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The Logical Choice

Title: Kukulcan Publisher: American Eagle
Type: Game Author: Michael Giltzow

Year of release:

Platforms: Apple II, Commodore 64
Copies sold: ?

An educational graphic adventure set in 1519, during the time of the Aztecs. Evil omens are everywhere. An Aztec scribe, the player is summoned by Montezuma, leader of the Aztecs, and sent on a quest for the Feathered Serpent. The adventure is in two parts - after completing part 1, a password is given which is required for part 2 (on the flipside of the diskette). An unusual and interesting feature of the game is that by typing 'H' at any location, historical background about that location, and the people and objects present, is displayed on-screen. The manual offers further historical background, which is necessary to progress in the game.

From author Michael Giltzow: "I purchased an Apple II+ around 1980-81; for my business of course. I learned to program by reading books and getting information from current magazine articles. I started writing simple programs and came up with a 5 card poker graphics game (much like the ones they use on slot machines in Nevada), that I called 'Poker Machine'. I sent that program to several publishers and it was published by DynaComp. One of the publishers I sent that program to was Phoenix Software. Through a mix up, they sent me a copy of Sherwood Forest. I called to let them know of their mistake and they told me not to send it back, just play it and see what I thought of it. I did. Sherwood Forest was fun but I saw a potential to use this adventure program as a learning tool as well. I had just finished reading a book called "AZTEC". What a great historical story - Cortez and Motezuma. So I started an adventure program that would tell that story.

I took almost a year to research and write Part 1 of that adventure. At that time I sent Part 1 to Phoenix software for review. The company had just been sold to Norb Svanascini and renamed American Eagle. Norb called me and expressed interest. He wanted Part 2. I was able to finish Part 2 in three months and they published it soon after.

I did all of the programming, artwork (except packaging) and research. It was a one man effort. The programming was from scratch. I used Applesoft basic for the main body of the program and wrote assembly language sub routines for the portions that needed speed: animated graphics and some math calculations.

In 1987, The Gifted Child Today magazine did a review of 350 educational software packages written between 1978 and 1986. The review appeared in the Bytes for Brights column written by John R. Tkach. Dr. Tkach wrote me, "I am pleased to tell you that I have identified your program KUKULCAN as one of the best educational programs ever written. It is in the top ten, and I have listed it as number six. It is a model that other programmers should emulate. It is the best history-adventure program ever written." That may be fairly accurate as I think at that time it might have been the ONLY historical-adventure program ever written!"


Apple II

Apple II

Apple II

Apple II


Box - Apple II

Box - Commodore 64
(no pictures available)


kukulcan_front.nib (Apple II)
Kukulcan original disk - front side (still copy protected)

kukulcan_back.nib (Apple II)
Kukulcan original disk - back side (still copy protected)

Elysian Fields
Lucifer's Realm

AE labelled Mad Rat
Elysian Fields hints/map
Kukulcan design map

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