Wednesday 26 December 2012

Game 27: Emmanuelle - The Laws of Eroticism

Marc-Henri Journal Entry 2: “I have discovered a strange statuette that I’m certain will help me acquire the erotic skills I need to lure Emmanuelle into my arms (and hopefully my bed). I don’t fully understand its power or purpose yet, but I’m quite sure I’m on the right track. I delivered the aphrodisiac that the man on the boat gave me to a gambler I came across in the casino. It turns out he leads a gang called the Death Squadron, and it was he that gave me the statuette in return for my efforts. I wonder if there are any more of these statuettes around her???”

The last thing I saw before a C prompt

If you read my last post, you’ll be aware that my first five minute session of Emmanuelle was pretty laughable. After it was over, I had a couple of decisions to make. Firstly, I was going to need to try to resolve the technical issues I was facing while playing the game, and secondly, I was going to have to figure out how best to attack the game itself. The main technical issues I was facing were speed (the game runs way too fast, making it next to impossible to choose conversation options) and sound (apart from the occasionally bleep, I wasn’t getting any). I knew that I could start playing around with DOSBox settings to try to get the speed right, but I was hoping someone out there had found a way that wouldn’t involve me adjusting things every time I play.

Here's a review from back in the day that gave the game an NA for sound, so I can only assume it never had any! (Xasthur fits my mood)

After reading the responses I got on the blog and anything I could find out there on the net, I’m now resigned to using Ctrl F11 and Ctrl F12 to slow the game down and then speed it back up as I play. Unfortunately there’s no speed that suits the whole game, as what is perfect for one section could be mind numbingly slow for another. On the sound side of things, I’ve found nothing to suggest that there’s any sound in this game at all (apart from those aforementioned bleeps that pop out occasionally). The credits suggest that Francois Peirano produced the music for Emmanuelle, so I can only assume that it didn’t make it to the DOS version of the game. Either that or it’s just not coming through using DOSBox. Anyone know for sure? Either way, it looks like I can just listen to my own choice of music while I play this game.

I'm going to wear out my F11 and F12 keys by the time this is over.

Before I get into how I’ve decided to approach the game, there are a couple of things that I’ve discovered that I should mention. There are four distinct areas that I can visit, being Rio de Janeiro, Salvador de Bahia, Iguacu and Manaus. Each of these areas contains locations of their own to visit, and all of them have a hotel with barman, reception and porter. While things at first looked pretty random while visiting each location, it turns out it’s merely the people that are present, not the puzzles or solutions that differ. That means, from what I can tell, that each item that I need and each person I need to visit will always be found in the exact same place. With this in mind, I decided to fully investigate each of the four main areas one by one and report my findings. At the end of that process I hope to be able to look over everything I’ve learnt and do the necessary, whatever that might be.

Rio de Janeiro: Seems a logical place to start

Since the game begins in Rio de Janeiro, that seems like a logical place to begin this process. There are three areas that I can click on to get going, which are the “favelas” (the poor area of town), the beach, and the hotel. There only seems to be two things to do at the favelas. Fight the guys at the table or buy stuff from the woman at the market (I’m sure I could have sex with her, but that probably goes without saying). I can buy stuff by simply selecting the item, but then only three of them appear to be for sale (choosing any of the others results in her telling me I’m a bad customer and disappearing!). I purchased the pandiero (a sort of drum apparently), the opera glasses, and the toucan for a total of 4500. Interestingly only the pandiero and the opera glasses appeared in my inventory, so I have no idea what happened with the toucan.

Nice jugs you have there!

The next location is the beachfront, which is where two boats can be found sporadically. The first time I visit the location, there is usually only the one boat there, which is the one where I got into a fight during my first session. This time I was more prepared however, and adjusted the speed of my game so I had a chance to answer the aggressive bastard’s question. When he asked me whether I was looking for trouble, this time I successfully answered “No! I’m looking for adventure...” His response was “Well, that’s just fine! I have a very important mission for you. This is a bottle of synthetic aphrodisiac. It’s worth a fortune! The only thing is that the police are onto me. If I do anything, I’ll be in prison. I need you. Wear it so that everyone can see it; someone will contact you. And you’ll be in trouble if you mess it up!” There’s no doubt that this is a really, really, stupid plan that no-one in their right mind would agree to, but I of course did.

So you don't want to be seen anywhere with it, but you want me to display it at all times?!

This resulted in me having a third item in my visible inventory, and given how little room that left for more, I began wondering just how many items there were to collect in the game. Regardless, there’s something else that can be done, and in fact needs to be done, from the beachfront. The only way to access the casino that is mentioned in the manual is to click on a rather indistinct building in the background on this screen. It’s safe to say that I never would have discovered this if the manual didn’t blatantly state “The entrance to the Casino in Rio de Janeiro is on the beach.” I found the right building through trial and error, and immediately appeared at the roulette table with another couple. Before I even considered making a bet, I took a look around the room, noticing a woman at the bar and another selling cigars and whiskey. This seems a good time to explain the purpose, or indeed lack of purpose, of women in the game, and how I’ve been forced to converse with them.

Some of these pickup lines are more offensive than seductive

There are women spread out (literally) all over Emmanuelle, and all of them appear to be willing to sleep with me if I can just pull the right pickup line out of the bag at the right time. I’ve discovered that each woman appears in the same location (and nowhere else), and for each of them I am given a limited amount of apparently sexy pickup lines. I started keeping a list of all the available lines I could choose from with each woman, as well as their response to each, whether it’s in the positive or the negative. If I ever choose the wrong pickup line, I’m rejected and the woman simply disappears (but can reappear later). If I choose the correct pickup line, then I’m given another three lines to choose from. Get that one right and I get the opportunity to bed the woman, but if I get it wrong, I get one last shot. Choosing the correct pickup lines is pretty much guesswork, since they’re all terrible, but in the case of the women in the hotels, I’ve been able to pay the barmen for hints on the ladies' likes and dislikes.

I imagine there are quite a few men that have learnt your "secret"

I’m not going to give you a rundown of every experience I’ve had with every woman, but I will give you an example of how it works. There’s a woman that hangs out at the bar in Bahia called Nancy. When I bribed the barman, he told me: “There's always Nancy...but she's not nothing like romantic. And apparently she's not at all interested in Brazil...” So, if any of the available pickup lines are either romantic or about Brazil, I should avoid them. When I spoke to Nancy, my first options were “A woman of your class is made for happiness. I’m offering it to you!”, “I want to submit myself to all your whims and vices”, and “Let’s go to it, baby!” If I choose either of the first two options, Nancy rejects me with “You can't stay in this bar for one minute without some over-confident butch coming up and pestering you!”, but choosing “Let’s go to it, baby!” results in “At least you know how to talk to women!”, after which she is willing to continue the conversation and eventually sleep with me.

Nancy isn't interested in niceties. She just wants sex! The rougher the better I imagine!

So that’s how conversing with woman works in the world of Emmanuelle, but it’s not a recipe for success! As I hinted at in my first post, sleeping with women seems to do nothing more than waste valuable energy and erotic potential, raising the question of whether or not it’s worth even attempting. The answer is that there are correct times to sleep with women and at least one instance where the player is rewarded for successful seduction. I won’t give anymore away than that at this stage, but I will say that sleeping with the woman in the casino has by far the worst result that I’ve come across so far. Not only did I get nothing in return for sharing my much desired body with her, when I reappeared in the hotel afterwards, I’d lost both the pandiero and the aphrodisiac! The bitch stole my stuff! An example of how little sense the whole game makes is the fact I was then able to go back and recollect those items as though I never had them in the first place. Right, let’s move on!

Damn bitch stole my pandiero! Hey, where's my toucan!!!???

Ignoring the klepto at the bar, I focussed my attention on the woman selling cigars and whiskey. “I sell cigars and whisky. Take whatever you want!” is all she had to say. I eventually figured out that I could do exactly that, and clicking on exactly the right spot resulted in an image of a cigar appearing on the screen, which I could then drag around. The obvious thing to do, given that I couldn’t move it into my inventory, was to drag and drop it onto the gambling gentleman in front of me. He thanked me for my generosity, and then said “I see you have something for me. Come with me! Let’s go somewhere quieter...” I have no idea at this stage whether the same thing would have happened if I’d given it to the woman, or given the whiskey to the man instead of the cigar. I also haven’t spent any time gambling, as I’m hoping the only purpose to that is monetary. If the rest of the game is anything to go by, the purpose of the casino is to make contact with the man, and that’s all I’ve done.

Powers of observation increase dramatically after the receiving of cigars

The quieter place that the gambler spoke of turned out to be the favelas, and the men that seemed to like a good fight there were his goons. “These are my men. They have a flawless reputation. Do you have the goods? Ah! Here’s the precious bottle! Drink the Cachaca with us, cowboy. The Death Squadron always rewards a favour. Hey, there’s a statuette which should be worth quite a bit in Europe... come on, I’ll take you back to your hotel...” With that, I appeared back in the Rio hotel; although this time I had one of the statuettes mentioned in the manual in my possession. Apparently there are three Laws of Eroticism, and each law is symbolised by a statuette. If I have them in my possession, then they will automatically work when required, and each one relates to a precise character in the game. The laws are as follows:

The Law of Asymmetry: There must be an odd number of partners
The Law of Unusual: You must never see your partner’s face
The Law of Number: You must have multiple relations with the same partner

Death Squadron!!?? Mwahahahahaha

These laws don’t seem to make a lot of sense, but I assume circumstances will arise where each does. The question I had was which of the three statuettes did I have? How do I know whether it’s the one that relates to Asymmetry, Unusual or Number?! I guess the safest thing to do would be to find all three statuettes, then start sleeping with women where the above laws seem to fit. I haven’t yet finished describing my exploration of Rio de Janeiro, but I’m long past my 2000 word post limit. I have to admit that Emmanuelle has some strange allure that makes me want to play it through to completion, despite being an incontrovertibly terrible game. There are so many badly implemented aspects that I can’t possibly fit them all into my posts (I hope I’m at least getting across some of them), and I have a feeling that’s once I know how to complete the game, that it could probably be done in a matter of minutes. I've already spent over four hours playing it though, half of which was uselessly conversing with women, so I'll mark this session down as two.

First Statuette: Asymmetry, Unusual or Number? It's anyone's guess!

Session Time: 1 hours 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 00 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 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!


  1. The German review above not only says "Sound: --" in the table, it also states explicitely in the opinion box "There is definitely no sound" ("Sound [ist] definitiv nicht vorhanden"). So it isn't a DOSbox issue.

  2. This make makes very little sense. It's interesting to read, and it does seem the odd puzzle to solve. I can't shake the feeling it's all going to be a let down by the end. I think the reviewers face kind of says it all. Hopefully this one doesn't take you too long Trickster.

  3. Your strategy is excellent: 1) find the statuettes, 2) increase your erotic potential and 3) find Emmanuelle and win the game. If you know how, the first can be done quickly, but 2) and especially 3) might take some time, because of the random elements.

    And speaking of randomness, there's more of it than just people not appearing where they usually do. One obvious bit (so obvious I won't rot13 it) is that the list of pickup lines available when speaking to a specific woman seems to change - a bit inconvenient if you've found a good line for a person, but the line doesn't appear next time you are playing.

    And speaking more of randomness in ROT13: Fbzr jbzra enaqbzyl bssre fbzrguvat ryfr va nqqvgvba gb frk nsgre fhpprffshy frqhpgvba. Bar bs fhpu rapbhagref vf rffragvny sbe shysvyyvat bar ynj bs rebgvpvfz.

    I found the casino pretty soon, but favelas escaped my notice until I read of it from manual. BTW, one of the rare things I liked in the game was the use of local atmosphere, like drinking cachaca and visiting the slum-like favelas.

    I also wondered about the fate of the toucan - I assume it is consumed. It is not really apparent, but gbhpna vf rffragvny sbe ergevrivat bar fgnghrggr, nygubhtu gur chmmyr znxrf ab frafr. The use of the tambourine and the opera glasses is much more straightforward, so I'll say nothing about them.

  4. I can give you a rough translation of the german review, if you like.

    A very odd game, I'm looking forward to Indy, was my first adventure, maybe i can help you there

  5. At the year Emanuelle was released Casino´s in Brazil were Ilegal. So it does make sense the Casino would need to be nondescript on the outside, however, since the interior looks like a luxurious hotel, I am not sure we can attribute this to a conscious decision, and is probably just an oversight.

    Why the laught in the "Death squadron"? Death Squads are nothing to laught at. They are extremelly dangerous, and ruthless. The name is most certainly well-earned.

    1. Geeze, good point, I didn't even think that Trickster wouldn't know the history behind the Death Squads, though it makes sense Australia being rather far from South America after all.

  6. Okay, now this is starting to get bizarre. Mostly in terms of the writing, though I'm getting itchy at the inaccurate translations. (Law of Unusual? Really?)