Demon’s Forge: 78 Books   Leave a comment

I’m going to pick up with the narrative again on my next post. I wanted to point out an unusual moment later in Demon’s Forge where you come upon a library.

Most adventure games struggle with libraries. They typically either let you read only one book (feels unrealistic) multiple ones chosen at random (generally bad game design) or have some sort of index where you have to look up a particular book to find it. One other option is to simply go ahead and implement a bajillion books, but that’s pretty rare. Even Myst, a game not afraid to infodump from books, had its library previously set ablaze to limit the amount of material.

Demon’s Forge gives a specific and relatively realistic number (78) and if you try to READ BOOK, it gives you a helpful syntax:

HOW ABOUT TELLING ME WHICH BOOK. LIKE READ 23.

On my merry way I did READ 1, READ 2, READ 3, and so forth, told each time THERE WAS NOTHING INTERESTING.

The only change happened at READ 51.

IT’S A STORY OF A MAN WHO WASTED HIS LIFE AWAY READING BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY.

Cheeky! This reflects the game’s generally giving out gobs of red-herring rooms. I can’t confirm yet how many are really red herrings, but there’s already been two labs (one with an empty vat) that have been useless, and while this waterfall room looks like it ought to have something, it’s potentially truly here just for a joke:

Although perhaps you can “become a king” later.

The ratio of useful to useless rooms in the latter part of the game so far has been something like 3 to 20. It’s honestly a bit unusual for this time frame, where computer games have space at a premium. Even the mainframe games of the era, while not conserving space, generally used giant-open area as a structural conceit rather than a joke (see: Haunt, Warp).

There’s additionally a giant corridor composed of many rooms (including the arch above) with an old man at the end who tells you to “come back later”. I peeked at some hints and, apparently, there is no “later”.

Posted July 16, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Tagged with

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 )

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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: