Transylvania

aka: Transylvania!
Moby ID: 91
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Description official descriptions

Transylvania is an adventure with optional graphics, and a VERB NOUN interface. Two weeks ago, Princess Sabrina suddenly vanished and has remained unseen since. King John the Good asks any travellers to help locate her - you volunteer.

As you begin your quest in the dark forests of Transylvania, beware of the evil that lurks. You will encounter strange creatures like a vampire and a goblin, and experience strange things. Most importantly, a werewolf is constantly chasing you, until you find the pistol and bullets necessary to kill it. Remember fellow traveller, take care...

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Credits (Apple II version)

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Programmed by
Double-res version by
Double-res graphics by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 33% (based on 1 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 2 reviews)

A True Classic

The Good
"Transylvania" (1982) was one of the first computer games I played on the Apple II/GS. I had never played a graphic adventure game before and instantly fell in love with the graphics, strange locations and characters as well as the text based commands. The storyline smoothly mixes fantasy, horror and even science fiction elements together and it requires a healthy bit of creative thinking, and a sense of humor, to solve all the puzzles in time to save the princess.

The Bad
Initially, one of the challenges with the game was figuring out the precise word commands. In the days before the user friendly, point n' click interface of adventure gaming, you needed to type in your commands. The game had a time limit, which bothered me, and a steep limit on the number of items that you could carry at once, which could get really annoying.

The Bottom Line
"Transylvania" (1982) is the first in an exciting trilogy of graphic adventure games from the folks at Penguin Software. It’s got humor, mystery as well as some familiar creatures from fantasy, horror and science fiction genres. All of the games in the trilogy are certainly worth playing.

Apple II · by ETJB (428) · 2010

Someone Just Gave You A Bronx Cheer!

The Good
Transylvania is one of those games that helped to define and improve upon the genre. Adventure games would now have text and graphics (pretty darn cool for the day).

You play a hero on a quest to rescue a kidnapped princess, which seems simple, but this is actually one complex and well designed adventure game.

The princess will die at dawn, and even if you do manage to find her, you still need to master a bit of magic to wake her up, and safely return her to her father.

What's stopping you? A vampire hangs out in the castle, and a werewolf is hunting you where ever you go. Both monsters will take great delight in feasting on your body.

In addition, their is a rude goblin with a key, a black cat guarding a witch's home, and an imprisoned extraterrestrial (yeah, you read that right) who will be very grateful for your assistance.

Solving these and other puzzle requires exploring the games many different locations, picking up items (don't try to carry too much) and, hopefully, saving the princess.

The Bad
The game uses a fairly limited vocabulary, as did many early adventure games, which can add an extra layer of difficulty in solving certain puzzles.



The Bottom Line
Transylvania is a fun text and graphic adventure game that will give you some chills, thrills and even a warm chuckle. The first in a trilogy of games, it is unfortunate that only the first entry in the series has been given a re-release.

Apple II · by Edward TJ Brown (118) · 2014

Discussion

Subject By Date
iPhone version coming out in Fall 2009 Ken Roe Aug 21, 2009

Trivia

Apple II versions

On the Apple II this game underwent three major revisions: 1982 original, 1985 comprehend edition with improved parser, and in 1986 a special Double Hi-Res 16-colour version [requires 'enhanced' IIe with 128Kb RAM] which included new locations and more puzzles (later released for the Macintosh).

Development

The author Antonio Antiochia created Transylvania on Apple II+, while still at high school as a text-based adventure game. Seeking a publisher for his work, he submitted it to Penguin Software, whose owner Mark Pelczarski was so impressed gave him a copy of The Graphics Magician to illustrate the game which he gladly did and the result became the final product.

Graphics

The graphics shown on the screen were created using The Graphics Magician on Apple II series computer. Rather than saving individual graphic screens, this program is capable of recording a set of sophisticated instructions. Every picture is re-drawn as it was first originally done like a watching artist at work. This made porting the game considerably easier.

Macintosh release

Transylvania, released in 1984 for Macintosh, was probably first commercial game released for this computer. Although black-and-white only (more or less gray to be exact), had resolution much better then first '82 release for Apple II.

PCjr graphics

Transylvania is one of the few PC titles that supports 16 colors exclusively in PCjr computers.

Penguins

Most Penguin Software (or Polarware) games contain a funny little remark about Penguins on the back cover of their games. In this case it is "Penguins still do not eat turnips." Only the Penguin software release contains the sentence, the later Polarware release does not.

Polarware Humor

On the reverse side of the disk sleeve of the Apple II Polarware release are humorous disk care warning icons that indicate how a floppy disk should not be handled. These are perhaps inspired by Beagle Bros as the toaster and folded plane warnings depict the same ideas.

Information also contributed by Garcia, partykiller, Slawomir Kuczera and Andrew Roughan

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Apple II added by KnockStump. Commodore 64 added by Kabushi. Atari 8-bit added by Martin Smith. FM-7, PC-98, PC-88 added by Terok Nor. Macintosh added by Garcia.

Additional contributors: Ken Treadwell, formercontrib, Neville, roughana, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 9, 1999. Last modified January 19, 2024.