Release history

This game first appeared in 1969 on a DEC PDP-8, written in FOCAL, an ALGOL derivative, by the language's author, Rick Merrill (taking up 700 mighty bytes!) It gained popularity among the mainframe set after being ported to BASIC (needing to be trimmed down to 400 bytes in the process) and influenced at least one generation of game designers after its source code hit the mainstream in David H. Ahl's 1978 book BASIC Computer Games (aka 101 BASIC Computer Games), published by Creative Computing... seeing it typed feverishly, over and over again, into BASIC-interpreting microcomputers worldwide.

You can see scans of the original BASIC source code publication at or, if you prefer, a raw text conversions of them at

One of the more peculiar ports of this venerable title would be Robb Sherwin's 2002 conversion of it to the Hugo Interactive Fiction language.

Contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual (59684) on Apr 28, 2006. [revised by : Patrick Bregger (198868)]. -- edit trivia