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Infocom Suspended

Suspended is an interactive fiction game published by Infocom. It belonged to the science fiction genre, set in a futuristic facility that had suffered catastrophic damage and that the player had to repair in order to win. The game had an unusual approach built into its mechanics; rather than being free to move about and interact with the game world directly, the main viewpoint character spent the entire game in a state of suspended animation[?] (hence the title) and could only interact by controlling the actions of a number of robot surrogates. Each robot had its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and would describe the same rooms and objects in completely different terms based upon those specializations. The robots were:

  • Iris - with the best visual acuity, Iris can see things that none of the other robots can.
  • Whiz - the most technical robot, good for interfacing with and controlling other equipment.
  • Waldo - the most capable physical manipulator (The term "Waldo[?]" was originally coined by Robert A. Heinlein to describe teleoperated robots).
  • Auda - Auda has the best audio receptors
  • Poet - A diagnostic robot, Poet can sense patterns and information flows.
  • Sensa - Sensa is specialized for examining objects directly.

So, for example, Auda would describe a room primarily in terms of the sounds being generated there, Poet would describe it in terms of diagnostics of the equipment there (and phrase it in amusingly metaphorical language), and Iris would provide a visually-oriented description. All six of the robots could be given orders in conjunction, and some of the challenges the player faced required that several of the robots work together to solve them.

There was also a seventh robot, an all-purpose multifunction repair robot named Fred, who spent the entirety of the game broken and could not be fixed.



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