The Wizard and the Princess, Part 4: Pirating for Dummies

Image from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a rowboat on the beach.

After I throw the bread to him, the lion no longer blocks my path to the shore.  He munches greedily on the loaf, apparently unaware of his inability to digest it.  How one of nature's purest carnivores reached adulthood thinking bread was a viable food source is beyond my understanding, but perhaps Serenia is not meant to be understood.

When I reach the shore, I find nothing but a beached rowboat and some rope.  There's a large hole in the bow of the boat, making me suspect that the hole was placed there intentionally after landing.  Had the hole been made while the boat was on the water, the boat would have sunk in very short order.  I get a momentary feeling of disquiet from this realization and scan my surroundings for any sign of activity.  Does somebody know that I'm here?  Are they trying to prevent me from leaving?

Regardless, there's a simple solution to the hole.

Animation based on images from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a blanket filling a hole in a boat.

It's not a permanent solution, but the blanket should keep water out of the boat long enough to let me scout the area.

Picking up the rope and climbing aboard, I begin my sea voyage in earnest.  The water is calm and the skies are clear, so my only concern is where to go.  My initial plan is to row around the peninsula, near enough to shore that I don't get lost, but far enough that I will be able to spot any new places to land.  Fortunately, I'm only a mile or so from shore when I spot an island in the distance.

The trip to the island is long, but uneventful.  It's fortunate that I refilled my water flask in the river on the peninsula; otherwise, I don't know if I would have been able to last the journey.  When I finally row up onto the shore of the small island, I'm greeted by palm trees along the edge of a long-dead volcano.

Animation based on images from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a boat travelinlg the ocean and landing on an island.

At one point on the shore, an "X" shape stands out clearly, marked with a charcoal-like substance.  The marking must have been made very recently to be still visible in sand so close to the water's edge.  If it does indeed "mark the spot", then I'll want to get my hands on a shovel before the owner returns.

The island itself is very small and I'm able to travserse it in about an hour.  Aside from the "X", the only things I find are a cave (empty), an old anchor on the opposite beach, and a treehouse.

The treehouse is too high for me to reach, but there's nothing else on the island of note, so I should try to think of a way up.  I do have the rope that came with the rowboat, but that alone isn't going to be enough to get me up.  The anchor on the opposite beach would make for an excellent hook, if it weren't so heavy... maybe if I throw the rope over the branch first.

Animation based on images from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a rope being thrown over a branch to reach a treehouse.  The rope is then tied down with an anchor.

Lugging the anchor down from the beach is a pain, but worth the trouble.  With the rope secured and weighted down at one end, I can now climb up to the treehouse.

Image from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a showing a shovel and a table.

Whoever lives in this treehouse is a true minimalist, with nothing but a small table adorning the interior.  There's a shovel just sitting on the floor, covered in sand.  Presumably this is what was used to bury whatever is under the "X", so I might as well use it to unbury it.

Returning to the beach, I start my dig.

Animation based on images from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a treasure chest being dug up on a beach.

As tradition would lead me to expect, there is indeed a treasure chest buried under the "X".  With a few heaves, I'm able to extract it from the hole and rest it on the beach.  However, just as I'm about to open the chest, I hear movement behind me.

I turn around just in time to see a large, thin figure with an eye patch and tattered clothes shove me into the hole I'd just dug.  He yells, "Shiver me timbers!", rocks his crooked arms back and forth, and then starts dancing around the hole like a buffoon.  Before I'm able to collect myself and climb out, he picks up the treasure chest and runs off into the distance.

Serenians... are... the worst.

Covered in sand and sore from all the digging and anchor-dragging, which I now have nothing to show for, I'm determined to recover the treasure from this beef-headed anachronism.  There aren't many places he can hide on this small island, so I decide to start with the most obvious place.

Animation based on images from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a treasure chest being opened and revealing a harp.

The cave is only a short walk from the beach and sure enough, when I get there, I find the treasure chest neatly tucked in one corner.  The dim-witted pirate isn't even there to guard it, so I just open up the chest and take what's inside -- a large harp adorned with a purple, decorative sheet.  It looks like it might be worth something, so I tuck it into my bag with my other belongings.

I don't think this island has anything more to offer me.  From the opposite beach, I can see more land in the distance, but currents are too strong for me to take the boat across.  I'll have to think of another way...

Animation based on images from the adventure game, the Wizard and the Princess (1980), showing a beach fading to white.

The story continues...

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