Garrett (garote) wrote,
Garrett
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Age of Adventure: The Return of Heracles

This quaint old game was one of my favorites during elementary school. Stuart Smith combined a Greek history lesson with a simple turn-based hack'n'slash, and built something uniquely enjoyable on top.

In fact, if a modern gamer were to downgrade his standards for fancy graphics, Age of Adventure would still be enjoyable today. The secret is an almost completely open-ended design: You can pick any of a couple dozen heros from Greek mythology (and each one gets their own introduction sequence), drop down into the map near their home, and just wander around in ancient Greece, bumping into monsters, defiling landmarks, and joining wars in progress. (If you don't mind a turn-based management headache, you can add them all at once and terrorize the land in a big jolly group.)

You're encouraged to visit the Oracle of Zeus, so the gods can assign you the Twelve Labors of Heracles in random order ... but it's entirely optional, and you can instead complete each task spontaneously as you encounter it. Or you can just hang out on the mainland, scrapping with randomly generated monsters like "Rabid Dog", "Not Very Smart Thief", "Six Handed Giant" and "Worst Rat Of All" (Which poisons you every time it bites, of course.) Here's how a typical combat round is described:

CALYDONIAN BOAR WALLOPS PERSEUS
PERSEUS FALLS UNCONSCIOUS TO THE EARTH
RUNAWAY COW JABS PERSEUS
PERSEUS PAYS THE DEBT WHICH CANCELS ALL OTHERS

(Perseus disappears, leaving behind an orange basket containing 143 drachmae)

Anyway, after listening to the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack last week, I got a sudden hankerin' to play this game, ... but not enough of a hankering to play the game fairly. So I fired up the AppleWin emulator and dropped down into debug mode the second the adventure began and my favorite hero in the game, Pegasus, was on the map. In debug mode I typed:

3C11:8D 10 3C A9 0E 8D DC 1D AD 10 3C 4C D9 8E
8E60:11 3C

... Which hacked the game so that just before Pegasus gets hit by any monster, his health is reset to the maximum.

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