Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Game 41: Les Manley 1 - Won!

Les Manley Journal Entry 7: "The search for The King is over! That's right ladies and gentlemen! I...AM...THE KI....wait a second...what are you doing? Security! Aaaaggghhhhh......."


I think it may be fun for me too in comparison to playing this game!

I’ve seen a lot of ROT13 comments taking place over the last few weeks. I have a feeling that reading through them will bring as much entertainment as it does embarrassment. You see, I’ve finished Les Manley: The Search for The King, but the ending I’ve experienced clearly isn’t the ideal one. I must have missed something along the way and I have a strong feeling that you guys have known about it all along. My last post ended with me requesting assistance. I’d been quite sure that I needed to find somewhere to get changed, despite not knowing why I might want to do that. Once again it was Aperama who quickly provided the hints / spoiler to the situation, and it turned out I was on the complete wrong track! Hint: “You need to get somewhere else, but you have no money. Maybe you should do something you were always told not to?” Was Aperama suggesting I needed to hitchhike? If so, how was I supposed to know to do that? Leaving that question aside, I had a think about where I might hitchhike from, and the answer seemed obvious. I made my way to the front of the hotel and typed “hitchhike”. Les stuck out his thumb, and in a matter of seconds a hippy van arrived and he jumped in! (10 points) The overhead map view popped up and I watched as the van drove across country to the large house in Texas. On arrival I found myself at Kingdom Gates, with a message saying “Unfortunately, the fumes have left your memory a bit hazy. Let’s just hope that you didn’t forget anything.”


Perhaps if I'd been smoking what these guys clearly have been, I may have been able to transcend into the illogical state required to solve these puzzles.


Well, now that you mention it...

Before I go on, I need to point out that I already knew for certain that I had indeed forgotten something! The first that I knew of it was when Canageek commented: “Trickster, you are about to dead end yourself if you continue without doing something you’ve missed.” He ROT13’d whatever it was that I’d missed, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I should read it. The reason for my hesitation was that Canageek deleted the comment shortly after writing it, apparently after some consultation with other companions. For future situations like this, deleting a comment is very unlikely to stop me from reading it, since I read all comments in my email rather than on the blog. I only visit the blog itself to put up a new post or to respond to comments. Deleting a comment from the site does not delete it from my email. Regardless, I’m not cranky at Canageek for the spoiler since a) I’ve been a bit vague as to whether or not I want to know about being dead ended, b) Ilmari ended up warning me anyway, and c) this was no ordinary dead end. Literally minutes before I set out on my session, Ilmari posted three hints and a spoiler. I decided to read them because quite frankly, parts of this game have been almost unsolvable. Hint 1: “You are about to get dead-ended.” Hint 2: “Don’t you think you’d want to procure something you’ve already used, just in case it might come handy later?” Huh? There was something I used in Vegas that I would need again?


Me and the boys reversed back to Las Vegas (in other words, I restored).

I scanned my screenshots to see what I’d used and where. The only puzzles that I’d actually solved with items were at the dry cleaner (receipt), spa bath (dental floss) and hotel room (do not disturb sign). It seemed unlikely that I could get the receipt back from Susie, so I made my way to the other locations. I was able to pick up the sign off the door in the hotel room. Perhaps that was it? I decided to not tempt fate, and went back to the spa bath to see if I could recover the floss. The whole idea made little sense to me anyway, since I’d actually tied the floss to Helmut. He was still in my inventory, so surely the floss was too? I tried typing “get floss” while standing next to the spa, and it worked! I wonder if anyone has ever thought to re-pick up either of these items after using them. Anyway, I figured that I’d probably receive a different message on arriving at Kingdom Gates if I did have everything I needed, so set out to test that theory. I didn’t get the “Let’s just hope you didn’t forget anything” message, so it looked like I was good to go! It was time to concentrate on my new environment, and the first thing I wanted to find out was whether it was limited to the mansion in front of me. I stepped away from the gates and was given an overhead view of the whole neighbourhood!


It's about this stage that this form of inventory gets rather unruly.


Without warning, Les Manley became a Raiden clone (no, not really).

I could see that there were attractions, exhibits, gift shops, restaurants, restrooms, telephones and lodgings all over the place, but there was no sign of which I could actually visit. Now that I knew how big the environment was, I tried to go back to the gate but wasn’t able to. Rather than restoring, I set out to explore what I could, wandering down the road and along the path in front of the various buildings. I tried to “look” at quite a few of them, but was continually told that “This spot isn’t too interesting.” I was almost about to give up when I walked up to the front of a building in the north eastern section. I suddenly found myself standing outside a bar called Red’s. There was a telephone box out the front and when I looked at it I was told that it was “Just the kind of place Clark Kent would use”. This of course made me wonder whether I might be able to get changed in it, Superman style. I typed “put on suit” and was thrilled when Les put on the suit, the scarf, the cape and the shades! He walked out looking just like The King, only thinner. (10 points) With that done, I walked into the bar, where I was then seen standing on stage. There was a celebrity lookalike contest on, and it appeared to be my turn! I typed “dance”, and watched as Les did his best Elvis impersonation. It was terrible to say the least, and the audience and judges agreed. “Last Place has been locked up by Lester P. Manley.”


Not interesting?! It's a frickin' helicopter!


Ah-ah-ha!


Dude, that's The Bangles, not The King!

Thankfully my embarrassing effort wasn’t for nought, as I received a consolation prize on the way out. “The gates to The Kingdom have been opened especially for you.” (10 points) Ah OK, it seemed I never would have been able to open the gate and enter the mansion without visiting the bar. After satisfying myself that there were no other locations to visit on the entire map, I entered the mansion proper. There were pictures of The King everywhere, and a staircase leading upstairs from a polar bear rug. I decided to check out the ground floor before taking the stairs, so walked through the doorway at the back of the room. This led to a dining room, where I soon discovered a bowl of fruit sitting on the table. When I looked at the fruit I got “Gee...they’re not all wax”, but further examination failed to reveal what type of real fruit there was. The first one that came to mind was a banana, so I typed “get banana”. It worked, and it suddenly dawned on me that I now had the majority of ingredients to make The King’s favourite food (a banana and peanut butter sandwich). (10 points) I tried picking up other types of fruit, but wasn’t surprised to find the banana was the only thing available. Strangely, when I tried opening the door to the left of screen I was told “There’s a more interesting way to get to the kitchen.” There appeared to be nothing else of interest in the dining room, so I walked back to the foyer.


Notice all the faces are blurred out "for legal reasons". Wouldn't want to get sued by a dead guy.


Or...I could just open the damn door!

This time I went through to the hallway leading off to the right, finding myself standing in front of numerous trophies and instruments once there. I could see a microphone on one of the shelves, and since looking at it gave me a close-up view and description, I knew I must be able to procure it. However, when I tried to pick it up I was told that doing so would set off the alarm. The same thing happened with the guitar that was sitting on a pedestal, so obviously I was going to have to figure out how to turn off the alarm system before coming back to collect them. It was time to check out upstairs, and doing so revealed what must once have been The King’s bedroom. “The presence of THE KING is overwhelming, almost as though he left a part of himself here.” That was a pretty strange message, but I couldn’t find anything in the room that made sense of it. In fact, I was limited to only the very upper edge of the room, meaning I could walk along the side of the bed and that was about it. Was The King here somewhere? I didn’t think so, but I typed “give banana to king” just to see what would happen. “You give the banana to THE KING.” What? Where was he?! I tried taking the banana back, but wasn’t able to. Had I just dead ended myself by giving away an important item to someone that wasn’t there?! I came to the conclusion that I had, so was forced to restore.


Doesn't everyone have an "Awards Room"?


I thought this was a fantastic response to my request to "smash the mirror".

I wandered back downstairs, wondering where the alarm switch might be. I realised I’d not examined the polar bear rug, and lo and behold, when I looked in its mouth I found a switch! Apparently I couldn’t flick the switch myself, since “you wouldn’t think of putting your fingers anywhere you wouldn’t also put your tongue.” This was completely stupid, but I figured it must be another opportunity to bring Helmut into play. I typed “put Helmut in mouth”, and sat back while he climbed in and turned the alarm off for me. (10 points) I was getting close now, and eagerly went back to the trophy cabinet to collect both the microphone (10 points) and the guitar (10 points). Sadly, when I looked at the guitar I found it to have a broken string, but the solution to that problem was pretty straight forward. I fixed the guitar with the bit of dental floss I’d recovered from the spa bath! (10 points) Obviously this is where I would have been dead ended had Canageek, Ilmari and co. not informed me of the situation. I’d like to think that I might have considered trying to recover the floss if I’d reached this point unassisted, but regardless, it would have been very annoying to have to restore so far back. Now, what the hell was I supposed to do? I revisited the upstairs bedroom, but still couldn’t find anything to do (singing and playing guitar in front of the mirror achieved nothing). I therefore headed back to Red’s Bar and Grill to try my luck in the lookalike contest.


This game should be called Les and Helmut: Search for The King. What would I have done without him?


I guess all I can say is "Thank you...thank you very much!"

Unfortunately my dancing and singing were not improved this time around, so I made my way back to the house and then upstairs. Whatever I needed to do next, I felt like it needed to be done there. I figured I must be able to visit a kitchen, and that doing so might result in me being able to make the banana and peanut butter sandwich, but was struggling to find the “interesting” way to get in. I’d previously tried looking at the cupboard to the right of screen by using the words “cupboard” and “drawers” amongst others, but hadn’t been successful. This time I tried “look at cabinet”, and the response was “Nothing unusual about the bureau itself”. Bureau? I typed “open bureau” and then “look in bureau”, discovering a “secret mechanism” inside. I pressed the secret mechanism, and doing so caused a pole to slide out of the ceiling and pass through an opening in the floor! (10 points) Sliding down the pole took me to the exact location I’d hoped it would: The kitchen! Strangely, when I reached the bottom of the pole, Les continued to spin around and around. I typed “get off pole”, “let go of pole” etc., but nothing would work. I was beginning to wonder whether I’d come across a bug when I finally figured out that typing “release pole” worked a treat. (10 points) There was nothing to interact with in the booths, so I opened up the bench and walked into the kitchen proper. There I found the bread I needed to complete the sandwich! (10 points)


Of course! I just needed to look in the bureau!


For those severe hunger emergencies!


For once it actually was what I was looking for!

It took me a while to find the exact place I was supposed to make the sandwich, but I eventually found it. I’d expected to make it and then put it in my inventory for later use, but instead Les gobbled it up as soon as it was ready! I’d suspected earlier on that I was never going to find The King in Les Manley and that I in fact would become him. Now I knew that to be correct, as the sandwich had caused Les to gain more than a few pounds! (10 points) All that was left to do was to head back to the celebrity lookalike contest and show off my new physique. This time when I typed “sing”, Les made all the right moves, with both the guitar and the microphone being put to good use. The audience was rightfully very impressed, and a bunch of fans immediately assumed that The King had finally returned. They ran up onto the stage and mobbed me, killing me in the process. Yes, you read that right. They killed me! “What a shame. You made it all this way, only to perish, trampled under a mob of crazed fans. But while this is one ending, some believe in a hereafter.” After everything I’d been through, I still didn’t get the satisfaction of a proper ending! I guess it’s fitting that for the very first time (and hopefully the last time), this Won post will finish with a request for assistance. I know from the bug I found early in the game that there’s a “resurrection card” somewhere in Les Manley. Damned if I can be bothered trying to find where it is though. If the card isn’t in Kingdom Gates somewhere, I’m ticking this game off as finished! I'll have to watch the better ending on YouTube.


Can't say I've ever tried this combination. Might not be too bad actually!


Now I got the moves!


The end is nigh...well, an end anyway.

Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes

35 comments:

  1. We thought of doing something different with this game. So here’s a community hint, given to you one step at a time:

    Hint 1: Fbzrobql *qvq* sberfrr n 'ivbyrag raqvat'.

    Laukku, would you want to do the next one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll be a pleasure.

      Hint 2: Lbhe unaqf qvq zntvpny guvatf jvgu ure - jul abg gel gurve sbepr ntnva?

      Delete
    2. I'll butt in with the next to keep the thread going:

      Hint 3: Gb fbyir guvf hanffvfgrq lbh’q arrq gb or n jvmneq,
      jura nyy ryfr snvyf, lbh zhfg eryl ba n ...

      Delete
    3. Brilliant! I think Aperama should have the honour of presenting the final spoiler, since he started this whole mess. Are you there? You can do it with your own words…

      Delete
    4. (Sorry, I was asleep when this was posted and had to hastily send that on from work. I'd say that will suffice, even though had I been able to read all of the clues prior I'd have had better chance to formulate a better answer. (Perhaps Tb gb sbeghar gryyre. GBHPU YNQL. GBHPU YVMNEQ. TRG PNEQ. Trg onpx gb raq bs tnzr. QVR.)

      Delete
    5. Sorry I wasn't here to add to this; it has been a crazy week, with working late, not sleeping, being out gaming, being out playing Cards Against Humanity and meeting new people....

      Delete
  2. Yeah, expect to do a lot of ROT13 reading for this one, Trick. I too had confidence that you would figure out the guitar + floss puzzle by yourself, but there was some debate among us companions as you were indeed walking dead by then. Looking forward to your thoughts on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of debate. You should put your stance on Dead End and Dead Man Walking situations in a blog post we can easily refer to, as this isn't the first time it has come up.

      Delete
    2. Indeed. The more time I spent reading this, the meaner it felt that nobody was telling Trickster he'd dead-ended. And that you were all in on it.

      Delete
    3. Well, we've been having communal repentance about it all, especially after Trickster's eventual breakdown.

      Delete
  3. Remember when we hinted that there'd be coming a puzzle worse than the dream one?

    This is it. The Puzzle of Doom. The Final Problem. The Hero Killer. It has turned lesser people insane.

    Also remember how we thought the game was designed to sell more hint books? We were wrong. No, the REAL purpose of this game was to make anyone who plays it so frustrated they'd permanently lose their minds, bringing insanity and death upon our world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shit! This game was made by a Cthulhu believer?!

      Delete
    2. The developers weren't concerned with such material things like money. They just hated humanity.

      Delete
  4. Hey Tricky, it'll be some interesting blogs going forward if you accept "You're dead, congratulations" as finishing the games. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really hope he won't continue with this approach. The Last Express for example has many "false endings" which are actually Game Overs, and there's only one real conclusive ending with closing credits and all.

      Delete
    2. Lars-Erik: That was actually the ending of the Infocom-classic Infidel: you are dead, bummer.

      Delete
    3. I never played The Last Express, but over the years I've seen it praised enough to expect Trickster will feel motivated to go for the "right" ending. Les Manley, alas...

      Delete
    4. Also yes, this approach is no fun. Trickster's being too nonchalant about the whole thing. Where's the seething, the teeth gnashing, the writhing in agony, etc. Kenny's not getting his money's worth here.

      Delete
    5. Oh alright! The companions have spoken!

      Stay tuned for one final post before a Final Rating. I haven't yet read the hints, so I may regret that decision.

      Delete
    6. Thanks for listening to us ;-)

      If you don't have the will left to replay to the end after solving that puzzle, we could send you a savegame to save you the trouble...

      Delete
    7. Well... Trix not being pissed with this is just an indication of how he feels about this game... He can't give a rat's ass about it. XD

      Delete
  5. >There's a more interesting way to get to the kitchen.

    Now the game isn't even pretending anymore. It's basically admitting "You should do what the designers want you to do, instead of doing the obvious. Srew logic!"

    I believe this aptly summarizes Trickster's feelings to getting a Game Over on the brink of victory.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Personally I think you should just roll with this ending.
    Les Manley, acting on the basis of the worst-thought-out plan in history, died tragically under a heap of someone else's swooning fans. Probably a better ending than whatever else the game might toss at you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Y'know, that totally makes sense! In fact, it would be the BEST and most fitting ending compared with any other games!

      Delete
  7. Hey! Corey's advice was right on the money after all, Superman reference included.

    ReplyDelete
  8. New adventure game release on GoG, 1954 Alcatraz from Daedalic Entertainment: http://www.gog.com/game/1954_alcatraz

    It also has a 10% release discount until March 18.

    ReplyDelete
  9. For a bit of fun, I'm going to compile a list of dead ends that are achievable in this game and post them on final rating. I'm not exaggerating to say I've counted eight without thinking idly on my lunch break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doing more than just idly thinking about it is a total waste of time on this shitty game, Aperama.

      Delete
  10. If Les Manley was a movie, it'd be a comedy/drama about a mentally challenged guy. Think Arnie from Gilbert Grape, Forest Gump etc. combined with a bit of Rain Man.

    Les has a low-end job where he can do easy chores as a way to keep him busy and happy. Like plugging in TV's. "I can fix it!". One day he overhears the meeting where they discuss finding the King, and Les thinks to himself, "They've lost a King? I'll go find him, yes I will!" and trundles off.
    After a while he gets distracted: "Ooooh, a circus!" "Now I have your dream too!", clearing elephant dumps for hours and hours until he suddenly gets another idea, throwing popcorn to lions, asking for sodas from strangers, using floss as a makeshift guitar string which doesn't work at all and taking bananas for no obvious reason.

    Think about it, it all makes sense. Suddenly the game takes on another dimension.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it was a movie, I can't imagine how many Rotten Tomatoes it's gonna get.

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    2. It's true I don't know much about the character, bu wouldn't Pee-Wee Herman be a natural fit?

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    3. Excuse me while I pee in terror and puke in disgust at the thought of this abysmal marriage between a shitty game and a horrible pedophiliac actor.

      Delete
    4. He certainly looks the part, bow tie and all. I wasn't aware of the controversy but let's not give people ideas for a Les Manley 3, ok?

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