Lure of the Temptress

 

Developer:    Revolution Software

Publisher:    Virgin Interactive Entertainment

Released:   1992

PC Requirements:    640K RAM, 16 colour VGA, mouse control recommended. Supports AdLib, Soundblaster, Roland, and internal speaker. Hard drive recommended.

 

 

 

by gatorlaw

Lure of The Temptress
(A Horse, a hero, a good girl and a very very bad girl)

Lure of the Temptress is the first game offered to the gaming world by a then fledgling development company,  Revolution Software. Released in 1991-92, the game has been resurrected by Sold Out Software. This company has done a superb job of re-mastering older classic games to CD Rom. Despite itís age in gaming life, Temptress fared fairly well. It is the classic tale of good vs. evil. Our hero with great reluctance finds himself on a mission with the Kingís Guard to set out and defeat an alluring but ethically challenged temptress. It seems that things are not right in our fair kingdom of Turnvale. Our hero, however, is a reluctant warrior. In fact, he had tried to sneak away quietly into the night, but his horse had other plans. Unfortunately, the evil sorceress has gathered an army of unearthly demonoid critters. The demon horde goes to battle and the King and his men are most foully dispatched. Our hero finds himself in a dark, dank dungeon. He must save the day and the kingdom. That is of course if  he can get out of that dungeon, past the demonic guards and perhaps give his horse a good talking to.

Quest 1: Installing the game

I wouldnít normally give install tips at the beginning of a review, but this is an ancient game by PC standards. I also have the game in an older format - but there are some quirky moves you have to make with setting up a formatted disc and all to save. There is also a horrendous copy protection feature where you have to flip through a game manual and match up little characters that are on each page with what the game requests before itíll load. Donít go there. The game as set up by Sold Out is wonderfully easy to get up and running. Well at least as far as I know it does for W98 and earlier.

Copy the contents of the disc to a folder on your hard drive. Being highly creative (cough) I named mine "Lure". Then just click on the Lure.exe file in that folder and the game starts up. What is nice is that I didnít have to change any resolution or color settings. After that you can save easily to your HD in that folder. There are 15 save slots available, which I found to be more than enough. It was easier to load and play than many newer games released in 1995 and 1996. One more thing. Apparently some or all of these games have a weird little flaw where an important item will simply not be where it should. However it is resolved by choosing restart as soon as the main game screen comes up. I would do this at the beginning of the game just in case. After that your game should play with no problems.

I did a search and located a Brit site that has the game for 8.00 USD and 3.00 shipping http://www.4pccd.co.uk/under5-2.html 4PCCD - Lure of the Temptress/Sold Out version.

Quest 2: The Playing of the Game

The interface is standard point and click. It has a menu type selection for varied actions. For those who are familiar with the classic Lucas Arts games - this wonít be new. You right click on an object and youíll get a listingÖ "get", "open", and so on. Leave it highlighted on the option you want and left click. You also get a standard "look" action when ever you left click on a cursor highlighted object or person. Click on any spot and the hero will go there. Large arrows appear at places where you can exit or walk. If you took advantage of copying the files to your HD from the CD-ROM - then saves are done through the menu bar at the top. The learning curve on this seemed fairly brief for the most part, though there are times you have to "tell" or order another character to do something for you. You have to thread together the order and this can be awkward at times. Essentially you select "tell" as the action option. Then you will get a list of actions as in "go to" "use" and so on. Then you get another list of options as to where they must go or what they must use and so on. I found this to be cumbersome at times and on other times it didnít seem to get through and I had to repeat the order. It didnít make me stop playing - but it does impact the rating I would give the game. Now for  the story and other highlights.

Quest 3: The Telling of the Tale

The opening of the game is a slide show of silhouettes and graphics interspersed with a scripted story of how our hero got where he is. I like this when it is done well and like the opening to GK1, Revolution did a great job with this and other cut scenes in the game. There arenít very many - but it does add a nice touch.  Given the age of the title I was impressed with some of the effects in the opening sequence. The story is advanced through the basic seeking out objects and talking to the game characters. The game environment is built like a maze. Yes that word that gamers have been known to cringe at. I would strongly advise walking around and roughly charting what exit leads to what place. I got used to it and got familiar with some of the pathways to common places, but you can do a lot of wandering. The story itself is the classic quest based theme. One of the high points of the game is that the dialogue has the earmarks of classic Revolution dialogue. People are sarcastic in many of their responses and I enjoyed the conversations and the responses were not at all predictable. Definitely one of the pluses and a factor that kept me going despite some of the drawbacks.

Quest 4: The Good People of the game

Revolution used a type of real time program in the game that they called "Virtual Theatre". Basically this means that the NPCís in the game walk around with their own agendas and at unpredictable intervals. I am not sure exactly why they did this, as it really doesnít add that much to the game. Essentially you have to add chasing people down to your wandering around trying to remember how to get to this place or that. Fortunately they donít roam very far and there are usually others you also need to talk to., find or give something to. The other thing is that you can do things in any particular order as you progress to the major points of the game, so I managed to keep going and never really felt stuck. The characters themselves have very distinct personalities. I enjoyed this aspect of the game very much. There is your devoted servant of sorts who is an aspiring jester. There is the girl (isnít there always one in any good quest?). There is a sneaky trader, a lusty barmaid, a thick headed barbarian, a voluptuous and thoroughly bad temptress, and the nasty Skorl warriers. They apparently love wine and arenít too bright. There are many others that you run into and they all have a smart comeback or two. Well - except the Skorl warriers. "Out of my way - uman!" is their primary comment. Revolution has a real flair for creating interesting characters in their games and they didnít skimp in this area in their first release.

Quest 5: The puzzles or Challenges

With a few exceptions, there werenít really any puzzles in this game. You spend much of your time using inventory items in logical ways. A peg wonít turn - it needs to be greased. A lock needs to be picked, a fire lit. There were however some challenges that were unique and stumped me for a little while. You may need to spy a bit, eavesdrop and the like. You canít jump the gun in this game either. You may think that something looks useful or needs to be interacted with - but until your character "notices it" - You canít interact with it and wonít even get a highlight on the object. So be liberal with your left click "look at" feature. This part of the game was another strength to me and one of the things that makes the game worthwhile. One of the drawbacks of the game however are two awkward fighting elements. I got stuck for awhile on the first one til I realized that there really wasnít a strategy to it - you just stood and kept right clicking til the guy was vanquished. It was an awkward interface and didnít add to the game at all. I would have ditched these - they felt tacked on and were frustrating at best. SO be aware if you canít stand even a hint of clicking up and down a character to swing an axe down or at a creature - save your game dollars for another game. There are only two of these though and after you succeed at the first one - the next one will not be a problem.

Quest 6: The other stuff

The music, if you want to call it that is the standard tinny background music from games put out in the late 80ís and early 90ís. I turned it off after a while. There are no voices in the game, so it really isnít needed. Every once in a while I would get bored with the quiet and turn it back on for just a bit.  The graphics are actually quite good for the age of this game. If you have played Beneath A Steel Sky - they are the same and maybe even a shade better. This was a surprise since Steel Sky came out later.

And they lived happily ever afterÖ..

Overall, I liked Temptress. I wouldnít put it in my top 20 or maybe even 30 games of all times. But it was fairly long, I liked the characters, general game play and had a fairly good time. It also was fun to see the beginnings of Revolution. I have all of their games and definitely liked seeing their first game. I wouldnít spend a fortune on this game. It is harder to find these days.  I had seen it for sale online at a number of British retailers, but only found one this research trip. That site and the price of ordering is listed under the install part of this review..

Final Grade

I think the dialogue, challenges and characters make this game worth a try. However due to the two awkward fight bits,  maze game environment and the associated constant ramblings looking for people and things I would have to give this game a C+ or in GB parlance 3 Baags.

Min Specs:

The box specs are so minimum - I doubt anyoneís machine canít handle the game requirements. As to whether itíll install and play on any OS after W98. That I canít say.

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