Monday 31 July 2023

Missed Classic: Gram Cats - Go Mad Yourself!

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

Apparently this agency isn't as secret as I thought if they have the logo outside their HQ...

Last time, our heroine with ESP, Sayaka had just been sent to a school full of aliens by Eagle, Earth's defense organization of questionable morality. Why? Because the aliens eat people, males, mostly, so we're sending a woman in, alone, because, well, she probably isn't going to be brutally murdered. Granted, with this kind of game it's less probable that she's going to be murdered. First anyway.

Anyway, new commands I've gotten since I've arrived are take, give, strike and enter. What Sayaka is going to hit, well, I doubt the usefulness of that command. Sayaka can change clothes here, to some kind of...very '80s shirt, and not back to her uniform. Apparently that's one of the selling points, clothing changes. Frankly, it looks worse than Sierra and Lucasarts, but what do I know?

What adventure games have been missing is the ability to explore a dungeon.

And much like Eagle HQ, the school is a dungeon, only less chance to wander around. Advance, return, those are the first two commands. As I'm on the third floor of the dormatory, there's not much point in wandering around. Nobody's going to answer Sayaka if she tries walking into random rooms.

Friday 21 July 2023

Lost in Time - Pondering Prunelier in Pursuit of Power, Plumbing, and Probate

Written by Michael

I have written and rewritten the introduction to this post, because I can’t seem to make any sense in my writing. You see, I noticed in the last session that I was ignoring the plot of the game, and instead just going pure adventure gamer and simply looking to pick up everything not nailed down, and to solve any puzzles I could find, without any regard to the game or plot.
So the plot, as I understand it so far, and what’s been revealed to me: I’ve awoken, somewhat dazed, in what appears to be the cargo hold of a ship, in 1840. I’ve found a slave named Yoruba being held down here, and we are both down here because of a man named Jarlath de la Pruneliere. Playing around with inventory items lets me explore a further level of the ship, and I encounter an officer in the Space-Time Patrol, who prompts me to tell him about the events that led me here. It seems my memory is back, so I start to tell a tale about inheriting a house in 1992. I was trying to get into my house at the end of the last post. We haven’t really gotten to anything listed on the back of the box yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily saying this is a bad thing. In this session, there’s more problem solving, and less 15-screen dialog sessions, so all in all, I felt this was a lot more enjoyable to me.

Monday 17 July 2023

Missed Classic 121: Plundered Hearts - Introduction (1987)

Written by Joe Pranevich

In the words of an “Amazing” series of movies, “Alright, let’s do this one last time…”

In 1987, Infocom was in serious trouble. Despite creative high-points (Stationfall) and some sales successes (Leather Goddesses of Phobos), the text adventure market was collapsing. Infocom had only been recently purchased by Activision, and the new management was not rising to the changing industry conditions. Activision demanded that sales increase; if not by selling more copies, then by selling more titles. Infocom would eventually launch eight games in 1987, more than any other year and double their haul from 1986. We’ve made it to the sixth of those games now.

Despite these challenges– or perhaps because of them– Infocom embarked on one of their most creative periods. Over just a few months Infocom launched their first horror game, puzzle game, romance, spy thriller, and RPG. Plundered Hearts was not just their first “romance” title, but also the first game by Infocom to be solely written by a woman (Amy Briggs) and the first to have only a female protagonist. Infocom’s risk-taking did not ultimately save them, but their embrace of new ideas is one of the things I have come to love about late-era Infocom. I missed nearly all of these games as a kid, but I am so happy to be playing them now.

I am excited! Can you tell?

Thursday 13 July 2023

Lost in Time - I Went to the Villa by the Horse With No Name

By Michael

It seems appropriate that I’m starting this playthrough session just after the Fourth of July, as I’m working to gain independence from this ship for Yoruba and myself.
Wait, we’re traveling through time and space, not outer space. Wrong Independence Day.
For those of you who aren’t American, you can play along by having a barbecued hamburger, some potato salad, a cold, frosty can of lager, and wait until dark to disturb the sleep of all the cute, adorable puppies out there.

To recap the story so far: I’ve awoken, somewhat dazed, in what appears to be the cargo hold of a ship. It is likely we are in the past, which is odd, since the last time I remember, it was 1992. After exploring around, I’ve found a slave named Yoruba being held down here with me, who, in telling of his story, prods at some memories I still have. We are both down here because of a man named Jarlath de la Pruneliere, who, although she doesn’t mention it, shares the same last name as her (with an altered spelling, the final ‘e’ was removed over time). Yoruba has managed to find himself a knife, and even though he has a family legacy to protect a treasure that’s also likely in the hold of this ship, he plans to instead use the knife to commit suicide. I convince him to let me use the knife first, as I try to figure things out.

Monday 10 July 2023

Homeworld - From Ooze to Apes

Written by Reiko

Last time we finished talking to all the digitized people, including a girl named Miki, who had the code to get into the zoo areas. We have to go that way to get around the dangerous spider robot that's protecting the main corridor leading to the computer control room.
Heechee numbers on the obelisk
Miki's code works as advertised on the zoo door, and it slides open, revealing another blue tunnel [20]. I walk through the tunnel and end up in an "Obelisk Room" containing a blue obelisk with Heechee numbers scratched on the side, a red force field portal, and a glowing red sphere.

Friday 7 July 2023

Lost in Time - My Heart Will Go On

By Michael

Now that introductions and wagers are out of the way, let’s talk game history.

Just one year before Lost in Time was released, a brand new software company named id Software revolutionized first-person games, with the shareware publication of Wolfenstein 3D through Apogee Software. The next year, Coktel Vision would make an adventure game in the same perspective, but without the smooth motion animation or, I guess, enemy soldiers running to shoot you while shouting “spy!” in German.
Spion! Spion!
So far, I’m not impressed from a technical standpoint, when a shareware game released on a single 3.5” floppy felt more powerful than this game. Wolfenstein included even a few spoken words, which wasn’t that revolutionary -- a 1991 adventure game did the same thing on floppy disks as well.

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Missed Classic 120: Gram Cats - Introduction (1989)

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

That title is unreadable, but don't worry, that's just this game's text

It's been a while, and I don't really bring tidings of a great new game for you all to sink your teeth into. I bring you today the first in what will be a large number of Japanese adult anime games. Can I call it that? I get the feeling if I mention what this actually is there would be consequences. Now, of course, the first question you have is, Morpheus, why?