Ingrid Violet Bottomlow is a bossy, thick-skinned gnome
who is eventually banished to the wilderness by her
exasperated family. The basic aim is to get Ingrid safely
back hone, while sorting out some local problems on
first thing I have to mention are the graphics; they're
very nice -- not quite up to Magnetic Scrolls' standards,
but a vast improvement on the usual Level 9 pictures.
What is interesting is that they load separately from
side two of the disk, thus demonstrating that all of
the memory has been used for the text, a method which
the Austins have utilised throughout their adventure
career, using only the spare bytes for graphics.
amount of text which Level 9 squeeze into the 64 is
near mind-blowing Screens and screens of text slowly
scroll up as events and locations are vividly described.
The parser itself is very acceptable, with the now almost
expected ability to understand such inputs as TAKE ALL
BUT THE BELL and CENTAUR, TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. The
player may also FOLLOW another character, FIND a certain
object known to exist within the adventure, or even
RUN TO or GO TO any location.
are times when Ingrid needs to locate an item to enable
her to placate or befriend a creature, so it in turn
helps her with the quest These inhabitants are mostly
friendly, and are quite articulate in conversation and
carrying out orders. They can do little jobs for Ingrid
while she concentrates on the more important tasks,
and they even report back to her when the job is finished!
adventure comes in three parts, each of which is completed
before the player proceeds in the following section.
Positions can be loaded or saved to or from tape, disk
or RAM, and the very useful OOPS command can be used
to take back a move should it prove fatal.
graphics may be dispensed with entirely, or raised bit
by bit with the cursor keys. Text can be defaulted to
brief or verbose, and the command AGAIN repeats the
Ranger is a very professional, highly interactive
adventure. The pretty pictures add to the already adequate
ambience created by the text, and the parser is intelligent
enough to deal with most inputs. The only grudge, and
there had to be one, is the game's slowness, but even
this does not detract from the playability. I would
like to welcome Level 9 back to the top three in my
adventure writers chart . . . and let's hear it for