Quinn’s Journal #4: "Telepath helmets are apparently a bad idea. Good thing I had that neural wave blocker we found. All’s well that ends well, except we still haven’t found Louis Wu and Chmeee. But the Patriarch is neutralized and that’s a good day’s work. I just had to nearly die to do it."
|I guess the Kzin are a big deal around here.|
|Seeker hopes this guy is only talking to Quinn.|
Quinn and Seeker return to the flycycles, where Seeker decides to return to the lander and let Quinn do his thing again. Without Seeker around, I can talk to the slave, who knows very little. He'll also be able to continue emulating a slave in order to infiltrate the palace. I take a clean but ragged outfit from the slave's pile, although it doesn't appear in my inventory. Quinn automatically changes into it before moving back onto the road toward the city.
|The castle looms ominously in the distance.|
|I haven't seen you before either. What kind of alien are you?|
|I suppose if Kzin are like tigers, humans are like monkeys. Sort of.|
The guard at the door will stop me if I just try to walk in, but I show him the tunic and then he allows me through. The bedroom holds little other than a huge purple bed. The room beyond is a large closet with clothes, towels, and other supplies. I collect an appropriate tunic and also poke around to see if the box is in here somewhere. I find that there's definitely a hidden compartment beyond one wall panel, but I have no idea how to open it.
|What could the bed's top layer be made of that it burns briefly and then goes out?|
|Wall art in every hallway.|
So I continue to play along and take the fresh tunic back to the Patriarch. But when I show it to him, he doesn't take it; instead, he wants to see another one. Well, okay, I find that I can now pick up two more tunics from his closet when I go back there. But this running around and fetching doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere.
Since stunning has often been Quinn's fallback strategy so far, I try stunning the guard at the private quarters, but this time nothing happens. Amusingly, the guard only asks, "Why are you showing me that?" You'd think a Kzinti guard would be a little more alarmed at the idea of an armed slave. More likely he has no idea what it is. That does sort of beg the question of where I'm concealing all the things I'm carrying, especially the suspiciously high-tech ones like the stunner and the stasis negator. I'm also now managing to carry four tunics and a lit candle. Oh well, this is typical for adventure games.
The Patriarch continues not to choose a tunic no matter what I offer him, so I give up on that and go back to his bedroom. I realize that I'd overlooked a hint when I'd set fire to the bed: the flame went out because it wasn't hot enough. I try putting the straw on the bed and setting fire to that. That did the trick...but oops, I ran into a fatal error. Trying the same thing again worked the second time, though. I'm not quite sure what I managed to accomplish, but I still haven't found a way into the secret compartment.
|The compartment wasn't even locked, just hidden.|
|Now you smell it?|
|Even the balconies are decorated with carvings.|
Back in the lander, the team discusses how useless the helmet seems to be, and they decide to go back to the canyon area to release the stasis on the crashed ship there. We receive our obligatory check-in from Hindmost. This time they tell him about the stasis control device and the plans to go back to the ship, and this satisfies the Puppeteer for now.
|This pattern doesn't quite work…|
|...but this one does.|
|The ancient alien is badly injured.|
I fight with the interface for a minute, trying to get back into the zoomed-in view of the ship interior. When we helped the alien out of the ship, it zoomed back out to the main view, but then everyone was still standing right around the hatch, so I had a hard time clicking in the right place to look inside again. Then I still wasn't sure what I was looking for. I clicked around for a little while before I figured out where the panel was that I had to use the magnetic key on.
|The antimatter is contained. Really.|
I try to talk to the alien at this point, but he still says I need to contain the antimatter. I thought I'd done that, but I go back into the ship view and find that I can now take the stasis box with the antimatter inside, and also a pair of some kind of devices from slots near the wires that had been sparking, although I have no idea what those are.
|The alien calls himself Tnuctipun, so apparently that's what he is. And he wants our ship.|
Clearly that helmet is a bad influence on not just the alien. I'm not sure why Quinn seems to be resisting the influence, but he's also still got some kind of neural wave nullifier. I use that on the alien so I can take the helmet off him. He slumps down, again in mortal danger. Seeker and Miranda suggest we'd better just put the alien back and put the ship back under stasis for now. The ancient alien may have valuable information, so we can't let him die, but Miranda can't stabilize him either. I seem to have pulled everything useful out of the ship for now, so I push the alien back in and Quinn automatically turns the stasis field back on.
|Quinn volunteers for what ought to be a suicide mission.|
I don't understand why the lander can't be piloted remotely, but the plot apparently requires that Quinn do this. He volunteers, in fact, and everyone else wonders if he has any way to escape. He just smiles and says he has a hunch about the mysterious devices we just took from the alien ship.
|This surely can't end well…|
|...since Quinn fails to survive a lander that's vaporized by lasers, of course.|
To win, all I have to do is open inventory and use the alien devices before the lander is blown up. It doesn't seem to matter where on the screen I use them. This time, Quinn materializes back on the main ship just after the lander is destroyed. Somehow the alien devices teleported him back, so then he can trigger the stasis field. We watch as the antimatter makes a huge explosion, larger than Miranda had expected.
|I can't imagine the explosion being so bright or large that it would be visible to both sides of multiple planets.|
Once they cut the connection, everyone agrees that they'd better go back to the Ringworld. They still haven't found Louis Wu and Chmeee, and they have an intriguing alien ship to investigate, if they can keep the remaining crewmember alive.
|"Consider the end."|
And that's the end of the game. Obviously we'll need a sequel to wrap up all the loose ends, but we won't see that until 1994's Return to Ringworld. But we still have the final rating of this installment to go. And for those who like reading carefully, there will be CAPs for the first person to report what word is misspelled in one of my screenshots in this post. I guess the game needed a little more proofreading.
Number of people stunned by Quinn: 0 (not for lack of trying); 5 total
Number of actions taken by Quinn other than stunning: 23 (including getting 8 items: the slave clothing, the straw, the tunic, the sword, the helmet, the magnetic key, the antimatter, and the alien device); 61 total
[Note that several actions in the last section are optional, like taking extra tunics and showing them to the Patriarch; I didn't count these.]
Number of conversational choices: 0; 9 total
Number of deaths: 1 (failing to trigger the alien device at the end); 3 total
Number of alien species encountered: 3 (the slave, the slave overseer, and the ancient alien in the stasis ship); 9 total
Session Time: 2 hrs 10 min
Total Time: 6 hrs 50 min