Lost meets Zork

Growing up with computers in the early 80’s wasn’t exactly the most graphical experience in the world. At the time, we definitely thought the graphics were cool, but let’s face it, a Commodore-64 looks like crap these days with it’s 16 colors and 320×200 display (that was monochrome — for color, it was 160×200 if I remember correctly.) There was a company called Infocom that made adventure games that only used text to tell the story. There were other adventure games out at the time, but they were not in the same league as Infocom’s. Beside the excellent stories, the Infocom games could take input in the form of complete sentences. Other adventures at the time required two word input (“go west”, “get can”, “kick dog”, “eat bread”) but an Infocom adventure allowed much more input freedom (“Go into the house then pick up the can of coagulating bacon grease. Kick the lazy dog and eat the rye bread.”) I have very, very fond memories playing those Infocom games on my Commodore-64 and Amiga computers. I still own all of those text adventure games and play them from time to time.

Lost, on the other hand is a television show worthy of attention. It’s the story of plane wreck survivors on an island in the south Pacific. Apparently the radios on the plane failed and they were 1000 miles off course due to bad weather so search and rescue teams would be looking in the wrong place for them. In other words, they are stuck on the island. This isn’t Gilligan’s Island. It’s an island that’s got a lot of issues and plenty of mystery. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend doing so by either catching reruns, downloading episodes or buying season 1 on DVD when it comes out.

Given the above, I was highly amused when I found somebody mixed two things I really enjoy (even better than when my chocolate gets in my peanut butter!) May I present Lost Explained .  (The link is dead, so here is the content…)

Lost Explained!
by Chris Rywalt – May 27, 2005

Today, while driving — driving and showering always bring out the most thoughtful in me — I finally unravelled what’s going on in everyone’s favorite conundrum, Lost.

All of the characters in Lost are in Zork. The whole show is one giant text adventure game.

Think about it.

LOST> take gun

You take the gun.

LOST> n

You head north into the jungle, soon emerging into a small clearing. There is something gleaming under the dirt.

LOST> dig

What do you want to dig?

LOST> dig dirt

What do you want to dig the dirt with?

LOST> dig dirt with plane-scrap shovel

You dig in the dirt. Several sweaty minutes later, you reveal a steel hatch.

LOST> open hatch

The hatch cannot be opened from this side.

LOST> use dynamite

There is no dynamite here.

LOST> n

You are lost in the jungle in a maze of twisty little paths, all alike.

LOST> e

You are lost in the jungle in a maze of twisty little paths, all alike.

LOST> n

You are lost in the jungle in a maze of twisty little paths, all alike.
Locke is here.
Locke walks off to the west.

LOST> follow locke

You follow Locke.
You are lost in the jungle in a maze of twisty little paths, all alike.
Locke walks off to the north.

LOST> follow locke

You follow Locke.
You are lost in the jungle in a maze of twisty little paths, all alike.
Locke walks off to the north.

LOST> follow locke

You follow Locke.
You emerge from the jungle and see ahead of you a huge sailing ship overgrown with vines. There is a hole in its underside large enough for a person to walk through.
Locke is here.
Hurley is here.
Kate is here. Kate is HOT.
Arzt is here.
An open crate of sweating dynamite is here.

LOST> look kate

Kate is just standing there being HOT.

LOST> look crate

Inside the wooden crate you see many sticks of dynamite, encrusted with nitroglycerin, packed in straw.
Arzt says, “Do you know what happens to dynamite in tropical weather? It sweats nitroglycerin. Nitroglycerin is the most unstable chemical known to man.”
Suddenly, Arzt explodes.

LOST> take arzt

The little pieces aren’t big enough.

LOST> take dynamite

The crate is too big.

LOST> take stick

You take a stick of dynamite. It feels unstable.

LOST> i

You are carrying:

  • a plane-scrap shovel
  • a backpack
  • an empty water bottle
  • no tea
  • a small metal toy plane
  • a gun
  • some Arzt on your neck
  • an unstable stick of dynamite

LOST> give kate plane

“This is important to me, but I don’t need it yet,” Kate says, handing the plane back to you.
You take the small metal plane of importance to Kate.

LOST> l stick

The dynamite is getting very unstable. You’d better hurry.
Locke says, “I’m going back to the hatch.”
Locke walks off to the west.

LOST> follow locke

You follow Locke back to the hatch.

LOST> drop dynamite

You drop the dynamite. It looks very unstable! You’d better run!

LOST> run

Which way?

LOST> run s

You run south.
You are on the beach.
Locke is here.
That dim bulb Shannon is here.
You hear a huge explosion from the north.

LOST> n

You head north into the jungle, soon emerging into a small clearing. There is a hatch here.
The hatch is open.

LOST> l hatch

You see a rusty, ancient ladder going down into the darkness. After several rungs, the ladder is broken, and the rest of the shaft goes down as far as you can see.

LOST> q

You can’t quit.

LOST> die

I don’t know the word “die”.

LOST> kill self

What do you want to kill the self with?

LOST> kill self with gun

You raise the weapon to your head, close your eyes tightly, and begin to squeeze the trigger. Suddenly, Hurley jumps out of hiding and pulls the barrel away from your temple. “Dude, what are you doing?” he shouts.

LOST>

UPDATE: Just for grins, I’ve made my complete Infocom text adventure archive available here .


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