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Devil's Palace - Review

Review by Dorothy


Last edited:

This one sure is a "golden oldie," played on the PC using a TRS-80 emulator, it dates back to the very earliest days of text adventures. I played other games by Greg Hassett in the early days of owning my C64, but never came across the Devil’s Palace for that machine, and thought this one looked interesting. As with most games of this vintage the location descriptions are very limited, but on this occasion it is more than made up for by the puzzles (which is why I play adventures anyway!)

Starting in a dark forest you will most probably very soon find yourself stuck in a tar pit – maybe you should have picked up that vine! There is a huge moat of lava with a drawbridge leading to a palace on the other side and it is quite simple to lower the drawbridge but an evil force throws you back each time you try to cross. You must find another way! Once you arrive in the Devil’s Palace itself, and after escaping from the tall chamber with a door out of reach and the warm room with no obvious exit, you will find yourself in a hellish corridor, but don’t be in too much of a hurry to visit the eerie crypt as a gate will block your exit until you discover the magic wand with which to open it again.

There are many places in this game which will be discovered only after you have solved puzzles. I discovered the devil’s sitting room containing his crown and his secret meditation room where the magic wand is to be found. There are secret tunnels to be found and a small maze which is a twisting labyrinth, however it is a simple matter to traverse it as the directions are given in an adjoining room if you were observant enough to read the writing on the wall. I cut the rope holding the chandelier which fell to create a diamond bridge, but if you are in too much of a hurry you will cut your feet on the diamonds and the game will end. Entering an elevator, of course being a true adventurer, you can’t resist pressing the button and will be overcome by gas, but not to worry as you will pass out and wake in the glowing room, from where you can continue the game.

Eventually, after a lot of work, you find yourself by a transport tube, which on entering takes you to the top of a very high tower. This tower contains the sceptre which you need to escape the palace, but of course, it is guarded by a strange force which throws you back if you try to take it. Once you have the sceptre you must find the grating which needs to be opened with it, assuming that at the start of the game you moved Cerberus who was sitting on it, to complete the game.

I found the vocabulary to be quite good considering the age of Devil’s Palace and lots of alternative verbs are available, making it relatively easy to find the right words to complete the action you are trying to undertake. There are lots of hints scattered throughout the game or by typing HELP. The main trouble I encountered was that when playing using the emulator no save facility was available and there are a number of occasions in the game when you get killed. By the time I had finished I knew the start of the game off by heart from replaying it!!! On the whole a thoroughly enjoyable game with short location descriptions but with plenty of puzzles, all of which are solvable with a little thought. I really enjoyed playing it.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 7/10)

Taking into consideration its age

Overall (Rating: 7/10)

Again, taking into consideration its age.