Saturday, March 29, 2008

Honourable Mentions: Indiana Jones and the Cup of the Vampire

The blurb: “It is the Cup of Djemsheed, a unique mediaeval treasure. Legend has it that anyone who drinks from this goblet will be guaranteed eternal life. Mihail Tepes, a Romanian archaeologist, believes, believes the cup is buried in the grave of the notorious 15th-century Prince Vlad Dracula, the person who inspired the stories of Dracula the vampire. If Dracula drank from the cup, it is possible he walks the earth to this day! Your search will be complicated by many other people – some of them ruthless villains – who will stop at nothing to gain possession of the cup.

“Right from the start, you are in charge. Depending on the decisions you make, you could wander endlessly through catacombs, meet real-life werewolves, or fight to the death with bloodthirsty bandits. Every thrilling and dangerous step of the way the choices are up to you as you find your fate.”

The Mention: This 1984 volume, written by Andrew Helfer and illustrated by David B Mattingly, was mentioned in the comments for Relic Hunter: Vampire’s Kiss by blog reader Anthony Hogg and many thanks to Anthony for bringing it to my attention.

One of the spate of adventure game books from the 80s, the reason this is only getting a honourable mention is because, as I decided with DVD games, I do not want to get into reviewing game books. This is the sort of game where you read a passage and you are asked to make a choice from a set of multiples, turning to the page indicated by your choice.

Depending on your choices the story changes, not only as to whether you achieve the goal of finding the cup mentioned in the blurb but of who your enemy is, be it a vampire cult, a business man looking to gain immortality or a group of vampire hunters. The different versions of the tale see Dracula as a skeleton (staked or otherwise) or a live/undead man.

You do not play as Indy but as a child sidekick, fitting as the book/game is designed for a child. Some of the ideas are very simplistic and, as a game book, this probably lacked the sophistication of some produced at the time. Some of the story directions are lacking also, for example, Mihail Tepes discovers - at the start - that he is of the Dracula family line. Firstly wouldn't a Romanian archaeologist know that anyway? Secondly, not with the surname Tepes. Vlad Draculea might have been derogatorily named Tepes (impaler) by political enemies but he never, as far as I am aware, used that name and nor would his family. Still it is a kid’s book.

After Anthony had mentioned this I was fascinated to see how much of a simile one could pull with the Relic Hunter episode and, having spotted this for a rather criminally cheap price, I decided to check it out.

The cup mentioned is similar to Stanislaf’s chalice from the Relic Hunter episode – in that the chalice was originally owned by Vlad. The blurb is not clear but the book makes mention of the fact that it is blood that must be drunk from the cup. One of the enemies you might come across in the book is a group of vampire hunters, the Romanian anti-vampire League. The enemy in the episode was a vampire hunter.

It does make you wonder whether the writer of the episode lifted concepts from this? Nevertheless this Indiana Jones adventure does feature vampires (in some of the story variants) and thus gains an honourable mention.


Anthony Hogg said...

Cheers for the nod!

Your blog entry on the Relic Hunter episode reminded me of the book and I, too, wondered if there was any connection between the two..."influence"-wise.

Come to think of it, wasn't Indiana Jones a bit of a "relic hunter" himself?

Some pause for thought, there :P

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Anthony, credit where it is due.

Relic Hunter was kind of Indy/Tomb Raider on the cheap - but fun for all that.

movie scary said...

great post, thanks for the info.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

no problemo