You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike...
September 18, 2002 7:17 PM   Subscribe

I wasted hours of my childhood in Colossal Cave.
posted by grumblebee at 7:17 PM on September 18, 2002

i always thought that the history of the game was the most interesting part of it. lots of games are made to make money, or to find something to do. there was a truly human element to adventure.
posted by moz at 7:25 PM on September 18, 2002


Auto-cannibalism is not the answer.

Between the cave, and it's broken-into-three-parts-so-it-would-fit-on-a-micro descendant, Zork, I spent a large hunk of my early computing life.


Your score is 0 out of 7. Your rank is Beginner.
posted by eriko at 7:35 PM on September 18, 2002

I downloaded a windows version (uses the original data files, though somewhat expanded) from here.
posted by grumblebee at 7:41 PM on September 18, 2002

You are in a small chamber beneath a 3x3 steel grate to the surface. A low crawl over cobbles leads inward to the west.

Deja vu really--but fun--and odd to use a text-only interface....thanks! (I'm glad they made a mac version)

Did anyone ever make a visual, mouse-enabled version?
posted by amberglow at 7:43 PM on September 18, 2002

Ah, the good old days, before everybody had a computer on their desks (or in their pockets). We used to play late at night in 1979 with a phone link to the big computer across town at the University of Washington (I never thought to ask if it was authorized). Loved the game, but never got far beyond (my) Witt's End.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:14 PM on September 18, 2002

I played it when it was "Apple Adventure" and came with our new Apple II+ circa 1983. Sucked up tons of my time. I had a paper map of the whole place, a list of magic words, etc. Never finished it. I'd love to, for closure, but I'm too afraid of getting sucked back in...
posted by bingo at 9:49 PM on September 18, 2002

Best 404, ever. Because sometimes looking for that certain web page makes you feel like you're lost inside a dark cave.
posted by jennak at 10:27 PM on September 18, 2002

I finally got past the front page of the posted link (was it just me, or was it rather hard to understand what the site was all about from the site's index page? I couldn't gather if this was a caving or a gaming site, but that might be because my friends and I played "Zork" and I didn't know the premise was based on a real cave.), and I cannot wait to visit Bedquilt Cave. I'm amazed that visitors who know Adventure's map by heart are able to navigate through Bedquilt "flawlessly."
posted by jennak at 10:51 PM on September 18, 2002

Wow!! Thanks for the FPP, a wave of memories came crashing in after visiting the site.

Very cool, and very weird to be so suddenly transported back to being that 14ish year old in front of my apple II+
posted by canucklehead at 10:51 PM on September 18, 2002

University computer center...should be studying...playing adventure...lost as account running out...steal another one from a freshman english major, she will never miss it......Oh God, I am not prepared for my exam tomorrow...XYZZY.
posted by caddis at 11:12 PM on September 18, 2002

This was a favorite pastime on the old HP3000 while doing interminable database maintenance etc. The HP had a great games account with other text based favorites whose names escape me now.
posted by islander at 1:23 AM on September 19, 2002

Ah, I love this game still. I used to spend hours and hours playing the Adams Adventures. I never did figure out "Mission Impossible..."
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:41 AM on September 19, 2002

I had a paper map of the whole place, a list of magic words, etc.

Oh man! I too had maps...graph paper filled with maps...jeeez think of the hours.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2002

Anyone here ever play Empire on the old Plato system. It's the first network multiplayer game I remember. I never actually played it myself, because just as I was becoming interested, the authorities at Indiana University decided to filter out all games.

I remember stories about some guy whose username was "your own stupidity." He chose that name so that when he killed someone, a message would flash on their screen that said, "you've been killed by your own stupidity."

Around the same time, I got my first personal computer -- an apple II (that only typed uppercase characters). I used to spend hours playing early graphical adventure games (I remember one which was a murder mystery and one set in the wild wild west). My friends and I created a sort of primitive network. We'd all play at the same time in our respective homes. About every 15 minutes, we'd call each other, saying, "where are you now? Have you figured out how to get past the snake? I got the treasure. You wanna know how?" I didn't recapture this pleasure until years later when my wife and I played Myst and Riven.
posted by grumblebee at 9:23 AM on September 19, 2002

You didn't hear this from me, but ...

All original infocom games, playable via telnet at I recently achieved a lifetime goal of solving Spellbreaker.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:52 AM on September 19, 2002

I saw XYZZY on a license plate the other day... pretty darn cool.
posted by wfrgms at 10:03 AM on September 19, 2002

It helps to know that the username for the infocom (plus some others) service at is "zork", and that there's no password. (Also, apologies for the self-link.)
posted by hades at 11:29 AM on September 19, 2002

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