Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

>
>Get lamp.


You kids today will not believe this, but once upon a time we spent hours and hours playing computer games with no graphics at all. Uphill both ways in the snow! Now get offa my lawn!

If you'd like to try your hand at Big Computer Fun Circa 1980, here you go.



(H/T to The Freeholder.)

32 comments:

og said...

yes, I remember fighting my way all the way through Hitchhiker's Guide on an Apple iie, running the whole thing off 5" floppies. The writing was compelling. I could almost feel the depression as Marvin entered the room. No, really.

Jay G said...

Are you kidding, Tam?

My kids have hard enough time believing that I didn't have a game system until I was a teen, and at that, my character was most often a simple block...

Anonymous said...

Or we went . . . *dramatic pause* . . . outside. We rode bikes or played football, and in the winter we built snow forts, igloos or had snowball fights (but no one pulled any guns).

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

"Or we went . . . *dramatic pause* . . . outside."

Uh, yeah, we did all that, too. And had dirt clod wars. And built clubhouses in the forest.

And we never did stupid geeky stuff like playing games with little maps and cardboard tanks. Ever.

Anonymous said...

What on earth are you talking about, Tam?

(Quit it! I'm telling).

Shootin' Buddy

Shermlock Shomes said...

Leather Goddesses of Phobos. Yeah.

Weer'd Beard said...

Oh NO Zork! Shit now I'm going to get frustrated and lost in the mazes again.

Heh with all the wiz-bang games of today I still fall back on my favorite game: Nethack.

FYI not only did the dev team put in a kitchen sink for the sake of puns, but the Brass lantern from Zork made it in as a hat-tip
http://nethack.wikia.com/wiki/Brass_lantern

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Heh. I remember playing computer games on a TTY at school, which was connected by an acoustic coupler to the school's mainframe, an IBM 360.

Ed Foster said...

I remember that the day after I bought the TI99-4A, the price dropped from $300 to $99, a lot of money at the time for a part-time college student with a pregnant wife and two little ones.

But it did get son number two hooked on what became his career, so I suppose it was worth it.

And what was that Pong type machine in bars that let you play either two or four people at a time? I was the undefeated champion of Brattleboro VT for a year, even playing two paddles myself against double opponents.

The only time I ever came close to losing was once when I was stone cold sober.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

Damn. i thought your link would allow me to play LGOP. it's the only one i actually bought. complete with the hints, including the hints that caught you reading the hints when they weren't actually referenced in the game.

Anonymous said...

Ahh the good ole days. There is even a nerdcore rap song about it with a video featuring a basement full of old hardware

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nigRT2KmCE

Alan said...

I used to play Zork on my Apple II.

"...a maze of twisty passages, all alike."

I hate that damned grue still.

Mudruck said...

I remember dirt clod wars! I also remember bribing my little brother not to tell mom and dad that I blasted him in the face with a dirt clod, nearly blinding him. Oh the fun we had!

In Zork I, the thing I hated most was that stupid thief. He always came and stole my stuff at the wrong time, leaving me in the dark, without a weapon and 'likely to be eaten by a grue'

Then I started on the other games in the Zork series. I now know where the serial killers in the 80s came from. The logic in some of those old game was just out there.

Borepatch said...

This is so awesome, my head just exploded.

My favorite Infocom game was Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - it took a couple of extremely frustrating days to get the babelfish into my ear.

Did you know that there is an iPod version of the original (pre-Zork) Colossal Cave game?

http://hamimiami.com/ipod/adventure/index.html

Yes, I'm a total nerd.

Rustmeister said...

XYZZY

Andrew C said...

Hah, I'm a "kid" (22), and still play a MUD (text-based online RPG). Not as many people playing as there were 15 years ago, but we still have 400 people on pretty frequently.

perlhaqr said...

I have, sitting on a shelf in my office here, a functioning IBM 3B1 Unix PC that has all those old Infocom games on it.

I'm actually a little afraid to boot it up, but I can't just get rid of it, either. So there it sits, collecting dust. (And I live in New Mexico, so that's rather a lot of dust.)

Moriarty said...

Ah yes, the good old days...

Logging into the University's Vax with a Qume dumb terminal and a 1200 bps modem so you could write up your latest assignment in vi, mail it to the other students for critique and print it off in the basement of the engineering building so you could pick it up and turn it in the next morning.

Zork? We played rogue and were grateful if we had a amber monitor.

(... tell that to the young people of today and they won't believe you.)

Eseell said...

The Interactive Fiction Archive is great for finding and playing those old text adventures.

Kristopher said...

Zork? Bah .... I played TREK using a 110 baud teletype.

http://www.codeproject.com/KB/game/startrek_1971_text.aspx

A windows port:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/wintrek/

Rabbit said...

Now you've done it!

I've sent those links to a couple of coworkers, and now it has spread like a herpes virus on a shared Jolt Cola bottle cap.

I've had 3 people ping me on Sametime saying they can't find the door after turning east or west.

Nobody should open a ticket at Big Blue for the remainder of the day if they know what's good for them.

Dammit.

Rabbit.

tim said...

Wow. Thanks for the serious flashback. I used to be one of those DECsystem engineers (but not the paranoid one) mentioned in the 'leaflet' (in the mailbox when you start the game). XYZZY indeed. I know a bunch of folks who will get a big kick out of this...

Yeah, I know, I'm old... ;-)

Tam said...

I think I first discovered Zork on an Apple II in a friend's basement in '80 or '81. Wow, did that thing suck up some time...

charles said...

The rest of my day is going to disappear thanks to you. Also, LGOP might still be found for free at Good Old Games. Google it if you want it.

word verification: swordi, as in get swordi, break door with swordi.

Anonymous said...

Just be sure to drop the swordi, other wise you will never get out of the house.

Zendo Deb said...

There was a Dec mainframe version called Adventure which was very popular on my college campus. It's hard to believe the university reserved computing power for it.

Ed Skinner said...

Alas, the linked Adventure game isn't the original 350 point version. It's been "fixed" -- what a shame!

Ed Skinner said...

Alas, the linked Adventure game isn't the original 350 point version. It's been "fixed" -- what a shame!

wrm said...

Hey, Interactive Fiction is alive and well and people are writing stunning games as we... speak.

I still have my Apple ][ and a shedload of games... in a container... sheesh.

My Classic Mac runs Dungeon, which is almost not entirely unlike Zork.

But then again... check my domain :-)

Sean D Sorrentino said...

LGOP online game

http://www.xs4all.nl/~pot/infocom/leather.html

remember to kiss the gorilla

Starik said...

@og - I remember HGTTG game well, that was fun, would gladly play it again

@Kristopher - TREK was fun too. Played it on EC-1020 (IBM 360), then ported it to CM-4 (PDP-11), in Pascal of all things, and played there.

Those were the days :)

Anonymous said...

Is this the one where you can't catch the bird if you're holding the wand (or something, I have C.R.A.F.T. disease)?

Ed Skinner-- By "Fixed", you don't mean "neutered", do you?

That might be what you mean.
:(