Apple II, Atari 8-bit 和 C64
Stuart Smith, 1983
Apple II, Atari 8-bit and C64
斯图尔特・史密斯（Stuart Smith）是早期 CRPG 历史上一个有点神秘的代表人物。他的表现是一流的，这反映出了他的信念，即：盲目地创造没有教育价值的游戏是一种毫无意义的工作，不过这似乎也导致了他很早便决定永久退出游戏开发界。
他的第一个游戏是 Fracas（1980），这是一款早期的 RPG 游戏，最多八名玩家可以探索一个类似迷宫的城市，竞争（或合作）看谁先完成自我挑战。在 Fracas 和 Smith 后来的游戏中，一个鲜明的特点就是 NPC 的自主性：游戏中的每一个生物都是独一无二的，和你一样在迷宫中探索，拾取物品，与其他派系的敌人战斗，最后甚至还能提升等级！
这个概念沿着《阿里巴巴和四十大盗》（1981）的方向发展，玩家可以探索更复杂的地牢，其中包括 40 个盗贼、商店、NPC（如 Alladin）和其他独特生物。您在这里的目标是营救 Buddir-al-Buddoor 公主，除了受到著名的作品《一千零一夜》影响以外，游戏还借鉴了托尔金的书籍和民间故事。
Stuart Smith is a somewhat enigmatic figure from early CRPG history. His output was top-notch, reflecting his belief that creating mindless games without educational value was a pointless exercise, which may have led to his seemingly early and permanent exit from the game development world.
His first game was Fracas (1980), an early RPG where up to eight players could explore a maze-like city, competing (or cooperating) to see who would complete self-imposed challenges first. A defining feature of Fracas and Smith's subsequent games is the autonomy that NPCs have: every single creature in the game is unique, and explores the maze just as you do, picking up items, fighting enemies from other factions and eventually even levelling up!
The concept evolved with Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1981), which gave players a more complex dungeon to explore, populated by 40 thieves, shops, NPCs like Aladdin and other unique creatures. Your goal here is to rescue Princess Buddir-al-Buddoor and, besides the obvious Arabian Nights influence, the game also took cues from Tolkien's books and folk tales.
史密斯的下一个游戏则更加接地气，对于很多粉丝来说，这一直是他最好的作品。《赫拉克勒斯归来（The Return of Heracles）》深深地融入到希腊神话中，以至于它甚至可能属于“寓教于乐”的范畴，但就像《俄勒冈之旅（The Oregon Trail）》一样，只能了解古希腊神话、传说和文化的各个方面（大部分是准确的）。
游戏中的非线性程度比较令人震惊，你可以选择扮演哪位希腊英雄（珀尔修斯、希波吕忒、杰森、阿喀琉斯、奥德修斯等），选择你将控制多少个角色（从一个角色到全部 19 个角色都可以），以及你可以决定把时间花在试图避免战斗还是杀死你遇到的每个角色上。
Smith's next game would be more coherent and, for many fans, remain his best. The Return of Heracles is so embedded in Greek mythology that it likely falls in the category of “edutainment”, but in the same way The Oregon Trail does – you virtually have no choice but to learn about myriad (mostly-accurate) aspects of Ancient Greek myths, legends, and culture.
There is a relatively shocking degree of nonlinearity in the game, as you can choose everything from which Greek hero to play (Perseus, Hippolyta, Jason, Achilles, Odysseus, etc.), how many characters you'll control (anywhere from one to all 19 of them) and whether you'll spend your time trying to avoid combat or killing every character you meet.
Some combat is unavoidable, as the purpose of the game – completing the Twelve Labours of Heracles – does necessitate fights such as the traditional slaying of the Hydra and the Nemean Lion. But you are free to try to duck and weave your way around the vast majority of characters, and there are even wholly optional areas in the game.
The learning aspect should definitely be emphasised; charming vignettes explain various myths and historical information, and characters come to life even with the hardware limitations of the time. My childhood memories of the tragic figure of Endymion (in myth and, usually, in-game) stayed with me my whole life, and my son's middle name is Endymion almost entirely because of the experiences I had here.
The switching between the overworld maps of Greece and the “interior” maps is fairly innovative for the time, and someone with a passing knowledge of Greek geography and mythology could likely guess where to go for various quests (to some degree) without having to stumble randomly through the game's sizeable world or consult the Oracle of Delphi.