Sorcerer (video game)
|Release date(s)||Release 4: January 31, 1984
Release 6: May 8, 1984
|Distribution||3½" or 5¼" disk|
Sorcerer is an interactive fiction computer game written by Steve Meretzky and released by Infocom in 1984. It is the second game in the magic-themed "Enchanter trilogy", preceded by Enchanter and followed by Spellbreaker. It is Infocom's eleventh game.
Following the unlikely defeat of Krill in Enchanter, the player's character has progressed from an Apprentice Enchanter to earning a coveted seat in the Circle of Enchanters. Belboz the Necromancer, the leader of the Circle, has become not only a mentor but a close friend as well. Lately, though, Belboz has seemed different. He's always distracted, even talking to himself at length. Whatever he's dealing with, Belboz doesn't see fit to confide in anyone. Surely he knows what he's doing.
But then, Belboz suddenly disappears. If he is under the influence of some evil power, the results could be disastrous — Belboz is one of the most powerful Enchanters in the land. Someone must uncover what has happened to him, and naturally that task falls to the player's character.
Sorcerer features several memorable puzzles, including an invisible but deadly glass maze and a toxic coal mine where the player must engage in short-term time travel. In addition to the spell-casting system introduced in Enchanter, there are also several magic potions to be found. Potions, naturally, are used by drinking them and each can only be used once.
Sorcerer continued the wildly popular tradition of including, in each game box, extra items related to the game. These so-called feelies were:
- A copy of the fictitious magazine Popular Enchanting featuring a profile of Belboz
- An "Infotater", a paper code wheel disguised as information of creatures in the game. The Infotater was found in the original package only. When the game was later re-released in the "gray stripe" box format, the Infotater was replaced by a "Field Guide to the Creatures of Frobozz" brochure containing the same information. Consequently, original Infotaters are highly sought-after by collectors.(the Field Guide is necessary to opening the chest and acquiring its contents).
St.Game stated that "The world of the Sorcerer is rich in detail and wonderment. The magical experiences resemble the exotic adventures of Carlos Castaneda", with "several diabolical traps and puzzles", and concluded that "The final solution is like a delicate orchid achieving full bloom. Long after the game is over, the heady fragrance stays with you". PC Magazine gave Sorcerer 10.5 points out of 12. It noted the dramatic opening and the game's "predisposition against violence", offering the player spells instead of weapons. Zzap!64 noted the high (£45.30) British price of the game and necessity to own a disk drive, but called it "a tremendous challenge and full of surprises ... lengthy location descriptions, great atmosphere, and highly addictive qualities".
The vezza spell (view the future) was named for Al Vezza, who was Chief Financial Officer of Infocom at the time of Sorcerer's release.
Sorcerer was ranked as "Advanced" difficulty, making it the "middle" game in the trilogy in more ways than one. (Enchanter was labeled "Standard" and Spellbreaker was considered "Expert".)
Writer Steve Meretzky would later go on to use a similar magic spell system in his "Spellcasting" text adventure trilogy for Legend Entertainment.
A new evil threatens the kingdom, and the most powerful of all enchanters has vanished...
Rescue a magician lost in a doomed kingdom!
- Sorcerer at Adventureland by Hans Persson and Stefan Meier
- Adams, Roe (Mar-Apr 1984). "Do You Believe in Magic?". St.Game. p. 35. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- Wiswell, Phil (1984-08-21). "Ultimate Sorcery". PC Magazine. p. 271. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- The White Wizard (June 1985). "Sorceror". Zzap!64. p. 64. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- Sorcerer - Adventure Classic Gaming Game Information & Screenshots
- The Infocom Bugs List entry for Sorcerer
- Scans of feelies included in Sorcerer
- Sorcerer Walkthrough