Previously I discussed the overall structure of my soon-to-be hit adventure game. Well, last night was a milestone. I managed to write an Applesoft program so epic that it overwrote the high-resolution graphics page. Compared to other programs I have seen, mine isn't that huge. Around 250 lines isn't that huge, right? Transylvania clocks in at 464 lines.
Apocalyptic dystopia from a libertarian perspective. Biases confirmed! In this story it's not war, plague or environmental catastrophe that brings the end times, it's the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. This is a far more likely scenario than we'd like to think and the author does a great job in showing how it would gradually affect a regular family. In the early parts it feels like a tale of what happens to all the normal people in the world of Atlas Shrugged.
Another one of these sub-culture documentaries which follows the formula: Identify sub-culture, show the originators, show the people who "took it to the next level", and finally show how this sub-culture has infiltrated mass culture. This time it's all about music that uses the Roland 808 drum machine. The big takeaway here is that, after an hour an a half, I don't ever want to hear another 808 beat again.
The first Strummin' Mental CD compiles thirty or so surfy guitar instrumentals from the early 60s. The aesthetic here is raw, raunchy and fairly lo-fi. Punk rock for the beach blanket bingo set.
The previous post in this series explained how to get Graphics Magician images to display from Applesoft. Now, I'd like to go over the structure of the program listed in Write your Own Adventure Programs. The bulk of the program listing consists of the game data including objects, room descriptions, verbs and state flags. Most of the remaining code is comprised of a series of conditions that check how the player's actions affect the objects in the game world.
Having recently played the Apple ][ game Transylvania and its sequel, I was inspired to mess with the art program which those games used. The Graphics Magician was a huge hit for Penguin Software, but I never actually had a chance to use it when we had an Apple ][. I just remember it being advertised in every computer magazine I had.
He starts off with a typical comedian's memoir and, after about three pages, Norm gives up and go total autofiction. There's a grain of truth in every chapter, but each quickly descends into madness. It's not just cheap jokes (there's much of that, including the famous "Moth Joke"). Eventually, the fourth wall is broken and it becomes a smart, thrilling story.
Even as an audio book, this was a chore to get through. It's a tale of a future with super human artificial persons (the titular Friday), violent city states, and coporatized family structures. Oh, and lots of cringey sex talk. I suspect Heinlein was a swinger who wanted moral justifications for whatever dark seeded perversions he held. Unfortunately, he writes like a seventh grader and also has a seventh-grade boy's understanding of women. So dumb.
Cheng Pei Pei is great in the excellent swordfighting movie about a master in hiding who takes on a young apprentice with the hope that she'll help defeat her arch enemy. It's beautifully shot and has a nice love triangle sub-plot to appease girly Crouching Tiger fans. The martial arts are not the greatest ever filmed, but it more than makes up for it in gore and crazy miniature effects. Temple of Doom owes much to this movie's rope bridge scene.
The head severing basket on a chain is back and is as ridiculous as ever. When we last left off, our hero invented an umbrella that could thwart the guillotine, then beat his enemies, and then he went off to live a quiet life. Now a group of rebels are plotting to kill the tyrannical emperor and but, little do they know, the guillotines have gotten an upgrade.
I'm sure I would have enjoyed this more if I had watched it with friends and alcohol. Samurai Cop is a classic "so bad it's good" movie with terrible acting, writing and directing. It's filled with typical z-movie inexplicable moments and several painfully long love scenes. The best part of the movie is Frank the side kick and his goofy expressions.
This sequel to the classic Apple ][ adventure game Transylvania has you returning to the same locations as the first game once again to fight the evil Vampire. The game is twice as big and is a bit more refined. I played the updated 1985 version of the game which runs on the Comprehend game engine which is probably the best implementation of a text/graphics hybrid adventure system. You can use a few prepositions and, in this game, you can command other characters to complete puzzles.
Transylvania is a hybrid text/graphical adventure originally for the Apple ][. This was a big hit back in the day and was ported to just about every other 8-bit machine. I loved these types of adventure games but was really, really bad at them. In hindsight, most of them were brutally unfair and prone to the bad game design cliches of the era such as instant death and guess-the-verb puzzles. Still, I remember seeing screenshots of that menacing werewolf in issues of Softalk or A+ magazine and wanting to try this game.
I think this might be the fourth Italian horror movie I've seen that's based on Poe's story, The Black Cat. None of them actually follow the original story except for the inclusion of the titular cat and a scene where someone is bricked up behind a basement wall. This is Lucio Fulci's take and, as such, includes a little bit of corny gore (the burning scene is probably the best) and a lot extreme close-up eye shots. Outside of the beautiful photography and R-rated elements, this seems like a made for T.V. movie.