Sunday, 31 January 2016

Conquests of the Longbow – Bring the Boys Back Home

Written by Alex



In screenwriting there is an axiom that every scene needs conflict. In other words, the writer should never make things easy for the protagonist. Steven Spielberg was the master of this. Jurassic Park, the Back to the Future trilogy and the Indiana Jones movies keep viewers on the edge of their seats by ratcheting up the tension: Right when you think the heroes are going to get away with their latest adventure, another obstacle gets thrown in their way. It can get ridiculous, but it makes for one hell of an entertaining thrill ride.

These movies also dispensed with elaborate backstories, which are more appropriate in books than on-screen. Think about the opening text crawls of the Star Wars movies: Everything you need to know is in there, and no time gets wasted getting to the action in medias res.

These same general rules can go for any type of fiction, including computer games. And it sure seems like Christy Marx and her colleagues know what they’re doing. Not only does Conquests of the Longbow drop the player into the thick of things sans overlong flashbacks, something I praised in my first gameplay post. Robin’s missions follow suit: He wakes up, and right away there’s a conflict. And solving it is anything but a cakewalk.



Day 5

Day five dawns with Robin eager to embark on his latest quest: The recovery of Marian’s hand scroll from the monks in the fens. But first, he wants some breakfast. Alas, Friar Tuck’s nowhere to be found. Alan mentions that he has gone to visit the Widow before bidding Robin farewell.

Or “Tah.” “Tah”? Who says “Tah”?!

I figure I might as well see what’s up with the Widow. It’s not good: Her three sons, Hal, Hob, and Dicken have been captured by the Sheriff!


If you recall, the Widow’s sons like to sneak into town from time to time. This time, it didn’t turn out too well for them. All of a sudden, finding Marian’s hand scroll doesn’t seem so urgent, despite the, ahem, rewards promised if I help her out.

That’s right! This time, Robin is thinking with his head, and not his head, if you catch my drift.

“I don’t get it, bro.”

Choose Your Own Adventure

"So two monks walk into a bar . . .”

Robin needs to get into Nottingham, but his previous beggar’s disguise was burnt at the end of his last excursion into town on day three. What to do?

As with most problems in this game, this one can be solved by a quick visit to Watling Street. After all, what kind of outlaw worth his salt would actually devise a solution using what he has on hand when he can just steal one?

And what’s this? Two monks come a-walkin’ down the street, one a black-clad denizen of the monastery and the other a brown-robed brother from St. Mary’s. What to do?

I clicked my “Hand” icon on both fellows, but I’ll save the discussion of what happens with the black monk for another post. It seems to me that the Widow’s boys need my help more urgently than Maid Marian, so I decide to hold up the monk from St. Mary’s.


“Top of the day to you, Brother,” says Robin, before getting down to business. As with the other encounters, Robin has a few options. Unlike the others, there are actually two solutions, though one is better than the other:

  • Talking to the monk has Robin bust his balls about being out and about—and fat—while he is supposed to be at St. Mary’s doing the Lord’s work and spending time in prayer and quiet contemplation.
  • Trying to use the horn has Robin tell the player that he does not need help with this particular monk.
  • Giving money lightens Robin’s purse, but does not get the monk to part with his robe.
  • Likewise, the monk will not accept the gem as payment for the robe.
  • Threatening the monk with the bow gets Robin his robe, but he sure feels bad about it. It also costs the player 75 points.
Or a personal favorite analogy, courtesy of Mr. Zappa, it would be like “treating dandruff by decapitation.”
  • Clicking hand on the monk causes him to pee his pants (metaphorically) and hand over his clothes. What a cheap date (75 points)!

And what a weenie!

Disguise in hand, Robin sends the monk off to camp for a little bit of hard work and ass-slapping, courtesy of Friar Tuck and his sword.

No, not THAT sword!

It’s not as dirty as it sounds. Who knew that the Merry Men had such a devotion to the good Lord that the sight of hypocritical monks not living up to their Christ-like vows sets them off in such a frenzy?

Wait a minute. What about Friar Tuck himself? Are we to assume that he is doing the Lord’s work by being an OUTLAW!!!? Or am I overthinking this too much.
.

In all honestly, I care not what two monks decide to do with their free time, or where to put their swords. Robin has his disguise and now can rescue the Widow’s sons.

An Aside

I fully approve of the fact that Robin has the choice of which monk to assail in this scenario. Far from making me feel like I am missing out, this gives the game more replay value. I honestly wonder what would happen to the Widow’s sons if I decided to infiltrate the monastery first, and it makes me want to restore back to the point and see if it has any consequences on the end game. I also wonder what would happen if the player does not visit the Widow in the morning and instead goes directly to Watling Street. Would the brown monk be there at all? Would the boys be executed off-screen? Would the quest to rescue the three boys occur anyway the next time the player visits the Widow’s? Stuff like this in adventure games, when done well, is great.

Game mechanics aside, it’s time for Robin to begin his rescue mission by heading into town. I assume that the boys are being held in the castle, but I don’t head there first. Something from my first playthrough of this game fifteen or so years ago tickles my memory and I head to the pub.

Nine Men’s Morris


The pub is empty, save for the bartender and the two guys passed-out in the upper-left of the screen. There is also a new face: A grizzled old warrior sitting at the Nine Men’s Morris board in the lower-right corner of the screen.

The bartender won’t give Robin any free ale, and complains that the Abbott of St. Mary’s is yet to pay his long-overdue tab. Even worse, the Abbott never returns the empty ale casks. Nice guy, that Abbott. I sure hope I get to visit him soon.

If Robin wants ale, he’ll have to pay for it the old-fashioned way. Don’t drink too much, though, or else Robin will get drunk and insult Prince John in front a bunch of his soldiers, just like he could do when disguised as a beggar.

More interesting is the guy at the game board. He tells Robin that he was a crusader with King Richard in Jerusalem and came home after the King made peace with Saladin. He then tries to entice Robin to play a game or two of Nine Men’s Morris by offering a friendly wager: A chunk of amethyst full of “magick” that will keep whomever dissolves it in their drink stone-cold sober. But it can be used only once before dissolving.

The old fellow, Harry, has no use for anything that will keep him sober, so Robin bets a few pennies and gets down to the game. If you dawdle, Harry suggests a friendly game sans wager just for fun. But I don’t mess around! I plunk my money down and prepare to use my outlaw’s brain, as dangerous as any longbow, to part old Harry from his magic rock.


Thirty Re-loads Later . . .

Yeah, I’m not as good at Nine Men’s Morris as I thought. The rules, helpfully outlined in the manual, are pretty simple: Everywhere spot on the board where the lines meet is called a “point.” Each player has nine “men” and takes turns placing them on these points. During this phase it is imperative to keep your opponent from getting three pieces in a row, either horizontally or vertically. Three men in a row is called a “mill,” but mills cannot be created diagonally. Whomever makes a mill removes an opponent’s piece from the board.

After each player puts their pieces on the board, they take turns moving the pieces from point to point in order to make more mills and block their opponent. Once a mill is made, it can be recreated—and another opponent’s piece taken—by moving one piece out of line and then back in on the next turn. Strategy consists of preventing your opponent from both disrupting your mill and creating mills of your own.

As I learned, initial placement is very important. Even though Harry lets Robin go first, I had the best luck copying Harry’s strategy which consisted of occupying the outside corners of the board and strategic positions on the inside to allow maximum movement with minimum chance of being blocked. And it pays to be aggressive, putting your opponent on the defensive by making him block your potential mills. It’s kind of like tic-tac-toe, but with more rules.

Eventually I created a mill in the inner square that I could keep recreating because I had successfully blocked Harry. And the more of his pieces I took, the more futile his attempts at thwarting my trollish strategy. Like I cared. You snooze, you lose, Harry! Soon, the amethyst was mine (50).

Checkmate! Or something.

With nothing else to do in the pub, I headed to the castle.


Robin tries to talk his way in, offering to administer to the souls of the prisoners in the dungeon, but to no avail. “They’re only outlaws,” he contemptuously tells Robin. At least he didn’t kick Robin in the nuts this time.

St. Mary’s

My next stop is St. Mary’s. I’m dressed as a monk, so I might as well go in.


The brother lets Robin enter with no problems (10). I am then presented with an overhead map of the abbey, similar to the way King Arthur navigated his castle in Conquests of Camelot.



Let’s go through this room-by-room:

  • In the lower-right is a bedroom Robin cannot enter since the door is locked.
  • In the back is the altar. There is a reliquary said to hold a piece of the True Cross, said to have been brought from Jerusalem by King Arthur himself.


There are also two doors in the back. Exiting either one (10) brings Robin to . . .

  • A hedge maze.

No! Not a maze! Anything but a maze! I start to map it, before realizing that it’s exceedingly easy. Robin’s destination is the back, where there is a door hidden rather poorly into the hedge.



Going through this door (100) brings Robin to. . .


  • The Witch’s Court




The Abbott, sadistic bastard that he is, has built a place where he and other spectators can watch fun things like suspected witches being burned alive. With a name like “Witch’s Court,” I was hoping for some kind of cross between basketball and Quidditch. Alas, this is not the case. There is nothing for Robin to do here, nor anywhere else to go, so I leave and return to St. Mary’s.

  • There is nothing Robin can do in the sleeping cells, nor can he exit the abbey from them.
  • In a small room in the lower-left, next to the door to the altar, Robin finds a laundry room.


Those things in the back are not three monks taking a leak against the wall like some sort of sacrilegious spoof of the cover of Who’s Next; they are freshly laundered monk’s robes. I take them (50), though I have no clue what they could possibly be used for. In the inventory screen, Robin comments on the sturdiness of the silk belts.

  • Finally, the room in the lower-left is the abbey’s dining area, where Robin finds the Abbott himself. He is trying to open a wooden puzzle box. Robin asks if he can be of any help. The Abbott replies that he’s having trouble with the box, and the only thing that could help is more ale.


That’s right kids! There’s nothing like some booze to help you solve problems! Robin takes the empty cask (25) and the Abbott tells Robin to charge the alcohol to his account. And if Robin returns fast enough, he might just share some with Robin.

Casks and Flagons

Remember earlier in this post when the bartender complained about the Abbott keeping all of his casks? Robin sure did. And since he’s an outlaw with a heart of gold, he returns the cask to the beleaguered bartender (25). The typically surly guy starts to warm up to Robin. He gives Robin a filled cask and tells him he can use the secret passage in the basement, which is a short-cut to St. Mary’s.


Robin to signal if he wants to go through the passage, but I figure out pretty quickly where the entrance is. The second cask from the top on the right side of the screen is empty, and pulling the tap causes a hidden door to appear. Robin crawls through (100), heedless of the danger because, let’s not forget, that’s how outlaws roll.

Tunnels sans Treasure


The passage brings Robin to an intersection. I start with the left tunnel, because it seems shorter.



It brings Robin to a hidden door with a peephole. Through the peephole he can see into the dungeon, where two guards are complaining about being on guard duty and not drinking. No matter the time period, some things never change.


The guards talk about “the prisoners,” and check on them from the room they are in, but I don’t see any prisoners. Well, there’s really nothing left to do but ask the friendly guards for directions to the Widow’s sons.

“Hi guys! What do you mean you didn’t know there was a door in here?”


Oh, screw you. I don’t see YOU bums risking your lives to save Hal, Hob, and Dicken.

Okay, I suppose there has to be another way to save the boys, but I can’t think of one right now. I restore and go through the right tunnel. It’s a bit longer, but brings me to an exit hidden by the tapestry in the dining hall of St. Mary’s.

The Drinking Contest

Uh, YOU’RE WELCOME?

Robin dutifully delivers the ale, and the Abbott offers for Robin to join him.


Free booze? Of course I say “aye.” The Abbott orders another brother to bring his puzzle box into his bedroom, specifying that he leave the door unlocked since he’ll be napping soon, and then for some reason challenges Robin to a drinking contest.

Good thing I have that magical amethyst! I slip it into Robin’s mug when the Abbott isn’t looking (50) and keep refilling the fat bastard’s mug, clicking “Talk” on him between slurps. Eventually, he gets more and more inebriated and spills the beans about how Prince John trusts him to guard the Queen’s 50,000 marks (25). Robin tries to figure out when exactly the money will be sent, but the Abbott isn’t quite the powerhouse drinker he claims to be and passes out.



Before leaving, I search the Abbott and swipe his purse (10). Sucker. I also take the empty cask because this is an adventure game and the game lets me take it.

There’s only one place to go now: The Abbott’s bedroom. I want to see what this puzzle box is all about.


For a man of the cloth, the Abbott sure loves his earthly comforts. I start poking around the room in search of his box. The chests seem a good place to start, but the box is not in either of them. The chest nearest the door, however, contains a number of “delicate, frilly things for ladies,” leading Robin to wonder what use the Abbott has for them.

“Listen, you slug of the patriarchy! It’s the 21st century! Don’t be such an oppressive cis-het transphobe or you might just wind up in federal prison! Or banned from Twitter!”

Those pillows on the Abbott’s bed look interesting. Sure enough, Robin finds the box hidden under the one on the far-left (25). I put the pillow back (10) and take a look at the box.


It’s a puzzle, alright. Robin says he wants to wait until he’s in a safer place before mucking around with it.

On the alternate solution front, there’s a pull-cord near the bed used by the Abbott for summoning a monk to wait on him. Yanking it does indeed summon another brother which leads to a short exchange in which Robin says the Abbott asked him to get his wooden box, but Robin doesn’t know where it’s found. Other hilarity ensues, involving both men saying that the other doesn’t look familiar and Robin spooking the other monk with tales of a ghost. Regardless, I wonder if this is another way to find the box if the player doesn’t think to look under the pillows.

That’s all to do here. I stroll out of St. Mary’s through the front door and head back to the pub.

Bring the Boys Back Home

At the pub, I return the second cask to the grateful bartender (10) and settle up the Abbott’s 12 penny bill (20). The bartender really takes a liking to Robin now, telling him that he’s the only good monk he’s ever come across, and reiterating that he can use the secret entrance anytime he wants.

And you’re worth your weight in, um, pepper?

Robin quickly makes his way back into the tunnels and down to the secret dungeon door. The two guards are still complaining about their lack of alcohol, the fact that they will be on guard duty while the Sheriff is having a party in the pub later on, and that between the two of them they can’t scrape together the four pennies needed to get some ale. They leave to rustle up some cash from their loser friends. Time for Robin to make his move!

I rush into the empty room and notice that Robin’s footsteps make a hollow sound over the wooden floor. That’s because there’s a pit under there, and trap door conveniently located near the table. I open it, but the guards come back and capture Robin before he can do anything else. Thinking I took too long, I restore and try again, immediately clicking “Hand” on the trap door instead of farting around with the “Eye” icon. I still get captured. Restoring again, I get an idea to purchase some ale for the guards, but when I go back to the pub’s basement, I cannot open the door because some of the Sheriff’s men are in there.

It’s pretty obvious that I need to get the guards drunk, or at least provide them the means, but I don’t know what to do. They mentioned needing four pennies. Is the answer as simple as leaving four pennies on their table when they leave?


It is (75)! I rather like this solution: It’s obvious in hindsight, but just obtuse enough to make you think past the obvious answer of buying the beer yourself. The two dopes abandon their post to get drunk (100) and I head in to save Hal, Hob, and Dicken.



Stuck in a pit, the boys urge Robin to lower the ladder. The problem with that idea is the noticeable lack of ladder in the room. No worries. Robin has three monk’s robes complete with sturdy silken belts. He fashions these into a rope and, Rapunzel-like, gets the three boys out of the pit (150).


Three cheers for silk! The boys are free, and I have disguises for them to boot! There’s even a handy escape route through the abbey!


Or not. Robin brings the boys down the right tunnel and scopes out the abbey himself. Inside, a sober but still pissed (see what I did there?) Abbott demands that his cronies find both his missing puzzle box and that strange bearded monk. You have literally a split second to click “Hand” on the tapestry and escape before Robin gets spotted, captured, and hanged.

Back in the tunnels, Robin tells the boys that there’s only one way to go: Back through the pub where the Sheriff’s men are having a party.


Everybody seems pretty drunk and happy, so Robin tells the boys to cut through the party and beat a hasty retreat (50). It all goes well, until Robin is accosted by an unwelcome face.



It’s the Sherriff! And . . . he’s pretty blitzed! Thinking Robin is just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill brother from St. Mary’s, he asks for a blessing. And Robin delivers: “May God give you all that you deserve, and may I live to see it. Amen” (10). Pleased, the Sheriff gives Robin a penny, which he takes before making like a tree and getting the hell out.

The Boys Are Back In Town



Robin did it! The boys are free! Robin meets them at their mother’s house (300) where they brag about their daring escape. The grateful Widow gives Robin a gift from her time as the Guardian of the Forest, the position now held by Marian. Yup, it turns out that the Widow used to be a Green Priestess, doing the very same Spiral Dance Robin saw Marian doing in his dream. The gift is a golden net (50), which the Widow says will protect Robin with the power of the forest in a time of need.

Lastly, she urges Robin to take her sons with him to be Merry Men, since they are now true outlaws. Hell yeah I’ll take them! Hal, Hob, and Dicken are pretty ballsy dudes, the know how to slip in and out of town, they don’t lose their cool when the going gets rough, and they can follow orders. Robin’s outlaw count climbs to 34, and he heads back for some well-deserved ale and adulation from his crew as the day comes to a satisfying close.


I really enjoyed this whole sequence, as it was full of conflict like I talked about at the beginning of this post. Saving the boys involves sneaking into town. Sneaking into town involves stealing a disguise. Getting into the dungeon involves finding a secret passage. Finding the secret passage involves getting ale for the Abbott and surviving the drinking contest. Surviving the drinking contest involves winning the amethyst from Harry. Finding the boys involves distracting the guards. Freeing the boys involves getting robes from the abbey. Escaping the tunnels involves avoiding St. Mary’s, now abuzz with everybody searching for Robin, necessitating walking straight through the Sheriff’s party. And just when Robin thinks the coast is clear, he’s accosted by the Sheriff of Nottingham himself. It was a fun experience, and I liked the way the two rivals met. I can only hope that the remainder of Conquests of the Longbow is as enjoyable as this.

The one downside to this play session? I didn’t get to murder anybody. Oh well. There’s always Robin’s next mission.

Session Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Inventory: Horn, money, gem, puzzle box, golden net
Ransom: 300
Outlaws: 34
Score: 2190 out of 7325

Problems Conquested by the Longbow (as of this post): Do I feel bad about Robin’s murder spree? Nope!
Day 1: Saved a peasant woman from being raped and murdered by one of the Sheriff’s goons.
Day 2: Rescued Maid Marian from an evil monk from the fens.
Day 4: Saved a poacher from being executed by one of the sheriff’s men.
Day 5: Get the brown robe from the monk of St. Mary’s (but lose points because only cowards threaten a helpless monk with a longbow).

Corrections and Omissions: Ever wanted to tell some random writer on the Internet that he’s a buffoon? Here’s your chance!

*5 CAPs to Fry for the idea to track all the problems solved with the longbow.
*5 CAPs to TBD for revealing what two seconds of web-searching would have told me: Robert Zemeckis directed the Back to the Future trilogy, not Steven Spielberg.

27 comments:

  1. Does it count as an error if I mention that Robert Zemeckis directed the Back to the Future trilogy?

    Technically you didn't say they were directed by Steven Spielberg, so you could always claim that that was never your intention and I should just shut the hell up.

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    1. Argh! Of course it counts. Good catch!

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  2. It's a shame that pretending to be a monk in this case didn't involve a puzzle about following The Rule.

    I, too, really love that leaving-money-on-the-table puzzle, as it involves more thinking (considering the psychological effect it's going to have on the guards) than your usual "throw item at object" puzzle. It's even a little counterintuitive due to having to sacrifice money.

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    1. Wow. You reminded me of Future Wars. Go sit yourself in the corner.

      It is a pretty cool puzzle. Just goes to show what a little extra thought during the design phase can do.

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    2. *sits in corner*

      Do I get CAPs for being obedient? :-P

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    3. Our CAP system starts to resemble Pavlov's dog experiments...

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  3. Wow. I missed this entire sequence by skipping the bar while disguised as a monk and heading to the Chapel. There I spent quite a bit of time exploring the maze. I did get to see the prisoners by convincing the guard at the gate that I was there to administer the last rites, but it turned out to be pretty fruitless and he wouldn't let me see them again.

    I realize now that I missed a bunch of screens and the Nine Men's Morris mini-game. :-(

    Eventually the day ended abruptly for me. Not sure whether there's a timer at work or if the course of actions I took meant I had dead-ended myself on that particular quest. So what happened to the three boys? I'm ROT13'ing how the game tied up the plot in case you want to replay this:
    Ng gur raq bs gur qnl, gur Zreel Zra vasbezrq zr gung gur ynpx bs shegure arjf sebz zr nf gur qnl nqinaprq znqr gurz fhfcrpg gur jbefg, fb n ohapu bs bhgynjf frg bhg gb serr gur cevfbaref gurzfryirf. Va gung gurl fhpprrqrq, ohg ng gur pbfg bs gur yvirf bs 4 bhgynjf!

    V jnf fb qryvtugrq gb yrnea gung gur tnzr jbhyq yrg zr pbagvahr zl nqiragherf naq gung gurer jnf n pyrne pbafrdhrapr gb zl qvyyl-qnyylvat gung V qvqa'g obgure gb erybnq. Jung n avpr ghea sbe n Fvreen tnzr!


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    1. Interesting! I was wondering what the Outlaw count was for, anyway.

      It's really cool that this game goes out of its way to avoid dead-ending the player. And the multiple paths make multiple playthroughs actually worthwhile. For example, I did not bother bribing the guard, because the last time I tried, he just took Robin's money and kicked him in the junk.

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    2. By the way, what other games with multiple paths have been blogged about so far? There's at least Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Quest for Glory 1 & 2 and Rise of the Dragon.

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    4. In Missed Classic Land, It Came From the Desert had many multiple paths, with each piece of evidence having various locations and ways to collect

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  4. I'd point out that 'tah' (or 'ta') is a fairly common thing amongst British English - it's a layman's 'thank you' usually taught to youths. Urban Dictionary suggests it has something to do with a Danish influence on English and the Danish word for thanks being 'tak'.

    I do like the little 'Metal Gear Robin' section here, even though it feels annoying that he didn't do this in the previous day where he instead chose to be a beggar. I imagine that the disguises will only get more ridiculous from here - maybe a nice frilly dress?

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    1. I know it is. I just wanted an excuse to rag on Alan.

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  5. I mentioned this blog to Richard Aronson, who was the lead programmer for Conquests of the Longbow. He said he was concerned that the programmer who implemented Nine Men's Morris did too good a job with the AI - that it should have been made easier to win.

    I had a similar experience with my "first computer game". I implemented a single-player tic-tac-toe game on a minicomputer. Since tic-tac-toe is a solved game, the computer played perfect strategy and never lost. People at work found it an interesting curiosity, played a few games, then quit.

    Then I modified the algorithm so the computer would have a random weakness each game - if the player found it, the computer would make a second-best move and the player could win. Once I put that in, several players got hooked and played the game over and over. That was an experience I remembered for later gaming - players like to win, but they also like to feel it's hard.

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    1. Cool Corey; I hope he comes buy. I did not find Nine Men's Morris too hard. It was fair, and also nice to play against a computer opponent that wasn't a total dolt, or totally cheap. My losses were all my fault. I find it fascinating how a subtle change in the algorithm gives the illusion of "fairness," making the game fun. It sounds like you were running some amateur psychology experiments.

      I have to say, playing Dag-Nab-It against the Chief Thief in QfG I when you make a bet of 25 or more silvers is harder than Nine Men's Morris here. Talk about cheap . . .

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  6. Quite an entertaining read. Thanks for writing!

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  7. Yeah, there are a few points missing from not giving some cash to the castle guard to find out where the boys are kept.

    This is one of my favourite Sierra games and the only one, I believe, that I got all the points in without having a hint book.

    The fair sequence is one of the most fun scenes in any game I've played.

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    1. All the points? I would think that the CYOA-ish structure of the game makes it even *more* difficult to get a perfect score... but then again it's a fairly easy adventure, so there's that. I assume there was quite a bit of reloading?

      Ah yes, the fair sequence is really something else. So much for Conquests being a generally "serious" game XD

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    2. @Mark E

      Oh no, why'd you tell me! Now I have to fight the compulsion to go back and try to get them all!

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    3. @Charles

      CYOA structure . . . I like that better than "multiple solutions"!

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  8. Haha, appropriately, the game lets its hair down during the fair sequence, definitely. The description of one gentleman at the tournament is so hilariously catty that it still makes me laugh.

    And yes, more copious replaying than reloading honestly; I'd often go through the games over and over back as a wee lad.

    There are some really easy to miss points on the very last day in particular. I think a large chunk of the optional ones are at the fair, outside of that.

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    1. I am not at the fair yet, but I'm looking forward to it now!

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  9. "Am I overthinking this too much?" No, you're overthinking it the right amount. You're being redundant too much, though. :P

    "Worth your weight in salt" - remember, in that time period, salt was pretty expensive! I don't think it was nearly as expensive as pepper, though (which was probably close to the value of gold, as we might use in that expression today).

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  10. Hahaha I know the expression. I just could not come up with a good reply.

    Regarding my redundancy, I never thought of that expression like that before previously.

    ...

    Dammit I did it again, didn't I?

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  11. Alex, you need to write more. This was really interesting as well as humorous!

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