Nine Princes in Amber
by Telarium Software
A Walkthrough by Erik Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The game Nine Princes in Amber was published in 1985 by Telarium, makers of fine
text/graphic adventures. Versions exist for the Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari ST, and IBM PC.
This, like many of their games, was based on literature. This game was based on the first two
books of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber series, entitled Nine Princes of Amber and The
Guns of Avalon. Reading these books is not only enjoyable, but will also give you a great deal
of insight on how to win this game. The books are no longer in print as individual volumes, but
you can buy the entire ten volume series in one 1,264 page omnibus trade paperback entitled The
Great Book of Amber, ISBN 0380809060. But with a bit of trial and error one could probably
still beat the game version of NPIA without first reading the books - if not for the specialized
NPIA is a little different from other text adventures, is that its focus is on talking to other
characters and fighting, and sports an expanded vocabulary dedicated to both. You can't simply
say "KILL TROLL WITH SWORD" like you could in Zork I - You need to actually type in the
types of attacks and defenses you want to use. Without the manual, you will have difficulty
getting very far in this game, and that manual may be hard to come by seeing as how the game is
a good 15 years out of print at this point. I eventually managed to score some scans, and decided
to write this document mainly to help those who don't know how to search on their own, ya
damned retards. ^_^
CUT / SLASH
DODGE / DUCK
These commands can (and should) be stacked up to three high. For example, THRUST
HIGH, PARRY CUT LOW, FEINT SLASH, PARRY PARRY, etc. Your attack may or may not
hit, and may or may not leave you open to counterattack, which you may or may not have time to
parry at the next command line.
These are the commands officially mentioned in the manual. There are a few other that
probably act as synonyms. Commands in all caps can be used alone (though it isn't always their
most effective use) - the others must be used with another word (for example, MENTION
First things first - gotta stop the pending injection. HIT MAN. Then your escape -
BREAK CASTS. TAKE CLOTHES. Now you are disguised, but where to go? READ CHART.
Notice that your name, for some reason, is John Corey instead of Carl Corey like in the books,
and that you were admitted in 1985 (the first book was published in 1970). GO TO EVELYN.
(Ah, if only such a simple command worked in OTHER text adventures... oh well)
You arrive at "Evelyn's" mansion. You can do several things here. You can skip
visiting your sister entirely if you like, and you'll run into Random, but for the optimum ending,
KNOCK. Ah, your first dialogue encounter! There are probably several ways through it, but
here's one that works for me - GREET HER. Ah, your name is Corwin, and she's making a
rather nasty threat. PLACATE HER. I'm not sure if the answer you give here matters much.
She'll leave immediately if you say NO or MAYBE. If you say YES, then ASK ABOUT ERIC
for a little more information before she leaves.
Alone in the room, this is a no-brainer - SEARCH DESK. EXAMINE CARDS.
ANSWER PHONE. "Evelyn" has left, so the answer is NO. Ah, we know this fellow from the
cards we just looked at. Good thing we know our real name now, eh? CORWIN. YES. If you
want to survive the next few turns, REPLACE CARDS, just like Corwin did in the book. Flora
and Random arrive - GREET HIM. HELP RANDOM. If you failed to replace the cards before
Flora shows up, she leaves in a huff at this point, and you will be dead shortly. Since you did
replace the cards, you can ASK FLORA. Hurray.
Now to bluff info out of Random - YES. YES. GET IN CAR. ASK ABOUT ERIC.
SUPPORT BLEYS. YES. And off you go, right into another fine mess.
Your first fight. ASK ABOUT JULIAN. Yech, what a yucky complexion! GET OUT
OF CAR. DRAW SWORD. Flip that disk!
The results of your fight commands are random each time you play - I did a save state in
CCS64 at the beginning of battle, and found that whenever I began with FEINT CUT LOW
followed by THRUST LOW I scored two hits, but the second time around Julian parried my
opening FEINT CUT LOW. So if you are using an emulator, just do a save state once the battle
begins. It'll probably take you a few tries to best Julian. Julian can take a lot more hits than you
can. Using DODGE will usually result in instant death by decapitation, even if the blade is
going for your legs. The amount of hits you need to knock Julian down is either random or
depends on what kind of wounds you manage to inflict. You'll probably need to hit him at least
Just for fun, THREATEN JULIAN (no real effect, though he does deserve it). ASK
JULIAN. SPARE JULIAN (you can kill him, but you won't get the optimal ending). ASK
JULIAN ABOUT ERIC. ASK JULIAN ABOUT DAD. TAKE JULIAN HOSTAGE.
THREATEN JULIAN. LEAVE. FOLLOW RANDOM.
At this point the dump I have bombs out trying to load the graphic of Random, so to
continue I had to use the PICTURESOFF command (a standard in Telarium games) before
leaving Julian. If anyone has a dump of NPIA that doesn't have this glitch, I'd sure appreciate
LEAVE ROAD. You come to a clearing. ASK RANDOM. HELP DEIRDRE. (In the
books, she was Corwin's favorite relative. Ahem. ^_^) This would be a good time to CONFESS.
AGREE. Off you go to Rebma. ENTER WATER. D. D. (Wow, normal text adventure
commands for once! FOLLOW THEM also works if you want to maintain the more literary
mode and type more.) ASK DEIRDRE. D. Welcome to the Pattern of Rebma.
You can ASK DEIRDRE if you like - or if you know the books, just skip ahead and
WALK PATTERN. Thus begins the Pattern game. It's a bit like the game Pipe Dreams - you
have the choice of five tiles, and you must select them to build a path across all five stars. You
type in the number of the tile you want and the color path to lay it on (which begins with white).
So, for example, you may start with 3 WHITE (if it connects, of course). You can have a total of
four branches. You can cross paths of other branches, but if you cross a path of the same
colored branch, you die. Memories trickle back as you lay tiles, with major ones returning as
you hit stars.
The center of the Pattern, you can go anywhere... that the game will let you, that is. In
other words, GO TO AMBER. You are now in the library, with a pack of Trumps taunting you
behind a glass case! EXAMINE CASE. PICK LOCK. Hm, that didn't work out. Bet you didn't
realize you even had that dagger, did you? What else do you have? INVENTORY. EXAMINE
CLOTHES. Ah, here's something that sounds useful - EXAMINE ROSE. Ah-ha! PICK LOCK
WITH ROSE. Uh-oh, trouble, its Eric!
DRAW SWORD. Have your fight, similar to the one with Julian. Actually, I have found
it easier, but bear in mind Eric knows he has reinforcements on the way. Good thing you got
those Trumps - now would be an excellent time to CONTACT BLEYS. CORWIN. GO TO
Yeah, "man." ^_^ YES. If you read the books, you'll see that the entire march on Amber
has been nicely condensed into two paragraphs by the game. ^_^ Doesn't matter what you do at
this point - any coherent command will do. If it will make you feel better, you can try to
CONTACT BLEYS (pointless), or if you want to save some typing, just say E - it doesn't matter
one little bit. You'll be knocked cold by Caine no matter what and marched before Eric. SPIT.
(If you BEG or anything like that, Eric will kill you just to spite you). HIT SMITH. Ouch.
Were this were a normal text adventure that you hadn't read the book for, you'd probably
think yourself good and screwed at this point. Just WAIT a few times until you hear a voice.
YES. THANK REIN. EXAMINE BUNDLE. ASK ABOUT ERIC. ASK ABOUT BLEYS (hm,
that's a little different, but then again, so was the entire assault on Amber). ASK FOR HELP.
He'll eventually leave after a while, you can ask him all sorts of stuff, none of which is
immediately relevant. May as well EAT MEAT before it goes bad. ^_^ Screw around for a bit
more, and Dworkin shows up. GREET HIM. LIGHT MATCH. LIGHT MATCH. You should
now be in Dworkin's study (normally you wouldn't have made it there until the third book, but
oh well). EXAMINE PAINTING. GO TO CABRA. Free at last.
ENTER. ENTER. GREET JOPIN. LIE. THANK JOPIN. LEAVE. We are now in
territory covered by in The Guns of Avalon, Lorraine Vs. The Black Circle. HELP KNIGHT.
CORWIN. You'll get a warning about using that name here in the future. HELP KNIGHT.
CARRY KNIGHT. GO TO KEEP.
Trouble, once again. DRAW SWORD. KILL CAT. KILL CAT. (This is the only time
in the game you can kill so easily). CARRY KNIGHT.
Welcome to "Ganelon's." LIE. GREET GANELON. YES.
WAIT. WAIT. GO TO GANELON. Dinnertime! SIT. EAT. ASK ABOUT LANCE.
ASK ABOUT CIRCLE. ASK ABOUT CORWIN. CONFESS. Didn't go that way in the book,
but okay. GO TO GANELON. Hm, not much of a battle, but that just isn't the focus of this
game I guess.
ASK GANELON. Off to Avalon, and your militant brother Benedict. GREET
BENEDICT. LIE. ANSWER. Ouch. BREAK CONTACT. TELL. AGREE. Benedict joins
you in an attack on Amber - unthinkable for those of us who have read the books. ^_^
But all is not well in Amber. SIT. AGREE. ASK ABOUT ROAD. AGREE. FOLLOW
ERIC. Another non-battle. GO TO ERIC. Game over.
The game indicates that this is not the optimal ending. But it isn't one of the worst
endings - you won't be assassinated. There may be some way to improve your standing with
Julian after your fight, which will probably also improve your standing with Caine, though the
relationship will probably never be cordial. Anyone know?