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October 29, 2010 9:40 PM   Subscribe

"Organ Trail was an edutainment game developed in 1971. Schools across America used this game as a teaching tool to prepare children for the impending zombie apocolypse and dysentery."
posted by brundlefly (80 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite

 
?
posted by HuronBob at 9:49 PM on October 29, 2010


what is this I don't even
posted by biochemist at 9:56 PM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


What is this? I think it's hilarious irony.
posted by hanoixan at 9:57 PM on October 29, 2010


Uh, guys? Maybe try clicking on the link?
posted by mr_roboto at 9:57 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


That has got to be the least reliable, and most spacious station wagon on the planet.
posted by schmod at 9:58 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I played it for a little bit but wanted to get right into the journey so I stopped at the scavenging part. >.>
posted by biochemist at 9:59 PM on October 29, 2010


"?"

It's clearly a spoof off the educational game Oregon Trail, which almost everyone who went to elementary school in the US in the 80s seems to have played at some point and thus it now has a huge nostalgia-fueled cult following amongst 25-to-35-year-olds.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:59 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And then there's the other Oregon Trail spoof, Thule Trail.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:07 PM on October 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Aeris and I made it to Portland OK. Jones, Cid and DeFazio died from a zombie bite, the T-Virus and the green flu, respectively.

Also I couldn't control my dude during scavenging on a Mac for some reason. Otherwise, hats off to the Men!
posted by infinitewindow at 10:08 PM on October 29, 2010


I'm guessing this is a browser issue or something.. I can click my frigging life away on that site and nothing happens...
posted by HuronBob at 10:17 PM on October 29, 2010


This is awesome, and very appropriate. Thanks!
posted by sophist at 10:17 PM on October 29, 2010


Okay, so I never actually played Oregon Trail, although I've often enjoyed the resurgence or Oregon Trail love that abounds on the Internet these days.

Now that I've played this, I totally get it, and I realize I missed an excellent game as a kid.
posted by davejay at 10:20 PM on October 29, 2010


And then there's the other Oregon Trail spoof, Thule Trail.

This is awesome.
posted by biochemist at 10:21 PM on October 29, 2010


and no trouble scavenging on a mac here
posted by davejay at 10:22 PM on October 29, 2010


I have to admit, I thought it was a poorly spelled FPP before clicking the link. But it turned out to be not that bad. Except for a few bugs. The map showed me nothing. I guess that just heightens the terror though...
posted by fishmasta at 10:31 PM on October 29, 2010


I can click my frigging life away on that site and nothing happens...

Game is entirely keyboard controlled.

Made it to Oregon in 235 hours with only one casualty! The trailside gravestones are a nice touch.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:47 PM on October 29, 2010


Thule Trail froze on me halfway through the journey. Noooooo. :(
posted by biochemist at 10:49 PM on October 29, 2010


"Organ Trail was an edutainment game developed in 1971. Schools across America used this game as a teaching tool to prepare children for the impending zombie apocolypse and dysentery."

OK, I was there, Grade 6/7 in 1971. We didn't get near enough info on the impending apox [which actually did happen roundabout 1980 -- election of Reagan, assassination of Lennon, release of Peter Gabriel's 3rd Album]. Yet we survived.
posted by philip-random at 10:51 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


"There is a gravestone on the side of the road. Stop to look at it?"

>>Y

"Here lies andy:
peperony and chease"

sublime
posted by Dr. Christ at 10:56 PM on October 29, 2010 [13 favorites]


I thought I was doing really great until katie starved to death.
posted by nanojath at 11:12 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm also remembering that the original that inspired this parody only seemed interesting in comparison to an average day in fifth grade.
posted by nanojath at 11:14 PM on October 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Stop to rest often enough and no problems, dudes. Or I just got lucky. Whatevs.
posted by cthuljew at 11:19 PM on October 29, 2010


ha! I could never make it all the way to the end of Oregon Trail. I think my attention span has only gotten shorter. Perhaps the zombies will motivate me...
posted by stoneweaver at 11:25 PM on October 29, 2010


I am so jealous of all you youngsters. I am 42 and totally missed all the Oregon Trail wonderfulness.
posted by amyms at 11:26 PM on October 29, 2010


I was well past Salt Lake City when the sole surviving member of my party "wandered off and I couldn't find them". Pf!

I did discover that you don't actually need to have any money in order to hire mercenaries to clear a horde of zombies. I was wondering if the unpaid mercenaries would turn on us and kill us but they never mentioned it. Very polite mercenaries.
posted by hattifattener at 11:31 PM on October 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, finally finished the Zombie run. Cute, but not as fun as Thule I must say.

Also, WTF? On an open road with Zombie warnings mild, I get:
'Warbgarbl has the T-Virus.'
'Warbgarbl is well again.'
'Warbgarbl has broken his leg.'

WE'RE DRIVING IN A CAR AND LEGS ARE BEING BROKEN?!? splainthattomee...
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:31 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tory, Adam, Jamie, Kari, and Grant all made it to Oregon alive.

Kari got bitten by a zombie, but she got better.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:33 PM on October 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


This was pretty fun!

Unfortunately, Sawyer, Hurley, Locke and Sayid all died so Jack was left to go on alone. That is, until he wandered off in the wilderness and couldn't be found. His epitaph reads, "I HAD TO GO BACK!" Seemed fitting.
posted by Shesthefastest at 11:33 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


hattifattener: "I did discover that you don't actually need to have any money in order to hire mercenaries to clear a horde of zombies. I was wondering if the unpaid mercenaries would turn on us and kill us but they never mentioned it. Very polite mercenaries.
"

no, no, the gubmint picks up the tab, as they have been doing since at least 2002.
posted by mwhybark at 11:36 PM on October 29, 2010


I dunno amyms, I'm 39 and I remember it well (and its educational heyday, early 70s to early 80s, certainly crossed your elementary path). Of course being a product of my Minnesota it was uniquely prevalent in my state. Or maybe you were just not a big enough nerd. Indeed many of the true young'ns way well be remembering Oregon Trail II or Oregon rather than the classic original Oregon Trail.
posted by nanojath at 11:42 PM on October 29, 2010


I only heard about Oregon Trail from you nerd-types before now. I can understand the appeal now.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:44 PM on October 29, 2010


"This site requires that you Connect with Facebook."

Do not Want to Connect with Facebook.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:45 PM on October 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


I dunno amyms, I'm 39 and I remember it well (and its educational heyday, early 70s to early 80s, certainly crossed your elementary path).

The first computer I ever encountered was an Apple IIe, in journalism class in high school, circa 1985. Maybe ruralish Kansans were behind the educational curve?

/bowing out now, so as not to derail
posted by amyms at 11:51 PM on October 29, 2010


In conclusion, I felt a little stupid about arriving in Oregon with 6 mufflers.
posted by nanojath at 11:56 PM on October 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Keeping dysentery was a nice touch.
posted by dd42 at 12:01 AM on October 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I played Oregon Trail with a friend once as a kid and my mother overheard us deciding to throw a body (cholera death) overboard instead of a proper burial and she flipped out.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:08 AM on October 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Got the whole crew there safe and sound, despite ferrying two of the most accident- and disease-prone numpties ever to grace a text adventure game. Remarkable recuperative powers, though…

"In conclusion, I felt a little stupid about arriving in Oregon with 6 mufflers."

Handy for trading, though - every second fellow refugee I came across wanted to swap money, fuel, or food for a muffler. If I play it again, I might aim to become the first post-apocalyptic mobile Muffler Man franchise.

(Scratch that: "A fire in your station wagon has destroyed 30 mufflers")
posted by Pinback at 1:16 AM on October 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


OMFG I was almost at the destination, with no losses - that shithead Marcel didn't count as he wandered off on his own - when, while scavenging, I clicked the back button instead of View->Fullscreen like I intended. Dammit.

Still, we would have made it, so suck it, Rick Grimes!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:35 AM on October 30, 2010


The only part I don't get is how people keep getting bitten by zombies while we're driving.
posted by 1000monkeys at 1:38 AM on October 30, 2010


I didn't realize that attempting to trade took time- and food- until I wasted all my food and starved my whole party. LEARN FROM ME GUYS
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:24 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only part I don't get is how people keep getting bitten by zombies while we're driving.

Pro tip: Roll up the windows when driving through New Jersey.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:02 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


You need almost twice as much gas as the guy recommends, to allow for snowstorms and the like. You won't need as many bullets as you think. Trade bullet scavenging time for gas and car part time. Scavenging money lets you trade time for flexibility, but car parts cost $50 on the road.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:45 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


FYI, you can play the game without connecting to Facebook. I believe the only reason it uses Facebook is for the High Score list, and even after I allowed it that didn't work.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:38 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hear there is an Oregon Trail movie coming out soon. In the preview they give away the best strategy to make it to Oregon, however: "I'll take four oxen and all the bullets $1600 will get me".

In other adaption news, I'm also excited about Minesweeper: The Movie and Stretch Armstrong: The Early Years, although the future appears cloudy for National Treasure: The Magic 8-Ball of Lincoln.

Note: Movie titles are subject to change before they reach theaters.
posted by autopilot at 4:54 AM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


In the preview they give away the best strategy to make it to Oregon, however: "I'll take four oxen and all the bullets $1600 will get me".

That's still the best strategy.
posted by pracowity at 5:59 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is awesome.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:20 AM on October 30, 2010


Awesome!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:30 AM on October 30, 2010


What is this? I think it's hilarious irony.

It wasn't a patch on Blind Samurai.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:50 AM on October 30, 2010


I died in the middle of the country, with too many bullets and not enough food. It's like being 10 all over again.

(I feel bad for letting Topher starve to death, and feel worse for being mad at Adelle for wandering off, when she clearly was buying time for the rest of us.)
posted by SMPA at 6:54 AM on October 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Worth it for "Check engine light is on?".
posted by oinopaponton at 8:33 AM on October 30, 2010


Made it in decent shape (IE: spares of everything) with only one fatality though I did spend quite a bit of time around mile 4950 scavaging food in an attempt to trade for gas. Worst part was with the map not working I had no idea how many miles I had to go; made planning difficult.

1000monkeys writes "The only part I don't get is how people keep getting bitten by zombies while we're driving."

They hitched.
posted by Mitheral at 8:57 AM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to quit when Conrad, who had the green flu, wandered off and I couldn't find him. Naming your characters after your pets turns out not to be a good idea.
posted by jeather at 9:42 AM on October 30, 2010


1971? Playing on paper, I assume, not an Apple ][.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:03 AM on October 30, 2010


Hey, my friend from high school worked on this game! Cool!
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:30 AM on October 30, 2010


Amazing how far we've come since then! Still love the look of old computer programs. No if someone would bring back Zork :)
posted by Geoffk at 11:44 AM on October 30, 2010


Related: http://banjotrail.ytmnd.com/
posted by 7segment at 12:17 PM on October 30, 2010


2540 points and that took too long. I hate how it pauses for 5 seconds every time the clock advances an hour.
posted by clockworkjoe at 12:18 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I'm waiting for someone to write Orgone Trail, a game which teaches schoolchildren about the universal sex-based life-ether.
posted by hattifattener at 12:33 PM on October 30, 2010 [3 favorites]




I imagine your party needs to stop and get out of the car occasionally to get water*stretch/relieve themselves/clear wreckage off the road. This is when zombie bites/injuries occur.

* You can't buy water, and the alerts imply that you leave your vehicle to refill water jugs.

I chuckled at the Remote Shack where no one was around to trade with, but there's still a shopkeeper I can buy from. With still-valuable post-apocalyptic dollars, because, damn it, the U.S. shall rise again!
posted by Robin Kestrel at 1:18 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Duke, Bus, Kat, Tooth, and Cyril all made it fine. Bus was prone to Zombie bite, and Kat liked to break her legs and get the flu. Tooth Caught the T-Virus twice. Cyril, the damn englishman, got though without a scratch. Duke got bit once while scavenging, but sharpened his aim and the bastards didn't get close to him after that.

Gas, Parts, Bullets, in that order.
posted by The Power Nap at 1:55 PM on October 30, 2010


> open mailbox
posted by chrisamiller at 2:04 PM on October 30, 2010


This makes no sense to me. What good is money after the world ends? I didn't bother scavenging any and I can't tell you how many hours and how much food I wasted trying to trade for either cash or fuel. Granted Jayne made it, but Kaylee, Wash, Mal, and Zoey weren't so fortunate.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:32 PM on October 30, 2010


"A breath-holding game is played while passing through a tunnel and Jessamyn passes out."

"Greg Nog rolls around in some wildflowers on the side of the road. Everyone is weirded out."

I prefer Thule Trail.
posted by NoraReed at 3:35 PM on October 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm 40 and played Oregon Trail in middle school in the early '80s, and at home when we got an Apple ][e around the same time. I remember taking some time to master the game way back when, but then I got bored with it as soon as I got my hands on some Infocom games and Ultima IV. Oregon Trail didn't exactly come with the Apple ][+/e series, but it might as well have, as almost everybody I knew had a copy of it.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:00 PM on October 30, 2010


"A fire in your station wagon has destroyed 5 of fuel."

Somehow it was more believable when your covered wagon started on fire. Fuel fires in a crowded car - no wonder were driving with the windows down for zombies to get us and breaking our legs in the car.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:25 PM on October 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here Lies Mike

Fossil Fuels Got Him In The End
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:52 PM on October 30, 2010


I got all five of my dudes to the end!
posted by germdisco at 5:17 PM on October 30, 2010


Got all 5 to the end, total of 2206 points. So my time is worth about 600 points / hour. Sigh.
posted by pkingdesign at 5:21 PM on October 30, 2010


Kirk and Uhura made it, but Spock, Sulu and McCoy got sick and died along the way.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:36 PM on October 30, 2010


So I'm over zombies, really. It's gone far enough. But this game was fantastic and I can't believe I just played the whole game. I rarely had the patience to do the entire Oregon Trail game as a child. Thanks.
posted by Menomena at 7:34 PM on October 30, 2010


Someone should do a zombie-themed remake of that game where you're an escaped slave trying to get to the Nor.... Uh, nevermind.
posted by cthuljew at 8:16 PM on October 30, 2010


What's with the command line when you hit F1?
posted by DakotaPaul at 8:39 PM on October 30, 2010


Oh man, I lost Argonaut, Marmalade, Turp, Mario and finally Normal. It was worth it though, to make up silly names and spend time shooting pixel bullets like in ye olden dayes of my childhood. I kinda want to see what winning looks like, but I'm apparently not as focused as I was as a kid; I got bored and kept switching tabs during just the 5 second pauses.
posted by missix at 9:28 PM on October 30, 2010


Man, that game took FOREVER last night. I ended up going to bed after 2AM. I got around 1900 points but lost 3 members (though it's kind of random, since that bitch Jen ran off into the woods, Toby got bit like 5 times while we were driving and finally succumbed to it, and James got some random virus and died). Actually, I think Toby survived the 5th bite come to think of it.

It would've made more sense if you were vulnerable to zombie attacks while you were staying in town or while you were resting. That would make more sense and would add more to the "do I eat more food and risk starvation, or do I rest and risk a zombie attack?". Also, I didn't get the scavenging part. The few times I was able to make it to one of the icons before they disappeared (i.e. the shopping cart), I couldn't "grab" it or walk over it--it was just a block that I had to walk around.

Anyways, fun game, but like the original, it would be nice if there was more rhyme or reason to it and less chance.
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:41 PM on October 30, 2010


Eh, it was mostly an exercise in supreme patience turning scavenging supplies (food) into more liquid commodities via trading. But unless you didn't bother to collect any bullets in the beginning, the formula: bullets -> scavenge for food -> trade over and over to convert food to fuel, medicine, car parts, money -> trade up for a healthy balance once your past the initial food cycle -> rest -> drive -> repeat.

Really, the thing to do is get the minimum food possible on the initial scavenging run. You can always find more. Judy, Don, Penny, and Will all made it, but Zachary ran off to pee outside Los Vegas and never returned.
posted by cytherea at 11:14 PM on October 30, 2010


qxntpqbbbqxl: Made it to Oregon in 235 hours with only one casualty!

clockworkjoe: 2540 points and that took too long.

That's an impressive score, and I'm not quite sure how it would be done. I got about 2200, but I don't know how I could boost it very much more. Extra money, food, supplies, etc. aren't worth very many points. The game says that you get more points for playing as the lawyer, but I did not find this to be the case. The only way to make more points seems to be time, but I don't see how I could make it much quicker. I get there in about 600 hours by putting the pacing at strenuous, and only resting at the "city" stops (where healing is much more efficient). And even this is with a lucky game with few set backs (e.g. viruses, which demand time-eating road side resting). The only way I can see getting there in 200-300 hours is to just keep playing over and over until you get lucky enough to get 0 major random set-backs, while allowing your team to hover close to death by not resting very often (235 guy would've done it with just a little more luck).

I couldn't get their top ten thing to work, what do the top scores look like?
posted by dgaicun at 11:49 PM on October 30, 2010


I got around 1900 points but lost 3 members

This would mean about 2900 with everybody surviving.
posted by dgaicun at 11:54 PM on October 30, 2010


"by putting the pacing at strenuous"

Sorry, I meant "grueling".
posted by dgaicun at 12:13 AM on October 31, 2010


Ok I played again and got almost 2400, and made it in 301 hours. Here's the map, btw, which should help you anticipate when you need to be rested up (That Dallas to Albuquerque stretch in particular):


D.C. -- Pittsburg 230 miles
-- Mall 200 miles
-- Indianapolis 142 miles
-- Farmland 212 miles
-- Chicago 160 miles
-- Remote shack 196 miles
-- St Louis 260 miles
-- Cave 168 miles
-- Memphis 106 miles
-- Prison 196 miles
-- hospital 330 miles
-- Dallas 318 miles
-- strip club 600 miles
-- Albuquerque 420 miles
-- desert motel 352 miles
-- Las Vegas 362 miles
-- mine 328 miles
-- Salt Lake City 228 miles
-- airbase 570 miles
-- Oregon 322 miles
posted by dgaicun at 1:15 AM on October 31, 2010


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