Sunday, 21 August 2016

EcoQuest - Manatee and Sea Turtle

Written by Reiko

Adam Greene Journal #4: "Before Delphineus and the Oracle will let me start searching for Cetus, I've had to help everyone else in the city first so they'll trust me. I'm glad I could help them, but it seems like ALL their problems have been caused by human trash! Some of them were in critical danger and it's a good thing I showed up when I did! There are so few citizens left as it is."

Time to work on helping some more citizens of Eluria. I swim next into the lowest apartment and find the manatee again. This time I can ask why he's blue and bandaged, and he explains that he's holding his breath. He doesn't want to go up to the surface to breathe because he keeps getting hit by a speedboat (Ecological message +1).

He should be dead from asphyxiation by now...

That can't be good for him. Manatees normally surface every few minutes and can generally only hold their breath for about twenty minutes or so (one source said up to twenty-four minutes). So this isn't very realistic, as he was already blue the first time I saw him, before I dealt with the oil on the coral and gave the shell to the mayor. But anyway, it's less realistic that he even talks, so never mind.

Adam offers to go up to the surface with him and do something about the boat's propellers. I don't know what Adam has in mind, but up we go. On the way, the manatee is hit by some more trash drifting down from the surface. It never ends!

The boat in question is just sitting right there when we surface, with an old fisherman at the helm. Able to breathe again, the manatee immediately turns his normal gray color and hovers nervously while I look around. I decide to go ahead and just talk to the fisherman and see if I can explain the damage he's doing. (You'd think he'd notice a manatee wearing a cap and bandages, but he doesn't even notice me until I speak.)

Adam gives the careless fisherman quite a scolding.

He's completely oblivious to the damage his trash and propeller blades are doing, and is genuinely shocked to find out his blades have injured the manatee. Fortunately, he's anchored and the motor is off at the moment, or Adam might have been injured too.

I don't really know what the solution is, but I look through my inventory and decide that the most likely item is the big steel cage I found. I show it to the fisherman, and Adam explains that it's just like the cage his father uses on his boat. The fisherman agrees to use it, but only if I install it. I try using it on the boat, but I have to attach it with something. The rag doesn't work, and I don't have anything else remotely like a connector.

I swim back down to Eluria (the manatee seems content to wait near the boat until I resolve this problem) to find something else. The fisherman's trash has drifted down to the apartments. There's just a bottle and a sandwich wrapper this time [10] but also an old working water pump from the boat [2]. The pump doesn't seem useful to help with the cage either. I guess I'll have to check out some of the other citizens first.

Adam has a good memory for this kind of thing.

In the bottom-left apartment I find a "teenaged" angelfish called Epidermis with a surfer dude personality and lots of posters on his walls, including one of "Marlin Monroe". He's described as looking thin and sad and seems to be ready to move out. I talk to him [2] and he says he only eats one kind of plant, but it's all covered in algae. Adam says it's due to phosphate pollution (Ecological message +1).

Sharp as a knife. Hint, hint.

Seems like the immediate solution was just in the next apartment over, though: the sea urchins the artist blowfish gave me eat algae. I use one on his plants [10], and it immediately starts eating the algae, which gives the angelfish algae-free leaves to eat. He's so grateful that he gives me a sharp shell [2] from his shell collection, then swims off to the meeting.

How are fish supposed to watch out for bleach?

The top-left apartment has a stunned lionfish who apparently found a bottle of chlorine bleach (Ecological message +1). That stuff is really toxic. I've got to get the contaminated water out of here, as it's making Adam a bit dizzy too, so I use the water pump on the window on the far wall. It doesn't work yet as there's still a source of chlorine in the room. I find the bottle and trash it [5], and then try the pump again [5]. This time it works, and once the room is clear, the lionfish wakes up.

"Here, have a weapon as a gift for saving my life."

Adam explains what happens and they exchange introductions: the lionfish is called Olympia. She's grateful, of course, but she's shy, so she doesn't really want to go to the meeting. Adam thinks her spines are cool, so she gives Adam one of her baby spines [2], which has a poison that can kill small creatures or knock out larger ones. Then she's willing to go off to the meeting.

It's never that easy.

I swim next into the top-right apartment and find a sea turtle choking on something with a string attached. I try pulling on the string [5], but unfortunately the string comes off without pulling out whatever it's attached to. There's also a deflated balloon in the apartment, so the turtle's probably choking on another one. They're apparently from the balloons I saw let go from the cruise ship earlier. (Ecological message +1)

I trash the balloon [5], but I don't seem to have anything small enough to help get the balloon out of the turtle's throat. I hate to leave him like that though. You'd think the non-poisonous end of the lionfish spine might help (or maybe there isn't a non-poisonous end, or it's too dangerous to handle?), or the antenna on the transmitter or something, but no, there's a RIGHT way to solve this puzzle and I don't seem to have it yet.

I guess he can't talk well either, let alone eat.

I try the last apartment and find a swordfish with his snout trapped in the rings from a six-pack. (Ecological message +1) This one I can help though: I use the sharp shell to cut the plastic. The swordfish introduces himself as "Hippocrates, chief of Eluria". Heh. He's pleased at my "surgical procedure" and gives me a pair of fish-bone tweezers. Now I'll be able to help the sea turtle.

Initially I just trash the plastic rings [5], but the game makes a comment that Adam thinks he's forgotten to do something, but oh well, can't change it now. (Is this trash bag some kind of dimensional portal, that I can't pull anything back out of it?) Oh yeah, I know what to do. Plus I sense missing points if I don't fix that. I restore back and this time pick up the rings first [5] and then use the shell on them again to cut them apart, which automatically trashes them too [5]. That's better.

The vocabulary of these creatures is impressive. Alas, their discernment is not so good.

Now I'm able to help the turtle. I use the tweezers to pull the balloon out of his throat [5], and then he introduces himself as Erroneous, a professor. He thanks me and gives me four metal screws [2] he found so that no animals will swallow those either. I think I found the connectors I need, fortunately, as there isn't anyone to help now except the manatee. But first I trash the balloon he swallowed [5].

Adam is pretty handy with fixing things. Doesn’t he need a screwdriver?

Back up to the surface to help the manatee now. First I attach the screws to the cage [5], and then I can put the cage over the propeller [5]. Now the fisherman understands how it helps and promises to consider what Adam said about trash too.

Someone's starting to take responsibility for what can be done.

The game automatically sends us back down to the apartments, where the manatee is pleased that all the citizens are helped. He goes off to the meeting and we're automatically sent there too. There isn't even a cutscene, though, just a time-jump, after which we see the citizens dispersing again. But the hermit crab mayor is very pleased with the outcome of the meeting and gives me the gold mask [2] he'd been hiding behind when I first met him.

This doesn't tell me anything I don't already know.

Now we're getting somewhere: a list of things I need. Even if it’s still a riddle.

Delphineus sends me back to the oracle. I trigger her appearance like before, with the trident, and then give her the gold mask [10], which is the sign of trust she wanted. She then gives me the full prophecy, which is written as a poem, but then also gives me a parchment with an illustrated form of the prophecy which can be examined to recall the words.

How is this parchment surviving underwater?

This seems like a good place to stop, since we've done all we can for the city for now, and the next step is to start searching for Cetus outside the city. I have a total of 411 points now, which is over halfway.

Inventory: oily rag, trident, sharp shell, fishbone tweezers, water pump, lionfish spine, healing potion, glass jar, mirror, transmitter, prophecy scroll
Ecological messages: 5 (13 total)

Session Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 0 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. Thanks!


  1. I can't think of an item more useful to keep on a boat than a working pump, especially if you're going out to sea. Yet this guy simply threw his over the side.

    The part coming next is definitely what stuck in my mind as a child, though I don't remember doing this apartment-shuffling puzzle. Either I got someone else to do it or it really was as tedious as it looks.

    1. If you remembered your "Wizard and the Princess" puzzles, you would know that the most valuable thing to take on a boat is in fact a blanket so that you can use it to plug holes...

    2. And, I believe Leisure Suit Larry 2 told me sunscreen is the most important thing to take on a boat

  2. Ilmari:

    It seems that some Americans really do like Tintin! There's an entire Tintin section at a bookstore that I visited in Portland recently:

    (Admittedly, it is one of the biggest bookstores in the US...)

    1. Great! Although I personally wouldn't put Tintin next to Asterix...

    2. Well it is part of the Franco-Belgian comics group, and Asterix can be rather enjoyable (and educational) as well. (And it might just be alphabetical with Adventures of Tintin alongside Asterix, I can't really say since my internet is rather slow at the moment).

      But regarding this game itself, I couldn't stop thinking about this one Ducktales episode when Scrooge, Launchpad, Doofus (?) and Gyro went after Scrooges gold that was sunk into a water trench by a submarine killer whale and they discover Atlantis, overrun by garbage. The atlanteans (I think, they were fish-people of some kind) forces them to clean it up until they escape by lifting the whole island to the surface. And Godzilla was in that episode as well. Speaking of environmental messages in the sea and such.