I'm considering leaping off a great height myself at this point!
I was determined to prove all of you wrong and get through Les Manley unassisted, but it’s clear that’s not going to happen. The combination of unclear motivations / objectives and horrendous parser technology is leaving me frustrated and disillusioned. Unless I have a eureka moment while typing up this post, it will finish with a request for assistance, but let’s go back to where things were left at the end of my last post. I’d just gained a bit of information from Alona the airhead circus assistant. When I’d asked about Frederick Von Leepov, she’d responded with "Vot hes doink? Vy he not climb ladder?”. I examined the ladder, but couldn’t find out anything useful. Frederick couldn’t speak English either, so I couldn’t ask him what the problem was. Eventually I tried climbing the ladder myself, and was told “You’re not that daring. Besides, there’s something strange about the rungs.” I typed “look at rungs” and got “They look OK. I wonder how they feel?”. This game really likes to make the player work overly hard for everything!!! I typed “feel rungs” and was informed that “they feel a little slippery”. So, after all that I’d figured out that Fred wouldn’t climb the ladder because the rungs were too slippery, but what could I do about that? Of course!!!! Luigi’s rosin was the answer! I must have to get the rosin off him and give it to Fred!
So...rungs...how does it make you feel to be walked all over all the time?
I made my way back to Luigi, but couldn’t think of anything to try. He wasn’t just going to hand it over, and since I had nothing to make him feel stronger or more good looking (which I assume is what I need to do), I would have to ignore the lead for now. I still hadn’t explored the northern part of the circus, and doing so revealed one final location of interest. There I found Helmut, “The World’s Smallest Man”! Talking to Helmut revealed that he too was feeling sorry for himself: “I’ve been feeling a little small lately. Seems like there’s no future for a guy of my stature. Nothing to look forward to. The same old routine day after day.” Great! Another guy with insecurity issues! I started asking him about all the other circus inhabitants. Luigi: “He’s no rocket scientist but he’s good at what he does. I wish I was good for something.” Zarmooska: “She’s really deep.” He wouldn’t say anything about Fred or Alona, but when I asked about The King I got “Let’s go find THE KING!” I had to wonder whether Helmut really did want to come with me, so I tried to pick him up. “Why should he go with you? You’ve never done anything for him.” OK. So I need to somehow make Luigi and Helmut feel worthwhile, with the end result being that I might get the rosin off Luigi to give to Fred, and possibly be able to pick up Helmut and take him with me.
I thought I could only "use" things in one of those Half Dome games!?
Are you kidding me? You could break into anywhere!
I made my way around the circus, asking everyone about Helmut. Zarmooska: “Ah yes, all we ladies of the circus know him well. He’s such a handy fellow to have around.” Luigi: “He’s-a my leettle-a buddy. But my eyes aren’t-a so guud these-a days. Is he still-a depressed? He keeps-a complaining that he has-a no future here. Nothing to look-a forward to. No-a reason to plan ahead-a. No-a dreams for his-a future.”Alona: “Oooooh, that Helmut! Oh..I mean…Vot hes doink? I vant him see me tonight.” This last one was particularly interesting. Not only did it seem Alona was faking her accent, but it also looked like she was genuinely interested in spending some time with the little guy. Perhaps I could talk to Helmut about Alona to show him he still had a nice future? I went back to Helmut and typed “tell helmut about alona”. The message I got back was simply “Helmut says nothing”, as it was for every other variation I could think of. Damn it! I thought I was onto something there. I’d exhausted all my options in the circus, so it was time to go somewhere else. I’d never turned right after leaving the Station WILL office, so I made my way back past the bus station and onto the screen beyond. There I found a parked bus with “NEW JERSEY” on the destination screen. I couldn’t find anything to do with the bus (when I tried to get on I was informed that I get bus sick) or anything else on the screen, so continued to the east.
The ladies really do find little Helmut to be very useful! What are they suggesting?
Another screen with nothing to do...apparently.
To the east was a house with a fire hydrant and a couple of trash cans outside. I failed to find anything to do with the hydrant or the cans, so I walked up to the door and looked at it. “Looks like there is a peephole in the door.” I looked at the peephole and found that “there’s someone peeping back at you”! I knocked, and someone came to the door and spoke through it. “If you’re who I hope you are…prove it, or get lost.” I wracked my brain to think of who they might hope I am, or what that person might say or do to prove it, but came up with nothing. I tried a few random things that were never going to work before walking away and continuing east. The next screen contained a barrier which I was unable to pass. I couldn’t find anything that I could do there; meaning my excursion east of the station had achieved absolutely nothing. It was at this point that I decided to go back to the station and see if I could find anything I’d missed the first time around. I made my way straight to the water fountain, now that I knew what Americans call bubblers, and tried filling my thermos with water. “Gee…I’m glad I remembered that I almost forgot to fill me thermos today!” Wow! I achieved something in Les Manley! (10 points) Unfortunately, I had no need for water, and I’d spend the next hour wandering around aimlessly trying things with no success.
At least it's only a literal dead end!
One thing I realised I hadn’t done was ask Luigi, Helmut and Angelina about Alona and Fred. Doing this produced some results, but nothing that helped me make any progress. When I asked Luigi about Fred, he said “He’s-a high-a flyin’-a no guud-a bambino. I don’t-a know what-a my Angelina sees in him. He’s-a too nervous for this-a kind-a work.” So Angelina was into Fred! When I asked her about him, she replied: “He doesn’t speak any English…but who cares?” Otherwise their responses seemed uninteresting. I got the idea in my head that perhaps I was supposed to ask Zarmooska something about Helmut’s future, since he kept banging on about having no future. I tried asking her various questions and even taking her crystal ball, but got nowhere. The final thing I should mention before requesting assistance is that I figured out what the Test-O-Strength guy was all about. Whenever I looked at the thing he was hitting, the game made a point of telling me not to get too close. I decided to do it anyway (what did I have to lose!?) and the result was startling to say the least!!! When I stood on the platform, instead of the man hitting me with the hammer, him hitting it somehow launched me high into the sky! I didn’t die though. Oh no. I flew all the way from New York to frickin’ Las Vegas!!!!!!!! My crash landing was epic, forming a body shaped crater in the Earth, but I was miraculously unharmed. Seriously?!
And you thought the Italian racial stereotype in Police Quest was bad!
They're my legs leaving the screen!
I couldn't help but notice there are three locations on the map. My geography isn't up to knowing where the third one is though. Texas?
This sounds like great news right? You’re finally getting somewhere Tricky, right?! Well..no. As soon as I got there, a message popped up saying: “You seem to have come through that experience fine. Unfortunately, not everything you’ll need was with you.” In other words, I’d just dead-ended myself. At least now I knew how to get to Las Vegas when I needed to, but there seemed little point exploring the environment when clearly I wasn’t going to be able to complete the game. This is where I currently am. I’ve not figured out how to get the keys off my boss’ desk. I figure I need to distract him, but couldn’t figure out how. I assume I will then be able to use the keys to open the locked door nearby. I have no idea what use Dave the guard has. I figure I need Luigi’s rosin for Fred to be able to climb the ladder, and I also have a suspicion that I might be able to put Helmut through the peephole in the door to the east of the station if I can manage to take him with me. Perhaps helping Luigi will allow me to help Fred, which in turn will allow me to help Helmut? If this is the case, then everything seems to be linked to making Luigi feel good about himself, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to do that. So…HELP!!!!!!!
Uh huh! Not to mention completely suicidal!
All this fun awaits me!
Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 3 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 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 particular post, I have made a request for assistance! Thanks!