Goblins: Terrible Maps   5 comments

Goblins start you off able to access a *very* large chunk of the map – I’m going to guess, by the capacity of Apple II games, most of it — and most of is terrible. Take a look at the outdoor section above. Starting at “By Lake”, N, SW, S, NW gets you back to where you started. While outdoors. Argh!

The troubles are triple-multiplied by the minimal descriptions also saying nothing about room exits. The only way to tell what the room exits are is to thoroughly test N, S, W, E, NE, SE, SW, NW, U, and D. In every single room in the game. Yes, I had to do this with all of them. It made mapping incredibly slow.

Of course there is a maze. Hoo boy, is there a maze.

This really doesn’t look so bad, does it? However.

a.) Any exit that’s not displayed on the map actually does a loop. I had to keep track of which loops I tested as I went along.

b.) Sometimes (randomly) instead of a loop, you find a “smelly tunnel” and go to a random location in the maze instead. It took me a while to catch on to this and some parts of my map were originally wrong.

c.) The goblins are still out and about and occasionally killing you. I ran out of items to drop in rooms for mapping purposes and tried to go out and get more, but I couldn’t because they kept stabbing me. I ended up resorting to moving the knife around (see “knife 1”, “knife 2”, “knife 3”) and hoping that it wouldn’t get things totally confused.

d.) Unless I’m missing something, the maze is essentially useless – notice it just goes in a loop, with no treasures indicated. There’s a room to the left of the starting room (“Light From Above”) that you can use to poke your head above ground and get killed by the silly-looking ogre you saw from my last post, but that doesn’t require navigating the maze at all.

It’s possible a lot of this was “busy work” trying to justify the game being commercial (it sold for $27.50; in 2017 dollars that would be $75.26).

There is one saving grace, and that is the “safe place” the game wants you to store treasures in has a magic word associated with it — two, in fact. HXME (found on a tree) takes all objects the player is carrying and teleports them to a treehouse, while QIM (found in a mine) will teleport the player (but not what they’re carrying). So you can choose to teleport just treasures to the treehouse, or you can just teleport yourself, or you can teleport both. This has been genuinely handy in a few circumstances, and I don’t recall it in any other game I’ve played.

There’s a little animation of the ghost moving around when you enter (the ghost is that blob-thing in the upper-left of the picture). It doesn’t seem to be either friendly or hostile, it just floats there. I don’t know if I’m supposed to banish it or come up with a way to ally with it or whatnot yet.

I’m at the point now I have a list of objects and obstacles, but they’re all far apart from each other. I’m going to tilt this game over from “easy” to at least “annoying” but it’s starting to lean to the “hard”; I need to keep going to be sure.

Posted December 14, 2018 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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5 responses to “Goblins: Terrible Maps

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  1. What program was use to make your Goblin Map for the game?

  2. Pingback: The Time Machine (1981) | Renga in Blue

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