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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Commodore 16, Plus/4)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Commodore 16, Plus/4 Title screen and introduction

MISSING COVER

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Advertising Blurbs

From The Master Storytellers Infocom catalog, 1987:
    "Don't panic: the interactive HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE is every bit as outrageous and funny as the novel."
    -Popular Computing


    Steve Meretzky teams up with Douglas Adams, best-selling author of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, to recreate the Hitchhiker's universe. The hilarious result is one of Infocom's biggest success stories.

    You take the role of the hapless Arthur Dent, whose house is being bulldozed to make way for a highway bypass. Not that it matters, since the Earth is about to be destroyed for similar purposes. But chin up, you're headed for an outrageous series of intergalactic misadventures. So grab a pint of bitter and a couple for the road and join Ford Prefect, Trillian, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Marvin on a cosmic jaunt into the outer reaches where anything can - and does - happen.

    Contributed by Belboz (6553) on Oct 13, 2001.

From PASSPORT To The United Products of Infocom 1986:
    HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
    Who better to guide you through the Hitchhiker's Guide than the man who created the concept and wrote the famous books and radio scripts? Douglas Adams himself recreates the Hitchhiker universe, enhancing it with new material written especially for Infocom, and sets you free to roam it at will. Of course, once Earth is demolished for an interstellar bypass, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

    But chin up, you're headed for a hilarious series of intergalactic misadventures. So grab a pint of bitter and a couple for the road and join Ford Prefect, Trillian, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin on a cosmic jaunt into the outer reaches where anything can - and does - happen.

    "Don't panic: the interactive HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE is every bit as outrageous and funny as the novel."
    -Popular Computing

    "If you don't laugh, see a doctor."
    -Enter magazine

    Contributed by Belboz (6553) on Oct 09, 2001.

From the first Infocom fold-out catalog, 198?:

    You
    are about to see
    the fantastic worlds of Infocom
    unfold before your very eyes.



    THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY By best-selling author Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky, it's our most mind-bogglingly hilarious story ever. In the person of Arthur Dent, you'll chortle while your planet is demolished, yelp with laughter when threatened by the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal and split your sides as you search the galaxy for a decent cup of tea.

    Contributed by Belboz (6553) on Oct 05, 2001.

From The New Zork Times, VOL.3 No.4 Fall 1984:

    DON'T PANIC!

    Now you can see the universe the safe, sure, money-saving way with THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY



    Here at Infocom, it would ordinarily not be too surprising for some random hanger-on, crackpot, or sychophant to get past the Guardians of Zork and venture forth with the magic words "I have this great idea for a game...."

    Such gratuitous input would generally not be parsed by the gate keepers who make the decisions around here.

    However, if the proposition came from someone with a little writing experience - say, with the authorship of some funny books selling in the millions - then this would be quite a different story, indeed.

    And so it was when Douglas Adams, who for years had smiled upon Infocom's work, put out a transatlantic feeler, as it were, to take the pulse of the giant in interactive fiction. The diagnosis was very favorable. Dr. Marc Blank, the company's vice president, assigned implementor S. Eric Meretzky to act as midwife for a brand new creation: Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is based only loosely on the novel of the same title.

    With the teaming up of "best-selling author" Adams and "award-winning game designer" Meretzky (Planetfall, Sorcerer) you would expect, well, at least a halfway decent game, wouldn't you? (See Footnote.)

    Actually, if this hilarious and doomsday vision of the future were to come to pass, who knows? A Hitchhiker's Guide disk might improbably be recovered among the space junk by some alien race. These beings, besides possibly recognizing themselves in the story, would (if the disk would still boot) discover humans to have been highly skilled in the interactive arts; and, contingent on the physiology to do so, they would laugh.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first Infocom story in which the player assumes the (rather indistinct) role of a fictional character, with the mellifluous name of Arthur Dent. But since you are the author of Arthur's actions, your decisions dictate the movement of the story.

    In the beginning, Arthur (the player) must overcome bewildering circumstances - which have encroached on his pastoral home in England's West Country - to escape his doomed home and, in turn, his doomed Earth. Up to this point the story line will be similar to that in the Hitchhiker's novel.

    Henceforth, you'll encounter characters and locations from the book appearing in a variety of misadventures written by Adams expressly for this game. For instance, in the novel there is one fanciful item of great utility which, however, in the game can be obtained only by maddeningly humorous Rube Goldberg methods.

    In exploring virgin parts of the galaxy, accessing the actual Hitchhiker's Guide will be essential. The Guide, an electronic device similar in appearance to a large calculator, is consulted to enlighten its user on a wide variety of topics ranging from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal to pocket fluff.

    Throughout your knocking about the galaxy, it is as if the unique persona of Adams were lurking in the nether regions of disk accessing, anticipating your every move and miscue, and delivering the appropriate rejoinder.

    The game packaging provides a number of items to assist the galactic hitchhiker. A pair of peril-sensitive sunglasses warns you of impending doom. Copies of the demolition orders for your house and planet Earth remind you why you're out there in the first place. You're given a piece of fluff and a microscopic space fleet, as well as the Megadodo Publications sales brochure for the latest model of the actual Hitchhiker's Guide. And in case things get out of hand, there's a Don't Panic button.

    The front of The Hitchhiker's Guide package says it's a standard-level game; as such, it will sell for $39.95 on most systems.

    (Footnote: To say the least.... Here we illustrate just two of the features new to Infocom games, first appearing in The Hitchhiker's Guide game. The first is the occurrence of footnotes - accessed by typing FOOTNOTE (number) - sprinkled throughout the story to enlighten, clarify, amuse. The second is the player's ability to respond to the sometimes rhetorical questions posed by the narrative, as seen above.)

    Contributed by Belboz (6553) on Aug 26, 2001.

Advertisement in COMPUTE!, October 1985:
    Earth will be destroyed in 12 minutes to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

    Should you hitchhike into the next galaxy? Or stay and drink beer?


    Simply slip the disk in your computer and suddenly you are Arthur Dent, the dubious hero of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY’ a side-splitting masterwork of interactive fiction by novelist Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky. And every decision you make will shape the story's outcome. Suppose for instance you decide to linger in the pub. You simply type, in plain English:

    >DRINK THE BEER

    And the story responds:

    You get drunk and have a terrific time for twelve minutes, are the life and soul of the pub, tell some really terrific stories, make everyone laugh a lot, and they all clap you on the back and tell you what a great chap you are and then the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished. You wake up with a hangover that lasts for all eternity. You have died.

    Suppose, on the other hand, you decide to:

    >EXIT THE VILLAGE PUB THEN GO NORTH

    In that case you'll be off on the most mindbogglingly hilarious adventure any earthling ever had.

    You communicate - and the story responds - in full sentences. Which means that at every turn, you have literally thousands of alternatives. So if you decide it might be wise, for instance, to wrap a towel around your head, you just say so:

    >WRAP THE TOWEL AROUND MY HEAD

    And the story responds:

    The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal is completely bewildered. It is so dim it thinks if you can't see it, it can't see you.

    But be careful about what you say. Or one moment you might be strapped down, forced to endure a reading of the third worst poetry in the galaxy; the next you could be hurtling through space with Marvin the Paranoid Android aboard a stolen spaceship.

    And simply staying alive from one zany situation to the next will require every proton of puzzle solving prowess your mere mortal mind can muster. Even simple tasks can put you at wit's end:

    >OPEN THE DOOR

    And the story responds:

    The door explains, in a haughty tone, that the room is occupied by a super-intelligent robot and that lesser beings (by which it means you) are not to be admitted. "Show me some tiny example of your intelligence," it says, "and maybe, just maybe I might reconsider."

    But don't panic. You'll be accompanied every light-year of the way by your trusty Hitchhiker's Guide, which you can always depend on for up-to-the-nanosecond information. Well, almost always:

    >CONSULT THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE ABOUT THE MOLECULAR HYPERWAVE PINCER

    And the story responds:

    Sorry, that portion of our sub-etha database was accidentally deleted last night during a wild office party.

    So put down that beer, take that towel off your head, open the door, hitchhike down to your local software store today and pick up THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. Before they put that bypass in.

    Still not convinced? Try our Sampler Disk which includes portions of four different types of stories for a paltry $7.95. If it doesn't get you hooked on the addictive pleasures of Infocom, return it for a full refund. If it does, you can apply the price toward any Infocom story. You can't lose!

    Contributed by Belboz (6553) on Apr 12, 2001.

Advertisement in Family Computing, January 1986:
    Earth will be destroyed in 12 minutes to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

    Should you hitchhike into the next galaxy? Or stay and drink beer?


    Slip the disk in your computer and suddenly you are Arthur Dent, the dubious hero of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a side-splitting masterwork of interactive fiction by novelist Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky. And every decision you make will shape the story's outcome. Suppose for instance you decide to linger in the pub. You simply type, in plain English:

    >DRINK THE BEER

    And the story responds:

    You get drunk and have a terrific time for twelve minutes, are the life and soul of the pub, they all clap you on the back and tell you what a great chap you are and then the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished. You wake up with a hangover which lasts for all eternity. You have died.

    Suppose, on the other hand, you decide to:

    >EXIT THE VILLAGE PUB THEN GO NORTH

    In that case you'll be off on the most mind-bogglingly hilariousadventure any earthling ever had.

    You communicate - and the story responds - in full sentences. So at every turn, you have literally thousands of alternatives. If you decide it might be wise, for instance, to wrap a towel around your head, just say so:

    >WRAP THE TOWEL AROUND MY HEAD

    And the story responds:

    The ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal is completely bewildered. It is so dim it thinks if you can't see it, it can't see you.

    Simply staying alive from one zany situation to the next will require every proton of puzzle solving prowess your mere mortal mind can muster. So put down that beer and hitchhike down to your local software store today. Before they put that bypass in.

    Contributed by Belboz (6553) on Apr 02, 2001.

"The Incomplete Works of Infocom, Inc." Catalog:
    Beyond question the most mind-bogglingly hilarious story we've ever published is THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, by Douglas Adams, the author of the phenomenal best-selling novel. In the person of Arthur Dent, you'll chortle as your home is bulldozed. You'll bellow when your planet is demolished. You'll yelp with laughter while your life is being threatened by the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. And your sides will positively split as you search the length and breadth of the Universe for a decent cup of tea, or whatever it is you're supposed to be looking for. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be available in November 1984. Don't forget your towel. STANDARD LEVEL

    Contributed by Adam Baratz (1352) on Mar 30, 2001.

Back of the Box.:
    Beyond question the most mind-bogglingly hilarious story Infocom has ever produced is THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, written and designed by Douglas Adams, author of the phenomenally best-selling novel, and Steve Meretzky, the award-winning designer of Infocom’s PLANETFALL and SORCERER.

    As the story begins, you are Arthur Dent, and a bulldozer is preparing to level your house even as an alien space fleet is preparing to level your planet. The incorrigible Mr. Adams has written new material and designed problems especialy for this interactive story. So grab a pint of bitter and a couple for the road and join Ford Prefect, Trillian, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin on a cosmic jaunt into the outer reaches where anything can-—and does-—happen. And don’t forget your towel!

    GET INSIDE A STORY. GET ONE FROM INFOCOM!

    It’s like waking up inside a story! Load Infocom’s interactive fiction into your computer and discover yourself at the center of a world jam-packed with surprising twists, unique characters and original, logical, often hilarious puzzles.

    For the first time, you’re more than a passive reader. You can talk to the story, typing in full English sentences. And the story talks right back, communicating entirely in vividly descriptive prose. What’s more, you can actually shape the story’s course of events through your choice of actions. And you have hundreds of alternatives at every step. In fact, there’s so much you can see and do, your adventure can last for weeks and even months.

    To find the Infocom interactive story that’s right for you, just choose any one marked with the level of difficulty listed below that best matches your current level of interactive skill.



    • Introductory: Best introduction to interactive fiction, with some built-rn hints. Written for everyone from age 9 up.

    • Standard: This is Infocom’s most popular level of interactive fiction, enjoyed by both first-time and experienced players.

    • Advanced: A greater level of challenge. Recommended for those who’ve already experienced Infocom’s interactive fiction.

    • Expert: The ultimate challenge in interactive fiction. Then find out what it’s like to get inside a story. Get one from Infocom. Because with Infocom’s interactive fiction, there’s room for you on every disk.

    From the manual:

    Don't Panic! Relax, because everything you need to know about playing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is contained in the pages of this manual. In this story, you will be Arthur Dent, a rather ordinary earth creature who gets swept up in a whirlwind of interstellar adventures almost beyond comprehension. As the story begins bulldozers are waiting to reduce your house to rubble to make way for a motorway bypass. While you attempt to deal with this problem, your rather strange friend Ford Prefect drops by to tell you that the Earth is about to be demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass! If you survive this double threat, you'll embark on a series of inter-galactic misadventures even funnier than your worst nightmares! A special note for people who have read the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Although the opening of the game is fairly similar to the book, the story quickly diverges, with lots of new material and different twists. Although familiarity with the story may make a few of the early puzzles easier, if you rely too heavily on this previous knowledge you will certainly end up getting misled.

    Contributed by Brian Hirt (10014) on Mar 08, 1999.