Video Games


Adventure - The Colossal Cave

a.k.a. ADVENT / Adventure 350 version

published by author in 1993, running on Linux
type: maze, adventure, role-play
genre: Fantasy, Interactive fiction
perspective: other 1st person
player options: single player
languages: eng

Buy from Amazon.comInstall with apt by Title by Title+Plat.
Official descriptions (2)
Welcome to Adventure!! Would you like instructions?

Somewhere nearby is Colossal Cave, where others have found fortunes in
treasure and gold, though it is rumored that some who enter are never
seen again. Magic is said to work in the cave. I will be your eyes
and hands. Direct me with commands of 1 or 2 words. I should warn
you that I look at only the first five letters of each word, so you'll
have to enter "northeast" as "ne" to distinguish it from "north".
(Should you get stuck, type "help" for some general hints. For
information on how to end your adventure, etc., type "info".)
- - -
This program was originally developed by Will Crowther. Most of the
features of the current program were added by Don Woods. Address
complaints about the UNIX version to Jim Gillogly ([email protected]).

You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.
Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and
down a gully.
# 2010-12-12 17:29:32 - official description - in-game description
The object of the game is to locate and explore Colossal Cave, find the
treasures hidden there, and bring them back to the building with you.
The program is self-descriptive to a point, but part of the game is to
discover its rules.

To terminate a game, enter "quit"; to save a game for later resumption,
enter "suspend".
# 2010-06-01 17:23:10 - official description - man page
This game was originally for the PDP-10 platform.
Also known as 'Colossal Cave', or simply 'Adventure'. This is the one that started it all. The layout of the game is based on 'Bedquilt Cave' and named after 'Colossal Cave' which are both part of the 'Mammoth Cave' system in Kentucky. Designed by Will Crowther in 1972 as a sit down family game to appeal specifically to young girls. Written in the only computer language available to him, FORTRAN. In 1975, Don Woods found the game on his companies mainframe computer and, with Crowther's blessing, made many improvements and added Tolkienish elves, trolls and a volcano. Thus it became a full fledged text adventure in 1976. The game wasted a massive 300KB of storage space! (A year later, Atari VCS cartridges would be using a whole 2k). Jim Gillogly then found the game and converted it to C, so it could be ported to UNIX. Several text adventure interpreting languages and frameworks were invented just to run this game. Different versions of the game are often referred to by the number of possible points that can be scored. The 550 version was written in A-Code (invented for this game) and introduced random events and variations in the way the player was informed about their environment.

FORTRAN is extremely limited when it comes to text. Every word in the game had to be 5 letters or less. No one is sure what 'plugh' means. Most variations of the game use bigger words and have a unique response to the word 'plugh'. Many videogames, and some profession software, reference this word to this day.

There is a difficult maze in the game made of 12 rooms. The 12 rooms are named:
Little maze of twisty passages
Twisty little maze of passages
Maze of little twisting passages
Little maze of twisting passages
Twisty maze of little passages
Twisting little maze of passages
Little twisty maze of passages
Little twisting maze of passages
Maze of little twisty passages
Twisting maze of little passages
Maze of twisty little passages
Maze of twisting little passages
Many videogames reference one of these phrases.

xyzzy is recognized by the game but results in 'Nothing Happens' when used in the proper place. Because of this, xyzzy is often used in incomplete computer source code to indicate where a section of funtional code should be but isn't implemented yet. xyzzy has been part of many videogames.

This version also comes packaged with Jason Scott's documentary, GET LAMP.
(Zerothis) - # 2006
Technical specs
additional hardware: x86-64 CPU,
display: text, raster
Authors / Staff




(will crowther (programming)
Don Woods (programming)
Jim Gillogly (c conversion)
Jim Gillogly (unix port)


Dave Platt's (adventure 550 version)
Don Woods (fictional elements)
Related games
Contributors (3)

Post an anonymous comment / review about this game.

Rate and review

Adventure - The Colossal Cave title screen.
View the full gallery