there were only two major text adventure publishers: Infocom from M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts, New England and Magnetic Scrolls from Old
England. I would like to talk about the Interactive Fiction Text Adventure
Science Fiction Games. There are also magic ones like Enchanter, Sorcerer, the
excellent Beyond Zork with LUCK, STRENGTH, DEXTERITY, COMPASSION...
attributes implemented in the Beyond Zork Transcript on my site.
Science Fiction Games included:
- Obviously dear to my heart: Planetfall. The poster in York, England sold my the
game: 'It's not just a job. It's an adventure', and my Father dished
up the 30 GBP which was not a inconsiderable sum
in 1986. It also had a picture of the Stellar Patrol Officer with a
mop and bucket. Since it's probably NEVER going to be released EVER, for
reasons best known to Activision (Infocom Cornerstones themselves to death
with DBase III on the market and had to sell the rights). And it has the
excellent WinFrotz2002.exe (the spell of light) to run it just like that,
I'll go into the story line a bit. You are on your Stellar Patrol Ship
cleaning up after a Alien Ambassador, then
suddenly a blast rocks the ship. Blather your overseer (30 demerits) pegs
it leaving you to find a escape pod in time in you
can, land safely, and escape when it falls in the ocean. You find a
complex (see my 3D technical drawing isometric maps) that starts as a
castle, then dorms, then 'are you a planner person or science person' from
your loveable '8 year old' robot side kick Floyd. You must fix several
systems and run the gauntlet of mutants, and radiation chamber, and a minituration booth to win, and get your cute Red Head.
Then COMMS are up again and you're beamed back up again. P.S. when I was
down on my luck I worked for a agency and pinned
the Planetfall Poster to the cleaning room door in the Art Block. I bet
it's still there. And 'Department of Alchemy' in the science Block, from a
room in M.I.T. according to Infocom lore and legend. Hunger, and dream
sequences also play a part. State of the art tech. then on 330Kbytes of
disk space. By Steve Meretsky. The box comes with lots of goodies. They're
like good dust to get nowadays. When the internet first started they were
selling for 10 GBP without eBay or PayPal. Just the still going 'Used Game
Computer Zone'. It won the Nebula
award for Science Fiction. I did almost all the game
myself except I though the EAST-WEST corridor
stopped at the dorms with a wall when there's a entire complex there. I
went through most of the 999 combinations to open the door and got access to
the conference room with hexanal table and
teleport booth with NO CARD.
- Statationfall is the sequel. You are promoted
from dull scrubwork to dull paper work as an officer of the Third Galactic
Union. Get forms for forms form... ARRRRGGGGG [SCREAM]. You find
you're robot pal Floyd in the robot pool, and wisely choose him to
accompany you on the mission OR LOSE before you started with Rex and the
other one. It's copy protected PRE INTERNET like
it needs it!!!!! Really! So even if you do get a copy you can't punch in
the right co-ordinates to get you to the Pulp Factory Paper Spacestation
to pick up your forms in the Spacescooter. It requires a form in the
packaging. If you do land you find the Station mysteriously abandoned
and all the electrical equipment going wrong. I personally drew a
blueprint of the Science Sub-Module on my site,
the other blueprints come with the package. They is also a doggy 'Wild
West' village illegally attached to the Complex with shady dan who has a
device to promote you rank. Why not? Grand Fleet Hyper Admiral. I
programmed a LCD display linked to my beloved Amstrad PC1512 (512K RAM)
computer to display all 0-9 ranks, but couldn't afford the magnetic card
- Floyd joins up with his new
'best friend' Plato and they go 'exploring'. Floyd also finds Oliver:
'When Oli wake up???’ A Robot being programmed
before activation. Also of course by Steve Meretzky. With Footnotes
borrowed from Hitchhikers. It stuck EXAMINE CEILING IN PET STORE. I
totally ruined the game by looking this INVISICLUE up and not being able
- Steve also wrote Spellcasters
101. About a Wizards School and Frat house, mildly
interesting but to difficult to solve. Interestingly with graphics (like
C64 Hobbit games) but less fun with no goodies.
- Starcross about a
Generation Starship that you find while asteroid mining. You us a map
from the goodies to find the r, theta, tou
circular co-ordinates for the ship position. Then you must negotiate the
airlock. Once inside you find representatives of different civilizations,
each with a different coloured rod you need to collect. You can even float
in the middle of the ship as the spin pins everything to the inside ‘wall’
but not the center ‘sky’ bit. One puzzle includes two black disks that
seem difficult to solve but are actually very simple when you know how.
Probably a lot of people got stuck on this.
- Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy written with Douglas Adams.
Not as good as the book or original BBC Radio and Video versions, but
still well worth a try. Includes footnotes which is an interesting add on.
The neutromatics vending machines is very
difficult to get Arthur Dent his cup of tea. You even get a bit of fluff
with the goodies like in the book. Where Douglas got this idea from I don’t
- A Mind
Forever Voyaging about a computer/person. The world is in
grave danger due to over population so a computer is designed to solve the
problems. It has a human like brain only bigger and better so must go
through a childhood training period to learn like humans do. It thinks it
IS human. And who is to say it is not. The Philosopher De Cartes said: ‘I
think therefore I am’.
- Additionally a Doctor Who game: Karn. Based on "The Brain of
Morbius" by Patrick Wigfull. Morbius was once the leader of the High
Council of the Timelords. He promised eternal life to his millions of
fanatical followers, and came to the planet Karn to seize the Elixir of
Life from the Sisterhood... Morbius was seemingly destroyed in a dispersal
chamber but his brain had been kept alive and was put in another
OUT THE RIGHTS TO YOUR GAMES AND REPUBLISH. EVEN IF IT'S NO
GOODIES AND JUST LOST TREASURE 1 & 2. AND BELIEVE ME THEY ARE LOST.
HAVEN'T YOU HEARD OF VENTURE CAPITAL. MONEY IN THE BANK. AND 'GOD BREATHED SCRIPTURE', Timothy II,
The Bible. Graham Nelson: INFORM GOD expects nothing
less. Thank you. It's a tragedy that science fiction games like Planetfall,
Stationfall, Starcross, and Doctor Who's Mind of Morbius are not freely
Magnus Ledgard, IMPLEMENTER & TECHMAN
Enchanter, Planetfall, Beyond Zork, and Lurking Horror FREE Working
Doctor Who Games. A Tardis has even mysteriously appeared in my old alma arta where I studied Robotics. THE HIGH
COUNCIL OF GALIFRAY HAVE POWER!!!!!
for my Spacestation (Planetfall) Transcript type Z or WAIT a few times.