MugScan Hat

In this issue we take a look at one of the most professionally written of the multi-user games, Trash. Trash is fun and competitive. Read on then get on-line and play this great game.

MugScan presents Trash

An Interdimensional Romp

Trash is written by programmer Matthew Ward (aka Ambushbug) and incorporates his very own sense of humour to provide a totally unique feel to the gameplay and landscape in a MUG. As he says "Where else could you grow your own spaceship, meet fire-breathing cabbages, teach machinery to hum in tune, cause pink blancmange to rain from the sky, clamber through a giant statue and drive around in an inflatable hovercar while clearing up rubbish?"


You are a Pandimensional Refuse Disposal Officer and it is your job to clean-up the Multiverse. Your duties include travelling to the various worlds, dimensions and generally strange places to gather up all the trash, garbage, rubbish and other worthless items you may find. You must then take them back to the Central Trash Complex to be completely disintegrated in an Atomic Furnace. You travel between the various areas, worlds and realms using stepping disks which can be found all over the Multi-verse - the technology used to fashion these stepping disks is of course too complex for anyone to fathom but, as long as they work, who cares?


In the far future, long after the people of Earth had conquered their waste problem and rendered the planet green and beautiful, an interdimensional research scientist was studying a strange Multiverse he had found in a little used corner of unreality. The Multiverse was filled with small dimensions, each of which seemed to have some strange and different environment within its confines. At first nobody was particularly interested in this discovery, but after a few years of study the scientist announced that the entropic levels of this localised Multiverse were increasing at such a rate that it would not be long before they started to affect the rest of unreality to an unacceptable degree! There was only one thing that could be done. A dimensional stability generator was insinuated into the Multiverse where it opened up a new dimension which it could keep safe and stable for all of eternity. Trash Control was set up in this dimension and it was from here that volunteers set out to clear the Multiverse of its Trash and thus save the whole of unreality from an entropic catastrophe.

A number of fascinating lands exist and as far as anyone can determine at the moment they are Shades of a Land, Heavy Citadel of Metal, The Starship Wontarise, Caverns and Cabbages, Realm of the Weavers, Herddfielsud Town and the Pyramid of Tutan. Naturally you aren't expected to do this unpleasant and dangerous task for nothing! Every item has a Trash-rating and you will be paid an equivalent amount in credits for every item that you destroy (for example a gold bar will have a very low T-rating, while a bag of rotten kippers will have a very high T-rating). Credits can be spent on various items including restoring physical stamina, recharging psionic powers and buying useful items from the General Store.


Money isn't everything though! As you wander through the Multiverse, you will come across various tasks, the completion of which will cause you to gain Promotional Prospects. You start off with 0% and when you reach 100% (or more) you will automatically be promoted to the next level. Unfortunately you need to be promoted eleven times before you can relax and give up Trash collecting, though the higher levels are granted extra powers to enable them to do their duties easier.


Trash is designed to appeal to all types of players, from the more serious role-playing aficionados to people who enjoy solving puzzles to those who merely want to drop into a game for a chat and a fun time. The role-playing is catered for by the system of psionic power usage. You may choose which powers you wlsh to increase and use. If you wanted to be mean and nasty, you could increase your Pyrokinesis and Telekinesis the most and use these to annoy people. Alternatively if you wanted to be kind and gentle, you could work on your Faith-Healing power to help people. And if you wanted to be an all-rounder you could increase all powers although not to the same power level as someone who concentrates on just one or two. There are plenty of puzzles throughout the game and these are in fact vital if you wish to go up levels. Solving a puzzle will grant you some Promotional Prospects and when these reach one hundred percent (or in some cases, higher) you will be promoted and given the opportunity to increase your psionic powers.

The puzzles range from easy to incredibly annoyingly difficult, though high level players will find that the easy puzzles become worthless to them! This ensures that high level players won't complete all the puzzles before any lower levels get to them. It also means that if you wish to reach the highest level (Lord of Lady), you will need to complete the majority of puzzles in the game, instead of just doing a few easy ones, over and over again as happens in some MUGs. The game's humour is always evident. In room descriptions, items that you find, strange creatures that might try and eat you and horrifyingly ricliculous ways to die! Trash is not a game to be taken seriously, unless you want to. Anything and everything may happen within the game and though there is always a certain logic in the background it may not be easy to find.

On the whole, Trash is designed so that people can have fun, either by role-playing or just relaxing and getting into the mood of things. You will have to have a MicroNet subscription to play Trash as it runs on Prestel.

Richard A. Bartle (
21st January 1999: cnfoct90.htm