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Video Game / Dunnet

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The opening, along with one of the earliest ways to get killed.
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Dunnet is a text adventure by Ron Schnell that comes bundled with Emacs, and so is installed on many macOS computersnote , and many Linux ones as well. The original version of the game was made in 1982. The version that can be found in Emacs is a port that was made in 1992. This page discusses the Emacs version unless otherwise noted.

The game starts off ordinarily, at the end of a dirt road. However, accessing computers allows you to modify the world in certain ways, and it's implied you are actually Inside a Computer System. The objective of the game is straightforward: collecting treasure.

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Contains examples of:

  • Bears Are Bad News: The bear on the forked road will kill you if you try to walk toward it.
  • Darkness Equals Death: Attempting to move around in the dark results in instant death. In reference to Zork (where that will get you eaten by a grue) and Colossal Cave (where it will cause you to trip and fall into a pit, breaking every bone in your body), in Dunnet, you trip over a grue and fall into a pit, breaking every bone in your body.
  • God Mode: If you beat the game, it will tell you the wizard password, which you can use on the computer to change variables in the game, e.g. changing your current room or the contents of your inventory.
  • Hair-Trigger Explosive: The nitroglycerin ingredients will explode if you drop them together.
  • The Maze: The rooms are described with variations on the phrase "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike." E.g. "little twisty passages", "twenty little passages", "thirsty little passages", "twisty little cabbages".
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  • Only the Knowledgable May Pass: The endgame will ask you about objects and places throughout the game. If you examined everything, you should have the answers.
  • Press Start to Game Over: As the image above shows, you can die almost as soon as you start, by walking towards the first tree you see, and then choosing to shake it, resulting in a coconut dropping on your head.
  • Press X to Die: Trying to eat something that clearly was not meant to be eaten, e.g. a shovel, will result in you choking and dying.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Maze is described with the phrase "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike," like in Colossal Cave.
    • The message you get if you die from moving in the dark is a combination of the ones you get from Zork and Colossal Cave.
    • The lamp is said to have been hand-crafted by Geppetto.
    • The towel has a picture of Snoopy on it.
    • There is a velvet painting of Elvis Presley.
    • A wax statuette of Richard Stallman, the author of GNU Emacs, can be found.
    • The Mona Lisa can be found.
  • These Questions Three...: You must answer three questions to get through the endgame.

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