By Steve Jackson (USA)
Demons of the Deep is written by the American Steve Jackson and apart from the fact it is set underwater, it is a fairly traditional adventure.
The adventure starts with my ship being overrun with pirates. All my crew are killed but I am thrown overboard with my hands tied. As luck would have it, I am cast into the sea over a sunken city (Atlantis, no less!) which gives me a magical ability to enable me to breathe underwater. Ignoring the option of returning to the suface, I decide to investigate a building where I see something watching me.
In the building, there is a Mermaid lurking around who tells me that I have gills until midnight and that I will lose them if I breathe air at the surface. She also tells me that I need to collect black pearls to defeat the pirates (the reason for this is not explained), gives me a lucky charm and blows me a kiss. Wow, I think that is the first hint of any kind of sauciness I have read in a FF book… The mermaid then leaves and I decide to swim up some stairs.
At the top of the stairs I find a lair of Barracuda. They attack but offer no real challenge. A search of their lair reveals 4 gold pieces but nothing else so I head back down the stairs and down through a tunnel in the floor. The tunnel turns into a hallway and I turn right, this passage ends in a door in a cliff, going throught the door I decide to investigate the cliff face further and find a cavern containing a Moray Eel, which I dispatch but find that it is only guarding one gold piece.
As I swim away from the cliff face, I see a number of places of interest and decide to head for a sunken Galleon. When I arrive at the ship, I luckily don’t put my hand in a giant clam but kill it and find a silver pearl inside. While I am doing this, however, I am attacked by a Sea Spider. I am able to kill it and swim off to find the Captain’s Cabin. In the cabin I see some maps but nothing else of interest to I turn my attention to the cargo hold. In the hold I find a measly gold piece. Bah! This ship has been a waste of time so I instead head for a sunken garden.
On entering the garden, I head down the right hand path and come accross a Lion Fish. It seems to be hostile so I run up a large bit of seaweed and hide. This confuses the fish, which then swims away. I then move on and see an old man in a cottage. I investigate and find that he is a wizard called Greylock. He seems most upset that I don’t have any black pearls yet (as am I now!) but he says that a Sea Dragon may help me but I should be careful as it is greedy and trecherous. He then offers to swap my silver pearl for a potion of vaporous essence which turns me into a liquid temporarily! Should be interesting… I then take my leave of Greylock and decide to look for this Sea Dragon.
Before that, however, I encounter a Merman. He seems to be friendly and he invites me to his games room. I can gamble a gold piece (or pearl if I had it) and test my luck to see if I win. Due to my rather poor luck score, however, I decide to leave instead and head towards the cavern of the Sea Dragon. I engage the dragon in conversation and, remembering what Greylock said, I appeal to the dragon’s sense of greed. This seems to work and the Dragon tells me a little code to summon him should I need him when I find the pirate ship that killed my crew. Finally I feel like I am getting somewhere in this adventure!
On leaving the Dragon’s lair, I encounter a Sea Horse and try and befriend it. Unfortunately when I try and jump on to ride it, the creature throws me off so I have to carry on by foot. I take some time out to tackle some Bloodworms (my pet tropical fish eat these things so I am surprised when they manage to injure me). The bloodworms are guarding 2 gold pieces so I take these before carrying on to a sunken Cathedral.
On approaching the cathedral, I see some interesting stained glass windows. It seems they change every time I look at them and they relate to real life events. As I continue to look at the windows, I am attacked by a Devil Fish. At first I think it is an illusion but I get a rude awakening when it hits me. After killing the Devil Fish, I continue to stare, transfixed, at the windows. Eventually one of them comes alive and I meet Cyrano, the master swordsman/fishman. I pay him 2 GP for some tuition. As it happens, he is a better fighter than me but this does mean that he increased my initial skill score by 2! Wow, that’s good of him!
After the fight I find myself in a wreck of some sort, being swarmed at by some small octopi. I offer them some food but not all of them leave me alone so I painstakingly pick them off me. Sadly the thieving things have stolen an item from my backpack – I should have killed them when I had the chance! I swim off towards some interesting looking coral…
As I swim towards the coral, however, I encounter the Kraken. I remember from a readthrough when I was a child that this is a mighty beast so I tried to avoid it. I therefore tried to hide in the coral but it seemed that I was going to be found so I remembered the potion that Greylock gave me. Sure enough, this did the trick and enabled me to escape the dreaded Kraken.
After escaping the Kraken, I am told it is getting late so I should think about finding the pirates. I am asked if I have an unmelting ice crystal. Sadly I don’t. I am then asked if I know of a helpful dolphin. Again, sadly I don’t (This is not looking good!). My only option, then, is to surface and see what I can do. My adventure is over and I spend my time floating with some debris while the pirates continue to plunder. Not a great end…