Treasure Hunt: Victory   Leave a comment

There’s no special message for getting all 20 treasures. But it still felt good.


I. The plan

Efficiency is important, because there’s a time limit due to the lantern running out (with one refresh from putting a gold coin in a vending machine).

There are a number of objects that resolve other problems. I was careful on my winning run not to pick up the puzzle-solving objects until I was ready to solve the puzzle in question. This is not only because of the inventory limit of 3 objects, but that returning to the cave entrance (room 0) will deposit everything being held. Hence, if the gold coins are picked up early (I found them first thing), they need to be marked and ignored until the lantern starts to run low.

Other puzzles include keys being used on a lock box (which is too heavy to pick up)


and a wand that is used to extract a sword from a stone.


II. The dragon

I was stumped for a while by the dragon, which I presumed needed to be slayed. It turns out the method requires superior firepower.


I will leave the “treasure” without comment.

III. The (dis)pleasures of randomness

Three random things can foul up even the best of plans in Treasure Hunt.

1.) A bat can pick you up and deposit you randomly, causing anything you are carrying to be spread at random on the map.

2.) While being carried, the magic carpet treasure can just fly off on its own; it’s not something you can stop. I’m not even 100% certain the carpet is retrievable; the times I’ve had it happen I never saw it again.

3.) Earthquakes can randomly rejigger where the pits and dragon are.

With the lantern time ticking away and every earthquake requiring a re-exploration of the entire map, things are very tense. In my winning playthrough I had found the old gun and was ready to take on the dragon, when a bat swooped down and moved me (and the gun). While trying to find the gun again I experienced three (3!) earthquakes, with the dragon changing location each time.


With my lantern running low, trying my best to dodge pits and hoping I didn’t run into another bat, I finally met the dragon in 42 in triumph.

The last time I’ve been that tense in a text adventure was the first part of Border Zone, and that was a real-time game.

I’m not sure how much of Treasure Hunt I’d want to emulate (it is singularly unfair) but I still appreciate it as a raw experiment.

Posted April 11, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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