Rockpapershotgun, and Horace, the endless tech.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com

RPS is down. Or maybe replaced. Instead, there is a text adventure game there:

503 – Service Unavailable
An Interactive Fiction by Horace The Endless Server Technician
Release 1 / Serial number 110707 / Inform 7 build 6E72 (I6/v6.31 lib 6/12N)

HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>refresh
That’s not a verb I recognise.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>go north
You can’t go that way.

>go south
You can’t go that way.

>go s
You can’t go that way.

>go up
You can’t go that way.

>sleep
You aren’t feeling especially drowsy.

>eat
What do you want to eat?

>eat shoes
You can’t see any such thing.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>eat cast,e
You can’t see any such thing.

>eat jim
(first taking Jim)
I don’t suppose Jim would care for that.

>eat John
(first taking John)
I don’t suppose John would care for that.

>eat Tim
(first taking Tim)
I don’t suppose Tim would care for that.

>eat Alec
(first taking Alec)
I don’t suppose Alec would care for that.

>look at Alec
On closer inspection, Alec appears to be gluing bits of Warhammer 40k model armour to his shoulders and chest.

He picks up a plastic lascannon and tries it out on his left nipple.

>look Jim
His top hat and procedurally-generated facial hair gives him away in a second – this is Jim Rossignol, wordsmith and crazed steampunk inventor.

Jim is hunched over an opening in the Castle Shotgun walls, from which various wires are trailing. There is the occasional spark and fizz as he rummages around.

>look John
John sits hunched over on a stone at the foot of Castle Shotgun’s walls, head in hands groaning to himself. There are several empty rum bottles nearby, one of which appears to have an Asda logo on it.

>drink rum
You can’t see any such thing.

>look Tim
Tim is standing on a small outcrop, binoculars in one hand, looking out eastwards. Unfortunately, east of here is just the M4 corridor, but east is the direction heroes look in, as evidenced by his stony glare.
He takes a deep breath. “I love the smell of Bath in the morning.”

>talk Tim
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>pickup Tim
That’s not a verb I recognise.

>pick up tim
I don’t suppose Tim would care for that.

>talk alec
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>look alec
On closer inspection, Alec appears to be gluing bits of Warhammer 40k model armour to his shoulders and chest.

Alec clears his throat and tests out his Librarian imitation. It’s not bad.

>help
That’s not a verb I recognise.

>die
That’s not a verb I recognise.

>kill
What do you want to kill?

>kill Alec
Violence isn’t the answer to this one.

>kill Jim
Violence isn’t the answer to this one.

>Kill seld
You can’t see any such thing.

>Kill self
Violence isn’t the answer to this one.

>kill me
Violence isn’t the answer to this one.

>talk me
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>talk to jim
Jim doesn’t take his head out of the hole in the wall. You hear him muttering to himself.

“Yes, it must be the… no, unless it’s the… Hmm.”

>talk to john
John looks up. “Hmm? No, I didn’t lock us out. We’re just having a bit of trouble with Horace. We’ll have it working again in a tick.”

He resumes nursing his headache.

>talk horace
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>talk jogn
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>talk to john
John looks up. “Hmm? No, I didn’t lock us out. We’re just having a bit of trouble with Horace. We’ll have it working again in a tick.”

He resumes nursing his headache.

>talk to tim
You don’t feel like talking tactics right now, and Tim is looking rather intense at the moment.

>look tim
Tim is standing on a small outcrop, binoculars in one hand, looking out eastwards. Unfortunately, east of here is just the M4 corridor, but east is the direction heroes look in, as evidenced by his stony glare.
He pulls out a script from “Patton” and flicks through it, mouthing a few lines to himself.

>talk to alec
Alec seems a bit involved with sticking plastic armour to himself to reply. It’s probably best to leave him alone when he’s arming up, anyway.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>pick up magazines
They’re not yours to take, really. I’m sure no-one would mind you looking at them though.

>look at magazines
You grab a magazine at random. It’s the latest issue of Your Cat magazine! You’ve read this issue at least four times though, so you put it back.
You notice an old copy of Amiga Power in the pile.

>look at amiga power
An old copy of some obscure, arcane tome. The glyphs on the front are mysterious, and appealing.

>look at glyphs
You can’t see any such thing.

>read glyphs
You can’t see any such thing.

>read amiga power
An old copy of some obscure, arcane tome. The glyphs on the front are mysterious, and appealing.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>look at wall
You peek at the hole in the wall. There is a mess of wiring and tubes, and what appears to be the midriff of a particularly long animal. You peer down the inside of the wall in both directions, but see no evidence of legs or a head. Weird.

>look at wires
You can’t see any such thing.

>look at mess
You can’t see any such thing.

>look at tubes
You can’t see any such thing.

>look at animal
You can’t see any such thing.

>look at midriff
You can’t see any such thing.

>look at wall
You peek at the hole in the wall. There is a mess of wiring and tubes, and what appears to be the midriff of a particularly long animal. You peer down the inside of the wall in both directions, but see no evidence of legs or a head. Weird.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

>open gates
You can’t see any such thing.

>look at castle
You can’t see any such thing.

>look castle
You can’t see any such thing.

>look magazines
You pick up one of the magazines. It’s the latest issue of Guns And Conversation, John and Jim’s fanzine that they distribute around Bath. The cover story promises “Semi-autos and small talk” and an interview with a man who has invented a talking gun.
You notice an old copy of Amiga Power in the pile.

>pick up amiga power
You reach for the magazine, but as you touch it it disintegrates in front of your eyes. In its place are the feet of a man. That man is Kieron Gillen. He smiles down at you.

>talk kieron
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>look kieron
Kieron’s figure is hard to make out, as his very flesh appears to emanate a glowing white light. He floats approximately two inches off the ground, and is wearing glasses which, when peered into, appear to reflect visions of the future and past.
He still looks a bit like Jason Statham though.

>talk kieron
I didn’t understand that sentence.

>talk to kieron
You open your mouth but the words fail to come. Without speaking, Kieron’s voice echoes inside of your head. He mentions something about Thief. Everything is right with the world.

>look
HTTP Error
You are standing at the entrance to Castle Shotgun. The gates are securely locked, with an unappealing sign on the front. The sign reads “Whoops! RPS is having a bit of a wobbly. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon!”

To the left of the gates is a large opening in the wall, which Jim is leaning into. John is perched on a small rock nearby, while Alec and Tim are standing on the other side of the gates. A pile of magazines is scattered in a corner.

You can see Kieron, Jim, John, Tim, Alec and a Refresh Button here.

This is the most fun I’ve ever had on a 404 page.