Warp: Everything So Far   15 comments

So, IFComp 2019 is about to hit, and I do intend to play and even possibly write about some of the games, but I also wanted to keep my momentum going on 1980. What better contrast to a bunch of small games than a very, very, very large one?

From >READ POSTER in an early room in Warp.

I will try to keep my Warp posts to a more-or-less weekly pace, and put my IFComp posts in between.

You may want to read my old entries, but the summary is: Warp was an attempt one-up Zork developed all the way from 1980 to 1985, and made gigantic in the process. The sole objective is to gather all the treasures and get all the points (1216 of them). Even though I have my old map, just looking at it scares me.

Even given the amount of work I put in, I barely made any progress. This is one of those wide-open puzzle games where there are far too many things to work on at once and I’m not sure where to start.

I often have this sort of “game paralysis” with strategy games — I’m on move 3 and there’s lots of choices already, and I’m worried that the wrong direction will screw my game up at move 40 (because sometimes, it has) so I end up just losing interest. If I can overcome this kind of start and get immersed, the game can get going. I’ve never come up with a good coping mechanism for strategy games (I’ve only got through the start of every Six Ages game I’ve played and it’s been on my phone since release day).

With adventure games, sometimes it helps for me to list everything out. Both for my benefit (given my last “real” Warp post was over 3 years ago) and so y’all fine people see what’s going on, I broke the giant map into five regions.


Central Plaza.
You are standing in what appears to be the central plaza of a small seacoast resort. There is a large fountain in the center of this square, and the plaza extends quite a distance to both the north and south. You can see the ocean in the distance to the west, and to the east there is a large building on which there is a sign that reads “WARP BUILDING”.

The game starts right outside the “WARP BUILDING”. Nearby the building is a place with a video game (I have no coins for it) and a police station. The police officer wanders the area and will arrest you if you are carrying a weapon.

It is unclear what the building is used for. After getting by a security guard (with a nametag out in the PARK area) there’s an abandoned kitchen and dining room, an two elevators with three buttons each (one which is “out of order” and kills you if you use it), and a “mad doctor”.

Operating Room.
This is a very clean, sterile-looking room with white walls and chromed stainless-steel fixtures. There is a large operating table in the center of the room, and various pieces of machinery surrounding it. There are exits to the north and west.

I can see the following:
Mad Doctor
Suddenly the doctor produces a huge syringe, and quickly flings it at you.
You feel a painful sting as it sticks in your leg!

The mad doctor runs rather like a Zork battle with random messages; I haven’t experimented with fighting back yet.

Other items: Round peg, Digital watch, Digital scale, Banana.

The banana is considered a weapon, and the policeman will arrest you if you have it.


You’re standing in the northeast corner of Warp Park. The grass in green, the sky is blue, and you can go almost any direction. There is one particularly large tree growing nearby.

There’s a silver flute here which counts as a treasure (and makes a high pitched “dog whistle” sound), a nametag (used in the Warp building), a sign which warns you not to dig on the grass, a crank and well, a random fig tree and pine tree, and a “bathing ugly”.

There’s also a koala bear high in a redwood which also counts as a treasure, although it eats through your inventory if you’re carrying it around. Also, if you try to put it in the display case for treasures (see the next area), it wanders off, so I’m guessing I need some sort of sedative-laced food.


Just east of the park is the museum, which has a wandering curator and a display case for storing the treasures of Warp.

Curator’s Office
This is a large office with a musty smell. The walls are lined with rows and rows of books. Numerous stacks of paper and partially restored objects are piled about the room. A large desk with a leather-backed chair stands in one corner of the room. The only exit is through the door to the east.

I can see the following:
Display Case

The display case has a lamp (which the curator doesn’t mind if you take). The curator does mind if you abscond with anything else; there’s a Mayan Room with an odd disk (with a cryptogram I’ve written about before), a gemstone room with “Leeverite”, a Sarcophagus Room with a casket, a dinosaur room with a Warpasaur.


To the west of the park, if you dive through the ocean and swim, you can find an island and a lighthouse.

You’re standing in a gently sloping meadow, surrounded on three sides by steep rising cliffs. To the east, there is a small sheltered cove, its waters placidly lapping near your feet. A rickety boat dock extends somewhat out into the water. You can go most any direction.

There’s a cave entrance but it is dark inside and I haven’t been able to get the lamp from the display case over because the ocean washes away any items I try to carry.

Other items: hardhat, rusty shovel, ruby lense. (Spelled that way in the game.)


To the east of the Warpian building is an area with a mall, an alley, and a desert.

You’re at the northeast corner of the Cobblestone Square, where before you looms a magnificent statue of Miles A. Weigh, one of the most famous of the Warpian explorers. The cobblestones stop, but the square appears to continue to the north.

The alley has a mugger who is Warp’s equivalent of the thief from Zork, and is keen on stealing all your treasures.

The mall has a bank and a subway station, which I haven’t quite worked out how to use even though I have a “transit pass”. I assume I can reach another new large section once I get in.

Heading east from here there is a “desert” with a sign warning of falling rocks, and if you keep going east you die via a rock randomly falling out of the sky on your head.

Immediately after making this list, I went over to the “hardhat” (which required swimming over the ocean in the far southwest of the map), wore it, was able to get through the ocean without dropping it (since I was wearing it) and used it to scoot through the desert safely and make it to a region beyond, which looks like it might also be big. This game just keeps going and going.

I have marked the location of the hardhat and the place where it solved a puzzle, just to give an idea of what kind of back-and-forth is required in this game.

Posted September 30, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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15 responses to “Warp: Everything So Far

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  1. I won’t try and give much away at this stage Jason but I am at 700 points with 28 treasures stored at the moment. Just to say there is an awful pun in the lighthouse

    Lbh unir gb gnxr gur nofbyhgryl abguvat naq jrne vg yngre sbe ernfbaf lbh jvyy pbzr npebff.

    Gur pbeerpg pbzznaq sbe trggvat va gur genva vf OBNEQ FHOJNL oryvrir vg be abg.

    Jura va gur obng n pehpvny qverpgvba vf abg zragvbarq. (ROT13)

    I am still stuck in many places!


  2. One thing in particular fascinates me. There is a reference to the Exxon oil spillage disaster in 1989 at one place in the game. Does this suggest that the development was much longer than previously thought?

  3. That’s obviously a lacuna in my dinosaurean knowledge as I’ve never heard of it. Beyond the Warpasaurus’s description being a nod towards a 1972 Monty Python sketch I gleaned nothing from it.

    • If you’re going to miss knowing about something, not knowing about something that isn’t true to begin with is likely the way to roll.

      I did come across the “awful pun” thing you mentioned and netted a treasure, and found a platinum apple in a weird spot, and mapped a whole bunch of ocean, and got into a bank vault, but my game is still pretty static. It would help if I could move a boat or get into a subway. Going to take a break with some IFComp for a bit.

  4. You must give me a hint about the bank vault as I haven’t managed that yet!

    • 1. Gur abgr va gur qverpgbe’f bssvpr vf vzcbegnag.
      2. Vg’f n gvzr.
      3. Gur inhyg vf n gvzrq zrpunavfz.
      4. Vs lbh ner ng gur inhyg evtug ng 10:00, gur inhyg jvyy bcra. Lbh pna xrrc na rlr ba gur pybpx arkg qbbe gb gvzr vg bhg.

      • I must admit I’m unable to get this to work. I’ve stood by the vault and the teller’s window and nothing seems to happen to the vault at 10:00; it remains closed. Do you have to get it to the very second as this is difficult because the time advances in variable tranches of seconds so usually misses 10:00 i.e. it goes from maybe 9:59:43 to 10:00:08.

      • Just tested it — restarted, ran over to the bank, waited until 9:59:45 on the wall clock, and I was able to go east, go south, get bullion, go north.

        Stored it and got 35 points total.

        The bank president got trapped in there, whoops.

        Maybe it has to be the first time 10:00 occurs (that is, you may need to restart your game?)

      • Oh dear I don’t think I could face starting again after all I have been through. Getting the stone disc open seems to take an age alone.

        By the way I have found another bug. If you stand on the carpet in the bank and shoot the president you are thrown into the cell with all the items you were carrying at the time. The description says “Jail Cell (On the carpet).” However, if you look there is no carpet there so you can’t escape. There must be a way out as the memoirs in the cell are a treasure.

      • I incidentally just found you could just take the gun from the guard with no consequence. Weird.

        One of the common things in this game seems to be people being very selective what they care about. Grabbing the gold from a vault and walking by the bank president? Who cares. Digging in a park with the policeman nowhere close? He instantly finds you and tosses you in jail.

      • Yes that struck me as very odd too. The behaviour of the Bathing Ugly is very contradictory too. And have you tried dialling the number written in the lighthouse? That seems strange and presumably something to do with a torpedo.

      • Yes restarted Jason and the bank vault opened at 10. So what that means is unless you find the bank and more specifically, the vault in your first 100 or so moves the game has become unwinnable already! This puts the nIngy in Acheton and the knife in Wonderland to shame. Sigh a long haul awaits.

  5. Cheers! By the way the boat is missing a direction in its description. Use that and you’ll soon be sailing into many reefs.

  6. Pingback: Warp: Swimming and Sailing | Renga in Blue

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