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Telengard's Jewel-Encrusted Thrones

Apropos of nothing...

When my brothers Joshua, Jonathan, and I were younger and we had a Commodore 64 computer, we used to play a dungeon-adventure game called Telengard. In the game, you moved an adventurer through a dungeon looking to kill monsters and acquire treasure.

One of the things you might find on your travels was a jewel-encrusted throne, and the text that popped up with the graphics on the screen read something as follows:

"You see a jewel-encrusted throne. Do you want to (s)it down, (r)ead some runes or (p)ry some jewels, or (i)gnore it?"

The thing is, when you encountered one of these thrones, the most recognizable musical theme from In The Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt would play. It so happened that the question on the screen scanned to the music, so the three of us would sing the song to the music each and every time before deciding what to do. And it got to the point where we would sing it away from the game so often that I even can do it today.

It turned out that gnomi played Telengard on an Apple IIe as she was growing up, and she used to sing the words to the music as well.

It never occurred to me to wonder, but now I do: did the person or people who programmed the game know that that music scanned? Is that why they chose it? To this day, do they know how much they ear-wormed those of us who played Telengard?

Or was it just an odd coincidence?


Okay, I'm trying to see how it scans:

You ---
See a jewel encrusted throne
Do you want
To sit down
Read some runes or pry some jewels
or i-ig-nore it?

Something like that? I can't get the "or ignore it" to fit quite right. If I were actually trying to get it to scan, I think I'd write the last part as "or (l)eave the throne alone?"

December 2016

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