The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

More about hack121

So I’ve uploaded this mysterious game now to Download Central. You can download it, and look at some screenshots.

This game is really very mysterious. It has no title screen, no copyright notice, no release year, no name of the author hidden somewhere in the code. You can get the message Hack version 1.21 (Slak was here!) by pressing STRG+V at any time in the game. That is all. The only documentation is a file named moves.txt which gives only the barest gameplay information and surprises a bit with incorrect English (weild, veiw, hungary) not mirrored by the in-game messages. Maybe it was written by someone else. The files in the archive all have the time stamp 2000-04-26. Alone the fact that the time stamps are exactly identical is an indicator that they have no relevance for the creation date of the game.

Hack 1.21 has a few interesting gameplay details. Right at the start it puts the player in a shop with a random sum of gold. A light source is absolutely necessary, or the character will be blind in the dark caverns. There is no pet, though this was a feature at least since Andries Brouwer’s Hack 1.0. It also seems to be a lot tougher than Don Kneller’s PC Hack, the probability that you’ll die a few seconds into the game is high. It is interesting that it shares this feature with Mike J. Teixeira’s MAG, which according to the author was based on Jay Fenlason’s Hack. This is just a guess, but maybe Andries Brouwer toned down the difficulty a bit.

Another feature it shares with MAG is the use of color. Don Kneller’s PC Hack used the extended IBM character set pretty much the same way, but refrained from the use of color (at least in the default setting, I never really explored the options). And that’s really all I can say about it. If you want to know more, check out the already quoted NetHackWiki entry on Jay Fenlason’s Hack, it has detailed comparisons between hack121, Hack 1.0 and PDP-11 Hack.

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