Sunday, 27 September 2015

Spellcasting 201: Beautiful Barmaids Near Barfton


Ernie Eaglebeak's Journal #4
“I'm not sure how to feel about today. It's such a bummer that Tickingclock isn't around – I could really use his help! I have this horrible feeling in the back of my mind that someone has bad ideas in mind for me.. and I don't mean Chris Cowpatty. He actually did something pretty cool for me, not that he realised it at the time. An all day pass out of Sorcerer's University was really what I needed to stretch my legs and get things moving again. I made sure to stop by Tickingclock's corpse.. but I did it on my way back from his wife, who I decided could spare some clothes for the girl I just made. I just made! How weird is that?!?!? Eve is really cool. I mean, she doesn't know much of anything just yet, and she's sorta a little.. creepily devoted? But except for that, she's really amazing and entirely the sort of girl I could spend heaps of time with. It's really lucky I had her come along with me to my assignment – spiking some punch at Barmaid U. I've been holding onto this dehydrated pellet of spirits from the University Pub for a while now, and I was really planning on having a great time once me, Gary and Sid were in the frat officially. Instead, I masqueraded as a guy from Plumber U, found a handy wrench with this coupon I've been holding onto, fixed some pipes, watched some crazy barmaids dance around with Eve and even got a new cloak out of the deal.. Impossible, huh, Chris? Bring it on! Another Attachment fell out when I was leaving the crazy party, too.. I'm beginning to think I'll have this thing ready and unlocked before the end of the week!

But I wanted the Malls n' Muggers assignment!

I'm quite glad that I felt somewhat critical on my last play post – the game really felt like it was folding in on itself, returning to the foibles of its precursor. I was really, really afraid that I'd encounter another puzzle along the lines of the Isle of Lost Soles – instead, the game managed to throw out numerous of those 'oh, so that's what that is for!' moments that I've always loved in adventure games. Basically, any time in which I'm given the opportunity to have a reasonable puzzle go from point A to point B where I feel like I'm using my brain instead of brute force to make my way through a puzzle, I tend to be pretty happy. Spellcasting 201 has had a few of these moments already – reading the newspaper to discover that glass is now shatterproof, for example – but it has also fallen down the well of 'I've tried everything else, after all' (the moodhorn) which really sinks the mood of things for me. Today (Thursday) was a great example of clever middle game design. I had to go back and re-solve a puzzle from earlier which would have been easily done had I not been overthinking things, but I immediately knew where the solution was and how to solve it. Hunches paid off and everyone generally had a good time. Go Gekkos!

36, 24, 36? Maybe, if she's 5'3”

I just left all of the settings as is, but the game does indeed change hair colour in pictures

So, for my usual roundup of the day's start: I get to leave SU today! Cowpatty believes that I'm going to be stumped by some security guards at the Barmaid U bash, stopping me from spiking their punch. News today? The Editorial section of the newspaper suggests that the University should go with 'younger talent' in the upcoming electoral race which realistically means they're discounting both Hoppingturtle and Brokenlinks – and 'conveniently' the News section informs that Hoppingturtle had a loose brick from the top of a wall fall on his head, leaving him out of the running for Dean. Ouch! 'Arts' is a review of the Market Tavern in Balmoral City (which can be visited today, but I figure will be a part of a later day so I won't go into further) saying that.. well, it's bad. The Sports section states that the first round of the Megajousting contest won't be held today due to Tickingclock's death (which is a shame – I'd love to know exactly what 'megajousting' is!) Finally for my daily roundup, our new section of the Sorcerer's Appliance, 'Genesis'. We can make a woman. Yay gender stereotyping! To think that LSL 5 saw such outrage.. I'll just hope that nobody's reading here. You can choose short, average (medium) or tall, redhead, brunette, blonde or raven-haired, and then her bust-waist-hips measurements. I didn't bother toying with anything save to make an obscenely short and stout person to see if the pictures were any different – the text description changes, but the only pictorial change is hair colour. So, after our redheaded immediately-named Eve emerges, her first issue? She doesn't have any clothes on!

Thankfully, the only woman we know properly on campus is willing to loan some clothes

Literally, my first instinct was correct. I figured I probably had to go and see if Hillary had anything to give her? Sure enough, she has a dresser in her room with (a single frock) in it that she's willing to part with both because 'she's probably put on a few pounds since wearing it' and 'it's not revealing enough for her tastes any more'. Larry 5, eat your heart out! Sure enough, it fits Eve perfectly, who essentially grovels at Ernie's feet for the privilege of wearing it. Positive gender stereotypes! Before immediately running off to explore the great outdoors, I stop off to look in on Tickingclock's open funeral. It's not particularly sad, fitting in with the tone of the rest of the game – but the room does have a certain sombre image to it with all of the seats removed. I also decide to check the suspect Hiddenmolar's desk once more, finding a.. mortar chisel. I don't understand why it appears here but I take it anyway. I'd also love to say that I was so excited to leave campus that I immediately rushed off to check it out.. but instead I kinda waited through first the Stadium to see how Gary made it through his assignment (he used hundreds of balloons, hung the banner then jumped down while popping a bottle of champagne only to fall off the edge of the stadium into some ivy) then the Malls n' Muggers game to see how Sid was going to manage to get the game to break up. This bit of writing would be so much more fun were the Malls N' Muggers game to have just a little more to it! Sitting through the same nine or ten actions to see what happened was sorta boring – but watching him pretend to be a policeman breaking up an illegal game (they were licensed), attempt to lure them out with money, women, even trying to scare them off with a dragon (they didn't believe it was fire-breathing) and even more.. only to idly mention that the new game edition was at the book store to have them bolt? Hilarious.

Tickingclock sits behind a magic-proof barrier which has also been spelled to stop anyone from defacing him, probably

I had to sit through a bit for this punchline – but it was entirely worth it!

Now, to the great outdoors! Barmaid U is '4' east. Were this Quest for Glory 2, I'd accuse it of going with 'skareen' lengths – but sure enough, within a twenty minute walk (4 turns east) of Sorcerer's U sits? Barmaid U, and the aim of the prank du jour. Before I even make it in, though, I go around and check that we can't continue on to Barfton, then drop in on the 'store' directly outside the University... and then immediately reload to my room, pick up the plumbing coupon from the 'how-to' book that we picked up way back when and get a free gibbous wrench (which is a 'shifter' to my mind).

Gekko is closed off by a broken bridge and Barfton is also out of reach – but Balmoral can be walked to. More on this next play post, methinks!

There's a store just outside Barmaid U. Three guesses as to what it'll be, given we have a coupon for a plumbing store

… yup

Barmaid U has only a handful of areas to it, but it's just about right – essentially, we're walled off from the majority of places of learning due to being a visitor. Makes sense. We can visit the dormitory/sorority areas, however. One sorority, Lamda Pigga Kau (of stereotypically 'ugly' girls) has a tablecloth inside. The other available sorority, Melta Loin, is full of stereotypically 'unlikeable' girls and has a roll of dental floss inside. This only makes me think more of 70s/80s college films I watched when I was younger, but I snatch both of the items because I can. North is the function hall where I'll be spiking some punch later on. A quick peek lets me know that Eve can't enter without an invitation if we wait for the reunion, giving us our next puzzle. East of the main area leads to 'Heftysum Hall', an expansive dress making studio-cum-classroom area. Eve practically spells out this puzzle by mentioning that Ernie's cloak looks pretty ratty, and that she could make us a new one with some materials. Like a tablecloth and dental floss. *sighs* Sure enough, this gets her out of our hair for about an hour or so. This is enough to visit the final area – the communal dormitory. There's a locked door, but a sapling out front that leads up to what is clearly a shower room. Sure enough, a little bit of magic and we're in.

Even the authors were a little ashamed, methinks

As soon as I read that it was 'young', 'maturation' immediately comes to mind

Eve 'possessively' clutches at my arm? Ah. So that's why I need her making me a cloak...

As I alluded to in the introduction, this immediately made me think back to the FOGWACKA spell as I couldn't do anything in the shower room due to the blinding mist. Dehumidification was the obvious solution (which also would likely get me punched, I felt) – but I couldn't work out exactly what had changed to allow me to get at the spell box hidden inside the clock tower's mechanism. I messed around with it for a bit, knowing that I had to wait until the hour turned to get access, repeatedly trying to FRIMP it out.. then I tried simply opening it where it sat on the hour. And it worked. I couldn't 'get' it, but I could 'open'. Drat, drat and double drat. Reload again, drop Eve off to make some new duds for Ernie, go back upstairs. The girls are shocked when I FOGWACKA the room, but are more then overjoyed when I fix the shower so that it functions without smothering the room in mist. Hooray! One of them even gives me her room key before giving the chance to make a 'heroic' escape, enter her room (I fix her sink while I'm at it) and steal her invitation. That's right – I broke into a dorm, stared at some naked ladies and stole from them. A-1 HERO MATERIAL!

Spellcasting 201: Plumbers Get All The Girls

Sure, I stole from them, but at least I did a little handy work while I was there

I think she's proud of what she made?

The puzzle is now one entirely based around the parser, and not a difficult one in the slightest given I've set myself up for success. I imagine that were you not to play around with the Appliance or hadn't noticed the FOGWACKA box earlier on in the game that this could have been far more difficult (the pellet I figure would have come into notice just by following Hiddenmolar and Cowpatty, however). The guards who cordoned me and Eve alike away didn't mind letting Eve through with the invitation in hand – nor her punch-spiking pellet. Despite her being a 'completely innocent and unassuming soul', she was clearly guileful enough to slip the pellet into the punch. Or, indeed, the Barmaid U girls simply didn't mind the idea of turning the party up a notch. Leaving the newly-spirited party, a drunken lady drops her garter belt – which just so happens to be the Garter Belt of Gekko. Coincidence, much? Even if really lazy, the HDP frat boys grab Ernie back to SU before he's capable of being expelled due to violating the day pass. Another day down! The Garter, attached to the Appliance, makes a new dial – 'Identity Assumption'. That sounds both interesting and ominous!

can't decide which Captain Planet villain the guards look more like

The change is literally instant. They're quick drinkers at B-U!

Session Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours 30 mins

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 points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

8 comments:

  1. Dammit! Beaten by a spammer to be FIRST!

    I remember playing this game while watching Weird Science and marveling at the similarities between the two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And suddenly, you are now FIRST! No spam on this blog, never was. It was all in your imagination, Kenny.

      Delete
    2. Really? I could've sworn... uh... hmm... I'll have to think about this...

      Delete
  2. I approve of your Sir Mix-a-lot reference. And the game's Monty Python reference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't sure anyone would. It was just the first thing that came to mind, so I figured I'd go with it.

      Delete
  3. Hahaha!

    These games have always mildly intrigued me. I remember seeing the ads in CGM back in the day and fixating solely on the saucy pictures (sends Kenny a high five). These posts do a good job giving me an idea of what the actual gameplay flavor is. I am not sure, looking back, that I would have actually enjoyed them when they were new, but as an adult they still seem a little enticing. Maybe when I finally wade through my enormous backlog of games, and break my addiction to watching AGDQ marathons on YouTube...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The gameplay side of going through the Legend parser is typically quite fun - they do map things out fairly well, even if you do typically end up somewhat railroaded (most people give default answers for 'ask about thing', though the most recent play area I'm writing about at present actually has a fun little wink to this too).

      Delete
    2. @Joseph

      Ditto re: seeing these games in CGM. My problem was that I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere, New England. It was difficult to get much of anything, let alone these games. I'm enjoying Aperama's take on them!

      Delete