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Hi-Res Adventure #4: Ulysses and the Golden Fleece (Commodore 64)

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Written by  :  *Katakis* (37818)
Written on  :  Dec 20, 2011
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars2.33 Stars

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Summary

It's off to Greece to find the Fleece

The Good

Ulysses and the Golden Fleece is the fifth game in Sierra's Hi-Res adventure series, and the company decided to lets their players become familiar with Greek mythology. Players take control of Ulysses who is tasked with finding the king's golden fleece, a treasure that the king has a keen interest in. Many people have tried to recover the fleece, but no one has returned safely with it.

You start your adventure in the town, which is similar to the one in Cranston Manor, Sierra's last Hi-Res adventure, and this town houses a general store. Why several men failed to recover the fleece is that they hadn't prepared for the dangerous journey that lies ahead, by getting much-needed supplies from the store. Anyone who has played the original King's Quest before this one will know what you do at the start of the game. If you haven't, though, I'll explain. You enter the castle, bow to the king, then talk to him to be given your mission. Then you go exploring this land for a while, but eventually have to make your way across the ocean to get to the islands

Since this setting is ancient Greece, you meet a lot of characters from Greek mythology, including Neptune, Pluto, Sirens, the Cyclops, and Pegasus. Most of these characters block you from completing tasks so you have to find a way for them to disappear. Each of these characters are drawn the way they should, to reflect what they looked like. All the islands you visit have names like Island of Storms and the Islands of the Cyclops. The game even makes a reference to Hercules.

You get through the game by typing two-word commands, which take the form of a verb-noun sequence. Abbreviations can be used but only if you plan to go somewhere else. You are free to type in any command that you like; just don't expect a witty response from the parser. As with other Sierra Hi-Res adventures, you are free to switch from graphic to text and back again. This is ideal if you have played a text-only adventure game like the Zork series, and would like a bit of nostalgia.

The graphics are not bad. The characters are drawn nicely to reflect what they looked like back then. Each of the scenes look good, especially the jungle scenes that are on almost every island. The game is presented in first-person, so you won't get to see what Ulysses looks like yourself.

Sound-wise, the only sound effects coming from the Commodore 64 version are the beeps that can be heard when you do certain actions throughout the game. Other than that, this is a primitive adventure game and sound wasn't an issue back then.

The Bad

In text-only mode, going in a direction and changing the scene causes the game to revert back to graphic mode. This is annoying if you wish to play exclusively in this mode. This problem is in every Hi-Res adventure on the Apple ][, but this is passed onto the Commodore 64 version.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the player controls Ulysses as he tries to recover the golden fleece located somewhere in ancient Greece, and this is done by typing two-word commands through a parser. On their way, the player encounters many characters relating to Greek mythology - characters that killed off previous attempts to recover the fleece.

This is the third and final Hi-Res adventure for the Commodore 64. When it came to adventures, Sierra really didn't care about the C-64. I would have liked to have played Time Zone and The Dark Crystal way back in the early Eighties, but this wasn't to be.