Nijmegen Avontuur (1981?)   2 comments

I’ve lost track of all time and space lately, so I had to remind myself by checking: it was one year ago that I tackled and wrote about Dracula Avontuur, a very early text adventure in Dutch, without knowing any Dutch.

Nijmegen Avontuur is also very early; originally for the Commodore PET, but later ported for the Commodore 64, and that’s the copy that still exists. I’ve seen both 1980 and 1981 dates, and it potentially could be earlier than Dracula. There’s so little information it’s not worth it to fret over which came first.

It was written by Wim Couwenberg and apparently based on a text-adventure layout used by Hans Courbois. That means, yes, there are definitely earlier games, although I haven’t been able to find them as of yet.

Landscape with a View of the Valkhof, Nijmegen. Painted by Aelbert Cuyp around 1655-1660. The palace shown was originally built by Charlemagne.

Nijmegen Avontuur translates to Nijmegen Adventure, Nijmegen being a 2000-year old city in the Netherlands, close to the border with Germany.

De bedoeling is een SCHAT te vinden die ergens in Nijmegen verogen ligt.

The goal is to find a TREASURE somewhere in Nijmegen.

The opening screen gives some terse instructions and the quest above, and then some character-based graphics.

I’m guessing D.N.T. refers to the maker of the C64 port.

It most likely looked something like that in the original, given the reference to the “layout” of Hans Courbois being used.

Translations: JE HEBT = YOU HAVE

ER LIGT = THERE LIES

WAT MOET IK DOEN? = WHAT SHOULD I DO?

The room description seems to eschew compass directions and lets you go to places instead.

PLEIN ’44. JE KAN NAAR DE BLOEMERSTR.
DE GROTE MARKT HET PARK
EN NAAR DE MOLENSTRAAT
ER STAAT EEN PARKEERMETER.

PLEIN ’44. YOU CAN GO TO THE BLOEMERSTRAAT, THE GREAT MARKET, THE PARK, AND TO THE MOLENSTRAAT.
THERE IS A PARKING METER.

“Plein ’44” is the center of Nijmegen, the “city square”. The “Bloemerstraat” and “Molenstraat” are place names, and here we hit my first question for my Dutch-speaking friends — are they recognizable ones?

Given the text seems to be more minimal than Dracula, it may end up I have more trouble with culture/place than language on this one.

Locations marked on a Google map. There are two parks nearby so I don’t know which one the game means.

Posted September 18, 2020 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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2 responses to “Nijmegen Avontuur (1981?)

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  1. Interesting layout for a text game screen. The first thing I notices is that the box for the input is really short… how they were sure that the orders were not past the credits box?

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