Savage Island Part 1: Solving Too Early   10 comments

Have you ever solved a puzzle in an adventure game with a combination lock, and you had most but not all of the combination, so you said “eh, forget it” and brute force guessed the rest of the way through?

I mapped out the dark maze since last time, although I’m not sure if I was supposed to.

You might think the first step is getting some sort of light inside. However, the nouns LAMP, LIGHT, FLASHLIGHT, TORCH, FIRE, etc. are not recognized, nor any verbs that might logically go with those, suggesting that there is no light source. We have had some required-moving-in-darkness before, so it seems possible.

The bear is still on your tail, though, and while it seems to only be able to eat you (by random chance) when you have sweat, physical exertion isn’t the only way to get sweaty; just being around the bear makes you nervous and causes sweat. (This feels like a Dr. Who monster; it kills you if you show fear, and just being around it makes you fearful, but if you weren’t fearful you would have nothing to fear.)

1 is the entrance. 4 lets you GO OPENING to get back to the cave where you started.

The “FELL” bit is interesting; the game keeps says it’s dangerous to move in the dark, but you only trip if you go in one of the marked directions above. You’re able to drop items but not see them; however, you can still pick them up, so mapping was a slow process of testing a direction and trying to pick up the items I had seeded to see which one would work. Since the bear randomly kills you while all this is going on, I had a lot of reloads in this process. Sometimes the bear would kill me upon loading a saved game, so I would have to reload several times just to do any actions at all.

I did find I could DIG (followed by WITH HANDS) while in maze room #4, and the game says


and subsequently digs get no message, so presumably I found something but not what it was. This particular bit is what makes me suspect I’m not supposed to be in the maze yet at all; hard to be sure, though.

I can’t say I’m “stuck” yet; I still have been getting ideas for things to try. I haven’t experimented much with the time element, for instance — are there any other items that blow in with the wind, and can the hurricane affect the bear?

Posted May 19, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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10 responses to “Savage Island Part 1: Solving Too Early

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  1. It is really interesting to know about this early adventure without treasures.

  2. IIRC the falling and dying is what all the Scott Adams’ games do instead of “You can’t go that way” when it’s dark and you don’t have a light. (This is kind of the opposite of most game engines where you can fall and die when you do move in the dark!)

  3. I can confirm that: it’s built right into the engine that executes Scott Adams games that moving in the dark is OK if you don’t walk into a wall; but if you do try to go in a direction where there’s no exit, you die. I reimplemented this in my Ruby adventure-gaming toolkit ScottKit, as you can see at

  4. I tried the ZX Spectrum version of this (in the Fuse emulator), and there the caves are not actually dark, while they are in the ScottFree and Inform versions running on Gargoyle. Is this deliberate or a bug?

    Petter Sjölund
  5. TAKE ALL doesn’t work in Scott Adams games, does it? IIRC that was the trick for getting something in the dark in Philosopher’s Quest.

    I might also try FEEL or something though that seems like the sort of thing that’s probably not implemented.

    • FEEL is implemented and I’ve been trying it out (it’s on my standard verbs to look for list). Hasn’t helped in the dark, though.

      TAKE ALL is not implemented, sadly.

      • Interesting. TAKE ALL is implemented on Spectrum version. Looks like that might be another way it differs from other versions.

  6. Good luck. This was the one Scott Adams game (and, by extension, its “you have to complete Part 1 first to play Part 2” sequel) in which I just could never get *anything* substantial accomplished.

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