Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Where The Wild Things Are

TigerHavenSunset

We travelled by train and taxi to reach Tiger Haven, the home of Billy Arjun Singh, tiger conservateur extraordinaire or "Honorary Tiger" as he is sometimes known, near the Nepal border. We left on Friday 16th night and returned just this morning, Tuesday the 20th. I'll post a longer account soon, but for the moment, here's this beautiful sunset to warm your toes upon!

MEANWHILE! Please note, there is a NEW LINK on the left -- and it's right at the top coz it represents a turning point in my life (darn! What a confession to have to make right out in the open) -- the superlative Infocom DOS text game called The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (yes, of COURSE it's based on the Douglas Adam trilogy of five books). This version is an update, with graphics. I've never played it -- never even seen it before -- but the text game was so life-altering that I feel I just HAVE to post this link here, if only as homage. Most of you who visit this blog are not, I suspect, gamers in any sense. So I'm assuming that only a tiny handful of you will understand what it means to me to have that link in place there. Wow. Or, to use a technical term which will be recognized only by those who played the game all the way through: YOW.

10 comments:

eyefry said...

Oh lordy lord, I've been hunting EVERYWHERE for that DOS game! It's the only Hitchhiker offshoot I haven't yet sampled. May big friendly clouds of marshmallow candy rain on you!

Marginalien said...

Hold the marshmallow rain ... the link takes you to the current versions of the game and they're NOT DOS-text, but have been graphics-enabled. I hope you're not too disappointed. Personally, I don't think the graphics add much value and they CERTAINLY take away from the grope-in-the-dark thrill of having to navigate without visual clues. This way, you can SEE the screwdriver, toothbrush etc and that cuts the challenge down to the level of a PACMAN game.

Of course, I have a copy of the DOS-game somewhere in the depths of my filing system (i.e. it is most likely IRRETRIEVABLE, like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders) ... If you believe it can be e-posted without attracting copyright violations* I suppose I could consider it. (*I have no idea how you'll determine this, okay?)

I also want to credit vague_hit, whose comment, posted below in response to the list of Six-Word SciFi Shorts (the one accompanied by a screen shot from Blade Runner) alerted me to Steve Meretzky -- I would NOT have Googled the name if not for that comment.

And I must not fail to mention the fact that the SOURCE of the H2G2 game for me was my nephew Vikram Doctor! He sent it to me way back in 1993, never realizing the extent to which it would reformat his aunt's brain.

I can recall the final push to jump through all the fiendish hoops of the game took place late at night, consuming maybe five straight hours of "effort", ending at three a.m. ... The last bit is the worst.

I wandered into the game at its current location the other day and realized I don't have the right stuff any more: I died twice in the room and once in front of the bulldozer. *sigh* It's the graphics, I tell ya.

eyefry said...

Actually, I was mildly disappointed as well, but it was still fun playing it. Most therapeutic was yelling choice abuses at the sub-etha net. If you do have the planejane DOS version, though, it would be absolutely wonderful if you could email it to me. I still haven't gotten past the street outside the house.

p.s. have you played Starship Titanic? Much in the same frustrating vein, but lots more graphics intensive...

p.p.s. you really should consider switching to the new blogger, you know.

Marginalien said...

Ha! I clicked on your ID image and -- surprise!! It's a weight-lifting frog! Frogs are amongst the annointed creatures in my universe (no idea why. I just like 'em).

OF COURSE I've played SST. I liked it big-time -- but I will confess that towards the end, I caved and went online to get help with the parrot (ONLY the parrot!). I'd never done that before in a game, so I SHOULD have disliked it. But ... I didn't. I particularly adored the audio-jigsaw puzzle.

Thing is, its graphix were actually interesting, whereas (from the little I've seen) the online H2G2 is just mundane -- and how else can it be? There's no-one alive who can match the inventiveness of the prose. And despite caving to the parrot, I really did struggle through the other stuff, including going up and down the entire length of the ship gazillion times and having to restart the game from scratch another gazillion -- and pretty much losing my mind in the restaurant ... aaah. The joys.

I've attempted upgrading Blogger but it refuses to accept my advances. So I've given up in a huff.

Re H2G2, I will attempt to find the thing. If I find it, I'll send it -- but believe me, that's a very big if ...

eyefry said...

Frogs are fun, yes. Anyone who's ever attempted to illustrate a kiddy book knows that it's also the most fun to draw, so I'm not surprised. Of course, (psst) I also do hazily remember your Suki conducting a brief romance with a smooth-talking member of the froggy royalty. Heh.

I regret to mention at this point that I never got past my cabin on the Titanic. And since the game was on a friend's laptop, I couldn't spend forever with it like I would've liked to.

If you don't mind, btw, I've blogged about the H2G2 game. I've given credit where due, though...

Marginalien said...

Yep, Suki's Frog became her long-time companion (once he quit pretending to be a prince ...).

And -- no sweat about linking to the game! It's out there for just that purpose. I tried leaving a comment at your blog but *shrug* it like my server I guess!

Ahaa -- so SST remains for you to conquer!!! Believe me, it's worth it (I mean, if you like this genre of game at all) -- the ButlerBot's conversation alone is worth the price of the game -- it's a near-inexhaustible fund of cheeky talk-backs. Of course nothing REALLY happens, but it was good fun. I don't know whether or not there's still a web-site dedicated to SST players -- so hard cheese getting past the damned parrot. He gets worse and worse as the game proceeds ...

Run out to that friend's house, steal the CD and run back to your machine. Allow 2 weeks for play-time, with no breaks for sleeping, eating or bathing. And ... enjoy!

eyefry said...

Believe me, I want to be able to spend weeks playing SST. The trouble though, as Wodehouse might have put it, is in convincing my poor tired brain of the difference between the impossible and the merely improbable. Sigh. ("Must... drag myself... away... from... this dratted... office....")

zigzackly said...

There's a java-based version of H2G2 here. DOesn't allow you to save games, alas. And you can try looking for the DOS game on abandonware sites. (: Wrote about this last year:) And, psst, I have the DOS game.

zigzackly said...

Dreadfully sorry. Just realised I'd put the same link in twice. This is the link to the java-based game: http://www.douglasadams.com/creations/infocomjava.html. Apologies to any who may have clicked through.

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