Starring a mystery person (who I suspect might be me, Grunion Guy! Surprise!)
A mystery man has found himself lost in the middle
of nowhere, in the middle of a mystery! Who is he? Where will he go?
What will he do? (Don't read the byline after the title if you don't
want to have the surprise reveal spoiled!)
"I must struggle for answers, for my identity,
and for the faceless betrayer who left me to perish," I
plagiarized seamlessly into the story. But it's okay that I stole
that blurb from the game's packaging because I have Amnesia. Also,
I'm a mystery person and I don't think you can sue someone if nobody
knows who he actually is! My story begins on a beach with a
marvelous and intriguing view of the ocean. I see a hut to my north.
"A-ha!" I think! "That's a clue! What kind of person
thinks in compass directions! I must be an anal boy scout of
indeterminate age (although possibly much older than my youthful
good looks would have the birds believe! (Birds are chicks! Which
are hot ladies! (also, birds are seagulls)))!
I knew Level 9 sucked! This game is from 1985, the same year
as Emerald Isle. From the first, this art is bright and catchy and seems
to show the actual location instead of just a crappy drawing that has no
frame of reference with the writing.
Standing on the beach, not knowing what beach, and not knowing who I am, I see a colorful shell
lying on the sand. I
TAKE THE SHELL
and listen to it. I hear Lorne Greene narrating an ocean series.
"A-ha! Another clue to my identity! I must be on drugs!" I declare! Some palm trees stand off to my
right, so I try to climb them but have no success.
"Boy! Those natives make it look easier than it is. How to climb these palm trees is a mystery!" I blubber. "Great!
Another mystery! As if not knowing who I was or where I was or who tried to do something to me that
I can't remember wasn't enough! Now I need to solve the mystery of climbing trees! I sigh and
toward the hut.
My house? Maybe?
I stand before a primitive, badly deteriorated hut. "Hello?" I call. "Am I home?" I yell, thinking
that maybe this is my own house. But nobody answers so either it doesn't belong to me or I'm not in. I don't see
a door on the hut and, using broad generalizations I learned from watching tv for hours in my youth (I'm guessing,
since I'm speaking American and Americans love television. I don't think I'm speaking English because, unlike that
Emerald Isle game, I've yet to use too many 'u's or say something like 'cor' or 'blimey'. Although I'm not very
far into the mystery, so maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. Which only supports my theory that I've learned to judge
everything in broad generalizations!), I'm guessing the natives won't have a lock on the door or a door even. I
ENTER THE HUT.
This hut needs a better interior decorator.
It seems the old hut has been abandoned for a long time. It is filled with the coarse, musty smell of old
straw. Nothing in the barrel and, trying to lift it, I find it is much too heavy. "If only I
had eaten my spinach like my mother had said," I think. "Oh, hey! I had a mother! Closer to the truth!" Nothing
on the table and it's firmly attached to the floor. "I never know when I'll meet a mule or a horse," I realize
GET THE STRAW
by stripping some off the hut wall. The hammock looks pretty secure but I don't think I should be taking
a break just yet, so I head out of the hut through the opening to
and explore more of the island.
A camouflauge boat!
I wander off to the
where an old dory lies broken and faded in the sand. It seems I wasn't the first
tourist on this beach! "Although," I argue with myself, "perhaps this dory belongs to me! Perhaps I am the first
tourist!" I inspect the boat quite closely and see it is obviously quite old. Its frame of rotten wood and
rusted steel is all that remains. "Well, I don't think I'm obviously quite old, so it probably isn't my
boat. Although I haven't found a mirror yet! My hands don't look old
since when I look at them,
I see nothing unusual. That must mean they don't look old!"
I'm not able to salvage anything from the boat. But that doesn't mean I can't! It might just mean I don't know the
names of things on boats! Stupid text adventures. I mean, stupid amnesia! I
and further into the island.
I hope those aren't snakes. I bet they're snakes.
I enter the clearing of a small jungle oasis. It is strangely quiet, and overgrown with vines and ferns. The
quiet must be strange because it was so noisy in all of the other
areas I've been on the island. I just hadn't realized
it until now. I reach up, convinced I'm going to be killed by a snake, and
TAKE A VINE.
I manage to get a nice, long, strong vine. Whew! That was a good chance for a lonely programmer to really
pull one over on me. I notice some monkeys playing in the trees quietly. They're far too nimble to be caught and
I only tangle myself in the vine when I try to lasso one of them. "Stupid monkeys!" I yell and run to the
before they can start throwing horrible things at me. "Stupid boat!" I yell and kick it as I run by. A large hunk
of steel falls off, so I
TAKE THE STEEL
and run to the
I don't want to go north past the hut yet because of the helpful sign posted there by somebody. Probably me but
it could have been that other tourist that I may or may not believe exists.
It's the number one killer in jungle island adventures!
A way around the quicksand probably exists but how would I know about it? I'm an Amnesiack! So I head back
to see if I'd missed anything and realize that the beach extends further to the
from the place I first found myself. The island dead-ended at a steep rocky cliff. Interesting. How an
island can 'dead-end'.
Coffin Rock by Candy Cane Mountain!
I happen upon a large, firmly planted rock sitting atop the cliff. "That's a subtle hint!" I take a
look over the edge of the cliff. "That's a long way down!" I parlay with myself. Talking to yourself
when you don't know who you are isn't crazy! It's informative. I notice there seems to be a cave at the
base of the cliff! Hmm. Cave? Firmly planted rock? Vine? Idea! I
TIE THE VINE TO THE ROCK
and throw one end over the edge. I don't want to worry about losing my grip on the way down, so I
of my stuff before I climb
Is this MC Escher Island? I was at sea level when I started and then climbed down a cliff just east
of there and am again at sea level!
I'm now outside a rocky cave. I'm glad I remember the adjective 'rocky' and the noun 'cave' or I wouldn't have any
idea what I was looking at! I wonder what sort of stuff I've forgotten? I hope I remember that I'm a famous writer
and have published several dozen books! Maybe I should just
ENTER THE CAVE
and stop dreaming about the wonderful person I probably really am. Who wants to be a castaway forever? Not me or Tom
Hanks! Whoever that is!
Rock strewn? Hardly!
Inside, the cave is cool, damp and rock strewn. Who would build a hut near a field of quicksand when this
lovely cave is sitting here just waiting to be lived in? Now I know I didn't make that hut because I would have built
it in here!
I decide I'm going to need everything I can possibly find to survive my island amnesia, so I
TAKE A ROCK,
selecting a small one from the rubble. Pirates are fond of deserted islands and caves, so maybe they stashed
a treasure here? I
and discover a map! Boy, what stupid pirates! They buried the map instead of the treasure! How are they ever going
to find the treasure now? I
TAKE THE MAP and
to exit the cave.
I climb back
the vine. Taking a rest on the rock, I sit back and think of Angel. But, apparently, I haven't got time for
that, you pervert. I am not a pervert, I argue back at the me that must remember who I am and has decided
I'm a pervert and scolded me for wanting to enjoy some me time! Okay then! I don't have time to stop! So I
UNTIE THE VINE,
of my stuff, and
Back at the beach, I take a long
LOOK AT THE OCEAN
and notice a ship sailing along the horizon. "Hey! Help me! HELP!" I yell and jump and wave but the dumb sailors or
pirates or planewreck survivors don't notice me. Oh well! Let's see what my map looks like?
These must have been Sumerian Pirates!
It looks like I follow these directions from the hut! So I head
to the hut and consult my map again. From here, I go
Lost in the mountains! Where's Hurley?
Level 9, I hope you saw this game back in 1985 and fired your artists!
The map has led me to another beach! This time, however, an old steamer trunk lies half-buried in the
EXAMINE THE TRUNK
and see inside is a bottle of rum! Exactly what I need! A stiff drink! I guess the pirates left their
treasure unburied and buried their map instead. I
TAKE THE RUM
and read the label to make sure it's a good vintage! (Does rum have a vintage? I don't know! I don't know lots of
stuff! Normally I do, but not now because I'm handicapped with memory loss!) The label reads "We will sell no
rum before its time." That's a good policy! I head back to the beach by following the map backwards, going
I've gathered everything I could find on this island unless there was some secret passage through the stupid
quicksand fields. Nothing left to do but get the attention of that ship! A signal fire should do the trick and
it's a good thing I still remember how to make one from the time I was a Weeblow Scout! Or maybe the time I
used to beat up Weeblow Scouts. Or the time I learned how to make a fire by jealously watching the kids who were
allowed to join the Weeblow Scouts. Wow, I wish I could remember something about myself. So, I take my straw and
put it in a little pile, building it up like a little teepee. Or wigwam, if teepee is offensive. And then I
BANG THE STEEL ON THE ROCK
and the sparks fly, lighting my little miniature teepee (or wigwam!) into a huge conflascture! Or, um, is that the
right word? I would probably know, normally, but seeing as how some big jerk hit me on the head and left me on an
island to die, I'm a bit out of sorts.
As the fire burns, the ship offshore sees it and launches a rowing boat. When the rowing boat arrives, the
captain, an old sea dog, says, "We don't take no passengers fer free, bud."
It's a merman on a giant banana to the rescue!
I once again resort to my knowledge of clichés and
GIVE THE RUM TO THE CAPTAIN
as the payment he is expecting. Since all seamen are pirates and pirates are drunks, he accepts it as payment and
says, "Ahh... now that's the ticket, ehh mate?!? Come on aboard." The captain takes me to his ship which is
an old pirate schooner, circa 1890. A gangplank juts out from the starboard side.
Hee hee. Gangplank.
"Well, I have a fair passing knowledge of pirate ships across the centuries, apparently! Maybe I'm a professor of
Nautickal Studies living in Paris and having much sex with the sexy female students! I also hope the captain isn't
one of them sea buggerers! Not that there's anything wrong with pirates having relations with other pirates since
mermaids don't really exist!"
I stroll out onto the gangplank and watch the rolling waves and feel the cold sting of ocean spray.
Compare this ocean to Emerald Isle's Ocean!
I guess I should wait until we make port before taking the gangplank. I head back onto the boat and walk
toward the bow. Or the stern.
It's a starboardhole!
Why would pirates pick up an unknown castaway? It couldn't have been just for the rum? Perhaps they recognized
my face and realized I'm a great actor or wealthy businessman or super hot male model? Or, most probable, they've
seen my face on the back of about a million book jackets! Maybe I write Educkational Pirate Romantick Fiction! Let's see....
Davey Jones in Sweet Hilly High
One day, Davey Jones didn't show up for pirate school.
"Oy!" lambasted his naval studies teacher who was extremely sexy even though she was wearing glasses to show she
was smart and had her hair up to show she was a virgin. "I wonder why poor, handsome Davey Jones is not in class
"Ahoy, missus Devillicus," smarted Nerdbeard. "I hear he has the scurvy."
"Oh, that is terrible. He must have a deficiency of ascorbick acid which is required for the synthesis of collagen!" she
explained in a way that would get the educational grant money needed to publish the story. "There is only one cure
for that and it is a very sexy cure!" She took off her glasses and flung her hair around her head in slow motion. "Now
come up to the board and do a word problem, Nerdbeard," parlayed Missus Devillicus as she left to go cure Davey Jones.
Nerdbeard could not get up from his seat for a very sexy reason that I imagine all of the female readers are picturing
in their heads, causing them to feel romantick.
Meanwhile, Davey Jones coughed.
Missus Devillicus drove her pirate ship to Davey Jones's House. She tried to parallel park it but ran up on the curb the
way all women do, even pirate women! Unless that is sexist and then she didn't have to parallel park because there was room
in the driveway and she did that correctly. She hopped out of the sailor's cockpit and unbuttoned the top button on her
frilly pirate dress shirt. This made her lusty cleavage pop out like two big oranges stuffed in a pirate top.
"Ohhhhh," she moaned in a way that meant she had a funny feeling in her lower tummy. If girls feel sexy differently, the
editor can change that to make it more scientifickally accurate although I think I've got it pretty close to the correct
technickal terms. But not too technickal! This is supposed to be romantickal also!
Davey Jones kicked the blankets off of him because he was burning up with Scurvy Fever just as Missus Devillicus busted
open his bedroom door. He was naked!
"Oh my!" she drooled and took his sword up in both hands. "Did you get this from your father?" she cooed as she swung it
above her head. It was silver and had a jade hilt.
"Yes, that is where I received that, matey!" he boasted as he jumped up and kissed her in the face.
"Oh that is such the way I like it!" She festooned her keelhauls right onto his gangplanks as he rigged her topsails with
his lanyard. "Oh! Oh!" she said in the way women say it when they aren't faking gratifacktion from the doing its and are
"My scurvy is cured!" praised Davey Jones before he fell asleep from the really hot scurvy curing they had just done.
"I love you, Davey Jones! Arr!" commented Missus Devillicus. Also, he had something in his locker or something.
Yep! That must be it! I'm a writer of pirate fiction! Happily knowing more about myself, I entered into the
belowish decks of the pirate ship through the door to the
Entering the sick bay, I came face to face with the ship's curmudgeonly surgeon.
What's he going to cure with that wrench?
A-ha! A doctor! I'm sure there is a quick and easy cure for memory loss so I chat him up a bit. He starts off
with, "That is a nasty gash on your head." Interesting! I didn't even know my head hurt. I wonder if he
can give me a bit of a tune-up but all he says is "I'm an authority on brain injuries. You might have
heard of me."
"Well, yeah, I might have heard of you! The great pirate doctor brain expert! Too bad I can't remember anything.
You know, you remind me of this gnome I once met who went on and on about how great a digger he was but would
he dig? No. No he wouldn't. And you're such a great head doctor, fix me up? Well?" I wait and wait and wait
but he does nothing but sit their grinning and clutching his wrench. Wanker, I think as I also decide maybe I'm
British and moved to America in my earlier years to be influenced by television. I sigh and head further into the bowels
of the ship to the
The tiny man on the shelf isn't threatening at all.
I've stumbled upon the crew's place but these scurvy characters call it home. I wasn't invited. Does that mean
these scurvy characters aren't actually the crew? I try talking to them but they just stare at me. Perhaps they don't
speak English? Or maybe they're a bunch of dimwitted morons? I hope they didn't hear that. I just ignore their
threatening glances and try to head further south into the ship. The man won't let me pass.
Oh, really? THE MAN? Who does he think he is? I look him over closely. The man looks pretty tough... a definite
trouble maker. Well, if he wants trouble, I'll give him trouble! I ball up my fist and
PUNCH THE MAN
in the face. But apparently my amnesia is affecting my motor skills because instead
I find myself kicking the leader
in the chest. I break four of his ribs (which must mean I'm a doctor if I can tell that with just my foot!).
The crew slinks back in fear, cowed by my fighting prowess. Their quarters are my quarters.
Where'd the little guy on the shelf go?
"That'll teach you, mateys!" I growl and head
into the galley.
I'm not so sure the artist was trying at this point.
Amongst the raw fish and cooking pot, I spot a meat-cleaver. I
TAKE THE CLEAVER
and cook a little fish stew. The fish is better raw than the way I cook it. Leaving it all behind (since I don't
want to make the chef angry, apparently), I head back
It really smells awful under the decks of the ship with the unwashed pirates and who knows what nasty business they're
up to and the fish cooking and the sick bay full of sickness so I hurry up
to get back into the fresh air. I stroll
onto the bow of the pirate ship
onto the Poop Deck where the Captain is captaining the ship. I try to start up a conversation with the
drunk bastard and he says, "Don't bother me, the Royal Navy is near. I can't stop the boat to let you
"Let me off where?" I wonder. What a blow-hard! I continue to wander around the ship, heading
WEST and then
SOUTH and then
No hands on deck!
I find myself on the port side of the ship next to the lifeboat. The boat isn't seaworthy. It couldn't
save lives in a bathtub. However, there is an old sheet of canvas inside. I
TAKE THE CANVAS
and decide to
I double up the canvas and throw it across my shoulders. I look pretty silly. But I'm sure there will
be a reason to wear it like this sometime in the future. There has to be! Wrapped in my new clothing, I continue
to explore the boat by going
where I end up on the ship's stern next to a barnacle-encrusted anchor tethered to a rusty winch.
"Well, can't stop to let me off, hunh, Captain? I'll show you!" I try to lower the anchor but the winch is
locked in place with a chain. No problem! I
CUT THE CHAIN WITH THE CLEAVER
and the winch spins, the anchor slips into the sea and the boat slows to a stop. Now's my chance to
get away by diving off the gangplank! I head
where I find a spyglass attached to the ship.
Another game with a telescope!
"Oh, I can waste a little time enjoying the sites," I decide. I glance through the telescope and see
the Royal Navy just off the starboard bow. My saviours! I rush
out onto the gangplank!
Is this the end of my lost journey?
At the end of the gangplank is the Royal Navy ship! I think I am British! They can take me home! I head
onto a waiting Royal Navy boat which takes me to the English Shore! Thus ends Part 1 of Mindshadow!
Go on to Part Two!