In the classic computer game Adventure
, also known as advent
or Colossal Cave
, there are two particularly complicated mazes. One is the Maze of Twisty Little Passages, All Alike
, and the other is the Maze of Twisty Little Passages, All Different
. The text-based nature of this game relied on a written description of your location, but every location within the maze had the same identifying string. To add to the complexity there were ten different possible exits to any given location (North, South, East, West, NE, NW, SE, SW, Up, and Down.). In addition, exiting a room to the north did not necessarily mean that you entered the next room from the south; this game is set in a cave where passages can twist.
So how, gentle reader, is one to escape from these fiendish mazes? Trial and error is dangerous, as nasty little dwarves plague the area and are fond of throwing sharp little knives. Avoiding the mazes is not a possibility, as they contain valuable items (If my memory serves, All Different contained the Pirate's Lair and All Alike contained the vending machine). A map is required, but how can one identify in which room one is located? An unethical gamer might resort to downloading a map, but a true purist (or, as was my case, an eight-year-old) will solve this problem themselves.
First, the smaller and easier All Different Maze.
A very careful read of the locations reveals a hidden truth
: The location names are all different.
"You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all different."
and another is,
"You are in a maze of little twisty passages, all different."
And with this, every location becomes identifiable. It is just a matter of writing down the different combinations and drawing complicated flowcharts.
Now for the larger, more difficult, Maze of Twisty Passages, All Alike.
In this maze all the location descriptions are actually the same, so the previous trick does not apply. However, it is
possible to add to the location descriptions. All you must do is drop an item in the room, changing the location from
"You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike."
"You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. There is tasty food here!"
It becomes difficult because your inventory
is limited and there are more locations in the maze than spots in inventory, but given time it is possible.