Saturday 30 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Won! (Part 2)

It didn’t take long to get the answers to the questions I asked at the end of my last post. A thump emanated from the next room, and Guybrush announced that he was still alive. LeChuck had to admit that things might not have gone exactly as he’d planned: “Strange. There must be something wrong with my voodoo doll. It was supposed to send you to another dimension, not the next room.” He decided to give it another go, stabbing the voodoo doll once again. This time Guybrush appeared back in the original room, giving me an opportunity to check out the broken treasure chest and anything that might have been held inside. Strangely, all I could find amongst the rummage was a ticket with a capital E on it. After all the effort, was this ticket really all there was to the Big Whoop treasure? I wandered through the door to the right of screen, and thankfully LeChuck was no longer waiting for me in front of what appeared to be an elevator. There was a button next to it, and a plaque letting me know that the service elevator had a limit of 1000 pounds. I pushed the button, and the doors opened, beckoning me to enter. When I obeyed, I found that there was a large box inside, with a sticker stating “900 pounds”. That didn’t bode well. Surely Guybrush’s weight combined with the box would cross over the elevator’s weight limit. Before I could even attempt to pull the lever, LeChuck entered the elevator and once again stabbed his voodoo doll. It was going to take a while to explore this underground area if he was going to keep doing that.

Believe me, if it didn't work the first time, it ain't going to work the second or third either.

You're telling me!

Oh come on. Can't you give me a minute to check things out before torturing me again?

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Won! (Part 1)

Well, I’ve finished Monkey Island 2. I know there are a lot of people out there that find the ending to be disappointing and / or bewildering, but I’m not going to reveal my feelings just yet. That would spoil all the fun. Like Part III, the IVth and final part of the game is nowhere near as long as the first or the second. There was still a lot to do though, and it took me a significant amount of time to get through. I originally had one extra long post, but I've since decided to split it into two more easily digestible parts. At the end of the last post, I’d just caused a huge explosion in LeChuck’s Fortress, causing Guybrush to fly through the air over the ocean. Apparently he stayed airborne for hours, and eventually landed rather awkwardly on the beach of Dinky Island. He appeared to be unconscious at first, but that didn’t stop me from pixel hunting the area. The first thing I found in the near vicinity was a bottle in the water. As soon as I looked at it, Guybrush got up and told me that it was empty, and had a cap on it. There was also a sign behind where he landed, and reading it revealed the following message: “Welcome to Dinky Island, home of the treasure of Big Whoop.”

It seems Guybrush experienced some nasty turbulence and a particularly rough landing during this flight.

Sunday 24 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - LeChuck's Fortress

I was so determined to complete Monkey Island 2 without requiring assistance. One of the tricky things about blogging through adventure games is that there’s always a bit of pressure to make solid progress every post. It would be pretty boring if I spent two whole posts moving from island to island, trying to find the solution to a single puzzle. Well, I think there would be a few of you that would enjoy watching me suffer, but the majority of readers would likely feel like shouting the answer at me. So it was that I put a request for assistance in at the end of my last post. I’d spent a significant amount of time trying get the last map piece, but simply hadn’t been able to do it. When the first twenty minutes of my next session resulted in similar failure, I decided the time had come to swallow my pride and get a small hint. I was thrilled to see that the hints I’d requested had been provided by a first time commenter (Voltgloss). It’s always good to see new names here at The Adventure Gamer. I translated the first of his hints: “Your inventory is lacking what you need.” This came as a surprise to me, as I felt I’d been extremely thorough when visiting all the locations on all three islands. This information didn’t really help me figure things out though, so I read the second hint: “You've previously seen what you need, but from your reports it doesn't appear you tried to pick it up.” Huh?! You mean I’ve actually commented on, and possibly interacted with this object, but never even attempted to pick it up?” I had a strong feeling that I was about to have a facepalm moment. It was time to sift through the screenshots.

I'd had nightmares about this pile of maps. What could the answer be?

Thursday 21 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - 3 Down, 1 to Go

When I started this session, I’d just gotten my hands on the Ashes-2-Life potion from the Voodoo Lady and the fishing rod from the fisherman. I was fairly certain that I would be able to use the fishing rod to get the map that was stuck halfway down the cliff, so I immediately set off to find out whether that was the case. It was, as Guybrush managed to hook it and then reel the map up towards him. I should have known better though. Monkey Island 2 has been thwarting my attempts to collect the four map pieces from the get go, and this situation was no different. As soon as the map was just about within Guybrush’s reach, a seagull flew past and grabbed it in its beak. I watched in disbelief as the gull flew all the way across Booty Island and appeared to land in the big tree. I had little choice but to head on over there and see what the damn bird had done with it. My worst fear was realised when I arrived at the top of the tree, finding that the bird had added the map piece to the huge pile of other map pieces in one of the huts. The bird now sat on top of the heap, as if mocking me. I tried a whole bunch of stuff on both the bird and the pile of maps, but nothing worked. After all the effort I’d put in, I still didn’t have a single piece of the map!

Oh you've got to be kidding me!

Use hammer on bird? Use knife on bird? Um...use saw on bird?

Monday 18 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - The Joy of Hex

This session began with me saving Captain Kate Capsize from the prison cell I’d indirectly placed her in. It was pretty easy really, as I had the key in my possession after my own incarceration. Guybrush was obviously feeling guilty about his role in her imprisonment, but Kate was so thankful for being let out that he had no chance to properly apologise. She raced off to find out who framed her, leaving Guybrush to collect her belongings. Inside the vanilla envelope (to go with the manila and gorilla envelopes) was the last bottle of near-grog that she’d purchase from The Bloody Lip bar. Was this the ingredient that I needed to make my mucus thick enough to win the spitting contest? It didn’t seem very logical, but I had to rule it out. I made my way to where the spitmaster was encouraging contestants and then tried mixing the near-grog with the green alcohol. “I don’t like to mix my drinks like that.” Well, so much for that idea. I drank some of the near-grog and then some of the alcohol, but that didn’t improve things either. By now I was beginning to realise that Monkey Island 2 doesn’t work like most other adventure games. I keep expecting one solved puzzle to create a domino effect where I gain the ability to solve another, and then another, but in reality they mostly just create new puzzles that I don’t have the means to solve yet.

Well, you know, I'm all about selfless acts and helping people in need.

So that you're never dead-ended, there is always some near-grog left. 1/2, then 1/3, then 1/4, then 1/5 etc.

Friday 15 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Let's Go Shopping

My last post finished with Elaine throwing her Big Whoop map piece out of her mansion window. It was clear that I was going to have to put some serious effort into repairing her and Guybrush’s relationship, but at this point I was more concerned with the map. When I walked out of the mansion I was shocked to discover the piece just sitting on the ground next to the dog. I’d expected it to be lost, or stuck up on some precarious ledge, not just waiting for me reach down and pick it up. I walked over to do just that, but a small breeze blew it just out of my reach. I stepped towards it again, only for the same thing to happen. All of a sudden a huge gust of wind picked up the map piece and blew it way up into the sky! I was shown the map view of Booty Island, and watched helplessly as as the map floated around for a while and then settled down onto the cliff face near town. I knew when I saw the cliff originally that I would eventually need to do something there. It appeared I now knew what that was.

Hmmm...I thought this would be more difficult. What's going to happen to stop me?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Pretty in Pink

OK, where was I? That’s right, I’d just finished exploring Scabb Island, Booty Island and Phatt Island. It’s these moments that I both look forward to and dread in adventure games. On the one hand, with no more locations to explore (at least for now), it’s finally time to take stock of my inventory and see if I can actually solve puzzles. On the other hand, if I struggle to actually solve anything, then I have to face up to the fact that I’m stuck and start revisiting everywhere all over again. I’d just made a wager with the egotistical little fisherman on the Phatt Island wharf (that I could catch a bigger fish than him), so before I left there I pondered what this puzzle was all about. Why would I need his fishing rod? I had no idea. How could I possibly catch a fish without having a rod of my own? Could I make one? A quick look at my inventory told me it was very likely indeed. I had a piece of string, and I also had a stick that looked pretty suitable. I tried using the string on the stick: “I think I’m too clumsy to hold the stick and tie a knot at the same time.” Oh come on Guybrush, do I have to hold it for you? I tried to figure out how I might achieve the task but couldn’t.

Meanwhile the cheeky little bugger has got a huge head-start on me.

Saturday 9 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Cheaters Always Win

With my exploration of Booty Island complete, it was time to go visit the third and final island…Phatt Island. I knew from a conversation with Captain Dread that Phatt Island is ruled by a fascist dictator, but that’s about all I knew. As soon as I arrived, it was apparent that the residents were not all going to be as friendly as those found on Booty Island. A large, muscular man with a helmet over his eyes and a sword on his hip immediately recognised the similarity between Guybrush and a poster on the wall. He very politely asked me whether I was indeed Guybrush Threepwood, and I chose to take the brash, arrogant approach of admitting it: “That’s right. I’m the man who swashed the Ghost Pirate LeChuck’s buckles.” He wasn’t the slightest bit impressed, dragging me off to meet Governor Phatt.

Oh joy! Another island to explore.

I thought the moustache was a great disguise, but apparently it wasn't fooling anyone.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - It's Always Mardi Gras

Written by The Trickster

While I have no idea how many parts there are to Monkey Island 2, I was feeling pretty happy with myself for having defeated Part I without too much trouble. It did seem odd to me that, apart from “lending” his monocle to me, Wally the cartographer played next to no role at all. It also seemed strange that the Voodoo Lady bothered telling me that she could raise the dead if I just happened to be in possession of some ashes, only for there to be no opportunity to actually do it. I was done with that part of the game though, so it was time to clear the slate and move forward, right? Well once again a lot of you will know that this way of thinking was incorrect, and I’ll explain why straight after this cut scene…

Part I took three posts. How long will Part II take?

Sunday 3 April 2016

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Pride Before a Fall

Written by The Trickster

Those of you that have played Monkey Island 2 would have had a good laugh at the end of my last post. I’d been pretty certain that I was going to find some form of cheese in the kitchen, which I could then use to catch the rat in the box. My discovery of the open window to the kitchen did indirectly lead to me catching the rat, but not in the way I expected. In the kitchen I found a chef, flailing about making meals. I quickly surmised that I could interact with the stove, a saucepan on top of it containing vichyssoise (apparently a potato and leek soup), some cans of fruit cocktail on the shelves, a knife on the table, and the chef himself. Guybrush outright refused to touch most of the items, for three reasons: 1. He hates vichyssoise. 2. He’s not a cook. 3. He hates fruit cocktails. The chef was far too busy to talk to me too, meaning the only thing I was able to do after all my excitement at finding a new location, was pick up the knife. Still, this was progress, and I had a strong feeling that I knew what to do with my new inventory addition.

I'm not really sure what this guy is actually wielding. They look like corn cobs.

Friday 1 April 2016

Missed Classic: Impossible Mission

After we came up with Panthro's Law, allowing us to play non-traditional adventure games, it occurred to us that we missed a lot more classics than we'd thought. So to rectify that we're doing a Missed Classic of a game that's not considered a traditional adventure game, but has enough adventurey elements for us to go, “Meh... Close Enough.” I'm talking, of course, about Impossible Mission.

This cover makes me think of the movie Wargames

Enough preamble, on with the review...

Impossible Mission is known now as a Commodore 64 classic. It was amazing for its time, and like many games of the time, would be considered simple and repetitive if released today. But it, unlike many of its peers, still somehow manages to be compelling (to me at least) to this day.

Wait, wasn't that just another paragraph of preamble? Ignore me, I've never been quite sure when preamble ends and amble begins.