See page 6
|The Status Line||VisiClues: No
See page 10
|Volume VI Number 3||Formerly The New Zork Times||Fall 1987|
"The main character may be a woman, but I found Plundered Hearts every bit as challenging and exhilarating as other Infocom stories. I can't think of a better way to exercise my imagination."
"I love this! This is the most vivid and evocative Infocom game I've seen yet."
--Mrs. Thomas E.
"I was a little afraid that I wouldn't like the game at first, being male and playing it as a female, but once you got started it was NO PROBLEM! I enjoyed it!!!"
These are just some of the rave reviews showered upon Plundered Hearts, Infocom's new release that breaks stereotypes about computer games and the people who play them. Plundered Hearts is a tale of adventure as gripping as any previous Infocom story, filled with challenging puzzles and scenes of derring-do. But it is also a torrid romance, the first Infocom story in which you, the main character, are a woman. In its dark and passionate world, you not only test your courage and prowess at every turn -- you may fall in love.
Set in the late 17th century, when ladies were delicate and gentlemen virile, when vapid kings ruled the land and lusty pirates ruled the seas, Plundered Hearts plunges you into adventure on the high seas.
You are a beautiful young woman, the daughter of a nobleman. You receive news of your beloved father from M. Jean Lafond, who claims to be his dearest friend. Lafond is the governor of St. Sinistra, the tiny tropical isle where your father moved after the death of your mother. Lafond sends the tidings that spur you across the Atlantic: Papa is deathly ill, and needs your loving care to keep him alive. You set out aboard the Lafond Deux, one of the governor's ships that just happens to be in port.
As Plundered Hearts begins, just two nights from the end of the hitherto uneventful voyage, the thunder and lightning of cannon fire disturb your slumber -- pirates! Within minutes you are face to face with the notorious Falcon, captain of the pirates. Under the impact of his gaze, the hard masculinity of his broad shoulders, the implied power in the scar that etches his jaw, you discover yourself blind to the dangers of this infamous pirate, aware only of the tremors that course your veins, of that flutter deep in your stomach as he draws near you. In this most unlikely of places, you have met the man you have been waiting for all these years.
But things are not all as they seem. With the introduction of Falcon and the message he carries, you find all your expectations turned topsy-turvy. No longer can you be the staid and innocent miss from town. You must don the attitude with the attire of a pirate, learn to fight with sword and pistol, and adopt the deviousness of the most deceptive buccaneer. Your adventure has only just begun!
Included in the Plundered Hearts package are the letter from Jean Lafond that tells of your father's illness, and a 50-guinea note from the Bank of St. Sinistra. These are both securely kept in the velvet reticule that every lady carries tied to her wrist.
Plundered Hearts is the first work of interactive fiction by Amy Briggs. To research this historical adventure, Amy spent many of her formative years reading trashy romances, studied vast tomes of costume design through the ages, and ran away from home to join a pirate band.
For more adventure on the high seas, each Plundered Hearts package contains a coupon which you can mail in to get Cutthroats for $14.95. This is a special price only available through this offer. In Cutthroats, you're a local diver who becomes entangled with shady island characters in a search for a lost shipwreck containing sunken treasures. Cutthroats contains several shipwrecks which provides for multiple adventures.
Set for release in early September, Plundered Hearts will be available for a wide variety of personal computers, including Apple II series and Macintosh, Atari XL/XE and ST series, Commodore 64/128 and Amiga, and IBM PC series and MS-DOS compatibles. The suggested retail price is $34.95 for Atari XL/XE (mail order only) and Commodore 64/128 and $39.95 for all other systems.
Punster, the strangely besieged town at the center of Infocom's witty new release, needs help and it needs it fast. Because, you see, Punster is infected by a strange malady that has affected language itself. Yes, language, the thing we all depend on to carry us through our daily routine, has virtually come alive in twisted verse and forced the good people of Punster into hilarious submission.
But don't go into Punster expecting to wield an elvish sword as you might in Zork, or even a palm tree swizzle stick as you do in Hollywood Hijinx. To cure all ills here, what you'll need is a rapier sharp wit, a velvet smooth tongue, and a mind like a steel trap, not to mention just a little time and maybe even a bunch of friends.
When you venture into Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It, you'll find not one but eight (count 'em: eight!) stories to turn your attention to. Each of these vignettes takes you to one of Punster's most disastrously affected areas. To restore each area to relative sanity, you'll need to solve a peck of pickled puzzles. The puzzles in each story involve a different type of wordplay, including cliches, idioms, spoonerisms, homonym replacements, and other verbal witticisms. If you're familiar with Ballyhoo, Jeff O'Neil's first Infocom game, you know that his prose and puzzles can be both clever and surreal. This time around he's pulled out all the stops.
There's the mysterious forest region of "Shake A Tower," where your quest to rescue a lovely lass will lead you into a strange land in which only the twist of a phrase can solve the puzzles that will save both her and you. To survive you'll have to be rock steady, and perhaps have your stock ready.
Or how about a trip to the wacked-out Punster TV station where you'll have to "Play the Part" to escape the zany sit-com insanity of your brother-in-law Bob. Then there's the town eatery, The Teapot Cafe, where even the simplest actions, like trying to buy lunch, will bring you face to face with the ugly situation engulfing Punster. Waitresses no longer respond in the normal manner, even to your simplest requests. The only hope you have of getting servive is by using idioms like "give the waitress the evil eye." And when your food finally comes? Well, you'll have a hard time "eating a collection of lion's meat" until you can figure out just the right thing to say to turn it into something edible.
Figuring out just the "right" thing to say is one of the trickier parts of Nord and Bert. And even if you're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, or eating a pair of pears, you'll be rewarded for your effort. Because as you solve each one of the first seven stories, you will win the passwords that will eventually let you enter the eighth story -- "Meet the Mayor." In that story you will have to bring all your wordplay expertise to bear in order to restore Punster to tranquility. And when you do, you'll sample the sweet taste of victory.
The short-story structure of Nord and Bert offers a unique new method of playing an Infocom game. Since the individual stories are in essence separate worlds -- each with their own locations, characters, and objects -- a story may be played and completed in one sitting, and the satisfaction level is equal to that attained from playing other Infocom games, which can take many days or weeks. Nord and Bert is the game for you if you're that busy tinker, tailor, soldier or spy who doesn't have tons of time to tend to our tantalizing textual titles. Or if you're the party animal, Nord and Bert is the perfect pastime to play with your pals, since some cliches are notoriously elusive when you're alone, and you can show off your worldly knowledge and marvel at your friends' command of the hackneyed phrase. No doubt everyone will want to take a stab at it and put in their two cents' worth.
Nord and Bert also introduces some other new features that are bound to be crowd pleasers. The short stories are as easy to play for the novice as the Infocom pro. Mapping is a thing of the past since all accessible locations are displayed at the top of the screen. Just type in the name of the location you want to go to and you're there.
When it comes to hints, Nord and Bert brings you some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Infocom will never publish an InvisiClues hint booklet for Nord and Bert. The good news is that you'll never need one, because the hints are all on the disk! Just type HINT, and you'll be able to see hints for any puzzle that has you stumped. But the hints won't spoil anything for you, for you only see what you want to see when you want to see it. No fair peeking now!
As usual, we strive to go that extra mile for our customers by enhancing our software with unique and interesting packaging elements. This time around you will get a beautiful full-color booklet of original cartoons by Kevin Pope, author of The Day Gravity Was Turned Off in Topeka. So, get together with your friends, laugh over Kevin's cartoons and then try to save Punster. Language may be twisted in Punster, but words needn't fail you.
But don't think that the fun stops here. In every package of Nord and Bert, there's a special offer that lets you double your pleasure and double over in laughter. It's a coupon you can send in with $14.95 to receive Ballyhoo, Jeff O'Neill's first interactive mystery set under the circus bigtop. This is a savings of up to $25.
In Ballyhoo you'll be tempted by cotton candy and tattooed ladies, but you must find out who kidnapped the owner's daughter before someone makes a permanent space for you in the freak show.
Ready to bring you to your knees in early September, Nord and Bert will be available for a wide range of personal computers, including Apple II series, Macintosh (512K) and Atari ST series. Also Commodore 64 and 128 and Amiga, and IBM PC series and 100% compatibles. Suggested retail price is $34.95 for Commodore 64/128 and $39.95 for all other systems.
To guarantee continuity and technical excellence on TSL, Dornbrook followed Kirsch's announcement with the formal appointment of Hollywood Dave Anderson as the publication's chief technician and tactician. Impressing the crowd with a list of Anderson's accomplishments, Dornbrook was quoted as saying: "Hollywood brings integrity and verve to the challenging position of managing editor of this prestigious publication."
Kirsch and Anderson (Stellawood and Hollywood) took the podium from their boss to announce their multi-pronged program for TSL. Said Kirsch: "I like contests! Our readers like contests! Let there be contests!" Anderson added: "We have been the secondary outlet for humor in this company. You can bet TSL will soon be more enjoyable than the games."
Another major point in their program would be reader response. "The results of our reader polls will be given the highest priority," proclaimed the pair. In a brief serious moment, they recognized the heavy burden of righteousness they took on with their new responsabilities. "But most of all, we're going to have fun doing it and make sure the readers do, too."
The press conference was followed by an enormous spread in honor of the new team. Dave and Stu munched on Ring Dings and Devil Dogs while schmoozing with the press, whereas Mike preferred to feast on Twinkies.
I'm only thirteen but I'm an avid fan of Infocom. The game I most recently got was Leather Goddesses of Phobos. I loved it so much I got the T-shirt for it. I wore it to school thinking my friends would think it was hilarious. They did. It was so comfortable I wore it to bed. When I woke up, it didn't smell, and it was so comfortable I wore it that day too. Everything was going fine until fifth hour swung around and my social studies teacher read the back. She got upset and called the assistant principal! Even though I wore it the day before and everybody who was going to see it did, the assistant principal made me wear it inside-out! All the kids thought the shirt was funny. Even the coach thought it was funny. There were no vulgar words on it. That's censorship at its worst! I just thought you ought to know about this.
P.S. It's so easy to get into lewd mode. I don't know why you put that in there.
P.P.S. Not that I've tried.
W. Patrick Chaney
Lake Charles, LA
Announcement: This is a complaint! You have just come out with your third interactive fiction game which requires 128K. I have been loyal to you by buying all eight of the games that I own; and I will continue to buy more every time I can scratch up enough money. And after being so loyal, you repay me by coming out with three games that I cannot play because my computer only has 48K. That's gratitude for you! Please! Have pity! It's torture when a new game comes out and I find that I can't play it. If I had the money to buy a more powerful computer, I would. But I don't! Please, stop this torture, oh! it's so painful! I'll never be able to play these games unless I get a job. Get a job? Hmmm ... Nay. Please stop this madness!
The following poem is for the few of us who get by with a little help from our friends or anyone else who cares to lend a helping hand. Thanks, InvisiClues! By the way, for the musically inclined, this goes well to the tune of "America" (My country 'tis of Thee).
Though it's not quite legit
We make good use of it
When we are in a hole
And we have searched our souls
It gets us to our goal
Hi guys! This is a short note expressing my admiration and appreciation for you and your wonderfully frustrating games.
Zork, Trinity, Cutthroats, and Wishbringer have provided me with many hours of profanity, hair-pulling, and loud screams of frustration. In other words: Fun!!
Coming home after spending many hours trying to understand the Navy's financial system, I need to relax with something not quite as challenging. Hey, there's an idea for a game -- Tom Starboard: Naval Auditor! Nah, that may be beyond even your capabilities to bring mass confusion and utter frustration...
Keep Up The Great Work,
Jude T. Keyer
[Mass confusion? Utter frustration? Masochists of the world unite! Get in line to play Bureaucracy by Douglas Adams --ed.]
I have a bone to pick with you guys. I have been playing your games now for about 4 years. With the aid of my friend, I played them before I even had a computer. We have been solving your games as quickly as you have been putting them out. Sometimes I had to buy the InvisiClues to the games, and sometimes I went and found a text "walkthrough." Most of the time we didn't use hints, though.
What we loved most, though, was your concept of a "Grue." After playing adventures from Scott Adams, where all we got was "IT'S TOO DARK TO SEE!" and the original Adventure "IT'S DARK IN HERE...YOU MAY FALL INTO A PIT," your Grue was a welcome relief.
Unfortunately, we have been seeing a bad trend lately. No more Grues! Moonmist has you right back in the olden days, falling in pits again. Personally, I consider this a bad use of disk space.
About 3 years ago, when I started modeming, I discovered I needed an alias to get on certain BBS's. Since I loved your games so much, I chose THE ZORKIAN GRUE. I now face extinction! Is there any reason why this is happening? If not, can you please correct this grievous error?
Thank you for your time,
The Zorkian Grue
(Name and address withheld by request)
[Zorkian, wake up and smell the grue's milk!
Did you find a grue in Deadline? No, of course not. How about The Witness or Hollywood Hijinx (A Malibu grue perhaps.)? No. And after some bit of traveling the universe in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent didn't come across a single grue did he? Grues only exist in the Zork universe.
There is no need to fear for your extinction -- by the time you read this the dreaded Ur-Grue will have slithered into an upcoming release --ed.]
I finally completed Starcross. It was better than even the hysterical Hitchhiker's. I will of course now buy Suspended or Leather Goddesses... I really appreciate your sci-fi work. Really tops!
Now enough nice stuff.....
The Toxic Pig
So, put all your creative juices in your blender and design the Infocom T-shirt! There are no specs for this job, just go for it. Remember, we want an Infocom T-shirt, not a game-specific one.
If your artistic skills aren't up to snuff, give us a rough sketch and a very detailed explanation so Carl's elves can figure it out and draw it. If our talent scouts choose your design as the best, you'll win the grand prize of $100 (and of course a T-shirt). Second prize is a game of your choice, and third is a collection of Infocom posters.
Entries must be postmarked by October 31, 1987 (international entries by January 31, 1988 -- a game to the best. Sorry no cash prize.). All artwork becomes the exclusive property of Infocom, Inc. and cannot be returned. Void where prohibited, taxed, licensed and in the Great Underground Empire. Employees of Infocom, their families, and their college roommates are not eligible.
Send your entry, along with your name, complete address, age, game choice, computer type and T-shirt size to: The Status Line, Infocom, 125 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140, Attn: Genatossio-aid.
Encrypted -- A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Actually -- Y D T U H S A Q P B J X V O I G M C E N L Z K F R W
THE ROOM The room into which Paula has led you is a large well-lit room somewhere in the bowels of the Infocomplex. Ahead is a metal desk. To the right of the desk is a small computer with a printer, both of which are on. To the left are white cloth sacks marked "U.S. MAIL." A door is open behind you. Paula is gone. The computer screen is blank, but the cursor is blinking. >EXAMINE DESK On the desk sits a small calculator, a box of pencils, a pencil sharpener, a legal writing tablet, and a pack of Juicy Fruit gum. In front of the desk is a folding metal chair. >SIT (in chair) You are now seated behind the large desk. You feel as if the computer screen is watching you. >OPEN MAILBAG You struggle to lift the first mailbag. As you get the metal clasp unhooked, the bottom of the bag rips open, and with a great "whooosh," letters come pouring out. >TAKE LETTERS (taken) The letters are all addressed to Paula's Poll #2. >OPEN LETTER The computer beeps, and the screen reads: YOUR SCORE HAS GONE UP BY ONE POINT. >EXAMINE LETTER As you look at the letter, you see it is actually a page cut out of The Status Line. It contains the name, address, age, and gender of the sender. It has a brief note from Paula about Poll #1, as well as questions and answers about TSL itself. >EXAMINE ALL LETTERS You begin the task of opening and reading this immense mountain of mail. >RECORD ANSWERS (I see no record here.) >TAKE PENCIL. WRITE ANSWERS ON PAD. The cursor winks and the computer beeps. YOUR SCORE HAS INCREASED BY ONE POINT. The door behind you has closed. On it appears a large comic strip poster of a man and a woman entitled "LEATHER GODDESSES OF PHOBOS." You notice the woman has an uncanny resemblance to Paula. Doing a doubletake, you notice the man bears the striking good looks of Steve Meretzky, whom you met earlier. >TURN ON CALCULATOR. ADD NUMBERS FROM LETTERS. You flick the switch but the calculator face remains blank. >PLUG IN CALCULATOR Beep. YOU HAVE SCORED A POINT. >USE CALCULATOR TO INTERPRET ANSWERS It quickly becomes apparent to you that TSL readers are of all ages. Readers under the age of 18 make up 34% of those responding. 29% are between 18 and 30. 26% are between 31 and 40 years old. The remaining 11% are 41 and over. You can also determine that one in five respondents is a woman. >EXAMINE ANSWERS ABOUT GAMES AND HINTBOOKS These answers reveal that the average respondent owns over 7 games and 2 InvisiClues hint booklets. They own every kind of computer from Apple to Zenith. 25% own Apple machines; 20% own Commodores; 18% own IBM systems; Ataris make up 14%; the others own all kinds of machines. The computer, perhaps intrigued by information about computers, makes loud noises, attracting your attention. You turn to it and, like a mood ring, the screen has turned from lime green to bright purple. >INTERPRET INFO ON PUZZLE QUESTIONS You find that 71% of those responding to the poll have tried to solve a TSL puzzle, but only 15% have ever sent in their solutions. Most (39%) think the puzzles are a little on the hard side and most (42%) think that the puzzles should require general knowledge, as opposed to in-depth knowledge of the games, to solve them. As for reader preference of puzzles, most want visual games, just slightly ahead of word puzzles and trivia puzzles. Math puzzles finish a distant fourth. >TALLY AND INTERPRET ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS REGARDING READER PREFERENCES ON SUBJECTS THAT TYPICALLY APPEAR IN A STATUS LINE ISSUE (That sentence is not one that I recognize.) >CHECK LOVE IT-HATE IT ANSWERS You readjust yourself in the chair and sit perched on the edge of your seat, for this section of the poll is the most fascinating; in it you find out what readers like most and least about TSL. You discover that articles on new products are by far the most popular -- 80% of readers give them a score of 1 (love it). Next popular are humor (66%) and stories about the creation of games (57%). Game hints and cartoons also are scored 1 by more than 50%. Cornerstone articles are the least popular, but that doesn't surprise you, since you look back and see that only 4% of those answering the poll own Cornerstone. Hopefully, you muse, the rest of the respondents aren't using a less efficient and more expensive database. YOUR SCORE HAS GONE UP BY 2 POINTS, beeps the red computer. >ANARIZE SUMMARYSIS Eh? >SUMMARIZE ANALYSIS Though your eyes are burning, bleary and bloodshot from the strain of staring at surveys and statistics, you feel proud of your accomplishments. The printer begins churning out all the information at lightning speed. >TAKE REPORT As you rip the computer sheet from the printer, in walks Stella, editor of TSL, along with Mike Dornbrook, director of marketing. Paula, her polling days now behind her, turns, closes the door and walks back down the long hallway. >TELL THEM ABOUT RESULTS. GIVE STELLA REPORT. As you explain what the readers want, Stella and Mike listen with beaming faces. You hear the churning of wheels in Stella's mind. When you finish, Stella begins to speak. "Mike, Suzy...We now know what they want. I say let's give it to them. They like contests. We'll put tons of them in the next issue. "They want to find out about new products. We'll tell them in graphic detail, and let them know what will be happening in the future. Our readers also want reviews of old games, so let's write about them and give longer reviews. They want hints, so hints they get; but not just any hints, we'll let 'em have VisiClues, that they still have to interpret so games don't get ruined for everyone..." You drift off into your own little world as Stella talks on and on about changes in TSL -- you figure you'll just wait for it to come out. The computer winks at you and beeps. YOUR SCORE HAS DOUBLED. YOU HAVE GIVEN THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. YOU HAVE ATTAINED THE RANK OF INTERPLANETARY EMPRESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR DINNER, YOUR HIGHNESS? Stella continues: "We can show our readers that their input really has impact. If they want reviews of old games, why, we can make it a regular feature. And if our readers from outside the country want to be able to enter contests, we'll have a special deadline for them..." The figures on the poster behind you have come to life. The Steve-like man kisses your hand, and the Paula-like woman bows before you. So, this is Infocom. This could be fun.
Answer: Presently, we do not produce our IBM products (either interactive fiction games or Cornerstone) in the 3½" format. However we do produce a non-copy-protected 5¼" disk (IBM PC-DOS and MS-DOS 2.0 or above) which our customers can download themselves to a 3½" disk.
Copy-protected IBM disks can be exchanged for non-copy-protected disks for a $5 fee.
Question: A line of strange characters -- arrows, brackets, and numbers -- appears on my status line when using the IBM PC-DOS/MS-DOS 2.0 diskette. Why?
Answer: These are ASCII characters which appear if the DOS file, ANSI.SYS, hasn't been loaded. Go through the INSTALL program again. To load ANSI.SYS, be sure to reboot the system (by pressing CTL, ALT, and DEL simultaneously) after the installation is complete. If rebooting has no effect, be sure that the DOS file ANSI.SYS resides on your disk (the root directory of hard disks). Also be sure that the CONFIG.SYS file has the line which reads: DEVICE=ANSI.SYS. You may need to create a CONFIG.SYS file using the DOS EDLIN or COPY CON command to include a line: DEVICE=ANSI.SYS. (TI PRO and DEC users do not have the ANSI file on their DOS directories.)
Question: Should I expect any problems with my Infocom products while using DOS 3.2?
Answer: Since DOS 3.2 has just arrived on the scene, we have not fully tested all our products with this latest version of DOS. If you should encounter any unusual problems, please write them down along with your exact hardware specifications, and forward it to us at the address below.
Question: I've noticed that recent games have no difficulty ratings on them. Without a rating, how can I know if a game is right for me?
Answer: When we had ratings on our games, there was always quite a bit of controversy, some customers saying that standard-level games were difficult, and some saying that advanced-level games were easy. It became apparent that people with great knowledge in one field or another would find a certain kind of story or puzzle to be easier to solve, whereas others would find even simpler puzzles to be very difficult. We mention on the back of our packages that a game would be "good as an introduction" or something to that effect, but we found we're not in the best position to rate the difficulty of our own games. Another idea is to read various reviews of Infocom products; reviewers generally are able to give honest opinions of a story's difficulty.
Question: With Cornerstone I have a derived attribute defined as the sum of other attributes in my file, but sometimes there's a blank result. What's wrong?
Answer: As a safeguard, a derived attribute will be left blank if any of its variables is blank. For example, you may have a derived attribute defined as: Derived_attrib=Attrib_1+Attrib_2+Attrib_3
Derived_attrib will only be computed if there is a value in Attrib_1 and Attrib_2 and Attrib_3; if any one of these attributes is blank, then Derived_attrib will be blank.
If you don't want this to occur, a possible way to prevent it is to define an initial value for all attributes that will be used in the derivation expression. This initial value could be a zero if it's being used in addition derivations, or a one if it's being used in multiplication derivations.
Questions? Call (617) 576-3190 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time. Or write to: Customer Support, Infocom, 125 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140
At trade shows, everyone has their booths and their suites and their presentations and even their cocktail hours and their parties. But, as you well know, Infocom is always different. And with the help of The Second City comedy troupe and Infocom's new titles -- Stationfall and The Lurking Horror -- it would be a memorable convention for every salesman with dip on his lapel and every exhibitor who stumbled around McCormick Place the morning after the night before.
For the third year running, droves of InfoGuests joined tyrannosauruses, brontosauruses and mummies at the magnificent Field Museum of Natural History. They came by the hundreds to see what the puzzle meisters had prepared for them.
>From newspapers and magazines, from manufacturers and distributors, from Europe and Japan they came to consume food and spirit. To the sound of the Susie Hansen band they shared news of bits, bytes and nibbles. They came because they knew their funny bones would be tickled. Infocom would satiate their need for something new and different. Needless to say, they were not disappointed by InfoProvisation.
"InfoProvisation" they asked? InfoProvisation they saw! Resident members of The Second City combined the ideas and ideals of Infocom with their own brand of comedy.
Through a hilarious sequence of skits using very few props (a couple of chairs and a piano) the audience saw a computerized dating simulator, roared at a romance between next-generation computers and a piece of has-been software, met Stationfall's Floyd, visited GUE Tech and even had the opportunity to affect the course of a scene or two.
In a tribute to the best-selling Leather Goddesses of Phobos, three vignettes, set in a singles bar and interspersed throughout the program, showed real-life versions of the three playing modes. Tame would have made Mother Theresa proud, but by the time they went from suggestive to lewd, it was enough to make Donna Rich blush.
Cynthia Weiss, InfoPublic Relations Manager, who ran the event, was excited about the prospect of using the great comedic minds of The Second City to illustrate the inimitable style of Infocom and its innovative products. Thanks go to the diligent efforts of event consultant and former InfoTrade Show Coordinator Renata Daroszewska, who came up with the idea of using The Second City in the first place.
Stories of InfoProvisation were covered by AP and ran in newspapers from Alexandria, VA, to Jefferson City, MO, to Racine, WI. Folks in the audience brought back stories about "Point Woman!" and new ways of lighting cigarettes to sales floors and board rooms the world over.
Many people have told us, in Paula's Poll (see pg 4), in letters, and in phone calls, that they are interested in these older titles and would like reviews of our classic stories. All of our classics are available at special low prices only through The Status Line; and so you can know more about them than the blurb you see in a catalog, we will be reviewing three of our vintage stories in this and future issues of TSL.
Deadline, Infidel, and Starcross were not only the first mystery, adventure, and science fiction stories, respectively, we developed; they are also among the most popular games in each genre. Each game was both critically and popularly acclaimed when it was released.
Infidel, from our Tales of Adventure series, is a desperate search for the lost, great pyramid in the Egyptian desert. Players were particularly drawn by the sense of danger the game projects; critics applauded the consummate treatment of this classic fiction genre.
Set in the vast desert of Egypt, somewhere near the banks of the River Nile, Infidel challenges you to find the buried entrance to the last great pyramid, and, once inside, seize priceless treasures that have remained hidden for thousands of years.
As the ruthless, determined explorer, you make your men work on a religious holiday. They revolt and desert you, leaving you without tools and supplies. Now you are marooned in the desert, but still ready to continue your quest.
You must find food and water, lest buzzards feast upon your bones. And should you survive the desert and the scorching sun, you must still find the pyramid. But adventure just begins as you find it. When you enter the cavernous pyramid, buried deep beneath the sands, you must unravel the shrouded mysteries that lie entombed within, and find its hidden treasures.
The outside package of Infidel has the rugged look of a canvas portfolio containing your personal effects, a tattered attache that has survived adventure and danger the world over. Inside, you'll find a host of ingenious game pieces that bring the searing vast desert adventure right into your living room and provide valuable clues to help you solve the challenges and puzzles you face. As you read your Expedition Log, the hand-written diary of your search for the great pyramid, and your personal correspondence, written on stationary with an authentic Egyptian stamp, you'll feel the temperature rise and your throat wither from thirst. Also a parchment-like map of the Nile River Valley, complete with latitude and longitude coordinates; and a rubbing of hieroglyphics with a partial dictionary will help you move about the desert plain that reaches onward without end.
Written by Mike Berlyn, who also wrote Suspended and Cutthroats, this tale of adventure was highly regarded by reviewers who applauded its sense of realism and desperation.
Games magazine called Infidel "a well-nigh perfect re-creation of this scenario: the cursed-treasure-in-the-lost-pyramid tale." The Salt Lake City Tribune called Infidel "a vivid, living game that redefines 'interactive.' Whether you solve it or not Infidel is absorbing and fun."
Starcross, a science fiction adventure, rockets you out of the desert into a future universe. Jettisoned into the depths of space, you meet a variety of interstellar beings -- some friendly, and others who are ready to vaporize you.
As the story unfolds you awake to the ring of your mass detector's constant call. You've apparently just discovered a large, unchartered black hole that unbelievably offers you a life of luxury. But something more lurks in this endless hole of darkness.
You'll soon find that the "black hole" is an enormous alien spaceship spinning so rapidly that it produces an artificial gravity. Aboard the M.C.S. Starcross, a one-person vessel outfitted for the discovery and mining of black holes, you are about to become the first human to meet intelligent extraterrestrial lifeforms. While looking for that really BIG strike, you discover that someone -- or something -- has found you.
You must use every ounce of cunning and courage you can muster to unravel the mystery of the great ship that has beckoned you into its own interior. First you must gain entry to the gargantuan ship. Upon entering, you find not a strange alien creature, but an assembly of creatures from across the galaxy. Is it just a vast intercultural relations improvement seminar? Or could it be something much more ominous? In Starcross, you will answer the challenge that was issued eons ago, from light years away.
By using the provided ship's log of the Starcross, the computer-generated map of outer space, the most up-to-date instructions on what to do when you encounter aliens, and your best game-solving skills, you may be able to solve the problems posed by the builders of this incredible artifact, gain control of it, and return to Earth with a priceless cargo.
This interplanetary adventure, written in 1982 by Dave Lebling, his first story after writing Zork, was praised by PC World, which said, "All the ingredients of a good Robert A. Heinlein sci-fi novel are here: the wildcat prospector (that's you), the sassy ship computer, and a lucky find that could be too hot to handle... it is a great game in which to lose yourself..." Softline magazine added: "Starcross requires you to be a scientist, an engineer, an astronaut, an explorer, and a diplomat. It expects you to have the judgement to know when to shoot a gun and the wisdom to know when not to... It is a sheer pleasure to play."
One of our earliest and most popular games was the unparalleled whodunnit Deadline. Deadline was awarded an "Arkie" by Electronic Games magazine in 1983 as the Best Computer Adventure. In 1985 it joined a very select group of software when it was certified gold (100,000 copies sold) by the Software Publishers Association. Deadline was the first computer mystery from any software publisher.
Released in 1982, Deadline finds you, a police detective, pitted against the clock to solve a mysterious murder. Everything indicates that the wealthy industrialist has killed himself, but you smell foul play. The scene is the classic locked-door mystery, and you are the Chief of Detectives. You know that you can't make any mistakes, because the next corpse in the coroner's office might have your name tagged on its toe.
You'll sift through the evidence you've been provided with: the police file on the death of Marshall Robner, a letter from the attorney of the deceased, the coroner's findings, a picture of the scene of the crime, and even the pills found near the body. You've got a 12-hour time limit to solve the case, in which you must interrogate suspects and track down the killer. But if you arrest someone, you've got to have proof of the three traditional elements of an ironclad case: a motive, a method and an opportunity to commit the crime.
Deadline puts you at the scene of the crime as you examine suspects for motives and alibis. You've based your suspicion on a hunch, but only clues will give you the hard facts.
There are over a dozen possible endings to the story but you determine the conclusion. Only one ending best fits the facts and you'll know who is guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt if your sleuthing is up to snuff.
The New York Times called Deadline "an amazing feat of programming," while Softalk magazine complemented, "If the Mystery Writers of America gave an award for Best Fiction in Software, Deadline would win in a walk..."
Infidel, Starcross and Deadline are available for a wide assortment of personal computers. Consult the price list in the center of this newsletter to find a complete listing. Please note that on some systems, quantities are limited. These titles -- Infidel, Starcross and Deadline -- are offered at the special price of $14.95 exclusively through Infocom.
May 1 was a red letter day for me. I turned thirty, finished writing Stationfall, and began the vacation that my wife and I had been planning for months and dreaming of for years: a multi-week cross-country drive. Boston to San Francisco. Eleven National Parks. The awesome beauty of the American West.
Betty, my wife, was able to get away from work for only two weeks, so I left a week earlier. She would be flying to Rapid City, SD, to meet me. In Pittsburgh, I picked up Jerry Wolper, former Infocommie and co-author of Cutthroats, who would be accompanying me through Minneapolis.
As we departed the Smoky City, the vast farmlands of Ohio beckoning, we decided to take a mild detour in order to visit that small town where Leather Goddesses of Phobos begins: Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
Although I had chosen Upper Sandusky as the starting point for Leather Goddesses, I'd never been there and knew virtually nothing about it. After I finished writing Leather Goddesses, I wondered if I would get letters from Infocom fans in Upper Sandusky, delighted to see their town immortalized in the annals of interactive fiction. After six months, no such letters had appeared.
We approached Upper Sandusky from the south. About five miles outside town, in the middle of the flat Ohio farmland, a large billboard assaulted our view. "Upper Sandusky," it read, "The place to be!" Below, the billboard listed the features of the town, adding, "No, it's not on Lake Erie!" This last line was presumably a reference to the larger and more well-known city, Sandusky. (Sandusky lies on Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Sandusky River. Upper Sandusky is in central Ohio, fifty or a hundred miles upriver.)
Upper Sandusky, occupying a few square blocks around the intersection of routes 199 and 30, is a sleepy little town, reminiscent of Andy Griffith's Mayberry. We had two goals for the visit: seeing if there was a Joe's Bar in town (since that's where the opening scene of Leather Goddesses takes place), and finding a computer store.
While buying postcards at the old-fashioned drugstore/newsstand in the center of town, we borrowed a telephone directory (about the size of an InvisiClues booklet). First the bad news: of the four taverns in Upper Sandusky, none were named Joe's Bar. The good news: There WAS a computer store, on the outskirts of town -- a block away, that is.
It was now a few minutes past 5pm, and Computers Plus of Ohio had a sign on the door saying CLOSED. The door was unlocked, however, so (being good adventurers) we entered. It was a tiny place, with several computers, a magazine rack, and a small pegboard of software. Most of it was business software; there were only two entertainment products, and everything seemed sort of, well, sort of faded. A young woman appeared from the back room.
YW: I'm sorry, we're closed. I'm only here because I'm still backing up the computers.
SM: I'm not really a customer. We're from Infocom, and we were driving through town, and I was wondering what the Upper Sandusky computer store was like.
SM: Infocom. I wrote a game that was set in Upper Sandusky...
YW: (trying to look interested) Oh, really...?
SM: Infocom. It's owned by Activision...
SM: Well, we'll be going now...
So, that was Upper Sandusky. No brass bands, no key from the Mayor, no banners proclaiming "Welcome, Author of Leather Goddesses of Phobos." Why does reality have to intrude on life so often?
[Editor's epilogue: Steve Meretzky wasn't the only one interested in Upper Sandusky, and don't expect this to be the last you've heard of Upper Sandusky. The story continues on a steamy afternoon when Mike Dornbrook was being interviewed for an article in The Wall Street Journal (6/11/87 pg. 27). Reporter Dave Sullivan, of the WSJ Pittsburgh office saw the article, and, like Steve, wanted to find out Upper Sandusky's response to Leather Goddesses. After doing heavy research into his story, he found, as did Steve, that Upper Sandusky had no response to Leather Goddesses.
Mayor Don Hall of Upper Sandusky found out about Infocom's hit game at this point, and was perplexed by the apathy. He contacted Debbie Baumann, of the Upper Sandusky Daily Chief-Union, and asked her to find out more about Infocom, Steve, and Leather Goddesses, and to write a story on it. Keep your eyes peeled.]
It took the General but a few short weeks to turn this bunch of lowlifes, sleazebuckets, and marketeers into what InfoScorekeeper Steve "Error?...Nah, let's call it a hit" Meretzky called "the finest, most talented softball machine I've ever seen assembled." Added InfoSuperstar John Arnold, "We can beat the Padres, no sweat!"
When asked what made this team so special, InfoSecondbaseman and Vice President Chris Reeve replied "We've got it all. We've got power. We've got speed. We've got great fielding. We've got style and finesse on the ball field. But what makes this team better than any other is the fact that we've got THE shirts."
What shirts, you ask? Well, InfoShortstop Jeff O'Neill describes them as "Hawaiian shirts on drugs." (He was, of course, driving his yellow Rabbit in left field when we caught up with him for the quote.) InfoRightfielder and tester Max Buxton called them "the best thing since microwaveable frozen Mexican dinners." InfoShortstop and summer PR intern John D'Acierno said that they reminded him of the Summer of Love...Venice Beach...acid...too much rum...
As the shirts debuted on the playing field, busload after busload of smarmy little kids screamed out, "Nice Shirts!" A fad was to be born. (You, too, can own one of these soon-to-be collector's items. See details in your grocer's freezer.)
Meanwhile, back on the field, Infocom's superstars, near-stars, and starlets were shining on and off the field -- InfoCenterfielder Dave Lebling suggested that they were all glowing bright blue. Who can forget those catches by InfoOutfielders Hollywood Dave Anderson and Tom Bok up against the warning tree in center field? And how about the catches that InfoRightfielder and Financial Administrator Diane Morlock almost made in the warning gully in right field? Luckily it wasn't raining or she might never have found her way back onto the field. And let's not forget those tremendous blows by InfoSluggers Micro Hacker John Arnold and Tester Matt Hillman. Perhaps the crowning achievement of the season was the cookout at the home of InfoSlugger and Director of Marketing Mike Dornbrook.
As the season began, the team was to face some tough competition, not the least of which was a weeklong carnival on its practice field. But this team was ready. General Fischer had arranged for this team to scrimmage against Cambridge's most feared softball team -- the 1369 Jazz Club. Week after week, Infocom dug in its spikes against these beer-swilling, cigarette-smoking bar patrons, owners, and tenders. And week after week, Cambridge's finest nightclub team put on the most impressive of exhibitions of softball expertise before pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. Yes, it was true. The high-techsters proved that a well-conditioned mind could defeat a well-conditioned beer-belly in a game of skill. They were ready to take on the league.
Needless to say, the sun started shining on the crew from CambridgePark Drive. InfoLeftfielder and Activision Eastern Region Sales Manager Jack Tretton threw out a Miller Communications player at home on a strike from left field via relay man O'Neill (he wasn't in his car). InfoPitcher and Marketing Assistant Stuart Kirsch had two assists and a putout in one inning against Gold Hill Computers, making the last out from a position familiar only to contortionists. InfoInfielder and Micro Hacker Duncan Blanchard made some sparkling grabs at second base against Venturecom. InfoPinchhitter and Activision Sales Administrative Assistant Tara Dolan had two RBIs in her first plate appearances of the season.
The one thing that seemed to bother the team throughout the season was the bearded guy in the stands who had a big yellow sign that read "John 3:16."
Well, by the time you're reading this, the season is over, the team's mitts are again collecting mold in the store room, the great plays are relived in moments of drunken excitement, the errors are dim memories that somebody else committed. But for those who took part, it was special. Knowing full well that "It Happens Every Spring" InfoPlayers can't wait for the IWL (Indoor Wiffleball League) to start.
To help you on the way to fame, fortune, and a SHIRT, we will tell you that the season had six games. Post-season play featured a wild-card playoff between the fourth and fifth teams, semi-finals, and the championship game. Send your prediction, along with your name and address to The Wave, Infocom, 125 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 by October 1, 1987. (No international deadline.) If more than one correct answer is received, a lottery will be held among all correct entries.
Sometime in January, while the final touches were being added to Lurking Horror, a strange thing occurred. One starless snowbound night two people sat sipping cocktails around a fire. The talk turned to tales of terror and the two moved closer together. Perhaps it was too many hot toddies or too many ghost stories that led to the heated evening between our own creative art genius Carl Genatossio and his wife, Nina, which resulted in the conception of Carl's best package to date. But we will have to wait 'til October to see this masterpiece.
Meanwhile, Imp Steve Meretzky put his snowbound hours to good use trying out new x-rated puzzles with his wife Betty. The long winter left her with a fetish for taking early pregnancy tests. According to Steve "they turned her on." According to their doctor the long months of experimentation produced results that will yield a little one sometime in January. Perhaps Steve will need some help in picking a name for his Pebbles or Bam Bam. Should we have a baby name contest?
Before babies, before Christmas, before The Road Trip, Micro King Tom Veldran was a single man. A few days before the Christmas party Hollywood hijacked TV to New Hampshire on a booze run. Well, driving was hectic, cold and a bottle of Baily's long. Hollywood dropped TV off at home where he was greeted by his girlfriend Lisa. Two hours later on bended knee he lost his bachelorhood, forever. On July twelfth, Tom officially entered Infocom's Baby Race.
Recently our VP of R & D, Chris Reeve and his lady Nancye stole off to the MIT Chapel to exchange vows. Though they had planned this union to be a secret, they didn't get away without an InfoToast and a bottle of champagne for the honeymoon.
The hands-down winner of this year's reproduction award, and not because she knows how to fix the copiers, is our receptionist Mary Ellen O'Connor, who gave birth to her second Infobaby, Jacqueline in June.
Who's next to enter the realm of rapture? Could it be Amy Briggs, author of our new romance Plundered Hearts?
Need advice about love or romance in the world of computers? Write me, Dear Diary, c/o The Status Line.
Here's how it works: included are two questions from the hardest puzzles of Hollywood Hijinx and Bureaucracy -- but the answers have been encrypted (Ollie North would be proud). It's a simple substitution cypher with the encryption key on page 3. You can either: use the key to decrypt the VisiClues you need; crack the encryption key to solve the clues you need; or crack the key for the fun of it.
How can I deposit a negative check?
A. Bsinfocotp g tspgcoms resrw of uows zocebygzotp infocoms qntsa.
And qdfc rnmsy ces jgugtrs xynq andy grrndtc.
B. Bsinfocotp infocoms qntsa of ces fgqs gf g tspgcoms zocebygzgu.
C. Czn zyntpf qgws g yopec gtb czn tspgcomsf qgws g infocoms.
D. Cya zocebygzotp ces tspgcoms resrw.
E. Ces zocebygzgu csuusy rgt'c egtbus resrwf. Rntbdrc ces cygtfgrcont gc ces bsinfoc zotbnz.
F. Cn bsinfoc ces tspgcoms resrw (xny g infocoms gqndtc cn andy grrndtc) xouu ndc ces zocebygzgu fuoi gtb egtb oc cn ces bsinfoc csuusy guntp zoce ces tspgcoms resrw.
How do I navigate the switchgear maze?
A. Idc ces dtugjsusb rgycyobps ces vgugpgfgtf pgms and ot ces
B. Cais iyotcj, iyotcr, iyotcb gtb iyotcs ot ces iynisy nybsy cn psc g qsffgps.
C. Usccsyf j ceyndpe s nrrdy sufszesys.
D. Ces qgou egb infcgu fcorwsyf j ceyndpe s.
E. Bn ces iyotcf ot ces nybsy and iorwsb di ces qgou fcorwsyf (inidugy igygtnog, xuasy, rndint jnnwusc, stmsunis).
F. Ysgb ces qsffgps msycorguua cn dtbsyfcgtb oc.
How do I get inside Aunt Hildegarde's house?
A. Gc ces jspottotp, zguw sgfc ny zsfc, cest fndce.
B. Tncors cegc ces fcgcds of xgrotp g boxxsystc boysrcont.
C. And rgt cdyt ces fcgcds ot gta boysrcont, uows g rnqjotgcont unrw bogu.
D. Guu and tssb of ces rnqjotgcont.
E. Xotb gta rnqigff boysrcontf ot gta pgqs qgcsyoguf?
F. Ces insq nt dtrus jdbba'f iencn qstcontf ceyss boysrcontf zoceot ces qnmos cocusf.
G. Cdyt ces fcgcds ot cesfs boysrcontf cn dtunrw ces xyntc bnny.
I know there's a room above the second floor. How do I get there?
A. Dfs ces runfsc/susmgcny cn psc cesys.
B. Smsy jsst nt cni nx ces runfsc ja stcsyotp ces runfsc bnny nts xunny gjnms ces susmgcny?
C. Ox ces runfsc qnmsb cn ces fsrntb xunny zeous and zsys nt cni, and'b js gc ces gccor!
D. And rgt'c grcomgcs ces susmgcny rntcynuf xynq ces cni nx ces runfsc.
E. Iduu g runfsc isq gtb ysgb ces bsfryoicont msya runfsua.
F. Ces runfsc bnsft'c qnms dtcou ces isp of ysusgfsb. Zest ces isp ftgif jgrw di, ces susmgcny of grcomgcsb.
G. And tssb g coqotp bsmors cn enub bnzt ces ceoyb isp dtcou and rgt psc nt cni nx ces runfsc.
H. Rgysxduua slgqots ces jdrwsc.
I. Oc'f ydfcotp ceyndpe, cesysxnys oc'f usgwa.
J. Xouu ces jdrwsc zoce zgcsy gc pgybst, tnyce. Hdorwua yscdyt cn runfsc (ceyndpe igcon bnny), egtp ces jdrwsc nt ces ceoyb isp, pn cn ces cni nx ces runfsc, gtb zgoc xny ces runfsc cn qnms dizgyp.
|N nitfol||T tinsot||S snavig|
|A aimfiz||H helistar||O ozmoo|
|M meef||E espnis||N nitfol|
|O open||D diagnose|
|F fooble||E espnis|
The answer to "Name the Son of Delbor" is Barbel (of Gurth). This information comes from the cards in the Spellbreaker package.
There were 369 entries, of which 352 (95.4%) were correct. This was the most correct entries to a puzzle since Puzzle #4. Wrong answers ranged all over the Zork/Enchanter universe: Belboz, Dimwit Flathead, Frobar, Largoneth, Vardik, The Circle of Enchanters. A few people simply submitted "Name the Son of Delbor" as the answer. The most puzzling answer was "The Spell of Speed." Finally, Nick Esposito of Jericho, New York, told us that the answer was "42" with a parenthetical note explaining "Unfortunately, your question was wrong. Therefore you do not win a Nick Esposito T-shirt. Try again next month. Sorry."
25 winners were randomly selected from the 352 people who know their Enchanter cards. Those 25 are: Jeff Paull, Audubon Park, NJ; Gary Makin, Northmead, NSW, Australia; Richard Montoro, Montreal, Canada; William Sushon, Sr., Neshanic Station, NJ; Ron Coleman, Jacksonville, FL; Cheryl Wise, Stow, OH; Lawrence Pedersen, Atlanta, GA; Anne McDonald, Evanston, IL; Trista Barsumian, Newburgh, IN; Marian Devers, Chicago, IL; Fred Nemec, Tustin, CA; Michael Galginaitis, Johnson City, NY; Norman Burk, Medina, OH; Justin Politi, Franklin, MI; Sharon Berman, Buffalo, NY; Harald Smit, Indianapolis, IN; Rob Moser, Mountain View, CA; Phil Murray, Springport, MI; Pat Miller, Ann Arbor, MI; D.J. Johnstone, Belen, NM; Joe Hruska, Fairbanks, AK; Mark Fujimoto, Pearl City, HI; Carol Hodgeman, Cincinatti, OH; Ken DeCruyenaere, Winnipeg, Canada; and Sherene Aram, Concord, MA.
Tell us, in twenty-five words or less, how you would interest a friend in interactive fiction, if he or she had never even heard of it before. We want to get more people excited about our games, so much so that we are willing to give $250 to the person whose description we judge to be the best. Second prize is two Infocom games of your choice. Third prize is one game of your choice.
All entries must be postmarked on or before October 31, 1987. (International deadline is February 1, 1988. Two games will be awarded for the best description.) All descriptions become the exclusive property of Infocom, Inc. Void where prohibited, taxed or severely frowned upon. Send your name, address, age, description and game choices along with the type of computer you use.
Return your entry (or all the requested information on rice paper written in red ink with an ostrich quill) to: The Status Line, Infocom, 125 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140 Attention: Razzels.
Include with your entry your name, address, phone number, age, T-shirt size, choice of game and system.
Employees of Infocom, their immediate families, and next-door neighbors are excluded. Entries must be postmarked by November 15, 1987. (No special overseas deadline.) Void where prohibited, taxed, or where repressive governments imprison you for entering contests. The decisions of the judges will be final, and the judges CANNOT be bribed by any amount of money, so don't even try.
Mail your entry to: A Contest Named Desire, Infocom, 125 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140.
So, for Puzzle #15, we're doing a reprise of the extremely popular Puzzle #9. The excerpts below are from hypothetical works of interactive fiction, based on movies and TV shows. Your task is to determine the name of the character you play in each excerpt. Both the first and last names are required (when they exist). The name of the actor is acceptable only if it is the same as the character played. (For example, Howard Cosell in Bananas, or Flipper in his TV show.) To get you started, we begin with an example:
The Set This is the single location of this game. Near you is a board of white rectangles. Several of these rectangles have letters on them. Pat is standing next to a huge spinner. On one side of the spinner sits Irwin, a nerdy man with a bow tie; on the other side is Freida, a vapid young woman wearing a paisley polyester dress. Gayle is in the middle. >READ THE BOARD "THE HITCHHI-ER'S G-IDE TO THE GALA-Y" The vapid woman says, "I'd like to buy a U." >TURN OVER THE U With exquisite grace and style, you reveal the U. The audience, appreciative of your perfect form, applauds wildly. The board now reads, "THE HITCHHI-ER'S GUIDE TO THE GALA-Y." The vapid woman looks vapidly at the board, completely stumped.Answer: Vanna White
Jets of gas puff from the front of the space pod as it glides to a halt in front of the huge round doors. >TURN ON THE RADIO The radio is now on. >HAL, OPEN THE POD BAY DOOR Nothing happens. >AGAIN HAL responds quietly, "I'm afraid I can't do that. This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it." >OPEN THE CLAWS The exterior grasping extensions open, releasing the body of Frank Poole. The body begins drifting away.
Theatre Lobby This is the plush anteroom where people wait to be seated by the ushers. The theatre lies to the south. You notice the New York Times' theatre critic nearby. The crowd continues to stream into the theatre. >BRIBE THE TIMES' THEATRE CRITIC You slip the critic a fifty. Incensed, he hurls the bill at your feet and storms into the theatre. >ENTER THE THEATRE Rear of Theatre You are in the Standing Room Only section of the theatre. The stage is quite a distance away, to the south. Your partner, Leo Bloom, is here. The band plays the Overture. Leo's excitement bubbles over, and he yells, "This is it!" >LEO, SHUT UP Leo shuts up. The overture ends and the curtain rises. The chorus begins to sing, "Germany was having trouble, what a sad, sad story..."
Lagoon This is the island's tiny cove. The wrecked hull of the Minnow is beached on the shore. A path runs into the jungle. >FOLLOW THE PATH Clearing This is an open area between the four huts, which lie in the four cardinal directions. A path leads into the jungle. The professor is here, fiddling with a radio. >EAST Your Hut This is a large grass hut with two beds. A door of finely-woven straw leads west. Your wife is here, fussing with her make-up. There is a large trunk here. The trunk contains oodles and oodles of money.
Jungle Dense jungle, somewhere outside the American border, crawling with enemies. >EXAMINE ENEMIES Well, they're probably enemies. None of them have Bibles or American flags. Yeah, that's it, they must be Socialists or maybe Communists or Buddhists or Satirists or one of those "-ists." >INVENTORY You have dark brown hair, a bandana (being worn), a .45, three Uzi's, a huge butcher's knife, a rocket launcher (loaded), and one small thermonuclear device. >KILL ENEMIES Unleashing everything in your arsenal, you defoliate the surrounding nine thousand acres and rescue a group of POW's who are grateful to see you despite a decade of intense Commie brainwashing. Amazingly you remain unscathed. When the dust clears, you note that all the enemies are dead. You have won.
Tower You are at the highest peak of the Castle Anthrax. A winding stone stair leads down. Your identical twin sister, Dingo, is here. >LIGHT THE GRAIL-SHAPED BEACON You set fire to the beacon, which is indeed grail-shaped. >DOWN Entrance Hall This is the castle entryway. A massive wooden door to the west is closed. A hall of rough-hewn stone leads east, and a stair winds up into the tower. You hear a loud pounding from the door, and a hoarse voice bellows, "In the name of King Arthur, open the door!" >OPEN THE DOOR As the door opens, Sir Galahad, drenched and exhausted, tumbles into the castle.
Inside the Vault You are standing just inside the entrance to the main vault of Fort Knox. The massive steel door lies open. There is an atom bomb here. Your faithful servant, Odd Job, is standing nearby, looking inscrutable. Odd Job is holding a killer hat. James Bond is here, disarmed. The last of the gold bars are being loaded into the truck. >ODD JOB, HANDCUFF BOND TO THE ATOM BOMB Odd Job smiles, inscrutably, and begins cuffing Bond to the bomb. You hear gunfire from outside the fort. >OUT. CLOSE THE DOOR. Outside the Vault The gunfire is now much closer. You press the buttons which cause the vault door to swing shut, trapping Bond and Odd Job inside.
Your office This is your tiny office, with desk, typewriter, files, and telephone. Doors lead in, to the north, and out, to the south. Your intercom buzzes. >IN Mr. Drysdale's Office This is a large, richly appointed office, with a handsome hardwood desk, some plush chairs, and a couch. A door leads out to the south. Mr. Drysdale is behind his desk, looking upset. Jed Clampett is seated in one of the plush chairs. >WAIT Time passes... "We've promised this fella he could have all our money if he cures granny's lumbago," explains Jed. Mr. Drysdale looks faint. "All...all the money?" he gasps.
Potter's Office This is a dim, suffocating office. A door to the west leads to the bank lobby. A goon pushes Mr. Potter's wheelchair into the room. "So," cackles Potter, "A slight discrepancy in your company's books, I hear." >ASK POTTER FOR MONEY Potter chuckles evilly. "Do you have any collateral?" he asks. >INVENTORY You are carrying an insurance policy and Zuzu's petals. >SHOW INSURANCE POLICY TO POTTER Potter sneers at the policy. "Ha! You're worth more dead than alive!" >BEG "You once called me a warped, frustrated old man," crows Potter. "What are you but a warped, frustrated young man?" Grinning broadly, Potter picks up the phone. "I'm going to call the bank examiner and swear out a warrant for your arrest," he explains.
ANSWERS: 1.____________________________________________________ 2.____________________________________________________ 3.____________________________________________________ 4.____________________________________________________ 5.____________________________________________________ 6.____________________________________________________ 7.____________________________________________________ 8.____________________________________________________ Name: ______________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ T-shirt size (S, M, L, XL): __________Prize: The classic edition of the New Zork Times Puzzle Winner T-Shirt!
|Send to:||Infocom, Inc., The Status Line Puzzle
125 CambridgePark Drive
Cambridge, MA 02140
Puzzle Rules: 1. All entries must be submitted on this form or a photocopy of this form. 2. Entries must be received by November 15, 1987. 2a. International entries (see page 3) must be received by February 15, 1988. 3. Limit of one entry per person. 4. All entries must be mailed separately. 5. Up to 25 prizes will be awarded. If more than 25 correct entries are received, a drawing will be held to determine the winners. 6. Infocom employees, their families, and their pet yaks are ineligible. 7. Void where prohibited by law.
Stuart A. Kirsch, Editor-in-Chief
Hollywood Dave Anderson, Managing Editor
Contributing Editors: Amy Briggs,
Steve Meretzky, Curtis Montague,
Contributing Non-Editors: Gary Brennan,
John D'Acierno, Matt Hillman, Mark Jones,
Diane Morlock, Tom Veldran
Non-Contributing Editors: Stu Galley,
Jon Palace, Debbie Reilly, Gayle Syska
Tom Bok, Russ Ceccola
© 1987 Infocom, Inc.
Zork, Enchanter, Deadline, The Witness, Starcross, Suspended, Planetfall,
Infidel, Seastalker, Cutthroats, Suspect, Trinity and Wishbringer are
registered trademarks of Infocom, Inc. Hollywood Hijinx, Moonmist, Leather
Goddesses of Phobos, Ballyhoo, Sorcerer, Spellbreaker, A Mind Forever
Voyaging, Bureaucracy, Stationfall, The Lurking Horror, Plundered Hearts,
Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It, Cornerstone, Fooblitzky,
Tales of Adventure, Interactive Fiction Plus and InvisiClues are trademarks
of Infocom, Inc. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a trademark of
125 CambridgePark Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140
Zork, Enchanter, Deadline, The Witness, Starcross, Suspended, Planetfall, Infidel, Seastalker, Cutthroats, Suspect, Trinity and Wishbringer are registered trademarks of Infocom, Inc. Hollywood Hijinx, Moonmist, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Ballyhoo, Sorcerer, Spellbreaker, A Mind Forever Voyaging, Bureaucracy, Stationfall, The Lurking Horror, Plundered Hearts, Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It, Cornerstone, Fooblitzky, Tales of Adventure, Interactive Fiction Plus and InvisiClues are trademarks of Infocom, Inc. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a trademark of Douglas Adams.
Thanks to André St-Aubin for transcribing and HTML-izing this issue.