La Abadía del Crimen
|La abadía del crimen|
|Designer(s)||Paco Menéndez, Juan Delcán|
|Platform(s)||Amstrad CPC, MSX, PC, ZX Spectrum|
La abadía del crimen (The Abbey of Crime) is a computer video game programmed in 1987 by Paco Menéndez with graphics made by Juan Delcán. The game was originally conceived as a version of Umberto Eco's book The Name of the Rose. However, Paco Menéndez and Opera Soft received no reply from Eco in order to secure the rights for the name, so the game was released as La abadía del crimen. "The Abbey of Crime" was in fact the original working title of the novel The Name of the Rose.
This game is an adventure title with 3D isometric graphics, where a Franciscan friar, William of Occam (William of Baskerville in the book) and his young novice Adso have to discover the perpetrator of a series of murders in a medieval Italian abbey.
The player controls the movement of the friar Fra William (mistakenly described as a monk on the user's manual). The player also has the possibility of controlling the movement of the novice Adso within the same screen in which Fra William is. If the key for controlling the novice is not pressed, he follows Fra William most of the time. The game features other characters representing the monks of the abbey who behave according to programmed artificial intelligence to move throughout the mapping of the abbey and show a series of dialogs shown by written text which is moved along the lower part of the screen.
An extensive mapping of the abbey is represented in a large series of screens with 3D isometric graphics. A series of objects has to be collected in order to successfully complete the game. The action occurs in seven days subdivided in different Canonical hours. The time (day + current hour) is indicated at the bottom left of the screen.
The game starts with the abbot welcoming Fra William and explaining that a monk has disappeared. He also explains to Fra William that he is obligated to obey the orders of the abbot and the rules of the monastery: attend religious services and meals and stay in his cell at night while the research of the crimes is pursued. During the game, the novice Adso would remind players when they have to attend offices and meals, and players can just follow him if they forget the way to the church or the refectory.
If players disobey any orders, or are late for services, etc., then their obsequium level, indicated on the bottom right-hand-side of the screen, will drop (obsequium is Latin for subservience or obedience). Once this obsequium level drops to zero, the abbot will not tolerate their disrespect any longer, and players would have to leave the abbey. This would result in the game being over. Some actions, such as missing a prayer office altogether or being caught wandering around at night, result in immediate expulsion and the end of the game.
The game was originally developed for the Amstrad CPC 6128 8-bit platform and ported to other systems: ZX Spectrum, MSX and PC. The Amstrad CPC 464 version was different from the 6128 original, since several rooms and decoration were removed to fit the game on the 64K of the 464.
The only Spectrum version was for the 128 platform.
The music played in the game corresponds to the Minuet in G major and the sonata for flute BWV 1033 by Bach, and Crystal Palace from Gwendal. The original PC version also featured "Ave Maria" from Schubert, in a short chorus recording that played through the speaker when the player went to the church.
There is also a form of copy protection: if an illegal copy of the game was detected, then once the player entered the church, instead of "Ave Maria" playing, a voice would cry "Pirata!" (Spanish for "pirate") ten times in descending tones before the game crashed.
The game was programmed making the most of the capacities of 8-bit computers and putting a high level of care into the details of the plot, mapping, graphics, artificial intelligence of the characters, sound, etc. This cause the game to be regarded as one of the best video games made for 8-bit computers. In spite of its singular qualities as expressed by its positive initial reviews, the game had a modest commercial success and was never officially released outside of Spain, a country where it came to achieve a cult following. The game is also considered one of the perfect ten games for the Spectrum 128 according to Retro Gamer.
Patches and remakes
- Game Boy Advance version 
- J2ME commercial version
- A complete disassembly of the original Z80 code for the Amstrad CPC and a rewrite of it in C++ was made by Manuel Abadia (Vigasoco project )
- Java version 
- The Abbey of Crime Extensum, extended J2SE edition, available for free on Steam
- Postscript to The Name of the Rose, 1984, Umberto Eco.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-05-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Hernández, Álvaro (May 11, 2017). "Treinta años de 'La abadía del crimen', el Quijote de los videojuegos en España". eldiario.es (in Spanish). Diario de Prensa Digital S.L. Archived from the original on 2020-06-10. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
- Spectrum 128 perfect ten games. Retro Gamer 48, pages 64 and 65
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-21. Retrieved 2016-07-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2013-01-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-05-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2013-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2010-03-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2016-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)