There’s a particular response in Risorgimento Represso that amuses me (taken from Release 6 / Serial number 171114):
> AIM CANNON AT ME. ENTER CANNON. PULL CORD. YES.
You give the cord a good yank. There is an earsplitting blast and the cannon shoots you forth!
You rocket through the air and crash headfirst into yourself. Yourself stubbornly refuses to yield
to your impact, and you crumple to the ground, your head a distant memory of its former
gloriously rounded self.
This is a completely understandable bug, at least part of the blame for which may be best attributed to a lack of sufficiently perverse beta testers. I love it because it’s so impossible physically but also the obviously “correct” behavior programmatically.
Does anyone else have any comedic unexpected (and unintended) responses from games that they would care to share? (Note that the idea is not to denigrate anyone’s coding so much as to celebrate the serendipity of an unnoticed bug being unexpectedly funny.)
As I recall, in Graham Nelson’s Sherbert game, you can pick up a few things that clearly weren’t meant to be picked up.
In the Comp release of WHHoGG, there was a levitation command (elate), that gave the response “[the noun] rises into the air” and then in the next turn “[the noun] falls.”
None of my testers were perverse enough to ELATE ME, so you can imagine my chagrin when I found this in several transcripts:
Yourself rises into the air.
Great vibe in a tragic game, right? It’s now fixed, though, so you’ll just have to find another thing my straight-laced testers overlooked.
I recently tested a game where you could still talk to a dead guy, if you called him on the radio (but his corpse was properly dead )
How am I to resist such a thread? Of course I’m chiming in with my Infocom favorites.
In Cutthroats, PUT MAGNET IN SEA says, “There’s no room.”
In both versions of Moonmist, GET MOONLIGHT produces, “The cord isn’t long enough.”
In all versions of Shogun, LOOK UNDER ME says, “You see your hand.”
In version 63 of Spellbreaker, if you’re in the closed zipper, GET OUT says, “That’s outside.”
In Suspect, anytime after your encounter with Smythe and the party guest in the devil costume is over, the guest has vanished, but GO TO THE DEVIL says, “You already are.”
In version 13 of The Witness, ASK MONICA ABOUT CANCER gets a response from her that starts with “Dad gave it to me”.
Who can forget in Zork I - version 2.AS000C making the game unwinnable with:
>give troll to troll
The troll, who is not overly proud, graciously accepts the gift and not having the most discriminating tastes, gleefully eats it.
The troll is now gone from the room, yet continues to block the exits.
I seem to remember in much earlier versions of Inform if you had an object that could be pushed between rooms, and you tried to push it into a dark room, both you and the object would end up in the special “darkness” object rather than in the intended room.
Another funny bug I found recently and haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere happens in Hollywood Hijinx. In most rooms, if you try to lock a container you get this message:
You can't lock it from here.
which isn’t ideal, but ok. But if you do it in some rooms, e.g. the Game Room:
You lock the matchbox.
You'll have to unlock it first.
Perhaps if you had the combination...
What happens is that certain rooms in the game has a flag called
LOCKEDBIT which is there to indicate that e.g. a door in the room can be locked/unlocked without a key from this side. But the logic applies to any object you try to lock/unlock, and the game lets you try to unlock any door or container.
While this one in the Solid Gold version of Wishbringer is funny, the underlying cause may actually be one of my least favorite bloopers in an Infocom game. It does not happen in the older versions of the game, and it’s the kind of thing I imagine they would have caught easily in testing, had it been a few years earlier:
[It's 6:03 pm. You have 11 hours and 57 minutes to complete your quest.]
[Your score is 1 point out of 100, in 80 moves.]
[Your score just went up by 5 points! Your total score is 6 out of 100.]
As your fingers close around the small stone it begins to glow with an eerie
Fog is spilling over the edge of the cliff.
You watch with horror as the moon slowly sets in the western sky.
Out of nowhere, the sad voice of the old woman from the Magick Shoppe rises
around you. "Your quest is over, brave Adventurer. The moon is set, and Chaos is
no more. Too bad. I should not have placed my hopes upon a simpleton. But thank
you for your useless effort."
And that’s the end of the game. Can you figure out what just happened? If not, there is an explanation over at this bug report.
From The Blood Lust Warrior:
It looks nice and cozey. You wouldn’t mind taking a snooze on it.
You don’t want to sleep here.
Colour Beyond Time also gave me this.
>PUT FLOWERS IN BOTTLE
The empty bottle. is not a container.
And in Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina, I once typed EXITS and had the game tell me that “You can go”.
Probably an empty exit list…
In Ghost, I typed
>TAKE A SHOWER and ended up with entire bathroom fixtures in my inventory.
In some versions of Deadline, you can run into Ms. Dunbar alive and well after discovering her corpse.
An earlier version of Budacanta allowed players to eat 360 fried cheese sandwiches in a row (the only reason it was not infinite was because eventually the player ran out of money). This was despite the programming having been intended to only allow the stall from which the sandwich was bought to be encountered once.
It was also possible to board a flight going to one country and land in another with absolutely no comment, although I’m not sure if any player actually did so.
It’s not too much of a spoiler to say that Prince Quisborne carries around a burlap sack with your inventory in it. The currently downloadable version contains the following description:
Prince Quisborne is here as always, sack in hand.
Which I was utterly oblivious to until someone guffawed over it, who can make themselves known if they choose…
The most famous blooper in IF history is no doubt:
from The Incredible Erotic Adventures of Stiffy Makane. This blooper is essential to both my game Nemesis Macana and the current IFComp game Citizen Makane.