Assignment 45, A Harry Flynn Adventure (1981)   17 comments

You may remember Victor T. Albino as the author of Mount St. Helens, probably the first “stateless” CYOA game designed for computer.

He didn’t stop writing there; in an article for 80 Micro in December 1981 he gave the source code to his game Assignment 45, depicting the adventures of one Harry Flynn, a special agent of United Earth Command. Yes, we’re in the Future.

I admit finding the article oddly vague (the word “flowcharting” shows up quite a bit) but it’s interesting in that most people of the era would not expect a Choose Your Own Adventure in the context of learning to write an “adventure” for computer.

After the, ah, dramatic pauses in the opening above, you are informed of trouble in the “Siran System” as “Abar Callease, Ruler of Sira” has had his daughter kidnapped.

HIS POLITICAL ENEMIES ARE BLAMING EARTH AND DEMAND WAR. CALLEASE HAS ASKED FOR OUR HELP.

You/Harry have a “MAKO JET SLED” for travel, with a “TWIN LASER CANNON, SHIELD GENERATOR, AND FORWARD SCANNERS”. You also have a MEAD CELL (“Matter Energy Amplification Diode”) which brings makes invisible things visible and can direct your thoughts into a “SMALL FORCE BEAM”.

You start your search at the last known whereabouts of the princess.

THE CARGO DOOR OPENED DEPOSITING THE MAKO ON THE SANDY GROUND. HARRY GOT IN. THE ENGINES WHINED, THEN SCREAMED AS THE SLED LIFTED A METER OFF THE LAND AND SHOT FORWARD.

You find a cluster of huts and a force field which is an “electronic barrier”.

Well, indeed. What should you/Harry do?

That question is posed to you, the reader. Yes, I’m doing this one blog play-along style like we did way back with Spelunker. Post votes in the comments, and I will update periodically, and once enough plot has passed, I’ll make a new post. (This isn’t a long game, so I suspect only two more posts after this one will do it.)

I will go by majority-rule on a choice if there’s a clear winner, or pick randomly if there’s a tie. If you/Harry die I’ll rewind to the previous choice. If you want people to vote with you, try justifying your answer rather than just giving your number. Good luck!

Posted July 20, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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17 responses to “Assignment 45, A Harry Flynn Adventure (1981)

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  1. I say 7. It probably will take us back around to this prompt again, or it could reward us for our care with a treat we’ll need later first, or it could push our faces in the dirt. This way we find out how this game intends to treat us. Also, mainly, taking the most passive role possible here is funny to me.

  2. 7!! scout again!

  3. 7 it is.

    HARRY DRIVES UNTIL DARKNESS APPROACHES BUT FINDS NOTHING.

    1) RETURN TO HUTS
    2) KEEP LOOKING

  4. I vote 2, Keep looking.

    We probably won’t find anything but it’s still worth a try.

  5. HARRY DRIVES ON IN THE DARKNESS. SUDDENLY HIS SCANNER DETECTS A MAMMOTH FORM DECENDING FROM THE SKY. ATTRACTED BY THE LIGHTS, A GIANT MANTA MOTH SWALLOWS THE SLED.

    Oops! Let’s return to the huts.

    1) ATTEMPT TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE HUTS
    2) HIDE THE SLED AND HIKE UP TO THE BARRIER UNNOTICED
    3) USING SLED’S SHIELDS BREAK THROUGH BARRIER
    4) FIRE SLED’S LASERS INTO FIELD
    5) USE MEAD CELL
    6) CALL UEC FOR ASSISTANCE

    (and we already used option 7)

    • Let’s use the MEAD cell; I want to see how effective it is. ⑤

      • HARRY DECIDES TO USE HIS MEAD CELL TO EXAMINE THE BARRIER. BUT HE HAS TO GET CLOSER FOR THAT.

        1) ATTEMPT TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE HUTS
        2) HIDE THE SLED AND HIKE UP TO THE BARRIER UNNOTICED
        3) USING SLED’S SHIELDS BREAK THROUGH BARRIER

      • In order to hurry things along, I’m going to assume your intent from your message is you want to get closer to examine the barrier as opposed to switching gears. Picking 2:

        HARRY HIDES THE SLED BEHIND SOME ROCKS AND HIKES TO THE BARRIER.

        1) ATTEMPT TO GAIN ACCESS TO HUTS
        2) USE MEAD CELL
        3) USE HAND LASER

        AS HE APPROACHES THE BARRIER HARRY HOLDS UP THE MEAD CELL. HE STUDIES THE COMPOSITION OF THE FORMERLY INVISIBLE FIELD. IT MAY BREAK DOWN UNDER LASER FIRE.

        1) RETURN TO SLED
        2) CONTINUE TO EXPLORE
        3) USE HAND LASER

      • Sounds like a good time to USE HAND LASER! ③

      • Alas, death #2:

        HARRY DRAWS HIS HAND LASER AND BLASTS THE BARRIER.

        IT HAS A NEGLIGIBLE EFFECT BUT SETS OFF AN ALARM THAT BRINGS ARMOURED SENTRY ROBOTS. THE HAND LASER CANNOT STOP THEM. HARRY GETS VAPORIZED!

  6. From there, 1 (go back to sled) and assuming that doesn’t produce anything unexpected 4 (fire sled’s lasers into field).

  7. YOLO, actually not because we can and will restart if we die, and in fact YOLO always strikes me as a reason to be cautious and not do things like jump out of airplanes, but anyway 2. Though I think we may regret not having investigated the huts.

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