battlestar — a tropical adventure game


[-r ] [saved-file ]


is an adventure game in the classic style. However, it's slightly less of a puzzle and more a game of exploration. There are a few magical words in the game, but on the whole, simple English should suffice to make one's desires understandable to the parser.

The setting

In the days before the darkness came, when battlestars ruled the heavens...
Three He made and gave them to His daughters,
Beautiful nymphs, the goddesses of the waters.
One to bring good luck and simple feats of wonder,
Two to wash the lands and churn the waves asunder,
Three to rule the world and purge the skies with thunder.

In those times great wizards were known and their powers were beyond belief. They could take any object from thin air, and, uttering the word `su' could disappear.

In those times men were known for their lust for gold and desire to wear fine weapons. Swords and coats of mail were fashioned that could withstand a laser blast.

But when the darkness fell, the rightful reigns were toppled. Swords and helms and heads of state went rolling across the grass. The entire fleet of battlestars was reduced to a single ship.

Sample commands

take    ---     take an object
drop    ---     drop an object
wear    ---     wear an object you are holding
draw    ---     carry an object you are wearing
put on  ---     take an object and wear it
take off --     draw an object and drop it
throw  <object> <direction>
!       <shell esc>

Implied objects

>-: take watermelon
>-: eat
>-: take knife and sword and apple, drop all
>-: get

Notice that the "shadow" of the next word stays around if you want to take advantage of it. That is, saying "take knife" and then "drop" will drop the knife you just took.

Score & inven

The two commands ``score'' and ``inven'' will print out your current status in the game.

Saving a game

The command ``save'' will save your game in a file called .Bstar in your home directory by default. You can recover a saved game by using the -r option when you start up the game, or by giving the name of the saved file as an argument. Save files will be saved to and restored from your home directory unless a path is specified - i.e., ``battlestar -r savedgame '' will look for savedgame in your home directory, but ``battlestar -r ./savedgame '' will look in the current directory. ``battlestar -r '' will look for the default file, .Bstar in your home directory.


The compass directions N, S, E, and W can be used if you have a compass. If you don't have a compass, you'll have to say R, L, A, or B, which stand for Right, Left, Ahead, and Back. Directions printed in room descriptions are always printed in R, L, A, and B relative directions.


I wrote Battlestar in 1979 in order to experiment with the niceties of the C Language. Most interesting things that happen in the game are hardwired into the code, so don't send me any hate mail about it! Instead, enjoy art for art's sake!


An David Riggle

Inspiration & assistance

Chris Guthrie
Peter Da Silva
Kevin Brown
Edward Wang
Ken Arnold & Company



Fan mail

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