The floor sweeper dude from The Lurking Horror

Why exactly does he try to murder you for cutting the cord to a machine he doesn’t even own? I never ever understood that.

[spoiler]You’re a minimum wage employee, forced to work night shift during a blizzard. You’ve already worked overtime, just getting the outdoor walks salted and clear. If you can just get the floors polished, you might be able to take off, get home before the roads get too bad, and maybe get some sleep before plowing out the sidewalks for everyone tomorrow. (And then you really need to do something about the rats in the steam tunnel.)

Then this asshole comes along. A great big entitled jerk who has probably never worked in hir life, who probably lives on campus and has never given you a second thought, throwing empty Chinese food containers all over the place and breaking into dangerous parts of the building, leaving manhole covers open and pulling at exposed wiring. And this jerk breaks the emergency glass and chops the cord on your waxer in half. Which means not only a requisition to the parts department, but also a trip back to Facilities Management, to try to find equipment, which you’ll have to haul through the steam tunnels (with the rats) in the middle of the night. Forget going home; you’ll be pulling a triple shift now, just because some jerk wasn’t happy with your presence. No one ever notices the clean floors or the swept sidewalks; the only time anyone ever notices you is to complain about the noise (in an empty building, at midnight), or to fuck with you. Well, this one isn’t going to fuck with you ever again.[/spoiler]

Could you guys please be a bit more spoiler-careful?

Nah, I think the title already implies that the thread will inevitably contain spoilers. That said, adding “[spoilers]” to the title wouldn’t hurt.

Well then I won’t spoiler this!

Okay I guess I will!

Isn’t he the guy who turns into a cloud of bugs or something after you kill him? He’s not a real janitor/person. He prevents you from proceeding down the hall because he’s in the thrall of the Department of Alchemy and its associated lurking horrors, and he tries to kill you when you cut the cord on his machine because that’s what bug-swarm-monsters wearing the skin of janitors do.

Oh for heaven’s sake!!! Thanks a bunch! I only read the first line and it was enough of a bloody giveaway! I asked politely! A warning on the threads’ tile - SPOILERS - would have beenq uite sufficient!

Juhana - No, it doesn’t. Or rather, the question doesn’t. The answer does a bit. And “Afterward” is just taking the piss and spoiling things on purpose. Anyway, I’m out of here before I’m spoiled any further.

Jeez, sorry man! But I mean

  • If the first sentence (I assume you meant in the first post of the thread) was “enough” then why did you scroll down?
  • Isn’t there any statute of limitations on this kind of thing?
  • Why do you gotta put my username in scare quotes?

I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask people to beware of spoilers in a General / Off Topic thread. I’ve moved this to the Game Discussion board.

Please use spoiler tags in the future.

I don’t seem to remember him turning into a

swarm of bugs,

I only thought he slipped around and fell after the specific method used to dispatch him. Although I really like gravel’s explanation.

In fact, a Floor Sweeper Dude spinoff game would be :sunglasses: awesome :sunglasses:

That would be a pretty crazy thing for me to have imagined so I looked up a transcript. The spoiler contains some straight-up quoting from the game…

[spoiler]The transcript is here and the relevant portion is:

>x waxer
It’s a large floor waxer, big enough to ride in. It actually looks sort of like a small bulldozer. The severed remnant of the power cord graces one end.
The maintenance man continues slipping, falling, standing, and so on. He reminds you of a badly made windup toy.

>get in waxer
You are now in the floor waxer.
The maintenance man appears to shorten and almost dissolve. There is a great commotion, as though he is undergoing a convulsion of some sort, and then he appears to explode into a crowd of small squealing creatures. These, seeing you, scuttle off in the opposite direction and disappear.

So, not necessarily insects. It’s a little odd to me that nobody else remembers this, since for me it’s one of the more salient elements of the game, along with that tedious microwave sequence.[/spoiler]

Holy shit, I never came across that! Weird. So does that imply that

whoever defeats the floor waxer dude and enters his machine becomes the new floor waxer dude?

If so, then…that’s still pretty weird.

Oh no, not at all.

[spoiler]The text about the floor waxer dude’s “demise” appears after he’s been slipping on the wax for a set number of turns; it has nothing to do with the player entering the floor-waxing machine. I don’t know why this person bothered to do that anyway, except to test whether it was possible. Obviously you can’t actually drive the waxer anywhere after you chop the power cord with an axe.

But if you never came across this, does that mean there’s another solution for getting past him? If there were another way to get him to leave the waxer, then you could make him slip on the wax and explode, and conceivably get in the waxer and drive it up and down the Infinite Corridor. But Infocom games don’t have a reputation for including multiple solutions, do they.

OF COURSE, your theory may be correct in that the PC, after defeating the Horror and turning in his term paper, nonetheless is compelled to apply for a job on campus in Maintenance, becoming the new floor waxer dude and continuing to aid the Department of Alchemy in their sinister machinations. So Part 1 of the Floor Sweeper Spinoff will take place before the events of The Lurking Horror, and you’ll play as the original floor-sweeping monster. Then in Part 2 you’ll play as the diminishingly sane GUE student, post-Lurking Horror. The game is a prequel/sequel in this way.[/spoiler]

Personally, I’d love to see a game where a villainous team consisting of Floor McSweeper, a Grue, the Thief, and Primo Varicella all team up to take down IF’s greatest heroes (the Adventurer, Arthur Dent, Floyd, Captain Fate, maybe the phone booth).

That’s a great idea, but the phone booth is fighting on the wrong side.

Actually I’d like to see them all team up against the hollow voice. Plugh this!

Gotta add the pirate to the “villain” team, who’s in it to avenge his buddy the dragon who some SOB took out barehanded (and in the dragon’s own home, no less!)

Robert Rothman

Well, I was referring in this case more to the PUTPBAA incarnation, which is generally more apathetic to the player rather than mildly antagonistic.

Also, is it weird if I always assumed that the hollow voice sounded like Mr. T?

Yes! I think the Adventurer would have to be the final boss, since he can so easily dispatch an opponent. (Maybe you’d have to, like, distract him with treasure, or maybe an irrisistable rug, and then push the phone booth on top of him.)

If I remember correctly, it’s possible to walk past him and get out of view before he explodes, thus missing the creepy drama. I think I missed it the first time, but I definitely remember it from other attempts.