the return of Hack & Slash
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🔥 🌨️ 🌙 💫This Node.js port uses TypeScript from the GNU C edition
Original Amiga Hack & Slash enthusiasts can visit: Absinthe BBS by AnachronistPlay music below and change site settings Sound from "default" to "Allow"
off the lock icon in URL bar
This online game goes back to 1986 from one of the first BBSes we had in our state: The Roundtable. It was more of a social networking space for geeks rather than the pirated & public domain software files that were springing up. The TProBBS software was run on an Apple Ⅱ by Sir Richard in Coventry, Rhode Island off a dial-up 2400 baud modem. He was generous to keep it free all of the time.
I often played a Bard class: whenever in the dungeon and stumbled across a random scroll spell already in possession, the game mistakenly ADD-ed to the bit field instead of using a logical OR, which made for bad mathematical havoc to what was in my bag of tricks!
Sir Richard provided me with an opportunity to debug its code. After my patch, I uncovered other nifty, hidden surprises such as the Hero class to the sysop's delight. My reward was taking a hard-copy listing of the Apple BASIC source code as my starting point to port it to other machines. The journey began with this MS-DOS version (1991 - 1992) on an IBM XT with 512k RAM and two 5-1/4″ floppies.
Two of my brothers also enjoyed playing on this BBS for a while, but to say my father was fanatical over it is a bit understated. Over the next quarter century, I would be invested to listen to my father's game play improvement ideas, aka, crackpot, along with his paranoia rants on how much it was rigged against his approach to playing, aka, my entertainment. He wasn't wrong. I spent a lot of late night hours "lurking" over his tactics, because he had relentlessly went about looking for any logical bug to exploit with an added reward of smug satisfaction, aka, his entertainment.
The game between us was on
There are specific features and fixes that organically grew from each bout: negative wagering in the casino, the broken hands condition, his asks for newbies to start off as a Novice, an armor-spoiling bat, and favorite naval action: go fishing. He earned his nickname, long-shot Ronny, in the gambling casino with the reward of naming the dogs in Greyhound Racing.
I made subsequent ports of the BASIC code over to C: the Amiga ports (1992 - 1997 as a standalone BBS and a door) were a lot fancier over the original teletype interface. Then the Linux port (1999 - 2014) which allowed for Internet play. That 25-year development and playing span had run its course when my father dropped his cable modem subscription. So I took it down and later archived all the code.
In February 2016, my father was diagnosed with a terminal (not a pun) condition. During that time, I was learning Google's Node.js. After he had passed later that year in September, I decided to accelerate my personal Node.js journey by porting something I knew so well, and at the same time, resurrect this app in memory of that golden time of "home computing", the dial-up era, and that simpler time for entertainment. My "Happy hunting!" mantra is congruent with my father's love of his partial native American heritage: he dwells forever in the happy hunting grounds and his parting words he wrote to me were, "Color me gone fishin'."
I believe my father would have enjoyed this re-imagined version running on a tablet's browser over WiFi. I will have to learn how to write a bot next, and spawn two of them to roam about here as Imagination and Nobody.