Archive for the ‘journeytothecenteroftheearth’ Tag

Journey to the Center of the Earth Adventure (1978)   Leave a comment

journeytothecenter

I’m not going to go into the history on this one (although this Asio City overview is excellent) other than to say Greg Hassett was sort of a rival to Scott Adams but given he wrote his work between the ages of 12 and 14, he never managed the same leverage.

I’m also going to use the chronology given at Asio City, even though it differs from other sites:

Journey to the Center of the Earth, The House of Seven Gables and King Tut’s Tomb in 1978. Sorcerer’s Castle, Voyage to Atlantis and Enchanted Island in 1979. Mystery Mansion, Curse of the Sasquatch, World’s Edge and lastly Devil’s Palace in 1980.

So, is it based on Verne’s book? That would be “no”:

I AM IN A SHIP. ON A COMPUTER SCREEN IN HERE IT SAYS: SHIP WILL NOT FUNCTION — FRIBULATING GONKULATOR IS BURNED OUT. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE SHIP HAS CRASHED.

I CAN GO: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST

I’m honestly puzzled about the “crashed ship” opening because the rest of the game seems to be a “mimic Adventure” style fantasy. This includes treasures that need to be returned to the ship for points (although this objective is never explained in the game itself — I just tested the idea by taking a gold nugget to the ship, dropping it, and seeing if my score increased).

Click the map for a full-sized version.

Not yet complete. Click the map for a full-sized version.

Notice the Maze of Twisty Little Passages, or the parrot in a cage, or the chasm which is crossed via (rot13 here) jnivat n jnaq.

Perhaps the only original contribution I have been able to find is this room:

I’M IN…AL’S DINER??? THERE’S A COKE MACHINE HERE. IT SAYS: ENJOY COCA-COLA. 25 CENTS (NO CANADIAN COINS, QUARTER ONLY)

THERE IS SOME TASTY FOOD HERE.

I CAN GO: WEST

Coke Is It!, circa 1978.

GULP GLUK GULP! (BURP) THAT WAS REFRESHING!

In all seriousness, I am stuck on a hydra that apparently needs food (but more than just the tasty food in Al’s Diner) a troll which straight out kills me.

A VOICE BOOMS OUT: WHO DARES TO ENTER MY PALACE??? (SOUNDS LIKE A TROLL TO ME!)

I CAN GO: WEST

ENTER YOUR COMMAND? W

HORRORS! THE TROLL THROWS AN AXE AT ME! I AM DEAD.

There’s also a “secret passage” leading to a “troll’s palace” except trying to go back the way I came leads to a loop. I am guessing some sort of magic word to escape, although the circumstance resembles a bug more than a puzzle.

(Also: not quite wrapped up with MUD1, but given the lack of a definite goal I’ll be poking at it gingerly while I run through my regular adventures.)

Posted March 21, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Journey to the Center of the Earth Adventure: Finished   2 comments

journeyend

This one pretty much was over right when it began. Just to be warned, I spoil what is essentially the only puzzle in the game.

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It turns out getting past the hydra was the only thing to pose any difficulty. I found out the game has a HELP command which when applied in the hydra room gives this cryptic message: “CIGAR? CIGARETTE? TIPPARILLO?”

There’s a nearby cigarette lighter, and I thought — no, it can’t be —

>BURN HYDRA

THE HYDRA CRUMBLES TO THE GROUND DEAD.

Alas, the humble lighter was invented too late for Hercules.

Past the hydra there is a “Mac’s Earthdigger Body Shop” which has the “gonkulator” which you use to fix your ship. No treasures are necessary at all — you can just pick it up, drop in the ship, type FIX GONKULATOR, and get game over.

I hoped, perhaps, there would be challenge then in collecting all the treasures. The “secret passage” on the map has some randomization but other than that all the treasures are in the open.

I have marked on the map all the unnecessary parts. (Click for a full sized version.)

journeymapfinal

The “shiny sword”, “magic wand”, and “keys” are all useless. The “treasure room” is a joke. I don’t mean that flippantly. It is an actual joke room:

journeytreasure

If you go back to the Scott Adams interview I linked to when I wrote about Adventureland, he mentions when he hit the limits of the TRS-80 he knew he was done. The same thing must have happened here; I suspect the author had grand ambitions but ran out of space. Journey to the Center of the Earth Adventure gave me a greater appreciation for Scott Adams’s choice of minimalism in text allowing for greater complexity in game-world.

I have played a later Greg Hassett game (Devil’s Palace) which I enjoyed, so I know at least things are going to get better.

Posted March 22, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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