Prisoner 2 for the Apple II

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Game description:

High-resolution graphics remake of the text-based adventure game inspired by the cult-classic British television show about a former spy who is abducted and sent to a resort-themed “prison” where his captors attempt to get him to reveal why he resigned from his classified job. The game takes place on “The Island,” where the player travels from building to building, each hosting a metaphorical quest in which the player’s creative thinking skills are tested. Players demonstrating individual thinking eventually gain access to the Island’s “Caretaker,” and their ensuing conversation (using a language parser) can lead to the player’s freedom.

What I think:

Well, it’s an okay game.

The levels are as different as they can get, but they can also be quite bland andor confusing to get into.


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  1. i got the prisoner to run. dl dos 3.3 and put it in the first drive. put the prisoner rom in the second. boot the first drive. input 'catalog, d2'. you should see a file labled pr.begin. input 'run pr.begin'.

  2. I recently learned about this game and tried playing it. However, that seems like a very difficult thing to do without a manual. I managed to figure out some commands myself, but I didn't get far. Is there any help you can give?

  3. Yeah. While you could scour user forums etc. for cheat notes (Boo!), I can offer at least one excellent assist for getting through it yourself.
    My emulator (AppleWin, I believe) has a CPU speed control. Use it to SPEED UP gameplay. Since many sequences are about tedious torture tests for the user (but fun ones?) you can remove most of the tedium by making keys as responsive as Tetris. Case in point the opening sequence in maze.
    THEN… rejoice in playing the most unique game for Apple II..ever!

  4. I have managed to figure out enough of the controls to play the game. I actually came across a website which holds scans of the original Prisoner 2 design documents, which has plenty of interesting information. For instance, at every new day there is a 1/20 chance that the Island will appear to be completely abandoned. I imagine remaking the game for Windows wouldn't be all that difficult with that documentation. I added a link to that on the game's Wikipedia page, if you are interested.

  5. Sure! Thanks in advance!
    As you said, the game was full of surprises. The idea was to take all conventions of gaming and stand them on their head, thus confusing the player at each turn (and, IMHO making it ten times as exciting).
    If you like games of mental hopscotch, this one is not for you. If, however, your idea of fun includes a carnival sideshow on peyote… well, come.

  6. To everyone: Yeah, even the 'instructions' aren't much help in sorting out the rules to this game. Half the game is either total ANARCHY (in the sense that rules get you nowhere) or just the weirdest kind of surrealist puzzle.
    This is why it's so GREAT. If you're among those who likes to just turn on a game, not read rules, and try to figure out the point by playing — this is the game for you. It not only punishes those who seek authority, it rewards guessing & intuition @ every turn.

  7. And as for Uncle Jesse: Yeah, the game's box terrified me for several years until I got the courage up to buy it (remember buying Apple II games?) It came from the era of sci-fi style art on game covers which both outclassed the graphics in the game by several multiples, but also (like here) had almost nothing to do with the game itself.
    I played the whole thing through waiting for the mannequin – punching – through – glass scene. Don't think it's in there.

  8. I know this may be a tall order, and require a whole whack of gameplay to get to, but: Please post the "nightclub", "gym", or "grail hall" sequences! Using the most elementary of graphics, they point to the future of PC interfaces & are like nothing else! Especially the incongruously found "PLUGH" as graffiti!

  9. I personally preferred the first version of the Prisoner game. The graphics were less colorful, but it felt more like the TV series in a bizarre way. Hopefully someone will post a video of that one sometime.

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