Dallas (again, for those of you who missed the '80s) was the interminable soap opera about a bunch of rich people scheming, manipulating, and sexing each other somewhere in the state of Texas (it's not clear which city). By 1984, the show had become popular enough that it was time for the next logical step: being turned into a text adventure for the Commodore 64.
This team would later make Melrose Place: Search for the Sapphire Scorpion for Super Nintendo.
Although Dallas Quest's title screen seems to promise a J.R. Ewing-centric acid trip, you don't actually control him or any other Dallas character in this game: You're a random private detective tasked with finding a map that leads to a rich oil field in South America, which you mostly accomplish by hanging out with bizarre animals. Like this giant 3-foot-tall rat that you bump into when you walk into a barn to get a shovel.
Sadly, typing "play a better game" does nothing.
What is this mutant abomination doing in the non-science fiction world of a CBS soap opera? You won't have much time to ponder this question, because if you take too long to solve this puzzle, the rat tears your goddamn throat out.
"You then wake up in a shower with Patrick Duffy."
So how are you supposed to get the shovel? Why, by putting some sunglasses on an owl and then having it eat the rat. Duh. The game is full of inexplicable animal interactions like that -- there are multiple puzzles where the answer is "give drugs to an ape." Which is great and all, but what the fuck does this have to do with Dallas?
If you give the cheetah some cocaine, it will let you ride it to the next checkpoint.
And here's the weirdest one: While floating on a riverboat, a bunch of hippos (who have somehow been transplanted from Africa) overturn your boat. In order to escape, you must blow a bugle to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" with "such deep feeling" that a turtle stops what it's doing to save your life. That is literally what happens.
"You and the monkey then recreate the kiss from From Here to Eternity on the beach as the tortoise watches. THE END"
Of course, with a Dallas revival currently on the air, a Dallas Quest sequel is inevitable. We're thinking it's going be something like Mass Effect, but with even weirder sex scenes.
Check out more from Chris at Laffington.com or his Twittery thing.
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Related Reading: Not baffled enough by the crazy shit some people will program? Check out the madness that is Bomberman: Act Zero. And while you're at it, check out this headfuck of a Dr. Mario commercial. Oh, by the way- Super Mario Bros was almost a shooter.