Heart of Africa

Infobox VG
title= Heart of Africa


developer= Ozark Softscape
publisher= Electronic Arts
designer= Dani Bunten
released= 1985
genre= adventure game
modes= Single player
platforms= Commodore 64
media= Floppy disk
input= Joystick

"Heart of Africa" is an adventure game for the Commodore 64 and unofficial sequel to The Seven Cities of Gold. Created by Ozark Softscape and published by Electronic Arts in 1985, it casts the player as an adventurer searching for the Lost Tomb of Pharaoh Ahnk Ahnk in Africa during the late 1800s.

Back Story

The manual that comes with the game includes a lengthy back story that provides the initial setting for the player. In it are five documents that describe the reason for the player's adventure.

Letter from Flattery, Frump, Flaghorne and Fagin, Soliciters at Law

Dated October 10, 1889 this letter informs the player that he has been named the heir apparent to the estate of Mr. Hiram Perkins Primm. Primm was a wealthy business owner who was studying African funeral customs when he learned of rumors of the Lost Tomb of Pharaoh Ahnk Ahnk. He traveled throughout Africa obsessed with locating the tomb, and his family attempted to have him declared insane and his wealth removed from his control. Attempts to locate the tomb in Africa eventually led to his death. The firm has chosen the player to continue Primm's work and, upon finding the tomb, inherit Primm's vast estate. Final instructions indicate that the player is to travel to Africa alone, spend no more than five years searching for the tomb, receive an initial $250 for provisions and journey from Baltimore to Cairo by ship in November 1889. It also states that the firm's former junior partner, Mr. Fagin, is currently on a similar, although unauthorized, expedition to Africa.

Primm's Will

Primm, the wealthy owner of a casket business in New York, first indicates that no member of his family will inherit anything whatsoever. He then states that his attorneys are to find an appropriate candidate to carry out his life's work in Africa. He goes on to say that he has been disappointed by professional societies who made light of his efforts, and instructs the firm to choose someone who knows very little about Africa. He finishes by saying that the chosen candidate should be given only minimal funds until finding the tomb, at which time he will inherit all of Primm's possessions. It is dated February 4, 1886.

Primm's Letter to Fagin

Primm is writing in response to a letter from Mr. Fagin. He informs him that he is currently in Zanzibar and alive - although ill, tired and with few supplies. He goes on to tell Fagin that he believes he is close to the tomb and has recently talked with some natives about a legend of a wealthy traveler named "Uncle Uncle" whom he believes is Ahnk Ahnk. The natives are going to take Primm to the where they think he is buried. He finishes by saying that he is headed into the "Heart of Africa" to find the tomb, learn ancient knowledge related to burial customs and find the enormous wealth said to be in the tomb.

Primm's Unpublished Legend of Ahnk Ahnk

Ahnk Ahnk was a fabulously wealthy Pharaoh of Egypt in the 9th century BC. As he grew older he became more concerned with what would happen to his body and possessions when he died. Together with his advisors he decided to move his wealth to the most remote part of the world - somewhere deep in Africa. Before Ahnk Ahnk died, all those who had helped move his wealth and construct the tomb willingly gave their lives to help preserve the secret location. One "last man" was entrusted to seal the tomb, create an un-followable trail out of the area and then kill himself. He kept his promise, traveling some five years before committing suicide, however his journeys became legends among the many tribes he visited. Many of these legends are still remembered by tribal historians and contain hints regarding the path the Last Man followed, thus creating a sort of trail back to the tomb.

Primm's Notes on Africa

Here Primm writes a short account about each of the main regions of Africa. Each account deals with only one tribe, but he claims that it is typical for the region as a whole. He says that the reader can trust the information on language, cultural practices and religions to apply throughout the region in question.

North Region

Primm describes being in the desert near Cairo. Without companions or water he stumbles upon a tiny oasis and meets a group of nomads. They relate some rumors about a forgotten tomb a long way from the Nile. Primm thinks it may not be that far and states that they give directions that seem to be backwards. He says they are eager for gold or diamonds, but have an aversion to silver.

West Region

Primm describes the never ending grasslands and the millions of animals that occupy it. There are several tribes that have evolved into little fiefdoms. Primm spends the most time among the Hausa, fascinated by their king. The king is a very fat man who loves being carried around, although it takes sixteen men to do it. The Hausa revere elephants and prize ivory tusks. The tribe does not like emeralds and once set a trader adrift, tied up and all alone, after he show one to them. The tribal bard tells a story about a wealthy king who led thousands through this area to the south. Primm believes it was Ahnk Ahnk and thus leaves the Hausa to head south.

Central Region

Here he describes the hot steamy jungles of the interior, stating that he is always uncomfortable and that a machete is necessary for travel. He mostly sticks to following the rivers, but stumble on the Mongo tribe. The natives wear silver necklaces, and when Primm shows them gold they become upset and tie him to a post for an entire day. He is spared only because he's wearing a silver talisman around his neck. He describes their directions as deriving from the word Utomba - which means east. He learns nothing of the legend of the pharaoh and heads into the southern part of Africa.

outh Region

Primm goes into the region of the Zambesi river and meets several tribes who talk about Victoria Falls and warn him about the Zulu tribe. When he finally meets them he finds the Zulu to be very hospitable. The chief tells him of the initiation rights that all boys must undergo at the age of thirteen. He also learns that they prize copper but dislike ivory. Their direction words come from the name of the seasons. They also tell Primm that there are numerous emeralds nearby, but he is unable to find them. Primm leaves for Capetown where he books passage to Zanzibar.

East Region

Primm finds a region of mountains and lakes where he meets the Masai tribe. They are very tall, wear brightly colored clothing and all seem to be very athletic. He learns of their god, Kala Umbasai, and discovers that rope is useful in traversing the mountainous regions here. The Masai respect emeralds but despise copper. Their directions are named for the east wind and the gods that live at the ends of the earth. Primm is unable to learn anything about the legend of Ahnk Ahnk here, and states that he is returning to Zanzibar.

Gameplay

The game begins with the player having disembarked a steamer north of Cairo in January 1890. The player uses a joystick to move about and choose various game options.

creen

The game is played on a screen with a small map in the center and various icons and information surrounding it. Above the map is the current month and year, to the right is information displaying how much food and money the player has, as well as the number of gifts and what is currently in the player's hands. To the left are four icons that allow the player to interact with the game. By pressing the joystick fire button the player can select one of the icons.
*The diary icon allows the player to page through the diary to review notes that are automatically written throughout the game, as well as notes of interaction with native chiefs.
*The map icon lets the player see how much of the current region has been explored so far. It also provides a map of any city or village the player is currently in - as long as he has bearings there.
*The options icon offers the player three choices. The player can check his location, health, or can drop items to create a cache. A cache is marked on the map with an X and the player can return later to retrieve the items.
*The hand icon lets the player select and use items from his inventory. Items in hand can affect (among other things) how natives act, how well the player can traverse the terrain and whether the player can find buried treasure.

Interaction with Natives

The player obtains items by trading with or buying from the natives. This is accomplished simply by standing next to a native in a hut to learn what he or she will sell or trade. The player then stands over the commodity and buys it. Each city has one merchant who will buy and sell valuable commodities. Native chiefs can tell the player where to find valuables, if they are brought what they want.

Delirium

At various times throughout the game the player can become delirious. When this happens the joystick controls will respond in a random manner until the delirium has passed.

aving the Game

To save a game the player must go into a pub in a port city. Up to 10 games can be saved on a formatted disk.

Winning

The game is won when the player finds the Lost Tomb of Pharaoh Ahnk Ahnk. A splash screen is shown and special music is played. The tomb is in a different (randomly generated) spot for each game.

Items & Uses

*Gifts - for trading with natives.
*Medicine - to cure wounds.
*Pistol - for defense or threatening natives.
*Machete - for defense or moving in jungle.
*Whip - for limited defense.
*Shovel - for digging up buried items.
*Canteen - for crossing desert (always filled with water)
*Rope - for climbing mountains.
*Map - for guidance of the continent or current village/city.
*Food - you need it to survive.
*Canoe - for traveling on rivers, but burdensome on land.
*Money - for buying supplies.
*Clues - if you give the right gift to a native chief, he may give you clues to the location of Ahnk Ahnk's tomb.
*Bearings - gifts can be traded for a "bearings" map, which causes important buildings to look different on the map.

Types of Buildings

*Store (pick and shovel icon) - for medicine, maps and gifts.
*Food hut (green peaked roof with checkerboard design) - for canoes and food.
*Tool hut (flat roof, checkerboard design) - for shovels, ropes and canteens.
*Weapons hut (black peaked roof, checkerboard design) - for pistols, machetes and whips.
*Chief's hut (slightly bigger, one semicircle on top) - for clues.
*Pub ("Pub" on front) - for saving game for later play.
*Travel Agent (lightning bolt) - to purchase passage from any one port to another.
*Bazaar (4 pillars) - for buying and selling precious metals and jewels.

ee also

* The Seven Cities of Gold (video game)

External links

*GameFAQs|type=/computer/c64|num=572942|name="Heart of Africa"
*moby game|id=/heart-of-africa|name="Heart of Africa"
*Lemon64 game|id=1161|name=Heart of Africa
* [http://www.c64sets.com/heart_of_africa.html Images of Package, manual, map and screenshots]
* [http://www.thehouseofgames.net/docs/h/heart_of_africa_manual.txt Text version of manual]
* [http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.php?id=497 Game summary, with download]


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