Hawk the Hunter by JonQ

You awake groggy outside your family's Keep, aware only that the Mindsword has been wrenched from you by a powerful Warlock...

A text adventure homage to the sword & sorcery classic Hawk the Slayer, a 1980 film by Terry Marcel and Harry Robertson.

Winner, "Best in Show," SPRING THING FESTIVAL 2020.
Audience Awards: Best Parser RPG, Best Presentation, Best Story.
Cover Art: David Eagleton
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Version 6, uploaded 2021, has improved combat, prose, gameplay.
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Play the "Download File" option (not the play online option, it freezes up), and SAVE often! Don't use SCRIPT ON, which interferes with Quest code. This parser RPG allows you to play all the way through in any order with different story outcomes, but please consult the TIPS, HINTS, and FURTHER HINTS, as well as a few HELP screens to get started. Here are some basics for the Bearer of the Mindsword:

*​ Start with your Stats. You must regain crucial attributes, but remember: fortune favors the "intelligent," not just the strong. To shed light on your situation, visit the kitchen, the witch, and the oracle. Save your game after big accomplishments.
* The one thing you really need is The Mindsword. It's a moral imperative. Seek it at a holy place. There is more than one way to obtain it! Try lighting a fire, see what pops up, and pursue -- take a gambol to gamble. (Winning puts the "mind" in Mindsword.) Also, try your hand at punting.​
* You can't do this alone. Luckily, you have awesome comrades. You just have to find and assemble them. Brute force will not always work, though it might eventually succeed. Almost every puzzle can be resolved multiple ways, even the combat. Your companions and the Mindsword can be deployed, or told what to do.

This is a long game, so downloading is recommended for PC users. You will first need the Quest app itself, which takes mere seconds to download. Here is that link: http://textadventures.co.uk/quest. Then you will need to click the blue "Download File" link here on the right, beneath the photo of me holding a sword.

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Review by spindlebink
24 Oct 2021
I've had the privilege of working with the author through a testing and refining period, and this game is wonderful. The puzzles are intricate, but usually solvable with enough time and lateral thinking. The world is expansive and complex and begs to be mapped (I recommend Trizbort), and the quality of the prose lends each area a lovely and distinct atmosphere. If you're looking for a great, rewarding piece of interactive fiction that'll take time to figure out, I definitely recommend Hawk.

The author's affection for the source material is perhaps this game's central feature. Quotes and references and characters from the movie abound, but the author has infused this project with a real sense of mystery and beauty that goes beyond reference or homage into something more. There's some breathtaking prose here--the author is an English professor, after all--and it's all tinged with a shimmery, dreamy quality. It's like we've been granted the chance to see the original movie as it ought to have been, with 80s camp and pure wonder in equal amounts, but unhindered by the cynicism or irony we might apply to the source material today. It's art restoration in the best way.

This game is complex. It can be frustrating, and it has a couple of rough edges, due in part to the engine used, which begins to struggle under something of this scope. But above all, the amount of love put into this project shows. The flavor and idiosyncrasies of the world and the sheer breadth of references pulled in (shoutout to T. S. Eliot!) give Hawk a highly specific and utterly enchanting tone. If you leave behind the contemporary instinct to consume and forget, if you take time and savor the complexities of Hawk's world, you'll find something remarkable. I love this game.

Review by CerberusTheHound
26 Mar 2021
This was the first interactive text adventure game I was able to delve into. Even with my inexperience navigating through commands, this game was very intuitive and I found myself only getting frustrated with my lack of creativity to approaching problems, rather than the game itself. Once I was able to get past my initial mindset to attempt to brute force the game, I was able to then begin thinking outside of the box and began experimenting with different ideas. Regarding the actual content of the game itself, I was overjoyed reading the flavor text of different areas, characters, and actions, never failing to break a smile when some background aspect mentioned offhandedly could actually be interacted with. The replayability of this game is immense, with many new avenues to discover and a few different endings to attain. I am excited to uncover all of the secrets of this game as I go back through it for my second playthrough. Although this was my first real interactive text adventure, I am left with a great experience of the genre with "Hawk the Hunter" and am looking forward to exploring more games like it.

Review by Evyn
25 Jan 2021
So far, I'm enjoying this game immensely. This world has a rich sense of history and atmosphere, and it's been a delight to explore the crumbling ruins and misty, mysterious landscapes. Definitely gives me the same sort of feeling as when I read fantasy novels as a kid--that sense of adventure one can't quite put into words. Though I'm not at all familiar with the Hawk the Slayer movie, this game (as far as I can tell) does an excellent job of sprinkling in the backstory as you explore the world, and I'm enjoying the slowly unfolding narrative.

Review by JoshuaPlace
25 Aug 2020
This is an excellent, fantastically clever game in the spirit of all the best text-based adventures of yesteryear. I played it alongside my wife, and we filled many pages of a notebook with information and maps--discussing the progress of Hawke and his cadre of companions occupied many of our evenings. The actual crafted text of the game is superb, and truly adds to the experience, making the entire adventure truly spring to life in one's imagination. All of the new "open world" games on the market now could stand to get a little inspiration from these sorts of masterpieces.

Review by Darstar
15 Apr 2020

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Written for Quest 5.8
Published 07 Apr 2020
Updated 15 Mar 2023