Nine Princes in Amber (video game)

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Nine Princes in Amber
Developer(s) Spinnaker Software Corporation
Publisher(s) Telarium Corporation
Platform(s) C64, DOS, Atari ST, Apple II, MSX2
Release date(s) 1985
Genre(s) Text Adventure with graphics
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution 5¼" disk

Nine Princes in Amber is an interactive fiction computer game with graphics. The game was published by Telarium (formerly known as Trillium), a subsidiary of Spinnaker Software, in the year 1985. The game is based upon the fantasy novels Nine Princes in Amber and The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny.

Gameplay[edit]

The single-player adventure is controlled via typed keyboard commands. Words and sentences are entered in a text parser. The player uses action commands (e.g. take, sit) and communication commands (e.g. ask, demand, hug) for the interaction with non-player characters. There are 40 different possible solutions to end the game.[1]

Plot[edit]

The plot takes place in a fictional fantasy world. The player prince Corwin is the son of king Oberon, who rules the kingdom of Amber. Corwin wants to become king but his eight brothers, especially his brother Eric, are also interested in the throne of Amber. Prince Corwin must escape assassination attempts and intrigues enacted by his siblings, and yet must forge alliances with some of his siblings to become the reigning king of Amber.[2]

Development[edit]

The adventure has static 2d graphics, a theme song and sound effects. It was implemented for the C 64, DOS, Atari ST, MSX2 and Apple II. The MSX2 version is a translation into Spanish ("Nueve Principes en Amber") with new illustrations. The game is based upon the fantasy novels Nine Princes in Amber (Doubleday 1970) and The Guns of Avalon (Doubleday 1972) by Roger Zelazny.[3] It was developed by a group of 20 people at Spinnaker Software and published by Telarium (1985). The design, writing, and game coding was done by Andrea Bird.[4]

Reception[edit]

In the year 1986 a German reviewer called Nine Princes in Amber a precious adventure ("Edel-Adventure"). He praised the intelligent writings, the suspenseful storyline and the text parser.[5] In 2006 a study about the history of interactive fiction maintained, that on the one hand Nine Princes in Amber "is not a bad game – in fact, it is one of Telarium’s best, and working out the conversational 'puzzles' can actually be oddly satisfying at times". On the other hand the authors "seemed to be aiming so much higher." They wanted to create a very ambitious gameplay. Because of hardware constraints in the 1980s and general limitations of character interaction in interactive fiction they weren´t able to actualize this aim completely.[6]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nine Princes in Amber at Allgame; Heinrich Lenhardt: Nine Princes in Amber, Happy Computer 3/1986, p.156 (german)
  2. ^ Nine Princes in Amber at Allgame; Heinrich Lenhardt: Nine Princes in Amber, Happy Computer 3/1986, p.156 (german)
  3. ^ Nine Princes in Amber at Adventureland by Hans Persson and Stefan Meier.
  4. ^ Nine Princes in Amber at Allgame
  5. ^ Heinrich Lenhardt: Nine Princes in Amber, Happy Computer 3/1986, p.156 (german)
  6. ^ Jimmy Maher: Let's Tell a Story Together. A History of Interactive Fiction. Senior Honor's Thesis, University of Texas, Dallas 2006, Chapter 6 The Rest of commercial IF - Trillium/Telarium.