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by William Crowther and Donald Woods

Cave crawl

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Number of Reviews: 6
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A New Version of an Old Version of the Original Text Adventure, October 30, 2015
by jgerrie (Cape Breton Island, Canada)
For Retrochallenge 2015 I ported Will Crowther's original Colossal Cave "Adventure" source code to Microsoft Micro Color Basic. The new basic source code should be easily shifted to other Basics. I elaborated a few uncompleted elements and areas and changed a few things to create some new challenges for old players.

I also added some new commands such as SCORE, which will tell you how you're doing and if you have won. HELP will provide some rudimentary aid. UNLOAD will perform the same function as the more standard "drop all" command of other adventures. QUIT not only exits but prompts whether you would like to save the progress you have made so far. You are prompted each time the program is run if you wish to load a previous game. The same file name "COLOSDAT" is used for each save, but in the emulator (VMC10.exe) you can save the resulting virtual cassette file to any file name you like in order to differentiate between different saves.

I re-coded the program from the Fortran source code and data file of Will Crowther's original version of "Advent" for the PDP-10 recently recovered from an old back-up tape by Dennis Jerz. This is not the classic "350 point" version modified by Don Woods. So if you are interested in playing a new version of the original version of the "original" text adventure, you can try this one out. My version contains all the room movement info in numeric form and most of the text descriptions of rooms and events. I had to wedge it into 20K of my favourite 8-bit the TRS-80 MC-10, so some of the descriptions got "edited" a little, but I was able to transfer the map info from the data file into Basic DATA statements, so it's a largely accurate rendition of the original map. I only made a very few tweaks where directions were quite clearly messed up or to eliminate a few NE, NW, SE and SW directions.

Using various descriptions from the Net of the puzzles and other game challenges and by examining Crowther's original source, I was able to recreate what I believe is a reasonably accurate presentation of all the original game elements. However, as I worked on the rooms in the Bedquilt (“Under Construction”) area of Crowther's original code I really could sense where his patience with the project petered out (sometime in 1975 or 1976) so I also ended up adding a few unique elements of my own to “complete” what is obviously an unfinished work just begging for elaboration. I can understand what tempted Don Woods to make his additions in 1977 to create the classic version.

That being said, I do not like some of the more surreal fantasy elements that Woods added. Crowther's version has a more austere set of locations, but they have a feel of realism that is absent from the classic version's chaotic hurly-burly of branches. Also, there is clearly a sense that Crowther's fantasy elements (Hall of the Mountain King, nasty little dwarfs, finding a cave in the woods) were drawn from a single classic narrative source, such as the story of Peer Gynt, rather than a hodgepodge of fantasy cliche's. I tried to respect this integrity in the few additions I made to fill out Crowther's obviously abandoned work.

Don Woods helped Crowther overcome the problem of the game's unfinished nature by significantly expanding the complexity of the cave and by adding improved scoring and completion routines. It's this latter version which is normally referred to as "the original adventure" or the "350 point" version. In homage to this latter title I have also made my re-coded version worth 350 points, although these points only represent six 50 point treasures. Only five of these treasures are present in Crowther's original. I have added one treasure and one puzzle and a few new threats. I have also slightly changed the operation of some of the magic of the original to prevent old hands from simply applying their prior knowledge.

The following file contains the Virtual MC-10 emulator and the program file COLOSSAL.C10 for loading and running in the emulator:
Note: this review is based on older version of the game; this rating is not included in the game's average.

Comments on this review

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White Phoenix, September 27, 2015 - Reply
It would be really nice if you would have either put in the link to your version of Adventure or given the name of the file and added it to the Interactive Fiction Archives. Otherwise there really is no reason for the review of this Adventure version if no one will ever be able to play it. I would really like to see the changes you implemented.
jgerrie, October 30, 2015 - Reply
Dear White Phoenix,
There is a link to my version of the game on the Main Page of the game in the database. You will find a link there for VMC10_073D.zip (among the many different version for download--mine is near the bottom of the list). This archive file contains VMC10.exe, which is the TRS-80 MC-10 Emulator executable. After unzipping launch it then type CLOAD & hit ENTER. Select COLOSSAL.​C10 in the JimG subdirectory of the Cassette directory. Type RUN...
VMC10.exe is a Windows XP application, but it should run in higher versions.
jgerrie, October 31, 2015 - Reply
And here's a link to the new source code:
jgerrie, January 28, 2016 - Reply
Sorry, try here instead.
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