HI-RES ADVENTURES #0-6

A series of interactive fiction with graphics by On-Line Systems, starting with the very first game of this subgenre, Mystery House, aka Hi-Res Adventure #1. Mission: Asteroid was numbered as Hi-Res Adventure #0 for being produced as introductory adventure, even if it was released later. These games were written and designed in Ken Williams' ADL (Adventure Development Language).
~from MobyGames

We're going way back in time to the earliest of graphic adventures with Sierra's groundbreaking Hi-Res series of adventures. Beginning in 1980 with the seminal Mystery House which took inspiration from Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None all the way to 1983 with The Dark Crystal - the only licensed tie in of the lot.

There were 7 games in all and each played the same; type directions or conjugate verbs with nouns for simple instructions. These Hi-Res adventures simplify this by only recognising two-word sentences, so "tie rope to mast" for example is split between two commands.

Puzzle solutions appear to be random at times. Mystery House - the first of the series - has you collecting a key by tripping on a carpet, dropping your lit candle and setting the room on fire. If you have said candle lit in your possession, this all happens using the command "look room". Unexpected outcomes such as this are a blessing and a curse for such games. On the one hand, a surprisingly positive outcome to a seemingly benign command is quite exciting, like uncovering a secret. On the other hand, you end up typing anything when you're stuck just to figure out what the game designer had in mind instead of using logic to further the story.

As the series went on, descriptions became more detailed and the images that accompanied them more artistic (though still showing their age - this is the early 80s after all). The monochromatic stills of Mystery House gave way to colour and the occasional bloopy sound effects by the time The Dark Crystal came around.

Originally released on the Apple II with some Japanese only ports on the PC-88 computers, they're not exactly standard code to emulate on modern PCs. Thankfully ScummVM got around to adding them to their ever-evolving powerhouse of a program. Loading times are non-existent and the image is represented with crisp and clear visuals. The issue I came to find is that you need a very specific rip of the original disks for them to work. The only one I couldn't find was Cranston Manor, which uses an Apple II emulator rather than the Virtual Machine of ScummVM. Playing this game will show a more accurate experience of how it was in 1980. The graphics will slowly load in piece by piece and there are slight blurry artefacts dulling the entire image.

 If you ask me, the best games in the series are Mystery House, Ulysses and the Golden Fleece and of course The Dark Crystal - the movie that one is based on holds a special place in my heart. These have a variety of set pieces with some well thought out puzzles that makes you realise why the interactive-fiction genre was so popular. If you fancy a trip down digital history, these Hi-Res Adventures are well worth your time.



To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses ScummVM and AppleWin to allow the game to run on modern PCs. Manuals for all games included. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 41.5 Mb.  Install Size: 72.8 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download

#1 MYSTERY HOUSE
#1 MYSTERY HOUSE

#2 WIZARD & THE PRINCESS

#2 WIZARD & THE PRINCESS

#0 MISSION ASTEROID

#0 MISSION ASTEROID

#3 CRANSTON MANOR

#3 CRANSTON MANOR

#4 ULYSSES & THE GOLDEN FLEECE

#4 ULYSSES & THE GOLDEN FLEECE

#5 TIME ZONE

#5 TIME ZONE

#6 THE DARK CRYSTAL

#6 THE DARK CRYSTAL

Hi-Res Adventures is © Sierra On-Line
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

FULL LIST OF GAMES 

Mystery House - Hi-Res Adventures #1 (1980)
Wizard and the Princess - Hi-Res Adventures #2 (1980)
Mission Asteroid - Hi-Res Adventures #0 (1980)
Cranston Manor - Hi-Res Adventures #3 (1981)
Ulysses and the Golden Fleece - Hi-Res Adventures #4 (1981)
Time Zone - Hi-Res Adventures #5 (1982)
The Dark Crystal - Hi-Res Adventures #6 (1983)


Like this? Try These...

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/labyrinth.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/the-colour-of-magic-other-stuff.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/star-trek-next-generation-transinium.html

10 comments:

  1. I love these old text adventures! (:
    I've heard of Mystery House, of course, but I never played it before.
    And I never played Dark Crystal either.
    Really excited to see all these games here.
    Can't wait to get adventuring!

    Thanks Biff.
    Thanks for uploading them Biff.

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    1. No probs! They're pretty simple in their story and design compared to what Infocom was puting out but they're still very enjoyable and unquestionably groundbreaking.

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  2. Having trouble with Cranston Manor. It says the floppy is not inserted. Is the emulator not setup correctly?

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    Replies
    1. I though it was. It's running my end, but I'm not entirely familiar with AppleWin - this is the first time I've used it. It uses the command line arguments in (install dir)/APPLE/Run-C.bat - open it in notepad to see the contents. I use those found in the emulator's own documentation.

      Failing that, you can alt-enter to exit fullscreen, click on the drive 1 icon to add CRANSTON.DSK manually then the apple icon to launch it.

      If anyone's found the correct files for the ScummVM version, let me know and I'll change it over to that - I spent way too many hours trying to find it.

      Delete
  3. You put all the Hi-Res Adventures together! Genius idea! These are adventure game classics, for anyone interested in the genre's history. I have wanted these for a long time. I had Mystery House and Serenia (aka The Wizard and the Princess), but not the rest. Most of them work perfectly now.

    Along with Jackson, I too have problems running #3: Cranston Manor. I can launch and move and save/restore, but after I walk through three of four streets the screen turns into code language and then freezes. I do think that waiting for the SCUMMVM version is the best idea.

    Well done again for creating this great compilation.

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    Replies
    1. While I didn't complete Cranston Manor, I got a fair way through - far enough for me to think it was working fine enough. I've just done a brief tour of the town and haven't yet found issues. Perhaps you can tell me where it happened?

      I'm thinking that the settings may perhaps not transfer over to other machines, not making the emulator as portable as I thought it was. Play with the configuration options (F8), specifically noting that the Model is set to Apple ][+.

      Delete
  4. Hold on, I see it's working perfectly today! I have explored the whole town and picked up several items and even entered the manor, and saved and quit and restored, but no crash is happening. I uninstalled yesterday and reinstalled today, so my first installation must have been faulty for some reason (even though all the other Hi-Res Adventures were working fine.)

    The first time, I would crash after 3 or 4 moves whenever I explored the town in any direction, north, east or south. I only saw the outside of the manor and then I crashed. Anyway, that problem isn't occurring now.

    I suggest to Jackson that he could uninstall and reinstall, and see if that fixes his problems too.

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    Replies
    1. Good to hear! I'll still update it with the SCUMM version once it becomes available.

      Delete
  5. "On the one hand, a surprisingly positive outcome to a seemingly benign command is quite exciting, like uncovering a secret. On the other hand, you end up typing anything when you're stuck just to figure out what the game designer had in mind instead of using logic to further the story."

    This hits the nail on the head as to why so many adventure games can infuriate and delight in equal measure. A common complaint of adventure games is that puzzles should logical solutions (although what qualifies as logical can itself be subjective!), but I suspect a truly logical game would feel predictable and formulaic.

    However designers have gone with such aggressively nonsensical over the years that the genre can hardly be said not to deserve its reputation. Happily you do occasionally find a game with the 'goldilocks ratio' of mostly sensible but occasionally surprising structure. At their best adventure games offer something that you can't find anywhere else.

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  6. Thanks for the version of Ulysses that works with ScummVM! I've been looking for that for a while.

    I do have a version of Cranston Manor that works with ScummVM though: https://archive.org/details/wozaday_Cranston_Manor

    ReplyDelete