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L: A Mathemagical Adventure (L_A_Mathemagical_Adventure.txt)

A note about the Easter egg in the 1984 text-adventure game

     L -- A Mathemagical Adventure

by The Association of Teachers of Mathematics 
for the 8-bit BBC Micro computer

This document was created by "ahope1" in February, 2015, and can be found at the Classic
Adventure Solutions Archive (CASA): http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C5360/

Document version 1.0


CONTENTS 

a. An Easter Egg in L
b. Walkthrough
c. Spoiler
d. Links


a. AN EASTER EGG IN L

The game "L -- A Mathemagical Adventure" is, for an educational text adventure, rather
long and rather complicated. A full -- or nearly full -- walkthrough is available at CASA. At least
one other walkthrough is also available online. (Links below.)

What most players and walkthroughs of L don't seem to realise, however, is that the game
conceals an Easter egg. This document reveals how to find that Easter egg and also tells you exactly
what the Easter egg actually is (in the Spoiler section, below).

The reason the Easter egg seems to have gone unnoticed is probably that you need to have access to
the original manual for the game to know that the Easter egg even exists. The manual is the one
place where you'll find a particular coded message printed across a double-page spread, and the
only way to discover that there's an Easter egg hidden in the game is to decode that message.

The manual for L was unavailable online until recently, when I, being mildly obsessed with the game,
acquired, scanned, and uploaded it as a PDF. (See the Links section, below.)

The encoded message printed in the manual is as follows:

&337 -$.=@ >*= />3$= \&!0 9$ >*= /3->* "!@> 3, >*= 5!8=

Note that there is a (deliberate?) typo in the message as it is printed in the original manual!


b. Walkthrough

The following walkthrough assumes that you've just begun a new game but haven't made any
moves yet. The walkthrough takes you through the process of decoding the message printed in the
original manual. 

Take care when typing in the walkthrough. Don't do it too quickly or you might miss the
appearance of a Drogo robot guard, which will capture you unless you defeat it by immediately typing
in the square root of the number emblazoned on its chest.

[Walkthrough begins]
IN
N
N
E
U
E
E
E
E
E
S
W
&337 -$.=@ >*= />3$= \&!0 9$ >*=
/3->* "!@> 3, >*= 5!8=
E
N
W
W
W
W
W
D
W
S
W
W
N
E
MOVE CHEST
D
N
E
E
E
S
S
S
GET SLAB
[Walkthrough ends]


c. Spoiler

If you follow the walkthrough above, up to and including the final command, GET SLAB, then you
should see the following message:

_>_>_>
The stone slab is very heavy but you can just lift it a few centimetres. Underneath it, a message
scratched in the mortar reads:-

"You'll be wondering why this adventure has the name L. For an explanation of this, and
for more ideas on how to get nowhere in an interesting way, write to MIME, ATM, Kings Chambers,
Queen Street, Derby DE1 3DA."
<_<_<_

And that's the Easter egg in L. A bit of a let-down, isn't it? ;-)


d. Links

This document can be found at the Classic Adventure Solutions Archive (CASA):
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C5360/

A walkthrough for L, written by Darren Izzard, is available at the address above. A different
walkthrough is available here:
http://www.8bs.com/othrdnld/manuals/game/L-solution.zip

The original manual for the BBC Micro version of L:
http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5224#p104554 

A disc-image of the game, suitable for playing in BBC Micro emulators, can be found at Stardot:
http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5224

BeebEm, the BBC Micro emulator, for Windows:
http://www.mkw.me.uk/beebem/
 
BeebEm, the BBC Micro emulator, for Mac:
http://www.g7jjf.com/beebemmac.htm

A beginner's guide to interactive fiction (or text-adventure games):
http://pr-if.org/doc/play-if-card/

Video playthroughs of L and other BBC Micro text adventures:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ahope1/playlists