Nord & Bert
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• Author: Jeff O'Neill
• Released: 1987
• Genre: Interactive Short Stories
• Difficulty: Expert

Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It is different from any other Infocom story you may have seen. Rather than being one long story, it's a collection of eight short stories, or scenarios. Each of the eight stories involves some sort of punning, wordplay, or verbal trickery.

The people and items you meet in one scenario won't appear in another, and so each story is played independently of the others. However, to get into the scenario called Meet the Mayor, you need to know seven passwords. You get one password everytime you complete one of the other seven scenarios. You can play these other seven scenarios in any order.

Nord and Bert also differs from other Infocom stories in that no mapping is needed, and you won't use compass directions to move from one place to another. Instead, the status line (at the top of your screen) will tell you what places you can go next. For example, the status line might say something like this:

You can go: Barn, Stable, Field

Just type the name of the place you want to go and press the RETURN (or ENTER) key; in this case, you can just type BARN or STABLE or FIELD.

Another new feature of Nord and Bert is the inclusion of hints. If you ever get stuck, you can type HINT and press the RETURN (or ENTER) key. Then follow the instructions on your screen. Hints are organized by subject: so if you are stuck on a problem which involves a hat, look for hints under the word "hat."

Nord and Bert also has a new way of examining objects. You can examine an object in any of the stories just by typing the name of the object. For instance, to look at a trash compactor, you can type LOOK AT THE COMPACTOR or, more simply, COMPACTOR. Of course, you also might want to LOOK INSIDE or OPEN THE COMPACTOR.

To solve some of the short stories, you will need to "transform" some objects into other objects by using hormonyms or "spoonerisms." (Hormonyms are different words that sound the same, like "bare" and "bear"; spoonerisms are words with sounds transposed, like "blowing grade" and "growing blade.") For example:

There are some lunching mobsters here.


With guns and butter, but without missing a mouthful, the lunching mobsters around the table become munching lobsters.


A tuft of hair rocks gently in the breeze. The hair twitches.


A cute brown hare hops toward you, nose and tail twitching.

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