Minnesota Twins - The Text Adventure

Note: This feature appears in the May issue of GameDay, on which Jesse served as the guest editor.  My thanks to him for the opportunity, and for not complaining when I turned in my usual nonsensical drivel.

If you were alive and computer-literate during the mid-1980s, you might remember text adventure games.  These were designed to provide mild entertainment without using graphics, sounds, or indeed anything at all that might be in any way visually stimulating.  Instead, you read line after line of descriptions of the room you happened to be standing in, while typing incredibly repetitive commands like “look at rock” and “get potion” and “go west” to progress. 

Inevitably, the game would require you to run around picking up objects and rubbing them against other objects and so on and so forth until you either unlocked the random combination the game designers had set for you, or (more likely) gave up and wandered outside in search of any diversion that didn’t involve being made to feel stupid by a game that repeatedly said to you, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that,” after you had typed something blindingly obvious like “dunk your stupid electronic head in a lake.”

Nowadays, of course, there are video games that simulate in realistic detail everything that happens on a baseball field - unhittable knuckleballs on a windy day, home runs off the facing of the upper deck, Prince Fielder’s ill-fitting uniform pants, etc.  But I find myself yearning for a simpler time - a time when graphics were non-existent and cheap laughs could be had by typing cuss words and watching a game admonish you to watch your mouth.  Which is why I’ve come up with the following simulated game - it’s the Minnesota Twins, in text adventure format.

Minnesota Twins - The Text Adventure

Greetings!  You are standing in a musty-smelling hallway, surrounded by concrete and outside a room marked "Home Locker Room."  Clearly, you're at the Metrodome.  As which Twin would you like to play the game?

> trade everyone immediately
I'm sorry, Mr. Smith - you’ve already completed this game. You may be looking for "Florida Marlins - The Text Adventure."

As which Twin would you like to play the game?

>nick punto
Congratulations!  You are Nick Punto!  Your advantages are speed, defense, and no reason to duck when returning to the dugout.  Your weaknesses include an aversion to first base.

Your first at-bat is upcoming.  You get a bat and head out into the batter’s box... and here’s the pitch! 

>swing
You have swung and missed. 

The set by the right-hander... and the pitch!

>swing
You have swung and missed again.  You step out of the batter’s box and briefly stare at the bat as if it is riddled with mysterious holes.  Some wag in the crowd behind you yells, “Don’t blame the bat for this!”

You have an 0-2 count.  The pitcher looks in for the sign, and delivers another pitch.

>close eyes and swing
Success!  You’ve actually made contact!  You’re running to first base... the shortstop is up with the ball... Looks like it’ll be a close play!

>run standing up through first base
I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

>run standing up through first base
I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

>sigh

>slide headfirst into first base

About time you figured this out... 

You slide headfirst into first base... and you’re out by three feet, yet again!  Luckily, you remain short and a middle infielder, so you’ll be staying on Ron Gardenhire’s roster.  But it might be best if you picked a different Twin as whom to play this game.

As which Twin would you like to play the game?

>alexi casilla
Try back when you’re older, bub.

As which Twin would you like to play the game?

>livan hernandez
Congratulations!  You are now Livan Hernandez!  Your strengths are - hey, is that a pie?  Mmm... pie...

It’s the fifth day, so you’ve taken the mound yet again - and worked into the seventh inning.  Unfortunately, there are now runners on the corners with two out - allow a hit here, and you’re sunk.  Better come up with a good pitch to throw to this guy.

>try to eat ball
No, Livan!  Throw it!

>throw fastball 95 mph
Ha!

>throw fastball 85 mph
Ha!

>throw curve 51 mph
You break off a pitch that curves some, but mostly is affected by gravity.  The ball approximates the trajectory of a pop fly.  Several players in the dugout wet themselves laughing.  The batter is laughing too hard to swing.  Luckily, the umpire is a more stolid soul, and manages to call strike three.  You’re out of the inning!

>go to Murray’s eat the big steak
You’ve been talking to Mr. Oliva, haven’t you?  Anyway, your turn in the rotation is over - it’d be best if you picked another Twin.

As which Twin would you like to play the game?

>carlos gomez
Congratulations!  You are Carlos Gomez!  You can run faster than anyone else on the team - even fast enough to outrun some of your mistakes.  As the leadoff hitter and center fielder, you must be disciplined... a word that, unfortunately, you have not yet learned.

It’s your first at-bat, and you have a 3-0 count.  Here’s the pitch... it’s looking to be a good two and a half feet outside...

>pull ball over left-field fence for super-awesome home run
You take a gigantic cut and miss strike one, which ends up going into the first-base dugout on the fly.  A glance into the home dugout shows that Joe Vavra is softly weeping.

The pitcher comes set again... and the pitch!

>sprint up line wildly while attempting to bunt
You get an early start - too early.  Not only do you step out of the batter’s box and miss the bunt, but the ball hits you in the butt and is declared strike two. 

You look into the dugout again.  Ron Gardenhire is holding a piece of cardboard that has “DO NOT BUNT” printed on it, in marker.  Scott Ullger, at third base, has given up on actual signs and is miming a swing.  You step back in... and here’s the pitch!

>bunt again

You lay down a perfect bunt.  You’re across first base before the third baseman can even pick up the ball.

Your rating is 5/5 - and you’ll have many more chances at this game.  Congratulations!

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