ADVENT /ad'vent/ n.
The prototypical computer
adventure game, first designed by Will Crowther on the PDP-10
in the mid-1970s as an attempt at computer-refereed fantasy gaming,
and expanded into a puzzle-oriented game by Don Woods at Stanford
in 1976. (Woods had been one of the authors of INTERCAL.) Now
better known as Adventure or Colossal Cave Adventure, but the
TOPS-10 operating system permitted only six-letter filenames.
See also vadding, Zork, and Infocom.
This game defined the terse, dryly humorous style since expected in
text adventure games, and popularized several tag lines that have
become fixtures of hacker-speak: "A huge green fierce snake bars
the way!" "I see no X here" (for some noun X). "You are in a
maze of twisty little passages, all alike." "You are in a little
maze of twisty passages, all different." The `magic words'
xyzzy and plugh also derive from this game.
Crowther, by the way, participated in the exploration of the
Mammoth & Flint Ridge cave system; it actually has a
`Colossal Cave' and a `Bedquilt' as in the game, and the `Y2' that
also turns up is cavers' jargon for a map reference to a secondary
ADVENT sources are available for FTP at
There is a Colossal Cave Adventure page.
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