Saturday, 19 August 2017

Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 - The X Trials

Written by TBD

When we last met our heroine, Lydia, she had just explored the town of Atom City, and had found a spaceship (that she really could have found straight away, because she saw where it landed, and that was where she was told to go)

Lydia Sandler Journal Entry 2: Today was the most exciting day of my life. I met an alien and rode on a spaceship! It was amazing!

I checked out the spaceship, but it needed repairs and I had no idea how to do that, so I moved on. Just past the spaceship is an old dried out canal.

Oh. okay then. I caused a rainstorm. Why do I not remember causing a rainstorm?

I checked out my old screenshots, thinking maybe turning on Dad's machine caused a rainstorm and found out that it did, although it wasn't clear at the time.


Ah. I get it now. By turning on the strange machine, I created a rainstorm that flooded the dry canal that for some reason had a moored boat waiting.

Not one to punch a gift river in the mouth, I rode the boat and it took me to an area behind the army base, which I'd previously been unable to get into due to a guard doing his job.

I couldn't go back the way I came, and the water had apparently dried up again, so I was stuck unless...

...unless I found a convenient hole in the fence of the 'guarded' army base.

Well, ignoring the extremely lax security that allowed this to happen, I entered the base through the hole in the fence, then entered the barracks. I opened MacLoud’s locker and found just what I needed to act like I belong here

This barracks looks like it holds at least 24 soldiers. Surely if I explore the base I won't find that the only soldier working tonight is the guy guarding the front gate.

I enter the General's office, and take the key that appears to have been drawn at the wrong perspective.

Maybe the General isn't here because he just got a call from Commissioner Gordon.

Apart from the barracks and the General's office, I can go to two more buildings. One of them contains five monitors – three of the monitors containing jokes about killing commies, and two of them have likely useful numbers on them.
  • Add 69 to all 4-DIGIT CODES
  • MORE NUKES, LESS KOOKS
  • CODE: 419
  • COMMIES: NUKE EM TILL THEY GLOW, THEN SHOOT EM IN THE DARK
  • PURITY OF ESSENCE

The final building contains a weird array of items

This is clearly the architecture, science, radioactive waste storage, office desk room?

The nuclear waste storage bin had a code to it. I thought perhaps by combining the two numbers I had found in the previous room (419+69) I might be able to open it, but no luck. I probably need another number.

So, armed with the General's key, I left the army base and went to his house, removing my army uniform on the way. I could now open the General's desk. In his desk, I found two letters.


Dear Bill (or Frank, if that's who you prefer to be), I refuse to acknowledge the 'informed' opinion of someone who can spell neither 'radiation' nor 'invasion'

My next step was obvious. I went to the brothel and called on 'Big Belinda'

You could have just handed it to me – did you have to drop it on the floor? It's now all covered in <REDACTED FOR NATIONAL SECURITY>

The folder contained a small piece of paper. The paper contained a single word – FALLOUT. Lydia, breaking the fourth wall, thought “Where had I seen this word before? Perhaps in the instruction manual for this game..." I didn't remember seeing the word in the manual, and didn't see how a word could help me at this point so I went looking for the General in order to give him the folder. I'd been to his office and his house recently, but I thought perhaps he'd gone to the gas station to pick up his car.

I noticed a new location in the gas station – inside the car itself. I'd been in there as Zeke (with Zoe) but hadn't been there alone before. I noticed that the General, whose ability to be in charge of any kind of national security must have been an accident based on what I've noticed in this post, had left his transmitter on the passenger seat when he left his car here. The transmitter has three digits on it, so I set it to the three digits from the code I'd found on the screen at the base.

This joke was also used in the original Leather Goddesses of Phobos, but if I hadn't played that game a few weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have remembered it

While at the gas station, the gas pump girls all told me that they'd seen the alien

Movie reference 5

Movie reference 6 (Not a gas pump girl, but I forgot to mention this reference in my first post)

Out of ideas, I followed the game's advice about the General's folder, and looked for the word FALLOUT in the manual.

It's COPY PROTECTION TIME!

Simple enough. At the top of each page of the manual is a word and a number. I noticed that most/all of the words were related to either nuclear weapons, the first Leather Goddesses game, or The Day the Earth Stood Still

The number next to FALLOUT was 0595. I added 69 to the number and attempted to go back to the army base. I had a small problem doing this. The river I'd created had dried up, and when I used Dad's machine to bring it back, the boat wasn't there (because I'd already rode it to the base I assume). Lydia refused to walk all the way down the dry gulch because it would be too dangerous. I tried to wear the army uniform again to get past the guard but Lydia decided it was a 'dumb idea'.

Eventually I found that I COULD wear the uniform, but only when I was standing at the army base entrance, looking directly at the guard. This didn't make sense to me, but the game told me I went into the bushes to get changed - why I couldn't get changed in the previous screen where nobody was watching will have to be put down to 'developers didn't consider it.' I went into the architect's office, and tried my new number on the radioactive storage bin. It opened

Yes, that looks like exactly the kind of thing that's safe to touch!

I now had food for the alien (radioactive isotopes.) I also had all the ingredients my brother needed to make food for the alien: rubber - the rubber hose Zoe had taken from the General's car; distilled corn-based ethyl - the bottle of liquor I'd taken from the bar; and sulfur - the bottle of... sulfur... I'd taken from the doctor's cabinet.

I went back home but Jim just told me the same things he always says, apart from that he'd seen the alien, tried to give him water and that the alien had taken our iron. I already knew all that from when I played as Zeke last time.

I kept exploring, and found Zeke at the bar. I told him everything I'd found and he suggested we tell my father. Bur first I decided to kiss him – this time with no interruptions.



Butch then threw us out of his bar, as Zeke suggested we go somewhere more private. I was wondering where we should go, and thought about the hotel room I'd taken a key for, but then my stupid brother arrived.

I hate you, Jim. I hope you know that.

We go back to my house, where Dad is listening to a message on the radio.

The old radio also shows anaglyph 3d video chats? How did that happen?

Zeke and I were finally going to have sex and now we get invaded from outer space! That's terrible timing. The only way this could be worse would be if Hitler as an old man walked into my house right now.

Caption contest?

Old man Hitler, who turned out the be General Wedgefellow (Wedgypoo to his friends) threw us out of our house for reasons of national security.

When you can't even keep your business letters, personal letters from your prostitute, classified radioactive opening codes, or radio transmitter secure from an average citizen, I weep for our country, sir.

With Zeke now following me, I used the key I'd taken from Madame Chavez's office and went to the hotel.

I'm just realising that Zeke doesn't have a house in town. Does he just sleep in the back seat of his client's cars every night?

With that simmering sexual attention out of the way, we went around looking for aliens.

We found one at the used car lot. This was where the clues had lead, but the clues that led here I got a VERY long time ago gamewise


Barth, after we spoke to him for a bit, replied in English from the black device he carried (a translator.) He explained that he had been hiding until he noticed we had food and medicine.

From green Jedi master, learned English did I.

Barth told us about his damaged ship, and mentioned that he had all the items he needed but was too weak to go back to his ship to repair it himself.

He took the food (isotope) and I looked at my inventory to see if I could feed him.


I used all the required ingredients on the bowl I'd stolen from the diner.

Now that he was fed and healed, Barth said that he would be better at operating the translator, and told us how his planet had been attacked by the Leather Goddesses, they'd taken humanoid slaves, and he'd come to Earth to ask for our help.

Zeke and I told him that the Goddesses had lied to us and that our General had fallen for their lies, but before we could react an angry mob appeared.

This reminds me of a Simpsons angry mob, with characters in their work clothes all appearing in the background

Wait... is that my brother Jim next to the barber? The little bastard probably wants his iron back.

Anyway, the townspeople take turns telling me, Zeke or Barth off.

Is it 3:30 already? Time flies when you're looking for aliens.

Didn't we already have this movie reference?

I snuck away from the mob (that is, I pressed my mouse button while the 'turn around' icon was visible) while they were focussing on my friends and, looking at my inventory, used the General's transmitter, having no idea what it would do.

Ah. It apparently lets off a scramble klaxon that tells everyone the nuclear reactor's about to blow. And this guy left it in his car????

After tricking American Hitler, who only actually looks anything like Hitler in the long shots, we go to Barth's ship. But he's too weak to make the repairs. He gives me the items he's collected and asked me to repair the ship.

LYDIA: I am sworn to bear your burdens

I now have items matching all the shapes missing from Barth's ship, including an iron (which will annoy me later on), so I use them and the ship's systems gradually come back to life.

The ship automatically takes off and, after travelling through hyperspace, we land on...

PLANET X

The small, less detailed people and inconveniences move across the screen, giving the appearance of a bustling area.

We can enter a library, where we can do nothing except look at the librarian. We can also enter a hotel, where as soon as I click on the only clickable item in the room, someone appears.

Planet X has two intelligent species coexisting: The pulsating inconveniences and the tanned annoyances.

We go to the council meeting, where we are told off by the chairman, Brandoner-7

Only the council members may speak, but you're asking Barth to speak?

The council deliberated, and came to the conclusion that they would help us defeat the Leather Goddesses of Phobos. They gave us a recording device and an invisibility shield, and told us that Barth's ship had been repaired. We were to go to Phobos to save both our planets.

Phobos

But before we go to Phobos, let's check back in on Zeke and Barth

Zeke Zarmen Journal Entry 2: Today was the most exciting day of my life. I did it with Lydia Sandler! And I gave it to her good!

Again, the main difference between Zeke and Lydia's game are the conversations. The codes I got for Zeke were also different to the ones I got for Lydia. In Zeke's game, the transmitter code was different, General Wedgypoo's prostitute was different (Lucious Lorilei) and the copy protection word was different (TRENT this time – I still love you Trent)

I did like how they referred to things differently. When taking the liquor from the bar, Zeke takes a slug and sends a silent prayer to the fine people of Kentucky whereas Lydia refused to drink it because the fumes alone made her head spin.

Looking at items also shows their different knowledge and opinions, with Lydia seeing “just a car part” in the gas station, while Zeke sees “just a piston” and so on.

So I did exactly the same things with Zeke as I did with Lydia, except I met Lydia at the diner instead of the bar, and when we started to get amorous Selma threw us out.

Again, we helped Barth, had a moment of bliss in the cheap hotel, and went to Planet X, where instead of Brandoner-7, the council member who spoke to us was Largonna-9

Ummm... Zeke... You DO know there are other places on Earth rather than America, right???

And again, we took Barth's spaceship and made our way to Phobos

Melylp

Barth, however, did things differently...

Barthgub el Nikki-Nikki son of Jelgobar el Zayda-Zayda Journal Entry 2: Today was the most exciting day of my life. I met some new friends, and I got invited to the Great Council of Planet X!

Now, something I didn't mention last time, but that I touched on when Lydia had to repair the ship, was that when looking at the back of my spaceship, I saw various holes.

It was only when I saw the grapes at the diner that I realised what I needed to do.

So I worked out I'd need to find items to fill each of these holes. Last time I had found grapes at the diner, an 8-ball at the bar, a rectangular shaped bar of soap at the prison, and a glass bottle at the reservation. I had mentioned I'd look for this bottle with Lydia and Zeke, but it wasn't there in their games.

The items I still needed are fairly easy to work out – a stop sign, a traffic cone, an iron and a pumpkin. Let's see how I found these items
  • Stop sign – while playing as Lydia and Zeke, when I had clicked on a bent pole near the church they had both commented “Didn't there used to be a stop sign here” so I knew where to go here. I used my blaster on the stop sign, and it fell to the ground. One more ship repair item found.
Luckily, only one person in the entire town owns a car, so the loss of the stop sign won't cause many problems
  • Traffic cone – this one was easy. It was just lying around next to the caved in tunnel entrance near the crash site
  • Iron – this was much harder so I'll get into this later
  • Pumpkin – another easy one. This one was in the general store. Unlike most people, Dave wasn't afraid of me, but that's only because he thought I was a small boy.
I offered him the metallic disk I'd found by pressing the coin return slot on the vending machine and he allowed me to take one of the strange alien eggs. I now had a pumpkin!

Now, all I needed was the iron.

I figured the most likely place to get something Jim would take in exchange for the iron was the military base, so I attempted to get there. I turned on the Professor's rain machine and went back to the dry gulch

Damn. If anything, I've made it harder for myself.

I couldn't get into the base through the front door either, as the guard just attempts to shoot me if I either talk to him or attempt to go past him.

I was totally stuck here. For a very, very long time.

Refusing to let myself give in to temptation and ask for assistance, I went back to every location and tried everything I had (I had my blaster, the staple remover, the newspaper and the 3d glasses at this point) on everything I could see.

If not for the manual mentioning that this game didn't have dead-ends, I'd have restarted the game in case there was something I needed to do before solving other puzzles. I thanked you for that in the introduction, game, but I'll thank you again now. THANK YOU!

I still couldn't work it out, and it was only after going everywhere multiple times that I did what most of us have probably done when frustrated with someone in a game not being helpful. I tried to murder a young boy.

I said, GIVE... ME... THE... IRON!

Wait... what... how???

I check my old screenshots to see what it said when I'd tried using the gun on the child before

Okay. So the gun became discharged.

Now, bear in mind I'd tried shooting everyone in the game during my 'try everything' phase, and I always get this message...

I may not be able to kill them, but I can still ruin their game by telling them all what cards the doctor has.

I hadn't done any shooting lately – the only times I'd used the gun were to escape prison and destroy a stop sign. I reloaded my game to see if there was any mention of my blaster being discharged when shooting the stop sign. There wasn't. I checked to see if there was any indication that my blaster was discharged when I tried to shoot inanimate objects.

Not only is there no indication that my blaster is discharged, but it's clear from the message that Barth believes that it IS charged

The closest I could find to a clue was this comment after shooting a hole in the prison wall

Wouldn't last forever is not the same as 'exactly one more shot'

Getting over the fact that I spent a long time unnecessarily repeating actions because the game never gave me the vital information that my blaster was now discharged, I continued playing. We'll deal with this again during the Final Rating. DON'T THINK IT'S OVER, INFOCOM!

While going back to my ship with the last repair part, I felt too weak to go on but could sense the presence of food and medicine in the area with the small spaceship-like vehicles. I made my way to the caryard and met Lydia and Zeke


Again, Lydia and Zeke fed me and gave me the medicine before an angry mob appeared. This time, I couldn't leave like Lydia and Zeke could, but after unsuccessfully trying a few things, Zeke and Lydia had solved my problem for me.

Where were my 'clever Earth friends' when I was looking for a damn iron earlier?

We went back to my ship and I used the iron on the last hole, fixing it and blasting us off. Zeke wanted to drive.

As someone who's recently played as Zeke, I object to being condescended to in this manner

We did exactly the same thing on Planet X as before, with different dialogue and descriptions.

The fact that Planet X is 50% populated with these Tanned Annoyances, makes it weird that Barth seemed unfamiliar and surprised at the physical attributes of Earth humans

Phobos!... It's only a model... ... shh!

Tune in next time where we'll get down and dirty with the titular Leather Goddesses of Phobos...2!

TIme played: 4 hours 35 minutes
Total time: 7 hours 35 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. But seeing as I've already finished the game before this post will come out, I really won't care in the slightest if you post spoilers so ignore the rules at will this time.

3 comments:

  1. Two questions:

    Is the building on Planet X supposed to look like the Superfriends' "Hall of Justice"?

    How many sides do those fuzzy dice have anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh. Yeah, it does look like the Hall of Justice - well found. I should have hired you to do captions for my screenshots.

      I'm going with 14! And on a technicality that you had no way of knowing, they're not fuzzy because they make a metallic tinkle when I click on them

      Delete
  2. For someone apparently in charge of that base, the general doesn't seem to have a very good idea how his reactor works. Have the reactor go critical is generally a GOOD thing - it means the reactor is running stablly, i.e. generating power. (Short and nice article for anyone who wants to know more: http://www.ntanet.net/nuclear_reactor_fission_and_criticality.html )

    That said, I imagine Infocom probably didn't have as ready access to basic nuclear physics as we do these days, but lines like the general has about the reactor going critical are still kinda funny when you know what the words actually mean.

    ReplyDelete