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Both Tea And No Tea - Updated Hitchhiker's Game

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  • THAT game (Score:5, Funny)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:53PM (#10129970) Homepage Journal
    # 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 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LiquidShaneo (681203)
      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
      • by einTier (33752) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @03:08PM (#10131328)
        There were also lots of unintiutive puzzles, and lots of things that made sense only if you had read the book. Don't forget that the game doesn't exactly follow the book, so reading it will confuse the game for you just as much as if you hadn't read it at all -- just in a different way.

        Then there's the problem with puzzles that require grabbing non-evident things (the dust from under the bed) at the beginning of the game and needing them near the end -- with no way to go back and get them of course, because the house and Earth has been destroyed.

        After typing all that, I realize it's the perfect Hitchhiker's Guide game.

    • by betelgeuse-4 (745816) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:08PM (#10130130) Homepage Journal
      It is very dark... You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.
    • Re:THAT game (Score:4, Informative)

      by neurojab (15737) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:24PM (#10130297)
      >You see nothing. The lights are off. ...

      Try turning on the light.
    • by robertjw (728654)
      Ahhh... that brings back memories.

      When I was in highschool during the late 80s (God I'm old) I wrote a text adventure (in basic - shudder) for my computer class. At the time, Oliver North was on trial, so I decided to base it on the iran-contra affair.

      Basically you could wander around a house and do some basic things. I added a random timeout, so after a few turns it came up with:

      Three men with machine guns burst into the room!
      You are dead!
      Never double-cross the Iranians


      I got an A.
  • by romper (47937) * on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:53PM (#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.

    • 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.
    • by Matthias Wiesmann (221411) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @02:05PM (#10130709) Homepage Journal
      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.
      Maybe this explains the poor quality of the other fish [altavista.com], it is not that machine translation does not work, but a valiant effort to prevent wars caused by better understanding.
  • by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:54PM (#10129985) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • 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.
    • by g_adams27 (581237) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:12PM (#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!

      • by tuffy (10202) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:19PM (#10130243) Homepage Journal
        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.

        • 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
      • 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.
        • 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).

    • by Ford Prefect (8777) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:15PM (#10130197) Homepage
      (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. :-)
      • 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.
        • by Mondoz (672060) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @02:02PM (#10130687)
          I remember a comic in one of the old Infocom newsletters showing a guy at his PC, with the devil standing next to him.
          The devil is holding a contract in one hand, and he says "Still haven't gotten the bable fish, eh?"
        • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @04:13PM (#10131937) Homepage
          In the copy of the game I played way back when (Commodore 64), the text description of the events surrounding the Babelfish machine made it impossible to logically figure out how to solve the puzzle. The problem was that the panel out of which the floor cleaning robot emerged was described incorrectly as being "by" the floor, which makes you think it's on the wall, when it is actually "IN" the floor, like a trapdoor. This small difference made it impossible to put the satchel where it belonged. I understood that blocking the panel was a good idea, but the thing is, I kept trying to block the panel by putting things "in front of", or "next to" the panel when I was supposed to be putting them "on top of" the panel - all of this was because the description put the panel in the wall instead of in the floor. And the nature of the error messages coming back never help inform you as to the nature of the misunderstanding - that the problem was with the prepositional phrase, not the rest of the command.

          So I eventually broke down and looked at a hint book. When I found out what the solution was, I got really mad. The game had stymied me due to what was a simple one-word error in one of the descritptions.

          The really annoying thing I found about the game, though, came later on. On the Heart of Gold, there are a number of different tools with random sounding names. Any attempt to ask the game what the tools look like gave you no information whatsoever, instead just telling you that you don't know what they do. Therefore there is no way to tell what to do with them, and no way to form any visual picture as to what these objects actually are. But one of them was necessary to "remove the common sense portion of my brain", and there was no way at all to clue you in as to (1) that such a task was even possible, and (2) that one of the unknown random tools laying around is related to this task in some way.

          That game was the funniest text adventure ever made, but it was also the least playable one ever made. It sucked as a game. It was great as a good read if you use the hint book.

          • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @06:32PM (#10133340) Journal
            Therefore there is no way to tell what to do with them, and no way to form any visual picture as to what these objects actually are. But one of them was necessary to "remove the common sense portion of my brain", and there was no way at all to clue you in as to (1) that such a task was even possible, and (2) that one of the unknown random tools laying around is related to this task in some way.

            Odd. I just finish playing it-- and "take common sense" worked fine.
      • 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 Vog

    • 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 detractio
    • 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

  • Great News! (Score:5, Funny)

    by CommanderData (782739) * <kevinhi@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:55PM (#10129992)
    Now I can finally prove my intelligence to that *$&#@& door on the Heart of Gold so it will open for me!
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:57PM (#10130013) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlightThePower (663950) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:57PM (#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 (Score:4, Informative)

      by peatbakke (52079) <peat AT peat DOT org> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:12PM (#10130164) Homepage
      You think that's frustrating?

      Don't feed the dog a sandwich.

      That really blew my stack, about thirty hours later ...
      • Re:Remember (Score:4, Informative)

        by Otto (17870) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @02:33PM (#10130969) Homepage Journal
        You think that's frustrating?

        Don't feed the dog a sandwich.

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


        That one wasn't actually fatal, as getting eaten by the dog merely thru you back into the DARK prematurely. From the dark, there were 5 possible exits, and if you waited for the one where you became Ford Prefect, you could feed the dog a sandwich in that scenario, and then go do the warship scenario and this time you wouldn't be eaten by the dog.

        There were actually only a few unrecoverables, and all of them were very early in the game.
        -Get crushed in the house.
        -Don't follow Ford's directions and get blown up with Earth.
        -Forget to get the junk mail and you could not get the Babel Fish, or try too many times on the Babel Fish Dispenser and it ran out. And then you got killed because you couldn't understand what was being said by the Vogon later.

        But once you find the "dark" after being ejected from the Vogon's ship, you're essentially in the clear. Everything else is doable from that point onward, as long as you have your gown and your towel. Dying means that you go back into the "dark", and you can replay any of the failed scenarios by merely waiting until the right moment before exiting the dark.
  • Game tip: (Score:5, Informative)

    by El_Smack (267329) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:58PM (#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.
  • by Nakito (702386) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @12:59PM (#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.
  • Been A While (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:00PM (#10130051) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mateito (746185)
      I don't even wear a digital watch anymore!

      Suprisingly, that's actually worth an insightful mod.

      On reading that I looked at my watch, thought about three watches I own, tried to think about the 20 odd watches my fiances has (one for each pair of shoes, of course), and I think there isn't a full digital watch among them.

      Possible exception is an "analogue" watch that I have with a digital module that displays the date or one of two other timezones, depending wher e I'm travelling.

  • wicked.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by radarsat1 (786772) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:01PM (#10130057) Homepage
    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?
    • production levels across the nation dipped visibly when Adventure first came out

      Kind of like Slashdot?
      • Re:wicked.. (Score:5, Funny)

        by UserGoogol (623581) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:35PM (#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)
  • by xmuskrat (613243) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:02PM (#10130066) Homepage
    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...)
    • 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...
    • 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.
  • by DeadVulcan (182139) <{dead.vulcan} {at} {pobox.com}> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:05PM (#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!"

  • by kjones692 (805101) <the.cyborganizer@ g m ail.com> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:05PM (#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...
  • by dcigary (221160) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:07PM (#10130122) Homepage
    ..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.
  • Anyone? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Guano_Jim (157555) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:09PM (#10130142)
    Anyone have a babelfish translation of the article?

    • Umm... stick it in your ear! :} Sorry couldn't resist.
    • Re:Anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by irokitt (663593)
      I didn't feel like copying-pasting the entire article, but here's the Slashdot intro, with a few fun steps in between, and then back to Engrish:

      Written Ford Prefect falls "To with the series of new radiosenders of Douglas fir Adams' together; ; At leaders of Hitchhiker's at the galaxy the BBC reviving the old play of the l'aventure of the Hitchhiker's-Textes d'Infocom for deapparaître in the net location 4's of the radio. It's not only straight lines a port, everyone, which one - the new version of 't
  • "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).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    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...
  • by Metallic Matty (579124) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:16PM (#10130207)
    Forty-second post.
  • by g_adams27 (581237) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:17PM (#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!

    • by Thedalek (473015) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:52PM (#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?"
  • by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp AT freeshell DOT org> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:18PM (#10130234) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Text adventures... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by monkeyfarm (197818) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:23PM (#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.
    • 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!

    • 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 c
  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:26PM (#10130318)
    The real question is, will it come with a small bag of space ships?
    • 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]...

  • 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.
  • by TintinX (569362) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:39PM (#10130436) Homepage
    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.
  • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:40PM (#10130456) Homepage
    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.
  • by red floyd (220712) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:45PM (#10130504)
    The old Infocom boxed game came with a pair of Joo-Jaglan Peril Sensitive Sunglasses!

  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @01:51PM (#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
  • See this link here: http://www.ifcomp.org/ [ifcomp.org] Also there is this about the IM bots which serve up INFOCOM games. Those can be found here: http://wired.com/news/games/0,2101,62791,00.html [wired.com]
  • by gidds (56397)
    But will I be able to play the new game on my existing Infocom interpreter???

    Fellow train passengers must have been rather bemused watching my increasing frustration with the original game...

  • What? How? (Score:2, Funny)

    by filpaul (257829)
    "reviving the old text adventure game..."
    "the new version of the game will be illustrated..."

    How do you Illustrate a Text Adventure game???
    ASCII art??
  • by payndz (589033) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @02:17PM (#10130819)
    ...more a sort of apres-vis!
  • How Fitting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zebbers (134389) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @02:31PM (#10130945)
    My professor for an awesome intro physics class called 7 Ideas that Shook the Universe played part of the audiotape today for the class. He said the easiest way to describe space was through that: "Space, Is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you might think it's a long walk down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." "
  • by Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @03:12PM (#10131360)
    Seriously... well, unless you count my brief employment as a rocket scientist at the Propellants, Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment.

    I did a whole game for Magnetic Scrolls called REACH FOR THE MOON, which unfortunately never got published as far as I know.

    They were a very fun company to work for. I think I did the whole thing on a Sinclair Spectrum which they shipped out to me. It paid surprisingly well, too.
  • by XNormal (8617) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @03:13PM (#10131366) Homepage
    Some copies of the C64 version of the Infocom game had an opening picture featuring the green eyeless alien and a thumb. It was displayed while the game loaded and wasn't part of the original game. It was added to an illegally distributed copy.

    Does anyone here remember this picture? Anyone has a copy that can be run on an emulator? I drew this picture and I'd love to see it again...
  • by Feneric (765069) on Wednesday September 01, 2004 @04:03PM (#10131834) Homepage
    I'm glad the IF version of "Hitchhikers' Guide" is coming back. I hope they take it further and bring back some of his other IF titles. "Bureaucracy" is deserving, and I've not had the opportunity to try "Starship Titanic".

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