Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adventure - or - How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Red Dragon

All hail the king of the fantasy games...ADVENTURE! Published in 1978, Adventure had it all and did it better than most modern games.  It was one of the first games that had a multi-screen world to explore, allowed the player to establish a inventory and then move those items from one place to another, and it gave the world the first known easter egg in a video game.  It also provided 9 year old me one of my earliest uses  of the words "shit", "fucker", "fucking red dragon" and the timeless "fucking red dragon bitch". 

Adventure was a mean mistress for the first time player.

The goal was to get the magical chalice back to the castle.  You controlled a square.  I'm not going to mince words here...you were a fucking square.  There is no amount of persuasion that will convince me that you were a knight, or the village hero, or even some kind of blockheaded dwarf...you were a square.  Of course, you had to go over Hell's half acre to find the chalice, using keys to unlock different castles, a magnet to attract items that were hard to reach, and a sword to kill dragons who would, at the drop of a hat, do their damndest to swallow you with one bite.  If you managed to avoid the troubles and grab the chalice, you had to be on your toes for the bat.  The bat would fly by with an item in it's possession and swap it for the one you had.  So, if you had the chalice and were ready to win the game, the bat could take it from you and leave you with something else...starting the whole quest over again.

Of course, the big thing with Adventure was the easter egg.  Back in the day, Atari didn't give their programmers credit for the games they created.  Eventually, they revolted, told Atari to piss off, and many of them formed the gaming juggernaut known as Activison.  Before that, Adventure creator Warren Robinett had a different idea on how to stick it to the pixelated man.  He planted the world's first easter egg in Adventure.  If the player did the steps in the correct order, they saw this....

After all is said and done, all of you WOW players should get down on your knees and thank whatever elven god you believe in for the creation of Adventure.  Go ahead and give it a shot...afterwards you can tell me about that fucking red dragon bitch.

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