Adventure II: Tidy Dwarves   1 comment

(It has been a while, so you might want to refresh yourself with my previous two posts on Adventure II.)

adventurecovers

(Three different commercial release covers. Notice how two of them feature a sword, but there is no sword in the game. Pictures via Pintrest, Ye Olde Infocom Shoppe, and Maximum PC.)

I originally planned to write this post focusing on the content from the original Adventure — which remains intact in Adventure II — but the extra features (including the thirst timer I mentioned in my last post) make the gameplay feel rather different.

What I found most startling is when I found a dwarf carrying an item:

THERE IS A THREATENING LITTLE DWARF IN THE ROOM WITH YOU!

HE SCUTTLES ALONG CLUTCHING HIS BULGING COAT FRONT AND MUTTERING.

Rather like the thief in Zork, the dwarves can now pick up stuff. However, they don’t seem to be necessarily going for treasure and I wasn’t sure what was going on until I came across this old post

Adv440 is unique in that it makes dwarves cumpulsively tidy minded. If in their wanderings around the cave they come across a misplaced object (i.e. an object not in its initial location), they’ll pick it up and carry it around with them, until they happen to walk into the initial location of the object, in which case they drop it there.

The mere presence of a chaotic system on top of exact same content led to changes in my behavior (and by extension, the implicit narrative that is built as I play). I am being much more careful about touching utility items (since if I have to drop them to carry treasures there is a good chance they will disappear) while simultaneously keeping my eye on my water supply and judging my route based on the availability of water at the right time.

Chaotic systems like dwarves that move items are pretty rare in modern IF games, but they add a strategic layer to what would normally be raw puzzle solving (in this case, some puzzles I already know how to solve). It does go a fair way in making the environment feel like it is generating a story, rather than simply providing a mute catalog of obstacles. Maybe it’s a tradition worth a new look.

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Posted December 8, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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One response to “Adventure II: Tidy Dwarves

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  1. Pingback: Adventure 550 (1979) | Renga in Blue

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