Ever since I started playing IF, I’ve listed Curses as my favorite game. I haven’t replayed it in a few years, but I’ve recently been replaying all games on IFDB with 100+ ratings and it was next on the list.
This time I was struck by how (by my current standards) under-implemented the game is. Tons of scenery in the first few rooms isn’t created as an object, and many important objects have no description. There is no TALK TO command.
Trying to talk to Jemima, I tried all sorts of combinations of ASK and TELL only to discover the JEMIMA, _____ was the correct format.
I found the Demijohn which I couldn’t open by hand and grabbed the wrench and tried to open it with the wrench a dozen ways.
Every other time I’ve played I either used a walkthrough or had played it in the last year with a walkthrough.
There’s so much to see and do. The density of actions per room is amazing. And I found things I’d never found before after playing 6 or 7 times, like putting the red battery in the flashlight killing me. The quotes are genuinely interesting, and all the little world building details (like a giant radio that takes several minutes to warm up). I spent forever just on the first puzzle of finding a carryall (I hadn’t been writing down a map).
It makes sense why the descriptions aren’t especially verbose, given that it had to fit into the Z-machine format. I’m looking forward to finishing my playthrough and don’t plan on bumping it down on my list at all!
Edit: This is another part I never noticed before; it made me laugh given what happened with the flashlight:
> get all from demijohn
nasty-looking red battery: Removed.
tourist map: (putting the guaranteed-unbreakable medicine bottle with a child-proof
lock into the canvas rucksack to make room)
> x battery
On the side is the word “Achtung”.
Also, looking at ‘amusing’ stuff in the walkthrough (which I’m trying not to consult):
- Where are Dame Judi Dench and Donald Sutherland?
The angel and the demon bear a surprising resemblance to them.
Sadly, Donald Sutherland died a few days ago (as I write this). I’m slightly sorry now to have typecast him.
Isn’t Donald Sutherland still alive?