The concept of the Witch's Brew adventure game was created along time ago by someone else for another language running on another computer based on a prior adventure game. It was used to teach how to write adventure games. Because of this it was only a skeleton game (partially designed), writing the program (coding) was left up to the student. The story line was created in the third of four lessons, rather than in the preliminary phase of game generation. The original game had 12 locations. To make the game easy to develop, many fairy tale plots were used (frog prince, wicked witch, golden fleece dragon, medusa serpents).
I translated Witch's Brew into A.P.L. at the request of friends who found the adventure games for the Adventure module to difficult. This game was therefore developed as an introduction to adventure gaming for beginners. To make it more challenging I added simple twists to each problem. I also wanted to include context sensitive help (present location and previous actions determine type of help given), and graphics.
My alpha testers (first stage testers) liked the game, but they indicated that it was to easy. I therefore increased the number of locations and added more complex problems (hidden objects, a swamp, night and day cycle, and alligators) for the player to solve. The game was then split into two parts (easy and hard levels). The easy level was made less restrictive to the players actions and allowed resources to be renewed.
I was not completely satisfied with version 1.04, but I had run out of memory with the Adventure Editor and was heavily involved with the development of Wizard's End. Version 1.04 became the final released version. With the compiler I was able to increase available memory enough to completely separate the easy level from the hard level. So in version 1.05 the easy level plays like version 1.00 with 12 locations.
The story begins in the distant past of the kingdom of Lester. In the land of Lester lived two powerful beings, the wicked witch of the north, Haggarth and the mysterious wizard of the south, Cettetar. The kingdom of Lester rested precarious between these two warring beings. For some unknown reason Cettetar joined himself to the kingdom of Lester. The joining of these two forces resulted in the capture and banishment of Haggarth. With the banishment of Haggrath, Cettetar returned from where he came, and has not been heard from since. But before leaving, he gave a prophecy concerning the distant future, which mentions a royal family, great cities, a day of dome, and the salvation of the people. For in this day the kingdom of Lester was composed of no more than a few dozen villages. To help the people on that terrible day Cettetar left a jewel of summoning.
After many generations had passed, a king arose who united the villages into a single people. In the third generation of the royal line a traveler of distant lands, brought into the kingdom a gift for the king, a scepter of remarkable beauty. This scepter became the symbol of rulership, and was passed down from generation to generation. It was not until the tenth generation that the true identity of the scepter was discovered. It was enchanted with the spell of good fortune.
A long, long time ago in the kingdom of Lester, lived a happy people. The scepter of ancient wizards protected the land from their enemies, and unpredictable weather. The people worked a land that was bountiful. The king and queen were true, caring, and just to their subjects. The greatest day of their lives was recorded in the annuals of the kingdom when to the royal family was born a daughter, lovely and fair of complexion. All seemed well, until that dreadful day when a dark cloud overshadowed the kingdom. Although it only lasted a minute or two, the terror that it foretold was unimaginable.
In the middle of the towns square is the kings fountain, and on this fountain was found a basket. Inside the basket, cuddled in old wrappings was discovered a small child. The king order that the child be brought to the palace and examined by his wise counselors of old. The child was poked, prodded, and tested. To no ones surprise the child was found to be just that, a child. The child was a very beautiful girl, and immediately gained the favor of princess Ella. She took the child to raise as her own.
That night while the royal family slept peacefully, a strange glow engulfed the child. The child began to be transformed. When the glow dissipated a young woman crept silently out of princess Ella's room. Down the long corridor and into the court yard she went. Outside she followed the shadows of the wall that surrounded the courtyard and the garden of the queen. In the light of the full moon she scrawled a symbol on the wall, and whispered...
As she whispered, a tunnel formed through the wall. The young woman bowed as a black robed figure appeared from the tunnel. The crackle of an old woman's voice could be heard in the gentle breeze of the night. "Come my pretty, to the king's chambers," said the robed figure to the young woman. Around the neck of the king appeared a withered hand, silently removing the key to the treasure room.
That morning the kingdom was awakened to a blast of thunder, and a torrent of rain. Great fear for the loss of the harvest by the rain quickly overcame the kingdom. Soon the river Quil would overflow it's banks, and push swamp water into the southern fields.
To the horror of the king and queen, the scepter that guarded the kingdom was missing, and so was their daughter, princess Ella. A note was found nailed to the palace gates which read:
To the people of Lester, I Haggarth now rule the land. I have your precious scepter. Anyone of Lester who attempts to retrieve the scepter I will destroy, and your king, will never see his daughter again.
When the storm had past, insects from the flooded fields, invaded the cities, and towns. Plagues and pestilence ran unchecked throughout the kingdom, taking the lives of many a subject.
The king and queen fell into great despair, their kingdom has become like those around them. Fearing that the people would soon rebel, and that the kingdom would fall into ruin, the king summoned his counselors, and demanded a solution before noon the next day.
The counselors took the note and studied it thoroughly. They consulted the most ancient of books for a solution. With no sleep they approached the king as directed. With heads hung low they spoke:
Oh great king of Lester. We have consulted the ancient books, and studied the note, and there is but one solution. Prophesy predicted this day would come, and it has. The solution you have demanded is written; "Send for the true, and he will defend what is not his".
The king became confused and demanded an explanation.
Oh great king, a defender must come from without the kingdom of Lester. Only this one can defeat Haggarth, and restore all to you.
Who is this defender? How can we summon him without Haggarth knowing.
Oh great king, the jewel of the wizard Cettetar will summon our defender, and Haggarth will never know.
Summon him at once...
Our hero is a typical guy, beset by life's many problems. A man who dreams of being great, the kind of stuff that makes the best of adventures. As our hero contemplates the events that lead up to one of the most disastrous days of his life, he drifts into a troubled sleep. When he awakens, he finds himself in the land of Lester. His task unbeknownst to him is to return the scepter to princess Ella.
Last updated: Mar 4, 2011