Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dark Seed - Won!

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Mike Dawson journal #4 : I’ve made it! By removing their spaceship and destroying the mirror, I’ve finally been able to trap the Ancients in their cursed dimension! The Keeper of the Scrolls provided me with pills in order to deal with the embryo in my head and even sent the beautiful librarian my way… Now if only someone could buy this house off my hands...

As I was suspecting last time, I was very close to the endgame and very far at the same time, because I was once again in a dead-end situation. Turns out you could put several items under the cell pillow and not just the pin, allowing you to successfully keep part of your inventory before having everything stolen from you. I would have loved to find that by myself but of course, I had to admit I was stuck once again and did look at the hints Ilmari gave my on my second gameplay post. His third hint in the “Jail” hint thread was that I could only put three things under the pillow. It meant I could put more than one thing! That’s kinda obvious I blame myself for not at least try to do this by myself.

Stupid pillow

I could hide the clock key or the diary page under the pillow but I tried to be more productive in order to avoid multiple restores. Turns out the correct combination you had to hide was the bobby pin, the gloves and a dollar bill. I replayed through all the game after that, freeing Sargo, getting the invisibility headband, the microfiche, the car keys, etc etc… I was once again facing my earlier predicament : how to start the car? This is where the dollar bill revealed its use : the store had restocked on scotch! As per adventure game logic, scotch can be used to start engines, isn’t it?

Don’t try this at home, kids!

With my car now running on scotch, I can start the engine. I proceed to the Dark World. Before going into the Spaceship, I have to go to the Power Source (where I could destroy all my inventory if I wanted to) and put the loose rock into the Source in order to energize it. I can now form a hammer with the axe handle and I have to re-energize the tool to make it unbreakable. Seriously, how can you figure this out without resorting to trial and error? The power source is known by the player as something that destroys everything in your inventory so you learned to stay clear of it by now. I know by the Keeper of Scrolls that I have to destroy the Source so I try once in a while to use an item on it (after saving my game of course). I tried the rock to destroy the source, not to charge it. And you can’t form the hammer before charging the rock first. If you try, you get the classic “what you try does nothing” message. And after having made the hammer, you have to put it into the Source once again? Ok, I figured it out somehow but it was only with the “anything goes” logic you resort to if the game doesn’t offer you valid solutions.

Errr… yeah, that’s… exactly what I was trying to do!

You now have an alien weapon of sort, some kind of Mjollnir’s clone imbued with alien power! That’s great, so probably you can use it to destroy the Power Source no? Well, no… the alien tubes? Nope. The alien force field that was draining the energy out of the powerless humans trapped in this dimension? No-no… The machine that put embryos into human heads? Try again… Ok, so I’m guessing that hammer is only used for breaking mirrors. Talk about a specialized tool.

Well all this work was definitely worth it…

I proceed to get into the Alien spaceship. With my car now running in the Real World, the engines have started. I can pull the lever (using the gloves to avoid another cheap death) to start the autopilot and exit the thing… The Spaceship takes off, leaving the aliens stranded in this world!

You had to guess the building on the left was a spaceship in the first place

With the feeling of a job well done, Mike then goes directly through the portal to the real world where you can finally use the hammer on the mirror and smash the portal down.

Bim! Take that you priceless family heirloom!

The doorbell rings right afterwards and guess what? The beautiful librarian enters the house, telling she was drawn to you (even if we spoke to her exactly twice) and she is bringing pills for my headaches! Yeaaaah! The game shows me the Keeper of the Scrolls is behind all this, but I can help but feel the whole ending is seriously rushed…

Yeah, well, I did take a shower for you, you know?

Convenient isn’t it?

Ah aaaah, the Keeper of the Scrolls, the librarian… makes sense… kinda

Ok, who wants to buy a haunted house? Cheap price, opportunity of a lifetime!

And that’s it for Dark Seed, folks! I’m a bit conflicted on how I feel about the whole experience. On one hand, the ambiance is great and there is a weird feeling that permeates the whole game. It’s an experience and explains why the game is so highly regarded. On the other hand, several of the puzzles are obtuse and the constant dead-ends are aggravating. Added to that, the whole story feels a bit dumb… I’m guessing we’ll see how all of this translates into the PISSED rating!

SIDE QUESTION : I wanted to ask any of you with knowledge of this game (Ilmari?) if you knew if there was any use for the binoculars? You can look at empty landscapes in the Dark World and observe your empty house in the real world, but it doesn’t seem that useful. Same thing with the “Lost and Found” case in the police station? It feels like it should have an use, like getting back lost inventory items, but it’s always empty…

See you all very soon for the Final Rating!

Session time : 1 hour 30 minutes
Final Total time : 8 hours

4 comments:

  1. As far as I know, binoculars are pretty useless, and same goes for the Lost and Found. Congrats for solving this muddle!

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    1. Thanks! Couldn't have done it without you!

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  2. It would be great if there was one last dead end, where the librarian wasn't "drawn to you" because you hadn't showered, so you didn't get the headache pills, so your head still exploded. :P

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    1. Worst consequence for bad hygiene ever!

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