Saturday, 13 August 2016

EcoQuest - Crab and Lobster

Written by Reiko

Adam Greene Journal #3: "I want to help find King Cetus, but nobody except Delphineus trusts me, because I'm human. I certainly didn't throw any of this trash down here. I'm cleaning it up for them! But that's not enough. I'm SO glad I took some of my dad's experimental fertilizer solution with me. That stuff is awesome at dissolving oil! I'll have to tell him it works. But not only do I have to find Cetus, now I have to stay out of the way of a huge scary manta! I think this quest just got a LOT harder."

Last time, I followed the dolphin down to his ocean home of Eluria and began trying to help the city by talking to the Oracle. Now I have to find the mayor and the guardian of the greens.

I don't think Cetus would appreciate this description of him...

First I swim into the smaller building at the back of the street and find myself in a senator's meeting hall. An imperious voice asks who I am. The room appears empty, but I try talking to the gold mask attached to the back wall [2]. At first, the voice seems very alarmed that a human is here. But Cetus can't help him now, so after I patiently listen to him talk about Cetus, he sets me the task of aligning the three left columns to match the ones on the right.

At least he doesn't rhyme everything he says, like the Oracle.

Most of the column pieces affect a second piece when turned, so I have to find the one that doesn't affect any other piece and click it into place to match its corresponding piece, then follow the chain forward. It's not enough just to get all the pieces to match, though; you actually have to click each piece into place individually in the right order. It's not a very hard puzzle, merely a bit more tedious than it needed to be.

Bureaucracy at its finest.

When all the columns are in place [10], the building settles a bit and the mask is knocked off the wall, revealing a rather distraught hermit crab who turns out to be the mayor. I talk to him again [2] but he feels useless in trying to deal with the crisis in the absence of Cetus, and he still doesn't trust me to help. So I think I'm done here for now.

I swim over to the Fish Apartments to see what Delphineus is up to. I've found the mayor but not the guardian of the greens, so he tells me to check the Royal Gardens and wanders back to the surface to breathe. At the apartments, there's more trash to collect: a candy box, an aluminum toothpaste tube, an old plate, a waterlogged book, an old shirt, a Dodgers baseball cap, a shoe, a toaster, and a sock [10]. I also find a white cotton rag [2].

Cleaning up more trash...

When I try to swim into one of the apartments [2], a blue manatee named Gregarious appears and says I need a pass to get in. There's a cute exchange where he says, "I don't know you from Adam" and of course Adam says, "But I AM Adam!" The game hints that something isn't right with the manatee, as he's blue and is wearing bandages. We’ll have to help him later.

I wander around looking for the Royal Gardens, as there aren't any other obvious exits: the Fish Apartments, the meeting hall, and the ruined temple are visible buildings off the street, but there's nothing else. I try swimming off various edges of the screens, but most lead to open water; once Delphineus even swims up to tell me to stay in the city and then swims away again. Finally I find that the left edge of the street is the exit to the gardens.

...and yet more trash and destruction.

The plant life is dying here, and the coral is covered in oil tar. (Ecological message +1). Naturally, there's more trash to collect: fishing line, a six pack of soda, a can of broccoli, a purse, a tire, a spray bottle, another shoe, a wheel, and a pot [10]. There's also a large shell with a clicking inside that's too heavy to lift. I'm sure there's something interesting in there.

Adam's talking to the coral now...

...and here's why.

So I pour the experimental bacteria solution over the oil on the coral to see if that will dissolve it. It works! Adam swims around watching it and doesn't notice that a large lobster appears from the shell until it pinches him. She asks sternly what he's doing to the coral. He explains, and his compassion impresses her.

And of course this rare potion is exactly what we'll need later.

This lobster is the Guardian of the Greens, of course, and she calls herself Demeter. Not many greens left to guard, unfortunately. She hands over a vial of healing potion [2], which doesn't work on the garden but of course will be useful somewhere else. After she disappears and the oil finishes dissolving, I find an oil-covered shell [2] that fell from the coral. I can use the cotton rag to clean the oil off it [5], so now I have a clean shell and an oily rag.

He's more or less turning the responsibility for this over to a human boy now.

Delphineus suggests I need to give the mayor something he needs so that he'll trust me. Well, how about that shell I just found? The hermit crab is naturally quite pleased to have a larger shell to live in [5]. Now he wants to call a meeting so that everyone can decide what to do next. He offers me a deputy badge if I'll go round up the citizens. The badge turns out to be a starfish - of course!

You could have warned me earlier, instead of unceremoniously flinging me into a pot!

But when I swim back out to the street, suddenly the music turns ominous, a few fish appear and suddenly swim away, and the screen darkens. Delphineus appears and smacks Adam, sending him flying down into a ruined pot, and then disappears again. Then a huge black manta appears in the distance, swimming away. When the coast is clear, Delphineus appears again and apologizes, but Adam knows it saved his life. The manta is known as "Flesh-Eater" and has been preying on Elurians. As if we don't have enough to deal with.

Back to the apartments to talk to the citizens. I give the mayor's starfish badge to the manatee [5], who readily accepts it as a pass to the apartments. The decision of which apartment to investigate first is made for me as a plastic bag drifts down from the surface. A blowfish swims into it, gets panicked, inflates, and can't get back into his room. I push him back in [5] and tumble in myself. He's still stuck in the plastic though, so I go and unwrap it from him [10].

Narcissus is a rather appropriate name, don’t you think?

The blowfish is a "French" artist (with the stereotypical bad French accent) named Narcissus who gratefully hands over two sea urchins [2] for saving his life, and then swims off to the meeting. One citizen down. I also trash the dangerous baggie [5] so it won't be able to trap any other sea creatures (Ecological message +1).

Out on the main apartment screen, I see that the light next to the apartment I just exited is out, and there are at least five other lights still on. I'm up to 307 points, and next time I'll need to help some more citizens before they'll join the meeting.

Inventory: oily rag, steel cage, trident, sea urchins, healing potion, glass jar, transmitter
Ecological messages: 2 (8 total)

Session Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

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!

3 comments:

  1. I like that they've used Greek constellations along with gods/goddesses as the characters and just anthropomorphised the lot of them. Demeter is supposed to be a beautiful goddess, but a crab will do, right? (And Narcissus being a blowfish instead of a vain hunter is genius in its own way.)

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    1. The only character I can think of that's a Greek constellation is Cetus. But yes, I think the names are all Greek-derived and are appropriate to the role. Demeter wasn't just a beautiful goddess, but one associated with plants and the harvest, especially grains and cereal crops (her Roman equivalent was Ceres). So it's appropriate that the character responsible for the city's gardens and food supply is named after her.

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    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinus (removing an 'e'?) Delphinus is typically depicted through Greek mythology as something of a savior of those around it/them, though whether that was intentional or just because it was a 'dolphin-y sounding name' is really anyone's guess to me.

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