The Gostak: An Interofgan Halpock

Finally, here you are. At the delcot of tondam, where doshes deave. But the doshery lutt is crenned with glauds.
Glauds! How rorm it would be to pell back to the bewl and distunk them, distunk the whole delcot, let the drokes uncren them.
But you are the gostak. The gostak distims the doshes. And no glaud will vorl them from you.

This is the delcot of tondam, where gitches frike and duscats glake. Across from a tophthed curple, a gomway deaves to kiloff and kirf, gombing a samilen to its hoff. Crenned in the loff lutt are five glauds.

Play This Thing essay on the game.

The Gostak is a text adventure game by Carl Muckenhoupt in which most of the nouns and verbs are unknown and must be learned to play. Not only are the descriptions written in a strange language, but you must also enter your commands in this language. Basic interactive fiction commands like look, take and inventory are different and must be discovered during the game. Even the error messages and hints are written in the game’s language, and in fact if you’re familiar with the form of standard IF error messages are a potential source of hints.

Compounding matters, many of the nouns and verbs are not mere replacements for English versions but actually represent alien creatures and concepts that do not translate.

An easter egg for any James Thurber fans reading this. Try typing “Become warb.”

Crossposted from Metafilter thread #103029.

  1. Thanks for crossposting this, JHarris. I missed it on MeFi, but I caught this one in my RSS reader. As I said over on the blue, this may be my favorite game of all time, in any format. It’s the only IF that is impossible to do in any other format, and it twists my brain into such satisfying shapes.

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