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Both Tea And No Tea - Updated Hitchhiker's Game

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the cream-and-sugar-please dept.

Classic Games (Games) 314

Ford Prefect writes "To coincide with the new radio series of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the BBC will be reviving the old Infocom Hitchhiker's text adventure game, to appear on Radio 4's website. It's not just a straight port, either - apparently 'the new version of the game will be illustrated by Rod Lord, who won a BAFTA for his graphics for the original Hitchhiker TV series.' Hoopy!"

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THAT game (5, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129970)

# Look around

There's nothing to see. You're lying on your back.

# Get up

I don't understand.

# Get out of bed

You get out of bed.

# Look around

You see nothing. The lights are off. ...

Your house is demolished by a bulldozer. You have died. Would you like to play again? (y/n)


I really hate that game. Feel free to frustrate yourself here. [douglasadams.com]

Re:THAT game (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130032)

#inventory pocket lint #drop pocket lint You might need that later

Re:THAT game (2, Interesting)

LiquidShaneo (681203) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130049)

That was one thing that really frustrated me about the game was that you had to play out things in a certain sequence and in a certain time frame otherwise you'd die or something nasty would happen to you. I found myself saving the game often and reloading it until I got it right. It got old pretty quick. :/ Nothing like the Zork games I played... Shane

ob quotation (4, Funny)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130130)

It is very dark... You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re:THAT game (3, Informative)

neurojab (15737) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130297)

>You see nothing. The lights are off. ...

Try turning on the light.

Re:THAT game (1)

superstick58 (809423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130510)

Please please don't post that link! I am supposed to be working!!

So much for productivity today.

Obligatory Quote - The Babel Fish (4, Funny)

romper (47937) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129975)

No, not this fish [altavista.com] .

The Babel fish is small, yellow, leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the NON-existence of God.

The argument goes like this:

`I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, `for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'
`But,' says Man, `The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED.'
`Oh dear,' says God, `I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.
`Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys, but that didn't stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book, "Well, That about Wraps It Up for God."

Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

Re:Obligatory Quote - The Babel Fish (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130082)

That was the best part of of the TV show.

Those interludes with its English accent voice overs helped the show, to me, become something more than just a funny Doctor Who series.

Re:Obligatory Quote - The Babel Fish (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130357)

What's even funnier is that a friend of mine tried to use this as argument against the existence of God until I reminded him that the Babelfish isn't fucking real.

Re:Obligatory Quote - The Babel Fish (0, Troll)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130380)

Replace "Babelfish" with "human" the next time you're arguing with a creationist though, and watch their head explode.

Re:Obligatory Quote - The Babel Fish (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130442)

So humans could not have possibly evolved? I know quite a few biologists who would argue that point.

Further, God is not dependent on faith. "You have faith in me, Thomas, because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen, but believe."

Adams' is a spurious argument, without true logical basis. It is funny as hell, though.

Re:Obligatory Quote - The Babel Fish (2, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130539)

So humans could not have possibly evolved? I know quite a few biologists who would argue that point.

We're talking about arguing with creationists, not biologists. Creationists do indeed claim that human beings were created from mud, not monkeys (well, dust anyway, but in honor of DNA, mud alliterates better). And agreed- to any *thinking* Christian, God is not dependent on faith- but most creation fundamentalists only memorize the 30 or so verses that their Health & Wealth preacher preaches on and ignore the rest of the Bible anyway, so you're pretty safe on not running into that quote from Acts that is so close to all the communism stuff in Acts 4 & 5.

And agreed- it's a completely spurious argument, but so is creationism to begin with.

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129977)

The Cafe at the End of the Universe: the perfect place to meet our welcomed Tea overlords.

Naw (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10129983)

There is no way i got first p0st...i fail it

Another generation of frustration (5, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129985)

Alright, now a whole new generation can get frustrated and give up on this game before making it a tenth of the way through. Seriously, this was probably the most annoying Infocom game ever published, and I doubt I would have ever made it through without a guide I found on the net years later. There were so many ways to kill yourself in this game that you basically had to write out a script of actions that you must follow precisely in order to survive. Later on in the game it does branch out, but it is very easy to overlook a tiny detail and totally screw yourself over later in the game. The whole thing was an exercise in frustration for most players, especially ones who hadn't read the books or heard the radio broadcasts for several years.

If they're really going to redo the game, I hope they rework some of the more obtuse puzzles to make them a little less frustrating to the general populace.

Re:Another generation of frustration (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130102)

If you think that game was frustrating, you should have tried his Bureacracy game. It took me a while to figure out what a gaol was, but it's certainly another pleaseantly nutty diversion.

Re:Another generation of frustration (4, Informative)

g_adams27 (581237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130173)



> Seriously, this was probably the most annoying Infocom game ever published

Oh, I don't know about that. I still don't follow the logic behind the 2-piles-of-cubes puzzle in Spellbreaker. And have you tried "Suspect"? Man!

Well, Ok, you're right about the first 1/3 of HHGTTG. If you haven't gotten everything you need off Earth before it blows up, then you're in trouble (although if you failed to feed the dog, there is a second chance for you later in the game!). And if you don't get the Babel fish before you're hauled off to the poetry slam, then too bad for you.

But once you make it to the Heart of Gold, you're pretty much free to explore without time constraints. Yes, you can "die" in many of the scenarios you'll teleport to with the Improbability Drive, but all that does is send you back to the H.O.G. Then you just try it again.

Best Puzzle: "You can't see anything, smell anything, taste anything, or feel anything..." (etc.) Brilliant. :-)

Worst Puzzle: "put junk mail on satchel". Ok, maybe the three previous steps for getting the fish were somewhat logical, but the "confuse-the-upper-half-of-the-room-robot" step was ridiculous!

Re:Another generation of frustration (5, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130243)

Worst Puzzle: "put junk mail on satchel". Ok, maybe the three previous steps for getting the fish were somewhat logical, but the "confuse-the-upper-half-of-the-room-robot" step was ridiculous!

I was able to deduce the babel fish puzzle back when the game first came out. Once one remembers the last item the Rube Goldberg-style sequence stops at, it's not hard to figure out what part of your limited inventory to use next.

But "enjoy poetry" was one thing I never figured out until I found a guide to the game.

Re:Another generation of frustration (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130374)

But "enjoy poetry" was one thing I never figured out until I found a guide to the game.
That's right out of the book! Arthur tells the Vogon that it's "Actully quite nice" which pisses the commander off and orders them to be tossed out the airlock

Re:Another generation of frustration (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130432)

That's right out of the book! Arthur tells the Vogon that it's "Actully quite nice" which pisses the commander off and orders them to be tossed out the airlock.

That's the beauty of Infocom games. The solution is blindingly obvious in retrospect, but "enjoying poetry" (or using "enjoy" as a verb at all) never crossed my mind.

Re:Another generation of frustration (2, Interesting)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130435)

Absoutely great game. I figured out the "see nothing, taste nothing..." one on my own, most of the others I had to get some help on. The babel fish, the intelligent door (most of the puzzles actually) were too much for me (or anyway I was too impatient) as a 8-year old kid.

How do you get by not feeding the dog? As I remember, you end up in someone's brain, with synapses all around. Could you get out of that?

If early in the game you had typed "turn on ligt", the game responded "I don't know what a ligt is." Then later, it describes that two alien races are sitting down to a truce after a million years of war. Through a freak wormhole, the words "turn on ligt" are heard, which happens to be the worst insult ever to one of the alien races. They fight each other for another million years, but eventually they realize that it was an Earthling who said it, and they amass a fleet to destroy Earth.

No, it's not the Vogons, it's a race of microscopic (to our eyes) aliens. They appear, and are eaten by a dog outside a pub five minutes before the Vogons actually do destroy Earth.

Unless you feed the dog your ham sandwich.

Re:Another generation of frustration (2, Informative)

tuffy (10202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130535)

How do you get by not feeding the dog? As I remember, you end up in someone's brain, with synapses all around. Could you get out of that?

I think you get a second chance by having Ford feed the dog. Eventually you (as Arthur Dent) wind up in your own mazelike brain. By removing your common sense, you'll be able to take tea and no tea at the same time (since it won't be able to say you can't do that).

Re:Another generation of frustration (5, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130197)

(NB: Yes, I'm the article submitter. Go me!)

If they're really going to redo the game, I hope they rework some of the more obtuse puzzles to make them a little less frustrating to the general populace.

They could easily have destroyed the game, but somehow it didn't. When the babel-fish twanged off into the wrong place for the umpteen billionth time, or you didn't know how to get the Vogon captain to recite the second verse of his magnum opus, it was your fault. It truly showed what it was like to be Arthur Dent, with what appeared to be the entire universe ganging up against him for some utterly arbitrary reason...

I originally discovered an illicit copy of the game many years ago on a bunch of old floppy disks being thrown out of a cupboard at my father's workplace. I never knew of its official Douglas Adams roots until years later, but from playing it I knew it was something special. I managed to get a lot of the way through - the version I had found didn't have any hints, which I suppose was quite impressive. More recently, a friend lent me another, um, copy which did have hints, and I finally got round to finishing it.

Annoying ending, but an excellent, if mind-breakingly difficult, game. :-)

Re:Another generation of frustration (1)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130506)

Heh.

I remember the babelfish puzzle.
The FIENDISH bit was that you could solve it logically without any trial or error . Each time the babelfish "twanged off" you could fix it (Oh, I'll put the towel there. Oh, I'll put the backpack there). But if you went through it step-by-step, the vending machine ran out of babelfish JUST EXACTLY when you'd solved the puzzle. So you had to restart. Devilishly frustrating, I though at the time. But your insight regarding Arthur Dent vs the Universe is spot on, mate.

Re:Another generation of frustration (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130558)

One of the hints for the Babel Fish puzzle, around the fifteenth one down, simply said:

At this point, brave men have been known to break down and cry.

Dear God, though, the Babel Fish puzzle. The bloody Babel Fish puzzle... But that was fair enough because it was immensely funny, or at least immensely funny in hindsight. Opening the case that contained the atomic vector plotter, that was annoying, because you didn't have long and the interface was a bugger to figure out even if you had persuaded the Vogon captain to continue his poetry...

I actually got the second verse on my first go - I'd discovered the 'enjoy' verb in the pub, enjoyed the music and the beer, and then out of a spirit of sheer masochism I enjoyed the Vogon poetry ;-) Then the next time around I enjoyed everything... the mud was particularly enjoyable, as was Mr Prosser, and indeed the house both before and after demolition.

Re:Another generation of frustration (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130484)

I too played this game, but I loved it. I knew nothing about the books until I picked up this game, so of course I read them later. In doing so, it was pretty obvious that the game creators kept as closely to the book(s) as possible, which really is what I'd expect fans of the books to expect. There's more than a good chance that allowing the player to alter the course of what really happens in the story would piss off fans. Then again, having umpteen ways for your charater to die is a serious detraction from this story, isn't it? ;-)

Re:Another generation of frustration (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130582)

Later on in the game it does branch out, but it is very easy to overlook a tiny detail and totally screw yourself over later in the game.

Well, if you had to just pay attention to details, it would be a lot easier. The real problem/difficulty comes from the fact that the game makes no sense. The whole point of the humor is that the solutions make no sense. Your about to be killed by a monster? Well, put your towel on your head. I mean, in hindsight, you can see why it's funny, but if you thought of that solution on your own, there's something wrong with you.

Great News! (4, Funny)

CommanderData (782739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10129992)

Now I can finally prove my intelligence to that *$&#@& door on the Heart of Gold so it will open for me!

This is great news (1)

JakeSpencer (119978) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130011)

Back in the early ninties, I bought a Commodore 64 with a box full of games and accessories. This was the one game I played the most. I was never very good at it, but I enjoyed it a lot. It was my introduction to text-based adventures and also HHGTTG. I will definately be playing this.

Rod Lord's graphics are fun (3, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130013)

Especially the one with Dolphins on one side and Soldiers (with Guns) on the other ... from blue to dark red .. saying intelligence more <===> less . Also the meringue Margathean planet, the cone headed babel fish and all the other stuff ...

Though I hope the colors look better this time around :)

PS: I run it as a slideshow screensaver

Remember (4, Informative)

BlightThePower (663950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130019)

Pick up the junkmail. I remember this because it was one of the most frustrating moments of my young life when I finally realised where it was needed. Of course I get more frustrated than that on the drive to work every morning alone, but I still remember it.

Re:Remember (3, Informative)

peatbakke (52079) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130164)

You think that's frustrating?

Don't feed the dog a sandwich.

That really blew my stack, about thirty hours later ...

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130381)

What happens when you do/don't feed the dog?

Game tip: (4, Informative)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130027)


Take the mail from your (Mailbox? Front step?) It will come in very helpful when you need to get a fish in your ear.
Mods: if you don't get this, just ignore it, OK? It's on topic, I swear.

Re:Game tip: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130201)

Oh for Christ's sake!!
I played that game on my C-64 when I was a kid. I hadn't even thought about it for probably the past decade. I never did get past the point of getting the fish into my ear, and I never realized why. Thanks.
Of course you realize now that I'm going to try it out, and subsequently burn the next 3 weeks getting stuck at another point.
Jackass.

Why dows /. exist? (0, Redundant)

drmancini (712059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130034)

42

The influence of Adams on Internet culture (4, Interesting)

Nakito (702386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130041)

I always liked the fact that AltaVista named their translation service "Babelfish." It would be interesting to catalog other examples of how Adams has left his mark on the Internet.

42 (2, Insightful)

kavau (554682) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130238)

Not really internet related, but I think Douglas Adams' greatest achievement is that he provided us with a simple answer to the question about life, the universe, and everything. Whenever you engage in a metaphysical discussion about the meaning of life, his answer will invariably come up at some point.

Re:The influence of Adams on Internet culture (1)

Trurl's Machine (651488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130439)

He is probably the #1 author of signature quotes, at least he used to be in the early days of Internet. My God, if he had $1 for every "So long and thanks for all the fish" mail signature (and similar ones), the Adams Estate could now purchase the Tolkien Estate for breakfast.

Whales and petunias ... (1)

Dark$ide (732508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130044)

As the whale said "Oh no, not again!". The petunias didn't comment.

Re:Whales and petunias ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130106)

Ummm, wrong. It was the petunias that said "Oh no, not again". It has often been theorized that if we understood that comment we'd no a lot more about the universe than we do now.

Re:Whales and petunias ... (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130112)

Actually it was the the bowl of petunias that said "No not again".
The Petunias was a soul that kept comming back to after Aruthor Dent kept killed it time and time again.

Been A While (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130051)

It's been a while, but I don't remember Agrajag being in the HHGG game I played on a C64. I do remember being aboard the Heart of Gold, something to do with the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast, entering my own head, but I don't recall Agrajag being in there. Sounds like it's been expanded a bit.

Certainly has taken a while for the sequel, I don't even wear a digital watch anymore! :-)

Re:Been A While (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130146)

Agrajag won't be there. That bit of TFA was referring to the new Radio Series.

I don't have very high hopes for this. I really doubt that BBC is writing a new Infocom interpreter capable of rendering justice (pun intended) to Rob Lord's graphics in-game.

Expect some kind of lame "unlocking" system, where you can hyperlink to the webpage with the right graphic, once the game gives you a password or something. (For those who've played the original, it'll probably be through the "footnote" command or something similar.)

Hell, for all of the detail in the article, I'm expecting nothing more than still captures of the Guide animations from the original BBC TV series.

nerd ID card (-1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130053)

I'll hand in my nerd ID card if you so deem it necessary, but I for one amd damn tired of anything related to HHGTTG.

It's not that bad! (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130129)

I'll hand in my nerd ID card if you so deem it necessary, but I for one amd damn tired of anything related to HHGTTG.

Just wear your Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses until the article goes away.

wicked.. (3, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130057)

i wish text adventure games would come back. this is going to be great! command-line gaming at its best. hey, i've heard rumours that production levels across the nation dipped visibly when Adventure first came out, is that true?

Re:wicked.. (2, Funny)

StalinsNotDead (764374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130198)

production levels across the nation dipped visibly when Adventure first came out

Kind of like Slashdot?

Re:wicked.. (4, Funny)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130395)

As you refresh, you see that there is a new article loaded. "New Star Trek Movie by John Waters." No posts have yet been posted.s

#Click on Star Trek

"Ain't it cool news has reported that John Waters has said at an interview in Entertainment Weekly that he is 'very interested' in making a Star Trek movie." I wouldn't mind at all, says michael.

There are no posts.

#post "frist psot"

You fail it.

While posting that utterly brilliant article, a grue has broken into your parents' basement. He is currently chewing on your leg. An ambulance is headed for your house, but it gets stuck in traffic.

Would you like to restart? (y/n)

Re:wicked.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130378)

Text adventures (or Interactive Fiction) are here. http://ifarchive.org/ [ifarchive.org] , http://ifcomp.org/ [ifcomp.org] and rec.arts.int-fiction & rec.games.int-fiction. Some people have gone the annoying, so-called "puzzleless" route, but there are still good games out there that aren't puzzleless.

You think the GAME was frustrating? (5, Interesting)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130066)

You should have bought the hintbook for it. In order to get an obscure clue, you had to highlight it with a special marker. Unfortuantely, there were far more clues then ink in the marker. There was a rumor you could develop the answers with lemonade, and I guess that wasn't a bad idea to try (since if you wanted the answers you had to buy a new hintbook anyway for a new marker...)

Re:You think the GAME was frustrating? (2, Interesting)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130125)

I went throught the exact same thing with those damn Invisiclues books...The worst was when you stopped playing a game for a month, only to pick it up again later to find that the hintbook you spent 15 bucks on was now no good...I supposed it's still better than paying $2.99/minute for some telephone hintline though...

Re:You think the GAME was frustrating? (1)

WesternActor (300755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130541)

This simply isn't accurate. At one point or another, I owned just about all the Infocom hint booklets, including the one for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and never once had a problem with running out of ink in the markers. (And that includes the extra-large books that included hints for multiple games.) And Infocom sold replacement markers for all their hint books, and even included a message to this effect in the books themselves.

Beyond user-friendly... (4, Funny)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130093)

"the first game to move beyond being 'user friendly'"... "It's actually 'user insulting' and because it lies to you as well it's also 'user mendacious,'" he said.

Best. Software project. Ever.

What I would have given to work on such a program. I bet they had programmers offering to work for free. Heck, I would have paid them...

"Please, just one printf, one insult, that's all I ask!"

Re:Beyond user-friendly... (1)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130361)

I bet they had programmers offering to work for free. Heck, I would have paid them...

Y'know, I think you may have just stumbled on the next revolution in software development...

Re:Beyond user-friendly... (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130443)

> because it lies to you as well it's also 'user mendacious,

Wait. You mean Windows is based on the HHTTG text-adventure game?

(Ah, just mod me -1 karma whore...)

This game is EVIL!!! (4, Funny)

kjones692 (805101) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130095)

I never managed to get past the bit where Ford comes and talks to you, then leaves to go to the pub... but, then again, this game is pretty much representative of all text-based adventure games.

"Get flask"
"You can't get ye flask!"
And you're stuck there wondering why on earth you can't get ye flask...

Re:This game is EVIL!!! (4, Informative)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130180)

The secret is not to take the towel.

Re:This game is EVIL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130196)

DON'T TAKE THE TOWEL!!

Re:This game is EVIL!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130287)

You can go North, South, or Dennis :-p

Re:This game is EVIL!!! (1)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130328)

I made it back on my C64 all the way to the heart of gold, but I'm not sure if I got bored of it by then, if I had gone mad, or if I just gave up out of sheer frustration.

Best Infocom Game Quote (5, Funny)

dcigary (221160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130122)

..for ME, anyhow...

While playing Zork I, in the caves, I said:

# get leaflet
Picked up leaflet
# get tube of glue
Picked up tube of glue
# glue leaflet to wall
And you must put spinach in your gas tank, too.

Not a nice thing to do to a sleepy 17 year old at 3:30 in the morning.

Re:Best Infocom Game Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130268)

My favorite is a bug in Zork II (in only happens in some of the 50+ (!!) versions of the game that have been released), after the obnoxious wizard levitates you:

# look
Caverns (levitating)
You see nothing of interest.
# north
You can't walk north; you're hovering helplessly in mid-air.
# drop self
You don't have the you!
# look
Caverns (levitating)
There is a you lying here.

This transcript is, of course, from memory and not totally accurate.

Anyone? (4, Funny)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130142)

Anyone have a babelfish translation of the article?

Re:Anyone? (1)

StalinsNotDead (764374) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130308)

Didn't the babel fish need the brain waves of the speaker? If so, would it work on written material?

Re:Anyone? (2, Funny)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130389)

Umm... stick it in your ear! :} Sorry couldn't resist.

What do you think, Ford? (1)

mccalli (323026) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130163)

"What, just stroll off with it?"

Or more to the point, it would be good if it could be downloaded rather than being purely online. I replay old text adventures on my laptop sometimes whilst on the train - this would be a nice addition.

And I'm a UK taxpayer, so I've definitely paid for the game already.

Cheers,
Ian

(Bonus points to anyone who remembers what I'm talking about with the "just stroll off with it" quote. And I'm talking the original radio, not the books).

Re:What do you think, Ford? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130277)

What you're looking for is called a Z Machine interpreter. (Z machine being the text adventure mechanism that drove those Infocom games)

If you look around enough, you whould be able to find one (as well as the *.z files for HHGG)

Failing that, Activision released a 'best of infocom' years back that you can likely find on ebay.

Re:What do you think, Ford? (1)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130344)

The admiral's ship, of course.

(I found the original BBC radio series on Soulseek - it has provided me with many a happy hour of driving and eliminated much frustration at Chicago traffic - yes, I'm stop and going 15 MPH, but I'm stop and going to the tune of Ford Prefect!)

Re:What do you think, Ford? (1)

Natchswing (588534) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130356)

Sure, just download [latz.org] the game and Z interpreter [latz.org] .

Re:What do you think, Ford? (1)

Natchswing (588534) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130480)

Oh yeah, you can also download the game directly [douglasadams.com] from the Douglas Adams site.

Re:What do you think, Ford? (1)

Bapu (26118) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130451)

That would be what Ford said to Zaphod before they stole the flagship belonging the Haggunenon Admiral. This was a bad idea, since the Admiral later evolved into a Ravenous Bug-Blatter Beast of Traal.
I knew there was a reason I kept all this stuff.

Get em while they're good (-1, Offtopic)

4/3PI*R^3 (102276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130177)

Re:Get em while they're good (-1, Offtopic)

4/3PI*R^3 (102276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130306)

All gone...

Enjoy...

Douglas Adams was wrong about Vogon poetry (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130188)

Compared to Vogon spam, it's quite pleasant.

Freddle your gruntbuggly!

Hot and plurdled gabbleblotchits waiting for you

Refinance your foonting turlingdromes

Earn that crinkly bindlewurdle you've always dreamed of...

I got karma to burn... (5, Funny)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130207)

Forty-second post.

Re:I got karma to burn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130468)

wow, sadly enough, it IS 42nd post. I just put it on oldest first ignore threads flat and he was 42nd.

BAFTA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130211)

That's pretty cool, not every day you win an animal from Star Wars.

Re:BAFTA? (2, Interesting)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130329)

perhaps 'tis the Bantha [starwars.com] you seek?

NOOOOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130222)

All text.

No graffiti.

Where do I put all my stuff??? (3, Informative)

g_adams27 (581237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130231)



You know that thing your aunt gave you that you don't know what it is? Put your stuff in it. All your stuff. It'll fit! (well, except the really big stuff). Then throw it away. It'll show up in your hands, your pocket, or at your feet a few moves later.

Voila! No more accursed "Your load is too heavy" message.

Man, what I wouldn't give for something like that!

Re:Where do I put all my stuff??? (3, Funny)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130579)

Actually, I think in one version you could put your bathrobe in "the thing your aunt gave you and you don't know what it is," and then put TTYAGYAYDKWII in the pocket of your bathrobe. It even listed in your inventory that both were inside each other.

I thought it should have just ended the game right there, saying something along the lines of, "Okay, fine. You win. You've done something sillier than anything else we had planned. Happy?"

Play the old version here. (3, Interesting)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130234)

Actually, I've got a lot of my old inform (the name of the interpreter) favorites [freeshell.org] up on my site (all of these are freeware now afaik).

I signed the applet myself. If you accept write permission, then you can save the state of the game to your hard drive and restore from it.

Re:Play the old version here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130398)

You are standing outside your house. There is a mailbox here.
#open mailbox
Opening the mailbox reveals a leaflet.
#read leaflet
It is actually a cease and desist letter from Activision (1), concerning your Infocom story file redistribution site and their rights to the intellectual properties therein.
# footnote 1
Activision acquired Infocom and all rights to its games. They've made a few special deals, e.g. I think Zork I is free as well as a "special edition" of Zork which was commissioned as an advert for the failed Zork:Grand Inquisitor. It is most certainly a copyright violation to hand out the story files.

Re:Play the old version here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10130453)

Ah. Actually looking at your site, I notice that you are only distributing HHGTTG and Zork I.

And, btw, it's "Graham Nelson", not "Graham Norton". I also don't believe that he was in the original MIT gang that developed Zork. He basically re-invented the field by developing a new object-oriented story file compiler called "inform".

there is a cheat code for this game (0, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130284)

the cheat code is "42"

Text adventures... (5, Interesting)

monkeyfarm (197818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130288)

It would seem that in 30 years of Natural Language processing advancements and so forth, that it would be possible to revive text adventure type games.

Personally I loved the things, but hated the frustration of being locked into typing EXACTLY what the command processor/ parser wanted.

I would hazard a guess that if a larger publisher backed the development of a professional quality text adventure, that on a percentage ROI basis, it would be very worthwhile from a business standpoint.

Especially if it was marketed and promoted in a way that Myst was years ago. I mean Myst got a lot of non-gamers to play a "game" (actually Myst was basically a powerpoint presentation with cheesy 3D graphics, not actually a game).

Compare the development cost and time frame of a quality text adventure with something like DoomIII. The potential market is thousands of times bigger because you could run the game on pretty much anything with a screen and input device cable of text entry and the processing power to handle a REALLY robust parser and command interpreter. There's no need for 4-6 years of R&D. Success is driven by creativity, etc. rather than eye-candy.

Sure it's not for everyone, but if you eliminate the frustration normally associated with parsers, have a quality product, market it properly, it could be a very good business opportunity.

That is if game publishers weren't complete lemmings.

Re:Text adventures... (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130426)

You mean like "lay down in front of bulldozer" instead of "lie down in front of bulldozer"... or vice versa?

Damn, that one issue drove me CRAZY! Fortunately I had planetfall and zork to switch off to when i got frustrated. Ahhh.... apple //e pirating ruled!

Natural Language Processing (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130464)

It would seem that in 30 years of Natural Language processing advancements and so forth, that it would be possible to revive text adventure type games.

Minor problem with that is that NLP hasn't advanced that much in 30 years.

I mean, you can do some advanced stuff nowadays like including whole dictionaries full of words so in the thing that no longer will "get" be needed and "pick up" or "acquire" or "grab the damn" will all be processed as the same thing, and you can even include heuristics so that the command doesn't always have to be (verb) (noun) (optional specifier) or something like that, but in essence the computer still doesn't really understand English and so there's always going to be some kind of default response of "Huh?" or "I don't know what you're talking about." or something along those lines.

The real question is... (2, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130318)

The real question is, will it come with a small bag of space ships?

Re:The real question is... (1)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130523)

will it come with a small bag of space ships?

Thanks to a "problem of scale" I could never find out if the copy my library had really had the fleet or not...

Then again, I aways thought that the genuine fluff was much more interesting [egotron.com] ...

Graphical Adventure (1)

Arthur Yossarian (810063) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130370)

I would like to see an updated point-and-click version of the text adventure game, in the style of the Monkey Island games. I think they did this for Starship Titanic, and it would be great to see them make one in time for the HHGTG movie. (Oh, and a tip for the text game: relieve the headache by taking the analgesic found in the pocket of the dressing gown.)

Most Evil Game Ever, and here's why. (2, Informative)

loqi (754476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130390)

The goddamned button on the thumb! Once you get ahold of that thing, you have one turn to press the right button. If you so much as look at the device, you're Vogon toast. Granted you only have to do this once before you know it, but any game that more or less says, "hehe, not this time" is pretty malicious.

Also, all that other impossible stuff.

Link to obligatory H2G2 IF game solution (2, Informative)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130414)

Full game walkthrough here [everything2.com] .

Re:Link to obligatory H2G2 IF game solution (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130574)

DRINK BEER. DRINK BEER. DRINK BEER.

Drink the beer three times. One too many and you'll get drunk and die.

Ah...words to live by.

H2G2 like the internet - not (4, Interesting)

TintinX (569362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130436)

I think I actually love DNA.
I've just come back from holidays where I re-read the full 5-part H2G2 trilogy that, despite being extremely familiar with, I enjoyed hugely.
Douglas should go down in the annals of literature because reading his stuff is as much about enjoying his words as it is about enjoying the story. You could read it 100 times and still smirk at his amazing sense of humour and wordplay.
Like a good wine, it's not just about getting merry.
To (mis)quote an excellent and early example:
"The jump through hyperspace is like being drunk."
"What's so bad about being drunk?"
"Ask a glass of water."
Absolute bloody genius, the like of which I don't think we've ever seen before or will ever see again.
I had the pleasure of hearing and meeting Douglas back in 1998 when I was studying at Oxford and he did an evolution lecture with Richard Dawkins (there was an evening!). He was a really, really lovely guy with loads of time for the geeks around him. Mention your love of the Mac to him and he was yours for the night!
I still miss him loads.

Share & Enjoy (5, Funny)

fahrvergnugen (228539) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130456)

Ah yes, the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation text adventure revival machine. When the page is accessed, the machine automatically analyzes the thought patterns and intelligence quotient of the player, in order to figure out exactly which precise combination of interesting prose and obtuse logic puzzles will provide the most mentally stimulating and pleasing gaming experience for the individual.

However, no-one quite knows why it does this, as it invariably spits out a boring graphical clickfest that is almost, but not entirely, unlike a text adventure.

Downloadable doesn't have the best part (3, Funny)

red floyd (220712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130504)

The old Infocom boxed game came with a pair of Joo-Jaglan Peril Sensitive Sunglasses!

My favorite story about that game.. (3, Interesting)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10130573)

It's fun to tell people how I was stuck for 6 months on one part. I didn't know that while I was Ford, I was supposed to get Arthur drunk and give him my satchel fluff.

That game is hilarious, and evil. Modern game design simply doesn't delight in killing you nearly as much, or stranding you with no outs without restarting the game from scratch.

Personally, what I would like is a complete rip of all the text from the game.

-Z
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