Help remembering the title of a game

Back in the 80s, I remember playing a text adventure on a friend’s computer. I believe it was a science fiction story, in an abandoned facility or ship. The only thing I can really remember was stepping into a chamber/booth thing and having to heal myself, I think. I remember trying to figure out a way to activate the chamber while being inside it. I think I may have stripped out of my clothes and threw them at the activation button while I stood inside the chamber… and that’s all I got.

I can’t remember much else, but it was probably a famous text adventure… wait, maybe I actually stripped down and threw off my clothes in real life? Oh God… please say this was a game that existed and that it’s not a suppressed memory of when aliens abducted me.


There is a booth in Planetfall, but not for healing yourself. Though it does take place in an abandoned facility of a sort.


It’s possible that the booth didn’t heal you and that was just my wishful thinking back then, but I seem to remember my character being injured… is that a part of the Planetfall story? I was pretty young at the time and didn’t even know what I was doing, but that scenario really stuck in my mind… crawling into a booth and trying to activate it somehow while still being inside it.


Planetfall has you becoming progressively ill, but not injured per se.

There’s a shrink/teleportation booth, but I don’t think activating it is a puzzle… it doesn’t sound like a close match, but who knows what your memories are doing.


Do you know what sort of computer it was? That would certainly help to narrow it down. Also, anything at all you can remember about it. Commercial or non-commercial? BASIC or machine language? Disk or cassette? Illustrated or text only?



Just an IBM PC, I believe. My mind is fuzzy with 286 computers and such, but it was probably before those.

God, I remember having a portable computer that was basically a briefcase with a foldout keyboard on the bottom, that revealed two disk drives and maybe an 8" orange monochrome monitor… but that was much later, after this vague text adventure game memory, that is.



Maybe it was illness and not injury. That might actually be the clue we needed. I just remember trying to get better, but being so inept at text adventures (not much has changed) that I thought the chamber might heal me.

Was there a button that you had to activate while still in the chamber? I think I remember the game hinting at that fact. Hmmm… I’ll try Planetfall in the next few days if nothing else comes from this. I wish I could remember even how the game started or how I got to the room with the booth/chamber.

It’s like this game and the movie Krull… and then it’s a blur. :wink:

Edit: I just checked both those out and they both came out in 1983… coincidence?


Perhaps Savage Island 2, one of the Scott Adams games? (Blue Renga playthrough: Savage Island 1, Savage Island 2.) It came out in 1981 and involves a “psychotransfiguration booth” with a tantalizingly out-of-reach control lever. (In fact, you can’t pull the lever, and thus can’t transform back: it’s a one-way trip.)


Spider Sense tingled when you mentioned “lever”.

I remember being so focused with trying to find a way to activate the booth and the activation method being being out of reach. I’m still going to see if more comes from this topic, but this is very promising.


This is a compelling suggestion, but it doesn’t really match the original description. Here’s a few significant things from the start of the game, in case they ring any bells.

You start off naked, except for a bandanna. There are lots of metal rooms, metal-lined tunnels, loops and force fields. You have to hyperventilate to get out of the first room, due to a lack of oxygen nearby. You will find a Neanderthal man. At some point, you need to do a psychotransfiguration to get into the Neanderthal’s brain.

This is a very hard game and I’ve already given away too many spoilers.


Hmmm… I remember wearing a jumpsuit, I think. I remember disrobing hoping that throwing the suit would activate the button while standing in the booth. Of course, I never solved it. Maybe Planetfall is the one, but apparently there no puzzle to activating the booths in that one.

My memory just might be too fuzzy to solve this mystery game, but if nothing else is offered in the next while, I’ll give Planetfall a try and see if that jogs my memory.


I have played Planetfall, but none of the things you mention ring a bell. I’m searching through a couple of solutions for the keywords you mentioned, but no hits. There is a hunger daemon early in the game. You have to press a button to fill a canteen with food. There’s also a couple of teleportation booths that use a card reader.

You should play Planetfall regardless. It’s a good game and Floyd the droid is famous.

I think your mystery game may be one of the many public domain or shareware games released on the PC back in the MS-DOS days. That’s not an area that I’m very familiar with.


Could it be Bable? In that game you are in an abandoned arctic lab. I don’t remember healing. But there are special rooms which could be a sort of chamber?

Edit: I now remember that was probably not around in the 80s.


That should be ‘Babel’.


I wonder if you are misremembering the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In that you are pushing a button to get a fish in your ear but weird things happen so you have to take off some of your clothes and hang them up.


That’s the robe in Hitchhiker’s. You have to hang it on a peg to block the babel fish from flying into a hole on the wall. If it was HHGttG it probably wouldn’t be as forgettable of a title.


There are some similarities with Cyborg; the 1981 game by Sentient Software.



I was a kid. I’ve never known the title of the game, to be honest. My friend just sat me in front of the computer and said, “Have fun!” I will check out the suggestions eventually. I only played it for maybe an hour, but it stuck in my head all these years. I had never experienced a game that felt like anything was possible. I just thought that a game with a booth (pod, maybe) with a button just out of reach would be somewhat unique.

It’s entirely possible that this is a wild goose chase. We’ll find out.

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Cyborg was written by Michael Berlyn, one of the all-time greats of interactive fiction. Unfortunately, I just learned that he has passed away.


Sure sounds like Cyborg to me:

(from Cyborg walkthrough/longplay (Apple II - Sentient software) - YouTube )