At least one person is anticipating my final post on Mystery Mansion, so let me share what has me stuck.
While two word parsers (which I’ll be seeing more of in 1978) are problematic, usually with a verb list it is possible to work out how to communicate.
There’s also the ideal of Zork and beyond, which is a multi-word parser that handles both two word and complex sentences smoothly enough I don’t have to pull my hair over the parser.
Then there’s Mystery Mansion, which also understands more than two words in its parser, but this turns out quite unfortunate.
For example, LOOK AT THING is how you examine objects. EXAMINE doesn’t work as a verb, and just LOOK THING gives a “not understood” message.
Here’s another example that increased my blood pressure:
> kill warrior
YOU KILLED THE WARRIOR
> look at warrior
YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE WARRIOR
A METAL SHIELD
A PARANOID PARROT
A MENACING MACE
AND IS DEAD
> get parrot from warrior
I DON’T SEE THE PARROT
> take parrot from warrior
YOUR BOOTY NOW CONTAINS THE PARROT
Note that GET by itself normally does work
> get note
YOUR BOOTY NOW CONTAINS THE NOTE
but in the case of taking from a dead body, only TAKE works. You can also TAKE just by itself, no preposition
> take mace
YOUR BOOTY NOW CONTAINS THE MACE
but the failure of GET led me on a extremely long battle with the parser where I presumed some sort of prepositional phrase was necessary and I just needed to guess the right phrase.
I’m struggling at the moment with amulets and a lever system.
YOU ARE IN A LARGE TREASURE ROOM. IT LOOKS LIKE THERE USE TO BE A LOT OF VALUABLE ARTICLES HERE ONCE. YOU NOTICE A SMALL CAVITY IN THE MIDDLE OF A DRAWING ON THE WALL. THERE IS A LADDER GOING UP, WHICH IS ALL SLIMY.
> look at drawing
YOU ARE LOOKING AT A DRAWING OF SOME KIND OF A LEVER SYSTEM CENTERED AROUND A TRIANGULAR CAVITY CUT IN THE WALL.
According to Bob Sorem I’m supposed to use the amulet somehow, but I have yet to find a two-word or many-word phrase that does anything at all useful. I have a verb list. I’m not playing just guess the verb, but guess the phrase.