Monday, 17 December 2012

Game 27: Emmanuelle - Introduction


I had approximately .0047 seconds to get this screenshot. Fortunately I built my luck attribute up during Hero's Quest!

What better way to follow up Hero’s Quest, by far the best game I’ve played for the blog so far, than to continue on to a little known French game called Emmanuelle: A Game of Eroticism. I mean, how bad can that possibly be!? Apparently pretty bad! I’m going to do what I always do though, which is to give every game a fair chance to impress me, no matter how disastrous the general opinion is out there on the interwebz. Even if it does turn out to be utter shit, at least the research involved in bringing you this introduction post has been educational. To get to the origin of the game, I’ve had to go all the way back to 1959!


The Book: Emmanuelle's parents were a little concerned at the craft she brought home for the fridge

That was the year a book called Emmanuelle was published in France. It had no author listed, and was covertly distributed due to the very sexual nature of its contents. Despite this underground treatment, Emmanuelle was popular enough to gain further releases, and these editions did have an author splashed across the front. Emmanuelle Arsan! This turned out to be nothing more than a non-de-plume, and by the time the book was translated into English in 1971, it was revealed that a woman by the name of Marayat Rollet-Andriane was the kinky mind behind it all. Finally, as if all of that secrecy and misinformation wasn’t enough, it was later revealed that it was in fact Marayat’s husband Louis-Jacques Rollet-Andriane that wrote the whole thing!!!


The Film: "X was never like this": No...it was much bigger and quite readable before.

What made Emmanuelle so controversial that no-one dared put their name to it? Well, the story follows a sexually adventurous woman that has a series of erotic affairs with men and women. Like Fifty Shades of Grey, Emmanuelle clearly scratched an itch for many women of the day, so much so that it was turned into a film in 1974. The film starred Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel in the title role, and really pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on screen at the time. The movie contains many “sex scenes, skinny dipping, masturbation, the Mile High Club, rape, and a scene in which a dancer lights a cigarette and puffs it with her vagina”. It remains one of the most successful French movies of all time, with around 300 million people having watched it!


Hmmmm...tell me you're not tempted to watch this now!

We now move forward fifteen years to another French woman named Muriel Tramis. After obtaining a scientific baccalaureate at the age of 16, Muriel decided to follow her passion for games and try her hand at making them. She followed a training course at Coktel Vision and immediately began designing her own games for the company, including Méwilo (an adventure game) and Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness (an action strategy hybrid). Eventually Muriel would be known as the French Roberta Williams, and her early adventure games would have very distinct themes and features, including the use of female protagonists and mildly erotic scenes (Geisha, Fascination and Emmanuelle). She would go on to design very successful adventure games that I’ll eventually get to on the playlist, including the first three Gobliiins games, Lost in Time and The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble.


Now here's a game that I'm actually looking forward to. Maybe Muriel's not all that bad!

But I’m getting ahead of myself there. It’s Emmanuelle that I’ll be playing over the next few days! It was originally released in 1989 for Amiga, Atari ST and DOS, with the latter supporting EGA, CGA and monochrome graphics. I’ve downloaded a copy and will be playing the EGA version, which apparently has no mouse support. I’ve also found a copy of the manual, although it’s a text only version (if anyone can find a PDF copy or any with images, I’ll pay CAPs for it). The manual does give some advice on how to play the game, but I’ll cover that off as I get going. In the meantime, I will leave you with the manual’s introduction, which should give you a feel for what we’re all in for!

“Rio, its beaches, its women, its carnival, its potent eroticism! Now I've landed here, I have to find Emmanuelle. I have to get on the plane with her when she flies back to Europe. I don't have much choice; to attract her to me, I must increase my "erotic potential" by applying the rules of the "three laws of eroticism" which Mario will dictate to me. When I've found out where he is, in this vast country of Brazil.... Here we go! This sweet languishing which is travelling up my spine will make my brain boil if I don't get myself organised right now. Let's get a few things settled before this ambient eroticism starts taking me over.”

Sadly, I'm certain this cover would have sold heaps of copies!
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've recently written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. As this is an introduction post, it's an opportunity for readers to bet 10 points (only if they already have them) that I won't be able to solve a puzzle unassisted (see below for an example). If you get it right I will reward you with 60 points in return (it's going to keep going up until someone beats me)! It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game.

From now on voters should pick whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw, which I'm yet to figure out the form of (we'll cross that bridge when we get there).

Example Bet:
Nf n puvyq V ybfg zl zhz
Zl grrantr lrnef ner zhpu zber sha
Fbyivat zlfgrevrf, pncghevat pebbxf
Va nqiragher tnzrf naq fgnpxf bs obbxf

Jub nz V? 20 PNCf sbe gur svefg pbeerpg nafjre.

Extra Note: Once again, Lars-Erik will gift the next readily available game on the list to the reader that correctly predicts what score I will give this game. So, if you predict the right score (or are closest), you will get 10 CAPs and a copy of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade from Steam! Good luck!

45 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Same sentiments here :) I actually read the books a lot while young (apparently I have a thing for redhaired female detectives...).

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    2. On closer thinking, Ynhen Obj fits the riddle quite well also (except the "stacks" part..).

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    3. Even living in Australia I'm too late. Of course it was posted at my bed time

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    4. TBD is correct!!! I gave a very generous 20 CAPs for this in celebration of women in the adventure game industry (ie. Muriel Tramis and Nancy Drew).

      Well done. The next one won't be so easy.

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  2. I think I'll guess 27, because that's what most of the French games have got :)

    This time I'll issue a multiple challenge to Trickster:

    Can you find a) the judo master, b) mayor of a city and c) Mario?

    You might need luck in discovering all of these, as some of the events are randomised.

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  3. I'm going to guess a 28, presumably french games improve over the years LOL

    Actually, I arrived at 28 by making guesses as to where each score will come out.
    PISSED = 3 2 2 3 4 3. These are VERY low scores; nearly all of which are a full standard deviation below the mean (two of them are above 1.5 standard deviations from the mean!).

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  4. I tried the thing, 20. The Amiga version could be better (?).

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  5. Trick, I have a PDF manual for the game in German, but it's pretty barebone. All text and no images.

    As for the score, I'll go with 29. C'mon French designers, don't disappoint me now.

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  6. Also, all the Sierra 'Quest' games are on sale today. King, Space, Police, and Glory, all for $20. http://www.gog.com/promo/quest_for_sierra_bundle

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    1. I cannot believe that. I bought them all yesterday at 50% off. If I had waited just one more day I could have gou 75% off. I could have bought Longest Journey too then I am quite miffed about now.

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    2. I did that in a Steam sale once. But then realised I was happy to pay for the game at the price I bought it for and was okay with it.

      Tip for big online sales with daily deals...

      Buy nothing that isn't on a daily deal until the end of the sale if you don't want to risk missing out on a bigger discount.

      It's particularly relevant to Steam sales but now Gog seem to have joined the party.

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  7. Wild guess for a final rating of... 26.

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  8. I'm going to guess 10.
    I'm sorry Trickster. Also I notice you didn't take off any CAPS from me for playing this. Did someone else pay the full freight?

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    Replies
    1. 10? wow, you're scrapping the bottom of the drawer here... it can't be so bad can it?

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    2. Ugh. I thought I was being harsh and yet again I end up on the upper tier of the predictions?

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    3. That IS equal to the lowest score Trickster has given out. I...have read a review of it already, and I regret backing this one. I suspect I'll be too low, but not by much.

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  9. Hey, I'm finally able to come back and comment in time on the blog! I was drown in work these days and was able to read your updates only once every two weeks or so... I'm still quite busy, so I won't play along again on this one (and not at all because it seems terrible...) but I have to try to get back to my beloved place in the leaderboard!

    So my bet is 25. I'm only playing for the CAPs because I already have Indy 3, but I do need the CAPs ;)

    And I'm sorry for my country as for the quality of the games produced so far... I promise it gets better eventually ;)

    And it is "nom de plume", not "non de plume" ;)

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    Replies
    1. Would have it been better without a pen?

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    2. Oh, and welcome back Alfred. Glad to see you're still around.

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    3. Thanks Zenic! Glad to be back... and just in time for Emmanuelle also... cool... good games are overrated, forget Hero's quest and Monkey Island, bring me Emmanuelle and Geisha...

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  10. Okay. 31 because I've guessed too low for the past few games and am too lazy to read about the game to give me any real sense of how good it is.

    Come on game, be not absolutely terrible. ~Throw rock at Emmanuelle~

    That's the last time I throw stuff at stuff, I promise.

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  11. I'll guess 27. It's 3-cubed after all.

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  12. Score: 23.

    Somehow I doubt it'll challenge Leisure Suit Larry for the best "adult" themed game that you've played so far!

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  13. I've spent the last few days scouring this (and the CRPG Addict)'s blog whilst bored at work. So, 27 rating, and a bet that you won't be able to 'maximise your erotic potential' to 100%... I just read the manual, and even that made me think that getting to the 'required' 75% would be a chore equal to trimming your toenails with a bowie knife.

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  14. Um...help! Ilmari?

    I can start the game, but I have no sound and everything is running a million miles an hour. Basically if I click on anyone, I'm subjected to heaps of options flicking at me and whichever one is selected when I press enter is the one that goes ahead.

    I'm off to play around with the DOSBOX settings, but if anyone knows the best way to run the game, there are CAPs on offer.

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  15. I've figured out that if I move the cursor around the option will stay still, allowing me to read it. I then stop moving the cursor for half a second until the next option comes up, then start moving it again.

    It's letting me play the game, but that's going to get old really quickly.

    There's a name listed on the title screen that apparently created music for the game, so I'm not sure why I can't get any.

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  16. I've just tried the game in DOSBOX 0.58 (since the DOSBOX site says the game is compatible with that version. It runs a little slower, but it's still pretty painful. I have to time pressing enter exactly or I choose an option I didn't mean to.

    I'm going to stop for the night and wait to see if anyone has a solution to this problem. Thanks in advance for any help!

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    Replies
    1. I countered the speed problem with dialogues also. I just lowered the DosBox cycles with Ctrl-F11, until the options ran slow enough - then it became frustrating to wait for the right answer, but it was still better. If any tech wizards know a better solution, I'd also like to hear it.

      Curiously, at airports the game uses a much better method for choosing the dialogue options.

      Never heard any music, at most some beeps. It could be that music was made only for Amiga and ST versions.

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    2. To avoid having to Ctrl-F11 each time you load up, I think a good default for old games is cycles=3000 in Dosbox, if you're comfortable editing the dosbox.conf file.

      Should serve you well for most games for the next few years I'd think and avoid some of the timing issues some games have on modern CPUs.

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    3. "Sound definitiv nicht vorhanden" says a contemporary DOS review, so I guess my assumption was right.

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    4. Forgot to mention I'd also always use the latest Dosbox version unless there's a specific problem for that game.

      Saying it's supported in 0.58 often just means nobody's bothered to try running it in the latest version and post their results to the website and/or whoever tested in 0.58 had lower standards of 'supported' than whoever tested in a later version.

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  17. It's been a few days... I wonder if Trickster is having fun with Emmanuelle. Ahem.

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    1. Hopefully he's just taking a break from the game for a few days... I'd hate to read from morning's paper that a famous Australian adventure game blogger went through a mental breakdown due to an overdose of a notorious French erotic game.

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  18. I've played "Geisha" too! Damn... what kind of trashy adventure games was I playing in my preteens!? Anyway, it was shit too. But, still an adventure game.

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    1. How long does Trickster have to dread that one coming up for?

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    2. Thankfully he(we) don't, as it's a 1990 game and the list for 1990 is locked already. Yay?

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  19. If you want to torture yourself, but not taint your computer with this game, Archive.org lets you stream it from https://archive.org/details/msdos_Emmanuelle_1989

    It doesn't let you save though, which probably won't matter as no sane person would play it all the way through.

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  20. Erotic potential sounds awfully homeopathic...

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