Saturday, 12 August 2017

Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 - From A Time when Men were Real Men, Women were Real Women and Small Pulsating Creatures from Planet X were Real Small Pulsating Creatures From Planet X

Written by TBD.

The decision is made – YOU voted, and Lydia beat both Barth and Zeke as protagonist for this playthrough. You chose the character with the most boring thing to say in all you've read about so far, just giving us her name and planet of origin. Let's see if that lack of anything interesting to say continues throughout the game. If it does, I know who to blame. On with the show...


Lydia Sandler journal entry 1: Nothing much interesting ever happens in the sleepy town of Atom City, Nevada. Maybe tonight will change all that. My father, an astronomer (or possibly just a telescope enthusiast) asked me to check out a meteor that hit the ground near here. I seek help from my friend Zeke, as well as his employees at the gas station, and do some exploring. While checking out near a dried up canal, you won't believe what I found...

The game starts in outer space. We follow a meteor as it travels towards Earth. We keep zooming in to follow the meteor as it hones in on the small town of Atom City, Nevada.

This picture actually could actually serve as a bit of a map to the city for navigation purposes.

Later that evening, my Dad, who wears a suit in his own home, asks me to have a look at the meteorite as he suspects there's more to it than meets the eye.

I also talk to my brother, who shows me he's a big nerd by telling me something about New Zealand and the Aurora Borealis in response to my “Hi, Jim!”

I can ask Jim about himself, Zeke, an Alien (Barth) and Lips. When I get to the alien, Zeke tells me something that I'm sure no kid could know, and seems to break the plot.

Wait? What???

After throwing random information at me that I can't see how either of us could possibly know to be relevant yet, I now have two more items to ask him about: so I do.

He tells me that Germanium-based lifeforms eat radioactive isotopes and fix wounds with sulfurized liquefied rubber. He also mentions that the only isotopes near here would be at the Army base, and nobody could get in without super high clearance.

He also tells me that if I got the ingredients to repair wounds in a Germanium-based lifeform, he could make a cure: I'll need rubber, distilled corn-based ethyl and sulfur.

Okay, apart from knowing that my brother is a super-genius and can also somehow tell the future, I can surmise from this that I'll need to feed and heal an alien and to do so I'll have to find my way into the army base and retrieve these items for my brother.

I go downstairs and play around with a radio and some kind of machine of Dad's. One of the radio stations has an ad for something taking place on Saturn's moon of Titan - Dad's got one hell of an antenna!

In Dad's observatory I use his telescope. His telescope has buttons to show me three places: Planet X, Phobos and Earth.

I can also magnify the zoom to get closeups. Magnification of Planet X shows a city, while Phobos shows some lounging Leather Goddesses with a hunky man.

That slave man could have been me from the last game if I hadn't escaped. I'm lucky I escaped! Yes, escape was exactly the thing to do. No regrets here...

Earth's closeup shows the inside of the local brothel, with Lydia confidently stating “I just KNOW Daddy wouldn't intentionally point the telescope here...” I suspect I'll be needing that close up of the brothel to solve a puzzle later.

I spoke to Dad, who'd already had a close encounter of the third kind

A mystery to you? How does the young son of a scientist know more about science than his scientist father who is so good at science that he's being highly paid to science?

He also suggests I should be socializing with Zeke Zarmen, who seems like a decent chap. This is more evidence that Zeke is the son of my character from the previous game.

I kiss Dad (on the cheek, before anyone gets any ideas) and leave.

Near our home is a Native American reservation. The Tribesman generally speaks with a stereotypical accent while he talks, but with every final sentence he switches to a simple American accent as he says something non-stereotypical.

Is this game's main purpose a politically serious message?

Nope! 

With some people, after kissing them, the kiss icon changes to a screw icon. I screw the tribesman (I'll be doing this any chance I get, just to warn you) After a few lines of dialogue, I'm treated to a short black-and-white video of a rocket taking off. I click SCREW again, and am shown a video of a monument being quickly erected with an appropriate cartoon sound-effect. These short films appear to be random. I'll be disappointed if I don't see a train entering a tunnel at some point.

In his souvenir store I do something I've done in many an adventure game. I press the coin-return slot on a drinks machine.

I wonder how this puzzle fares against the paper under a door puzzle for adventure game frequency

I then explore the rest of the town, starting with the barber shop, where three of the residents are playing cards. The alien had been here earlier

Movie reference 1

Movie reference 2

Is this a movie reference?

I met Selma at the diner. The alien had attacked her with its tentacles, but she had nothing interesting to say. I took a bowl from one of her tables, and left.

I went to the movie house, where my game crashed

The movie IS actually in 3-d if you have red/green glasses

At the brothel, I can press any of the buttons and get the same scene with different ladies.


While the women look different, and are in different poses, they all have the same voice.

The 'lady of the streets' (can you be called that if you actually work in a house?) also mentions that I have to leave before she calls one of their best customers, the sheriff. He comes after I press the button three times or so.

Rumours? You just told me about the alien you arrested a few hours ago?

One of the ladies, Snuggly Sophie, is different to the others.


I go back to the movie hall, where the game doesn't crash this time and from a new angle, see someone has dropped their glasses on the way out. I now have 3d glasses in my inventory.

At the bar, I find Butch. Lydia hates his brain, but likes his muscles. After spending some quality time with Butch, I saw a video of a zeppelin. I can change the song on the jukebox, which changes the background music for the scene. I also find a pool table

Dun. Dun. Duuuuunnnnnnnn!

I leave the bar with a bottle of liquor I didn't pay for, and checked out some more of the town.

At the church, I find the reverend. The church seems to worship the atom.

This guy's either predicting the Fallout series or he thought It Came From the Desert was a documentary

I took my first step towards redemption. You can probaby guess what happened next

Yep! You guessed.

I also visit the local fortune teller, who for $2 tells me that tonight is a moment of many choices and one I meet tonight will be my ally, tonight and for years to come. She's probably referring to the pulsating inconvenience that has also been travelling about town meeting people. She leaves me with the disturbing thought that while the alien will not attack us (she used her psychic power to cure it of its warlike thoughts) the dangerous monster from within ourselves – OUR FEAR - will consume us.

I take a room key from the fortune teller's house. I think she might also own the hotel.

I then visit the general's house, but I can't get into his locked drawer.

I go to the doctor's house (we met the doctor earlier, playing poker in the barber shop) and steal all his medicine.

Convenient!

I enter another one of the houses to see if, OH MY GOD!

Return to Zork, coming to the Adventure Gamer in, oh, let's say a year!

I visit the hard of hearing Dave, who runs the general store, and grab one of his newspapers

That's a really up to date newspaper.

I visit the police station, where a cell is locked but has a big hole in the wall leading to the car dealership. I go straight to the dealership next door, where I meet the stereotypical used car salesman, Dealer Dan is the only character where the 'screw' icon appears without having already used the lips icon. Let's see what happens if I try to screw Dan.

I suspect most people who played this game saw this joke coming 

I can't find anything at the dealership, despite the hole in the police station leading here, and Dan hadn't seen the alien, so I move on.

There's a radio station, where I can play records (i.e. different music from the game)

And I finally go to the gas station, where I see the man of my dreams...

...assuming my dreams smell like bourbon and engine oil

Zeke was on his way to check out the meteor, but when I told him that was what I was doing, he suggested we meet up at the diner later instead.

Yep. He's definitely the son of me from the first game

I tried to kiss Zeke, but we were interrupted by a car horn. If I know my tropes, that means we'll definitely fall in love during this game.

I also talk to the Gas Pump Girls: Flo..

Movie reference 3

... Doe, who was in the office where I took a staple remover...

By taking this, do I become a staple remover remover?

... and Zoe (pronounced Zo), who has just gotten a frobizmus hose out of the General's engine, which I take...

Movie reference 4

I leave the gas station and go towards the site of the 'meteor' crash.

GASP!

But let's back up for a while. I know you're all wondering what Zeke and Barth were doing while I was traipsing around town, sleeping with any man who'd let me (three, so far.) So let's find out how they've been faring.

Zeke Zarmen journal entry 1: Echo three to echo seven... A meteorite just hit the ground near here... I'm going to check it out... won't take long.


Zeke starts his day with Lydia outside his gas station. She mentions that her father thinks the meteor wasn't just a meteor and asks Zeke to check it out because her new shoes are killing her.

I hate to break it to you, Zeke, but an Indian, a Preacher and a Bartender isn't just the start of a bad joke

Exploring the town goes much the same way as with Lydia, but the conversations are different based on how the townspeople react differently to Zeke and Lydia, which is a nice touch.

I started the day by kissing my three employees and having sex with one of them because, hey, it's the 50s and I can fire them if they complain.

I'm more concerned that this is a customer's car

Unlike Lydia, I don't get to sleep with the Tribesman, Reverend or Barman, but I DO get to sleep with Madame Chavez (the fortune teller) and Zoe.

At Lydia's house, Jimmy tells me the alien was just there and her father mentions that he looked injured and malnourished.

Maybe this alien has the same weakness as the aliens from Signs

The 50s – when a father was expected to get his daughter married as soon as she was of age so some other man could pay for her upkeep.

This billboard would be ironic if the game actually came out in 1956.
Barth: Journal entry 1:



After crashing to Earth, Barth explores, looking for food, medical care, and spaceship parts. Barth's reactions to Earth are definitely more amusing than Zeke's or Lydia's

Doe translated to 'female deer' but Barth is unable to deciper Zoe.

While in the gas station, I pick up a device that is likely used to pick off parasitic insects (staple remover) and try to greet the gas pump girls. They all scream, but Doe attacks.


At the police station, Sherrif Andy attacks me with a gun and locks me in a room.


I assume my translator has put the word 'irony' on the soap, but I don't get the joke.

Looking in my inventory shows that, along with the things I've picked up, I have a blaster. I use it to shoot a hole in the wall and leave the police station.

I explore the rest of the town, scaring most people. The only option I have with the humans is 'Greet' which scares most of them, usually in comical ways.

In the bar I find an oracle, which I take

Now I know why Lydia and Zeke found the 8-ball missing

The barman sprays me with seltzer, so I leave.

I continued to explore to get the items I found as Lydia

I got a palm...er, tentacle reading from the fortune teller, who told me to beware the 'fat one'.

I meet the Reverend, who thinks I work for Satan.

Most of the comedy while playing as Barth comes from misinterpreting clothing's purpose and social clues

Only three people aren't afraid of my greeting: the Professor, his child, Jim and the Mesquito Tribesman

I assume the Mesquito Tribesman is a recent visitor to this continent as he is dressed differently from the dominant branch in the region. I take the 'dime' which I assume has religious significance, as the translator showed that the front of the disk proclaimed itself to be a trusted deity. I also take a glass bottle from the souvenir store, which I didn't notice as Lydia or Zeke, but will look for next time I continue their games.

I take some grapes from the diner, which reminds me of something I've seen on my spaceship, but I'll get to that next time.

At Lydia's house, the boy objects when I try to take the primitive technology belonging to his 'sis' (an iron) so I assume a technology exchange is in order. I try to give him my blaster, but apparently that would be irresponsible. I know I need the iron, largely because Jim told Zeke the alien took the iron. Jim won't take anything else I have so this is one puzzle I can't solve yet.

I go to the movie theater where an alien that looks remarkably like me is scaring the audience. My arrival just makes them think I'm part of the movie.

Copying jokes from old Tom Hanks movies now?
So far, I'm having fun with the game. While some of the jokes aren't working, there's enough fun there that I'm enjoying hearing/reading them. I'm particularly enjoying Barth's take on the things he sees and misinterprets.

The puzzles are so far close to non-existent, but that may change as the game moves forward.  I need a key to the general's drawer and need to get into the army base as Lydia or Zeke, and I need to get an iron as Barth.

I'm liking that playing as different people doesn't change the story. Each character exists in each other's stories and, largely, does the same things they do when I'm playing as them. And it's fun to see how the characters treat Lydia and Zeke differently.

Time played: 3 hours 0 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
Inventory (Lydia's) : 3d glasses, dime, rubbing alcohol, sulfur, iodine, newspaper, room key, bowl, bottle of liquor, staple remover, rubber hose

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!

POEM CONTEST WINNERS: 
The introduction post ended with a coded poem, and an invitation to guess the final word. The poem was coded in the same cypher used in a puzzle in the first Leather Goddesses of Phobos game, but I'm not sure if either winner worked it out that way. Here is the decoded poem...

ODE TO TRENT
WE'VE SOLVED PUZZLES BANAL
RODE A MARTIAN CANAL
AND DEFEATED A FLYTRAP IN VENUS.
WHEN WE MET YOU WERE KEEN
TO BUILD SOME WEIRD MACHINE
THEN WE SHOWED THE GODDESSES OUR ................
The final word that I originally envisioned was FREENESS. But Andy_Panthro's guess of GENIUS and Aperama's guess of MEANEST both fit the poem and are appropriate to what happened in the story so CAPs for Andy and Aperama! Andy_Panthro also claimed to come up with another possible answer, but I have no idea what that could be, particularly for a family-friendly blog such as this.

So tune in next time, when I'll post about whatever happens next in the game, and you never know, I might even be feeling risque enough to use the word penis!

9 comments:

  1. Movie references :
    1-Signs or War of the Worlds
    2-The Thing
    3-The Blob
    4-They Live?

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    Replies
    1. Also : love the title of this post!

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    2. 4 is more likely Invasion of the Body Snatchers?

      Also: the Church of the Atom reminds me a lot of Beneath The Planet Of The Apes - https://youtu.be/_BfmPdut2x4?t=60

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    3. Alfred - your references for 1-3 echo my thoughts exactly, and I'd say definitely War of the Worlds for 1 - purely because they won't reference a movie they don't know about unless they're magic!

      Andy/Alfred - I was definitely thinking Invasion of the Body Snatchers on 4, though now that I've IMDB'd They Live, it could be either.

      Andy: You're right. Looks like Reverend Layberry would do well after the Apes take over. Side note: The Fallout Wikia suggested that Fallout's Children of Atom religion is a reference to that movie.

      If anyone can work out what Sheriff Schuller's referencing, let me know. It feels like a pop culture reference but the only thing I can think of is a recent Doctor Who, which came out way after this game.

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    4. Also, very glad you like the title. I had problems thinking of one this time, and this post actually had a placeholder title until about half an hour before it went live.

      When I did think of this rewording of a Douglas Adams joke I nearly rejected it because it was too long.

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    5. TBD: The old Dr. Who already had the "aliens invade Britain" thing going on, but I think the game might be referencing Quatermass II:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quatermass_II

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    6. Yeah granted that a game from 1992 would have a hard time referencing a movie from 2005... but... does it mean... maybe M. Night Shyamalamalamalan is secretely a fan of The Leather Goddesses of Phobos? Mind-blowing!

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  2. Perhaps the soap is an off-brand Ivory?

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  3. GOG are having a sale, and of particular note is Grim Fandango Remastered for $2.89. Great price for a classic.

    Also, Day of the Tentacle Remastered is $3.69

    https://www.gog.com/game/grim_fandango_remastered

    https://www.gog.com/game/day_of_the_tentacle_remastered

    ReplyDelete