The Horrible Rotten Dancing Dragon…Strikes!!!
My mind went a-wandering and I realized that I could dimly remember the first text adventure I’d ever played, a game typed in to an Apple II from a magazine listing.
It occurred to me that the game featured a dragon and a McRib sandwich, and that it would therefore be possible to Google for it.
I believe I have in fact tracked it down in an archived issue of Softline magazine. The game is called The Horrible Rotten Dancing Dragon…Strikes!!! The article appears on page 22. (Google technically pointed me to a bug report in the subsequent issue on page 6.)
(I promise this game is real, and was really, truly written in 1983. I am not pulling a Veeder on you.)
I wonder if y’all have suggestions on how I might best get this game up and running again.
Applesoft Basic or Atari Basic?
The article including the code for THRDDS is the last in an eight-part series by Ken Rose explaining how to develop an adventure game from scratch, and all of those articles except this last one were implemented in Applesoft Basic. Randomly, Rose decided to implement this version in Atari Basic, which is extremely unfortunate, because the whole program won’t even fit in the Atari’s 16KB of RAM.
(Softline featured some angry letters from Atari owners in the subsequent issue, though Softline claimed that it would work if you didn’t load Atari DOS. “Sounds like you both had the disk operating system loaded. On the Atari 400 you need all 16K, free and ready.”)
The instructions include hints on how to port the provided Atari Basic code to Applesoft Basic. It looks straightforward, and as little as I know about how to run Applesoft Basic on a modern machine, I know even less about running Atari Basic.
So, I guess I’m going to take the code from the Softline article, type it in, and paste it into this Basic emulator to see if I can get it to work.
Is there a better approach?
EDIT: I typed it in. https://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=2bavj7k3yeckppxj