|Our target: the Leviathan.|
Thus far, I am surprised by how “normal” this game seems. Other than the suggestion in the manual that there are multiple shipwrecks, it has played very vanilla. We have neither the “asshole protagonist” of Infidel, nor the interface-bending antics of Suspended. This seems like a pretty normal game, albeit one set in the real world rather than a science-fiction or fantasy setting. The game is slow to get started, but we’ll see if that impression holds this week.
|The price list: because the best stores don’t advertise what they have for sale or for how much.|
|I found a reason to use a spreadsheet!|
The delivery boy won’t arrive for a few hours so I head back to the Shanty to grab lunch (since I need to eat and drink still) and grab the rest of my diving stuff. After that, I just “wait” on the wharf until he appears and follow him until he puts the goods in a storage area at the northern end of the boat. You didn’t know the boat had a storage area? That’s because I forgot to mention that I mapped it while I was waiting.
|Ahoy! An 11-room adventure ship! (It’s a rental.)|
Up on deck, the Weasel is there with a line that I am supposed to tie to the treasure, but I cannot actually see any line. The game just tells me that I’ll use it when I need it, so I’ll just ignore that for now and dive in… and immediately get killed by sharks. I restore and this time immediately open the shark repellent when we hit the water. That saves me from the sharks. Swimming down, I quickly get to an area that is too dark to see, but my flashlight works just fine in this situation. A little further and we have arrived at the ship!
|The Leviathan has four levels of decks?|
|Maybe just three...|
The top deck is empty and the middle deck is blocked off so I swim to the bottom to progress. Moving just south from there, I have a choice: further south is the mine room or I can head up to an air pocket. The air pocket is interesting, but a dead end for now: there’s a tight squeeze just beyond it that I don’t have a path through yet. Also, moving through causes the bubble to fill with water, so I’m going to hold off until I have a better idea what I am supposed to do. The mine room is a surprise because this was supposed to be a passenger ship, but it is filled to the brim with mines. I guess the Germans were right! The key challenge of the mine room is that it is filled with many mines properly strapped to the floor, but one floating mine has dislodged and is blocking a hole to the deck above. Attempting to swim by it causes the ship to explode. While I cannot say if this depiction of shipboard mines is very realistic, at least these did exist and were extensively used in World War I. Score one for Mr. Berlyn’s knowledge of history!
|This is a WW2 mine, but seems to be what Berlyn is describing.|
I have more success in the narrow passage. After some trial and error, I find that I can pass through if I take off the oxygen tank and hold it in front of me. That leads to the main office of the ship and a long-hidden safe. I cannot take the safe with me and I do not know the combination, but I have seen more than my fair share of heist movies and try using the drill instead. That works! The safe pops open.Inside is a glass case containing stamps, untouched by the passage of time! Unfortunately, the case has a crack in it and is starting to fill with water. I race to the surface but there is no way to make it. With the case gradually filling with water, the stamps are always ruined before I can swim back to the ship. Fortunately, I have a solution to this problem: the putty. By putting the putty on the crack, no more water gets in. I take it to the surface… and still fail because the water that is in there is sloshing around and gets the stamps wet. No amount of choosing a different route or trying to be careful seems to prevent the stamps from being ruined. What am I missing?
|I can name at least two adventure games with stamp puzzles. How many can you name?|
Everything else that I try with the mine fails. I try with the magnet in it and under it. I try pushing it lightly away with the flippers, pull it with the net, turn it, push it, pull it, and a hundred other things.Everything I try either does absolutely nothing or causes it to explode. I give up and take a clue, telling me that I was on the right track with the magnet. So, what can I do with the magnet? The solution is stupid, but here it is: you have to put the magnet against the mine before you turn it on. This causes it to not jerk to your position and explode. I think I was let down, in part, by how many Infocom games i have played: not once have you ever put an object “against” another. I was so close! Once you have the mine caught with the magnet, you can drop them and they will drift (surprisingly safely) to the bottom. Problem solved, although I don’t much like the solution.
From here, it’s just a matter of finding and optimizing a path. Rather than fixing the crack on the tank immediately, I leave it cracked until I get to the air pocket room. From there, I can drill a hole in the case to empty out the water and then patch the hole and the crack together with the putty. Problem solved! I won’t tell you how many times I tried that to find a path that worked. This also only works if I remembered to turn off the drill immediately after opening the safe; I had to restore back to do that faster, but that wasn’t difficult, only annoying. With that, I can make it to the surface and…
|An unexpected twist! Unless you played Infidel!|
Time played: 3 hr 55 min
Total time: 6 hr 40 min
Inventory: Disappointment and frustration.