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Old 01-18-2004, 12:23 AM   #1
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (game, book, movie)

Anyone played the old Infocom text adventure of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

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As the story begins, you are Arthur Dent, and a bulldozer is preparing to level your house even as an alien space fleet is preparing to level your planet. The incorrigible Mr. Adams has written new material and designed problems especially for this interactive story. So grab a pint of bitter and a couple for the road and join Ford Prefect, Trillian, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Marvin on a cosmic jaunt into the outer reaches where anything can -- and does -- happen. And don't forget your towel!



I think I might have to give it a go sometime soon. I think the first computer game I ever played (and finished) was Zork. Haven't played a text adventure in probably 15 years.

There's a JAVA version of the game on Douglasadams.com, but it doesn't have a savegame feature.

There are of course slightly less legal versions about with savegame enabled...

There are other Douglas Adams games out there, noteably Bureaucracy and a sort of interactive version of his book Last Chance to See and the univesally panned Starship Titanic. Might give Bureaucracy a whirl after I finish H2G2.



But what I really hope to use this thread for is discussion of the Hithhiker's Series, and more specifically the movie which is now in the casting stage.



Breaking news has Warwick "Wicket the Ewok" Davis as a certain android, and a prototype suit for him can be seen on this site.

But better yet, it was announced that the actor who plays the hapless Tim in the hilarious BBC sitcom The Office (as discussed elsewhere in this forum) has signed on to play Arthur Dent.

That's utterly brilliant news.




And for those who are scared that "they won't do the books justice", HHGG of course started life as a radio play, then became a book (series), and Douglas Adams himself had been trying to get a movie made for the last 10 years of his life. So he'd be happy it's finally been greenlighted after so many false starts. he wasn't a fan of the BBC series either, by the way).
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:23 AM   #2
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Re: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (game, book, movie)

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Originally posted by jp-30
[B]Anyone played the old Infocom text adventure of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?
Me! It is fiendishly difficult, but well worth playing! Just you wait until you try to get the Babel Fish. Oh man.

I think I got as far as the Heart of Gold and gave up. I am weak-willed...

Quote:
And for those who are scared that "they won't do the books justice", HHGG of course started life as a radio play, then became a book (series), and Douglas Adams himself had been trying to get a movie made for the last 10 years of his life. So he'd be happy it's finally been greenlighted after so many false starts.
The book and audio forms of HHGG are very similar, anyway - far more similar than a movie version can be, at least. The narration used to such great effect works just as well in either medium. As for "doing the books justice" (or, as you say, the original radio plays) - well, I think it will be more difficult than you make out. The narrator is the centrepiece of the originals, and I don't know how well he will relate to a film. After all, you have pictures, so is the narrator redundant? How do you slot in all these talky bits without bringing the 'action' to a grinding halt? Can't we make this movie a showcase for Industrial Light and Magic, please? It's worked so well in the past! I certainly wouldn't want to be the screenwriter or director charged with making the transition a success.

Having said that, I think they might just pull it off...

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he wasn't a fan of the BBC series either, by the way).
Where did you hear that? He made the thing!


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Old 01-18-2004, 05:05 AM   #3
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Re: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (game, book, movie)

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Originally posted by jp-30
There's a JAVA version of the game on Douglasadams.com, but it doesn't have a savegame feature.

There are of course slightly less legal versions about with savegame enabled...
The rest aside (I'm reserving judgement on the Movie until the script is leaked , you can just view-source on the Java version and find the location of the game datafile in the HTML source. Then just download it and play in your favorite Z-Code interpreter like FROTZ.

It's less illegal because they DID put it on their site *g*


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Old 01-18-2004, 05:07 AM   #4
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Re: Re: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (game, book, movie)

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Originally posted by Huz
Where did you hear that? He made the thing!
And was quite happy with it, by all accounts. Apart from the casting of Trillian in the TV series (something I wasn't particually happy with myself)


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Old 01-18-2004, 07:24 AM   #5
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Hmmm. I'm sure he was giving it [the BBC series] the big thumbs down in the collected writings & interviews half of "Salmon of Doubt".

I'll have to double check on that....

> The narrator is the centrepiece of the originals, and I don't know how well he will relate to a film

Voiceover, at a guess.

And according to the Douglas Adams FAQ, the movie screenplay was completed before Adams' death, so that's good news;

Quote:
What was he last working on?

The last things DNA was working on would be the feature film of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for which he had written the screenplay and was still searching for a way to get it made finally (see item 7).

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Old 01-18-2004, 11:28 AM   #6
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I think I played it on the Acorn or Atari ST a long time ago. I'll be interested in seeing how they do the film. The screenplay may have been written before his death but it won't have much to say about visuals etc. Do you know who's directing it?
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Old 01-18-2004, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by jp-30
Hmmm. I'm sure he was giving it [the BBC series] the big thumbs down in the collected writings & interviews half of "Salmon of Doubt".
I'd find that rather wierd, as he was extremely involved in creating it. He cameos in quite a few scenes as well, in one case stark naked. The HHGTTG DVD extras have a few interviews and I didn't really get the impression that he was too unhappy with it.

Quote:
The narrator is the centrepiece of the originals, and I don't know how well he will relate to a film

Voiceover, at a guess.
Yeah, presumably the same. The narrator in the series was actually cleverly placed as being The Guide itself, so I'd assume they will use the same trick for the movie.

Quote:
And according to the Douglas Adams FAQ, the movie screenplay was completed before Adams' death, so that's good news;
But how much of his actual script survives rewrites, or even if the movie currently in production uses that script at all, is quite unknown.


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Old 01-18-2004, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ender
I'd find that rather wierd, as he was extremely involved in creating it. He cameos in quite a few scenes as well, in one case stark naked. The HHGTTG DVD extras have a few interviews and I didn't really get the impression that he was too unhappy with it.
Ah, another DVD owner. I think Adams might have expressed disappointment that some aspects couldn't have been done a bit better - it was a typical 1980s BBC production, after all - but to say he "wasn't a fan" is a bit of stretch. One of the DVD extras has better video effects than the series itself - I'd be a little regretful too if I'd seen what could have been possible, had I waited a few years!

As for Trillian - it's worth noting that he admits on the DVD that he essentially cast her and told her to use her natural accent, regretting it later...!


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Old 01-18-2004, 08:05 PM   #9
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Well, "The Salmon of Doubt" is back at the Library, but I'll go find it at a bbokstore today and flick through it, and see if my memory serves me correctly.

I did find this quote from "Don't Panic" on the internet though;

Quote:
"The Hitchhiker television series was not a happy production. There was a personality clash between myself and the director. And between the cast and the director. And between the tea lady and the director...." - Douglas Adams, 1983 (Don't Panic, p.76)
I think it might be more elaborations on this theme that led me to conclude he wasn't happy with the series. Maybe he was happy with the finished product, just not the director... anyway, I'll follow up on this when I get the chance...
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:19 PM   #10
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Though a lot of the good narration will probably have to be lost for the movie, it's not that far fetched that some of Douglas Adams' voice can come through by way of the Guide itself, delivering witty exposition and useless tidbits throughout the movie. I mean, that's my hope at least. Its a good excuse to get in some proper Douglas Adams style voiceover without having to have a mystery narrator just butt in over the top of scenes...


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Old 01-19-2004, 06:33 PM   #11
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I've always wanted to read the Hitchhikers Guide, and although I'm ashamed to say it a movie would probably make me read it even more. One thing I do know, from seeing the tv series in parts, I think that Jack Davenport (Miles in This Life, Steve from Coupling - oh, and I think he was in some pirate film this summer too) would be a good lead.


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Old 01-19-2004, 08:43 PM   #12
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> would be a good lead.

Well, if reports are true, the guy who played "Tim" in The Office has got the lead (Arthur Dent).

That has made me very happy indeed.


Started with the old Infocom HHGG adventure last night. Damn it, I can't believe how many times I wound up dead (at pretty much the same spot every time). I thought to myself "Woah! But you never die in Infocom adventures", then I remembered that was utter nonsense, and it was LucasArts who wisely put that concept into their (non-Indy) adventure games.

The death and dying is putting me off. I also succumbed to an online hint when bricks from my house kept killing me about 12 moves into the game. Man, I've gone soft in my old age.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by LucasTones
I think that Jack Davenport (Miles in This Life, Steve from Coupling - oh, and I think he was in some pirate film this summer too) would be a good lead.
He irritates me >:(
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Old 01-29-2004, 08:52 PM   #14
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The Disney/Spyglass project begins shooting in April in London under director Garth Jennings. Adams, who died in 2001, adapted his novel for the screen. After his death, Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run) came aboard for a rewrite.

Let's hope Mr Kirkpatrick doesn't do very bad things to Adam's script.


Mos Def will play Ford Prefect, an alien disguising himself as an out-of-work actor who sets out on an intergalactic journey with his best friend, mild-mannered earthling Arthur Dent (Freeman). The duo hitch a ride through space with the two-headed president of the galaxy, the beautiful and brilliant scientist Trillion (Deschanel) and a depressed robot while on a quest to discover the meaning of life.



Arthur Dent



Ford Prefect



Trillian


Slartibartfast

marvin concept suit

And this crowd, shynola are doing the CGI animations for the guide itsef.
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Old 02-01-2004, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by jp-30
Mos Def will play Ford Prefect, an alien disguising himself as an out-of-work actor who sets out on an intergalactic journey with his best friend, mild-mannered earthling Arthur Dent (Freeman). The duo hitch a ride through space with the two-headed president of the galaxy, the beautiful and brilliant scientist Trillion (Deschanel) and a depressed robot while on a quest to discover the meaning of life.
I read earlier this week that Mos Def was going to star in this and I misinterpreted it to think that he was playing Arthur Dent. I was pissed the whole week because I thought that Martin Freeman had lost the role despite his obvious suitability for it. This news has absolutely made my day. All is right with the universe once more.
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