ISSUE #16 - November 28, 1998

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The  |___/ociety for the |_|romotion of  |_|_|dventure  \___|ames.


	     Edited by Magnus Olsson (zebulon SP@G
			November 28, 1998.

	      SPAG Website:

SPAG #16 is copyright (c) 1998 by Magnus Olsson.
Authors of reviews retain the rights to their contributions.

All email addresses are spamblocked -- replace the name of our magazine
with the traditional 'at' sign. 

REVIEWS IN THIS ISSUE -----------------------------------------------------

Once And Future


This is a rather special issue of SPAG. For the first time ever, the
entire issue is devoted to a single game: G. Kevin "Whizzard" Wilson's
"Once and Future" (the game formerly known as "Avalon"), recently
released from Cascade Mountain Publishing. (There has been one theme
issue before, SPAG 5, which was devoted to David Baggett's "The Legend
Lives", but that issue contained reviews of many other games as well).

The release of "Once and Future", or "OaF" for short, is a landmark in
more ways than one. Not only is it the first commercial release of a
text-only game in many years, but "OaF" is one of the most eagerly
awaited games ever; in fact, it's been discussed on the IF newsgroups
ever since Whizzard made the - monumentally premature - announcement
back in 1993 that a game called "Avalon" would be released shortly.
The name "Avalon", by the way, turned out to be taken (unlike book
titles, game titles can be trademarked), so the game had to be renamed
at the last minute (so late, in fact, that I had to do a global
search-and-replace through the text of the reviews below).

So, does "OaF" live up to the expectations? Hopefully the reviews
below will begin to answer this question.

It should be noted that all reviews except one in this issue were
written by beta testers of "OaF". I know that there's been some
controversy about beta testers reviewing games - the question is, can
a beta tester review a game impartially? Personally, I think so,
though there are clearly some problems (which are also pointed out by
some of the reviewers). SPAG would therefore like to publish more
reviews of "OaF" by non-testers - positive or negative makes no

These reviews are advance reviews, based on pre-release
versions of the game, so some things may have changed in the published
version. Incidentally, this is what was behind all my strange
utterances about "secret" material delaying SPAG 15: I had originally
planned to publish these reviews in SPAG 15, but had to delay
publication until after the release of "OaF". Those of you who feared
strange conspiracies behind the secret material that had to be delayed
can feel relieved (or disappointed); this is really all there was to

This issue also sees the return to SPAG of Sean Molley, a.k.a. "Molley
the Mage", one of the pioneers of, and one of the
most prolific contributors in the first issues of SPAG. Welcome back!

Footnote: The abbreviation "OaF", which is used freely throughout this
issue, is "sanctioned" by Whizzard himself. I mention this because my
copy of the Oxford Reference Dictionary defines an oaf as "an akward
lout", but I don't think anybody using the abbreviation would think
there's anything very oafish about "OaF".

NEWS -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Apart from the release of "Once And Future", the big news on the IF
front is that the voting in the 1998 IF Competition has been
concluded.  The results:

1:  Photopia, by Adam Cadre
2:  Muse: An autumn romance, by Christopher Huang
3:  The Plant, by Mike Roberts
4:  Arrival, by Stephen Granade
5:  Enlightenment, by Taro Ogawa
6:  Mother Loose, by Irene Callaci
7:  Little Blue Men, by Michael Gentry
8:  Trapped in a One-Room Dilly, by Laura Knauth
9:  Persistence of Memory, by Jason Dyer
10: Downtown Tokyo. Present Day, by John Kean
11: Informatory, by Bill Shlaer
12: The Ritual of Purification, by Jarek Sobolewski
13: The City, by Sam Barlow
14: Where Evil Dwells, by Steve Owens and Paul Johnson
15: Purple, by Stefan Blixt
16: Four in One, by J Robinson Wheeler
17: Research Dig, by Chris Armitage
18: CC, by Mikko Vuorinen
19: Spacestation, by David Ledgard
20: Cattus Atrox, by David Cornelson
21: In the Spotlight, by John Byrd
22: Lightania, by Gustav Bodell
23: Acid Whiplash, by Cody Sandifer and Rybread Celsius
24: I Didn't Know You Could Yodel, by Andrew Indovina and Michael Eisenman
25: Fifteen, by Ricardo Dague
26: The Commute, by Kevin Copeland
27: Human Resources Stories, by Harry Hardjono

The next issue of SPAG will be the 1998 Competition Special, with
(hopefully) lots of reviews, interviews, complete results, etc. Until
then, you can find more information about the Competition at the
official website:

The games can be downloaded from

ERRATA -----------------------------------------------------------------

In SPAG 15, the byline on one of the reviews of "Firebird" was omitted
by mistake (mea culpa). That review was written by Duncan Stevens
a.k.a. Second April .

In the same issue, the review of "There's a Hole in your Bucket"
stated that "Adventure Probe" is published by Karen Tyers. Karen has
written to point out that the 'zine is in fact published by a lady
called Barbara Gibb. SPAG apologizes for the confusion.

SUBMISSION POLICY ----------------------------------------------------------

SPAG is a non-paying fanzine specializing in reviews of text adventure
games, a.k.a. Interactive Fiction. This includes the classic Infocom
games and similar games, but also some graphic adventures where the
primary player-game communication is text based.

Authors retain the rights to use their reviews in other contexts. We
accept submissions that have been previously published elsewhere,
although original reviews are preferred. At the moment, we are
reluctant to accept any more reviews of Infocom games (though
exceptions happen).

KEY TO SCORES AND REVIEWS----------------------------------------------------

Consider the following review header:

NAME: Cutthroats
AUTHOR: Infocom
EMAIL: ???
DATE: September 1984
PARSER: Infocom Standard
SUPPORTS: Infocom ports
URL: Not available.

When submitting reviews:  Try to fill in as much of this info as you can.
Also, scores are still desired along with the reviews, so send those along.
The scores will be used in the ratings section.  Authors may not rate or
review their own games.

More elaborate descriptions of the rating and scoring systems may be found
in the FAQ and in issue #9 of SPAG, which should be available at:
 and at

REVIEWS ----------------------------------------------------------------

From: Adam Thornton 

NAME: Once And Future
AUTHOR: G. Kevin Wilson
E-MAIL: whizzard SP@G
DATE: 1998
SUPPORTS: all TADS ports
AVAILABILITY: Commercial, published by Cascade Mountain Publishing
	(sold by mail order only)
VERSION: 1.0 (Reviews based on the final BETA version from July 1998)

It's here.

The most-eagerly awaited IF event of the millenium, I think it's fair
to say, has finally arrived.

That event, of course, is the advent of Gerry Kevin Wilson's epic
tale: Once and Future.

By now, everyone knows the outline of the plot, right?  Right?  Well,
you're Frank Leandro, U.S. soldier in Vietnam.  And you jump on a
grenade to save your buddies.  But instead of finding yourself dead,
you find yourself on the isle of Avalon, after a little lecture from
King Arthur about using the grail to resurrect yourself and "keep
something very bad from happening in the real world."

And then there you are in Avalon.  And there's quite a lot to do
before you even can begin to get on with your quest, since you first
have to figure out where Merlin might be, and then get yourself over
to Faerie somehow.  There's the Lady of the Lake, and a little
demon-possessed girl-oracle, and a mermaid with a siren song, and
birds and snakes (no aeroplanes) and moles and mice.  Not to mention
figuring out where the rest of the Arthurian legends come into this
and dealing with the demons of your own past.

And then you start piecing together what it is you're supposed to do.
Not that it ultimately comes as much of a surprise.  If you had to
pick the turning point where America Went Wrong This Century, I'd be
amazed if GKW's choice was not among your top three.  And unlike
Jigsaw, where you have to protect the past at all costs (and might not
the world have been a better place in the absence of the First World
War?), here you're given an opportunity to put things right.

There are all the usual suspects: Merlin, Galahad, Lancelot, Mordred,
the Faery Queen.  We have the second appearance in a game this year of
True Thomas, too.  And Arthur is not the only King to be found in the
game.  All of these--except the last, darkly alluded to but not
specified (find him yourself!)--are characters you'd expect to find in
a game about Camelot and the Arthurian myth-cycle.  And, as you'd
expect, they act like you think they ought to.  Further, there's a lot
of really terrific interaction *between* the NPCs.  This is harder
than it looks, and I think the reason GKW did it at all is that he'd
coded the first bits of it before he ever heard the term
"combinatorial explosion."  The animosity between Galahad and Merlin
is well portrayed and often funny; there are apparently about 600
separately coded NPC responses.

But it's not *those* NPCs at all that make the impression.  It's the
ones that Kevin has made up for his story that really grab my
attention.  I have a huge crush on Snookums, the brain-damaged mole
saved by Jesus.  She's a magnificent NPC.  She's also a tool for
solving puzzles, but she comes across as, well, lovable.  The Vietnam
buddies that you have to "save" in various ways, too, are well-done.
There's a nice subtle "A Christmas Carol" riff hiding in there
somewhere, too.  The demon you encounter along the way is
well-executed: an updated Screwtape, who sounds like a junior partner
straight out of a New Jersey law firm rather than a don from the musty
libraries of Oxbridge.

The NPCs have the most varied topic lists and behaviors I have seen in
any game.  The only one who comes close to their knowledge is Bob in
She's Got A Thing For A Spring, and he doesn't have to follow the
player around or interact with other NPCs.

However, maybe the best parts of the games aren't the wholly original
ones.  GKW has taken some very old thematic archetypes and rewoven
them into new cloth.  The Hunter is not new, exactly, and neither is
his Hound; but both of them appear as forceful and terrifying
characters.  Particularly, the scene at the Crossroad Of Dreams where
you're fleeing the Hound is magnificent.  Kevin knows what he's doing
with the old stories, and for the most part wields them with a
practiced hand and delicate touch.

The game as a whole is technically very competent.  A few unsquashed
bugs remain: just tonight I tried a new syntax for filling the buckets
in the old lady's house, and got a TADS runtime error (fortunately not
fatal), but the prose is well-crafted and free of typos and
grammatical errors.  This is doubtless due in large part to the game's
extensive beta-testing.  The prose is uneven, and I, with the
betatester's privileged eye, can tell you why: Kevin is a much better
writer now than he was in 1993.  Those parts of the game's
descriptions that come from the early days are not nearly as
well-polished or paced as the more recent pieces of prose.

As I mentioned, I've been a betatester for OaF.  I've been a
betatester for a very long time now: I first saw OaF source code in
early 1994 when I visited Kevin at Berkeley; I'd been testing it for
some months prior to that.  I therefore cannot review this game in any
sort of an objective sense.  I have been playing it for so long that
it has become a fixture in my life.  I can no longer tell you which
puzzles are fair and which aren't.

What I can do is to provide a little historical perspective on the
game.  In short, the question everyone is going to be asking is "was
it worth the wait?"  In short the answer is "yes" but with a few
reservations.  And it is those reservations and what they tell us
about where IF has gone since GKW began OaF so long ago that make the
story interesting.

OaF was begun in, I think, the summer or fall of 1993.  Possibly
somewhat earlier.  The earliest cuts might even have been in TADS 1.x,
and thus may have predated the 2.0 Great Change.  I know Challenge of
the Czar, the long-awaited (much longer than OaF, by now--but it's no
longer under active development) game from Sean Molley was begun in
TADS 1.2.  But I digress.

In any event, TADS was the only development system for serious IF.  If
anyone used Inform besides Graham (if Inform even existed) we didn't
know about it.  We were at what we can now recognize as the end of the
Dark Ages: that long period between the death of Infocom and the
Renaissance we currently enjoy.  AGT is what had been used universally
up until the at-that-point quite recent development of TADS; the best
AGT games, as we're all aware, fall far short in terms of parser
sophistication of even mediocre Infocom (despite what the crowd seems to think).

Maybe it's better to think of late 1993 as the High Middle Ages: the
first couple Unkuulian games had come out, demonstrating that
entertaining and relatively sophisticated adventures were being
produced.  The dusty tomb of IF had been found, and a few brave souls
were sweeping away the cobwebs.  IF meant "text adventure" meant
"puzzle game."

The Horror of Rylvania had just been released, and was one of the
first games with much of a moral edge to it.  It introduced the
player-as-monster theme, and had opened up some of the issues OaF was
to confront.  And, unfortunately, no one ever played it, because it
cost money.  And let us not forget, this was long before the release
of The Legend Lives, which was the first piece of post-crash IF to
deal with religious issues head-on.  (Not that the mid-80s commercial
treatments were particularly deep and sophisticated).  Even such an
elementary concept as "mazes suck" had not been finalized (Rylvania,
for one, had a gratuitous and annoying maze in it).

So, OaF, in tackling heavy-duty moral and ethical issues, was really
at the cutting edge of the avant-garde in a field defined by the
puzzle game; here was a concept that put an intricate plot under its
puzzles; the NPC interaction was far more extensive than anything
hitherto seen.  Its conceptual scope was humongous; far bigger in
terms of locations than anything else since, probably, Time Zone.

Let's look at where we are now.  The big hits of the year have been
Spider and Web, the first game I know of to rely on the Unreliable
Narrator as the central feature of the game, Losing Your Grip, a game
that happens almost entirely inside the protagonist's own
hallucinations and has very little to it besides psychological
allegory, and Anchorhead, a Lovecraftian puzzle-solving romp that also
manages to be downright scary.  Additionally, there has been Firebird,
which, like OaF, leaps right into its available pool of myth (although
Firebird manages to be a much gentler adventure, perfect for
introductory IF), albeit Russian rather than Arthurian.

And Big Games?  We've seen plenty: Jigsaw comes to mind, although it's
not actually all that many locations.  Spiritwrak is an enormous game.
So is Anchorhead.  Not to mention UU0, which is an immense sprawling
collection of locations.  OaF is big, maybe even huge, but it feels
more constrained than, say Spiritwrak.  I have not yet drawn up a map
for it, but I intend to, to see how big it actually is.

Atmosphere?  Does anyone else remember how radical Rylvania was in
that it stuck to its gothic-horror guns and did not yield to the then
near-total temptation to throw cutesy and anachronistic stuff into the
game?  The random bits of amusing anachronism have a long history in
adventure games, of course, dating all the way back to Colossal Cave,
but found in most Infocom games as well.  OaF has a few goofy moments,
but on the whole the atmosphere within each scene is kept remarkably
consistent (the Isle of Avalon, having been written first, is the
least so).  Since the setting and atmosphere change so much between
the three major set-pieces of the game (Avalon, Faery, and
Stonehenge), it's really a rather impressive feat.

And what's happened in the world of IF?  The competitions have grown
each year since their inception in 1995.  And--thanks largely to
Kevin--Activision has woken up.  GKW *programmed* the first official
GUE text adventure released in a decade, for goodness' sake!  Laird
Malamed honestly wants our opinions on games and what *we* feel
Activision should do.  Michael Berlyn has started a company to
publish, among other things, IF (including, of course, OaF itself).
We're routinely turning out games far more technically sophisticated
than anything Infocom ever did (for example, the branching tree
conversation system implemented in the TextFire hoax); granted,
nothing yet has quite come up to the level of _Trinity_, but it's not
for lack of technical skill.

IF is no longer dead.  In fact, it's alive and kicking.  It's never
again going to be living in that fancy mansion on the hill in
Cambridge like it was in 1986, but it's out of the gutter, it's
showered off the barf and put on a clean suit, and is once again
mentionable in polite company.  And much of that is due to GKW's

And so, what about OaF?  Had it been released in 1994, it would have
been an absolutely astounding _tour de force_.  It still is an
excellent game, and one that makes the player think.  But it's no
longer all that avant-garde.  We've seen games about difficult moral
and ethical choices; we've seen games about psychological
introspection; we've seen games that self-consciously exploited mythic
archetypes for dramatic effect.  We've worried about the
specified-protagonist versus generic-adventure-game-indeterminate-POV.
Heck, we've even seen an ironic deconstruction of the nebulous
adventurer in Zork: Grand Inquisitor.

After all of these games, parts of OaF seem strangely dated.  There
are puzzles that are simply too much tedious monkey-manipulation: the
Crown of Earth and the flaming braziers come to mind.  There,
thankfully, are no mazes (there is one place that looks like a maze,
but isn't).  However, some of the puzzles seem to exist for the sake
of having puzzles: fundamentally, the whole underground scene with
Snookums exists to get the necklace; now, there's nothing wrong with
that, exactly, but Snookums is a wonderful character, and I wish there
had been some way to meet her such that it didn't feel like she was a
tool of the problem-solving process; I think removing the gratuitous
plank puzzle would have helped a lot here.  Mordred, too, feels less
like a character than like an obstacle; a door with a multi-part key,
as it were.

In short, OaF suffers from having been conceived at a time when it was
assumed that the puzzles were the point of the game.  A game that
manages to strike a slightly better balance in this department is
Stephen Granade's recent Losing Your Grip, which, while having some
puzzles that seem like random hoops for the player to jump through,
achieves better integration of plot and puzzle.  However, OaF's
puzzles generally seem to require less authorial mind-reading than
Losing Your Grip.

This is not to say that OaF's puzzles are all like this.  The final
showdown with the Hunter is handled with remarkable grace and skill,
and is integrated absolutely seamlessly into the narrative.  The
sequences involving saving the Vietnam buddies are also smooth and
thematically appropriate.

There are a dizzying array of times and places presented; most are
handled with a great deal of skill.  There is the Isle of Avalon, the
Land Beyond the Faery Ring, the Crossroads of Dreams, a brief future
sequence, a couple different snippets of Vietnam, a simulation of
Stonehenge so detailed I still haven't completely figured out the
geography, and a well-researched final sequence.  In short, there's an
awful lot of game here, and not something one will get tired of

Overall, it's an immersive game.  I must admit that the final
sequence--and the love interest--left me scratching my head and
wondering what I'd missed.  I found the clues that lead up to it, but
I remain emotionally unconvinced; Kevin could, I think, have thrown in
a bit more background for that.  That's the biggest hole in the game.
I buy the central quest, and the subquests along the way are
convincing, often riveting.  The treatment of the ways in which Frank
has to go back and "save" his three Vietnam buddies that he saves from
death-by-grenade in the opening sequence is a really interesting look
at the nature of responsibility, wrapped up in some well-executed

As might be expected, the themes of forgiveness and forgetfulness run
throughout the work.  One of the best time-travel sequences I've yet
seen--not as difficult or as satisfying as the time-loop in Sorceror,
but really amazing for what it does to your perception of Frank's
character when played through by two different viewpoints--is built
into the game.  In fact, the puzzles associated with this little
time-loop are not hard, but they are stunningly effective in drawing a
picture of Frank Leandro and what his responsibilities are doing to
him, as well as what Frank looks like to the outside world while he's
doing this.

This game makes you think a lot about the relationship between memory
and moral culpability, and manages to do so without being
heavy-handed.  The theology is slightly worrying and a bit simplistic
for my tastes, but effective within the game's context, although given
the rest of the game's high-fantastic-mythic-heroic bent the
Screwtapish demon seems oddly out of place.

All in all, it's a magnificent, enormous piece of work.  Is it worth
your $25?  Absolutely.  Is it the apocalyptic culmination of the IF
genre we've all been waiting for as a sign that the millenium
approacheth?  No, probably not.  Is it a damn fine story?  Yes.  One
caveat: stick with it.  Some of the text describing the Isle of Avalon
is pretty clunky; it's four years old and the author's inexperience at
that point shows.  It gets much, much better.

Kevin should be proud.  He has written a damn fine game, and brought
to a close a story that extends over half a decade.  Without his
passion for text games, it is safe to say that much of the current
Renaissance in IF could not have happened.  This is the project that
was driving that passion, and I think you will find that the years of
effort he has poured into it have paid off handsomely.


From: David Dyte 

Frank Leandro gave his life to save his buddies. For this, he was
given a second chance - to save them all over again. And save much
more besides.

In Once and Future, you are Frank Leandro, charged with a quest that
takes you from Vietnam to mythic England to the domain of Faerie to
any number of other places, too. No-one said Frank's quest would be
easy, and it's not exactly easy for the player either. This game is
spectacular, very very big, and has two or three puzzles that may just
leave you longing for the simplicity of making a Babel fish appear in
a hidden hedge maze location using only the verb 'TAKE'.

For all that, it's well worth the effort. Kevin Wilson has crafted
some remarkable prose here, with each new paragraph a delight to
savour. We've come to expect as much, I guess- it's been a long wait
for OaF, punctuated by such gems as Lesson of the Tortoise. But the
game has justified the time spent. OaF provides for all sorts of
alternative actions and solutions a lesser author may have ignored,
has NPCs with real depth and personality, and a plot that kept me
hanging on right to the very end.

Players can look forward to meeting the likes of Merlin and Galahad,
solving the already infamous Mountain King puzzle, seeing Stonehenge
in a whole new light, playing a friendly game of bones, being sent on
quests within quests by multiple monarchs, and doing some very strange
things I'd better not spoil.

At $29.95 from Cascade Mountain, I urge fans of Interactive Fiction to
leap at the chance and buy this historic game- the first commercially
available text IF in some years, and one of the finest it's been my
pleasure to play.


From: Gunther Schmidl 

After years and years of waiting, it's finally here: Once and
Future. And what can I say but that it has been worth the wait?  The
game opens in a small tent in Vietnam, when you as Frank Leandro, a
tiny puppet in this immense war, play poker with your friends. But all
is soon to change when a hand grenade interrupts your game, and you
give your life for your comrades...

Then, the story really starts. After receiving the grail, you are
stranded in the gigantic land of Avalon with a mission to save the
future. The map is really massive, but thanks to the easy layout, I
had no problems of orientation after going everywhere once.

Primarily, your task is to find the famous holy artifacts of Arthurian
legend, but that won't be so easy: it'll be very long before you can
have all of them. During that time, you'll be transformed into a mouse
and interact with the most instantly likable NPC since Floyd, a mole
named Snookums. She is so unbelievably cute it makes you forget she
isn't "real," and I was really sorry I had to leave so soon.

You will also be visiting Faerieland, the part of the game that has
the very best of the writing. When underways, you are suddenly
snatched away by the Hunter, a mysterious being that is after your
soul, and whom you have to get away from in dream sequences. And those
sequences were the ones that utterly gripped me and didn't let me stop
playing for hours at an end. They are so amazingly well-written and
stirring they constantly reminded me of "classic" I-F moments like the
end of "Losing your Grip" and the unforgotten Floyd Death Scene - only
they took longer. Also, all of the puzzles in this scene fit in so
seamlessly with the story it seems totally clear what to do at every
point. I have since replayed them countless times (and not only
because of beta-testing :-).

When you finally arrive in Faerieland, you are again presented with a
gigantic landscape to explore; don't be afraid, though, most of it is
just scenery to show you the wonders of an alien world (succeeding
well). Though not very many locations have a use in either Avalon or
Faerieland, you're never bored because there is always something to
look at.  Faerieland is where the main puzzles are, and it also is
where the hardest puzzles are. A particular offender is the Mountain
King puzzle, which I am still groaning over. But I have to admit it
*is* the only puzzle of it's size, and it's not that hard when you
know the solution ;-)

You also get to meet interesting characters, like the Straw Man (the
writing there is absolutely great, as are the morals behind the story
- you'll know when you get there), the mischievous elvin queen, and
lots of other more or less helpful inhabitants of the land.

However, as every game has it's down sides, so has OaF. But I am only
nitpicking - there is hardly anything I didn't like (except for that
Mountain King puzzle - but I think Whizzard is going to lynch me if I
mention it ONCE more). I found some of Merlin's remarks to be a little
too "modern" - I wouldn't expect "cool" sentences and the like from an
age-old wizard - but maybe that's just me.

The endgame is gripping, and highly replayable - I found three
different endings at first, then replayed to get the optimum
ending. It is *very* rewarding, to say the least. There are also dark
endings, which I liked even better, but that *is* just my twisted

The best rank you can reach is "Knight of the Round Table", but you'll
have to do a lot of optional stuff to reach it. Note that most of that
optional stuff came to me just because I thought it would be
appropriate at that moment - and I was amazed that the game (or
rather, it's author) had expected that. Now *I* felt like the puppet
on the string of a master storyteller :-)

Note that the transcript of the whole game is 128 print pages in Times
New Roman, font size 10. Wow. Hats off to Whizzard! All hail the King!


From: Leon Lin


The prose is well written, and very atmospheric. Most of the game
takes place in a natural setting of some sort, either real or
fantastic, and the descriptions of the various forests, caves, and
such are beautifully done.

The dialogue was quite good, if somewhat melodramatic at times (like
when Merlin cries out to God). (See section on NPCs for more.)


OaF appears to be of average difficulty. Most puzzles are easily
solvable with a careful reading of the text and some common sense. As
far as I could tell, you can't put the game into an unsolvable state,
unless you're going to die very soon, in which case you might as well

The game does go to some lengths to prevent you from straying too far
off the mark.  For example, in the endgame, the game prevents you from
wandering all over town by reminding you where the crucial event is
supposed to take place. This keeps the player from getting stuck much
of the time (as well as lets the author off the hook from putting in
any more locations than there already are!)

It is possible to die in OaF, but the deaths are for the most part
avoidable with some foresight. (Of course, there's that one trick near
the end, but thoughtful players will see it coming.)


Coding: There were a few bugs in the version I played, but they were
minor and overall the game was pretty clean. The author covers a lot
of the possible actions by the player, though many of the actions are
disallowed on the grounds that the hero, Frank, wouldn't do them.

One of the most impressive sequences in the game is the final fight,
in which many different things can happen depending on what equipment
you've got on. I replayed this sequence many times trying different
things. In general, the game encourages experimentation like this,
even if it gets you killed.

Some of the other impressive technical coding feats in OaF are the
transformation of yourself into a mouse, the diamond puzzle, and the
interaction between Merlin, Lancelot, and Galahad.

There is also a particularly fun Easter egg involving the magic sword,
though I have no idea how you'd figure it out without being told.

Writing: I didn't catch any grammar or spelling mistakes. Pretty


Though it's easy to boil the whole plot down into one sentence --
"Soldier goes on quest to prevent a disastrous event" -- a lot happens
between the surprising and shocking beginning to the final
confrontation. I didn't catch everything the first time through, and
there's some symbolism and foreshadowing that doesn't become apparent
until the end. (The relation between you and some of the characters in
the game don't become apparent until the final scene of the game.)

The plot is somewhat non-linear, with certain major sections of the
game blocked off until certain puzzles are solved. The endgame is very
linear, though that's appropriate considering the time-dependent
situation you find yourself in at the end.  Other than the hectic end,
the game's pace is easy-going, even in a few places you might expect a
greater sense of urgency (like escaping from the demon's chamber).


The NPCs are well done, although most of them have simple purposes and
actions.  Where they mainly shine is in dialogue, both speaking with
you and other NPCs. Merlin is easily the best of the lot, responding
to many actions and queries by the player as well as interacting with
Lancelot and Galahad. He's full of wit and cynicism, and does many
humorous things, like getting chased up a tree by a unicorn and
breaking the thunderbolt, which make him seem more human and
falliable. His only real fault (and perhaps this is nit-picking) is
that some of the technobabble he spouts (like when he opens the time
portal) doesn't quite sound right.

The two knights are also well done, with definite personality. They
don't quite act as expected, with Lancelot acting cowardly in a
certain context and Galahad acting snooty and uprighteous, but that
adds depth to their characters.

The only NPC I felt a little disappointed with was Nina, who popped up
once near the start of the game (when you get Excalibur) and suddenly
becomes all-important during the final confrontation.


The puzzles appeared to be divided into two groups: puzzles that
advanced the plot and puzzles that were obstacles to advancing the
plot. To wit: the player, in solving most of the puzzles, advances the
story and learns more about the game's world. Such puzzles include
saving Rob from prison and helping to kill the dragon. While solving
these puzzles I didn't feel like I was completing a crossword so much
as I was participating in the story.

Some of the other puzzles are "7th Guest" style puzzles designed to
stymie the player and themselves don't add much to the story. The
diamond and the Mountain King puzzles are examples. They were
challenging and intellectually stimulating, but I got the feeling that
most any other kind of puzzle (like a sliding tile puzzle, or a game
of Minesweeper, and so forth) could have been substituted in their

Overall, I felt the game's emphasis was more on the story than the
puzzles, but the puzzles were important enough to keep the player
involved. Games which emphasize puzzles tend to have flimsy plots
wrapped around them, but games which emphasize story over puzzles play
like movies in which the gamer has to press buttons in order to
advance. I think OaF strikes a good balance.


OaF isn't a game you swallow all in one go. It's complex and long. The
sheer amount of text may be intimidating to some, and the plot a bit
confusing at first, but there's a fascinating story which is worth
replaying the game to read.


From: M. Sean Molley 

DISCLAIMER: I have been a beta tester for Once and Future for the last
several years, and have watched it grow and evolve through many
versions.  Those who feel that I am therefore too biased to
objectively review it should take note of this fact.

TOTAL SCORE: 8.0 (Note: I don't believe in score inflation -- 8.6 is my
		  highest score ever)
ATMOSPHERE:  1.7 (Richly detailed, a huge game world, beautiful
GAMEPLAY:    1.0 (Solid, although several puzzles are non-intuitive
		  or annoying)
WRITING:     1.9 (Excellent attention to detail, vivid and powerful prose)
PLOT:	1.6 (The "main idea" is brilliant and the subplots are rich)
WILDCARD:    1.8 (A labor of love, a compelling story, and a truly epic
CHARACTERS:  2.0 (The NPC's are the best part of the entire game)
PUZZLES:     1.0 (With one or two notable exceptions, the puzzles are only

When writing about Once and Future, one of the most notorious titles
in the history of modern interactive fiction, I hardly know where to
begin.  This is the game that has tantalized denizens of the Usenet
newsgroups devoted to IF for years.  Whizzard (Gerry Kevin Wilson, the
game's author) has become one of the best-known and most prolific
contributors to the IF scene over the last five years.  He's
contributed numerous short games and stories, founded SPAG and the
Interactive Fiction Competition, and offered dozens of articles on
game design and other issues over the years.  Running in the
background of all these contributions has been a consistent promise:
"just wait until Avalon comes out!"

Well, OaF is finally coming out, contrary to the expectations of many
who have seen lesser titles fall by the wayside as their creators
moved on to bigger, better, and more lucrative things.  Just to save
you the suspense of wading through the rest of this review, I'll go
ahead and say it now: It's been a long wait, but the wait has been
justified.  OaF is an excellent game.  Kevin has found a publisher,
Cascade Mountain (founded by longtime IF stalwart Michael Berlyn,
himself a contributor to many great Infocom titles), and OaF will be
available by the time you read this.  This review was written based on
the final beta version, which I am assured is almost entirely
identical to the final commercial version with the exception of a few
bug fixes and corrections to the text.

For those who haven't been following the game over the years, I'll
briefly describe the scenario.  You portray Frank Leandro, a private
in the Vietnam War.  Near the beginning of the game, Frank sacrifices
his life to save the lives of his best friends, thus launching himself
into an adventure that will span time and space, cross the boundary
between the "real" world and the world of Faerie, and have a profound
effect upon the past and future of all humanity as Frank struggles to
right ancient wrongs along his way to rewriting history and redeeming
his own soul.  If that sounds like a bit much to do before breakfast,
let me warn you: OaF is both long -- it takes me about four hours to
play from start to finish using an optimized walkthrough -- and
incredibly deep.  You can expect to invest many hours in this one.

All of the great figures from Arthurian legend are here: King Arthur,
Merlin, Lancelot, Galahad, Morgan le Fay, Mordred, the Lady of the
Lake, and many others have critical roles to play.  Each of these
characters is richly detailed, with very real personalities that come
out through their innumerable pages of dialogue.  The characters are
"aware" of one another, and when you are in a room with more than one
NPC, they have more conversations amongst themselves than they do with
Frank.  Many of these conversations have absolutely nothing to do with
the story, but are present only to add depth and feeling to the
characters themselves.  Some of the exchanges between Merlin,
Launcelot, and Galahad are truly hilarious, while others are deeply
touching.  The amount of detail in these NPC's is nearly unprecedented
in IF.  OaF, more than any game I've seen, is "about" its characters.
All NPC's are also highly interactive; in addition to talking with one
another, they will also work with (or against) Frank in a staggering
variety of ways.  Because of the non-linear nature of the game's
structure and the sheer number of possible combinations of NPC's and
puzzles that can be happening at the same time, it is quite possible
for two players to go through the game in entirely different ways.

The isle of Avalon itself is quite detailed, with many different areas
to explore.  The structure is mostly non-linear, with only a few
puzzles dependent on the completion of earlier actions.  Frank must
search out and acquire a number of legendary artifacts, including
Excalibur and its sheath.  With Merlin as companion and guide, Frank
will explore fantastic vistas while confronting many dangerous
adversaries that will test his mettle.  Indeed, Avalon is the
strongest area of the game, with every piece of the puzzle fitting
together nicely and a series of interesting and entertaining
challenges to be overcome.  The writing is fluid and rich -- the game
reads like a book in many places.  Key plot points are amply described
with powerful and evocative text that is as good as anything which has
ever appeared in an IF game.

Actually, when playing OaF I am most reminded of David Baggett's game
"The Legend Lives", which also featured a number of scenes where pages
and pages of text spilled across the screen.  My personal bias is that
these kinds of "cut-scenes" add a lot to the story and are well worth
the investment; other players might not find them as enjoyable.  You
will do a tremendous amount of reading before you finish the game.
However, Kevin's writing is good enough that I think you'll find it a
pleasure.  In many cases the game will cause you to laugh out loud; in
others, you'll flinch from the power of the imagery created.  The game
does not shy away from controversial subjects or language; parents of
young children might want to be aware that the game does contain some
profanity and other disturbing images.  However, there is nothing that
I would consider "gratuitous" in the sense that it isn't called for by
the story.

Although the Isle of Avalon is a major focus of the game's action,
there is a second major area within the game, reached through a
mushroom ring within Avalon itself: the land of Faerie.  Faerie
contains its own plots -- many of them only tangentially related to
the "main" plot of the game -- and has a huge amount of geography to
explore.  One of the nicer aspects of the game is that Faerie and the
Isle of Avalon, while both being large and complex areas in their own
right, are basically not interdependent.  With only one or two
exceptions, puzzles in one part of the game don't require items from
the other, and the parts themselves can be completed in either order.
Indeed, it's possible to travel back and forth between Faerie and
Avalon, working on puzzles in both realms in basically any order you
see fit.  The whole effect is well done and keeps the player from
feeling constrained to a narrow path through the story.

Faerie is very different from Avalon, and from the "real" world, just
as you would expect.  Descriptions of objects and rooms are whimsical,
even nonsensical, but with their own internal logic that can be
figured out by the clever player.  Faerie contains several of the
game's best puzzles, which are very challenging to solve but
ultimately rewarding once they have been overcome.  The room
descriptions are beautiful to read: Kevin is a great writer, and has
spent considerable time and care crafting the descriptions to convey
the sense of utter unreality that is Faerie.

Both this area and the main Isle of Avalon are huge, with many rooms
to explore.  One potential knock against the game, indeed, is that
there are so many rooms that travelling from place to place sometimes
becomes tedious.  The Fairy Queen's castle, for example, is in the
absolute remotest corner of Faerie.  As Frank must travel there on a
number of occasions, moving back and forth over and over again becomes
repetitive and annoying.  Locating the Queen's castle in the center of
Faerie, with the various regions radiating outward from it like spokes
around a wheel, would have saved some wear and tear on Frank's poor
feet without detracting from the game.

Indeed, here I must raise a few important quibbles with OaF.  The plot
and story are very well done, and the various sub-plots and twists
within the game are excellent.  As a book, this would probably have
been a notable work in its own right.  As a game, it suffers a bit in
the execution.  (Hence the low mark for gameplay as opposed to the
other areas of the score).  There are many places where the player
simply has to wait in a location while the story unfolds; repeatedly
typing "Z" is basically equivalent to turning the pages of a novel,
while breaking the suspension of disbelief needed to keep the player
locked into the game world.  In a similar fashion, the vast amount of
traipsing about the world that is required as Frank shuttles back and
forth becomes irritating (although Kevin's room descriptions are some
of the best I've ever seen, they're no better the 20th time than they
were the first).  This is not to say that the game as a whole is
non-interactive; by and large the player is shaping the plot rather
than watching it unfold around him.  Nevertheless, there are a few
places where the pacing could have been tweaked a bit.

The puzzles are also a mixed bag, ranging from the sublime to the
unpleasant, with the majority falling on the "difficult" side of the
challenge scale.  The game is difficult, but the puzzles are mostly
fair.  A few of them are awkwardly done, however, and the potential
for "guess the verb" exists in one or two places.  There is one puzzle
in Faerie which appears to serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever,
other than to give the player a simple blob of wax which is needed
back in Avalon (this is also the game's only example of a connection
between the two realms).  The puzzle involves pushing on lighted
buttons to cause a particular pattern to appear; much like the sliding
tiles puzzle in "Curses", it doesn't work very well in the text
medium, and serves no useful purpose other than to annoy the player
and slow the game down.  This puzzle could have been removed, and the
blob of wax put someplace within Avalon itself, without hurting the
plot in any way, and doing so would make life a lot easier for the
player.  Hopefully this will be addressed in a future version of the
game.  On the other hand, several of the puzzles and areas are nearly
flawless; the "mole area" near the beginning of the game and the
"reverse rowboat" in Faerie are very memorable indeed.

The game's plot is impressively deep, with a number of sub-plots that
are extremely compelling.  Frank must redeem his own soul and the
souls of others along the way to completing his quest.  He will
revisit Vietnam, do battle with the Master of the Hunt, save his own
life in a "Sorcerer"-esque episode, escape from the clutches of an
evil witch, and do battle with dragons, demons, and other assorted
evildoers.  He will be assisted by Merlin, Sir Launcelot, and Sir
Galahad, as well as a number of other interesting characters,
including a clever mole and a curious cat.  In the end it is the
player who benefits, as these "side quests" are immensely entertaining
and serve to illustrate the richness and depth of Frank's character.
OaF is one of the few IF games to really develop the player's
character: Frank is very real, and his own comments are sprinkled
liberally throughout the game.  Some players will find this
off-putting, but I found it quite easy to empathize with Frank and get
into the role of the main character.  He is very believable and a
noble character.

Once Frank has secured the magical artifacts, purified the Holy Grail,
and obtained the assistance of the Queen of Faerie, he and Merlin will
embark upon the true quest: preventing a terrible catastrophe in
Earth's past which threatens the future of Earth and Faerie both.  I
won't go into the details, since that would spoil a major part of the
game, but suffice it to say that the quest is very appropriate to the
overall plot of the game -- indeed, the concept is brilliant -- and
many of the diverse threads which the player has unraveled in Avalon
and Faerie will be tied up in the end.  (A number of other issues are
left unresolved by the game's ending; deliberately, it turns out, from
reading the author's notes.)  The game moves pretty quickly once Frank
learns his final quest; you'll rush through the last few stages pretty
quickly, as the puzzles aren't too difficult (with the exception of
the very last puzzle, which is pretty non-intuitive and hurts the flow
of the narrative) and the pace increases, with the final scene played
out under a tight time limit as the story builds to the ultimate
confrontation between Frank and the forces of evil.

Upon completing OaF, I am left to answer the final question: does it
live up to the hype?  The answer is, "of course not."  OaF is perhaps
the most-anticipated game of the modern IF era, if for no other reason
than Kevin has been building it up and promising to release it for
years and years now.  Given that kind of buildup, there's no way the
game would be able to be all things to all people.  And it does suffer
from some shortcomings; Kevin is telling a truly epic story here, and
it's hard to format such a story to fit the particular requirements of
IF.  But the player who sticks with it and looks past the game's
mechanical flaws will find that OaF is a highly polished jewel of a
story, the rare game that tackles deep issues and confronts them
head-on.  There are so many messages and allegorical themes in the
game that it would be impossible to list them all; and I won't even
try, because half the fun is discovering them for yourself.

OaF is a very literary game; it is a rich and complex tapestry.  A few
of the threads haven't been tied off quite right, but there are no
"crash" bugs and nothing which should prevent a reasonably intelligent
and experienced IF'fer from completing the game without needing to
resort to a walkthrough.  In summary, I would call it a "must-read" as
well as a "must-play."  OaF reaches for the brass ring by trying to
combine such an epic story with a puzzle-based game mechanic; when
compromises had to be made, they were made to preserve the story and
at the expense of gameplay.  It is unfortunate that any compromises
had to be made at all, but the whole is definitely greater than the
sum of the parts.  OaF does not disappoint -- I say again, it was
worth the wait.  I would place OaF on the same list as "The Legend
Lives," Brian Moriarty's "Loom", and Steve Meretzky's "A Mind Forever
Voyaging."  All of these games share a common trait: they are
experienced, rather than played.  For me, the experience of OaF has
been a wonderful one.  I hope that yours will be, too.


From: Magnus Olsson 

At last, it's here. For years we waited eagerly for it. Some of use
gave up hope of ever seeing it; others probably didn't even know it
was for real, but thought it was just a metaphor for something
unattainable; "When Avalon is released" became a synonym for "When
pigs will fly".

And then, suddenly, here it is. Of course, it's not called "Avalon",
but "Once and Future", but it's here; the most anticipated IF release
ever. Maybe pigs do fly, after all.

So does it live up to the expectations? Yes and no: some people have
expressed great disappointment that it didn't live up to their
expectations, but I wasn't among them. I think it's fair to say,
however, that "OaF" has been the subject of so much discussion and -
to be blunt - hype (it is, after all, a commercial release), that it
can't possibly live up to all expectations. So, in the following I'll
try not to compare it too much with what's been said about it before
its release.

Before starting on the review, let me state that I was not one of the
play testetser. I had never seen the game before the review copy
arrived, so this review is based on fresh impressions.  I have a
confession to make, however: I haven't finished the game yet. I ran up
against what turned out to be a fatal bug (an NPC who was supposed to
provide some essential information, but didn't), and decided to put
the game aside for a while, waiting for my "real" copy to arrive (my
review copy was a pre-release version), so I had more to look forward
to than just the pretty packaging. This happened rather near the end -
I've completed most of the game, but I can't comment on the way the
plot is finally resolved.

I mentioned a fatal bug, so let's deal with a less pleasant aspect of
the game first, so we get that out of the way. I can't help feeling
that "OaF" could have done with some more beta testing. Fortunately, I
found just one killer bug, but I did run into quite a lot of parser
problems, mainly missing vocabulary. Let me stress that (apart from
the NPC bug) I didn't have any real problems with this - I ecountered
no guess-the-verb "puzzles", for example, just some missing synonyms -
but still a bit irritating. There's been talk on
about an upcoming patch from the publisher - let's hope it fixes these
problems once and for all.

OK, so it's somewhat buggy and it may not live up to everybody's
expectations. What's it _like_? The main plot outline should be well
known by now: you play a soldier who's killed in Vietnam, but brought
back to life by King Arthur, and sent on a quest. But this doesn't
really say very much about the game, does it?

So let me start by characterizing "OaF": First and foremost, it's a
classic adventure game in the Infocom tradition. In many aspects, it
goes beyond - sometimes rather far beyond - Infocom's achievements,
but it's a matter of evolutionary, not revolutionary, progress. I
think that this is much a matter of timing: some aspects of "OaF"
*would* have been revolutionary if it had been published according to
the original schedule, four years ago. It's just that tremendous
developments have taken place in the IF scene during those four years,
and others have explored this new territory first.

I wrote that "OaF" is first and foremost a game. This doesn't mean
that it isn't a story, or that the story is just an excuse to string
puzzles together, far from it. But unlike many modern works of IF
(like, for example, this year's competition winner "Photopia"), it's
not an interactive story that uses puzzles just as a way of forcing
the audience to participate; it's a computer game that tells a story
(or, rather, many stories). Puzzles are prominent, but subordinate to
the story: with few exceptions they don't feel extraneous to the plot,
and almost all of them don't obscure the underlying themes but serve
to enhance them and advance the plot.

I suppose that this means that you'll probably be disappointed if you
don't like puzzle games, but are looking forward to a "pure"
interactive story. But, as I wrote, the puzzles don't obscure the
plot, and there's plenty of literary value in "OaF". "OaF" isn't "just
a game"; it's a work of art in the form of a game.

On the other hand, if you don't care much for the story aspects, and
approach "OaF" as a pure game, you'll probably *not* be disappointed.
You'll miss a lot if you ignore the story aspects, though.

Puzzles are a prominent part of "OaF", and there are quite a lot of
them; enough, it seems, for several medium-to-large-sized adventures -
"OaF" is a large game. Most of the puzzles aren't too difficult;
they're quite logical, with satisfying solutions, Infocom-style. The
comparison to Infocom is meant as praise: in fact, I've seen few
recent adventures with so many enjoyable puzzles. There are almost
none of the "guess what the author was thinking" puzzles that are
common in amateur IF. Some of the puzzles are a bit mechanical,
perhaps, and some of them feel rather dated in a similar way that
mazes feel dated nowadays - one of the signs that "OaF" has been under
development for a long time and that our taste in IF has evolved
during that time. Unfortunately, none of the puzzles are of the really
brilliant variety, the one where the solution feels like a revelation,
but on the other hand there are no real bottlenecks that block your
progress totally, killing the plot in the process. On the whole, I
think the balance between puzzles and plot is satisfying.

I mentioned that "OaF" is a large game. In fact, it's very large. The
funny thing is that for most of the time I was playing, it didn't feel
very large; but several times, when I felt that I had explored
everything and the game was stagnating, new vistas opened up, whole
new worlds as large as the previously explored parts of the game. This
is a rather rare experience - my experience is that most games (new or
old - this is true for many, if far from all Infocom games as well)
are either rather small, or partitioned into segments that are small
games unto themselves, and quite separate from each other. On the
other hand, "OaF" never felt so large and open-ended that I was
overwhelmed by the task of exploration.

"OaF" manages to strike a balance here, with just enough territory to
explore that the game world feels large, but not like a huge
desolation, and the device of rewarding puzzle solving with new lands
to explore is used effectively. The map is mostly connected in a way
that allows you to travel freely between the various segments of the
game; there are no watertight partitions.

Or almost none - because the story takes place on several planes at
the same time (or, rather, different times), and at some junctures
you're transported to different worlds to face different challenges in
a different subplot. Which leads us on to the literary aspects of "OaF".

Let's start with genre. "OaF" can, of course, be characterized as
fantasy, but it's not the usual, stereotypic RPG-inspired fantasy of
most adventure games, but mythical fantasy - Arthurian myth, of
course. There's a lot of the fairy-tale elements present in many
Arthurian tales - talking animals and such - but, despite this, "OaF"
is not the kind of watered-down, trivialized Arthur-as-storybook-
character world of "The Sword in the Stone", or Infocom's "Arthur".
Like all true myths it addresses the big, existential questions;
fortunately, it's not all about cute talking animals or heroic
save-the-world quests. "OaF" is neither a children's story nor an
action movie.

Unfortunately, this isn't very apparent in the first part of the game
(after the Vietnam introduction), where you have to explore the isle
of Avalon and complete a number of sub-quests before you can begin to
figure out what your real quest is about; this part of the game is
actually quite conventional, almost shallow, with no strong sense of
purpose or direction. This is a pity, because if the player is unlucky
(the game is rather non-linear, so it's possible to see different
sub-plots in quite different order) he or she will spend rather a lot
of time before getting really involved in more than rather standard
adventure-questing. There are a couple of quite touching
stories-within-the story here (such as the one about the mole), but
they involv you more as a spectator than as a participant.

But things get better, plotwise. Once the player is involved in the
main plot, he (I'll be using the male gender since I'm referring more
to the player character, Frank Leandro, than to the actual
player/audience controlling him) has to face not only his quest, but
demons from his past, his present and his future - this sends him back
to Vietnam in some very powerful sequences - as well as archetypal
forces such as the mysterious Hunter. Finally, he'll have to deal with
one of the pivotal moments in history; alas, I can't comment on that,
since I haven't reached the actual endgame yet.

The choice of pivotal moment in history seemed rather strange, almost
silly, to me at first. Perhaps it's because I'm not American, and
"OaF" is in a sense a very American game (though, fortunately, no
knowledge of baseball is required). I can think of a reason for the
odd juxtaposition of Arthur, Vietnam, and this historical event,
though: Arthur is perhaps the most powerful of Anglo-American myths,
and the two other elements, while historical, seem to have become
almost archetypical in American culture. (No, Elvis is not involved).
There is thought behind the choice of quest, even though it may seem
unlikely when you first hear it.

As mentioned before, the game is quite non-linear; most of the time,
you have a choice of things to do and several puzzles to attack. This
means that the plot can't drive events in the way it does in more
"literary" IF; rather, the plot - and subplots - form a sort of
substratum that motivates your actions and comes back to haunt you
from time to time. The drawback to this is that at times there's no
strong sense of purpose; you can spend quite a lot of time wandering
around and solving puzzles just because they're there, just like in
Zork. Unlike in Zork, however, there is a sense of unity; I'm not sure
how all the threads are tied together at the end, or if they are -
sometimes the plot structure gets a bit out of hand, it seems (I'm not
sure that it will ever be resolved exactly what's going on between
Frank and the Hunter, for example), but I'll have to pass on this for

On the other hand, some of the subplots (most notably the Vietnam
ones) are quite linear; you're a "prisoner in someone else's story",
to quote Espen Aarseth. But these parts of the game are rather short.

I did notice some minor problems caused by the non-linearity: some
descriptions and plot events seem a bit suboptimal when encountered in
the wrong order, but I didn't encounter any real killers. Of course, I
can't help thinking that it may be possible to break the game by doing
things in the wrong order, but I didn't actually manage to do so, and
the author seems to have covered most possibilities.

If you look at what the player is actually doing during most of the
game in terms of plot, much of the time is spent on sub-quests and in
subplots that don't seem to relate directly to the main plot. This
can, of course, be criticized; but I think it's actually in character
(I'm no expert on the Arthurian mythos - Arthur is not really a
central part of my cultural heritage at all - so I may be totally off
base here): much of the Arthurian mythos consists of stories about
Arthur's knights being diverted from the quest for the grail by
seemingly unrelated adventures, which turn out not to be so unrelated
in the end. And the subplots in "OaF" all seem to touch on issues that
either have directly to do with Frank's personal development, or with
the underlying themes and conflicts. In this context, I'd like to
point out that "OaF" is one of the few works of IF I've seen that deal
with religious issues (though it doesn't really hit you across the
face with them).

The writing varies from competent to excellent to rather over the top
- you can tell that "OaF" was written over a long period of time, and
Kevin obviously matured as a writer during that time. Some parts,
especially the room descriptions in the early parts of the game, are
rather terse (but still expressive), Infocom-like, while others are
more verbose and some passages are a bit on the purple side. In some
places the author seems to be overreaching a bit, but those are the

The writing doesn't quite compare to the beautifully poetic "So Far",
the haunting dream-like moods of "Losing your Grip", or the polished
pefection of "Photopia", but it's quite competent.  The author gets
his message across, usually very effectively, and there are some very
powerful scenes; some scenes and NPC's remained in my memory for quite
some time after I stopped playing.

Finally, some words about NPCs. One area where "OaF" has been a bit
hyped is the quality, number and depth of its NPCs. When it comes to
the sheer number of NPCs, this is no exaggeration: there are lots of
them. However, the NPCs are rather uneven.

Some NPCs are quite sophisticated: they'll follow you around, talk to
you, have answers for most questions and spontaneously comment on
things you're doing. Some NPCs interact with each other, commenting
each other's lines (typically, you do something, an NPC answers, and
another NPC comments that). This is all very solidly implemented, but
there's nothing really revolutionary going on; no AI techniques, no
new conversation strategies or so on, just ordinary TADS actors. But
so much effort has gone into providing them with a personality and
with things to do and say that they take on a depth few IF NPCs can

On the other hand, many NPCs are much less interesting than that. One
NPC is just a variation on the "lock and key" puzzle, and others play
very minor parts: they do a few things, and then exit. What is worse
is the unfortunate fact that one of the first NPCs you encounter is
quite an important figure in the Arthurian mythos, yet he basically
just stands around, has rather limited conversational abilities, and
doesn't seem very lifelike at all. You don't encounter the "good" NPCs
until quite a bit later.

But all in all, the most memorable parts of this game are the NPC:
Snookums, Merlin, True Thomas, The Hunter, The Demon, Frank's alter egos.

To summarize, "Once and Future" may not be the Great American
Interactive Novel. It may not be a revolutionary feat of innovation or
a literary masterpiece. But it is a very enjoyable, solidly
implemented (despite the bugs - remember that this is a one-person
project) game, with an engaging plotline (once you get into it) and
some very memorable characters.

And what makes "OaF" exceptional is the sheer size of its world, and
that's not empty space, but interrelated, interacting objects,
locations and characters, all unified by a compelling story. $29.95
will buy you a lot of exploration, puzzle solving, NPC interaction -
more than enough for four or five normal-sized games - but, above all,
immersion in a detailed world and participation in a deeply engaging

INTERVIEW WITH G. KEVIN WILSON -----------------------------------------------

SPAG: First of all, our congratulations on not only finishing your
great project, but also finding a commercial publisher for it. Could
you tell us a little about your feelings, now that your quest is
nearing its end?

GKW: I think Homer Simpson said it best: Woo hoo!

SPAG: I think the last-minute name change took us all by surprise. The
legal necessities aside, is it a great disappointment for you to have
to change the title of the game?

GKW: Well, it was a bummer, but hey, you do what you have
to.  The new name is pretty good, which takes much of the sting

SPAG: You've been working on this game for, let's see, at least four,
maybe five years. Would you have embarked on this project if you'd
known how long it would take?

GKW: I really couldn't tell you.  I mean, in retrospect, it was certainly
worth it.  I got to learn a lot about game design and writing.  Once and
Future (OAF) is certainly a good chunk of what made me what I am today.

SPAG: In retrospect, what were the principal reasons it took so long
to complete? And why did you underestimate the amount of time needed
by so much?

GKW: Inexperience and over-reaching ambition, mostly.  I never really
understood back then what a huge undertaking I was attempting, nor do
I realize how much college was going to get in the way.

SPAG: "Once and Future" strikes me as a very large game, but how large
is it, really? How many rooms, objects, NPCs are there? And how many
lines of code? Have you made any comparisons with other large games,
such as "Curses"?

GKW: Well, here are my estimates, rounded off.  I haven't made any
comparisons except to note that nothing of Infocom's was as big.

	Rooms: 300
	Objects: 1300
	NPCs: 40
	Lines of Code: 35,000

SPAG: It is often claimed that the amount of work needed to write a
game rises exponentially with the size of the game. Does this agree
with your experience? If so, what do you think the reasons are?

GKW: Most certainly.  The more objects you have interacting with each
other, the more effort is necessary.  Simply, if you have 15 objects,
and add a 16th, you only have to worry about it interacting with the
other 15.  If you have 500 objects, and add a 501st, you must look at
how it interacts with the other _500_.

SPAG: One of the most impressive aspects of "Once and Future" is the
NPCs. Speaking as a game author myself, I know from bitter experience
just how fiendishly hard NPC programming can be. Did you develop any
new, revolutionary NPC coding techniques for "Once and Future", or did
you just apply lots and lots of elbow grease? Any NPC coding tips to
aspiring authors out there?

GKW: Elbow grease, and lots of it.  All told, the NPCs have about
500-600 'ask x about y' topics between them.  NPCs that move around
have an array of things to say upon entering certain locations, and
encountering other NPCs, and of course, many events have multiple
versions depending on which NPCs are currently accompanying the

NPC coding tips?  Hmm.  KISS.  Keep it simple, silly.  Don't add more
complexity than your game needs.  OAF emphasized the characters a lot,
so I needed reasonably complicated NPC behavior.  Lesson of the
Tortoise, on the other hand, only asked each NPC to do one or two
things, so I greatly simplified things in that game.

SPAG: Speaking of NPCs, which of the NPCs in the game is your own
favourite? Why?

GKW: Well, actually, my personal favorite NPC would probably be the
Straw Man.  As for why, well, that would be telling.  If you reworded
the question to include all characters in the game, then my favorite
would be Frank Leandro, the character that the player controls.  He's
a very noble figure, and I think he came across quite well,
considering that at the time it was seen as stifling the player if you
gave the PC a personality.

SPAG: Where did you get your inspiration for the game? For example,
what caused you to write about the Arthur mythos? And what about the
Vietnam angle? Is there any connection between the two?

GKW: Well, I've always been into Arthurian myth.  I play Dungeons &
Dragons, which draws a lot of material from the Knights of the Round
Table.  As for the Vietnam angle, well, that's hard to say.  Maybe I
just chose it because there were so many moral dilemmas involved in
that war.

SPAG: I think that the influence from the classic Infocom games is
rather obvious - and how could it be otherwise? But were you inspired
by the newer developments in IF that took place while you were writing
"Once and Future"?

GKW: Sure, to some extent.  I really enjoyed "The Legend Lives!" and
something of that game found its way into OAF.  That was probably my
biggest modern influence.

SPAG: What do you think of the future of text-based IF?

GKW: Looking good, folks.  Just keep plugging away at it.

SPAG: Any plans for the future? Do you intend to continue writing IF?

GKW: I don't know yet.  I might.  There's always room for improvement.
But for right now I'm going to relax awhile and get my career in
motion.  I'm hoping to get a job writing roleplaying games.

SPAG: Finally, what would you like to say to all the people who were,
let's say, a bit overly sarcastic about the chances of "Avalon" (as it
was known then) ever being completed?

GKW: Ahem.  HAAA hah.

READER'S SCOREBOARD ---------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: The scoreboard has been updated with ratings submitted until
October 15, 1998. I also have a small backlog of ratings submitted
after that date. Unfortunately, the ratings list on the SPAG web page
has not been updated since SPAG 14, so it is a bit out of date.


	A   - Runs on Amigas.
	AP  - Runs on Apple IIs.
	GS  - Runs on Apple IIGS.
	AR  - Runs on Acorn Archimedes.
	C   - Commercial, no fixed price.
	C30 - Commercial, with a fixed price of $30.
	F   - Freeware.
	GMD - Available on
	I   - Runs on IBM compatibles.
	M   - Runs on Macs.
	S20 - Shareware, registration costs $20.
	64  - Runs on Commodore 64s.
	ST  - Runs on Atari STs.
	TAD - Written with TADS.  This means it can run on:
		AmigaDOS, NeXT and PC, Atari ST/TT/Falcon, DECstation
		(MIPS) Unix Patchlevel 1 and 2, IBM, IBM RT, Linux, Apple
		Macintosh, SGI Iris/Indigo running Irix, Sun 4 (Sparc)
		running SunOS or Solaris 2, Sun 3, OS/2, and even a 386+
		protected mode version.
	AGT - Available for IBM, Mac, Amiga, and Atari ST.  This does not
		include games made with the Master's edition.
	ADVSYS - Available for PC and Macintosh only, or so my sources tell
		 me.  (Source code available as well.  So it can be ported
		 to other computers.)
	HUG - Written with Hugo.  Runs on MS-DOS, Linux, and Amigas.
	INF - Infocom or Inform game.  These games will run on:
		Atari ST, Amiga, Apple Macintosh, IBM, Unix, VMS, Apple II,
		Apple IIGS, C64, TSR-80, and Acorn Archimedes.  There may be
		other computers on which it runs as well.

Name		  Avg Sc    Chr  Puz  # Sc  Issue   Notes:
====		  ======    ===  ===  ====  =====   ======
Aayela		  8.6     1.6  1.7  1	     F_TAD_GMD
Adventure (all variants)6.6     0.7  1.0  7     8       F_INF_TAD_ETC_GMD
Adventureland	   4.0     0.5  1.5  1	     F_GMD
Adv. of Elizabeth Highe 3.1     0.5  0.3  2     5       F_AGT
Afternoon Visit	 4.1     1.0  0.8  1
Alien Abduction	 7.9     1.7  1.7  1
All Quiet...Library     4.7     0.8  0.7  4     7       F_INF_GMD
Amnesia		 7.8     1.5  1.7  2     9       C_AP_I_64
Another...No Beer       2.4     0.2  0.8  2     4       S10_IBM_GMD
Arthur: Excalibur       8.0     1.3  1.6  4     4,14    C_INF
Awakened		7.7     1.7  1.6  1
Awe-Chasm	       2.4     0.3  0.6  1     8       S?_IBM_ST
Babel		   8.2     1.7  1.3  2     13      F_INF_GMD
Balances		6.6     0.7  1.1  5     6       F_INF_GMD
Ballyhoo		7.7     1.8  1.5  4     4       C_INF
Bear's Night Out	7.7     1.2  1.5  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Beyond the Tesseract    3.7     0.1  0.6  1     6       F_I_GMD
Beyond Zork	     8.1     1.6  1.9  4     5       C_INF
BJ Drifter	      7.3     1.5  1.5  1
Border Zone	     7.3     1.4  1.4  6     4       C_INF
Broken String	   4.2     0.5  0.6  2	     F_TADS_GMD
BSE		     6.6     1.0  1.0  1
Bunny		   6.6     1.0  1.4  1
Bureaucracy	     7.5     1.6  1.3  6     5       C_INF
Busted		  5.2     1.0  1.1  1	     F_INF_GMD
Castaway		1.1     0.0  0.4  1     5       F_IBM_GMD
Castle Elsinore	 5.3     1.0  1.2  1
Change in the Weather   7.4     0.8  1.5  7     7, 14   F_INF_GMD
Chicken under Window    6.9     0.0  0.0  1
Christminster	   8.6     1.8  1.6  6	     F_INF_GMD
Corruption	      7.8     1.6  1.1  3     x       C_I
Cosmoserve	      8.7     1.3  1.4  2     5       F_AGT_GMD
Crypt v2.0	      5.0     1.0  1.5  1     3       S12_IBM_GMD
Curses		  8.4     1.3  1.7  9     2       F_INF_GMD
Cutthroats	      6.2     1.4  1.2  6     1       C_INF
Dampcamp		6.0     1.0  1.4  1
Deadline		6.9     1.2  1.3  6     x       C_INF
Deep Space Drifter      5.5	  1.4  1     3       S15_TAD_GMD
Delusions	       7.4     1.3  1.5  2     14      F_INF_GMD
Demon's Tomb	    7.4     1.2  1.1  2     9       C_I
Detective	       1.0     0.0  0.0  5     4,5     F_AGT_GMD
Detective-MST3K	 6.1     0.8  0.1  4     7,8     F_INF_GMD
Ditch Day Drifter       7.1     1.2  1.6  1     2       F_TAD_GMD
Dungeon		 7.4     1.5  1.6  1	     F_GMD
Dungeon Adventure       6.8     1.3  1.6  1     4       F_SEE REVIEW Issue #4
Dungeon of Dunjin       5.8     0.7  1.4  3     3, 14   S20_IBM_MAC_GMD
Edifice		 7.5     1.5  1.7  3     13      F_INF_GMD
Electrabot	      0.7     0.0  0.0  1     5       F_AGT_GMD
Emy Discovers Life      4.1     1.0  1.0  1
Enchanter	       7.1     0.9  1.4  6     2       C_INF
Enhanced		5.0     1.3  1.3  1     2       S10_TAD_GMD
Eric the Unready	6.9     1.5  1.5  2     x       C_I
Everybody Loves Parade  7.3     1.2  1.3  1
Fable		   2.0     0.2  0.1  1     6       F_AGT_GMD
Fear		    7.6     1.5  1.6  1	     F_GMD
Firebird		8.1     1.7  1.6  1
Fish		    7.6     1.2  1.7  3     x       C_I
Foggywood Hijinx	7.6     1.7  1.7  1
Forbidden Castle	4.8     0.6  0.5  1     x       C_AP
Frenetic Five	   5.1     1.2  0.2  1
Friday Afternoon	6.3     1.4  1.2  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Frobozz Magic Support   8.0     1.6  1.7  1
Gateway		 7.5     1.6  1.5  1     x       C_I
Glowgrass	       7.4     1.6  1.5  2     13      F_INF_GMD
Great Archaelog. Race   6.5     1.0  1.5  1     3       S20_TAD_GMD
Guardians of Infinity   8.5	  1.3  1     9       C_I
Guild of Thieves	7.3     1.2  1.6  3     x       C_I
Gumshoe		 6.3     1.3  1.1  2     9       F_INF_GMD
Hitchhiker's Guide      7.6     1.4  1.5  8     5       C_INF
Hollywood Hijinx	6.4     0.9  1.6  7     x       C_INF	    3.7     0.3  0.7  2     3       S20_IBM_GMD
Horror of Rylvania      7.5     1.5  1.3  2     1       F_TAD_GMD
Humbug		  7.0     1.7  1.5  2     x       F_GMD
Ice Princess	    6.2     1.1  1.6  1
Infidel		 6.9     0.0  1.4  9     1,2     C_INF
Inhumane		3.6     0.2  0.7  1     9       F_INF_GMD
I-0: Jailbait...	8.0     1.7  1.3  4	     F_INF_GMD
Jacaranda Jim	   7.0	       1     x       F_GMD
Jeweled Arena	   8.0     1.5  1.5  1     x       ?
Jigsaw		  7.7     1.4  1.5  7     8,9     F_INF_GMD
Jinxter		 6.4     1.1  1.3  2     x       C_I
John's Fire Witch       7.1     1.1  1.6  6     4       S6_TADS_GMD
Journey		 7.8     1.6  1.3  3     5       C_INF
Jouney Into Xanth       5.0     1.3  1.2  1     8       F_AGT_GMD
Kissing Buddha's Feet   8.1     2.0  1.2  1
Klaustrophobia	  6.7     1.2  1.3  5     1       S15_AGT_GMD
Leather Goddesses       7.1     1.3  1.5  8     4       C_INF
Legend Lives!	   8.9     0.9  1.6  2     5       F_TADS_GMD
Lessen of the Tortoise  8.1     1.6  1.6  1	     F_TADS_GMD
Lethe Flow Phoenix      6.8     1.4  1.5  3     9       F_TADS_GMD
Light Shelby's Addendum 8.3     1.8  0.9  2     9       S?_TADS_GMD
Lists and Lists	 7.5     1.5  1.8  1
Losing Your Grip	8.2     1.3  1.4  2     14      S_TADS_GMD
Lost New York	   8.2     1.6  1.6  1
Lost Spellmaker	 5.4     1.2  0.8  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Lurking Horror	  7.2     1.3  1.3  11    1,3     C_INF
MacWesleyan / PC Univ.  5.6     0.7  1.0  1     x       F_TADS_GMD	       4.5     0.5  0.5  1     3       S20_IBM_GMD
Magic Toyshop	   4.3     0.7  1.1  2	     F_INF_GMD
Matter of Time	  1.4     0.3  1.4  1     14      F_ALAN_GMD
Mercy		   9.2     2.0  0.7  1
Meteor...Sherbet	8.5     1.6  1.9  1	     F_INF_GMD
Mind Electric	   5.1     0.6  0.8  3     7,8     F_INF_GMD
Mind Forever Voyaging   8.4     1.3  0.8  7     5       C_INF
Moist		   8.4     1.7  1.6  1
Moonmist		5.7     1.2  1.0  11    1       C_INF
Mop & Murder	    5.0     0.9  1.0  2     4,5     F_AGT_GMD
Multidimen. Thief       5.6     0.4  1.0  3     2,9     S15_AGT_GMD
Mystery House	   4.1     0.3  0.7  1     x       F_AP_GMD
New Day		 5.5     1.3  0.9  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Night at Museum Forever 4.2     0.3  1.0  4     7,8     F_TAD_GMD
Nord and Bert	   6.1     0.8  1.3  4     4       C_INF
Odieus...Flingshot      3.3     0.4  0.7  2     5       F_INF_GMD
One Hand Clapping       6.9     1.2  1.4  3     5       F_ADVSYS_GMD
One That Got Away       6.7     1.3  1.2  3     7,8     F_TAD_GMD
Oo-Topos		5.7     0.2  1.0  1     x       C_AP_I_64
Path to Fortune	 6.8     1.4  0.8  1     9       S_INF_GMD
Pawn		    6.5     1.0  1.2  1     x       C_I_AP_64
PC University: See MacWesleyan
Perseus & Andromeda     3.4     0.3  1.0  1     x       ?
Phred Phontious...Pizza 5.2     0.8  1.3  1     19      F_INF_GMD
Planetfall	      7.4     1.6  1.5  9     4       C_INF
Plundered Hearts	7.2     1.3  1.1  5     4       C_INF
Pyramids of Mars	6.0     1.2  1.2  1
Quarterstaff	    6.1     1.3  0.6  1     9       C_M
Ralph		   7.3     1.7  1.5  1
Reruns		  5.2     1.2  1.2  1
Sanity Claus	    9.0	       1     1       S10_AGT_GMD
Save Princeton	  5.8     1.2  1.3  2     8       S10_TAD_GMD
Seastalker	      5.5     1.2  0.9  6     4       C_INF
Shades of Grey	  8.0     1.3  1.4  4     1,2     F_AGT_GMD
Sherlock		7.3     1.4  1.4  3     4       C_INF
She's Got a Thing...    7.8     1.8  1.8  2     13      F_INF
Shogun		  7.1     1.5  0.5  1     4       C_INF
Sins against Mimesis    7.7     1.7  1.6  1
Sir Ramic Hobbs	 5.0     1.0  1.5  1     6       F_AGT_GMD
Small World	     5.9     1.4  0.9  1
So Far		  8.7     1.4  1.8  4	     F_INF_GMD
Sorcerer		7.3     0.6  1.6  5     2       C_INF
South American Trek     0.9     0.2  0.5  1     5       ?_IBM_GMD
Space Aliens...Cardigan 1.6     0.4  0.3  5     3       S60_AGT_GMD
Space under Window      7.3     0.0  0.0  1
Spellbreaker	    8.3     1.2  1.8  5     2       C_INF
Spellcasting 101	7.0     1.0  1.2  1     x       C_I
Spellcasting 201	7.8     1.5  1.6  1     x       C_I
Spellcasting 301	7.5     1.4  1.5  1     x       C_I
Spider and Web	  8.5     1.7  1.7  3     14      F_INF_GMD
SpiritWrak	      6.7     1.3  1.1  2     9       F_INF_GMD
Spur		    7.2     1.4  1.2  1     9       F_HUG_GMD
Starcross	       7.0     1.1  1.3  5     1       C_INF
Stationfall	     7.6     1.6  1.6  5     5       C_INF
Stiffy - MiSTing	4.2     0.1  0.1  1
Sunset Over Savannah    8.3     1.3  1.5  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Suspect		 5.8     1.2  1.0  3     4       C_INF
Suspended	       7.2     1.3  1.3  5     8       C_INF
Tapestry		6.9     1.2  0.7  2     14      F_INF_GMD
Tempest		 5.6     1.0  0.6  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Theatre		 7.0     1.1  1.3  5     6       F_INF_GMD
TimeQuest	       8.6     1.5  1.8  1     x       C_I
TimeSquared	     4.3     1.1  1.1  1     x       F_AGT_GMD
Toonesia		6.4     1.2  1.3  4     7       F_TAD_GMD
Tossed into Space       3.9     0.2  0.6  1     4       F_AGT_GMD
Travels...Land of Erden 6.2     1.5  1.5  1
Treasure.Zip			      0     3       S20_IBM_GMD
Trinity		 8.6     1.3  1.7  11    1,2     C_INF
Tryst of Fate	   7.1     1.4  1.3  1
Tube Trouble	    3.3     0.5  0.4  1	     F_INF_GMD
Uncle Zebulon's Will    7.1     0.9  1.4  8     7       F_TAD_GMD
Undertow		5.2     1.0  0.8  1	     F_TAD_GMD
Undo		    1.9     0.1  0.4  2     7       F_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian One-Half      7.0     1.2  1.6  7     1       F_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian Unventure 1   7.1     1.2  1.6  6     1,2     F_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian Unventure 2   7.2     1.4  1.5  4     1       F_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian Zero	  9.0	       1     1       F_TAD_GMD
Veritas		 7.9     1.6  1.7  1
Waystation	      5.7     0.7  0.9  2     9       F_TAD_GMD
Wearing the Claw	6.8     1.1  1.1  2	     F_INF_GMD
Wedding		 8.0     1.7  1.6  1
Wishbringer	     7.4     1.4  1.3  7     5,6     C_INF
Witness		 6.9     1.6  1.2  7     1,3,9   C_INF
Wonderland	      7.5     1.3  1.4  1     x       C_I
World		   6.5     0.6  1.3  2     4       F_SEE REVIEW Issue #4
Zanfar		  2.6     0.2  0.4  1     8       F_AGT_GMD
Zero Sum Game	   7.5     1.7  1.2  1     13      F_INF_GMD
Zork 0		  6.3     1.1  1.4  5     14      C_INF
Zork 1		  6.3     0.8  1.5  12    1,2     C_INF
Zork 2		  6.5     0.8  1.5  8     1,2     C_INF
Zork 3		  6.1     0.7  1.4  6     1,2     C_INF
Zork Undisc. Undergr.   6.5     1.0  1.2  1     14      F_INF


The Top Five:

A game is not eligible for the Top Five unless it has received at
least three ratings from different readers. This is to ensure a more
democratic and accurate depiction of the best games.

Since the last issue (when "Trinity" headed the list, followed by "Curses"
and "Christminster"), there have been some dramatic changes:

 1.   So Far	      8.7     4 votes
 2.   Trinity	     8.6    11 votes
 3.   Christminster       8.6     6 votes
 4.   Spider and Web      8.5     3 votes
 5.   Curses	      8.4     9 votes

Not only has "So Far" gone from nowhere (that is, less than 3 votes)
to the top of the list, but "Spider and Web" by the same author
(Andrew Plotkin) has squeezed in between "Christminster" and "Curses"!

CLOSING REMARKS -------------------------------------------------------------

The next issue will be the 1998 Competition Issue. We're aiming for
reviews of all the competition games.

Until then: happy adventuring!


	   Thank you for helping to keep text adventures alive!

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