Reality Ends: The City Falls   5 comments

I thought for a while I definitely would have to bail on this one, but I had a lightning soaked victory in the end.

A somewhat relevant public domain picture for spoiler space.

I had two sticking points:

(a.) something close to guess-the-verb, although it was more like guess-the-chain-of-events
(b.) me reading a word incorrectly.

Let’s start with the more inglorious (b.)

Early on I found a “deep ravine” in a room with “mail”. The game suggested you need to jump over the ravine to get to the mail, but doing so led to falling and death. Fortunately, I quickly realized a horse elsewhere in the map was useful here, and after I did RIDE HORSE I was able to jump the ravine and retrieve the mail. And then … nothing. I tried >READ MAIL. I tried >OPEN MAIL. I tried >DEILVER MAIL. I tried all sorts of strange things, but the purpose of the mail eluded me most of the game.

Later in the game, I was trying to work out how to fight a “fanatic leader”. I had a sword but trying to do battle led to “NICE SWORDSMANSHIP, BUT YOU CAUGHT A CHEST WOUND” and death.

Much later in the game … well, perhaps you’ve already put these parts together, but it dawned on me that “mail” was NOT the kind of mail you open and read and find coupons in. No, this was mail as in armor that you wear. After WEAR MAIL:

To be fair, this is a good reason why it helps to be able to examine your objects! But I was still just a little sheepish.

So, for (a.):

Trying to get the plants just led to sinking in quicksand.

I had some rope that I had tried to use in many ways, including attaching to other things and the like, until I finally hit upon THROW ROPE:


The next appropriate command is PULL ROPE


whereupon then you can finally GET PLANTS.

After getting the plants, I went back to a tavern where I previously came across a fatal brew.

This time I did EAT PLANTS beforehand


and I was able to safely drink the brew.


I ignored the suggestion for revenge and just took the empty stein. All that process was to be able to go to a place that had acid rain and FILL STEIN. Then I could take the acid to a locked box and POUR ACID breaking it open, revealing some silver.

Back in the acid rain place I also got some diamonds, and was able to go to Israel to trade them for guns. No, really:

Remember, the conceit here is you are not traveling through “rooms”, but “parallel universes”, including, apparently, an Israeli gun market circa 1980.

My next task was going to the “City of Margon” which had an “Amulet of Sangi” and fight Margon to be able to get the Amulet. It turns out if you hire marksman and give them guns you can try to put up a fight … and he kills you because “GUNPOWDER DOESN’T WORK IN THIS UNIVERSE”.


The solution turns out to be: after you buy the guns in Israel, you can USE POLISH to have them make gunpowder out of some jeweler’s polish you find in a different universe. It turns out Margon will *still* kill you unless the bullets are also silver, so you can USE SILVER (the silver from the locked box) and the gun shop will helpfully turn those into silver bullets for you.

Finally, being prepared with an army of marksmen using silver bullets, you can go back to the city and KILL MARGON:

Let’s skip ahead a bit: once you get the Amulet of Sangi, you just need the fanatics (that I mentioned earlier), a staff (which happens to be sitting on the ground next to the endgame room) and a magic word CIMAL (which you can get by stealing a book of lore from a minotaur). Then it’s just a matter of going to the CITADEL OF BALDIR which threatens the DISSOLUTION OF REALITY and letting fury reign:

So, that was a curious introduction to the library of Med Systems, to say the least. They’re going to appear twice more in 1980 with first-person 3D perspective adventure games Labyrinth and Deathmaze 5000.

Yes, 3D first-person perspective in 1980. If you’re dying with anticipation, the Adventure Gamer covered Deathmaze 5000 in their “missed classic” series so you can see some glorious screenshots. (ADD: I did eventually get to both games and wrote about them here and here.)

Posted February 28, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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5 responses to “Reality Ends: The City Falls

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  1. Huh. The gag of jeweler’s polish from one universe acting like gunpowder in another is a straight lift from Zelazny’s Amber series.

    Nothing else in the game matches up like that. I mean, the Amber books have swordfights and armies, but the core plot isn’t this one.

    I guess the author wanted to borrow the feeling of wandering through an infinite(ish) number of parallel realities, is all.

    • That’s a lot more reference than usual still, I might need to try reading those.

      To get by the minotaur you have to wear a cloak such that the minotaur doesn’t see you; it isn’t explained very well (one of those puzzles you solve without knowing what’s going on) but a reference might make sense, does it ring any bells?

  2. I finally got around to reading your take on “Reality Ends” and I must say I enjoyed it a lot! Thanks for the great write-up!

    I was also unsure about the minotaur (whom you’ll encounter again in “Labyrinth” if you are planning to play through that, too) because it seemed like a mash-up of the Knossos legend (a Med Systems staple, it seems) and the Ring of the Nibelungs (or various other invisibility cloak tropes, for that matter).

    However, I’ve finished my research on Med Systems’ activities in 1980 and this might interest you if you are planning to play through more of their adventures, speculative timeline and all:

    Keep up the great work on this amazing blog!

    • I’m definitely playing Labyrinth.

      My next Med Systems game will probably be within a month.

      Incidentally, Ira Goldklang’s site mentions a BASIC version of Reality Ends where the map looks a little different — there’s a screenshot but no download available.

      type “Med Systems” as the publisher

      There are games you have that he doesn’t have listed, and some games he has listed you don’t have.

      He has copies of everything that isn’t in red and you can even see a screenshot of, ex: Playful Professor. (He is very stringent re: copyright — however, if you can get a hold of the author, and get them to release a notice “I release this for free” then Ira can put it up for download.)

  3. Thank you – I know Ira Goldklang’s page and my list in that article is only of 1980 games so there are no games or programs that I don’t know of on his page, although there apparently are some versions I wasn’t aware of as I didn’t catch the difference between the “Reality Ends” maps.

    Some of the game titles appear to be nicknames of games that aren’t missing – like “Journey ..” most probably being “Microworld”, a 1981 adventure by Med Systems.

    I tried everything to contact the author but sadly he wouldn’t reply to anything which is a shame because I was able to deduct some things on my own but maybe incorrectly, and there are still a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle, especially the 1979 pre-history of the company (which, granted, may not be all that spectacular). Anyway, thanks for the reply – I’m looking forward to your playthroughs of the Continuum games and if I can help with information or hints, just let me know. (though, as you beat “Acheton” you should not have many problems with either of them.)

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