Talk:Colossal Cave Adventure

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Misc[edit]

I've resurrected this old game and brought it back to life with voice recognition and sound effects. It's free to play. Call 610-DEAR-BEN (610-332-7236), or skype sixtendearben. Also, Jason Scott's film Get Lamp is due to be released at the PAX East in Boston on March 26-28th 2010. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.224.199.25 (talk) 01:16, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

I worked at DEC, in Hudson, MA. Building 2 was a complete homage to Adventure, right down to the names of the conference rooms, and the actual layout of the cubicles. Alas, the fire department made them change some of those, because they were a bunch of twisty little passages, some going nowhere. Acter (talk) 07:21, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

It's amazing how much trivial knowledge one accumulates over the years. --Uncle Ed

Wasn't there also a maze of twisty little passages, all the same? -Martin

'all alike', yes. It's rather better known, as it comes early in the game. Matthew Woodcraft


moved from Talk:Plugh

I spent a whole day one at the computer center (in 1974!!) creating a complete map of Collossal Cave. It took 4 sheets of line printer paper.

Surely it was this level of attention to detail that made me what I am now :-) Uncle Ed


My brother was a computer programmer back in the days when they used stacks of cards. He introduced me to the cave. He was utterly astounded when I solved his fissure problem with "wave wand" - blimey, what else do you with a wand?

HOWEVER, my reason for bursting into print here is that the top outside link - supposedly to an online version - is now the splash page for a car-body protectant, with this opening line:

This site is designed for New Car Dealers and their representatives.

  • Another tribute to the game, but disappointing to devotees!
robinp 21:54, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I believe many people called this genre "Text Adventures." So it might be worth mentioning somewhere?

Yeah, Adventure doesn't really fall into the category of Interactive Fiction. True interactive fiction has a plot, characters, etc. Adventure's just fun and games and treasure. And annoying little dwarves. Alinnisawest (talk) 22:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Why is there a thing at the top saying there should be box art or an application icon?! It was never sold, thus meaning it never had a box to put art on, and it was written before desktops, so no application icons either! Alinnisawest (talk) 22:03, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Actually, many companies sold versions of Adventure back in the day, include Microsoft and Apple. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.35.35.34 (talk) 20:55, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Dwarves in original version?[edit]

The interactive fiction article describes Crowther's original version of Adventure as "more or less realistic," stating that later reviser Don Woods added fantasy elements like LOTR. This article states that Crowther's version of the game, however, "[featured] ... fantasy elements such as axe throwing dwarves." Did the dwarves come in in Crowther's original version, or was that part of Woods' additions? Jdavidb 19:17, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)

There were no dwarves in the original, it was a simulation of a real cave. Mark Richards 15:18, 28 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Mark, it's not correct that Crowther's original game was simply a simulation. In his capacity as a cartographer for the Cave Research Foundation, Crowther created a realistic hand-drawn map based on survey data and his own extensive knowledge of that area. He then stopped caving with CRF abruptly, and began creating the text game, which did follow the realistic topography of the map, AND included fantasy elements. Don Woods certainly expanded the fantasy. --Dennis G. Jerz 00:02, 29 January 2006 (UTC)--

I came across a version of this game where if you type a swear word it replies "careful, the dwarves have virgin ears"

I have a version of the game that I think is either the original source code or something shortly thereafter, and all seven dwarves (and their giant mirror) are there. Oooo how I hated those annoying little dwarves! Alinnisawest (talk) 22:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

XYZZY redirects to this article[edit]

Mark my words: I was sorely tempted to replace the redirect with the words "nothing happens." --Ardonik(talk) 17:33, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)

Done. :) 70.240.115.234 03:49, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Watch and see: the humo[u]r police will be all over your ass like white on rice!
Atlant 12:02, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Maze of twisty little passages[edit]

In my version (Graham Nelson's one for Inform) there are only eleven variations, not twelve. The phrase "little twisting maze of passages" is not present. Perhaps this one was a later addition? Eric119 23:19, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Dates[edit]

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the dates that various early versions were created. The article originally stated that Crowther created his vector maps in 1972 but the game (which was completely separate) was available from 1975, with Woods releasing his version in 1976. The adventure game article (before it was removed in an unrelated edit) claimed that Crowther's version was in 1972 and that Woods discovered the game 4 years later (in 1976). Is there a reliable source of info for this, and also for the 'dwarf elements' that the article claims were added by Crowther (although it is more likely to be Woods)? (see above). --HappyDog 00:01, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You are right, there is much confusion regarding the dates. I have corresponded with both Crowther and Woods by e-mail, and interviewed a half dozen people who remember playing Crowther's original version (including Crowther's daughters). I have two forthcoming articles on Adventure, in which I try to set the record straight, but I realize this article needs better citation than my personal word. For now, I can point to http://www.avventuretestuali.com/interviste/woods-eng, where Woods says that xyzzy "was in Crowther's version," so that is some basic outside evidence that Crowther's original version was more than a rigid simulation -- it contained the famous magic word. Neils Eric Wille published a good analysis of the conflicting information regarding the dates. http://akira.ruc.dk/~new/tekster/Adventure.pdf Nick Montfort also addresses the chronology in Twisty Little Passages. The thing that always troubled me was that part of the Adventure lore was that Crowther created the game after a sudden divorce, yet that the Crowthers were described as happily married in The Longest Cave, Brucker and Watson's classic book about the exploration of Mammoth Cave National Park (in which Will Crowther is a supporting character and his then-wife Patricia is a lead character). The Longest Cave was published in 1976, and does not mention the game. Further, the Crowther children (born in 1967 and 1970) recall being being eight and five/six (respectively) when they first played their father's game (again for now I can only cite my own personal telephone conversations with these sources). That would put it at about 1975 or 76, which is also the range Crowther gave me when I asked him via e-mail (he said 1975, "give or take a year," and all parties have confirmed that the divorce happened in the middle of 1975). Don Woods has given a date of 1976 for his release of the collaborative version http://www.avventuretestuali.com/interviste/woods-eng, but the earliest extant version of the program is dated 1977. Prof jerz 05:22, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

For the record, my findings about the dates of Adventure have been published in Digital Humanities Quarterly. If the above note is part of this article has been flagged as having unsourced claims, that research has been published now. Prof jerz 05:58, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Anecdotal paragraphs in article - thoughts?[edit]

I have just removed The following text from the article page, as it is largely anecdotal in nature, however I think some of the information about the naming of rooms etc. could be incorporated into the article if it can be verified. -- HappyDog 04:09, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)


According to caver Mel Park:

"Bedquilt was Willie (Crowther)'s favorite part of the cave system. I still have a copy of his map of it. Computer types who grew up exploring ADVENTURE don't realize how accurately the game represents passages in Bedquilt Cave.

"Yes, there is a Hall of the Mountain King and a Two-Pit Room. The entrance is indeed a strong steel grate at the bottom of a twenty-foot depression.

Mel describes how caver Bev Schwartz got her start:

"On a survey trip to Bedquilt, a member of my party mentioned she would one day like to go on a trip to Colossal Cave, where she understood the game ADVENTURE was set.

"No, I said, the game is based on Bedquilt Cave and we are going there now. Excitement!

"Throughout the cave, she kept up a constant narrative, based on her encyclopedic knowledge of the game. In the Complex Room (renamed Swiss Cheese Room in Advent) she scrambled off in a direction I had never been.

"'I just had to see Witt's End,' she said upon returning. "It was exactly as I expected."

"When we finished with our work, I let her lead out, which she did flawlessly, again because she had memorized every move in the game. Believe me, the cave is a real maze, and this was an impressive accomplishment for a first-time visitor."


The above quote is from an email I recieved from Mel Park, who also sent me a CRF newsletter recounting the same anecdote which, sadly, I seem to have lost. Not sure this helps. --Rickadams (talk) 02:50, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the cave anecdote belongs in the article. I've checked the story with Bev Schwartz via e-mail; she has a version on her website: http://www.ir.bbn.com/~bschwart/bedquilt.html The article has appeared in a few caver publications, according to this version:http://www.caves.org/section/hss/pu94v81.htm Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 03:51, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Other ports[edit]

I recall playing this on a Commodore PET but I can't find any reference to this version: anyone else have a clue? (FWIW I was spectacularly bad at it, but in my defence I was only 11 years old :-) --Phil | Talk 10:35, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Over 30 years later, I believe it's safe to come out of the closet. I believe that I was probably the first to port Advent to the CDC 6000/Cyber 70 series of machines running SCOPE 3.4 or NOS/BE 1.0 sometime early in 1976. I obtained a PDP-10 tape from a friend who at the time was a field engineer with DEC. I translated the tape into CDC Display code and modified the program to compile and run with FTN 4.0.

I seriously thought that I would get fired, as the game spread like wildfire with many hours of CPU time getting wasted by employees at the Sunnyvale Systems Division. Naturally, copies made it to Arden Hills ChuckGuzis 02:10, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Chuck

We used to play this under VM/CMS on an IBM mainframe. I recently came across messages from Lynn Wheeler of garlic.com, that stated that he was looking for the code for this game. We did a search and found the code and executable. The executable has an internal date stamp that it was compiled on the 297th day of 1978. On the basis of that I have added text to the ports section stating that it was ported to VM/CMS in late 1978. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sysmg (talkcontribs) 16:23, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


The H8 computer from HeathKit came with Advent on a floppy disk. I believe it was the 350 point version. Also I'm surprised that this article does not mention the many derivatives such as Zork??? Adventure launched an entire industry of computer games. I think even Myst can be regarded as a grandchild of the original game. codeslinger_compsalot.com 67.40.8.215 (talk) 15:51, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

What about the BASIC version? There was one published somewhere, and I laboriously entered it into a computer in the early 1980's. I still have the computer (Ohio Scientific C2 OEM) and the program. I may have a printout of a FORTRAN version that I think was on a VAX. I need to dig up my sources. Mediasponge (talk) 19:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

In-line binary file[edit]

It is clearly inappropriate to include a link to a binary file in-line with the text for an article (and yes, a gzipped file is a binary file, even if its contents are not). Anyone clicking on that link would be expecting further information about that particular version of the game, not a direct link to its source code. In fact I can't see why 98% of readers would be interested in a link to the source code at all! As a compromise I have moved the link to the 'external links' section of the article, although I am firmly in favour of removal, or at least linking to a page that contains further links to all available ports. --HappyDog 18:29, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Plugh[edit]

In the Plugh subsection, there is a one line paragraph that states:

Some games recognize "plugh" and will respond to it, usually by making a joke.

Does this mean other games that are not versions of Adventure? cf Zork's response to 'XYZZY'. Just looking for clarification. LarryMac 23:19, 14 July 2005 (UTC)


Not all games are simply variants of Colossal Caves adventure (ADVENT). Zork (DUNGEON) info can be found elsewhere on Wikipedia.

BTW I'm somewhat disappointed with the lack of 'hgulp' references here.

Well thanks, anonymous unsigned person, but perhaps my question was not clear. However, my point was that I don't think the quoted sentence from the article is clear. The preceding paragraph in the "Plugh" section was referring to various versions of Adventure, then we have this new sentence that just says "some games". As written, it could have meant "some of the many variations on this particular game." The subsequent section about "XYZZY" specifically mentions "Many other interactive fiction games contain responses to the command XYZZY as a tribute to Adventure," which makes the reference explicit.
In any event, the footnote that has been added in the year+ since I asked the question makes the situation much clearer. In fact, I might rewrite that offending sentence now. --LarryMac 21:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, other games utterly unrelated to Adventure respond to plugh. Zork does, and so do most text adventures. There's actually a webpage somewhere, it may be on Baf's Guide, that lists the responses to plugh and xyzzy for virtually every game in the Interactive Fiction Archive (which is a lot of games!). Most say something along the lines of "A hollow voice says, 'Fool.'", but some are quite innovative. Alinnisawest (talk) 22:09, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I was reading the article on Lankhmar and recalled a character from the TSR game named "Plugh" (though according to the article, it was spelled "Pulgh." It'd be interesting if whoever added the magic words were still around to verify if there was any link or not, or if it indeed was short for "plughole" wouldn't it? ~Kylu (u|t) 06:59, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I removed a reference to "plugh" being short for "plughole," in part because there was no citation for that reference, and in part because of the Occam's Razor principle. It's POSSIBLE that PLUGH is short for PLUGHOLE... just as it's POSSIBLE that XYZZY is short for XYZZYBOOYAH, but unless someone comes up with a citation, I've moved that speculation to this page. (The theory is that PLUGHOLE is consistent with the geological realism of the original game, and that due to the limitations of the five-character parser, PLUGH had to substitute for PLUGHOLE.) Dennis G. Jerz (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 02:07, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Someone recently added back the bit about PLUGH supposedly being short for "plughole," but I removed it again because it lacked a citation. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 06:13, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

"due to the limitations of the five-character parser, PLUGH had to substitute for PLUGHOLE"
No, because of the five-character parser "PLUGH" would be the minimum to type to say "PLUGHOLE". It's would not seem true, though, since the game itself uses the word "PLUGH", where it would have said "PLUGHOLE" if that was the intended word. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Kingdom of Loathing[edit]

We need a consensus on whether to include the information about the online game Kingdom of Loathing. Either the word plugh or xyzzy is involved in this game, but some say that it is a secret and should not be published in Wikipedia. Others notice that the information is missing from the article, and immediately add it. The comment has popped in and out of the history twice, as it has been added and deleted. There is also a lack of clarity as to whether it is plugh or xyzzy that is involved. I have seen the claim that it used to be plugh, and is now xyzzy, but at one point that was changed to the statement that it is plugh. - J Alexander D Atkins 11:55, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Related to this, an anon just added the following: "plugh is the new secret cheat in the strange leaflet for kingdom of loathing." I am moving that here because it isn't verified. If it can be, I have no objection to having it added back, phrased in a way that gives it context. Jonathunder 02:39, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The code used to be xyzzy. Over a year ago (actually, nearly two now), it was changed to the other. It is considered an Easter egg by the admins of the game, and spoiling it is highly frowned upon. Even notable spoiler sites like KoL Coldfront and the KoL Wiki are loathe to spoiler it. Yes, I can verify it.. No, I don't think it belongs in the article. --Blu Aardvark | (talk) | (contribs) 01:27, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Elves?![edit]

Were there really elves in the game? Maybe in 550 rather than 350? I just got done with 350 (again), and I swear: no elves nor mention of elves.

At least one longer version had elves. Jonathunder 02:40, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I suspect you are thinking of the version by Level 9, which had an extended endgame where you have to free some elves from being imprisoned by dwarves. This was a commercial version which ran on a number of early 80's home computers (Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore 64, BBC Micro etc) and is almost certainly the best-known version in the UK. Jon Rob 08:55, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

It's part of a static message that signals a final win -- "[A] cheering band of friendly elves carry the conquering adventurer off into the sunset." --Dennis G. Jerz 00:08, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Which simply begs the question again, in what version? --Mathwizard1232 05:11, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
The 350 version has "friendly elves" when you win. 65.66.221.226 23:38, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
The extended endgame from the Level 9 version, as I recall it, is what happens after you finish the normal endgame. The elves are in the normal endgame as the non-extended versions have it. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Citation in lead[edit]

To whoever (IP) left the note in the lead P about there being a source in the other article for that (citation needed) spot - I looked, and I added that in as a cite for the sentence above, but that wasn't actually what I'd meant needed one. I was referring directly to that "it was so accurate that experienced cavers were able to find their way around...", which that source doesn't cover (well, it may in the book, but if so the other article doesn't mention that). So I'm still leaving the needed tag on there. -Goldom ��� 00:28, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I have been in Bedquilt, and while my own sense of direction isn't terribly well developed, knowing the game really does help one to navigate in the major sections of the cave. I did not venture very deep into the Maze of Twisty Little Passages, All Different, so I can't vouch for whether every single room in Crowther's original really does map perfectly to the portion of the game he created, Crowther's game was very faithful to the real site -- though I did publish an opposing view, in the form of a quote from Pat Crowther saying that the game simply re-used locations from the real cave. I find Mel Park's anecdote perfectly credible, though as an inexperienced caver I didn't find that my knowledge of the game helped me much -- I was one distracted fanboy on my first experience in a "wild" cave. See paragraphs 75-77 of http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html 06:35, 5 November 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Prof jerz (talkcontribs)

XYZZY[edit]

Thought I had some info, I remembered a bot in Unreal Tournament 2004 having a similar name. Found that it was "Syzygy" which is awfully close. Oh well. --Kirbysuperstar 13:46, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

In the popular IRC client, mIRC, typing /xyzzy will "echo" the words "Nothing happens." This is one of its easter eggs or cookies.

Image[edit]

I don't believe there should be an image of a graphical version of Colossal Cave used in this article, as the game was initially released and is primarily known as a text adventure. I recommend the image be therefore replaced by that of a sample text screen. 23skidoo 16:31, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Some time ago I did upload a screen shot of a modern version of Crowther's original game. That screenshot was later placed on the "Screenshots of software with missing fair-use rationale," but I have tried to explain that the software is freeware, which is all the fair-use rationale that should be required. Prof jerz 06:08, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I wrote this in Misc., but I realized it was the wrong place, so I'm rewriting it here: At the top, it says the article needs box art or an application icon. 1) The original ADVENT was never sold commercially, so there was no box to put art on. 2) It was written in the late 1970s when there weren't desktops, thus there is no application icon. The screenshot (which, I agree, is freeware, so no issues there) should be sufficient. Alinnisawest (talk) 22:20, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the request for box art from the page. There is actually an image of the version of Adventure that Microsoft published. http://www.mobygames.com/game/microsoft-adventure/cover-art/gameCoverId,6942/ I don't really think the box art is notable enough to belong in this article, but if anyone else wants to post it, that's fine with me. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 06:02, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Below are the raw opening text displays for Adventure running on the PDP-10. The text should be useful for authors or editors who wish to convert the output into png, svg, or another display format. Crowther/Woods' (1977) Adventure formatted all its game text for 70 columns. Program output is upper case. The game on the PDP-10 recognizes player input in lower case letters.

.run adven


WELCOME TO ADVENTURE!!  WOULD YOU LIKE INSTRUCTIONS?   

yes

SOMEWHERE NEARBY IS COLOSSAL CAVE, WHERE OTHERS HAVE FOUND FORTUNES IN
TREASURE AND GOLD, THOUGH IT IS RUMORED THAT SOME WHO ENTER ARE NEVER 
SEEN AGAIN.  MAGIC IS SAID TO WORK IN THE CAVE.  I WILL BE YOUR EYES  
AND HANDS.  DIRECT ME WITH COMMANDS OF 1 OR 2 WORDS.  I SHOULD WARN   
YOU THAT I LOOK AT ONLY THE FIRST FIVE LETTERS OF EACH WORD, SO YOU'LL
HAVE TO ENTER "NORTHEAST" AS "NE" TO DISTINGUISH IT FROM "NORTH".
(SHOULD YOU GET STUCK, TYPE "HELP" FOR SOME GENERAL HINTS.  FOR INFOR-
MATION ON HOW TO END YOUR ADVENTURE, ETC., TYPE "INFO".)    
			      - - - 
THIS PROGRAM WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED BY WILLIE CROWTHER.  MOST OF THE
FEATURES OF THE CURRENT PROGRAM WERE ADDED BY DON WOODS (DON @ SU-AI).
CONTACT DON IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, ETC.  

YOU ARE STANDING AT THE END OF A ROAD BEFORE A SMALL BRICK BUILDING.  
AROUND YOU IS A FOREST.  A SMALL STREAM FLOWS OUT OF THE BUILDING AND 
DOWN A GULLY.  

east

YOU ARE INSIDE A BUILDING, A WELL HOUSE FOR A LARGE SPRING. 

THERE ARE SOME KEYS ON THE GROUND HERE. 

THERE IS A SHINY BRASS LAMP NEARBY.

THERE IS FOOD HERE. 

Crowther's (1976) Adventure formatted its game text for 60 columns. This game running on the PDP-10 did not recognize lower case letters for player input.

.RUN ADV11

WELCOME TO ADVENTURE!!  WOULD YOU LIKE INSTRUCTIONS?  


YES
SOMEWHERE NEARBY IS COLOSSAL CAVE, WHERE OTHERS HAVE FOUND 
FORTUNES IN TREASURE AND GOLD, THOUGH IT IS RUMORED   
THAT SOME WHO ENTER ARE NEVER SEEN AGAIN. MAGIC IS SAID    
TO WORK IN THE CAVE.  I WILL BE YOUR EYES AND HANDS. DIRECT
ME WITH COMMANDS OF 1 OR 2 WORDS. 
(ERRORS, SUGGESTIONS, COMPLAINTS TO CROWTHER)    
(IF STUCK TYPE HELP FOR SOME HINTS)    


YOU ARE STANDING AT THE END OF A ROAD BEFORE A SMALL BRICK 
BUILDING . AROUND YOU IS A FOREST. A SMALL  
STREAM FLOWS OUT OF THE BUILDING AND DOWN A GULLY.    


GO IN
YOU ARE INSIDE A BUILDING, A WELL HOUSE FOR A LARGE SPRING.


THERE ARE SOME KEYS ON THE GROUND HERE.


THERE IS A SHINY BRASS LAMP NEARBY.    


THERE IS FOOD HERE.


THERE IS A BOTTLE OF WATER HERE.  

Retro98 (talk) 16:41, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Bootif and other items in Adventure[edit]

I played a version on the Georgia Tech Cyber 74 (big CDC time-sharing machine) in the late 1970's, perhaps the mentioned F77 version (FORTRAN appeared to be the most-used and best-supported high-level language on that computer) or a variation. At a certain location the game said "There is a bootif here." So, what is a bootif and what can you do with it? If you "<f-word> bootif" it would respond with (perhaps not the exact words) "So you have discovered that the Bootif is a beautiful [bootiful?] woman!" and not object to the use of the obscenity in this particular case.

I'm not sure how or if this tidbit should be added to the article, as the only reference is my memory, though I knew others who played this version and could verify this if I knew how to contact them.

I also remember many of the items that could be found: keys, coins, lantern, vending machine somewhere in the twisty passages (sells batteries when fed coins, to replace the lantern's batteries when its light goes dim), etc., and that you could only 'carry' a certain number of items (perhaps five or seven?) at one time. These are very much an integral part of the game, and part of the goal was to figure out what you needed to carry where to get you through the whole game (which I never quite did). The entry Adventure game mentions early "Text adventures" but also does not mention such items or how they are involved in playing. I think this should be included in the main article (either here or perhaps better in the generic Adventure game entry), as it will give a much better "feel" of how the game is played for anyone who hasn't played such a game, showing how it involves logic, learning and deduction about the game's aspects, and that it's not just figuring out which way to go in an invisible maze. Benbradley 03:32, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Swearing and "Watch it!"[edit]

The game responds to a frustrated player's swearing with watch it!

I remember in the Commodore 16 version the response was: WATCH IT! THE WIZARD IS WATCHING YOU!

Can anyone confirm if this was the definitive response on other platforms? --Air 17:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

On the original PDP-10 platform, the response for both the original Crowther's and Crowther's/Woods' versions was WATCH IT! --Retro98 (talk) 15:42, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

350 points[edit]

From out of nowhere the article starts talking about the "definitive 350 point version" and the "550 point version" and so forth. This doesn't make any sense because there's no context. I assume it refers to the greatest number of points you can amass, but it's not made clear. I think this has arisen because the people writing this article are too familiar with the subject. -Ashley Pomeroy 17:46, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I seem to recall that you could amass 351 points (ie 1 bonus point) if you picked up, and then immediately dropped, the Spelunker magazine -[User:John Woolford] 14:14 24 September 2015 (AEST) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 147.200.41.115 (talk) 04:14, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

The original game had 350 points; later versions were expanded to 550 or even 750 points. -Alinnisawest —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.10.48.39 (talk) 23:48, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

For the record, in the time since Ashely made her point, the article has been edited to introduce the "points" issue more smoothly. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 20:19, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Indeed, and there's at least one 1000 point version as well. (Don't recall a 750 points version; it may have been some other 700-ish score.) Still, the original had 351 points, one point higher than the next lower rank, though few people found how to get that last one point. (One version of the game apparently named the top rank "Cheat" or similar, on the expectation that the player obtaining it would not have found the answer through normal game play.) I believe at least one of the 550 versions is also strictly speaking 551. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

The Crowther/Woods Adventure (1977) had 350 points. If you didn't find the last point, then your score would be 349.

YOU SCORED 350 OUT OF A POSSIBLE 350, USING  367 TURNS.

ALL OF ADVENTUREDOM GIVES TRIBUTE TO YOU, ADVENTURER GRANDMASTER!

TO ACHIEVE THE NEXT HIGHER RATING WOULD BE A NEAT TRICK!

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Retro98 (talk) 01:25, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Early versions[edit]

I've been looking at the Fortran source for ADVENT.EXE (the version that Don Woods wrote for the DECsystem-10, referred to here as the "350-point version", which I played on a DECsystem-10 no later than 1977) and it may be worth adding something to the page to correct the misapprehension shown in reference 5 that Jim Gillogly wrote the game's introduction crediting Don for the "features". Here's the comment block from the source:
1 THIS PROGRAM WAS ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED BY WILLIE CROWTHER. MOST OF THE
1 FEATURES OF THE CURRENT PROGRAM WERE ADDED BY DON WOODS (DON @ SU-AI).
1 CONTACT DON IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, ETC.
This was in the code before Jim made his translation into C.

The source code for this version is publicly available from Phil Budne's PDP10 ftp page at ftp://ftp.ultimate.com/pdp10/ Kay Dekker 20:26, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but look in hdr.h of Gillogly's source code, which includes a new line that reads, “This program is a re-write of ADVENT, written in FORTRAN mostly by Don Woods of SAIL.” Woods never claimed that he "mostly" wrote Advent -- he has always credited Crowther as the co-author. Yes, the passage you quote did appear on Woods's code before Gillogly ported it. But my point is to suggest that Gillogly's "hdr.h" note may have helped spread the inaccurate notion that Woods is the reason Adventure is a game. Prof jerz 06:22, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

"Video" game?[edit]

Funny, when I played it on a teletype, I don't remember seeing a monitor anywhere! A final indignity for the early days, sigh... Stan 15:05, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

2007 Article on Adventure[edit]

Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original "Adventure" in Code and in Kentucky Digital Humanities Quarterly, 1.1 (2007)

Announced here:

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.int-fiction/browse_thread/thread/607acaf1a279d4dd

It claims that Bedquilt is a "section" of Colossal Cave rather than a nearby cave, and that most sources get the dates wrong. I'm not going to untangle this, but some corrections might be in order.


I believe the dates have been fixed to match Prof. Jerz's understanding, which seems sound.

Prof. Jerz points out a survey map produced by Will and Pat Crowther titled, "Bedquilt Section, Colossal Cave," maintaining that setting the game within Bedquilt Cave is a misconception, and that the game is more properly set in Colossal Cave, if I read him correctly.

A connecting passage from Bedquilt Cave to Colossal Cave was discovered in 1896 [Brucker and Watson, The Longest Cave], after which it was referred to as either Bedquilt Cave, or the Bedquilt entrance to Colossal Cave. Both Bedquilt and Colossal Caves are also entrances to Mammoth Cave.

Mel Park seems confident that the game is set in what he calls Bedquilt Cave: "...Colossal Cave, [was] where she understood the game ADVENTURE was set. 'No,' I said, the game is based on Bedquilt Cave..." [1] Elsewhere he is even more explicit: "The cave is not Colossal, however, but Bedquilt Cave." [2]

Perhaps this is a semantic issue? Does the cave area depicted in the game lie exclusively in the Bedquilt cave/section/entrance, sprawl across Bedquilt and Colossal, or is the majority of the game set in Colossal Cave?

Rickadams (talk)

The entrance depicted in the game is the Bedquilt Entrance to Colossal Cave. Your back door might be said to open up into your kitchen and the first floor of your house, so whether the Bedquilt Entrance leads to Bedquilt Cave or Colossal Cave is not the point. When I was in the Bedquilt region, I saw signs pointing towards the Colossal entrance, and I recall hearing about a party that went in from a different entrance, couldn't get out through the Bedquilt entrance because it was locked, and then had to turn around and go out a different direction. The popular notion of a cave having exactly one entrance and being completely self-contained is just not what you find when you go into the Mammoth Cave region. They're all connected, some through multiple different passageways. Much of the game is set in an imaginary world created by Don Woods, which includes all the rooms created by Crowther. Those rooms created by Crowther are a slightly simplified version of spaces that take up a small portion of the map the Crowthers labeled as "Bedquilt Section, Colossal Cave." It's not labeled as a separate cave, just a section with its own entrance. A different entrance, called Colossal, leads to a different region of the same neighborhood -- a region that Crowther didn't depict. Perhaps if Crowther had kept going, he would have depicted other regions of Colossal Cave, as well, and maybe the player might have emerged through a different exit (something cavers often do). Perhaps, since this was during an era when cavers were aggressively linking up what were previously thought to be separate caves, Crowther was making a point -- that the Bedquilt Entrance would, if you went in the right direction, eventually lead you to Colossal Cave. That's also an implicit argument found in the map title, with the region being marked as a section of Colossal Cave. It's true that Mel Park used language that made the distinction between Colossal Cave and Bedquilt Cave. Park's language was in the context of discussing which entrance the party was taking, so when Park told Schwartz more or less that "We're about to go in through the entrance depicted in the game, so your belief that we were going into a different cave is wrong," I can see the validity of that statement (and it makes a good story, too). However, I wouldn't use Park's phrasing because it conjures up the inaccurate idea that Crowther switched names, or that if you went into Colossal Cave you wouldn't find any of the sites described in the game. Also, since Crowther was the CRF cartographer, I'm inclined to use Crowther's terminology rather than Park's. The game is certainly set in Colossal Cave, and it is also depicts the Bedquilt Entrance. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 22:05, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Tom Brucker says (from an email exchange between Tom Brucker, Mel Park, and myself):

"Technically the whole mess is Mammoth Cave, so all the names are subjugated by the system name. We refer to the areas of Mammoth by the entrances we use (except Mammoth itself ) except for the Unknown entrance whose surrogate is the Austin Entrance... In my opinion, Adventure is in Bedquilt, but Willy used Colossal because the name resonates better with the public....what is a 'Bedquilt' anyway they would ask?

"Bedquilt was a separate cave, probably known before Colossal. The entrance was an obvious crouchway before the first gate caused infilling. Colossal was 'discovered' when the platform crossed Colossal Dome from Woodson Adair. The Lee brothers were hired to find a way between Bedquilt and Colossal, which they accomplished easily, however the BQ Route required extensive digging. Using the BQ route the L+N surveyed Grand Ave to its western end, bought the overlying property, and blasted the Colossal entrance. So you see, it is technically the Colossal entrance to Bedquilt Cave, as far as the history goes."

 Rickadams (talk)  —Preceding comment was added at 03:56, 17 January 2008 (UTC) 


Curiouser and curiouser! Thanks, Rick, for following up on this. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 05:07, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Adventures and the origin of "Colossal Cave" / "Colossal Cave Adventure" title[edit]

Firstly, I have found a book that contains an extract in which Don Woods is quoted as claiming that Crowther referred to the original "Adventures", can anyone back this up?:

Aarseth, Espen (1997), Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, JHU Press, p. 99, ISBN 0801855799, retrieved 2008-07-10

I am also a bit confused as to when the game began to be referred to as Colossal Cave / Colossal Cave Adventure, since most of the original accounts refer to the name "Adventure" - I wonder if anyone can enlighten me? -- Playclever (talk) 09:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Adventure/Advent/Colossal Cave[edit]

The instructions file for Crowther's original source code begins with the line "C ADVENTURES" (where "C" denotes a comment). When you actually run the game, the first thing you see is the message "WELCOME TO ADVENTURE!!" That might simply be a general statement, like "Here comes trouble!" But its prominence no doubt influenced what people called it. That first line also asks if the player wants instructions... if you say yes, you see a message that begins "SOMEWHERE NEARBY IS COLOSSAL CAVE..." (See the "external links" for the source code and a compiled version you can check yourself). The nickname "ADVENT" comes from early file systems that could only handle shorter file names -- eight characters, I think. When Scott Adams published "Adventureland" and Atari published its 2D dungeon crawl (also called "Adventure") people would have needed a more specific term to refer to this particular adventure game. As a tween when I first discovered the genre (around 1980?) I would have called any text-parser game "an advent program." Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 15:02, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know, the original games never call themselves "Colossal Cave ...", which would be somewhat odd anyway as the setting isn't Colossal Cave itself. The original, pre-Woods, version is called "Adventures" in the source code - I didn't recall where, nor did I recall the Welcome bit. Anyway; "Adventures" vs. "Adventure" is a handy way to distinguish between the versions. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Adventureland[edit]

Hey there. :) I added that blurb from the Dragon magazine review, because the reviewer who wrote it specifically said that Adams derived his game from the original Adventure. Now, if you figure the reviewer did not do his research, or that he misinterpreted something (or that I misinterpreted something), then I understand, but otherwise I did provide what many would consider a reliable source... :) BOZ (talk) 03:26, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Sure thing... I interpreted it as a good faith edit. Certainly Adams was influenced by Adventure, but Adams ended up creating a very different kind of game when he tried to cram it into the 16k of memory that home computers had at the time. (See http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/adams/scottspeaks.html for a sample transcript of Adventureland.) Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 04:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Monitor or Printer Paper?[edit]

I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but I don't know much on the subject and I can't find the answer anywhere.

Did the PDP-10 have a CRT monitor or was everything printed on paper? The first picture in the article seems to imply it was on paper, however, unless the printer and scanner used were perfect, it doesn't look much like paper. DuckReconMajor (talk) 02:47, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I believe the image is a mockup of what the printer output would look like. It replaced a screenshot that I had made earlier, where I adjusted the colors of a WindowXP DOS interface, making it resemble an old CRT. The discussion on the image page has a bit more info. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 20:17, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The PDP-10 had both video and hard copy terminals during its history (late 1960's to early 1980's). Of the pictures of the PDP-10 found on the net, the earlier pictures seem to only show the PDP-10 with a console teletype (hard copy terminal). 69.142.15.51 (talk) 23:53, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Publisher[edit]

What does "CRL" mean in the "Publisher" category in the information box? Crowther published his version simply by leaving it in a public folder; Woods did much the same thing, so it would seem to me that "Freeware" is a better answer here. Dennis G. Jerz (talk) 20:14, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

As I recall it, Crowther left it in an OS distribution. (Never saw that one myself, though.) Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Magic Mode[edit]

Woods added cave hours restriction feature and administrative modes (back doors) to his Crowther/Woods Adventure for the PDP-10, which was rarely, if ever, ported to other versions of Adventure. Is this feature worth describing somewhere in the article?

YOU ARE STANDING AT THE END OF A ROAD BEFORE A SMALL BRICK BUILDING.  
AROUND YOU IS A FOREST.  A SMALL STREAM FLOWS OUT OF THE BUILDING AND 
DOWN A GULLY.  

magic mode

ARE YOU A WIZARD?   

yes

PROVE IT!  SAY THE MAGIC WORD!

dwarf

THAT IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS.  DO YOU KNOW WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS?

no

TUPRI

bijkl

OH DEAR, YOU REALLY *ARE* A WIZARD!  SORRY TO HAVE BOTHERED YOU . . . 
DO YOU WISH TO SEE THE HOURS? 

Retro98 (talk) 09:37, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Interesting. Do you have a source for that? Jonathunder (talk) 22:44, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Everyone who has that source has a source for that.
The way this feature was described here, BTW, sounded awfully familiar. I wonder whether we'll find a source description giving that exact same description. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)


Possible Source[edit]

Described in Dungeons and Desktops: The History of Computer Role-playing Games by Matt Barton on page 28. "...demonstrated a number of features that would prove essential to modern CRPGs." (it goes on from there for a paragraph, viewable at Amazon.com) Jodi.a.schneider (talk) 07:05, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Russian translation[edit]

There was at least one translated (localized) version; it probably started with some DEC FORTRAN version (most people who remember it say that they played it in RT-11), but so far its binary and/or source code didn't turn up. There is a K&R C port, though -- [3]; these constants may help identify the original:

#define vocw 550        /* vocabulary size */
#define loct 254        /* locations */
#define objt 127        /* objects */
#define fixt 200        /* locations for fixed objects */
#define sttt (objt*2)   /* different states of objects */
#define actw 60         /* "action" verbs */
#define ranm 400        /* random messages */
#define plcl 12         /* different player classifications. */

shattered (talk) 16:37, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Wikiproject Caves?[edit]

Seriously? "This article is within the scope of WikiProject Caves"? ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 19:39, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

why not? have you read the article?— Preceding unsigned comment added by OMPIRE (talkcontribs)
Yes, I have. It's about a video game, which was loosely based on the original programmer's experience exploring Mammoth Caves. It's not about a real cave, cave mapping software, spelunking, or even a realistic depiction of a cave in a video game. It would be like tagging the article on Harry Potter as falling within the scope of WikiProject Birds because owls feature prominently in the plot. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 20:11, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

This Looks Like Zork[edit]

This looks very like Zork, but doesn't mention the furshlugginer "twisty little passages." All the other features seem about the same...

David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 19:42, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

You look very much like your son, but we can't see what your back is like from here? In other words, Zork is not the first Interactive Fiction program, and was inspired by this program. It does indeed include features that first appeared in this program, even if we don't mention all of them. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Say who?[edit]

"Eric S. Roberts and Dave Lebling" is not "one of the future founders of Infocom". Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Spoiler[edit]

Can we, please, not reveal the killing of the dragon? This game still finds new players, 40 years on, and it would be nice if we didn't spoil the fun beforehand. Aliter (talk) 00:04, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

I've replaced the dragon spoiler with one of the game's obituary remarks. Retro98 (talk) 15:27, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

Proposed change of an external link to Wayback Machine[edit]

The link to Baf's IF archive guide now displays the following message:

Baf's Guide is currently down. Please try again later.

Should we redirect this link to a page in Wayback Machine?

NasssaNser 03:24, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Over at the Wayback Machine, the "Baf's Guide is down" messages go back to May 22, 2013. The latest good snapshot is May 10, 2013. That's odd, because I'm sure I'd looked at the Adventure page there within the last year. Anyway, updating the link to the latest Wayback snapshot.

Update: Found the following in a discussion forum:

  • Baf's Guide is apparently permanently offline, but when IFDB started it transferred everything from Baf's Guide to its own database. So while Baf's Guide is inaccessible virtually all of its contents are available on IFDB.

Replacing the Baf's link with links to Adventure at IFDB and IFWiki. CNJECulver (talk) 04:41, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Dalenberg's Adventure Family Tree[edit]

"Russel Dalenberg's Adventure Family Tree page provides the best (though still incomplete) summary of different versions and their relationships."

Not to be contrary, but I have for a number of years maintained a far more complete and detailed taxonomy of adventure versions than Dalenberg's at http://advent.jenandcal.familyds.org. Where Dalenberg lists 21 versions of Adventure, I currently have 153; Dalenberg's page hasn't been updated since 2004, whereas mine is actively developed; and I include download links for most versions.

Linking to one's own sites is against the rules, but I believe my site would be of interest if someone wishes to add it.

CNJECulver (talk) 01:28, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Gaslamp[edit]

There is a reference in "In popular culture" to "the gaslight lamp that is one of the first objects the player encounters and must carry to solve Colossal Cave Adventure."

Unless I am mistaken, all versions of Collossal Cave involved a lamp that ran on batteries, not gas. I intend to correct this in the fullness of time. MrDemeanour (talk) 12:32, 21 October 2017 (UTC)