Written by Morpheus Kitami
As has been custom for a while, I was wandering around the mansion. Trying the hammer on anything...not really sure about the mouse toy or the funnel. What can I do about Edna? What can I do about Edna. I can't do anything to the statue...and I try pushing her. You know pushing as an action is something I've really ignored.
|Is Edna an old lady?|
Success! Finally! PROGRESS! She's gone forever! Now I just have to use the VHS tape in the slot.
|That solves another problem|
This is an interesting puzzle, albeit a basic one. I just have to figure out how to record Fred. The round button is the one that records...and it quit. Either VHS players in the early '90s were vastly different, or none of the people involved in this game ever had one. It's always been a red round button for record, and then a square for stop. There's some sort of international body that ensures these things all follow a specified code, not just for us Americans, but so people all over the world know that pressing a square STOPS it.
After recording Dr. Fred rotating the dial, the IRS come in, saying they want to talk to him. Not quite how the IRS work, they prefer to send letters, but I'm just happy I don't have to worry about him. It takes me a few cycles, not helped by how the game doesn't want to let you skip over the tape, but you have to switch the tape from EP to SP mode. I'm no VHS expert, but does that work?
Whatever, I get the combination, 101, 999, 57. A quick jaunt downstairs and Bernard puts the number in for me. That's convenient. Now all I have to do is stamp it, mail it in the past and buy the diamond. And Hoagie refuses to put it in the mailbox because it isn't signed. Okay, Fred is gone, Edna is gone...and I can't bother Weird Ed...so give it to Red? No? Zed? No? Anyone at the convention hall? No? Uh-oh.
|Ah, jokes about the number of bizarre forms the IRS force on you never get old|
Then I notice that all of a sudden the attic is important. The IRS agents have camped out here, going through Fred's very messy records. Fred himself is locked behind that room, where no one could ever reach him at all. So don't even bother trying to free him or fighting the IRS agents in any way. These guys really act more like the FBI than the IRS. Maybe the men in black. In a reference to the old game, one of the agents wife's is named Sandy, though this seems a hollow reference because Dave doesn't seem this boring.
So after climbing back through the chimney, I find Fred tied up with red tape and rope, still asleep on the mysterious bed. Bernard can take away the rope quite easily, but the red tape remains. Red tape is a reference to bureaucracy, getting through one of those is said to be "cutting through the red tape". Once again Bernard refuses to cut it, but at least this time I can see his point. I can push him off the bed, but this causes one of the IRS agents to walk in and put him back on the bed. I can attach the rope to the pulley outside, but everything else I can do here is a mystery. I tried using the funnel or the coffee on him, but no dice.
It doesn't take long before I come to another idea, this time in the future. By the usual brute force method of trying everything on everything I haven't done anything with I end up using the correctional fluid on the fence. The cat comes out and now it has a skunk stripe. AHA! The recursive loop with the Edisons is fixed. Let's see them stay in the jail now!
|Yeah, that's an appropriate reaction|
Incidentally, this was taken from some Pepe le Pew cartoon or another, where the cat he's chasing accidentally ends up with a skunk stripe...or one where he ended up looking like a regular cat. Chances are, most ideas you could have regarding a subject these cartoons used was used...or would be really lame. To the basement! Finally.
My hamster is still cold, because I guess I need the sweater somehow, but at least I have access to some new stuff. Like the vacuum, which Laverne refuses to do anything with because she doesn't do housework. Her room must be filthy. A hatch on the vacuum...which contains nothing. Some boxes of stuff I can't use or interact with. The old time machine...and another mouse hole. Drat, stumped again. Bleh.
But it doesn't take long for another hit, back in the present, the rope is on the front lawn. Clearly what I have to do is attach the end of the rope to Dead Ted, thus bringing him up with Fred and allowing me to use whatever the birdbath contains. Or not on the latter front, it breaks. And now that I have his body up here, I'm unsure of what I'm specifically supposed to do. If I try attaching the rope to Dr. Fred, Bernard knocks him out of the bed, alerting the IRS agent. If I try to replace Dr. Fred with Ted, Bernard also knocks Fred out of the bed. Try saying that ten times fast. Oh, wait a minute, Fred is covered in red tape, of course! The red paint.
It works, and I can now attach the rope to Dr. Fred. So, an issue I've noticed regarding the game. A lot of hotspots are very tricky to reach, especially with inventory items. There's no obvious cursor. This is something Sierra did a lot better with. There was always a pixel on the cursors that was intended to be the point. Helps make part of the equation easier. With that out of the way, we get a short cutscene in which Bernard makes a Bernard-shaped hole and Dr. Fred falls in after him. A classic cartoon gag.
Dr. Fred is dragged into the lab and I can finally use the funnel + coffee combo on him. He moves around to indicate how strong it is, before finally landing and saying "Damn good coffee". Which is of course, a reference to the Northern Exposure episode "Russian Flu", in which during a rather bizarre dream sequence one character says that, among other bizarre things which are in no way a reference to anything else anyone ever made ever. No siree. ._.
Unfortunately, Dr. Fred doesn't want to sign the contract, because he doesn't sign anything he doesn't read and he isn't reading it because he has to save the world. It's a dialog puzzle, which I solve by saying Bernard is going to save the world, and he did so by giving Purple Tentacle a check from Fred's account. Fred must have missed the part where he's broke...
After doing that I can go back to the past, mail the letter. Fred gets a phone call in the present saying he's owed two million dollars. After his account gets credited he immediately calls a travel agent. Fortunately, this doesn't prevent me from buying a diamond. Now the present is "solved", in that I've accomplished my overarching mission. I just need to solve the past and the future. Um...wow, I don't actually have any ideas left.
I only find this out by sheer luck, but that grating I was trying to open earlier...I can just open it. Allowing me to trap the chattering teeth there. With that, I don't need to find anything in the past for the time capsule! When George Washington has the chattering teeth, Jefferson thinks that Washington is cold. Now Hancock and Jefferson are arguing over who should build the fire. Cut to two hours later, and it's built. Now...what do I do with the blanket? I think I use it on the fire to create smoke in the room so everyone leaves and I can steal the quill...well I can't do that in here, but I can talk to the founding fathers more.
What I really have to do is bring the blanket to the chimney. This causes a little cutscene, and now I can steal the pen. As I'm leaving the room, the founding fathers come back, almost about to accuse Hoagie of some wrong doing before Hoagie manages to deflect it onto Hancock. I can leave and give the pen to Red Edison. He doesn't give the battery to me right away, rather Hoagie needs to do the usual "look away" gag before taking it.
Finally I can do the kite thing right. It goes smoothly...for once. Franklin says the kite is heavy, but manages to hold onto it as the kite is struck by lightning. Franklin finds that satisfactory. Hoagie asks to see the kite once it's down, but Franklin says he's about to go to Baltimore and he's taking the kite. Fortunately he drops the battery, so Hoagie goes to pick it up...but not before Franklin comes back to ask his name, and Hoagie says it. Franklin says he'll name an invention after him. I wonder if that's a reference to something, because as far as I know, he's not responsible for the name of the sandwich in the slightest.
The time machine in the past is set, now I just need to deal with Laverne. Hmm...Now that's a problem. I've tried everything on seemingly everything and nothing happened. I can't do anything with the vacuum cleaner yet, nor the mouse hole nor the stuff in the boxes. I even tried sticking a fork into an electrical outlet, only for the game to not even acknowledge what I did. Really, you missed that? I wasn't expecting a good joke, but I was expecting something! What do I even have left as an option?
I'm not really sure how long it was between then and when I finally made progress. At least the closest thing I made to progress for a while. I form plans. I think about items I can't reach yet and how they might be used. The only item I have left that I haven't used is a hammer, and what it works on is a mystery. I've tried using it on everything in the future and most things in the past and present violence might be a reasonable use. No dice.
|Rarely do I exaggerate things, but proof is pretty good|
How can I get that damn gum? I just don't have anything that can deal with it. I've tried everything twice, all to no success. I've tried it so many times the game accidentally broke itself. Instead of the usual "Spearmint, my favorite" Laverne says that message. Only...Laverne isn't there. But if Laverne isn't there and Laverne can say that, that means that this whole deal with the sweater is a red herring or at least going to be delayed until she returns here for some reason. Blah. At least I know this isn't a problem now.
Still, at least this means I can cross something else off. I also crossed off the mouse holes, figuring that I can get Purple Tentacle's shrink ray at some point to enter them. So, as is becoming frighteningly custom during this game, I am wandering around pointlessly.
It's by luck, this time not with breaking the game, that allows me to see the next answer. In the sleeping man's room, I close the door by accident. I wasn't expecting that to accomplish anything, especially since I thought I already did that. Because if I didn't it was the last door on this floor I closed while inside. Lo, and behold, keys. FINALLY. That's the second best "remember that you can close doors" puzzle I've seen. Now I can give these to the Jack Nicholson impersonator, take his crowbar...and...uh...huh. I know it isn't going to work with the gum since Laverne has to be able to use it. I can't send it to Laverne or Hoagie...uh...what else do I have? The vending machine!
|I wonder how much this many quarters weigh|
And no beef jerky, instead Bernard gets a lot of quarters. Over 800k USD worth. Um, I wasn't aware I needed that many quarters considering the only object I could use it with is the laundromat. I doubt that Laverne or Hoagie need anything. Wait, does this mean I can use the crowbar on the gum? Yes. But first, B-man needs to recite the year of every quarter before picking it up. "Oh...1977"? Ah, yes, the year the Vietnamese-Cambodian war started. Nothing else of importance happened then. I'm kidding, the Apple II first came out. That's it. Nothing else related to this game published by a company George Lucas started happened in 1977.
Next step, trying the crowbar on the gum...and it works. What the hell was that ********* with Laverne then? Obviously it's not happening now, since I have the dime...and the dime and gum are together. Bernie has to use the gum...to chew it, getting us the dime. Back to the heavy sleeper and whamo, he's on the floor. Now, I can finally get the sweater. More like SWEATer because its soaking wet. Yuck. Well, that's what the dryer is for, I guess. It should probably be washed first though, but that's not important.
Bernard actually goes and puts in all the quarters he had into the machine...which I guess means that I have to get it in the future. Now in the future, I pick up the shrunken sweater and can put it on the hamster. All problems solved, now to charge the battery. At which point the game sucker punches you.
I like this, it works in a lot of ways. You're not expecting this, and afterward you're expecting Purple Tentacle to pop out or something, but he doesn't. Now the game throws a minor puzzle our way in the form of having the hamster hide in the mousehole. Finally, the vacuum comes in handy and I didn't just do that because I thought I could solve something else! After checking to make sure I can't pick up the boxing glove, and picking up a hubcab for some reason, it's time to return to the present.
Hoagie and Laverne triumphantly return, only for Dr. Fred to point out that they still need to go through with the original plan of stopping the sludge machine. Before they can protest, Purple Tentacle comes rushing in to stop us, taking one of the time machines. Then Green Tentacle comes in, saying he can stop him this time, before taking one of the others. Without a choice, the trio stuff themselves into the last Chron-a-John. ( 汀掳 蜏蕱 汀掳) Dr. Fred protests, "Hasn't anyone seen The Fly?" before they too enter the past. (I am annoyed that we had to deal with all this the whole game, but now that it's the end, the Chron-a-John can be sent by itself somewhere)
|See Laverne, it COULD be worse!|
And they're a monster now. Unsurprisingly, Green Tentacle has been tied up, and Purple Tentacle walks in.
|...a lot worse|
...along with Purple Tentacle's army. Old Purple Tentacle says he'll deal with us and shoots us with the shrink ray. Aha, I knew that was going to come into play. Fortunately, the effects wear off quickly. Now the Trio Thing hides in one of the hotel rooms and the final section of the game begins. First problem, I don't have any items. Second problem, the old guy is camped in the hallway and I can't do anything about that. Or not because I can just walk out there. I take this opportunity to walk into the second room. He zaps me as I walk by, but the thing still takes a while between shots.
Unfortunately, the mousehole isn't that useful a thing, just allowing transport between the suicidal guest's room and Green Tentacle's room. What I can do now, apparently, is pick up the bowling ball. Now Purple Tentacle's gonna get it...and he's gone. Perhaps because I turned on the music from Green's stereo, in the hopes it would distract him. I go back and turn it off, and he's still missing. Funny. Outside of a lot of locked doors, there's not much in the ways of a change between the present and yesterday. I can pick up the help wanted sign again...for some reason.
The basement turns out to be less...menacing than I thought. Oh, look, ten tentacles in a highly suspicious formation. I have a bowling ball. The animation was amusing at least. The Trio Thing turns off the machine, only for Old Purple Tentacle to walk in, use the shrink ray again and turn it back on. I have to wait for my characters to return to normal size...and then nothing happens. I guess using the machine again would be a wash, so I try talking to Dr. Fred. No dice. Uh...a dialog puzzle with Purple Tentacle? Huh.
If you ignore the actual solution, you get some of Purple Tentacle's motivation to do things. His hatred of humans started with Dr. Fred, and he was the one who invented the Sludg-o-matic. Huh, wouldn't that mean even if we stop him, he still wins? Whatever, the actual idea is to get him to fire his shrink ray at Dr. Fred. Because he hits the forehead every time and Dr. Fred is wearing a reflective metal...uh...thing doctors wear, Purple Tentacle gets hit instead. Muahaha. The Trio Thing steps on Purple Tentacle and mail him off to Siberia with the help of Ed's hamster. The day is saved.
Later, the Trio Thing tries to get Dr. Fred to fix his mistake...only to discover they were okay all along, they just got tangled up in each other's clothes. The three separate, and roll credits.
That was a pretty good game. I note that unlike some games, my reaction whenever I finally found out what a puzzle's solution was a pretty good one. Were this a missed classic and I was allowed to look things up I'd give the game credit even if I couldn't figure it out. Except that mattress puzzle. But will it get 10s in so many categories like people predicted when the PISSED comes out? We'll see.
The gum thing, now that I think about it, is probably because of a minor programming error. Since the gum is a small thing, you can send it through time. Bernard says the same thing if you look at the gum on the ground or in your inventory, so the game just incorrectly loaded Laverne's line. And unless there's been a change in how gum looks over the past 30 years, then spearmint gum should be a pale green. Source: As I write this, I am staring at a big box of spearmint gum.
|This hole! It was made for me|
Programming Note: The Summary on Day of the Tentacle will be delayed until after Oseung-gwa Haneum is finished. Your patience is appreciated. Also, those of you who played along (with DOTT) should kindly note so in this post. I know there are at least three of you and I don't want to miss anyone.
Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes