Saturday, June 4, 2016

Colossal Cave Adventure II: A Maze of Twisty Little Passages All-Different

This is what I see in my nightmares.

Most of my gaming efforts have been channeled into The Game of Dungeons v8 over the last week, so I don't have a lot to write about Colossal Cave Adventure II.  I only did one thing in that game since my last post: I explored one of the mazes.

So far in my explorations I've found three mazes: one with passages that are "all alike", one with passages that are "all-different", and another that is a cavern filled with swirling fog.  That last one wasn't in the original game, and I have no idea how to map it, so I've steered clear of it so far.  The one I decided to explore was the "all-different"maze.  It's the easiest to map, if perhaps the most irritating.

Take a look at the image above.  You'll see that each location in the maze has a unique descriptor, based on four words in different combinations: twisty, twisting, little and maze.  You just have to pay close attention to the arrangement of these words.  The main trick here is not to mix up "twisty" with "twisting".  I didn't have much trouble with it this time around, but when I played the original version of the game it was a while before I figured out that those two words were different.  This time I was on the lookout for it, so I had little trouble making my map.  It was annoying and time-consuming, but not difficult.

Just like the maze in the original Colossal Cave Adventure, this maze contains a vending machine at a dead end.  You can use a gold coin to buy a battery from the machine, and the battery can be used to recharge your lamp.  This sounds useful, as the lamp will run out eventually, but I wouldn't recommend it.  The coin is a treasure, and you'll need it to win the game.  It's only really of value when you're mapping and exploring, not trying to win.

I wasn't expecting this maze to be any different to that in the original game, but this one had a nasty surprise.  There's a tunnel deep in the maze that leads to a "tangled web of intersecting passages".  Yes, that's my reward for exploring the maze: another bloody maze!  And not just another maze, but a maze with a giant spider.  It's hitting all of my nightmare fuel at once.

That's all for now.  By next week I should have explored the other mazes, and will hopefully be close to completing the game.  It depends on whether I'm close to beating The Game of Dungeons.  Believe it or not I feel pretty confident about beating that game soon as well: I have new ideas.

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