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A rather original IF idea

David Fisher posted a quite original game idea to rec.arts.int-fiction, the Interactive Fiction (aka "Text Adventures") newsgroup last week:

I just had a random idea for a game (no copyright claimed :-) ...

Transcript follows:

Hammering away at yet another shapeless piece of iron, you find yourself contemplating your one dimensional life. All you seem to do all day is forge weapons and fix broken horseshoes ... ah well, such is the life of a blacksmith. In this town, anyway.

> look

You are working hard with a hammer and tongs on a large anvil, beating a piece of metal into shape. Your shop front faces the street where other town folk are going about their business. The back of the shop lies to the east.

A stranger is approaching you.

> x stranger

He is an unusual sight ... for some reason he is carrying a large number of assorted objects in his arms, including a sword, an old book, a musical instrument of some kind, a golden sceptre, a woollen fleece, a bunch of keys, a jar of pickles, and what if you didn't know better you could swear was a hood ornament from a Mercedes Benz (whatever that is).

The stranger examines you back.

> stranger, hello

You greet the heavily laden stranger. Rather rudely, he does not greet you in return, but just tells you to fix his broken hood ornament (which he calls a "gadget").

> stranger, no

Apparently he doesn't know the word "no", and he asks you again. This time he tells you to "repair" the gadget.

> stranger, no

Unperturbed, he tries again with a different expression: "hammer the gadget".

> stranger, leave

He seems to be getting frustrated, and starts mumbling to himself. "Hammer gadget on anvil ? Use hammer on gadget ? Stupid #$*! parser ..."

> west

Strangely enough, you have never felt the urge to step out into the street. You retreat to the comfort of your shop front once more.

The stranger seems to be rummaging through his (many) possessions.

> east

Back of shop

You leave the bizarre stranger to his rummaging and mumbling, and enter the back of the shop. It is a humble sort of home - a rug, a few lamps, a table and chair. But it's home.

The stranger seems to have followed you in.

> stranger, get out

Ignoring you again (how rude !), he tells you to give him one of your lamps. Apparently where he comes from the concept of "belongings" and "ownership" are quite foreign ... what a weirdo.

> attack stranger

You punch the stranger in the nose, and he draws his sword (somehow managing to keep hold of all the other clutter he is carrying). He slashes wildly, and cuts a hole in the canvas which is the back wall of your abode. Strangely, nothing but blackness appears through the newly cut hole.

> go through hole

You dive through the hole, and find yourself ... nowhere.

At least that's how it feels. You can see the back of your shop and your neighbours' shops, all made of canvas ... but the area where you are standing is nothing but pure blackness. You can still see the stranger through the hole, looking quite confused and talking to himself again. This time it's something about an "op code error", whatever that is. He doesn't seem to be aware of you.

> look around

Pure blackness, apart from the backs of the shops along your street.

> north

Going north is a new experience for you, and it is quite pleasant. You do not seem to get anywhere, however ... everything is still just as dark as before.

> south

Going south is almost as fun as going north. Everything is still just as dark as before.

In the distance, you hear a cry of frustration from the player, who suddenly shouts "Quit !" The darkness engulfs what little remains of your familiar world, and your shop and everything near it disappears. All that is left is ... nothing.

> look

The darkness looks particularly dark.

> z

Zzzzzz ....

> z

Time is an illusion. The illusion passes.

> x me

You are a black smith, with correspondingly large biceps and triceps (and quadriceps). There seems to be a sticky label on your forehead.

> take label. read it


It says, "blacksmith_npc".

> destroy label

An amazing feeling of freedom comes over you as you tear up the label.

A thought stirs in the back of your mind, and rises with ever growing intensity. All those people ... your neighbours, your friends, the people from your home town ... and how many countless others. They must all have labels, too. A deep cry resonates within you: "Free the slaves ! We will have sticky labels on our foreheads no more !"


David Fisher

Created: 2005-06-22 @626 Last change: 2005-06-22 @633 | Home | Admin | Edit
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