Dragon Quest Adventure: The Angel and the Demon   12 comments

I wanted to go into one last, small feature of Dragon Quest Adventure I learned about after finishing. The implementation in practice isn’t exciting, but the game mechanic it suggests is marvelous.

Also, I wanted to toss this picture from the manual up, because commentators Lisa and Andrew in my previous post were trying to track down the source of the game’s cover; it is possible this picture comes from the same source.

Like various other games from this period (including Crowther/Woods Adventure) there is a HELP feature. I only had tried it once, and didn’t find the advice useful, but at least it’s accurate.

However, instead of angel appearing, it can be a demon instead:

This is an anti-hint. Of course the demon would give bad advice! I’d have loved if this continued with context-sensitive hints where you constantly have two hint-givers bickering, but alas this was not to be. Still, it’s a microexample of what could be a more fully-fledged game feature.

(I can only think of one other related example, from Curses in 1993, except that only has hints from a demon, and the advice is a mixture of good and bad.)

ADD:

Daniel in the comments explains how to get to the angel in Curses (it’s harder to reach than the demon). That means we have an official successor to the idea.

Two more examples from the comments, courtesy Josh and Peter:

Nethack has fortune cookies that can be blessed or cursed; blessed cookies give good advice and cursed cookies give bad advice.

The Wizard Sniffer (2017) has a pair of fleas, one who always tells the truth and one who lies.

Posted November 30, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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12 responses to “Dragon Quest Adventure: The Angel and the Demon

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  1. In The Wizard Sniffer there are two fleas that give hints. One always lies and one always tells the truth. Dunno if that counts as a related example, but I definitely found it to be fun.

  2. Didn’t Curses have both an angel and a demon giving hints? It’s a long time since I played that game, and I never got very far.

    There’s also Nethack, which has fortune cookies containing rumors. Blessed cookies always contain a true rumor, cursed cookies always a false one.

    • Hm, I don’t remember either — anyone play Curses recently enough to confirm or deny?

      • There is indeed an angel! It’s just much harder to access: bapr lbh’ir sbhaq gur Ebq bs Fgnyxvat, hfr vg ba gur engure cngurgvp-ybbxvat orna cynag (fbhgujrfg bs gur urqtr znmr vvep) naq vg’yy tebj hc gb Urnira, jurer lbh pna svaq n uvag-tvivat natry.

      • Thanks! (Curses is on my Innovation 13 so I’ll save the rot13; it’s faintly possible it might come up in 2020.)

  3. I added the two examples to the main post.

  4. These artworks are amazingly obscure. I can only suppose they were photocopied out of a book of clipart taken from 18th-19th century works, or something. This particular one I can’t find any references for other than that it was used as what appears to be cover art on the catalog of an exhibition at some museum in Warsaw in 1946. (Google Translate tells me the text means “exhibition of graphics of watercolors and drawings of artists of the Soviet Union”. Perhaps our mystery artist or artists are Russian?)

    • As soon as I saw this new image, and before reading the comments, I guessed it was Russian or Russian-inspired: the woman pictured is wearing a distinctive type of pointed helmet that was widespread in the medieval Slavic lands, and I think originated in Byzantium and the Middle East. This and the Siegfried illustration from the previous post might have come from a single “clip-art” source, but I suspect originally they almost certainly were unrelated.

      The drawing style of this second image also seems much newer in date than the Siegfried one; the latter is realistic in a 19th-century way, but the woman is so stylized she’d fit right in on a Golden Age SF pulp magazine cover. I’d guess the woman-in-armor drawing was made in the 1930s or 40s, but the Siegfried illustration could easily date to the turn of the 20th century.

  5. Endless, Nameless has this whole thing with not-necessarily-reliable hints, doesn’t it? I never got far enough into it to really tell.

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