Once a simple iron cutter, now engraved with the choicest runes you've learned and the greatest of the gems you've hoarded. A symbol of your career, and your willingness to shed the blood of others.\n----\n<<display "Inventory">>
You became an adventurer, you think, for several reasons. These reasons are all important to you, in different ways. They make up a good deal of your personality and character, you feel. \n\nYou want to collect treasures. The treasure, in the form of gems and precious metals, has value within the world. This is metered in silver pieces, which is the main currency.\n\nWhen your current form was conceived, you appointed your glories, approximating them into statistics. When you fell to the world, the remainder was converted into silver pieces. From this, you associate wealth, poverty, strength, and weakness as one compass.\n\nIt's why your inventory is so important. It's why your encumbrance is so important. You are competing against other beings- either in the world in bloody combat or by some distant knowledge that those other fallen gods before and after you are measured along the same scale.\n\nThis is called the metagame.\n\nYou want to explore the labyrinths. You know there ought to be more than one, and that the one you've explored has five levels. More levels, it is rumoured, are yet to be accessable. It is not just a secret door that bars access to these zones-- they don't exist yet.\n\nThere is an [[elevator|0]] system here, past the witch's lair.
I spent a lot of time using Word Perfect to write stories, putting them on floppy discs and then printing them out into pamphlets at my Mom's work. I would fold them and put staples down the spine even though they were one page. It was professionalism.\n\nThere were games, too, that my mom would have her Computer Friend pirate for her. Lots of card games, which were incomprehensible. Lots of Pac Man clones, (one using ASCII characters for everything), which were [[incomprehensible|Incomprehensible]].\n
The earliest computer I used was an Epson Equity LT, which I knew as "The Laptop" in the same way the NES I would later have would be "The Nintendo". It ran [[MS-DOS|DOS]].\n
Your eyes adjust and there are two tunnels here. Actually, there is just one tunnel, and you are in the middle of it. It stretches inkily in [[front|Hatchery]] of you and [[behind|Corridor]] you. Get marchin', adventurer.
''YOU GOT THE AMULET.''\n\n''Thank you for playing, you are a true adventurer!''\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n
Hello!\n\nIf you'll allow me to burden you with assertions about your character for the sake of this game, you are an adventurer, and you are about to explore a zone you've recently discovered the location of. \n\nAfter a long time of collating rumours and crosschecking frayed maps, filling your memory with hundreds of dreams of what you hope to find, you are about to embark on a new adventure...\n\n[[The Chaos Caves|Cove]] \n\n<<silently>>\n<<set $black = 0>> //Descent\n<<set $demon = 0>> //Turns chased by demons\n<<set $halls = 0>> //Hallway variable\n\n<<set $room1 = 0>>\n<<set $room2 = 0>>\n<<set $room3 = 0>>\n<<set $room4 = 0>>\n<<set $room5 = 0>>\n<<set $elevator = 0>>\n\n<<set $egg = 0>>\n<<set $stairs = 0>>\n<<endsilently>> \n
<<silently>>\n<<set $black = $black + 1>>\n<<endsilently>> \n\n<<if $black eq 1>>\nYou begin descending into the hole, slipping your body cautiously over the edge. The air is immediately colder and damper, even though above is directly adjacent to the sea.\n\nYou place your feet on the next braided knot of the rope and [[continue|Black]].\n<<else>>\n|\n<<endif>> \n\n<<if $black eq 2>>\nHand below hand and feet slipping down the rope to each carefully metered knot, you continue down. Your lungs adjust to the cold, and your vision adjusts to the darkness. You determine from a quick stolen caress that the walls here are smooth. Smooth beyond what erosion could do. Although they're slick with moisture, they don't glisten. Shifting your balance to wipe your hand off, you [[continue|Black]] down. \n<<else>>\n|\n<<endif>> \n\n<<if $black eq 3>>\nThe square of light above you is shrinking into a single point, losing its corners in the process. Why would this make you pause? You know the only real way to [[continue|Black]] is to keep heading down.\n<<else>>\n|\n<<endif>> \n\n<<if $black eq 4>>\nYou reach the bottom. There is no light here. You light your candle and peer up as its light reflects on the rope. You catch your breath before you [[continue|Black]].\n<<else>>\n|\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if $black gte 5>>\n\n\nThere is no light reflected back from the cave walls. Your scam candle, made of crystal, has a small flame that luminesces with rapidly shifting [[colors|Flame]].\n\nYou may find yourself wanting to let the candle fill your senses as you [[daydream|Space]] about what you hope to accomplish here, or you can set to trying to unravel the further mysteries of this [[place|Place]].\n\n<<endif>>\n\n
You double check your equipment:\n\n[[Magic Arrows|arrows]]\n[[Rope|rope]]\n[[Prepared Bread|bread]]\n[[Scam Candle|candle]]\n[[Iron Dagger|dagger]]\n[[Arcane Powder|powder]]\n\n\n\nIt is secure, and you're not even close to being over-encumbered.\n\nAre you ready to begin? [[Y|Down]]/[[N]]
Distrusting your adventurer's luck, you turn and tread lightly down a hall of black stone, led by your candle, until you come upon a large carved archway.\n\nIt leads into a neon-lit [[hallway|Hallway]].
\nI was able to learn how to operate the X-Tree Gold file management system, a task I don't think I would have the patience for today.\n\nI spent hours using Print Shop by Broderbund Software (who published lots of mundane efficiency and learning software, like 3D Home Architect and The Guardian Legend). I'd flip through every black and white clipart sample, distort it, draw over it, add text (I loved the "3D" effect which was basically just printing the text with a drop shadow). I was able to create, and [[change my mind|Mind]].
A white candle made of crystalline scamstone. When the sharpened tip is lit, it will burn for days. Just don't turn it upside down.\n----\n<<display "Inventory">>
\nThe games that I remember most clearly were things like 3 Demon, Beast, and Cave Quest. At that time they were the corners of the map, encompassing all I knew of "video games". Card games and Monopoly were bleeping replicas of games that already existed. Even Battlechess, which I loved because it allowed me, at age 6, to hustle adults at chess in real life, was something that existed elsewhere. The casual brutality stemming from each piece vs. piece conflict having an over the top kill animation was great, but it was an empty offering compared to some of the other games.\n\nThese were entirely unique experiences that didn't and couldn't exist in any other medium at the time. I could read a scary book, but that wasn't the same as personally getting cornered and destroyed. I could watch an action movie, but that wasn't the same as personally getting a cool new sword and [[cutting a giant spider in half with it.|Spider]]
When playing Cave Quest, I would give my character an exciting name like "Rune" or "Zero". I never used "Kyle".\n\nIt wouldn't have made sense to do that. Computer games were made for doing [[exciting things|Equity]].
I would make my mom read the Cave Quest readme files as a bedtime story, sometimes.\n\nSCROLL.HNT contained lessons on how to be a good adventurer. \n\nIt contained calm advice on managing lifepoints and resting in dungeons. It told you to make your own maps on a piece of paper. It told you that quick monsters can kill you before you have a chance to react. These were truths.\n\nSCROLL.OLD had lore in it. Thees and thous. A futuristic mining culture ended themselves by going too deep. Was this us? It described monsters and their weaknesses. There were giant squids in the caves. There were magic items, with names attached. Where did the names come from? It described treasure in the form of coins, gems, ingots. It listed their weights and worths. I made a list on a piece of paper detailing the icons and associated values. These were what I were after.\n\nThere were sparse descriptions of the five levels, and my mind worked to fill in the gaps to create the cultures that had needed a general purpose foyer and an "arena" level.\n\nSCROLL.USE detailed the phases of the game. You begin in the Land of the Gods and Zeus throws you to Earth. Then you buy your gear from the blacksmith and then buy magic goodies and get your things enchanted by The Witch. \n\nIt says that if you don't buy a weapon from the blacksmith he will give you a stick. I tried multiple times to trigger an in-game acknowledgement of the stick but it was simply part of the narrative.\n\nThese scrolls I carry in my mind and revere [[always|256]].
<<silently>>\n<<set $halls = $halls + Math.round(Math.random() * 7)>>\n<<set $demon = $demon + Math.round(Math.random() * 9)>>\n<<endsilently>> \n\n<<if $halls lte 1>>\nYou are in a black hallway of smooth stone, where neon marks the edges of the floor and ceilings. Their tones shift gradually, and within seconds you realize they are reacting to your exhalations.\n<<endif>> \n\n<<if ($halls gte 1) and ($halls lte 10)>>\nYou pick your way through the halls, guided by the strips of neon. There are many promising paths that terminate in dead ends.\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($halls gte 11) and ($halls lte 20)>>\nA map of the maze begins to coalesce in your mind. The more confidence you have in tracking your location here, the larger you realize this zone is. Each dead end adds to your attempts to narrow things down.\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($halls gte 21) and ($halls lte 29)>>\nThe strips of neon seem to react to your quickened pulse, colors surging alongside you as you hurry. You're certain the exit has to be around here soon. You're turning corners faster than you can count them.\n<<endif>>\n\n\n<<if ($demon gte 5) and ($demon lte 14)>>\nYou sense the presence of another being somewhere in the maze.\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($demon gte 15) and ($demon lte 20)>>\nYou are being pursued by the maze's demon.\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($demon gte 21) and ($demon lte 29)>>\nThe demon is right behind you now.\n<<endif>>\n\n\n\n<<if ($demon gte 30) and ($halls gte 30)>>\nYou have found the exit; a lit chamber which contains the amulet you sought.\n\nAs you cross the threshold to the sanctified room, the demon sinks its claws into you and drags you down through the floor.\n\n[[GAME OVER.|3 Demon]]\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($demon gte 30) and ($halls lte 29)>>\nYou've turned to a dead end. You turn around to face the demon, and are instantly dragged down through the cold floor.\n\n[[GAME OVER.|3 Demon]]\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($demon lte 29) and ($halls gte 30)>>\nYou have found the exit; a lit chamber which contains the amulet you sought.\n\n[[Congratulations, you have won!|3 Demon]]\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if ($demon lte 29) and ($halls lte 29)>>\n<<set $corner = Math.round(Math.random() * 5)>>\n<<if ($corner lte 3)>>\n[[Turn Left|Hallway]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if $corner gte 2>>\n[[Turn Right|Hallway]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if ($corner gte 3) and ($halls gte 3)>>\n[[Turn Around|Hallway]]\n<<endif>>\n<<endif>>\n\n
BEAST was an interesting game for me because I understood how it worked, but it was a huge challenge to plan out more than a few seconds.\n\nThere was an ASCII kind of field. There were monsters, and you pushed walls into them to crush them to death. They could chew through walls eventually. What I would do, instead of hunting them down and killing them mercilessly, was try to make a little fortress out of blocks and hide in it. I'd only kill the BEASTS in self-defense, honest.\n\nThe feeling of having these sluggish but powerful things roaming around the hallways outside of your little safety zone was an odd one, especially knowing that I was playing the game in a way it wasn't made to be played.\n\nSince then it has [[always|Equity]] been fun for me to play games in that way.
From the sea at your back, a breeze glides across your surroundings to the horizon. Small patches of grass and reeds at the far end of the chalky shore shiver in it. \n\nThe [[stones|Colors]] here are smooth, and amongst them are thousands of [[shells|Colors]] piled and broken.\n\nYour eyes are drawn to the immense hole in the ground, artificially square and dark. There are no stones or shells near it, having been swept in or away by the tides. This is what you have been drawn to, the reason for your journey.\n\nKnowing it is the source of a great many of your vital survival tools and techniques, you assess your [[adventuring kit|Inventory]].\n\n
<<if $egg gte 0>>\nThere are square clusters of eggs here, clinging to the walls.\n<<endif>>\n<<if $egg gte 1>>\nThey are starting to hatch.\n<<endif>>\n<<if $egg gte 2>>\nHatched Beasts are squirming out into the room.\n<<endif>>\n<<if $egg gte 3>>\nThe Hatched Beasts press the walls into you. You are [[slain|Beasts]].\n<<endif>>\n\n\n\n<<if $egg lte 1>>\n[[Continue Exploring|Beast]]\n<<endif>>\n<<if $egg eq 2>>\n[[Run|Beast]]\n<<endif>>\n\n<<set $egg = $egg + 1>>\n\n\n
You've grown accustomed to the elevator system that allows you to enter dungeon level [[1]], [[2]], [[3]], [[4]], or [[5]]\n\n<<if $elevator gte 5>>\nor [[255]]?\n<<endif>>
"Level three was the meeting level. There be some wandering \nmonsters in level three, but no hidden doors."\n\nYou accumulate treasures and return to the [[elevator|0]].\n\n<<set $room3 = 1>>\n<<if $room3 = 1>>\n<<set $elevator = $elevator + 1>>\n<<endif>>
"Level two was used for storage. There be a few hidden doors in level two, but no wandering monsters."\n\nYou accumulate treasures and return to the [[elevator|0]].\n\n<<set $room2 = 1>>\n<<if $room2 = 1>>\n<<set $elevator = $elevator + 1>>\n<<endif>>
"Level five be called the "arena" level. The records say that \na huge arena was located in the level. There be wandering monsters and hidden doors."\n\nYou accumulate treasures and return to the [[elevator|0]].\n\n<<set $room5 = 1>>\n<<if $room5 = 1>>\n<<set $elevator = $elevator + 1>>\n<<endif>>
"Level four was the dwelling and sleeping level. There be \nwandering monsters and hidden doors there."\n\nYou accumulate treasures and return to the [[elevator|0]].\n\n<<set $room4 = 1>>\n<<if $room4 = 1>>\n<<set $elevator = $elevator + 1>>\n<<endif>>
3 Demon is a 3-Dimensional Pac-Man remake. \n\n[[Go figure|Equity]].
<<if $stairs gte 5>>\n<html>                   </html>_[[''|AMULET]]\n<<endif>> \n<<if $stairs gte 4>>\n<html>               </html>_|\n<<endif>>\n<<if $stairs gte 3>>\n<html>           </html>_|\n<<endif>> \n<<if $stairs gte 2>>\n<html>       </html>_|\n<<endif>> \n<<if $stairs gte 1>>\n<html>   </html>_|\n<<endif>> \n<<if $stairs gte 0>>\n_|\n<<endif>> \n\n\n\n<<set $stairs = $stairs + 1>>\n\n<<if $stairs lt 6>>\n[[Climb|Treasure]]\n<<endif>>
Be an honorable adventurer and say Y, please.\n\n[[Y|Down]]
I had nightmares about a game called 3 Demon.\n\nI think it was 3 Demon. I don't know. In my mind I see it so much more terrifying than the colorful videos I can find on the internet today. The hallways you ran through were blurry feedback loops that grew on the screen. You moved too fast to know where you were going or have any semblance of a plan. You simply had to pick a hallway and hope for the best.\n\nI didn't know that there was a goal, beyond "survive".\n\nI would play this game exactly once a night, hoping to learn something about it. What was I supposed to do? What was chasing me? I couldn't tell how to use the minimap, or react to it in any meaningful way. I would try 3 Demon once a night and when it didn't show anything to me but my own terror, I would play something else.\n\nThe sheer incomprehensibility of the experience stuck with me [[always|4 Demon]]\n
No simple segment of twine; a lot of care has gone into braiding this.\n----\n<<display "Inventory">>
Though it is lively, bright, and hot, with nothing else in your vision to give context, your mind percieves the flame as eerily distant.
A hearty meal, preserved with baked in herbs.\n----\n<<display "Inventory">>
Your candle leads you into a low ceilinged black room. There is humidity here, dripping rapidly to the point that musical notes ring out from little pools it collects in.\n\nThere are no stalagtites or stalagmites. Your spine throbs at this peculiarity.\n\nThere is a thrumming [[gurgle deeper|Beast]] within the chamber.
Blessed by the Witch herself. What a bargain!\n----\n<<display "Inventory">>
You have reached the [[treasure room|Treasure]].
You attach your rope to the chalk with a steel piton and begin the descent into the [[Chaos Caves|Black]]
Though they are dull, damp and cold, your mind percieves them as colorful and beautiful.
"Of the excavation records, it be known that level one was a \nmulti-purpose level. There be no wandering monsters and no hidden doors in level one."\n\nYou accumulate treasures and return to the [[elevator|0]].\n\n<<set $room1 = 1>>\n<<if $room1 = 1>>\n<<set $elevator = $elevator + 1>>\n<<endif>>
<html> <a href="http://www.brodzkybooks.com">Kyle Brodzky / Capntastic</a> </html>
Essential for casting spells when one is deep underground, where the typical flows of magic cannot reach.\n----\n<<display "Inventory">>