By Morpheus Kitami
|Who could have possibly foreseen this course of events?|
The area I left off in is definitely unpassable. Alice can't jump onto ropes, nor can Alice float onto a nearby platform. The doors definitely link back on each other, no trickery like last time. The only doors, which don't really look like small doors, but we'll go with that, are ones Alice is too big to fit into. What can Alice do? What can Alice do? She won't starve to death yet, since she has cakes. Its probably been 24 hours at this point, so she's probably hungry anyway...
|If this were a cinematic platformer this all would have been pointless|
This makes Alice bigger, and more awkward-looking. Terrifying, actually. As normal, Alice looks vaguely human, now she just looks like a monster...which is true to the original text, rather than whatever most adaptions do. And like a monster, Alice has a pretty good horizontal leap now. With the parasol, she can float onto that platform. Still can't swing off ropes, but now Alice can't even climb ropes. This all makes platforming trickier. Whereas before Alice jumping felt precise, this feels more chaotic. I don't carefully plan a jump and Alice will be sticking her monster legs 20 feet into the air. Which happens a couple of times trying to reach the stairs.
|I wonder what happens if you chug a few gallons of this stuff|
And of course, the obvious opposite, bottles saying "DRINK ME". One brings Alice back to normal, two turn her tiny, and three do nothing. I can't reach that area over there, but maybe one of the doors reaches there? Hmm. If this is all to get that key I'm exactly where I started this session. I should point out that the game has your momentum stop mid-jump, even if there's nothing there.
|Note the time, it passes extremely quickly in this game|
Tiny Alice is less terrifying than big Alice, but really only useful for going through doors. Her jump is pretty pathetic at that size. Since some more cakes and elixirs were just out of her reach, I decided to use one of my cakes to get up there. I have no idea how many I have at this point, and I'm terrified that this could easily throw me in an inescapable situation. Not as much as I am of big Alice, who seems to break her neck every time she falls, yet somehow soldiers on. Alice can jump off rope, which means snagging the key is a cinch now. This key unlocks one of the doors only tiny Alice can enter.
|World's worst Lemmings level|
The door leads to the Lake of Tears, which sounds like something that should be in The Divine Comedy. This seems like a take on Alice crying, shrinking, then swimming through a pool of her own tears. Tiny Alice can swim just as well as regular Alice, which is good, and terrifying Alice has no problem treading water either. On the lake is an island with a cave. That cave has what appears to be a snail shell in it. I'm not really going to waste a cake on that if I don't know what its used for quite just yet. But past here is a beach with a royal figure on it, and I can't make myself heard to him at this size. Maybe I'm supposed to use the seashell on him? He does seem to be sleeping.
|To the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean...I think|
It takes terrifying Alice to grab the seashell, which naturally means Alice has to shrink down to escape this place. I sure am burning through these quickly. Turns out this was all fairly pointless. The fella on the beach is unwakeable and Alice can't wake him up. No point in wasting another cake right now. The seashell, which I tried to use on him, plays another song. This one isn't added to my list. I suspect because I try it again the next screen over and it plays yet another song. One of them tells me to find the Mad Hatter, because I guess my objective is to flee Wonderland? There's a note, telling me to go to the caucus, where the Dodo will say two clever things, fire dancers...and tax breaks...I don't remember if that was in the original. Not important, I'm sure that caucus is a long way away...
|Apparently I should have stuck with the other cursed Alice game|
...and it's the caucus, where the Dodo is. He's the mayor and he's running for re-election. Talking to him is a bit tricky because he'll flee if you tease him. This is only horrible once you exhaust your dialog topics and realize he has nothing of value to say. He wants something to drink which is...just great. The only reason why I should give him anything is because I'm going to get a song out of it. I didn't get very far in Below the Root, was that like this is? A game that seems like it should be for children but doesn't come off that way, yet also feels like its actively making you stupider?
|Did someone order a nightmare?|
Ah, yes, excuse me, what? My memory isn't what it used to be, did Alice have a doppelganger or psuedo-doppelganger in the original story? I didn't realize this was Dale Disharoon presents Alice in Wonderland as told by 5-year-old HP Lovecraft. Well, judging by context this is Mary Ann, a character who wasn't actually seen in the original stories, just implied to exist. She was the secretary of the White Rabbit. Another thoroughly unpleasant character.
On the next screen over, the White Rabbit, who thinks I'm his secretary. He's a finicky fellow. Something unusual about this game is that so far every character, well almost every Wonderland character, has been unhelpful at best and hostile at worst. I feel like if the age rating on this game was higher whenever a character left they would do so with two fingers stretched out. If I tease him, he thinks he's late for tea and drops a fan, a hand fan, I assume the Asian kind. It has rabbits on it. I don't know what I'll use it for, but I'll use it for something.
|At least she has a reason to be annoyed at me, I'm breaking and entering|
I have to admit, this game is pretty dense. Assuming the downward trip has stopped I might even start up the map again. Ha. East of the rabbit, is a house. There's the usual stuff here, a fireplace, with a ladder I can't reach, beyond which is a teacup...and another clone of Alice. So the first one wasn't Mary Ann, this one's Mary Ann, the last one's a regular doppelganger. She's testy, because the White Rabbit didn't tell her there were to be guests. Ah...yeah, I'm a guest. She doesn't tell me anything I didn't know already. There's nothing around for me to...borrow from my dear, dear friend, but I can reach that teacup if I go in the upstairs fireplace. Curiously, there are teapots at the top of a swing next to the Rabbit's house...three of them. I can always drop them off somewhere less dangerous later if I run out of inventory space.
|The face of true evil|
Not too far from the Rabbit's house is what I assume is a dog. He doesn't answer when I ask his name, he just says Larch! Larch! Larch! and if he touches Alice, knocks her out. This seems like the first real puzzle in this game. I try using my items, none work, talking doesn't work. Do I just make Alice bigger? No, and smaller doesn't work either. Well, the only solution I can think of is walking back in terrifying mode. At first that's just a joke on my end, but Alice's doppelgangers are "too scared to respond" when I say anything in this form. Everyone is, including the mayor, and that guy who was sleeping. All Alice needs to do is find a sword and a suit of armor and she can become royalty. I think I shall spare the Rabbit and the Cat's life, as they have been forthcoming with information.
|Someone on the team thinks Below the Root is better|
Its not clear what I should do next. Clearly I need a ball or stick to distract the dog, or find an alternate route altogether. Time for the old standby of using everything on everything. I do that once. Nothing. Obviously no one wants anything to do with the cakes and elixirs, and the parasol is for myself. I also assume I'm supposed to offer the queen the tin of sweets and...oh, I accidentally gave it to the mayor...and he took it, giving me a stick. Well, this obviously solves my problem, but long-term I do believe I have to give the queen that. Have I screwed myself? We're going to operate on the principal that I haven't and move on, but I'm not happy about it. I've got plenty of saves, don't worry. The stick works. Is this going to be the only real puzzle the game throws at me?
|Actually, I don't know, I thought you were a hummingbird|
The next screen over are trees and mushrooms. The big yellow ones I can eat to grow larger, and the big purple ones make Alice grow smaller. But now is not the time for mushroom experimentation, now is the time to climb trees. This is the first time there's been anything approaching real conflict so far, but on the tree are flying things that knock Alice off the branch. Not out, like usually happens. Off, so she falls. At the top, there's a pigeon. I'll just take his word for that. He's less hostile than most Wonderland inhabitants, let alone his flying friends, but he operates like the dog. It doesn't take much to find out he wants someone to sing to his chicks. Hey, I know a song...that's the wrong one. And if I figure this out, I should be able to discover what's beyond the portal the pigeon is guarding. In other short-term goals, the Mad Hatter's looking for his teacup, which I have. I've actually got puzzles to solve instead of just wandering aimlessly. Huzzah.
|I'm going to remain silent here, lest I offend our British readers|
Can I walk through a screen without meeting someone? Anyway, the caterpillar, no name given, actually does something interesting, beyond the usual nonsense, he tells me a riddle that will help me get out of Wonderland.
It sits above the crown though queens never wear it.
Hmm...hmm...there are one of two options, this is just a test and it doesn't affect anything, or this is necessary for an item or a song. I'm going to need to think on this one. The answer is six letters if you feel like solving it yourself, but leave it in ROT13 because I have yet to figure it out. I just know I'm going to feel really stupid when I figure this one out though.
This Session: 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Inventory: Parasol, cake, elixir, seashell, fan, teacup, teapot
Song: Crinkle, Crinkle
Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There’s a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!