A novelisation (perhaps better termed a cross-promotional tie-in loosely related to the original property) of the game was produced by Byron Preiss (with a grey-striped cover design emulating Infocom game packaging), published by Avon Books. It was written by Arthur Byron Cover and first published in August of 1988. Its ISBN is 0-380-75384-7 and the rear cover blurb reads as follows:
"Arthur Byron Cover combines the antic sense of Robert Sheckley, the far travelling of A. E. Van Vogt, the deadly serious wry whimsy of Kurt Vonnegut... with a fresh, invigorating talent all his own." - Harlan Ellison
THE PATROL'S LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD ORGANISMS
The recruiting poster said, "Join the Stellar Patrol and visit exotic worlds!"
Homer took the poster's advice and signed up for service. His heroism on the planet Resida quickly earned him a promotion, and Homer was assigned to the most important Diplomatic Conference in the history of the Third Galactic Empire.
Then Homer got lost. Really lost.
Fortunately, Homer was accompanied by his loyal robot Oliver and the ghost of his beloved robot Floyd.
The fate of the empire depended on the Stellar Patrol's finding Homer--the only man in the fleet who can play the soprano saxophone!
The sci-fi based janitor turned hero theme of Planet Fall was also used in later adventure games such as the Space Quest series and Future Wars.
A third sequel for Planetfall was planed and almost released in 1995. "Planetfall - The Search for Floyd" was supposed to take place 100 years after Stationfall, and dealt mainly with the resurrection of the beloved Floyd thanks to an alien device. A full design doc and storyline was completed circa 1993 by Steve Meretzky and the game was supposed to start development for the Return to Zork engine by late 1994. The deal went sour however, and all that survive of the game are some conceptual screenshots.
If you add a six to the beginning of the ID number on the enclosed card and space out the digits appropriately, you'll get the phone number to The Tech, MIT's official newspaper.
(From The New Zork Times Vol.3 No.2 Spring 1984)
Some statistics about Planetfall:
(From The New Zork Times, Vol.3 No.1, Winter 1984)
Planetfall was titled Sole Survivor by its author, Steve Meretzky, and later shortened to just Survivor. When Infocom discovered another game called Survivor, they decided they'd rather switch than fight. Infocom's ad agency, Giardini/Russell, submitted a list about 30 long, their favorite of which was Lost Planet. Reaction was less than enthusiastic, not the least because it reminded two of Infocom's employess of the TV series, Lost in Space. Marc Blank suggested Planetfall during a long, frustrating meeting - he thought he had seen it once in an SF book as a word meaning arrival on a new planet (much like landfall). Nobody really believed him, but it was never improved upon.
Accardi-3 is named after Gabrielle Accardi, Infocom's Marketing person.
The working title for Planetfall was Sole Survivor
The old "Folio" packaging of Planetfall consisted of a folder containing "Today's Stellar Patrol" - recruitment brochure, a Special Assignment Task Force I.D. card, three postcards (Ramos II, Nebulon, and Accardi-3), and a personal diary (4 pages, 1 empty).
The re-release of Planetfall used the standard box format which consisted of a grey box with coloured horizontal stripes. It contained "Today's Stellar Patrol" - recruitment brochure, a Special Assignment Task Force I.D. card, three postcards (Ramos II, Nebulon, and Accardi-3), and a personal diary (4 pages, 1 empty).
The Science Fiction Classics collection consisted of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall, and A Mind Forever Voyaging in a specially designed trilogy slipcase.