80s Apple IIc Video Game... with rabbits?
January 26, 2022 4:57 AM   Subscribe

In the 80s I played a text-based game on the Apple IIC that featured items called "lapin" (the french word for "rabbit"), I think they were a food item, not animals running around. Any other aged MeFis recall this game?

This Wikipedia list has brought back a lot of of memories but not this specific answer. For reference, other games I played included Lemonade Stand, Dino Eggs, Transylvania, Odyssey: A Compleat Adventure, and my favorite, Aztec. None of these have rabbits, much less "lapins." This Wikipedia list has brought back a lot of of memories but no lapins! Oh, and the game was NOT in French and had no other french references IIRC.
posted by nkknkk to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would venture it was almost certainly Telarium/Spinnaker's Below the Root, part of their Windham Classics adaptation line. The game itself was a sequel to Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green-Sky Trilogy, and "lapans" were both a food source and a mobile creature (in a way which is true to the books: the omnivorous Erdlings could both eat lapans and value them as living beasts, while the vegetarian Kindar were horrified by the idea of eating flesh; if playing a Kindar character in the game, eating a roast lapan would make your stats worse instead of better). I'm not sure if the game itself ever referred to the living rabbit-like creatures as "lapans" (or their monkeylike compatriots as "simas"), but if you read the books it's clear that's what they are.

It wasn't a text game, though; it had the standard apple 40×4 text window below the graphics view, and it had a lot of text in it.

It was a very interesting game for its time. It had a wide-open world, a fairly nonlinear solution structure (you had to acquire several skills and tools to win, but no particular order for visiting key locations was mandated), and explicitly pacifistic mechanics (late in the game, you acquire a means to kill, or at least violently neutralize, other entites. Using it against malicious people or dangerous animals can simplify travel, but it comes with a massive, massive penalty to your skills).
posted by jackbishop at 5:41 AM on January 26 [6 favorites]

You might use the search option on myabandonware.com for possible games. I put in "lapin" and came up with 9 results, but don't know which one (if any) might be your game.

In case jackbishop has the answer above, let me just plug that myabandonware is awesome for playing all those old games that you maybe didn't have access to as a kid!
posted by El_Marto at 5:46 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]

Came back to fix the broken link above for myabandoneware and to comment that Below the Root is playable within a browser.
posted by El_Marto at 8:18 AM on January 26 [2 favorites]

The Apple ][ version is also on archive.org but doesn't seem to work in the online MAME emulator, probably because it requires a disk change. You could probably run it on a desktop emulator app, though.
posted by credulous at 8:37 AM on January 26

Response by poster: I am pretty sure it was not Below the Root. I have no recollection of any of those graphics or plot lines at all. I feel like I would know it if I saw it even after lo these many years! And it's not any of those 9 on myabandonware's search either .... so this question is still open!
posted by nkknkk at 9:08 AM on January 26

Best answer: If you don't have any luck here, /r/tipofmyjoystick may be able to help.
posted by xedrik at 8:23 AM on January 28

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