Adventure II was a superset of the original Adventure, developed in
1978 by Peter Luckett and Jack Pike, both at the time at RAE Farnborough
UK (RAE: Royal Aircraft Establishment). The maximum score in the game
being 440, this version is now generally referred to as adv440, in
accordance to the established naming conventions.
The game was written in the then standard Fortran66, and distributed to
Prime users on paper tape, which is how we got it at Glaxo (I am still
kicking myself for chucking that paper tape some years later!). It got
promptly installed as a part of our regulated games package,
available to Prime users outside core working hours. Few programs don't
have bugs, and when some fatal bugs were encountered by Glaxo players, I
got in touch with Jack Pike, to report the problems and to propose
This Glaxo copy was eventually superseded by my merge of Adventure II
and Dave Platt's adv550, and what with one thing and another, after some
years I realised that (a) nobody seemed to be aware of the game any
more, (b) I no longer had its source and (c) I had lost contact with
Jack Pike. Repeated attempts by myself and others to find the game or
its authors came to nothing, and hence for some years Adventure II was
considered to be one of the lost variants of the game.
Come year 1999 and the Y2K scare, and Glaxo (now GlaxoWellcome)
finally got around to decomissioning the last Prime (some 12 years after
all Primes were supposed to be gone from the Company! :-). As a part of
the resulting cleanup, a friend dug through his stuff stored in the
Glaxo Prime archiving system and discovered what appeared to be the
source code and the database of AdventureII! Unfortunately, the
excitement turned out to be premature. The program seemed to be
complete, but the database was not. It was missing all of the travel
table, the object location table, the vocabulary and the hints table.
Then in 2001, out of the blue, Jack Pike got in touch. He was on a
business trip to the US, and while waiting for somebody else to do their
job, idly typed his name into a search engine, checking the visibility
of his new Web page. It came as a bit of a shock that the returned hits
also showed a link to my Web site, lamenting the loss of the game.
Surprisingly, this was not the end of the story. While Jack did have
the complete database (albeit a paper copy only), he didn't have the
Fortran program to go with it. Also, Fortran66 compilers are hardly
common these days, so I had to convert the code rescued from the Glaxo
archives to F77, as well as typing in the missing parts of the database.
Unfortunately, once this was done, it became obvious that Jack's data
file did not match what the program was expecting!
After some further discussions and some digging in our correspondence
archives, we finally worked out that there had been an intermediary
program, which converted Jack's plain text data file into a lightly
encoded version, and that it was this derived version that got
distributed with the F66 program.
Emulating the missing code in a bit of Perl was not hard, and thus
was Adventure II (a.k.a. adv440) once again made available to Adventure