Nine Princes in Amber by Telarium Software A Walkthrough by Erik Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org) 1/21/02 version http://www.templeanime.org/erik/npia/ I. Introduction: The game Nine Princes in Amber was published in 1985 by Telarium, makers of fine text/graphic adventures. Versions exist for the Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari ST, and IBM PC. This, like many of their games, was based on literature. This game was based on the first two books of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber series, entitled Nine Princes of Amber and The Guns of Avalon. Reading these books is not only enjoyable, but will also give you a great deal of insight on how to win this game. The books are no longer in print as individual volumes, but you can buy the entire ten volume series in one 1,264 page omnibus trade paperback entitled The Great Book of Amber, ISBN 0380809060. But with a bit of trial and error one could probably still beat the game version of NPIA without first reading the books - if not for the specialized command list. NPIA is a little different from other text adventures, is that its focus is on talking to other characters and fighting, and sports an expanded vocabulary dedicated to both. You can't simply say "KILL TROLL WITH SWORD" like you could in Zork I - You need to actually type in the types of attacks and defenses you want to use. Without the manual, you will have difficulty getting very far in this game, and that manual may be hard to come by seeing as how the game is a good 15 years out of print at this point. I eventually managed to score some scans, and decided to write this document mainly to help those who don't know how to search on their own, ya damned retards. ^_^ II. Commands A. Fighting CUT / SLASH THRUST HIGH LOW FEINT PARRY DODGE / DUCK JUMP These commands can (and should) be stacked up to three high. For example, THRUST HIGH, PARRY CUT LOW, FEINT SLASH, PARRY PARRY, etc. Your attack may or may not hit, and may or may not leave you open to counterattack, which you may or may not have time to parry at the next command line. B. Speaking These are the commands officially mentioned in the manual. There are a few other that probably act as synonyms. Commands in all caps can be used alone (though it isn't always their most effective use) - the others must be used with another word (for example, MENTION ERIC). Hostile: accuse reject challenge SHOUT defy SNARL demand SPIT deny SNEER insult threaten refuse YELL Neutral: ASK plan ADMIT PLEAD BEG propose BLUFF say BRIBE SHRUG CONFESS SMILE discuss STALL EXPLAIN SURRENDER LAUGH TALK LIE TELL mention WAIT WINK Friendly: ALLY help BARGAIN join calm hug compliment negotiate enlist offer flatter placate greet support III. Walkthrough Disk A: First things first - gotta stop the pending injection. HIT MAN. Then your escape - BREAK CASTS. TAKE CLOTHES. Now you are disguised, but where to go? READ CHART. Notice that your name, for some reason, is John Corey instead of Carl Corey like in the books, and that you were admitted in 1985 (the first book was published in 1970). GO TO EVELYN. (Ah, if only such a simple command worked in OTHER text adventures... oh well) You arrive at "Evelyn's" mansion. You can do several things here. You can skip visiting your sister entirely if you like, and you'll run into Random, but for the optimum ending, KNOCK. Ah, your first dialogue encounter! There are probably several ways through it, but here's one that works for me - GREET HER. Ah, your name is Corwin, and she's making a rather nasty threat. PLACATE HER. I'm not sure if the answer you give here matters much. She'll leave immediately if you say NO or MAYBE. If you say YES, then ASK ABOUT ERIC for a little more information before she leaves. Alone in the room, this is a no-brainer - SEARCH DESK. EXAMINE CARDS. ANSWER PHONE. "Evelyn" has left, so the answer is NO. Ah, we know this fellow from the cards we just looked at. Good thing we know our real name now, eh? CORWIN. YES. If you want to survive the next few turns, REPLACE CARDS, just like Corwin did in the book. Flora and Random arrive - GREET HIM. HELP RANDOM. If you failed to replace the cards before Flora shows up, she leaves in a huff at this point, and you will be dead shortly. Since you did replace the cards, you can ASK FLORA. Hurray. Now to bluff info out of Random - YES. YES. GET IN CAR. ASK ABOUT ERIC. SUPPORT BLEYS. YES. And off you go, right into another fine mess. Your first fight. ASK ABOUT JULIAN. Yech, what a yucky complexion! GET OUT OF CAR. DRAW SWORD. Flip that disk! Disk B: The results of your fight commands are random each time you play - I did a save state in CCS64 at the beginning of battle, and found that whenever I began with FEINT CUT LOW followed by THRUST LOW I scored two hits, but the second time around Julian parried my opening FEINT CUT LOW. So if you are using an emulator, just do a save state once the battle begins. It'll probably take you a few tries to best Julian. Julian can take a lot more hits than you can. Using DODGE will usually result in instant death by decapitation, even if the blade is going for your legs. The amount of hits you need to knock Julian down is either random or depends on what kind of wounds you manage to inflict. You'll probably need to hit him at least five times. Just for fun, THREATEN JULIAN (no real effect, though he does deserve it). ASK JULIAN. SPARE JULIAN (you can kill him, but you won't get the optimal ending). ASK JULIAN ABOUT ERIC. ASK JULIAN ABOUT DAD. TAKE JULIAN HOSTAGE. THREATEN JULIAN. LEAVE. FOLLOW RANDOM. At this point the dump I have bombs out trying to load the graphic of Random, so to continue I had to use the PICTURESOFF command (a standard in Telarium games) before leaving Julian. If anyone has a dump of NPIA that doesn't have this glitch, I'd sure appreciate getting it. LEAVE ROAD. You come to a clearing. ASK RANDOM. HELP DEIRDRE. (In the books, she was Corwin's favorite relative. Ahem. ^_^) This would be a good time to CONFESS. AGREE. Off you go to Rebma. ENTER WATER. D. D. (Wow, normal text adventure commands for once! FOLLOW THEM also works if you want to maintain the more literary mode and type more.) ASK DEIRDRE. D. Welcome to the Pattern of Rebma. You can ASK DEIRDRE if you like - or if you know the books, just skip ahead and WALK PATTERN. Thus begins the Pattern game. It's a bit like the game Pipe Dreams - you have the choice of five tiles, and you must select them to build a path across all five stars. You type in the number of the tile you want and the color path to lay it on (which begins with white). So, for example, you may start with 3 WHITE (if it connects, of course). You can have a total of four branches. You can cross paths of other branches, but if you cross a path of the same colored branch, you die. Memories trickle back as you lay tiles, with major ones returning as you hit stars. The center of the Pattern, you can go anywhere... that the game will let you, that is. In other words, GO TO AMBER. You are now in the library, with a pack of Trumps taunting you behind a glass case! EXAMINE CASE. PICK LOCK. Hm, that didn't work out. Bet you didn't realize you even had that dagger, did you? What else do you have? INVENTORY. EXAMINE CLOTHES. Ah, here's something that sounds useful - EXAMINE ROSE. Ah-ha! PICK LOCK WITH ROSE. Uh-oh, trouble, its Eric! DRAW SWORD. Have your fight, similar to the one with Julian. Actually, I have found it easier, but bear in mind Eric knows he has reinforcements on the way. Good thing you got those Trumps - now would be an excellent time to CONTACT BLEYS. CORWIN. GO TO BLEYS. Disk C: Yeah, "man." ^_^ YES. If you read the books, you'll see that the entire march on Amber has been nicely condensed into two paragraphs by the game. ^_^ Doesn't matter what you do at this point - any coherent command will do. If it will make you feel better, you can try to CONTACT BLEYS (pointless), or if you want to save some typing, just say E - it doesn't matter one little bit. You'll be knocked cold by Caine no matter what and marched before Eric. SPIT. (If you BEG or anything like that, Eric will kill you just to spite you). HIT SMITH. Ouch. Were this were a normal text adventure that you hadn't read the book for, you'd probably think yourself good and screwed at this point. Just WAIT a few times until you hear a voice. YES. THANK REIN. EXAMINE BUNDLE. ASK ABOUT ERIC. ASK ABOUT BLEYS (hm, that's a little different, but then again, so was the entire assault on Amber). ASK FOR HELP. He'll eventually leave after a while, you can ask him all sorts of stuff, none of which is immediately relevant. May as well EAT MEAT before it goes bad. ^_^ Screw around for a bit more, and Dworkin shows up. GREET HIM. LIGHT MATCH. LIGHT MATCH. You should now be in Dworkin's study (normally you wouldn't have made it there until the third book, but oh well). EXAMINE PAINTING. GO TO CABRA. Free at last. ENTER. ENTER. GREET JOPIN. LIE. THANK JOPIN. LEAVE. We are now in territory covered by in The Guns of Avalon, Lorraine Vs. The Black Circle. HELP KNIGHT. CORWIN. You'll get a warning about using that name here in the future. HELP KNIGHT. CARRY KNIGHT. GO TO KEEP. Trouble, once again. DRAW SWORD. KILL CAT. KILL CAT. (This is the only time in the game you can kill so easily). CARRY KNIGHT. Welcome to "Ganelon's." LIE. GREET GANELON. YES. Disk D: WAIT. WAIT. GO TO GANELON. Dinnertime! SIT. EAT. ASK ABOUT LANCE. ASK ABOUT CIRCLE. ASK ABOUT CORWIN. CONFESS. Didn't go that way in the book, but okay. GO TO GANELON. Hm, not much of a battle, but that just isn't the focus of this game I guess. ASK GANELON. Off to Avalon, and your militant brother Benedict. GREET BENEDICT. LIE. ANSWER. Ouch. BREAK CONTACT. TELL. AGREE. Benedict joins you in an attack on Amber - unthinkable for those of us who have read the books. ^_^ But all is not well in Amber. SIT. AGREE. ASK ABOUT ROAD. AGREE. FOLLOW ERIC. Another non-battle. GO TO ERIC. Game over. The game indicates that this is not the optimal ending. But it isn't one of the worst endings - you won't be assassinated. There may be some way to improve your standing with Julian after your fight, which will probably also improve your standing with Caine, though the relationship will probably never be cordial. Anyone know?