Odyssey #2, Treasure Island (1980)   Leave a comment

There’s a bit of a gap here — the last I wrote about this series was back in 2017 — so just as a refresher, Odyssey #1 started with a royal messenger walking in a tavern, where the proper action was to >ATTACK MESSENGER. After killing the messenger you find out about a dastardly plot involving a damsel in a castle. The game seemingly had some missing backstory: that the character knows something the player doesn’t, which is why stabbing a random messenger was OK — the main character was probably waiting for them specifically to show up.

Odyssey #2 has no such mitigation. The main character is straight-up amoral.

The authors are Joel Mick and James Taranto this time, instead of Joel Mick and Jeffrey M. Richter.

The game starts at an airport diner, when a man sitting next to you dies. You rummage amongst the body and find a key and take it. You take the key to a nearby locker, and find a PILOT’S SUIT, SHOVEL, and CROSSWORD PUZZLE. The suit has a pocket with a treasure map.

You go in a nearby bathroom to change into the pilot suit, then sneak by a guard, board an airplane, and fly to Treasure Island, whereupon the Treasure Hunt part of the game begins as you aim to score 100 out of 100 points by gathering all the treasure you can find like a chest and a “dubloon”.

In a jungle there is a “fort”. If you THROW BOX while at the fort you can bust a hole to break in, and find a headless body in the process, caused by … us? I’m hoping it’s just meant to be an old corpse. The body has a ring, so more treasure for us.

There’s also a gun, which (in contrast to other games I’ve mentioned recently), we get to use. There’s a pirate preventing us from getting to his ship (otherwise not being threatening) but we can SHOOT PIRATE to remove the obstacle. (Although in this case the shot just scares him away.)

The ship has some *20-YEAR OLD SCOTCH* we can take as well as an *ANCIENT MAP*. Piling all the treasures I managed to find so far netted me 70 out of 100 points.

I’m stuck from here. I only have two things that seem left undone: the crossword puzzle left in the locker…

IT SAYS:
ACROSS
1. SLEIGHT OF HAND
2. TYPE OF PUZZLE
THE REST IS TORN OFF.

…and a huge ravine where trying to GO RAVINE gives a response of “HOW? IT’S TOO WIDE!” and LOOK RAVINE indicates a cave in the far wall.

I assume the crossword puzzle is trying to indicate MAGIC WORD and the game indeed understands SAY MAGIC WORD but nothing happens whenever I try it.

I’ve tried bringing a ladder from the pirate ship over to the ravine, but that isn’t helpful either.

>CLIMB LADDER
IT DOESN’T LEAD ANYWHERE, SO I CLIMB BACK DOWN.

I’ve tried (again without luck) poking through the machine code. I did discover the verb >MAS is in the game (“I HAVE NO VISUAL AID”) and there’s also a “Hustler Magazine” object, but I suspect the authors of this game may have disabled the item in current version (the NEWSSTAND at the start of the game seemed like it’d have it, but no verbs I’ve tried work). I’m betting about 60-40 something else is broke that makes the end impossible to reach.

The game is at The Interactive Fiction Archive if anyone wants to take a swing. I’m fine closing out here, though.

Posted December 2, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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