interface.  Today, the game's interface might be referred to as a "windows" interface.  The game makes use of the Amiga's pull-down menus (in Windows these are called "Menu Bars").  These menus can be accessed, as always on the Amiga, by holding down the right mouse button.  On the initial blank screen of the game this would bring up a menu.  In the following case I'm browsing through the Character Menu:

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Screenshots%20(Am
 

As in other versions of Apshai, you can interact with the Innkeeper.  It is from him that you buy weapons and armor.  You do this via the Innkeeper Pull-down Menu:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Screenshots%20(Am
 

As is usual, you bargain with the Innkeeper before you settle on a price.  This is really only important at the beginning of the game when there is hardly enough money to buy the least expensive weapon and armor.  Later, the bargaining doesn't make much sense to continue doing it because you have plenty of silver to spare.  I bargain anyway; letting that Innkeeper get more than he deserves simply doesn't sit right with me!

If you choose "About" from the Innkeeper menu, then you'll see this window:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Screenshots%20(Am
 

As you can see, Westwood Associates made Temple of Apshai Trilogy for Epyx.  This company (as Westwood Studios) would later find fame with its official Dungeons & Dragons games and, later, the very successful Command & Conquer series.

Using the pull-down menus I rolled sample character.  Take a look at these results:

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Screenshots%20(Am
 

Though I could have used this character, I chose to "roll" several more times until I got attributes that I was more satisfied with for a beginning character.  I did end up using this character's name.  Thus, for my adventure through the Temple of Apshai I played as Deckard.

My character's beginning attributes were fair.  I played through the first level a few times without using save states.  Thus I died a few times.  The element of danger in the beginning of the game never quite goes away, even when the game is already familiar to the player.  Before too long, I was doing well and the game's controls were coming back to me.  It was as if no time had passed since I last played the game.

The Amiga version of Temple of Apshai Trilogy offers the option to use the pull-down menu to issue commands and the mouse to control your character.  I prefer the original keyboard entry method for playing the game.  Luckily it's still available.  I played the game just as played the Atari or C64 versions of the game.

I discovered that the Atari 8-Bit, c64 and Amiga room level layout for Level 1 are identical.  This was good.  It meant that I wouldn't have to make the level map again.  It also gave me some extra time to play around with the game before returning to the Atari to map some more levels of Upper Reaches of Apshai.

I decided to take advantage of the Apshai game rule that allows the player to collect items more than once (even if they affect the character's attributes).  The game does allow it, but it probably takes away the element of danger if the player level-ups the attributes too high.  Which I did!

It was with this Collect-and-Recollect idea in mind that I repeatedly visited Level 4 of the Temple of Apshai.  I used my previously made Atari map of Level 4:

http://atariage.com/...s/#entry2318987

I made my way to Treasure 6, the "Magic Book," that is in Room 34.  This Magic Book raises Intelligence and Intuition attributes by one when it is recovered from the Temple.  A higher Intelligence attribute will allow a character to bargain better with the Innkeeper and to increase the chances of parleying with monsters (yes, the player can choose to talk with monsters rather than fighting them!).  A higher Intuition will allow a character to detect traps and secret doors easier.  Neither is probably particularly useful (I'd prefer higher strength), but it does give me something to collect and a reason to explore the Temple.

The game doesn't explicitly come out and tell the player what is going on behind the scenes of the game.  If the player doesn't notice that two attributes increase when the Magic Book is collected, then he might never notice the special value of the Magic Book.  I did notice and thus I collected the Magic Book eleven times in a row.  This raised my character's Intelligence from its initial roll of 16 (out of 18) to an amazing 27!  It raised my Intuition from 15 (out of 18) to 26!  I wonder how high I can raise the character's attributes.  Is there a limit?

Here's what my character's stats looked like after raising two of my attributes eleven times:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Screenshots%20(Am
 

Raising those attributes was a simple, repetitive, process: Enter Dungeon to recover Magic Book. Get Book.  Leave dungeon.  Reenter Dungeon.  Repeat.  There isn't anything special about this repeated task and the Magic Book.  All the treasures can be picked up as often as the player wishes.  Did the character come across diamonds the last time in a particular room?  Then those diamonds will be there again, along with everything else that was in the Temple the last time.  It's as though a Time Vortex takes place in the World of Dunjonquest just for the player's character.  Not only does the player get to remember where everything was last time, but the character still has the Loot from the last time too!

Overall, the Amiga version of Temple of Apshai Trilogy seems very similar to the Atari version.  The graphics have been improved, but the underlying game has remained the same.  Some Treasures have changed locations.  Sometimes Treasures have been replaced by Traps-- which can be nasty if you pick up the "Treasure" expecting something other than "Trash," and are instead greeted by a Mold Trap.  Changed locations left a little spice in the game for me; I preferred playing the game this way with room locations remaining the same as before, but with some changes in item locations.  The biggest item location change that I noticed while playing was that the Amiga version of Temple of Apshai Trilogy seems to have far fewer Traps than the Atari or C64 versions have in them.

I haven't touched on the music and sound effects.  I prefer the C64's SID tunes in Temple of Apshai Trilogy over the Atari's music created by the POKEY chip.  The SID music in Temple of Apshai Trilogy easily has some of my favorite music on the C64.  I expected the Amiga to put up a strong fight with the C64's sound and music; it does.  Despite that, the Amiga versions own sound effects and music are not quite up to what the C64 produces.  The Atari 8-Bit's music is good in its own way, as are the Amiga's sound effects and music arrangements.  I just happen to prefer the C64's music a bit better.
 
I've covered and highlighted the differences between the Amiga, Atari 8-Bit and Commodore 64 versions of Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  The 16-Bit version of the Temple of Apshai Trilogy isn't much different than the 8-Bit versions.  Those players who are familiar with the Atari or C64 versions of the Temple of Apshai Trilogy can give the Amiga game a try for a slight change of pace.  If this is the player's first time with this game, then I don't recommend any of these three versions over any other; they are all equally fun to play.



#36 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:50 PM

I have finished mapping level 2 of the "Upper Reaches of Apshai." This level, called "Merlis' Cottage," is for the Atari 8-Bit "Temple of Apshai Trilogy" version of the game. The Amiga and C64 can use this map too; the room layouts will be the same, but some treasures and traps may be laid in different areas.

Here's a description of what Level 2 is about:
 

Level 2 - Merlis' Cottage

Merlis has disappeared somewhere-- vanished, owing you wages for repairing and painting the fence around his cottage. With some trepidation, you have decided to venture forth into his abode in search of the lost wages. You suspect Merlis has done this deliberately, to tease or test you; however, you also suspect that if you do something serious (such as harming his cats), he may become very angry-- and it never pays to make a magician mad.

Prepare for some strange and peculiar effects in the course of your investigation.


The last time I posted a map, for Level 1, "The Innkeeper's Backyard," was on July 10, 2011-- almost exactly three years ago. There is a reason for this.  Let me explain.

Merlis' Cottage was painless to navigate. Visiting each room was no trouble, but I've never been happy with the results of the map I started three years ago.  This is because the owner of the cottage, Merlis, is a mage who uses magic to make wandering around his cottage confusing. You will happen upon a few shortcuts back to the inn. Some rooms look identical and they even occupy the same physical space (think of it as one room atop another one).  It's a magic trick that only magicians can understand, so don't try to see the logic behind it.

 

It's not hard to figure-out the room layout after some time playing the level, but the map that I created for this level was never easy to understand. I'm still not perfectly satisfied with the results, but I used the best solution that I could come up with to show how to navigate through the small cottage.  This will be the same solution that I'll use in the future if other such situations arise.

The map for the cottage includes all of the room numbers, secret doors, treasures and traps in the level. This level has only 21 rooms, which are the fewest number of rooms of any level I've mapped for Apshai so far. You can't tell from the map, as the game used generic "tiles" that are identical to one another, but there are six "rooms" (13-18) that are in the forest and a meadow behind the cottage.

Here's the map:
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Upper%

This map isn't straight-forward like my earlier maps.  It had to be broken into two parts.  The large map contains the main, non-magical rooms.  The second map contains the four magical rooms (4, 6, 11 and 19). When you see a letter (A-F) on the map, then follow the map's key to find what it does.

 

Here is an example of how to use the map to visit Room 11 from the entrance (Room 1) to the Level 2:

  1. First visit room 10.
  2. Exit north from room 10 through the one-way exit (E). You can't tell that the exit is one-way as it looks like any other normal exit from a room.
  3. Once in Room 7, head South using the one-way exit (F). This will not take you back into room 10, but rather into Room 11. Room 11 looks identical to Room 10, so you can be forgiven for overlooking that you've actually entered the magical area of the map.
  4. Now, to really muddle things up. Head North from Room 11. This does not take you to Room 7. It will take you back to the inn!

I hope that's not too confusing!  Once you play the game it will make perfect sense.

 

Here is a list of the treasures available on this level. There are eight treasures total. Next to each treasure I have listed where the treasure is located (this information is also on the map). I give the room location here, followed by the treasure's description from the "Upper Reaches of Apshai" manual:

T01 - 250 Silver Pieces (Room 21) - In an elegant chest adorned with feline figurines you find 250 silver pieces.

T02 - Magic Honeycomb [Ylixir] (Room 18) - These insects must be magical indeed to produce such a delicious and tasty liquid. Drinking some makes you feel marvelous, and you risk a sting or two to grab a honeycomb full of the stuff.

T03 - Quiver of Magic Arrows (Room 13) - Hanging on a tree is a quiver with some interesting arrows in it.

T04 - 500 Copper Pieces (Room 11) - In a brass-bound chest you find 500 copper pieces.

T05 - Magic Wand [Adds +1 to Intelligence] (Room 19) - You decide to show Merlis a thing or two and take what you are sure is a magic wand. Unfortunately, it is so magical that it turns into an ordinary stick as soon as you take it out of the cottage.

T06 - Chest with Moths [No Value] (Room 10) - When you open the chest, you find the only things inside were moths.

T07 - 100 Gold Pieces (Room 6) - Inside a silver-laid chest that seems magically bonded to the floor, you take 100 gold pieces.

T20 - Large Eggshell [No Value] (Room 8 ) - A large eggshell - of value only to a large egg.

The original "Temple of Apshai" game lists and describes all the monsters in the game, but neither the original "Upper Reaches of Apshai" or "Temple of Apshai Trilogy" manuals list the monsters encountered for the expansion adventure. I've taken screenshots of the nine Monsters that I encountered during the level and compiled this bestiary:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Upper%

A look through the Monster bestiary from "Merlis' Cottage" makes it clear that William Nailfoot, the player's character, is simply facing some animals and other creatures. Admittedly the Gremlin is probably a Monster, but the rest of them (Bees? Moths? Wasps?) don't as Monsters, not unless they're Giant Bees, Moths and Wasps.

The Apshai games have always had great room and Monster descriptions. These Monsters have no descriptions at all.  Thus, a great part of the fun of "Upper Reaches of Apshai" is missing. For this reason, I created backgrounds and descriptions for each Monster. These are not official descriptions. You won't find them in any Apshai manual... but such descriptions should have been included to make the game feel complete. This (short) bestiary was fun to create. Please think of it as an extension of the Monster descriptions that I created for the first level, here:

http://atariage.com/...s/#entry2322106

 

These descriptions are meant to be read the first time that you encounter one of these creatures.  Each descripition, in its own way, helps to define the Merli's Cottage just a bit more.  This is the beauty of the Apshai games.  The descriptions give you more than the graphics could have done at the time.  Those are not just a collection of random pixels, they are bees coming your way.  Watch out!

 

1) Bee Swarm - You've seen the honeybees since you've come to Merlis' cottage. They were a nuisance before, but you take one look at this swarm of bees and you have second thoughts about proceeding, but not for long! You know that with so many honeybees flying about that there must be some tasty honey around here someplace not too far away. Now you've just got to find it... and avoid getting stung in the process.

2) Bees - You first noticed these honeybees as you approached Morlis' cottage. These bees have made their way inside the cottage too. Perhaps there is an open window in the cottage someplace. The last time you were stung by a bee, you didn't have an allergic reaction. It did hurt and left a nasty welt, so you'd prefer to avoid that happening again. What was that advice about swatting bees that you once heard? It was something about the stingers being left behind. If only you could remember it as it's quite possible that you might leave this cottage with a sting or two.

3) Black Cat - Even Merlis may have a suspicious streak in him. Although he has cats of various breeds roaming all over his cottage and yard, it is extremely rare to see a black cat anywhere about his grounds. When you do see one, a ghostly chill passes immediately throughout your body. Not only are the black cats a bit spooky, but they aren't friendly like the other cats in the cottage. The black cats will almost always claw and bite at you, hissing all the while. Misfortune may certainly be in any adventurer's future when one does not steer clear of these nasty felines.

4) Cat - Merlis has a giant hall devoted exclusively to his cats of many different breeds. These multicolored cats roam freely throughout his cottage. If you talk to them, they will always be friendly to you. There is no need to be nasty and attack them.  Besides, what would Merlis think about that?

5) Gremlin - You're surprised to see gremlins roaming freely about Meris' cottage. Did they escape from a cage that Merlis constructed for them? Some of the gremlins are friendly and look downrightly cuddly, but others are slimy, mean-looking monsters with sharp fangs. You've heard that sometimes you can talk to these creatures, but it depends on if they've been fed after midnight. What could the villager that told you that have meant?

6) Guinea Pig - These dull pink, experimental animals are in one of Merlis' laboratories. They will never make any threatening moves at you, not even a nip on the hand. When you look at them carefully there is something about them that doesn't settle with you. It's almost as though these innocent animals are trying to read your thoughts. It's enough to make you want to leave them alone.

7) Magic Serpent - Upon seeing this nearly three-foot snake, you begin to lose your nerve to be in the cottage. Somehow though, as the serpent slithers closer to you, your nerve does return. You begin to look at the snake almost as a friend, despite that its gaping jaw has opened to reveal the sharpest fangs you ever hope to see. Though the creature seems in a foul mood, you want to stroke those beautiful black scales. Maybe you can even caress the forked tongue. Possibly you could reach out and touch one of those fangs to see if they're as sharp as you suspect. How could such a beautiful creature possibly hurt you? A glow of happiness begins to envelope you as the serpent is almost upon you. It just at that moment that you remember your fear of snakes and wonder what exactly is happening to you.

8) Moths - Since you've been inside Merlis' cottage you've noticed that he isn't exactly the best housekeeper (but who are you to judge?). If he doesn't take some precautions against these moths soon, then you know that before long his robes will be moth-eaten rags. With that in mind, you swat at a few of the moths that try to cling to your clothes. After all, there's no use taking Morlis' problem with you when you leave his cottage.

9) Wasps - There are wasps throughout Merlis' cottage. You can't imagine how anyone could live here with so many of them flying about the place. Perhaps Merlis cast an enchantment spell so that they would not sting him. You're not so lucky. If given the chance, then these flying insects will dart at you and give you some nasty welts, maybe even more than that.

 

That's all the Monsters for Level 2... or is there also the following Monster somewhere in the cottage (or above it):

Baby Dragon - Is this an unseen tenth Monster? When I looked through the Temple of Apshai Trilogy Atari ATX disk binary image in a hex editor, the nine Monsters are listed together in one area for this level. There is one other creature listed among them in addition to the nine Monsters already described, but I never encountered it. It's called a Baby Dragon. Perhaps it is a random encounter that never occurred to me while I was playing that game. For instance, it's very rare to see the Black Cat (I saw it only twice). Maybe the Baby Dragon only will appear be in Room 8 under certain circumstance that never happened to me.  Room 8 has "a huge nest and landing area on the roof of the cottage [for a] large flying creature." Room 8 is also where Treasure 20, a Large Eggshell, is found. It could be that the Baby Dragon gobbled up Merlis (thus explaining his disappearance-- which is never clarified) and then flew away and will return in some future epoch to wreak havoc on the surrounding countryside.

 

That's it for now.  I'll next be mapping Level 3, "Olias' Cellar" soon.  Hopefully it doesn't take me three years to get that one finished!



#37 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:07 PM

For comparison purposes, I'm making screenshots of the monsters in four versions of Upper Reaches of Apshai, Level 3.  The four versions are:

 

  1. Amiga (Done)
  2. Atari 8-Bit (Done)
  3. Commodore 64 (Done)
  4. DOS (I have screengrabs of all but one monster)

I'm having difficulty getting a screenshot of the Giant Lizard in Level 3.  This monster is only in room 30 on the three non-DOS versions that I've played thus far.  I expect that it's also the same way with the DOS version.  The trouble is that I can't reach certain areas of Level 3, including the area with room 30.

 

There must be a way to find secret areas in the DOS version that I'm not aware of how to do yet.  In the other versions, the doorways to these areas are open one-way doors.  The player doesn't have to search for them.  I know that the one-way doors exist in the DOS game because when the screen is drawn, the one-way door is drawn for a brief moment before it is then covered up by a wall.  This seems to happen in all the areas that have one-way doors.

 

Perhaps someone can help me.  Here are a few questions:

 

  1. How does the player fire a Magic Arrow in the DOS version?  In the other games the player presses "M" (for Magic Arrow), but this doesn't work in the DOS version of the game.
  2. How do I search for traps?  In the other versions I press "S" (for Search), but that doesn't find the traps in the DOS game.  Even when a trap is definitely in the room (I know because I've been caught in the trap by stepping on it!), pressing "S" finds nothing.
  3. Does anyone know where to find the Command Card for the DOS version of the game?  That would probably help me the most.

 

Since this is an Atari forum.  I'm sure that I would have better luck asking this question someplace else.  Where could I ask if no one responds here?



#38 Centurion OFFLINE  

Centurion

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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:18 PM

Hi Bally. I believe I have the Command Card for the DOS version. The problem will be trying to dig it up! If I can find it, I'll scan it and upload it here.

#39 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:05 PM

Hi Bally. I believe I have the Command Card for the DOS version. The problem will be trying to dig it up! If I can find it, I'll scan it and upload it here.

 

If you do find the Command Card for DOS, then that will be helpful.  I always figured that the description manual for all the versions was the same, but if scans for the DOS version of Upper Reaches, Level 3 can be obtained, then that might be helpful to me when I search for the hidden areas.

 

I finally was able to fire a Magic Arrow in the DOS version, but I couldn't fire it until my regular arrows ran out.  That's the best that I can figure it, anyway.  Also, I was able to find a trap, but not all the time.  This is normal in other versions of the game.  Maybe it's just really hard to find traps in the DOS version of the game.  I'm not sure.

I have mapped the Atari version of Upper Reaches of Apshai, Level 3.  I printed it out for myself and I'm going to go through it in the next couple of days to make sure that there are no errors before I post it online.  I'll post the map and the pictures of monsters from different versions along with the map.  If I can't find the Giant Lizard in the DOS version, then I can always add it to the picture later.  I'll be writing Monster Descriptions too.

 

I may try to play the French Temple of Apshai Trilogy on the Amstrad CPC.  I'm referring to this game:

 

http://www.cpc-power...detail&num=3698

 

I've never played the Amstrad CPC, so playing it would be interesting to me.  I'd first have to get my grips on using an emulator for the system first.  I suppose that the keyboard shortcuts for the French version of the game will be different.  Google tells me that "Search" in French is the word "Recherche.  ""Attack" is the word "Attaque."  I doubt that it will be that simple.



#40 Centurion OFFLINE  

Centurion

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Posted Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:30 PM

Behold! Bold ballyalley! I bestow upon you thy mighty DOS command card! Go forth brave adventurer with good tidings from ye old mage...

Attached Thumbnails

  • Temple_of_Apshai_Trilogy_DOS_Command_Card.jpg


#41 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

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Posted Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:14 AM

Behold! Bold ballyalley! I bestow upon you thy mighty DOS command card! Go forth brave adventurer with good tidings from ye old mage...

 

Centurion, thanks for using your magical prowess to duplicate the DOS Command Card.

This eager adventurer has studied the DOS Command Card.  It is nearly the same as the front of the Commodore 64 Command Card.  The only difference seems to be that the C64 card has two commands that are not used in the DOS game:

  1. Space Bar - Each Press, Move Forward 1 Foot.  I noticed right away that this was missing from the DOS version.  I found it annoying at first, but soon pressing "1" became second-nature.
  2. CTRL-S - Save the Current Game.  I haven't used this feature in quite some time, but it is a drag that it was removed.  If you never knew it existed, then you probably didn't miss it.

The back of the C64 Command Card has additional commands for playing with a joystick.  I've tried playing with a joystick before, but it still requires heavy keyboard use.  Using a joystick has no advantage and seems more like a gimmick than a useful feature.

There are no special Commands for looking for one-way doors in the DOS version of Apshai.  I must be overlooking something that makes it possible to find them.  I'll look for them some more today.  I'm using a brand-new character.  Maybe the character needs more experience points, or higher attributes to find these one-way doors.  This is doubtful to me, because technically these one-way doors aren't doors at all, but traps of a sort.  It's a door that caves-in after you, which doesn't allow you to exit in the same direction.

Yesterday, since I couldn't play the DOS version of Apshai to my satisfaction, I played the Apple II version for the first time using the Applewin emulator.  The Temple of Apshai Trilogy comes with two ways to view the graphics for the Apple II.  I've made two screenshots of the same room (Level 1, Room 4) with a Monster (Giant Mosquito) to show the way that the game can look on the Apple II:

 

Apple II: "Normal Hi-Res" Graphics:

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20-%20Lev

 

Apple II: "Double Hi-Res" Graphics

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20-%20Lev

 

I played Upper Reaches of Apshai, Level 3 on the Apple II with a newly created character.  He was much too weak to explore the entire level.  The one-way doors on the Apple II version act just as they do on the Atari 8-bit version.  That is, I can use them without trouble-- unlike in the DOS game.  I decided to strengthen my character by playing Temple of Apshai, Level 1.  I used the Atari map to find my way along.  I was happy to see that the layout, and the treasure and trap locations of level 1 are exactly the same as the Atari 8-Bit version of the game.

I played the game on the Apple II using "Normal Hi-Res" graphics and took screenshots of the monsters as I proceeded along.  I did find all the same monsters as I did on the Atari 8-Bit (plus one more that's normally encountered later).  Building a character up is quite a challenge.  I found that having a map of the level was extremely helpful.  I found my way to all eighteen of the treasures on level 1 of the Temple.  The graphics in "Normal Hi-Res" are possibly the simplest of all the 8-Bit versions of Temple of Apshai Trilogy.  However, the original Temple of Apshai (circa 1979) had the graphically simplest version of all: the character-based graphics on the TRS-80.

I'm not familiar with the Apple II family and seeing two versions of Temple of Apshai Trilogy really surprised me.  Here are some questions about the extra mode:

  1. Why are "normal high-res" and "Double Hi-Res" so different from each other?
  2. There were many different Apple II configurations.  Which configuration(s) allowed Double Hi-Res?
  3. Did most people have access to this "Double Hi-Res" mode?
  4. Was it normal for an Apple II game to come with two sets of graphics?

I just never know what I'm going to run into when I play the Apshai games.  This Double Hi-Res mode is a perfect example of that.



#42 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:16 PM

"Temple of Apshai Trilogy" Overview for the Amstrad CPC Computer

Over the last few weeks I've resumed mapping the levels of "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy."  This is the first time I've visited the game in about three years.  I'm mapping the Atari 8-Bit version of the game, but I've also recently played the Amiga, Apple II, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and DOS versions (whew!).  I play various versions of the game because I find it interesting that there are different map layouts and locations of the treasure and traps may change.  Sometimes the differences are subtle, but sometimes they're quite different.  Gameplay can vary between the versions too, with the 8-bit and 16-bit versions being a good example of this.

I've been comparing the different graphics of the various 8-bit and 16-bit releases "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy."  I've looked at all the versions now, except the Macintosh version (I'd like to, but I haven't found a disc image of that game, nor can I emulate the system).  I haven't looked at the numerous releases of the ORIGINAL game, "Temple of Apshai" from 1979; I don't expect that I will do that until after I map all the levels of the "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy."

Most recently I've played the Amstrad CPC French-only release of "Temple of Apshai" from 1987.  Playing this foreign language game was difficult for me, but it was quite a rewarding experience.  This game probably looks the most different from all of the other 8-bit versions of the game (excluding the Coleco Adam's prototype version).

I'd never played any CPC games before, so my first task was to get an emulator.   I found one right away called WinAPE (www.winape.net ).  I had it running in no time at all.  Getting "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy" going also wasn't a problem.  The difficulty came when trying to actually PLAY it.  The language barrier, as I expected, was a problem.  Without Google Translator, I wouldn't have been able to play this game at all.

Here is the title screen that greeted me when I first started the Amstrad CPC game:
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Title%
 
The title screen looks very similar to all the other 8-bit versions of the game, minus (of course!) that the name of the game is in French.

After the title screen the game listed what the Commands are in the game:
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20(Use%20of%20Keys%
 
I'm glad that these commands are included in the game, for without it I would have had to figure them out for myself.  Using Google Translator, I was able to come up the keys that I was supposed to use in the game.  In case anyone wants to give the game a try, then here is the translation that I came up with for the "Use of Keys" screen:
 
Use of Keys

A Attack the sword
C Suddenly thrusting
D Defense
F Shooting an arrow
M Shooting an arrow Magic
O Open a door
P Search for a door
T Search for a trap
B Apply balm
E Drink elixir
I Inventory of treasures
Space Take a treasure
R Rest a treasure

CTRL-S Save game

Character displacement

With the arrow keys
With the joystick

 
After the "Use of Keys" screen, then the game enters into more familiar territory: getting a character started or loaded from disk.  Here's the French alongside a translation that I made of the next screen that appears:
 
AINSI PARLA L'AUBERGISTE = Thus spoke the Innkeeper
Veux-tu: = Would you:

A) Retablir une partie en cours = A) Restore a game in progress
B) Lire un personnage sur la disquette = B) Read a character on the disk
C) Creer un personnage aleatoirement = C) Create a character randomly
D) Creer ton propre personage = D) Create your own character


Frappes le lettre de ta selection. = Strikes the letter of your selection.

If you press "B" then you get this next screen:

Places ta disquette dans le lecteur = places your disk in drive
Entres le nom de ton personnage = Entres the name of your character
Tab pour abandonner = tab to abandon
Places la disquette du jeu = places the disk of the game

 
I could go into detail about creating a character, but I may already be losing some reader's interest here.  If you're inclined to try this game, then you'll need to make your way through the (short) French menus and questions using a translator.  Google Translator worked for me (although sometimes it seemed that the translations weren't quite right... they were close enough to let me play the game).

After you have a fresh character set-up you'll eventually be faced with the all-too-familiar Innkeeper and a character summary:
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20-%20Innkeeper%20(
 
What's this all mean?  Here's a translation of this page:
 
SUMMARY OF CHARACTER DECKARD

INTELLIGENCE 6 FORCE 10
PERSONALITY 18 CONSTITUTION 13
INTUITION 10 DEXTERITY 14

WEAPON NIL ELIXIR 0
SHIELD NIL BAUME 0
ARMOUR NIL ARROW 0
BOW I DO NOT MAGIC ARROWS 0
MONEY 223 WEIGHT 6
EXPERIENCE 0

DO YOU WANT:

A) ACQUIRE AN EXCELLENT WEAPON
B) ACQUIRE A NEW SHIELD
C) ACQUIRE NEW ARMOR
D) ACQUIRE A BOW
E) ACQUIRE ARROWS
F) ACQUIRE THE HEALING BALM
G) ENTERING THE TEMPLE
H) SAVE THIS CHARACTER ON DISKETTE

WHAT IS YOUR CHOICE?

 
Two of the attribute translations don't match the English attribute name normally used.  I find that Personality is equal to Ego, while Force is equal to Strength.

This example character that I've shown would be difficult to use (it just happens to be the first one I created).  This character has an intelligence of 6.  That's awful.  The personality of 18 wouldn't help at all.  Using this character would be hard and would add great challenge to the game.  He may not only have trouble finding SECRET doors; he'll have trouble finding ANY doors.

It's time to finally play the game once you buy your weapons and equipment.  Press "G" to get started.  You'll be asked the usual questions (Monster Speed, Game, and Level to Play).  Once you answer them, you're playing the game.

Here is a screenshot of "Temple of Apshai's" first room on level 1:
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20-%20Level%201%20-
 
I only wanted to experience this game briefly.  I was most curious about the game's graphics.  So I created a character with all 18's for the attributes.  I also gave the character plenty of money to get equipped and 50,000 experience points (enough that most monsters couldn't even damage the character).  This took away any fun the game would have been to play in a normal fashion, but it gave me the power to explore the game so that I could report back my findings.

There are some basic gameplay differences for this CPC version of the game compared to all the other versions that I've played.  For instance, controlling the player's character is done with the cursor keys, which I rather like.  However, there is only one speed that the character can move and that's Walking Speed (which is about a 5 on most games).  I'm not crazy about that at all.

To accelerate my exploration of the levels I played the game in a sort of "Warp Mode" (400% of normal play speed).  Playing the game 4 times faster than it's meant to be played works fine and it allowed me to see much more of the game than I would have otherwise.

Here is my character entering the level that I'm currently mapping for the Atari 8-Bit ("Upper Reaches of Apshai, Level 3 "Olias' Cellar"):
 
Upper%20Reaches%20of%20Apshai%20-%20Leve
 
I explored most of the Upper Reaches of Apshai, Level 3 and I only ran into four different Monsters.  They were:

Drunken Sailor
Guinea Pig
Killer Tomato
Octopus

None of these Monsters appearing on Level 3 of the CPC version of this game appears on this same level on any other version that I've played thus far.  I've not seen the Guinea Pig or Octopus at all.  Also, isn't an octopus usually encountered in the ocean?  What's it doing in a cellar?  Perhaps "Octopus" is a translation error.

From screenshots of other CPC games that I've seen online, I expected the graphics of the CPC version of "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy" to be much more colorful.  Instead, the graphics remind me of a Sinclair Spectrum game; most of the monsters are monochrome only, but they are well drawn (in that drawn-by-the-programmer fashion that is typical of many 1980's games).

I visited levels 1-4 of "Temple of Apshai" and levels 1-3 of "Upper Reaches of Apshai" creating screenshots of every monster that I encountered while exploring large portions of each level I played.  I came across 24 different monsters which allowed me to create this "Typical Monster Examples" compilation for the CPC French version "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy" (click the picture to make it larger):
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Monste
 
All of the Monsters in this list are correctly sized in relation to one another and the player's character.  If you compare this Monster listing to other Monster listing that I've made of "Temple of Apshai" games for other systems, then you'll notice that the monsters in this game sometimes are quite different in size from each other.

In the Monster listing there is a dragon.  I came across it when I entered Room 1 of Level 2 of "Upper Reaches of Apshai" and my character was attacked by a Baby Dragon.  This is a Monster I expected to encounter in the Atari version of the game, but I never did come across it.  I speculated that perhaps it was left out of the game.  Well, here it is to admire in all its monochrome glory.

A player will notice right away that it's MUCH less common to run into monsters in this CPC version of "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy."  In some cases my character wandered around levels for a full minute while collecting treasures without running into any monsters.  That might not sound like too long, but random encounters happen within tens of seconds of each other in other versions of the game.

Another strange part of this game is that many of the secret doors are not hidden at all.  A great example of this is on level 1 of "Upper Reaches of Apshai."  The Bandit's hideout is hidden and holds great wealth.  This area is still in the CPC version of the game, but it doesn't appear to belong to a bandit (though, of course the manual's room description says that it does).  There is a large stash of "various wealth" that is just laying here without reason and without protection-- just like most of the treasure in this game.

I've explored the CPC version beyond the extent that I had planned.  I originally wanted to take a quick look at it.  I figured that the graphics would be similar to the Atari 8-Bit or Commodore 64.  When the graphics were SO different, the game pulled me in; I wanted to see what many of the other monsters looked like.  I knew that few people would take the time to play this game because of the language barrier.

This topic has morphed from only "Temple of Apshai" maps to other general Apshai topics, which makes this the perfect place to post my findings of this generally un-played Apshai game.  I hope that you've enjoyed what I brought back from the CPC's very own Temple of Apshai!


(For those wanderers who are lost Olias' Cellar: the Map for Level 3 of "Upper Reaches of Apshai" will be posted soon-- within a few days.)



#43 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

Stormtrooper of Death

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Posted Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:56 PM

Some months ago, i wanted to make Temple of Apshai for the old TRS-80 MC-10 computer. Converting the TRS-80 version.

 

Jim Gerrie (member of the yahoo MC-10 group) was faster as me. hihi. He did it.  Here is a link to the MC-10 version. (not Atari 8bit related, but maybe interesting for members of this Atari forum, to know that there is a new conversion on the MC-10 platform).

 

https://groups.yahoo...s/messages/4690

 

here is the video of the MC-10 version. All honours go to Jim Gerrie.


Edited by Stormtrooper of Death, Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:56 PM.


#44 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:51 PM

I have finished mapping level 3 of the "Upper Reaches of Apshai."  This level, called "Olias' Cellar," is for the Atari 8-Bit "Temple of Apshai Trilogy" version of the game.  The Amiga and C64 can use this map too; the room layouts will be the same, but some treasures and traps may be laid in different areas.

The "Upper Reaches of Apshai" manuals (the original and the one included with the "Trilogy") give absolutely no background information about why William Nailfoot is entering Olias' Cellar.  However, this isn't the first time that William has run across Olais.

Gameplay information in the "Temple of Apshai" manual does mention Olias.  The description of him is in the section about resurrection called "Friends of the Dungeon."  If the player's character dies and is found by Monsters, then they eat the character and take all his possessions; you'll need to start with a new character.  The manual says that you may also be found by one of three characters: Olias the Dwarf, Lowenthal the Wizard, or Bendic the Cleric."  This is the manual's description of Olias:

"The Dwarf:  The second worst case [compared to being found by Monsters in the Dungeon] is to be found by Olias the Dwarf.  While he will not eat you, he will take all your money, including any gems and jewels, and any magical items you might have.  This includes magic swords, armor, and arrows.  You will be alive, but you will be very poor."

By the time that the player's character is ready to explore Olias' Cellar, it is highly likely that the player has met with Olias on an occasion or two before and that he took everything in the character's possession as a sort of resurrection fee.

An Epyx catalog gives the only other glimpse of Olias that I've seen when it says, "In Olias' cellar may lie the sword and shield he took from you, oh, so many moons ago."

The player's character's desire to regain his items from Olias has sparked him to search-out and explore the Cellar of Olias's Castle.  It's a simple matter of wanting his hard-earned treasure back.  Yet, there is SO much in Olias' cellar that Olias probably won't notice if the character helps himself to a few other items while he's down there.  It's about time that someone shows the thieving dwarf that taking an adventurer's supplies and hard-won treasures just isn't something that's friendly.


I posted the map for Level 2, "Merlis' Cottage," on July 16, 2014; that's just about two weeks ago.  Considering that the interval between posting the map for level 1 and level 2 was three YEARs, I'd say I have a fighting chance to map the final level of "Upper Reaches of Apshai" in the next month or so.  

In the last two weeks I've played (and completed) level 3 on five other systems besides the Atari 8-Bit.  Those systems are: Amiga, Apple II, Atari 8-Bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and the Amstrad CPC.  I also played the DOS version, but I couldn't complete the level because I couldn't find my way through the one-way doors (I'll describe that in detail in a moment).

"Olias' Cellar" introduces what can be thought of as one-way doors to the Apshai game.  These are normal entrances that cave-in after the character goes through them leaving no way to get back.   These one-way doors don't introduce nearly the confusion that the magical exits and entrances created in the second level.  The exception to this rule is on the DOS version, as I could never find ANY of the one-way doors.  This meant that I couldn't fully explore the cellar and thus couldn't see the whole level.

The map for Olias' Cellar includes all of the room numbers, secret doors, one-way doors, and treasures and traps in the level in the 34 rooms.  The game uses generic "tiles" that are identical to one another, but there are several environments in addition to the cellar.  There is also a cave system (part of the cellar, I think), an outside area and even a small shed where some old armor resides.

Here's the map of level 3:

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20%28Uppe

 

This map is straight-forward compared to the map for level 2 "(which had magical rooms overlapping other rooms).  That's because on this map I cheated to make it work out.  Here's what I did to make the map of level three easy to use:

  1. Room 15 is a secret area that actually resides on top of Room 20.  This may be an error in the game, as the text gives no explanation of why this would happen.  To make Room 15 fit on the map, I made Room 19 slightly smaller and squeezed Room 15 in there.
  2. The top far-right of the map also resides on top of Room 20.  This means that three areas would be on top of one-another.  To fix this problem, I extended Room 26 by the width of Room 32.  Now Room 26 is more of a hallway than a regular room.

If I hadn't have mentioned these fixes then they would likely have gone unnoticed by most people playing the game.

The arrows on the map note one-way doors.  If the character follows the arrow then there is no going back in the other direction.  For instance, if the character leaves Room 22 (via One-Way Door E) and enters Room 23, then a cave-in occurs (this is the game's way of explaining one-way doors).  Once in Room 23, there is no way to re-enter Room 22 without circling around the entire cellar.

Notice that One-Way doors B and E are the doors that grant access to otherwise unreachable areas of the cellar.  Without using these doors there is no way to visit all the Rooms in the level.  Since the One-Way doors DO exit, this isn't a problem at all-- except in the DOS version of the game.

The one-way doors are not shown as exits in the DOS version, and thus they can't be used.  There must be another way to reach all areas of the cellar in the DOS version, but despite playing level 3 again and again searching exclusively for such a way to see the entire cellar, I could never find such a method.  The only HINT I came across is that the DOS version has a narrow exit from Room 22 leading north.  This is the only "narrow" exit that I've ever seen in any version of the game (it's only one character step wide).  Rather than this northern exit in Room 22 taking the character into Room 16 or Room 25, exit takes the character straight back to the Innkeeper.  Spatially, an exit to the Innkeeper doesn't make sense there.  However, this is the game of Apshai where magic exists around every corner, and hides in every crevice.  Such an exit to the innkeeper can't be discounted as an error or a bug in the game.

On the map is a list of the sixteen treasures available in the cellar. Next to each treasure, I have listed where the treasure is located and its value in silver pieces (SP).  If an item has no value, that doesn't mean that a player shouldn't find and retrieve it.  The Magic Sword has a value of 0 SP, but it makes it easier to hit the Monsters (unless, by chance, you get a cursed sword, which is quite possible).  Thus the magic sword has an intrinsic value greater than silver.

Here are the treasures, along with the Room locations, followed by the treasure's description from the "Upper Reaches of Apshai" manual:


T01 - Quiver of Arrows (Value 0sp)(Room 8 ) - In the quiver you find normal arrows.

T02 - Quiver of Magic Arrows (Value 0sp)(Room 9) - In the quiver you find magic arrows.

T03 - Old Armor (Value 10sp)(Room 6) - An old set of armor.  Worthless as protection, it might be worth something melted down.

T04 - Dead Snake [Ylixir] (Value 4sp)(Room 20) - When mixed with some herbs you happen to have, any venom you can recover from the dead snakes' poison sacs will act just like a healing elixir.

T05 - Skull Ring (Value 50sp)(Room 33) - On the floor you find a Skull Ring with diamond flecks for eyes.

T06 - 3 Gold Coins (Value 30sp)(Room 10) - Three gold coins.

T07 - Magic Sword (Value 0sp)(Room 15) - As far as you can tell in the poor light, the sword seems to be finely made and rust-free.

T08 - Bronze Sword (Value 4sp)(Room 14) - The sword is an ancient one made of bronze - an interesting curio of no practical value.

T09 - Pearl Ring (Value 200sp)(Room 7) - The shiny object on the ground is a fine pearl ring!

T10 - Bear's Treasure (5,160sp)(Room 27) - Olias is not the only pack rat around here.  You find a collection of worthless beads of various colors, 3 gold nuggets, a leather pouch containing 11 gold and 4 platinum pieces, 7 small diamonds, 2 small emeralds, a small ruby, and a large ruby.

T11 - Silver Medallion (Value 40sp)(Room 24) - On some skeletal remains you find a silver medallion.

T12 - 10 Emeralds (Value 2,000sp)(Room 16) - A pouch contains 10 matching small emeralds.

T13 - Gold Medallion (Value 10sp)(Room 18) - The only interesting object here is a gold medallion.

T14 - Oliad's Hoard (Value 5,050sp)(Room 19) - There's more here than you can carry, but, being nearly as greedy as Olias himself, into the largest sack you can find you stuff 10 silver ingots, 3 gold ingots, a silver candelabra, 2 gold chains, and various minor bits and pieces (to fill up the cracks) worth another 500 silver pieces.

T15 - Oliad's Cache (12,700sp)(Room 34) - This is the crème de la crème; an emerald ring with a matching bracelet, a pair of jade cats worth about 2500 silver pieces each, a dozen platinum pieces, and a gem-studded, glowing belt.  You have no idea what sort of magic it possesses, but you decide to wear it from now on.

T20 - Iron Pyrite (Value 0sp) (Room 20) - A glittering piece of genuine iron pyrite of no redeeming social value.

Rather than look at that list with its lengthy descriptions, here is listing of the treasures similar to the one found on the map:

Treasures (By Treasure Number)
------------------------------
T01 - Quiver of Arrows          0sp   Room 8
T02 - Quiver of Magic Arrows    0sp   Room 9
T03 - Old Armor                10sp   Room 6
T04 - Dead Snake [Ylixir]       4sp   Room 20
T05 - Skull Ring               50sp   Room 33
T06 - 3 Gold Coins             30sp   Room 10
T07 - Magic Sword               0sp   Room 15
T08 - Bronze Sword              4sp   Room 14
T09 - Pearl Ring              200sp   Room 7
T10 - Bear's Treasure       5,160sp   Room 27
T11 - Silver Medallion         40sp   Room 24
T12 - 10 Emeralds           2,000sp   Room 16
T13 - Gold Medallion           10sp   Room 18
T14 - Oliad's Hoard         5,050sp   Room 19
T15 - Oliad's Cache        12,700sp   Room 34
      with Magic Belt (Adds +1 to Strength)
T20 - Iron Pyrite               0sp   Room 20


Here, the treasures are listed by location:

Treasures (By Location)
-----------------------
Room 6 -  T03 (Armor)
Room 7 -  T09 (Pearl Ring)
Room 8 -  T01 (Arrows)
Room 9 -  T02 (Magic Arrows)
Room 10 - T06 (Gold Coins)
Room 14 - T08 (Sword)
Room 15 - T07 (Magic Sword)
Room 16 - T12 (Emeralds)
Room 18 - T13 (Gold Medallion)
Room 19 - T14 (Oliad's Hoard #1)
Room 20 - T04 (Snake Poison [Ylixir])
Room 24 - T11 (Silver Medallion)
Room 27 - T10 (Bear's Cache)
Room 30 - T20 (Iron Pirite)
Room 33 - T05 (Skull Ring)
Room 34 - T15 (Oliad's Hoard #2)


The two most useful treasures in level 3 are the magic sword and the gem-studded, glowing belt.  The sword is usually a Magic Sword +4, but, as is the case with other magic swords, you may find that it is cursed instead and actually is something like a Magic Sword -1.  The belt permanently improves the character's strength by one.

In addition to the treasures there are always the traps and hazards.  In Olias' Cellar they are numerous and are all noted on the map.  All of the trap descriptions are from the Apshai manual, except for the Black Widow trap, Broken Trap and Viper Trap, which aren't mentioned in the manual; I created the descriptions for them.

1) Black Widow (Rooms 4, 10, 33) - An unusually large black widow springs toward you from a hidden crevice.

2) Broken Trap (Room 14) - You find a trap when you search the room, but it doesn't seem to work anymore.

3) Cave-In (Rooms 5, 11, 23, 32) - Whether an accidental falling of loose rock or a deliberate trap set by Olias, there are many cave-ins here.  They may seal off an entrance or exit to a cavern or passage and, if you are underneath, may cause injury or even death.

4) Ceiling Trap (Room 28) - As you walk in the cave, the vibrations of your tread causes a large stalactite to fall upon you.  The Surgeon General has determined that this is hazardous to your health!

5) Crossbow Trap (Room 7) - A crossbow quarrel flies from a hidden niche in the wall across from you.

6) Needle Trap (Room 34) - As you try to open the chest, a tiny spring thrusts a poisoned needle at your thumb.

7) Pit Trap (Rooms 1, 2, 3) - As you are walking, you accidentally fall into a trap meant for small game.

8 ) Spear Trap (Room 8 )  - A hidden mechanism thrusts a spear at you.

9) Viper Trap (Room 16) - There is a soft "click," as if a spring is being released, and then a viper falls from the ceiling nearly landing directly onto you.

The "Broken Trap" probably doesn't work because there is ALWAYS a Bat in Room 14 where the trap is found.  When the Bat is killed it is replaced immediately by another one.  This trap probably releases another Monster (likely the Black Widow), but the trap can't work because only one Monster can be on the screen at one time.

The original "Temple of Apshai" game lists and describes all the monsters in the game, but neither the original "Upper Reaches of Apshai" nor "Temple of Apshai Trilogy" manuals list the monsters encountered for the expansion adventure. I've taken screenshots of the twelve Monsters that I encountered during the level and compiled this bestiary:

 

Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20%28Uppe

 

Since these Monsters have no descriptions at all, a great part of the fun of "Upper Reaches of Apshai" is missing.  When I posted the map for levels 1 and 2, I also posted backgrounds and descriptions for each Monster.  This has now become a tradition for the "Upper Reaches of Apshai" game.  These are not official descriptions. You won't find them in any Apshai manual... but such descriptions should have been included to make the game feel complete. This (short) bestiary was fun to create. Please think of it as an extension of the Monster descriptions that I created for the first and second levels.


1) Bat - These winged mammals have made homes in the blackest areas of the caverns and cellar.  If you chance upon one, then you can be sure that if you look overhead, that there will dozens, perhaps hundreds, more roosting above.  Most of the bats are dozing and couldn't be bothered with you.  A cautious explorer might try to tip-toe as best as he can just to avoid the possibility of having a head full of bats.

2) Bear - Brown bears are common in the local countryside.  These huge creatures have enormous claws, jaws... and appetites.  Several villagers have been killed by bears in the last few years.  You wouldn't put it past these beasts to seek you out just to gobble you up.

3) Black Widow - Black widows are not an uncommon sight in these parts.  Even back in the village, you've seen them in the inn's stables (you need to definitely have a talk with that innkeeper!).  You are a bit more surprised (shocked, really) to see black widows of all sizes in Olias's cellar and cavern system under his castle.  There was one, you swear, that was as big (or bigger!) than your hand.  Most of the black widows, rather than retreating from your light, seem to be attracted by it.  No explorer needs such problems.

4) Creeping Crud - The exact nature of this slimy, amoebic life form is unknown, but it is large, hungry, and extremely dangerous.  

5) Giant Bat - The darkness shelters these black bats with three-foot wingspans.  The smaller bats keep well away from these carnivorous, gigantic creatures.  You've heard stories in the village that some of the largest of these bats have carried off helpless children into the night.  You never believed these stories.  Well, not until your saw the Giant Bats for yourself.

6) Giant Lizard - You haven't seen lizards of any sort in this area, and you doubted the children's tale that Olias has giant horned lizards that roam his caverns.  That is, until you see one of the creatures in the flicker of your light.  It is black with yellow spots and a forked tongue that slips in and out of its' jaw in a threatening manner.  Rough horns, each at least two inches long, run along the back of the beast.  There is one horn that stands tall upon the lizard's head that brings to mind fables of a unicorn.  The lizard moves slowly while it's looking you over until it finally figures that you're no threat at all and it runs at you with at surprisingly brisk pace.  It seems to want to use that giant horn to jab at you.  Getting gored by a giant lizard wasn't anything that you expected to happen in this, supposedly short excursion, into the cellar of Olias.

7) Giant Mole - In various areas of the caverns and cellar you've tripped over mounds of dirt.  The piles of earth look strikingly similar to mole mounds, which are commonly seen in fields near the town.  These piles in the cellar are much larger and couldn't be that of a common-sized mole.  You shudder to yourself when you see a giant mole, perhaps two-to-three feet long, peek its' head out from one of the mounds.  Aboveground you're sure it would have scurried away into its' underground tunnels, but down here in the dark it is underground and feels comfortable.  The giant, tan mole crawls onto the cellar's surface in a flash.  The barely perceptible eyes reflect the light that you brought with you.  The mole pauses, before proceeding closer to you.  Its giant earth-moving claws could rip through your skin in moments and you're not sure just how much protection armor will be against them.

8 ) Killer Dwarf - Olias isn't the only dwarf in the area.  He has taken it upon himself to hire dwarves from near and far.  He pays them fair wages (probably giving them some of what he took from you in the past).  These dwarves have a fierce reputation, but many of them are, if not friendly, at least tolerable of you if you can get them to start talking-- which is no easy feat in itself.  Dwarves are sometimes referred to as "minor obstacles," but you don't want to do anything to make them attack you-- such as taking any treasure that they are guarding for their employer (or maybe even trying to gather-up for themselves).

9) Mosquitoes - The mosquitoes (giant in mosquito-size standards), which plague many areas of The Temple of Apshai, are also seen elsewhere, and this cellar is no exception.  Above ground you can't hear mosquitoes until they begun buzzing in, or near, your ear.  Below ground, these pests are the size of small houseflies.  You can always hear them before you can see them... and unfortunately usually they travel in small swarms.

10) Rats - These rats vary in size from half-a-foot to as large as a small dog.  The rats tend to leave you alone, which is good because these pests can be found scampering and foraging in nearly every room that you enter.  The smaller rats seem to be bothered by the light somewhat and scurry away, while the largest of the rats take the light as an invitation to eat... you!

11) Skunk - As soon as you entered the forest there was a familiar, unpleasant smell nearby.  You suspected what the odor was from the beginning.  Upon seeing the skunk your suspicion is confirmed.  The creature rears up and displays its sharp teeth and claws.  That's not the worst of it though, as it seems ready to spray you, in which case you're not sure that you could even stand being around yourself, let alone make your way through the cellar.

12) Viper - The ground seems to move ahead of you.  You take an extra torch, light it, and throw it across the floor.  It quickly becomes clear just why the floor "moves."  The truth of the matter settles in.  There are snakes that twist and turn all around you!  You say aloud, "Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"  Not just ANY snakes either.  These are dangerous vipers.  If only you could have someone go ahead of you-- someone that would go first.

I looked through the Temple of Apshai Trilogy Atari ATX disk binary image in a hex editor.  These twelve Monsters are the only ones that seem listed for level 3.  Technically, the Creeping Crud is considered a hazard and not a monster in the "Apshai" manual-- though the Creeping Crud does ACT like a monster, and is even one of the toughest of them all on level 3.

It isn't usual for me to pick on the Atari's graphics, as I'm well aware of the machine's limitations.  In this case I'm making an exception, at least a little, for one monster on level 3.  Look through the monsters again.  Doesn't one of the Monsters look a little odd to you?  Can you tell me with a straight face, that one of them doesn't look out of place, or at the VERY least that it is misnamed?  To me, the "Bear" look much more like a pig!  Now that I've said it, you can probably see it too.  Most of the other "Upper Reaches" have a Bear that looks fearsome to some degree, at least in an 8-bit manner.

I couldn't resist the temptation to allude to Indiana Jones for the description of the Viper.  This is because Room 24 of the Olias' cellar is a small alcove filled with spiders that cling to you and is described as "Shades of Raiders of the Lost You-Know-What!"  This is a topical reference.  "Upper Reaches of Apshai" was released in 1981, the same year as Raiders of the Lost Ark.

When I was playing the "Upper Reaches of Apshai" regularly three years ago, I hand-mapped levels 2 and 3 of the game.  Making maps for these levels didn't require any original exploration this month.  Now I'm playing the fourth level of the game and it is all new to me.  I'm enjoying making my way through it very much!

Before I finish mapping the fourth level I have another small Apshai project in the works.  I'll be uploading a Monster Comparison Chart of the twelve Monsters from Level 3 of "Upper Reaches of Apshai."  The seven versions of the game's graphics are all from the Trilogy's rerelease in the mid-eighties, so there are 8-bit and 16-bit graphics side-by-side.  I'm nearly done with the chart; I'm very pleased with the way that it looks.  I'll be posting it in the next few days.


Edited by ballyalley, Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:56 PM.


#45 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 2, 2014 4:05 PM

[In the Amiga version of The Upper Reaches of Apshai, on Level 4] I made my way to Treasure 6, the "Magic Book," that is in Room 34.  This Magic Book raises Intelligence and Intuition attributes by one when it is recovered from the Temple.

 

While playing the Atari 8-bit version of the game, I decided that it was time that I raise my Intelligence and Intuition using the Magic book in Room 34. After I picked up the Magic Book and visited the Innkeeper with it in my inventory, I expected to see these two attributes each raised by one as happens on the Amiga.  However, those two attributes did not change.  I realized that in the Atari 8-Bit version of the game that the Magic Book on Level 4 in Room 34 of The Upper Reaches of Apshai does not raise Intelligence and Intuition.  Instead the Magic Book raises the Constitution attribute by one.

 

I know that I've gathered some item that raised my intelligence by one already, as that attribute now stands at 20.  However, this character that I'm currently using is the one that I used three years ago and I didn't note which magic item (or items?) made that change to the character.



#46 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 2, 2014 6:02 PM

Do you have a website or blog where any/all of this information is stored in a more organized manner? You should; you've put quite a bit of work into this. It would help because you have information for so many different versions, and it's a little difficult to sort through everything. I'd like to download all the information for the Atari 8-Bit version, which I was doing on a regular basis before. But I've found I don't have so much patience for it now. It's a cool project, and deserves a better way to access all the information you've taken the time to document.


Edited by MrFish, Sat Aug 2, 2014 6:22 PM.


#47 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 2, 2014 7:07 PM

Do you have a website or blog where any/all of this information is stored in a more organized manner?


I have a few websites. Orphanedgames.com (with a friend of mine) and BallyAlley.com are probably the "best" known of the sites-- not that any of my sites is widely recognized. None of the websites I have are Atari 8-Bit exclusive. The Atari Apshai information that I've created is not organized in any fashion anyplace. I do plan to remedy that in some way. My friend urges me to make an article about this, but the more I play Apshai, then the more I see that this isn't a mere thread, or even just an article. This Apshai information will probably become another sub-site of Orphanedgames.com. Perhaps it will be an Apshai fan site of some sort. I'm just not sure at this point.
 

You should [organize the information]; you've put quite a bit of work into this. It would help because you have information for so many different versions


I plan to add links to the first thread of this posting with links to all the map postings and have short descriptions of what's in the posting. To do that, I'll need to edit the first posting of this thread, but it's closed. From what I've read, postings on AtariAge can only be edited for up to 60 minutes after a posting is made. I know that I can ask a moderator permission to edit the first posting-- which will hopefully be granted. I'll see what I can do about that. I purposely linked the maps in the postings as images from one of my own websites so that I can change the maps if there are errors on them. This is one way to avoid the hassle of updating threads for trivial matters.
 

It's a cool project, and deserves a better way to access all the information you've taken the time to document.


You are right-- the information in this thread is quite hard to navigate through. I even find myself looking for some information on occasion and finding it difficult to find what I'm looking for. It seems that this Apshai thread has become quite a place to find information on the Apshai games in general. I never meant that to happen, but the Dunjonquest games, with ten games in the series, has quite a lot going for it for me. There are not many people LOOKING for information about Apshai-- it's an old game after all. I suppose before the information gets organized the best way to read the thread is once, straight through from beginning to end. It's long though... I know.

Leaving the information about Apshai in occasional postings in this thread, for now, is going to be the way that I continue to add maps and overviews about the game-- at least until I'm done mapping the Temple of Apshai Trilogy. After those three games, I'm going to play through the original Temple of Apshai on the Atari. If you've never played the original game before, then you may not know that it is a slow, in some cases quite tedious, experience.

When the Trilogy is done, then I'll start on the Hellfire series... but before I do THAT, I'll take everything in this thread and organize it. What exactly that organization will consist of isn't knowledge that I yet possess.

In the meantime, hang in there. I'll be posting the map for Level 4 of Upper Reaches in the next week or two. In the meantime, I've discovered that there is a way to have your character killed with one hit-- and I think it's ingenious. This is why I like Apshai. The technology is limited... but the games are not.

#48 MrFish OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 2, 2014 9:05 PM

Alright. Fair enough; continue on...



#49 ballyalley OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:26 PM

I created a table to compare the graphics of the player's character and of the Monsters on Level 3, "Olias' Cellar," of The Upper Reaches of Apshai.  These graphics are from the "The Temple of Apshai Trilogy" version of the game for the following six platforms:

1) Commodore Amiga
2) Atari ST
3) Apple II (Hi-Res and Double Hi-Res versions)
4) Atari 8-Bit
5) Commodore 64
6) DOS

Here is the graphic comparison of the six versions of the game:

Upper%20Reaches%20of%20Apshai%20-%20Mons

One of the games had to win-out to have its title screen included on the top of the chart.  The version that received that honor is the Amiga.  The title screen looks very similar to the Atari ST game, but has greater contrast of colors as well as some additional monsters that can be seen in the shadows.

Noticeably absent from the chart are the ports of the trilogy for these two platforms:

1) French Amstrad CPC - The graphics for the French Amstrad CPC version of the game are not included on the table because that game isn't setup the same as the others; there seem to be only about four monsters per level, which didn't seem like enough of them to make for a fair comparison of the graphics.

2) Macintosh - I am unable to play the B&W Macintosh version of the game because I don't have access to a disk image of the trilogy.

I've included brief comments about the graphics of the Monsters from the various systems.  These are not thorough notes and are not meant to go into detail; the graphics can stand on their own.  Despite that the graphics can speak for themselves, having now played through eight different versions of level 3 (including the Amstrad CPC and the two Apple II ports), I have an urge to remark upon certain details of the graphics.

1 and 2) Amiga and Atari ST Computers - These two computers have the best graphics of all the versions, but their visuals look nearly identical (you'd be hard-pressed to tell them apart).  The systems have the advantage of more RAM, storage and colors available to them.  The graphics are detailed and well-drawn, but can anyone tell me why the "Killer Dwarf" looks like a pirate?

3) Apple II - I was pleasantly surprised to find two complete sets of graphics are included in the Apple II version of the Apshai Trilogy game.  Both Hi-Res and Double Hi-Res graphics are included on the same disk.  The Hi-Res graphics are simple, but serviceable.  The Double Hi-Res graphics are noticeably improved over the normal Hi-Res graphics, but the game itself plays identically.  If I had to choose between the two versions, I would go with the Double-Hi Res graphics, but only because my character looks quite stout, whereas the Hi-Res graphics have a character that looks too frail to go adventuring and might even be on a hunger strike.

4) Atari 8-Bit - When comparing graphics of the Monsters from six systems side-by-side, I have to ask myself what it is that I like so much about the Atari 8-Bit version of the Apshai Trilogy.  It can't be that it has the best graphics, for it certainly doesn't; the graphics are decidedly underwhelming.  In fact, the Bear, a regular prowler of the basement and cave entry area, is an embarrassment graphically.  The Bear looks downright mean (okay, somewhat mean) on the Commodore 64, but on the Atari 8-Bit it looks more like a pig standing on two legs.  The Bear's graphic on the DOS version look kind of like a cuddly pink teddy bear, which is, thankfully, worse than a pig (at least a pig can be quite nasty-- what can a teddy bear do?).  I get graphics-envy when I see the graphics of the Atari 8-Bit game beside some of the other systems.  Yet, for me, the Atari 8-Bit version plays the best, while the best-looking versions (the Amiga and Atari ST) play quite differently.

5) Commodore 64 - This system's graphics really shine here to the point that I prefer the graphics of the Commodore 64 over the Amiga and Atari ST.  Though the C64's 8-bit graphics may not match either of the 16-bit systems number of colors or larger Monsters, there is something about their simplicity that really stand out for me.  The Rat, in particular, truly outshines the other ports of the game with its ferocious teeth-filled grin that are posed to smoothly chomp-down any hapless adventurer.

6) DOS - Though the Monster's graphics are well-drawn on the DOS version of the game, the CGA's lack of large color palette hurts it here.  There are more than the two colors available to the Macintosh's black and white monochrome graphics, but that's not a large advantage when your four colors choices are: black, cyan (light blue), magenta (purple) and white.  With those four colors you get to see a wonderful rendition of a supposed Bear (the worst Bear graphic in the game) as well as a Rat that looks more like a friendly mouse that you might pick-up at the pet store.  My absolute favorite "miss" for a Monster graphic is the Giant Mole, which looks more like a duck-billed platypus.  Also, the Killer Dwarf's graphic is nearly twice the size of the character's graphic.  Some dwarf!  Note that the Giant Lizard graphic is not included on the chart for the DOS version of the game because I couldn't reach the entire level of the game (see previous posts for details about that).

These comments are what I think of the graphics.  What do you think of them?  Which game looks graphically best to you?



#50 ballyalley OFFLINE  

ballyalley

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
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  • Location:Albuquerque, NM

Posted Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:31 PM

"Upper Reaches of Apshai's" Final Map... Complete!


I have finished mapping the final level of the "Upper Reaches of Apshai."  This fourth level, called "Benedic's Monastery," is for the Atari 8-Bit "Temple of Apshai Trilogy" version of the game.  Other computers systems can use this map too; the room layouts will be the same (or similar), but some treasures and traps may be laid in different areas.

"Benidic's Monastary," was first Apshai map I made from scratch in three years.  My hand-written map was created relatively quickly over a few days without trouble.  It wasn't until I made the much-more exact map from screenshots that I ran into some complications.  For instance, it took me quite some time to come up with a way to represent stairs (a first for the series).

 

Calling Brave (and Foolhardy) Souls


Unlike the third level of this game, "Olias' Cellar," this fourth level, "Benedic's Monastery," does have a background in the manual.  Here is it:
 

Benedic, the wandering priest of an unknown god, has informed you that the once peaceful Gebite monastery has been plagued recently by an unearthly disturbance. The dead refuse to stay in their graves; in sleep, the monks are beset with troubling dreams; and some of them are becoming positively anemic. Many believe it a punishment for their sins, and the monks are unable-- or unwilling-- to deal with what appears to be the work of a powerful vampire.

If you are up to the challenge, fame and glory can be yours! Also, if you want to be crass about it, you can have whatever treasures the vampire, its minions, the living dead, and any other inhuman monsters may have accumulated. Food and drink are yours for the asking; healthful herbs and plants from the garden you may take; and other gifts major and minor may be offered. These you may accept or decline as you please, but under no circumstances should you disturb the monks or attempt to steal their personal possessions, or the most dire consequences may ensue.

You have been warned!


The background says that this "appears" to be the work of a vampire.  It doesn't take long to discover traces of this Monster as you encounter the Vampire's minion's long before you encounter the Vampire himself.  The Vampire can be thought of as Benedic's Monastery's End Boss.  Alas, like all Monsters encountered in the Apshai games, the Vampire isn't much more difficult to destroy than the other Monsters in the game.

The Vampire's similar strength to other Monsters in the game is expected, for it is the way that Apshai (and its expansions) work.  The thrills of this game are the powerful descriptions and background history.  In a similar fashion to how Infocom text adventures evoke the imagination through words alone, Apshai uses graphics combined with the descriptions in the manual to conjure strong ties to the game, its character and its shared history with other games in the Dunjonquest series.

The map for "Benedic's Monastery" includes all of the room numbers, secret doors, entrances and exits on the "narrow stairs" (see below) and treasures and traps in the level of the 56 rooms.  The map follows:
 
Temple%20of%20Apshai%20Trilogy%20(Upper%
 
There is a "narrow staircase" on level four which is easy to map, easy to play (and understand), but certainly not easy to represent using a map created using screenshots of the game.  This map has labels for "Stairs" 1-4.  These "stairs" are actually just one set of stairs that leads down four flights, from the first floor to the lowest basement (or dungeon, perhaps?), which is four levels underground.  When playing the game, it appears that the player's character is moving in circles from one small room to another, but what's actually happening is the character is descending or ascending one continuous flight of stairs.  Without reading the manual, this would be impossible to know.

Four different letters mark the many arrows on the four different parts of the one set of stairs.  On the map there is a key that explains where the arrows take the character (either up or down the staircase).  The best way to imagine the narrow staircase is that the bottom step of "Stairs 1" leads to the top step of "Stairs 2."  This continues on down the staircase until "Stairs 4's" last step leads into a large chamber.

 

The Riches Await

 
On the map is a list of the twenty treasures available in the monastery. Next to each treasure, I have listed where the treasure is located and its value in silver pieces (SP).

Here are the treasures, along with the Room locations, followed by the treasure's description from the "Upper Reaches of Apshai" manual:

T01 - Milky White Potion [Elixir] (0sp)(Room 32) Among various peculiar vials, you find some containing a milky white potion.

T02 - Gold Amulet (50sp)(Room 13) An amulet of gold.

T03 - Silver Amulet (25sp)(Room 17, 20) An amulet of silver.

T04 - Brass Amulet (5sp)(Room 16) An amulet of brass.

T05 - Gold Needle (1sp)(Room 2) Amazing! It's actually a fine gold needle!

T06 - Stale Bread (0sp)(Room 30) Evidently you were hungrier than you thought, and this bit of stale bread looked the least old.  [Note: This bread is magical!  It permanently raises your constitution by one.]

T07 - Great Haul (7,246sp)(Room 47) What a haul: a silver candelabra, two silver chains, a diamond goblet with traces of a reddish liquid inside, 13 platinum pieces, 128 gold pieces, and 666 silver pieces!

T08 - Monk's Robe (0sp)(Rooms 14, 18) This rough robe can't be worth much and probably belongs to someone, anyway. Put it back.

T09 - White Mushrooms (6sp)(Room 27) From the rich earth you pick several large, white mushrooms.

T10 - Candle (0sp)(Room 52) A candle.

T11 - Herbs (3sp)(Room 21) These herbs look unfamiliar but promising.

T12 - Candle (0sp)(Room 51) Another candle.

T13 - Pots and Pans (0sp)(Room 29) Some greasy, grungy pots and pans.  Unless you're planning to become a door-to-door salesman or to volunteer for dishwashing duty, put them back and get out of there.

T14 - Lilies [Ylixir] (0sp)(Rooms 19, 26) Apparently the Apshaians were not the only ones to know the secret of growing these lilies.  Amazed by your good fortune, you pick a few of the healthful plants.

T15 - Crock of Ale (0sp)(Room 31) A crock of ale offered to you by a singing monk.

T16 - Book (0sp)(Room 50) It is a book called The Secrets of St. Gulik.

T17 - Statue's Empty Hand (0sp)(Room 4) An empty hand, that's what you are offered.  [Note: This statue is magical!  Touching the statue's hand permanently raises your intuition by one.]

T18 - Magic Sword (0sp)(Room 46) As far as you can tell at a glance, the sword looks well made.  There is also lots of other stuff here, if you could take the time to get it.  Unfortunately, you seem to be occupied... [Note: This sword is magical.  It can be blessed (+1 or more) or it can be cursed (-1 or more).  I've found that the magic adjustment ranges from -2 to +2 on a random basis.]

T19 - Ripe Tomatoes (1sp)(Room 25) Some nice red, ripe tomatoes.

T20 - Gravel (0sp)(Rooms 1,48) At first the stones look valuable, but you soon realize that they are only worthless gravel from the courtyard polished up a bit.

Rather than look at the treasure list with its descriptions, here is concise listing of the treasures:

Treasures (Listed by Treasure Number)

      Item                           Value     Room(s)
T01 - Milky White Potion [Ylixir]      0sp     Room 32
T02 - Gold Amulet                     50sp     Room 13
T03 - Silver Amulet                   25sp     Rooms 17, 20
T04 - Brass Amulet                     5sp     Room 16
T05 - Gold Needle                      1sp     Room 2
T06 - Stale Bread                      0sp     Room 30
      T06 raises Constitution +1
T07 - Great Haul                   7,246sp     Room 47
T08 - Monk's Robe                      0sp     Rooms 14, 18
T09 - White Mushrooms                  6sp     Room 27
T10 - Candle                           0sp     Room 52
T11 - Herbs                            3sp     Room 21
T12 - Candle                           0sp     Room 51
T13 - Pots and Pans                    0sp     Room 29
T14 - Lilies [Ylixir]                  0sp     Rooms 19, 26
T15 - Crock of Ale                     0sp     Room 31
T16 - Book                             0sp     Room 50
T17 - Statue's Empty Hand              0sp     Room 4
      T17 raises Intuition +1
T18 - Magic Sword                      0sp     Room 46
T19 - Ripe Tomatoes                    1sp     Room 25
T20 - Worthless Gravel                 0sp     Rooms 1, 48


Treasures (Listed Room Location)

Room 1  - T20 - Worthless Gravel
Room 2  - T05 - Gold Needle
Room 4  - T17 - Statue's Empty Hand (Raises Intuition +1)
Room 13 - T02 - Gold Amulet
Room 14 - T08 - Monk's Robe
Room 16 - T04 - Brass Amulet
Room 17 - T03 - Silver Amulet
Room 18 - T08 - Monk's Robe
Room 19 - T14 - Lilies [Ylixir]
Room 20 - T03 - Silver Amulet
Room 21 - T11 - Herbs
Room 25 - T19 - Ripe Tomatoes
Room 26 - T14 - Lilies [Ylixir]
Room 27 - T09 - White Mushrooms
Room 29 - T13 - Pots and Pans
Room 30 - T06 - Stale Bread (Raises Constitution +1)
Room 31 - T15 - Crock of Ale
Room 32 - T01 - Milky White Potion [Ylixir]
Room 46 - T18 - Magic Sword
Room 47 - T07 - Great Haul
Room 48 - T20 - Worthless Gravel
Room 50 - T16 - Book
Room 51 - T12 - Candle
Room 52 - T10 - Candle


 

The Coveted Magic Within


When my character collected the Magic Sword, it randomly gave a bonus of +1 or +2, but you may find that it is cursed instead.  I am unaware of the range of the Magic Sword's bonus (or curse) because it is a random element to the game.  Currently, I have a Magic Sword +4 from another level-- I which that I could recall which one.  A Magic Sword +9 is a valid entry when you enter a character at the start of a new game, but I've yet to see a bonus above four.

Upon returning to the Inn after visiting Level 4, I noticed that my character's Intuition and Constitution had been raised.  It took some time to discover which treasures raised those two attributes.  I had to actually collect the treasures one by one and see how each one affected the character's attributes.  This is because they are raised in unusual ways.  The Stale Bread seems useless, yet eating it raises the character's Constitution by one.  Simply gathering "Statue's Empty Hand," which I take to mean touching the statue's hand, raises the character's Intuition by one.  Both of these are clever, inconspicuous ways that the game's designers used to raise attributes and not make them immediately obvious to the player.

 

Watch It-- Look Out!


As always there are the traps and hazards to contend with.  In recent levels, as my character has gained experience points, these traps have become more of a nuisance than a danger.  However, one of these new traps will kill the character instantly.  In other circumstance this would be poor design, but not here.  If the character is killed by Geb's Spirit, then it is because they are not following warnings given at the beginning of the adventure.

The creation of Geb's Spirit is very clever.  The Spirit is a Trap-- not truly a Monster at all.  Since a trap cannot be sprung with a Monster in the room, then the player is safe from the wrath of Geb.  If the player heeds warnings and leaves the Monks alone, then Geb's Spirit will never be encountered.

Most of the following trap descriptions are from the Apshai manual.  I created three of them (Angry Monk, Geb's Spirit, and Vampire Monk traps) where no descriptions existed.

1) Angry Monk "Trap" (Rooms 18, 20, 29) - Some of the monks in this monastery get quite upset when you take items that don't belong to you.

2) Cave-In (Room ?)  - Everything comes crashing down with a noise loud enough to wake the dead.  The monks are not likely to be pleased, and you're just lucky nothing hit you on the head.  [Note: I made a thorough search of every room and it didn't reveal the Cave-In trap in the monastery, despite this specifically-written description.]

3) Dust (Room 1) - A strong breeze blows up a whirlwind around you; the dust stings your eyes.

4) Flame (Room 52) - It is only a minor burn, but you should not be so careless when handling a lit candle.

5) Geb's Spirit (Rooms 16, 19) - For no reason at all you've killed a peaceful monk in a chamber of Geb's monastery.  Geb is not pleased by this and he gives you a brief visit... which lasts for the rest of your very short life.

6) Mold (Room 30) - As you rummage about, your hands and arms become covered with disgusting rot and mold.

7) Needle (Room 24) - Some of these plants have prickly thorns and needles.  Those areas of your body that are exposed are scratched and bleed.

8 ) Pit (Rooms 48, 49) - You fall into an open grave.  Be more careful when walking through a cemetery.

9) Vampire Monk "Trap" - (Rooms 13, 17, 40) - The corpse of the monk in the room rises from the dead and attacks you.


Here are the traps listed by location.

Room     Description
 
1        Dust Trap
13       Vampire Monk
16       Geb's Spirit
17       Vampire Monk
18       Angry Monk
19       Geb's Spirit
20       Angry Monk
24       Needle (Plant Thorns and Needles)
29       Angry Monk
30       Mold
40       Vampire Monk
48       Pit (Open Grave)
49       Pit (Open Grave)
52       Flame (Candle)


 

They Growl, Snarl and Bite


I took screenshots of the eleven Monsters that I encountered during the level and compiled a bestiary.  One of the Monsters, Geb's Spirit, had to be created from a composite of several screenshots.  This spiritual trap always appears on top of the character making it difficult to ascertain who "owns" some of the pixels.  About 85% of the picture of Geb's Spirit is completely accurate.  For the other fifteen percent I had to approximate what the Spirit looks like.  This makes perfect sense-- for Geb's Spirit doesn't want to be seen.

Here are the "Monsters," many of which are variants of the basic Monk:
 
Upper%20Reaches%20of%20Apshai%20-%20Leve
 
The Temple of Apshai manual does give a description for the Antman, Rat and Zombie, but no others.  I've expanded these three descriptions and created eight others.  I augmented my description with information gleaned from the descriptions of the rooms.

1) Angry Monk - There is dissention among the monks as to whether anyone should be hired to clear out a vampire.  Only some of the monks believe there to be a vampire, while all the others are unhappy about giving up their privacy to someone seeking fame and profit.  Still others are strangely silent on the matter.  The monks that don't want you in their monastery become angry the moment they see you and they will attack you right away.  Other monks are pleased enough to have you, but if you take any of their belongings then their anger grows strong and they will attack you, despite their weak fighting skills.

2) Antman with Spear - These creatures look like six-foot long ants walking upright on their hindmost legs with the other four legs free for manipulation.  They normally attack with their mandibles, and sometimes with their forelegs as well.  When you encounter the Antmen, you see that they each hold a spear, which is rare.  The monks are probably unaware that these creatures have made their way into the lowest level of their monastery, and will welcome news about them-- unless the monks are trying to hide news of them!

3) Asleep Monk - You have free access (and permission) to all the rooms of the monastery, including those behind closed doors.  You can speak to anyone that you please, but you've come across more monks than you'd expect to be sleeping on this early afternoon.  The monks that sleep are deeply relaxed, almost as though they are in a coma.  The coma-like appearance of the monks is quite unsettling to you, as they seem to follow you with some sixth sense that you can feel almost as a separate presence in the room.

4) Bugs - The monastery's large, walled garden holds more than an abundance of plants.  There are also all manners of insects and bugs that sting, bite and gouge at you while you are cutting your way through the shrubs and vines to walk along the narrow paths.  These little troublemakers cause no real problems for you other than itchy skin and the minor annoyance of a constant buzzing that seems to circle your head the whole time you walk along the paths.  You've heard that the monks take great care of these gardens; they even offer tours to outsiders who would like to see the beautiful flowers in bloom.  With the state that the garden has fallen into, it's hard to imagine that this garden offered anything more than these annoying bugs anytime recently.

5) Drunk Monk - This monk, who is singing loudly, is the sole inhabitant of the monastery's dining room.  He is surrounded by crockery and an almost tangible alcoholic cloud.  With a smile and a hiccup, he falls off a bench without spilling a drop from the jug he's holding.  He staggers happily toward you and asks, "Want a drink?"

6) Geb's Spirit - You wondered what was meant by the warning "under no circumstances should you disturb the Gebite monks or attempt to steal their personal possessions, or the most dire consequences may ensue."  It seemed like such an idle threat.  After all, the monks don't look strong enough to defeat you.  And, as you discovered by murdering one of them, they can be quite easily killed.  The Gebite monks' strength may be weak, but their faith in Geb, God of the Earth, is strong and powerful-- as is Geb's wrath.  If you are visited by Geb's Spirit then no good can become of it after you've killed one of his disciples.  The Chill that Geb inflicts upon murderers of his sect is cold.  Oh, so very, very COLD.  His Chill is a particularly gruesome end for an adventurer in whom the monks had placed such faith to help them.

7) Monk - These peaceful monks worship in their private chambers, though they can sometimes be found wandering along the halls.  If you don't bother them, then they won't bother you.  Though there isn't a vow of silence here in the monastery these monks seem overly eager to be keep to themselves.

8 ) Rat - These rats are much smaller than the giant rats found in Olias' Cellar.  The rats in the Monastery can generally be found in the outside courtyard or in the kitchen area.  Like their cousins, the Giant Rat, these smaller rats will attack you, but they are really not a bother.  A seasoned adventure can make short work of these nasty, dirty critters.

9) Vampire - As you enter this long, dark earthen chamber you immediately spot a heavy sarcophagus at one end.  You've found exactly what you expected here in the lower reaches of the monastery: a vampire.  You ready yourself with a hammer and a long wooden stake.  With muffled grunts, enormous effort and burning muscles you at last manage to push aside the stone lid of the monster's resting place.  There is no mistaking this pale unmoving creature that lays before you for anything other than what it is: evil incarnate.  Its face is wrinkled.  Long fangs protrude from its mouth; there is caked blood on its cheeks and chin.  You take a deep breath, hold yourself as steady as you can in this moment of terror and then place the stake against the chest of the monster, hoping to pound home the stake with one blow.  You raise the hammer and then... find yourself flung across the room into the wall.  You have woken the vampire!  You have just moments to get out of its way as it comes zooming across the room with outstretch claws reaching for your throat.  The stake is nowhere to be seen, but your sword is still close at hand.  You roll out of the beast's way as best as you can.  You pray to Geb that you have the power within you to somehow overcome this terrible fiend.  Have you taken on more than you can ever accomplish?

10) Vampire Monk - Did you think that you were brought here under false pretenses?  You were told that "the dead refuse to stay in their graves."  A monk that has been bitten by a vampire can't truly be killed.  Exploring a room while the monk's supposed corpse lies on the floor doesn't grant immunity to what may happen to the monk AFTER he dies... or what may happen to you!

11) Zombie - It seems that the Monastery has more than a problem of a suspected Vampire.  In the graveyard, in plain sight, are animated corpses.  These foul creatures stalk the graveyard in search of prey.  The zombies are said to devour the souls of their victims as the very essence of life exits the dying bodies.

My favorite Monster descriptions are those that I created for Geb's Spirit and the Vampire.  Since the quest begins with news of trouble in the monastery, the Vampire deserved more than a passing mention.  In its description, I did my best to make the Vampire seem like a worthy opponent rather than just some other creature.  The Vampire is unique to one room.  Keeping this in mind, I fashioned a scene to help set the tone for the battle that the graphics cannot show.

 

Hey! Is That It?


There is more to Benidic's Monastery hidden between (and after) the pages of the "Upper Reaches of Apshai" manual.

The narrow staircase's description gives the one hint of what is a potentially a richer game background.  "Near the bottom [of the stairs]," the manual states, "you hear clicking noises and detect the faint smell of vanilla."  These noises and scents refer to an unending stream of creatures from an armed colony of Antmen.  No matter how many Antmen are destroyed, it is impossible to rid the lowest level of the monastery of them all.  If the adventurer doesn't eventually run away, then the Antmen's colony will be the end to him.

The "Upper Reaches of Apshai" doesn't reveal how the Antmen have come to dwell in the deepest reaches of the monastery, but there is room here to ponder.  Could it be that somehow the monastery is linked to the Temple of Apshai?  Did the Antmen tunnel to the lowest level from there?  Might the Priests of Geb, weakened by the Vampire's forces, have fallen prey to darker powers?  Maybe the Priests of Apshai have returned, secretly readying themselves to expand their once widespread worship of the Insect God, Apshai.

There certainly is room in Benidic's Monastery for more adventure, but it does not come from within the pages of any Temple of Apshai expansion.  Perhaps there is an adventurer willing to flesh-out what is only hinted at by the presence of the Antmen on the lowest level.  This adventure hopes so.

 

But Wait, There's More!

 
The "Upper Reaches of Apshai" have now been completely mapped and explored, but there is more adventure ahead of us.  Like the magic in Benidic's Monastery, it is another "valueless" treasure, the book found in Room 50 called "The Secrets of St. Gulik," that leads William Nailfoot onto his next adventure in the four levels of the "Curse of Ra," the next expansion in the "Temple of Apshai" series.  This is the last game in the "Temple of Apshai Trilogy," but not the last game in the Dunjonquest series.

Meet you there!




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