Archive for the ‘fallthru’ Tag

Game 1X: Fallthru   2 comments

So it has been ages since I’ve whacked at Acheton (with various excuses, some more feeble than others) but it happens that The CRPG Addict is reaching a text-adventure-CRPG called Fallthru from 1990. I figured simulblogging would get the juices flowing again. It’s far off from my chronology, but I always planned to start intermixing some out-of-order games just to keep things interesting.

fallinstruct

Fallthru is not just a text adventure CRPG, but a multiplayer text adventure CRPG. You pick between 1 and 3 players, and each character gets a set of turns to do in sequence before control switches to the next player.

fallmulti

(“Cinder” is player two. After a set number of turns — I got 24 on one try, but I don’t know if some actions vary — play will switch to Cinder.)

Given there are allegedly 80+ hours of gameplay (according to this review of the novelization of the game, anyway) I believe I’ll be stuck with single player only.

There are also allegedly thousands of rooms, but they seem to be of the no-description style:

You are in a slightly rolling region of well kept farms.
You are on an east-west road.

>west

You are in a slightly rolling region of well kept farms.
You are on an east-west road.

>west

You are in a slightly rolling region of well kept farms.
You are on an east-west road.

>west

You are in a slightly rolling region of well kept farms.
You are on an east-west road.

>west

You are in a slightly rolling region of well kept farms.
You are on an east-west road.

This isn’t as bad as it looks simply because it doesn’t present itself as scrollback; the window gives the room description and it will change when necessary. I am having to get used to a related psychological shift: the map should be done on graph paper with one-room-per-square where most of the rooms are unremarkable.

Despite minimal room description, there’s large chunks of texts you can get through the “info” command which works like an encyclopedia for the world universe.

fallfarm

I’m going to try mapping things out a bit and I’ll report back in with my next post.

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Posted June 24, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Fallthru: From an alternate universe   5 comments

Fallthru feels like it came from an alternate universe where puzzle-based interactive fiction never really existed, and the market was dominated by games modeled after MUDs with unobtrustive room descriptions and a highlight on equipment and combat.

This cover is from the paperback version of the novel; the game is shareware and does not have a cover.

This cover is from the paperback version of the novel; the game is shareware and does not have a cover.

This is appropriate given the backstory, painted in minimally by the game’s manual: you have fallen into the universe of Faland from your own, and your quest is to find the way out.

The territory of Faland is comprised of several million square legons, one legon being the distance King Mordat of the Ancients was able to walk in 1000 paces while traveling on a good road over level ground. Most of the territory is sparsely inhabited with the bulk of the population living in and around five farm settlements. It is in the most northeasterly of these, Or’gn, where most foreigners gain entry into Faland and where this pamphlet is available.

In my last post I mentioned making a map using graph paper, but it turns out even that is too much.

fallmap

This is a sign just outside the starting town of Or’gn. The numbers represent actual numbers of steps, so reaching Biclif to the north by walking requires typing N for north 250 times. (I am not kidding.) I am very much hoping there is a horse or other alternate form of travel coming.

In the meantime, though, I’m just writing down coordinate points of important places, setting Or’gn at (0,0). From the sign above, for example:

Inn (-40, 0)
Forod (-125, 0)
Inn (0, 68)
Biclif (0, 250)
Slavhos (0,-25)
Inn (65, 0)
Rooden (135, 0)

Unfortunately, the alternate universe in which Fallthru exists also is the universe where parsers never developed, well, much of anything. There’s fortunately a command list, but it’s taking a while to get the hang of it. I keep wanting to TAKE to pick up items but GET is the only one accepted. Here’s a transcript with commentary:

In the dining area of an inn. The innkeeper is nearby. Water is free and meals can be ordered. The innkeeper can tell you the price. The lobby is north.
>hi
Meals cost 33 ems each. Put down your money before you order.
Thun is the name given to the massive cleft from which Fariver springs at its origin. The snowy griven abounds in the lands around it.

I found out from the command list that “hello” or “hi” will talk with a character. There is no other conversation option.

The innkeeper also gives a random piece of lore with conversation. This tends to happen with most of the characters.

>i
20 ralls in hand
>drop ralls
Nearby you find:
1 ralls

The unit of currency is the “rall”. 100 “ems” make up a “rall”.

>buy meal
MEAL not in context.
>buy water
There is nothing for sale here.

After studying the command list some more, I realized I had the wrong verb here.

>order meal
The innkeeper lays out a sumptuous feast and scoops up your money.
Nearby you find:
67 ems
>eat meal
You have no food at hand
>order water
WATER not in context.
>order 1 water
The innkeeper takes your money and lays out a packet of food.
Nearby you find:
1 lbs food

Ordering food causes the “hunger” stat to instantly go up, while ordering water gave me an item I can tote around. (I think food and water are just treated as synonyms, which is why the parser behavior here is a bit odd.)

As frustrating as things are so far, I’m not ready to give up yet. It is possible things *might* go smoother once I’m not struggling every couple minutes to work out a command.

Posted June 26, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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