09

Dungeon Module C1
The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan

(1980)

by Harold Johnson and Jeff R. Leason

 

 

 

 

Able Assistance:

Dave Cook and Lawrence Schick

 

 

 

Editor:

Harold Johnson

 

 

 

Editing and Production:

Dave Cook, Jeff R. Leason, Lawrence Schick

 

 

 

Illustrations:

Erol Otus, Jeff Dee, Gregory K. Fleming, David S. LaForce, David C. Sutherland III

 

 

 

 

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A perrennial favorite, The Hidden Shrine draws on a decidedly Aztec nature so cleverly intermixed with fantasy that a wholly believeable culture is revealed before the eyes of the PCs. Unfortunately, circumstances are arranged to allow very little sight-seeing, making the first half of the adventure rather frenetic. A great weekender for a campaign or a nostalgic pick-up game.

Realm Rating: 4/5

 


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Game09 - Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan (rating: 5.5)

Eep! This must be the first in gaming history to have Iron Butterfly's 'In-a-gadda-da-vida' as the opening soundtrack. I'm not sure if that was actually a good first impression on the game. It's a bit too long for UA, as well. Didn't crash my system, but bits and pieces of the tune chirped in occasionally.

Also, without actually starting to play, the color for highlighted font is not the best possible. The normal color is good, but the highlight is a bit too dark.

The story has the party trapped inside a large temple, and their goal is to escape that temple. The idea itself is not very thrilling, but in this design, a good use of art hacks made it a lot more interesting. I usually don't look into the art gallery before I've played the game at least a bit, so some of the surprises were quite effective.

Combats were not the main concern in the game. The always occurring damage events were. In fact, if the player creates characters in the game, I doubt it is possible to even finish the game, since those damage events eat away the hit points the 1st level characters have very very quickly. I found no resting areas inside the temple (which made perfect sense). No area view available, but it really didn't matter, since there usually was only one direction to go, which was 'forward'.

I think I finished it. There was no 'defined' ending I could see, but I got out of the temple and was indirectly told that the game was over. So I -assume- I finished it.

Harri Polsa

 

Review of game09 - The Hidden Shrine of Tomoachan

Another excellent entry in the Realm series.

This is a faithful adaptation of the tournament module. The first level can be quite deadly - which is exactly how it's supposed to be. The best way to get through this design is to save the game, explore a little, and then return to your saved game once you know the safest route forward. If you follow the safest route through the Shrine, you will have a better chance of survival, but you will still want to go back and explore what lies down all the side corridors.

The art and hacks are strongpoints of this design, as they seem to be for all the Realm games I have played. The Shrine of Tomoachan has a lot of art for a short design, because of the booklet of drawings which came with the original pen & paper module.

The only bugs which I encountered were: a graphics display problem when a big pic is followed by a sprite and a few spelling mistakes.

PLOT: 8 ART: 9 HACKS: 8 BUGS: 9

OVERALL RATING: 8.5

I highly recommend this module for everyone.

Nol

 


All of the preceding modules and game worlds are trademarked property of TSR Inc, which is now the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. I take no credit for the stories or ideas presented here, I merely converted them to a playable format for SSI's Unlimited Adventures game.