Saturday 25 January 2020

Gobliins 2 - Gotta Stop (Messin’ About)

By Ilmari

Prince, if you’d just come down, this would be all over

All things come to an end, but some things just don’t know when to end. Last time I had led goblins to a giant beanstalk, which magically transported all the goblins near the village where I started. Unfortunately, prince did not want to come down, because he was hungry. Really? This seems a bit anticlimactic turn of events.
Well, off to find food then. The man-tree I had met before was here and was willing to part with his apples. I could drop apples with a match, but the problem was catching them. Solution came in the form of a bean that dropped from above. I offered that to a mole living under a rock and stole his cap, when he wasn’t looking.

I used the cap to get the apple to the prince. And what did the ungrateful kid do? He ate a magic mushroom.

This hasn’t been the first mushroom sequence of the game, but it was certainly the most chaotic. Nothing really made sense here, but at least some of the animations were funny - although they started to get boring after watching the same animations over and over again.

Like this bowling bit

I won’t go into details here, because even if I leave out all the false leads I tried, the final “right” sequence involved lot of repetition.The main idea was, firstly, to use the bowling ball and other equipment to get the two goblins to top of the rainbow, where they could access prince. Then they were supposed to capture the prince to a bubble… this.

And then burst the bubble with a safety pin to drop the prince to the ground.

Getting back to the previous screen, our next task was to get inside the village walls.The gate was locked, but I could a) press a button to reveal a key on top of a statue and b) use a catapult to throw prince high in the air.

Where did that bird come from?

A bird captured the prince. Ho-hum.

I vote we just leave him there

For the umpteenth time, I had to manipulate some things to throw a goblin to a higher platform.

Take rock

Throw rock on an innocent creature

Drop the big rock with a face to a lower platform

Push the big rock down


The rest of the screen was as uneventful. I had to jump on the rock to lower it a bit, so that the other goblin could ride along, then I had to use one of the goblins as a bridge…

This deserves a picture

...and finally use the file to let the caged bird out (at least this was a nice bit of continuity, since we encountered the bird way back in the castle). Then we were free to pick the prince and the key and to move into the village.

Yet another twist: a possessed prince!

It seems like this game is never over. Well, at least this whole possession thing sounds intriguing, unlike the screens I had to go through this time.

Inventory: fountain water

Session time: 1 h 55 min
Total time: 20 h 10 min


  1. I'm not sure if you're just trying to cut it down for people who haven't played it or are just a bit removed from it, but you don't seem to be putting into words just how tedious this is. I can't imagine doing this stuff without a certain degree of save-scumming.
    I remember looking up this game for some reason on the French Wikipedia, There wasn't a source, but there was the claim that Winkle's design was that of a Pterandon or Pterodactyl. (however you spell it)
    So, Fingus using a file. Uh-huh.
    If stoner games, like stoner movies, are a thing, I have a feeling this falls into that.
    Stupid, frelling safety pin puzzle. Twenty things on the screen that stop your character cold in its tracks, some of which require getting the other character out so the original one can get back in position. You know, Gobliiins may have had some bad decisions, like the password system and the life bar, but I don't remember any unnecessary bull in that game like this.
    Stupid, non-nonsensical catapult puzzle. I already know what I'm doing and what I need to do, but no, we have to wait for a bird to appear or whatever.
    I do however, love that single moment on the mountain just before Fingus gets hit by the stone. His eyes turning yellow there is just a thing of beauty.
    Its actually possible to get yourself in an (almost) inescapable situation by accident. If both goblins are on the lion, neither can get off. Almost, because you can still change screens.
    The rest of the mountain screen is just a transparent attempt to length the game. Yeah, the game kinda needs some part where we get the prince back to his father, but that should have involved running from demons or something, not using a stone on a cat thirty times. Put the wrong Goblin up there? Whoops, gotta start over!

    1. Also, check out the guy's fingers at the last picture. Six fingers, just like an Addams.

    2. Let's just say that this part of the game was so tedious I really had almost nothing to say about it (at least nothing that would have been interesting).

      One thing I perhaps could have added was that in the mushroom sequence it was way too easy to get the other goblin (Fingus?) to a place where he couldn't return to where he was earlier - that furry thing with cymbals bashes his head, so he won't go back. That took me a great deal of time...

      I am happy to admit I have been using save games a lot. I consider frequent saving in adventure games just a precaution that belongs to the very essence of the genre (it was Sierra that thought me to "save early, save often"). It's different from CRPG or strategy game, where you are not a very good player, if your basic tactic is to reload after a failed fight. With adventure games, even the most seasoned players can get caught with unexpected deaths, walking dead scenarios etc., and keeping a sufficient number of saves handy just saves you time.

    3. You can feel from the writing of the last two episodes how tedious this is becoming for Ilmari, that giant's face is exactly how I pictured him feeling when he got into another surreal scenario.

    4. The thing with Fingus is exactly the problem I had. I just had a problem with all these screens here. Except the first one. That one was okay for a filler screen.

      I'm not really talking about compared to the Sierra kind, I'm talking about to avoid tedium and having to get items again. Properly, that's save-scumming, not just being cautious. I doubt puzzles developers didn't think smart players would follow that trick. I just prefer to look up to see if a game has a walking-dead situation ahead of time so I can avoid it. Its one of the now two things I find distasteful in adventure games. This is not having to do the same puzzles over and over again. Like how'd you save after a fight to not have to do that fight over again.

    5. I don't see that much of a difference between the two cases, because saving in the Sierra case was mostly about avoiding tedium - you could always start the game from the very start, if you wound up in a problem, and restoring was a way to skip the earlier parts. I also used save games in Sierra products to get me through the boring action sequences, which I felt just didn't belong to the adventure game format - few inches forward without dying in such a sequence was a definite place for a save game, so that I wouldn't have to go through the same action sequence again.

      I did try to do something similar in Gobliins 2 with some of the long puzzle sequences, but in the cases it might have been helpful, the timing in the crucial sequences was too tight to make it work. Personally, I don't understand producers putting sequences requiring lightning fast reflexes to an adventure game (heck, if I'd like that sort of thing, I would be playing completely different genres), and any method getting through those sequences is on my opinion allowed.

    6. I guess I see where you're coming from even if I see things differently. In the Sierra case, you're trying to find where you need to get an item or not lose an item. You save so you don't have to redo the entire game twenty times. Here, you do it because you don't want to have to bring the rock up three flights of stairs again. On the action front, if its something full blown like Alone in the Dark or Resident Evil, then that's a problem, but when its some standard adventure trying to pull action stunts, like this, then it is. A lot of people had problems programming in their action sequences, which I recall was a problem with one King's Quest. Heck, I don't even have a problem with Isle of the Dead pulling that kind of thing either...

  2. Villalge, french game typo in a cutscene ! nice

  3. I think the idea was that the Prince was possessed from the time you rescued him, which is why he was being belligerent with the food and the mushroom bits and so on. Not that that makes those screens any better...

    I was confused with the first Gobliiins as to why people compared it to Lemmings, as I thought the connections were tenuous at best. Now I think I see it a little more clearly: most of the screens in the latter half of this game are 100% puzzle-solving with no other real motivation to them. Like Lemmings, all you're trying to do is get the sometimes-obedient-but-usually-uncooperative Prince to follow your orders in the most convoluted way possible.

    I also pointed this out in Gobliiins but it's far worse here: virtually every background is just a gradient. While some of the stylistic choices are still fun (as terrible as that mushroom room is with the timing puzzles, it does look pretty creative), you can tell they started phoning it in a bit. That giant room is especially bad: "gradient background with green Photoshop smudges for grass and gray Photoshop smudges for rocks/cliffs" takes up 75% of the screen.

    1. Plus, in both Lemmings 2 and Gobliins 2, you have to replay puzzles if you screw up. It being that Lemmings 2 required you to bring more lemmings from the first puzzle of that area if you screwed up and got your lemmings killed. I don't remember if that was the first Lemmings, I had a rerelease that didn't have any of that.

    2. So what you're saying is that Lem2 and Gob2 are both Puzzle Games, and to a person who mainly plays different genres, all Puzzle Games look alike...

    3. Or I'd say that some puzzles in Gobliins 2 are more from a puzzle game than from an adventure game. It's still mainly an adventure game - for instance, the majority of the puzzles in the previous section were pretty standard adventure game puzzles.

    4. I wasn't saying that at all, I was just saying they have similarities in weird places. Like 95% of puzzle games let you skip puzzles that you don't want to do, (or go to a different area and come back later in Lemmings 2's case) and have very, very simple mechanics. The information in puzzle games is always in front of you*, whereas in adventure games that's rarely the case. Which does shed doubt on one title selected this year, but it isn't Goblins.
      *or is the puzzle itself.

  4. These screens were weirdly toothless.

    "Nothing really made sense here, but at least some of the animations were funny" sounds pretty close to an actual mushroom trip.