Adventure II: Finished! (sort of)   2 comments

So there was indeed one last treasure, and finding it was interesting, but unfortunately when the endgame triggers the game crashes. A glance through the code indicates the endgame is identical to 350-point Adventure, so I’m safe to call this one done.

The giant turned out to be the key, and the puzzle made clever re-use of something in a way that I was hoping I’d see — sort of an overlap of the original structure creating something new.

If you walk into the room with the giant carrying food, he’ll eat the food but complain it is too tiny (but at least not eat you instead). I admit I racked my brain on this one for a long time while missing the obvious, which you’ll see if you study this partial list of the treasures of the game.

THERE ARE RARE SPICES HERE!
THERE IS A JEWEL-ENCRUSTED TRIDENT HERE!
OFF TO ONE SIDE LIES A GLISTENING PEARL!
THERE IS AN EMERALD HERE THE SIZE OF A PLOVER’S EGG!
A SMALL VELVET PILLOW LIES ON THE FLOOR.
THERE IS A LARGE NEST HERE, FULL OF GOLDEN EGGS!
THERE IS A PLATINUM PYRAMID HERE, 8 INCHES ON A SIDE!
THERE ARE DIAMONDS HERE!
THERE IS A PERSIAN RUG SPREAD OUT ON THE FLOOR!
THERE IS PRECIOUS JEWELRY HERE!
THERE ARE BARS OF SILVER HERE!

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The golden eggs! While they have the nice property of regenerating (allowing them to be used to placate the troll) I somehow never thought of them as a food item, but I can see why a giant might include them in their diet.

“AH….EGG FOO…..YUM YUM”
THE GIANT DRAWLS, AND GRABS THE EGGS LEAVING YOU SHAKEN BUT UNHARMED.

The giant leaving you alone gives access to a new passage, which leads to (unfortunately) another maze.

YOU ARE IN A TANGLED WEB OF INTERSECTING PASSAGES

I lacked the energy to map the entirety of it but fortunately you don’t need to in order to find the important room.

YOU ARE IN A TANGLED WEB OF INTERSECTING PASSAGES

A LARGE UNTIDY SPIDER’S WEB COVERS ONE CORNER OF THE CAVE.

A HUGE BLACK HAIRY SPIDER CROUCHES IN ONE CORNER OF THE WEB.

(From the giant’s room, south then down to reach the spider, west then north to go back.)

The spider presented the second (and apparently, only other) new puzzle of Adventure II.

Again, some overlap of concepts from the original Adventure applied here. A bird is good enough to chase off a snake. What about if an owl met a spider? Remember from my last post that hooting will summon the owl:

off

YOUR LAMP IS NOW OFF.

IT IS NOW PITCH DARK. IF YOU PROCEED YOU WILL LIKELY FALL INTO A PIT.

hoot

A DISTANT OWL CALLS “HOOT”.

IT IS NOW PITCH DARK. IF YOU PROCEED YOU WILL LIKELY FALL INTO A PIT.

hoot

YOU HEAR A FLURRY OF WINGBEATS AND SOUNDS OF A TREMENDOUS BATTLE
(RUSTLE .. RUSTLE .. HISSS .. HOOOT! SCRAPE .. GULP! .. HOOT?)

After defeating the spider you find some documents in the web, which upon bringing them to the giant (unavoidable since you have to go back that way) he’ll give you a ruby for the documents. The ruby was the last treasure I was missing.

After studying the source some more what I find most fascinating is the simulationist impulse. Rather than adding a host of new puzzles (as I might expect) there were new rooms (some purely for atmosphere) and a lot of effort put into augmenting systems (like with the tidy dwarves). I derided the thirst timer earlier, but I have to admire the fact it seems to be linked to how many items the player is carrying. The relevant line is boldfaced for emphasis:

203 CONTINUE
LIMIT1=LIMIT2
LIMIT2=LIMIT2+2+HOLDNG
IF(LOC.EQ.126)LIMIT2=440+LIMIT2/2
IF(LIMIT2.LE.800)GOTO 204
IF(LIMIT1.LT.800)SPK=270
IF(LIMIT2.GE.880)SPK=271
IF(LIMIT2.GE.900)SPK=272
IF(IABS(SPK-271).LE.1)CALL RSPEAK(SPK)
IF(SPK.EQ.272)GOTO 99

For a long time adventure games seemed to try very hard to avoid simulation elements, with the few experiments that embraced it (like Disch’s Amnesia) considered cautionary tales rather than models to emulate. Only recently has this been starting to change (see Onaar and Gotomomi from this year’s IFComp).

I think there’s a lot of unexplored territory here to explore. Despite the annoyances I found it interesting when working from a walkthrough (made by myself, recall) but having to improvise anyway; for example, at one point the pirate stole treasure I meant to deliver in such a place that a different route than I had previously written became more efficient (given how tight the lamp timer is, I needed all the efficiency I could get). This sort of flexible thinking might go part of the way to removing the static-set-piece feel a lot of IF has.

While I found Adventure II interesting to write about I unfortunately cannot recommend it as an experience to others. There’s just wasn’t enough novelty to justify the effort, and the balanced experience of 350-point Adventure (still a good game) felt reduced rather than augmented.

Part of Will and Pat Crowther's actual map of Colossal Cave, with game map locations superimposed. From Dennis Jerz.

Part of Will and Pat Crowther’s actual map of Colossal Cave, with game map locations superimposed. From Dennis Jerz.

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Posted December 19, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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2 responses to “Adventure II: Finished! (sort of)

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  1. One option fans of Adventure variants have is just reading about the 440-specific things here and playing only the 350-point version and derivatives of the 550 and 551 point versions. As you say, playing this version on its own may only be for the OCD and true Completists, and the additional material is certainly missing from most expanded versions of Adventure. However, an extraordinary counter-example is Mike Arnautov’s Adventure 660/Adventure 770. Not only does he support modern expected
    features like UNDO, and REMEMBER/RECALL and a very extensive vocabulary overflowing with synonyms but there are ten zillion (plus or minus a few percent) things you can now EXAMINE, a large amount of new content, and somehow a reasonable respect for the integrity of the original works he melds together (the 440 point version that you can’t really recommend playing together with David Platt’s 550 point version). It feels very new and very old/classic at the same time. His love for the original games shows thruout. I don’t know if you could recommend that one, but I would. In fact, I feel like you indeed have somewhere else, but this seems like it would have been a logical place to mention it.

    http://mipmip.org/downloads.html

    • I might add that he also has hints in most of the places people are likely to get stuck and give up on the game on otherwise, and also he bends over backwards and does a somersault not to ignore almost correct attempts to say something, like recovering from minor typos, without by so doing accidentally giving away too much about the game. Most logical attempts to solve puzzles that show one is on the right track but not quite right give helpful responses, which moves this version further away from the unattractive point where someone could have made several essentially correct attempts at doing something that is in fact doable, if one just found the right words, yet gives up on the idea and moves on, never to finish without a walkthru or cheating.

      Lastly, altho I am still omitting a few attractive features of this version, he goes way out of the way in his furthest anyone has ever pushed David Platt’s A-code interpreter to give varied responses to actions that just won’t work, and dealing with light source limitations is less of a horror than in other versions. You do need to drink pretty regularly in what can be a much longer game than the original 350 point version or even 550, but many people are dehydrated and this might be a good reminder.

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