About Text Adventures


There are two roots for the amateur text adventures found here. Both are quite different and I would like to start with the programmers view. My first computer was a Sharp MZ-80B which I got in 1983 - when there were the first 8086 standard PCs around. As the name says there was a Z80 processor in the system - and a great bulk of 64 kByte of RAM, two 440 kByte 5.25'' Floppy Drives and a 320 by 200 black and green graphics display. Due to some lack of money I got only a Basic interpreter with the system. The first large project was to code a Z80 development system - especially assembler and debugger - first in Basic and then based on itself. The next step was to port the UCSD Pascal from the Apple II to this system - not as hard as it sounds, since UCSD is p-Code based so only the interpreter and BIOS has to be ported. Although this runs fine my system lacks one important advantage: programs, especially games and other programming languages. So I created a CP/M BIOS and got access to a large pool of software. And the first professional game - hey, running packman on a 320x200 black and green 12'' monitor is far from fun, believe me! This was a text adventure and to be honest: I don't know it's name. The same adventure was running on the VAX under VMS which I used during my studies. It was quite a hard adventure and I never solved it completly - the last trick I found was by simply displaying the message text file which was not encrypted.

During my studies im 1987 I changed to the Amiga 500. Shortly afterwards a good friend of mine finished studying and began a new career in the United States - his final day must be somewhen in 1989. I decided to create a special gift for him which should help him to remember his studies and all the people around there: a simple text adventure game. The localitly was set up to be the places at the university we worked and a bit around it. All important people with their very special interests and behaviours had been added to the game. This knoweldge was the major key to solve the adventure - actually very few people did ever solve it. A couple of years later I set up a second adventure with a similiar set of people in another location but this was not really of big interest. Both these games are in german and I don't think than anyone who is not part of it can solve the riddles in there.

But there is one more adventure I made - the last one as far as I can see it today. In 1996 I got contact to people heavily interested in the new TV Science-Fiction show Babylon 5. Although I do not share the opinion that this is all good there are definitly some very interesting and thrilling episodes and action lines - especially the time I joined it on a double feature called War Without End. For a couple of reasons not discussable here I decided again to create an adventure on this topic settled in the Babylon 5 universe somewhere around the third season - there are five but I think four had been enough. This adventure is in English and - as all others are - pure text with a poor language interpreter. But as far as I'm concerned - ok, just a bit of a subjective opinion - there are a couple of funny jokes and riddles which may make playing it enjoyable [although it has not found much gamers as far as I know].

One side story: since I started developing software I use the synonym JMS for what I did - in 1981 this stands for Jochen Manns Software against some other kids creating software under similiar synonyms. The official shortcut of the Babylon 5 creator is JMS, too - Joseph Michael Straczynski. Well, I swear this is pure coincidency!


The adventures are based on a special (properitary) language for construction including a compiling system which generates an interpretable binary. The downloads include only the run-time system for Windows and the binaries. The stuff is quite old - actually I no longer have direct access to the sources of compiler, run-time or the games itselves [must be on some backup CDs]. There are separate downloads for:

The parser is a bit poor - as my english is, too. But I tried to make at least the stories funny and the riddles as logical as possible and only as hard as necessary. Don't expect to much but if you take a try - well, at least try it hard to fight yourself through the parser shortcomings. Last not least: all those games require knowledge on its own universe - so I don't expect someone outside the university croud to have any fun running the two german ones.