Eric the Unready
|Eric the Unready|
The game's cover art by Boris Vallejo, who later would also make the cover for Shannara, another title by Legend
Eric the Unready is an adventure game developed and released by Legend Entertainment for MS-DOS in 1993. Eric the Unready is a parody of the fantasy genre in general, though it parodies numerous other topics as well, ranging from Star Trek to Zork. The title is a play on Eric the Red and Æthelred the Unready.
The game engine uses an interactive fiction style interface. A graphical display of the player's location and viewpoint is provided.
According to a prophecy, the King Fudd the Bewildered is expected to die next week, and the unmarried princess at his side shall inherit the Kingdom. His legitimate daughter, Princess Lorealle the Worthy comes to the castle to be on his side but disappears mysteriously the next day.
Early in the game, the player learns of the scheme by Fudd's wife and Lorealle's stepmother, Morgana, who intends her daughter ('by a previous marriage'), Grizelda the Hefty to be on the dying King's side and therefore become the sole heir. Lorealle has been abducted and held in the castle of Morgana's sister, the evil Witch, with the intend to marry an evil Beast, in order to be excluded from the prophecy. In order to make certain that Lorealle will be not rescued in time by any knight, Morgana conspires so that the Union Hall picks the most incompetent and unworthy of them, Eric the Unready, the player character.
Bud the Wizard (a pun on Budweiser) informs the player that in order to access the castle, he must find several magical items: the Pitchfork of Damocles, in the leaves of the tallest tree in the Enchanted Forest; the Crescent Wrench of Armageddon; within the walls of Blicester Castle; the Raw Steak of Eternity, guarded by the Stygian Dragon; the Crowbar of the Apocalypse in the mists around the Mountain of the Gods; and the Bolt Cutters of Doom owned by an enchanter in the Swamp of Perdition.
Each mission is somehow timed: the evil Sir Pectoral, sent by Morgana, is after him; if the player takes too long to reach the object, the game will end. With each acquirement, Eric creates some disaster, usually an explosion, which hurls him to the next area the following day. The player can collect a newspaper from each area/day which describes Eric's latest mishaps and other fictional 'news' of the game world, usually puns on pop culture elements.
Eric's final destination is the Witch's castle, where he uses the magical objects to open its gate. He then attempts to prevent the Princess' wedding to the Beast.
- Computer Choice Awards, 1993, Finalist
- Computer Game Review, 1993, Golden Triad Award
- Computer Gaming World magazine:
- Adventure Game of the Year
- #103 in "150 Best Games of All Time"
- #9, Funniest Computer Game
- #11, Most Memorable Game Hero
- #7, Most Rewarding Ending
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