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Old 08-17-2011, 05:51 AM   #1
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Default Transcript of text-adventures

A few months ago I watched the documentary Get Lamp (link to AG's review) and since then have been reading some more about text adventures (such as in Twisty Little Passages). So far as actually playing them, however, the narrative aspect appeals to me more than the actual gaming aspect (not surprisingly due to my lack of time).

It's great to see that some of these games are now even available on e-readers, such as Zork (though the actual typing is a bit cumbersome). Yet what I have been looking for for some time is for a simple playthrough text so that I can 'explore' the games by only reading. What I am looking for essentially (but haven't been able to find) is a walkthrough that also includes the descriptions and the responses from the game.

This is probably a weird and perhaps sacrilegious desire on my part, but if anyone would know of such a walkthrough/playthrough/transcript of some (actually any!) of the old text adventures (or perhaps even some of the newer IFs) I would gladly hear about it.

On a side note, I did came across some fan fiction but that is not really what I am looking for. Also, I am aware that a simple transcript will exclude many possible responses and alternative story lines.

You can see a few examples here of what I am looking for (unfortunately, these are incomplete and not from the actual games).

I hope someone can help me! Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:34 AM   #2
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Winfrotz is a program for playing old text adventures under Windows. It has the option to save and print the full transcript of your actons and the game's responses. Now all you have to do is find someone who has used this option...

PS: I don't know the guy but David Welbourn (you'll remember him from Get Lamp) might be able to help you. I'm fairly sure he would consider it sacrilege though.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:49 PM   #3
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While I can understand why you think you want transcripts you will find them very disappointing. They are as dry as toast and have not got the charm of playing the original games. If all you are shown is the command "GO NORTH" followed by something happening you will have completely missed the fun of, for instance, (and probably completely made up by me although I remember similar dialog from the tons of text games I played back in the day), typing "N" and getting the rejoinder "No", then typing "Go North" and getting "No. There's a Grue". After typing the command several more times and being denied you get the rejoinder "Persistent, aren't you?" and when you are totally frustrated and type "GO NORTH" in all caps, the game says "Oh, alright, but you'll be sorry!".

The best "lines" are often reserved for bone-headed things you try in desperation. You see there is no "there" in these games. While visuals could suffice in later games, the fun in text games, as in much of life, is in getting there.

Of course, some text games played it totally straight, which were not as much fun in my view. My suggestion would be to try a good one. I'd start with "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

Last edited by Dara100; 08-18-2011 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:53 AM   #4
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Thanks Fien for the suggestion. I've installed WinFotz and it works perfectly. This (and the use of walkthroughs) makes it doable to make transcripts myself. Bothering more people has now luckily become optional (which doesn't mean I won't, I just have to think about it some more)

I see your point Dara100, but I guess it depends on what you want to get out of it. For every clever response built-in there are always infinitely more lacking and game design opportunities missed. I actually quite liked your portrayal of the 'go north' thing, so who knows, maybe I just need an elaborate transcript with optional annotations Although you haven't dissuaded me from looking for transcripts, I will definitely start playing HHGTTG when I have some time!

Someone did send me a link to a transcript of Zork (made by Marleigh Norton). Though it is very simple (and doesn't include any diversions) it was still quite enjoyable to read.
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