Savage Island Part 2 (1981)   11 comments

I did promise I would be posting about a new discovery, but it’s one of those where the writeup is very complicated (and requires some backstory that goes back to the 1960s) so I’m going to keep that on my back shelf and put forth my next 1981 game: the finale of a Scott Adams duology self-advertised as being very, very, hard.

A sign in the second room even touts this fact:

Compared to what you’re to go through, Part I was a piece of cake! Good Luck & Adieu

You can read my writeup for Part 1 (or I, or One) if you like, although the brief summary is: you start on an island about to be hit by a hurricane. You survive the hurricane and investigate a small nearby island to find a strange technological area, where finally a caveman comes and pushes a button causing you to get a password and the game to end.

That admittedly sounds bizarre written out, but I did think Part 1 managed a good atmosphere and sense of tension, with complex puzzle interlocking that required keeping track of both time and space.

The password I got was 123, and it does indeed work as advertised.

metallic voice whispers in my mind: ‘Vocalize password please’

>SAY 123

Flash of light I’m naked! except 1 item

Past this room is a room with buttons, dials, levers, and as the game insists, “Vacuum!”.

I am in a metal room.
Visible items:

Force field. Control console. Large plastic block. Radiant glowing neon sign.

You only have one turn before you die (“lungs explode in red bubbling ruin”). I don’t know yet what to do. So … good start!

Ok, I’m being glib, but there’s a spot of evil that happened before I even started. There are two passwords you can get from Savage Island Part 1. When I finished that game I happened to have a bandana which was still in my inventory, and I consequently receieved password 123; using it means I started Part 2 with the same item.

If you don’t have the bandana, you get a different password: 474. (I found this out by reading Gaming After 40’s playthrough; his final shot is of 474.) In the post I just linked to, a comment by none other than Scott Adams himself implies not having the bandana means you have already lost.

So: it’s possible to softlock Savage Island Part 2 before you’ve even started playing the game. I am in awe.

Posted March 9, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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11 responses to “Savage Island Part 2 (1981)

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  1. Have you tried HOLD BREATH before going into the vacuum room? And maybe wearing the bandana?

    • Yes, I played with HOLD BREATH a little.

      HOLD BREATH does work, although you die from asphyxiation rather than your lungs making a bloody mess. However, knowing that I could control breathing led me to figure out that BREATHE OUT buys a little time. (I tried EXHALE first but the game says TRY “BREATHE OUT” … rather than just parsing it since it clearly understands what I meant?)

      It might even be semi-realistic? https://www.cnet.com/news/what-happens-to-the-unprotected-human-body-in-space/

      If you do hold your breath, the loss of external pressure would cause the gas inside your lungs to expand, which will rupture the lungs and release air into the circulatory system. The first thing to do if you ever find yourself suddenly expelled into the vacuum of space is exhale.

      Dunno what the bandanna does yet. And I’ve still only bought about five moves worth so I have to figure out how to operate the console, I think. Pressing the button makes it ask for a voice password but I can’t talk!

    • By the way, if you or anyone else wants to play along, the BBC Micro version runs very well in an online version.

      http://bbcmicro.co.uk/game.php?id=1723

    • Jeepers, HYPERVENTILATE works as a verb.

      • Yeah, I looked that up and was like, nope, this one’s going to be beyond me. (Well, they’re all beyond me, but I enjoyed what I was able to do in Part I.)

      • If you just want to hit the first area

        HYPERVENTILATE
        GO FIELD
        BREATHE OUT
        E, S, W, W
        GO FIELD

        It doesn’t give enough time to hit a stable field the other way (going east). There’s an unstable field where you can jump into outer space and die twice!

  2. The trick of using a bad password to softlock part 2 before the start will reappear in gur MK Fcrpgehz tnzr “Xnelffvn: Dhrra bs Qvnzbaqf.” (In that case, part 2 and part 1 were sold together as the same game, making it feel a little bit less sneaky.)

    • Did you get caught by that one?

      I am curious if anyone ever figured out they were trapped.

      • No, luckily I solved the problem in part 1 and got the good password. (It was a pretty easy puzzle and you would have to be really, really bad at adventures to fail! Another reason why it was different from Savage Island.)

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