Text Adventure Done Right!

With the birth of the Nintendo DS, Text Adventure games rose from their grave. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney made us giggle only with the prospect of their return, and now we have more new Monkey Island games than we can manage to play. This return was not limited to handhelds and virtual marketplaces, as proven by the pleasant Zack and Wiki for the Nintendo Wii

Whoever said image was worth a 1000 words lied

It all started long before consoles. In a time computers didn’t even have graphics, there was a game genre that reigned supreme: the text adventure game. Of course, as our games became shinier, these Text Adventures were driven into the dark corner o f the room. However, even with the emergence of graphic-focused game, some Text Adventures games were able to survive online. Therefore, I’m not going to explain how a Text Adventure game works, you must see (er…read) it for yourself. Here’s a neat example: Pick up The Phone Booth and Die! (http://www.spatch.net/games/play.cgi?game=putpbad)

Well, boys and girls! The Text Adventure is coming back!

That sentence isn’t one I recognize

To commemorate, we took the liberty of giving a sample of the awesomeness that the Text Adventure is. Behold your beloved franchises completely butchered into words!

Super Mario World

“You are walking on a green field. The mountains behind you have a smile on their faces.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do? ”


“You’ve smashed the goomba. You continue your walk.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“You’ve smashed the goomba. You continue your walk.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“You’ve smashed the goomba. You continue your walk.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“You’ve smashed the goomba. You continue your walk.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“You’ve smashed the goomba. You continue your walk.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“The game doesn’t recognize this command.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“You’ve smashed the goomba. You continue your walk.”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“Normal Mario can’t duck”

“A goomba is walking towards you. What will you do?”


“You start walking through the way you came”

“Time limit is up”

“Game Over”

Resident Evil 4

“Chainsaw Guy appeared, what will you do?”


“Chainsaw Guy is running after you, what will you do?”


“Chainsaw Guy is running after you, what will you do?”


“Cabin is locked. Chainsaw Guy is running after you, what will you do?”


“The Game doesn’t understand your command”


“The Game doesn’t understand your command”


“The Game doesn’t understand your command”

“Chainsaw guy reached you”


“The Game doesn’t understand your command”

“Chainsaw guy killed you”

“Game Over”

Pac Man

“You wake up. You find yourself locked inside a maze and you have no idea on how did you end up in there. Better stay off the booze, next time. The carpet is pitch black and the entire walls glow with bluish neon.”


“You have: an incredible hunger”

“There’s a dot before you, will you eat it?”


“A ghost has appeared. What will you do”


“The ghost is red, has no arms and his eyes are popped out. His name is Blinky”


“Waka, waka, waka. You ate 3 more dots on your way (30 points). Turn left of continue straight?”


“It’s a crossroad, you twit”


“You find a Super Pill. You can’t help yourself and eat it. Now your body is glowing and Blinky turned blue.”


“The Game doesn’t understand your command”

“You are glowing”


“You hit your head on the ceiling”

“You body stopped glowing. Blinky is after you again”


“Pinky is coming on the opposite direction”


“It’s a pink ghost. While you looked vaguely at the horizon, the ghosts surrounded you”

“You die a horrible death”

“Game Over”

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

“Little girl cooking some eggs.

??? : Only two eggs today? Solidus must have taken the day off. 7892590360… 3305305… 4882046652…

As she begins singing a song of numerical digits, the scene shifts to the interior of a large plane.

Campbell : The Manhattan incident triggered a serious public backlash. Now the US has to think twice before intervening militarily in other countries’ affairs. This has fueled a push towards military privatization, with PMCs at the heart of that movement.

Snake : PMCs…Private Military Companies.

Campbell : That’s right. PMCs have no basis in nations or ideologies. They are private enterprises, driven by profit. In addition to dispatching mercenaries to war zones, they secure weapons and train local soldiers. They’re contractors for war itself, and business is good. Their clientele includes developed nations like the US, rebel factions looking to seize power by force… Smaller countries lacking armies of their own… Even terrorist groups. They’re in the Americas, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East… The rise of the PMC has spawned a war by proxy, and it’s spreading across the globe.

As Campbell briefs Snake on private military corporations, a young girl approaches Otacon with a plate of eggs.

??? : They, they’re…

Otacon : Sunny, we’ll eat them later, OK?

Snake : Every age has its mercenary. These PMCs are nothing new – we’ve been dealing with them since before the turn of the century.

Campbell : No, Snake. They’re nothing like the mercenaries of the past.

Sunny attempts to offer Otacon the eggs again.

Sunny : They’re ready.

Otacon : Sorry, I’m a little busy right now.

Campbell : The Pentagon’s new battlefield control system has produced a decisive difference… Between hired guns and the PMCs of today. The system was developed by ArmsTech Security.

Sunny walks over to Snake and Campbell, considering giving her cooked eggs to them, but they continue talking and pay no attention to her.

Snake : ArmsTech? You mean AT Corp? Campbell : In recent years, AT Corp has shifted focus from weapons development to security tools. And since the establishment of AT Security, business has been booming. The system makes it possible to integrate not only micro-level information on individual soldiers and units, but also macro-level information about field conditions and order of battle.

Otacon takes notice of Sunny going back up stairs and appears to feel guilty.

Snake : So, they’ve finally achieved total real-time battlefield control?

Campbell : That’s right. And as a result, the global presence of PMCs has grown explosively. Truth is, the rise of system-controlled PMCs has led to a dramatic decline in civilian casualties and human rights violations on the battlefield. Snake : A cleaner, safer battlefield. Makes for nice propaganda.

Sunny slams the plates of eggs onto the cooking table upstairs and sees an ashtray filled with numerous smoked cigarettes. She causes a cigarette to fall on the floor and the proceeds to stomp it out. She goes back to the top of the stairs.

Sunny : Snake, you were smoking again, weren’t you? This is non-smoking flight! Campbell stands up and walks toward a digital screen on the wall.

Campbell : There’s more. State governments and rebel groups can’t match the maintenance price of standing forces. PMCs, by comparison, are reliable, easy to use. It wasn’t long before everybody had them on the payroll. And as a result, regular armies began to decline worldwide.

The screen shifts to a digital map of the world. Numerous images of military forces and statistics appear.

Campbell : It’s hard to believe, I know, but PMCs are beginning to overtake conventional armies in terms of scale. Nowadays it’s the PMCs who serve as standard battalions. They already make up sixty percent of all combatant forces in zones of conflict.

Snake : Sixty percent…

Campbell : …The fact is the world now depends largely on PMCs for waging its wars. Snake : I thought it was the U.N. that authorized the PMCs in the first place. Campbell : The U.S. abstained from voting on that resolution. In effect, Washington was endorsing PMCs without ever revealing its true intentions. Until they got wind of the uprising, that is.

Snake: : The U.S. has exported too much military power. And now she’s paying the price.

Campbell : That’s exactly it. America has now turned war into a form of economic activity. Analysts are calling it the “war economy,” in that it’s picking up the slack for the downward-sloping oil market. But I, for one, don’t intend to simply stand by and watch it happen. For the PMCs, market expansion entails fanning the flames of war… It means more refugees.

Snake : War orphans. Child soldiers.

Campbell : Yes. Even as PMC soldiers get more specialized, they’re also getting younger.

Snake : Mercenaries spun off from state armies, unmanned weapons, child soldiers… Proxy battles in a new Cold War.

Logos of five PMC groups appear.

Campbell : There are hundreds of PMCs in business worldwide, and their numbers are growing. Currently, five of them are big enough to be labeled global powers two in the U.S., and one each in the U.K., France, and Russia. Reconnaissance has revealed that those five PMCs are run by a…

…1350 words later…

… The man in the cloak is able to escape the scene but is encountered by more of the machines and is forced into a small building. One of the machines breaks through a wall and disrobes the mysterious man of his cloak. The man is revealed to be Solid Snake – now Old Snake.”

“There is a machine coming after you. There are no visible exits”



“The machine is approaching”


“The machine’s attention is caught by something. It is a brown carton. Snake is nowhere to be found, but near the cardboard lies an used cigarette. The machine picks it up and throws it away. It then uses fiberoptic camera devices to examine the box. There is something inside! Another machine comes. The first machine raises its leg and, with incredible force, smashes through the carton.

A red liquid is spilled everywhere.

It was only watermelons.

The ongoing blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…”