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Murdac

Topologika info 1982

Aka:
Monsters of Murdac
Language:
English
Authors:
Jonathan R. Partington info
Systems:
Inform, T/SAL info
Platforms:
Amstrad CPC info, Archimedes info, BBC/Electron info, PC info, Spectrum, Z-Machine info
Entered by:
Garry, Gunness, iamaran, impomatic, Strident
Added:
10-05-2010
Edited:
11-03-2020

Synopsis

Plot

The forests of Murdac are some of the oldest, as well as the wildest and most isolated, in the whole land. Also they don't take kindly to intruders -- although living on the outermost fringes of the great forest, you have never been able to penetrate it: every time that you followed a track into the dark woods, you found that it somehow turned and took you away from the secret heartlands of Murdac.

It became almost an obsession with you.

'What is the secret of Murdac?' you wondered, frustrated at every turn. In the land where nobody ever set foot, there was surely some dread mystery to be revealed.

In your village there lived a wise woman, Duessa by name. Some folk said that she was a sorceress, and could cause the milk to go sour just by scratching her nose. Others said that the reason old Uncle George had only lived to be 91 (when his father had reached 102) was because he had tripped over Duessa's cat when drunk.

Obviously a woman to be wary of, especially if you wanted to make sure that you came home without growing an extra ear on the way. She certainly knew a few secrets that nobody else in the village did -- like what it meant if you saw a rabbit hiccuping on the night of the full moon -- and if anyone could tell you about Murdac, it was Duessa.

So you made your way to her ancient cottage, knocked on the door, and waited. "Come in, my young friend," said a quavering voice. "I've been expecting you!"

The inside of Duessa's cottage was very dirty, and full of strange and interesting objects -- glass apparatus billowing noxious vapours, a stuffed platypus, icosahedral prisms, and many other curios.

Duessa muttered incoherently to herself. "This one looks brighter than the last ... it is time that the quest were done ... the wizard needs help ... but as for the manticore..." were fragments that you heard as she busily pottered around her cottage looking for something.

The wise woman returned, bearing an old teapot. Just as you were wondering whether to accept a cuppa, she tipped the contents of the pot into the hearth and gazed at them raptly. Deciding that the omens were favourable, Duessa gave you your instructions, and you left her cottage.

As you departed, you heard the wise woman mutter, "I hope he gets there before the ogres have finished. But I suppose the Old Man of the Sea will get him anyway..."

Following Duessa's instructions, you went down a certain path at midnight on Hallowe'en, until you came to a clearing. There you drew a pentacle, stood within it, and shouted "PANGORY PANTHRODULAM" - words of power that she had given you. Was the intonation right? If not you might find yourself rotting in a gloomy dungeon for ten thousand aeons, tormented by creatures from the lower planes. But nothing like that happened.

The trees moved around you, exposing a long path which stretched away for miles. You followed it, with trepidation, and the trees closed up behind you. After several hours of tireless trudging, you arrived at your goal. But... but... was THIS Murdac?

A beautifully laid out garden? A small stone hut? Where were the ogres? The cannibals? The Old Man of the Sea? Now is the time for you to explore further, but do be VERY careful -- it's not every adventurer who is going to survive in this totally alien world!

Notes

Originally developed on the "Phoenix" IBM mainframe computer at Cambridge University, England in 1982. Renamed to "Monsters of Murdac" and ported to 8-bit platforms by Acornsoft and Topologika using the game assembler of Jonathan G Thackray and David J Seal in the late 1980s.

The Amstrad and Spectrum +3 versions were implemented by Locomotive Software. A Global Software released Amstrad version of this game was advertised and reviewed.

Ported to Inform using a Perl script written by Graham A Nelson in 1999. Adam J Atkinson assisted with testing and tidying up damage to the original source code. David Kinder updated the Perl script in 2011.

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Images

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murdac.png Murdac_1.png Murdac_2.png Murdac_3.png Murdac_4.png

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