the Fourth Protocol
Description official descriptions
This interactive fiction computer game is based on the bestselling Cold War spy novel by Frederick Forsyth released in 1984 by Hutchinson publishing. As the novel's hero John Preston, you have been appointed head of the CI(A), an agency of the British Secret Intelligence Service. You uncover a plot, named AURORA, to take power in the Soviet Union hatched by a secret faction of high-level minds. In order to stop their plan you read a lot of info found in Top Secret folders, set wiretaps, monitor and interrogate suspects and informants, and gather facts and clues.
The game has three main sections - The NATO Documents, The Bomb and The SAS Assault. A secret code must be gained in order to proceed from one to the next. Unique icon-based graphics provide the means to conduct your investigation though they're not mouse-clickable (you have to browse the icons using the keyboard). Plot twists and developments happen during the game and are communicated to you with text-only descriptions.
Credits (Commodore 64 version)
Average score: 89% (based on 9 ratings)
Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 11 ratings with 1 reviews)
The first part of this spy fiction adventure was a pleasant surprise to me. The icon/menu driven gameplay feels compelling and tight. I also really like they tried something different from standard text adventure parser input which was common during that time and let the "action" take place in a single location instead of having you move around fetching items etc.
Alas, it falls apart a bit with the second part. Your still have an icon interface but this time you use it in a more standard text adventure way because now you have to move around town and yes, also collecting items. Gameplay feels less tight when compared to the first part, and you have to move around in the subway A LOT. Also if you're like me and have never been to London you will have to spend much time to first look around which places you need to go exactly since this is absolutely not made clear by the game. Sure you sometimes get a location name but if you've never been there you wouldn't know where to go in the first place. The developers just seemed to assume real life knowledge of downtown London. Copying bad habits of old text adventures they also had to include a "maze of twisty little passages" somewhere.
The Bottom Line
I would recommend playing the first part for it's innovative non-standard adventure gameplay and compelling story and skipping the rest.
Commodore 64 · by f1reball (263) · 2023
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Scaryfun.
Game added February 24, 2006. Last modified October 16, 2023.