On a space settlement named Contra, a human being serves as a regulator for the planet's vital systems: he controls transportation, weather, and manages resources all while being in a deep sleep, through the neural power of his brain. Such a regulator is called Central Mentality. However, after five hundred years of stasis, the current Central Mentality suddenly awakens, greatly troubled by reports of computer malfunctioning and resulting problems in weather condition, food production, and transport. He must now act, and act quickly: the crew members assumed that he has gone insane, and are coming to disconnect his mind. But what can he do if his state of suspended animation prevents him from moving?Suspended
is a text adventure game with a twist: instead of navigating the protagonist, the player indirectly controls six robots that do his bidding, exploring the environment and interacting with it. Each robot has different functions and has its own way of seeing reality and reacting to events around it. Iris is the only robot that can see and therefore visually describe locations and objects; Whiz can provide technical information obtained from computers; the sonar-powered Waldo is good at holding items; Auda is an expert in sounds; the cryptically speaking Poet senses the flow of electric currents; finally, Sensa can detect magnetic and photon emissions. The player advances in the game by using the different abilities of the robots and solving puzzles.
- "Suspension" -- Working title
- "Suspended: INTERLOGIC Science Fiction" -- Tag-lined title
- "Suspended: A Cryogenic Nightmare" -- Tag-lined title
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has a number of preset difficulty levels, increasing (or decreasing) the difficulty of the game as a whole. There was also a "custom" difficulty setting, which allowed you to manually set various parameters in the game. (At which turn do the earthquakes happen? At which turn does the coolant system fail? At which turn does the human troubleshooter-team arrive? What is the initial positions of the six robots? And so on.)
But, humorously, there was also a pre-set "Impossible" difficulty setting, and it lived up to its word - if you chose this setting, the sun explodes
within the first few turns, dooming the entire planet. Infocom
(jokingly) offered a reward to anyone who could complete the game on the Impossible setting. Needless to say, nobody ever won that contest.
The game originally shipped with a plastic mapboard of the facility and 5 vinal counters for the robots. This was to help you visualize where everybody was during the game.
(From The New Zork Times
Vol.3 No.2 Spring 1984)
Some statistics about Suspended
- Apparent number of rooms (those seen by the player): 61
- Number of rooms: 63 (for various arcane programming reasons, some locations are inaccessible to the player)
- Number of different ways to die: 6 (this refers to you, the person in the cylinder, not the individual robots)
- Number of words in vocabulary: 676
- Number of takeable objects: 32
Information also contributed by
Dave Schenet and
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #58 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #4 Hardest Computer Game