Frankenstein Adventure: Below the Surface Forever   5 comments

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature. I had worked hard for nearly two years, for the sole purpose of infusing life into an inanimate body. For this I had deprived myself of rest and health. I had desired it with an ardour that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.

— From Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

In the original Frankenstein, Victor abandons his “monster” as soon as he creates it; the monster doesn’t really get into murder until he finds out the circumstances of his creation, and plans revenge.

More modern takes have varied, but we’re jumping ahead a bit in the plot–

Before I made any progress on the real story, I was fussing about with all my objects, and discovered BURN worked as a verb on things other than just matches and candles. Dutifully testing out every item in my inventory, I found a secret message:

I also knew the painting of Victor I found last time was “screwed to the wall” so I just needed to get a screwdriver over to the painting to check it out, but I was blocked (as I left off last time) by a wolf.

The wolf had previously emerged when I had unearthed a coffin and a corpse.

After trying to fight off the wolf with little success, I went back to the CORPSE and applied my SCALPEL. This got me a mutilated CORPSE, which had a HEART and LIVER.

Grisly! I took the LIVER over to the wolf and it gobbled it down and ran away. Then I went back to the painting and unscrewed it, and applied the previously mentioned combination. This got me a DIARY and a MAP.

…I guess maybe I’ll find a liver somewhere else? Or did I make a mistake?

Plowing ahead, I took the map over to the bog where I previously was falling into quicksand and did FOLLOW MAP. This led me to an old mill with a crypt beneath.

The URN incidentally has ashes but you can POUR URN to also find gold ELECTRODES (as mentioned in the diary). The crypt had a passage leading back to the graveyard, but the wolf was back, and this time there was no liver to feed him. I did, however, have a fancy cane.

Now comes the most interesting dilemma of the game. I was able to return the HEART over to the monster back in the lab, but I had no liver because the wolf ate it. Except now the wolf is dead and in the form of a man… so maybe…

…is that the same liver? (I think at a code level it is, but at a plot level it’s the man’s original liver we cut out.)

With liver in hand, some working with needle and thread, and attaching the gold electrodes from the urn, I was able to come close to bringing life. I just needed to pull the lever. I fully expected a “you win” message, but:

Ah, of course. This is the kind of monster that comes out swinging right away. It chases you around which strongly suggested the solution was geographical. Restoring my game, grabbing the map I used last time to get by the quicksand, I tried pulling the lever again, and escaped to safety.

In the end, no progress was made: while we finished Victor Frankenstein’s wish, we then undid the monster we created just as quickly.

La Créature De Frankenstein by the KLAT group in Geneva. Picture by Guilhem Vellut.

Many games from this era use the tropes of horror, but far fewer have really been horror. That is, various “monsters” have often been interchangeable with fantasy — a mummy might as well be an orc, a ghost might as well be a goblin. Fully-fledged horror shows people in desperate in tragic circumstances doing desperate and tragic things, and I think Frankenstein Adventure qualifies with the, ah, creative use of corpses. I really did have a moment I was stunned when I realized how I could get a second liver. The gameplay finesse of having seen one that gets “used up” — bringing up the specter of softlocks, yet not being one — made the moment more effective.

Audible has recently put up some of their material for free (as in actually free, not a free trial). This includes an absolutely stellar reading of Frankenstein by the actor Dan Stevens (from Downton Abbey); it runs for 8 1/2 hours and if you’re looking for distraction I highly recommend it.

If you’re keen on playing Frankenstein Adventure itself, there’s a version you can play online. The display of the online version is slightly glitchy but it still works.

Posted March 26, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Frankenstein Adventure (1980-1981)   11 comments

Frankenstein Adventure is yet another TRS-80 game in BASIC, and was released in the October 1981 edition of CLOAD. (This was the same “magazine on tape” that had CIA Adventure.)

The reason I have the date listed as 1980 to 1981 is that, rather unusually for a simple BASIC game from this era, there is an extensive interview with the author, John R. Olsen Jr. from Oregon (not to be confused with John R. Olson from Kansas who was working at the same time).

I decided that I was going to write an adventure game. But I had no idea of how to go about it. There were no adventure authoring languages like Visionary at that time. My only choice was to write in the BASIC language. And that meant that I had to write everything: the parser, the input routines, the output routines, as well as the movement and other logic. But I had a pretty good knowledge of BASIC and so undaunted I began writing my first adventure during my Christmas vacation of 1980. The plot of my inaugural adventure was taken from the old horror movies. Its working title was ‘Frankenstein Adventure’. The plot had you (the player) discovering you were the long lost relative of Dr. Frankenstein. As his only heir, you had inherited his mansion. When you arrived, you found a letter from him telling you that he wanted you to complete his creature and bring it to life.

As the quote above implies, you’re not tasked with looting treasures or defeating evil. You are here to create life.

So far I’ve mostly explored. The map is fairly small; there’s a cemetery, a bog, and the house; other than the typical kitchen and dining room the house has a master bedroom with a “four poster BED” and “a PAINTING” of Victor Frankenstein.

There’s also a library, which (perhaps inevitably) had a secret passageway, leading to a laboratory.

My most immediate obstacle to fulfilling Dr. Frankenstein’s dying wish is the padlock on the power level, but I’m guessing that’s not the only hitch; I suspect the monster itself will need some work, but I don’t know with what yet. What I’m getting stalled on is some quicksand…

…and a wolf, who blocks my way back in the house after I dig up a coffin with a corpse.

I have access to a CANDLE, MATCHES, a SCALPEL, a CROWBAR, an old LEMON, some silk THREAD, a SHOVEL, and a SCREWDRIVER. It’s possible I’m still missing an ordinary secret in the house so I won’t call this comprehensive.

With a simple treasure-hunt TRS-80 game I likely would have dived into hints or source code already, but the premise is compelling enough I’m giving the game a little more effort before I throw in the towel. I like how the protagonist’s quest is not framed as good or evil, but just fulfilling a mission as Frankenstein’s last living relative.

Posted March 25, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Race for Midnight (1981)   2 comments

YOU LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN IN THE 14TH CENTURY. YOU WERE AWAKENED THIS MORNING BY A TERRIBLE PAIN IN YOUR ARM. UPON EXAMINING YOUR ARM, YOU FOUND A BLOODY GASH IN IT. WISELY, YOU COVER IT UP SO THAT NOBODY WILL SEE IT. LATER, YOU FIND OUT THAT THE TOWNSPEOPLE HAD SEEN A WEREWOLF LAST NIGHT. ONE PERSON HAD SHOT AN ARROW AT IT, BUT EVIDENTLY HE HAD MISSED, BECAUSE THE WEREWOLF CONTINUED RUNNING. YOU INSTANTLY DEDUCE THAT YOU MUST HAVE BEEN THE WEREWOLF AND REALIZE THAT YOU MUST FIND AN ANTIDOTE.

Thus begins the instructions for Steven Sacks’s second adventure, Race for Midnight, where you go to the former residence of the wizard Evro in order to find a cure for lycanthropy; the werewolf-ism kicks in again (permanently?) at midnight.

Corny, yes, but just this small amount of effort was enough to get the game’s atmosphere going at another level; as you progress, there’s the occasional message that

YOU NOTICE THAT THE HAIR ON YOUR ARMS SEEMS TO BE GETTING THICKER.

which lends a little urgency; you have 500 moves to win. (Fortunately, in gameplay terms this turns out to be plenty.)

Every room is fully illustrated this time; like one of the early On-Line Systems games, you can switch between image and text by pressing ENTER.


A sample. Yes, that’s a “kobold”. The instructions explain “DUE TO SOME OF THE EXPERIMENTS THAT EVRO DID, MANY OF THE MONSTERS NO LONGER HAVE BODIES.”

Just like Sacks’s previous work Chambers of Xenobia, the game is mostly based around fighting enemies. I show an example in the animation below. (The long delay after YOU ARE DEAD is due to a sound cue the GIF file does not capture.)

The two important additions over Xenobia are:

1.) There’s a 20-sided die that the player “rolls” for the protagonist and separately for the enemy; hitting the space bar or some other key stops the number each time. It’s fast enough that it isn’t really possible to time it, so the same level of randomness is there as if the game picked the numbers, yet the additional shred of player agency was enough to make me feel like I was genuinely participating. (Rolling for the monster is also interesting in a theoretical sense, since if you roll high enough the enemy hits you; usually in a tabletop RPG the game-master does the rolling, so this is acting more like a gamebook, akin to a Fighting Fantasy book.)

2.) While one hit is enough to kill any enemy, the hero can take up to three hits before dying, so failing a roll is not grounds for reloading the game each and every time as it was in Xenobia.

The map is divided into two floors, as shown above; the Magician’s Library contains the most important object of the game, explaining what ingredients you need to win.

This is two screenshots pasted together.

The puzzles are even less significant than in Xenobia; there’s one locked door with a nearby skeleton key, one door that requires KNOCKing to get through, and one door that requires a LODESTONE (found behind the door you need to KNOCK on, so it has to come after solving that puzzle).

Really, the main function of the puzzles is to gate the dragon; since most everything is in the open, it’s likely most players (including myself) will get the lodestone near the end. The dragon feels like a climax fight, even though it works mechanically like the others (unlike Xenobia, there’s no special dragon disintegrator, you just use your sword like all the other monsters).

The image also is re-used from Xenobia.

The other mechanic of note is that some of the ingredients are based on the monsters themselves, like the rat’s tail and toad eyes. There’s no difficulty in finding them (other than being alert to what ingredients you need) but since this recurs a couple times, it avoids the problem I mentioned from Xenobia of having an idea only appear once and not feel like a mechanic; here, the repetition builds harvesting monsters as a plot theme.

Once all the ingredients are found, winning is a matter of making it to the “FIELD” on the southeast corner of the map, then, following the instructions from the book: DRINK POTION, READ SCROLL, SAY ALDORAGAMBA, LOOK MIRROR.

At some fundamental level, this is identical to just collecting treasures, but the inclusion of a ritual to follow at the end makes for a far more satisfying plot ending.

Race for Midnight manages to slot into the puzzle-sparse-exploration-heavy genre I’ve theorized about (see: Ringen, Death Dreadnaught, Haunted Mansion) by filling the gap of “what do we do other than just wander?” with quasi-RPG combat. If nothing else, it’s useful as another example of someone trying to make that idea work. If you’re interested in trying it, Race for Midnight can be played online via the Internet Archive.

Evro’s throne room, complete with vanity letter.

Posted March 24, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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The Chambers of Xenobia (1981)   6 comments

Avant-Garde Creations, aka Avant-Garde Publishing, was established in 1979 by Mary Carol Smith and mostly published non-adventure games, but in 1981 they joined the fray with two titles by Steven Sacks.

From an Avant-Garde Creations ad, via Tumblr.

We’re back to strictly traditional gather-the-treasures (12, in this game). If nothing else, the game does innovate in the department of overly long animated title screens.

There’s also occasional graphics. It’s a frankly unusual setup; there’s a “base picture” (which appears right after the animation above)…

…and when a monster appears, the game shows the same screen with the blank space filled by the appropriate monster.

I SEE:A MEAN-LOOKING TROGLODYTE

For the most part, the screen is the same quasi-Scott Adams style layout as seen in Adventure in Time.

The first room of the game; down is a small room with a shiny sword and a message that says LEAVE TREASURES HERE.

I mentioned monsters earlier; there are various monsters scattered throughout the map, CRPG-style, and there’s no real puzzles involved in dealing with them; it’s just KILL MONSTER and then the game tries to be dramatic about how things happen. Another animation to illustrate (the long pause after I CHARGE AT THE STIRGE is authentic):

You either win against a monster or die; the combat is more an object lesson to remind players to save their game rather than a useful mechanic.

The puzzles are also thin. There’s a paper that says COWABUNGA which is a magic word; SAY COWABUNGA is used elsewhere (and arbitrarily) to open a vault.

There’s a formation that’s part of a room description hiding a key.

There’s a clock that lets you set the time (I’ll let you guess from the hint what to set it to).

Most of the monsters leave dead bodies behind after you slay them, but one (and only one) of them is has a treasure.

One of the monsters, a dragon, will incinerate you if you try to attack with a sword; the game says it is invulnerable to normal weapons. Good that there’s a vial helpfully marked “DRAGON DISINTEGRATOR”.

Other than the combat (which I believe is entirely random; there’s not even an element of gaining experience by slaying the monsters in the right order) the author didn’t think in terms of building systems; each puzzle is an individual idea (try killing a monster with something other than your sword, try searching the environment) but since each idea is used only once, there’s no potential for building puzzle complexity.

At the end, I found and stored A HUGE DIAMOND, A BUNCH OF EMERALDS, PURSE OF RUBIES, A BAR OF GOLD, A GOLD NECKLACE, A HUGE EMERALD, A PLATINUM RING, A SAPPHIRE, GOLD DOUBLOONS, A PILE OF PLATINUM, AN ONYX STATUE, and an ANTIQUE BRASS CARVING and became an ADVENTURE GRANDMMASTER, although I didn’t really feel like one.

I get the impression the author started from the direction of wanting to feel like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, filling a set of rooms with monsters with the notion that each would be a colorful “cinematic” encounter, but randomization of text — and dramatic delays — were not enough to carry gameplay interest.

What’s perhaps most interesting is that Steven Sacks’s next game (Race for Midnight) carries the same minimal combat idea, but with two changes that make it more compelling (while still being essentially random). The extended discussion will wait for next time!

I SEE:A HUGE DRAGON

Posted March 23, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Adventure in Time: The Diabolical Machine   16 comments

I have saved the world.

Before proceeding to victory, let me nerd out briefly on the Miocene. The earliest horses emerged during this era, including the Eohippus, which was the size of a cat. (Image from 1920, public domain by Heinrich Harder.)

I had some hungry dinosaurs to deal with. Voltgloss correctly theorized that the seeds from Stonehenge would be useful, although it took me some experimenting before I realized I could go back to the greenhouse at headquarters to plant them.

HEAVILY FRONDED PLANTS QUICKLY GROW TOWARD THE INTENSE RADIATION OF THE ULTRAVIOLET LIGHTS.

The plants didn’t help with the dinosaurs, but I had a sleeping potion that seemed like it’d match, but after some flailing (and some crowdsourcing from you, the audience) I tried PUSH STUD on the robot while at the dinosaurs.

The exact phrasing of the hint made me realize that DRUG PLANTS was the right verb to use.

THE FRONDS ARE NOW COVERED WITH AN OILY LOOKING SUBSTANCE.

Going back to the dinosaurs with DRUGGED PLANTS at hand:

CLIMB doesn’t work here, but GO DINOSAUR does:

I was out of cards to try to jump to other places, and I was nearly out of objects that I’d used on puzzles: I only had the violin, bow, and a hammer.

HIT VIAL with the hammer got me nowhere, but PLAY VIOLIN did the trick. The sound caused the vial to bust open revealing a microfilm.

Typing L99AV into the computer (the one that only so far accepted NOSTRADAMUS and HUNTER) gave me

READY TO RECEIVE MASTER CODE. SEE T1 DATA FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.

The time machine has two dials marked T1 and T2. T2 so far only gave destinations of the cards while T1 was locked at 1984; after this computer input the T1 readout changed to 2396. Using the computer one last time:

If this was a Cambridge mainframe game, we’d be up for a big fortress infiltration, but Nostradamus is just right there at the cliff on the north side of headquarters, ready to conquer the world. Here’s what happens if you just hang out and let it happen:

The last remaining useful object, the hammer, is all you need to win.

This is also the last adventure game we’ll see “written” by Paul Berker, although he did “programming” on a game we’ll see in 1982 (Queen of Phobos).

This strikes me as a beginner-with-promise sort of game. Berker’s room descriptions remained strong throughout, and the various actions needed to proceed were colorful and interesting, but in addition to the weak parser, the plot as a whole made little sense. The author tried to invoke heist-tropes (the master criminal leaving his “calling card” at every theft) but the events only made sense on a micro-level. If Nostradamus was going through time stealing parts, why was he leaving the exact cards behind needed to follow him? If he was somehow leaving this trail intentionally, why did he not expect us coming at the end? (He didn’t even give a long and rambling speech about how we fell right into his trap.) How was Nostradamus himself traveling through time? Why did he inject us with the syringe in the first place — was he stealing a portable time machine or some such? The design of the headquarters doesn’t make it seem like there was more than just the single time machine.

Paul Berker has uploaded the source code for his adventure games to the Internet.

While I still need to finish my writeup on my new discovery, I’m generally not sure where I’m going from here; if anyone knows a 1981 game that they want to nominate, I’ll consider dragging it up the queue.

Posted March 20, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Adventure in Time: A Tour of History   14 comments

In a way, nearly all computer games are time travel games.

Even without saves and reloads, it is common to revisit the same places, to iterate on different paths, to send shadows of alternate selves into the tangled variety of possible universes. What happens if we go back and fight rather than flee? What happens if we choose different companions or equipment? What happens if we redo a level, with foreknowledge of the future?

It is the fantasy of time travel to expose the braids of causality, to correct failures of the past, to preview what is to come. For computer games, these are typical activities, almost mundane.

Time travel is well-embedded in the DNA of games, and it is not surprising the genre became popular for adventures. The tripartite separation of plot, character, and gameplay can easily come together with time travel, such that the act of gameplay itself reflects profound and lasting truths.

Having said all that, no, Adventure in Time is not embedded with profound truths, but: blasting through history is fun, and the structure of this game in particular — with a self-contained area for each time period — is enjoyable and coherent.

The time periods are visited by taking colored cards and inserting them in a time machine. The “present” of the game is 1984, represented by a brown card. The first card you start with from another time is blue, taking you to -5000, Stonehenge, in the time of druids.

Area 1: Stonehenge, 5000 BC, Blue Card

There’s no serious obstacles here; there’s a guard for the druids that will stop you unless you have a translator device, but otherwise it’s easy to find a green card, a potion, some seeds, a flute, and a notepad.

Because of the syringe/fingerprints debacle last time, I’m suspicious of the seeds. The game says they were recently planted by the druids, and I fear if I take them there will be a missing tree later. It may be you *want* the tree to be missing, or it may be the game is trying to trick you into ruining the game — either way, I’m leaving the seeds be for the moment.

The notepad also has some faint writing, and this is the first (but won’t be the last) chronological adventure where I do the “rub pencil to make the writing stand out” trick.

Area 2: Unknown, 1001 AD, Green Card

The first room has a snake you can charm with the flute from Stonehenge.

This is followed by a “dark maze” where going the wrong direction kills you. I first mapped it out tediously with save states, but then realized that a laser from back in 1984 lit up the room. It was, in fact, the first thing I tried, but I had my emulator speed cranked up high which means I missed the fact the game displayed the actual cave description for a short time. Slowing the emulator down to 1981 speeds made the puzzle solvable. Using this, I was able to find a bow and a yellow card.

Area 3: Rome, 30 BC, Yellow Card

(Nero pops up here, but he’s AD, not BC. 30 BC would be the year Anthony and Cleopatra die.)

Rome has a soothsayer giving out a charm to fend off evil, a “collosseum” with starving animals who are surprisingly not dangerous…

…and the 1st Legion, that made fun of me, wouldn’t let me pass, and softlocked my game (you can’t leave once you enter).

I reloaded, grabbed the charmed snake from 1001, and brought it to the Legion; dropping it caused them to scatter. I was then able to head north and visit Nero.

I was able to combine the bow I got from 1001 with the violin to make an obnoxious noise, but I haven’t found any use for it yet.

Area 4: Mesozoic Forest, 16,000,000 BC, Red Card

(16 million years ago time would land the player in the Miocene — specifically the end of the Langhian — with some semi-familiar mammals but definitely not dinosaurs or the Mesozoic.)

Here is where I’m fairly stuck — I can fall in quicksand…

…or get eaten by a T-Rex…

…but other than a herd of “hungry” dinosaurs I haven’t found anything else. I don’t have anything that seems like dino food so I’m assuming I’m missing something from an earlier era.

Posted March 19, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Adventure in Time (1981)   Leave a comment

EONS AGO A WEAPON WAS CONSTRUCTED WHICH COULD DESTROY THE HUMAN RACE AS WE KNOW IT. THE HIGH TRIBUNAL ORDAINED THAT HIS WEAPON BE DISMANTLED AND THE PIECES DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT MANY TIME PERIODS.

IT HAS SINCE BEEN DISCOVERED THAT THE FILE HAS BEEN STOLEN DOCUMENTING THE LOCATION OF THE COMPONENTS.

WHOEVER HAS POSSESSION OF THE FILE CAN CONTROL…OR DESTROY…THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

— From the opening screen for Adventure in Time

We just saw Birth of the Phoenix; Adventure in Time was Paul Berker’s other adventure for Phoenix Software from 1981.

It’s given as a “Class 4” adventure — Phoenix had a very very (very) short-lived scheme where they ranked difficulty on a scale from 1-5, so this one’s supposed to be pretty tough.

Starting from the placid present, this text adventure takes you careening through history on the trail of a master criminal. You must hop from period to period, dealing with the traps and puzzles ready to confront you at every hand, so you can eventually nab the fiend and avert his evil plan for the Earth.

— From the 1984 Software Encyclopedia

This is already a mysterious opening. Clearly, we were trying to foil a Bad Guy, but are we the keeper of the time machine and it was stolen, or did we try to bust into their place? (Based on elements you’ll see in a moment, I think it’s the former, but for the start of gameplay I was briefly confused.)

The house you start in has a kitchen with a foul odor and a pencil, a dormitory with burned papers, and a cliff.

IT’S AT LEAST 300 METERS STRAIGHT DOWN TO THE BASE OF THE CLIFF. CIRCLING OVERHEAD IN THE STRANGE SKY ARE FIGURES TOO DISTANT TO RECOGNIZE. LOOKING BACK AT THE CAVELIKE ENTRANCE, IT DOESN’T LOOK SO ARTIFICIAL.

You may have noticed from the opening screen the scratched corner of the picture. This is a hint to MOVE PICTURE, which causes a robot to appear.

>GET ROBOT

THE ROBOT IS NOW PROGRAMMED TO ACCOMPANY YOU ON YOUR TRAVELS.

The robot has a STUD on the back that you can push, causing a ray to flash from the robot and the south wall to open.

This opens into a technological area with a computer room, a security room, and a laboratory with a microscope. The security room included a blocked exit:

>E
YOU CANNOT PASS.
CODE NAME, PLEASE?

There’s also a LASER and TRANSLATOR in storage. After flailing around a bit I tried PUT PENCIL with the microscope.

THE OVERHEAD SPEAKER COMES ON: ‘NO FINGER PRINTS SEEN.’
AND THE STAGE IS AUTOMATICALLY CLEARED AND AWAITING THE NEXT SAMPLE.

This one of those circumstances where a full parser (one understanding more than two words) would have definitely helped matters. Technically the syntax is workoutable, but I had a weird feeling of confinement that made the right command hard to find. The computer room is another instance of this:

>EXAMINE KEYBOARD

THE INSTRUCTION PLATE READS, ‘DATA MAY BE INPUT IF AUTHORIZED.’

It’s not entirely clear the player is “authorized” here so a few failed attempts can cause a wild goose chase; the right syntax is INPUT (NOUN).

Back to the microscope: I took every item I could possibly find and PUT them underneath; I finally had some luck with the SYRINGE from the first room…

…except not really. I did notice the CLOTH which is described as useful for picking up delicate things, but perhaps it could double as a fingerprint protector. I restarted my game and made sure I didn’t touch the syringe until I had the cloth (another two-word parser failing, I had to just guess the cloth was being used since there’s no TAKE SYRINGE USING CLOTH or the like).

>PUT SYRINGE

THE OVERHEAD SPEAKER COMES ON:
‘FINGERPRINT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS BEING THAT OF NOSTRADAMUS.’

(Just to be clear if you missed it, this means you can softlock from the very start of the game by picking up the first object you see.)

Nostradamus must be the game’s nemesis. I went back to the computer and tried INPUT NOSTRADAMUS.

I didn’t have much luck with other words I tested, but this is still a game in progress. I went back to the blocked exit at the security room and tried HUNTER.

It’s not that common, but I have seen adventure games where the player has to figure out something known to the in-game character like their name or code name. I can only suppose the syringe included a bit of an amnesia kick.

Aha, the time machine! This one’s a little unusual in that the entire opening map is part of the machine; when you jump to a new period the “Cliff” to the north gets a new exit.

I made a little more progress, but I’m going to pause here until I get somewhere more substantial. Despite the rocky opening the rest of the game is promising, and Paul Berker maintains his knack for room descriptions we saw in Birth of a Phoenix.

The first destination is Stonehenge circa 5000 BC. The druids are friendly.

Posted March 17, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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