Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures In The Internet Archive #9: Final Soul (1995, CAT Productions, Inc)


Continuing my adventures in the scary side of the Internet Archive, I played Final Soul (1995, CAT Productions, Inc.).

Final Soul is a text adventure that starts out with this message:

In Final Soul, you and a group of 12 friends have been invited to a haunted castle.  All you have to do is spend one night in the castle and the “reward” will be yours.

No sooner have you arrived then the lights go out.  When they come back on…

The rest of the game is a basic text adventure.  You explore the castle, search for clues, and try to solve puzzles.  It is a big castle but pressing “m” brings up a map:

The rest of the characters walk around the house, as well.  You can try to talk to them, though some of the conversations are more interesting than others:

If I had to use one word to describe this game, it would be “goofy.”  This is one of the goofiest text adventures that I have ever played and that is saying something.  This is the type of game where, when you leave the coat closet, it makes a joke about you “finally coming out the closet.”  If you type in a command that the game does not recognize, its response will depend on what room you are in:

Goofy though it may be, I still enjoyed playing Final Soul.  The game is a mix of complex puzzles and corny jokes.  It is hard not to like a game that has no pretense about being anything more than what it is.  Playing Final Soul, I was reminded of some of the deliberately stupid games that I created when I was first learning how to program.

One final note: there is an official site for Final Soul, which has hints, a list of commands, and a walkthrough for people like me who struggle when it comes to solving puzzles.

Advertisements

Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures in The Internet Archive #8: Demon’s Tomb — The Awakening (1989, Silhouette Software)


For my latest trip into the scariest parts of the Internet Archive, I played Demon’s Tomb — The Awakening (1989, Silhouette Software).

One thing that I instantly liked about Demon’s Tomb was the opening screen, which lists all of the special features that come with this game:

I appreciated that this game comes with a “pretend to be working” mode.  Sometimes, when a game is uploaded into the Internet Archive, it loses some of its features.  (For instance, do not even try to save a game if you are playing it in the archive.)  While playing Demon’s Tomb, I decided to see if the pretend to be working mode still worked.

This was the game, before I pressed F2.

After I pressed F2.

After I pressed F2 again.

The game itself is an Infocom-style text adventure.  You start the game as Edward Lytton, a British archeologist who is exploring a burial mound that has been uncovered on the moors.  Do not get too attached to Edward.  At the start of the game, he is trapped in the tomb and you are told that he only has a few turns left to live.  Before Edward dies, you can hide some of his possessions around the tomb so that they can be found later.

This is important to do because, after Edward dies, the game becomes about his son, Richard.  Richard arrives at the tomb to search for his father and he discovers that opening of the tomb has unleashed an ancient demon.  In order to defeat the demon and escape from the burial mound himself, Richard is going to need to find the things that Edward has hidden in the tomb.  If you did not hide those things while you were Edward, you will not be able to find them once you become Richard.

This is a challenging but rewarding game and the only real way to solve it is through trial and error.  Try something and, if it doesn’t work, do the opposite the next time you play.  Or you can just go on google and search for a walkthrough, like I shamefully did once I realized that I was never going to be able to figure this game out on my own.

Demon’s Tomb is largely text-based but it does give you the option to press F1 and see pictures of what is being described.  For example:

And my favorite:

If you are looking for a retro adventure game, I highly recommend Demon’s Tomb.  It’s a shame that they don’t make them like this anymore.

 

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

Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures in The Internet Archive #6: The Dark Half (1992, Capstone Software)


For my latest trip into the most horrific section of the Internet Archive, I played The Dark Half (1992, Capstone Software).

The Dark Half was released as a tie-in with the movie version of Stephen King’s novel of the same name. I have read that some people consider The Dark Half to be one of the worst games of all time.  If I can ever figure out how to get out of the cemetery, I will tell you if they are right.

You play writer Thad Beaumont, who used to write under the pen name of George Stark.  As a publicity stunt, Thad and his wife hold a mock funeral for George Stark in the local cemetery.  When the game starts, Thad has just discovered that someone has dug up George’s grave.

The game uses a standard point-and-click interface, the type that was once very popular but which seems clunky by today’s standards.  By clicking on right side of the screen, you can walk over the groundskeeper and have a conversation with him.

The groundskeeper does not have much to say about “them Yankees” but he will unlock the shed for you.  Going into the shed, you can get tools that I think will help you later in the game.  The problem is that they do not help you get out of the cemetery which is where I’m running into trouble.

As soon as you leave the shed, this happens:

At first, I thought that was George Stark killing Thad but, according to a walk-through that I found, that is actually George killing the reporter who was sent to cover his “burial.”

This scene is followed by this:

That is a blank screen.  Creepy music plays in the background while you get to stare at the blank screen and it just keeps on playing.  I have literally counted the minutes that I have spent staring at the screen and listening to the music before getting annoyed and ending the game.  The longest that I’ve gone is 8 minutes.  There is no text nor pictures, just the most droning and repetitive music imaginable.  Is this a glitch that only effects the Archive version of the game or did The Dark Half really come with an 8 minute-plus musical interlude?  I’m hoping that someone reading this post can tell me.  I would like to play the game but there’s only so much time that I can devote to staring at a blank screen.

Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures In The Internet Archive #5: Baal (1989, Psygnosis Limited)


For my next adventure in the horror section of the Internet Archive, I played Baal (1989, Psygnosis Limited).

In Baal, you are a leader of something called The Time Warriors.  A demon named Baal has stolen a super weapon and it is up to you to infiltrate Baal’s underground lair, kill Baal’s warriors, get the weapon, and destroy Baal.  It sounds simple but this game is biased against people like me who aren’t any good at games like this.

The game starts with you materializing in Baal’s lair.  I think the blue contraption is a transporter.

Yes, there are ladders and multiple levels.  The controls are simple.  Use the arrow keys to move.  Press the space bar to fire our weapon.  If you want jump, press the space bar and an arrow key at the same time.

That serpent is one of Baal’s minions.  You can destroy the serpent by shooting it several times but don’t make my mistake and get too close.  Touching the serpent kills you.

After it kills you, the serpent flies away.  That was cool.

After getting killed by the serpent, I was given a second chance.  This time, instead of running forward, I ran up the ladder.  I discovered that, much like the serpents, you do not want to touch that blue force field.  I also discovered what happens when you fall off a level.

Eventually, I figured out how to jump and I also managed to kill the serpent before it killed me.  This is what I discovered at the other end of the cave.

Another force field!  I decided to test my theory that running into the force field would cause me to die.

It did.

That was it for me.  Baal can have the super weapon.  Hopefully, Baal’s next opponent will be better at games like this than I am.

 

Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures In The Internet Archive #4: The Horror of Rylvania (1993, Adventions)


For today’s adventure in the Internet Archive, I played The Horror of Rylvania (1993, Adventions).

The Horror of Rylvania is a text-only adventure.  You and your best friend from college, Carolyn, are backpacking across Europe.  When the two of you cross into the backwards country of Rylvania, you are both attacked by wolves.  Carolyn is gravely injured and you have no choice but to leave her behind and go to a nearby village for help.

The Horror of Rylvania was written by D.A. Leary, who provides concise and vivid descriptions of each location in the game.  Go to the Inn and you can listen to villagers talk about wolves and vampires.  Find the doctor’s office and you can lead him back to Carolyn.  You can even stop and pray, with different results for different locations.

What you cannot do, at least on the Internet Archive, is solve the Horror of Rylvania.  The version on the Internet Archive is just a demo.  Once you have done everything that you can do in the village, there is a cliffhanger and a suggestion that, if you enjoyed the demo, you should send $20.00 to a post office box in Maryland to get the full version.  Since the message was written in 1993, I am going to guess it would not do me any good to mail the money.

If this was 1993, I would gladly send the twenty and I would probably add another ten just to make sure that the game arrived on time.  That is how good the demo was.  Instead, I guess I will just have to make up my own ending to The Horror of Rylvania.

Jedadiah Leland’s Horrific Adventures In The Internet Archive #3: Hugo’s House of Horrors (1990, Gray Designs Associates)


During today’s exploration of the horrific corners of the Internet Archive, I played Hugo’s House of Horrors (1990, Gray Designs Associates.)

In Hugo’s House of Horrors, you control Hugo.  Hugo’s girlfriend went to a haunted house to babysit and never returned.  When the game starts, you have just arrived at the house to try to find her.

First impression: I’m really digging the graphics.  That house sure does look haunted.  The spooky music that playing in the background is also pretty cool.

I guess it’s time for Hugo to enter the house.  This turned out to be more difficult then I was expecting.

Why not?  That’s a great idea!

Locked?  But look at all those eyes watching Hugo.  Maybe someone inside the house can help.

Hello?

Son of a bitch!  Maybe there’s something I’m missing.

I just tried that!

OPEN THIS DOOR!

OPEN UP!

OPEN THE DOOR, I SEE YOU STARING AT ME!

Eventually, I noticed the pumpkin at Hugo’s feet.  The key was hidden in the pumpkin so Hugo was finally able to open the door and enter the house.

Nice house.  I especially like the painting of the bat.  I sent Hugo went upstairs and had him go through that open doorway at the end of the hall.

Get in the box?  Why not?

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.

Oh, this is bullsh–

After the professor left, I realized that Hugo was now much smaller.  After the professor left, I decided that Hugo should leave the room too.  I don’t trust Igor.

The lesson here is don’t get into strange boxes.

This is as far as I have gotten on Hugo’s House of Horrors.  Hugo may be in trouble because it doesn’t seem that I’m very good at this game.  Maybe he will have better luck with you controlling his actions than me.