Adventure rediscovered!

Two years ago, I sourced my examples for my quick-start Inform 7 guide from Colossal Cave Adventure. Most people who want to write parser games are familiar with Adventure, and it’s a source of serious nostalgia for me, since I played through it with my dad when I was five.

But while digging into the source code, I made the startling discovery that I hadn’t played “canon” Adventure. There were features missing (the pirate aviary, the Software Manager’s Office) that had been in my version. I went looking for the copy I’d played, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. When I checked back with my father, he said it had been a version from the Heath User’s Group, but he (quite reasonably) discarded his copy of the FORTRAN source in 2003 for lack of a magnetic tape reader, and the 5ΒΌ floppies with the compiled version had presumably been lost since then.

I went looking for the version I played, with no success. I put up a query at, and jpdyer found some mentions in archived copies of the Heath User’s Group newsletter, but that was it. I figured it was gone forever.

Out of the blue yesterday, I got an email from Jesse AE Wolfe. He found the version of Adventure that I’d played in an archive maintained at EC Neilson’s Antediluvian Designs, a vintage technology website.

I downloaded “my” Adventure (available here) and a copy of DOSBox. It’s up and running on my computer now. I’m not sure the additions in this version make it a better game, but it’s a piece of personal history, and I’m ridiculously happy to have a copy again.

Hooray for archives, hooray for games, and hooray for the kindness of strangers!

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. I’m glad to hear you found it. I know it’s quite a thrill (and perhaps a relief) when you finally get in touch anew with the version of something you had your formative experiences with.

  2. And hurray for you, for sharing the link with us! :) Needless to say, I downloaded it and added it to my own collection the second I saw it on IntFiction.

    • I’m so glad you did!

      I don’t make much use of your archive, but I’m glad it exists. If the IF Archive ever explodes irreparably (fingers crossed for this NEVER to happen), it will be a huge relief that you’ve been keeping a massive collection as well all these years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *