Jedadiah Leland’s Horrorific Adventures In The Internet Archive #7: The Lurking Horror (1987, Infocom)


If you are looking for a good, text-based horror film, allow me to suggest heading over the Internt Archive and trying your hand at The Lurking Horror (1987, Infocom).

The Lurking Horror is an interactive adventure game of Lovecraftian horror.  You are a student who has one night to finish a big paper.  During the worst blizzard in history, you make your way from the dorms to the computer lab.  Since this is an Infocom game, nothing is easy but the end results are rewarding.  Not only do you have to figure out the right commands to edit your paper but, once you do figure it all out, you discover that your paper is no longer your paper.  Instead, your paper has been transformed into an ancient text.

I will give you one hint.  When you first load up the paper, the game will literally beg you to read the entire paper.  Even if you click on your in-game PC’s help key, it will suggest that you read the entire paper.  Do not do it.  If you start reading the paper, you will not be able to stop.  Even if you say that you want to leave the computer room or that you want to turn off the computer, you will be told that “instead, you click the more box.”  After four turns of reading the paper, something terrible happens to you.

Instead of reading the paper after you open it, try to talk to the hacker in the computer room.  (In typical Infocom fashion, the hacker has several hilarious reactions.  For fun, try typing “attack the hacker.”)  The hacker has suggestions for how to retrieve your original paper.  It will not be easy though.  There are monsters in the computer lab.

Again, this is an Infocom game so it is not going to be easy.  It takes a while to get the hang of it but stick with it and it will be worth it.  For those who know their Lovecraft, playing The Lurking Horror will be a very rewarding experience.

One final note.  In the game, when you turn on the computer, you are required to enter a login and a password.  There is no way to discover the login or the password in-game.  That information was only made available in the game’s original manual.  I had to look up the login and the password online.  For the record, here they are:

login: 872325412
password: uhlersoth

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