I am named Bobbin, Last Rejected of the Guild of Weavers.
So there I was in the little house owned by Fleece, First Chosen of the Guild of Shepherds. She believed me to be the “mighty wizard” that she’d hired from the Guild of Mages, but I was yet to find out why she may have required one in the first place. When I attempted to inform her that she was mistaken, she took it as nothing more than modesty. “Your modesty is very charming. But there is no mistake. My border guards were extremely impressed with your display of magic power.” Fleece then told me of her people’s plight: “One of our clients placed an order for ten thousand fattened sheep. Our local dragon seems to have acquired a taste for fresh mutton. Our sheep are bred for extra whiteness. It can see them from miles away. Only a mage can save us from this winged pestilence.” While she told this story, I was witness to the dragon swooping down, grabbing a sheep in its claws, and flying off into the distance. I was already quite certain how this matter would be attended to, having made all of the dozing shepherd’s sheep green earlier on. I figured I’d go back out into the field and do the same to the rest of their flock. Before I did that though, it seemed a good idea to check out the little lamb resting in the hay.
They did say good looking though right? Right?!
A dragon!? Listen lady, what exactly do you expect me to do with a dragon!?
No matter how I tried to interact with the lamb, I received the same message. “This lamb doesn’t look too well. Maybe I shouldn’t bother her.” This is where I must convey one of the limitations of Loom’s interface. There’s just no way to ask anyone about anything. In this instance, I couldn’t choose a topic of conversation with Fleece, nor could I select the lamb and then get a list of actions based on that selection. The only control I have in the game is through drafts, and then I can only weave drafts on others (not myself). So far the game has been pretty easy, and I think the biggest reason for that is due to the limitations of the interface. There’s only one way to attack puzzles, so it just becomes a matter of trial and error in most cases. I could have stood in that house for hours, but there was no way to progress anything. When I gave up and tried to leave, only then did Fleece discuss the lamb. “Not very curious wizard, are you? You’ve shown not the slightest interest in my little patient here. I don’t think she’s going to make it. Her mother was carried off by the dragon the day after she gave birth. My Songs of Healing don’t seem to be doing enough good.” The fact is that I was very interested in the lamb, making the storytelling feel forced. To be clear, it hasn’t tarnished my enjoyment, but I do think LucasArts would eventually figure out how to have the level of storytelling sophistication they were going for, without making the whole thing feel like it was on rails.
What? Didn't you see me trying to weave terror on it just moments ago?
Bobbin asked Fleece about the songs of healing she mentioned, at which point she raised up her hand and “sang” the threads of a draft (A,G,G,A). She then explained that she wasn’t very good at it, which was the likely reason that the lamb remained unwell. I would have happily weaved the draft myself, but I still wasn’t experienced enough to weave the A thread. “Healing: In Volume 19 of her Brief History of the Guild of Weavers (Guild Press, 5620), Third Elder Lazykate documents the way bandages were treated with Healing as early as 1716. The four threads have evolved far beyond their original form. They can now be spun into virtually anything which needs rejuvenation, with the notable exception of the spellweaver’s own body.” I was once again left standing there with nothing to do, so I tried to leave again. Fleece spoke to me again as I exited, telling me that “The flock has been led to pasture, Wizard. Good luck with the dragon!” The field that was previously empty was now filled with sheep, so I clicked on them and weaved the Dyeing draft. Just as I’d hoped, they all turned green, camouflaging them against the surrounding grass. The dragon arrived soon afterwards, and failed to find any sheep during its swoop. Victory I thought! Not quite. The dragon may not have been able to see the sheep, but it could still see me!!!
"A B C D E F G..."
That's me dangling from the dragon's claws. I wasn't worried though, because Lord Lucas made me invincible some time ago."
The dragon picked me up and carried me off to its volcanic lair. Thankfully it never intended to eat me, and in fact had collected me by accident. “Well, well. Silly me. This is what I get for being in a hurry. Thought you felt a little scrawny.” The dragon rested upon its large collection of gold while I tried to find a way out. There didn’t appear to be one, so I was going to have to do something with either the gold or the dragon itself (possibly both). The first thing that came to mind was the Straw to Gold draft but in reverse. I weaved it on the pile of gold and it worked, but as you might expect, the dragon wasn’t particularly pleased. “My! Aren’t we clever today! Just put it back before you leave.” The good news however was that I levelled up and finally gained the ability to weave drafts with the A thread in them! That meant the Healing, Sharpening and Sleep drafts were all at my disposal now. I turned the straw back into gold to see what would happen, but the dragon merely said “Thanks, sweetie. Glad you remembered how to do it.” I looked through my drafts to see what might work on the dragon and thought I’d try putting it to sleep. To my surprise, it worked, although I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to help me. Then I noticed that there was a waft of fire emitting from the dragon’s nose every time it breathed out, and knew exactly what to do!
Nope, still not worried.
Pissing the dragon off seemed like the most logical thing to do.
I turned the gold into straw again. “Uh-oh. It’s snoring on the straw!” The straw caught fire and quickly spread, causing the dragon to wake up in a panic. Shortly afterwards it flew away with its smouldering tail between its legs, leaving me alone inside the mountain. Rather fortuitously, there just happened to be a doorway leading out of the dragon’s lair right behind where it had been sitting. This exit didn’t take me outside though, instead connecting to a room of almost pitch blackness. I say almost because I could see two tunnels leading out of it, with the one I’d just walked out of having a red glow while the other, which I assumed would take me outside, was blue. It seemed obvious that I should use the Night Vision draft, so that’s what I did, lighting up the area around where I was standing. I guess it was a maze of sorts, but it didn’t take me long to find my way to a chamber with a staircase leading downwards out of it. It led back into the maze, yet I was getting closer to the blue exit now. Soon afterwards I fell into another chamber, at which point Bobbin exclaimed “Guess I won’t be going back that way.” This was comforting in a way, as it likely meant the maze was over. This chamber had a large pool of water in it, but that was all I could find to interact with.
Eeeek? Really? That's the best you can do?
Here comes the obligatory maze!
Computer game maze rule number 163: Always walk in the opposite direction to the intended destination.
No more maze? Oh how devastating!
I clicked on the pool, and four drops of water fell from the ceiling into it, with each one producing a thread. This formed a draft of course, and I was given a hint as to what it might achieve through Bobbin’s reflection temporarily appearing in the water in front of him. “Reflection: This draft was commissioned by the Guild of Dancers to expedite costume changes for their 500th anniversary performance of the classic ballet Olema. When properly invoked, the spellweaver immediately assumes the appearance of the being the draft is spun upon, and vice versa. The four threads are based upon the mating grunt of the slit-throated chameleon.” The slit-throated chameleon you say!? Anywho, the reflection draft was A,F,F,A, and weaving it again on the pool didn’t achieve anything. I brought up my ever-increasing list of drafts and decided Emptying was the most likely to work in this instance. It did, and all the water was drained out of the pool, leaving dry ground. There was a blue sphere, which looked identical to the scrying sphere I’d seen in Crystalgard, half buried in the rock. I clicked on it, and was shown a vision of a volcano erupting. What? That was it?! I clicked on it again, and saw a different vision. This time it was a swan, and the four threads that make up the Transcendence draft were played. How could those two visions relate to one another?
That's one nasty looking bluebottle!
Some time in the future, there's a volcano...somewhere!
Transcendence into the peripheral
Confused, I clicked the sphere again. Yet another vision appeared, with this one being a smiling man in black and green. I couldn’t be certain, but I figured it was Bishop Mandible. Even if I was right though, it didn’t give me any more clarity regarding what I was supposed to make of all this. Would I find the Guild of Clerics in a volcano? Should I weave Transcendence on Bishop Mandible when the time comes? More importantly, what was I supposed to do right now? I tried weaving various other drafts on the sphere, but couldn’t get it out of the ground or do anything else. I could fill up and empty the pool of water repeatedly, but that didn’t seem to have any positive effect. I couldn’t go back the way I’d come, nor did there appear to be any other way out of the chamber. Perhaps I should have learnt from earlier mistakes, but the truth is I was stuck here for over twenty minutes before I finally figured out I could walk behind the tree-like protrusion in the centre of the chamber, and that this would take me to the final section of the maze. I’d already taken ages to figure out I could walk away from the shepherds, and that I could just walk past the sleeping shepherd and his sheep, but this one caused me the most trouble. It’s becoming clear that the puzzles in Loom are very straight forward, but the environment is tricky in a cheap sort of way. Once again I’d be surprised if I was the only one to get stuck here.
You'd think dental hygiene would have progressed by the year 8021.
As usual, it looks completely obvious in a screenshot.
The good news was that I was out of the maze, and was now strolling along a pathway that descended in a spiral around a pointed rock. I could easily walk down the spiraling stairway, but it ended abruptly with a gap much too big to jump over (not that I’d be able to anyway). I considered going through my drafts, but then the only thing on the screen I’d be able to weave one on were the spiraling steps. Aha! Perhaps I could untwist them by reversing the Twisting draft again. I felt very satisfied when the staircase literally unraveled and formed one long bridge. Now this was a true display of power! What a shame no-one else was there to see it. Well except for the dragon that flew by just as I left the screen (yes, the same one I burnt recently)! There was a dramatic shift in scenery between the screen with the bridge and the next one, with all blues suddenly shifting into reds. It immediately gave me the impression that I was somewhere dangerous, and that feeling wasn’t lessened by the fact there appeared to be a corpse lying on the ground a few feet away from me. When I selected the body I found it was a young boy, so I was relieved when he turned out to be merely napping. I weaved a reverse Sleep draft on him and successfully woke him up!
Al Lowe would be proud.
Tell me you saw that! It was frickin' awesome!
Should I be concerned that the sky suddenly turned blood red?
Well I guess it's better than face down in a plate of spaghetti in Chatsubo!
The boy asked me my name and I returned the favour. “My real name is Wellwrought, but everyone calls me Rusty. Rusty Nailbender. I’m supposed to be gathering firewood. But this plateau’s been picked clean.” Bobbin then asked Rusty what his guild was and instead of answering, he told me to follow him. We walked over to the edge of a cliff. “That’s us. The Guild of Blacksmiths.” In the distance was a magnificent structure in the shape of an anvil. “Our city’s been here since before the Shadows. We call it the Forge.” With that Rusty walked back to where I first found him sleeping. Bobbin asked him whether he’d seen a flock of swans passing by, but the only birds Rusty had seen were vultures. “Wake me if you find your swans. Never seen one before.” Before I could do anything else, he lay down and went back to sleep. I already knew that the planned sequels were to follow the exploits of Rusty Nailbender, so I can only imagine this won’t be the last time I come into contact with him in Loom. For now though, there seemed nothing else to do than to approach the Forge and find out what awaits me there. I know the game is short, but I’m really hoping I’m not coming up on the end already. If the two remaining threads I still require are anything to go off, I’m past halfway, which is a bit concerning given how quickly and easily everything has passed by so far.
It is not the nail that bends. It is only yourself.
Figures. Our guild on Loom is a giant sewing machine!
Session Time: 0 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 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!