Adventure Contest Winners
Fusebox, Beachcomber and Discovery Incident
Article by Carolyn Cushman, Antic Assistant Editor
When Antic published David Wooley's Adventure Works article in the April, 1989 issue, we challenged readers to come up with their own text adventures, based on Wooley's sample. We received a number of impressive entries and had an enjoyable time picking out the most entertaining of the bunch.
Although most of entries had fantasy adventures, two of the adventures that showed the most dramatic - and most imaginative improvements had very prosaic scenarios. The object of Ray Irish's Fusebox is to change a fuse. Beachcomber by J.G. Ulman takes you to the beach and boardwalk for a tricky seaside treasure hunt.
But for a science fiction adventure, David Woolley himself returns with The Discovery Incident, a mystery - adventure that puts you on an abandoned spaceship with an unknown alien threat.
You'll find all three text adventures on this month's Antic Disk. Separate HELP files with lists of verbs, etc. are provided for Fusebox and Discovery Incident. Beachcomber includes such information as part of its title-screen sequence.
Since these are BASIC programs, you can RUN them directly from the Antic Disk. But if you want to SAVE your game to disk you will need to copy the text adventure to another disk containing the DOS.SYS file. Both Fusebox and Discovery Incident will let you SAVE your game. All three games require a minimum of 48K memory.
As in our original sample adventure, most commands require a VERB/NOUN combination, such as EXAMINE BED or FLUSH TOILET.
In all three games, direction commands require only a single letter. To move north, south, east or west type N, S, E or W. Our testers found this modification particularly handy - typing GO and a direction every time you move gets tedious soon.
And now, here are the storylines for the winning games:
Late one night you find yourself alone in your new home using all of your modem electrical home appliances at the same time. Not a wise thing to do, however, because you just blew a fuse. It's up to you to restore electric power to your cozy home. Sounds easy? Think again! You don't even know your way around your new house, much less where anything is. You can't even find your cat, who's been missing since you moved in. . .
Fusebox author Ray Irish added some fancy screens and special effects that almost make dying worth it. To make things trickier, the listing has been encrypted by the author. You can't just read the program listing to figure out the objects and commands you need.
Fusebox has relatively few rooms to explore, but a lot is packed into those few rooms. It's a good idea to make a map, so you don't miss anything. Most of the things you find do something - if the command you use doesn't work, try another.
Ray Irish of Federal Way, Washington is 20 years old. His interests include Japanese comics and animation, British science fiction television, Christian metal music and restoring his 1964 Olds Cutlass convertible. To top it off, he currently works for Toys `R Us.
To play Beachcomber, RUN BEACH.BAS from this month's Antic Disk. Beachcomber opens with a handy information screen full of commands and a short scenario. Then press [RETURN] and the actual adventure (in the file BEACH.GAM) will RUN.
Among other modifications in this adventure, you can drop items and come back to them - but items left unattended may well be stolen. There's also a number of things you can't do unless you do something else first, adding to the challenge of the game. If it seems that the shops on the boardwalk are all closed, keep exploring. At worst you'll just have to retreat to your hotel, sun-burnt and thirsty, without your treasures.
What makes Beachcomber particularly interesting is the tricky solutions some of the problems require. You'll find some things you need with ease, while others prove maddeningly elusive. Once you solve the various puzzles, you should be able to complete the adventure in about 15 minutes - but don't expect to be able to do so the first time out, or even the fourth.
David Woolley, author of the original Escape From Barnaby's Isle, returns with a science fiction mystery, the Discovery Incident. You're the captain of the starship Discovery, and you just awakened in the ship's infirmary - with a slight case of amnesia. Your crew has disappeared, and there's a strange, alien cannister in the launch bay. It's up to you to figure out what happened and save Earth from an alien threat.
The Discovery Incident is on the Antic Disk as ADVENT.BAS. This text adventure even includes a menu and a special "high tech" character set. If you prefer the standard Atari characters, you can SWAP SETS from the menu.