Pyramid of Doom: The Nomad   Leave a comment

As predicted, my issue last time was not from a “difficult” puzzle as much as silly and frustrating situation. I ran into both a parser issue and a visualization issue simultaneously!

From the first area of the game, I could >GET LIQUID to fill my canteen, but >ENTER LIQUID and >GO LIQUID both result in “I don’t understand” messages. This led me to visualize the pool as something small (maybe the result of a spill). However, if you >ENTER POOL instead

I’m in a Pool of water
Obvious exit: EAST
Visible items: Large key

Clearly the intent was for the pool to be visualized like some sort of oasis.

Let me repeat for emphasis: The *exact same item* has to be referred to a LIQUID if we’re wanting to get water to drink, or a POOL if we’re wanting to jump in. I know the classical complaint with old parsers is guess-the-verb, but they can be bad in much different ways. (Related: my post on a part of Acheton that was guess-the-noun.)

In any case, once I got past that part, things opened up:

So far, everything I’ve seen is very traditional (including the objective of “gather all the treasures”), with the exception of the small nomad.

I’m in a sitting room
Obvious exit: NORTH
Visible items: Small Nomad, Ashes, Basket, Fireplace

The nomad discovers the player fairly early on in the game and follows them everywhere, silently watching but never doing any actions.

WHAT SHALL I DO? talk nomad
The nomad stuck out his tongue at me.
WHAT SHALL I DO? kick nomad
The nomad stuck out his tongue at me.

Now, it is possible to shoot the nomad…

Got him!! Nomad vanishes in a puff of yellow smoke.

…but the nomad shows up again shortly after, and continues following the player like nothing has happened.

Will the nomad help with an obstacle? Will they hinder the player at a specific time? Or perhaps both will happen? Does the nomad represent uncomfortable stereotyping or is the disappearance in a puff of smoke enough of fantasy-universe remove it doesn’t matter?

Posted June 27, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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