IF games that are versions/adaptations of literary works

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Dennis G. Jerz

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Feb 27, 2001, 4:57:36 PM2/27/01
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Duncan Stevens wrote, in his review of "Nevermore,"

> Literary adaptation is an underpopulated IF genre...

What others come to mind? I can think of:

Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Nelson, "The Tempest"
Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"

Duncan replied:
> There's Shogun, a late Infocom game. No others come to mind, though.

Anybody else?

--
Dennis G. Jerz, Ph.D.; (715)836-2431
Dept. of English; U Wisc.-Eau Claire
419 Hibbard, Eau Claire, WI 54702
------------------------------------
Literacy Weblog: www.uwec.edu/jerzdg


Adam Cadre

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Feb 27, 2001, 7:49:48 PM2/27/01
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Dennis G. Jerz wrote:
> What others come to mind?

Textfire Golf is an adaptation of the play of the same name by
Aeschylus.

-----
Adam Cadre, Sammamish, WA
web site: http://adamcadre.ac
novel: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060195584/adamcadreac

Robb Sherwin

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Feb 27, 2001, 8:18:14 PM2/27/01
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On Tue, 27 Feb 2001 15:57:36 -0600, "Dennis G. Jerz" <Jer...@uwec.edu>
wrote:

>Duncan Stevens wrote, in his review of "Nevermore,"
>> Literary adaptation is an underpopulated IF genre...
>What others come to mind? I can think of:
>Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
>Nelson, "The Tempest"
>Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"
>Duncan replied:
>> There's Shogun, a late Infocom game. No others come to mind, though.
>Anybody else?

Infocom (well, Westwood Associates under the Infocom name) did the
Circuit's Edge, which was based on "When Gravity Fails" by George Alec
Effinger.

"Fahrenheit 451" was also done, but from what I've read about it, it
doesn't exactly follow the book that closely.

There's also a non-commercial Red Dwarf IF game that is based on one
of the Red Dwarf novels.

Robb

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Robb Sherwin, Fort Collins CO
Reviews From Trotting Krips: http://ifiction.tsx.org
Knight Orc Home Page: www.geocities.com/~knightorc

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 27, 2001, 8:26:40 PM2/27/01
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In article <3A9C4B...@adamcadre.ac>,

Adam Cadre <re...@adamcadre.ac> wrote:
>Dennis G. Jerz wrote:
>> What others come to mind?
>Textfire Golf is an adaptation of the play of the same name by
>Aeschylus.

That's odd. I was under the distinct impression that Justin T. Adams
slept through his Classical Greek Theatre class, as it was MWF 8AM, and
he was always hideously hung over from his cheap frat-boy keg beer. In
fact, his most distinguished academic performance in that class (some
would say in his entire college career) was a free interpretation of
Aristophanes, as he eructated "Brek-ek-ek-ek, co-ax, co-ax!" while
vomiting Milwaukee's Best Lite across his horrified classmates and
professors.

Adam
--
ad...@princeton.edu
"My eyes say their prayers to her / Sailors ring her bell / Like a moth
mistakes a light bulb / For the moon and goes to hell." -- Tom Waits

David Samuel Myers

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Feb 27, 2001, 10:28:31 PM2/27/01
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Seems that not too many authors want (1) to be seen as unoriginal, (2) to
even come near touching on copyright infringement of a modern novel, even
if that is unrealistic, or even if framed as a clear parody, or (3) to
deal with the fact that a well know book that has been read by a lot of
people is going to give you problems in hiding the ending from the IF
player.

_Nevermore_ is almost a perfect example of how to do it right, though. I
agree with Duncan this is a ripe area. I can envision many works of
literary fiction which could be adapted for IF, in which the player is
sort of running around in the world which is modeled after the one created
by the real author in the book. In that respect, Nevermore worked for me.
The plot won't always have to be identical, and maybe best if we say it
usually WON'T be. I see this avenue as having a potentially rich upside.
[Hey, you could even see the evolution of an "Adapted Screenplay" award at
some point, one day].

-david

ps- Has this come up before on this group? (I searched groups.google for
"adapt book" on r*if, got only the "Works that should NOT be done as IF"
thread, which didn't really close this line of thought.)


Dennis G. Jerz <Jer...@uwec.edu> wrote:

Martin Julian DeMello

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Feb 28, 2001, 3:33:51 AM2/28/01
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Dennis G. Jerz <Jer...@uwec.edu> wrote:
> Duncan Stevens wrote, in his review of "Nevermore,"

>> Literary adaptation is an underpopulated IF genre...

> What others come to mind? I can think of:

> Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
> Nelson, "The Tempest"
> Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"

> Duncan replied:
>> There's Shogun, a late Infocom game. No others come to mind, though.

> Anybody else?

Lots of games based on both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Also a couple of graphical CYOAs based on the Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole,
back in the microcomputer era (never actually played them, but Acorn User
gave them a bad review)

--
Martin DeMello

Anonymous

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Feb 28, 2001, 4:13:30 AM2/28/01
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Martin Julian DeMello wrote in message <97id5f$k0q$2...@joe.rice.edu>...

We also have :-

Rendezvous With Rama (rated as being a bit pants)
Treasure Island (pretty good, but I can't find it anymore)

I was also sure I saw one "based" on "Men are from Mars, Women are from
Venus", but I never read the book so I wasn't sure how close it was.

Graeme Porter


chab...@nospamujf-grenoble.fr

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Feb 28, 2001, 4:55:21 AM2/28/01
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In article <97h7sr$rf2$1...@wiscnews.wiscnet.net>,

"Dennis G. Jerz" <Jer...@uwec.edu> writes:
|> Duncan Stevens wrote, in his review of "Nevermore,"
|>
|> > Literary adaptation is an underpopulated IF genre...
|>
|> What others come to mind? I can think of:
|>
|> Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
|> Nelson, "The Tempest"
|> Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"
|>
|> Duncan replied:
|> > There's Shogun, a late Infocom game. No others come to mind, though.
|>
|> Anybody else?

I am not sure it would be considered as text adventure
(there are pictures), but there is also Gateway (I and II)
from Legend. They are based on novels written by Frederick Pohl.

Marie-Line Chabanol

Sean T Barrett

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Feb 28, 2001, 7:09:30 AM2/28/01
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David Samuel Myers <dmy...@ic.sunysb.edu> wrote:
>Seems that not too many authors want (1) to be seen as unoriginal, (2) to
>even come near touching on copyright infringement of a modern novel, even
>if that is unrealistic, or even if framed as a clear parody, or (3) to
>deal with the fact that a well know book that has been read by a lot of
>people is going to give you problems in hiding the ending from the IF
>player.

or (4) want to face the essentially impossible challenge of adapting
from a non-interactive medium to an interactive one.

Novels, plays, and movies all are much more closely related media
insofar as how the audience relates to the works than any of them
are to IF. Not all novels will make for a good movie; no surprise,
then, that this is even moreso true of IF. One can of course create
a new work which is interactive, but the degree to which such a work
is an "adaptation" in the same sense it is usually meant is quite
questionable; "drawing material from" seems far more appropriate to
something like "Nevermore".

It would make far more sense for IF authors to attempt to adapt
from media that are closer to IF, e.g. media which are interactive.
The stunning success[*] of the IF Arcade suggests to me that this
is a much more appropriate avenue for exploration.

SeanB
[*] while this comment is a joke--I don't see any XYZZY nominations--
it is interesting to note to what degree some of those works DO truely
seem to be adaptations in the sense of "giving you the same experience
in a different medium"; of course, the most interesting of the works
are the ones whose experience is the most removed while simultaneously
consistent with the original, but this simply reflects how lacking the
originals are as fiction.

Gunther Schmidl

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Feb 28, 2001, 3:51:08 AM2/28/01
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>
> What others come to mind? I can think of:
>
[...]

Counting graphical games and very loose adaptions:

Michael Crichton adapted his own "Congo" (as both text under the name of
"Amazon" and as a graphic adventure named "Congo: Descent into Zinj") and
now also his latest novel, Timeline (graphic).

Arthur (well, only sort of) and Sherlock, by Infocom (both text+graphics).
There were also innumerable other Sherlock Holmes games, both textual and
graphical.

Gateway 1 and 2 and Wheel of Time by Legend Entertainment (two
text+graphics, one 3D shooter with a good storyline).

Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" by Cyberdreams
(graphic).

Sierra's "Rendezvous with Rama" (graphical, but there's a text adventure by
someone else).

Stephen King's "The Mist" (text).

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (text).

Sierra's "Winnie the Pooh" (graphic).

... and that's just the ones I can come up with without looking anything up
:-)

-- Gunther


Jake Wildstrom

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Feb 28, 2001, 7:58:32 AM2/28/01
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In article <97ifni$ctq$1...@pheidippides.axion.bt.co.uk>,

Anonymous <gu...@anonymous.com> wrote:
>Treasure Island (pretty good, but I can't find it anymore)

If that's the one I'm thinking of (Windham Classics), the same company
did IF presentations of The Wizard of Oz (really, WoO and Ozma rolled
into one) and the Swiss Family Robinson. They also did Alice in
Woderland and Below the Root, but not in a form of the sort normally
considered IF (nor particularly faithful to the works they were based
on).

I don't think anybody's mentioned "Sherlock" yet, either.

+--First Church of Briantology--Order of the Holy Quaternion--+
| A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into |
| theorems. -Paul Erdos |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| Jake Wildstrom |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+

Neil Cerutti

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Feb 28, 2001, 8:06:56 AM2/28/01
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Dennis G. Jerz posted:

>Duncan Stevens wrote, in his review of "Nevermore,"
>
>> Literary adaptation is an underpopulated IF genre...
>
>What others come to mind? I can think of:
>
>Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
>Nelson, "The Tempest"
>Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"
>
>Duncan replied:
>> There's Shogun, a late Infocom game. No others come to mind, though.
>
>Anybody else?

Crap Nebula, 90% of the games in the msdos directory are based on
some book or other. ;-)

--
Neil Cerutti <cer...@together.net>
perl le python

Will Grzanich

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Feb 28, 2001, 12:32:04 PM2/28/01
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Jake Wildstrom wrote:
>
> I don't think anybody's mentioned "Sherlock" yet, either.

And didn't Graham Nelson do an adaptation of "The Tempest" for one of
the comps a while back?

-Will

Joe Mason

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Feb 28, 2001, 12:37:38 PM2/28/01
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In article <3a9c5587.151538325@news>,

Robb Sherwin <bea...@zombieworld.com> wrote:
>
>Infocom (well, Westwood Associates under the Infocom name) did the
>Circuit's Edge, which was based on "When Gravity Fails" by George Alec
>Effinger.
>
>"Fahrenheit 451" was also done, but from what I've read about it, it
>doesn't exactly follow the book that closely.

Harlan Ellison adapted "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream".

I don't think the Diskworld, Wheel of Time or Shannara games count, since
they were new stories set in the same world, not adaptations of the actual
books.

There's a Neuromancer game, but I'm not sure if it counts as I-F (haven't
played it).

That's enough for this post, I think.

Joe

TableSaw

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Feb 28, 2001, 1:14:36 PM2/28/01
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>What others come to mind? I can think of:
>
>Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
>Nelson, "The Tempest"
>Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"

How about Magnetic Scrolls' large and rather comprehensive adaptation of
Wonderland?
--
Have you ever heard the cries of the asparagus? Granted, zucchinis are dumb,
but radishes are brilliant.
--Stony McBride

Adam J. Thornton

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Feb 28, 2001, 1:31:08 PM2/28/01
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In article <97id5f$k0q$2...@joe.rice.edu>,

Martin Julian DeMello <mdem...@kennel.ruf.rice.edu> wrote:
>Also a couple of graphical CYOAs based on the Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole,
>back in the microcomputer era (never actually played them, but Acorn User
>gave them a bad review)

>WANK THEN PICK SPOTS THEN OBSESS

Gunther Schmidl

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Feb 28, 2001, 2:31:00 PM2/28/01
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Also, of course, Legend's "Shannara", "Companions of Xanth", "Blackstone
Chronicles" and "Death Gate" (all graphical).

There's also a Xanth text adventure or two.

Level 9's two "Adrian Mole" games (text).

"Frankenstein" and "Dracula" have also been turned into more than one game.

"American McGee's Alice" is basically a sort-of-sequel to the two Alice
books.

More when I think of them. ;-)

-- Gunther


Revol

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Feb 28, 2001, 4:52:24 PM2/28/01
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Dennis G. Jerz <Jer...@uwec.edu> enlightened us all by saying:

> > Literary adaptation is an underpopulated IF genre...
>
> What others come to mind? I can think of:
>
> Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
> Nelson, "The Tempest"
> Rees, "Alice: An Inform Tutorial"

I seem to recall playing several based upon children's stories, including
but probably not limited to Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood,
The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Magnificent Seven and The Wizard Of
Oz (was this a novel or just a film?).

All of these were played on my BBC Micro. I was probably about 5 at the
time. :-) Anyone remember the names of these games? I'd love to have another
crack at some of them...

Revol
--
"When I was about twelve, I used to think I must be a genius but nobody'd
noticed. I thought, 'I'm a genius or I'm mad. Which is it? I can't be mad
because nobody's put me away - therefore I'm a genius.' I mean, a genius is
a form of mad person." - John Lennon


Gunther Schmidl

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Feb 28, 2001, 5:04:33 PM2/28/01
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Yet more:

Games very loosely based on "Robot City" and "The Martian Chronicles". These
are really obscure.

Also, "The Dark Eye" adapts several Poe stories (Berenice, The Cask of
Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart) plus it has readings of Anabell Lee and
The Masque of the Red Death.

-- Gunther


Fraser Wilson

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Feb 28, 2001, 5:29:13 PM2/28/01
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"Dennis G. Jerz" <Jer...@uwec.edu> writes:

> Anybody else?

Jarod's Journey!

Fraser.

John Hill

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Feb 28, 2001, 8:04:02 PM2/28/01
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In article <97jg5c$5u4$1...@cnn.Princeton.EDU>, "Adam J. Thornton"
<ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:

> In article <97id5f$k0q$2...@joe.rice.edu>, Martin Julian DeMello
> <mdem...@kennel.ruf.rice.edu> wrote:
>>Also a couple of graphical CYOAs based on the Secret Diaries of Adrian
>>Mole, back in the microcomputer era (never actually played them, but
>>Acorn User gave them a bad review)
>
>>WANK THEN PICK SPOTS THEN OBSESS
>
> Adam

Note to self: do not read usenet just before supper.

Weird Beard

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Feb 28, 2001, 11:37:34 PM2/28/01
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"Joe Mason" <jcm...@student.math.uwaterloo.ca> wrote in message
news:97jd12$f6l$1...@watserv3.uwaterloo.ca...

> In article <3a9c5587.151538325@news>,
> Robb Sherwin <bea...@zombieworld.com> wrote:
> >

> I don't think the Diskworld, Wheel of Time or Shannara games count, since
> they were new stories set in the same world, not adaptations of the actual
> books.
>

Discworld is an adaptation of Guards! Guards! with bits of Moving Pictures
and Reaper Man thrown in, so it counts at least as much as Hitch-Hiker's.


Weird Beard

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Feb 28, 2001, 11:43:19 PM2/28/01
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"Gunther Schmidl" <gsch...@gmx.at> wrote in message
news:97jsmu$310$1...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk...

I believe there is also an adaptation of Thomas Harris' "Silence of the
Lambs"


Ted M

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Feb 28, 2001, 11:44:32 PM2/28/01
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Sean wrote:
> the most interesting of the [IF Arcade] works are the ones whose
>experience is the most removed while simultaneously
>consistent with the original, but this simply reflects how lacking the
>originals are as fiction.

Perhaps the most fruitful source materials for adaptation are
precisely those which are *least* fully developed by their original
authors. Their gaping holes can become inviting doorways for the
adapting author.

The arcade games provided bare situational sketches for the IF authors
to flesh out, provide backstory, etc. "Hunter, In Darkness" is
another successfully fleshed-out adaptation of an existing plot with
huge descriptive holes to fill.

Nevermore's approach is different, mining its source materials not
primarily for the plot, but for the main character's oh-so-vividly
obsessed state of mind and secondarily for props and details of
setting. The plot, though, is Nate Cull's, only barely suggested by
Poe.

I thought Nevermore's most crucial design decision was *not* to focus
on the bird, an alluring trap it deftly avoided. Poe did the bird,
and did it well. Why compete with Poe? Nate focused on Lenore and
found another story to pursue, because the original left empty space
around her.

In the non-IF world, Tom Stoppard effectively did the same thing with
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, focusing on two minor characters
in Hamlet. It gave him room to work, and freedom to take control.

That may be part of why Graham's valiant attempt at The Tempest fell
short -- his focus on the source material didn't provide enough
cracks. The decision to tell the story with Shakespeare's own text
meant Graham had to focus on precisely those events in the foreground
already well developed by the Swan of Avon. It's tough to compete
with Billy Shake on those terms.

- Ted

J. Robinson Wheeler

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Feb 28, 2001, 11:42:59 PM2/28/01
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Revol wrote:

> I seem to recall playing several based upon children's stories,
> including but probably not limited to Jack and the Beanstalk,

> Little Red Riding Hood, ...

Hm, does this mean Mother Loose counts?

--
J. Robinson Wheeler http://thekroneexperiment.com
whe...@jump.net

Martin Julian DeMello

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Mar 1, 2001, 1:23:49 AM3/1/01
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Adam J. Thornton <ad...@princeton.edu> wrote:
> In article <97id5f$k0q$2...@joe.rice.edu>,
> Martin Julian DeMello <mdem...@kennel.ruf.rice.edu> wrote:
>>Also a couple of graphical CYOAs based on the Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole,
>>back in the microcomputer era (never actually played them, but Acorn User
>>gave them a bad review)

>>WANK THEN PICK SPOTS THEN OBSESS

Curiously enough, the screenshot (and don't ask me why I remember this)
actually had our trepid hero discovering a spot, with options like 'squeeze
the spot' and 'put Savlon on the spot'. The accompanying graphic was just a
bathroom mirror, though.

--
Martin DeMello

Arcum Dagsson

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Mar 1, 2001, 10:52:37 AM3/1/01
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In article <97jd12$f6l$1...@watserv3.uwaterloo.ca>,
jcm...@student.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:

> In article <3a9c5587.151538325@news>,
> Robb Sherwin <bea...@zombieworld.com> wrote:
> >
> >Infocom (well, Westwood Associates under the Infocom name) did the
> >Circuit's Edge, which was based on "When Gravity Fails" by George Alec
> >Effinger.
> >
> >"Fahrenheit 451" was also done, but from what I've read about it, it
> >doesn't exactly follow the book that closely.
>
> Harlan Ellison adapted "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream".
>
> I don't think the Diskworld, Wheel of Time or Shannara games count, since
> they were new stories set in the same world, not adaptations of the actual
> books.
>

How about the original Diskworld text adventure, IIRC, "The colour of magic"?

--
--Arcum Dagsson
"You say there's a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand
there naming Beatles songs?"

Richard Bos

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Mar 1, 2001, 11:48:07 AM3/1/01
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Arcum Dagsson <Arcum_...@hushmail.c.o.m> wrote:

> In article <97jd12$f6l$1...@watserv3.uwaterloo.ca>,
> jcm...@student.math.uwaterloo.ca (Joe Mason) wrote:
>
> > I don't think the Diskworld, Wheel of Time or Shannara games count, since
> > they were new stories set in the same world, not adaptations of the actual
> > books.
> >
> How about the original Diskworld text adventure, IIRC, "The colour of magic"?

It's spelled "Discworld", not "Diskworld", btw. The TCOM adventure was
based loosely on TCOM. _Very_ loosely, IIRC. The first PC Discworld
adventure was based, as Mr. Beard said, on "Guards! Guards!". I don't
know what the second was based on. The third was certainly a new story,
written specifically for the game.

Richard

Aris Katsaris

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Mar 1, 2001, 12:40:05 PM3/1/01
to
> I believe there is also an adaptation of Thomas Harris' "Silence of the
> Lambs"

Yeah, but the title gives away the ending. <g>

Aris Katsaris


Carl Muckenhoupt

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Mar 4, 2001, 2:54:39 PM3/4/01
to
See also http://www.wurb.com/if/genre/12

My vote for weirdest literary adaptation definitely goes to Castle
Elsinore by Charles Crayne. It'is an old-fashioned treasure hunt with
Hamlet going on in the background.

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