Sunday 29 November 2015

Willy Beamish - Preteen Novice Ninja Beamish

Written by Joe Pranevich


William J. Beamish Journal #6 - Tomorrow is the big day! I was able to get my entrance form to the Frog Jumping Competition no problem, but I had a bit of an adventure getting back home. Fortunately, some nice Japanese tourists helped me out and took me out to dinner. They were very sweet and I hope to meet them again someday. We also defeated a street gang together; it was very cool.

Last week, the young Mr. Beamish had successfully defeated his vampire babysitter and settled in for a good night’s rest. It might have been a dream, but it seemed real at the time. In the morning, we did our chores and boarded the ferry for a fun day of adventure: West Frumpton, here we come!

Friday 27 November 2015

Martian Memorandum - I never thought I'd be smuggling myself

Tex Murphy Journal Entry #3: And I thought the jungle was hard? I made my way to the smuggler's base, managed to make my way past one guard and EVENTUALLY avoid another, but I have no idea how to do something as seemingly simple as emptying out a crate. I've been hiding behind the crate for most of my time here with no idea how to proceed. Am I doomed to stand here forever? Or will I somehow get some assistance?

My first plan for this session was to go back and get the ladder correctly rather than magically shooting one out of my ars... I mean, gun.

Fry pointed out in the comments that the junkyard scene scrolls to the right. In my defense, you have to get far to the right before it starts scrolling, and the scene LOOKS complete enough as is. I'd previously gone enough to the right to get killed by the radioactive pool, but if I'd just gone a little further...

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Missed Classic: Adventure Quest - Through the Elements

By Ilmari

Yonder and Back Again for Tea, chapter 3: I Have Eyes Only for Elves

Striking for the soft underbelly? Finding that weak spot? Pre-historical ideas! I've found out a guaranteed dragon tamer and flame extinguisher. All I have to do is start bottling it and selling it with a great profit. There's been some definite interest from a fair knight in a distant land of Daventry...

Rolling on the river

Last time I had just dropped in an underground river, which was slowly taking me towards my inevitable death. The only plausible direction to go was up, but I had too much stuff on me for climbing. If I dropped things, they were carried away by the river. This might not be that bad, since I might find those items later on, at the end of this river. Except there was this one thing.

Like its predecessor, the game has a four-object inventory limit.

Monday 23 November 2015

Martian Memorandum - Shooting Snakes and Ladders

Written by TBD

Tex Murphy Journal Entry #2: After spending most of yesterday grilling people for information, I started this day the same way. But by the time the day was over I'd beaten death at the junkyard and a jungle and knew how I was going to make my way to the next location in my investigation. I just need to figure out a way to get past this smuggler and, more importantly, his high powered weapon...

I finished my last post with a list of possibilities for making progress, so I got started on my list. I first decided to see if I could still talk to Chantal (I could, but she didn't have anything useful for me) and seeing if there's any more I could get from Jocques (a LOT more – I hadn't figured out the dialogue format when I spoke to him earlier and had just assumed that getting the film was all I needed from him.)

Jocques told me that Rick Logan used to work for “Galactic Pictures” which is an exploitative movie studio that ran into legal problems after their “Joltovision” experience accidentally fried 20 patrons in their seats.

I go to their address, but there's nothing there. Fortunately, my old friend Rhonda is available to help out.

Rhonda had sent several faxes (that futuristic technology again) to the studio chief Guy Callebero, asking for payment on Alexis' behalf, but he's never paid. She gave me the address the faxes were sent to (What – do they physically MAIL faxes in the future?)

This guy doesn't pay his bills, but he looks so loyal and adorable!

Saturday 21 November 2015

Willy Beamish - Willy the Vampire Slayer

Written by Joe Pranevich

Can I play Nintari and ignore you?

William J. Beamish Journal #5 - I had the strangest dream! Alicia, our new babysitter, was a vampire out to eat Brianna and I. I fought her off using a vacuum cleaner and a can of hairspray! It was an epic battle, but then I woke up. It was just a dream, right? Now, it’s time to head to West Frumpton and sign up Horny for a frog jumping competition!

When we last left our hero, Willy had just figured out that he can use the cola to supercharge his frog to win the jumping competition, and we had secured Dana’s participation by bribing her with a shirt. But as soon as we got home, Willy got a surprise for the evening: a new babysitter! His parents were heading out to a barbeque and someone needed to watch Willy and Brianna. Where Tiffany was during all of this isn’t stated, but perhaps she had a date.

Our new sitter is Alicia, a suspicious-looking woman that Willy calls the ugliest person he’s ever seen. He’s probably biased. We also get a new chore to do: vacuum the living room after dinner. Duffy has been shedding all over the furniture. Just one more thing to remember to do, but it doesn’t seem like too much of a problem.

After Mom and Dad leave, Alicia cooks dinner and we sit down to eat. Willy is bored by having macaroni and cheese again, but Brianna thinks it is pretty good. But all is not as it seems... Willy’s fork starts to march across the plate by itself-- the macaroni is alive! It was worms cleverly disguised as macaroni. Brianna throws her plate at Alicia, covering her in cheese. But before either of them can react, Alicia transforms into a giant flying bat. Willy and Brianna run like heck.

I captured the whole babysitter sequence for your viewing enjoyment.

The power of imagination? Or a strange diversion into a new genre?

Thursday 19 November 2015

Missed Classic: Adventure Quest - Beeb beeb

By Ilmari

Yonder and Back Again for Tea, by Gumbo Baggins, Chapter 2: Size Doesn't Matter, If You Know How to Wave Balls of Silver

Oliphants and talking trees, I say! Tales of my ancestors seem so childish now. If they just would have seen all the wonders and monstrous things I have witnessed - the beast with a human face, the ghost made of smokeless fire, the hairy man living in cold and the nameless terror from the distant places where space is all wrong - they would have run away from these stones to Shire with nothing coming out of their mind except maniac laughter and drips of drool.

Hello hello moshi moshi everyone! Last time playing this game, set on Middle-Earth, I learned that I am about to destroy an evil demon AGALIAREPT with a Talisman of Life, but first I should find four elemental stones. I had some difficulties in crossing a desert, mainly because sand worms stopped my exploration quickly. For a moment, I entertained a thought that I should ride one of them, but after a while, I noticed a more mundane solution. Whenever I moved in the desert, the worms came nearer, but whenever I spent a round doing something else, they went away. In other words, all I had to do was to move one screen at a time, wait and then move again.

Land beyond desert

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Martian Memorandum - Help me Rhonda!

Written by TBD

Tex Murphy Journal Entry #1: It seems like I might be able to catch up on my rent and electricity bills. My new client is the richest guy in the world, Marshall Alexander, who wants me to find his missing daughter. I didn't get a good look at Alexander. He's dark and mysterious, like the Brew 'N Stew's soup of the day. I found a few leads but nothing solid as yet. Looks like I'm in for a long case

A game about people who survived a nuclear war by hiding in shelters? That'll never work!

I start the game in my office. There's mail on the floor so I grab it – apparently someone mailed me cash in an envelope. Not a very safe way to send money, but I'm not complaining. Money may not buy happiness but it can buy a cheap bottle of bourbon to help me forget about my troubles for a night and that's as close as I'm likely to get in the near future.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Willy Beamish - He Who Smelt It

Written by Joe Pranevich

Breakfast of champions!

William J. Beamish Journal #4 - Holy heck! Today has been a busy day! Now that I can practice Nintari again, I just need to figure out how to pay my way to the championships. The solution came to me during breakfast: a frog jumping competition! My friends and I spent a lot of time practicing today and we plan to enter Horny into the competition tomorrow. We also managed to teach that bully Spider a lesson that he won’t soon forget! Have to head out now to meet the new sitter. Really, Dad? I’m old enough to babysit Brianna myself!

Welcome back! Apologies for the skipped week last week, but I had an emergency in “real life” that threw the schedule out the window. I wish it had been an emergency playthrough of Fallout 4, but that is a special treat I am going to save for after writing this up. See? I do have priorities! Joking aside, I will still have some distractions over the next several weeks as we kick into the end of the semester and the holidays, but I am expecting to be able to keep the adventures of Young Master Beamish on a regular schedule from here out. Wish me luck!

Where we last left Willy, he had just gone to bed at the conclusion of his last day of school. His father has lost his job, and with it any chance of having the money to go to the Nintari championships. Because of a poor grade in “Music Appreciation”, Willy had also been grounded from practicing Nintari, but we dealt with that by convincing his sister Tiffany to hand over the key. All that stands in the way between Willy and Nintari domination is actually getting to the competition.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Missed Classic 14: Adventure Quest (1983) - Introduction

By Ilmari

Dude, could you wear a bit longer skirt?

Middle Earth is a tranquil and peaceful place. The problems with the Dark Lord Sauron are ancient history, and no dragon has been seen since the sack of Esgaroth. The last elves sailed for the West centuries ago, after the rescue of their fellows from the dungeons below Colossal Cavern. Indeed nothing remotely interesting has happened for ages, and the ordinary folk lead peaceful, mundane and - for the most part – contented rural lives. At least this was true until a year ago.

No, this is not script for Peter Jackson's new movie (although Peter, if you are reading, you would have material for a new trilogy here).

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Game 62: Martian Memorandum - Introduction (1991)

Written by TBD

TBD Journal Entry #1:

November, 2015.

I was sitting in my study pondering my next move. Rain was hitting the window with significant force, like a Lytton cop hitting an uncooperative suspect. I needed to write an introduction to Martian Memorandum, but wasn't sure how to begin. Being a big fan of the later Tex Murphy games – what can I say, I like my detectives like I like my eggs, hard-boiled on the outside but soft and runny on the inside – I wanted to show people what was both good and bad about Tex's earlier games. Without a specific plan and deciding to just write what seemed interesting, I made myself a cup of coffee and got to typing...

Okay, it's time for our third game from Access Software and our second game in the not-yet famous Tex Murphy series.

If you've seen my avatar you won't be surprised to read that I'm a fan of Tex Murphy games. But, perhaps more surprisingly, I'm NOT a fan of the first 2 games. I've played Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum once, for completeness' sake, many years ago and haven't revisited them since, despite having replayed the next 3 games multiple times. I would have used a walkthrough whenever I was stuck back then so this will be the first time I go through the game without that crutch. I've read a little about Martian Memorandum and there are apparently dead ends, so I expect to encounter at least one. (I'm still having nightmares about King's Quest V's rope/branch dead end.)

I will be counting on you people to inform me if when I get stuck - the discussion about deliberately not telling Trickster he was dead-ended in Les Manley has me a tad concerned, but I trust you won't do the same to me. You wouldn't want to betray that trust, would you?

To start, I thought I'd have a look at the cover art. What do you do when you have more to say than will comfortably fit on a front and back cover? Simple, you print four pages of cover art!

This game cover has since been plagiarised by many a sore throat medicine commercial

Saturday 7 November 2015

Police Quest III - Final Rating

Written by Alex

If you’ve been reading my posts about Police Quest III, you’ll know that I tried really hard to like this game, but certain things kept me from achieving as much enjoyment as Jim Walls and company would have liked me to.

REAL paperwork!”

These things aren’t, I believe, complaints from a modern gamer engaging in chronological snobbery against a game over two decades old. No, my complaints have to do with basic elements of adventure game design like writing, story, and puzzle construction. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. On with PISSED! It’s far better than being PISSED on!

Thursday 5 November 2015

Police Quest III – WON!

Written by Alex

Oh boy, you guys. Oh boy. I just finished Police Quest III, and all I can say is hold on to your hats. We’re about to see is an example of an adventure game running out of spunk at the very end. There are twists and turns and piles of dead bodies, puzzles and procedural work and drama, but in the end, there is no narrative cohesion or emotional payoff. You’ll see why.

Day 6 begins just like every other day, with Sonny waking up, dressing, and driving to the station. The previous day had been pretty exciting, featuring detective work, a demonic puzzle, a shoot-out with a suspect, and a car chase resulting in a dead perp. And Sonny’s partner, who has a history of stealing evidence, stealing evidence.

Is it a good sign when computer games get as monotonous as a real job?

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Police Quest III – The Puzzle From Hell: Full-Blown

Written by Alex

Here it is. The Big One. The puzzle that kept me from finishing this game way back when. Day 5, a day that shall live in infamy. A day when my adventure-gaming exploits were thwarted by one man . . . a man on a mission to ruin my police quest. A man fond of inserting himself into his own games, who claims that his games were designed based on his real-life experiences. I certainly hope that this puzzle is not based on one of them.

Whether he had a hand in creating this puzzle, I’m not sure. But in the great American tradition of blaming the most visible person for something, regardless of the truth of the matter, I am laying this all at your feet, Mr. Walls.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Willy Beamish - A Little Exploration Before Bed

Written by Joe Pranevich

Even the dog looks sad.

William J. Beamish Journal #3 - I won back my Nintari key! Yeah, it involved seeing my sister naked but that’s a price I am willing to pay to become the Nintari champion! A few more chores before bedtime, but something tells me that tomorrow is going to be a very big day.

Last week’s session ended in disappointment: Willy’s dad lost his job and we no longer have the spare funds to send Willy to the Nintari Championships. To make matters worse, Willy’s sister has the key to his Nintari which will prevent him from practicing. We also discovered that there is a “plot” afoot in the city of Frumpton as the head of the Plumber’s Union and the CEO of a sweetener company are plotting to overthrow the town. How this relates to Willy’s dream to be a Nintari master still remains to be seen.