Saturday 29 February 2020

Shadow of the Comet – Development Hell

Written by limbeck

So, the last session finished with me recovering from last night's events and Dr COBBLE prescribing me some pills to stop a heart attack. As I get off bed and put on my clothes, I have two goals for the day: get these pills from the pharmacy; and develop the plates from last night, again at the pharmacy. So, without much delay, I gather the prescription from the desk and head out. Oh, I also have a look at the parchment from the ritual, but I cannot read it. Maybe JUGG will be able to help later. Just to be on the safe side, I try to use it very near the desk, but it doesn't work.

Maybe I won't come across Miss PICOTT this time

Thursday 27 February 2020

The Journeyman Project - Justice - Won!

Written by Reiko

Agent 5 Journal #5: "My work is finally done here. Sinclair is neutralized and the timeline should be back to normal now. He'll be imprisoned, I'm sure, and justice will be done. After all, if I hadn't stopped them, his robots would have killed thousands of people. It's sad that such a brilliant mind turned out to be so unstable."

Last time I finished the third time period and returned to the present to find that all of the temporal rips have been resolved. I exit the time machine and start looking around for what to do next. We've got to stop Sinclair from carrying out his final plan to assassinate the Cyrollan ambassador, but where is he?

Oddly enough, I find that if I go back into the Control Center and check the computer, it still identifies the same discrepancies as before, even though the timeline shows no temporal rips. You'd think that correcting the timeline would make the current history the same as the previously recorded history again.

The objective files make it clear that the source is Sinclair...

Friday 21 February 2020

Missed Classic: Trinity - Fly Me to the Moon

Written by Joe Pranevich

Trinity continues to impress and depress me. Last time out, we witnessed the unexpected destruction of New Mexico thanks to a more powerful than expected nuclear test at the Trinity site. My guess was that we had finally found the “plot” of this game: to find out what interfered with the original test and put it right again. Do we have a time-traveling saboteur? Could he be related to that voice that keeps whispering bad “gnomon” puns in my ear? I have no idea, but it feels good to finally be discovering the plot after so much semi-random exploration.

At this point, I am most of the way through. I’ve solved (perhaps) four of the seven areas including Kensington Gardens, the South Pacific atoll, the Siberian steppe, and Nagasaki. Still to be conquered are an outer space segment, an unknown area, and the Trinity test site itself. I also know that I need to find a lizard for a magic potion, recover a magnetic meteorite from an impact crater, and maybe even deal with an injured wight. When we do these “Missed Classics”, we aim to close out games in three posts. I hope I am not disappointing too many people when I say that we will have this one and at least one more, depending on how writing about the endgame goes.

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Shadow of the Comet – Miss PICOTT's Dominion

Written by limbeck

The town of Illsmouth is quaint, but what about the forest surrounding it? I am curious to scout the forest, in case there are any locations I was missing. I am wrong. The forest consists of a sort of a maze, with only a handful of different screens, that I believe are connected in the same way. So if I went left in location A, I would always end up in location B. I could have been moving west for ten screens only to go east once and end up in the town. Anyway, in my hikes I pick up three branches and a creeper for no apparent reason other than that my lasersight identified them.

Having wasted about twenty minutes trying to map the forest, in vain for the reasons explained above, I decide that I need a map, so I head back to my room to see if Boleskine's map would be of any use. But while I am passing through the town square, it is occupied by a troupe of gypsies, fully staffed with guitarist, dancer and bear. While I listen to their music, a policeman (Sgt BAGGS) arrives and does what policemen do according to my experience.

Bully some easy targets

Saturday 15 February 2020

The Journeyman Project - Last Impression

Written by Reiko

Agent 5 Journal #4: "I’m almost done. All three robots are destroyed, and now the last thing to do is to catch up with Elliot Sinclair. My impression of him is that he’s unstable and very dangerous. I was almost flattened by his robot, after all. He may be a genius, but his intelligence does us no good if he’s going to interfere with the history that he helped make accessible."

Only one mission left to complete, and we come full circle back to where we started. For the second time, I jump to the NORAD base in 2112. This time, after the robot taunts me, I immediately put on my oxygen mask, and I'm no longer gasping or in any danger from the sleeping gas. I look around again, but this time I'm more careful about what I touch.

Those people didn't have oxygen masks handy...

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Shadow of the Comet – A Friendly Little Town

Written by limbeck

So, here I am, in my not so austere room, getting to grips with the controls of the game. I can move with the arrow buttons, but only on four directions, which seems fair. Sometimes, though, you jump to the next screen by stepping at the wrong point.

Walking around the room, I notice that, as I pass close to an item, a line from my face to that object appears. Handy. I welcomed it with satisfaction at first, but I may reconsider, as it misled me into thinking that it works with all items. More on that later.

Look at my lasersight!

Fortunately, the all-keyboard interface is intuitive and not hard to grasp. You press O for objects in your inventory, U for using an item, G for getting. Even if you haven't read the manual, you get the hang of it quickly. And that's really it.

So, once I have perfected my baby steps, I explore the room and pick up whatever I can, which is BOLESKINE's diary and a telegram from my provisioners. Reading the diary gives me my first clue: a 12-year-old boy had served BOLESKINE as a guide, so there is a chance he is still alive and can point me to the precise spot in the forest. Other than that, BOLESKINE clearly had a poor grasp of astronomy, not recognising the familiar constellations and just randomly inventing new ones.

The telegram was more annoying, because it said that I have to find my own photographic plates. This is critical to my mission, as Mr GRIFFITH really expects “spectacular photographs”. I hope this backwater town has a hardware store or something.

Monday 10 February 2020

Missed Classic: Trinity - Is This the 50s? Or 1999?

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back! Last time out, I explored the strange mushroom forest that I was dropped into after the end of the world. This “wabe”, as I think it is called, is a strange place set in the shadow of a gigantic sundial and includes giant bees, an impossible flower garden, a cottage with game design notes, and a half-dozen mushrooms with little doors. But this isn’t The Smurfs: each mushroom appears to have been created by a nuclear detonation. As I closed out last time, I finally worked out how to control the movement of the “sun” overhead to drop shadows on each of the doors. I opened the first door and was dropped back into reality, somewhere and somewhen.

This game remains difficult to write about. My usual style is a bit flippant and just not appropriate for the subject matter, but I also cannot help to be quippy. I’ll try to keep the tone light as much as I can, but this is a difficult game with difficult themes and some of the scenes in this session are disturbing. I had to step away from the game at one point for a few days. Fair warning, but on with the show.

Saturday 8 February 2020

Gobliins 2 - Final Rating

By Ilmari

I am a bit torn about Gobliins 2. I began playing it with great expectations. The second game in the Gobliins-series showed clear improvements over its predecessor, being easier to play and fairer, while still retaining the wackiness of the first game. The more I played, the more irritated I became, when the game wouldn’t just stop. I felt that the producers had tried to cram a bit too much into the game, that there was too much of a repetition of similar themes and puzzles and that the whole would have just improved from cutting away some of the material. I feel the need to balance my rating carefully in order to accommodate both of these aspects.

Giant's face says it all

Wednesday 5 February 2020

The Journeyman Project - Meeting on the Planet

Written by Reiko

Agent 5 Journal #3: "That Elliot Sinclair really seems to have gone nuts! I’ve now neutralized two of his assassin robots and retrieved more evidence that Sinclair is the one behind them. Meeting the second robot face to face was rather alarming, but once we left the planet behind, it was just a matter of time before it was in my crosshairs. The Morimoto Colony is now safe again."
Last time, I successfully saved the life of speaker Enrique Castillo in the year 2310, thwarting one-third of the malevolent plan to derail the Cyrollan offer to join the alien Symbiotry of Peaceful Beings. I also uncovered a video that appears to point to Elliot Sinclair, the inventor of the time machine, as the one behind this effort. I have two more time periods to investigate. Let's find out if the Morimoto Colony on Mars in 2185 is as dangerous a time as the other two. As I activate the time machine, I brace myself for another attack.

I guess it isn't enough of an emergency yet.

Monday 3 February 2020

Game 116: Shadow of the Comet (1993) – Introduction

By limbeck

In 1992, Infogrames released Alone in the Dark, which put the player in the role of an unsuspecting investigator who experiences the horrors of the mansion of an eccentric magnate, after said eccentric magnate committed suicide. The player tries to escape from the mansion, the unspeakable lurking fears that haunt it in the dark and from the raving madness that the secrets of the mansion could deliver. It is exciting, deadly and pioneering (Hell, it won our very own Charles Darwin Award for 1992!). It even spawned a few sequels and an Uwe Boll film starring Christian Slater, which, contrary to the series that inspired it, is considered among the worst of all time.

Don't worry, we'll get our share of celebrities (and monsters) in the game as well (Image from here)

But this is not the story of that game. Andy Panthro played it thoroughly and did a fine job (go read it here if you haven't already). In one of the game posts, Andy referred to a book describing an adventure titled “Prisoners of Ice”, which is also the name of a Lovecraftian adventure game by Infogrames, which was published in 1995. This is not the story of that game either.

Saturday 1 February 2020

Gobliins 2 - Won!

By Ilmari

Prince is auditioning for the role of Arthur Fleck
(BTW, notice the picture showing wizard goblin with his friends from the first game)

Last time, Prince had just been possessed by a demon, and the wizard goblin suggested using water from his fountain. The water did separate the demon from the prince, but this wasn’t just a good thing.

Captured again