by Infocom
(Grey box)

See, I'm not a nutball, it really does exist! Compare this capture from the back of the box with your own, notice the plastic stone is not mentioned at all here.

This had to have been from either a very early production run (before Infocom came up with the concept of the glow-in-dark stone) or a very late one (after Activision took over, ran out of stones, and cut costs by creating a different package instead of producing more). At any rate, this is far less common than the version that lists the stone.

Update: Collector Stuart Feldhamer recently obtained a copy of this package that didn't mention the stone but did include it. What's more, the stone was inside the sealed envelope! This pretty much blows both of my current theories out of the water. So now I'm trying to determine if the stone actually was included in all copies of this variant (as a surprise prop like the Lurking Horror centipede), or if Stuart's package is a fluke. My immediate suspicion, of course, was someone trying to build a complete package from parts, but if that's true, why'd they put the stone in the envelope? Outside is the norm, and besides the envelope is hard to open without inflicting permanent damage (although I have seen them opened with very little).

Update II: I've heard from another guy who found a stone in his no-stone box. One is a fluke, but now with two it's starting to look like a pattern. New theory is, the stone was included in all packages, but may have been left out of the contents list on this variant. Possibly this was intended as a fun surprise to the player (perhaps mimicking the game itself, in which the stone is given to the player without his/her knowledge). As the stone is a very misplaceable prop, it's more than likely the original owners of the copies I've seen had lost it.

I asked Brian Moriarty about the variation once but he wasn't involved in the packaging process and didn't recall this anomaly. Anyone else who has one of these, LMK what yours is like.


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