Simon the Sorcerer
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|Simon the Sorcerer|
The box art for the Amiga 1200 release of Simon the Sorcerer.
|Producer(s)||Mike Woodroffe, Alan Bridgman|
|Composer(s)||Mark McLeod, Adam Gilmore|
|Series||Simon the Sorcerer|
|Release date(s)||2 January 1993|
The story begins with an ordinary teenager, called Simon, who hears his dog, "Chippy", up in the loft of his house. Seeking to investigate, Simon finds that the dog had discovered a spellbook titled "Ye Olde Spellbooke" in an old chest; both the dog and the book had turned up sometime before the story from an unknown location. Simon throws the book onto the floor in contempt, not believing in magic, only for a portal to open above it as a result. Chippy quickly goes through the portal and Simon follows, ending up in another world. After escaping from some goblins who intended to eat Simon, he quickly discovers a house in a village belonging to a wizard called Calypso, along with a letter from him. Through it, Simon learns he was brought to this world to save Calypso from the evil sorcerer, Sordid.
Instructed to become a wizard, Simon is told to seek out wizards in the local tavern, and complete tasks with them. Helping them to acquire a staff, and paying a subscription fee, he then performs tasks for various people, recovering the spell book he lost, as well as locating Sordid's tower. Gaining entry with a potion that shrinks him, he quickly winds up in the tower's garden and finds a mushroom that restores his size. Searching the tower, Simon helps to send some demons back, and uses a teleporter to take him to the Fiery Pits of Rondor, so as to destroy Sordid's wand. Although Simon transforms him into stone, Sordid is revived the moment his wand is destroyed. Surviving an attempt on his life, Simon quickly outwits him, defeats him, and is sent back to his world.
Although he assumes he had a dream, a portal opens in his bedroom, and a large gloved hand appears, taking him back through it.
The first game, Simon the Sorcerer, was released in 1993 for IBM PC compatibles running DOS on three 3.5" floppy disks in a large box styled with purple margins, with no speech and only sub-titles used throughout the game. It contained a 30-page black and white manual, which included the compass pictures required to pass the copy protection built into this release. Two years later, just before the sequel was due to be released, the first game was re-released on PC CD-ROM. This new CD came without copy protection, in a jewel case, with a black & white inlay manual, along with colour inserts for both the front and rear. It was advertised with a new Full "Talkie" Soundtrack, which entirely replaced the original subtitles, frustrating some players, including those with hearing disabilities. The CD-ROM version of the sequel Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe offers the option to switch between subtitles or the soundtrack. Since its original release, the PC version of Simon the Sorcerer has remained in-print direct from Adventure Soft. Since then, the game has gained "The Original Adventure" as a subtitle, and comes in the same black packaging used by the sequel.
For the Amiga, the AGA A1200 version with 256-colour graphics was available on 9 double-density floppy disks. Shortly afterwards, a 64-colour Amiga 500 edition was created so that any Amiga could play it, and finally a CD32 version was released on CD with 256-colour graphics and voice acting. This was the first Amiga adventure game to feature full voice acting, but only on the CD version.
A 256-colour version of the game was released for the Acorn RISC OS platform on floppy disk, with a CD version including voice acting released later. In 2009, the game has been re-released for the iPhone and is available via the App Store. This is the talkie version and contains two different control versions, either an original mouse pointer or by simply tapping the screen to select objects and commands. A new version titled '20th Anniversary Edition' released exclusively for Android using a new cover artwork on August 26, 2013. This combined all 7 original languages releases, new hotspots-based touch controls with icons for actions, optional upscaling the graphics to HD and new game menus.
The music is credited to Media Sorcery, a trading name used by Adam Gilmore. Due to Adam's busy schedule the music was sub-contracted to Mark McLeod, his former flat mate at university, who composed a selection of 36 separate tunes for the various scenes in the game. The music was created on a Roland MT-32 using Adam's Korg M1 as a controller and Music-X on the Amiga A500, and was completed in Adam's spare room over a single weekend. Adam Gilmore converted the sounds and music for the Sound Blaster 16, with Mark performing the conversion for the Amiga A500.
The Amiga version of Simon the Sorcerer received generally high ratings. CU Amiga rated the game 90% and praised the high quality graphics and how much fun the game was to play.  Amiga Computing gave the game a score of 89% and also praised the graphics.  The magazine also enjoyed the puzzles and detail in the game. Both magazines compared the game to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge but also pointed out that it is not a copy and is a quality product. Game Rankings states the PC version of game has a rating of 86%.