Friday, 13 September 2013

Game 35: Deja Vu II - Introduction


 VGA! That's a pleasant surprise!

It seems an age since I played the first Déjà Vu game. Titled Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True, it was the first MacVenture game on the playlist, and only the third game overall. For anyone not aware of the MacVenture series of games, the name should give away the fact that they were adventure games made for the Macintosh computer. The first three games were Deja Vu: a Nightmare Comes True in 1985, Uninvited in 1986 and Shadowgate in 1987, although the games would not be ported to DOS until 1987 (the first two) and 1988 (Shadowgate). This meant that by the time I played them, they were already fairly antiquated when it came to graphics, sound and interface. Unfortunately, it seems likely I’m about to have a similar experience here, as while Deja Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas was released for Macs in 1988, it didn’t get to DOS until 1990. It’s worth pointing out that the first three games were completely remade between 1991 and 1993 for Windows 3.1, but the version of Déjà vu II that I’m about to play is the only version released for the PC.


 Finishing the first game felt like an achievement. Little did I know what was to come in Uninvited and Shadowgate!

I don’t know an awful lot about the plot of this sequel, but I do know that it starts in a very similar way to the first one. I’ll one again be playing as Theodore “Ace” Harding, and I’ll once again be waking up in an unknown bathroom with a large bump on my head. The manual tells me the following: “There’s a guy you owe big. At least he thinks so. His name is Tony Malone. He’s countin’ on you to come up with a lot of dough, and you don’t have a lot of time.” This leads me to think that there will once again be a strict time limit too, which is likely to mean plenty of restores. If it sounds like I’m not looking forward to this one, then I guess that’s accurate, particularly as I’ve read that Déjà vu II is considered to be the most difficult of all the MacVenture games. I struggled with all of the others, particularly Uninvited and Shadowgate, so I can’t say I'm chomping at the bit. At least this game has more than 4 colours though, which might make it a little easier to see critical items on screen (and just make it more pleasing on the eye). It appears to have both EGA and VGA versions to select from, but I’ve not tested that theory just yet.


 The interface looks pretty much the same

Déjà vu II was written by Fred Allen, and from what I can tell, it was the first game he worked on. If Moby Games is to be believed, it was also the first game that artists Michael Manning and Julia Ulano worked on, but they weren’t on their own. David Marsh (Shadowgate and Déjà vu) and Karl Roelofs (Shadowgate) were also involved in the graphics for the game. I can’t find anything regarding the sound in the game, but if the first three games are anything to go by, there might not be much. I’ve downloaded a DOS version and will be running it in DOSBox. I’ve not been able to find a DOS manual for the game anywhere, but I have got my hands on the original Macintosh documentation. I’m assuming the port would be pretty much identical, and shouldn’t have any trouble with the interface given my previous experience with it. Now, looking back at my The Year Ahead post, I can see that Pacpix, Zenic, mpx and Charles all put CAPs down to make me play this game, so I can only assume that the four of them will be playing along with me. Right? Guys?


 Not a great cover. I'm not sure what the plastic looking Ace is supposed to represent.

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's 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 CAPs 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 CAPs (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 140 CAPs 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. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All correct (or nearest) votes will go into a draw.

Example Bet:
Qrrc orybj gur fhesnpr oyhr
V wbva ure enaxf nf eblny thneq
Lrg abj n punyyratre vf va ivrj
Fb V zhfg frrx gur uvqqra funeq.

Jung’f zl anzr sbe 20 PNCf? 

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 Loom from Steam! How awesome is that!? Good luck!

49 comments:

  1. All right as I know nothing about this game but from the previous MacVenture games it looks like you probably won't enjoy this much, I'm going with 42 as the graphics and I assume sound will be better. Plus it is a good answer for life. The Universe. Everything really.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one is a bit more difficult... hum... Let's say... 38

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  3. I put down CAPs for this?? Really?
    Ok, I don't know what I was thinking, especially after plodding through Shadowgate and Uninvited, but as it happens I had already decided to play along anyway! I finally have some time on my hands and would love to be a companion in this new and most assuredly hair-pulling experience.

    Bring it on! For the score, I predict 45.

    ReplyDelete
  4. By the way, Trickster. You'll probably need the zip file attached to one of the posts on this thread:
    http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=7513

    I know I did...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't know anything at all about this game. I'll just shoot blind and predict a 46.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll go with 47 because I'm being optimistic.

    I plan to play along with you Trickster, on all the games I put CAPs towards. It's only fair. This one I'll be playing along on the Game Boy Color release. Now if only I can get off my ass and write a blog post about it like I planned to do, but I'm still backlogged with Colonel's Bequest.

    I hope this game will take some time for you as I'm not really going to have any myself for the next week.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mentioning Windows 3.1 reminded me of that one:

    http://www.goodolddays.net/hotud/index.php?show=game&id=2366

    I do not see that on your list, Mobygames lists it as Adventure/RPG, though from what I remember, it was not much of a RPG, but an Adventure game.

    How about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We already mentioned the Dracula series to Trix a couple of times.

      I also mentioned Jack The Ripper (in the same website- http://www.goodolddays.net/hotud/index.php?show=game&id=564)

      Look, even the description says that it is the ULTIMATE detective game. How can anyone miss it?

      Delete
  8. I'm going for 44 with this one, which is one less than the original Deja Vu.

    Can't see myself playing along (sorry!), but I will enjoy seeing if it offers anything more than better graphics compared to it's predecessor.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I might be slightly optimistic, but let's say 48 (I am counting on that the graphics will be really good).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And is the answer Frgu sebz Ngynagvf?

      Delete
    2. Ilmari has nailed it! 20 CAPs coming your way.

      Knowledge or Google?

      Delete
    3. Before anyone raises it, I realised after I'd made the riddle that the Atlantis games are based on land, clearly based before the city sunk beneath the ocean. That made the first line a bit dodgy, but I figured it was still solvable, so left it alone.

      Delete
    4. Actually Wikipedia (I tend to steer away from adventure games described as Myst-like, so it couldn't have been knowledge). I was just browsing through the list of adventure games and looking for some oceanic titles, when I came upon Atlantis and saw that some plot elements matched your poem.

      Delete
  10. I'll pick 48, mostly because nobody has it yet. :-) I think the improved graphics (and possibly sound) will be worth a point or two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, so you want to with the game? For making awesome games I can give you a free copy of Hugo's House of Horrors or Loom, your choice. :D

      Delete
    2. XD I doubt he'd have the time to play them when he has his hands full with Hero-U.

      Delete
  11. Hmm, I'll probably have to go and read the Deja Vu 1 posts now.

    I'll guess a 43.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... that was fast. Trickster definitely has increased the detail in his posts since then.

      Delete
  12. I'll pick 48, mostly because nobody has it yet. :-) I think the improved graphics (and possibly sound) will be worth a point or two.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well.. 41. I'd be willing to play along, so long as I can find the time. It looks farsically atrocious already, though. Everything from this era now has to live up to games like QFG1 and Indy 3 being definitively before them... obviously, only by a little (this game could have been so far into development that such things weren't even out until the final touches were being added) - but I do think that even if only subconsciously, that's gonna have to weigh on you a bit. I know it certainly would me!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Finally caught up on the blog a few days ago! You sound like you are not excited to play another Macventure :). I'll play along with you, the first game is my favorite adventure game, so this gives me a good excuse to try out the sequel.

    Not sure what port I will play yet though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 47 for me, as I don't care if someone else gets the game, and I think it will likely do a bit better then the first one. However, you also mark more difficulty now (52 for Below the Root?) that you are getting jaded. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two things to say in response to this. Firstly, Below the Root is a good game! Secondly, remember that I'm trying to balance "for the time" analysis and "enjoyment today" analysis. So comparing The Colonel's Bequest's 54 to Below the Root's 52, I guess you could say that they were of a similar quality to each other within the years they were released.

      Delete
  16. Having finally caught up reading all your posts. I can finally make my first post!

    ...

    Hi!

    I'm going to guess 49 for the score because nobody else took it. I know I could pick a score someone else already took, but I don't like doing that for this sort of thing.

    Also I'd like to thank Zenic Reverie real quick for link this on his blog for me to find it. I'm also following his adventures, although I haven't posted yet. When he gets to more games I've actually played I'll probably start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to know I have a future commenter. ;)

      Delete
    2. Welcome Schide! Did you actually read all of the posts or pick and choose? I can't imagine anyone slogging through close to 300 posts just to get up to speed.

      Anyway, I hope you stick around. The more the merrier!

      Delete
    3. Oh no, I read through every post, at least for every game. Some of the other stuff I kind of skipped through but I read every game post.

      Except for Mean Streets. For whatever reason I just wasn't into that game at all and kinda skipped through that. But otherwise!

      I'm sure I'll stick around because I'm always looking for good stuff to read.

      Delete
  17. Oh man does that VGA look good after so long in the CGA and EGA wasteland. Odd that it was the last graphics standard before driver hell.

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  18. The start is strangely similar to part 1... Deja vu, man. I'll give it a 51 because it looks prettier.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bucking the trend and thinking this will be lower than the first game, better graphics or no. 39

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'll take 45! Not familiar with this series, can't wait to hear about the game, but looking forward to getting past this to the other Sierra/Lucas games. Those are the ones that really bring back memories for me.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The Leisure Suit Larry series is on sale on GOG. Get all of them (apart from Magna Cum Laude obviously) for %65 off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um...65% off that is. I got a little bit excited. :)

      Delete
    2. For only $2.09 I'm tempted to get even Magna Cum Laude

      Delete
    3. Yish! That's a terrible game. More like a PG-rated Super Mario party game but built for single player.

      Delete
  22. King's Quest Collection (1-7) and Space Quest Collection have been released on Steam!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not in Australia apparently. That's ok though, because I got them on Gog.com

      Delete
  23. If you want to play along, Deja Vu 2 - Lost in Las Vegas can be streamed from Archive.org at: https://archive.org/details/msdos_Deja_Vu_2_-_Lost_in_Las_Vegas_1988

    Note that you can't save in the streaming version of DOSBOX they use, but if you want to give it a go with zero set up, give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I find it apropos that a game named Deja Vu got a sequel.

    ReplyDelete