Sunday, 9 March 2014

Game 41: Les Manley 1 - Seeking Some Alone Time

Les Manley Journal Entry 6: "Don't ask me why, but I've started to build up quite the collection of Elvis style clothing. Given my quest, I guess it could be somehow useful at some point. To be honest I've been a bit distracted by all the hot women that seem to be popping up all over the place at the moment. If it's not Lyla by the pool, it's that sexy Susie in the dry cleaning joint, not to mention Stella calling me out of the blue too! If I could only find somewhere to get changed around here..."

Luckily Les realised there was something important he still needed to do in the direction his head now faced.

All up I’d have to call my last session a very successful one! After all the difficulties I had in New York, the relatively small environment in Las Vegas has allowed me to knuckle down and focus on puzzles long enough to figure out what the creators were expecting me to do (or perhaps hoping I couldn't). That’s not to say it was all smooth sailing though, as once again this post will end with a request for assistance. My last post ended with me feeling the wrath of Mr. Fabulous, with his goon Vito literally ripping my head off and handing it back to me. I started this session by revisiting the pool area, but no matter what I did, the result was the same. Since there were no further locations in the hotel to check out, there had to be something I could achieve at the pool, the lobby, the dry cleaner, or the room with the maid. I decided to revisit each area, asking everyone I found about everything I could think of. I didn’t find out anything important, but did receive points for asking Susie about The King: “While doing my dissertation at Yale, I often used a modified Sicilian defense. I liked to build staggered fortifications around him with pawns. Then I’d get my bishops in a file and sneak my rooks out the back door.” (10 points) Once again the game rewarded me stumbling upon a joke, despite it offering me nothing in the way of progress.

Susie: Sexy and smart!

While asking Bernardo the concierge about Lyla, Mr. Fabulous, Susie, The King etc., I happened to examine the phone sitting on the desk in front of him. “My phone is primarily used for paging hotel guests.” Hmmm...was there anyone I wanted to page? I wanted to remove the maid from the hotel room, but typing “page maid” didn’t give me the result I was after. Then it hit me! I needed to talk to Lyla, since she may just know where The King is located. Perhaps I could page Mr. Fabulous to get him out of the way! I typed “page Mr. Fabulous”: “Bernardo finally gives in to your persistent nagging. He picks up the phone and relays your request to the hotel operator.” (10 points) When I headed back out to the pool area, I could see Mr. Fabulous on the phone in heated discussion with the operator. I wandered over to where Lyla was lounging in the sun, and found her alone as I’d hoped I would! Unfortunately, trying to interact with her in any way resulted in “Get lost, wimp. You’re blocking my sun.” With nothing else to do, I sat down on Mr. Fabulous’ now vacant sun chair. “After taking a seat next to this gorgeous creature, she finally seems ready to acknowledge your existence.” I was shown a close-up of Lyla, skimpy costume, eighties haircut and all! “You’re making me sooo hot. I’ve got to do something to relax. I just have to do something to cool myself off.” I have absolutely no idea why me sitting down next to Lyla caused her to react in such a way, but regardless, she took her sunglasses off, hopped up, and dove into the pool.

Persistence? I only asked the guy once!

I am?! Are you really that easily pleased?

Apparently Lyla is about seven foot tall as well!

This left me alone, and since I’d noticed Lyla had taken her glasses off, I typed “get glasses”. I should point out that it was next to impossible to see the glasses sitting on the table, so I imagine some players may not ever have tried this command. It worked though, and the glasses were described as looking “like they’re fit for a KING.” By now it was becoming very clear that I was collecting a bunch of clothing items that would eventually make me look like Elvis. I had a cape, a scarf, and a pair of sunglasses, and I knew there was a white suit at the dry cleaners too. I still figured I would need to find some sort of ticket to be able to claim the suit, which meant the only thing left to do was try to get the skeleton key from the maid’s cart. I hadn’t seen any locked doors anywhere where it might be useful, but with no other leads, I made my way back to the room. After a few minutes of random failed commands, I stumbled on something interesting. There was a sign on the room door that said “No Disturb-o por favor”. I’d messed up the bed to try to get the maid to enter the room and therefore leave the cart unattended. Perhaps she wasn’t going in because of the Do Not Disturb sign! I picked up the sign, and waited to see if anything would happen. Nope, she still wouldn’t enter the room!

The future looks bright!

...and very big pockets.

I found that I could put the sign back on the door easily enough, but regardless of whether it was there or not, the maid simply wouldn’t leave the vicinity of the supplies cart. I’ve stayed in my fair share of hotels, and I wondered whether there was anything on the back of the sign. I typed “turn over sign”, even though it was in my inventory at the time. It worked, and the sign now read “Maid-o Service-o por favour”!!!! (10 points) I’d figured it out, and putting the sign back on the door resulted in the maid finally entering the room to clean up my mess. I quickly walked over to the cart and tried to pick up the key: “With the stealth of a panther, you snatch the key from the maid’s cart!” (10 points) Yes!!! I was actually getting somewhere! My excitement was only negated by the fact I had no idea what the key might be for. Thankfully I didn’t have to think about it for long, as re-entering the elevator gave me the answer. “Having acquired the hotel’s skeleton key, you’re now able to go to places henceforth unreachable.” I was taken to a room I’d not seen previously, and hoped that somewhere in the room I might discover the dry cleaning ticket I needed. I could find nothing of interest in the first room, but walking to the left of screen brought me to a section with a spa bath and a staircase heading upwards. I quickly discovered that I was unable to ascend the stairs for some reason, so focussed all my attention on the spa bath.

Henceforth unreachable?

I'm sure the designers thought this was extremely modern at the time.

OK, that's funny!

When I looked in the spa I was told “Besides the drain, it’s squeaky clean. Not a hair in sight.” After re-investigating every other item in the room and finding nothing, I figured there had to be something interesting about the spa. I didn’t seem to be able to fill it up or get in it or anything one might normally do with a spa. Eventually I typed “look at drain”, since the spa description had made a point of mentioning it. “There might be something stuck in there. However, the drain is too small for even your wimpy wrist to fit.” Eureka! Helmut would be small enough to get into the drain! I typed “put helmut in drain”, but the message I received back didn’t fill me with confidence. “OK...But he’ll never be able to get back out!” I tried a few things, but it became clear that putting Helmut in the drain had dead ended me. I’d been so certain too! I restored and looked through my inventory in the hope of some inspiration. When I saw the dental floss, I had an idea! I typed “tie floss to helmut”, hoping that I might be able to lower him down into the drain. I wasn’t confident that it would work, since I didn’t believe the game would have such a clever and logical puzzle, but it did! “After you extract the final length of floss from the container, you gently tie one end around the waist of the World’s Smallest Man...being careful not to pull too tight – thus severing him in two.” (10 points)

You mean apart from the stairs right?

It's actually surprising when I solve puzzles in this game using logic.

I was shown a close-up of the spa bath drain, where I witnessed the well-dressed Helmut being lowered into the water. To my delight, the little guy swam across and picked up a dry cleaning ticket that was lodged in there! To my disgust, I found myself grinning, and feeling generally happy about playing Les Manley. Things were starting to come together nicely, with logic actually producing results and some level of satisfaction. I shook this unwanted feeling of joy out of my system, and reapplied the grimace of loathing and repulsion that had previously held a permanent place. I had the ticket, and Helmut was back in my possession too. (10 points) I rushed back to the elevator and into the dry cleaning shop to hand my receipt in to Susie. “The clerk pays little attention to the fact that you’ve just shown her a receipt almost 20 years old. She goes in the back and brings out a gold-laced white jumpsuit worthy of a king.” (10 points) Awesome! Surely now I had the entire outfit needed to dress up as The King! There was one major issue though. I’d tried putting on various bits of the costume throughout the game, but in every instance was told I needed to find a good place to get changed. Since there weren’t very many locations in the hotel, it didn’t take me long to try putting the suit on in every one of them. Even in the most obvious places, such as the bathroom in the hotel room, I simply wasn’t able to do it!

Honestly, why isn't Helmut a superhero? He's awesome!

The poor guy seems to be getting smaller every scene though!

Um...yes. Actually, you know what, I have one here that says you belong to me too.

Was there another location outside of the hotel? I really didn’t think there was, but figured I should rule out the idea before continuing my hunt inside. When I got back to my starting position, I realised I’d never gone to the right of screen. Perhaps there was something else there! “The desert. Some call it dry, lifeless, the devil’s wasteland. Others find beauty in its stark vistas. The truth is: It suck either way.” Oh great! I’ve played enough adventure games to know that deserts rarely end well. Scenes from Deja Vu II, Conquests of Camelot and Larry III came to mind, and I wondered whether this was a good time to open up Excel and start a map. I walked eastwards, and to my great surprise found a telephone box in the middle of nowhere! It was ringing too, so I walked over and answered it. Was I already hallucinating? I was shown an image of the gorgeous Stella, lying on a bed in lingerie, talking to me on the phone! Les: “H-h-hello?” Stella: “Hi, Les. It’s me.” Les: “Stella! Why are you calling me way out here in the desert?” Stella: “Remember I said I’d give you a call later? Besides, Steve wanted an excuse to show another picture of me!” Les: “I can see that.” Stella: “Well...I’ve got to go now. Good luck with your search!” Les: “Bye! Thanks for calling!” Stella: “Sure...any time, Les.” (10 points) As if Accolade hadn’t ripped off Sierra enough, now they’d gone and included self-referencing humour too!

Well who else could it be for? I don't see anyone else around here!

Sorry Steve. This didn't automatically make you a household name among gamers. Nice try though!

Sadly, despite gaining points for finding the phone, it didn’t appear to help me in any way. I began exploring the desert further, but it became apparent that the environment was simply repeating indefinitely. Even worse...walking back from where I came from didn’t take me back to the hotel. I did wonder whether the thermos full of water was needed for the desert in some way though, so tried drinking some. “Phew...I’m glad I brought this water to drink. Not only does drinking it quench my thirst and clear my sense of gives me more points!” (10 points) This didn’t help me to find any new locations, but it did allow me to find my way back to the hotel. My little excursion out into the desert had resulted in nothing but points, which meant I still had no idea where I was meant to get changed, if indeed this was what I was supposed to do next. After another twenty minutes or so of wandering around, I had to give in. I was stuck! I’m therefore requesting assistance again. I’ll be cranky if I’ve overlooked a specific spot where I’m supposed to get changed, but I think it’s more likely that I’ve missed something else completely. At least I managed to solve a few puzzles unassisted during this session, which gives me hope that I might get through the rest of the game with my reputation relatively intact. Or not!

So not finding the thermos wouldn't have caused a dead end. Not sure about the peanut butter yet though.

Session Time: 1 hour 00 minutes
Total Time: 7 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 have made a request for assistance. Thanks!


  1. This one stuck more or less everyone, yeah - though I'll admit that the actual resolution has some small amount of obviousness in comparison to the others.

    Hint: Lbh arrq gb trg fbzrjurer ryfr, ohg lbh unir ab zbarl.. Znlor lbh fubhyq qb fbzrguvat lbh jrer nyjnlf gbyq abg gb?
    Hint 2: Uvgpuuvxvat?
    Spoiler: Cnefre cnefre. Cnefre bu nyzvtugl cnva. 'GUHZO'. Tb gb gur ubgry ragenapr fperra naq glcr 'GUHZO'.

    Fubhyq jr gryy uvz nobhg gur sybff gung ur arrqf gb teno ntnva?

    1. V guvax jr fubhyq. Trggvat fghpx qhr gb zvffvat sybff vf abjurer nf ragregnvavat nf gur erfheerpgvba pneq, naq V'z xvaqn jnagvat uvz gb trg gb gur gjb arkg tnzrf nyernql. Vyznev znqr n org eryngrq gb vg, gubhtu.

    2. I haven't read your rot13 comments yet, but for me it struck me as kind of obvious that the solution is that Tricky needs to punatr va gur cubar obk, yvxr gur fhcreureb ur vf. If that's correct, it's one of the most "adventure game logical" puzzles in the game. Of course, that makes it harder than other puzzles because the game trains you into a mindset that logic doesn't apply in Les' world.

    3. Aaaand it isn't. Never mind me then, I should know better.

    4. Aperama and Laukku: Jryy, zl org jnfa'g npghnyyl nobhg trggvat gur sybff, ohg hfvat vg sbe gur thvgne, fb vg qbrfa'g ernyyl znggre, jurgure lbh gryy vg be abg. Fgvyy, V'q fnl jr pbhyq or pbafvfgrag urer ;)

      Lars-Erik: Tbbq gubhtug, jebat cynpr

      Everyone: Fb, pbafvqrevat Gevpx'f riraghny qrzvfr ng gur raq jvgu ab erfheerpgvba pneq, fubhyq jr cyna sbe ubj jr'yy thvqr uvz gb gur pbapyhfvba, vs ur unf gb nfx sbe nffvfgnapr? V jnf guvaxvat gung orpnhfr jr ner nyy pbzzvggrq gb abg gryyvat uvz nobhg gur pneq, erirnyvat vg pbhyq nyfb or n pbzzhavgl rssbeg, fb gung vg jnfa'g whfg bar thl oyhegvat vg nyy bhg. Vafgrnq, bar crefba pbhyq tvir Uvag 1, arkg bar Uvag 2 naq fb ba, hagvy (fnl) Ncrenzn pbhyq unaq gur hygvzngr Fcbvyre. Jr pbhyq npghnyyl abj cyna jung gur uvagf jbhyq or.

    5. @Laukku: V qba'g xabj nobhg gur sybff... V guvax gurer znl or n tbbq punapr gung ur'yy svther gung bhg ol uvzfrys naq -ng nal engr- ur qbrf xabj jurer gb svaq vg. Gur Erfheerpgvba Pneq vf n gbgnyyl qvssrerag ohfvarff...

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. Nevermind! Abort! Abort! I forgot to hit refresh and other opinions have come into play! Do not read the ROT13!

      V ernyyl guvax jr fubhyq gryy uvz. Nf V erpnyy N) Ur jnagrq hf gb va cnfg, naq O) Vg vfa'g nf shaal nf gur erfheerpgvba pneq, naq P) Qb jr ernyyl jnag gb qb gung gb uvz GJVPR va bar tnzr?

    8. Ilmari: V xabj, ohg bapr ur nyernql unf gur sybff jura ur trgf gur thvgne, gur chmmyr vf cngurgvpnyyl rnfl orpnhfr fvzcyl glcvat "svk thvgne" jbexf - Yrf hfrf gur sybff nhgbzngvpnyyl.

    9. Jryy, gurer’f nyjnlf gur cbffvovyvgl gung Gevpx jvyy snvy gb gel gur boivbhf. Va nal pnfr, vg’f whfg 10 PNCf, fb vs rirelbar’f whfg jnvgvat sbe zl pnyy, V’yy gryy Gevpx nobhg gur sybff.

    10. V'z ibgvat ab ba guvf bar. Nf ybat nf ur unfa'g npghnyyl zbirq ba ur'f abg qrnq raqrq ba gur sybff lrg. Vs/jura gung unccraf ur'q arrq n uvag nobhg vg, ohg orsber gung V'z fhttrfgvat jr jnvg naq frr. Ur zvtug fghzoyr npebff vg ba uvf bja lrg.

    11. V....snve, ohg tvira ubj zhpu ur glcvpnyyl pbiref ba n oybt cbfg, gung pbhyq fgvyy or n gba bs jbex gb onpxgenpx. Jung vs jr jnea uvz gung ur vf nobhg gb qrnq raq uvzfrys, ohg tvir uvz n irvyrq UVAG, engure gura fnlvat "Cvpx hc gur sybff, ahzofxhyy"?

    12. Uzz... V guvax V jnf nn ovg gbb snfg naq tnir bhg n EBGgrq uvag nyernql (vg'f qbja gurer nf vgf bja guernq). Fubhyq V gnxr vg njnl, gura?

    13. V qba'g guvax gurer'f nal ehyrf gung rkcyvpvgyl sbeovq cbfgvat pbqrq uvagf va nqinapr. Lbh whfg qba'g trg nal cbvagf sbe vg. Vg fubhyq or hc gb Gevpxfgre gb qrpvqr vs ur ernqf vg be abg.

    14. V gubhtug lbh fnvq gur tnzr pna or pbzcyrgrq va 15 zvahgrf vs lbh xabj jung gb qb? Bs pbhefr, gung pbhyq whfg nf jryy or 15 ubhef bs frnepuvat naq fnavgl-qenvavat jnvyvat vs lbh qba'g xabj jurer lbhe gebhoyrf ner.

      Ru, V qba'g xabj. Zl ibgr qbrfa'g pbhag nal zber guna lbhef, naq V zvtug whfg or va gur zbbq sbe fbzrobql gb unir fbzr cnva nsgre n qnl bs nethvat obgu hc naq qbja gur ynqqre ng jbex. :c

    15. Ynef: Xrrc va zvaq, ur fgvyy unf gur qernqrq erfheerpgvba pneq gb qrny jvgu. Gur dhrfgvba vf vs jr yrg uvz qrnq-raq uvzfrys abg bapr, ohg gjvpr.

      Ubj zhpu lbh jnag gb org ur erfrgf NYY bhef PNCF gb mreb sbe guvf? Be cbffvoyl svarf hf n zvyyvba rnpu. Nyfb, V guvax ur nffhzrf jr ner fperjvat jvgu uvz ntnva, tvira gur yratgu bs guvf guernq. V jvfu V pbhyq frr uvf snpr jura ur ernqf nyy bs guvf.

      Onpx ba gbcvp, V guvax Vyznev unf gur evtug vqrn, gubhtu V jbhyq unir fnvq ur vf nobhg gb qrnq raq uvzfrys va cynva grkg, nf V qvq nobir orsber qryrgvat vg.

    16. Trggvat onpx gb gur erfheerpgvba pneq naq gur nyzbfg varivgnoyr pnyy sbe nffvfgnapr, ubj nobhg guvf sbe n frevrf bs uvagf?

      Uvag 1: Vg jnfa'g PBBY gb or genzcyrq ol Ryivf snaf, jnf vg?
      Uvag 2: Vs lbh pbhyq whfg SVYGRE gur onq pbafrdhraprf bs qrngu...
      Uvag 3: Vg jbhyq or fb ERSERFUVAT, vs lbh pbhyq erfheerpg lbhefrys.
      Uvag 4: Unir lbh frra nalguvat nf zlfgvpny unccravat naljurer?
      Uvag 5: Jurer qvq lbhe unaqf znqr fbzrbar inavfu yvxr n qernz?
      Uvag 6: Jbhyqa'g lbh jna'g gb ynl lbhe svatref ba fbzrguvat ryfr va Zzr. Mnezbbfxn'f ina?
      Fcbvyre: GBHPU YVMNEQ.

      Guvf jnf whfg na rknzcyr, lbh pna pbzr hc jvgu orggre nygreangvirf, ohg V'q ng yrnfg yvxr gb unir fbzr ersreraprf gb gung hafhpprffshy Svygre fpnz. V fgvyy guvax jr fubhyq tvir gur uvagf va havfba, bar uvag ol bar pbzzragre, guvax nobhg Gevpx'f ernpgvba jura gur uvagf jbhyq fgneg gb pbzr...

    17. Ner gubfr gur npghny uvagf? Jul jbhyq jr cbfg gubfr orsberunaq?

    18. Njrfbzr vqrn Vyznev. V'z whfg guvaxvat, znlor jr fubhyq qvfphff guvf va EBG47. Pheeragyl vg'f gbb boivbhf sebz tynapvat ng gur pbqrq grkg gung lbh'er cebcbfvat n frg bs uvagf. Vg xvaqn ehvaf gur fhecevfr.

    19. Pnantrrx: Ab, V qvqa'g zrna gurz gb or choyvfurq orsberunaq, ohg vs naq jura Gevpx unf uvg gur svany chmmyr naq pnyyf sbe uryc. Jr pna fgvyy cyna sbe gur bppnfvba va nqinapr.

      Ynhxxh: V nz cerggl fher Gevpx vf ol abj fb hfrq gb bhe bppnfvbany qrprcgvbaf gung ur whfg vtaberf rirelguvat va EBG13 gung vf abg pyrneyl fcrpvsvrq nf n uvag. Orfvqrf, gur orfg vaqvpngbef bs n uvag frdhrapr ner cebonoyl n) gur fgehpgher bs gur grkg naq o) gur ahzoref hfrq, obgu bs juvpu ernyyl pna'g or urycrq ol punatvat gur EBG-ahzore. Jryy BX, Gevpx zvtug unir yrnearq ol abj jung gur jbeq "uvag" ybbxf yvxr va EBG13, ohg jr pna hfr fbzr bgure jbeq vafgrnq.

    20. Ilmari: Npghnyyl EBG47 qvfthvfrf ahzoref gbb, naq nyy chapghngvba nyfb. Vg hfrf na "nycunorg" bs 94 flzobyf, abg whfg 26 yrggref. Frr

    21. Lrnu, ohg V qba'g guvax nal bs hf unir n EBG47 qrpbqre. Jul abg fbzrguvat yvxr ONFR64 rapbqr?


    22. V fnl, yrg uvz trg qrnq-raqrq nf naq jura ur fubhyq gura rkgraq bhe nffvfgnapr jura ur nfxf sbe vg.

      Bar pna bayl srry gur shyy vzcnpg bs ubj fperjrq hc gur tnzr vf ol yvivat guebhtu vg. Ryfr, ur pna'g tvir gur nccebcevngr fpber gur tnzr arrqf... vg fubhyq or grzcrerq jvgu gur rzbgvbaf... jvgu ybgf bs pelvat.

    23. Guvf vf trggvat jnl gbb grpuavpny. Urer'f gur yvfg va TbbtyrQbpf, jurer Gevpxfgre jvyy arire thrff gb ybbx sbe vg:


      Fb, jub'f jvgu zr? Nalbar fgvyy jnag gb znxr fbzr punatrf be fubhyq jr whfg qrpvqr jub jvyy gryy juvpu uvag? V fgvyy guvax Ncrenzn fubhyq trg gur ubabhe bs tvivat gur svany fcbvyre.

      Naq Xraal, V qba'g guvax guvf jvyy ernyyl cerirag lbh sebz univat lbhe fnqvfgvp sha. Va snpg, lbh trg gb unir fbzr zber bs vg. Nsgre nyy, jr jvyy tvir gur uvagf bayl jura Gevpx nfxf sbe vg, ohg whfg va gval cvrprf...

    24. Canageek: EBG47 vf orggre, orpnhfr whfg yvxr EBG13, vg'f flzzrgevpny. Rapbqr gur pvcuregrkg naq lbh trg gur cynvagrkg ntnva. Gurer'f nyfb na rapbqre bayvar (fryrpg gur 47 bcgvba): uggc://pelcgvv.pbz/grkg/ebg13

    25. Ilmari: V guvax gur frpbaq unys bs gur yvfg arrqf zber jbex. Znlor jr fubhyq cbvag gb gur sbeghar gryyre jvgu fbzrguvat yvxr "Fbzrobql *qvq* jnea lbh jryy nurnq bs gvzr bs n 'ivbyrag raqvat'." Gura znlor "Lbh'q arrq gb or n erny YVMNE- V zrna, jvmneq gb fbyir guvf hanffvfgrq."

    26. Bx V'ir znqr fbzr punatrf. Vg frrzf jr'yy unir gb ortva evtug abj...

    27. Npghnyyl, V guvax jr pna ortva jvgu Uvag 4, fvapr Gevpx nyernql fnvq ur xabjf gung gurer'f n erffherpgvba pneq fbzrjurer.

    28. BX Ynhxxh, V ortna jvgu uvag ahzore sbhe, V thrff lbh pbhyq qb ahzore svir (be lbh pna fxvc fgenvtug gb ahzore fvk). Va nal pnfr, vs ab bar unf qbar ahzore fvk va svir ubhef, V'yy qb vg, naq gura vg'f jryy gvzr sbe gur svany fcbvyre.

  2. What better way to troll the player than offering a puzzle to solve (the desert) but giving no reward for doing it (apart from points)? This just shows again how evil the designers are.

  3. Well, I haven't played the game, but here are a couple of things you might try at the phone booth:
    1. Fhcrezna bsgra punatrq va n cubar obbgu. Qvq lbh gel chggvat ba gur pybgurf gurer?
    2. Fbzrgvzrf lbh pna svaq ybbfr punatr va gur pbva erghea fybg. Zvtug arrq gb gbttyr gur erghea yrire svefg.

    1. That's the sort of thing if expect to see in a LucasArts or Sierra offering. Didn't you get the memo that this game was all about being Too Cool for those other developers? (It would have been a perfectly good solution by this game's logic, but I fear it just plainly isn't.)

    2. Hah, even Sir Cole agrees with me that that would be a natural adventure game puzzle to use. But noooooo, that won't do.

      By this point I'm afraid that Trickster will take permanent damage. Let's hope KQ1 and SMI will smooth things over and patch him up enough to not ragequit at Altered Destiny. I won't even mention that it uses the same engine as Les Manley.

  4. IIRC, I think we have at least a couple more instances of frustrating "desert" puzzles coming up in a few of the Sierra games.

    1. I just played through King's Quest 5 (having won the anthology from Lars-Erik then realising that the Steam version is utter trash to run through the client.. a dosbox version 8 revisions ago means 320x240 in a true native 1920x1080 mangles graphics) and will certainly confirm that there is a desert there - plus QFG2, though I can't actually consider that a puzzling affair any more. (I've played the game so many times I virtually have a map of the desert engraved into my head.)

    2. Yeah, those are the two instances I had in mind.

    3. Aperama: Can't you just copy in a new DOSBOX executable?

    4. I don't think the Sierra desert sequences are particularly bad, they teach you to make multiple saves and make maps, which isn't much to ask for an adventure game player, is it?

      Also the desert in QFG2 isn't really a puzzle.

    5. True, but it could be construed as a maze of sorts (which is the real problem - desert or ocean or hedge maze, the real trouble is that it's a maze, typically with no visual clues as to direction - in QFG2, there are four desert screens that can't simply be interchanged with one another)

      In truth, Canageek, I can use the files that have been installed and use whatever front end (dosbox at a later version, scummvm) I choose to - but I do shake my head at Steam for offering a game that is at very best "quite difficult" to play as intended.

      The shameful thing, though, is that I realized that I already had it on GoG unbeknownst to me.. which gives a perfectly playable copy of all that Steam has to offer. If GoG actually offered the front end that Steam did, I feel like I'd probably use it more - my GoG account is cluttered with impulse buys at ridiculously low prices which have made it difficult to easily moderate unless I know what I'm looking for.

    6. Aperama: They actually are updating things: I noticed several adventure games in the 'recently updated list' and they've been moving some from DOSBOX to ScummVM, which apparently fixes some emulation bugs.

    7. Aperama: The only reason I'm giving away the Steam version and not the GoG one is that the Steam bundle is the only one that includes the VGA (SCI remake) of KQ1, which is the one that's coming up. The GoG bundle only includes the original AGI. If it had the SCI remake, there would be no chance of me buying the Steam version. That also means Les Manley is the last game that has the Steam KQ bundle as a prize, unless anything changes in their offerings.

    8. Not at all telling you off, Mr. Erik - I understood the notion. The game is fixable from where it is should you stuff around as you need to - but GoG lets you step right on in with no fuss, and pretty well always has. Perhaps it's just the sheer amount of games in their catalogue, but it's always seemed like GoG is more willing to work with their customers than Steam is (I've still got permanently unread support tickets in regards to 3 games where I can either play them in a heavily bugged manner, or work to get my money back.)

      Still, if they're actually working to fix it up, that's great in my book!

    9. No worries Aperama, I didn't take it as critique at all. Sorry if I came across that way. :)
      Your point is precisely one of the reasons I prefer GoG. I always have a notice or 6 whenever I log in that games have been updated, patched or new bonus content have been added to games I already own. As far as I know, Valve only package their own content (Half-Life etc), and as such it's up to the original publisher to do something with their games. That means Activision I guess?

      Whereas GoG take an active role in ensuring that their content work, and package it themselves, which gives them the option of constant updates where possible.

    10. >they've been moving some from DOSBOX to ScummVM

      I wonder what kind of bugs there could be that either didn't already exist on original hardware or can't be solved by using an up-to-date DOSBox SVN.

      About the King's Quest anthology: They also stupidly removed the setup files, making it needlessly difficult to change settings. It's still possible by manually editing RESOURCE.CFG in Notepad. Luckily there's a patch at Sierrahelp forums that both updates the DOSBox version and restores missing files.

    11. So, part of the problem is, as I understand it, updating the game is the publishers job, not Steams. Whereas GoG does everything themselves.

      Here is an example: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream:
      27 November, 2013 - Saleck
      -Crosshair flickering should be massively reduced and mouse movement should be generally better now (All)
      -The DOSBox Console will no longer display on launching the game (Windows)
      -Updated Libraries (Linux)
      -Fixed "Inconsistency detected by dl-open.c: 695: _dl_open: Assertion ` dl_debug_initialize (0, args.nsid) ->r_state == RT_CONSISTANT' failed!' (Linux)

      19 December, 2013 - Saleck
      -Added the vanilla version of DOSBox for people who want a more retro experience when playing the game,
      -Lowered sound blocksize and prebuffering values which may have caused sound issues for some users.

      19 February 2014- Saleck (I've ROT13ed the spoilers --Canageek)

      -Engine Change for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X - DOSBox has been replaced with ScummVM 1.6.0. This also comes with the following bugfixes (spoilers ahead):

      -When loading a save game, the music played is still the music which was playing in the previous scene before the save game is loaded
      -When picking up or using objects in a scene, sometimes a "ghost" object is created in the top left corner of the screen
      -Chapter 1 (Gorrister): After reading the note in the starting room, the hotspot for the note moves to the upper-left corner, so you can read it again and again
      -Chapter 1 (Gorrister): Tbeevfgre'f urneg vf abg fhccbfrq gb unir n "hfr" cuenfr nggnpurq gb vg (vg'f abg hfrq naljurer, vg'f bayl tvira), ohg jura "hfrq", na vapbeerpg ercyl vf tvira gb gur cynlre ("Vg'f gbb aneebj sbe zr gb cnff", fnvq jura Tbeevfgre gevrf gb cvpx hc gur urneg jvgubhg n ebcr)
      -Chapter 1 (Gorrister): Hfvat gur xavsr gb phg bhg Rqan'f urneg pna yrnq gb harkcrpgrq orunivbe gur frpbaq gvzr guvf vf cresbezrq. Gur cynlre vf rvgure noyr gb gnyx ntnva gb gur qrnq Rqan, be trg ure urneg ntnva naq or fghpx
      -Chapter 1 (Gorrister): the left graffitti in the restroom can't be examined. Gorrister just walks back to the bar instead
      -Chapter 1 (Gorrister): Jura Rqan qebcf ure xrl va gur serrmre ebbz, gur hfre pna ubire bire 2 vgrzf jvgu gur phefbe ("Gur xrl" naq "Rqan'f xrl")
      -Chapter 3 (Oraal): After talking to the child via the monitor, Benny walks backwards
      -Chapter 3 (Benny): Chggvat gur ybggrel ont vagb gur ubyr naq ergevrivat vg onpx sebz gurer fhzzbaf nabgure Cflpuvp Cebsvyr obbx va gur vairagbel (vafgrnq bs gur ont vpba)

      This engine change unfortunately means that any saved games made previously will no longer work with this new update.

      It almost sounds like ScummVM is fixing bugs that were in the game originally?

    12. Thing is, GoG does not require you to run a client program that run another program. So, it's free to do all these fixes that ill not cause compatibility issue with said client program, like Steam does. I still can't run that frickin' Dark Souls game on Steam.

      Also, Fallout still flickers horribly during the movie cutscenes on Steam. Dammit. Should've got them for free on GoG.

    13. Kenny: Running a client program doesn't alter the game at all. All it does is have a line that calls it, same as a desktop shortcut. As I recall, the flikering in Fallout cutscenes is a codec issue. Try updating your codecs via K-Lite Codec pack.

    14. Actually, the desert 'puzzle' is one of the few puzzles I could actually solve when I first played King's Quest V. I actually enjoyed mapping it at the time, though I'm sure I'd just look up a map walkthrough if I played it again now as I've become a much less patient adventure gamer in my old age.

    15. I get all natively Windows 7 compatible games from Steam, and any that use emulation from Gog. I like the Steam features, such as cloud saves, supported in newer games. But using a client to start an emulator complicates things unnecessarily, and I prefer anyway to rip the DOS files into a folder I can mount and where they are all neatly in one place. I have a dedicated directory filled with 2GB of DOS games and programs, set to mount as the C drive in a DOSBox version with lots of extra features.

      When I learned (after getting it from both sites) that Steam AND Gog only offer the glitchy Windows version of Fallout, I torrented the complete CD image and installed the DOS version that's included in it. No intro flicker anymore.

    16. Really? I found the Steam version of Fallout much less buggy then my CD version (I got the Steam one to get all the DLC cheaply).

      But yeah, if you get the Steam versions you can just rip the games out anyway. I don't think it matters much, as A) Games that old don't have DRM anyway, and you can just copy the DOSBOX version into another directory and B) I don't think the game files differ much, just the DOSBOX or ScummVM wrapper.

      Wait, which fallout are we talking about? I meant Fallout 3 >.>

    17. There's no such thing as Fallout 3. There is an Elder Scrolls 4 Stand-Alone Mod with that name, though.

    18. You're my hero. *swoons*

    19. Fallout 3 was a great game, and the original developer of Fallout (ie the only guy on the project for the first six months) said that he liked most of it, except the sense of humour, but that was to be expected as humour is so subjective.

      Oh, and he thought they didn't depart from the old ones nearly enough, for example including Super Mutants and Radscorpions in Washington, which is too far north for either of those. Ditto the Enclave. He thought they should have departed from the original more, which makes me laugh at purist fanboys.

    20. Wow, where can I get this great new Fallout game? I only played the mod Kenny mentioned. It was a console port, even.

    21. Well, there is New Vegas, which was made by some of the same people as the first ones.

      Or you buy Fallout 3, then install mods until it is how you like it. There are a bunch of ones to make it more lore-pure.

    22. Or are you just complaining as it doesn't have terrible graphics and a painful interface that has kept me from playing the game? I tried playing Fallout 2 once, but then my follower and a kid trapped me into a room and neither would move, so I gave up as if a random thing can ruin the game in the first town, why would I want to play it?

    23. I would definitely *not* recommend that you get near the original Fallout games if you're easily frustrated by primitive graphics/interfaces or dodgy pathfinding. I hear Fallout 2 was pretty bad in this respect but these games are what, 15 years old? Still their flaws were not the reason they're considered classics, nor do good graphics or a cleaner interface make Obliv... sorry, Fallout 3 be any less forgettable.

    24. Graphics: Whatever. I've spent a lot of hours trying to beat the original X-COM, and recently got Masters of Orion 2 off GoG, and then lost a lot of hours of sleep playing it till 3 am (Makes 9 am work with no coffee...painful). But having to restart the game because my follower and a kid locked me in a room? That is just bad design. That and, it hadn't really caught me yet. It didn't feel really well, much of anything. I was walking around a temple with a spear, stabbing lizards, then sent out to a town, met some guy who talks to spirits who randomly agreed to follow me. Nice writing on him as I recall.

      Compared to Fallout 3. OK main quest, some nicely designed (if not super well written side quests, such as Trouble on the Homefront), but the best dungeons I've seen in an RPG, bar none. Skyrim: Dungeons are a single corridor, sometimes with side rooms. Oblivion: Dungeons are branching corridors. Balder's Gate: Dungeons are maps, though usually with quite a linear path, constrained by choke points at frequent intervals (You must gather your party before venturing forth). Fallout 3: Holy cow. Good luck not getting lost. There are holes in the floor, holes in the ceiling, connecting corridors, often multiple ways to enter or leave the area, usually multiple levels. ALSO one of the few games to make places actually feel like real places people would have inhabited at one point, they include washrooms, bedrooms, offices, etc. Now, the towns aren't very good, I'll admit, and most of the NPCs are about as deep as a reflecting pool, but on the other hand, you can just wander the world for hours and keep finding new things. See a river? There is probably something on the bottom of it. See a tower in the distance? You can explore it. Oblivion had a bit of this, but was so huge you spent ages walking over empty forest, and Skyrim was smaller, with better diversity, but you could spend a lot of time walking and not finding anything interesting-- there are some shipwrecks and ruins and things, but not a ton that aren't just dungeons. Balder's Gate had some things like this, but (as someone who did a grid search on almost every wilderness region) I can authoritatively say there was a hell of a lot of boring, empty forests, and most of the hidden areas were damn hard to find, just shadows on a wall.

      And no, being old doesn't excuse a bad UI: Fallout 2 came out 2 years after MoO2, and MoO2 has a lot of features modern games lack: Ability to sort things, Nice overview screens I can manipulate my colonies from, turn summaries. Now, it NEEDS saved build lists, so I don't have to build every damn new colony by hand, but damn.

      Also Baldur's Gate came out pretty much the same time as Fallout 2, and had very minimal pathing issues (Once and a while someone would wind up wandering around the wrong side of the map randomly, but nothing game-breaking.)

    25. Don't sweat it Canageek, I'm totally messing with you. I figured Kenny was baiting you so I thought I'd join in the fun. It did take a few days but may I say you didn't disappoint. :-)

      So I played Fallout back in the day, thought it was great, but with Fallout 2 I only got roughly as far as you. I got bored and the game never hooked me. I actually finished both Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and found the latter to be a marked improvement over its predecessor. They don't register as proper Fallout games to me because they lack turn-based tactical combat, which was a huge part of the original experience. As for the "lore", I failed to notice any problems. I couldn't care less frankly, as I barely remembered any of it anyway.

    26. Ah, that is one of my all time favourite games, and was one of the reasons I built my gaming computer. Lately I've been moving away from RPGs to action games and strategy games, so have been working through Metro Last Light and Civ IV. I can only play the first one of those in the daytime though.

  5. Yo Trickster, if you are following Aperama’s advice, you might definitely want to check out also the first hint down below, and probably some of the later ones as well *wink wink*.

    Hint 1: Lbh ner nobhg gb trg qrnq-raqrq.
    Hint 2: Qba’g lbh guvax lbh’q jnag gb cebpher fbzrguvat lbh’ir nyernql hfrq, whfg va pnfr vg zvtug pbzr unaql yngre?
    Hint 3: Guvf znxrf cresrpg frafr: lbh jbhyq qrsvavgryl jnag gb gnfgr fbzrguvat gung’f orra qbja gur qenva.
    Spoiler: Lrf, GNXR SYBFF nsgre lbh’ir hfrq vg.

    1. Yep, you need to read point 1 Trickster. Like, right now. READ ITTTTTTTTT. *Grabs Trickster and forces his head into eye level with Ilmari's comment*

    2. DON'T use ROT13 when reading it. Seriously. Where's the fun in that?

      Naljnl, ZBFG nqiragher tnzrf jvyy bayl yrg lbh qvfcbfr n er-hfnoyr vgrz nsgre lbh unir jrag guebhtu NYY gur chmmyrf gung erdhverf vg... be ng yrnfg gnxr vg onpx nhgbzngvpnyyl vagb lbhe vairagbel nsgre lbh hfrq vg.

      Guvf vf cheryl n penccl qrfvta qrpvfvba gb pnhfr natfg naq sehfgengvba.

      "Bu ybbx! Jr unir fgergpurq gur tnzrcynl bs guvf cvrpr bs fuvg ol nabgure 3 ubhef whfg ol vzcyrzragvat guvf qrpvfvba! Nera'g jr fb fzneg?"

      Cool! I didn't know Cheryl could be ROT13 into an actual word!

    3. Gevpxfgre fubhyq'ir xabja gung gur qenva chmmyr jnf gbb tbbq gb or gehr. Va ernyvgl, gur qrfvtaref jnagrq gb yhyy gur cynlre vagb n snyfr frafr bs frphevgl, znxvat gurz guvax gung gurl'er svavfurq jvgu gur fprar naq zbir ba. Gubfr onfgneqf.

  6. Reading Saturday Crapshoot again. Trickster, you need to blog faster! There are games like The Shivah, which has a full, detailed plot and noir style internal monologues awaiting you! THERE ARE GOOD GAMES AHEAD (in 2006....2013 for the Kosher Edition with graphics that don't suck. )

    1. Oh man! The first Putt-Putt game is coming up. I think I played that one as a kid. I KNOW I played Putt-Putt goes to the Moon a bit, though not as much as Fatty Bear's Birthday Surprise. I pledge to pay CAPS to make you play that game, and play along with you, and I think I'll even record myself playing and put it on YouTube with commentary, as I hate stopping playing to take notes.

    2. All your talk about Putt-Putt makes me want to try it out. Unfortunately the first one is 50-ish games away, so it'll be a while until I get to see if it's as entertaining as you claim. ;)

    3. Ok, keep in mind, it is a kids game. All the puzzles are going to be very simple. Also, as I said, I don't recall this one so much. The games I really remember playing:

      A lot of Fatty Bear.
      A LOT of Treasure Mountain.
      Gizmos and Gadgets
      A bit of Putt-Putt goes to the moon.
      Oregon Trail (The PC version with the light-gun style hunting)
      Some undersea sequel to Treasure Mountain (Google says Treasure Cove!)

    4. Oh, and the fire game I remember playing was The Duel, a car racing game of an old style, where you are street racing one other car, and have to dodge all the other cars on the road. However, I'm told I played a game called Adventure on my Dad's C64, I just don't remember it.

  7. 70% off on The Longest Journey and Dreamfall on GoG today: