Welcome to Project 64!
The goal of Project 64 is to preserve Commodore 64 related documents
in electronic text format that might otherwise cease to exist with the
rapid advancement of computer technology and declining interest in 8-
bit computers on the part of the general population.
Extensive efforts were made to preserve the contents of the original
document. However, certain portions, such as diagrams, program
listings, and indexes may have been either altered or sacrificed due
to the limitations of plain vanilla text. Diagrams may have been
eliminated where ASCII-art was not feasible. Program listings may be
missing display codes where substitutions were not possible. Tables
of contents and indexes may have been changed from page number
references to section number references. Please accept our apologies
for these limitations, alterations, and possible omissions.
Document names are limited to the 8.3 file convention of DOS. The
first characters of the file name are an abbreviation of the original
document name. The version number of the etext follows next. After
that a letter may appear to indicate the particular source of the
document. Finally, the document is given a .TXT extension.
The author(s) of the original document and members of Project 64 make
no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this material
for any purpose. This etext is provided "as-is". Please refer to
warantee of the original document, if any, that may included in this
etext. No other warantees, express or implied, are made to you as to
the etext or any medium it may be on. Neither the author(s) nor the
members of Project 64 will assume liability for damages either from
the direct or indirect use of this etext or from the distribution of
or modification to this etext. Therefore if you read this document or
use the information herein you do so at your own risk.
The Project 64 etext of Heart of Africa, converted to etext by
unknown, supplied by ChezNous <email@example.com>.
HOFAFR10.TXT, February 1999, etext #412.
HEART OF AFRICA --- The Manual
Heart of Africa is a game of exploration. Watch the screen as you play
for information about how to operate the program controls. Refer to
this manual for important insights into native customs and language
behavior. Use the accompanying map to find important landmarks and
locations which the natives may name when giving you directions
The natives hold the key to your success for the simple reason that
they know where the valuable things are buried and you don't. Get them
to tell you what they know, and the riches in the hidden tomb will
surely be yours.
To save your game, visit the pub in a port city and stand next to the
native there, then follow the instructions which will appear. The first
time you use this feature, choose the option which lets you format a
blank disk for use with the program. You can save up to 10 different
games at once on a single data disk. Each time you start a new game,
the location of the tomb and other valuables is subject to change.
Letter from Flattery, Frump, Flaghorne and Fagin, Solicitors at law
Primm's letter to Fagin
Primm's unpublished paper on the legend of Ahnk Ahnk
Primm's Africa diary
Appendix: Program operation summary
Flattery, Frump, Flaghorne and Fagin
Solicitors at law
57 Park Avenue New York, New
October 10, 1889
Our Most Respected Candidate:
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that you have been
named heir apparent to the estate of Mr. Hiram Perkins Primm,
contingent upon your completion of a certain task. We congratulate
you for satisfying the criteria set forth by Mr. Primm as "an
uncommon person" who is in a state of "uncommon worthiness".
Mr. Primm. late of New York and founder of the Primm Casket
Company, apparently perished during an expedition into Africa. We
last heard from him in 1887. He appointed our firm to serve as
executors for his estate in the event that he did not return.
Our firm's commitment to Mr. Primm include choosing a suitable
person to inherit Mr. Primm's vast holdings and making certain that
his life's work, "shedding light upon the dark continent", does
perish with Mr. Primm.
You seem to be the suitable person for whom we have searched. You
are believed to be intelligent, ambitious, energetic, and on your
way to becoming established in the world of commerce. Our
research suggests that you feel yourself to be both under-
appreciated and under-rewarded in your present situation. More-
over, you are thought to be ignorant of the African continent. Mr.
Primm felt quite strongly about this latter criterion.
After his retirement from business, Mr. Primm's devoted full
time to the first hand study of African funeral customs. His aim
was to write a book about primitive and ancient funerary methods.
It was during this research that Mr. Primm came upon the rumors
that led to his final expedition. These rumors pertain to the
Lost Tomb of Pharaoh Ahnk Ahnk (see attached legend of Ahnk Ahnk).
Mr. Primm believed that the legends of tribal storytellers
contained clues regarding the location of the tomb. He was
pursuing that belief, journeying from tribe to tribe in search of
traces of "the last man" (see attached legend), when we last heard
Primm attempted to involve other exploring groups and his own
family in his quest. To this end, he wrote a paper describing the
legend of Ahnk Ahnk. However, it was never published (or
believed). His curiosity grew into an obsession. He believed that
if he could locate this tomb, he would uncover the lost secrets of
ancient Egypt (including the mummification processes used by
Egyptian embalmers to preserve flesh). He would also vindicate his
reputation with the so called "experts" who showed no interest in
He travelled through all regions of Africa, but never found the
tomb. His family attempted to have him declared insane and to have
his wealth removed from his control. He retaliated by declaring
that no member of his family would inherit a penny from his estate
(see attached will).
In 1887 he informed us of his intent to return to the "Heart of
Africa, where the tomb will be found". No one was to accompany him
so that he might win the trust of the natives who could tell him
stories of "the last man's trail". All we have are his notes
summarizing his journey up to that point (see attached) and his
instructions regarding what to do in the event he did not return.
Here are those instructions as they apply to you:
One: this expedition must be undertaken alone, like both the last
man and Mr. Primm. Should the worst happen, our solemn pledge to
you is that we will send another person after you and will ask
that he give you a proper burial should he locate your earthly
remains. That person, of course, will have succeeded you
as heir apparent to Mr. Primm. (We also hope you will be alert
to discovering the remains of certain other individuals who have
preceded you, including Mr. Primm himself).
Two: Mr. Primm has stipulated that the expedition must be
completed within five years. If you are gone longer, it will be
clear that you are hopelessly lost or deceased. Therefore, if we
have not heard from you by December, 1895, we will have to send
someone else forth, someone who will have first claim on the
discoveries and the inheritance. So don't tarry out there. Find
the tomb and hurry back!
Three: You will find enclosed a check for $250 for your initial
provisions. We realize this is a small amount, and will wire
money to you in port cities as you make important discoveries that
confirm your "uncommon worthiness". This is in accordance with
Four: passage has already been booked in your name on the S.S.
African queen, departing Baltimore for Cairo on November 29, 1889.
You need only to report to the ship with proof of your identity
on or before that date to claim your place on board. Your five
year term of opportunity will begin when you arrive, in January,
1890, if all goes well on the voyage over.
We trust that we have judged you correctly and that you will
undertake the quest. May good hunting and luck be with you.
We remain your most obedient servants.
Wilfrid Frump, Esq.
Ronald Flattery, Esq.
Willoughby Flaghorne, Esq.
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
(should you come across the earthly remains of Mr. Fagin, you need
not provide a funeral for our former junior partner; his
expedition was quite unauthorized, and he was never eligible for
the Primm inheritance. Should you find him alive, we hope that
you will use every precaution because he may in fact be somewhat
antagonistic towards you. You may tell him for us that he has no
business being there and also that he will not find a warm welcome
should he wish to return to this office. We are reasonably
certain that he has failed thus far to find the tomb. We are also
of the opinion that he was in no way "an uncommon man". His greed
is -or was- most ordinary.)
Primm's letter to Fagin
Primm's unpublished legend of Ahnk Ahnk
Primm's notes on Africa (We took the liberty of having these
typewritten for your convenience)
Last Will and Testament of
Hiram Perkins Primm
I, Hiram Perkins Primm, being of sound mind, hereby
declare that all my wordly possessions, including my
Casket Company, my estate at South Egg (Long Island),
my yachts, and my Chase Bank accounts, are to be
bequeathed in the manner herein described, at the time
of my death.
First, no member of my family, including my wife,
Estelle Jenkins Primm, my sons Bernard and Randolph
Primm, my daughter Mable Primm Lowell, nor my
sister Beatrice Primm Turnkey will inherit anything
Second, my attorneys are instructed to find an
appropriate "candidate" to carry out my life's work,
which has been to shed light on the dark continent. I
hope that these attorneys will choose an uncommon
person of uncommon worthiness, one who is eager to
seek knowledge and who is willing to share this
knowledge with the world.
I have been disappointed in the past by the professional
societies who have pretended to have interest in Africa,
but who were more interested in making jokes about me.
Do not find someone who thinks he knows Africa
already. It is far better that the candidate be ignorant
Lastly, it is my desire that this candidate be given only
nominal funds (related to efforts in the heart of Africa)
to cover travel expenses until the candidate actually
locates the tomb. At that time (no more than five years
after setting out) all my possessions would become the
Dated this 4th day of February 1886,
Hiram Perkins Primm
New York, New York
March 21, 1887
My dear Mr. Fagin:
I truly appreciate the personal interest you have shown in my
journey, and hence I am writing to you rather than to your senior
partners. They, like so many others, have been too busy to show
Your letter caught up with me here in Zanzibar. Your
questions reveal a mind that ought to avail itself the opportunity
to learn more about ancient death practices. I do have opinions
about the chemistry of ancient Egyptian embalming fluids, opinions
I will share in my next letter. I'm writing now to let you
know that, yes, despite adversity, I am alive and even have
news: I am nearer the tomb than I have ever been.
I must apologize for this letter's brevity and informality, but
today there is neither time nor opportunity to maintain more than
the bared minimum of civilized forms. I am weary, ill, tired, and
running out of supplies, but also encouraged to the point of
I feel that my quest for Ahnk Ahnk's tomb may finally be
reaching fruition. I have just talked to some natives who have
renewed my faith in the longevity of legends. They tell a story
about a traveller who visited their tribe many suns ago, who had
a very wealthy relative with the name Uncle Uncle! This
must be Ahnk Ahnk. And they are going to take me where
they understand him to be buried. It is some distance from here,
but I have not come this far to be afraid of an additional trip.
Soon my vindication will come. All ancient knowledge will be mine.
The enormous wealth said to be buried with Ahnk Ahnk is of no
consequence in comparison.
These natives seem to be fine little people. when I think
of all the people I have asked about Ahnk Ahnk and how
few have been able to help, I assure you that it is an
exhilarating thing to learn something encouraging. These are the
first positive responses in some time. Mr. Fagin, I wish you
could be here to share in their enthusiasm for my search.
They know something and they are going to help!
I am headed into the Heart of Africa where the tomb will
be found. I hope to have good news for you soon. But, as always,
should I not return, you understand the instructions in my will.
Do your duty!
yours in faith,
Hiram Perkins Primm.
LEGEND OF AHNK AHNK
by Hiram Perkins Primm
(A summary of my surmises based on my travels in Africa.) Ahnk Ahnk was
Pharaoh of Egypt in the 9th century BC, from the time he was seven
years old. Clever and ambitious, he became the richest man the world
has ever known. He saw the value of being the carrier in foreign trade.
He gained control over the Phoenician trading vessels, contracts, and
routes. Very quickly he became fabulously wealthy.
As he aged, he like many before him became less wordly and more
concerned about what would happen to his body and possessions when the
end came. He feared the marauders who had already begun raiding the
pyramids (i.e., the tombs) of his ancestors, desecrating their remains.
Richer than any previous pharaoh, Ahnk Ahnk knew he would need to hide
his tomb well if he and his possessions were to escape the fate of his
He called together his advisors and told them to discover the most
remote part of the world. After much discussion and study they
recommended a particular place in Africa. Ahnk Ahnk immediately made
plans to move all of his possessions there in the biggest exodus in
human history. (By my reckoning, this occurred some three centuries
after Moses led his exodus).
Before Ahnk Ahnk himself died, all who had helped in the move and the
tomb construction willingly gave their lives in the service of their
pharaoh. One last man was entrusted with (1) sealing the tomb's only
entrance, (2) creating an unfollowable trail out of the area, and (3)
killing himself. Thus, there would be no person left living who could
ever again find the tomb. Ahnk Ahnk's bones and treasures would be safe
The last man seems to have been the flaw in the plan. He had promised
that he would travel far away before he committed suicide. He kept his
promise. He travelled for some five years to hide the trail. This very
long journey succeeded admirably in creating a difficult trail to
follow. But stories about this journey became a part of the legends of
many African tribes. Many of these legends are still remembered by the
tribal historians, and they contain hints regarding the path the Last
Man followed and thus constitute the makings of a trail back to the
Notes sent by Mr. Primm preceding his final venture into the interior.
I, Hiram Perkins Primm, have penned the following information
summarizing my journeys through Africa. These accounts should show the
development of my theory regarding Ahnk Ahnk's tomb, as well as other
information which I hope will prove useful should it become necessary
for someone to follow me. I have divided these necessarily brief
descriptions into five sections, each dealing with but one region of
this amazing continent. Although I usually narrate my encounter with
only one tribe in each region, the tribe I choose is quite typical for
that region as a whole. Thus, you may trust the information on
languages, cultural practices and religions to apply throughout the
region in question.
I am a month out of Cairo somewhere in the desert. My maps were blown
away in a storm so I don't know my exact position. The sun's light is
now over- whelming. Searing, burning, relentless, its oppressiveness
wearies the spirit even more than the heat. It has been two weeks since
I have seen people, and three days since I have replenished my water.
I must now ration more care- fully. I will sleep in the day and travel
in the evening for I have a fear of sun-blindness. This land is
forever rearranging and like the shifting sands, the people are also
forever on the move. Water is the obsession. Where it is available,
At last, an oasis. The green (even slimy) pond is more a dribble than a
real spring, but it is enough. I drink, I wallow, shamelessly shouting,
bounding about, and playing, a child once again in this moist Eden. The
desert surrounds this tiny island of moisture, threatening to drown it
in a sea of sand, but its life force, like the one in me, will prevail
a little longer. The tight cluster of shrubs and trees crowds the tiny
spring, as though they were vying for position to peer into its mossy
At this oasis I met a group of nomads whose ancestors have wandered in
this area since the beginning of time. They call this oasis the El Mora
Levimara, "The giver of life". The nomads related some delicious
about a forgotten tomb of some Egyptian pharaoh a long, long way from
the Nile River-a tomb containing enormous quantities of gold. They have
no idea where this tomb might be found, only that it is a 'long trip
from here', though my impression is that it may not actually be a long
I realize the contradiction in what I've just written, but much of what
the desert dwellers said made little sense. For instance, when they
give directions they seem to name them backwards. When they say East
(in their tongue) they mean West. The only explanation I have for this
phenomenon is that it is similar to the way sailors name winds. An
"East wind" originates in the East rather than blowing towards the
East. (I did learn one thing beyond doubt: my silver talisman is
useless. They are eager for gold or diamonds, but these odd nomads seem
to have an aversion to silver.)
At any rate, I have a theory about the importance of listening to
natives on the question of the location of this tomb. Though their
history is not written in books, they do have bards who still tell
tales as they have been told since ancient times! II have heard that
such is also the way the Iliad and the Odyssey were transmitted
originally, which lands support to my theory.) I believe that most
stories and legends about this pharaoh might still be in existence. I
have not learned the Pharaoh's exact name. The nomads seem to be saying
"Oink Oink", as children in America might make a pig sound.
I left the nomads at dusk as they faced North (or as they say Nivera),
saying their evening prayers, so much a part of their life. Their
camels bleated plaintively as I walked across sands that still held the
day's heat. They call their camels Ungomates, a strange word that seems
to remind me of something that I can't quite remember. I am tired of
this desert, I will journey Southwest into the savannah regions of West
Africa (called Gahanna by the nomads).
The yellow grasslands swell starkly across the hills and plains, only
occasionally mottled by lonely thorn trees. Were it not for the animal
population, the visitor would protest the featureless landscape that
seems to stretch like some vast yellow ocean without end. But no other
region in the world supports animals so large in size and abundant in
The dry, whispering grass of rolling savannahs provides a supreme
wildlife spectacle. Herds of hoofed animals, numbering in the millions,
remind one of the tides at sea because they ebb and flow, as if
following unseen currents. If startled, they stampede, and the sound
is like distant thunder, or even the cannons of war, as it echoes
across the plain. Following these herds closely are the hunting
carnivores, the huge and vicious cats, cunningly camouflaged to match
the grasses in color and texture. Trailing the cats at a safe distance
are the scavengers, birds and dog-like creatures to whom God has
assigned the thankless task of cleaning up after the hunters are done.
The only relief that comes to a traveller on these vast savannahs is
the forest and occasional swamps along the region's streams and rivers.
A surprising number of West African tribes shares the savannah area
with the animals. The tribes have evolved into little fiefdoms
reminiscent of medieval Europe. While I visited a great many these, I
spent the most time among the Hausa, finding their king a source of
"Huge" won't do him justice. Perhaps "giant",
"gigantic", or "enormous"
come closer to describing this mountain of fat that is their king. It
took sixteen men to lift him in his litter, for which he had a great
fondness. He loved being carried about, even if he had nowhere to go.
The resulting pageantry provided an instant parade, and all the people
of the village would stop what they were doing and watch. The sixteen
bearers were soon glistening in sweat from their exertion, but they
seemed to glory in carrying this ton of a man through their dusty
The Hausa are proud of producing so fat a king. They believe that a
stomach growls to protest an evil spirit's attempt to enter the body.
So that no spirit would ever be able to enter the king, he feasted
constantly. Because of his fat, the surrounding regions called the
Hausa, "Ungala Saubaba", or Land of the Fat Man.
Feasts begin as readily as parades. I witnessed one that lasted for
three weeks, ending only when the king was presented an ivory tusk. The
ivory signaled a change in activity, for the king was then helped into
his hut with his wives. Why the tusk is revered I do not know, but I do
know that elephants are regarded as almost divine, perhaps because of
their immense size. They are called "Ut-hu Mambwama", god's
believe that had I brought an ivory tusk to the king, it would have
endeared me to him, perhaps causing him to give me the information I
needed without delay. Instead I stayed three months, feasting
constantly, and gaining 23 pounds.
Only once did I see the Hausa angry. A trader showed the king an
emerald and received in turn the tribe's wrath. They tied him up, put
him in a canoe and set it adrift in the Niger River (called Huttingo by
the natives). I have no idea what became of him, nor why emeralds made
them so angry. I could never get them to discuss emeralds, which they
called "Mimbumi". (this is also, interestingly, their name for the
direction West. They name the East after "Katula", their word for the
wind which blows from that direction.)
The tribal bard's stories about the pharaoh's tomb were at least
similar to other legends. He told of an ancient white king who led
thousands of "koko" (their word for camels and for the direction
burdened with treasure through this area. When I asked where the white
king (named Oz Oz in their language) went, he answered "Phuthswama".
Other evidence leads me to believe that this is their word for South.
My leaving was the cause of a new feast and a parade to the gate. I
waddled onto the plain to head South, into the jungle region.
Hot, wet, steamy, green-jeweled jungle. Africa at its darkest and most
foreboding. Dripping moss and mystery from its emerald canopy into its
humid shadows, the Congo Basin inspires awe; it is the essence of what
Europeans suppose Africa to be. The jungle itself perspires in the
relentless heat. Everything is always wet, damp, moist, threatening to
mold. Most natives live in permanent settlements along the river where
the moisture is at its worst. My body has acquired its own slimy
tinge-a fungus that won't wash off.
Clearings are temporary here, with the jungle's constant encroachment
threatening to cover up during night what man clears in the day. Nature
never stops trying to reclaim its own. Jungle travel without a machete
is almost impossible. And though one can encounter great beauty, the
thickness of the vegetation and the oppressive humidity and heat make
enjoying that beauty quite difficult. Even such an astonishing sight as
Livingstone Falls seemed less impressive, thanks to my exhaustion and
irritation when I reached them.
Generally it is folly to leave the rivers in this region. On one of the
few occasions when I braved the jungle myself, I stumbled into the
village of the Mongo. They lived quite a distance from the Congo River
which they called "Mongdamara" which means "Mother of
I immediately attracted a crowd of diminutive people when I arrived. At
first I thought they were children but then noticed that none of the
inhabitants, child or adult, was over five feet tall. But though short,
they were quite numerous; I brandished my pistol and they kept their
distance (which was fortunate since I had no intention of actually
using the pistol).
They wore silver necklaces and bracelets. I showed them a small gold
trinket to ask if they knew where more such things could be found. This
act suddenly and surprising caused my status with the natives to
plummet. They all shouted something like "Makajuwamba" and rushed me.
My gold was taken from me and given to the jungle in a strange
ceremony, and I was tied to a post in the village square.
I later learned that according to local legends, all gold belongs to an
ill- tempered jungle spirit called Thkgrunda; the strange ceremony was
meant to return my gold to its rightful owner. I was tied to the stake
for a whole day, feeding as many of the region's insects as could crowd
onto my skin. Until you have itched horribly and been unable to scratch
a hundred or a thousand times over, you will not understand the
magnitude of my discomfort.
The next day the witch doctor, followed by a group of the tribe's men,
approached with evil intent, but now my luck turned equally suddenly
for the good. When they stripped off my khaki shirt, they paused with
awe at the silver talisman around my neck. The medicine man stretched a
bony finger. As though on cue, the wind shifted and blew now from the
East, a strange occur- rence here. The rare, East wind is called Utomba
and is thought sacred by the locals. (In fact, they name all their
directions from it. South is "Right of Utomba", North "Left of
and West is "Not Utomba".) When this particular Utomba wind blew,
paused, muttering began, and I was set free. I graciously accepted my
shirt, respectfully declined any further hospitality, and tramped off
into the jungle, resolving then to stay on rivers when travelling in
the Congo region.
I learned nothing of the Pharaoh I am pursuing from the Mongo. I would
not advise that anyone else ever visit this village, with its
ever-hungry insects, never-ending heat, and fickle natives. Perhaps I
will find lower Africa to the South more hospitable.
I started down the Kasai River in January, determined to explore lower
Africa. After leaving the Kasai source, I soon came to the Zambesi
River, known in these regions as the Lastwana. The weather here is
quite cool and the air refreshingly pristine. The whole of the region
is on a high plateau from which I can see purple peaks in the distance.
The contrast with the steamy jungle (which still haunts my dreams) is
The natives here love feasting and drinking their wines, and their talk
is most colorful. They say for instance "Gumba lu Untoba", meaning
wet smoke that sounds", a phrase which stands for (if I surmise
correctly) Victoria Falls. Every tribe I encountered in this region-the
Batwa, the Bemba and the Bantu, who dwell along the Zambesi- warned me
to avoid the Zulu further South, saying "they are crazy men, fierce
warriors that rob and pillage". In April I met the Zulu.
Zulu! Though the very word strikes terror into men's soul, I must
report that I found them most hospitable. They call themselves Kaluzu,
but are called Zulu because that is their war cry. Despite their
reputation, I experienced warm, friendly conversations with a great
variety of men-even the chief. In fact, it was to him that I listened
with fascination as he told of the initiation rites that all 13 year
old boys must undergo to be welcomed into full rights of manhood within
At the first full moon after his 13th birthday, a young man is sent
into the bush armed with only a spear. If he returns at the next full
moon, without having any contact with the people of the village in the
meantime, he is welcomed back from the dead (for the Zulu consider
anyone absent to be dead) and granted his manhood. If unable to last
the month, he is allowed back, but not as a man worthy to go to war or
to carry large rocks.
During his month of "death", the young Zulu initiate might travel a
great distance to bring back some unusual object. These objects are a
source of great pride to the Zulu and are kept on display in a special
hut. Items made of copper are especially prized, for copper is to them
a holy metal believed to give strength to the Zulu warrior. Conversely,
absent was any object made of ivory, which, I learned, they believed
could weaken them.
One young man had returned with a penguin skin. Still another had
dragged in a ten foot section of train rail and a striped, partially
burned train engineer's hat. Sea shells from the Indian Ocean, called
Oischipapa, were numerous. There was also a small statue of an Egyptian
Great quantities of emeralds could be found among the Zulus. When
asked, they said they came from a place called "Bethuda Zalabawa".
Literally translated, this means "High place in the winter wind".
Though I searched diligently to the South, I never found where it was.
(In this region they name North and South by seasons-that is,
designates North and "winter" South. East and West are, respectively,
named "rising" and "falling".)
After leaving the Zulu I travelled Southwest, crossed the Orange River
(called Krashuntu by local natives), and reached Capetown to book
passage to Zanzibar. I now have come to feel that the key must be in
the East Africa region.
Each region of Africa wears its own cloak, and none is more rumpled
then East Africa. A fifteen hundred mile mountain range cuts through it
like a knife blade, leaving the landscape scarred and barren. Towering
vertical rifts jut so high above the scrub-covered slopes that their
peaks are usually shrouded in mists and clouds. The plains below,
yellow from sparse rainfall, surround cobalt blue lakes. Lakes fill the
region's worst cracks and serve as highways.
The people are as unique as the land itself, none more so than the
Masai. Their strangeness is not easy to capture with words. The visitor
is first struck by their extraordinary height (rarely does a male not
exceed seven feet), but their height alone does not explain their
Nor does their dress, though it is in truth quite striking. White
ostrich feathers sway above the swirling blue-tattooed faces, and bone
necklaces gleam on ebony skin. Bright red and yellow robes covering the
left side of their body are attached over their right shoulder. Their
ear lobes are elongated and decorated with cylindrical twists of metal.
Ankle and wrists bracelets of leather or metal complete their dazzling
attire; European dress is compar- atively quite dull. African pageantry
and color are painted with a bold hand.
Their athletic prowess is astonishing. The Masai are each stamped from
a mold that produces the lean torsos and rippling muscles of the
hunter/warrior. But even this is not sufficient to explain their
strangeness. I think it is more a spiritual quality than a physical
one. Its essence is expressed in their manner of walking. They walk as
if they formerly were dwellers in another atmosphere and find this
world more liquid than their last, and they move with the slow ethereal
grace of underwater swimmers.
I have a theory about how this strange way of walking might have come
to be. The Masai god, Kala Umbasai, bestows his blessings on those that
come closest to his dwelling. (I never understood if he was the Sun or
simply able to dwell on its fiery edge). For generations the Masai
dwelled on the highest mountains in Africa to be closest to the Sun. It
may be there that they developed their peculiar, efficient walk because
its efficiency conserves oxygen.
The Masai believe the tallest Masai to be Kala Umbasai blessed. Young
men seeking truth (and height) will journey alone to Unumpara, the
tallest mountain in the region (which must be Kilimanjaro, the tallest
mountain in Africa). They take only a rope, (which I have myself found
to speed mountain travel considerably) and climb to the top.
Precariously perched on a craggy summit, they face Uba, the land of the
rising sun; there they wait with arms outstretched until Kala Umbasai
has entered Ka-uba, land of the setting sun.
The mountains serve other purposes as well. Troubled warriors are told,
"seek ye Kala Umbasai". I was given this advice by a medicine man,
I had asked about the many emeralds held in such respect by the Masai;
but at the time I neither understood it, nor knew where to look. Now as
I write these notes I am far from the mountains, without rope or
shovel, and am resting from fever.
Many young men of surrounding tribes adopt the Masai way of dress, much
as fashions in Paris hold appeal across Europe, for the Masai are the
most admired culture in the region. Likewise, all tribes in this region
use lakes as highways, fear the elephant (Galumba), bury their dead on
scaffolds (perhaps to start them on their journey to Kala Umbasai),
admire emeralds, and enjoy market haggling.
The natives of this region have an aversion either to copper or to the
design of my copper bracelet. After showing it to a chief I was
heralded out of town with a stomping of feet and a shaking of spears. I
kept that bracelet in my knapsack for the rest of my journey in East
The pink flamingoes are sacred to many tribes here because of their
unique ability to survive while drinking the waters of the poisonously
alkaline lakes. Called ukambi, they live in flocks over a million. At
dawn when the flock rises to feed, their brilliant color shimmers in
the morning sun like a pink silk sheet blowing slowly across the lake.
It is as if the viewer has seen pink land rise, and take flight, when
the eastern breeze, called Odabi, nudges them into action each morning.
Thus, East is "to Odabi", and West is "with Odabi". Their
cardinal directions are named for gods that live at the ends of the
earth: Relolo dwells at the North and Dethamee at the South.
I have been unable to learn a thing about Ahnk Ahnk or the last man
among the tribes here. I am going back to Zanzibar, to reflect and to
set my affairs in order before beginning my search anew.
APPENDIX: Operating the program
Use the joystick to move about, press the button when you're standing
still to move control to the four icons to the left of the exploration
window. As you use the stick to move the highlight among the icons, the
name of the highlighted one will appear below the icons. Press the
button to select the highlighted icon. If still more options are
offered, again use the stick to move the highlight and press the button
to select the highlighted option.
The diary icon lets you page through your diary to review the clues you
get from the native chiefs. The map icon lets you see what you've
explored so far in the region. It also provides a map of any city or
village you're in provided you've gotten a native to give you your
bearings there. Natives give you things when you give them things. For
cash transactions, simply stand next to a native in his hut to learn
what he will sell, then stand over each commodity and press the button
to buy. Watch the screen for information about prices. In cities there
is one merchant who will buy valuable commodities as well as sell
them. Native chiefs can tell you where the valuable commodities are
buried, if you bring them what they want.
The options icon offers three choices. Two let you check on your
location and condition. Do not hesitate to ask "where am I" often if
you're having trouble finding your way around. The third lets you drop
things off to form a cache (which will be marked with an X on the
map). Most of the time you'll find whatever you left when you return to
The hand icon lets you select what you have in your hand and it lets
you use items in your backpack like maps and medicine. What you have in
you hand effects how the natives act toward you, how well you move in
various terrains, whether you can find buried treasures, etc.
Two warnings. If you become delirious, your joystick control will
become uncertain; it will take patience to select an option that will
restore your senses. And if your feverish drive for wealth causes you
to lose sight of civilized distinctions between right and wrong, be
prepared to suffer the consequences.
Go to a pub in a port city to save your game so you can resume it
later. If you don't have a disk formatted by the program for use as a
data disk, you can choose the format option at that time. To save a
game on your formatted disk, follow the screen prompt to type one of
the digits 0 through 9. You can save up to 10 different games on the
same data disk at the same time, one for each of the 10 digits. To
resume a saved game, type its digit when prompted to do so when you
start the program again.
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 - always filled with water, for crossing desert.
Rope - for climbing mountain.
Map - of entire continent, for guidance.
Food - you need it to survive.
Canoe - for travelling on rivers, but burdensome on land.
Other Things & Purposes
Money - for buying supplies.
The Printed Map - because native descriptions are not always in
English. Clues - if you give the right gifts to the chief of a village,
he may give you clues to the location of Ahnk Ahnk's tomb.
Bearings - if you give a native a gift (by putting a gift in your hand
& then bumping into one), he will give you a "bearings"
Dots represent buildings & important buildings you can
enter look different than the rest.
Types of Buildings and Their Purposes
Store (pick & shovel icon) - for medicine, map, gifts.
Food hut (green peaked roof, checkerboard design) - for canoes, food.
Tool hut (flat roof, checkerboard) - for shovel, rope, canteen.
Weapons hut (black peaked roof, checkerboard) - for pistol, machete,
whip. 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
The end of the Project 64 etext of the Heart of Africa manual .