Knight Orc (Rainbird)

Knight Orc (Rainbird)


In a hole in a mound there lived an orc. Not a clear, dry sandy hole with only spiders to catch and eat, nor yet a comfortable hobbit-hole. It was an orc-hole, and that means a dirty, clammy, wet hole filled with bits of worms and a putrid smell.

It had a perfectly round garbage heap, blocking the doorway, with a slimy yellow blob in the exact middle for spitting practice. The doorway opened onto a sewer-shaped hall - a deeply unpleasant tunnel filled with smoke, with secret panels, and floors snared and pitted, provided with treacherous chairs and lots and lots of booby traps - the orc was fond of visitors.

But what is an orc? Orcs are not seen much nowadays, since they are shy of human beings. They are a pungent people, little bigger than overweight elves, with the charisma of blow flies and the appetite of gannets. Orcs have little or no magic, except a rudimentary skill with knives and strangling cords and, in short, they are evil little pits.

This orc was unusually ugly, even for an orc. His name was Grindleguts.

Grindleguts had lived in the neighbourhood of The Mountain for about a year and most people considered him two steps lower than a tapeworm, not only because of the smell and the plague, but because he kept eating their household pets.

Knight Orc follows on from the events described in The Sign of The Orc. Grindleguts has been volunteered as their champion by the other orcs, while in a drunken stupor, and tied to a horse so that he won't escape, or fall off, before the joust. Your first task, as the orc in question, is to live long enough to escape over the viaduct to Orc Mountain.

Good luck, Grindleguts. You're going to need it ...!

Knight Orc is an illustrated text adventure game split into three separate parts. The first part of the game (which is really an introduction to the intricacies of the system) is called 'Loosed Orc'. Part two is 'A Kind of Magic' and the final segment is 'Hordes of the Mountain King'.

In Loosed Orc, you have to collect enough rope to be able to swing across a chasm to get into the next part. The rest of the game has you recruiting characters and learning spells (twenty one in total). The very end has you escaping through a mysterious main door and out into the real world!

Moving between part two and three was uniquely devised. By wearing a visor, you move into part three which reveales that you are really in the modern world. There are objects and puzzles that you only take or solve by being in part three. By wearing the visor again you re-enter the fantasy world of part two.

Knight Orc is a traditional text entry adventure with scanned paintings serving as illustrations at key points during the game. Only the disk based versions include these illustrations (by Godfrey Dowson), leaving the 8-bit cassette versions as text only. The player can reposition the illustrations by using the mouse and dragging the picture up the screen. This allows them to see more of the text without turning the pictures off altogether.

Knight Orc was initially published in July 1987 for Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. A wide range of different formats followed soon afterwards - Spectrum (disk and tape), C64 (disk and tape), Amstrad CPC (disk and tape), Amstrad PCW (disk), Atari 800 (disk and tape) MSX (tape), IBM PC (disk), Apple II (disk), and probably a few more besides!


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