Fool's Errand, The Manley Associates / Miles Computing 1989

This is one of the classic puzzle games. It tells the story of the Fool, who wanders throughout the land solving puzzles to break the enchantments, discover the land's treasures, and undo evil. It features word searches, cryptograms, jigsaw puzzles, anagrams, a Tarot-based card game, and lots of other bizarre puzzles. Also included is an animated intro, and extended finale animation as separate executables (but you have to win before it'll let you run the finale). The game is structured as a storybook divided into four parts, each containing a large number of different chapters; the storybook can be paged through and read as continuous prose on screen. However, not every chapter is available at the start of the game, and those chapters which are available are not consecutive. Many chapters have a puzzle (called an enchantment) associated with them; completing such a puzzle unlocks further chapter(s). The very first chapter, The Sun, features the puzzle The Sun's Map. This is a jigsaw puzzle with one piece for every other chapter in the story; each puzzle piece appears only when the appropriate chapter is unlocked. Each piece contains a symbol representing the chapter from which it came, plus part of a continuous path which flows through all pieces in the order in which they are mentioned in the narrative. Once the map is successfully completed, other designs on the map become active click targets and can be used as clues or processes to decipher the true final puzzle: The Book Of Thoth, hidden within the chapter The High Priestess, which requires the reader to peruse the entire story as continuous prose and identify a number of phrases hidden within the narrative. The game has now been released as freeware by the author who is planning a sequel due in late 2006.
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