Thursday 30 July 2015

Game 58: Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patty Does A Little Undercover Work (1991) - Introduction

Written by Alex

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: This is really the fourth Larry game. I won’t do the hacky Internet writer thing and make some joke about the missing floppies or whatever; it’s been done to death and series creator and head designer Al Lowe tells the story much better than I ever could here. But since it turns out that I actually am a hacky Internet writer, here’s the condensed version: The ending of Larry 3 left our heroes, Larry and Patty, happily together and writing computer games for some fantastic company located in the California Rockies. In order to get out of this continuity-bind, Mr. Lowe, in a flash of genius, wondered why he had to make the games go in strict numerical order. Why not make the next Larry game the fifth one, begin in medias res, and refer to the events of the fourth game, hinting as to why Larry and Patty are not together developing really sweet adventure games? So it’s all just a part of the joke. That Al Lowe, making comedy games that are actually funny. Who does he think he is?

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Space Quest 1 (VGA) - Final Rating

I don't know about anyone else, but I really enjoyed playing Space Quest 1 again. I've played and replayed through many of the Sierra games over the years (previous to this blog, and also replaying them again alongside this blog), and I never tire of the good ones.


My very first experience with Space Quest 1 just involved the Arcada, as I couldn't make it off the ship. I was too young really, and wasn't sure what I should be doing. It was a similar case for the other early Sierra games, but they made enough of an impact for me to continue playing similar games until I was able to finish them on my own.

I've had changing opinions on remakes, and I'd say I'm usually positive about them these days. Problems only arise if the game is altered in such a way that it's not really the same any more, or if the remake is just badly made or buggy. I'm sure we will see all sorts as we progress forward on this blog!

So how does this compare with the original? Lets look at those scores:

Friday 24 July 2015

Timequest - Popes and Pleasures (1215/1519 AD)

Written by Reiko

Temporal Corps Private Journal #8: “I earn and spend 1000 yuan, both on pleasure-related commodities, and later earn and spend a Catholic indulgence, although the two transactions are entirely unrelated. The first transaction leads to the invasion of a city, but fortunately one that was supposed to happen anyway. I also encounter two Popes, a warlord, and an emperor. This job certainly has some perks.”

I'm going to continue with surveying non-mission locations now to look for useful items or additional messages from Vettenmyer. There are three more locations in 1215 AD, so I'll start with Rome. Everything looks very similar to earlier times. The circus is still closed, by order of Pope Innocent III. I head toward the Vatican and find the Pope himself repeating an announcement about a new crusade in several different languages. One of them is apparently another message from Vettenmyer in modern English: "If this fifth crusade succeeds, I'll eat my hat." So first Vettenmyer trained a deaf guy to write in English, and now he trained the Pope to speak in English? That's some talent. Also implausible.

I can also go into the Basilica again, which looks quite a bit different compared to Charlemagne's time. The chapel isn't available here, though, and there's nothing I see to do, so I move on.

History of Egypt in 1215 AD

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Space Quest 1 (VGA) - Part 4: Return of the Sariens - WON!

Written by Andy Panthro

Inside the Sarien ship

So here we are, on the enemy ship, only able to use our wit and cunning to save the day. Hopefully all of those action movies I've watched when I was supposed to be working will come in handy. Of course the last thing the Sariens would ever suspect is that the janitor of the ship they robbed would come and act the hero, so I have the element of surprise on my side (and little else).

Sunday 19 July 2015

Timequest - Missions in 800 and 1215 AD

Written by Reiko

Temporal Corps Private Journal #7: I have traveled so many places, but really haven’t accomplished very much yet. This time I’m finally able to complete a second mission, in which I ride a horse, get shot at, but not with lethal intent at least, and help forge official communication to get the Magna Carta signed like it should be.

On to Rome in 800 AD! It's the Dark Ages, and Rome seems more subdued. The circus is still closed, by order of Pope Leo III this time. I head to the Vatican to find Charlemagne awaiting his coronation. I've appeared at 10:00 in the morning, and the coronation is scheduled for noon. Adjacent to the main sanctuary is a chapel, where the crown is being kept, sort of guarded by one priest absorbed in his prayers.

We’ve got a full dozen priests to witness the coronation.

Friday 17 July 2015

Missed Classic: Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man - WON! and Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

A deadly combination of villains.

Peter Parker Journal #3 - I did it! I have successfully defeated Electro and Doctor Octopus, and snagged the elusive bio gem. I even solved a riddle hidden in a newspaper. Is it time to wake up now?

Where we last left Spider-Man, he had just descended through a maze of air ducts to emerge into the printing press room at the Daily Bugle. There, we met up with Doctor Octopus and Electro, but the latter quickly blasted us with lightning and it was time to reload. As we approach what I expect will be the final villains in the game, it’s notable that these are the first ones to actively be trying to attack Spider-Man. Every other villain was content to stay in his room and say that I’d never get his gem, but these were the first to actually do something about it. I even stood around while my spider-sense was tingling precisely because I expected these guys to be the same as the earlier enemies. I was wrong!

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Space Quest 1 (VGA) - Part 3: The Bar at the End of the Universe

Written by Andy Panthro

The bar, like the town, looks like it's seen better days

Civilization at last! Or at least a fair approximation of it. To my left, some sort of second-hand spaceship salesman. To my right, a rather dismal looking bar. Straight ahead, a shop selling droids of various uses. Behind me, nothing but sand and rocks for miles (and nasty creatures that would eat me whole). While the relative safety of this quaint little desert outpost is nice, I still have a mission to accomplish. Millions of Xenonians are depending on me!

Monday 13 July 2015

Missed Classic: Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man - Hauling Furniture for Goodness

Written by Joe Pranevich

Let’s see what’s behind Door #1...

Peter Parker Journal #2 - My spider-senses are still tingling, but I have explored all of the Daily Bugle building and defeated several of my fiercest foes. It still feels like a dream somehow, but Mysterio is here and I can’t help but feel he is connected to all of this. I’m in the air ducts now and descending into the basement. I sure hope I wake up soon.

The Second Floor

When we left off in the previous post, I had explored the first floor of the office building and discovered it littered with villains: Sandman, Hydro-Man, and the Lizard. Madame Web is also here, as well as one of the infamous Questprobe “bio gems”. Ms. Web provided me some clues about how to deal with the villains, but none of them have panned out just yet. I’m sure it will make sense once I explore the rest of the building.

Saturday 11 July 2015

Timequest - Quetzlcoatl (Mexico)

Written by Reiko

Temporal Corps Private Journal #6: “More creepy and useless messages. I have to wonder if there’s going to be a secret code hidden in them or something. I make my second foray into religion as I get to disguise myself as a god but still nearly get killed (again!). At least I get something useful out of the experience that lets me save someone else’s life. Someone who wouldn’t have died anyway without Vettenmyer’s meddling, I hope."

I've already been to Peking in 800 AD, so I'll start working my way through the other locations. There are two more missions in this time period, one in Rome, and one in Baghdad, but I'm going to continue with Dover first.

History of Dover in 800 AD - Vikings!

Thursday 9 July 2015

Space Quest 1 (VGA) - Part 2: Kerona

So this expensive heap of junk has saved me from a terrible space-based death, and deposited me on an inhospitable red desert. It's not that I'm ungrateful, but it would have been nice to have been near some form of civilization, or at least what passes for it in this sector of space.

This friendly fellow is called a Grell, and he lives in the sand

Even a little water would be nice, but I've picked up the survival kit from the crashed escape pod which contains the next best thing - dehydrated water! I also decided to carry around a bit of sharp glass from the window (the smashing of the glass doesn't exactly fill me with confidence about the quality of the escape pod, but I suppose I shouldn't complain too much since I'm alive... for now). My quest to get off this rock begins by trying to find anyone or anything that doesn't want to kill me.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Missed Classic 10: Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man - Introduction (1984)

Written by Joe Pranevich

This summer is shaping up to be a pretty good one for Marvel. Avengers: Age of Ultron led off the Marvel summer calendar with a cool 1.4 billion dollars at the box office so far, and in just a few days we will have the long-awaited Ant-Man. Frankly, I have no idea how they will make a movie about Ant-Man into a blockbuster, but if they manage it then we should all give up and give Marvel a license to print money and cut out the middleman. As promised back in the first post in our summer series on Questprobe, it’s time to take a look at the second game in that series: Spider-Man, from 1984.

Sunday 5 July 2015

Timequest - Tombs and Temples (Peking)

Written by Reiko

Temporal Corps Private Journal #5: “I spend some time learning to meditate in the presence of the dead, which apparently qualifies me to become the patron of an entire Chinese monastic order. That entitles me to...a firework. After that, I nearly get killed (again), find more creepy messages in places they shouldn’t be, and watch the sad failure of faith."

Ilmari informed me last time about material that I hadn’t seen in the manual. Apparently the copy on the “goodolddays” site was incomplete, lacking the last several pages with the author’s notes. So I found a complete version on the Museum of Adventure Game History instead:

History of China in 1361 BC.

Friday 3 July 2015

Space Quest 1 (VGA) - Part 1: Sarien Surprise

Written by Andy Panthro

You know, life as a space janitor isn't that bad. You're basically your own boss, the breaks are great, and you get to travel the universe. Of course, the perks of the job can come to a brutal end when your ship is attacked by some sort of space pirates. Those Sariens even woke me from my nap!

A rude awakening

Someone has started the self-destruct sequence, so I better make my escape before it's too late. Everywhere I turn there's either Sarien soldiers, or the corpses of my former shipmates. Pretty grim stuff, but there's no time to mourn. Mind you, you have to look on the bright side, and the silver lining is that I've got a chance to get off this ship before it explodes.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Timequest - 1361 BC Survey

Written by Reiko

Temporal Corps Private Journal #4: "I dodge another attempt on my life, view the sunrise on the summer solstice, talk to two different kinds of philosophers, and meet King Tut. Another exciting day in the life of a time agent! I’m acquiring quite a lot of loose ends at this point."

I jump to Mexico in 1361 BC and immediately find a Olmec Indian trying to kill me for taking or getting rid of Quetzlcoatl. "What have you done with the feathered god?" he cries. That implies that Vettenmyer actually stole an idol itself and put it somewhere else. No wonder the guy in 44 BC was waiting for it to return. So I guess I have to find a Quetzlcoatl from another time and bring it back to this time, or find the one that Vettenmyer took.

There’s a hint here that I should know something the Olmec doesn’t.