Sunday, 12 January 2020

Gobliins 2 - Floating Castle

By Ilmari

I am probably overthinking it, but I have a hard time understanding the geography of the game. The world outside the castle shows no sign of a sea nearby. Still, under the castle is what the manual calls a sea passage. In fact, it is so big a passage that it holds a sunken boat and a mermaid population. Maybe the castle and the lands surrounding it float on top of the ocean?


Or perhaps someone just built this here?

Puzzlewise the boat used a mechanic familiar from earlier parts of the game: if a goblin stood on an oyster when it opened (I’ll not go into details, but this involved lot of a seemingly unrelated actions and an eel scaring a fish into the vicinity of the oyster), the goblin would fly into the bow of the ship it couldn’t reach otherwise.


Like this

On the bow, there was a platform, and when the figurehead of the boat was manipulated, the goblin on the platform would fly toward a dark corner described by the game as ???. Here another part of the boat was helpful. I could light the lantern on the aft of the ship to attract a fish with a lamp, which I could then use to light up the dark corner, revealing a treasure chest. Unfortunately, neither of the goblins had the strength to open it. Time to move to a new screen.


The merfolk

The most important part of this screen were the stairs at the middle that led to a passage going to the castle throne room. The problem was that a) the passage was barred and b) an octopus wouldn’t let me move past it. Time to check other parts of the screen.

Using my trusty stool, I could mount the seahorse, who would take me to the platform at the upper left corner of the screen. Here, a goblin could speak with the mermaid queen, whose eyes were taken by the demon king Amoniak who had conquered the castle. At the uppermost ledge, there was a bottle I couldn’t reach.


Because of a tentacle monster

I could also try to enter a cavern, only to be driven away by the owner of the cavern - a small octopus. The octopus was followed by a…


...glove?

I could catch the glove with a seashell. Within the glove I found a starfish. It took me a while to figure it out, but I eventually learned it was strong enough to help me with treasure chest at the previous screen. My reward was a sword, which I could use to pry a diamond from a skull attached to boat.

The glove itself proved also to be useful, since I could use it to cover the tentacled monster. Thus, I finally had an access to the bottle, which contained a pearl and a parchment from the Prince Buffoon, asking someone to save him from the clutches of Amoniak. The emerald, together with the diamond, were meant as new eyes for the queen, who thanked me by removing the bars from the passage. Octopus, on the other hand, wanted to see the parchment to be convinced of my good intentions.



The ocean section has felt a bit of a detour in the overall course of the game. It seems like the producers wanted to include a marine themed portion into a game, no matter what. I am hoping the game speeds up a bit, now that I am stepping into the throne room.

Inventory: stool, elixir, glove

Session time: 1 h 30 min
Total time: 16 h 30 min

18 comments:

  1. I noticed that the mermaid queen design it is very similar to a lamia: a mythological creature depicted as a half-serpent woman who has the ability to remove her eyes; that would mean that Amoniak could have stolen the mermaid queen's eyes without having to gouge them, he could just have taken them at a time in which she had removed them for whatever reason.

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    1. Interesting! I like your interpretation. That would also explain how you can replace her eyes with jewels.

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    2. It's possible, but that seems unusual. I'd wager its just random chance. Most of the time the snake elements of Lamia and the eye thing aren't depicted at the same time. I haven't exactly noticed Coktel Vision having many elements of well-researched classical mythology.

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    3. It is certainly unusual, but I wouldn't assign it to mere coincidence. There is a Spanish comic book character named "Superlopez" (the character is a parody of Superman) who battles a Lamia in one of his books ("Pandora's Box", published in the early eighties), and that Lamia she is depicted as a half-snake woman who takes off her eyes when she goes to sleep (just as some people would take off their dentures). So maybe in mythology books the description of lamias usually mention the detail that they are able to remove off her eyes.

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  2. You're over thinking this. The entire game runs off Looney Tunes logic.
    What even was the thought process on the falling trap in the wreck? I've never seen anything so superficial in a Coktel Vision game before. You could quite literally jump that. I feel this is the worst section in the game. The seahorse is bad too, but that weird freaking invisible hole. One time the rudder glitched out on me, making me have to quit the game. That made it even better.
    One way the CD version is inferior is that sound effects play over speech. Quiet voices. Like say during this section. Like the mermaid and octopus.
    A couple of ways the comparisons to Lemmings make sense. Like Lemmings, Goblins has a series of puzzles that at first make you question the sanity of the designer followed by wondering what the hell you're going to do here. They're also very reflex heavy in a genre usually not so. You're also likely to quit both long before you win.
    I realize this point was partially made last time, but every bit not usable has a whole of noise slapped on it, and the skys/ground are all gradiants. Very weird considering that Inca and Ween had some of the best pixel art of all time.
    This area has the worst music track, potentially, in a game I've ever heard. Its literally a random violin playing for half a second in the background once in a while.
    The mermaid puzzle creeps me out.

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    1. I agree, the boat section is the worst in the game so far. I feel that the puzzles were not just Looney Tunish, but completely random - for instance, why does moving the rudder lure a fish to the screen?

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    2. I assumed that the rudder was disturbing the fish's hiding place.
      Which probably distracts from the true answer, which is that we needed a fish on the screen and we already have a boat.

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    3. Half the puzzles in this section could also be bypassed by simply swimming up or down, they clearly did not design this section with the change of environment in mind.

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    4. Yep, the designers apparently thought going down in ocean is easier than going up. I guess they had never heard of buoyancy.

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    5. Maybe the goblins don't have positive buoyancy? They're not humans after all...they could be dense. Uh, physically speaking.

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  3. As I recall, if you leave Fingus inactive for some time he'll whistle a tune, and he has different notes for each room... and he gets a pretty funny effect when trying to whistle underwater.

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    1. Yes, he does whistle! And here it comes out as bubbles filled with notes.

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  4. For some reason I could not post this earlier, but I have this game in my collection! Here's the back of the box art. Fun and not a little frustrating, if I recall correctly. One of the first games I can recall having to look up a walkthrough for!

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  5. Lousy comment from me, but does this blog have all the games on here on the eventual list? Loremaster is one that specially caught my eye, and it's from 1991.
    https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/graphic-adventure/

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    1. Short and simple answer is, no, it's far from complete.

      We have a complex set of rules, based on a mix of defined criteria, opinions of our commenters and judgement of admins, by which to choose the games we play. You can the check the rules here (under Rules by Which We Decide Which Games to Play): https://advgamer.blogspot.com/p/rookie-companion.html

      We do also play the games we missed on our official list as what we call Missed Classics, but this is still far from systematic. Still, we do like to hear suggestion what to consider as future Missed Classics.

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    2. And now we've added a possibility to suggest new Missed Classics to us! Just go to this spreadsheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13JA-vmxuHzWalDiB4R8LishehpyCRdiozyItjloYvxM/edit (also found at the left column) - and fill in the relevant information.

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    3. Glad to hear it, hope you guys won't regret that decision.
      Also, I assume you guys prefer vague suggestions, rather than direct links. In terms of where to get them.

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    4. Yes, vague indication might be better.

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