Adventure (430 points) by Don Woods (1978)   Leave a comment

The famous axe-throwing dwarf, from AMC’s version of 350-point Adventure ported by Rick Adams. Even though the main window is a faithful port, there’s a nice tutorial alongside as well as bonus images that resemble modern Achievements.

We’ve seen so far modifications of the 350-point Crowther and Woods Adventure (both minor and major) as well as a made-from-scratch reimagining.

But what if one of the original authors wasn’t done yet?

/* ADVENTURE (REV 2: 20 TREASURES) */

/* HISTORY: ORIGINAL IDEA & 5-TREASURE VERSION (ADVENTURES) BY WILLIE CROWTHER
* 15-TREASURE VERSION (ADVENTURE) BY DON WOODS, APRIL-JUNE 1977
* 20-TREASURE VERSION (REV 2) BY DON WOODS, AUGUST 1978
* ERRATA FIXED: 78/12/25

This is directly from the source code of the 430-point version of Adventure made by Don Woods. Even though the game has a date of 1995 on the Interactive Fiction Archive, this seems to be simply the year Woods ported the code from FORTRAN to C. Consequently, as Jesse Silverman points out in a comment, this really should be considered a 1978 game.

I am extremely curious if this is a case of the creation running wild too early; that is, Don Woods was still in the process of writing and never intended the 350 point version to be the canonical one. Certainly we’ve seen many cases so far where mainframe games were tinkered with for years after their creation, and the “official” (and typically only) version used for play is the last one.

The most immediately obvious change is outdoors. Referring back to Jesse’s comment:

He expanded the forest to 20 locations that you can’t map reasonably even with Trizbort, and there’s only two locations that seem to be of any worth. I found both of those in 5 minutes of stumbling around, so there was no real reward for the few hours I spent mapping it afterwards.

To be specific, there’s this place:

You are wandering aimlessly through the forest.

Your keen eye spots a severed leporine appendage lying on the ground.

and here:

The forest thins out here to reveal a steep cliff. There is no way down, but a small ledge can be seen to the west across the chasm.

A small urn is embedded in the rock.

>get urn

The urn is far too firmly embedded for your puny strength to budge it.

I’m going to trust the comment and not bother with making a map. Doing so makes me wonder if that was in fact the intent. With some mazes of the era the intent seemed to be conveying “getting lost” without demanding exhaustive mapping on the player’s part. Don Woods mentions in an interview that when making the All Alike maze he made a “diagram … to check whether any simple repetitive actions would get you out”. This way you can’t get out by just typing NORTH over and over, but that still doesn’t bar a little bit of navigation by luck.

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Posted May 27, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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