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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adventure Game

By Crashnbur in MLP
Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 06:10:06 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

Do you remember Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Did you ever play the old text adventure game based on Adams' work? Yes? No? I can nearly promise you that you won't be able to let this text adventure go until the frustration becomes too much to bear (unless you actually carry out the contents of the story). Oh, yeah, the link to the online, java version. I hope you enjoy! (I personally enjoyed it for about 75 minutes before finally giving up in a sea of nothingness... no senses, no consciousnes, no life, no death... Whee.)

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comments (24)
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adventure Game | 36 comments (36 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Just a note... (3.50 / 2) (#1)
by Signal 11 on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 09:47:32 PM EST

If you play the game.. if this is like the original text based game, there's two hangups you will overlook:

First, keep in mind that at some point in the game, you'll need to get rid of common sense. No, I mean this quite literally - because the game's a real smart ass and says you can't do it because common sense says you can't. So lose common sense and you can. That's as much of a hint as you get.

Second, whatever you do, don't forget to feed the damned sandwich to the cat.

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

You mean dog? (none / 0) (#4)
by Crashnbur on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 09:49:49 PM EST

I still can't figure out how the hell to get the sandwich away from the stingy barman!


[ Parent ]
Capitalism, anyone? (none / 0) (#10)
by The Cunctator on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 11:04:23 PM EST

Maybe you should just try buying the sandwich.

[ Parent ]
I had tried before... (none / 0) (#25)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:16:06 PM EST

But the bartender did not respond... I tried to take it and he told me hands off without buying, so I tried to buy it and it said he wasn't paying attention. I'm past that, though. :-)


[ Parent ]
Have to buy it right off (none / 0) (#28)
by fluffy grue on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 05:24:14 AM EST

Infocom games had a really annoying tradition of encouraging you to save before practically every move. If you try to take the sandwich outright, the bartender just ignores you; you have to try to buy it before anything else. Also remember to buy the peanuts or else you'll cause a paradox.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

You don't have to buy the peanuts... (none / 0) (#33)
by The Cunctator on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 01:11:55 AM EST

Ford does. Of course, if you're Ford (and you're not, you're Arthur Dent!), then you should buy the peanuts.

Ain't HHGG great?

[ Parent ]

Cat? (none / 0) (#13)
by onyxruby on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 02:05:23 AM EST

You have to feed the ham sandwich to the dog, not the cat. Game's unwinnable otherwise.

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

Have you even played it? :) (none / 0) (#29)
by fluffy grue on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 05:37:07 AM EST

First off, there is no cat. I don't mean that in a Keanu Reeves way, either. There is no cat in the game.

Now that that's out of the way, you don't have to lose the common sense, you have to use it. If you look up in the Guide on "common sense," it says something about common sense being that which helps you to resolve apparent paradoxes - so you have to use your common sense (which you get in the obligatory-but-different "maze of twisty passages" scene opened up by feeding the damn dog) by creating an apparent paradox, which involves the running gag of always having no tea. That's not until the very, very end, though.

Now, a useful hint (i.e. one which is correct without giving too much away :) is to make use of the thing that your aunt gave you but you don't know what it is. You'll need it, due to one really annoying random factor at the end of the game.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

A good idea when starting out. (none / 0) (#2)
by Crashnbur on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 09:47:41 PM EST

To "get up" and to "turn the light on" are probably two really good ways to start your day in bed in a dark room... with a hangover... with the destruction of the world on the verge...


Don't forget your towel... (none / 0) (#3)
by Signal 11 on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 09:49:15 PM EST

Yeah, and there's an awful lot of stuff under that bed. =)

Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]
Two good things about this MLP article: (none / 0) (#5)
by Crashnbur on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 09:51:13 PM EST

(1) Excellent topical discussion.

(2) Lots of hints and tips! Yeah!


[ Parent ]
babel fish t-shirt (none / 0) (#6)
by dr k on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 09:57:10 PM EST

i used to have a t-shirt that read "I got the babel fish." a difficult puzzle that comes quite early in the game.

alas, that shirt is gone, along with all my issues of The New Zork Times.
Destroy all trusted users!

speaking of that (spoiler) (none / 0) (#9)
by SEAL on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 10:32:08 PM EST

In the very beginning, you can't really avoid getting the gown because you need the analgesic to deal with your hangover. However, it is easy to leave behind the junk mail, as well as the towel that Ford offers you. At least most people familiar with the series are bright enough to grab the towel :) You'll need all those things to get the babelfish.

These type of things are probably the most frustrating aspect of this game. In other words - seemingly unimportant things have a major impact much later in the game, and you can't fix it at that point.

Just a word of warning, but don't panic :)


It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#23)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:13:31 PM EST

If you take the towel from Ford, he just runs off, and your house is destroyed and you die. Let him keep the towel, and he'll still have it when you need it.


[ Parent ]
what I did: (none / 0) (#27)
by SEAL on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 04:33:26 AM EST

Might have missed a step or two but this is pretty close to what I did:

lie down
[bulldozer stops]
[Ford walks up looking around]

say to Ford "what about my house?"

[game says it's "what about my home"]
[Ford talks to Prosser, convincing him to lie down in your place]

get up
get towel
follow Ford

[get to pub and continue from there...]

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
[ Parent ]
That motherf%^&ing babelfish (none / 0) (#12)
by rusty on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 01:30:51 AM EST

I had this game for the Apple ][e, and I never did get that goddamn babel fish. To this day, it is one of my life's enduring moments of utter failure.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Getting the babelfish. (spoiler) (none / 0) (#24)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:15:00 PM EST

Assuming you saw the babelfish fly across... take off your gown, hang the gown on the hook, put the satchel in front of the robot panel, put your mail on the satchel, and put the towel over the drain. Now push the dispenser button and press the case switch. Voila! Enter the babelfish!


[ Parent ]
darkness? (none / 0) (#7)
by SEAL on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 10:00:02 PM EST

Without giving too much away:

I'm guessing you just finished several pints at the pub with Ford, and have beamed yourself into darkness. Try using all your senses. Note the game's very slight difference in response to one of them. Repeat it a couple times.


It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
Thanks! (none / 0) (#14)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 01:06:12 PM EST

I might be asking you lots of questions later...


[ Parent ]
Hah! (none / 0) (#16)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 01:37:36 PM EST

I got it in one try, once I read your clue again. I didn't really notice any difference (I didn't analyze it yet), but I just picked the one sense that I figured made the most sense (no pun intended) in that situation. Go me. I think. Now I'm treading on new waters...


[ Parent ]
There is a thing called frotz (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by tiamat on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 10:12:22 PM EST

It is my god. It allows me to play these, and other text based games on my palm. It has a great key words list for pen use, and of course, is fully functional with the keyboard. On long train rides I use the overclocker to turn down the processor on my palm and play for hours and hours.

Originally, it took me years of futitle attemps and surrender before I beat the game. I reccomed it to anyone who enjoyed the book.

Oh, poo... (4.50 / 2) (#11)
by Mr. Excitement on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 11:58:38 PM EST

I'm afraid my vote just bumped this story up to a score of 43...

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
Trivia point (none / 0) (#15)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 01:26:09 PM EST

Am I correct in remembering that the game was based on the radio play, and the book on the game?

Oh, and at one point the game will lie to you. Be persistent. There is at least one question that must be asked several times before the game will come clean. Enjoy yourself and, of course, Don't Panic

Nope (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by fluffy grue on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 03:31:04 AM EST

First of all, the game is tangential to both the book and the radio show, as well as the TV series - every single HHGTTG series has been separate, and only somewhat related in the general eventline.

Secondly, nothing was based on the game. The book and TV series were both based on the same story which evolved in Adams' mind from the radio show.

The text adventure doesn't go on long enough to fork from the basic storyline, in any case, though it more closely follows the book and TV series (character-wise) than the others in terms of who says what (for example, in the radio show, it's Arthur who negotiates with Prosser at the beginning, not Ford).

The book and TV series do form a pretty close timeline, though they still diverge in a number of places, and of course, the TV series ends just before the end of the second book. The text adventure was originally going to continue on (yes, I've beaten it, yes, it's a major pain in the ass, and I was stuck on the last step for literally a decade - I first almost beat it when I was 9, and it wasn't until I was 19 that I finally caved in and read a hint book to find out about the stupid very-deeply-buried wordplay which leads to the final three moves of the game) but I'm guessing that since not enough people managed to beat the first one, they didn't bother continuing it.

Oh, and the game ends where Eddie finally opens up the Heart of Gold on Magrathea. Don't expect to find out the meaning of life by playing it (it doesn't even get to any mention of 42).

More book history: The first two books (HHGTTG and Restaurant at the End of the Universe) are pretty much the same in all three series (radio, book, and TV). The TV series (again) ends at that point, while the radio series and book series completely diverged at that point - the second season of the radio show bears no resemblance to the final three books. Another interesting tidbit is that the third book ("Life, the Universe, and Everything") was actually a rewrite of a series of Dr. Who episodes which Adams wrote but were never produced, having been superceded by the multi-writer "Key of Time" storyline (not that it would have been at all strange for Dr. Who to repeat that storyline, considering that every other major storyline was done at least 4 times, but I digress). That's why book 3 was stylistically different from the first two books, and had the whole "quest" stuff.

BTW, if you haven't read book 5 ("Mostly Harmless"), don't bother. It spends most of the time doing a really bad job talking about branching-universe theory, and ends very half-assedly in a way where Adams practically screams, "I'm sick of this series, so stop asking me to write sequels." I think he wrote it specifically to piss people off so they wouldn't ask for more sequels (not that there could feasibly be, with the way it ends), and it's definitely not Adams' best work. Unless you want to feel angry, cheated, and pissed off, don't even touch it with a ten-foot pole. Really, it's that bad. I'd rather read 3001 and the last half of the Rama series again than even think about picking up Mostly Harmless. Blech.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Stuck in Engine Room?! (none / 0) (#17)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 02:56:18 PM EST

What do I do? Now what? There is nothing special about the engine room, none of my senses help (I don't think), and I can't seem to get out. Any suggestions?

(I am vague so as not to spoil anything; those of you that know the answer, feel free to help without giving too much away!)


If you've just been spaced, (none / 0) (#30)
by tiamat on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 10:13:17 AM EST

and arrive in the Heart of Gold, then you do need to use one of your sense to get a hang of the room. Just be prepared for the game to lie about which way the exit is.

[ Parent ]
RE: Stuck in Engine Room?! (none / 0) (#31)
by Dink Meeker on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 04:13:35 PM EST

Just Look. And be persistant. Don't take any backtalk from the game. You have to show it who's boss.

"Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself." --Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
Thanks. (none / 0) (#32)
by Crashnbur on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 06:11:44 PM EST

Thanks. I've gotten around that now. In fact... I keep dying in weird scenarios as other ... characters ... in different order. I'm counting four so far, and they're not difficult to get through, but I haven't gotten through all five in the same sitting yet. (That's the bad thing about this java version; you can't save!)


[ Parent ]
The other game by Douglas Adams... (none / 0) (#18)
by pallex on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 03:12:02 PM EST

...is called 'Bureauracy'. Theres a bunch of resources on the net related to Infocom text adventures (including Adams, obviously!) Frotz is out for many platforms. Only the other day I was playing Planetfall at 30,000 feet using FrotzS5 for Epoc! (My handheld has the advantage over the Palm of having a keyboard!) Here are some links. http://www.csd.uwo.ca/Infocom/ ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/user/wsr/Web/IF/homepage.html http://interactfiction.miningco.com/games/interactfiction/library/weekly/aa102599.htm Infocom games are still copyrighted, and protected by Activision, the new owners. I'm sure they're on the net somewhere, though. But there are a few free games out there (including all 3 zork games), as well as non-infocom games (like the original collosol cave adventure and an amusing one called SoftPorn2). You can also buy most (but not all) of the games in various compilations. You need the packaging to complete most of them. The Z system interpreter used by Infocom (multi platform support, long before Java!) is pretty flexible - supports primitive graphics for maps, and i've even seen Tetris written using it. Incidentally, there was another Hitch-hikers game on the Commodore Pet a long, long time ago. I think it was by SuperSoft. I think they stopped selling it after Infocom produced their version, but it was pretty good.

InvisiClues<sup>TM</sup> Guide (none / 0) (#19)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 03:41:14 PM EST

Warning! Warning! This page contains the answers to questions that you might not want answered (yet). Proceed at your own risk.

InvisClues<sup>TM</sup> Hint Booklet for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text-adventure game.

If you want a few subtle hints or a little fun without spoiling the game, then I recommend checking out how your points are scored, the footnotes, everything you can consult the guide for, or a few amusing tricks and tasks. If you actually buy the real hint book, you get maps too. Again, proceed at your own risk!


[ Parent ]
Oops. This was not supposed to be a reply... (none / 0) (#22)
by Crashnbur on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:11:46 PM EST

Oh well.


[ Parent ]
Dont worry about it! (none / 0) (#35)
by pallex on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 05:14:16 AM EST

I wasnt supposed to post my comment as one long sentence. At some point during composition the mouse i was using broke, so i was forced to navigate Internet Explorer using the keyboard, which was obviously lots of fun!

[ Parent ]
30 minutes to get outside (none / 0) (#20)
by DaSyonic on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 06:35:01 PM EST

Ill admit, Im not good with these. And as I myself looked at comments trying to figure out how to get outside, and since noone has said how, I hope to be able to give people an idea what to do. I also now have these commands burned in memory.

turn on light
get up
get gown
put on gown
open pocket
get buffered analgesic
look out window
go outside
examine mail
go outside
lie down

And from there you can interact with people and can finally catch on.

Linux: Because a PC is a terrible thing to waste.
James Brents
Bad list (none / 0) (#34)
by The Cunctator on Tue Apr 17, 2001 at 01:15:17 AM EST

Your commands are out of order (in particular, the first two need to be reversed), and you're missing a bunch of commands that you need in order to win the game.

Also, giving a list of answers without warning people to put on their JOO JANTA 200 SUPER-CHROMATIC PERIL-SENSITIVE SUNGLASSES is just rude.

[ Parent ]

Hehe (none / 0) (#21)
by Kev Vance on Sat Apr 14, 2001 at 07:06:33 PM EST

Even better... play this game on your PALM PILOT, with pilot-frotz! Thanks to hhgttg, the zorks, and all the other z-code games, I have an endless supply of text adventures on my palm.

Just a little more MLP :)

One problem... (none / 0) (#36)
by Erbo on Wed Apr 18, 2001 at 04:23:12 PM EST

Somehow, I couldn't get Pilot-Frotz to type a quote mark. Without that, you can't get past the Vogon ship in HHGTTG, because you can't use the command TYPE "XXX" (where XXX is the certain word from the Captain's poem that you have to key into the terminal to release the atomic vector plotter), because you can't "type" the damn quote marks before the guards come and toss you into space.

(oh hell, should I have included a spoiler warning for the above? ah well...)

Electric Minds - virtual community since 1996. http://www.electricminds.org
[ Parent ]

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adventure Game | 36 comments (36 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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