Hey...these guys weren't here before!
...the volleyball match. I’ll say straight up that it’s unlikely I would ever have found this section of the game if it wasn’t for Jarikith’s comment about it (in ROT13 I’ll add). You start the game sitting in a beach chair, with a shirt hanging over the back of it. You can’t enter the hotel behind you without putting that shirt on, and I struggle to see why anyone would stand up, leave the shirt where it is, and decide to ignore the hotel and wander up the beach. If you come across the volleyball net with your shirt off, there are two girls and a guy playing. If you’ve got the shirt on, they’re simply not there. Maybe it’s just the way I play adventure games, but I would put that shirt on and enter the hotel 99 times out of 100!
Oh of course! Everyone knows that volleyball matches are invisible to anyone wearing a shirt.
I’ve been whinging about how stingy the game is when it comes to handing out points, but the volleyball game dished out no less than 16! A few I gained from playing the game (which I had no control over), but the majority were earned by resuscitating one of the girls who drowned trying to retrieve the ball from the water. This involved nothing more than following the exact CPR steps outlined in the manual, and while I originally thought the girl must be Stacy (and perhaps that rescuing her might be the trigger to her having sex later), it turned out to have absolutely no bearing on the rest of the game whatsoever. She drowned, I resuscitated her, she thanked me and walked away.
I fail to see the point of a puzzle that spells out the solution to the player while having absolutely no bearing on the rest of the game.
My main reason for restarting was to try to get the girl in the bar to have sex with me. While I had a brief crack at it during my first play through, and had even managed to dance with her, everything I’d tried had failed and eventually resulted in her slapping me and walking out. I’d assumed at the time that the creators were making the game seem like a Leisure Suit Larry game, and then letting you know in no uncertain terms that Codename: ICEMAN wasn’t going to contain the same juvenile titillations. I’d also had absolutely no motives to flirt and bed women in this game, so once I was called upon to leave the island and help defend my country, I quickly forgot about the brunette and moved on. It came as quite a surprise to me to find out that I was supposed to have slept with her, and that not doing so had made me miss out on valuable information and items, not to mention points.
You mean apart from the one I'm standing directly in front of?
The game has no problem with me trying to sit on Stacy though.
Once the dance was over, I stood right next to her again and typed “sit” a third time. This caused me to finally sit down in the chair across from her, at which point she rather bluntly came out with “would like to come back to my place”. You can compare Codename: ICEMAN to James Bond if you so choose, but the infamous British spy still has to seduce women with witty dialogue and sexy suggestiveness before they start taking their clothes off. All Johnny Westland has to do is buy a girl a drink and dance with her, not uttering a single word in the process. It seems Stacy is pretty damn easy to please!
Sierra: Teaching young men that the best way to get laid is to keep their mouth closed.
Despite how slutty Stacy seemed, I wasn’t going to deny the girl, so answered in the affirmative. We then appeared outside her hut, where the obvious thing to do was to “kiss” her. After a couple of kisses, she asked me inside, which I once again agreed to. I then sat next to her on the bed, and nothing happened. Kissing her again caused her to tell me that “this vacation has been beautiful for me except for one thing! I lost an earring today that is very important to me!” Then nothing happened again. I don’t know if there’s any other way to get the action on, but I was forced to type “kiss” about five times before finally the screen went black and fireworks appeared. “The excitement and romance of the evening will be forever emblazoned on your memory!”
Johnny! You could score here, just don't say anything!
So...I’d scored with Stacy! For what purpose? Obviously the earring was going to play a role somehow. When I woke up, Stacy was gone, but there was a note saying “Thanks for making my vacation so wonderful. You were sleeping so peacefully I just couldn’t bring myself to wake you. I have urgent business to tend to and must leave. I wish you the best and hope we meet again soon.” I searched the hut thoroughly, but couldn’t uncover anything of interest. Stacy had mentioned she’d had the earring when she left the hut, and had noticed it was gone when she arrived at the hotel, so it must be somewhere in between. I left the hut to go hunting.
What? No breakfast!?
It took me about twenty seconds to find the earring, but I feel like there was some luck involved. Typing “look” and “look around” didn’t result in anything useful, but while I was walking along I thought I saw something shimmer briefly. It was so brief that I actually thought I’d imagined it, but I walked over to the spot and typed “look”. “In the sand a slight glimmer catches your eye”, which of course was the earring. Did anyone have any trouble finding the earring, despite knowing its general whereabouts? Looking at the earring revealed that “the top of the earring can be opened”, so that’s exactly what I did. Inside was a tiny roll of microfilm! It must be seriously small to fit inside an earring! What was I going to do with it? I’d always expected whatever I found on the island to assist me in cracking the CIA codes, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how the microfilm was going to help!
Announcing that something is highly unlikely doesn't make it any more likely.
I left Tahiti with 51 points, which is 36 points more than I left with the first time around. From there I travelled to the Pentagon for my orders (where this time I got my ID card back from the guard), and then boarded the USS Blackhawk just as before. Once through the first submarine navigation section, Captain Hawkins and I moved into his quarters to retrieve the briefcase containing further orders. This time I was determined to figure out how to access the second compartment, which in turn I assumed would help me crack the CIA codes. I tried using every item I had on the briefcase until the captain said “John, you can fool around with that extra compartment some other time. We need to get this sub moving!”
John, you can open the second compartment later. Now let me lock this briefcase away where you can never touch it again.
That can only mean one thing really. I need to crack into the safe somehow to retrieve it later, but that doesn’t seem like a very honest thing for a second in command Navy officer to do. I tried asking the captain about the safe and even asked him directly for the code, but all I got in response was “you’ve left me responseless” and “you can’t do that”. Strangely, when I typed “look at captain”, the response was “he doesn’t look well”. At one point while I was asking him about the safe, I actually got “I’m sorry Commander, but the Captain is under medication and sleeping. The amount of pain he was experiencing from the head injury made it necessary to sedate him”. WTF? What head injury? This part of the game is clearly bugged and I had a bad feeling my reasons for not solving it were more to do with parser issues than anything else! I had to accept that the CIA code / briefcase compartment puzzle was going to remain unsolved for me, so I moved on.
What? Uummm...captain...did you hear that voice?
I decoded the Washington codes, then made my way downstairs, determined to beat the crusty old man at dice and win the rum bottle, his money, and the device, all without restoring three times. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to restore even once this time around! I took Charles’ advice and sped the game up (don’t ask me why I didn’t think of that before), meaning I didn’t have to spend so long watching the tedious animations. I definitely had more luck this time around, but I also think I genuinely got better at the game. The key is to always go for triples. So if I had two 5’s and two 6’s after my first roll, I would keep the 6’s and roll the other three dice again (did I get it right this time The Mad Gamer?). If things didn’t go my way as "boss", I would pull out rather than gamble. Eventually I won everything on offer, and left the table.
He doesn't seem that fussed about losing pretty much everything he owns.
This finally brings me back to the stage of the game I was at prior to restarting. I’ve actually ventured quite a bit further, and even written a post for it, but needed to get all of the above in the clear before continuing. I’m pretty disappointed that I still haven’t managed to crack the CIA codes through logic (only through spoiler), and have no idea how to open the safe and retrieve the briefcase to then get into the second compartment. I haven’t yet read any further hints or spoilers, as I want to make sure I don’t read anything unrelated that might assist me going forward. I have to say that playing through the starting sections of the game again has only reaffirmed my feelings toward it. Codename: ICEMAN is certainly an ambitious game, but it’s also a very poorly designed one, with numerous parser and puzzle flaws, not to mention tediously repetitious sections. The second half will have to be pretty damn gripping to make up for it.
Hmmmm...did that old guy just walk under the stairs and then disappear? I wonder if there's something under there!
Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before 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!