[ Quarters | Library | Laboratory | Base | Egg | Embarkation ]
It was a gray day. The wind was brisk, the sky was overcast and full of fat, puffy clouds heavy with the moisture of the coming storm. My shoes crunched on the light layer of wind-dusted sand blown from the nearby beach as I walked down the narrow lane towards Valembois' lighthouse. The beach was just out of sight but I could hear the surf, angry, hissing as it attacked the rocky strip of coastline. It's bass voice punctuated the sigh of the wind through the sparse trees and the cries of the few gulls brave enough to try the weather.
I heard a clicking from behind and turned to look. It was the postman on his bicycle. He stopped to talk. He had me pegged right off as "the journalist." Evidently Valembois had told him of my letters. I listened politely, saying nothing, until he finished and rode on. I turned my coat collar up against the wind and followed him towards the lighthouse.
I had been researching an article on Amerzone. The last time the scientific community had taken notice of it was in the mid thirties. A few people went, not much information came back. Alexandre Valembois was the only man left alive I could find who had actually been there. But he was flawed. He'd talked the Museum D'Histoire Naturelle in Paris into financing an expedition there in '32. He left in some strange machine he'd invented, stayed two years, spent a lot of funds, and returned with an huge egg.
Valembois said it was the egg of a mystical bird that constantly soared the heights around some volcano, never touching foot to earth. The Museum said it was an Ostrich egg, and an expensive one at that. Valembois' career was ruined, his credibility as a zoologist destroyed. It wasn't until after the war that he finally found employment as a natural history teacher in a high school. He was now the only one who could give me first-hand information about Amerzone. Maybe - if old age and dim memories weren't playing tricks with his sanity.
The lighthouse was like a brick fortress, built on a square crop of rock surrounded by a wall with a rusty iron gate. The letter the postman had left was hanging out of the mail slot. I put it in my pocket and pushed open the gate. Inside was a small courtyard-like area dominated by a huge, ancient anchor. I ignored it and walked to the base of the lighthouse, pushed open the door and went inside.
1. There wasn't much on the bottom level, just a bicycle and a trapdoor in the floor. I noticed a sledge hammer leaning against the wall near the bicycle. A metal circular staircase twisted upwards. I climbed it.
2. I could hear music as I climbed, some dated tune probably from the thirties or forties. It sounded like it was coming from an old record player that had seen better days. I called Valembois' name as I climbed but there was no answer.
3. His living quarters were at the top of the stairs. Across the room Valembois sat at a table. He was wearing a tattered old coat and, strangely enough, for being indoors, an old fedora. You know the kind, 1940's, felt, 4 inch brim with a velveteen band. Well, maybe he was cold. It was damp in that old pile of brick. An ancient gramophone occupied the far left end of the table and announced itself as the source of the music. He was completely unaware of me and sat with his arms spread on the table, weight on elbows. His head was slightly downcast and he was nodding like he was falling asleep - or very ill.
4. I approached him with the intention of introducing myself and giving him the letter. I never got the chance. Soon as he became aware of me he began his story. A story that was to change both our lives forever. At the end he fell into a coughing fit. He put his head down on his arms like he was going to rest for awhile. That was it. When he didn't move for a few minutes I felt the side of his neck for a pulse. There was none - he was gone. The gramophone had stopped and the only sound in the room was the ticking of the grandfather clock in the corner.
5. So, the egg was "alive" and he wanted it returned to Amerzone to redeem himself. Suddenly I felt as though I'd gotten way too deep way too fast. If he'd lived I could have politely listened, refused and left. But now...things were kind of final. I decided there was no harm in doing a little research while I was there.
6. I read the letter I had in my pocket. It was a refusal from the Museum to fund another expedition to Amerzone. They were still smarting from 50 years ago. What the hell. The Museum's phone number was on the letter. I went to the phone on the wall under the staircase and dialed the museum's number, 03 46 52 81 79. Maybe I could have a little more luck than the old man. No way. After listening to a few minutes of abuse I hung up.
7. To the right of Valembois was a small stand with a picture of a woman on it. It was dated 1933. Not bad - if you go for the native type with cheek tattoos and hair styled with a knife. Her name, I guess it was her name, was written in the corner. I couldn't decipher the handwriting.
8. Behind and right of Valembois was a sideboard. One of the drawers was slightly open. I could see documents inside. One was a personal letter from a David Mackowski, an old friend of Valembois in some place called Puebla. In Amerzone. If Valembois was crazy enough to come to Puebla they would meet. But Mackowski was not going adventuring. The other was a polite refusal from the government of Amerzone.
9. I could find nothing else of value in the room. I took the stairs up to the next level.
1. It was a library of sorts. To the left was a slide projector. I turned it on and it didn't take long to go through the two black and white slides loaded in it. They were taken in the jungle and were both shots of the same woman that was in the photo downstairs.
2. There was also a desk in the room. On the right end was a book open to two facing plates of a species of bird showing a male and a female. On the left was a preservation of the biggest bug I've ever seen. In the center was a journal Valembois had kept while he was in Amerzone. I took the journal and went through it.
3. Things were becoming clear, at least now I knew who the girl was. Her name was Yekoumani. Too bad I didn't have Valembois' hydraflot.
4. Far right of the desk was a ladder. I climbed it to a small alcove above the library. There I found a typewritten letter that explained in detail what Valembois wanted me to do. Somehow I must find the egg and the new hydraflot and get to Amerzone.
1. I went down the ladder back to the library and took the metal stairs up into the laboratory. Nothing much there: an old machine that played a scratchy recording of what looked like some South American dictator type (Alvarez?) giving a speech, a drafting table with some sketches of the hydraflot on it, a model of the same with a small electric fan that blew across the model when you turned it on. A crude wind tunnel?
2. More promising was the metal door in the right-hand wall. It led outside to an iron catwalk that circled the building and a rope and pulley mechanism. By the door was a ladder. I took it up to where the light used to be but found nothing useful there. Time to see where that trapdoor on the main floor went.
1. Back on the main floor, I picked up the sledge near the bicycle and opened the trapdoor. In the dark at the bottom of the stairs I found a switch. I flipped it and a tunnel was illuminated. I followed it to another circular stairway going down.
2. At the bottom was another tunnel. I followed it and just where it started to slope downwards, I noticed a narrow doorway off to the right. I was in a hurry to find the end of the tunnel so I ignored the room. My mistake. At the end of the tunnel was a metal door illuminated by a red light. It wouldn't open.
3. I made my way back to the room I'd passed and went in. I found a computer system that looked like an old Mac. On the right-hand wall was a double-throw knife switch. I pulled it down and was rewarded by the hum of power.
4. The CPU was to the right of the computer table. I turned it on. There was a beep. So far, so good. The power switch for the monitor was on the lower right of the monitor case. I switched it on and the screen lit up. It was the Hydraflot operating system!
5. I grabbed the floppy disk to the right of the keyboard and slid it into the slot in the monitor base. The system booted and asked me for a password. Damn! Then I thought perhaps Valembois was as lazy as the rest of us about security. The password was probably something simple he'd never forget, like children's birthdays, anniversaries or....I opened the Amerzone journal...there it was on the first page - 28 06 04 - his birthday. I entered the numbers and finished by selecting the star symbol.
6. I selected the square box next to the words "Authentication" and a screen with a twirling disk came up. I selected "load" and soon I saw a representation of the door at the end of the tunnel opening.
7. Back at the end of the tunnel I opened the door and stepped through and found myself facing an old-fashioned cage-type elevator. As I was about to enter the elevator something on the floor to the right caught my eye. It was a key of some sort. I picked it up and entered the elevator.
8. The indicator on the elevator control panel seemed to indicate there were three floors but I could see no way of choosing. I pulled the single lever down and the lift descended with a slight pause when the indicator passed the mark for floor 2. Curiouser and curiouser.
9. At the bottom was another door that opened easily. Inside was a huge room and in it was the Hydraflot! From the top of the stairs I could see a windowed office to the left. I descended and made my way there.
10. On a small table I found a sketch explaining how to find the egg. Somehow I had to get the elevator to stop at the second floor. I returned to the elevator and went back to the top floor.
1. A thorough search of the cage and the surrounding walls revealed a small receptacle on the rear wall of the elevator. It was far down in the right-hand corner, almost level with the floor. I inserted the key I had found earlier and pulled the control lever.
2. The elevator stopped but there was no door. The wall opposite the control panel seemed to have been patched. I took out the sledge and hammered on the patched spot. A section of wall collapsed. I passed through the hole and walked down the catwalk.
3. At the end was a door. I opened it and there was the egg sitting on a small raised trolley. To the left was a control station. It contained a thermometer, which I guessed showed the temperature of the egg, and a single lever. I pulled the lever and watched the egg roll out of sight down the rails.
4. I returned to the elevator and pulled the control lever. We went back to the top floor. I removed the key from the receptacle and pulled the lever again and the elevator went down to the Hydraflot level.
1. I went down the stairs. The egg was sitting on its trolley at the rear of the Hydraflot. Now what? I walked past the egg to the right, then turned right again. I saw a dim red light burning on the wall next to a ladder. At the top of the ladder I found a lever. I pulled the lever and watched the gantry over the Hydraflot remove the egg from the trolley and lower it into the Hydraflot.
2. At the bottom of the ladder I turned to face the Hydraflot. Along the right side of the machine was a walkway. I followed it down a tunnel with electrical cables and dim lights strung from the ceiling. I soon arrived at a huge wall (door?).
3. To the right was another tunnel. I followed it to a small lift, entered, and went up.
4. At the top was a small room with a telescope. As I peered through the telescope I saw a flock of birds flying away into the fog. Large red numerals at the top of the viewing area showed 140 degrees. I remembered that Valembois' journal said he had originally followed the Amerzone Geese. This seemed almost too simple.
5. I returned to the Hydraflot. Time to get real. I had the egg. I had the Hydraflot. If I was serious about fulfilling Valembois' mission now was the time. Inside the cabin I found another computer.
6. I inserted the diskette into the machine, picked "load" and watched it boot up. Soon I saw a menu listing the six modes of operation of the Hydraflot. I picked "plane" and watched the checklist go by.
7. Then it asked for "details". I punched in 140, the heading of the birds I had seen through the telescope, then the star symbol. I got a very angry message saying "Incoherent Data". So, it wasn't that simple.
8. I started going back through the journal for clues. There it was - on page 4 to the right of a sketch of the Hydraflot. It was a representation of a flock of birds. A line was drawn through the center of the flock in their direction of travel. At the bottom of the line was a notation, "+5 degrees". I keyed in 145 then the star symbol again.
9. The screen asked me to confirm the destination, whatever it was. I clicked on the confirm box and held my breath. Another checklist went by then the craft started down the rails toward the exit.
10. The cavernous door opened as the craft approached and the Hydraflot followed the rails outside to a ramp. There it rotated to the proper heading and the engine started. Seconds later the jet assisted take off bottle mounted above the cabin fired and flung us into the sky. As the expended JATO bottle was ejected into the sea I felt a pang of regret. I hadn't made any provisions for Valembois' remains. Then sudden panic - I also hadn't left word for anyone of where I was going.
[ Gasoline | Whale | Chest | Embarkation ]
I soon settled into the routine of the flight. There was no way to know how long it would take but I was confident the Hydraflot would perform. It was all automatic and left nothing for me to do but enjoy the ride and continue going through the journal. Thank you, Monsieur Valembois! We flew through the night into the next day. At mid morning my confidence was shattered. Out of gas! The warning light flashed accusingly from the panel. Before I could react, the machine went into a glide and bounced down onto the surface of the sea near a small island. Was this the island where Valembois had his fatal collision with the whale?
1. I tried to switch the operational mode to "boat". No go. Of course! There was no gas. I tried "sailing" and watched as the wings deployed as sails and we headed toward the island at a stately three knots. However, we soon stopped - still well out from the island.
2. I tried the only mode left that the machine would accept, "submarine". Just before we submerged a huge whale crossed in front of me barely avoiding a collision. Damn! If I wasn't careful I would be repeating Valembois' voyage a little more closely than I wanted. The craft submerged and entered a break in the atoll. There was a wreck jammed into the entrance partially blocking access to the lagoon and as the Hydraflot squeezed through, there was a small thump. I had dislodged part of the wreck. The wreckage fell into the opening blocking it. Well, I wouldn't be leaving that way. Now I had to find gasoline. There wasn't much change of hitching a ride on a Peruvian whaling ship like Valembois had done.
3. There was an old man fishing from the pier. I tried to talk to the old goat but he was in a foul mood because the fish weren't biting. Evidently there was a sperm whale caught in some old nets in the lagoon and the fish wouldn't bite as long as the whale was around. I took the hint. Unless I got rid of the whale I'd get no information from the old man.
4. A pier led off toward the mainland. I followed it. There was an old hull propped up on the beach. It had been turned into a bar and had what looked like a TV antenna raised above it. Inside, on the wall next to the bar, was a picture that looked like Valembois' original Hydraflot.
5. On a table at the opposite end of the room was a hardhat diving helmet. At the end of the room was a potbellied stove. Left of the stove, tacked to the wall, was a faded movie poster of Casablanca. To the right was a dartboard with a knife stuck in it. I took the knife, too. Being a packrat had its uses. You never know when stuff can be handy.
6. I left the bar with my ill-gotten gains. Outside, I turned right and walked past a windmill. My destination was a small building I had seen on the other side of the lagoon. It looked suspiciously like an aircraft hanger. Maybe I could get some gas there. I smiled as I saw the rusty gas pump in front of the hangar but I had nothing to carry gas in.
7. Inside the hangar was what was left of an old float plane and a radial aircraft engine swinging from a hoist. To my right I found a gas can. Great! At the far end of the building I found a wrench on a workbench.
8. Back outside I filled the can from the pump and returned to the Hydraflot. Mr. Personality was still fishing. The filler pipe for the gas was to the left of the egg. I dumped in the fuel and turned to the computer. None of the modes worked except "grapnel". Since the channel was now blocked by the wreck the only way I could leave was by "helicopter" mode anyway and it wasn't available. There was also another question. Was course 145 good from here or was the atoll where you gassed and changed course? I guessed I was gonna need the old man after all. Time to see about saving the whales.
1. The whale was underwater and I did have the hardhat, but no oxygen supply. The only place I hadn't explored was the windmill back on the beach. I went back there for a look around.
2. Examination of the windmill and the surrounding machinery proved it was some sort of air pumping mechanism. If I could only get it going. Facing the windmill from the beach side, there was some machinery on the right-hand side of the foundation. The left side of the foundation led to other machinery in the front of the windmill on the sea side. Closer examination of the machinery on the beach side revealed a D-shaped handle hanging down. I pulled it, it jerked upwards and the blades of the windmill began turning. Good. We had power, even if it was wind power.
3. I walked around the left side of the foundation then turned to face the machinery on that side. There was some sort of a contraption with a lever sticking out of the top. A pipe went from it, across the foundation and down into the water. To the right was a reel of air hose. To the left of the contraption I could see what might be a wheel. Closer inspection revealed it was. I turned it.
4. Back in front of the contraption I fastened the air hose to the hardhat, took out the wrench and used it on the far end of the pipe where it went down into the water. After that I pulled the lever on top of the contraption. Don't ask me why I did things in that order. It just seemed natural. I picked up the hardhat, put it on and entered the deep.
5. I went straight from the windmill foundation out into the lagoon. I found some sort of projection coming up from the sea floor. The end of the net holding the whale captive was snagged on the projection. I cut it loose with the knife and the freed whale wasted no time getting back to sea.
6. I went back to windmill foundation, climbed up out of the water and walked back to the pier where the old man was.
1. Well, well, well. The fish were biting and the old goat was talkative. To make it short, he remembered three men, Valembois and his companions, landing in the lagoon sometime in '32 or '33. They never got their Hydraflot going again. They finally left by ship. Years later the neglected Hydraflot sunk in the lagoon. The old man had a key to a chest they left behind. He gave it to me but never said where the chest was. Further questions were ignored. Time to do a little more exploring.
2. I followed the beach past the windmill and the aircraft hanger. Just past the hanger was the wreckage of a WW2 military plane. No time to dally. I continued down the beach until I found a path through the cliffs. I followed it to a dilapidated shack. Inside I found the chest. Inside the chest was a computer diskette. Maybe it was setup with the new course and instructions Valembois would have used had the party been able to get the Hydraflot going again.
3. When I exited the shack I saw a faded photograph on the wall near the door. It was dated July, 1932 and showed the three happy explorers standing with arms around each other. I trudged back to the Hydraflot.
4. Back at the Hydraflot, I slipped the disk into the computer and watched it boot. I picked "load" when the menu came up, then "helicopter" mode. When it asked for details I punched in 145 then star and got the dreaded "Incoherent Data" message. It seems I wasn't leaving just yet.
1. There seemed only one thing to do - taek a look at Valembois' sunken craft. Maybe there was a clue there. I went back to the windmill, donned the hardhat and went into the water.
2. I went back to where I had cut the net free and kept going straight. When I got to the wreckage of a plane, I turned right. Soon I saw it, the submerged wreckage of the original Hydraflot. I couldn't get the cabin door open to get inside. However, I thought, if Valembois had docked back then where I was now docked, my Hydraflot would be directly above. Maybe my Hydraflot's grapnel would be helpful.
3. Once back at the Hydraflot, I entered "grapnel" mode. I pulled the lever to the right of the control panel and the grapnel plunked into the lagoon. Now to go back to the underwater wreck.
4. I discovered I was correct in my assumption. The grapnel now lay next to the wreck. I hooked it to the cabin door and went back to my Hydraflot.
5. I pulled the grapnel lever on the control panel. There was a slight jerk of the Hydraflot as the cabin door below ripped open. Back to the wreck.
6. Inside the wreck I examined the computer. There on the control panel were the numbers 227. Must be the course to Amerzone from here.
7. I went back to my Hydraflot, for what I hoped was the last time. I selected "Helicopter" mode, watched the checklist go by and punched in 227 then "star" at the details screen, confirmed the destination and we were off. Well, almost. There was no automatic startup this time. I had to push the lever next to the grapnel lever on the control panel.
[ Jail | Mackowski | Embarkation ]
Back on the road again! In my exhilaration I couldn't help but thumb my nose at the old man on the pier as the Hydraflot lifted from the lagoon. At the proper altitude it switched to "plane" mode and we were off. I was proud of myself. I had beaten the odds on the atoll and was sort of one step ahead of Valembois on the journey. At least I was leaving in the Hydraflot. He left on a Peruvian whaling ship.
There was, however, one small nagging concern. I now knew how far this baby could go on a tank of gas. By mid-morning tomorrow I could be repeating my trip to the atoll. If past history was any indication, I would not only be looking for more gasoline, but a computer disk as well.
Sure enough, at mid-morning of the next day the engine sputtered and died - out of gas. I sat helpless and watched as we glided over what looked like a coast line guarded by a fence and watchtowers. It didn't look friendly. My heart came up in my throat as the Hydraflot pulled up at the last minute to clear the fence then glided to a smooth landing in the mouth of a river in the salt marsh just inside the border.
I figured to clear the area before anyone from the watchtowers got curious, so I switched to "sailing" mode and the Hydraflot moved up the river. Soon it stopped at a pier jutting out into the current. This was it. Time for more gas and computer diskettes.
1. What luck! There was a gas pump on the dock, but stupid me, I'd left my gas can at the atoll and it didn't look like the hose would reach. There was a stone walkway leading to a gate set in a stone wall. I went to it.
2. It was locked. Just before reaching the gate I'd seen a path leading off to the right. I went back and followed it.
3. It led to a graveyard. There was an ancient priest there praying over a grave. As I approached I looked at the headstone. It was Yekoumani's grave! Poor girl had only lasted a year after Valembois had run out on her. I introduced myself and told the Priest my story. If you can't trust a Priest, who can you trust? Turns out he was Father David Mackowski. I had his letter to Valembois. Mackowski had been one of the original three of Valembois' first expedition. He gave me the key to the village gate and told me there was gas for the Hydraflot in the fort and that I had a long way to go. So this was Puebla. At last I was in the Amerzone.
4. I unlocked the gate and entered the village. As I crossed the village square and passed the well and the church, I had to step around a dead cow laying in the street. At the far end I saw a building on the right with a flag hanging outside. Some official building, perhaps. Maybe they could help me. Big mistake.
5. As I approached the building, I saw a man on the right side of it. He was a soldier and he very promptly welcomed me to Puebla by giving me the standard whack on the head greeting. I woke up in a cell.
6. There was a cup on the bunk in the cell. Having nothing better to do I picked it up and used it to capture a bug that was high up on the wall to the left of the door.
7. Close examination of the bottom of the door revealed a hole through which I could see a bottle of Tequila. I wasn't going to drink it, but maybe someone I knew would. Our of sheer perversity, I got out the cup and put the bug into the bottle.
8. Holy smokes! I was just thinking of playing some spiteful juvenile trick on the guard. You know, the old "bug in the booze" trick. When the bug hit the booze there was a eruption of fizzing that threatened to overflow the bottle. It soon calmed down and the tequila appeared normal. The bug was completely dissolved. A black-gloved hand reached down and lifted the bottle. I heard drinking sounds then suddenly a body crashed to the ground in front of the hole. I jerked back then reexamined the hole. There was a nice shiny set of keys just outside the hole. I took them, naturally.
9. I let myself out. To the right of the mini jail I saw a jeep. It had a jerry can strapped to the back - standard world-wide jeep accoutrements. I took it and a rope that was in the back. You know my theory on packratting.
1. Since the soldier I had taken care of seemed to be alone, I decided I had some time and explored the village.
2. The "official building" I got whacked in front of turned out to be a school. Inside I saw some grade-school drawings of some birds. At the front of the class room and to the right was a bust of the fearless leader, none other than Antonio Alvarez, the third member of Valembois' party. What a bunch they were; a zoologist/inventor, a missionary, and a future dictator. There was also a map of Amerzone showing Puebla's relation to the capital city, "Alvarezopolis". What an original name.
3. The church was locked and the only other building I could get into was the cantina on the right hand side of the square. I missed him at first, because it was so dark where he sat in the corner. It was the soldier I had given the cockroach cocktail to. Evidently he'd come around and wandered in here to continue drinking. I thought I ought to leave him alone, but decided I could handle him since he was obviously drunk. I tapped him on the shoulder and he went into a drunken ramble about shooting a priest somewhere. Father Mackowski? I hoped not! Time to go. I quietly sneaked out.
4. I had the gas but still needed a diskette. I also had a rope, which according to my packrat theory should be useful somewhere. Climb a building? Naw, more exciting to go down a well! I went to the well, hoping I was guessing right and it hadn't somehow been responsible for the dead cow. I attached the rope and climbed down.
5. I was right. At the bottom was only a tunnel, no water. As I stepped into the tunnel I noticed a barred doorway on the left and a statue of a saint in an alcove to the right. I continued to what looked like the end of the tunnel but it merely turned left into the darkness. As I turned left I saw a sword leaning against the doorway. My packrat sense said to pick it up. I did, then continued left until I found a ladder.
6. I climbed it and discovered I was in the church and the ladder had come up inside the confessional. Boy, I can remember plenty of times where I could have used that. As I approached the alter I saw Father Mackowski. My worst fears were confirmed. He had been shot. He spoke quietly to me for a few minutes then died.
Now two of the original three members of Valembois' expedition were dead. Not only that, but I had been witness to both their deaths. I hoped this little sequence of events wasn't going to extend to the members of the present expedition. Back to finding the diskette.
7. There was a cupboard behind the altar but it was locked. There had to be a key somewhere. On a stand beside the pulpit was a bible. I opened it. The pages seemed to be blank. I turned some more and came to a place where the pages had been hollowed out and a key hidden inside.
8. The key unlocked the cupboard. Inside was diskette #3 and a letter from the Bishop of Amerzone to Mackowski, dated July 1935. So the church and Alvarez had a vested interest in trying to debunk Valembois' theory of the white birds.
1. I went back down the ladder in the confessional. I had a hunch of how to use the sword. My packrat sense was telling me I had an item in my possession that hadn't been used, therefore I still had things to do before returning to the Hydraflot.
2. I returned down the tunnel to the alcove of the saint. I took the sword out and placed it in the right hand of the saint then pulled the arm and sword down. There was a grating sound behind me. When I turned, I saw the passage had been unblocked. I opened the steel grate went through.
3. The tunnel ended with a ladder. I climbed it and found myself in a small shed. Opening the door, I discovered myself back in the graveyard outside the walls.
4. Back at the Hydraflot I emptied the jerry can into the filler pipe. I then inserted diskette #3 into the computer, clicked "load", then "glider" mode. The journey upriver began.
The Journey Upriver
[ Buffaloes | Rhinopotamii | Pechosaurs ]
Many hours later the Hydraflot stopped at a dilapidated pier. It wasn't out of gas, so the reason for stopping was a mystery. I climbed out to investigate.
1. There was a small hut on the pier but there was no one or nothing useful inside.
2. Outside the hut again, I followed the trail into the jungle. I soon came to another structure. Inside on a table I found a half-completed sketch that appeared to be some sort of a map. Left of the table in a dark corner, I found a can of gasoline. I took it and returned to the Hydraflot.
3. I emptied the gasoline can into the Hydraflot's filler tube and activated the computer. It went through the checklist. This time I had to push the throttles to the right of the grapnel lever forward to start the craft.
4. Soon we came to a narrow passageway between two cliffs. The way was blocked by animals. According to Valembois' journal they were Porcopotamii. I pushed the horn button below the grapnel lever and the sound frightened the animals and they soon cleared out and the craft started forward again.
5. Just a short distance later we came across two tricorn buffalo standing in the river. Valembois' journal had described them as stupid but skittish. So instead of blowing the horn I eased the craft forward (click on one of the buffaloes). Suddenly, one turned and charged the Hydraflot. The craft rocked under the animal's assault and actually moved backward in the water a short ways. As the animal withdrew, snorting his disgust, the engine quit. A warning from the computer confirmed the engine had been damaged. Disaster! In the middle of nowhere and the engine was packed up.
1. Somehow I had to get around the animals. I thought of using the grapnel as a winch. At this point the river forked. Through the left cabin window I could see some rocks in the stream. I pulled the grapnel lever and shot the hooks forward toward the rocks (click on rock through window. The Hydraflot will then point itself at the rocks. You can then choose "grapnel" mode from the computer. The cursor turns into a grapnel. Click the grapnel cursor on the target rock, then pull the grapnel lever - this is not a very intuitive part of the game). Eureka! The hooks bit and the craft was pulled toward the rocks.
2. I tried it twice more with success. Then I ran out of rocks. There was only a small pier off to the left and a lone Rhinopotamus standing in the center of the river. In frustration I fired the grapnel at it. The hooks shot out and passed over the animal's head and tangled the line in it's horns. Charged with adrenaline produced by sheer terror, the animal floundered towards the shore, his brute strength hauling the Hydraflot along. The animal passed around the end of the pier and charged up a shallow channel. The Hydraflot caught on the edge of the pier and stopped.
3. I climbed up on the pier to see if I could find out what happened to the Rhinopotamus and the grapnel. I waded along the shoreline following the line in the water. It led up a narrow channel and after a considerable distance I found the animal standing in knee-deep water at the channel's end. It seemed unhurt, but thoroughly PO-ed. I had to get that grapnel back. But here was no way I was going to walk up to that animal. Not as long as it was alive, or conscious.
4. I started back towards the Hydraflot and came to a large tree. A path led off to the right. I followed it into the jungle. I used the old "right hand" rule. Whenever I had a choice of paths, I took the right. After a while I fetched up against a cliff face. There at the bottom was a native blowpipe and a quiver of darts. I sincerely hoped they were coated with some sort of tranquilizing goop. If they weren't and I shot the buffalo with one...well, I had to try.
5. I made my way back down the trail to the tree, turned left and approached the animal. I loaded a dart into the gun, pointed it at the animals chest and blew. The dart flew straight and stuck in the tough skin. In a few seconds the animal was snoring. I approached, untangled the grapnel and made my way back to the Hydraflot.
1. How far could I go using this hook and drag method? I had no choice but to find out. I selected a rock off to the right, shot the grapnel out and was pulled away from the pier. I did this twice more.
2. I was at a place in the river where there were two strange creatures were standing in the river next to the rocks I had to target. By now I was wary, so I consulted Valembois' journal. They were pechosaurs - fish-eaters who caught fish by hooking insect larva to their long nasal appendages and luring the fish in. I figured they were non-dangerous. I fired the grapnel and the hook caught. Before the winch could reel in, one of the clever devils reached down with his proboscis and unhooked the grapnel. Then the amazing thing happened. His partner seemed to actually laugh! I tried again. Same result. Non-dangerous? Perhaps. Harmless? Hardly.
3. There had to be some way to clear the buggers out. I climbed out of the Hydraflot, discovered a shallow stream and began wading up it. Soon I heard intense buzzing. Going closer I saw some immense mud-like objects stuck on a cliff wall. Giant wasp nests! I looked around for something to use (packrat sense kicking in again). I spied two sticks, a small one to the right and a large one to the left. There was also a pile of dead, dried vegetation on the ground under the nests. An evil grin spread my lips as I took up the small stick and rubbed it against the larger and started a fire in the pile of dead grass.
Soon the smoke billowed and my insect air force zoomed down the stream toward the river and cleared the rocks of the too clever, laughing pechosaurs. I returned to the Hydraflot before either the air force or the pechosaurs wised-up.
4. I continued my slow mode of progress. The count of the grapneled rocks soon became lost. I was afraid the batteries that powered the winch would give out but they held. I passed across the face of a large waterfall. It was the one Valembois has identified in his journal. I ran out of rocks and my final grapnel target was a large wooden pier. The winch pulled the Hydraflot close and all motion stopped.
[ Workshop | Collect | Mix | Administer | Embarkation ]
I unhooked the egg from its cradle and climbed up on the pier. Somewhere near, I knew, was the village where Valembois had stayed with Yekoumani and was also where he had left his crude water-powered machinery. The immense falls were to the right. Probably the village was left. On to the village. I wasn't going to stop now.
1. Turning left, I walked off the pier. At its ending I took the path into the village.
2. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't an abandoned village. Inside an immense roofless enclosure stood a mechanism. It bore the unmistakable marks of Valembois' talent. The circumference of the enclosure seemed to be partitioned into cubicles, or living areas. I began on the immediate right and did my search counter-clockwise. I found strange objects and saw curious pieces of machinery.
3. One particular noteworthy device consisted of a huge hopper and a large hammer-like mechanism. Perhaps it was some kind of grist mill. Another had a crude conveyor lined with dippers that reached down into a container. When activated the scoops probably carried whatever was put into the container up into the machinery for some mysterious processing. Its room was accessed through a doorway next to a skeleton on the ground. A third cubicle contained a raised platform with a second skeleton on top.
4. I finally found what was probably Valembois' workshop. The doorway to it was overhung by an immense bird sculpture. Inside was a desk. On it was a sketch of a water activated device exactly like the one drawn in his journal. There was also a drawer. Inside it was diskette #4. I wondered if it would be useful since the engine of the Hydraflot was destroyed.
5. There was a back door in the workshop. I went through it into the jungle. I continued forward until the path forked left and right around a huge tree.
Collect The Ingredients
1. At the base of the tree on the ground I saw a blue-black bug. I captured it. I then took the right hand fork (packrats right hand rule here). Not much distance had been covered when I saw up ahead what looked like a cave. Just before entering I picked some flowers from the left hand side of the trail (the screen before the screen where you enter the cave).
2. Not far inside the cave (second screen), just where water appeared on the floor, I saw a red bug and added it to my collection. I followed the tunnel to a ladder and ascended.
3. At the top, directly ahead, I saw a wooden walkway. I went to it and followed it to where a wheel came up through the center of the boards. It must be the valve to turn on the flow to start the machinery. I turned it then went back down the ladder, through the cave and followed the path to where it forked and I had collected the blue-black bug.
4. There I turned right and explored the other fork. A short distance later I was at the end. On the right hand side of the path was a small palm tree with one coconut on it. I shook the tree, the coconut fell and I collected it. My packrat sense was tingling. I had a veritable cornucopia of inventory items that cried out for usage.
Mix The Medicine
1. According to Valembois' journal some sort of elixir or medicine had to be inserted into the egg to "cure" it before it could be taken back to its proper place. Perhaps I had the raw ingredients. Perhaps I could prepare it myself. I hoped I'd find someone to help. Mulling this possibility, I returned to the village through the back door of Valembois' workshop.
2. When I entered the village I noticed the distinct absence of a committee of learned Amerzonian pharmacists waiting to prepare the magical compound. I was disappointed. I noticed two other things, too. The Valembois machine in the center was working and there was now a woman sitting in the cubicle with the platform and skeleton. However, nothing I did could get her to talk or move. I was on my own.
3. Coconuts are hard. They need to be chopped open - or hammered. I went to the cubicle where the "grist mill" was. The hammer was merrily banging away under its watermotive power. I went to the rear of the machinery and dropped the coconut into the huge hopper. It rolled out, down a ramp, went under the hammer and was instantly pulverized. The milk ran into a bowl under the pedestal. I picked it up.
4. Now what? There was one other machine. The one with the scoops. I went to the cubicle where it was located. It was now also animated. Around the rear I found the container with the conveyor of scoops passing through it and placed the flowers into it. They disappeared up the conveyor. I went to the opposite end and there was a bowl full of green stuff. I added it to my inventory.
Administer The Tonic
1. That left the bugs. Perhaps now the mysterious woman would help. I went to her. Still nothing. Maybe it was time for a little show and tell. I handed her the egg. That got a response. "Ovo!" she exclaimed. I recognized it as the word for egg from the journal.
2. Then I handed her the bowl of green stuff. Another positive response. I quickly followed with the coconut milk, then the red bug. I never got to the blue-black bug. Soon as she received the red bug she started the ritual described in the journal. When she finished, she disappeared. I was left alone with the egg, and the blue-black bug, of course.
1. Now that the egg was "cured" it could be taken back to wherever it needed to be. I left the village behind and returned to the Hydraflot where I placed the egg back in its cradle.
2. My packrat sense was tingling again. Well, there was the path right from the Hydraflot. I hadn't explored that. And the forward progress of the Hydraflot was impeded by a log gate in the water. So, I headed toward the gate.
3. I found a lever with a huge snake wrapped around it. Now or never. I steeled myself and reached for the lever. Suddenly I heard flute music. It was the Amerzone woman! The snake answered the call and left the lever bare for me to pull.
4. The gate went up and I returned to the Hydraflot, inserted diskette #4, chose "boat" mode and pushed the throttle ahead. The Hydraflot responded and floated under the gate and stopped next to a wooden structure at what seemed to be the end of the canal.
5. I turned right in the cockpit and noticed a lever. I pulled it. The Hydraflot was raised to the top of the platform then slid down a ramp into more water and stopped. There was another lever on the right. I used it.
6. An overhead device similar to a cable car setup began towing the craft. I realized we were heading into the swamp mentioned in Valembois' journal.
[ Disaster | Giraffe ]
Just as I was getting settled for the ride, disaster struck. I saw it coming but could do nothing. As we neared a thatched hut on the right, I noticed the tow structure was collapsed. I braced myself and held on. The Hydraflot was overturned and I was flung into the water.
1. It was obvious the Hydraflot was finished. It lay partially submerged under the towing mechanism. I had to find the egg. I waded toward the hut, which turned out to be a tree house built on an immense stump. Near it I found the egg still intact and apparently undamaged, in its cradle. I plucked it out and headed for the tree house.
2. I climbed the ladder at its base and entered. Inside, hanging on the wall behind a table, I found a small bag. There was nothing else of value there.
3. I walked out on the porch of the hut and stared at the wreckage of the Hydraflot. I now saw that the towing structure wasn't collapsed. It ended here. The mechanism had simply failed to stop correctly and the craft had been wrecked. Crossing the swamp by Hydraflot was never the intention. How was it to be done then? Wading certainly wasn't attractive.
4. To the right of the wreck I noticed a pole coming up out of the water. It seemed to have what looked like a loudspeaker mounted on top of it. My packrat sense began tingling.
1. I climbed down the ladder and waded to the pole. Near the bottom were three protrusions, like rungs, sticking out of the pole. I used the bag on the bottom one and a sound emerged from the speaker. Off to the left I saw a giraffe like creature lured out of the trees by the noise. It quickly disappeared.
2. I went toward it and found another pole. I used the bag on the middle rung and saw off to the right, the same, or another, animal. Trees were in the way and I couldn't go directly toward it. I had to backtrack until I could turn in that direction.
3. I had to go all the way back to the first pole before I could double back. Shortly I went by some lilly pads and a frog. Here I waded up the channel slightly to my right and between two trees. I forged ahead for quite a ways turning only slightly right on occasion. I arrived at a watery burial ground where wrapped bodies were laying on platforms above the water. There was also a pole with a loudspeaker there. I used the bag on the lowest rung.
4. Shortly three web footed giraffes came wading through the swamp toward me. One was wearing a harness. I climbed up, sat in the saddle and urged him forward. Our trip through the swamp was short and ended next to a tree with with a ladder on it.
5. I bade my web footed friends goodbye and climbed the ladder. At the top of the tree a rope bridge stretched into the fog. I started across.
[ Alvarez | Key | Volcano ]
The bridge ended at an immense cleft between two cliffs. I followed the only path and soon found myself at the foot of a huge stone pyramid with stone steps leading to the top. I believed it was the temple sketched in Valembois' journal. I began the long climb upwards.
1. At the top I opened the door and entered. To my amazement Alvarez was sitting in a chair illuminated by a pool of light that came through a square opening. I approached him and noticed he was holding a pistol. I listened to his little speech on power. It seems he felt that as long as the natives believed in the legend of the white birds they were doomed to...what...being merely natives. As long as they were that he, as El Jefe, couldn't raise them up as a nation into a modern power.
He was expecting Valembois but realized I had come in his stead. He seemed to have trouble talking, as if he was in pain or having trouble getting his breath. As his poisonous dribble ran down, he pointed the pistol at me and swore he would keep me from going any further. Before he could pull the trigger, he gave a little twitch and slumped in the chair as if someone had flipped a switch.
2. My proximity to the members of Valembois' expedition seems to have been very detrimental. Is this case, lucky for me. Three for Three. There would be no joy in Alvarezopolis tonight. Or maybe there would be. I guess it depended on who you were. My packrat sense was at it again, so I took the medals from Alvarez's uniform.
3. Directly across from the old boy was a wheel on the wall. I turned it and was rewarded by the sound of stone grating on stone.
4. I climbed back down the steps of the pyramid. Near the base a hidden door had been opened. I entered.
1. Inside was some wooden scaffolding. I took the stairs down toward what looked like a crude forge. There was a crane hanging over a very hot pit. I turned the crank and the crane raised a container from the depths, swung toward me and lowered the container to the ground. I threw Alvarez's medals into the pan.
2. Of itself, the crane lowered the container with the medals into the heat. Soon a stream of molten metal ran from the bottom of the forge into a mold. It formed a key. I put it in my pocket.
3. I had a key. Now I needed a keyhole. I walked past the forge toward the far end of the chamber. Halfway down the chamber on the left was a lighted alcove. A short stone obelisk was standing there. It five things on it that looked like knobs and a funny slot that could be a keyhole. I tried the key. It fit. I turned it and kept turning it until it snapped back to it's original position. I heard wind and grating stone noises.
4. I returned to the top of the scaffold near the door and climbed the wooden steps to the top. There sat a rather crude wooden glider. I got in. As I sat down, an aperture in front of the glider was opened and I was launched into space.
1. Well, it flew but not real well. After squeezing through a narrow opening in the lip of the volcano it crashed on the edge of the lava pool. I walked around the lava pit counter-clockwise until I found a cave. Inside the cave I walked over some rickety walkways suspended above the lava to what looked like a throne with an immense egg-shaped jewel set in the backrest.
2. I placed the egg on the throne. There was some activity around the jewel. I took the egg back and left the cave.
3. Outside the cave I turned left and went back toward the crash site. After a short distance, I saw a dead bird near the edge of the lava pit. I picked it up. Just past the crash sight I spied a carved volcanic formation sticking out into the pit like a pier. I walked out on it.
4. There I placed the egg and on top of the egg, the dead bird. Suddenly the egg cracked and from the top sprouted a wondrous umbrella shaped affair that lifted the egg up towards the heavens on the rising heat of the volcano. Small white birds began plummeting from the bottom of the stalk and just before hitting the lava, unfurled their wings and soared skyward into the twilight sky. Wow! Now how the hell am I gonna get home?
The story goes that the white birds never stop flying. They're born, they mate, and they die in the hot, rising fumes of the volcanoes, their giant wings continue growing throughout their lives. And some people even claim that long after their death, their lifeless bodies glide on tirelessly. These are but stories, people say, stories that feed the dreams of the children that live in the Amerzone.
Amerzone: The Explorer's Legacy
Walkthrough © 1999 by Jim Blanchard
All original material including
names and images © 1999 by
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