Infocom/Pyrites/Tunits (mild spoilers)

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Infocom/Pyrites/Tunits (mild spoilers)

Post by Geoduck on Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:17 am

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In reply to some October/November 2014 questions on the feedback box..

Yes, the full name of the now-defunct Polarite empire is a deliberate homage to Infocom's old Zork games. I enjoyed playing the games very much in my now-distant youth, and I have made previous references to them in the strip. One of the more major examples being that almost all the Forest Nomes (such as Nitfol, Frotz, Vezza, Umboz) are named after spells in the follow-up Enchanter series. There are no Grues in the Basement, fortunately, but unless the Woman of Mystery was being metaphorical here, creatures by that name do exist in the Mansionverse in some form.

Yes, people in "Mansionland", at least, use the words "pyrite" and "pyriter" instead of "pirate". This is because there is a place which goes by that name whose inhabitants have gained a reputation for engaging in said activity.

Tunits were named by me (not in-universe) after the Tuniits (AKA the Dorset culture), who were the ethnic group who occupied the Arctic regions of the real-world North America and Greenland before being displaced by the current Inuits; how exactly this happened is still a matter of debate, as the Inuits only have some vague legends saying what the Tuniits were like.
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Re: Infocom/Pyrites/Tunits (mild spoilers)

Post by Zixinus on Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:39 am

The only Zork games I ever finished was Grand Inquisitor. I played it more than once and still have the CDs.

I also played Return to Zork with its included walktrough (my brother got the boxed floppy version which fascinated me so I tried to play it). I even read trough the entire lore book.

Sometimes I flirt with trying to play the old MUDs too.

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Re: Infocom/Pyrites/Tunits (mild spoilers)

Post by Geoduck on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:04 am

The vintage ones are still worth playing if you can track down a copy. The adaption they did with Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the more readily available ones, but unfortunately it's not a good introduction as it's insanely difficult in places.
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Re: Infocom/Pyrites/Tunits (mild spoilers)

Post by Zixinus on Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:59 am

A question about the Polarites: I am only guessing by the appearance of them, but did Polarites have more advanced technology than their neighbors? Or at least more refined or more well-developed.

It would explain how they managed to make an underground kingdom. You need quite advanced technology to make that work, you need things to be self-sustaining much more and have to deal with issues that you just don't when you are in the open (for example, air circulation). It's also more resource-expensive which is kind of why we don't do them now. The best example I can think of is nuclear bunkers or nuclear silos (you need your nuke-launch facility to be safe at least as long as you can fire them). They are no longer functioning or have been repurpoused/sold as they are expensive to upkeep.

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Re: Infocom/Pyrites/Tunits (mild spoilers)

Post by Geoduck on Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:01 am

It's important to remember that before the Crash, "Mansionland" and other Human countries were rapidly approaching an early-twentieth-century level of tech, at least in the richer and more progressive cities. That said, yes, the Polarites were particularly sophisticated, powerful and early magic-users, which is why the Crash hit them so hard; they depended on it for everything. And yes again, they both pumped in fresh air from the surface, and used organic air-scrubbing systems/growths similar (but not identical) to the MoE's Tree. The Tree's creator, Linus, was partially inspired by third-hand reports/legends he heard about them.
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