WARNING: This page contains spoilers for Planetfall
The game starts with the user assuming the role of a lowly Ensign Seventh Class on the S.P.S. Feinstein, a starship of the Stellar Patrol. Overbearing superior Ensign First Class Blather assigns the player to mop decks, not exactly the glorious adventures promised by the recruiters on Gallium. But a sudden series of explosions aboard the ship sends the player scrambling for an escape pod, which eventually crash-lands on a nearby planet. There are signs of civilization, but curiously no traces of the beings that once lived there. Eventually encountering a helpful but childlike robot named Floyd, the player must unravel the mysteries of the single deserted structure on the planet, Resida, and find a way to get back home. As the fate of the planet's former inhabitants becomes clearer, a time limit also imposes itself.
- Reaction to Floyd's in-game death was hailed at the time as a telling sign of the emotional power of Infocom's games. Many players, it was widely reported, wept openly at the scene of Floyd's "death". Apparently, it was previously unthinkable that "a simple game" could move people to such a degree.