Issue(s): Questprobe #3
Michelinie is the best writer on an issue of Questprobe so far, and he at least goes beyond the basics and tries to introduce a sub-theme of "man vs. automation" on the Human Torch side. It's not all that interesting and mainly involves the Human Torch fighting the Baxter Building's (never before seen?) maintenance droids...
...but at least it's something. I wish Michelinie had instead put more effort into cleaning up the bio-gem story, but that plotline meanders along, probably because no one really knew where it was going yet. We do learn in this issue that Durgan "created" the Chief Examiner, which i guess means it's not just him with a fishbowl on his head.
The Chief Examiner is showing signs of the bio-gems manipulations, as he's torn between merely subduing She-Hulk and killing her.
The Thing side of the story fits neatly into the Thing's solo book (and this issue is drawn by Ron Wilson). Michelinie does manage to have the Thing attacked by a portrait of Alicia during the Chief Examiner's attack, which i guess counts as symbolism.
I never played this Questprobe game but in the lettercol for issue #2, the fact that in the FF game the user was going to be able to control two separate characters was touted as a big innovation.
I was amused by the fact that in the lettercol for this issue, it was explained to a letter writer that the games wouldn't be available for the Commodore Vic-20 because:
QUESTPROBE requires a computer with a minimum of 16k of memory to run. The standard Vic-20 has only 5k of memory.
This web page alone, not counting images, is 21k. The scans add another 781k.
It's also announced that Commodore has stopped selling the Questprobe games themselves and all purchases should go through Scott Adams' company Adventure International. Not a good sign. The next game in the series, featuring the X-Men, will never be completed as Adventure will go out of business. The corresponding comic, which takes place after Uncanny X-Men #201, will be published in Marvel Fanfare #33, but the storyline won't be wrapped up until years later in Quasar.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place between Thing #18-19, which also places it between Fantastic Four #273-274 since the Thing appears in FF #274 after Thing #19. Since it fits, i've placed it directly after Questprobe #2, although as we've seen with the gap between issues #1 and 2, it isn't necessary to do so.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Amazing Heroes #175 stated that the Questprobe games ended because"[AI] never upgraded its programming ability, and thus wound up standing still in an ever-evolving market".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | April 15, 2015 10:49 PM
This may be a huge scoop, but I actually played the Questprobe Hulk game in the 80s' as a child. As I recall, it was just a still image of Bruce Banner tied to a chair and you had to type in suggestions. I remember telling my Uncle all sorts of suggestions to no avail- I remember explicitly saying "Call Betty" as a last resort and the response popped up, "Don't know Betty" and so on and so forth until we just gave up out of boredom and defeat.
Posted by: Wis | October 19, 2017 6:36 AM
A couple of things that I tried were "slap yourself" or "punch yourself" to get you to get angry enough to turn into the Hulk.
Posted by: clyde | October 19, 2017 9:23 AM
The insane solution was "Bite lip".
Posted by: fnord12 | October 19, 2017 9:59 AM
I also played the Questprobe computer game on an old Apple 2E. I spent so much time going around in circles, getting nowhere.
Since nearly everything is on the internet, it makes sense that someone would post a walkthrough of the game explaining how you can win the darn thing...
Posted by: Ben Herman | October 19, 2017 12:25 PM
I too played the Hulk Questprobe game as a child. My best friend had it and was stuck and as I was a nut for text adventures I thought I could help him out. Ho ho. After hours of
You are tied to a chair and must escape!
and so on we gave up and wrote it off as a loss. I only hope the other games were better.
Posted by: Benway | November 3, 2017 9:47 PM
I'm so glad I didn't bite on the Questprobe game. There was a game I played on a Commodore VIC-20 where the player faced a dragon. After a frustrating 15 minutes or so of putting in useless two-word orders in, I got fed up and typed in "Fuck dragon". It came back with "Nothing happens". So the designers were obviously prepared for this eventuality. I would be curious if the poor soul playing this game ever got sick of it and resorted to profane statements like I did and what the answers were, if any.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | November 3, 2017 10:45 PM
The best in that regard was the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure, which was co-written by Douglas Adams and anticipated many common and even really stupid things people type in out of frustration and had proper responses. Even though it was also crazily hard, it was still fairly entertaining being stuck. Of course you could also 'Ask guide about..' at any time
Posted by: Benway | November 4, 2017 6:30 PM
If you used profanity while playing Zork, it simply replied something about uncouth language for such a brave adventurer.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 4, 2017 8:10 PM
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