Monday, 12 August 2013

Game 34: The Colonel's Bequest - Rooms With a View

Laura Bow Journal Entry 1: "I arrived at Lillian's Uncle Henri's estate and boy is it huge! It's beautiful room after beautiful room, and I haven't even seen much beyond the first floor. I can't wait to see the grounds tomorrow! Unfortunately it appears that Henri doesn't have long to live, and he spoke at dinner about splitting his inheritance amongst the family. I couldn't believe how everyone reacted once he'd left the room! All arguing with each other like their portions of his fortune weren't going to be enough! It seemed like some of them wanted him dead sooner rather than later too, which is just too awful to comprehend. I also feel like there's something else going on, and I plan to find out what it is. I already know that Henri and his maid are having an intimate relationship, but I think there are darker secrets held within these walls. Now what would father do?!"

Oh and make sure you switch off your mobile phones too.

Don’t ask me what I think of The Colonel’s Bequest just yet. I feel like I’ve been dumped into a very large environment and been pretty much left to my own devices to figure out not only what is going on, but also how best to play the game. I’ve already put a couple of hours into it (which I'm unlikely to cover in this first post), and while I’m genuinely intrigued by the setup, I can’t say I’ve achieved...well...pretty much anything! As usual though, I’ve jumped ahead, so let’s start at the very beginning. Right from the outset, The Colonel’s Bequest does things very differently to any game on the list so far. After successfully bypassing the copy protection screen, I was given a rundown of each of the characters that will be involved in the game. This is done in a very effective way (clearly influenced by theatre), with each character’s portrait appearing at the bottom of the screen, before their full body image appears and merges with the cast of characters on stage. The final character to appear of course was Laura Bow, with her sweet and innocent looks very much in contrast to the brooding and cranky appearance of the majority of the others. I really like this idea, and it’s perfectly suited to The Colonel Bequest with its whodunnit murder mystery backdrop.

Thank you...thank're too kind!

With the characters introduced, the credits began appearing on screen. However, replacing the theatrical style of the opening was a more modern movie style. The credits were introduced gradually, overlaying the game’s introductory scenes. The first shot is outside Tulane University in New Orleans, with the year being 1925. It’s immediately apparent how much time and effort was put into making the world of The Colonel’s Bequest feel alive, with a bird flying by, then a butterfly, before a squirrel arrives and sits on a rock near where Laura is seated, paging through a book. Unimportant people walk around in the background, bringing to mind Gold Rush, which is one of the really positive things I took from that game. Finally, Lillian approaches Laura, shuffling along in that very twenties flapper fashion, her hands pushed out to the side and her hips swaying. While I’m not overly familiar with 1920’s musical styles, the jazzy music also seems bang on. Don’t worry, I’m not going to continue on with this much detail, but I wanted to give those of you that haven’t played the game an idea just how much Roberta and co. nailed the era right from the opening moments.

Looks like a great place to sit back and enjoy a good book!

Lillian invites Laura to her Uncle Henri’s estate for the weekend, where he’s holding a family reunion. Laura is at first unsure, having a lot of study to get through, but agrees to go after Lillian’s promises that the old place is creepy and interesting. The intro then shifts to two nights later, with the girls aboard some sort of canoe en route to the estate. Once again there’s great detail, with shifting reflections on the water, frogs jumping around, and fireflies circling. They soon arrive, and the girls briefly pause at the gates to Misty Acres, taking in the scene in the same way the player is. In true Addams Family style, the door is opened by a worryingly broody butler, just as a bolt of lightning crashes above. Jeeves seems completely unaware of who is standing before him until prompted by Lillian, to whom he responds: “Everyone else has already arrived. They’re just sitting down for dinner. Please come in and join them.” The scene once again shifts to the dining room, with all eight guests sitting around the table for dinner. Henri is wheeled into the room by the rather voluptuous Fifi, and immediately goes about explaining why he called for this particular family reunion.

I hope they haven't paid the ferryman yet!

When you said rich, you really meant it didn't you!!!

“As you know, I’m a very wealthy man. I have invested my money wisely and have put away almost every dime. However, my end is near and I have decided to bequeath my millions to each of you sitting at the table.” I immediately wondered whether that statement included Laura, but that was quickly put to rest. “Except of course Lillian’s friend, Laura. AHEM! Anyway, as I have said, you’re all inheriting my money, and you will inherit equally when I go. If any of you should die before I do, then your share will be distributed equally to the surviving parties.” So it appears that Henri is good with money, but not so good at taking his family member’s safety into account. That last statement is just asking for someone to go on a murderous rampage! Henri excused himself from the table, leaving the guests to bicker over how long Henri might have to live and who deserves more money etc. This all disgusts Lillian, who announces: “I’ve had enough of this! Laura and I will retire to our room now.” This is technically where the introduction finishes, with Laura and Lillian appearing in the guest room they will be sharing together.

"I have...ahem...other matters to attend to."

You can't choose your family

The words “Act I” appeared onscreen, along with a clock face on which the hands ticked over to exactly 7:00pm. Lillian excused herself to go freshen up in the bathroom, suggesting I “explore the estate a bit”. After she departed the room, Laura voiced her feelings about the evening so far: “Hmmmm...something doesn’t feel right. Everybody’s acting too strange...even Lillian. What would Daddy do in a situation like this?” I have to say that this seemed a little forced to me. The family weren’t being particularly nice, but I don’t think any of them were acting suspiciously enough to kick off an investigation. Laura must indeed have extremely good intuition! After Laura had questioned what her father would do in the “situation”, an image of him appeared: “Honey, if things don’t feel right, they probably AREN’T. Observe the situation closely, yet be unobtrusive. Explore your surroundings quietly and carefully. Try to question the others without raising suspicion. Notice small details. Take lots of notes. And above all, be careful.” This all seemed like pretty good advice, and by now I was keen to get on and put it into practice. Laura collected her notepad and pencil from her suitcase, and control was handed to me.

Act 1: "Laura begins investigating a crime that hasn't occurred yet"

Note 1: "I forgot to take my medicine again and am already hearing my father's voice in my head!"

I began scouring the room, looking at everything I could see. Pretty much everything had a description of some sort, but the majority of them were stock standard, such as “There is only dust under the bed”. There were two things that seemed as though they might be important in the guest room. Firstly I discovered a small door beneath the pictures on the wall, which turned out to be a chute that I could open. Thankfully I saved my game before crawling inside, as doing so caused Laura to fall to her death. Secondly, when I looked at the picture of Colonel Dijon (Henri) on the wall, I was informed that there was another picture (of a little girl) on the opposite wall. “Funny, the girl’s eyes have a strange, hollow look to them.” I wasn’t certain whether that meant she had a cold, distant look in her eyes or whether they were literally hollow, but I assumed the latter. I tried investigating the eyes further but could find no way of interacting with them. Meanwhile, Lillian had returned from the washroom and her mother Ethel had also entered the room from the right of screen. Both were now seated and having a conversation. Their banter seemed of little consequence, but it was interesting to see the other characters go about their business in apparent real time.


I asked both Lillian and Ethel about all the other guests. Their answers were occasionally interesting, but nothing stood out as critical. For example, when asked about Henri, Lillian responded with “If you ask me, I think he’s having a little fling with Fifi!” When asked about Rudolph, Ethel responded with “My nephew tries to pass himself off as a gentleman, but he’s nothing but a worthless gambler and womanizer!” I took screenshots of all their responses, but was yet to figure out whether randomly questioning people was the way to go or not. The idea of going around asking everyone about everyone brought Mortville Manor to mind, and that really didn’t make for a pleasant thought! I decided to move through the house, mapping it out as I went, and hoping that more specific motives would arise. Now, before I go on, I’ve been pondering how best to blog through The Colonel’s Bequest so I don’t spend eighteen weeks on it. If I were to describe every conversation I had and every little thing that I investigated on every screen, we’d all be in for a long and boring ride, particularly as it's quickly becoming apparent that I will be revisiting pretty much every screen multiple times. With this in mind, I’ve made the decision to give you a tour of the first floor of the house for the remainder of this post, ignoring all the minor conversations and item investigations that went on. Here goes...

I'm still trying to figure out whether I should ask questions related to my current task or just ask everyone everything. Then again I don't actually have a task yet!


The guest room that Laura and Lillian occupy is on the first floor of the house, which as you can see from the map I made below, contains seven rooms plus a connecting hallway (and two hidden rooms, but we’ll get to that later).

 My home has a total of five rooms. This one floor has six bedrooms!

The room to the right of the guest room was once a nursery, but is now occupied by Lillian’s mother Ethel. I could find nothing in this room that I could interact with.

The first floor main hallway is displayed across two screens, with the first one having doors leading off in three directions. Most tellingly though, when I typed “look at floor”, I was informed that: “You notice deep scuff marks on the floor near the two armoires.” Following up on this lead, I was able to move both the left and right armoires to reveal hidden rooms, which I'll cover soon.

The door to the north of the hallway led to a bathroom. I could find nothing of interest there, but did experience a great death scene when I made Laura take a shower! Laura rather surprisingly stripped naked (although I guess it’s not that surprising when you know that Roberta once posed naked in a tub for the cover of Softporn Adventures) and hopped into the bath to take a shower. Someone entered the room, and a knife glinted in the darkness. By now you can probably guess what happened next! The jarring music of Psycho kicked in and Laura was brutally murdered, pulling the shower curtain down as she fell.

 What's that? You want me to show more screenshots? Shame on you!

This death scene was far better than the whole Psycho game!

The door to the west of the hallway led to Henri’s room. The only interesting thing I could find there was an elevator, but I could find no way of using it. If Henri was in the room then he would tell me to “Stay out of my elevator!” and if he wasn’t there the elevator would be ascended to an upper floor with no apparent way of bringing it back down. I can only assume that when Henri's not in his bedroom, he has taken the elevator up to wherever the elevator goes.

The door leading further west out of Henri’s room took me to a room that hadn’t been used for a long time, yet “currently seems to be the guest room of Dr. Wilbur C. Feels.” I could find nothing to do in this room at all.

Moving down to the southern half of the hallway, I gained access to two more rooms, three sets of stairs and a closet. Interestingly, the chandelier hanging from the arched ceiling regularly shifts about as though it could fall at any time. I can only imagine it will play a role at some point. The closet was empty.

The eastern door leading out of this section took me to another guest room, with this one belonging to Rudy and Clarence. Unsurprisingly there wasn’t anything to do in there, but once again the eyes of the child in the picture on the wall were described as having a “strange, faraway look in them”.

The western door leading out of the lower hallway section took me to Gloria and Gertie’s guest room. There was nothing that I could do, but this time it was a horse on the wall that had a “strange, vacant stare”.

That completes our tour of the mansion’s first floor! So what did we learn from all this? Well, clearly all those vacant stares had to mean something, and I quickly discovered what it was. Both the armoires in the hallway open up to reveal hidden corridors. Once inside the corridors I could look through the eyes of four paintings, spying in on people within Henri’s room, as well as the guest rooms of Rudy and Clarence, Gloria and Gertie, and my own room. The trick was doing it at the right time. If I walked into Henri’s room prior to spying on it I would catch Fifi and Henri about to kiss, but they would quickly move away from each other after noticing my presence. Interestingly, the clock would appear on screen and tick over to 7:15 if this happened; suggesting I’d missed my opportunity to witness their conversation. However, if I entered the left hidden corridor and spied on them before entering the room, the clock would tick over and I could witness the two being very intimate. Fifi: “Oh, mon ami, I find it difficult to refuse you. I am so attracted to you.” Henri: “Well, I WAS quite a blade in my younger days!” Fifi: “Oh la la, I can tell, Henri, I can tell!” Henri: “Ah, Fifi, my dear. I DO appreciate you, but you’d better leave now before we’re noticed.” Fifi: “If you say so, Henri. Au revoir, mon cheri.”

 My first and only real success in a whole post!

 There are hidden doors into the rooms too, but I couldn't use them while there were people in there.

...and all your money!

Looking into my own room was also rewarding, although the time notably didn’t move onto 7:30 when I did. Ethel was having a bitch about Gertie. Ethel: “Gertie isn’t deserving of any of Henri’s money! Why, she’s not even a blood relative!” Lillian: “What are you going to DO about it, Mother?” Ethel: “Well, I can certainly talk to Henri about her and those two brats of hers!” Lillian: “You never change, do you, Mother?” Ethel: Never mind, Lillian. You and I will never agree on anything!” So I’m beginning to see how The Colonel’s Bequest might work, and it has me a little concerned to be honest. I know it’s early stages, but the game looks like it might be all about being in the right place at the right time, which is going to involve going back and forward between all the locations multiple times. The fact that I’ve not been able to pick up a single item so far suggests it’s not going to act like a standard Sierra adventure game, but I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a completely linear story with little actual puzzle solving. Reader comments suggest it requires a lot of thought, so hopefully I’m worrying about nothing, but I guess it depends exactly how that thought is supposed to be applied. Perhaps I’m just worrying about the obvious similarities to Mortville Manor, albeit in a much prettier environment!

Let's hope she doesn't, particularly when I'm looking into the room!

Session Time: 1 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 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. There is a LOT of walking around, which is perhaps a slight shortcoming. It can be hard to think what you might want to do next.

    The puzzles, items and so forth will come along in due course, but it's not quite the same as other adventure games.

    And spoiler territory:

    Lbh'ir nyernql zvffrq n pyhr (V zvffrq vg gbb). Nccneragyl lbh arrq gb fzryy Yvyyvna'f creshzr, juvpu orpbzrf vzcbegnag yngre. Ng svefg V qvqa'g ernyvfr lbh pbhyq ragre gur onguebbz jura fur vf va gurer, naq gura V qvqa'g ernyyl xabj jung gb qb ohg frnepu gur cynpr (juvpu vf rzcgl hagvy yngre ba).

    1. Actually, The Scoop does it earlier with more characters and a way larger map. =P

    2. Continuing with the spoiler territory:

      1) Lbh pna nyfb fzryy va gur frperg cnffntrjnl naq abgvpr gur fnzr creshzr Yvyyvna vf jrnevat.
      2) Vs lbh jnag gb urne gur jubyr fgbel sebz Rgury, lbh fubhyq tb gb ure evtug njnl ng gur ortvaavat, jura fur vf nybar va ure ebbz. Lbh'yy rfcrpvnyyl urne fbzrguvat vagrerfgvat nobhg Yvyyvna. Lbh pnaabg qb guvf yngre, orpnhfr Rgury vf rvgure va gur fnzr ebbz jvgu Yvyyvna naq guhf ershfrf gb erirny nalguvat anfgl nobhg ure be fur vf gbb qehax gb fnl nalguvat zrnavatshy.
      3) Lbh fubhyq abgvpr Qe. Jvyohe'f ont va uvf ebbz, orpnhfr yngre ba lbh'yy frr gung fbzrbar unf zbirq naq bcrarq vg.

    3. @Kenny:

      Never played The Scoop, so had to look it up. Can't say I'm a fan of the art style, but then DOS could be quite limited back then. How would you compare it with Colonel's Bequest? (also, is it on Trickster's list?)

      Fzryyvat Yvyyvna'f creshzr (naq abgvpvat vg va gur onguebbz) jrer nzbatfg zl snvyvatf qhevat zl cynlguebhtu. Nf jnf zvffvat gur qbpgbef ont, nygubhtu V ernyvfrq sne gbb yngr jura V sbhaq gur cvyy obggyr nsgre gur qbhoyr zheqre.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. @Andy - It's not. I'm the Devil's Advocate for it. XD
      But both games being based on Agatha Christie's stories makes them VERY similar.
      Both requires questioning and interviewing people, finding objects and ultimately solving the murders in the endgame.

      The differences (spoiler-free):
      [Colonel's Bequest]
      1. Named main character - Laura Bow
      2. Game environment - Within a mansion
      3. Time limit - 8 in-game hours
      4. Inventory - Used for solving puzzles
      5. Transportation - By walking only
      6. Interface - Parser
      7. Innovation - Shown the game in the form of a theatrical play; introduced scents as clues!

      [The Scoop]
      1. Main character(s) - Name your own; choose either male/female
      2. Game environment - Within Hampshire, England
      3. Time limit - 5 in-game days
      4. Inventory - Used for questioning suspects
      5. Transportation - Trains, buses, taxis (cabs), walking
      6. Interface - Command list similar to Maniac Mansion
      7. Innovation - Facial expressions of NPCs clues you in on their emotions (like L.A. Noire); when flagging down a taxi immediately after an NPC has taken one, you can request the driver to follow it!

    6. I guess both games were also influenced by Infocom's Deadline: solve a murder in a given time limit by discovering and analyzing physical clues and by interrogating and interacting with suspects, who wonder around the game environment freely. Of course, it's a game from the beginning of 1980s, so the game area is rather limited, NPCs are not as fleshed out, and once you know how to do it, you can play it through in a couple of minutes. What makes it unique in comparison with the later games is that you play the role of a professional cop, so you can use the crime lab to analyse clues and fingerprints and parses has some original verbs, like Accuse and Arrest.

    7. I've not played Deadline before. I only play Text Adventures if there are grues in them. XD

      That said, there's another hidden gem in 1995 that should make it into the Trickster's list but is missing there.

    8. Oops! Forgot to explain why it was a gem.

      From what I can recall, the true identity (or clues leading to it... I can't remember!) of Jack The Ripper is randomized.

      So, even though it is an adventure game, no two games will be the same.

      Also, you'd need to literally piece the clues together... like a jigsaw. Pretty kickass.

  2. You have a very funny concept of "higher quality" screenshots, Trickster. Uneven pixel sizes and JPEG artifacts all over the screen makes for a really good eyesore.

    I've just started my own playthrough. First I'm speedrunning through the game, writing down on paper where and when time will pass, then I'm going to start a proper one where I avoid the triggers as long as possible and explore everything as thoroughly as I can. I've already gotten the "good" ending long ago, now I'm concentrating on getting a higher score and svaqvat gur frperg gernfher.

    1. I take back that bit about uneven pixel sizes... turns out that the site resizes the images for my screen unless I open them on a new page/tab. The point about lossy compression still stands, though.

    2. That probably has more to do with what I'm doing with the screenshots in preparation for uploading them. The screenshots I take in SCUMMVM are 1.6MB files. If I was to insert 25 of those into a post, the blog would run horribly slow (I assume!).

      I'm always tinkering to get a good balance between ease of taking screenshots and quality of the resulting image, so by all means let me know if you have any advice on the matter.

    3. Given the relatively low resolution of the screens in question, have you tried converting them to PNG? I've found that this tends to work well with things that have low numbers of colors (so it should be fine for the next while at least!)

    4. Yeah, PNG tends to work better then JPEG for things with large blocks, such as pixel art and text; with text it often gets smaller sizes then JPEG actually. If PNG gives you too high file sizes there is a JPEG-lossless option, or using a program like Infranview or Paint.NET (each with a plugin) to optimize the PNGs.

      I did some testing on the images you gave us: PNG was always larger. However, it was usually in the area of 800 kB when using Infranview without the optomization plugin (Which takes forever, and only shaves 20 kB or so off). Paint.NET gave much larger images.

      I could get things down to almost JPEG levels if I reduced the number of colours to 128, but you'd have to check each image for artifacts if you did that, though I think there is a 'batch' option in the program I use, if you are playing a CGA game and only need 4 colours for example.

      So, while they are much larger then the JPEG, they aren't terrible. I'd love it if you could hook me up with a sample uncompressed image so I can see what I can do with it; I might be able to get you a JPEG setting that gives you a better filesize/quality trade off. What are you using now by the way?

    5. Yeah, converting lossy JPEG to PNG is not a good idea, the dithering used by JPEG will mess PNG filesize considerably.

      Converting the lossless BMPs to PNG (especially with an optimizer like PNGOut or PNGCrush) should give you a considerable size decrease.

    6. The 1.6MB files are BMP, so I might try one of those optimizers. Thanks everyone!

    7. I just want to say that PNGOut is AMAZING!!!! I'm using PNG Gauntlet, which is a frontend for it, so I don't have to type commands etc.

      It's taking my 1.6MB files and making them no more than 15KB, without losing any quality from what I can tell. I'll let Laukku be the judge. :)

      New post coming in the next hour.

    8. Heh, maybe I should've picked "The Nitpicker" as my standard Internet username. X-D

    9. Wow, that is good compression. I was using the frontend for it that came with Infranview. You could write a pretty simple script that would take every *.bmp in a folder and resave them as *.png images, so that you didn't need to do them one by one.

  3. My first Sierra! I've never played it again but what an experience at that time, even in B&W. I think the game did not support CGA.
    I remember spending hours and hours exploring the area. I guess it won't last very long with your skills..

  4. Asking everyone about everything is probably the safest bet, if you fear of losing some crucial bit of information. Manual mentions that in addition to asking, you can also tell about things to other characters. One thing that is strangely not mentioned in the manual (and IMO should have) is that you can ask/tell about pairs of persons, for instance, in addition to asking/telling someone about Henri and asking/telling about Fifi, you can also ask/tell about Henri and Fifi, which sometimes gives you new information.

    1. The manual doesn't mention it, but the game itself does! Just press F1 for Help (or access it in the menu) and you're given a bunch of useful info, including asking/telling about character pairings.

    2. I have to admit I’ve rarely looked at ingame-helps in Sierra games, so no wonder I hadn’t noticed this. Good to know they hadn’t completely forgotten the topic!

  5. Personally what I'd do would be make a time/room spreadsheet, then go through filling in what you see in which room, and when, in case there are multiple things going on at the same time. That would also help track what NPC is where and when.

    1. That's true. I did that in The Scoop as well as this game.

      You'd have to basically tail one character for the entirety of the game each time till you hit upon the main suspect.

    2. That sounds like a good idea Canageek. I don't know how hard it would be to achieve though, since the environment isn't restricted to the house. There's a lot of stuff outside too.

      I'll have to see how I go.

    3. The environment isn't static within a time chunk. Makes it a bit harder to track everything possible. As an early example, if you wait around in the beginning, Rgury jvyy ragre gur ebbz naq Yvyyvna jvyy erghea nyy ba gurve bja. All that happens without progressing the clock to 7:15.

    4. @Zenic - Precisely, man. The most systematic way to beat this, is to have the player keep following a single character each game to find out everyone's schedule. Makes it a lot easier to zero in the suspects.

    5. As a complete aside, the name 'Lillian' is possibly the easiest to decode in rot13 I've ever cared to look at. Perhaps it'll be similar in Grim Fandango (Manny) but still..

    6. @Kenny: The game isn't that deep to be honest. Zeroing in on a suspect really isn't the point of the game. It's more a story to be learned completely rather than reaching a final conclusion. I don't believe there's any way to influence the events either. I won't have time to play more until the weekend, but I'm looking forward to coming back to this again. I'm feeling comfortable with my guess for the final score, but have yet to read Tricksters thoughts above.

    7. @Zenic- I understand. But I was in my impressionable teenage years that made me do that, thinking it was some kinda interactive detective magnum opus or some such. And playing that other Agatha Christie's game which IS that freaking deep.

  6. Deponia:


    Chaos on Deponia:

    are both on Sale on Steam for 4.99 apiece.

    There's also the Daedalic Bundle which includes those two, and three other games for 47.99 sale ends in 42 hours. Ish.

  7. I wanted to append it to the "Monkey Island Metal" youtube video, but thought I'd mention it here since others have moved on.

    If you've never been to Dwelling of Duels, its a cool mp3 fan site where each month they pick a theme to riff from. In the past has been Castlevania (my particular favorite soundtracks) and others.

    This month is... wait for it... Sierra games... (well it was July, but you have to wait a month to get the winners)

    Explore the site, there is lots of good music there.

    1. Lets see, I have to add some more it seems: Well, there is always A Miracle of Sound, he is awesome enough that there is a reference to his song Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 3. He has done a song based on The Walking Dead: (Warning: SPOILERS and all the sads. All of them.) and a ton of other games, though I think that is the only adventure game.

      However, I think you lot will like SHOOTER GUY! FPS Parody Song: -I thought it was about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare based on a few of the references, but now that I see the video it is some other game; I guess that is how similar games in that genre are.

      Then there is Resident Evil 6: Wigglesticks: which should appeal to at least a few of you and your dislike of action games.

      Or perhappes Medal of Honour: Doorfighter? (Lyrics are a bit sweary)

      Moving on from Gav, ihasmario has this SNES classic as a song:

      Finally, it is a little known fact that Tay Zonday of Chocolate Rain fame is still making YouTube vids, including a couple of gaming ones, like the Skyrim theme, and this gem:

      So, that is my collection of Adventure game covers: Man, none of the famous companies really have many famous songs. Give me *any* other game genre I can get you more. Platformer? Shooter? Puzzle? I have lots. Adventure? yeah, not many. I guess a lot of RPGs are weak too, probably because of the unpredictable pacing. That said, Baten Katos still has the best music of any game ever.

  8. Right, I've just about had enough of this game. Not the game itself, I hardly get to play it. I can't get past the damned copy protection. I sit there with my tech spec decoder (sorry Transformer reference) magnifying glass looking all over the back of my map from my Atari ST version for whatever fingerprint is showing this time. An unless it is Celie's it doesn't work. Surely they haven't cjanged fingerprints and names for different versions. An it's painful searching all over that thing for the right fingerprint. Is anyone else having problems with this or does it just work with a downloadable black and white not look through a rose coloured magnifying glass version. And where can I get one that works for people, because I'm about to chuck this game in.
    Actually after that rant, I'm feeling decidedly better.

    1. Just type "colonel's bequest fingerprints" into Google images and you'll find a black and white chart. Using that is easy as.

    2. Here it is:

    3. I've found using the arrow keys is best. When I try to select the finger prints with the mouse I had the same problem: it'd never accept my choice as correct.

    4. That could be it, I'm using the mouse, and the mouse starts on Celie and I don't move it.

    5. I remember having that problem back when the game was released. I think it has something to do with the game itself.

      Sierra probably used a non-protected version to playtest and debug the game.

    6. There's at least one version available on the Internet that has been cracked so that Celie is always the correct answer. There just pressing enter will do.

      Most games available on abandonware sites have been cracked one way or another; sometimes the copy protection screen is skipped completely, sometimes any input will work, and sometimes it's a specific thing you have to do (there's one Flashback crack where pressing the plus sign will auto-fill in the correct answer one letter at a time.)

    7. Yep, using the keyboard works perfectly. I probably just did that automatically 24 years ago, but it didn't even occur to me now.

  9. I had forgotten how beautiful this game is! Just look at that screenshot from Wilbur's room!! So much atmosphere! Colorful yet dark. It makes me feel like playing it again!

  10. Well, I finished my playthrough, and got the second best score rating! Unfortunately I still didn't find the hidden fun stuff though. -_- Time to go trough the game yet again with a fine-tooth comb.

    1. So I finally resorted to a walkthrough. Turns out you had to evat gur shpxvat oryy sebz n PREGNVA shpxvat cvkry-cresrpg fcbg. Nyy guvf gvzr (nyy gurfr LRNEF!) V whfg nffhzrq zl nccebnpu jnf jebat naq/be jnf zvffvat na vgrz. V gevrq n onmvyyvba guvatf, vapyhqvat gelvat gb qebc gur oryy sebz nobir (V gevrq gb qrgnpu vg jvgu gur pebjone, pnar, cbxre, tha -- nyfb gevrq gb nggnpu vg orggre fb vg jbhyqa'g qebc jura ehat). Ohg abbb, V unq gb trg "pybfr rabhtu" naq vebavpnyyl sne rabhtu ng gur fnzr gvzr gb or noyr gb evat vg jvgubhg qlvat; naq, bs pbhefr, vg unq gb or FCRPVSVPNYYL sebz gur rnfgrea fvqr. Abg fbhgu, jrfg, be abegu -- shpxvat rnfg. NNNEETUzeeustxust¤%crexryr%¤//&7

      Ng yrnfg V svanyyl, SVANYYL sbhaq gur gernfher. V qvqa'g arrq nal bgure uvagf sbe vg ng nyy. "Inyhnoyr bowrpg gnxra" pbzcyrgr. NG. YNFG.

  11. I planned to post tonight, but haven't quite managed to finish. It will be up some time tomorrow for sure.

    1. Since it's such a short game, would you play through it again?

    2. Depending on how much Trickster has seen and done, it might not be worth him doing a second play-through. Might be worth going back at certain points (if he's kept enough save games).

      I found this website very helpful for finding out the stuff I'd missed:

      It has various hints, and a good walkthrough (and the fingerprints for copy protection!).

    3. The game may be short, but it doesn't look like it's going to be quick to blog through. I'm enjoying it, but I doubt I'll be playing through it twice. We'll see.

  12. Did you use the toilet too? If you do, then you get a message that this isn't Leisure Suit Larry while the view shifts outside and the door closes. I was surprised by the shower scene right after I got that message.

  13. This is the game I remember playing in middle school (but have spent the last 14 years trying to figure out what the name was since my friend who I used to play with couldn't remember the game at all).

    Where can I download this? And is it compatible with Windows 8?

    1. Hi Mary,

      There's a guide that will give you all the info you need at Glenn's Guides.

      If you have any trouble at all, the good people here at this blog will be more than happy to help. I suggest commenting on the most recent post so it gets seen though.