If anyone is interested, here is how the Boss was created.
There were other Dungeons and Dragons type games on Plato. A player started on the outside of the dungeon and went in was attacked by monsters. If you got out of the dungeon, you kept the gold you had accumulated. Your player was saved from one day to the next, from one week to the next. If you died, then you lost everything. The dungeons had a finite size, and people would play the game for hours (which suprised us) and sooner or later would go into every corner of the dungeon. The character got stronger by gathering magic swords, etc. At some point, the character would be so strong that he could kill everything, at which point the player would lose interest in the game and quit.
We noticed that people created characters and spent time naming them and getting "attached" to them, and kind of treated them like a person. So, we asked something like, "Suppose that the character is real. Why would a real person keep going into the same dungeon over and over again?" And, then the answer was simple: To bring out something really spectacular.
So, then we said, "Hey, what if the player had to 'bring out an orb'?" And then we said, "Yeah, but if the orb is worth anything, then something really neat has to defend it." So, we put the orb into a "treasure room" and decided to stack a bunch of smaller monsters on top of a really big monster in the treasure room directly in front of "the orb". The character had to defeat 30 smaller monsters before confronting the "Golden Dragon"--a monster with probably 1,000,000 hit points. If he defeated the Golden Dragon, then he got the orb. He would then have to fight his way out of the dungeon.
In retrospect, what we did was create a video game that was a story. It had a beginning (the character initially enters the dungeon and builds up strenght), a middle (the character explores the dungeon), a climax (he finds the orb and battles the monsters, before confronting the Golden Dragon), a denoument (the character, weakened by the battle, staggers back through the dungeon, avoiding monsters and finally to safety), and an end (the charcter after leaving the dungeon with the orb is enshrined in a hall of fame). We did this in 1974-1975.
I watched at least one friend play his way right out of school
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