Difficulty of Infocom games

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Celiborn

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Jul 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/19/97
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Hi

I was just wondering if anybody had ever come out with a list of easiest
--> most difficult Infocom games. I'm a rather new player of IF so I don't
want to get discouraged with what most people here consider the
"classics," so it would be nice if I could start with some easy games
first, and then move on to the more advanced ones. If somebody has a list
like that, I would greatly appreeciate it. Thanks!

Celiborn

Darren Stephens

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Jul 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/19/97
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Try Seastalker by the great Infocom,its a good one to start with.
Darren Stephens.


Jason Compton

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Jul 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/19/97
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Darren Stephens (darren....@btinternet.com) wrote:

: Try Seastalker by the great Infocom,its a good one to start with.
: Darren Stephens.

Seastalker, Wishbringer, Witness, and Enchanter are usually thrown around
as being on the easier side of the Infocom spectrum.

--
Jason Compton jcom...@xnet.com
Editor-in-Chief, Amiga Report Magazine Anchor, Amiga Legacy
http://www.cucug.org/ar/ http://www.xnet.com/~jcompton/
Move forward... ...was my friend's only cry

Lovecraft

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Jul 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/19/97
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>I was just wondering if anybody had ever come out with a list of easiest
>--> most difficult Infocom games

Well, I see some have recommeneded Seastalker but I found it confusing
even though it was supposed to be a novice game. Enchanter is good,
Wishbringer too. A little more difficult but still not frustrating would
be Planetfall and Leather Goddesess of Phobos. Have fun.

Nick Nova

mathew

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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The problem is, what's "easy" depends on how well your way of thinking
fits the author's. I actually found "AMFV" really easy and
"Bureaucracy" pretty straightforward, but I recall getting pretty
frustrated in a couple of places in "Wishbringer".

Amateur psychologists may now have a field day.


mathew

Frank Hartmann

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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On 19 Jul 1997 05:08:24 GMT, celi...@aol.com (Celiborn) wrote:

>I was just wondering if anybody had ever come out with a list of easiest

>--> most difficult Infocom games. I'm a rather new player of IF so I don't
>want to get discouraged with what most people here consider the
>"classics," so it would be nice if I could start with some easy games
>first, and then move on to the more advanced ones. If somebody has a list
>like that, I would greatly appreeciate it. Thanks!

"The Master Story Tellers" themselfs had their own classification, so
why don't you follow their guidelines. Additional I recommend to take
your fondnesses into consideration. E.g. if you like the world of the
great underground empire but you are not a fan of submarines and
seamonsters, Seastalker might not be your first choice, even if it is
Infocoms easiest adventure.

Infocom had the following classifications:

JUNIOR - Best introduction to interactive fiction. Written for
everyone from the age 9 up.
INTRODUCTORY - like JUNIOR
STANDARD - Good introductory level for adults. This is Infocom's most
popular level of interactive fiction.
ADVANCED - A greater level of challenge. Recommended for those who've
already experienced Infocom's interactive fiction.
EXPERT - For real diehards seeking the ultimative challenge in
interactive fiction.

ZORK - All the fantasy stuff with dungeon like feeling

SCIENCE FICTION - yes, right, science fiction :-)

MYSTERY - Crime and related stuff

HORROR - ...

ADVENTURE - in it's nonfictional sense: pirates, travelling ...

FUN - comedy, satire ...

Here all classics I do remember. For some I don't know the "official
ratings" but some other IF freak will complete the list. Some games
were not "rated" by Infocom. I'll use lowercase for my own opinion.
Again, some IF gamers will correct me:

Seastalker - JUNIOR - ADVENTURE
Moonmist - INTRODUCTORY - MYSTERY, HORROR
Wishbringer - INTRODUCTORY - ZORK
Zork I - STANDARD - ZORK
Enchanter - STANDARD - ZORK
Witness - STANDARD - MYSTERY
Planetfall - STANDARD - SCIENCE FICTION
Hitchhiker - STANDARD - SCIENCE FICTION, FUN
Cutthroats - STANDARD - ADVENTURE
Leather Goddesses - STANDARD - SCIENCE FICTION, FUN
Zork II - ADVANCED - ZORK
Zork III - ADVANCED - ZORK
Sorcerer - ADVANCED - ZORK
Infidel - ADVANCED - ADVENTURE
Suspect - ADVANCED - MYSTERY
A Mind Forever Voyaging - ADVANCED - SCIENCE FICTION
Spellbreaker - EXPERT - ZORK
Deadline - EXPERT - MYSTERY
Starcross - EXPERT - SCIENCE FICTION
Suspended - EXPERT - SCIENCE FICTION

Beyond Zork - ??? - ZORK - advanced
Ballyhoo - ??? - MYSTERY
Bureacracy - ??? - FUN

Zork Zero - standard - ZORK
Hollywood Hijinx - standard - FUN
Stationfall - advanced - SCIENCE FICTION
Lurking Horror - advanced - HORROR
Plundered Hearts - advanced - ADVENTURE

Nord and Bert - FUN - short stories with easy puzzles

hati

-------------------------------------------
Frank Hartmann, Im Dorfe 19, D-27305 Engeln
Fon: +49-(0)4247-1842
ha...@informatik.uni-bremen.de

Werner Punz

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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celi...@aol.com (Celiborn) wrote:

>Hi


>
>I was just wondering if anybody had ever come out with a list of easiest
>--> most difficult Infocom games. I'm a rather new player of IF so I don't
>want to get discouraged with what most people here consider the
>"classics," so it would be nice if I could start with some easy games
>first, and then move on to the more advanced ones. If somebody has a list
>like that, I would greatly appreeciate it. Thanks!
>

>Celiborn
Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great
games.

Werner

we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.at REMOVE NOSPAM BEFORE REPLYING
http://witiko.ifs.uni-linz.ac.at

check out ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive for something which has
been forgotten years ago.


mr microphone

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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Werner Punz (we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM) wrote:

: Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great
: games.

I kicked AMFV's butt, hintless, in a few hours. As for Plundered Hearts,
I played through about 3/4 of the game before discovering that, no,
I *wasn't* supposed to let the ship blow up in the beginning.

--
"Ich lieb dich nicht du liebst mich nicht." --Trio

Frank Hartmann

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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On Mon, 21 Jul 1997 15:34:49 GMT, we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM
(Werner Punz) wrote:


>Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great

AMFV was rated by Infocom itself as an advanced level adventure. This
is rank 4 of 5.

Werner Punz(Remove nospam to reply)

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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adca...@unix.amherst.edu (mr microphone) wrote:

>Werner Punz (we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM) wrote:
>
>: Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great

>: games.
>
>I kicked AMFV's butt, hintless, in a few hours.

Thats what the original poster wanted an easy game. And IMHO the best
choice is AMFV due to it's great story and it's lack of puzzles in the
first few parts.

>As for Plundered Hearts,
>I played through about 3/4 of the game before discovering that, no,
>I *wasn't* supposed to let the ship blow up in the beginning.

Oops didn't stumble over that one seems like a design bug. But I
personally thought the puzzles in plundered hearts were not to hard
and the story was quite unusual for an if game. (I played it on a
laptop while I drove home with my family from Vienna and finished it a
few hours later at home)


Werner

---
mailto://we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.at
http://witiko.ifs.uni-linz.ac.at/~werpu/

FOR A REPLY PLEASE REMOVE THE NOSPAM FROM MY E-MAIL
ADDRESS.

Matthew Daly

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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ha...@informatik.uni-bremen.de (Frank Hartmann), if that is your REAL name,
said:

>AMFV was rated by Infocom itself as an advanced level adventure. This
>is rank 4 of 5.

I wouldn't say that. Perhaps a better way to read that is "Infocom didn't
think that AMFV should be the first Infocom game that you should play."

Given the fact that the environment was non-standard for I-F of its day
(and ours, in fact), and that a lot of the action that the player takes is
self-motivated, I think that it is a more accurate rating than "Standard",
which was Infocom's lowest rating for non-children's games.

If I could guess at another "misrated" game, I'll bet that Starcross won an
Expert ranking because certain puzzles expected scientific knowledge that
the game didn't provide and they thought that was unfair at the time. In
this regard, Starcross is easier than Border Zone or Sherlock, games that
came out later in Infocom's history, required much more knowledge, and had
lower difficulty ratings.

-Matthew
--
Matthew Daly I feel that if a person has problems communicating
mwd...@kodak.com the very least he can do is to shut up - Tom Lehrer

My opinions are not necessarily those of my employer, of course.

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Adam Cadre

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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Frank Hartmann wrote:
> AMFV was rated by Infocom itself as an advanced level adventure. This
> is rank 4 of 5.

True, but I think that's misleading for a couple of reasons:

* There really aren't any puzzles to speak of until Part III. That
one's a doozy (and requires knowledge of "past lives," which I
hate) but the heart of the game is Part II and that's easy.

* The idea of multitasking was less ingrained into our psyches in
1985 than it is today. Anyone who's used a Mac or Windows can
easily deal with a sim of a computer doing several things at
once, which is the heart of the puzzle in Part III.

AMFV is one of the very few games I've solved on my lonesome. (Star
Control 2 and 3 are the only others that spring to mind.) If =I= can
solve it, chances are most anyone should find it a breeze.

-----
Adam Cadre, Durham, NC
Now you can play I-0, the "jailbait on the interstate" game, online!
Find it at http://www.duke.edu/~adamc -- still open while I redecorate.

Jason Compton

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Jul 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/21/97
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mr microphone (adca...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
: Werner Punz (we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM) wrote:
:
: : Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great
: : games.
:
: I kicked AMFV's butt, hintless, in a few hours. As for Plundered Hearts,

: I played through about 3/4 of the game before discovering that, no,
: I *wasn't* supposed to let the ship blow up in the beginning.

If you kicked AMFV's butt you probably didn't really get the feel of the
game. It's somewhat mislabled as "Advanced", because what puzzles there
are, are pretty straightforward. But it's an advanced game from a prose
and immersion aspect.

mr microphone

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Jul 22, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/22/97
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Jason Compton (jcom...@typhoon.xnet.com) wrote:
: mr microphone (adca...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
: :
: : I kicked AMFV's butt, hintless, in a few hours. As for Plundered Hearts,
: : I played through about 3/4 of the game before discovering that, no,
: : I *wasn't* supposed to let the ship blow up in the beginning.

: If you kicked AMFV's butt you probably didn't really get the feel of the
: game.

Well, of course not. I didn't actually *play* AMFV. When I say
that I "kicked its butt," I mean that I folded the floppy disk in
half to form a makeshift "butt," dropped the disk, and swiftly
smacked it with the toe of my Nike as it drifted toward the ground.
What were you thinking?

Frank Hartmann

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Jul 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/23/97
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On Mon, 21 Jul 1997 22:56:45 GMT, mwd...@kodak.com (Matthew Daly)
wrote:


>I wouldn't say that. Perhaps a better way to read that is "Infocom didn't
>think that AMFV should be the first Infocom game that you should play."

You are right, I think. But the question was a newbie question and he
should _not_ start with AMFV because of all the reasons you and Adam
Cadre mentioned. I agree that Starcross and AMFV would be rated lower
nowadays but if the question is, where to start, the good old rating
is still the best guideline. If want to become familiar with the Great
Underground Empire, start with Zork I. If you want to become familiar
with Floyd and Infocoms view of future, start with Planetfall.

Darren Stephens

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Jul 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/23/97
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On 19 Jul 1997 05:08:24 GMT, celi...@aol.com (Celiborn) wrote:

>Hi
>
>I was just wondering if anybody had ever come out with a list of easiest
>--> most difficult Infocom games. I'm a rather new player of IF so I don't
>want to get discouraged with what most people here consider the
>"classics," so it would be nice if I could start with some easy games
>first, and then move on to the more advanced ones. If somebody has a list
>like that, I would greatly appreeciate it. Thanks!
>
>Celiborn

Whatever one you start with,make sure you play every one they
made,they really are the GREATEST text games ever,so you wont regret
it.Thats only my opinion(and thousands of others)
Darren Stephens.


A Mind Forever Wandering

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Jul 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/24/97
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Adam Cadre wrote:

> * There really aren't any puzzles to speak of until Part III. That
> one's a doozy (and requires knowledge of "past lives," which I
> hate)

I don't remember that - when?

AMFW

Jason Compton

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Jul 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/24/97
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A Mind Forever Wandering (pr...@project.com.au) wrote:

I believe he's implying that you can't legitimately solve the puzzle
without being the victim of the situation you have to avert first.

I can't honestly say from my perspective--I had read the Book of Adventure
Games' solution for AMFV about 8 years before I actually played it, so I
knew what was coming. (The game looked interesting and I didn't know that
I'd ever play it, seeing as how I owned a 64, so I figured, what the
hell...)

A Mind Forever Wandering

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Jul 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/24/97
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Frank Hartmann wrote:
>
> On Mon, 21 Jul 1997 15:34:49 GMT, we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM
> (Werner Punz) wrote:
>
> >Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great
>
> AMFV was rated by Infocom itself as an advanced level adventure. This
> is rank 4 of 5.
>
> hati

Really? But it was easy ... I was actually a bit grumpy that I solved
it so quickly, because it was so damn good.

Then again, I was stuck at a certain point in Wishbringer for ages, so
it's all relative I suppose.

AMFW, reporting from the Heart of Gold where I am, again, stuck ....

Adam Cadre

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Jul 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/24/97
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I wrote:
> There really aren't any puzzles to speak of until Part III. That
> one's a doozy (and requires knowledge of "past lives," which I hate)

AMFW wrote:
> I don't remember that - when?

Jason Compton wrote:
> I believe he's implying that you can't legitimately solve the puzzle
> without being the victim of the situation you have to avert first.

Right. You have to deal with threats from several directions and
it's virtually impossible to know where the threats are coming from
until you've succumbed to them at least a couple of times. Bleah.

Russell Glasser

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Jul 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/24/97
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A Mind Forever Wandering wrote:
>
> Adam Cadre wrote:
>
> > * There really aren't any puzzles to speak of until Part III. That

> > one's a doozy (and requires knowledge of "past lives," which I
> > hate)
>
> I don't remember that - when?
>
> AMFW

Maybe this will refresh your memory... [SPOILERS]

"'Fascinating discourse, Senator,' says Perelman. 'I don't suppose you'd
care to have it on the record?' he asks, looking at your active comm
light."

Of course, by the time he says that and you realize that the record
buffer should be on, it's already too late to get anything.
And just finding Perelman and Ryder in the office (and later, the thugs
in maintenance) pretty much requires you to restore to the beginning of
part I and sit in every different room until you see something
interesting happen, or you die.
I found many aspects of SUSPECT to be similar.

--
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all
progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-- George Bernard Shaw

Russell can be heckled at
http://www.willynet.com/rglasser

Frank Hartmann

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Jul 24, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/24/97
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On Thu, 24 Jul 1997 12:48:21 -0700, A Mind Forever Wandering
<pr...@project.com.au> wrote:


>> AMFV was rated by Infocom itself as an advanced level adventure. This
>> is rank 4 of 5.
>>
>> hati
>
>Really? But it was easy ... I was actually a bit grumpy that I solved
>it so quickly, because it was so damn good.
>
>Then again, I was stuck at a certain point in Wishbringer for ages, so
>it's all relative I suppose.

Surely. But again, if the question is, where to start, Infocoms rating
is exact what I would tell somebody. It's not only the difficulty,
it's more. The best to see is Zork. It's an own world you live in.
It's an epos. Yes, you can start with Zork Zero. But would you feel
the same as if you had played all the others? Would you get all the
jokes?

Jason Compton

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Jul 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/25/97
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mr microphone (adca...@unix.amherst.edu) wrote:
: Jason Compton (jcom...@typhoon.xnet.com) wrote:
:
: : If you kicked AMFV's butt you probably didn't really get the feel of the

: : game.
:
: Well, of course not. I didn't actually *play* AMFV. When I say
: that I "kicked its butt," I mean that I folded the floppy disk in
: half to form a makeshift "butt," dropped the disk, and swiftly
: smacked it with the toe of my Nike as it drifted toward the ground.
: What were you thinking?

Oh, you're a live one.

What I MEANT was that AMFV is not the sort of game which you "conquer" or
"kick the ass of". There's really not much in the way of puzzles, it's
more like a story you walk through with a fair degree of control over.

Tredrick14

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Jul 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/25/97
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In article <33d5ee8f...@news.vpn.at>,
we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM (Werner Punz(Remove nospam to reply))
writes:

>
>adca...@unix.amherst.edu (mr microphone) wrote:


>
>>Werner Punz (we...@inflab.uni-linz.ac.atNOSPAM) wrote:
>>
>>: Plundered Hearts or AMFV are not to hard to play and both are great

>>: games.


>>
>>I kicked AMFV's butt, hintless, in a few hours.

>Thats what the original poster wanted an easy game. And IMHO the best
>choice is AMFV due to it's great story and it's lack of puzzles in the
>first few parts.

I solved AMFV first time, no restarts. Only time I have ever done that.
Best game I have ever played, bar none.


Daniel
A Mind Still Voyaging

A Mind Forever Wandering

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Jul 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/29/97
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A message from Russell Glasser came in over my message line:

> Maybe this will refresh your memory... [SPOILERS]
>

> "'Fascinating discourse, Senator,' says Perelman. 'I don't suppose you'd
> care to have it on the record?' he asks, looking at your active comm
> light."
>
> Of course, by the time he says that and you realize that the record
> buffer should be on, it's already too late to get anything.
> And just finding Perelman and Ryder in the office (and later, the thugs
> in maintenance) pretty much requires you to restore to the beginning of
> part I and sit in every different room until you see something
> interesting happen, or you die.
> I found many aspects of SUSPECT to be similar.
>

Sure, I remember that bit. I thought he was referring to having a
certain amount of knowledge about "past lives" ie reincarnation. No
wonder I didn't remember that.

AMFW
Still wandering.

Andrew Plotkin

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Jul 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/29/97
to

> Russell Glasser:

> Maybe this will refresh your memory... [SPOILERS]
>

> "'Fascinating discourse, Senator,' says Perelman. 'I don't suppose you'd
> care to have it on the record?' he asks, looking at your active comm
> light."
>
> Of course, by the time he says that and you realize that the record
> buffer should be on, it's already too late to get anything.

You could argue that if you left that clue *out*, it would be a fair but
tough puzzle. You must realize that something juicy is happening, and
turn on your recording before the conversation gets to the critical
stage. That's not impossible.

And then, how can adding a clue make a puzzle unfair? Even if it's added
in a bad place.

> And just finding Perelman and Ryder in the office (and later, the thugs
> in maintenance) pretty much requires you to restore to the beginning of
> part I and sit in every different room until you see something
> interesting happen, or you die.

Well, yeah.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Joe Mason

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Jul 31, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/31/97
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"Re: Difficulty of Infocom", declared Andrew Plotkin from the Vogon
ship:

AP>> Maybe this will refresh your memory... [SPOILERS]


AP>> "'Fascinating discourse, Senator,' says Perelman. 'I don't suppose
AP>> you'd care to have it on the record?' he asks, looking at your
AP>> active comm light."

AP>> Of course, by the time he says that and you realize that
AP>> the record buffer should be on, it's already too late to get
AP>> anything.

AP>You could argue that if you left that clue *out*, it would be a fair
AP>but tough puzzle. You must realize that something juicy is
AP>happening, and turn on your recording before the conversation gets
AP>to the critical stage. That's not impossible.

The unfair part, IMHO, is that the game never gives any hint until that
point that its POSSIBLE to turn on the recording outside the simulation.
They should have hinted at that beforehand, in different circumstances.

Of course, I had no problem with this because I'd seen someone mention
turning the record buffer on before I played the game, so I knew I'd
have to do it, and when that seen came up I immediately said, "Oh, this
is the part!"

Joe

þ CMPQwk 1.42 9550 þA good catchword can obscure analysis for fifty years.

Adam Cadre

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Aug 1, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/1/97
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Joe Mason wrote:
> The unfair part, IMHO, is that the game never gives any hint until
> that point that its POSSIBLE to turn on the recording outside the
> simulation.

I didn't have a problem with that at all -- it's just an exercise in
lateral thinking. And I'm pretty sure that at least in later versions
of AMFV you can turn on your buffer after the clue and still defeat
Ryder. It's purely the necessity of needing the experience of past
lives to know all the different ways and places you're being attacked
that bothers me.

-----
Adam Cadre, Durham, NC

http://www.duke.edu/~adamc

Rotonoto

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Aug 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/9/97
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Yes, it's in the manual under the command RECORD.

Joe Mason

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Aug 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/9/97
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"Re: Difficulty of Infocom", declared A Mind from the Vogon ship:

AM>> AP>> Maybe this will refresh your memory... [SPOILERS]


AM>> The unfair part, IMHO, is that the game never gives any hint until
AM>> that point that its POSSIBLE to turn on the recording outside the
AM>> simulation. They should have hinted at that beforehand, in
AM>> different circumstances.

AM>Um ... it does. Without loading it up right now, I can't remember if
AM>you read that in library mode or if it's in the documentation, but
AM>it's there somewhere.

Well, let me just load up AMFV (any excuse will do!) and check the
library mode: nope, didn't see it on a quick scan.

And in the manual, it's only mentioned in connection with Simulation
Mode:

"RECORD - In Simulation Mode, this activates the RECORD feature. RECORD
OFF de-activates this feature. (If you ABORT from Simulation Mode,
you'll automatically turn off the RECORD feature.)"

Not only does this not mention using it out of Simulation Mode, it makes
it sound like you CAN'T. I think you must be mistaken.

Joe

ş CMPQwk 1.42 9550 şHelp stamp out and abolish redundancy!

Andrew Plotkin

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Aug 10, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/10/97
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To me, this is a perfect clue. It blatantly leaves open the question of
what the RECORD command does when *not* in Simulation Mode.

Edward Franks

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Aug 10, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/10/97
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My glass typewriter shows Andrew Plotkin saying...

Not to me. If there is a manual in the game, then I expect the
manual to be complete. The words 'In Simulation Mode' implies, to me,
that the recorder *only* works in Simulation Mode.

Ah, the age-old problem of clues and puzzles, what is easy for you
is a brain-buster for me, and vice-versa.

--

Fortran Dragon -==(UDIC)==- | "There isn't enough darkness in the world
-=={MDLAM}==- | to quench the light of one small candle."

Joe Mason

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Aug 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/13/97
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"Re: Difficulty of Infocom", declared Edward Franks from the Vogon ship:


EF>> > AM>> AP>> Maybe this will refresh your memory...
EF>> [SPOILERS]


EF>> > Not only does this not mention using it out of Simulation Mode,
EF>> > it makes it sound like you CAN'T.

EF>> To me, this is a perfect clue. It blatantly leaves open the
EF>> question of what the RECORD command does when *not* in Simulation
EF>> Mode.


EF> Not to me. If there is a manual in the game, then I expect the
EF>manual to be complete. The words 'In Simulation Mode' implies, to
EF>me, that the recorder *only* works in Simulation Mode.

Also note the following dialogue:

>enter library mode

[ The library menu opens: no chance to use RECORD there! Exit again. ]

>enter interface mode
You are now in Interface Mode.
Do you want to see the List of Active Ports? (y/n) >n

>record
ERROR: Record feature does not function here.

>enter communication mode
You have entered Communications Mode. The following locations are
equipped with communication outlets:
PRISM Project Control Center (PPCC)
Research Center Rooftop (RCRO)
Dr. Perelman's Office (PEOF)
PRISM Facility Cafeteria (PCAF)
Maintenance Core (MACO)
World News Network Feed (WNNF)
To activate a specific outlet, submit the associated code.

>record
ERROR: Record feature does not function here.

Faced with this, I'd probably conclude "okay, outside Simulation Mode
the Record function just gives you an error". Of course, I'd be wrong -
it's perfectly reasonable for the Record feature to only work when
you're actually hooked up to an outlet.

I think what I'd have done was put a hint somewhere about recording
something from the World News Network Feed. Seems to be the type of
thing you'd want to record - maybe Perelman could ask you to record
something for him (or maybe that would be TOO obvious). Either way,
once you realize that you can record in the WNNF, it should be easier to
make the jump to recording in another outlet.

Or else I'd have given two chances to record Ryder saying something
damning. After missing the chance to record the first one, you would
have to take the initiative to trick Ryder into repeating himself, now
that you KNOW you have to ignore him.

Joe

þ CMPQwk 1.42 9550 þWhen in doubt, duck. - Malcolm Forbes

Torbj|rn Andersson

unread,
Aug 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/14/97
to

joe....@tabb.com (Joe Mason) wrote:

> Faced with this, I'd probably conclude "okay, outside Simulation Mode
> the Record function just gives you an error". Of course, I'd be wrong -
> it's perfectly reasonable for the Record feature to only work when
> you're actually hooked up to an outlet.

Hmm ... I'm pretty sure my copy of the AMFV manual mentioned that you
could use the recording feature in Communications Mode, in the part
which described the different modes. Did the documentation differ
between different releases of the game? (I admit I haven't been
following this thread very closely ...)

_
Torbjorn Andersson


Matthew Murray

unread,
Aug 15, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/15/97
to

On Sat, 16 Aug 1997, Matthew Daly wrote:

> If you can't stop Ryder, then you don't deserve to experience the endgame.
> <sniff>

True. I have played over 180 computer games, and A Mind Forever
Voyaging has, bar none, the finest ending.

===============================================================================
Matthew Murray - mmu...@cc.wwu.edu - http://www.wwu.edu/~mmurray
===============================================================================
The script calls for fusing and using our smarts,
And greatness can come of the sum of our parts.
From now on, I'm with you--and with you is where I belong!

-David Zippel, City of Angels
===============================================================================


Matthew Daly

unread,
Aug 16, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/16/97
to

joe....@tabb.com (Joe Mason), if that is your REAL name, said:

>I think what I'd have done was put a hint somewhere about recording
>something from the World News Network Feed. Seems to be the type of
>thing you'd want to record - maybe Perelman could ask you to record
>something for him (or maybe that would be TOO obvious). Either way,
>once you realize that you can record in the WNNF, it should be easier to
>make the jump to recording in another outlet.
>
>Or else I'd have given two chances to record Ryder saying something
>damning. After missing the chance to record the first one, you would
>have to take the initiative to trick Ryder into repeating himself, now
>that you KNOW you have to ignore him.

Are we really talking about ways to make AMFV _easier_?

It just takes a very simple lateral shift to solve the puzzle -- something
that makes you say "Well, if THIS worked, then it would solve EVERYTHING!"
I think it's one of the finest puzzles in Infocom, because it's not a case
of finding the right key to put in the lock but really examining your
resources to resolve a challenging situation.

If you can't stop Ryder, then you don't deserve to experience the endgame.
<sniff>

-Matthew

Matthew Murray

unread,
Aug 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/17/97
to

I know for an >absolute fact< the original manual stated you can
record in Communications Mode, and I'm pretty sure the subsequent
collections did as well.

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Aug 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/18/97
to

Matthew Murray (mmu...@statler.cc.wwu.edu) wrote:
> On 14 Aug 1997, Torbj|rn Andersson wrote:

> > joe....@tabb.com (Joe Mason) wrote:
> >
> > > Faced with this, I'd probably conclude "okay, outside Simulation Mode
> > > the Record function just gives you an error". Of course, I'd be wrong -
> > > it's perfectly reasonable for the Record feature to only work when
> > > you're actually hooked up to an outlet.
> >
> > Hmm ... I'm pretty sure my copy of the AMFV manual mentioned that you
> > could use the recording feature in Communications Mode, in the part
> > which described the different modes. Did the documentation differ
> > between different releases of the game? (I admit I haven't been
> > following this thread very closely ...)

> I know for an >absolute fact< the original manual stated you can
> record in Communications Mode, and I'm pretty sure the subsequent
> collections did as well.

The LTOI2 manual does not.

A Mind Forever Wandering

unread,
Aug 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/21/97
to

A message from Andrew Plotkin came through over my message line:

> > I know for an >absolute fact< the original manual stated you can
> > record in Communications Mode, and I'm pretty sure the subsequent
> > collections did as well.
>
> The LTOI2 manual does not.
>
> --Z

I've had another look (albeit in the Masterpieces docs) and couldn't find
any mention of the ability to record in Comm mode. Hmmmm. I'll just
have to take your word that it was in the originals (lost long ago by
me).
BTW, I'm having a go at "A Change in the Weather" now, and I'd just like
to let you know that you're a cruel and sadistic human being, Andrew.

AMFW

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Aug 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/21/97
to

A Mind Forever Wandering (pr...@project.com.au) wrote:
> BTW, I'm having a go at "A Change in the Weather" now, and I'd just like
> to let you know that you're a cruel and sadistic human being, Andrew.

*Let* me know? I hadn't figured it out?

--Z (slowly working on the next game.) (No, it won't be a competition entry.)

Miron Schmidt

unread,
Aug 21, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/21/97
to

A Mind Forever Wandering <pr...@project.com.au> wrote:
> I've had another look (albeit in the Masterpieces docs) and couldn't find
> any mention of the ability to record in Comm mode. Hmmmm. I'll just
> have to take your word that it was in the originals (lost long ago by
> me).

In fact, you don't have to.
From the original _AMFV_ manual:

"The AMFV Scenario
[...]
Because only you can see what happens in Simulation Mode, you'll want to use
the RECORD feature to save what you see, so that others in the "real world"
can view your experiences.
[...]
You can also use the RECORD feature in Communications Mode if you want."


--
Miron Schmidt <mi...@comports.com> PGP key on request

WATCH TV... MARRY AND REPRODUCE... OBEY... PLAY INTERACTIVE FICTION...


Joe Mason

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Aug 27, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/27/97
to

"Re: Difficulty of Infocom", declared Matthew Murray from the Vogon
ship:

MM> I know for an >absolute fact< the original manual stated you can
MM>record in Communications Mode, and I'm pretty sure the subsequent
MM>collections did as well.

Well, *I* know for an >absolute fact< that the manual included with the
Science Fiction Collection does *not* state this: in fact, it implies
the exact opposite. I've already posted one quote, and if you'd like I
can go through the manual and post every other reference to RECORD. So,
unless they changed the manual (which is possible, I guess), you're
wrong.

Can you post the quote which states you can record in Communications
Mode?

Joe

þ CMPQwk 1.42 9550 þTwo most common elements: Hydrogen & Stupidity

Joe Mason

unread,
Aug 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/28/97
to

-> Well, *I* know for an >absolute fact< that the manual included with
-> the Science Fiction Collection does *not* state this: in fact, it
-> implies the exact opposite. I've already posted one quote, and if
-> you'd like I can go through the manual and post every other reference
-> to RECORD. So, unless they changed the manual (which is possible, I
-> guess), you're wrong.
->
-> Can you post the quote which states you can record in Communications
-> Mode?

Never mind, I saw that quote. Sorry to sound so snarky about that.

Joe

Matthew Murray

unread,
Aug 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM8/29/97
to

On Wed, 27 Aug 1997, Joe Mason wrote:

> Can you post the quote which states you can record in Communications

> Mode?

From the original manual to the game, page 14, second column,
fifth paragraph, near the end: "Everything you see, feel, and learn in
Simulation Mode can be recorded. You can also use the RECORD feature in

Communications Mode if you want."

===============================================================================

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