Computer Games Accessible to the Blind
Edited by Michael Feir
Issue 9: November/December, 1997
Welcome to the ninth issue of Audyssey. It's here at last, the 1997
special Holiday edition. this magazine is dedicated to the
discussion of games which, either by accident or design, are
accessible to the blind. We also discuss any concerns and issues
raised by them. This issue brings you some interesting and
insightful reviews and letters sent by many of you. You'll also
find my humble suggestions for gift ideas. I'll look through my
vast collection of games, and present the best of what I find in
several categories. The latest catalog of PCS's many fine games can
also be found in this issue.
Please write articles and letters about games or game-related
topics which interest you. They will likely interest me, and your
fellow readers. They will also make my job as editor a lot more
interesting and true to the meaning of the word. This magazine
should and can be a highly interesting and qualitative look at
accessible computer gaming. To insure
that high quality is maintained, I'll need your written
contributions. I'm not asking for money here, and won't accept any.
This magazine is free in its electronic form, and will always
remain so. PCS needs to charge a subscription cost to cover the
disks and shipping costs that it incurs by making the magazine
available on disk. I'm writing this
magazine as much for my own interest as for everyone else's. Your
articles, reviews, and letters, as well as any games you might care
to send me, are what I'm after. Send any games, articles, letters,
or reviews on a 3.5-inch disk in a self-addressed mailer
so that I can return your disk or disks to you once I have copied
their contents onto my hard drive. Please only send shareware or
freeware games. It is illegal to send commercial games. By sending
me games, you will do several things: first, and most obviously,
you will earn my gratitude. You will also insure that the games
you send me are made available to my readership as a whole. As a
further incentive, I will fill any disks you send me with games
from my collection. No disk will be returned empty. If you want
specific games, or specific types of games, send a message in Ascii
format along. *Never* *ever* send your original disks of *anything*
to *anyone* through the mail. *Always* send *copies!* This
principle may seem like it shouldn't even have to be stated, but
when it comes to just about anything related to computers, there's
always some poor soul who will act before applying common sense.
Disks are *not* indestructible. Things *do* get lost or damaged in
the mail, and disks are not immune to these misfortunes. If you
have a particular game that you need help with, and you are sending
your questions on a disk anyhow, include the game so that I can try
and get past your difficulty. If you can, I recommend that you send
e-mail. I have acquired a copy of the UUencode software, and can
send and/or receive files which are encoded via this means. This
way, no money will be wasted sending me a game I already have, and
you'll get my reply more quickly. You are responsible for shipping
costs. That means, either use a disk mailer which has your address
on it, and is either free matter for the blind, or is properly
stamped. I can and will gladly spare time to share games and my
knowledge of them, but cannot currently spare money above what I
spend hunting for new games. I encourage all my
readers to give my magazine to whoever they think will appreciate
it. Up-load it onto web pages and bulletin board systems. Copy it
on disk for people, or print it out for sighted people who may find
it of value. The larger our community gets, the more self-
sustaining it will become.
This magazine is published on a bi-monthly basis, each issue
appearing no earlier than the twentieth of every other month. All
submissions must be sent to me in standard Ascii format either on
a 3.5-inch floppy disk, or via e-mail to my Compuserve address. I
will give my home address and my Compuserve address at the end of
the magazine. There are now several ways of obtaining Audyssey. To
subscribe to the distribution list so that you receive all future
issues, send a subscription request to J.J. Meddaugh. As he is
running several lists, be sure to specifically ask to join the
Audyssey list. His address is:
You can find all issues of Audyssey on the Internet on Paul
Henrichsen's web site at:
All issues are also available in the disability forum on
Compuserve. If you have web access, Audyssey now has an official
web-page, maintained by J.J. Meddaugh. There are links to other
interesting sites, and all issues of Audyssey are available there
as well. In the near future, software may also be posted there for
you to down-load. The address for this page is:
Adam Taylor, known far and wide as Adam, the Immortal Gamer, has
also condescended to help us lesser beings out. He is the official
ADOM guru, having beaten this particular screen-oriented game with
every combination of race and class possible. He is also quite
knowledgeable about many other games discussed in this magazine. He
maintains a web page at:
All issues of the magazine are available here, as well as helpful
material for players of ADOM. Adam is also willing to post files
for down-loading on his page. Simply e-mail your requests for
programs, hints, and solutions to:
If you have ftp access, all issues are also available at Travis
Siegel's ftp site:
Look in the /magazines directory.
For those of you who have trouble finding some of the software
discussed in this magazine, or if you know someone who doesn't have
access to the Internet, but would be interested in the magazine,
this magazine is now available on disk. PCS has agreed to
distribute Audyssey, as well as selected shareware or freeware
software on disk for ten dollars US per year. To subscribe to
Audyssey on disk, contact them at:
Personal Computer Systems
551 Compton Ave.
Perth Amboy N.J.
E-mail: [email protected]
From the Editor
Gifts For Gamers
Here's Mud in Your Ear
Accessible Crossword Puzzles for Christmas
News from PCS
From the Editor:
Well, it's finally here! I apologize to everyone for the lateness
of this most important of issues of Audyssey. I also must sadly
report that there wasn't enough time to write an episode of Adam,
the Immortal Gamer. To make amends for this, all I can do is assure
you that there will be an episode in the next issue, authored by
the Immortal Gamer himself.
The lateness of this magazine is due to a number of different
factors, procrastination among them. the last stretch of my term at
university was absolutely packed with assignments of all kinds.
Added to this is an essay worth forty percent of a course mark
which still must be finished. I certainly realize how little time
I've left you all to make use of the information in this magazine,
and can only hope that you find it of some use.
Had all gone more according to plan, this issue would have been
very different from what it turned out like. I originally planned
to create a game for all of you which would be played in a word
processor with dice being the only tools needed. This game should
be available by the end of the holidays. When it is finished, I'll
send it out to whoever wants it. It puts players in a magical land
under attack by an evil warlock. you and your companions must stop
him from conquering the land within a year's time. You'll find
magic, monsters, heros and villains in what will hopefully prove to
be an exciting game. If interested, please contact me.
If all goes well, the next issue should be published in January,
putting us back on schedule again. However, I won't publish if
nothing worth publishing happens, or is sent to me. One trend I've
noticed lately is that a lot of you are sending letters or reviews,
but almost nobody is sending substantive articles. Fortunately, at
least one good article seems to appear in time for each issue. I
hope more of you will choose to write articles examining the issues
surrounding games, instead of merely reviewing them. Ask yourselves
what kind of impact games have on you. What kinds of things would
you like to see become available? Are there any games which offend
or bother you for one reason or another? If so, why are they
A couple of suggestions have been tossed my way, and because they
would drastically change the scope of this magazine, I have decided
to pass them along to you. the first suggestion is to start
discussing utilities as well as games. A lot of you are having
trouble finding suitable utilities such as databases, spreadsheets,
etc. While this magazine has briefly discussed various speech
synthesizers and software among other similar things, a section
purely discussing utilities would be a radical departure from the
current focus on entertainment. It is my understanding that other
publications are already out there to help people find the
utilities they need. However, if enough of you want the purview of
this magazine to expand, I'll certainly consider it. Another
suggestion is to have a bargain basement, where people can
advertise their unwanted software or hardware which may be of use
to others. What do you all think of that idea? The only drawbacks
I see to the past two suggestions is that it would lessen the
unique nature of this magazine. I started audyssey because no other
magazine discussed the various games accessible to the blind.
Everyone seemed to know about work and access-related software, but
almost nobody seemed to know about the many amusements available
for their computers. Again, I'll await your reactions to all this
and keep you posted as things progress.
In closing, I'll take this opportunity to wish all of you the
happiest of holidays. While I certainly hope you'll take some time
to try out the wide selection of computer games out there, I urge
all of you to spend time with friends and family. It's all too easy
to get swallowed up in a good game, and holidays ought to be spent
with people. For those so inclined, there are several multi-player
games which you might want to share with others. I would only
recommend this with smaller gatherings, as it can become boring
waiting for hoards of twenty or more people to make their moves.
Until next time, happy holidays.
From Magali Gueths:
Hello everyone! I've got some news for you. First off, I recently
got in contact with Jim Kitchen. He has recently finished a new
version of his baseball game. The new game includes commercials,
new sounds, and other improvements. Try it! I have a beta copy, so
just give me your email address and I'll send it to you. On a 14.4
bod modem, it takes about 26 minutes to download. Have you been
looking for any wav recording or sample recording software? Well,
visit ftp.edu.tw/pc/simtelnet/msdos/sound/, and
you will find tons of sound software (seven pages of it). I am also
starting a web page on the internet. For those of you with web
access, the homepage address will have something like this:
http://world.std.com/mgueths. I haven't finished it yet, but once
I'm finished, I'll tell Mike and he'll tell you guys.
If ftp.edu.tw/pc/simtelnet/msdos/sound/ irl doesn't work, just
go to ftp.edu.tw and follow the directory tree from there. If ftp
is too slow, you can try the following at your server's prompt:
Thanks for the news, Magali. I'm certain many of us will be after
that baseball game. Also, the information you provided concerning
wav files will be of interest to those of us who are working on
games using sound. Keep us posted on that web page of yours.
From Jay Pellis:
I have some information on the new interactive fiction CD that was
discussed in a previous issue of Audyssey. On a new IF site, I read
the latest news on the project. It turns out that the whole project
was cancelled. The CD was to be a compilation of the greatest Tads
and Inform games on the IF archive. The reason it was cancelled was
because in the past 18 months a lot of people
got internet access and could download the games off the archive.
I found another interpreter for windows other than winfrotz. It is
for level9 games. Level9 was a company similar to Infocom. There's
also a dos interpreter for them. I haven't played these games that
much but from what I read about them they seem to be very good
games. I'm still having trouble finding the text Rpg Legends. I
e-mailed the address you gave me and I didn't get a response. Could
you tell me an Ftp or
web site where I can get it.
Thanks. Jay Pellis.
Hi, Jay. A lot of us were waiting in eager anticipation for that
interactive fiction cd-rom. It would have been one of a very few
cd-roms truly accessible to independent blind users. However, from
the ashes of this disaster comes a bit of good news. The games
which Adventions was to release on the cd-rom have now been posted
on the Internet. For further details on this, see the Gifts for
Gamers section. While I've also heard excellent things about the
Level9 games, I have yet to find them in a format which can run on
the Dos interpreter. It is possible that I'm getting the Level9
games confused with the Magnetic Scrolls games, but I think they're
from the same company. If anyone figures this little puzzle out,
please inform the rest of us. As to the Legends role-playing game,
it appears that it has vanished from the Internet. If anyone wants
to put it on their ftp-site or web site for everyone to down-load,
please contact me and I'll send a UUencoded copy over the Internet.
From Jim Kitchen:
Hi Allen Maynard,
I want to thank you very much for the compliments and suggestions
that you wrote in your review of my baseball game.
I am working on and am close to being done with a rewrite of the
game. I did make most of the changes that you suggested and more.
I did put in the ability to adjust the delays. But I would like to
say that I don't think that it is so much the speed of the computer
so much as it is the different speeds that people set their speech
synthesizers to speak. I guess that I write the games to play at
the speed that I run mine, but I hope that if you set the
adjustment from the command line that it will help you some.
I will up-load the new version of the baseball game to the Blink-
Link BBS as dosbase2.zip and on the internet it as well as all of
my games and other programs can be found at:
ftp.clark.net in the directory /pub/poehlman
On the web they are at:
The Blink-Link BBS phone number is 1-412-766-0732
If you or anyone wants to write or has trouble getting the games
please feel free to write to me at [email protected] If you
can handle uu-encoded files I can send it to you. I also regularly
read the Blink-talk echo in the fidonet.
If you want to call me, my area code has been changed. My new
phone number is (440) 286-6920
Thanks again Allen for your articles about the games.
Hi David Lant,
I really like your ideas for games with better sounds. The thing
is the popular commercial games such as Duke Nukem, Doom or Quake
have the sound player program written into them and thus allow for
good interaction with the sounds. The programs that I write like
the ones that PCS write shell out to dos and use an existing sound
player program to play a sound file. This really limits the amount
of interaction that can exist between the game play and the sounds.
I did buy a developers kit from Creative Labs so that I could write
the sound player into my games but I couldn't make head or tail of
the kit and was never able to write a program that would play a
sound file especially not one that would be as compatible with so
many different sound cards as the plany program seems to be. I am
pretty sure that the reason that I couldn't make any sense out of
the kit is because I have never had any schooling in computer
programming. Well I did take one programming course in high
school. It was in cobal and our school didn't even have a
computer. Since then though I bought stuff to do some programming
on my Atarii 2600. You really couldn't do much though. Then I
bought a Texas Instruments 99 4a home computer. One of the manuals
that came with it had instructions and examples for programming in
a basic language. Next I bought an Atarii 800 XL home computer and
an extended basic language cartridge. When that machine sort of
died on me someone found me a used IBM PC Jr. It had a programming
language called basica. A couple of years later my sight got so
bad that I had to go to a computer with speech and then started
programming in gwbasic. I also had Quick Basic 4.5 but it wasn't
very speech friendly. I later got PDS7 which is also called
Extended Quick Basic. A gentleman from Henter Joyce told me how to
make PDS7 write to the bios so that I could write speech friendly
games. Mostly the games and other programs that I write I write
because I can't find ones that I like or are speech friendly. So
I just write it myself. I was lucky enough to find places to up-
load my games and other programs so that I could share the programs
with other people that can use them.
Jim has given us plenty of food for thought here. First of all, he
has shown us how vital it is for the betterment of games that
people have a forum to make suggestions and criticisms. I look
forward to hearing from some of you Baseball fans about this new
version of Jim's game. There are certainly plenty of us with many
fine ideas for great games, but no programming knowledge. I am
certainly one of those people. Fortunately for us, people like Jim
have the knowledge to fill the voids which they come across, and
there are others who will take suggestions from the rest of us. PCS
is always looking for ideas. Of course, the chain couldn't be
completed without people like Travis Siegel, Paul Henrichsen, and
Volker Blasius to provide sites from which these games can be down-
loaded. Many of you are doubtless familiar with Travis Siegel and
Paul Henrichsen's accomplishments. Both of these gentlemen maintain
ftp sites where many games and programs accessible to the blind can
be found. Volker Blasius maintains the famous Interactive fiction
Archive over in Germany. My thanks go out to all of these people,
and to Jim for increasing the general level of understanding of
what goes into developing blind-friendly games.
Hello Michael, how are you? I have just received a copy of issue
8 of Audyssey. I really like it and am also interested in
contributing to the magazine if I can. I also have a few questions
for you... I've down-loaded the zorks, gateway and heist from some
of the ftp sights mentioned in the magazine however, I cannot seem
to download the frotz interpreter from ftp.gmd.de as it gives me
the message "not a plain file". I'm using ftp from a shell but I
could use netscape if a shell may be part of the problem. Do you
have any thoughts on what may be happening here?
I'm also curious if when I use the frotz interpreter, will it allow
me to play the zorks and gateway without having to do one screen
review after another? I also would appreciate any help you can
give me concerning the z8 files such as Heist as I don't know how
to run them.
Now, enough of the questions, One of your letter-writers sent a
letter about using a sound card through dos and win95. The writer
said that the sound card won't work in a dos window and that it is
necessary to shut down windows and go into dos fully. I would like
to add that in some cases, this actually works in reverse. I used
to own another machine which unfortunately had this problem. I
needed to use a dos window to get my sound card to work properly.
I also have a friend who is currently experiencing this problem and
needs to use a dos window. The machine I
have now fortunately works either way. This occurs apparently
because, on some machines, the proper drivers for the sound card
are not loaded in dos and are taken care of through windows.
Anyway, I would like to say thank you for this magazine as it
will be a very good resource for finding enjoyment on my computer.
I'm relatively new to pcs but had owned an Apple 2e in 1984 and had
gotten turned on to the infocom games. I'm a lover of interactive
fiction and would love to know more about what's currently out
there. In the short time I've had with pcs, I've gotten a fairly
good working knowledge of dos and win95 and
have beta-tested a newly released screen reader for win95. I'm
currently working with it to see how it does with the zorks without
the frotz interpreter.
Any thoughts you have on my questions or comments in this message
would be greatly appreciated, ( sorry for it's mixed-up nature, but
it's quite late in the evening). If anything I've written here is
not clear, please don't hesitate to write and ask me to clarify...
Well, Goddess, I'm glad you're finding Audyssey to be so enjoyable,
and I'm sure a lot of us look forward to future contributions from
you. To run the zorks and the .z8 files, you need the Frotz
interpreter. They are best run while in Dos, using the dosfrotz
interpreter. Winfrotz can also work with speech, but seems to
present more difficulties to be overcome. The Dos version reads the
text automatically when the -d1 switch is used. For example, to
play Heist, you'd type in:
frotz -d1 heist.z8
The -d1 switch tells the interpreter to display only text,
rendering games perfect for speech synthesizers or braille
displays. Gateway is not written using the Inform language, and was
not made by Infocom. It was made by Legend Entertainment, and uses
an entirely different language. You'll have to make due with any
command-line options it might have. With so many interactive
fiction systems out there, Tads, Inform, and AGT being the three
most notable, it is sometimes hard not to be confused. For any
readers having difficulties keeping things straight, here is a
Games with the .gam extension are written in Tads, the Text
Adventure Development System. These games usually have separate
documentation, hints, etcetera, although there are some with built-
Games with either a .dat extension or a .z3, .z5, or .z8 extension
are made by Infocom, or use the Inform language. These usually have
built-in documentation and/or help. They should be played with the
Games with a lot of files with extensions like: .ttl, .da1, and so-
on, are written with the AGT, or Adventure Game Toolkit. They
usually come with their own interpreter. Warning! There are several
versions of the AGT interpreter, and some games require specific
ones. Also, remember to use the /b switch to make the bios option
active. This way, speech synthesizers will speak text
Well, I hope that clears things up a bit for you.
Hey. I'm Jayson Smith, and I have yet another new E-mail address.
Maybe this one will stay around for a while! Anyway, I'm still
enjoying every issue of Audyssey. I just wrote to tell you about
a MUD I've discovered which may be of some interest to you Text
Adventure lovers. It's called Ifmud, and to access it, you need to
Telnet to "Fovea.retina.net", and you must telnet to port 4000.
For example, a UNIX Telnet command might be something like
To get an account, you need to visit the website at
"http://fovea.retina.net:4001", that's HTTP://FOVEA.RETINA.NET,
port 4001. From there, select the Apply option, and follow the
directions. If you have an account, and you telnet to the mud, you
can "Connect username password" to connect with your account.
If you don't have an account, you can connect as "guest", with a
password of "guest", because there's a Guest account there. One
more thing. This MUD is prone to frequent crashes, so it might not
always be up when you want it. I hope this info has been useful.
Hope to hear from you soon
It seems that there is a revival of interest about muds lately.
This is good to see, and Jayson's information is very timely
indeed. If someone can provide us with a review of this particular
mud, I and many readers would very much appreciate it. Thanks for
keeping those ears peeled, Jayson.
From Rob Dezonia:
First of all, my name is Rob DeZonia and I am a forty
something year old blind musician. Cuedos on the great magazine.
I would love to help in the evaluation of the next NFL
football game of PCS Software.
Believe it or not, I'm not much of a gamer. Guess I've got
too many dead brain cells from playing in bars all these years>
<grin> But, I do like very much the information you dispense and
I thank you and my fellow readers for the service you provide to
the blind community. With all the serious problems facing us such
as jobs, accessability, both in the workplace, if you are lucky
enough to have a job, and on the computer,
it's nice to take a little vacation every couple of months and find
out about what can be played for fun and leisure.
As I mentioned, I'd like to help try out the new game and am
looking forward to both the next issue of your magazine, and the
chance to try in the future a comprehensive stats based football
Thanks again and keep up the good work.
I can't vouch for my ability to express my thoughts clearly once I
try it, or any other sports oriented game you might toss my way,
but I'll give it a go.
Welcome aboard, Rob. you've certainly displayed an aptitude for
fast learning with your article concerning muds. We can always use
insightful contributions such as this. I certainly look forward to
hearing more from you in the future. Perhaps, while we wait for
PCS's next Football game, you might care to look at Field General.
We've got one person who loves it and another who wasn't too
impressed, so it would certainly be nice to have a kind of tie-
breaker. Also, being a musician, you'd have an especially good ear
for sound. If more developers start using sound in their games, it
will be good to get some commentary on how games are affected by
the addition of sounds.
From Shawn Keen:
HEY IF YOU STILL NEED SOMEOnE TO HANDLE SPORTS TYPE GAMES, I WILL
DO IT. I AM PARTIAL TO FOOTBALL SO MY REVIEW IS OF THIS GAME.
I HAVE THIS GAME CALLED FIELD GENERAL AND IT WORKs GREAT WITH
SPEECH. I'LL SEND YOU THE DEMO AS AN ATTACHMENT.,
Welcome aboard, Shawn. I've managed to track down a copy of Field
General, but not being a Football expert, I couldn't make much out
of what was going on. As you'll see in this issue, Allen Maynard
couldn't work it well with his speech. Please send your review of
the game for the next issue, and be sure to explain how you play
the game effectively with speech. Does the game's suitability
depend on having certain speech software, or does it simply require
a bit of knowledge on how the game works? Thanks for bringing this
game to the attention of Audyssey. If the speech and/or Braille
access difficulties can be worked out, it seems quite promising
From Guy Vermeulen
it's been a while since my first mail to you, but i am still
enjoying the audyssey magazine and some of the games that are
thanks to audyssey, i discovered the website of m. leo cooper :
it contains the excellent wordy scrabble game, that you reviewed in
audyssey. however, being a chess player from time to time, i was
very happy discovering at the same webpage the chess-and scrabble
clock, that mister cooper made. i've been searching for years for
such a software clock, without results.
you can imagine my disappointment when i found the display of the
clock graphical, and unreadable for a screenreader.
i send a mail to mister cooper, explaining the problems for a blind
using a screenreader, and he promised to look at the problem.
to my surprise, less then a week after his mail i received a new
mail from him, announcing a text-only version of the clock, written
specially for the blind, and totally free!
the version is already on the "thegrendel" website, and as you can
see for yourself : i mentioned to him that i found the url of his
website in the audyssey, and that wordy was probably one of the few
accessible wordgames for the blind according to the same magazine,
and he now mentions audyssey in his description of wordy on line.
i think, michael, that the work of mister cooper will be
appreciated by blind gamers, playing chess or scrabble.
i will announce his efforts to some of the blind related mailing
lists, but i thought that the audyssey is certainly the best place
for this purpose, don't you think so?
greetings from belgium
Many thanks for your efforts on behalf of the blind Chess and
Scrabble communities. Guy has shown us what can happen when
developers are made aware of the small but present market of blind
players. I hope more of us can follow guy's example, and make other
programmers aware of the issues of accessibility. My thanks also
extend to Mr. cooper, for taking the time to offer us this clock,
which will doubtless have more applications than was intended. I
invite Mr. cooper and any other programmers reading this to send in
notices of their programs so that they may be reviewed in Audyssey.
If there's one trend I've noticed long before I started this
magazine, it's that around eighty percent of programs which are
accessible to the blind weren't designed to be so. They are
accessible merely by good fortune and a non-graphical nature. Your
product may be more accessible than you think, or, making an
accessible version of it might be a lot simpler than you realize.
From Kelly Sapergia:
Recently, I received a sample issue (No. 6) of your magazine
from PCS. At first I thought that it was a demo of one of their new
games, but when I found out what was on it, and after I read
through the magazine, I WAS HOOKED! I was also excited to find the
three games that accompanied this magazine.
I'm glad that PCS is distributing this magazine on disk. I don't
have access to any on-line service, like CompuServe or the
Internet. Here's what I thought about the games I received in the
sample issue of Audyssey:
1. The "DOS Baseball game", by Jim Kitchen, was really great! I
especially liked the BATPRACT.EXE program. I put the game on my
laptop at school and now my friends and I spend all lunch hour
playing the game. So far, we are doing okay. My friends weren't
used to the ear/hand method of playing games, but they're getting
better at it all the time.
One thing I don't like about the game is that sometimes my
synthesizer, which is an OLD Artic Vision voice synthesizer,
seems to "freeze" on a word while a sound is playing through the
PC speaker, then resumes after the sound file ends. This made the
game very disappointing to play, unless I went into my review
mode after all the sounds were done playing. (I also have the
same problem with the multimedia games by PCS.)
Other than that, it was a very good game! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK,
2. Personally, I wasn't impressed at all with ADOM. In my
opinion, I found it to be hard to use, not very speech friendly
and difficult to play, even after reading the manual!
3. The Trivia Game WAS a good idea. I tried the Star Wars
category that came with it, and my score was ... really bad! (And
I thought I knew my Star Wars! Oh well.)
One thing I noticed is that while it's speech friendly, there is
one thing I think the authors of this program forgot to fix. If
you go into your Review mode, and scan the screen you'll notice
that all the categories are listed on the same line!
I thought they were listed LINE BY LINE! Other than that, it's a
One of my favourite features I like about your magazine,
besides the free software is the column "Adam- The Immortal
Gamer". I can't wait to see what happens to him in the other
issues of Audyssey.
One game I'm interested in receiving from you, if possible, is
the one called Theatre and an Inform interpreter that works well
with both speech and braille displays.
I would also be interested in receiving other interactive
fiction, or text-based role playing games (an example of this
type of game is the Wizard's Castle game), from your collection.
(Please do not send me any screen-oriented role-playing games,
since I find them very hard to play.)
If you could send me these items, I would greatly appreciate it.
By the way, can I write my own games with an Inform interpreter?
Speaking of collections, I have compiled my own collection of
small interactive fiction games that I received over the past few
years. The collection contains such games as "Pulsar 7", "The
Wizard's Castle Game", etc. I was going to put the collection on
this disk, but it's too big. The executable file that I wrote to
extract the files is at least 1 megabyte.
If you're interested in this collection, I'll send it to you on
I have enclosed a review of "The Legend Lives!" game as well
as a copy of this game. (Note- This game is recommended for
players ages 17 and up!)
I have included a program that I personally wrote. The program
is called "Trek West". This is a trivia quiz program that I wrote
that asks you questions about the RCMP's Trek West in 1873. I
wrote this program for a Science Fair competition two years ago.
I regret to inform you, however, that you have to use GW Basic to
play this game. (The interpreter program is included.) if anyone
has a compiler that converts .BAS programs (GW Basic or Quick
Basic programs) to .EXE files, I would appreciate it if I could
get a copy of the program.
Included with this program is an instruction manual program that
I wrote a few days ago. It's called TW-DOC.COM. It was written
using a very nice program called TXT2COM, which converts a text
file (ASCII only) to a self-displaying .COM file.
Please let me know what you think about Trek West and feel
free to give it to all your friends and subscribers to Audyssey.
Also, please feel free to up-load this game to your favourite BBS,
on-line service or even the Internet. I guess you could say that
this game is freeware.
Finally, here is some information about myself. I am a blind
17-year-old student at Mortlach School in Mortlach, SK. I am
currently in Grade 12. My hobbies include, playing text-based
games on the computer, listening to the radio (AM, FM, short-wave
etc.), talking on my Ham radio, playing and recording music on my
keyboard and multitrack tape recorder, and now reading your
magazine! (I have been playing music since I was 8, I play by
ear, and I NEVER took lessons. Basically, I'm self-taught.)
Thank you for a VERY NICE magazine and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Many thanks to Kelly for her contributions to this issue of
Audyssey. See the Game Reviews section for Kelly's excellent review
of the Legend Lives. If any of you are interested in learning about
the Royal canadian Mounted Police's historic trek westward, Kelly's
trivia program is an excellent way to do it. It is surprisingly
well-written, and offers many interesting facts. Well, Kelly, I
certainly look forward to future offerings from you, and wish you
the best of luck in your educational endeavours. Hopefully, someone
out there will know of a gwbasic compiler that they can send you.
As to your question on writing interactive fiction, you need the
Inform language files. Not certain if I sent those along or not.
Anyhow, the Inform language is a free system for developing
interactive fiction. It comes with a designer's manual, and a
compiler to turn source code into working games. I'm not quite
certain what the latest version of Inform is at the moment, but I
know that it has recently gone through several changes. Some of the
best interactive fiction to come out recently has been written with
this language. It is a bit complicated to learn, but the results
seem to make it worth-while.
From Kirstan Mooney:
Hi Mike. Thank you *so much* for telling me where the solution
file could be found, to solve Enchanted Castle. You may remember
me writing to you a while back, asking if you knew anything about
enchanted Castle, and how I had tried to get the solution myself,
but to no avail. After getting the Solution, I solved the Game
within 5 minutes. I was only doing 2 things
wrong, in fact, I hadn't even thought to do the 2 things, so thanks
At this point, I would really like to thank Philip Vlasak, without
whose help I never would of gotten the solution. I am not actually
on the Internet, and Phill knows this, and wrote to me straight
away, and asked me if I would like him to get the solution for me
and send it to me via E. Mail. So, thanks Phill, your help was
ON another subject, I thought you might like to know what I think
about some of the Games I have been down-loading off disc's since
I have been receiving the disc version of Audyssey. I down-loaded
a game called Adom, one day straight after receiving that Disc. I
had one listen to the ##@##$B and thought, "oh my God, what is this
rubbish, how could *any* blind person actually listen to this game
without going crazy?, but *then* I decided to give it a go. I had
*never* even dreamed that there were any other games out there
apart from the text based adventure Games, which I
absolutely love, but this new Road style Game was a real surprise.
After about half an hour of working out what the different symbols
meant , and the many, many times of getting into the excellent
manual, I had enough of an idea to begin playing Adom with a bit of
I am now up to level 5, which I know is not a very high level, but
I am enjoying finding out what the different combinations of Races
and Professions can do. I am taking it rather slowly in this Game,
because I am finding it so enjoyable, and don't think I have *ever*
enjoyed starting and stopping a Game, and just doing different
things with it, as much as I
am enjoying it with Adom. It has certainly opened up a whole new
World for me, and I owe this all to this brilliant Magazine called
I hope this magazine can go on for a long time, and am totally
blown away by the eagerness to share such fantastic Games such as
Adom for free.
Thank you once again, and am really looking forward to the next
Hi, Kirstan. Glad you were able to get that solution. I still
haven't actually won that old game, but might get around to it over
the holidays. Since you're an avid Adom-player, you'll be glad to
know that Adam Taylor, also known as Adam, the Immortal Gamer, has
managed to win Adom with every race/class combination. He has
agreed to become our Adom corespondent and helper, and will help
anyone in need of assistance. He will also keep us all up to date
as Adom continues to develop. You might also want to try out Jim's
new version of Baseball. I'm not certain whether it directly
addresses your concerns about speech and sound lock-ups, but
there's a chance that it might. Perhaps someone could fill us all
in on what causes this problem to happen. Is it simply a memory-
crunch problem, or is there more to it?
From Allen Maynard:
In the last audyssey issue I sent along a tip about running wave
files especially in pcs games. I said you have to go to an ms-dos
mode using the shutdown option in windows. I am wrong.
In the last issue I said that it was necessary to go to the
shutdown option in windows95 and select "restart the computer in
ms-dos mode" before running pcs games so the wave files would work.
I was totally wrong. My /Soundblaster was not configured properly
at that time. Now it is and pcs games/sounds will work just fine
in an ms-dos box using the plany utility.
I apologize for my haste last issue.
Thanks for clearing that up, Allen. No need to apologise. We're all
prone to jump the gun on occasion, and in any case, it appears that
a lot of people's systems are set up so that it actually works
better in Dos as opposed to from the ms-dos prompt in windows95. It
certainly does in my case.
Gifts for Gamers
by Michael Feir
Looking through my growing collection, I have come across several
excellent gift ideas for this holiday season. many of them are old
favourites, and others are the result of happenings over the past
year. I will group these games into various categories, and place
any special notes or instructions at the top of the category in
question. Although this will be a less readily searchable resource
than my list of fifty games in the last holiday edition, it will be
easier to compile, and hopefully will be of some assistance. A
single + sign will precede each category, and a * symbol or
asterisk will precede each game description.
In some cases, special interpreters will be needed to run the
games. The frotz interpreters, dosfrotz and winfrotz, are used to
play games made by infocom or written in the Inform language. These
files can be found in .zip archives at:
They are in the /if-archive/infocom/interpreters directory. When
possible, I strongly recommend the use of dosfrotz, as winfrotz is
a bit less speech-friendly. Some may find that the convenience of
being able to run games while in Windows95 to be worth the slight
speech difficulties. It should be noted here that the winfrotz
interpreter only works with Windows95, and is not designed for
Windows 3.1. Other games use the TADS or Text Adventure Development
System language, and to run these, you should get the latest TADS
interpreters. They are at:
Look in the /if-archive/programming\tads directory. The two files
are pcgo-32.zip and wintads.zip. Note that while the Dos
interpreters work extremely well with speech and Braille displays,
I am not able to confidently say the same for Windows interpreters.
To my knowledge, both the Wintads and Winfrotz interpreters are
designed just for Windows95 users. if anyone has the time, a
thorough examination of these interpreters would be very much
It should also be noted that these games are commonly found in .zip
archives. if you haven't already done so, you should obtain a copy
of pkunzip.exe. You can find the complete set of Pkware's
pkzip/unzip programs in the file pk204g.exe. it is quite widely
available on the Internet, and tracking it down should not pose
much of a problem. It is non-crippled shareware.
Commercially Made Games:
this category includes games which were originally made for profit
by companies. While most of these games must still be found and
purchased, others have been released recently as freeware.
*Betrayal at Krondor:
The largest addition to the growing collection of freeware is
Sierra On-line's Betrayal at Krondor. This exciting fantasy role-
playing game was a best-seller in its time. It is based on Raymond
E. Feist's Riftwar saga. The author was heavily involved in the
development of this masterpiece, and emphasis on plot and storyline
is very high. Sierra has struck a fine balance between plot and
freedom, allowing your party to rome around a large land filled
with towns, cities, and other less hospitable places. The file is
called krondorz.exe. It is available in the gamers forum on
Compuserve, and can also be found at Sierra's home page for those
with web access. Search for keywords like krondor and sierra, and
you should be able to locate it. I should warn you here that
compressed, the game takes up 10.35 megs. That can take quite a
while to down-load, so be warned. Also, when fully expanded, the
game is roughly 19 megs large. Make certain that the recipient of
this gift can spare the space. this game requires a large amount of
conventional memory to run, so make certain that you either have
over 580 K of it available, or can make a boot disk for playing the
game where the system will have enough memory. The game requires
sighted assistance to play. There is no way for blind people to
play it alone. However, I can testify from personal experience that
my father and I have had many hours of fun while playing this game,
and we haven't even completed the first of nine chapters yet. While
combat is a large element of this game, it is very strategic and
apparently not very gory. I recommend this game for families where
the children are twelve and older.
*The Adventions collection:
Recently, Adventions released a number of their formerly shareware
games into the public domain. These games require the TADS
interpreter to play. The file containing the games is called
adventio.zip, and is available at:
Look in the /if-archive/games/adventions directory. Games in the
package include a re-make of Colossal Caves, The Legend Lives, the
Unnkulian adventure series, and a horror game called Rylvania.
there's something for everyone in this spectacular collection.
Famous for challenging puzzles and rich in humour, these games have
become classics in the interactive fiction community. I recommend
these games to anyone twelve and older. The two exceptions to this
are Rylvania and The Legend Lives. These two games are darker than
the others, and their message is deeper. These two are better
enjoyed by people sixteen and older. Solutions for all of these
games can be found on the ftp.gmd.de site in the /if-
*Infocom's Zork Trilogy:
Recently, Infocom released its original Zork trilogy to the public
domain. They can be found in three self-extracting files at:
Look in the /zork/legacy directory. the files are zork1.exe,
zork2.exe and zork3.exe. (Possibly, the numbers might be done in
Roman numerology like I, II, and III.) Although they each come with
an executable file, I find these games work best when you take the
.dat files and run them with the Frotz interpreter. this trilogy
has immense historical importance for fans of interactive fiction.
First came Colossal Caves, then the Zork games. For the most part,
Infocom stresses non-violent solutions, and the Zork games demand
a lot of logical thinking. They are suitable for anyone ten and
*Battle at Antara:
This recent Sierra release is the sequel to Betrayal at Krondor. It
requires a cd-rom to play, and works best with Windows95. Like its
predecessor, Betrayal at Antara is heavy on plot and substance. The
combat system is tern-based and quite strategic. Blind players will
require sighted assistance as with Betrayal at Krondor, but will be
able to participate meaningfully in decision-making. The cast of
actors make portions of the game come alive, as does the excellent
prose. The musical score is also exceptionally done. You can find
this game in computer stores. I recommend it for ages twelve and
*You Don't Know Jack:
this game is a recent release in computer stores. it is a game-show
which speaks all of the questions. It is designed for family play,
and even allows on-line play. I haven't been able to try the game
out, but from what I've heard, this game should be an excellent
game for all. Because it uses Windows95, and was not designed with
speech and braille access in mind, it is safer to assume that
sighted assistance will be needed. Being advertised as a family
game, it should be suitable for all ages.
The games listed here are the best works of free interactive
fiction. Besides the Tads and Inform interpreters, some games use
the AGT, (Adventure Game Toolkit) system. Games using this system
will come with their own executable programs. When you run them,
remember to use the /b switch to turn on bios mode. This is much
more friendly for speech and Braille users. These games and
solutions for them can all be found at:
Look in the /if-archive directory.
*the Multi-Dimensional thief:
this game is written using the AGT system. You are a thief wanting
to join the Multi-dimensional Thieve's Guild, but you must pass an
extraordinary test first. In terms of plot, the game has almost
none at all. However, the good dose of humour and a lot of really
neat objects and puzzles do much to offset this lack. For hard-core
interactive fiction fans, this might be just the thing to get them
laughing. Many conventions of this kind of game are played with and
lightly ridiculed. Some of the humour is a bit advanced, so I
choose to recommend this game for ages sixteen and up. It is
available in the /if-archive/games/agt directory. The file is
mdthief.zip, or something similar to that.
In Jigsaw, you start out at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
It is New Year's Eve, 1999. You have been invited to the party at
Century Park. There, you are attracted to a complete stranger, who
vanishes into the crowds. He/she leaves behind a piece to a jigsaw
puzzle. This turns out to be the doorway to a key moment in the
past. The stranger, named Black, is trying to alter history to
better our future. To save the future, you must save the past. Your
journey will take you to the start of the first world war, the
sinking of the Titanic, the first powered flight, and many more key
events in the twentieth century. Can you save history as you know
it? Is it right that you do so?
As well as offering its players vivid portraits of history with
breath-taking attention to details, Jigsaw offers its players an
exciting opportunity to explore several moral issues. It is also
the only game I've come across which goes out of its way to be
completely gender-neutral. This game requires some knowledge of
historical events, but its puzzles are logical and fair for the
most part. The built-in help and documentation is quite extensive
and well written. However, no hints are provided for stuck players.
For those interested, footnotes are provided to each segment of the
game, which give historical information for the different events.
They make for fascinating reading. Note that you must access these
from within the help menu. The footnote command seems not to work
properly. Players with some degree of experience with interactive
fiction should be able to win this game without unreasonable
frustration. Despite the two years which have elapsed since its
release, this brilliant exploration of twentieth-century history
remains one of the best works of interactive fiction available.
Graham Nelson has done a masterful job of making history come alive
for players of this large and complex game. He also forces players
to confront many moral and ethical issues. Because of its mature
subject matter, and the need of a basic knowledge of contemporary
world history, I recommend this game for ages 14 and up. The game
uses the Inform system, so the Frotz interpreter is needed. It is
available in the /games/infocom section of the if-archive. The file
is jigsaw.z8, and it does not need to be extracted. Just place it
in the same directory as the Frotz interpreter, and run it with the
frotz -d1 jigsaw.z8
*A Bear's Night Out:
In A Bear's Night Out, You play the role of a cute and cuddly teddy
bear, who suddenly finds himself awake and aware, ready for an
adventure. You must bravely explore the house that David, your
owner, lives in. During your travels, you discover that a teddy
bear picnic is going to take place. Can you find a way to get David
to take you there?
This game has been specifically written for
young children, but people of all ages can appreciate the excellent
writing and careful attention to details which has gone into it.
Answers to many of the puzzles are not immediately obvious, but all
puzzles are fair and logical, and hints are available in the help
menu. With a small bit of help from kind folks who are older and
hopefully wiser, children should thoroughly enjoy this warm and
friendly game. I recommend this game for novices to intermediate
players. Experts will still doubtless appreciate the craftsmanship
this game exhibits, but may be disappointed with the mostly easy
puzzles. This is another Inform game, and it can be found in the
/games/competition97 section of the if-archive. It's in the section
devoted to Inform entries of the competition.
this extremely well-written game has been around for a year, and
has recently been updated to the fourth release. You can find it in
the /games/inform section of the if-archive. Because of its serious
and slightly gritty nature, I recommend it for ages fourteen and
up. In Delusions, you play the role of a virtual reality tester.
job is to explore the limitations of the virtual reality worlds
created by your fellow project members. that is, until something
goes horribly wrong. A kind of virtual reality virus has been
implanted into the system, and it traps you in a simulation of your
own world. Its purpose is to make you aware of just how fragile
reality actually is. You must find a way to escape its reality and
return safely to your own. While attempting to do this, you find
that what you perceive as reality is less than accurate, and that
even you might not be who or what you think. The game contains
and help. The high-tech nature of this game may discourage some who
are less computer-literate, but people who stick with this game
will learn a lot about how modern graphical systems work, and enjoy
a very thought-provoking game. Due to the extensive help available,
I can recommend this game for intermediate to expert players.
This year's pick for an absolute stumper of a game is Sofar. If you
have anyone who is due for a large dose of frustration, this is the
very game for him or her. It is another Inform game, and can be
found in the /games/inform section. the file is sofar.z8. In Sofar,
you start in a theatre observing a play. This play
mirrors your life in some respects, as it deals with a lover's
betrayal. It seems your wife is having an affair. A strange breeze
eventually lures you into the heart of a shadow buried inside an
abandoned room within the theatre. You must journey to
four strange worlds, and beyond them into other strange areas in a
quest to solve their mysteries and return home to find and forgive
your wife. Shadows become doorways, taking you to increasingly
bizarre places. The
worlds you will travel through various shadows to reach range in
nature from the ancient to the bizarrely modern. The plot
seems barely held together by various performances that must be
seen. Many of the puzzles are fairly tricky. This game is for the
expert player only.
*Shades of Grey:
this game is one of the best ever made with the AGT system. The
file is called sog97.zip, and it can be found in the /games/agt or
/games/pc sections of the if-archive. This game is a psychological
thriller where you play a man who has seemingly lost his soul. Your
quest to remember who and what you are takes you to several key
events, mythological and historical. Through the choices you make
while within these segments, you find out more about your own life
and identity. The game has four different endings, none of them
entirely satisfactory. In fact, the game's message is that there is
no black or white, no right or wrong. there are only shades of
grey. Because of the serious nature of this game, i recommend it
for ages 16 and up.
this game is another Inform game, and can be found in the
/games/inform section of the if-archive. You should also obtain
spirit.txt and spirit.hin, which contain hints and instructions for
the game. This fantasy game is suitable for all ages above around
ten or twelve. In Spirit Wrack, you are sent out into a world which
away from magic. As a monk in an order devoted to maintaining magic
and the balance of things, you must journey throughout the land of
Quendor and recover the four pieces of an ancient rod. This rod was
broken by an evil demon who has now been loosed upon the world.
Using various spells and your wits, you must recover the rod and
thwart the demon.
This game takes place in the Great Underground Empire, a universe
designed by Infocom. The author has made a marvellous addition to
this universe, and has more than equalled any game in Infocom's
Enchanter trilogy. Experience with the above
mentioned games will add to the enjoyment of this game, but
is by no means necessary. This game provides nothing in the way of
on-line help, but the file spirit.txt contains adequate
documentation. Puzzles in the game are logical, and a lot of useful
information is scattered about in the game for players. I rate this
game as being of an intermediate level of difficulty. Experts will
find puzzles to challenge them, but even beginners should find this
game quite enjoyable and ultimately winnable with some effort.
All of these games are designed to be run in Dos, and none of them
require any special interpreters. They are all stand-alone
programs. They are all available on the Internet with the exception
of The World is Mine. If you are interested in this game, please
contact me or Adam Taylor. If anyone locates it on the Internet,
please inform me where it is so I can tell the rest of you.
*The World is Mine:
this is a game in which you take control of a country and try to
conquer the world. you can play with up to ten human or cumputer-
controlled players. Due to the heavy concentration of large numbers
to be dealt with in this game, it is not suitable for everyone. I
recommend it for ages sixteen and up. It involves both economic and
military strategy. computer countries come in two varieties,
aggressive and defensive. This game is shareware, priced at $15. It
is completely functional, not crippled in any way. the file is
probably called world.zip if it's on the Net anywhere.
this is an excellent and unique Star Trek game which pits you
against Klingdon, romulan, and tholian vessels. You must defend the
galaxy against these three forms of menace. In addition to vessels,
the galaxy contains starbases to assist you, as well as Federation
planets. the game comes with excellent documentation, and is
screen-oriented to some degree. The graphics use Ascii symbols to
show objects in space, and a simple vector system is used for
navigation. Any Star Trek fan should find this game an excellent
addition to his or her games collection. The game can be found at:
Look in the /games directory. It also might be in the /textgames
directory. The file is ms-trek.arj, or something similar. You'll
also have to locate the arj set of programs somewhere on the Net in
order to extract it. If you have trouble, I can send it to you in
a .zip file which will be uuencoded. I recommend this game for
players aged sixteen and older. The game is freeware.
*Under the gulf:
This is a time-based tactical simulator of an attack submarine. You
must stop ships from escaping a section of ocean through a canal in
the southwest corner. The game is written by the same author who
wrote Frigate. It is similar in many respects, but is far superior.
On-line help is provided for most commands. The game is not
completely speech-friendly, but is workable. Only give this game to
people with a fairly good working knowledge of screen-review
commands. This game is suitable for ages 16 and up. It is available
Look in the /games or /textgames directories. The file is utg.arj,
or something similar.
*Hunt the Wumpus:
This classic game can be found in the /textgames directory of the
ftp.softcon.com site. It is very easy to play, and is suitable for
all ages. it is very speech-friendly, but lacks complexity. this is
not the game to get a major-league strategist. You must attempt to
shoot the elusive wumpus, and survive to find as much gold as
possible. Besides the deadly wumpus, other hazzards such as bats
and bottomless pits await you. The file to look for is wumpus.arj.
This game is special in a number of ways. it is playable by up to
three players. It is a game of risk management, in which you must
journey through a strange land full of warriors, peasants, demons,
and much more. It is entirely text-based, and although it isn't
completely speech-friendly, it is easy to learn the screen-review
commands to play this game effectively. it is suitable for almost
everyone, very young children excepted. the game is non-crippled
shareware. it is available at:
Look in the /if-archive/games/pc directory. the file is
ADOM stands for Ancient Domains of Mystery. it is a screen-oriented
role-playing game which has developed substantially over the past
year to become the best of the lot. the only draw-back to it is
that it is less speech-friendly than Nethack can be. However, as
long as a person has the patience to learn the screen-review
techniques necessary to play screen-oriented games, their efforts
will be well rewarded. No other rogue-like game has anywhere near
the depth and scope of this epic quest. Adam, the Immortal Gamer,
has just informed me that the latest version of it, adom0997.zip,
is scheduled to be released on December twenty-second. those of you
with web access will be able to find the latest version at:
A possibly older version of Adom can be found with ftp access at:
Look in the /pub/games/adom directory.
Because of the heavy emphasis on combat and strategy in this game,
I recommend it for ages sixteen and up.
Word and Card Games:
This category is regrettably short, with only one really good new
word-game surfacing during the past year. It is called Wordy. For
details on where to find it, see Guy Vermulin's letter. I can
certainly testify to the enjoyable nature of this game, having
played it extensively against my grandmother during the summer of
last year. The general idea is to make as many words as possible
out of the letters you are given. There is a three-minute time
limit. The game checks all entries against a large dictionary of
words. Scrabble and Chess fans might also want to get hold of the
new text-based software clock written by Mr. Cooper. Wordy is non-
crippled shareware. the game is suitable for all ages.
"THE LEGEND LIVES!"
Created By David Baggett of Adventions
Reviewed by Kelly Sapergia
Have you ever wondered what can happen when technology becomes
so powerful that it is too powerful to control? Well, you are
about to find the answer in "THE LEGEND LIVES!", a freeware game
from the folks who created the Unnkulian Unnventure series of
interactive fiction games! This game is one of my favourites and
when I first put it on my hard drive, I GOT HOOKED!
The story is like this- you play the role of Gavin Kelly, a
computer hacker at a University in the future. You must try to
find a virus unleashed on AKNET (the galaxy's most used network)
by the evil Unnkulians.
(If you've ever played the Unnkulian Unnventure series, you'll
know who I'm talking about.) While you are doing this, you must
thwart the virus's attempts to find and destroy you. This is
definitely not an easy chore!
The game is a lot of fun to play. However, while playing this
game, keep in mind the following:
- This game uses a lot of strong language, so if you have little
kids around your computer, don't let them play the game.
- Make sure you have a calculator at your computer at all times
while playing this game. The reason for this is that there are
portions of the game where you must teleport to another part of
the galaxy in a "matter mover".
You'll be given some strange coordinates like (hot pink, +10 -8
+4). OK, ok. I know what you're thinking, "This looks
complicated. Who's idea was this in the first place?"
Don't worry, though. This may look confusing, but it is in fact
easy. At the beginning of the game, you must look for an RGB
colour chart. (Hint- type "read textbooks".) You then must read
the chart to find the colour you're looking for. You'll see
something like this:
"Hot Pink- 10000, 541, 8423", etc. Write those numbers down. Then
when you get some coordinates like the one above, simply do what
the computer says.
Basically this means, for example, to add 10000 to 10, then
subtract 541 from
8, then add 8423 to 4. Once you do that, you must set the matter
mover. Simply turn the red dial to the first answer you get, then
the green dial to the second answer, and the blue dial to the
(Tip- It would be a good idea to make a printed list of all the
coordinates you come across.)
After that, you can teleport to wherever you have to go to.
And you thought this was going to be hard! (Kidding).
One thing I like about this game is that it has a built-in
hint system! And guess what? It's adaptive! This means that you
can go anywhere in the game and it tracks what you're doing. When
you ask for a hint, it will try to give you the hints it has for
your particular location, if you know what I mean.
Another good thing about this system
is that it doesn't penalize you for asking for a hint.
If you've been looking for a good text adventure game that has
you trying to find and destroy a virus, this is the one for you!
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is really bad and 10 is excellent,
I'd say this game is rated 8. There are two reasons I rated this
one 8. They are:
- I think the profanity in this program is unnecessary.
- I can't figure out how to get onto AKNET and find that stupid
virus in the first place! If somebody has the solution for this
program, please send it to me, immediately! I'm desperate!
In the words of Adam, the immortal gamer, "I've got to win this
Seriously, if you can find the solution for this game, Please
send it to me on 3.5 inch, high density disk, to this address:
S0H 3E0, Canada
By the way, included with this game is a copy of the Adventions
catalog from 1995.
Oh, and one last thing, I forgot to mention the system
requirements for this program.
This game was created with TADS, but uses a 386 enhancer program
called "GO 32". A hard disk is required! This game takes up over
1 megabyte of hard drive space.
I have tested this game with my ALVA Braille display and it works
This game can be found on the Internet, but unfortunately, I
don't know which site carries it. I think Adventions has it on
their FTP site, so look for it there. The file name to look for
is LEGND386.ZIP (The file may have a different name, but I think
that's what it is.) The FTP site for Adventions is:
Note- I didn't obtain this game from their FTP site, because my
brother, who down-loaded it for me, can't get on any FTP sites for
(Editor's addition) One thing to be aware of here is that you may
require Windows to run the game, since it seems to be too large to
run directly from Dos in most cases. When in windows, go to the ms-
dos prompt, load your dos-based speech or braille access software,
and then run the game.
By Allen Maynard
This is a game from the comp97 group of games. It is a tads game
which does require the tads interpreter.
At the writing of this article, 11-10-97, I haven't conquered the
game, but I'm having fun trying. At the beginning you have the
choice of running the prologue which is pretty cool since you are
a girl. You can do some funny things but it is just a prologue.
However, to get a feeling for the game it is worth running it.
The main character is Charlie. It is a terrible night mainly
because of the torrential downpour. The atmosphere achieves the
desired effect, that being, in a word, creeeeeeepy.
There are some unique puzzles in this game. One which I feel is
one of the cleverest I've seen in a while, partially because there
is no luck or chance involved. You have 2 cups, one which can hold
5 oz. and the other which holds 7 oz.. There are no calibration
marks on this cups. Your job is to figure out how to measure out
one ounce of fluid.
In some ways this is a typical horror game. But in many others, it
is a great game to play on a dark and stormy night. I won't say
any more since I don't want to give anything away.
The game can be found at the url:
search for the link labelled comp97 or competition97.
Review of Avatar Mud
by Allen Maynard
Avatar is an impressive mud (multi-user dungeon). I was very
impressed with the way you begin. There isn't a long and boring
user's manual you must read before playing the damn thing. You
create a character and then the mud walks through rooms and has you
complete very simple tasks designed to teach how the game works and
the basic commands necessary to play. Also
rather than being given the beginner objects you need, you have to
complete these tasks before you can collect different beginner
You have the basic characters you can choose such as human, orc,
half-orc, troll, gargoyle, elf, half-elf, dwarf, etc. I may be
mistaken about the troll but I know I've forgotten a few races.
You can then be a wizard, cleric, warrior, mage, an assassin, etc.
Since it is a mud you can chat with other players, but you are not
allowed to attack them. This makes sense because you might get a
few high level players who would prey on beginners and never allow
anyone new to get very far.
The best thing about this game is you can attach .wav files to
different phrases which appear in the game. For example, you could
attach a beast's death cry to the phrase "is dead" so when this
phrase appeared on the screen right after you slew a monster you
would hear its death cry. You could also attach bird song .wav
files to the phrase "sunrise" or a howling wolf with crickets to
"sinks in the west." These phrases are known as triggers.
I have played it but I am only a level 2 gargoyle warrior and I'm
busy locating .wav files on the internet or creating them myself.
I'm not sure if windows95 is necessary but that's the operating
system I'm using now. Before playing you must download a file
called <gmd3219b.zip" from the url
<ftp://papa.indstate.edu/winsock-l/mud> Unzip it and install the
gmud program and you could place it on your desktop. Connect to
the internet then run the gmud program (note: there is the letter
g before the word mud, so the file name is actually g m u d)
Once you've done this run the gmud program, select the file
pulldown menu and the connect option in this menu. A dialogue box
appears which asks you for the mud name which is "avatar". Then
tab to the next editbox which requires the host name which is
"avatar.walrus.com", and finally tab to the port editbox and enter
"3000" and then tab to the connect button and press
enter. You should be ready to play.
There is what's called a gmud trigger pack which is a file
containing all the sounds the game can use. Unfortunately the file
is 26 mb in size so it takes several hours to download. But if you
want to the url is <ftp://papa.indstate.edu/winsock-l/mud/trigger>
and the file is called thres1.gtp
I haven't played the game much but I'd be happy to answer any other
questions. Just e-mail me at the address below.
Two things I forgot to mention in my avatar article was that if you
download that thres1.gtp file, to load that pack you access the
file pulldown in the gmud program and press enter on "import pack"
and type the full path. Also, to get speech to work well I simply
set my window-eyes user window 0 to speak and created a setfile
As a post script to my article about muds, I mentioned that there
was a sound pack you could download. Well just be careful for two
1. It seems to take at least 8 hours to download using a 28.8
2. After I down-loaded this huge file it wouldn't load in my mud
program properly. It seemed to hang somewhere. Each time I hit
enter I was rather rudely kicked back to the windows95 desktop.
It might be easier to find or create your own .wav files. Doing it
this way does work.
Reviews of Speech-friendly Games on the World-Wide-Web
by Bert Staddon
HALLOWEEN is an on-line game written in HTML. It works with all
browsers including WebSpeak. Make sure that you have an unlimited
access Internet account if you play this one. You have to find
your way through a maze and to do it you have to collect clues,
names and passwords to use as keys to open doors and access more
clues. You won't need any help from a sighted companion but you
will need a few hours if you want to make it through. The URL is
THE COLOSSAL CAVE ADVENTURE is another maze game. It does have
some frames and imagemaps but this is no problem because everything
is also there in HTML. It starts off innocently enough with an
to visit a brick house at the end of a road, and it's all downhill
from there. That is, the route you must take goes down through a
labyrinth of caves while at the same time the difficulty level of
the game keeps going up. This game is from Stanford University
they have a reputation for finding difficult problems and solving
HUNT THE WUMPUS is a very popular game and often when you try to
on you'll get the message that the game is already full. Boston
University provides a text only version of the game at
When you enter you are given five arrows and a choice of entering
firing an arrow into one of three rooms. If you hit another player
you get his remaining arrows. The object is to hit the Wumpus
it eats you. Dangers are pitfalls, giant bats, other players, and
MINE SWEEP ... Boston University also provides a text version of
game that I played at school on scraps of paper. If you go to
you will find a ten by ten grid rendered in HTML. The enemy fleet
here but you have to find out where it is. You can drop an
bomb and find out if you hit anything. There is a hypertext link to
rules of the game. Some may find it tedious, others will be
JACK THE RIPPER INVESTIGATIVE GAME. The name says it all. You get
to investigate and clues for the crimes you choose. If you have the
patience it is possible to find the notorious Ripper. I'll play
on a rainy day when I have time to spare. Good luck!
THE STAIRCASE - THE UNENDING ADDVENTURE - EPISODE 2. Addventure is
spelled correctly, it is spelled the way the authors of this
decided to spell it. This starts off looking like a maze game but
out to be an interactive story with over 100,000 witty episodes.
time the reader comes to the end of a branch there is the
to either go back or to write the next link of the story. If you
interactive stories this one can last a long time.
A MAZING TALE is another interactive mystery story and is highly
GAV AND PELOSO'S INTERACTIVE STORY is provided from another
university, look at the URL. It is based on a science fiction theme
lots of time travel and logically impossible situations. There is
of well-deserved political satire and lampoonery.
Finally, the MAZE OF TWISTY WEB PAGES is a resource of information
people who are interest in writing interactive fiction or learning
about it for other reasons. It has many links, but none seem to
actual on-line games or stories. If you use this to start or
story or game I would be interested in hearing from you.
My e-mail address is [email protected] - I hope you drop me a line
you have any comments on the above gamesites. Also, please let me
if you are having any problems with the ridiculous trend towards
graphics that is a current trend in website design, I have had some
with enlightening web designers who claimed to have "improved"
by making them more graphics intensive and less readable.
I do some more editorializing on this subject on my
"Punch and Judy Home Pages" at http://myweb.mortimer.com/~bstad
If anyone wants to visit this site and read my thoughts on text and
graphics I would be interested in any commentary.
Thanks for reading this,
by Allen Maynard
On the surface this game looks awesome. It has 60 offensive plays
defensive plays for a possible 34,000 possible outcomes. That is
I tried Rodney Markert's Field General V-5.0 and it does talk
with no trouble. Some of the impressive features are:
weather conditions which can affect play
optional game and play clocks along with a realtime clock
choice between nfl or world league rules
there are fake field goals and fake punts
there are the 3 hash marks
on kickoffs you choose type of kick and either kicking it down the
to the right, or to the left
it keeps all kinds of stats, including any records set
I know I'm missing some impressive aspects but there too many to
Now with this version there are text graphics and unfortunately no
play result descriptions. Also the field is graphical with a
pointer. Let me give a few examples on how info is displayed with
After you type in the number of your play you might here this:
flicker bootleg right, xxxxxxxxxx, 24 yards.
or, flea flicker bootleg right, xxxxx, intercepted 45 yards
return of 17 yards.
Without the text descriptions, such as in PCS's FAN95, it does get
boring. Also with the football pointer it is very difficult to
of where you are on the field. Also, with the interception example
it would tell you on the scoreboard what yardline you were on, but
which side of the 50 yardline that yardline was.
This is an amazing dos game but it wasn't created with blind people
mind. I did place a call to Mr. Markert at RBM Software in Texas,
of this writing I haven't received a reply. I left a message
that I was blind and was wondering if he could create a completely
version of the game, or tell me if there was a text setting in the
Michael Feir has told me that another person also has Field General
loves the game. I would like to hear his opinions and why both of
opinions seem very opposite.
It is a fantastic game and masterfully done, but being blind
enjoying the game in any great capacity. In my opinion it would be
to wait for PCS's next release of FAN95.
Here's Mud In Your Ear
Mudding from a Newbie's Perspective
By Rob DeZonia
There are two things I do not profess to be. The first is a
writer. I'm just kind of sharing a new thing I've discovered with
everyone, that is, muds or multi user dimensions on the Internet.
The second thing I am not is a good rpg kinda guy. I was the
kind of guy, who when given a tube of magic goop would try and bond
my dentures rather than plug up the leaky pipe that was sure to
fill a room with water and drown me.
A couple of years ago I was reading "The Big Dummy's Guide To
The Internet" from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and they
devoted a chapter to Muds. Well, as I mentioned before, I
was such a bad roleplayer, I thought with spells and chants etc
that this mud thing was not for me. Then I read an article in this
very publication from Ken Perry on his Mud. Again, it was
interesting, but sounded way to complex.
Then on one of the blind mailing lists (the lists weren't
blind, just the people using them for the most part) someone posted
a note about a very newbie friendly Mud called Avatar. I figured
what the hey, if it's newbie friendly, let's give it a shot. To
make a very long story short Avatar was very very friendly to the
new mud player, I found that you didn't necessarily need to be a
Wizard or an evil Troll. You could be a Warrior and fight your
way to a good time on the mud.
That's how it all began. I am first and foremost still a very
new, inexperienced player but for the beginner, or the seasoned
adventurer it's an interactive text based game right at your
Notice I said interactive. You are playing, chatting and
possibly grouping with real people in real time. It can become
addictive as my wife and kids will testify to.
So, how do you start? Well you telnet from your shell account
or Windows for that matter to avatar.walrus.com 3000 That port
number afterwards is MOST important. It's the difference between
you getting there or not, so again note the 3000 after the Telnet
When you first log on, you choose your name I chose the name
bigtoe. I was playing another character at the time, a human
cleric. I was just going to use Bigtoe to get me through Mudschool
so that I could show you what it was all about. I liked being a
Warrior so much I killed off my other character and devoted my full
attention to the adventures of Bigtoe The Bandaged. If you choose
a name that the program doesn't like it will prompt you to try a
shorter one, or one without spaces etc. Then it's time to choose
your race and class. For the first timer like myself, I'd really
recommend human for the race and Warrior for the class. Ken Perry
said basically the same thing in his article. You learn the ropes
a lot faster with this race and class.
For you more experienced players I guess you can be anything
from a Lizard person to a Gnome or Dwarf or even animals. Pick
whatever you feel comfortable with, and then it's off to Mudschool.
I've decided to take you through Mudschool just so you can read it
over and get a feel for what you will encounter when you actually
log on. I was given permission to quote directly from the
Mudschool text from Darii, one of the nicest Immortals to help rule
such a vast realm as Avatar. Anyway, let's go to school, and I'll
interject any tips and tricks I've learned in my brief month as a
In Avatar players move their characters around a map made up of
Each space on the map is a "room", even if it is outdoors,
or in the ocean. When you first enter a room you will see a
of the room and its contents.
The text will move or "scroll" up your screen.
*Type <look> or just <l> to see the room description again.
When you have done that, please type <east> --> just the word
to move on to the next room.
<20hp 100m 98mv> l
In Avatar players move their characters around a map ...
<20hp 100m 100mv> east
[Exits: east west]
You are not alone here. Avatar has a large, international player
and may have several hundred players on at any time of the day or
In this game you can communicate with other players in many ways.
The two most important channels for you right now are: 'say' and
'say' is used to talk to a person in the same room with you. If
a player listed below the room description when you type <look> you
greet them by typing <say hello>.
*Type <say hello> now. If someone is in the room, they may answer
If there is no one here, type <east> or <e> to move to the next
[Exits: east west]nchat (n c h a t )
is a channel activated for new players and those interested in
helping them. It is a "public" channel and may reach several
players. Bad language is not appropriate on public channels.
<nchat I need some help, please> will usually get a good response,
please remember that:
1. Avatar is a family MUD.
2. Our players range in age from children to senior citizens, and
from a wide variety of countries and cultures. Not everyone
English well. If you need assistance in another language you
find someone by typing <nchat Does anyone speak French? I am
3. Good manners and appropriate language are valued here.
4. Those violating these standards may be asked or forced to
*Please type <east> or <e> to move
<20hp 100m 96mv> e
[Exits: south west]
You are standing in a small library. Exits are to the west and to
south. You just came from the west. Type <south> or just <s> to
If you get lost or need help at any point, type these words:
<nchat I am new here. Help me please.>
Someone will probably answer you on the nchat channel. They may not
in the room with you. If <look> shows them in your room, you
'say' to talk to them. If <look> does NOT show them here, use
*Type <south> or just <s> now.
<20hp 100m 98mv> s
[Exits: north south]
You have entered this world with some basic equipment and clothing.
much, but some. To see what you are wearing, type <equipment> or
just <eq>.e q
(You may need to type <look> or <l> again when you have finished to
this screen again.) You may look at your equipment this way at any
*Go south by typing <s> again.
<20hp 100m 98mv> eq
You are using:
<used as light> a guiding torch
<worn on finger> <nothing>
<worn on finger> <nothing>
<worn around neck> <nothing>
<worn around neck> <nothing>
<worn on body> large white tunic
<worn on head> <nothing>
<worn on legs> <nothing>
<worn on feet> <nothing>
<worn on hands> <nothing>
<worn on arms> <nothing>
<held in offhand> a round shield
<worn about body> <nothing>
<worn about waist> <nothing>
<worn on wrist> <nothing>
<worn on wrist> <nothing>
<wielded> a long sword
<20hp 100m 98mv> s
[Exits: north south]
Who are you? Type <whois yourname> to see basic information about
yourself. This command will also work on other players.
*Go south by typing <s>.
<20hp 100m 98mv> whois bigtoe
[ 1 War Hum M ] Bigtoe the Swordpupil
<20hp 100m 100mv> s
[Exits: north west]
There are also more complicated commands that provide a lot more
information about your character: race, class, level, age,
for strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution, and
If your screen moves too quickly, you may have trouble reading
at one glance. You may have to repeat the command several times
it out) to read it all.
*Go west to try it out. Type <w>, of course.
<20hp 100m 98mv> w
[Exits: east west]
When you type this next command, notice, near the bottom right-hand
the sentence -------> You have wimpy set to 0 hits.
Type <score> or just <sc>. Type it several times if you need to.
parts will be explained soon. You may access this information at
time by typing <score> or <sc>.
-->Remember, you can type <look> or <l> to see the basic room
*Go west to move on.
<20hp 100m 98mv> sc
You are Bigtoe the Swordpupil
Str : 14 (14) You are 17 years old (0 hours).
Int : 13 (13) You have 20/20 hits.
Wis : 13 (13) You have 100/100 mana.
Dex : 13 (13) You have 100/100 moves.
Con : 13 (13) You are carrying 4/31 items.
You are carrying 31/220 kg.
Exp/TNL: 1000/1000 Level 1(0) Human Warrior.
Gold : 100 You have 21 practices.
In Bank: 0 You have wimpy set to 0 hits.
You are almost clothed.
You are neutral.
Killed : 0 Died : 0 Saving throw:
Autoexit: Yes Autoloot: Yes Autosac: No Autogold: Yes
Page pausing set to 24 lines of text.
You are standing.
<20hp 100m 100mv> s
Alas, you cannot go south.
<20hp 100m 100mv> w
[Exits: east west]
"Wimpy" is a setting that will force you to attempt to flee a fight
your "hit points" get low.
*Type <wimpy> to set your wimpy. Then type <sc> to notice that it
changed on your score screen.
*When you have finished, go west.
<20hp 100m 98mv> wimpy 5
Wimpy set to 5 hit points.
<20hp 100m 98mv> w
[Exits: north east]
Now notice the numbers that appear continuously on your screen.....
something like: <20hp 100m 100mv>
These numbers represent your physical condition at this very
"hp" is "hit points" which reflect your health. You could be
from "excellent health" to "bleeding freely". Your wimpy is set
low hit point number and you will usually attempt to flee from
your hp fall to that level.
"mana" reflects your ability to use "spells" or "magic" (later!)
"mv" is "moves", which are used every time you move. At zero, you
not be able to move at all.
And now a blind guy interjection from Bigtoe. If you are using
speech, turn your numbers on to read for example as twenty vs. 2 0.
It will come in handy when in the heat of battle you hear you are
down to twenty hitpoints, instead of trying to pick out a stream of
*Go north to continue.
<20hp 100m 98mv> n
[Exits: north south]
When you moved, some of your mv points were used. They may rise
passing of time, or when you sleep. Sleeping always heals hp,
Type <sleep> to sleep, then <wake> or <stand> to wake up. You CAN
type <look> while sleeping, and you may miss events in the room.
type <sc> <eq> <whois> while sleeping. You cannot use 'say' while
sleeping, but you CAN use 'nchat'.
*Try <sleep> and <wake> or <stand>. You may also <rest>. Resting
you more slowly, but you are more alert and can see events in the
*Go north to continue.
<20hp 100m 96mv> n
[Exits: east south]
You now need to kill a "mob" to get some more equipment. When you
to the room (14) with the lizard, you need to type <consider
<con liz> to find out which of you is most likely to die in a
It is VERY unwise to kill a mob you have not considered.
To initiate a fight type <kill mobname>. You may type either <kill
or <k liz> to start fighting. Please kill each mob you find only
This will become important later.
<20hp 100m 98mv> e
[Exits: east west]
If you are victorious in your battle you will get the equipment and
the mob was carrying because your autoloot toggle is "on" right
This equipment will appear in your <inventory> of items carried
To see what is in the adjoining rooms, type <scan>.
This allows you to survey the terrain before entering a room.
*Try <scan>...what will <sc> bring you? Right! It will show your
screen. <scan> shows you the obvious exits from your present
<20hp 100m 98mv> scan
(Pink Aura) An evil lizard is here, gasping its last breath.
You see no one here.
<20hp 100m 98mv> e
[Exits: south west]
In this room you see a mob. You want to <consider> the wisdom of
attacking it. Type <con liz>. Think about the result, type
to check that your wimpy is set, and attack by typing <k liz> or
<kill lizard>. (If you misspell or mis-space either word, the
will not work.) Type <look lizard> to look AT the lizard.
Tip: If a body part (arm, head, etc.) happens to be severed when
dies, you can <get xxx> and <eat xxx> to ease your hunger.
When the battle has ended, move south.
(Pink Aura) An evil lizard is here, gasping its last breath.
<20hp 100m 100mv> con liz
Could hurt, may even be painful!
Also, you are currently much healthier than he.
<20hp 100m 100mv>
Another tip from Bigtoe. In this particular mud, and most of
the muds I've found there is a provision to turn off the chat
channels. On Avatar it is the "deaf" command, without the quotes.
When you first log on, type deaf and that cuts down on verbosity.
When your hitpoints etc are read to you it will say "muted" to
remind you that you have chat turned off. When you need to ask a
question, or be promoted at the end of Mudschool, remember to turn
"deaf" back off by just typing the word "deaf" again.
Now, back to Mudschool and our first fight. Type k liz and away
*Muted* <20hp 100m 100mv> k liz
You start fighting an evil lizard.
Your slash Terminates an evil lizard.
You just set a new personal record for damage done!
An evil lizard is DEAD!!
You receive 62 experience points.
You hear an evil lizard's death cry.
You get orb of knowledge from corpse of an evil lizard.
You get 2 gold coins from corpse of an evil lizard.
You sacrifice corpse of an evil lizard to the Gods.
Snikt gives you 2 gold for your sacrifice.
*Muted* <20hp 100m 100mv> south
[Exits: north west]
If you type <inv> you will see the items you got from the corpse of
lizard. There are several ways to get them on your body.
<wear orb> puts the orb on your body. Try typing <wear orb> now.
Several commands move armor and equipment from your inventory to
body and vice versa.
<wear xxx> works on armor and clothing and some other items.
<wield xxx> is used for weapons in the dominant hand.
<hold xxx> will put a shield/weapon in your off-hand.
Each of these commands will replace the item currently being worn
that slot with the item you specify IF the item is in your
The command <wear all> will put all suitable items from your
on your body. The command <remove xxx> or <rem xxx> will remove an
<rem all> will put all worn items into your inventory, removing
from your body.
*Try <rem orb> <wear orb> then go west.
*Muted* <20hp 100m 98mv> wear all
You hold orb of knowledge in your hands.
You hold an ancient key to untold knowledge...rejoice in the power!
*Muted* <20hp 100m 100mv> w
[Exits: east down]
To remove an item from your INVENTORY you may drop it on the floor
typing <drop xxx>. Items on the floor are NOT safe. Imps and mobs
steal them. Short periods of time in empty rooms may be safe.
<rem xxx> removes something from your body.
<drop xxx> drops it on the floor. If you type <l> you will see it
It is no longer in your inventory. If you leave it
<get xxx> gets something off of the floor and puts it in your
Try this, and <look> at the room before you leave to be SURE you
left nothing behind: <rem orb> <drop orb> <l> <get orb> <wear
*Now type <down> to continue.
*Muted* <20hp 100m 98mv> d
[Exits: north up]
Your quest now is to kill mobs to get the rest of your equipment
some gold. You will also get the "experience points" you need to
to the next level. The command <worth> or <wo> tells you how much
you have, and how close you are to the next level.
*Type <wo> now and note the numbers you see...they are about to
*Muted* <20hp 100m 98mv> wo
You need 938 experience to level and have 21 practices.
You have 104 gold coins in hand and 0 gold coins in the bank.
Due to time constraints I only took you through the first half
of Mudschool. There's still much to learn, but as you can no doubt
hear, or see, the school is written in such a Newbie friendly way
that you can glean a lot of useful info by completing the course.
Did I make it?
Well, I eventually did make level two, and as of the date of
this writing, I'm up to level 13 with about 980 levels to go. No
kidding! And here's another tip. Turn your speech rate up as high
can. If you are listening to a battle at a low rate of speech, it
you forever to hear what's going on, and by the time you decide to
an action like kicking or tripping, it will be too late because the
If you do eventually end up on Avatar keep an ear out for
Bigtoe. I'd like to eventually start a blind group, meaning about
3 or 4 players that band together to fight the creatures. Soloing
is fine, and I haven't done much grouping, but there are
advantages. For example if you get real low on hitpoints, one or
all of the others in your group will come to your rescue and be
pulled into the fight. If the mob is too powerful, you'll all get
it but, I've died more times than Elvis has been sighted and you
can always run back to your old body, collect your armor and other
stuff, and live to fight another day.
As I read this over and over, I keep thinking of new hints to
mudding experience easier. Read the help files. Type help
subject. A good
example is help alias. Create aliases whenever possible. Aliases
combinations that will let you do multiple commands without having
them all out.
As an example, while you wander about, occasionally you need
for food, and once you've found it you have to eat it. You could
"forage" and then"eat food" but why do all those keystrokes. If
you make an
alias, such as "alias for forage: eat food" it turns two actions
The help files explain it better than I could but it really makes
To wrap it up, this is a great way to spend free time, both
for the game-playing aspect, as well as the interacting with
It's a nice way to spend part of an afternoon.
I hope I was able to convey the fact that there is a little
something for everyone, from the fresh-faced newbie like myself, to
you old role-playing veterans with the memories of a Commodore 64
and the Zork Trilogy fresh in your minds. Well, hope to see you
on Avatar, or whatever Mud you choose to try. By the way an
excellent source for a huge list of muds, plus descriptions can be
Try playing in the mud, you'll like it. Until I meet you on
Dear Michael and Readers,
I was remiss in not giving Darii authors credit for the
Accessible Crossword Puzzles for Christmas
By Roger Myers [email protected] - ME2 CWP author
A new crossword puzzle program fully accessible to the blind is
released in time for Christmas, 1997. The program called ME2CWP10
or ME2 CWP Version 1.0 (Minds Eye 2, CrossWord Puzzles V1.0)
lets any blind person with an accessible computer easily
design his/her own crossword puzzles, print them to any PostScript
and work crossword puzzles designed by any other registered user.
A special menu program lets you organize all your puzzles into
puzzle books so that similar puzzles are easily found together.
The program supports most Sound Blaster compatable sound cards
producing interesting sound effects each time that you correctly
a crossword. These sound effects are easily customizable so that a
person can add his/her own new sound effects to the puzzles for
interest and variety.
The program will ship with a number of crossword puzzles included.
The ME2 CWP program lets you work crossword puzzles on your
using the Braille or speech output which you are used to.
No sight is required to work the puzzles.
Arrow keys take you quickly between crosswords in the puzzle.
Function keys repeat parts of the screen such as
the number of letters in the word, the template, the clue lines,
help window. Escape takes you immediately out of the puzzle.
Pressing the home key displays a diagram showing the current
and all words which cross it.
When you start to work a puzzle later you will be placed exactly
you left off the previous time you worked it.
The program keeps track of exactly what state the puzzle was in for
10 players so you can let your children or spouse work any puzzle
without effecting your puzzle.
Such features as giving up on a word, having the computer solve the
entire puzzle, and resetting the puzzle to its original state are
features in this program.
Also included is a design program which reads one or several text
containing lists of words and automatically builds new crossword
using those lists of words. These easily created new crossword
can be printed to any PostScript printer. Also you can use the
convert program to convert these new puzzles into a binary format
which you can then sell to or share with other registered ME2 CWP
A demo of ME2 CWP will be available via FTP by mid November, 1997
from Paul Henrichsen's site: ftp.thesocket.com possibly in the
directory or another directory selected by Paul. The file will be
Please try out the demo copy. you will enjoy it.
A registered copy of the ME2 CWP V1.0 program is available from
Personal Computing Systems (PCS).
You may contact Phil at PCS at:
PERSONAL COMPUTER SYSTEMS
551 Compton AVE.
Perth Amboy NJ. 08861
Phone 732 826 1917
or E-MAIL at
News From PCS
As is becoming a custom for me, I checked in with PCS before the
publication of this issue to find out what was going on. There are
two major developments. First of all, it looks like the new
Football game is around seventy-five percent complete.
Unfortunately, this game requires a lot of tedious work to get all
of the stats in among other things. As a result, work is now
alternating between the Football game and the Dungeons and Dragons
game also being worked on. this D&D game will allow players to
control a party and go on quests. Modules will include dungeons,
wilderness, and more. The detail being contemplated for this game
is quite impressive indeed. While we'll have to wait a bit, I think
it's pretty safe to say that lots of us will have fun in the new
AUDYSSEY MAGAZINE GAMES ON DISK
by Phil Vlasak of PCS
The following list will give the Audyssey fan a chance to decide to
purchase the disk version of the magazine.
It comes on a 3.5 Inch IBM format disk for ten dollars per year.
Each of the six issues will contain the full text of the electronic
edition plus share ware or free ware games.
This list starts with the zip name of each game included followed
by the name you type to play the game, then some info about the
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 1
starship combat simulator.
a host of original creatures and demons
lies in wait for the warrior.
note this is the first of two NETHACK game versions.
This is the real version with 572K base RAM needed.
A role-playing game, you must journey into the Mazes of Menace to
recover the Amulet of Yendor for your god.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 2
Galactic Warzone reviewed in issue 1, you are
a merchant ship in a universe at war.
this is the second of two NETHACK game versions, and is the
protected version with 504K base RAM and extended memory.
Reviewed in issue 1, A role-playing game, you must journey into
the Mazes of Menace to recover the Amulet of Yendor for your god.
The strangest Text adventure where You travel
between worlds and other dimensions.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 3
Reviewed as THE WORLD IS MINE in which you
become ruler of a country, and your objective is world domination.
Reviewed as SUPREME RULER a simplified
version of the World is Mine.
FOR 8086 COMPUTERS OR GC30F1.EXE FOR 286 OR
HIGHER Reviewed in issue 2 as Dave's Gnuchess, version 30f a
completely text-based chess game.
Reviewed as SECOND CONFLICT an interstellar
war for control of the galaxy.
Reviewed as CANNONS AND CATAPULTS in which You
are the king of a castle, and the computer is your rival.
In which alien spirits are allowed to
gain access to the world.
Reviewed as CHRISTMINSTER ABBEY in which
You must gain entry to a college and unravel the conspiracy to
aid your brother.
AN EXPLORATION OF THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY in which you TRAVEL THROUGH TIME TO SEVERAL
PIVOTAL EVENTS IN THE PAST IN ORDER TO STOP HISTORY
FROM BEING ALTERED.
Reviewed as ADVENTURE 550 in which you are a
bold adventurer seeking treasure inside a system of caves with Many
puzzles and monsters.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 4
Reviewed in issue 3 as SPIRIT WRAK in which
You, a munk try to keep a neutral balance between good and evil
confront a demon which has accidentally been unleashed.
Reviewed in issue 3 as OMEGA and is a complex
rogue-style game of dungeon exploration. You can gain skills and
abilities through training in the city and acquire experience by
Reviewed in issue 3 as WIZARD'S CASTLE
in which you explore a castle's rooms and attempt to leave with
gold and special treasures.
Reviewed as The Meteor, the Stone, and A
Long Glass of Sherbet in which You are a diplomat on a continent
dominated by the powerful Northlands Empire on the verge of
discovering magic, and Your mission is to destroy the focus of
You play a man who has just been
killed and the after life is a lot different than
you believe. Fate, commitment, and love are explored.
Reviewed as Delusions in which you
take part in testing out created realities and the first is a
simulation of a lake from the viewpoint of a fish.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 5
Reviewed as Perdition's Flames in which you
have died and arrive in Hell. this
hell must compete for your soul with Heaven in a free and open
system. Accordingly, it has been made a lot less unpleasant.
Reviewed as Frobozz Magic Support in which
you play the role of a magic support clerk assigned to solve the
problems people get into while using magic.
Reviewed in issue 4 in which you use sound
to know when to swing the club.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 6
In which you use sound to know when to
swing the bat.
Reviewed as Ancient Domains of Mystery in
which creatures of corruption stalk through the caverns in an
ancient mountain range. Your skills are selected from the race and
class you choose.
Reviewed as Trivia which asks up to fifty
multiple-choice questions in a category. You type a letter to
answer the question. It comes with several categories already made,
and adding more is simple.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 7
has a dictionary of around 99000 words, and
gives you a group of twelve letters, and challenges you to make as
many words as possible using those letters.
A Journey into Xanth is a fairly well-written
text game about the world of puns and magic created by Piers
Anthony, is full of the wit and humour found in the Xanth novels.
WUMPUS HUNTER Inside a vast network of caves
lies hundreds of gold nuggets waiting to be found, and the
fearsome Wumpus, a cave creature.
* THE GAMES IN ISSUE 8
Under the Gulf
This game is a time-based tactical war simulation which puts you in
command of an attack submarine.
Heist: the Crime of the Century
You are the relative of a master criminal who has just died.
He leaves you his legacy in the form of a challenge to complete the
crime he started.
Zork: The Undiscovered Underground- for DOS
Makes for a nice romp through that wacky universe that so many of
us have learned to love and hate, often at the same time.
Zork: The Undiscovered Underground- for Windows 95
For you windows95 users, you can now play all Infocom and Inform
text adventures while in Windows with this new winfrotz
Below is a list of PCS products:
ANY NIGHT FOOTBALL. Price: $30
A PLAY BY PLAY DESCRIPTION FOOTBALL GAME.
YOU BECOME THE COACH, IN THIS HARD CRUNCHING CONTEST AGAINST SOME
OF THE NFL'S BEST TEAMS EVER BUILT. EXPERIENCE THE SAME
FRUSTRATIONS THAT THE MILLION DOLLAR COACHES FEEL, WHEN THE PLAY
YOU SEND IN IS NOT THE PLAY THE QUARTER BACK CALLS.
ANY NIGHT FOOTBALL IS a text based football game. Which is simple
to play, and the teams are historically reflected in the statistics
used. It includes 28 teams and their stats to make a very
realistic, enjoyable and easy to play game. This game follows the
same rules as the NFL with 24 offensive and 8 defensive plays and
allows you to play another person or against the computer.
MONOPOLY: Price, $30
VERY SPEECH FRIENDLY MONOPOLY GAME.
CAN YOU BECOME THE BIG TYCOON? OR ARE YOU DESTINED TO PANHANDLE THE
CARDBOARD STREETS OF ATLANTIC CITY? TRY YOUR REAL ESTATE KNOWLEDGE
AT MONOPOLY, AND SEE IF SOMEONE DOESN'T CALL YOU MR. TRUMP.
this game follows all of the conventional rules of the PARKER
BROTHER'S board game, and Most of the rules are taken care of by
the computer. It has options that allow for very detailed
descriptions, location of properties and tokens, and distribution
of the players money. The aim was to enable blind people to follow
and know exactly what is going on in the game at all times. This
game has over 50 multi media sounds that will play on any computer.
You may play the game with two to four people. You can save a game
in progress then restart that game later.
MOBIUS MOUNTAIN: Price, $20
A MATH, SHOOTS AND LATTER TYPE GAME.
KNOWING A LITTLE MATH MIGHT JUST BE THE THING YOU NEED TO STAY
AHEAD, OR TO TAKE OVER THE LEAD IN THIS MOUNTAIN RACE. AUGI THINKS
HE'S PRETTY GOOD! SEE IF YOU CAN PUT HIM IN HIS PLACE AND BEET HIM
TO THE TOP OF MOBIUS MOUNTAIN, AND BE WHISKED AWAY BY THE CHOPPER!
This math adventure game was written for blind children and follows
the format of the Shoots and Ladders board game. It was written
with speech in mind to enable blind children to know exactly what
is going on in the game at all times. This game has 28 multi media
sounds. You may play the game with one to four people. You can
also play against the computer. There are seven skill levels so
children of any age will be able to play and succeed at the game.
These levels range from addition and subtraction problems of two
single digit numbers to multiplication and division problems of two
double digit numbers. At the end of the game each player will get
a report of how well they did in solving the math problems.
TENPIN BOWLING: Price, $30
USE EAR AND HAND SKILLS TO BOWL.
TIMING, SKILL, AND A LITTLE LUCK FROM THE ACTIONS FROM THE PINS IS
ALL YOU NEED, TO GET YOUR 300 SCORE. SEE IF YOU CAN BE THE BIG
WINNER, AND BRING HOME THE BIG PRIZE.
Use your ear and hand skills to bowl on a bowling alley. Hear the
sounds of the ball rolling down the alley and the pins knocking
over. Now through the addition of sounds a blind person can throw
a ball down a lane with the aim of knocking down ten pins. You may
play the game with one to eight people. You can also play against
the highest score in five speed categories.
SHOOTING RANGE: Price, $30
AN EXCITING HAND AND EAR SKILLS GUN SHOOTING GAME.
HEAR THE CLAY BIRD SMASH, OR THE SHATTERING OF A PITCHER WINDOW
WHEN YOU BLAST THEM WITH A ROUND FROM YOUR WEAPON. SOME SAY THEY
CAN SMELL THE CORDITE AFTER A FEW ROUNDS ON THE RIFLE RANGE.
You can use your ear and hand skills to shoot with more than
fifty guns in four different Shooting Ranges. In the skeet range
you can shoot at clay birds. In the rifle range you can shoot at a
target trying to hit the bulls eye. In the pistol range you can
shoot at a steel human silhouette target In the junk yard you can
shoot a rifle, a shotgun, or an automatic weapon at over thirty
objects. You may play the game with one to four people. You can
also play against the highest score in several categories. This
game has 105 multi media sounds that play on any computer.
FOX AND HOUNDS: Price, $30
YOU CAN RIDE A HORSE AND TRY AND CATCH THE FOX.
IN THIS GAME YOU CAN BE APART OF A FOX HUNT. YOU CAN HEAR THE DOGS
COMING CLOSER AS THEY CHASE THE FOX ALL THROUGH MIDDLESEX DOWNS.
CAN YOU CATCH THE LITTLE RASCAL BEFORE IT MAKES OFF WITH LUNCH?
Your goal is to catch the fox before your time runs out! The
position of the fox is picked at random, while you start in the
Hunting Lodge, at about the center of the map. This game is very
easy to play, because the only keys you need to use are the four
arrow keys. But you can also customize the game to your liking by
changing the amount of information displayed. The game comes with
39 sounds, to help you enjoy riding a horse through Middlesex Downs
chasing a fox. This game develops your map skills and relationships
to objects on a map by teaching you to use compass directions and
distances to determine which direction to move.
PANZERS IN NORTH AFRICA: Price, $30
COMMAND A WORLD WAR 2 TANK, AND FIGHT YOUR WAY TO VICTORY.
DID YOU EVER WONDER WHAT THE DIFFERENCE WAS BETWEEN THE NATIONS
ARMORIES WAS IN WORLD WAR TWO, AND IF YOU HAD TO BE SUPPLIED AND
FIGHT WITH ONE OF THE GREAT POWERS. WHICH WOULD IT BE?
COMMAND A WORLD WAR two TANK, AND FIGHT YOUR WAY TO VICTORY. this
game allows you to battle enemy tanks from the great desert
campaigns fought in the north african theater. In this game you
will move your tank into battle, choose to fire smoke to obscure a
more powerful tank, or blast away with armor piercing rounds. The
game will worn you of trouble, such as being in range of your
enemy's main gun, running low on ammo, or if enemy forces are
moving beyond your visibility. you can be in a tank of four
nations. German and Italians are the axis powers, and the Americans
and British are the allied powers. this game enables a blind person
to use their ear and hand skills to aim at an enemy tank and fire
a cannon. it has over 60 multi media sounds.
CAR RACING CIRCUIT. Price, $30
YOU CAN RACE YOUR CAR AGAINST OPPONENTS ON FIVE DIFFERENT TRACKS.
FEEL THE SWEAT RUN DOWN YOUR BACK WILE YOU TRY TO CONTROL YOUR
SUPER CHARGED COMPUTER DOWN THE STRAIGHT AWAY TOWARDS THE NEXT
CRITICAL TURN. WILL YOU MAKE IT OR WILL IT BE CURTAINS?
you can race your car against opponents on five different tracks.
two races are two lap qualifiers. One is an oval and the other is
a figure eight. three long races are two ten lappers of the oval
and figure eight, and a road race course twelve and one half miles
long. The up and down arrow keys are used to control your speed.
the right and left arrow keys will allow you to turn right or left.
The space bar is the break, and will slow you up quickly. you use
your hear and hand skills to successfully navigate a turn. You can
use the function keys as a dash board to find out how fast you are
going, what lap you are on, your race clock, how far you have
travelled in the race, and gives the time difference between you
your nearest opponent. You are being challenged by 25 of the
world's best drivers and if you beat the record score, your name is
saved. Now you have the tools. Go out there and make them smell
your exhaust and let them hear your tires squeal.
WORLD SERIES BASEBALL SPECIAL EDITION: Price, $35
WE HAVE ADDED REAL SOUNDS TO THE WORLD SERIES BASEBALL GAME.
HEAR THE BALL COME OFF THE BAT, AND THE CROWD ROAR WHEN YOUR TEEM
RALLIES FROM BEHIND. EVEN THE ORGANIST GETS INTO THE GAME.
In collaboration with Harry Hollingsworth, pcs has added real
sounds to his World Series Baseball game. it comes with 160 teams,
including the 1996 pennant winning Yankees and Braves and the 1996
all star teams. you will feel even more like you are really at the
baseball game. The sounds include ball meeting bat, ball hitting
glove, vendors in stands, and music, including Star Spangled
Banner, Oh Canada, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and charge music.
CARD CLUB: Price, $30
PLAY HEARTS, NORWEGIAN WHIST, WIDOW WHIST, OR CRAZY EIGHTS.
SMELL THE AROMA OF PEPPERONI PIZZA. HEAR THE CARDS BEING SHUFFLED.
A CLOUD OF CHEEP CIGAR SMOKE DRIFTS OVER YOU. YOUR MOTHER ALWAYS
TOLD YOU TO STAY OUT OF PLACES LIKE THIS!
THE CARD CLUB AIN'T SO BAD! WHERE ELSE COULD YOU FIND A COLLECTION
OF SHADY CHARACTERS TO PLAY A GAME OF HEARTS, NORWEGIAN WHIST,
WIDOW WHIST , OR CRAZY EIGHTS? THE GANG AT THE CLUB HOUSE ARE SHARP
AND ALWAYS READY TO PLAY. CAN YOU BEAT THEM? WELL COME ON IN, GRAB
A SLICE OF PIE, AND TRY YOUR LUCK. A WORD TO THE WISE. THE HIGHER
A MONKEY CLIMBS. THE MORE YOU SEE OF HIS BEHIND.
I can be reached in two ways. The easiest is through Compuserve. My
e-mail address is as follows:
Alternatively, you may correspond with me on 3.5-inch disks,
provided you be sure to send them in returnable disk-mailers. I
don't have the money to pay for postage. My mailing address is:
5787 Montevideo Road
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Postal code: L5N 2L5
I have acquired a copy of UUencode and UUdecode for dos,
so you may send files to me via this means. Also, thanks to a
reader named Frank Haslam, I have acquired a copy of something
called Netsend. this is a program written and encoded so that it
can be sent as a standard e-mail, but once it is cut from the rest
of the message text, it can be run as an executable file. You will
then have all you need to send and receive files over E-mail. this
should go a long way to making sharing of files easier. thanks a
Adam Taylor, star of Adam, The Immortal Gamer, and our resident
ADOM guru, can be reached three ways. You can send him e-mail at:
Or, you can check out his homepage on the web:
His page is dedicated to providing help, cheats and solutions to
many games. Send him a request, and he'll do his best to find what
you need. He also has sections on ADOM and Nethack available. And,
you can download the magazine from his page.
Finally, if you wish to contact him at home, his address is:
3082 Bartholomew Crescent
Canada L5N 3L1