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Old 03-29-2012, 02:34 AM   #1
Talon87
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Hamlet - the Text Adventure

Every now and again, something reminds me of this cute pure-text RPG I played back when I was a freshman in college and I feel like sharing it with you guys. I know most of the old guard have seen this before, but for the newest and youngest generation of UPNetworkers, here you go: Hamlet - the Text Adventure!

If you've never read Hamlet before, the game might be a bit boring at first and a tad bit confusing. On the flipside, if you've at the very least read Hamlet and Macbeth, you'll get good mileage out of this; add to that King Lear, Richard III, and any other number of Shakespeare's plays, and you should really find yourself enjoying this. That stated, even if you haven't read the plays in question before, this may still be worth your while to investigate. Have fun with it. Play around. Go crazy with the commands. Just to give you an example, here's my first four commands following the game's first room description text:

Code:
Bedroom
You are in your luxurious palatial boudoir, all of ten feet square. There is a four-poster bed, and not much else. A portrait hangs on the wall.
An exit leads north.

> look portrait
It is a painting of your late father - who, rather confusingly, was also called Hamlet - in the usual cheesy royal portrait pose.

> take portrait
Sorry, you can't get that.

> look bed
A four poster bed, draped in black, and unmade.

> make bed
Nope. You can't be bothered to make the bed.
As you can see, if you choose most logical possibilities, this guy has accounted for them. Lord knows how many hours it took him to do that. But that's part of what makes this particular game so memorable.

Some more samples from the early game:
Spoiler: show
Code:
Ophelia's room
This room has horrid pink walls. There are drawings of flowers, kittens and other disgustingly cute things all over. A portrait hangs on the west wall. There is a door in the north wall, and a large open window.
Ophelia is here.
You can also see a pair of nailscissors, and a postcard.
An exit leads north.

> look portrait
It is a portrait of Ophelia's father, Polonius - a sneering old man in a ridiculous grey wig who is our family's Lord Chamberlain. On the canvas there have been written the words, "My Daddy xxxxx I WOVE HIM!"

> talk Ophelia
"Hewwo honeybunny!" says Ophelia.

> look postcard
The front of the postcard has a picture of the Eiffel Tower wearing a beret. The back reads:
Dear Sis,
Having a great time here in France, eating loads of
garlic and listening to dreadful accordion playing. Hope
you're not up to any mischief, you little minx! Look
forward to seeing you and Dad when I come home.
Love, Laertes.
p.s. Stay away from that Hamlet kid. He's bad news.

> take postcard
Okay. You have taken the postcard.

> look nailscissors
The scissors have a blue plastic handle and blades of flimsy metal. They seem to be blunt.

> take nailscissors
Okay. You have taken the scissors.

> talk Ophelia
"How'th my wovewy boyfwiend Hamwetty-Wamwetty?" croons Ophelia.

> talk Ophelia
Ophelia gives you a big sloppy kiss on the cheek. Yeeuch!
Code:
Queen's bedchamber
The decor in this chamber has been done in frilly white lace with studded leather trimming. A curtain hangs in a corner.
Gertrude is here.
You can also see a flute.
An exit leads west.

> talk Gertrude
"Gosh, I'm thirsty!"
A reference to the events of the play. If you don't get it now, you'll get it as you play the game. ^_^;
Code:
> look behind curtain
The curtain definitely looks out of place against the rest of the room. It is attached to some kind of free-standing frame, and looks just about big enough to hide a man.

> stab curtain
You punch the curtain. It emits an "Oof!" but remains standing.
Jumping the gun. ^^; Sometimes that happens. You know how things play out (because of knowledge of the play) but since you don't have the proper items yet to execute those actions, you're shuttled into the best approximate action for that moment in time. Poor Polonius. ^^;

Last but not least, you can save your progress in this game:
Code:
> save
Please name your cookie - type SAVE (NAME).
Now, this isn't quite right, so let me help you out. Say you want to save your file as hamlet01. Then what you'll need to do is type this:
Code:
save <hamlet01>
You need the carats there. If you don't put any carats, it assumes an empty field and creates a save file called "SELF". Now let's say you want to load your progress from your last save. You simply type ...
Code:
load <hamlet01>
And it'll load the game right back up. In this manner, you can create multiple save states. This can become important later on in the game when you have to make important decisions that you may later wish to return to to try out the other options.

For the most part, just use common sense with a dash of humor when playing this game and you're sure to have a blast.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
lilbluecorsola
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On this topic, who here plays other forms of IF (Interactive Fiction)? Disregarding the Zork series, I have a few excellent indie titles I'd recommend, ranging from the wildly funny to extraordinarily imaginative.

Here is a good source for downloads. Emily Short is one of my favorite IF authors - I'd suggest first checking out some of her shorter works such as Galatea and her "fractured fairytale" series, which includes Glass and Bronze. The latest installment, Alabaster, doesn't seem to be listed since it's for a different platorm, but is available off her website. Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle is also great for a laugh.

See here for instructions on downloading interpreters to play the games.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #3
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I'm sure I will enjoy this. I certainly enjoyed Zork, so I'll probably like this one, too.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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>take bat
>give ophelia bat
>give horatio bat
>hit curtain
>talk curtain
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[The Sorcerer's Ambition]A handy link, to be sure.
Level Acquisitions, sorted by level instead of name.
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Shuckle's awesomeness level continues to rise.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
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For fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams once worked with Infocom to create a text adventure game based off the book. A web version is available at douglasadams.com.

Be warned, it is notoriously difficult. At least, it probably only makes sense if you've read the book (which I haven't >>; ).
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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>Yuki

*squee* Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy is my favorite book series ever. Never knew that they did Zork-esque stuff with other things. And the only reason I know about Zork is because my friend showed me it on Call of Duty: Black Ops. (Yes, there is a code that allows you to play the full version of Zork in that game. Why? I have no clue.)
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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Infocom produced several other games aside from Zork. I've tried a few, didn't get far in most of them. (Never finished Zork either.) I did complete and enjoy Plundered Hearts. Leather Goddesses of Phobos is also quite amusing. *wink wink nudge nudge*

The games I'm more familiar with tend to be written by independent authors. I've attempted to write my own using Inform software in the past but quit before making much progress.
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