Adventure Probe
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The Final Demand is part three of Steve Clay's “Taxman' series. Yet again, you the intrepid tax collector have peen detailed to grab the taxes from six errant citizens who nave “forgotten" to pay up on time It is perhaps a measure of your reputation that you have been chosen to persuade these citizens to donate valuables to the Inland Revenue

For the record the citizens in question are : Rapungent , Pestcon Troll , Col Osal , Puff the dragon , Fairy Godmother , Oli Bungo.

I started the Quest inside a building. A sign advertised for an axe-throwing dwarf (must be accurate). Intrigued by this. I wandered inside and as luck would have it. I found a rod and a Iittle further on , a map. Now , knowing that I was on the right track. I examined the map more closely. If I tell you that it seems to have been compiled by a drunken cartographer who had failed his geography (and English) exams , you may have some idea of how much sense the map initially makes.

Having got past some acid I found myself in 15 Hall. There is a helpful list secreted about the hall which gives you a good indication of the nine treasures which you will need to solve the problems set hereabouts.

After wandering around the playing area , I found a Silver Hall Inside is a series of rooms whicn boast polished silver tiles. There is a dispensing room nearby where you can obtain blocks. Now , these blocks to pe dropped in specific locations and must turn to the colour indicated on a seal. What action dropping a block has on blocks in adjacent locations must be observed and taken into account. Personally. I found that this problem needed more than a little thought. it is surprisingly difficult. However, once solved , Oli Bungo paid up with no complaints.

I made my way to Rapungent's tower. Unfortunately , she couldn't let down her hair because some over-enthusiastic prince managed to scalp her as he was trying to climb her hair , leaving her as bald as the proverbial coot. The solution to this problem is a fiendishly difficult puzzle called "Revolution'". As its name implies, it involves revolving locations. The inner locations rotate 90 degrees every time you move.... By the time I solved this problem , I was well and truly on the way to becoming as bald as Rapungent. Mind you , I did get a hare restorer for my pains!

Then there was the arm-eating chest to contend with, and soon afterwards  ,Rapungent will pay up. and that s another debtor you can cross off your list.

The Fairy Godmother, I found, is unhappy because her wand has been pinched , and has been left in the dragon's secure hands. Now I don't particularly like dragons I had a nasty experience once in The Hobbit , you see. In fact after Dwarves they're the creatures that I hate dealing with most. An awful clue gave me the means to cross a series of stepping-stones across a chasm. It is in this region that I met the dragon. He wasn't in the mood to talk apart from muttering something about it being dinner time There isn't incidentally, any time to be lost if your life is valuable to you.

I found a clearing which was shrouded in fog. Not far away is an enchanted wood. This is a much more ferocious wood than most , since if you take a wrong turn you get blown up Monty Python style. Using the ramsave facility here is strongly recommended. On the far side of the wood I managed to obtain the item(s) necessary for retrieving the wand. However I found it s not quite as easy as all that I returned to the Fairy Godmother s cottage and ended up face to face with Pestcon Troll. Lucky me!

I managed to persuade the Troll and the Fairy Godmother to pay up which then left me Col Osal The 15 Hall region is where you need to be. You'll find that these locations form a square , and it really is magic!

I have to admit I thought the idea for Final Demand - that of a taxman collecting taxes from six characters - might be wearing a little thin after the first two games. In all honesty. I have to say that if the idea is wearing thin , it doesn't affect the playability or enjoyability of this game It is just as cleverly thought out and programmed as the first two parts and is just as difficult if not more so.

The standard of the problems is as high at ever. However , I found those set in this game were a little more awkward to solve than in the other Taxmar games. Novice adventurers may find this a somewhat daunting game to attempt and should be aware of the fact that they will need to contact WoW for help when they get stuck. In fact intermediate and advanced adventurers could well end up - as I did - tearing their hair out in sheer frustration Steve really does add a cerebral dimension in the problems which he sets!

There are some superbly awful plays on words (as I've come to expect in Steve's games-and some very tricky sequences which demand careful thought.

I played the PAWed version of the game on disc running under CPM. There is a GACed version available for 464 owners which , I am told, is very similar to the PAWed version.

Overall I enjoyed playing the game although it isn't a game which you can plav with less full concentration, Its difficult, its f.end.sh but its great fun. I nave no hesitation ,n recommending the game, especially to more expenencec adventurers looking for a challenge. It's a fitting third part to the Taxman series.

Amstrad version available from WoW Software. Price : £4 (PAWed/disc only)  , £2 (GACed/tape only). Taxman Trilogy Special offer - any two £5 (disc only), all three £6 (disc only) Cheque/p.o. payable to J.G.Pancott

Spectrum version available from Zenobi Software. Price : £2.49 (tape) £3.49 (+3 disc) "Tax Bill" special compilation of all three games £4.99 (tape or +3 disc). Please add 25p to cover postage.

Reviewed by Phill Ramsay on an Amstrad CPC

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AUTHOR: Steve Clay

★ YEAR: 1993



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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.