Question about the author of John's Fire Witch

CASA says the author of John’s Fire Witch is MJR, possibly based on a review in an Adventure Probe issue. Everywhere else John Baker is credited as the author. In the game itself, the author is named as John T Baker II.

Can any one of our expert IF archeologists shed light on this? Was John Baker really a pen name for MJR, was it a misattribution in the Adventure Probe review(that issue is not archived online yet), or do we not know for certain one way or the other?


On the IFTF slack last year, Jason McIntosh indicated that John Baker had died (in 2012), and that his family had emailed him (in 2023), saying they read about people’s feelings and reviews for Fire Witch and appreciated them. So I do believe they are different people.


From the README and the metacommand noted in it:

““John’s Fire Witch” is shareware. Type “LICENSE” once you have the game
up and running for complete details, or email me at <>.”

“John’s Fire Witch, Version 1.01 (02/04/95)
Interactive Fiction By John T Baker II (”



John’s Fire Witch is shareware. You may distribute the game in any way that you like, as long as it remains unchanged and you do not receive any compensation for doing so.

If you enjoy playing the game, you are welcome to show your appreciation by buying me lunch. Right now, my favorite lunch is a soup & sandwich combo at a restaurant on Sawmill Road that comes to six bucks ($6.00), including my usual tip. If you don’t want to buy me lunch in person, you can just send me the money.

Anyone (registered or not) is welcome to contact me for hints (BY EMAIL ONLY) if they are needed, but the game is pretty easy as text adventures go. My email address is I plan on keeping it for quite some time, but in the event something unforseen happens, you’ll probably find me hanging around on the newsgroup If you find a bug or typo, by all means tell me about it."

From these, seems to me that John Baker and Michael Roberts are two distinct guys…

HTH and
Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


I’m guessing that since the game was written in TADS and MJR wrote TADS, someone at some point confused the system’s authorship with the game’s authorship.


It seems likely just to be a mistake by the reviewer in Probe, then.

(Barbara may have even added the “author” by mistake; as Karen’s review, when it appeared in Syntax, does not state an author )


Thanks for all the clarifications, seems like it has been misattributed in CASA then.

I am sorry to learn that Baker has passed away; rest in peace John T Baker II.


When you open the game in HTML TADS, the first line (or lines) give the author of the interpreter, i.e. Michael J Roberts.

John's Fire Witch (John T Baker II) screen 01

When you scroll down to the banner, the author is clearly given as John T Baker II.

John's Fire Witch (John T Baker II) screen 02

This is clearly a case of incorrect identification. I’ve seen this quite a few times, where the interpreter author is incorrectly credited as the game author.