268: A Paean To Floyd

A Paean To Floyd

In Infocom's text-adventure Planetfall, Floyd is the damnedest little annoying robot: He runs, he hums, and he asks you to play Chase-and-Tag. Chuck Wendig pens his paean to Floyd because he makes you feel.

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I teared up a little just reading this.

No joke.

BlueInkAlchemist:
I teared up a little just reading this.

No joke.

Try playing it. Seriously. The game is a little frustrating (though I genuinely miss Infocom games), but Floyd? Priceless.

-- Chuck

He tells you that he's feeling better now, and then hands you a helicopter key, a reactor elevator card, and a paddleball set, and he says, "Maybe we can use these in the sequel."

And I wonder how many people here are going to find that funny.

Formica Archonis:

He tells you that he's feeling better now, and then hands you a helicopter key, a reactor elevator card, and a paddleball set, and he says, "Maybe we can use these in the sequel."

And I wonder how many people here are going to find that funny.

And a little sad, considering what happens in the sequel.

-- Chuck

Remembering Floyd is like remembering a childhood friend. Thank you for bringing him to mind once again.

*stands and respects a moment of silence of Floyd*

Never forget.

JEBWrench:
*stands and respects a moment of silence of Floyd*

Never forget.

Pour a little oil on the curb (and maybe atop a fromitz board) for our lost homey.

-- Chuck

What an excellent article.

Well done!

I could really envision the space station, and floyd.

carpathic:
What an excellent article.

Well done!

I could really envision the space station, and floyd.

Thanks! I definitely recommend a playthrough if time allows. (Sucks, though, because online, you can't save game. One misstep and -- poof.)

-- Chuck

I have mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand it's very good and it got me genuinely interested in the game. On the other other hand SPOILERS >(

JEBWrench:
*stands and respects a moment of silence of Floyd*

Never forget.

*Salutes*

I started playing but cannoot save. The site say's:
"Please note that SAVE and RESTORE may not available due to applet security restrictions. Leaving this page may or may not restart the game depending on the behavior of your browser."

Does anyone can recommend what should i do or what browser would be best? (i use firefox)
I tried some google searches on applet security but i don't know what exactly am i looking for and some of the sites are marked as "attacking web sites".

Blue-State:
I have mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand it's very good and it got me genuinely interested in the game. On the other other hand SPOILERS >(

Yeah, same here.

Blue-State:
I have mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand it's very good and it got me genuinely interested in the game. On the other other hand SPOILERS >(

Spoilers? For a game that's 27 years old? It's older than most of the posters on this site. And look at the bright side. He didn't spoil Stationfall.

This article makes me feel I really do need to catch up on the old adventures series of yore. They're from before my time, but it feels like they'd still be worth the effort of picking up now.

-Remy

AboveUp:
This article makes me feel I really do need to catch up on the old adventures series of yore. They're from before my time, but it feels like they'd still be worth the effort of picking up now.

-Remy

I played through a couple old-timers. Some deserve their fond remembrance. Others, ehhhh, not so much. :)

-- Chuck

You know, I'd actually feel angry if this sidekick issue didn't mention Floyd. He's the best sidekick ever. I love how he's silly.

My favourite thing is how if you pick up the access card inside him before you activate him, when you use it later he says he's got one just like yours then feels confused when he doesn't find it.

It gave me a bittersweet feeling to think of what would happen if I starved there - how Floyd probably wouldn't understand what happened to me. Of course eventually eating is just a chore there so no big loss.

Hate me for this, but I think his ressurrection at the end cheapens his death. As it always does. God by machine, or for machine in this case.

Damn, I still need to play the sequel...

I wonder if my parents Apple 2c still works, and their copy of Planetfall.

Thank you, for remembering the oldtimers among us. Thank you for remembering Floyd.

There was something about text-based games. They require more creativity, both on the side of the developer and the player. They give the opportunity to provide more variety than almost anything else.

Above all, they demonstrate the power of good writing and the involvement you feel when you interact with a story. It's much like a good horror movie/game, like in last weeks Extra Credits: The unknown is scary, because your mind can conjure up much more horrible images than, well, actual images. What some people might not realize is this applies to everything. The human imagination is a powerful thing!

I never played Planetfall, and I probably never will, but this article reminds me of all the unlikely sidekicks that I've had in my gaming career. Fact: sidekicks aren't fun because they are useful, but because we love them.

..Except for escort quest sidekicks. We hate those.

This sounds amazing, I must play this game now. This article does bring about nostalgia for all fallen comrades throughout the years.

Ahh, Floyd... ahh, text adventures...

What is it about games with no graphics, no sound, nothing at all that can possibly be described as a "video" game, that makes them so compelling? I'll tell you what I think it was: writing. Back in the day, if you wanted to write a game with story and characters, your only choice was text adventures, because "video" games were just not advanced enough to allow for that. Even today, modern videogames don't offer half the possibilities text adventures did, because it's impossible to animate every possible action. So text adventures had great stories.

And, OK, so some of the best or most well-known had no story at all (Zork, ADVENT, LGoP...). But there were an awful lot of great ones, and there's still some being written. If someone out there is looking for a text adventure out of nostalgia, or even just searching for something with a great story, I personally recommend looking up some games from recent text adventure competitions, like IFComp, or XYZZY Award winners.

Thank you so much for this article.
This really brought back sweet memories. I really had to hold back tears when Floyd died back then.

 

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