Monday, March 07, 2005

You Are In a Non-Descript Room

A good friend of mine - and by good friend I mean demented sociopath that won't leave me alone - recently linked me to Habeus Dorkus, an amusing online text adventure starring Harvey Birdman. Using the old Infocom text adventures as a foundation and an eclectic mixture of mind-altering substances as inspiration, the game challenges you to explore a world entirely described by text. It's an amusing diversion and as far as I'm concerned, any game that enables you to capture miniature prostitutes (hint: use the shrink gun) is completely worthy of mention. Now, playing a game that assaults the player with reams of text may sound archaic and unpleasant to some, but there was a time when that passed as legitimate entertainment. All you needed was a good story and a healthy dose of...



Of course, there is an inherent danger involved with text adventures. The ones that had slightly lower aspirations often recreated the feeling of being trapped in a foreign country without a means of translation. Communicating even the most basic concept became an impossibility, resulting in a flurry of waving arms and strained vocal chords - a situation that applies both to the metaphor and poor text adventures. Indeed, the latter construction can destroy a man's soul if left unchecked.

You are in a non-descript room.
>> look room
You are in a non-descript room.
>> examine room
There is a table.
>> look table
The table resembles a small table, with several table-like qualities.
>> examine table
There is a button.
>> look button
The button practically begs to be pressed.
>> press button
Invalid command
>> push button
Invalid command
>> use button
Invalid command
>> stomp button
Invalid command
>> lovingly caress button
Invalid command
>> savagely slam button
Invalid command
>> punch button
Invalid command
>> vehemently abuse button
Invalid command
>> obliterate button with mighty fists of rage
You successfully activate the...no wait, Invalid command.
>> examine button
There is no button.
>> yes there is
No, there isn't.
>> it was just there a moment ago
You are delusional.
>> fine look under table
You see a swirling vortex of interdimensional translucence looking upon a world torn between untouched beauty and industrial terror.
>> enter vortex
Invalid command
>> jump through vortex
Invalid command
>> crawl towards vortex
Invalid command
>> is there a vortex
No.
>> examine room
There is a computer, connected to a monitor and keyboard. It is switched on.
>> examine computer
You read the following text on the screen. "You are in a non-descript room."
>> type look room

And that would be the point where you type "commit suicide" in the command prompt of life.

8 Comments:

Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Hilarious as always. Of course, I'm a demented sociopath, so the value of this comment is dabatable.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Rx King said...

Apparently they won't let you open the bartender and burrow out a small home in his torso. They call this an adventure?!

8:13 AM  
Blogger Rohit said...

This is a non-descript comment

6:38 PM  
Blogger Lia said...

I think I've played that game. It's called The Red Room, and supposedly there's a way out if you only spend enough time looking for it. Except that there isn't. Or maybe I just haven't spent enough time looking for it. But I've spent a lot of time on it. Even more than I've spent reading sociopathic blogs, which of course are generally more interesting than the non-sociopathic variety.
I wonder if there's something wrong with me.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Heya.

I love it! I went there and played for a while, thanks for sharing the link. I've also played that Red Room, made me want to kill kittens afterwards.

Added you to my blog, come visit me if you're bored and in need of more boredom.

12:14 AM  
Blogger jenn see said...

there was a Hamlet one floating around at one point. "eat bat" / "you eat the bat" etc. is somehow more poignant in Shakespeare.

i think you could undress Ophelia too...

11:13 PM  
Blogger jenn see said...

it's very zen, or maybe escheresque.
"you can't fool me. it's turtles all the way down."

post-script: you get coolness bonus points for using Vash as your profile pic.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Christopher Willard author of Garbage Head said...

Why Jump to conclusions when you can Walk to conclusions. People are always in such a rush.
push button
invalid command
push button
invalid command
oh I get it.
push button
invalid command

6:29 PM  

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