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The very first text adventure game.


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How It Begins

You might be anyone. You are standing in the forest, outside a small brick building which is a well-house for a spring. Inside the building, you can easily find some keys, tasty food, a shiny brass lamp, and an empty bottle. If you explore the surrounding area, you will discover a locked steel grate set in a depression. You have no obvious goals, but you might want to open the grate and explore underground.

Notable Features

  • Being the first IF game.

Trivia and Comments


(This list is very incomplete. It needs to be heavily researched and double-checked. Ideally, we want authors/porters, year of release, platform info, language if not English, and what version was derived from what. Also, a summary or overview of differences between all the versions would be a nice thing to have handy. -- David Welbourn 15:52, 29 May 2006 (EST))

According to Baf's Guide, the game is also known by all these titles: Abenteuer, ADVENT, Adventure in Humongous Cave, Aventura, Aventure, Avontuur, Colossal Adventure (Jewels of Darkness), Colossal Cave, nuntalyli'u, and Original Adventure.

A very thorough listing of known versions is available on various "Adventure Family Tree" websites, such as Nathanael Culver's (the most complete) and Russel Dalenberg's (archive) (2006). A graphical Family Tree with emphasis given to historically significant versions is available on Arthur O'Dwyer's site. In a nomenclature originating with Russel Dalenberg, the versions and variants of Adventure are often referred to by short abbreviations encoding their latest author's name and their maximum score; so for example the original Adventure would be WOOD0350, whereas Donald Knuth's 1990s-era port would be KNUT0350.

Original version

  • Adventure (William Crowther; YEAR?; FORTRAN).
    • Download from the IF Archive - Long believed lost, this was found from a backup of Don Wood's student account thanks to the efforts of Dennis Jerz. Included are three versions of the Fortran-IV source code, along with two versions of the data file. Also included are Fortran-77 versions of the source code, converted to Fortran-77 by Matthew Russotto.

The original version was written by Crowther for his two daughters.

What year?

  • Baf's Guide lists the release year as 1976.
  • According to Compute!'s Guide to Adventure Games by Gary McGath, William Crowther wrote the preliminary version of Adventure in 1975, in FORTRAN, on a DEC PDP-10 computer, and made it available nationwide via ARPAnet.
  • IFRO lists the release year as 1972, and the platform as FORTRAN.
  • According to A history of 'Adventure' by Rick Adams, in 1972, William and his wife Pat were co-workers for Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Boston. They were also cavers. When the Crowthers' marriage ended, William felt estranged from his daughters, and decided to write for them a computer simulation of his caving experiences combined with elements borrowed from Dungeons and Dragons, a role-playing game that he also had been playing.
  • Wikipedia doesn't attempt to date the original, noting only that Crowther was a caver in 1972, and that the Don Woods version was written in 1976.
  • Colossal Cave Adventure (c. 1975) by Dennis G. Jerz, notes that sources set the date anywhere from 1968 to 1977. Also: "In response to an e-mail query, Crowther put it at 1975, 'give or take a year'." In Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave (see Links), Jerz argues "...Crowther wrote the game during the 1975-76 academic year and probably abandoned it in early 1976", with the Woods version released in early 1977.
  • Jason Dyer's 2016 attempt to untangle the chronology.

Crowther and Woods version

Gillogly version (350 points)

  • Adventure (porter: Jim Gillogly; c.1976; C for UNIX).
    • This version is the canonical "modern Unix" version of the game; it is distributed under the name adventure(6) as part of the bsdgames package on most systems.

Software Toolworks version (375 points)

  • The Original Adventure (Jim Gillogly and Walt Bilofsky; publisher: Software Toolworks; 1981; C).
    • This version added three treasures and slightly extended the endgame sequence. It also famously offered a mail-order "Certificate of Wizardness" to any player who completed the game.

Other C ports

  • ODWY0350, a faithful port of WOOD0350 a.k.a. "Adventure" (down to the quirks of the parser) (play online)
  • WOOD0430 a.k.a. "Adventure 2.5", a mechanical translation from Fortran with some additional puzzles and treasures, written by Don Woods himself circa 1995 (link to source code)
  • RAYM0430, a.k.a. "Open Adventure", a refactoring of Don Woods' WOOD0430 (link to source code; requires Python3 to build)
  • ODWY0440, a faithful port of LUPI0440 a.k.a. "Adventure II", with some bugfixes (play online)
  • ODWY0550, a faithful port of PLAT0550 a.k.a. "Adventure 3" (play online)
  • ODWY0551, a faithful port of MCDO0551 a.k.a. "Adventure 6", with some bugfixes (play online)

Z-code ports (350 points)

Spanish translation (350 points)

German translation (350 points)

French translation (350 points)

  • Aventure (translator: Jean-Luc Pontico; 25-Jan-2001; Z-code; French).
    • Release 0 / Serial number 000531 / Inform v6.14 Library 6/10 D
    • IFID: ZCODE-0-000531-2DA4
      IFID links: IFDB.
    • Based on Z-code port by Graham Nelson. Translator's name not in the version info.
    • Release date taken from the source file comments; see at Inform 6 en français.
    • Download aventure.z5 from the IF Archive.

Dutch translation (350 points)

  • Avontuur: Het Interactieve Origineel (translator: Yuri Robbers; 2002; Z-code; Dutch).
    • Release 8 / Serial number 020822 / Inform v6.21 Library 6/10 (Dutch) SD
    • IFID: ZCODE-8-020822-3C26
      IFID links: IFDB.
    • Based on Z-code port by Graham Nelson.
    • Download Avontuur.z5 from the IF Archive.

Lojban translation (350 points)

  • nuntalyli'u (main translator: Nick Nicholas; updating translators: Jay Kominek and Eugene Mayes; implementor and final translator: Robin Lee Powell; 02-Nov-2002; Z-code; Lojban).
    • Release 5 / Serial number 961209 / Inform v6.21 Library 6/9 SD
    • IFID: ZCODE-5-961209-4589
      IFID links: IFDB.
    • Based on Z-code port by Graham Nelson. Note that the serial number is unchanged from Nelson's. Date of port determined from source file downloaded at time of release. Inexplicably, the lojban tiki lists 1991 as the year when Nicholas translated the text, suggesting that the original translation effort pre-dates Nelson's port.
    • Download nuntalylihu.z5 from the IF Archive.
    • Colossal Cave at the wiki.

Swedish translation (350 points)

Russian translation (350 points)

Hugo port (350 points)

GINAS port (350 points)

AAS parody

  • ADVENT (Iain Merrick as "Arthur Tavistock Jnr"; 01-Apr-2003; AAS). Unrelated to Adventure except by the title.

ADRIFT port (350 points)

  • Adventure (porter: Nick Rogers; 2006; ADRIFT 4).
    • IFID wanted. (Please replace this line with a babel template.)
    • Download advent350.taf (dead link 🔍) from the ADRIFT site.
    • This ADRIFT port is based on the Inform 6 port by Graham Nelson.

See also


General info