Tuesday 20 August 2019

Inca - Demolished

By Ilmari

Fifteen seconds later all the space conquistadors passed out from a lack of oxygen

Any theories how this contraption flies?

In modern terms: romance gives you more energy than booze

It finally happened - I faced an action sequence I could not pass, not by crook or by hook. Fortunately, before the inevitable end I had experienced all proper adventure parts of the game, so I have a reasonably full understanding of its faults and merits.

After I had just received the gem with the power over matter, Aguirre, the leader of conquistadors, set his men to kill me. Time for another space fight, which I routinely just passed.

I then had another chat with my Inca mentor, Huayna Capac. After reminiscing about his past romances, he urged me to find the third stone of power and recited a text from a Mayan monument in Chichen Itza: “One day He will come to take back that which he entrusted to us. Three times on the ramparts. Inca he will be. Then he will enter and the Dawn will be near.”

When I left my mentor, another space fight was waiting for me. At the time when I am writing this, having now checked a walkthrough, I am a bit disappointed I didn’t fare any better in this action sequence. You see, after destroying one set of regular enemy ships I would have faced a squadron of Spanish space galleons. It’s unlikely I could have beat them, but it would have been interesting to see the galleons in action.

Another planet, another temple...

...another closed doorway

Solving this puzzle involved lot of trial and error. Pressing the three sun buttons on the left released three small balls or sacred eggs, as the game called them. Next bit was quite tricky. I quickly noted that pressing two diagonally opposite squares would make the eye of one lion flash for a while, whereas pressing the middle squares caused a similar flashing effect to the headgear of the person in the picture. Problem was that the flashing stopped so quickly I could not do anything. I had to finally lower the Dosbox cycles in order even to test anything. In the end, it was just a matter of putting the right egg to the right flashing object. My reward was a…

...golden disc

Touching the sun buttons again with the disc opened the door.

It wasn’t a surprise that another maze with conquistadors awaited me. Fortunately the maze was rather straightforward and I soon discovered a new puzzle.

The obvious thing I could do was to pick up the five yellow tumi blades. After that, the wall of stones had holes, which allowed me to move the stones to new places. Reordering of the stones let a beam of light in.

Next thing was to put the golden disc to the place where the beam of light touched the floor. The disc reflected the light to the roof, revealing a large crystal.

The bluish fraction of the crystal dropped and I picked it up. I then replaced the disk with the five blades and the blue crystal between them.

I then had to practice my memory with an Incan version of Simon. The large crystal at the roof appeared few times, always with a different colour and note. After the sequence had ended, I had to choose a beam of respective colour, and by respective colour I do not mean the same, but one from the opposite side - for instance, if the big crystal shined with pink colour, I had to choose red beam of light. I had to play this game three times, always with a longer sequence of colours - and if I failed at some point, I had to start all over again from the shortest sequence.

After finally having beaten this version of Simon I entered another part of the maze - no big surprise here. This time I took more wrong turns and ended up wasting my energy in unnecessary combats. Still, I managed to find the next more adventury room just in time, before I would have collapsed.

Intihuatana of Machu Picchu? So I’m still on Earth?

Before I entered the room, I saw a piece of bamboo wood hidden at the door. Naturally, I pocketed it.

El Dorado call home?
It looked like a rotary phone, but was just another puzzle. I could move the white stones - or moons - by taking them over another moon to an empty hole. The moon that was jumped over was erased. With only one moon left, I received congratulations and a real moon appeared on the sky. I now could move the moon stone through the different holes with the shape of the real moon changing at the same time. With the sky moon in the new moon phase, I tried using the sun disc to the intendentation above, where the disc fit perfectly. I now received the red gem with power over energy.

Next, the maze continued! With previous save code all the way back at the beginning and my health still very low, I was agitated. Indeed, I walked a few rooms, entered an ambush by conquistadors and was promptly killed.

At this point I seriously considered whether I should just discard the game. Eventually, when my emotions had cooled for several days, my sense of duty prevailed and I loaded the game again. It took me a while to go through all the motions again, but it was definitely worth it, since I faced the most interesting puzzle of the game.

I finally got to use the three gems and their powers. The gem of time had a simple function - I could use it to go through different seasons, that is, winter (blue room), spring (green), summer (yellowish) and autumn (brown). The gem of energy was also straightforward - it let out a burst of solar energy. In comparison, the gem of matter was a disappointment - it only created some fertile soil.

I had a piece of bamboo in my possession, so it seemed reasonable to plant it in the soil, turn time into spring or summer and let the power of sun do its work.

I can see definite potential for removing starvation from the world

Turning time into harvest, I now had two long bamboo reeds in my possession. Combining them with the golden disc I had been carrying and adding another burst of solar energy provided me with a boat. And that was all I needed! I guess I just used the boat to get my prize.

Another ceremonial knife. It kind of pales in comparison with the magic gems

My mission was still not over, since I had the evil conquistadors and their leader, Aguirre, to deal with. Would I use my newly found gem powers to vanquish the Spanish? Of course not. Instead, I was meant to enter their galleon and blast all of them to pieces, just like I had done so many times before.

After I had killed enough of his underlings, Aguirre decided to deal with me himself. And here Inca finally had the best of me. Aguirre had no gun I could see, but he could still release several energy blasts toward me at the same time, before disappearing and teleporting to another part of his ship. I could never manage to destroy all of his shots, and after a few attempts ending with my death I had to finally accept my defeat. Watching a Let’s Play I learned that I had quit at just the right moment, with no more adventuring ahead of me. Next time, rating!

Session time: 2 h 30 min
Total time: 14 h 30 min


  1. you couldnt beat the final boss ? wow thats disappointing.

    I've never advanced so much though, probably game overed twenty times in first or second combat ship sequence

  2. Some things I believe you've missed:
    El Dorado is actually supposed to be a Muisca king.
    The golden dots at the top of the ground screen have been indicators of how many enemies there are left. You probably figured it out before the final battle.
    They actually thought this stuff was solid gold. "Fast and smooth" I believe the quote from the hint book goes. Fast and smooth my
    I was genuinely surprised to discover that Coktel Vision was responsible for several other space simulations. I want to point out that by 1992, even if you limit your flight sims to just space sims, almost every other game on the market was better. I only say almost because there might just be a worse one out that is worse. I think by the time Inca 2 rolls around I can tell you if it was just the Inca games or if they were all terrible.
    The final space combat isn't very fun. You save all the missiles, you don't kill the galleons outright. There's another cheat you didn't mention CTRL+ALT+SHIFT and the I N C A. I used that a couple of times. Let me reinterate, the space combat in this is terrible. The ground combat is merely a mediocre light gun game without the light gun. I seriously suggest you and anyone else who played this give a real space sim a shot. I think I've maybe played like ten space sims in my life, but all ten of them were better than this. All the Star Wars games, Wing Commander, Freespace, Ad Astra and even the controversial Battlecruiser 3000AD were miles better than this in space combat. I liked the adventure game aspects just fine, they were good. They make sense even if they were weird. I'd even live with the light gun sections, but the space combat will quite possibly never be bottomed. Absolute zero.
    Computer Gaming World apparently said you should get a different Sierra game and a copy of the soundtrack. They also said the sequel was one of the worst games of all time. I don't know if that's true or if the check just didn't clear that time. They'd have to lean pretty heavily on the space combat for that to be true.
    I beat Aguirre on the first try, you have to first open up full blast on him and then blast as many of his projectiles as possible. I almost died. I feel like this was the first time I actually had any fun with the ground combat. Obviously, you feel differently seeing as you usually lost health to regular enemies.
    Because you played the floppy version, you missed about four checkpoints and an enhanced soundtrack, the primary difference being this fairly decent tune:

    1. Interesting that you mention Aguirre, and the reviewer says Aguierro all the time, I also remember the final boss being Aguirre

    2. *Checking my screenshots* Yep, it's Aguirre. I guess this just shows that I know nothing at all of Spanish names.

      MorpheusKitami: Thanks for all the great insights about the space fight part! Like I've said many times, I am no action gamer, so the final battle was a bit too much for my skills. I think I tried the exact same tactic you describe, but I failed to get all the energy blasts Aguirre released.

    3. They actually thought this stuff was solid gold.

      HA ha! ... Oh, that wasn't a joke. ;)

    4. I'm surprised I spelled it right, the only reason I even remember the name is that Klaus Kinski played him once.

      I didn't even get them all all either. You have to just get most of them after blowing through your ammo first. I think you have to lead a little bit too, and not lose any health during the proceeding fights. That or the battle was changed between versions.

      Lisa: No, I'm afraid not. The hint book says as follows:
      "Let your imagination run wild. A new age in computer entertainment has arrived. European game designers, Coktel Vision, have succeeded in creating a unique blend of game styles pulled together with a fantasy plot that takes you into a new realm of game playing fun.

      The outer space flight simulation, ground movement, and battle sequences are fast and so smooth you'll be reeling in your chair. It's been observed that when people play this game, they actually lean over in their chair as they speed through the winding canyons of distant planets. And when engaged in heavy battle in hostile star systems, players squint and duck while making quick defensive maneuvers. That's how real the action looks."

      There's more, but at that point they just talk about the actors, ground combat and the soundtrack. They act like they it looks like it was made on film, but I don't think you need to know much about movies to know that's not accurate.

    5. I just meant that you literally said "solid gold", which had extra flavor in this context.