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From The Status Line, Vol.VIII No.1 Spring 1989:

    Introducing Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur

    Imagine sitting in your London flat, sharing a Sunday meal with your family, when... poof! ... you turn yourself into an eel. Your Aunt Rose faints dead away into her mashed potatoes as your mischievous little brother runs to capture you in a mayonnaise jar for hideous biological experiments. Although it seems like little more than a neat party trick, you'll take this special power seriously in Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur.

    Infocom's newest Graphic Interactive Fiction story casts you as the youthful Arthur on a quest for the legendary sword in the stone that will make you King of England. You meet up with Merlin, the most famed of magicians, who give you insight into both the world of nature and the nature of man. But equally as precious a gift is the power to turn yourself into several different animals. This allows you, as eel or owl or salamander, to get into places and perform heroic deeds impossible for a mere human.

    The legend of young Arthur comes alive as never before through the graces of Infocom's newest-generation parser. Communicating with the story is now easier than ever, and mercifully, we decided not to require you to use Olde English. Nearly 100 pictures enhance your adventure with vivid scenes of medieval England. For the less aesthetically inclined, the graphics may be set aside in favor of on-screen mapping, your inventory, or your score.

    The Quest for Excalibur is a three-day crusade with a finite number of moves, so don't waste them trying to cultivate a meaningful relationship with the kraken you hook up with in the lake. And not even a future king gets something for nothing, so be prepared to offer gold or good deeds as needed to move along in your quest. You'll need to keep your eyes and ears open to find the treasures for your trades and the tools for your good deeds. And you can hone your wits with the riddles sprinkled throughout the game.

    Arthur lived in the Age of Chivalry, a time when virtue was recognized and rewarded. Your accomplishments will also be rewarded, earning you points for Chivalry, Experience, Quest, and Wisdom. All are needed as proof that you have what it takes to be a righteous king.

    You'll meet many intriguing characters, some nice, some needy, and some downright nefarious. Included from the classic Arthurian legend are the evil King Lot, your archrival for the throne, and the mysterious Lady of the Lake. You'll encounter a spectrum of knights - blue, black, red, and colorless (but not dull) - whose zeal for their knightly activities saddles you with roadblocks. There's a peculiar dragon, a spicy leprechaun, and even a drooling village idiot. But especially beware the evil demon Nudd, whose powers rival those of Merlin.

    Arthur offers all the features you've asked for in adventure stories. Merlin's crystal ball lets you take advantage of on-screen hints. The Undo command makes it possible to rescind even the most foolhardy of decisions. And the mouse option offers you flexibility you've never had before.

    Arthur is Infocom's second collaboration with game designer Bob Bates, eloquent author of Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels. Fans of fantasy artwork will immediately recognize Greg Hildebrandt's exquisite style in the package cover illustration. Within, you'll find an illuminated Book of Hours.

    Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur will be available in June 1989 for the Macintosh, Apple II series, IBM, and Amiga computers. Retail price is $49.95 for the Apple II version, and $59.95 for all others.

    Contributed by Belboz (6582) on Aug 29, 2001.

Back of box cover:
    "Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone, is rightwise king born of all England."

    In the days before Camelot, when magic and evil rule England, a sword sheathed in stone appears in a quiet churchyard. Engraved upon it are the words which form your destiny. For you are Arthur, the son and true heir of the High King, Uther Pendragon.

    But there is more to asserting your claim than wresting free the sword. The sword in the stone disappears - stolen by the evil King Lot. To win it back, you must develop the kingly qualities of wisdom, chivalry, and experience, qualities that will also prove you worthy of the throne. And you must do it all within three days, or Lot will usurp your legacy.

    You are assisted by Merlin the Enchanter, who grants you the power to transform yourself into a variety of animals. Now you can explore the kingdom as no one has before: from the sky, from rivers and lakes, from on - and under - the earth. How you use this power, and how you solve the myriad puzzles that confront you, will determine your success in your quest.

    • Merlin's crystal ball reveals helpful hints.
    • The undo command lets you rescind even the most foolhardy of decisions.
    • Optional on-screen mapping gives your quest direction.
    • A medieval Book of Hours has been magically cast into each and every Arthur package, along with the game disk and complete instructions.

    Now prepare to claim your birthright as king born of all England. It's your chance to live the legend.

    Contributed by Belboz (6582) on Mar 30, 2001.