Assignment 45, A Harry Flynn Adventure: Attack of the Clones   19 comments

An ad printed in the page facing the source code for Assignment 45. Accounting for inflation, $3899 in 2020 dollars is $11,057.76.

Since last time, we had reached Harry #3, who had broken into a complex.

HE IS IN A HUGE COMPLEX OF SILVER GLASS PANES.

EACH PANE IS SCORED INTO 5 CM SQUARES, AND EACH SQUARE IS PERFORATED BY A SMALL HOLE.

1) EXPLORE MORE
2) EXAMINE PANE

Checking out the pane led to a villain monologuing and the longest text of the game:

AS HE TOUCHES THE PANE, HE IS STUNNED UNCONSCIOUS. WHEN HE AWAKENS, HE IS SURROUNDED BY A SECURITY TEAM. A MAN WITH GOLD TEETH IS SMILING. THE MAN SPEAKS.

‘THE GREAT HARRY FLYNN. I NEVER THOUGHT I’D MEET YOU IN PERSON.’

(STANDING UP, HARRY RETORTS) ‘THE INFAMOUS DR. NON FROM KRUEL.’

‘YES, KRUEL. KIDNAPPING, REVOLT, USURPATION, EXTORTION LEAGUE.

YOU, MR. FLYNN, HAVE INVADED OUR HOSTAGE STORAGE CENTER.’

(HARRY PROBES) ‘TELL ME MORE.’

‘OF COURSE. EACH HOSTAGE IS KEPT FOR FUTURE POLITICAL USE. THEY ARE DATA PATTERNED AND LASER STAMPED ON THOSE SLIDES YOU CARELESSLY TOUCHED. INSERT A PELLET LIKE THIS, AND THEY ARE RECONSTRUCTED–UNHARMED.’

‘WITHOUT A PELLET, A NASTY SHOCK IS APPLIED. YOU MAY HAVE THIS ONE AS A SOUVENIR.’
(DR. NON SLIPS A PELLET INTO HARRY’S SHIRT POCKET)

‘TOO BAD YOU MUST LEAVE US NOW, MR. FLYNN… PERMANENTLY.’

HARRY IS TAKEN TO THE SOLAR MIRROR. ONE OF THE GUARDS EXPLAINS THAT DR. NON RESERVES THIS FORM OF EXECUTION FOR SPECIAL GUESTS.

HARRY IS STRAPPED TO THE MIRROR. AT SUNRISE HE WILL BE INSTANTLY TOASTED. THE GUARDS LEAVE.

1) BREAK BONDS
2) ROTATE MIRROR FROM SUN
3) USE MEAD CELL
4) PRAY

Harry prays, and gets the idea of using the MEAD cell (his handy gizmo which allows him to see invisible things and project his mind as force).

He tries his bonds…

MIRROR BUDGES A LITTLE AS BONDS STRETCH.

SHOULD HARRY: 1) KEEP TRYING 2) TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

…and backtracks (option #2) and tries the MEAD cell instead.

HARRY REMEMBERS WHAT ORR SAID ABOUT THE CELL AMPLIFYING THOUGHT WAVES. HE CONCENTRATES ON MOVING THE MIRROR’S POSITION CONTROL LEVER.

NOTHING HAPPENS.
SHOULD HARRY: 1) KEEP TRYING 2) TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

Backtracking again, Harry goes back to trying to break the bonds.

THE MIRROR DOESN’T TURN FAR ENOUGH.

GOOD BYE HARRY!

No doubt in a real Choose Your Own Adventure book there would be a carefully-narrated ending, but the TRS-80 here is already jammed to the gills with text.

Reincarnating as Harry #4, he revives and tries rotating the mirror from the sun instead.

THE MIRROR DOESN’T TURN FAR ENOUGH.

GOOD BYE HARRY!

Oops! On to Harry #5, whereupon our audience realizes the MEAD cell was right after all. While the first time using it, nothing happens…

NOTHING HAPPENS.
SHOULD HARRY: 1) KEEP TRYING 2) TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

…picking #1 to try again leads to success.

FINALLY THE LEVER MOVES AND ROTATES THE MIRROR AWAY FROM THE SUN. THIS GIVES HARRY THE TIME HE NEEDS TO BREAK FREE.

1) SNEAK BACK TO HOSTAGE STORAGE AND USE PELLET
2) ESCAPE AND RETURN WITH REINFORCEMENTS
3) CAPTURE DR. NON AND USE HIM TO BARGIN FOR THE GIRL
4) FAKE HIS DEATH BY TURNING MIRROR BACK INTO SUN
5) USE MIRROR AS WEAPON

Harry first tries to sneak to hostage storage:

AS HARRY SNEAKS BACK HE IS SURPRISED BY A SECURITY TEAM.

Reincarnating as Harry #6, he tries faking his death, which succeeds! The games options are:

NO ONE WILL BE LOOKING FOR HIM NOW.
SHOULD HE: 1)ESCAPE 2)TRY TO CAPTURE DR. NON 3)GET THE GIRL

although it turns out all of these are dead ends! We lose Harry #7, #8, and #9 this way.

Reversing time to the previous decision, Harry #10 tries to get reinforcements.

HARRY MAKES IT OUT OF THE COMPLEX, BUT WITHOUT THE SLED. HE PERISHES IN THE DESERT.

Finally, Harry #11 has success when trying to use the mirror itself as a weapon.

HARRY TURNS THE MIRROR ON THE INSTALLATION AND DESTROYS IT.
DR. NON, HOWEVER, ESCAPES IN HIS PERSONAL SHUTTLE.

SHOULD HARRY: 1) GO AFTER DR. NON 2) GET THE GIRL

Harry decides the princess is the top priority and goes to GET THE GIRL.

HARRY MAKES HIS WAY TO THE HOSTAGE STORAGE AREA.
BY NOW DR. NON HAS RADIOED FOR HELP.
KRUEL REINFORCEMENTS ARE ON THEIR WAY.

1) STUDY THE STORAGE SYSTEM
2) FREE EVERYONE BY DISABLING LOCK MECHANISM
3) EXAMINE THE FILES
4) CALL UEC ON SLED RADIO
5) GET MECHANISM TO PRODUCE MORE PELLET KEYS

What should Harry do next? Please vote in the comments.

(I’m going to restrain myself from commenting too much, but the events above contain two fascinating theoretical bits — the part where the use of the MEAD cell did nothing and the players went back and died on the other options, and the “dead end” where faking death was a success but it led to 3 losing options. We’re almost there, so I’ll get into a full discussion next time.)

Posted July 28, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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19 responses to “Assignment 45, A Harry Flynn Adventure: Attack of the Clones

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  1. I don’t have a great feeling about it, but I vote 2.

  2. Accounting for inflation, $3899 in 2020 dollars is $11,057.76.

    *dies from sticker shock*

    I mean, the $900-1000 ($2377-2640) price tag for a C64 with a 1541 disk drive a couple of years later is not exactly chump change, but wow.

  3. I agree with ②; if that fails, then ⑤. Let’s see how many people we can rescue!

  4. Trying to free everyone:

    TAMPERING WITH THE LOCK STARTED A BASE DESTRUCTION SEQUENCE. HARRY HAS 60 SECONDS TO DECIDE WHETHER TO:

    1) ABANDON THE BASE 2) TRY TO ABORT SEQUENCE

    And to not leave you hanging, I will state outright neither is a good ending:

    Choice 1:
    HARRY LIVES, BUT THE MISSION IS LOST.

    Choice 2:
    HE ALMOST HAD IT, THEN *BOOM!*

    So, next Harry.

    1) STUDY THE STORAGE SYSTEM
    2) FREE EVERYONE BY DISABLING LOCK MECHANISM
    3) EXAMINE THE FILES
    4) CALL UEC ON SLED RADIO
    5) GET MECHANISM TO PRODUCE MORE PELLET KEYS

  5. I’m going to work with y’all on all three. For #1 (study)

    THE SYSTEM HAS 3 PARTS:

    FILES
    PELLET PRODUCER
    LOCKING MECHANISM

    For #5, we burn one of our Harrys:

    BY ATTEMPTING TO BYPASS THE PELLET TIMER, HARRY SETS OFF A SIGNAL WHICH ERASES ALL THE FILES! MISSION IS A FAILURE.

    For #3:

    THERE ARE MANY FILES. SINCE THE GIRL WAS JUST TAKEN, SHE SHOULD BE AMOUNG THE LAST ENTRIES. BUT HARRY HAS ONLY 1 PELLET.
    WHICH FILE IS THE RIGHT ONE?

    1) LOAD THE FILES UP AND BRING THEM TO UEC
    2) DISABLE LOCK MECHANISM
    3) TAKE A GUESS
    4) GET MECHANISM TO PRODUCE MORE PELLETS
    5) CUT OFF POWER TO STORAGE COMPUTER
    6) GO BACK TO SHIP AND USE RADIO

  6. (2) Examine system with power off.

  7. If examining the system with the power off doesn’t work, I’d go back to THERE ARE MANY FILES and try ①. UEC might be able to do more than we can.

  8. Examining the power:

    A SECONDARY POWER CIRCUIT SNAPS ON WHILE HARRY IS STUDYING CONNECTIONS. HE IS ELECTROCUTED!

    Oops! Time for another Harry.

    WHEN HARRY ATTEMPTS TO REMOVE A PANE FROM ITS HOLDER, THE FILE DISSOLVES. THE GIRL AND ALL OTHER HOSTAGES ON THE PANE ARE DESTROYED. MISSION FAILED.

    Well, that wasn’t good.

    1) LOAD THE FILES UP AND BRING THEM TO UEC
    2) DISABLE LOCK MECHANISM
    3) TAKE A GUESS
    4) GET MECHANISM TO PRODUCE MORE PELLETS
    5) CUT OFF POWER TO STORAGE COMPUTER
    6) GO BACK TO SHIP AND USE RADIO

    We tried #1 and #5, and I’ll give the heads up that #2 is identical to the other disable lock mechanism choice which didn’t work, so you’re down to 3, 4, 6.

    • (4) Produce more pellets.

      • Unfortunately the same as #5!

        BY ATTEMPTING TO BYPASS THE PELLET TIMER, HARRY SETS OFF A SIGNAL WHICH ERASES ALL THE FILES! MISSION IS A FAILURE.

        1) LOAD THE FILES UP AND BRING THEM TO UEC
        2) DISABLE LOCK MECHANISM
        3) TAKE A GUESS
        4) GET MECHANISM TO PRODUCE MORE PELLETS
        5) CUT OFF POWER TO STORAGE COMPUTER
        6) GO BACK TO SHIP AND USE RADIO

        Only 3 and 6!

  9. (6) Go back to ship and use radio?

    • Wrap-up post today or Monday.

      HARRY DRIVES BACK TO THE SHIP AND CALLS UEC. COMPU-CEN SUGGESTS TAKING MICRO-PHOTOS USING THE MEAD CELL AND ANALYZING THEM ON THE SHIP’S COMPUTER.

      IN ADDITION, UEC IS SENDING A TASK FO TO SECURE THE BASE.

      HARRY RETURNS TO THE STORAGE AREA, AND FOLLOWING COMPU-CEN’S ADVICE IS ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE GIRL’S FILE.

      HE SLIPS THE PELLET IN AND A HOLOGRAPHIC IMAGE APPEARS. IT IS KURVI CALLEASE. SHE IS ALMOST MAGICALLY
      BEAUTIFUL. THE IMAGE FILLS AND SHE COMES TO LIFE, BUT IMMEDIATELY FAINTS.

      HARRY CATCHES HER AND CARRIES HER TO THE SLED. THEY SPEED OVER THE YELLOW SANDS TO HIS SHIP. ABOVE, THE SKY FLASHES WITH RED AND BLUE LASER STROBES AS UEC AND KRUEL FORCES BATTLE IT OUT.

      THE GIRL AWAKENS. A TEAR IN HER EYE REFLECTS THE FLASHES OVERHEAD.

      ‘WHO ARE YOU?’
      ‘HARRY FLYNN FROM UEC AT YOUR SERVICE.’
      SHE PRESSED CLOSE TO HIM, HER HEAD ON HIS SHOULDER.

      ‘TAKE ME HOME, PLEASE, HARRY.’
      ‘YOU’RE AS GOOD AS THERE.’

      CONGRATULATIONS,
      MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

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