Adventure (430 points): Finished!   Leave a comment

Perhaps you were frustrated by long hours mapping the maze of twisty passageways, all different, especially once finding out the “vending machine” at the end only serves as a way to remove a treasure and reduce the possible high score. Perhaps you always wanted to do this:

Dead End

There is a massive and somewhat battered vending machine here. The instructions on it read: “Drop coins here to receive fresh batteries.”

ATTACK MACHINE

As you strike the vending machine, it pivots backward along with a section of wall, revealing a dark passage leading south.

S

You are in a long, rough-hewn, north/south corridor.

Only ATTACK works. You can’t “PUSH” or “MOVE” or anything like that.

Past the vending machine is a small secret area:

You are in a large chamber with passages to the west and north.

A formidable ogre bars the northern exit.

While attacking the ogre in normal circumstances is futile, if you have a dwarf following you around it can come to your advantage:

ATTACK OGRE

The ogre, who despite his bulk is quite agile, easily dodges your attack. He seems almost amused by your puny effort.

One sharp nasty knife is thrown at you!

The ogre, distracted by your rush, is struck by the knife. With a blood-curdling yell he turns and bounds after the dwarf, who flees in panic. You are left alone in the room.

In any case, I managed to secure the 20 necessary treasures, place them in the well house, and then waited around the cave until the endgame started. If you’ve never played any version of Adventure to the end, here’s what that looks like:

The sepulchral voice intones, “The cave is now closed.” As the echoes fade, there is a blinding flash of light (and a small puff of orange smoke). . . . As your eyes refocus, you look around and find…

You are at the northeast end of an immense room, even larger than the Giant Room. It appears to be a repository for the “Adventure” program. Massive torches far overhead bathe the room with smoky yellow light. Scattered about you can be seen a pile of bottles (all of them empty), a nursery of young beanstalks murmuring quietly, a bed of oysters, a bundle of black rods with rusty stars on their ends, and a collection of brass lanterns. Off to one side a great many dwarves are sleeping on the floor, snoring loudly. A notice nearby reads: “Do not disturb the dwarves!” An immense mirror is hanging against one wall, and stretches to the other end of the room, where various other sundry objects can be glimpsed dimly in the distance.

This leaves an absurd puzzle I’ve already written about to finish things off:

BLAST

There is a loud explosion, and a twenty-foot hole appears in the far wall, burying the dwarves in the rubble. You march through the hole and find yourself in the main office, where a cheering band of friendly elves carry the conquering adventurer off into the sunset.

You scored 410 out of a possible 430, using 504 turns.

Your score puts you in Master Adventurer Class B.

To achieve the next higher rating, you need 1 more point.

I lost some points due to

Saving my game three times. Each save was a 5 point loss.

and

Passing the 350-turn mark (which causes a deduction) and the 500-turn mark (which causes another deduction). The latter was particularly frustrating; after getting all treasures the standard procedure is to wait in the cave for it to “close”, which easily took at least 50 turns.

I’m not entirely convinced a 350-turn win is possible, especially with the closing wait time built in? I did use “routing” trying to make each foray in the cave as efficient as possible, but I was still a bit off. The trickiest part to time was the vending machine foray as mentioned earlier, because you have to dive into the maze with a dwarf in tow.

Also, the dwarves just seemed more generally aggressive in this game compared to the last. I did make a couple honest no-save attempts but each time I was skewered; death is very random.

Frank thoughts: none of the new additions are improvements. While it is indeed interesting to use the bird for more than one thing, and indeed satisfying to have the vending machine mean something, and even somewhat enjoyable to optimize for points, the 430-point version of Adventure is not as balanced as the 350-point version. While the same difficulty of puzzles might be welcome in, say, Philosopher’s Quest, the entire texture of that game radiated evil, while 350-point Adventure is friendly and bright. Spice was added to a dish that didn’t need it; what Don Woods really needed to do (and still, perhaps, might do?) is write an entirely new game.

There’s been one “enhanced” port of 430-point Adventure, written for Android.

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Posted May 31, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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