The Making of Lure of the Temptress
The Making of Lure of the Temptress
- Locked up in a Turnvale Dungeon -





The medieval town of Turnvale has fallen into the hands of the evil enchantress Selena and her mercenaries, the skorls. After the battle, Diermot, a young peasant, is taken prisoner and locked up in the dungeons. At the start of the game he escapes, after freeing Ratpouch, who will become his servant. Their quest begins to free Turnvale and get rid of Selena's evil tyranny.

In this period, the graphic adventure genre was dominated by LucasArts and Sierra. In 1988 King's Quest IV had been published and, in their eyes, the series had become repetitive. They thought they could do it better, more sophisticated.1 In a way this was amusing, as Noirin Carmody was responsible at Activision for establishing the Sierra name in Europe.2

Cecil, though he enjoyed the Sierra games, felt that there had to be more than yet again saving King Graham of Daventry from a fairly unlikely series of events. They came up with the idea of writing an adventure game that didn't take itself too seriously, but did have a serious story, something in-between LucasArts and Slerra.3 So Lure of the Temptress became very much a parody what was going on at that time. Characters are talking about modern ideas in a medieval context, which is part of the humor.4

(T/B, L/R) Dave Cummins, Charles Cecil, David Sykes, Adam Tween, Tony Warriner, Stephen Oades

Besides the co-founders (Noirin Carmody, Charles Cecil, David Sykes, and Tony Warriner) other people got involved in the creation of the game: Dave Cummins (Lead Design), Stephen Oades, Adam Tween, Paul - Dokk - Docherty (Graphics/Artwork) and Richard Joseph (Music/Sound Programming). Daniel Marchant, who worked at Mirrorsoft and later at Virgin, became the game's producer, and Dermot Power designed the cover illustration.5 According to Warriner, they pretty much made things up as they went along. There wasn't a design document. They just programmed away and fed that back to Cecil for the design.6

They weren't inspired by specific examples. Looking back though, they were admirers of an 8bit game called Dun Darach, so perhaps some of that came across.7

There are some reminiscences of RPG elements such as, apart from the setting, the "Skoris", the potions, the instructions to a helper friend, and a few action scenes.



Diermot
Ratpouch
Temptress's main characters are Diermot, a peasant who is recently employed as a beater in the king's hunting party, and his helper friend, Ratpouch, an amateur jester. At the beginning of the game, both are locked up in a dungeon, after a battle in which the enchantress Selena and her hordes (the Skorls) have killed the king and taken over Turnvale.


There are about 19 characters in the game (except for the Skorls and beasts) and Diermot can talk to each of them, though the wandering monks will ignore him at first, as they seek "humility, wisdom, and the ability to keep a straight face in public." The patrolling Skorls in Turnvale will only give him a snarl when he speaks to them."8

Defaced sign at the Town Hall

The strong and varied set of characters in Revolution's second game, Beneath a Steel Sky, has its origin in Temptress, with, for example, the slightly deteriorated, story telling Catriona (mother of the blacksmith), or the barbarian Ultar, who cross-dressed in his effort to enter the castle. The blacksmith (Luthern) is part of the "resistance group" in Turnvale, and its major achievement has been defacing the Town Hall sign ("A glorious blow for democracy and freedom"). All personalities got distinct personalities with their own motives, which was in part a result of the possibilities of the game engine that was developed by Revolution.




(c) All artwork copyright Revolution Software
(c) Text game-nostalgia.com