Monday, 19 October 2020

Legacy - Are we in hell?

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

I'm not going to even bother mentioning the fire beasts as long as I have a functioning fire extinguisher. I quickly find a note. Its from Ellen. Remember Ellen, my distant cousin by marriage whom I brutally killed in self-defense with several dozen bullets and stabs?  Eh, its okay, I'm Superman's friend, I'll get out of jail just fine. It mentions that Elias is in his temple, two floors up, the 5th or 6th floor, as I've forgotten how this game is functioning. Also quotes "though the gate behind his face", "Robert said the gates can take you anywhere.", "...death and madness..." To sum up, Ellen probably shouldn't have imagined my face as a tree and I have probably already reached the temple. Remember way back when I found the weird chain room with the dismembered zombie? I don't know where the hell that led me. Its just as valid as any other explanation. There hasn't exactly been anything approaching the extreme south-west of the mansion. The very edge of the map. That'd be incredibly boring if its right.

 True terror is subtle in this game

I find a staircase near the note. I think to myself, hey, why not, after all, I might find some sweet loot there. The ensuing ten seconds are perhaps the most terrifying I have experienced in the game. I'm not joking. After the customary waiting period, I am greeted by two slimes. I stop for a moment. Oh, no, I think to myself in more vulgar terms. I press S, to go back down the stairs. "You fail to dodge past your attacker". Who is that? I quickly turn around. Its another slime. I back away from the door. He walks away, I slap W twice, and breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to be the last we'll see of these slimes. Probably because its early on that floor yet.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Missed Classic: Labyrinth - Won! And Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

There is a special place in my heart for licensed games. They are often pretty terrible, but five out of our “Top 10” (really top thirteen) games are licensed properties. Our #1 game as of this writing is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, a game that LucasArts will develop only six years after this one. Even when they aren’t good, I take perverse joy in seeing how these properties are adapted. Labyrinth is no exception and while I cannot say that the game is as good as I was hoping, I am glad that I detoured to experience it.

When we left off last week, I was so close to completing the game that I could taste it. I stood outside Jareth’s castle but was unable to open the gate. Even when I found an alternate underground passage, I remained trapped at a closed door with no way to open it. I gave up and learned from a walkthrough that I missed an item (a bracelet) several hours earlier. Worse, there was no way back to retrieve it. To beat the game, I will have to restore an old save game from when I explored the Hedge Maze the first time, but this time locate the missing bracelet before I move on. While reading through the hints, I also realized that there are optional areas and puzzles that I missed; I’ll discuss those at the end.

Without further delay, let’s rewind time. Can I defeat the game now, or will I get trapped in another deadend?

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Legacy - The Heart Collector

Written by Morpheus Kitami

You know, its been a while since something killed me and I never did find out what was in the second basement.

I didn't anticipate the deadliest enemy being a slug with too many eyes

The answer. Sheer terror. I'm so afraid. This thing's guarding the way past the staircase. He doesn't seem to take any damage and he does dish it out. Who is this, Agatha? Wait a minute...This is Alberoth. Old Nosey. Even the game acknowledges that this guy looks like a joke. Is the final boss going to look like a brown, lumpy sausage then? I can't get past him, I think this is a puzzle. Remember those? After all, this is supposed to be an adventure game I'm playing. Rock salt? Eh, I hope not. Flamethrower? Hmm...this could be interesting, but chances are the answer is incredibly boring.

Judging by the standards set by Alberoth, he should have the consistency of a pancake

Reloading from back upstairs, I reenter the asylum. Ah...I really don't want to wander around this place. I wonder if Mr. Teeth-thing will let me through. Unlike a bland looking Outer God, this guy lets me go. Ah, sweet freedom. Eh, knowing my luck, I come back, nearly dead and he rips my face off.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Legacy - Way-oh Way-oh

Written by Morpheus Kitami

Despite my relative success on this new floor I feel as though unfinished business on the 1st floor is a bad thing to have. The only question is, where is that damn painting? As I walk back to the stairs, I notice that the mouth-thing I assumed was an elderitch squirrel is actually guarding the stairs up. Hopefully something will be able to blanket kill all these things.

Feeling old yet? All the people on this tape are dead now

So I desperately comb over the parts of the 1st floor I haven't already checked. At this point I'm just savescumming. Forcing a door hurts me. I've got an axe, apparently that doesn't work. Who knew that the leading cause of death among firefighters is killing themselves breaking open a door. One thing good does come of this, as I trap a daemon inside an empty room. A locked empty room. I hurt myself on that door for nothing. This means...dun dun dun...I can see the VHS tape. Except there's still another daemon there, but by the time I notice him I'm already inside...again. Also the tentacle float is angry at me, but its too late to savescum again.

So, finally seeing this tape reveals that Ellen killed the rest of her family. Robert is also surprisingly calm and collected for someone who's killed a TON of people. But there's more to this than that. Think about this for a second, Ellen stopped recording the tape, took the tape out, put it in a safe on the ground floor, locked said safe, put the key on the other side of the floor. Further, Ellen has been inside this mansion for months, a year, and nobody noticed. These furniture movers never noticed her, which makes my jokes about the quality of their services even more poignant.

You know, I keep mocking the estate agent and the furniture movers, but apparently I misread that, the PC is supposed to have suggested auctioning off furniture. I'm clearly as smart as the PC.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Missed Classic: Labyrinth - And I Walk Along Darkened Corridors

Written by Joe Pranevich

If you love old genre TV shows such as Doctor Who or Star Trek, you have a pretty good idea what a gravel quarry looks like. These shows are often equally famous for their corridor scenes, short segments of hallway that can be tweaked to look like whatever part of the ship they need to show. Using and reusing set pieces like these helped ensure that episodes could be shot quickly at a minimum of cost. While Labyrinth the film takes great pains to make every scene unique, Labyrinth the game seems to have been made with this type of cost-cutting in mind. Over and over again, I had to explore long segments of nearly-identical corridors to make sure I wasn’t missing an item or an event. (Spoiler: I missed one.) While the environments became more dynamic as I neared the end, the vast majority of the playtime in this game is just running down halls and checking doors, mentally marking off distances and landmarks to distinguish one near-identical segment from the other. While computer games do not have to pay for sets, it costs money to design interesting environments. It’s a shame this game didn’t make that investment. To augment the somewhat boring screenshots, I will augment my coverage this time out with pictures from the film. Labyrinth is beautiful and beyond what the 8-bit graphics of the Commodore 64 could manage.

Last time, we started our exploration by solving a simple text adventure before getting sucked into the “movie”. We have only thirteen hours to find the center of the maze before we become David Bowie’s slave forever. I can think of worse things than being circa-1986 David Bowie’s personal slave, but the game takes it as a given that it is a Bad Thing. Once in the labyrinth, we discovered (but did nothing with) Hoggle the dwarf and solved the first puzzle by walking through graffiti spelling out the word “door”. What type of mysteries will the game throw at us today? Let’s play!