Wednesday 25 November 2020

Legacy - Won!

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

It won't be long now before Alberoth is defeated, but first I have a few loose ends. Throughout most of the game two unreachable rooms have confounded me. Well, I'm not supposed to be able to enter them, but I shall phase through the walls of reality to see what lies in them. Don't try to imitate what I do, this is something for masters of reality like myself. The walls into nothingness are very subtle and hard to spot.

Why bother fixing things in here when nobody's coming in?

The room on the 1st basement, the one that throws noise on the screen, tells me there's a scream and teleports me away...has nothing. It is a bit sloppy though, but nothing too terribly interesting.

It's Marcel Marceau's autobiography!

That wasn't surprising, but what was going to be interesting to me was the other room, on the 2nd basement. This one had a book in it. Given that no one would ever see it without hacking, surely the developers would throw in some kind of joke? Maybe hurl vile insults at me for my vile acts against the walls of reality? The answer is rather boring, the book's there, but it has nothing in it. You can't read it. Seems lazy, rather fitting.

Another sight no one has seen

Now, since I was phasing through the walls of reality anyway, I thought I'd see what happened if I phased into a wall or beyond the playing field. I already accidentally crashed the game with my item trick, but I was looking forward to what chaos I would cause here. The answer is more interesting than it sounds. See, because I'm phasing into a place no one should be, it's clear that they didn't prerender any specific graphics for this area, or any area. This is interesting, because it means they didn't just render the parts they needed, they just rendered each "block" of the map in a bunch of different ways depending on where it is in relation to the player and other blocks. I'd do more of this, because this is fun, but I have an elder god to kill first.

Monday 23 November 2020

Missed Classic 89: Bureaucracy (1987) - Introduction

Written by Joe Pranevich

The 1984 release of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game was a shot in the arm to a flailing Infocom. Immediately rocketing up the charts, it nearly single-handedly saved the company. Even better, Infocom had negotiated the rights to five sequels. If those sold even a fraction as well as the first, Infocom would have a solid revenue line for years to come. There’s a parallel universe out there where all that came to pass, but that’s not the world that we live in as Infocom failed to capitalize on their hottest new brand. As 1984 rolled into ‘85, then ‘86, Infocom released zero of the anticipated sequels. Even after Activision acquired the company, their goldmine remained stubbornly unexploited. The holdup was Douglas Adams: while Infocom had the right to make sequels without his assistance, doing so could have soured a relationship critical to the future success of the company. Instead, they were forced to humor his different idea of a game: one based on a poor experience he (supposedly) had changing his address at a bank. Seeing no way forward without indulging the whim of its celebrity sponsor, Infocom reluctantly agreed to invest in this new title. Bureaucracy was born. 

I’ll have more to say about the history of this game in a moment, but let me start by admitting that I am playing this game at exactly the wrong time. This is a game that parodies frustrating and repetitive tasks, usually by forcing you to do frustrating and repetitive tasks. Even the parser hates you: every typo or incorrect verb causes your “blood pressure” to increase, hastening your demise. I started writing this post just prior to the 2020 United States election, completed it in the heady days of slow counts in Pennsylvania and Georgia, and then edited it while our departing President refuses to agree to leave. It’s an incredibly stressful time for those of us in the United States and playing a game that thrives on stress is too much at times. I will do my best to look at this game with a clear head, but this is almost certainly the worst possible time to play a game that includes blood pressure as a key game mechanic. 

Friday 20 November 2020

Legacy - Definition of Insanity (Request for Assistance)

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

When I began writing what was going to be the original entry, it was not a hopeful one. It would have ended with a request for assistance...a different request for assistance. Something changed between then and now. Because I'm looking to wrap things up, I was looking up old reviews for this game, you know, to provide contrasting opinions with my own. This all went smoothly, until I read the Polish magazine Top Secret's review. It had the answer right in my face, a map. What was in that map? I'll tell you in a moment. To tell you how much of a roadblock this tiny bit was, almost as soon as I had reached that area, I had realized what almost every single item I had did. And then another, entirely different roadblock happened.

The observatory

We start on the 3rd floor, where I had put the Hand of Glory and the Horned Skull on their pedestals. I leave the Horned Skull, but take the Hand; The Horned Skull does nothing useful. It does stop you from using magic, which is nice. It's a long trip, I have to go down to the second basement for the Astrolabe, then back up to the temple. Here, after putting a few points into Key of the Shadow Lord, I open the door to the observatory. Firstly, putting points into Key is very useful for two reasons, one, it is literally impossible to open this door without it, and two, I'm going to need it for the rest of what I'm going to do.

The observatory is...well it sees the stars. There's also a summoning ring that if you left click on damages you. Very nice, but whatever. With the Astrolabe, you can see the stars have aligned in a way that Alberoth is gone.

 The crystal flute, how many times it's damaged my hearing

Behind the other door I thought was impossible to unlock, there's a mummy, a set of batteries, and most importantly, a crystal flute. The flute plays a very annoying sound. Which is very nice when you're desperately running around trying to solve anything at all that might help you win. I have used that many, many times. At this point, I tried to use the Ghettoblaster, in my hand, playing to avoid taking damage from the mummy. Didn't work, but I got the flute anyway.

Sunday 15 November 2020

Legacy - God in an Alcove

Written by Morpheus Kitami

Well, I'm glad I got the help I, anyway. Apparently I missed something in what I called the dismembered zombie room. Its also a teleport room. A dismembered zombie teleport room. There's a sentence in the English language.

There's a lot of opening doors in the log.

This beam is reachable now. Forgive me for not thinking that, when pressing forward multiple times did nothing but hurt me. You have to wait until the chains go out of the way. It teleports another room exactly the same down to the location of the severed zombie. Really? You have very few chances to impress me game, and you keep disappointing.

The only reason I haven't had to shoot a girl coming out of a TV set is that its 1992

Egyptian-themed...well, we've gone into horror kitchen sink, haven't we? Demons, evil gods, zombies, evil sorcerers, ghosts, serial killers and now mummies. Jesus, at least Elvira was slightly tongue-in-cheek about things...I'm getting off track. Hey, its Carl again...for some reason...

Oh, no, how horrible

This time Carl isn't interested in talking, no, he's just interested in fighting. Against someone with body armor and a M-16. Its a long and tough battle, in which he takes around half a magazine from me and stabs me once. It takes 24 hours, but the end was glorious. He doesn't drop anything, but he is guarding another kind of robe for some reason. I feel cheated.

Horned skull...sure did a good job there boys

Wednesday 11 November 2020

Legacy - Going Insane (Request for Assistance)

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

However screwed it may look like I am, I have options. I have some points, I can put them into dimensional rift and disappear. Maybe Alberoth's afraid of his own reflection. Maybe I can put a squid on my head and pretend to be a cultist of Melchior.

Plot went wrong...cultists suspect everything

I can't do a dimensional rift because I didn't bring the rune stone with me...because I was planning on finding the other person on the Ethereal Realm...and Alberoth is not afraid of his own reflection. I don't know why I'd think that. That must be for the beam of light in the 1st basement. I just have The Last Man on Earth (1964) on the brain, and that trick worked there. Look, that's related to the gothic horror films I assume this game takes inspiration from.

Free fire zone with my M-16

So I'm screwing around, and briefly considering putting in a request for assistance. Because there's no obvious way to advance. The tentacle wizards are invulnerable, Alberoth is invulnerable, and I'm very vulnerable. I'm bobbing around on the gong in the third basement, because I'm dead certain there's another one. The gong summons enemies, but I was hoping it opened a door. It did, but not the actual doors, a secret door. See, what I didn't notice last time was that two wizards appeared when the gong was rung. I see one and think, I'm getting out of here. This is only a good idea because I have no other choice. Its tricky running around here, because there's three more wizards, and its a tad inconvenient to grab the notes I'm seeing.

But then, like the heavens opening up, the M-16, on the ground, next to a mag. Even if for a brief moment, I could consider my problems over. If I can keep cool, and don't run out of ammo, and actually hit them, then just like in Dawn of the Dead (1978), I've got free reign in the candy store.

Sunday 8 November 2020

Legacy - This Will Never End

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

You know, for an adventure game, I don't feel like I'm actually playing an adventure game. I feel like I've mentioned that before, but its not really something I'm going back and checking. That's probably why this feels so long to me at this point. At this point I'm still technically at the stage where another reviewer's debut game is longer, Reiko and Timequest. But checking places where people say how long it took them to beat, I'm seeing 35 hours. To give an idea of what that means, ho ho ho.

I don't understand the need to specify when it's in the house...

Wednesday 4 November 2020

Legacy - Beast from the East (Coast)

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

I realize things are getting a bit long in the tooth, but I'm feeling confident. The end is in sight. There can't be much left to do. Its a matter of picking a few locks on the 3rd, a mausoleum, and the second basement. Might be a 4th, some set of caves, but we're in the home stretch. Now, off-screen I've been moving around some stuff around, mostly health items, but the important thing is I can solve all the problems I've had on this floor.

You can see how I might think that would work

First, the mysterious door that won't let me in. I have brought down from the asylum Ellen's straitjacket and...yeah, no, that doesn't work. I'm not going to get into this room am I? Eh, if I am, there's going to be a note about it somewhere.

She can get around old nosey, can she?

Repairing the fusebox down here does nothing for me...technically. I've already seen everything this area has to offer, no hidden items or anything. But as I'm checking each room again, and re-reading a note from Ellen, saying how she got past Alberoth. Next to a pit. Know what I'm thinking, right idea, wrong floor. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! But first, I should make sure the path is completely clear of ghouls.

Sunday 1 November 2020

Lost Secret of the Rainforest - Escape

Written by Reiko

Adam’s Journal #5: "I’ve been kidnapped! This nasty goon tied me up in a hut in the middle of nowhere, and that awful surveyor is going to be back later to deal with me. I’ve got to get out of here! I’m glad I’ve made friends with that little bat, Paquita. I’m sure together we can figure something out."

Last time, the tribe came together in a ceremony to remember their origins and that of Forest Heart so that Adam could go there to find a new seedling. But then someone connected with the shady surveyor set fire to the great tree and captured both Adam and his new bat friend, Paquita. Now we're unbound but need to find a way out of the camp so we can continue the quest.
Unexpectedly garish.