The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

discuss classic text/graphic adventures for the bbc micro & electron
Adam James
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The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:21 pm

Has anyone played this? I stumbled across it on a TurboMMC system. Apparently it was released into the public domain. I was expecting it to be a barrage of rubbish jokes but it's well written IMHO and I've been enjoying it.

If anyone has played it and remembers it, could I ask them for some hints (not complete giveaways!), in particular:

1) How to get past the slug (I have one thing that helps, but I still die)
2) What on Earth is going on with the pit of toffee?
3) How to get the knife from the boulder.

I've been playing it for a day and feel I've probably got quite far, but I've reached that special tipping point where frustration is starting to take over, and I don't feel some mild hits would ruin it for me:)

Thanks in advance. And if you haven't played it, I'd give it a modest recommendation so far.

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lurkio
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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:01 pm

Adam James wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:21 pm
Has anyone played this?
I haven't, but I realised a while ago that there isn't enough time in one life to play all the text adventure games I want to play, so I've looked up the solution at solutionarchive.com for you!:

Adam James wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:21 pm
1) How to get past the slug (I have one thing that helps, but I still die)
If it's the correct thing that helps, then it's not enough to just have it on you.

Adam James wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:21 pm
2) What on Earth is going on with the pit of toffee?
Don't know if the solution to this one makes sense in context, but it looks like you need to adjust something. Don't expect an immediate result.

Adam James wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 7:21 pm
3) How to get the knife from the boulder.
Needs loosening up.

:idea:
Last edited by lurkio on Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:13 pm

lurkio wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:01 pm
I realised a while ago that there isn't enough time in one life to play all the text adventure games I want to play, so I've looked up the solution at solutionarchive.com for you!:
Haha! I know what you mean.

I wasn't aware of solutionarchive.com! I'd just Googled the name of the game and got the impression it was so obscure that nobody had written up a solution.

That's great, thanks, I appreciate the hints rather than steps. I'll let them sink in and hopefully I can avoid going to that site.

I'd just worked out how to kill the slug since posting, but the other two I'm still stuck on.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:37 pm

I've completed it. Unfortunately the toffee pit bit was buggy, and I've noticed a few bugs/issues. On the whole, however, it was satisfying. And even adventures by better-known authors have bugs, e.g. I've just finished Supergran by Brian Howarth, and there was a horrible bug near the end of that.

I think I'd go so far as to recommend it, but with the following heads-up:

1) It is possible to get right to the end, and not be able to complete it, because of something you did right at the start. Thankfully once you know how to get to the end, re-doing the entire adventure from the start only takes a couple of minutes.

2) There are a couple of places where my thoughts on what to do were correct, but using the correct words was the problem: the knife trapped in the stone, and the toffee pit. The toffee pit bit also had a bug that can be very misleading, if you can enter the pit - don't do that:)

There are other small bugs / strange things, but nothing too distracting.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:31 am

Not that I ever played one of the adventure games (no patience!) . . . But, should these BUGS be fixed?

This would make the experience a lot better for beginners and maybe encourage them to try more. Nothing worse, I wold imagine, to be stopped by a puzzling bug! Very off-putting . . .

Of course an original should always be kept.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:08 am

It would be nice to fix them.

But if they are largely machine code you'd have to reverse-engineer a lot of the code and figure out what it all does - all the logic, not just the "it adds 2 to address &70" - why is it adding 2, and why to &70?

And then fix it.

So doable but I imagine a lot of work.

But maybe with an adventure game there's more BASIC code - so a bit less work to figure out what's going on and how to fix. But with an adventure game you'd probably have to know how the whole thing is meant to be played from end-to-end. Did the programmer make a mistake and you just have to correct a variable name? Did they forget to finish a whole chunk of code? Did they get their logic wrong? Did they include some objects that are red herrings?

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:25 am

daveejhitchins wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:31 am
Not that I ever played one of the adventure games (no patience!) . . . But, should these BUGS be fixed?

This would make the experience a lot better for beginners and maybe encourage them to try more. Nothing worse, I wold imagine, to be stopped by a puzzling bug! Very off-putting . . .
I'd be in favour of that. If I'd written an adventure decades ago and was aware that people were still enjoying it but were finding bugs, I'd try to release fixed versions if it was practical.

I think many adventures are written on top of "engines", i.e. are basically data which is fed through the engine, so perhaps if programmers were willing to release that data then others could try to fix things.

There would definitely be a grey area over what is a bug vs what is a frustrating limitation. E.g. one thing that is expected in any text adventure is that you have thought correctly about how to solve something, but entering words that are recognised as performing that solution can be a chore. I think possibly such things should be left as they are a tradition in text adventures and could be regarded as part of the puzzle!

But bugs definitely do detract from the experience and I'd agree can be very off-putting. I find I have to play mental tricks to try to blot them out of my mind so I can enjoy the rest of the adventure. It hugely detracts from the sense of achievement if you have to use help to get to the end, and if the reason you had to use help was because of bugs then I'm all for those being fixed.

A more easy / practical approach may be to have something similar to a 'solutions archive', but instead a 'bugs archive', so before starting an adventure, you can look up what warnings other people have about bugs, so that you don't waste time. If such a thing existed I'd use it every time.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:39 am

RE this particular game, I should make it clear that my warning about being able to get right to the end and then not be able to finish because of what you did near the start, is certainly not a bug.

It's actually one of the more interesting features of the game, and I had no problem at all starting over.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:41 am

Adam James wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:39 am
RE this particular game, I should make it clear that my warning about being able to get right to the end and then not be able to finish because of what you did near the start, is certainly not a bug.
So, if we're talking about fixing bugs -- which I think is a good idea -- then it would be helpful if you could let us know exactly what the bugs are.

I hereby issue the usual warning about spoilers!

Now, please fire away!

:?:

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8bitAG
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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:40 pm

Adam James wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:25 am
A more easy / practical approach may be to have something similar to a 'solutions archive', but instead a 'bugs archive', so before starting an adventure, you can look up what warnings other people have about bugs, so that you don't waste time. If such a thing existed I'd use it every time.
The solutions on CASA http://solutionarchive.com usually have mentions of bugs at the beginning of the solutions (or on the game details page) for that specific reason.

Despite the name, CASA is about more than solutions. :)

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:10 pm

lurkio wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:41 am
Adam James wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:39 am
RE this particular game, I should make it clear that my warning about being able to get right to the end and then not be able to finish because of what you did near the start, is certainly not a bug.
So, if we're talking about fixing bugs -- which I think is a good idea -- then it would be helpful if you could let us know exactly what the bugs are.

I hereby issue the usual warning about spoilers!

Now, please fire away!

:?:
The ones I remember as being quite misleading and time consuming are... (I'll try to phrase them so as to avoid spoilers!)

1) When at a pit that can filled with something, it is at all times possible to enter that pit (by typing direction 'D'own, I think) and there is no way out, nor is there any indication of whether the pit is currently filled with anything.

2) There is a casket which at one point produces something every time you open it, which can make you go around opening it in various places (one place seemed particularly logical). However I think this is a bug. It is something else in the game which should produce the thing, not the casket. Once you have opened the casket the first time, you are done with it.

3) After doing something to a certain creature, you are told that it has no effect. But it does and it's critical. You can see that it has had an effect by looking at your inventory if you are holding the creature, but I for one didn't think to do that for ages - I trusted the game when it told me it had no effect!

Those are the ones that I remember as being significant time-wasters. If I remember more I'll post them.

Other than that, I thought the ability to get to the end then get stuck was fair enough. There was a good clue at the start that you can only use an object a limited number of times, and while it seemed obvious that you needed to use it that many times at the start, you didn't, there was another solution.

RE wasting time over words, two annoyances come back to me:

1) The words you use to get to something in that same pit mentioned above. Trust me, you can get to the thing you might want to get to. Don't give up, keep trying words.

2) You are probably right about how to remove a certain object from another object, by using a third object. Again, persevere. And "USE" probably won't work.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:20 pm

Adam James wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:10 pm
The ones I remember as being quite misleading and time consuming are... (I'll try to phrase them so as to avoid spoilers!)
Ah. I wasn't clear when I issued the spoiler-warning: I meant that you should please go ahead and give us spoilers so that we can clearly and unambiguously understand what the bugs are. I was trying to clear the way for you to "spoil" the game!

(The warning wasn't meant for you, Adam James. It was a warning to other readers of this thread not to read any further if they wanted to play the game unspoiled!)

Please don't worry about mentioning spoilers. Please mention them! It'll help us understand exactly what the bugs are and then hopefully work out how to fix them.

:!:

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:46 pm

lurkio wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 3:20 pm
I meant that you should please go ahead and give us spoilers so that we can clearly and unambiguously understand what the bugs are.
Right then, SPOILER ALERT:

1) Regardless of whether the PIT is empty, having toffee setting in it, or has hard toffee in it, you can enter it by going down, in which case you get stuck. However, once the toffee has set, you can type 'cross pit' to successfully get across it.

2) The casket contains salt and nothing else. Once you have removed the salt, the casket is of no use, and opening it appears to provide a description for what happens when you light an incense stick.

3) When you paint the hamster with invisible paint, you have indeed painted the hamster with invisible paint, and it is invisible.

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lurkio
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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:57 am

More spoilers ahead!

Here's the verbose form of the output from a hacked version of the UnQuill-BBC tool, run over a B-em snapshot of QFTLBBean:
It's essentially a "disassembly" of the game.

:idea:

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:03 am

lurkio wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:57 am
UnQuill-BBC tool
So all my burble about assembler and BASIC utterly irrelevant, then! :oops: :-#

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8bitAG
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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:30 am

Hmmm... What *exactly* is the problem with the hamster?

Code: Select all

5b16: POT  HAMS
5b19:           CARRIED  31     ;a small paint brush
5b1b:           CARRIED  27     ;a pot of invisible paint
5b1d:           CARRIED   5     ;a hamster
5b1f:           ZERO     20
5b21:           SWAP      5   6 ;a hamster
                                ;an invisible hamster
5b24:           SWAP     27  28 ;a pot of invisible paint
                                ;an empty pot
5b27:           MES     100     ;As you paint the hamster you see no
                                ;change. It appears as if it is not
                                ;invisible. The paint is finished.
5b29:           DONE
On the surface of it, that seems like it should work fine... it swaps the hamster object with the invisible hamster object; which should be wherever you left the original item.

Is your issue that you can't pick up the hamster afterwards? Or is it not listed in the place you left it (location or inventory)?

The invisible hamster doesn't have a word associated with it; which could potentially be an issue for performing actions on it.

Code: Select all

56fd: Object   5 named HAMS     ;a hamster
56fe: Object   6 named *        ;an invisible hamster

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:26 am

8bitAG wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:30 am
Hmmm... What *exactly* is the problem with the hamster?
I believe I had picked up the hamster, then when I typed the command to paint it, I got a message acknowledging my attempt to paint it, and was informed that it wasn't working and it was still visible. It was only after a lot of faffing around, much later, that I studied my inventory properly and realised that the hamster was in fact invisible.

I've deleted all my saves, but I'm happy to go back to that point and take a photo of the screen, to get the precise words, if you want?

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:34 am

Adam James wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:26 am
I believe I had picked up the hamster, then when I typed the command to paint it, I got a message acknowledging my attempt to paint it, and was informed that it wasn't working and it was still visible. It was only after a lot of faffing around, much later, that I studied my inventory properly and realised that the hamster was in fact invisible.
Oh, that's not a bug. That's intentional. The hamster is invisible but, because you were the one that painted it, you don't notice any difference. That's what the message is going on about. Not the clearest choice from the author but definitely not a bug. The item itself changes from hamster to invisible hamster.

Code: Select all

3c8d: Message 100:
      As you paint the hamster you see no
      change. It appears as if it is not
      invisible. The paint is finished.
3cd2: Message 101:
      You find some instructions on it which
      say that the object painted with this
      paint will be visible only to the
      painter.
It does highlight one of the concerns I would have, as a text adventure author, about people going in and changing a game that can actually be completed... You may be fixing things that you think are bugs which were actually intentional decisions by the original author. You have to be extremely careful when you are altering someone else's "art".

My personal rule of thumb would be... if a game can be completed in its current form then it should be left in its current form.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by leenew » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:49 am

Out of interest...
What are your views on fixing spelling mistakes in magazine type-ins? :-k

Lee

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by Adam James » Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:53 am

8bitAG wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:34 am
Oh, that's not a bug. That's intentional. The hamster is invisible but, because you were the one that painted it, you don't notice any difference. That's what the message is going on about. Not the clearest choice from the author but definitely not a bug. The item itself changes from hamster to invisible hamster.

Code: Select all

3c8d: Message 100:
      As you paint the hamster you see no
      change. It appears as if it is not
      invisible. The paint is finished.
3cd2: Message 101:
      You find some instructions on it which
      say that the object painted with this
      paint will be visible only to the
      painter.
Aha! I hadn't seen 'Message 101', i.e. I must not have examined the pot of invisible paint.

I gladly stand corrected and would give this game even more of a recommendation, then:)
8bitAG wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:34 am
It does highlight one of the concerns I would have, as a text adventure author, about people going in and changing a game that can actually be completed... You may be fixing things that you think are bugs which were actually intentional decisions by the original author. You have to be extremely careful when you are altering someone else's "art".

My personal rule of thumb would be... if a game can be completed in its current form then it should be left in its current form.
Sounds like a very reasonable rule of thumb, illustrated well here.

I'm new here, not sure of your background: which of your adventures are you happiest with and where would I obtain it? I'd love to give one a go. EDIT - just spotted the links in your footer!

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8bitAG
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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:10 pm

Open casket...I do believe that is a mistake from the author.

In fact, the author has written a response for the fact that the casket is now useless but doesn't seem to have programmed it in.

Code: Select all

5a1e: OPEN CASK
5a21:           CARRIED   2     ;a closed casket
5a23:           ZERO     23
5a25:           CARRIED  17     ;a key
5a27:           MES      83     ;You open the casket and tip the
                                ;contents onto the floor. A cube of salt 
                                ;falls out. You then re-close the casket.
                                ;
5a29:           KEY
5a2a:           CREATE    4     ;a cube of salt
5a2c:           SET      23
5a2e:           DESC
5a2f: OPEN CASK
5a32:           CARRIED   2     ;a closed casket
5a34:           CARRIED  17     ;a key
5a36:           NOTZERO  23
5a38:           MES      65     ;The incense flares up and lets off a lot
                                ;of smoke. Slowly it burns away to
                                ;nothing.
5a3a:           DONE
5a3b: OPEN CASK
5a3e:           NOTCARR   2     ;a closed casket
5a40:           MES      23     ;You don't have it!
5a42:           DONE
5a43: OPEN CASK
5a46:           NOTCARR  17     ;a key
5a48:           MES      96     ;You need a key!
5a4a:           DONE
Where is says MES 65... the author will have meant to have put MES 84... i.e.

Code: Select all

37f5: Message 84:
      You open the casket and find nothing in 
      it. Disappointed, you close it again.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:11 pm

The issue with the casket seems to be an actual bug. The game is simply printing the wrong message. I'll post the details later on, but I think it's just a case of the wrong message-number having been specified for all openings of the casket subsequent to the first.

There is an appropriate message in the source, but it just never gets printed. Instead, a completely different and irrelevant message gets printed!

:idea:

EDIT: crossed posts! See above.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:19 pm

To address the pit issue, an additional routine (prior to what is shown below) would need to be added to check the presence of the toffee and print a message to say so (there is already an existing message that could do the job).

Code: Select all

5990: D    *   
5993:           AT       18     ;You are in a large cavern. Tunnels lead 
                                ;west and south-east. There is a 30 foot 
                                ;diameter pit in the cavern, with a
                                ;pinnacle in the middle.
5995:           MES      56     ;Okay, down the pit. Whheeee! Now what?
                                ;You're stuck!
5997:           GOTO     59     ;You are at the bottom of the pit. There
                                ;are no exits.
5999:           DONE
This should do the trick... inserted before...

Code: Select all

D * AT 18 NOTZERO 18 MES 57 DONE
Can you load finished adventures back into the BBC Quill, by the way?
Last edited by 8bitAG on Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:21 pm

leenew wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:49 am
Out of interest...
What are your views on fixing spelling mistakes in magazine type-ins? :-k
Bit late to be asking that, innit?!:
:?

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:22 pm

*as an aside... the solution on CASA doesn't seem to work... doesn't navigate through the bush maze successfully?

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:25 pm

lurkio wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:21 pm
leenew wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:49 am
Out of interest...
What are your views on fixing spelling mistakes in magazine type-ins? :-k
Bit late to be asking that, innit?!:
:?
Spelling mistakes are usually unintentional... and should be corrected.

Oh, except for those times when they are intentional. I've spelt things wrong for comic effect/parody in the past. (And also spelt a lot of things wrong because my spelling was always awful)

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by leenew » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:38 pm

He he he, yes... I have form... :roll:
I totally get "not altering someone else's "art"...",
But.. when I am typing in a type-in, and I am confronted by a terrible spelling mistake or a word split across 2 lines etc. etc . I physically cannot leave it alone 🤯
I am pleased to hear there is a bit of a consensus around this important issue :D

Lee.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:38 pm

From the solution on CASA...
This adventure was written using The Quill and, like many so
produced for the BBC, has plenty of bugs (try opening the
casket again after removing the salt or heading southeast
before you have fed the cat).
Might be another one to address?

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by 8bitAG » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:44 pm

This is the cat one. Looking at the response for north in the database...

Code: Select all

58c6: N    *   
58c9:           AT       46     ;You are standing in a large sperical
                                ;cavern with perfectly smooth walls.
                                ;Passages head north, south-west and
                                ;south-east.
58cb:           EQ       26   1
58ce:           MES     108     ;Seeing that you won't or can't feed it, 
                                ;the cat pounces on you, snapping your
                                ;neck with a twist of its jaws. You're
                                ;dead!
58d0:           END
The response for SE has an error in it...

Code: Select all

592a: SE   *   
592d:           AT       46     ;You are standing in a large sperical
                                ;cavern with perfectly smooth walls.
                                ;Passages head north, south-west and
                                ;south-east.
592f:           EQ       26   1
5932:           MES      98     ;It has a small keyhole in it.
5934:           END
Namely MES 98 should be MES 108.

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Re: The Quest for the Last Baked Bean

Post by lurkio » Sun Jun 07, 2020 1:25 pm

8bitAG wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:19 pm
Can you load finished adventures back into the BBC Quill, by the way?
Not easily. I think you'd have to type it all in manually. Copy-paste in BeebEm might help -- although it's sometimes tricky because BeebEm prepends a newline character to everything you paste in! Maybe the B2 emulator's paste function behaves differently -- I'll have to check.

:?:

EDIT: Correction.
Last edited by lurkio on Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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