The Deed of the York

by Dwight Logan


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Oh, for those Wonder-filled Early Days of 8-bit Computing..., August 9, 2014
by jgerrie (Cape Breton Island, Canada)

This was the first text adventure program I ever played. I remember choosing it for the simple reason that its byte count looked about right for fitting into the text buffer of my little MC-10 computer (something like the ZX-81), which was connected to a BBS via 300 baud Modem (text flows in at the speed most people can read at) and simple terminal package. The terminal package was so simple, in fact, that it had no download protocols other than straight text into the buffer and with only 20K in total, that buffer wasn't very big. DeedYork was one of the few non-binary file offerings of a local TRS-80 Color Computer BBS. I downloaded it, then printed the buffer and the re-typed the whole program back in. If I recall correctly part of the program got garbled, and thus a 2nd text to buffer and print operation was required. Much debugging was also required. At the end of this process I was treated to a fairly simple text adventure, which wasn't even a real two word parser. What it really was, was a one word parser, which was so tolerant of additional words, that for a while I was actually fooled into believing it required two words for accomplishing tasks. There are not too many puzzles to solve. Just an old house to explore, some possible death scenarios to learn to avoid and one main intuitive leap to make based on a large number of clues pointing to your discovery of a specific secret word. I recall being so stumped by the main puzzle that I had to resort to the time-honoured recourse of reading the source code. Of course, none of these limitations mattered to a 15 year old kid living in the midst of the 8-bit computer revolution. It was all magic. You're a wizard Harry! The one thing I was left wondering was whether the "Chomiuks", the family who play the role of the bad guys in the scenario, actually represented a real family in the Grande Prairie region of Saskatchewan. If so, I would like to thank them for inspiring a wonderful little piece of my childhood. Enjoy.

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