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“You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully…..”
That’s the beginning. The beginning of Adventure, also known as Colossal Cave, but also the beginning of adventure games as we know them today.
This title, being a historic game, also has an interesting history. In 1973 its creator, Bill Crowther, was a developer involved in the creation of ARPAnet. He and his wife used to be enthusiast spelunkers, as well as regular Dungeons and Dragons players.
In their spare time, the Crowthers explored and mapped portions of the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems in Kentucky for the Cave Research Foundation.
During this period, the couple split up. To be nearer to his two daughters, Crowther decided to write a program for their amusement. A simulation of this cave he explored, mixed with elements from his fantasy roleplaying. They enjoyed it a lot, and the game was passed from friend to friend during the early days of the internet.
Eventually, in 1976, programmer Don Woods found a copy, enjoyed it as well, and contacted Crowther to ask whether he could expand it. Crowther gave his permission. So Woods, who loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy, added some typical Tolkien elements such as Elves, Trolls and even a volcano (inspired by Mount Doom). The game was then completed as we know it today.
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Boy, I loved that game. Played on an old TI with the thermal paper. Made maps and charts. It was a hit with all the injineers. Sigh! Lost youth.
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