DescriptionA choose-your-own-adventure text game set in West End Games' dementedly Orwellian Paranoia dystopian sci-fi universe, this sardonic romp casts the player as Philo-R-DMD (and, as easy death prevails time and again, his six clones), Troubleshooter for the Computer. The assignment this time is a holiday season hum-dinger:
GREETINGS TROUBLESHOOTER. YOU HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY SELECTED TO SINGLEHANDEDLY WIPE OUT A DEN OF TRAITOROUS CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY. YOUR MISSION IS TO GO TO GOODS DISTRIBUTION HALL 7-BETA AND ASSESS ANY CHRISTMAS ACTIVITY YOU FIND THERE. YOU ARE TO INFILTRATE THESE CHRISTMAS CELEBRANTS, LOCATE THEIR RINGLEADER, AN UNKNOWN MASTER RETAILER, AND BRING HIM BACK FOR EXECUTION AND TRIAL. THANK YOU. THE COMPUTER IS YOUR FRIEND.In short, the player is assigned to enter into a Byzantine den of Communist filth, nefarious mutants and sinister secret societies in the interest of aborting the subversive activities of one... Santa Claus. The Paranoia game universe being the tremendous set-up that it is, this naturally results in considerably more danger to the hunter (that is, you) than to the hunted.
Gameplay is very limited, with player input restricted to selecting from a couple of deceptive options (the trick being knowing which ones are employing reverse psychology and only being deceptively deceptive) -- sometimes as many as three but alternately occasionally as few as one, nominal user prompts moving fixed-rail action along. Frustratingly, some necessary game sequences (interspersed with unavoidable clone deaths) can only be triggered randomly. Nonetheless, for fans of the setting and the bureaucracy and totalitarianism of its black humour, it makes for at least a ticklish read.
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- "Paranoia: A Not-Very-Interactive Future" -- Tag-lined title
- "Alpha Complex" -- Original print title
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TriviaThis game was first published in print form -- not as a type-in game, but as a conventional choose-your-own-adventure -- in issue #77 of "SpaceGamer/FantasyGamer" magazine, sometime in the '80s. Since then, thanks to Tim Lister's C implementation (apparently conducted without permission from the original author, publisher or license owner), it has enjoyed wide distribution as part of a BSD games package, as well as numerous ports (often undertaken as extended "Hello, World!" exercises in learning a new language, thanks to its relatively simple play structure) -- in addition to the ports already credited, to Python by Sean P. Kane, to the Cybiko by Athlor, to Mercat by David Given, to the TI-89 & TI-92+ calculators by Zeljko Juric, and Dan Astoorian's CGI scripting.
Related Web Sites
- Paranoia @ Baf's Guide to the IF Archive (Free, legal download of various versions of the game, including source code!)
- Play Paranoia Online! (The game has been implemented as a script playable through your web browser.)