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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:18 am

Some of you know I'm an avid Infocom collector, particularly of the Commodore variety.
Some Amiga titles.

Some C64 & C128 (only) titles. I also collect Infocom novels (seen at the far-right of the photo) as well as original Invisiclues: small and sometimes obtuse clue books which used invisible ink to reveal the hints. These came with their own Infocom branded markers. Many of these that were used back in the day are virtually useless today, but are still fun to hunt down.

I rank them like this:
1 & 2) Amiga and C128. These versions are tops in my mind. Because the C128 was comparatively rare, and most Amiga owners were not into text games, these games are pretty hard to find.
3) Commodore 64. These versions are nice but are a distant third because I prefer to read my interactive fiction in 80 columns, not 40. But I keep 64 versions on the radar just in case something really unusual pops up. Like this "game":
Nord and Bert is considered more a game of word play, which I've heard was nearly impossible for some Europeans not privy to US-based idioms.

I don't collect every single title; only the ones I either enjoy playing or can imagine myself playing some day. That pretty much eliminates most of the time any titles with "advanced" difficulty ratings. This isn't a guarantee, but I don't actively seek them out unless Douglas Adams was involved, or the genre piques my interest.

I don't collect non-Commodore platforms.

If I did I'd consider the early Macintosh versions, but I really do prefer Commodore's black screens and white text (or light blue text if in 80-cols on a C128). And I play these on original hardware unless I'm traveling, which isn't often. It's what I'm used to and have always done. Playing on an old Macintosh would be fun, I suppose, if for no other reason than to imagine what Douglas Adams experienced when he wrote and played his own Infocom adventures: (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Bureaucracy).
While I knew I couldn't be the only person on the planet to own A Mind Forever Voyaging for Amiga, I was apparently the first person to create and provide an ADF for A Mind Forever Voyaging, which I ultimately submitted to TOSEC, too.
I've also collected fascinating notes over the years about Infocom sales (sadly, they are quite incomplete) and have always had a deep fascination about the MIT-borne company.
1981-1986 "Shipments"

1987-1989 "Sales". Gotta love how Infocom, a computer software company, kept their records in pencil on spiral bound notebooks. I wonder if Activision ever kept any of these documents after the acquisition or if it all went to the dumpsters?

Over the course of the past several months, I've lucked into a total of 4 Amiga titles - all on my "yes" list - entirely shrink wrapped and never opened. Hitchhiker's Guide, Bureaucracy, Wishbringer and A Mind Forever Voyaging (so now I have one complete open version, and one museum piece).
Just think of all that 80's air trapped inside.

In an unexpected bonus, when I got Wishbringer this week the seller put something really special in the box: 4 individual Infocom "Zork News" newspapers! I've never actually seen these in person before - only online. A friend of mine shot me a link to a large scanned collection of them. I will see if my copies are all represented there this weekend.
I've got several various copies of Wishbringer now. Probably time to thin the herd.

Extra! Extra! Read all about... Infocom games.

Some are thin, some are multi-page.

Great! Something else to try and collect to fill the gaps. =)

Kind of like how Dungeon Crawlers aren't loved by all, I realize these games aren't for everyone, either. Hell a lot of them aren't for me. But the good ones really can bring a huge sense of entertainment and accomplishment. And if you've never played one, I'd recommend either Lurking Horror (especially the Amiga version which features sound), Wishbringer, Trinity or A Mind Forever Voyaging. You won't regret the time spent.

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:21 pm

Crap, I forgot to mention this one, too. Oops! I guess that makes 5 perfectos. I'm in a very fine happy place right now. =)
I have a few more Infocom treasures on the way (that I didn't even know existed until today) but they're too hard to even describe. But fear not, I'll show them in full detail when they arrive. They are... something special to be sure.

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Lexington VA

Posted Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:12 am

jelly! I've tried to find sealed (nice) boxed Magnetic Scrolls stuff. so hard..

You should get your hands on a sealed copy of Quarterstaff (its mac only)

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:50 am

You should get your hands on a sealed copy of Quarterstaff
I've thought about it. I've seen it pop up a few times. My earliest Macs are running OS 9.2; I'm not sure I could play it but it would be cool if I could. Every copy I've ever seen is $$$$. Maybe some day, though.

Shame it was only published on Mac and some Japanese platforms and not more widespread.

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Zippy Zapp

Posted Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:43 pm

Holly Guacamole! That is a nice collection. I love reading about your finds because they are basically all the same things I would buy er bought most of them back in the day. I always have the same thought when I see posts like this. Dang! Why didn't I keep all those games. ;)

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