Warp: The Deadliest Treasure Collection in the World   11 comments

I have, according to Russell Karlberg’s walkthrough, collected every single treasure in the game and placed them in the display case.

This might be my last post on Warp, so: extreme spoilers as usual.

Image from a Video Game in Warp. This game seems to be a red herring; you can find a shiny quarter and try it, but the machine is busted.


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:
Lead Box
Display Case

The Display Case contains the following:
Platinum Apple
Bronze Ball
Koala Bear
Railroad Bond
Golden Bullion
Expensive Camera
Nautical Chart
Silver Coins
Silver Cross
Jeweled Dagger
Crystal Decanter
Yellow Diamond
Ebony Diamond
Jade Egg
Green Emerald
Red Emerald
Blue Emerald
Silver Flute
Golden Globe
Ruby Lense
Holy Mackeral
Treasure Map
Golden Matador
Black Opal
Large Pearl
Shiny Quarter
Silver Ring
Scarab Ring
Mink Slippers
Crystal Sphere
Green Stamp
Devil’s Trident
Ivory Tusk
Egyptian Urn
Patagonian Vase
Deadly Warponium
Digital Watch
Silk Web

Mind you, this case has

a.) a chunk of Uranium, where if you are nearby long enough you’ll die
b.) deadly Warponium, where also if you are nearby long enough you’ll die

The upshot of a.) and b.) is if you admire the collection for longer, than, say, two turns, this will happen:

The constant, relentless bombardment of your body by ionizing radiation from the uranium results in your half-life expectancy reaching zero. Your hair is falling out in patches and you feel incredibly weak. Next time, I would take the proper precautions in handling radioactive materials …

If the Uranium and Warponium happen to be together anywhere *other* than the display case, the effect is even shinier:

A strange sizzling sound begins to eminate from the container as the U238 and Warponium come within fighting distance. Upon taking a closer look, you see an intense purple glow interspersed with lightning-like bolts of energy being exchanged. As you watch, the two elements melt, run together and reach critical mass. You are really quite fortunate, as not many people get to see the beginnings of a mushroom cloud from this close…

Here were how my outstanding issues from last time were resolved, in reverse order:

1.) The Pyramid maze I confess I didn’t resolve at all. That portable hole I mentioned does connect with almost everywhere, including the final burial chamber of the maze, so I kept experimenting until I got lucky and was able to scoop up the Egyptian Urn (25 points) and use my Magic Carpet to escape.

2.) Resolving the obelisk was anticlimactic; I did almost the same thing as in my last post’s transcript, except I was holding only the yellow diamond. By doing so, I ended up with both the yellow diamond and an ebony diamond. I don’t understand the logic to why this happened, or if there even is logic.

3.) The monitor lizard really almost wasn’t a puzzle. While you can’t take the Jade Egg while it is in the room with you, any form of teleportation (by, say, portable hole) will cause it to “lose your trail” so you can go back and pick up the egg.

You may notice a thread of not-terribly-satisfying solutions, and that unfortunately held for most every problem that remained. All this time in the ocean there’s been a Spanish Galleon moving about, and I finally found (via a hint of Russell Karlberg’s) that standing on the deck of the ship and typing


will fire a torpedo. This allowed me to sink the Galleon, and then dive and get some treasures that were inside.

>lower sail

The sail falls limp as you lower it.

>attach ladder to boat

Short Ladder attached to Boat.


Well, okay, if you really want to …
>>> SPLASH ! <<<



You’re submerged beneath the waves. Sharks can be seen coldly
circling nearby.

I can see the following:
Sunken Galleon, which contains:
an Astrolabe
a Jeweled Dagger

I would have preferred at least an indication that the boat had some sort of voice-recognition control. There’s also lower decks to the main boat but I was never able to enter them legitimately; I just used the portable hole/carpet combination again to pick up the one treasure that was down there.

The very last puzzle I resolved was one of the very first puzzles I attempted back when I first started Warp. There’s a Koala Bear up a tree that counts as a treasure, but every time I tried to put it in the display case for points (as one typically does with any normal koala bear) it would wander out. I eventually found the solution was … reloading and attempting the same thing again 15 times before I got a lucky roll and was able to close the display case before the koala got out.

Despite the anticlimaxes, I did find getting the last treasures exciting insofar as I’ve been living with Warp a long time, so each of the last treasures led to a tangible sense of success.

I’m going to make some conclusions below, but note I’m probably not technically done with the game — there’s supposedly an “endgame” just like Adventure and mainframe Zork. I don’t know how to get it to trigger; I might just take a pass and let my hardy commentators go for it. My guess is it involves either this location

W.I.T. Laboratories.
You have entered sacred ground. In this very small, round, green windowless room, all of the conceptual puzzles of Warp were devised. There is one desolate computer terminal collecting dust in one corner, while numerous computer listings lie neatly stacked in another.

I can see the following:
Coke Machine
Transit Pass

and/or this location

Warp Room.
In this otherwise vacant room, you see before you a doorframe, roughly centered against a solid brick wall. Two large cables snake their way from the frame into the center of the room. The other walls of the room are completely blank, and the only apparent exit is the way you entered, back to the east.

I can see the following:
Short Cable
Long Cable

neither which I have found useful up to this point. (The professor will say random phrases like “I never swim with short cables.” or “I think a ship will easily bite in the dark of night.” if you TELL something to him.)


The first time I played Warp, the map was so large I got too exhausted to solve any puzzles before bowing out. The second time, there was still a lot to fill in, but as I got more familiar with the geography, the map “felt” smaller and smaller. I could rapidly type of a string of E.E.E.E.E.N.N. (etc) to go from location to location, so it was as if the world had compressed once I was familiar enough with it. This was even true for the large ocean sailing section, where I mentally tagged things by relative location as opposed to thinking of it square by square (“the fog bank is here, and if I go south here I’ll hit the sealion caves”).

The ocean wraps around (that is, if you keep going one direction you end up where you started), so there’s a little redundancy here.


I’m wondering if it would be possible to accelerate this process. An automap would help, surely, but that might not be everything; perhaps some equivalent to the friendly guides and arrows that appear in modern RPGs. Maybe the automap can work not just at the “room” level but the “region” level where it starts to indicate how to group sections (so it’s easier to think in terms of the “meta-map” of smaller pieces).

An approximate “meta-map” of the world of Warp. This is how it was stored in my head.




The authors really tried hard to make an elaborate parser. Not only does it understands full sentences and multiple commands, it includes features I’ve seen rarely elsewhere (or never seen at all) like backtracking, macros, and conditional IF-THEN statements.

The parser is still terrible.

Really, it’s like they focused on the wrong things. Synonyms are essentially non-existent. Typos count as in-world commands so when doing a time-sensitive task you can die just by typing WARPINIUM rather than WARPONIUM. LOOK IN is considered a special command opposed to LOOK (something I didn’t learn until after about being 80% through the game). A number of actions which I wouldn’t think about in an Infocom game I tore my hair out on here, like trying to use a transit pass to get into a subway. (When there’s a bad parser and full sentences, “guess the verb” can turn into “guess the complete phrasing”.) The characters barely react to any conversation attempts.

Mind you, this isn’t Deathship-level pain here, but a good parser is about understanding most of what someone would reasonably type and giving helpful guidance leading the player to the right syntax when it doesn’t happen. Even a two word parser can do this! Multiple commands and so forth are nice, but they aren’t everything.


I don’t want to linger here too long, because it’s 0.00001% of the game, but there’s a “bathing ugly” part which grated me the wrong way. If you’re playing this game, just know you can attempt to >KISS UGLY (this scares them away) and then not have to think about that scene any more.


Because this is a mainframe game that isn’t based on Adventure (see: Castle, Aldebaran III, Library, Haunt, Battlestar, Lugi), it is nearly obliged to have a scene like this:

Rocky Beach.
This is the eastern most point of the beach that you can get to; there’s a large fence to the east, too tall to see over, that features a sign reading

Au Natural Beach
Entrance by invitation only

You swim ahead, oblivious of danger.
Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink. (Unless you like salt water.) There’s land to the north.

On a Reef.
You’re over an underwater reef. There’s land visible to the north.

Say, did you ever see “Jaws”?

A jeering band of nudists prevents you from landing on the beach.

The puzzle is probably the best of the game. You can find in a Lighthouse, rather oddly, Absolutely Nothing. This is an item you can not only take but you can wear.

Absolutely Nothing put on.

You swim ahead, oblivious of danger.
Water water everywhere but not a drop to drink. (Unless you like salt water.) There’s land to the north.

On a Reef.
You’re over an underwater reef. There’s land visible to the north.

Say, did you ever see “Jaws”?

This is one of two nude beaches in Warp. Congratulations for figuring out how to get in here (it’s usually reserved for invited guests only.)

I can see the following:

As I did earlier state, I’m possibly stopping here, although if I do wander into the Endgame later it may be worth a post. In the meantime I do want to get a few IFComp reviews up before the November 15 deadline; then I’ll start to take down the last 1980 games. My goal is to make it to 1981 by the end of the year.

Posted October 24, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Tagged with

11 responses to “Warp: The Deadliest Treasure Collection in the World

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I shall carry on in your stead Jason when I return home on Monday.

    A propos of the Warp Room door frame, the computer printout says you need to connect the two cables to a control unit and a power unit. Then insert the Framastat and press a switch. It says something about the Warp Magic Door Frame Company. Where the units might be I have no idea.

    • I see you have 47 of the 49 treasures encased Jason; maybe the end game is triggered if you put all 49 in there and close the case. Did you get to take a picture with the camera? I think I might try taking one of the secretary. I filled the pool but she wouldn’t let me enter it.

      • The walkthrough I have has 46 treasures. The case has all 46. (I think you’re miscounting to get 47?)

        According to the walkthrough, taking the picture in the arches room (where the room description specifically mentions taking a picture) counts as points but not as a treasure.

      • How many of the 1216 maximum points total did you manage?

      • 1195.

        I’m missing 20 from starting the engine (the sticking point I mentioned earlier still stands — the engine breaks when I try to start it with the warponium in there, and if there’s a way of using the tar, I was never able to get the parser to cooperate).

        I’m missing 1 from (according to the walkthrough) needing to deliver the magazine to the right person. Never did work out who.

    • Yes, you do need to have all the points first. What does it say when you type SCORE? At that point, you will trigger a key delivery…

  2. You have Hezarin to look forward to in 1981. As an exercise in masochism it makes Warp seem like a walk in the park.

    • I have beaten Hezarin before, but it was rather like Philosopher’s Quest in that I had to check hints so often I don’t remember how to puzzles go.

      I have it slated early-ish in my 1981 series, maybe by March?

      • Yes I got stuck several times. I remember the dowsing rod was clever but I lost heart with some of the solutions. Pretty enormous too.

  3. Great trip down memory lane! I don’t know how many hours (most of our computing group) played Warp – at work – but it was a lot. Our version was for the HP 3000 minicomputer. We had to cheat to solve it. We reverse compiled the program and listed out all the objects and dialogue. That’s the only way we got to the credit card at the end. We sent a screen shot to Frolich(?) who was still working for HP at the time. Masterful game. Forty years later I still have my hand-drawn Warp map, notes and solutions to puzzles. Great memories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: