Dracula Avontuur: Finished!   5 comments

Report blood type to doorman. Opening hours Monday to Saturday, midnight to 6 AM. Closed on Sundays.

I did need to check the walkthrough for some things, but they were generally things I would have gotten stuck on no matter what the language.

For one thing, there’s a looping structure in terms of returning to locations I wasn’t really expecting. The overall superstructure of the map looks like this:

For most of the games of this era, we’d grab the things in the starting house and be done with it. This isn’t like that; the intent is to go in and out of Dracula’s castle and return to the house multiple times. I did catch one loop: you have to get a ladder from the castle and bring it all the way to the start to reach the attic of the house. However, I entirely did not expect an underground section to the house, and you can eventually dig all the way up to Dracula’s Castle from that direction.

Je bent nu in een vochtige kelder. Het plafond is hier zo laag dat je niet rechtop kunt staan. Er zit een nauw gat in het plafond waardoor je omhoog zou kunnen klimmen. De wanden van graniet, maar naar het noorden is de wand erg zanderig. Je staat tot aan je enkels in modderig water.
Er is een vlijmsscherpe bijl hier.
Er is een kleine houten doos hier.

You’re in a damp basement. The ceiling is so low you can’t stand straight. You can climb up a narrow hole in the ceiling. The walls are granite, except the wall to the north which is very sandy. You are up to your ankles in muddy water.
There’s a sharp axe here.
There’s a little wooden box here.

The forest maze is another place most games would not have used twice, but after getting the axe mentioned above, you can return to the big tree and get wood to make a cross.

In addition to the I-needed-the-walkthrough issues above, I had trouble figuring out what verb to use to kill Dracula at the end, but we’ll get to that.

After grabbing my starting gear (lantern, bread, milk, coin) I went over to the nearby Black Hand Inn. I bought some garlic from the proprietor and he told me they had “had enough” (referring to vampire attacks, I assume) and mentioned a hidden stair.

Je bent nu op de donkere zolder van de herberg. Via een trap kan je naar beneden. Er hangt een sterke geur, alsof hier een lijk enige maanden heeft liggen rotten. De vloer is vol bloedvlekken. Er is echter geen lijk te zien. Een vreemd gevormde steen is in de muur gemetseld.
Er is een zware kist met een dikke laag stof op de bodem hier.

You’re in a dark attic of the inn. You can go down a flight of stairs. There’s a strong smell like a corpse has been rotting here for several months and the floor is covered in bloodstains. However, no corpse can be seen. A strangely shaped stone is in the wall.
There’s a heavy chest with a thick layer of dust here.

The chest contains a handy guide to vampires, including the note that “the vampire is very scared of the powerful cross, and the best are made of wood”.

After visiting the inn I scooped up the “wooden wedge” and “large machete” from the nearby forest, then entered the castle. In addition to a food serving hall and two bedrooms, I found a tower with a mysterious door …

Je staat nu op een lange wenteltrap die omhoog en naar beneden gaat. Voor je zie je een vreemd gevormde deur in de wand met in het hout van de deur ‘DIT IS SESAM’ gebrand. Een zwaar gebonk is achter de deur hoorbaar.

You are on a long spiral stair which goes up and down. There’s a strange door in the wall with “this is sesame” burned into it. Behind the door you can hear a heavy thumping.

… and a courtyard with a helpful ladder.

Je bent nu op een binnenplaats van het kasteel dat als kerkhof dient doet. Er zijn hier vele graven waarvan sommige open zijn. Van anderen is het grafdeksel weggeschoven. De meeste graven zijn echter intact. De enige uitgang is een poortje aan de westkant.
Er is een lange ladder hier.

You are now in a courtyard of the castle that serves as a graveyard. There are many graves here, some of which are open. Others have their cover pushed away. However, most are intact. The only way out is a gate on the west side.
There’s a long ladder here.

I took the ladder back to the starting house (as I hinted at earlier), found a “stuk dik touw” (piece of thick rope) and then was fairly stuck.

According to the walkthrough, I needed to sleep in the bed at home. There was no message I recall that said the player-character was tired, just it needed to happen for some reason. However, when I tried it nothing useful happened.

It turns out I missed an encounter with Dracula earlier in the castle (you need to use the ladder to reach it). Both these actions I pulled directly from the walkthrough.

>GOOI KNOF
Dracula sist en deinst achteruit. Hij wordt duidelijk afgeschrikt door de geur van de knof look. Hij kan zich echter tamelijk snel herstellen.
->BESCHIJN DRACULA
Dracula valt je nu aan en slaat zijn mantel dreigend in de lucht. Zijn scherpe hoektanden zijn nu zichtbaar, je loopt voor- zichtig achteruit. Dan valt hij aan en probeert in je nek te bijten. Plotseling verstijft hijen valt neer op de grond. lichaam wordt eerst grijs en zwarte rook omgeeft hem. Als de rook optrekt is er niets meer van zijn lichaam overgebleven.
Je hoort echter in de verte een sinistere lach.

>THROW GARLIC
Dracula hisses and pulls back. He is put off by the smell of garlic; however, he can recover quickly.
>SHINE DRACULA
Dracula now attacks. His sharp fangs are now visible. He attacks and tries to bite your neck. Suddenly he stiffens and falls to the ground; his body becomes grey and black smoke surrounds him. You hear a sinister laugh in the distance.

I … don’t know what’s going on with that second part at all. I assume you’re using the lantern, but it doesn’t do anything. It’s possible the result will happen no matter what the action is?

After this encounter, going back and sleeping in the bed did something useful.

>GA SLAPEN
Je wordt midden in de nacht wakker door gerommel, dat vanonder het bed li jkt te komen. Als je uit het bed stapt verdwijnt het gebonk als bij toverslag.

>GO BED
You are woken in the middle of the night by a rumbling under the bed. When you get out, the sound disappears as if by magic.

Now you’re able to find a basement underneath the bed. While later adventure games are plagued with these “obscurely set off some kind of story trigger before the plot can move on” problems, this is almost too sophisticated a mistake for a 1980 game. (It could be this is an artifact of the 1982 revision, of course, but even 1982 is a little early.)

After a side trip to make a wooden cross and grab a shovel, I managed to dig into where Dracula’s coffin was lurking.

Je bent nu in een graftombe diep onder het kasteel. Een smalle een trap gaat omhoog, halverwege de trap is een ijzeren hek geplaatst. Een i jzige tocht gaat door merg en been. Er staan enige houten grafkisten in deze kamer, die allemaal op elkaar lijken.
Voor de trap zit een ijzeren hek
Het i jzeren hek is gesloten.
is een zware doodskist met in gothische letters de tekst ‘D R A C U L A’ hier

You are now in a tomb deep under the castle. A narrow staircase goes up, where an iron gate has been placed halfway up.

The room’s cold goes through your marrow and bone.

There are wooden coffins that look all alike.

There is an iron gate in front of the stairs. The iron gate is closed.

There’s a heavy coffin here with ‘D R A C U L A’ written in gothic letters.

Unfortunately, it’s not a simple matter of popping open the coffin and staking him — opening it wakes Dracula up. Dracula then flees and you have to give chase. Eventually, you catch up, and the cross is as effective as advertised:

>TOON KRUIS
Aaaargghhhh’ ! Van schrik deinst de vampier achteruit.
Hij gaat tegen een muur staan en houdt zijn handen voor z’n ogen.

>SHOW CROSS
Aaaargghhhh’! The vampire backs off, scared. He stands against a wall and holds his hands in front of his eyes.

Then you can stake the vampire, except … I had no idea how to communicate this. Perhaps I was just making a verb-conjugation typo? The walkthrough told me to SIA WEDGE (“hit wedge”?)

De vampier gilt en valt neer. Even blijft het lichaam roerloos, om dan plotseling te worden omgeven door zwarte rook. Een zeer snel verouderingsproces begint en na enkele seconden lijkt het alsof er een eeuwenoud lijk voor je ligt. Dan vergaat het en blijft er slechts stof over.
De stof waait door elkaar en lijkt op een bepaald moment letters te vormen. Vaak kun je de tekst VAMPIRANIA lezen. Dan verwaait het stof totaal en blijft er geen sporr van deze toch eens zeer indrukwekkende dracula over.

The vampire screams and falls down. The body remains still for a moment and is then surrounded by black smoke. A fast aging process begins and in a few seconds it looks like an aeons-old corpse is before you. Then just dust remains.

The substance blows together and forms letters. You can read the text VAMPIRANIA. The dust then blows away completely and there is no trace of Dracula.

If you try to leave now, you find the heavy front door is “gesloten” (closed). You need to take an alternate exit.

I admit to exhaustion here and just used the walkthrough for the end (a little bit of an escape sequence). I wasn’t able to trigger a “you have won” message but it’s possible there is none. I killed Dracula, I found a “gouden halsband” (golden necklace) and I made it back home, so I think it’s safe to call this one wrapped up.

Keep in mind this is likely the very first text adventure in Dutch, and for that, it’s very impressive.

I somewhat wish I could find the 8K Commodore Pet original; almost certainly the room descriptions would have been mere room names (as the author’s webpage indicates, it had “very concise text”), which might be less involving to read but would have made my life much easier in translation. I’m also curious if the plot structure is exactly like the original; it’s a very unusual one for the era no matter what the language. I suspect the author had at least played The Count because (other than the obvious vampire plot similarity) Scott Adams was the only other author from this era working with interlocking plot elements quite in this fashion. Compare, for example, the defeat of Dracula with taking down the wizard in Wizard and the Princess. In the latter game, you meet and defeat the wizard in one room. In Dracula, you not only meet the antagonist early (before you can defeat him) but once getting the upper hand you have to give chase through his castle before making the final blow.

I have no idea what I’m playing next (I might just bop something off my remaining 1980 list completely at random) but at least I get to return to English! I do have one last question for any Dutch speakers out there. At the death of Dracula there is the scene with the text “VAMPIRANIA”. Is this referring to some Dutch-specific lore? I’m not sure what meaning it has.

Posted September 3, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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5 responses to “Dracula Avontuur: Finished!

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  1. I took a peek at a walkthrough: you killed Dracula, but I think you didn’t find his treasure yet (“schatkist, vol met gouden munten”).

    “Vampirania” is a nonsense word.

    The part I think you missed: Vg freirf urer nf n zntvp jbeq, vg fubhyq bcra gur frfnz qbbe.

  2. Wow! As a big fan of Zork I and II, I don’t know why I never went back to text based games. I’ll give this one a try. Looks like good old-school fun.

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