Thursday, 9 April 2015

Game 50: B.A.T. - Gettin' Bizzy Wit It

Duke Garland's Journal, Vol. 2: “I have recovered the first of the Tears of Esmeranti! Despite a perilous journey through the cavern of Malicia, I have emerged victorious against the evil gigantic crab, Cangrejo. In spite of his many attempts to cover my head in.. well, it seemed to me that he was attempting to defecate on me, the powerful artifact that I purchased back in Muralla town, the Magia Stone, has seen me through danger. On arriving in the next town of Satono, the sage Yasmin has taught me the secret magick of sword throwing – Espana. If all works as quickly as I hope it will, Felicia will be turned back from stone and Jashiin will be dead at the hands of the Fairy Flame Sword in mere days!”

I especially like the part with the rainbow explosions. B.A.T. is managing to impress me now

So, I've done a deep amount of soul searching in an effort to work out why it was that I hated B.A.T. so much. In the end, the answer seemed a lot more obvious than I thought it would end up being. See, when B.A.T. was released, I would have been about 2 years old. (Yes, I'm a young'un.) Still, in spite of the rapid acceleration in hardware standards et al over the time that I would have actually been able to worry about these considerations, my family was not so rich that the latest and greatest could always be ours – we would have been more likely to play an older game on our (some years old) hardware, meaning this could just as easily have been the first game I ever played. I have clear memories of these games in my formative years of only 4 or 5 – among the first I really remember being the game in the video above. The game I reference here was traded with a family friend (for a 'value pack'-market copy of Space Quest 1: The Sarien Encounter) and is one of the games I have the clearest memories of. It was nasty at several points (in spite of the cheap way I've displayed it here), particularly with my reflexes at the time – but at no point was it ever unfair. There were several points at which one could scam the in-game systems, saves were free – but this little platformer stumped me until I was 15 or 16 and able to navigate the ludicrously difficult final dungeon in spite of the game coming with its own maps. I felt accomplished when I did – I never once felt like I was losing because of the game system being too random or what have you.

I'm fairly certain that if we had instead traded for B.A.T, I would have properly gotten into sports. Or trainspotting. Or anything other than computers. It's a cruel adventure indeed where you're told at every turn that you have a clear means to a puzzle's end, only for the puzzle to turn out to be solvable only if you perform a small satanic ritual first. Unfortunately, though, I signed on for this, so.. well, I'll conveniently forget the strikethrough text for all of this.

BigGuns McBizzy's Journal #IV: “So, I'm kinda making a mockery of this whole 'interstellar police' thing. I've spent the past three days of 'investigation' talking to people who don't know an awful lot, gambling because I really haven't been given enough money to do what I need to do, and buying guns. Oh, and hanging out with girls. In bars. Come to think of it, I may actually be a gigolo. I should probably double check the next time I fill out a tax form. But, uh, yeah. I can head out on the DRAG any time I want, but I found some Kradokid who turned in Merigo. May as well blast him before getting the heck out of Terrapolis. I might not even bother saving the place. Chances are, with my Bizzy skills, I'll own this town before the end of the week anyway.”

Where we last left off – a screenshot I didn't actually think was worth showing off.
Flipping marvellous.

If any of you have been reading the comments, you'll realise that I was planning for this post to be entirely about the cheese sector of Europe I would not have even possibly continued further on without assistance. As I'd sorta predicted, I only really needed a short set of clues to set me on the right path – but the game really doesn't do itself any favours. In order to find Merigo (properly, not just have him randomly drop in on you in an attempt to kill you) you need to speak to a lady in a bar (which I had done as of post #2) and then find a random alien (type of which she names) randomly (the screen gives no graphically intuitive idea of what you're doing) who in spite of looking and greeting in the same manner, and having the same responses to everything else, will ask for money when you speak about Merigo – 'lots of it'. There's only one way to get money – the 'Bizzy Game'. It's a simple game of Simon Says, which I have been heavily cheating in for quite a while up until this point. It could likely fund the entire game without any more than a few clicks of buttons, particularly as time stands still when you're – and I beg forgiveness for this – Bizzy-ing yourself with this.


Not quite..

And that's a bingo! Congratulations!
You somehow avoided burning your game diskette in sheer frustration!
(These are six different individual Kradokids between the screenshots I've taken here, by the way)

So, this left me with one clue that I had not yet spoiled myself with – and it was honestly more or less the one I was more interested in. The Bizzy Game, to my mind, couldn't possibly be only there for bloating out gameplay by giving a 'money' source. It wasn't fun like, say, poker is for example – it's just rote memorisation which anyone with half of a brain would immediately turn to using a notepad or the like to get through. I have a computerised version of a notepad. It is called 'Notepad'. Noting down squares by two-letter combinations (I use 'FS' for 'full square', 'DI' for diamond and so on) it's child's play to get to level 14 or 15 without anything possibly going wrong – this left me with utter oodles of credits in my account. However, reading Ilmari's clue let me know that if I was in there at 1:00 – not 12:59, not 1:10 (as I was there in both of those timeframes on 'Monday') but 1:00 PM, a girl would be there to challenge me in Bizzy. I can only imagine how this game would actually work in reality. It has no timer, so it's sorta like playing blackjack where the house lets you count cards. Onto a sheet of paper in front of you. While wearing a hat that says 'I AM CHEATING'.

I had 996 Krells on hand when she challenged me to this. I had to reload, get money out and go back because she accused me of 'not having the money'...

I already have access to potentially unlimited money. For that matter, I already have 'Lydia' following me around from the club. Sloan, you're now the head of my harem?

It was clear to my adventure game logic (the one I have referenced in other posts that tells me that rope is quite possibly the most valuable substance created by either God or Man) that we're not out for her money, anyhow – even if we needed it, you always want a favour more than money. And as it turns out, this is exactly what she does for us – I was looking for something to do while waiting until 10 PM for my Kradokid friend to turn up at the museum and started clicking on things to see if they'd allow me through now that I have a bevy of beauties at my arms. As it turns out, Sloan knows someone in the DRAG pilot circuit, and she makes the guard step aside so that we can slip on in. Of course, she didn't think to mention this to us on agreeing to take her as a 'guide'.. come to think of it, why they wouldn't let a B.A.T. member through in the first place is beyond me, but hey. The hangar is somewhat less than appealing with very little in the way of interactivity. Going up some stairs leads to the 'DRAG Hirer'.. who is ready to charge us even more than I've already earned through Bizzy. Yoiks. Of course, our harem comes in handy once more..

My Nova, the best gun known to man, Kradokid, Robokiller or any of the other
made up names I care to mention, is in contrast worth 400 Krells..

Ah, so this must be where my B.O.B. comes into its own as a phone, my convenient plot device?

Nope. Phone booths. Welcome to the XXIIst century, pal!

This number puts us on a direct line to Crisa Kortakis' secretary. It would have been nice of Lydia to tell us that she knew the woman that I've been spending two posts trying to find while outside the door speaking to her evil 'hulktronic'. Crisa Kortakis is clearly just here because the creators of the game didn't feel that their space-age game reminded people enough of Jabba the Hutt – she's a human, incessantly obese lady sitting on a floating chair with wires connected to her. She has three options to her – ask to arrest Vrangor (she berates you), ask to give you some money for the DRAG (which she does, gives Lydia a small jewel for around her neck and kisses her) and ask to leave Selenia (which she grants by killing you. I sincerely hope she at least shoots your remains into space. Though I guess the bombs soon to explode will probably do that.)

Oh, god, she's not wearing anything

I sincerely worry for whoever thought drawing this was a good idea.
You could have made this thing an alien, France! YOU COULD HAVE SAVED OUR EYES!

Plus side? She's loaded

So, with nothing else obvious to do apart from hiring a DRAG (which seems a poor idea given I know that Merigo is still outside the area with the Bizzy game, kicking people's arses with ludicrously overpowered weaponry and doing it in such a quick fashion that nobody can actually react) with the money she's just poured into our account, there's nothing really left to do here apart from go down to the 'hibernation hotel' and wait until 10 PM. Of course, even this is more difficult than it has to be – instead of just giving a number to decide how long you'll sleep, there's an awkward slide bar that has markings of 2, 4, (big space), 8, (reasonable space), 16, (virtually none), 24. So I needed to wait nine hours – one click above '8' became 10. Instead, I waited just under eight and then clicked at random. I've heard of another infamous and similar puzzle involving time waiting and goats, so I presume this is an intended test of the gamers' skill. Right? Right. Anyhow, it's off to the museum we go to find a strange idol from Barnett College for Marcus Brody to bribe us a Kradokid. He gives us a time for 100 Krells, and sells us a pass to the Xifo club for 300. Of course, we couldn't just ask Crisa for this. Hell, we couldn't even just do any number of things that would logically lead to us being able to get into a successful nightclub owned by the clearly very close friend of the woman we've seduced – we had to find a random alien, get him to tell us that there was a criminal liable to blow up the entire city who often visited there for money, and then think that the 'kid' (there it is, in his NAME!) would have a pass. To a nightclub.

I'm stopping here just so I can wipe the fury off of my cheeks. With a metal scourer.

Session time: 1 hour
Total time: 5 hours 30 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's 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. But if anyone is about to tell me I've missed something, tell me. I'm not sure I have the mental endurance to have to reload significant portions of the game – heck, even minutes of it could be tough. Thanks!


  1. Noting the last few sentences, I might first give the general advice that in games like these it is pretty imperative to search all places, just in case something might have been hidden there - and especially crucial searching is after major plot events. And if said searching produces something, you should probably look around and see if this new item has opened up some new area or made some thing usable etc.

    And I might also give a more specific hint:

    Hint: Lbh qvqa'g guvax ubgry jnf whfg sbe fyrrcvat?
    Spoiler: Frnepu gur ebbz.

    1. Your hint breaks the game. I find nothing, and if I try to enter the unit it breaks.

    2. I am not sure, if we are speaking of the same building, because there seems to be two hotels... This one is the one not near the aeroport. Something called a Grand Hotel. It's near armor shop.

    3. Just checked a longplay. Going from the alley with the armor or force field shop, press an arrow going to north, you'll come to a big cubish building, with no indication that's it's a hotel. In the lower parts of that building you should be able to get an arrow going in it. (Boy, this a confusing game to watch.)

  2. Reading about this game makes me glad that I'm playing a game that, despite being hard, is just much more fun.

    By the way, that Jabba picture looks like one of those webcam enhancements that takes one half of your face and stretches and mirrors it, funhouse mirror style.

  3. Wow. I didn't know Zeliard was a minigame in BAT.