Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Game 41: Les Manley 1 - Won! (No, really, I have this time)

I thought I was done with Les Manley! I’d reached the end of the game and while it’s true the climax I experienced wasn’t the most positive piece of closure one could imagine, it was still an ending. However, once I’d posted about it, the comments started coming in. You guys weren’t happy for me now that I no longer had to endure this pile of poo. None of you cheered that I could finally get onto something better (well xyzzysqrl kinda did, bless her)! You were disappointed that I’d given up the fight, and concerned that I might treat future game climaxes with the same nonchalant approach. Most of all though, you all appeared more than a little let down that I hadn’t had a complete mental breakdown when I’d finally had the rug pulled out from under me. You wanted “seething”, “teeth gnashing” and “writhing in agony”. Well, the truth is that I was indeed a little pissed when I realised I’d missed something, but as Kenny so astutely judged, I just couldn't “give a rat’s ass about it”. It's a very good sign of just how bad a game is when the player couldn’t care less whether the protagonist lives or dies at the end. Anyway, the companions have spoken, and overnight I have come to agree that I really shouldn't leave it this way. I’ve committed to seeing this damn thing through to absolute completion!


Well at least I know the resurrection card isn't here!

I’ve not yet read any of the hints that the community (literally) left me, and I’ll say up front that my biggest fear is that I don’t have a save game far enough back to be able to restore to. I guess we’ll know soon enough. In fact, let’s try something a bit different. I’m going to play the game at the same time as posting, intermittently updating the blog so you can all (well, whoever’s awake and reading right now) see exactly what I’m up to. I’ll start by reading the first hint, which was left by Ilmari, and then see where things go from there. Hint 1: “Somebody *did* foresee a violent ending”. Oh no! That can only be Madame Zarmooska, way back at the circus! I had so much trouble with her already! Could this resurrection card be somewhere in her caravan? Where? I looked in the skull and I think I looked under the lizard too. Should I read the second hint before going all the way back there? No, the first thing I’ll do is load up the game and see when my earliest save game is. I have a bad feeling though! Nope, I didn’t have a save game in New York, but it didn’t turn out to be all that bad. I turned the game speed up to nearly max and played through from the start to Madame Zarmooska in less than five minutes. Now...let’s see about this card!


If Zarmooska foresaw it, how can I possibly avoid it? I mean, psychics are never wrong are they!?

What I'm about to write literally occurred a few minutes ago. The first thing I did was type "look at card", in the off chance that I might get a helpful response. "I don't see the resurrection card here" was all I got. I tried a few other things, but it was clear I wasn't going to be able to achieve much while Zarmooska was still around. I touched her to make her disappear, grimacing at how stupid that puzzle was once again. With her out of the way, I tried looking for the card again, and was shown a picture and description!!! "Entitles bearer (that means YOU, Les) to 1 free resurrection." At least now I knew that it was actually here in the caravan, but when I tried to get it I was told that it was "not in view". I set about examining the crystal ball, candles, lizard and skull as closely as I could, starting with the ball. I tried looking at, under and in the ball, and then tried to open and move it, but none of those commands worked. I then tried the same commands with the lizard and lo and behold, typing "move lizard" was the solution! "Touching the lizard seems to trigger a hidden mechanism." The resurrection card appeared out of the lizard's mouth! I have to ask...how on earth could anyone figure out that they were supposed to do this without help? I guess you could fluke it, but I was only able to solve it because I absolutely knew it was there, and even then it was just luck.


Who knows how I could get a description of it if it wasn't in view, but whatever.


Why of course there's a resurrection card in the lizard! Who wouldn't think of touching it to make it come out!?

I'm shocked to say that it took me about twenty minutes to play through the entire game if I exclude trying to figure out how to get the card. Once I reached the climax, I was still uncertain of how things were going to play out. Would Les automatically use the card? Would I have to use it at a specific time? It turned out the former was true. The mob still ran him over and killed him, but this time I witnessed his spirit leave his body and ascend into heaven. Once he'd reach the pearly gates, he was joined onstage by several angel musicians for a short period before waking up in hospital, apparently alive and well. The nurse of course was a blonde bombshell, and the first thing Les did was give her a photo of himself (i.e. The King) performing in heaven. The scene switched to show his boss, who would clearly now owe him a million bucks! The station didn't have the cash of course, but "Les did figure out a way for the station to pay off on the contest. And now, after taking over as owner, president and CEO of WILL, he has turned it into the highest rated station in the country. The stunning Stella Hart still works for the station but now she's Les' personal-assistant-in-charge-of-raises."


An average Saturday night turned into something much more interesting for this audience.


Actually, thinking about it, this is probably the real Elvis onstage, and Les just took a picture of him. What's your take?


Oh my. That is a pretty picture!


Oh the days before Photoshop. Everything was legit back then!

The game closed by describing what happened to all the other important characters. Col. Bob now manages his own chain of S&L's, Zarmooska got sucked into the spirit world and now makes cash channeling mortals, Helmut hosts his own talk show, Mr. Fabulous works at a burger joint, Vito plays Nintendo, Bobbi gave up her obsession with The King and is now awaiting the arrival of a Venusian spaceship and Lyla is tanning as usual. And that my friends, is really it this time! Final Rating post to come...


Oh God! There's actually a sequel to this!


480 out of 500. Don't even think about telling me that I haven't finished!

Session Time: 0 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 00 minutes

59 comments:

  1. Ooh, a continually updated post! Interesting. :-) Good luck, you need it.

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  2. Don't worry Trickster. There's two very high quality games coming straight after this one.

    If it makes you feel any better, I uploaded a save right before the end where you have the card in your possession:

    http://www.mediafire.com/download/qucngstrrcj4lcr/SAVE_7.zip

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    1. Never mind, you played all the way to the end by yourself. At least it took only 20 minutes!

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    2. And after those quality games, there's another "quality" game coming up!

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    3. Sshhh... I was trying to comfort Trickster. No need to bring up the upcoming second Accolade game. :-P

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  3. Wow, liveblogging? Or just published too soon? Anyway, amazing that you found it so fast, it's another horrible puzzle in a line of horrible puzzles.

    Congratulations on keeping (most) of your sanity!

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    1. I'm live blogging here Lars-Erik. Just playing through to the end superfast!

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    2. F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5F5

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    3. And congratulations on finishing it! You might feel that you had to resort to hints and spoilers far too much, but I had expected a lot more considering the game.

      The Final Rating post will be an interesting read I imagine.

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  4. I've been cheering for you for a while now, I've just never left comments before. Oddly enough, I enjoy the suffering -- but it WOULD be nice to see you find something better.
    On the other hand, you FOUND THE CARD with the strength of ONE HINT. I'm sort of awed and impressed. Congrats on that too. Basically, claps all around.
    (...also I'm a boy, but I have such non-strong feelings about gender I almost didn't bother correcting you.)

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    1. I have to admit, when quick-reading the comments I read it as "xyzzys-girl" a couple of times at first, but after a while started reading it as "xyzzy-sqrl (squirrel)" instead.

      Thankfully, KQ1 and SMI coming up!

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    2. Sorry xyzzysqrl! That's the third time I've used the wrong sex when writing to someone on the blog. I swear there's someone with a very similar name around here that's definitely a girl. Xizzy Magic?

      Anyway, sorry.

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    3. The strength of one hint PLUS the strength of poor coding! :-D

      It was only thanks to a fluke of the parser that Trick learned about the existence of a "Resurrection card" (even when that knowledge didn't prove too useful). I wonder how disoriented he'd feel if he hadn't.

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    4. AND showing the card when he doesn't even have it! WTF?!

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    5. At least you get my gender right; for some reason I've been mistaken for a women a lot on the internet, mostly on twitter but once on Reddit as well.

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    6. Why does the parser interpret "thing" as "card"? Somebody had to make that choice.

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  5. >the first thing Les did was give her a photo of himself (i.e. The King) performing in heaven

    I'm pretty sure that what actually happened is that he met the actual THE KING who was dead all along, letting you take a photo of him.

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    1. I agree. I figured it out just after writing that. Damn live blogging! ;)

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    2. Don't you dare question the logic of this game, Lars-Erik. Haven't you learned that by now?

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    3. I know he's dead. I know he's in heaven. I know he gets a free pass by owning an item when he was alive. I know he keeps his inventory between being alive and dead and back. I know about the disappearing fortune teller, the magically fattening sandwich, the phone box in the desert, the thumb sized man, the dream in the pocket, the never-ending poop pile and getting cannoned from one side of the continent to the other

      But taking a picture without a camera? I will not stand for it!

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    4. He's in heaven, man. Didn't you know that you can get whatever you wished for in heaven? Including taking pictures with Elvis?

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    5. Aha, but then the game would have (thankfully) been over pretty quick, since Tricky killed Les in the first 5 minutes of gameplay. He could have taken the picture then. So I'm not buying that explanation.

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    6. That's actually weird: resurrection card doesn't work in any other place (or at least not with lions, where I tested it). Surely it should have just returned Les to the game, only without any possibility to win.

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    7. Now I got it! With other deaths he is not going to heaven at all, and resurrection card doesn't work in hell. So dressing up as an Elvis look-a-like and being trampled to death by his fans is a sure ticket to heaven.

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    8. So what you're saying is that the game is just pure propaganda and is claiming that the Cult of St. Elvis is the One True Religion(tm)?

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    9. Yes, indeed. Actually, this solves some other problems also. Why couldn't Les use kitchen door, like a regular guy? Because his creed forbid it!

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    10. Want to get From Rags to Riches?
      Feeling All Shook Up? Are You Sincere about being the Guitar Man using floss?
      Carny Town getting you down? Taking The Impossible Dream?
      Doncha' Think It's Time you Flip Flop and Fly down to Vegas? But remember, Don't Be Cruel to Helmut, make sure he's Returned to Sender!
      Join the Cult of St. Elvis today, and get an audience with the King!

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    11. First commandment of the Cult of St. Elvis: "Thou shalt not take the name of Elvis the King in vain nor shalt thou make a graven image of him, lest thou be sued for copyright infringement."

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  6. You know, had the designers turned Mme. Zarmooska into one of those animatronic, card-dispensing fortune-tellers they could've had a saner puzzle here. You could earn the Resurrection card by asking the right questions, fetching the right items, playing a mini-game, etc.

    ¿Touching a random lizard for no apparent reason? It boggles the mind.

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  7. Congratulations on winning this utter pile of cattle excrement! Unfortunately, there is a sequel (let's just hope no one gets the idea of supporting it).

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    1. Did you know the sequel has an even lower rating than this one?

      *shifty eyes*

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    2. The sequel was already accepted, I thought?

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    3. Currently it is Disregarded, which I'm pretty happy about. It's not on the Wikipedia list and has only 14 votes on Moby Games. The date stamp on the game files is 15th of November 1991, so there's still plenty of time for someone(s) to ruin everything.

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    4. Guess who will be accumulating CAPs to do so from now on?

      To get my next bonus CAPs...

      KICSTARTER HAS A NEW ADVENTURE GAME TARGETED AT 35,000 BRITISH POUNDS!
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/118959898/mont-de-castel?ref=discovery

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    5. Perhaps everyone who paid CAPs to get this game on the list should be forced to guest-blog through the sequel as punishment :)

      That said, despite the fact the game seems like rubbish, it was entertaining to read about - largely because of its rubbishness.

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    6. As I say. Les Manley 2 is mouse-driven (no parser to screw you over) and is so incredibly linear I recall beating it in a matter of hours.

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    7. I'm both appalled and amazed that you'd actually bought the sequel and played it through after what you had to endure in the 1st game. Are you a masochist? Is that why you started wrestling? To feel pain? XD

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  8. Well done, Trick. This game is pain incarnate. The sequel "learns" from its mistakes (it's incredibly linear and has no dead ends from memory) but most importantly, you've got monkey Island coming up to make you feel better. :)

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    1. I look forward to seeing how I went with all the bets.

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    2. Surprisingly well, actually. I think you beat almost all bets except the dream and resurrection card ones. I was shocked when you did the Bobbi puzzle without assistance - I was convinced that it'd be more impossible than asking for a raise. You mostly required assistance for puzzles nobody happened to bet. The Force is certainly strong with this one.

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  9. At least the next two games will be enjoyable! (although I imagine you'll get through both very quickly)

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    1. I'm not sure about Monkey Island. It's been well over a decade since I played it. I'm pretty sure the last time I played it was on my Amiga!

      I imagine I'll breeze through King's Quest though.

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    2. KQ is very short when you know what to do, and Monkey Island only has a couple of moments that might take you a while to figure out. I guess you're not going to speed-run it!

      I do wonder if KQ might actually take me less time to complete than Space Quest 3 (65mins). We shall see!

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    3. See, that's the reason why Adventure games are getting less sales than RPGs. With the same amount of content, RPGs can net you 5 times more playtime.
      Adventure game - Trying to get that key hanging around the LichKing? Use something in your inventory to distract or outwit him!
      RPG - Trying to get that key hanging around the LichKing? Gain 20 levels after several epic quests till you can stand against him toe-to-toe in mortal combat!

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    4. >Adventure game - Trying to get that key hanging around the LichKing? Use something in
      >your inventory to distract or outwit him!

      In the 80's, this would've been "Restart the game and replay 2 hours of content because you missed an item you need for this puzzle." That's how the designers gave their games more longevity back then :-P

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    5. Or there would have been a maze to go through, with a time limit, and the path would go between an acid pool and a fire pit, every single move making the character fall into either, thus forcing you to save every other second.

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    6. Yeah... I dub them The "Bleargh" Mechanics.

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    7. It's funny because it's true.

      And I think Secret of Monkey Island was the first game that bucked the trend by deliberately avoiding dead ends and death scenes, thus the only need to save while playing the game is when you've finished your game session.

      The revolution begins!

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    8. Actually, there's one moment where you can die in Secret of Monkey Island. ;)

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    9. AND there's at least two opportunities to dead end yourself! ;)

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    10. Oh. I only know of one...

      Hfvat n pbva jvgu gur iraqvat znpuvar n srj uhaqerq gvzrf fb lbh qba'g unir rabhtu gb ohl fghss

      What's the other one?

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    11. Lbh pna nyfb tvir nyy bs lbhe cvrprf bs rvtug gb Bgvf, ohg vg'f zhpuyl gur fnzr jnl. Naq vg'f irel zhpu fbzrguvat lbh pbhyq bayl qb vagragvbanyyl.

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    12. There is a series of JRPGs on PC that SOMEHOW managed to get onto steam, despite some very questionable content (Of the "We swear that elf is 400 years old, no matter what she looks like" variety *shudder*). How do you know a JRPG is bad? It is on PC, not console.

      It is massively grindy with a super steep power curve. As in, days of grinding to read certain points in the game, or you die instantly. OR you can buy the DLC which just GIVES you extra weapons and armour better then any in the core game. Also it adds a dungeon filled with monsters that give out crazy good XP. Also they slowly make the DLC free over time, which is now the RPG.net person got through it when they played the game.

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    13. Hey, Loom has no dead ends too!

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    14. Thanks, Aperama, didn't think of that one.

      Also, Whoah. How could I have forgotten Loom. I only played it a few months ago too :)

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  10. New adventure game on GOG.

    Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender, a game that's been accepted here for 1992.

    http://www.gog.com/game/rex_nebular_and_the_cosmic_gender_bender

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    1. Oh wow, I've been waiting for this, thanks!

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