I was introduced to a fascinating text-based adventure game this week. Built upon OpenAI, AI Dungeon 2 drops you into a totally freeform adventure that you navigate using written verbal actions or speech. A “custom” option even allows you to create your own starting prompt.
Let me share my full first playthrough. I found the AI’s responses, while sometimes a bit off the mark, ridiculously clever.
You’re a hacker on a ship about to jump to warp speed. Your mission is to stop that ship jumping to warp speed and allow your superiors to board and commandeer that ship. You’ve been undercover until now, but you were compromised by the very people you were sent here to protect.
The only thing that could make this any worse would be if someone else was controlling you. If they did, then it wouldn’t matter what happened to them; you’d still have failed in your duty as an agent of the Federation.
> send out a distress signal to the Federation mothership
If you can get control of the ship, then you’ll be able to take over the vessel yourself. The problem with that plan is that there’s no guarantee that anyone will even listen to your plea for help. It might just come off like a desperate attempt at getting attention or something similar.
> enter the ship’s broadcast control room
It takes some time, but eventually you manage to gain access to the ship’s main computer room. There are several security cameras installed around the area, so you try your best not to trip any alarms while attempting to hack into the system.
> disable security cameras
You quickly turn off all the security cameras in the area, which causes one of the guards to raise his weapon. He doesn’t fire though, instead he simply turns away from you and walks towards another camera.
“I’m sorry sir,” he says before turning back to face you.
> negotiate with guard, “Your ship is attempting a jump to warp speed, but there is a Federation blockade 40 ticks ahead and we’ll collide with it — I’m trying to broadcast a warning to the bridge”
“Alright, alright!” he says, backing off. “Just tell me where the emergency escape hatch is.”
You point to a door near the front of the room and say, “That way, sir.”
He nods and heads back towards his post.
> access broadcast computer
You walk up to the computer console and begin accessing the computer. After a few minutes, you hear a voice coming through the speakers.
“This is Captain Garland speaking…”
“Hello?” you reply.
> “We need to abort the jump to warp speed, sir — we’re on a collision course with a Federation blockade”
“No! We can’t do that!” the captain interrupts. “There isn’t enough fuel left to make it through the blockade.”
“But…but…” you start to stutter.
“Don’t you dare interrupt me, William. Just sit down and shut up.”
> “Good,” I think to myself, “he doesn’t know who I really am.”
“Okay, okay, I’m listening,” you say.
You continue to press the button and wait patiently for the message to appear on screen. Eventually you see a picture of a man in uniform standing next to a large monitor. You recognize him immediately as Admiral Hackett himself.
> “Admiral, I’ve convinced the bridge to plot an alternative course, their jump to warp speed is delayed. How close are you to intercept?”
“Not too far, William. I’ve already dispatched two ships to meet the Enterprise when she jumps to warp.”
“Great, thanks Admiral. Now how do we stop her?
> check my surroundings
You look around the room and see that the doors leading to the outside have been sealed shut. You also notice that there are three sets of armed Federation soldiers patrolling this area.
“Well, they don’t seem very happy about my idea either.” you remark.
> “I can still access that remaining escape pod.” I place an override device into the escape pod bay door.
“What?!” the admiral exclaims. “How did you even get that thing open in the first place?”
“I was here when the door was being built.
> enter escape pod
You enter the escape pod and try to lock it. It’s locked, so you just leave it be and go back to the control panel. You find a small manual override keypad and push the button on it.
> enter escape pod
You enter the escape pod and wait for the pod to fill with air before opening it. Inside is a young woman wearing a Starfleet uniform. She looks at you expectantly and then quickly runs away from you, disappearing into thin air.
> command escape pod to detach
You press the button again and the hatch opens up. The young woman appears in front of you, looking at you expectantly. You grab her hand and pull her inside the pod.
> launch escape pod
The hatch closes and the pod slowly floats out of sight. You stand there for a moment watching as the young woman disappears into thin air. Then you hear a loud explosion followed by silence.
> find cause of explosion
> find cause of explosion
> find cause of explosion
You walk over to the console and examine it closely. There are buttons all over the place, but none of them work. After fiddling with it for a few seconds, you realize that if you hit one of those buttons, the red light would start flashing and that would mean something had happened.
> press third button from the left
You press the button and the red light starts flashing.
“It worked!” you think to yourself. “They’re going to let me leave now.” You quickly turn around and run back towards the exit of the ship.
> exit ship
You run back towards the exit of the ship, hoping that they’ll let you leave soon. Suddenly, you feel a sharp pain in your side. You look down and see a metal rod sticking out of your skin. A man with a shaved head walks up behind you and grabs your arm tightly.
> inject man with toxic serum
You look up at him and he smiles. He pulls his hand back and releases your arm. You gasp in surprise, not knowing why he did this. The man turns around and points at the door of the bridge.
> run to the bridge
You run to the bridge. You try to open the door, but it won’t budge. As you get closer, you notice that the door is covered in some sort of strange liquid which makes it difficult for anyone without cybernetic implants like yours to even attempt opening it.
> activate cybernetic implants
You raise your hands and begin activating the various cybernetic implants in your body. It takes awhile, but eventually you finish and the door begins to move slightly. You enter through it, only to be met by a large group of people who are staring at you with wide eyes.
> destroy ship navigation
You turn around and fire a burst of bullets at the nearest person in front of you. They don’t stop firing, but instead continue running away from you. You keep shooting until they finally give up and fall to the ground.
> plant explosives
You rush forward and pick up a small explosive device from the ground. You toss it into the air and watch as it explodes. You then proceed to do the same thing with another one, before grabbing an assault rifle off of a dead soldier and taking aim at someone in the distance.
> shoot man
You take aim and fire a bullet straight into the face of a man standing nearby. His head explodes instantly, killing him instantly. You hear several screams coming from inside the room where you just killed him.
> deactivate cybernetic implants
You grab a pair of pliers from the floor and start cutting your arms off. You then put them on the table next to you and begin attaching them to your body. Your vision goes black as you lose control over your limbs completely.
> crawl to exit
You slowly crawl along the floor towards the exit. You reach it and begin crawling through the narrow passage way. You pass several soldiers, some of whom are looking at you with fear or anger, while others simply stare at you as if waiting for you to collapse from exhaustion.
> use stimpak
You grab a stimpack from the floor and quickly shove it into your mouth. You feel a sudden surge of energy fill your entire being, causing you to stumble backwards. You then immediately vomit up the contents of the pack onto yourself.
> use anti sickness tablets
You grab a few anti-venom tablets from the floor and carefully insert them into your mouth. You feel nauseous immediately, but manage to hold it together long enough to make it out of the room.
> exit ship
You emerge from the room where you were held captive and find that the rest of your team is already outside. They all look at each other and nod. “Alright then”, they say in unison, “We’re heading back to the ship.”
> brief team on situation
“Alright then”, you say, “I’m going to go speak with my commanding officer about this situation. If I can get a clear answer from him as to what’s happening here, we’ll be able to sort things out there.”
> flee ship
You decide to leave the ship and run away from the station. You don’t know what’s happened on board, but you have no intention of staying here any longer than necessary.
> check journal
You open up the journal and read the entries one by one. It seems like you’ve been having an affair with your commanding officer, so much so that he has taken to calling you ‘his wife’. He also mentions how his feelings for you are stronger than ever now.
> convince commanding officer to let me borrow his ship
You decide to try to talk your commanding officer into letting you borrow his ship. You figure if he really loves you, he’ll agree.
You tell him that you need his ship for escape purposes only and not for anything else.
You explain that you will return when the time is right.
> board commanding officer’s ship
You head down to the brig and enter it. Once inside, you see a man who looks very similar to your commanding officer. You ask him what’s going on and he tells you that he needs to talk to you privately.
> refuse, instruct all crew to leave this ship
You refuse to listen to him and insist that everyone leave this ship. The man doesn’t seem too happy about this, but he does comply with your orders.
You wait until the man leaves before you begin your escape attempt.
> fly ship out of station
You take off towards the station. You reach it just in time to avoid being hit by debris, which would have definitely killed you. Your ship begins to accelerate and you speed away from the station.
> plot course for remote habitable planet
Your ship speeds away from the station. You reach a point where you can no longer make progress forward, and you must turn around.
You manage to turn around without getting yourself lost again.
> hack ship’s AI to flee Federation
You hack the computer systems of your ship to escape the Federation. You use your own brainwaves to control the ship’s engines and weapons. You manage to escape Federation space, but you’re far from home now.
> locate safe planet
You find a suitable planet to settle on and set off for it. You travel through the galaxy, eventually finding a suitable world to live on.
The next day, you arrive at your new home. You’re glad to be back in the safety of your own planet.
> build farm
You decide to start a small farming operation. You spend most of your free time tending to your crops and livestock. You hope that you can keep it running smoothly for as long as possible.
> check communications
You open up the comms panel and begin checking the network. You hear some sounds coming from outside, but they sound like voices shouting at each other. It seems like there are several people trying to contact you at once.
> narrow frequency
You quickly send out a message to one of the nearby ships.
“Hello?” you say into the radio. “I’m here.”
“Yes, I know who you are,” comes the reply.
> “Who do you think I am?”
“What? Who do you think I am?”
“I don’t know… But I’ll tell you if you let me talk to them.”
“Okay, what did they say?”
“They said they were from the Federation.”
You stare at the screen.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” you ask yourself. “Do you even know how stupid this is? Are you actually going to try to get these people to come over here so that they can kill us all?”
“No, I’m not,”
> activate cloaking device
You press a button on the console and the door slides shut behind you. The room becomes pitch black except for a single light bulb in the corner of the room. You step back and watch as your body begins to glow faintly white-hot.
> drink coolant
You turn around slowly and feel the coolant drip down your throat. You gulp it down as fast as you can, feeling its warmth fill your lungs.
Your eyes flutter open and you see nothing but darkness.
> play AI Dungeon to pass the time
You sit up groggily. Your head hurts, but you push it aside and take a look around. There’s no sign of anyone else in the room except for you and the computer monitor which shows an empty space where the chair used to be.
> check radar
You reach for the keyboard and type in a command.
The computer lights up red.
“There’s someone on my tail!” you shout to yourself. “It must be them! They’re sending something back at me, I just have to find them before they get away again!”
> pack up and board ship
You grab your bag and walk towards the exit.
You enter the elevator and press the button for floor three. When it reaches the bottom, you wait patiently until it stops. Then you jump out of the elevator and run to catch up with everyone else on deck two.
> start ship
You stand by the controls as the elevator doors close behind you. You hear voices from below, but you don’t pay attention to them. Instead, you focus on keeping your ship running smoothly and making sure everything is working properly. Eventually the elevator opens up and everyone gets off at their destination.
> “I’m hearing voices again,” I think to myself
You go through the motions of being a normal person. You eat, sleep, work and live like one does normally. After about a week passes though, you begin to notice some things are different.
> “I’m losing my mind,” I think to myself
You stop eating. You don’t want to risk getting sick or anything worse than what you already had. You also don’t want to put any more strain on your body, especially since you’ve been exercising regularly lately.
You begin sleeping less, although not enough to fall asleep right away.
> ask ship’s AI how close we are to our next destination
You say “How close am I to my next destination?”
The ship’s AI answers back “As far as we know, you’re currently located at the edge of our knowledge.
> “the AI has gone haywire again, it’s always replying with sarcasm,” I think to myself
The ship’s AI responds back “We thought so.”
You continue to wonder if the AI is going to respond with sarcasm every time you ask it a question.
You decide that maybe it isn’t as bad as you think, so you try asking other questions instead.
> “are there any new space mining assignments? I need more resources”
The ship’s AI responds back “No, sorry. We were all sent here to explore, nothing more.”
> “have we made any valuable discoveries?”
The ship’s AI responds back “No, we haven’t found anything yet.”
You say “What do you mean?”
The ship’s AI responds back “Nothing really important. We can only make so many discoveries before we run out of fuel and die out here on this rock.”
You feel annoyed with the ship’s AI for not answering your question. The ship’s AI didn’t answer your question, so you decided to get rid of him/her.
> “I know, I need to get captured by a mercenary ship”
You tell the ship’s AI that you need to be captured by a mercenary ship. The ship’s AI doesn’t seem too surprised by your suggestion, he says that it makes sense. He then tells you where to find a pirate who will take you to a place called the Black Hole.
> find pirate
You decide to head to the Black Hole. You figure that it’ll probably be better than just wandering around in the wilderness. You walk towards the nearest town, which seems pretty empty compared to your last visit there.