The Golden Voyage: Islands and Secrets   3 comments

From Mobygames.

The cover above references a “fountain of youth”. This indicates that the fountain I ran across roughly 20 minutes into playing is the objective of the game! I don’t know if that means all we need is a container, but given the divine thunderbolt that killed me, I’m guessing there’s an extra procedure involved. In either case that makes for an interesting structural concept: showing the game’s objective early.

Speaking of interesting structures: as I theorized before, The Golden Voyage has more than one island. Once I realized the general pattern I found it satisfying to navigate.

This is the map the boat is on; you SAIL to the island you want, drop anchor, and explore. (As a side observation, while I understand the use of loops here to make the ocean feel wide and open, I feel it to be frustrating and unrealistic. Honestly, the only loops that were OK were in Adventure, simulating real cave exits that went nowhere; loops on most other text adventure maps have felt like crutches.)

Just like Timequest, the division of space makes for themed mini-areas. I already mentioned the jungle with the cave and the fountain:

To the west of the opening city I discovered a “small island” apparently without obstacles other than the ever-present scorpions. There’s a “skeleton” in the opening room that I thought might have been the animated kind, but no: it’s just an inert skeleton.

You can even pick it up and take it with you. Other than the skeleton, there’s a shovel, a box with “medicine”, and a sword.

The game made up for its lack of animated skeleton with an animated statue on a third island.

This led to a colorful combat scene:

It took me a long time to find the syntax get off the staircase. It’s WALK UP or WALK DOWN. GO STAIR says “please be more specific” and for the life of me I don’t understand why UP and DOWN don’t just work.

Past the statue was a temple with an altar, where PRAY opens a secret passage.

The inside was dark, but fortunately, on the jungle/cave island I had used my newly-found shovel to dig up a rope and a torch. Inside the temple passage was a large block (not sure what to do with that) and a curious stone which “appears to be broken” and “has strange markings”. You can find another stone just like it in the rubble of the defeated statue, but I haven’t been able to unite the stones in any way.

Other than that, I’m dealing with a locked ornate chest I can’t open … and that’s it. The list of obstacles suggests to me I’m missing a hidden puzzle somewhere, or maybe my island map is inaccurate and there’s another place to sail to.

Still, referring back to the structure, the gameplay is pleasing enough I’m enjoying myself so far and not about to reach for hints yet.

Posted November 24, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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3 responses to “The Golden Voyage: Islands and Secrets

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  1. It took me a long time to find the syntax get off the staircase. It’s WALK UP or WALK DOWN. GO STAIR says “please be more specific” and for the life of me I don’t understand why UP and DOWN don’t just work.

    Is it possible that the staircase is an object and not a location?

    • Not in the Scott Adams database system sense; if it’s in the location line it’s a location. William Demas might have been thinking that way, though.

      • IIRC the Scott Adams system doesn’t allow special conditions to be attached to directions (including up and down) so you have to use other commands instead if there’s something special about the exit.

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