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ERIC THE UNREADY

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


Whenever the experts are asked to name the best adventure games of all time this 1993 game usually comes up, and for good reason. It is a comedy classic, a brilliant parody written by Bob Bates who was formerly with the famous Infocom team, and this game reminds us a lot of their Zork games.

It is an excellent example of the transition games that were made to bridge the gap between the old text-only adventures and the advent of the newer graphical ones. It can be played with either a mouse or by typing in commands. A picture of your location appears in the upper right of the screen, with on screen text for descriptions and conversations (no voice), including an 'Undo' word to undo your last action.

You can click on the picture for descriptions of objects, and double click to take them or talk to characters. For more complicated commands you click on a list of words, and to move you click on a compass. Or you can just forget the mouse and type in everything. Having both options and a picture available means that it's an ideal game to try your hand at text adventures if you've never played one.

The story is a little gem. Eric is a knight and, as the title says, he's not really ready for all that implies ..... not by a long shot. While still in training he impaled his instructor during jousting class, and its been all downhill ever since. Like the guy in the old 'Little Abner' comics who always had a black cloud over his head, disaster seems to follow Eric wherever he goes.

The shop steward of the Knights Local Union decides to try him on something more suitable to his "obviously limited talents". A passing witch has turned a farmer's daughter into a pig and Eric is sent out to kiss the pig to remove the enchantment ..... a simple enough quest for anyone else. Oh, Eric does eventually succeed alright, but not without first having to pull the terrified pig out of a privy and destroying the farmer's barn on his way out!

So when the beautiful Princess Lorealle the Worthy, daughter of King Fudd the Bewildered, is kidnapped and Eric is assigned the quest, the other Knights of the Rhomboid Table are flabbergasted. Sir Eric however is gung ho and sets out to discharge his duty in true knightly fashion. He knows that he must get Lorealle back to her father's side within a week, before King Fudd dies as prophesied, or the other Princess (Grizelda the Hefty) will inherit the kingdom.

The fantasyland scenes are beautifully painted, the cut scenes are great, and the music is absolutely delightful: takeoffs on old familiar popular pieces and theme songs (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now). He soon finds out that he will need 5 items to rescue the Princess and the plot gets even more involved as he goes along, with Eric always managing to screw up everything before he gets through. Each quest is a stand alone mini adventure within the main story and the problems that you have to solve go from the absurd to the ridiculous, and they're all a lot of fun. You encounter witches and wizards, elves and aardvarks, dragons and vestal virgins, and the God of Lost Causes. And you have to fend off everything from a pushy used rock salesman to the dreaded attack turtles.

The humor is positively inspired! The game lampoons everything in sight: other adventure games, movies and TV shows, politicians, and even children's nursery rhymes. You visit the Not So Great Underground Empire of Zork, Swamp Trek, and Milligan's Island, Phantasy Island and Monkey Island, among other places.

Practically everything that you try results in some wisecrack or joke. Bates says that he sat up nights dreaming up comebacks for the truly creative gamer, and we believe him. Try anything and everything: getting it wrong is often even more fun than getting it right! And don't neglect to read the newspapers that you find (including the personals) ..... they're hysterical. But there is one place where you can die, so always make sure that you save each time you accomplish something.

You may have to consult a plastic surgeon to wipe that smile off your face when you're through playing this game, but we'll bet that you won't be able to ever again think about some of your old favorite shows or games in quite the same way. Highly recommended.


Full View Cutscene

Produced (1993) by Legend Entertainment.

Was also released (1996) with 7 other old classic adventures in "The Lost Adventures of Legend" and was distributed by Mindscape Entertainment.

Minimum System Requirements: PC Only!

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!


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