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Two years before The Insanity Circle and seven before Trading Punches, I re-discovered text adventure games (Interactive Fiction). I wrote Breath Pirates during a period of renewed excitement, although it was released while the 1997 competition was underway (it was not an entry); it didn't receive much feedback.
The premise is that something caused a decline in Earth's natural oxygen. As the air thins, survival is difficult. Oxygen becomes scarce, and this leads to a war. Breath Pirates was the introduction to a hypothetical trilogy called The Oxygen Wars, which was never written. This is an all-text MSDOS-based adventure game. At the time, I was very proud of it. Simplistic as it is in retrospect, I did far more in Breath Pirates than I had in my previous adventure games -- at the time, quite an achievement for me.
The Interactive Fiction I had played and written a decade earlier consisted of simple verb-noun games with rigid and unforgiving parsers. In fact, it may be a mistake to even apply the term to the games I wrote back in the late 1980s. If you are interested, check out my CoCo Quest website. If you own a TRS-80 CoCo 2, CoCo 3, or an emulator, you can even download .DSK files of my old games.
Breath Pirates is a short game, but because of the prehistoric (still rigid and generally unforgiving) parser design, it might seem very difficult (if not impossible) to solve -- despite suggestions to the contrary in the breath.doc text file. You can download the game .zip file here, and if you need it, view the solution here. Is it worth playing? For most people, probably not. But, there it is.
After some deliberation, I have posted the complete source code to Breath Pirates as a free download here. If you're going to do anything other than view/study and/or play it, please notify me. See the "source.txt" file for additional information. QuickBASIC 4.5 is necessary if you plan to re-compile it. I still retain the copyright and full rights to the game -- in other words, no putting your name on it and making it your own, and no changing it around and calling it a new game. The game itself (no source) is available below.
Download Breath Pirates HERE.