Adventure 550 (1979)   3 comments

Part of a map of Adventure from David Lebling (of Infocom) via Adventure Gamers. I find it interesting even with compass directions that the topology on a complex map can come out different with different players. For instance, his Witt’s End is near the middle of his map, while mine is on the far southeast edge.

Here’s all the versions of Adventure I’ve written about so far:

The history of the mainframe text adventure started with mods. The most famous variant of Adventure (the 350 point one) was itself born from Woods finding Crowther’s source code and augmenting it. Even with projects like Mystery Mansion where only one author developed a game, players got to try earlier versions; later versions were essentially mods of territory players were already familiar with.

Other than Mystery House Taken Over this approach to adventure creation has died out. I wouldn’t call it sad, exactly — how many versions of Adventure do we really need? — but it’s interesting to think about, especially because it’s not an area theorists have pored over. So far, I’ve seen

  • Straightforward geographic additions, where an extra exit appears somewhere and rooms get tacked on to the original structure.
  • Rearrangement, taking existing room exits and rejiggering their connections (Adventure 500’s approach of orienting everything NE/SE/SW/NW fell along these lines, and Adventure 550 does some tweaking I’ll discuss in a later post).
  • Repurposing, where an already-existing object is used to solve additional puzzles (Adventure 430 had some of this, and there was an extremely clever reuse of eggs in Adventure 440).
  • System changes, like making the dwarves in Adventure 440 tidy or adding a harsh time limit in order to get the maximum number of points possible in Adventure 430.
  • Secret additions, where something is added to an already existing location without changing the room description. The most straightforward example would be the vending machine in Adventure 430 hiding some extra rooms.
  • Reimagining, where a portion of the game is not borrowed but remade in a new way. The entirety of Adventure 500 fits this description.

In any case! Adventure 550 by David Platt adds 11 treasures and 110 rooms to the original game, and is allegedly pretty hard. I’ve already done some mapping forays, and the new material I’ve seen so far is evenly spread out.

Blue indicates new rooms, red indicates rooms which seem to not be present in this version.

Presently, I’m stopped by an ogre…

You’re standing in a very large room (which however is smaller than the Giant room) which has smooth, glassy-looking walls. A passage enters from the south and exits to the north.

There is a large, nasty-looking ogre blocking your path!

You’re standing in a very large room (which however is smaller than the Giant room) which has smooth, glassy-looking walls. A passage enters from the south and exits to the north.

There is a large, nasty-looking ogre blocking your path!
With your bare hands??
You attack the ogre — a brave but foolish action. He quickly grabs you and with a heave of his mighty arms rips your body limb from limb.


You are in an arched coral passage which enters from the west, splits, and continues on to the east over a smooth and damp-looking patch of sand. The fork in the passage once led to the south, but it is now completely blocked by debris.

Hmmmm.. This sand is rather soft, and you’re sinking in a little… In fact you’re sinking in a lot! Oh, no — it’s QUICKSAND!! HELP!! HELP!! HELP!!!

Oh dear, you seem to have gotten yourself killed. I might be able to help you out, but I've never really done this before. Do you want me to try to reincarnate you?

and a mysterious safe.

You are in a room with a high, vaulted ceiling. A tunnel leads upwards and to the north.

A massive walk-in safe takes up one entire wall. It is tightly closed, and has no handle, lock, nor keyhole.

I’m having fun so far. Curiously, I’m getting a parallel universe feeling. For example, in many versions of Adventure (including this one), there’s additions made to the reservoir, so my mental map contains all the variations simultaneously. It’s like I’m living in a Schrödinger box.

Posted July 24, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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3 responses to “Adventure 550 (1979)

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  1. Pingback: Weekly Links #181 « No Time To Play

  2. Pingback: Pyramid 2000 (1979) | Renga in Blue

  3. Pingback: Adventure 501: Wrong Number | Renga in Blue

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