Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985)

This is the Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985), which remakes the original Temple of Apshai and its expansions, Upper Reaches of Apshai and Curse of Ra. From the year 2021, you have to squint hard to see the improvements, but they were there and probably felt miraculous at the time, judging from my experience with other games of the period. The play is the same, though. And because technology is amazing sometimes, you can play it in your browser over at the Internet Archive, or grab it for  like 3 bucks on Steam!

I’ve posted generally about the game and specifically about the booklet before, so you can look that up in the feed. All this week’s posts were the byproduct of my hopes to fine more art work by Mike Mott, who illustrated the booklet. Today, though, let us celebrate the box. My original copy of the box and the disks is long gone — I just have a tattered copy of the booklet, one of my most treasured gaming-related possession, honestly. But I recently acquired a new copy of the box and, my goodness. Just look at it! So burned in my heart and brain is this box that it feels like it has always been in the house here, despite it being absent for, I dunno, thirty years? What a strange sort of ghost.

Anyway, that cover painting is fantastic. A greyscale version of it front the booklet, but seeing it in color again is a bit of a revelation (despite the overall feeling of familiarity the box gives me). The painting is by Ken Macklin, who to my understanding was part of the underground comix scene in California. His most recognizable work is, probably, the cover art for Maniac Mansion, or the large amount of work he did for the Bubsy games. Nothing I’ve seen really reaches the height of Apshai Trilogy, though.

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