Treasure Hunt: The True Map   6 comments

I first wrote about Treasure Hunt 4 years ago. For this post, you don’t have to know much about it (although you’re welcome to read or re-read the original posts) other than it was a game from 1978 with a freeform map that only gave room numbers (as opposed to compass points or some other indicator of direction). It was very hard to figure out if there was some kind of regular arrangement, but I suspected there was. It was, after all, based on Wumpus, itself based on a dodecahedron shape (just squashed on a plane):


Not knowing the shape beforehand, beating Treasure Hunt required making a full map, which looked random as I drew it but had some tantalizing features, like “rings” of rooms linking to each other.

The full map I made -- click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

I made a few attempts to turn the map into something regular, and even inquired with the author himself (Lance Micklus) who couldn’t help.

Enter the commenter Peter, who just posted this yesterday. As he describes it, it’s a “very regular design, consisting of a number of interlocking circles on two levels.”


If you’re the type interested in resolving mysteries, there are a few more recent ones:

1. How do you open the safe in Haunt? The author thought it had something to do with the wine area, but he didn’t exactly remember.

2. What’s the answer to the third riddle in the Ringen section of VikingMUD?

3. Is there a way to get to the island in Marooned or is the game too buggy to make it there?

Posted February 21, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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6 responses to “Treasure Hunt: The True Map

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  1. Wow! The author did this and could not remember? :-O

  2. By the way, could this be considered an early example of copy protection? While it’s of course possible to try making your own map, it seems like the game would be much more enjoyable if you get a good map to start with.

    • I think so inadvertently? It was made in this weird very short window in software history were people were aware you could steal software, but people weren’t thinking in terms of active countermeasures yet.

  3. I’m happily working my way through your archives. Seeing this map, I got the feeling that surely there must be some even simpler way of representing the structure, one that would make sense of the numbering system. So I googled to see if anyone else had taken this on.

    Sure enough, in the past year someone seems to have gotten to the heart of the matter:

    (Maybe you’ve already seen this, but I couldn’t seem to find it mentioned anywhere on the blog so I figured it was worth a comment.)

    Thinking in terms of this bifurcating structure would probably influence gameplay strategies, yes?

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