Archive for the ‘marooned-watt’ Tag

Marooned (1980 or 1981)   1 comment

Finding this game was like opening a secret door.

I first spotted it on The Big List of TRS-80 Software where it’s listed as “Adventure # 10- Marooned (124480)”.

Opening it up makes it look like an ordinary Scott Adams game, in fact, the last one I played, with the option to select an adventure all the way up to Ghost Town (#9).

If you take the leap and type in “10”, it still has a normal Scott Adams instruction screen …

… but then leads to something entirely different.

Kim Watt was prolific programmer and legend among the TRS-80 community for his utility software. This was clearly written between Scott Adams Adventure #9 (1980) and #10 (1981) although because this was an “unofficial” game, I don’t know if I can get more exact than that. Mr. Watt did start making significant money from his utility software starting at the end of 1980, so I’m going to guess this was a lark between mid-1980 and the end of 1980.

Unfortunately, the game also seems to be incomplete. I have below a complete transcript as far as I’ve gotten. It doesn’t look unreasonable, but that’s only because I have included just the commands that worked.

I’m in the passenger section of an airplane

Obvious exits: North, South.

I can also see: Empty seats

>GO NORTH

I’m in a cockpit

Obvious exits: South

I can also see: Control panel

>LOOK PANEL
I see
guages everywhere.
[Typo is in the game.]

>READ GUAGE
Plane is rapidly descending.
Steering mechanism is broken.

>S

>S

I’m in the tail section of an airplane

Obvious exits: North.

I can also see: Broken rudder cable – Tool box – Knapsack

>WEAR KNAPSACK
OK
[Note: This is a parachute. You cannot TAKE KNAPSACK.]

>OPEN BOX
OK

>LOOK BOX
There’s something there!
[Finds Wire cutters – Screwdriver – Wrench]

>GET CUTTERS
OK
[This is the only item out of the toolbox you can get]

>PULL CABLE
I found something!
[Hidden knob appears.]

>TURN KNOB
OK
Whooosh!
A secret door opens.

>OPEN DOOR
I can’t do that yet.

There’s an island you can get to according to the source code, but I haven’t been able to make it any farther past this point, and it’s so broken there’s a strong chance it’s impossible.

Alas, that means this is more of a historical curiosity than a game. Pyramid of Doom came out of a fan deconstructing the Scott Adams file format; it’s interesting to see someone even attempt roughly the same thing with the notion of making the next numbered game in the series.

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Posted June 19, 2018 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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