You wake up in a strange land, with nothing but your wits to help you first survive, then gather tools and treasure, learn magic, discover your destiny: and win your goal or die trying.
This is a fantasy adventure in the old style. You will find a few nods to some of the classic adventure games, the odd science fiction reference, and many original puzzles with difficulty ranging from the simple to the mind-bending. It is an extensive game with over 300 locations to explore, ranging from sunny beaches to dark crypts!
The game is designed to be tough but fair: you can be killed, but not by randomly choosing the wrong thing or just entering the wrong room. You are always given clues, though they can be subtle: so if you die, it is because you've made a mistake that could have been avoided. When you start the game you can choose one of three difficulty levels (rather than the middle, standard level, novices might prefer more numerous warnings and protections from fatal errors, while seasoned adventurers might prefer the excitement of the more fatal gameplay at "Lion" level).
Hints and Tips:
Clues can be subtle and can be anywhere, and the things you need now or later can be anywhere - and their purpose mightn't be clear until you need them. So it is wise to explore everywhere you can that isn't obviously fatal and take anything you can carry. But above all - pay attention and think.
Type "help" for basic game help. If you type "help what" in the presence of an object "what", then if any help is available re that object (e.g. how to get past it), you will receive a clue.
If you make a mistake that isn't instantly fatal, type "undo" to undo it (will not work if you chose Lion level).
It is wise to periodically Save the game so that if you die you can resume from not too far back.
The game is most enjoyable if played by typing in commands, as that gives you more flexibility and creativity in what you do. However to make it easier to play on tablets or phones, it can also be played by clicking on hyperlinked items and options. Note that just because an option is shown it doesn't mean it does anything useful, or that doing it won't be fatal. As clicking on hyperlinked options can only have a noun and a verb, it is less useful where you have to do something to something else. Often, you will be presented with a short or long list of possibilities. But in most cases the "Use" command is best: the game attempts to "use" the object involved in the most sensible manner in the context of where you are. For example, if you use a particular key, it will know you mean to try to unlock a locked object; if you use a multi-use item like a sword, it will try to work out whether you want to kill something or perhaps force a lock.
During the game, you are shown your current score (you get points for collecting treasures and solving puzzles), your percent health, how hungry and thirsty you are, and how far you have progressed in the game. Note that the last is just a guide and you do not have to visit every location in the game to win; but if you don't, you can miss out on treasures, points, or even what you need to finish the game.
Many things affect your health, including how hungry and thirsty you are and whether you are running or fighting. Your health naturally increases each move, but if you get too sick, that will stop and even reverse. Some magic can increase the rate at which you heal naturally, or heal you instantly.
Running: When escaping from danger, you automatically run; once the danger is passed, you stop (there is no facility to run or stop deliberately).
Use: When you select "use" for an object, the game tries to work out what you mean. So if you are at a gate and try to use a key, it will try to unlock the gate using that key. Some items have multiple uses, and it will try to work out which one you mean. It is best to rely on "use" only when playing by selecting options from the pick lists: when typing it is better to say exactly what you are trying to do (e.g. "unlock gate with brass key" rather than "use brass key").
Unlocking: when you unlock an item, it will be opened as well and you will see what is inside it.
Insert: if you don't specify what to insert something in, the game will try to guess which object you mean. Again, if typing it is better to be precise: "put diamond in box" rather than "insert diamond".
You can only hold three small objects or one large object plus one small one in your hands at any one time. However some items can be worn (you might need to be wearing something else appropriate first), and small items can be stored in the sack once you have one. If you try to hold too many things at once you will either be warned or automatically drop one. You can see what you are carrying, wearing or have stored at any time by typing "inv" (inventory). While this affects complex actions, most simple actions such as unlocking a door assume you can manage to juggle what else you are carrying while you use the key.
Most items that can be stored in the sack are automatically put there when you pick them up. You can also try to explicitly "hold", "wear" or "store" items.
A map is generated automatically as you go, but it can be helpful to keep your own notes (e.g. where something is). There are some mazes in the game and it can be very helpful to draw your own map of these, as directions in mazes are complicated. However the rooms in mazes are individually identified, so you do not need to drop objects in them to identify them. The best way to map a maze is to not rely on the on-screen map (though it is a good guide for your own) but draw each room, marking each exit that exists, so you can be sure that you have checked every exit from every room.
Owing to the size of the game, the need to maintain the map can slow the game down. Note: if any parts of the map become invisible, the rooms can be made to reappear by experimenting with re-scaling the map.
Owing to the size of the game, it can slow down during play. If it is too slow online, downloading it can work wonders.
If it is still slow, these commands might help:
* clear: this will clear the text history (downside: you will not be able to revisit past output: copy it first)
* clearmap: this will clear the onscreen map (downside: you lose the map; and if you revisit old rooms they won't show)
* remap: this will redraw the room you are in, so can help with the downside of clear map (downside: the "section", or larger coloured area the room is in, will be redrawn at the same level and can cover lower levels).
A related issue to the last: on reloading a saved game, the room you're in is redrawn in the centre of, and the same level as, the "section".