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Hollywood Hijinx

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Title Screen

Hollywood Hijinx

Developer: Infocom
Publisher: Infocom
Platforms: DOS, Mac OS Classic, Apple II, Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari ST
Released internationally: December 15, 1986

DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.

Hollywood Hijinx is a text-adventure game written by Dave Anderson, in which the main character (you) will inherit the estate of your Aunt Hildeguard, a Hollywood socialite, if you can find 10 treasures on her property before the next morning.

Debug Code

There was only one released version of the story file which contained a debug mode and special debugging command for the developers. The debug mode would display the arguments sent to the PERFORM function which calls the appropriate routine for the command given to the game. These arguments are the number corresponding to the verb given, the direct object, and indirect object if they exist. The special command allowed the developers to quickly jump to certain locations in the game without having to solve the in-game puzzles.

At the time of release, the only way to enter debug mode was by changing a certain default global variable value. Users could do this with a hex editor and set the 2-byte word at 232A to 0001. With this, every command will display

[PERFORM: verb number/direct object/indirect object]

To get the special debugging command, the user of the game has to be changed from the default blank value to DA (David Anderson, the game's author) or TOMAS (unknown). At the time of the game's release, the only way to change this was with a hex editor. ASCII values of the username were placed at locations 38 to 3C of the header of the story file. TOMAS is 54 4F 4D 41 53, while DA is 44 41. When the game starts up, the story file will recognize the DA or TOMAS username and set a special variable.

Now, the special debug command could be given:


This would transport the user to the "Work Room", which had the following description:

                   Cannon     |     Crawl Space North
                 Emplacement  |    /
                          |       |
            Boat Dock ----| Work  |----Heart of Maze
                          | Room  |
                         /    |    .
                        /     |     .
                    Attic  Upstairs  Bomb Shelter
                          Hall Middle

By going in any of the cardinal directions, you would be transported to the indicated location. Also, the game would automatically turn on your flashlight and give you a green match.