Adventure 501 (1978)   3 comments

From the cover of Creative Computing port of Adventure, via the Museum of Computer Adventure Game History.

This version of Adventure (by David Long) marks the last one of the 1970s I’m writing about. There are a few that are essentially direct ports I have skipped, but I’ve played all of them that modify Crowther’s original game in some fundamental way.

501-point Adventure has a tangled history, but I’ll simplify things down to say this was the basis of a “lost” 751-point version by David Long in 1980 (it was on Compuserve, and died when Compuserve did) as well as a 551-point version by Doug McDonald from 1984. I’m playing the version at Gobberwarts.

A difference between this version and all the others pops out right away:

You are inside a building, a well house for a large spring. Off to one side is a small pantry.
There is a shiny brass lamp nearby.
There is a leather sack here.
Taped to the wall is a faded poster.

>READ POSTER
The poster has on it a picture of a short, fat wizard with a bushy red beard and a white painted face. He is playing an electric guitar. The caption reads: ‘LOOK OUT KISS!! Here comes WIZZ!!!! Brian Baas lead singer and vocals. Playing at a Woodstock near you!’

>GET POSTER
Hidden behind the poster is a steel safe, embedded in the wall.

I thought for a brief time you were denied the typical food / water / keys at the start of the game, but the pantry can be entered.

>ENTER PANTRY
You’re in the caretaker’s pantry.
There is food here.
There is a bottle of water here.
It contains:
Clear water
There is a large black fly here buzzing around rather lazily.
There are some keys on the ground here.

Note how the bottle “contains: clear water” as a separate entry, as opposed to water just being an object. This game has a “proper” container system where in order to, say, free a bird from a cage, you have to >OPEN CAGE before getting the bird out, or if you want to pour the bottle of water, you have to >OPEN BOTTLE first. In a way, this makes for stronger simulationism, but it’s also more of a pain in practice to type two commands with something that previously only needed one. In short, improving the underlying system made the surface parser worse. For a container system to be an actual improvement, it needs “assumed actions” like in the Infocom parser — that is, if you POUR WATER without having opened the bottle, the game says “(first opening the bottle)” to avoid the tedium of typing an action that was clearly implied.

In any case, I haven’t run into too many more differences yet. There’s these two areas early on…

…but neither as of yet seem to be extensive or interesting (given I found no treasure or item associated with the “Haunted Chamber” I suspect I’m missing something).

I also found a sword in an anvil (very similar to the sword in the stone from Adventure 550) and a chasm called “Dante’s Rest” where I suspect the rest of the rooms are hidden. I will report back my results next time!

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Posted August 5, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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3 responses to “Adventure 501 (1978)

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  1. The version at Gobberwarts emulates the original Fortran even more closely than my C port! On Gobberwarts, as in the original, some of Long’s engine additions open up some really fun loopholes. Like, you can bring both the bear and the oyster back to the Well House (I’ve verified the oyster works in Gobberwarts; the bear is more trouble than I care to try right now), and if you FILL CASK WITH (item) it will transmute into (item+1), which can be amusing. In my version I fixed all these bugs because I didn’t want to deal with potential undefined behavior in C; but it’s great that Gobberwarts has them! :)

    • Just curious: How do you bring the oyster and bear to the house? I thought you couldn’t take the oyster out of the “shell room” area, and couldn’t take the bear over the troll’s bridge (it collapses the bridge). Yes, I know this version had an alternate way to the far side of the troll bridge, but I’m fairly sure that’s a one-way passage, so you can’t go back that way.

  2. Pingback: The Lost Dutchman’s Gold (1979) | Renga in Blue

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