Quentin Heath discovers that the Artic series of adventures have been causing concern.
THE ARTIC adventures, A, B and C have been causing a great deal of concern among readers of this column. Many people think that the games are unsolvable but Artic says that there is an answer to all the problems which are encountered when the programs are run.
The program which is causing the most difficulty is Espionage Island. At the beginning you are in an aircraft which is hurtling out of control towards earth and a spectacular crash. Once you have landed it is necessary to defeat the enemy on the island and to discover its mysterious secret.
Unfortunately some hapless adventurers have not been able to get out of the aircraft before it crashes. That seems to be a common problem. It seems logical that there would be a parachute available in an aircraft but the first problem is finding it. You may have tried everything. One reader tried to get into the captain's empty cabin but to no avail.
Getting the parachute is quite simple. The commands are 'Take parachute' followed by 'Wear parachute'. If you are not careful at that point you could finish in mid-air with no visible means of support.
The correct way to make your exit is to 'Open door' and not 'Pull the handle'. If you take the latter course you will be flung into open space and have to make a landing without a parachute.
You can jump out of the aircraft without further problems but remember that you should 'pull cord' to allow your parachute to open, as soon as you are out of the aircraft.
When you land on the island tell the computer to 'drop chute' to hide all evidence of it from the enemy. Strangely, that is the most difficult part of the adventure for many players. Once past that point you can progress fairly rapidly.
One area of the adventure which is rarely discovered is a special object hidden in the wreckage of the aircraft. Tell the computer to 'Touch dark corner' and you will discover a string of lucky beads. You may be inclined to leave them at the site but you should not, as you will need them later.
From the aircraft wreckage you can go south or east. If you go east for two moves you will find burnt bushes and arrive in a jungle clearing. It is then a short hop south and then east before you encounter a native girl who will prove useful.
Some readers have tried to interrogate the girl but that will prove useless. All she will understand is a little bribery and corruption. She will barter with you and the only thing which you have is the string of beads. Offer those to her and she will give you a weapon.
The native's weapon seems just as useless as the string of beads. You will find that you can do little with it in the present situation. That is because it was given to you for another purpose, which is much removed from the native girl and the plain.
To learn the purpose you should make three moves west, one move north-west and past the aircraft wreckage again you will find yourself in the guard's clearing. You should be careful there as there are enemy guards patrolling the area and you would not want to be locked up.
If you go south again you will find the guard's hut and it is at that point that you must use the weapon. Killing the guard is not a vicious random act. Despite your doubts everything has a logical flow in this adventure. If you do not kill him you could be locked up and encounter further difficulties, like trying to escape from an enclosure.
From the guard's hut you can travel south to the river cove. The name of the location should suggest to you that there is a boat somewhere near. If it does not you should try to start thinking in those terms if you want to complete the adventure. There is a reason for every event and location, no matter how unlikely it may seem at the time.
From the river cove you will discover a boat and can start your way down the river to the rest of the island.
There is another way around the island if you go back to the grass plain and the native girl. If you go south from there you will find yourself on an eroded bank. A crevasse lies in front and a stick lies on the grass verge.
You have to do something very illogical with the piece of wood. It should be dropped into the crevasse. If you move forward after dropping the stick you will not fall into the crevasse. The stick has turned into a bridge which you can cross.
The location following the bridge is a rocky slope and you are given two directional options. What you should not do, if you are a newcomer to the game, is to go east.
That direction will take you to the swamp. If you go into the swamp keep a map record of which directions you take or you will finish in the quicksand.
There are several objects which can be collected in the quest for the secret of the island. The string of beads and the weapon are just two of them. The list of all possible finds is lengthy but it includes a penlight, a torch, a branch, a gun, a match and a rope.
Some of those items will be found in the vicinity of the aircraft wreckage. Usually the objects have a link with their surroundings. For instance, you would expect to find a boat near a river.
Espionage Island requires a great deal of thought to solve and is particularly suited for expert adventure garners. All that is needed to crack the secret of the game is an understanding of the situations as related to the objects. When you can get that the rest should be relatively easy.