Enrico Colombini

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(This article is a direct translation from the one in the Italian Wikipedia, except for the description of "L'apprendista Stregone")

Enrico Colombini is an italian writer and programmer.

In 1982 Colombini programmed, with the collaboration of his wife Chiara Tovena, the first text adventure game in italian language (for the Apple II computer), titled "Avventura nel castello" ("Adventure in the castle").

Avventura nel Castello

The game's setting is a scottish fortress, from where the player must escape without being killed. With a detailed description of the setting and of the different actions, the computer asks Cosa devo fare? (What can I do?) and commands like Guarda la panca (Look at bench) or Prendi la spada (Take the sword) can be typed. The correct action can make the player go on with the play, while a wrong one could cause the death to the character.

The plot line is rather complex, and there can be found some brief moments of irony (the adventure feels "offended" if a dirty word is written) and emotion (e.g., if we kill the cat we meet along the way) Initially, and thanks only to an agreement between Colombini and a friend, owner of a shop, the game was offered (in a handmade packaging) along with the Apple II. A second version, with a revised verb and word dictionary, enriched with a new graphic/text mode and with a modified code to allow it to be played in the new (by then) Apple IIC, was succesfully distributed by J.Soft in the whole italian territory (with a plastic package and an instructions manual). A third edition would be distributed some time later, adapted for the MS-DOS platform.

The game, which in 1983 had been sold at 48.000 lires, won the "best videogame" prize in the "Computer Play '83", where Colombini attended also with Melopoli, which was positioned in third place.

L'apprendista stregone

This story's protagonist is the apprentice of an old magician in a small village. The master and the student start a journey towards an active volcano, which is about to start an eruption.

Full of very emotive moments, with a greater interest in descriptions and story-telling than in previous works, this story could be seen as a metaphore of the process of growing up. The young apprentice, through a strong moral decision he has to take shortly after the beginning, is forced to become a man.

This work is considered by Enrico his own best adventure.

Published works

  • Avventura nel castello (Adventure in the castle)
  • Melopoli (Monopoly) and Mac Melopoli (Port for the Apple Macintosh)
  • In cerca di fortuna (Looking for fortune, a text adventure for Mac based upon an Andrea Angiolino's story)
  • L'astronave condannata (The sentenced spaceship)
  • L'anello di Lucrezia Borgia (Lucrecia Borgia's ring)
  • L'apprendista stregone (The magician's apprentice)
  • Il drago delle caverne (The cavern's dragon)
  • La casa dell'ambasciatore/Operazione Zanna Bianca (The ambassador's house/White Tusk Operation, example adventure publicated in his 'Avventure' book series)
  • Echo! (a game defined as an "expandable Audiogame")

Apart from writing adventures, he also produced the Modulo Base, a computer program written in portable BASIC sold in a floppy disk along with some of his books, which allowed to write your own adventure games.

Colombini has also worked in the compilation of another game by Roberto Cerruti for Apple II, with the title Signori della galassia (Lords of the Galaxy)

Bibliography

  • Scrivere un gioco di avventura
  • Avventure versione Apple II
  • Avventure versione PC IBM
  • Avventure versione Commodore 64
  • Avventure versione Sinclair Spectrum
  • Avventure versione MSX
  • Avventure per MS-DOS

Review and Article Credits

Links

Interviews