Following the phenomenal success of William Gibson’s famous novel, it was inevitable that a computer game adaptation would emerge. Neuromancer was well received in 1989 and got good reviews. The setting and plot were based on the book, but with some differences.
More curiously, the developers, Interplay, put out a guide to the game, entitled Neuromancer Clue Book. This had a walkthrough in prose form, as told by a character from the novel, Dixie Flatline. So, like Ubik, could this expand on the content of the original book?
The first problem is that, in the novel, Dixie Flatline was dead. In fact, the character in the book was an artificial construct of the original hacker’s mind made from brain scans before he died. The game guide’s introduction also noted he was dead, but the main story was recorded when he was still alive. This presents a range of contradictions, as Dixie referred to characters and events from the novel, like Neuromancer, Wintermute and Armitage. There were also other AIs like Greystoke. At the end of the novella, all of the AIs were defeated by Dixie.
You could say that Wintermute et al may have still existed and that Dixie only stopped them from progressing in whatever plans they had. But the story in the game guide follows the events of the novel too closely and it’s clear that the two cannot take place at the same time.
Of course, it could all be a simulation created by one of the AIs for the Dixie Flatline construct...