Friday 1 September 2023

Lost in Time - One, Two, Three Lock Box

Written by Michael
This game could use a good food fight scene.
A pre-med (or was it pre-law) student once told me, “Don’t get mad, get even!” So, I’m not getting mad at this game. I’m plotting against it, secretly in my head, just biding my time.

This is going to be a longer post -- my goal is to finish the game in the next post. This has gone on long enough, and we need to save valuable kilobits on the Blogger server for much more important games on the schedule... oh, wait, never mind.

I know that two commenters who are big fans of the game feel I might be a little harsh in my criticisms of the game along the way, and I’d like to remind them that there are good things as well, but it’s a disservice to the community if I hold in the bad. I’m trying to keep the negativity at bay, to keep this a fun read, and make fun of the game when it crosses the line.

At the close of the last session, I had recently returned from a flashback session in the present time to the past, where I am now. (Sadly, I have no contact with my high school English teachers, so I cannot think of a better way to formulate that sentence.) Some goals and unsolved puzzles include untying Melkior and unlocking Yoruba. Yoruba was useful, he gave me a knife, so that seems like a good plan. Melkior is a whiny little [*bleep*], so I’m a little more reluctant about that goal.
Seriously, no hurry here.
I don’t have anything up to the game’s standards that will cut him free, so we will let him rot away in the cupboard for a little while longer. Let's go exploring.

Nearby where I’ve abandoned Cedric the Owl... er, Melkior, is that bit of rope labeled as a halyard. I’ve since picked up an oar, perhaps that will be long enough to reach the rope?

No, but the game is helpful here. “It’s a bit too short.” Words I don’t want to hear from a lady as attractive as Doralice. But looking at my inventory, I see another item that has almost an identical icon. The wooden pin. Perhaps I could combine them together, into something longer?
They could have hired Susan Kare to help with this.
I click the pin on the oar, and the inventory now shows them nested together. But they aren’t really combined yet. The ribbon I found with the Victorian-era cosplay suit is the right item to finish the job. I try my newly-repaired oar on the rope, but still no success. It can’t latch onto the rope. So I add the twisted nail, and, voila.

When I pull on the rope, it makes a noise from behind. I walk over behind that column, and find the porthole that is closed up tight. “I heard it earlier! But it closed back up...”

I go back to the rope, and I notice a hotspot on it called “the end”. Clicking on that shows me a closeup of the end of the cord, and a knothole. I insert the corkscrew into the hole, and then pull down on the rope. When I do that from this view, the pulled rope becomes an inventory item, so I can click that on the corkscrew to hold the rope in place. Now I can examine the porthole.
How about a hammerhead shark to fill my tool box?
Outside the porthole is a bucket. Pulling it up close, I get the skeleton of a sawfish.

A sawfish seems like the very obvious solution to a problem, so let us visit our BFF Melkior.
I now understand what a cop feels when a killer goes free...

It wouldn’t be Lost in Time if we didn’t have a 27-screen conversation after coming across another person. You’d think someone as attractive as our main character wouldn’t be so lonely? It starts off with Dora and Melkior talking, and it uses the same two images as before for each of them, as before.

First off, Melkior introduces himself with his name. (I’ll refer back to my earlier gameplay post where we seemed to have psychically learned his name, when we wrote it into our journal.)
Well, I guess I still have it after all!
And then, the next few screens are spent fighting over whether to take Yoruba with them, or not, as though he was an unwanted orphan.
Let’s use him as bait!
And suddenly, Doralice talks about someone we’ve never learned about before. I double-checked, in our last conversation with Yoruba (our only one, actually), he never says the name of Jarlath’s wife. So how does Doralice know she is named Velvet?

Finally, Melkior gives in, but makes it your problem to free Yoruba. We’re going to need a key to unlock him, and the captain, Philibert, has it. Remember him? He’s the 35 year-old captain whose age we had to enter into the elevator to access the crypt. The crypt with no bones, just cider and acid.
See, my problem is, I’ve been taking this game too seriously. Again, Doralice knows something she didn’t learn yet. This time, it’s the fact that Melkior’s friend Oswald is a sailor. Fine, we can assume that everyone on a ship is a sailor, except for maybe the prisoners and stowaways, and up until now, that’s all we’ve encountered.
It seems that our way to escape this ship is with the help of Ringo Starr
Melkior goes on to tell Oswald that Dora is his girlfriend, and the two of them want to go to St. Cristobold. Dora, I think you could do better. Oswald agrees to help, and the plan is for Dora to obtain the captain’s gun, which, when used with the captain’s magnetic rings, can be an effective weapon and will convince the crew to mutiny behind the support of Oswald. Otherwise, Philibert plans on shipwrecking the vessel in the place we already know he will do it. So... Dora doesn’t mention it, but does this mean we are about to interfere with the past and change the course of the future? I mean, destroy the fabric of the space-time continuum?
 I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.
Oswald brings Doralice to Captain Meat Loaf... ahem, Philibert. He has some plans for what to do with Doralice, but regrets that, had he known Oswald would have brought such a gift, he would have taken a bath before setting sail in the boat.
In other words, he’s giving me the bird.
The captain locks Doralice in his quarters, and stations his pet parrot Galipo to alert him if we touch something we shouldn’t. So let’s go exploring.

We start in a room with 4 exits, but first let us stay in the main room. In one corner, there’s a desk, with a locked drawer. There’s also a chair at the desk, and upon examining it, we find a silver key hidden underneath. Of course, it’s not the key to the desk. That would be too easy. The chair is labeled, by the way, as “Velour for delicate persons”. I think I’m offended.

There’s a table on one side, labeled as “A piece of furniture”’. There’s a circular mark on it, hinting to us perhaps that we need to put something there that fits the mark.
Above the table is a painting, and when I attempt to look at it, the parrot calls out for the captain. He doesn’t hear it, but obviously, I’ll need to do something about the parrot if I want to check out the mysteries of the Monet.

Alas, I haven’t yet found dehydrated cracker mix and a water distiller, but I will keep looking.
You spin me round
I’m not sure what makes a table a “music table”, but I suspect that’s a hint as to what it will be used for. As is the description of the table. I will go on record saying that I suspect that’s a clumsy attempt at a humorous hint. Groovy. That’s my spin on it, at least.

There’s a cabinet next to the table... and the parrot alarm sounds again, so I cannot explore that yet.
Jolly Roger
Let’s check out the exits. The first of which is to the balcony overlooking the scenic ocean. There’s a pirate flag there, and of course I pick it up.

Back into the quarters, there’s three doors against the opposite wall. The middle one is the one Philibert disappeared out of, and it is locked. There are doors to the left and right.
It slimed me.
To the left is a restroom, but with only the sink and a cabinet, because in olden days, humans didn’t need to use a waste chamber. The sink on the left is rather decorative, and is tarnished with a greenish-gray substance.

The cabinet can’t be opened right now, but there’s an interestingly-shaped hole for some kind of a key.

Mousing over the rest of the room finds us a hotspot for the corner of the rug. Lifting it up gives us a brass key.
 Stamp out crime.
The brass key works in the desk in the study, and in the drawer we find something called a desk blotter. Since this is one of the really bad translations in the game, I’ll explain for those not familiar with American English. A blotter is sometimes the formal term for a desk pad, essentially, a placemat for your desk so your writing doesn’t damage it. Most of the time, it is associated with a large calendar meant to be on the desk in front of someone’s workstation, serving as both a desk pad and calendar.

In popular usage, for example, would be the police blotter, which, etymologically, is the notebook or other form where the policeman at the front desk would record the crimes committed or being investigated.

What the game is calling a “blotter” is actually a rubber stamp.

Opening the desk drawer a second time exposes a dagger to us.
Strictly speaking, if it does not have drawers, it is not a dresser, but simply a cabinet. If it has both drawers and doors, then it is likely an armoire.
Now, let’s go the bedroom. There’s a bed and a cabinet. The cabinet can be opened to reveal something called a “salts flask”. I’m not entirely sure about what this is meant to be, and Google searches are not helping, so please, if someone knows if this refers to something (translated otherwise) used in life, I’m curious to know. I found the use for this item later in this session as a guess, thinking it’s just some kind of salt shaker. [Admin note: It's probably a mistranslation for "flacon de sels" - a bottle for smelling salt or sal volatile, used for reviving people who have fainted.]

This wasn’t what made me mad at the game in this room, however. It’s the fact that the cabinet doors are separate, and you have to open them each separately to examine the contents. Which is something we’ve never had to do with another 2-door item before. Spoiler: the 2-door cabinet in the bathroom also doesn’t require separate handling of the doors, when we get it open later in this post.

I did not realize about the separate doors until later, and when I re-examined things looking for items. Longer gameplay again, but not because of well-written puzzles.

On the right hand side is a bowl. We’ll take that.

On the bedside table, there’s a dish of banana slices, which looks appealing, so I’ll pocket those as well.
On the floor of the bedroom is a trapdoor, but the carpet is secured to the floor, blocking it. The pliers don’t help, so I cut into the rug with the dagger and can successfully open the door. We can now explore another level of the ship.
This looks like a fancy hotel. Think I’ll order room service.
In this hallway, there are doors. There’s a “Mysterious Door” which is locked, “A door well secured” with no handle or lock, “The door to the cellar” which leads us to a storage room below the captain’s suite, ”A very elegant door” which is locked, and the door to Oswald’s room, but we don’t need to go there.

The locked rooms do not respond to the silver key in our inventory, or to being picked or pried open with the dagger or anything else, so we will have to come back to them. In the “cellar” are a lot of decorative items with no hotspots, and a post leading up to the trap door we came down. We can’t get back up there yet, the post is too slippery.

The dagger won’t carve a notch in the post, the way the previous knife did for the same puzzle elsewhere, so there will be something else we need to do to the post, most likely, to climb back up. Unless we find a ladder somewhere.

There’s a hole in the post, where a handle should be. So we need to find a substitute handle.

If I continue throughout the floor, I find a passage back to the original part of the ship I started the game on. Since I can’t do anything in the new rooms yet, as far as I can tell, let me investigate where I’ve been before.

Retracing my way through places I’ve been before, I found two significant things. First, the corkscrew that I used to secure the rope could be recollected. Second, looking at my earlier gameplay post, I remembered about the spring in the bottom of the treasure chest. Using the dagger on it exposes something called “beauty powder”. Again, I don’t know what that was translated from, maybe it’s something like talc or the like? [Admin note #2: It's probably a translation of "poudre de beauté", which means face powder.]

Remember the rule of this game, even though the picture of the box was empty, the game is usually lying. So, dagger to spring again, and this time, we gain a handkerchief with a delicate scent.
In a game with often disappointing closeups and images, the animation of the water pushed aside by the boat is a nice touch.
Most of this game, I never used the map feature, allowing me to teleport without all the walking, but in this section of the game, it was a lifesaver.
Another key.
Back to the post, I use the corkscrew in the hole, and I’m rewarded with a master key for the floor.

So, let us go back to some of those doors that barred us entry before. First, the “mysterious door.” It’s a room with some shelves and barrels. On one of the shelves, hidden from sight, I find a flask of something that makes copper shine. I think I’ll need this when I go back upstairs, because I think the greenish-gray basin is a hint about copper oxidation. Yes, this puzzle I get, thanks to two American icons: our green lady, the Statue of Liberty, and the green pipes Mario jumps over and slides into as he quests for his princess. Both turned green from the oxidation of copper.
This game is making me mad, men...
But first, there’s the “very elegant door” to look behind. It’s someone’s office, with a Secretary Desk labeled as just a “Secretary”. There’s curtains blocking out something labeled simply as “A corner of the room”. Behind the curtains isn’t a man named Oz, but rather, a golden cage. Very much the size of an annoying parrot, I’m willing to venture.
This cage, melted down and sold, would buy us many more better games of the era
The game hints that there is something inside the cage, but I can’t examine it. So onto the desk. Inside the drawer is a “ring with a seal” and nothing else. When I look again, I’m told, “No more jewels!” When I look at the curtains again to see if there is anything else hidden there, I’m simply told, “It’s velvet.” Oh, no! Did someone make these curtains out of Jarlath’s wife?

One more door to check. No, not Oswald’s, but rather, the one keeping Yoruba away from us. But the master key has no effect here. Then again, we were told it was a master key just for that floor, although again, if I took this game seriously, I’d ask how Doralice knew that ahead of time.

I seem to have exhausted all the rooms down here, as best I can tell. Except for the well-secured door with no means of entry. So, back to the post in the “cellar”.

I cannot explain the logic I used, it was more of a brute-force guess, but the beauty powder made the post less slippery, and I can now climb it.
We stamped out another puzzle
I bring the brass polish to the restroom, and try to apply it to the sink. I’m told that I need a clean rag to do that, so I instead apply the polish to the handkerchief, and then clean the sink. I get a shiny circle that, if I use the “blotter” with, I can see the reflection of the backwards letters: 4c22. I will need to remember that.

While I’m in the room, I try a hunch. Again, no clues or logic behind this, just a random guess based on past puzzles: I try the signet ring in the odd, round opening on the bathroom cabinet. It opens a secret passage into the secured room.
Yeah, baby! Do we shag now or later?
This room is a time capsule of sorts. There’s a 1960s-style bar, a couple of 1940s-style chairs, and a low table, no decade mentioned.

The low table nets us a record from the bottom shelf, labeled as a “strange plate” but as soon as we grab it, Dora comments, “But it is a ‘78’!”

Looking at the armchairs, Dora comments that Jarlath doesn’t seem to be bothered with the anachronistic items of decor in this room, and this evidence will make Melkior happy. Looking at the bar, she comments that it is “rather modern” for the time period, and maybe this means Jarlath travels through the centuries? Well, I think we figured that out a few hours ago, but Dora seems to be a little slow on the uptake in this room.

Behind the bar is a phonograph, which Dora wonders why it is here, as it hasn’t been invented yet. She’s right, this game era predates the introduction by just 37 years.

I’ve cleaned out this room, and I suspect I know exactly what to do with the record player.
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it
The music table in the captain’s study, with the hint about turntables, seems like the perfect place to use a gramophone and a record. The music it plays is hauntingly tolerable, and although the game doesn’t say anything, I suspect it soothes the bird a little bit. I still need to trap him, though.

There’s a section of counter labeled “Under Galipo”, and I place the bowl there. I try to put the banana there, to lure the parrot down, but that’s not the right way. I am able to place them in the cage, however. I am able to put the salts flask into the bowl, and by adding the acid, I create some smelling salts.
Too high, can't come down / It's in the air and it's all around / Can you feel me now?
That’s a strong hint. I remember the odd indentation on the other table in the room, and I suspect the cage with bananas would fit there perfectly. “So that’s why this piece of furniture has a circular mark on it.” We’ve given the bird a private room to recuperate.

Except it can still see what I’m doing, just from a new angle. So it’s time to send Galipo to sleepy-time by turning out the lights -- using the Jolly Roger to cover the cage.

Now I can explore further. The silver key that failed everything else works in the cabinet, and I gain a jewelry box. Opening it, the mouse-over says, “That’s the forbidden fruit!”, but when I look inside, I see no jewels, but instead, another key.
Scott Miller was an important figure in my childhood.
At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m playing a shareware game from the late 80s or early 90s, where we are simply running around, grabbing keys to unlock boxes and doors as we work our way through levels that are indistinguishable from each other.

Over to the painting, the other spot I couldn’t explore because of the annoying bird. There’s a hidden pixel labeled as the fire from the cannon, and I can click that. The painting moves out of the way, and we have another combination dial entry thing.

I already know the answer to this one, but I have to ask: who engraves their safe combination onto a rubber stamp, where it can be imprinted multiple times for others to read? Of all the things I question in the game, this one makes absolutely no sense at all, no matter how many mind-altering drugs you’ve ingested at a music festival.
Box Quest: The Search for Wooden Cubes
Using the hexadecimal entry, I input the code. I gain a locked box. Yeah, another one of those.

The box is a Rubik's cube of sorts. By clicking various parts and rotating, you can get a key from the top left drawer, and then use that key in the middle section by sliding a panel from the keyhole. The interface is clumsy -- if you slide the wrong thing at the wrong time, you can’t undo it, but you can exit the view of the box, and then re-examine it in your inventory to start anew. I had found the middle spot first, but couldn’t rehide it, so I could not access the top drawer. This was my method.

Inside the box is the magnetic revolver we were tasked to find by Melkior. That leaves one more task, to rescue the slave that’s been sleeping with our great-grandmother, and therefore is probably related to us, Yoruba. So I grab up the birdcage, because I can, and I head back to the hold areas of the ship.
Maybe this is a dumbwaiter and I’m delivering a parrot to the kitchens to be cooked as a delicacy.
I remember that there's a mysterious bottom panel in the hidden wall panel near where Melkior was imprisoned, so I test a theory. Again, no hints or reasons this should do anything, just a hunch.

I open the panel and place the cage there. “I don’t see what mechanism it controls, but it did make a noise!” But I’m able to reclaim the cage without undoing this. I don’t know what I’ve done, but I suspect I solved a future puzzle without knowing.

Now, as for that key I picked up in the jewelry box. An iron key seems appropriate for a shackled slave, so I try that on the trapdoor above his cell, with success.
He’s happy to see me, I can tell.
And now, it’s time for another 20-screen conversation with little visual change again, so I will summarize.

As soon as I reach Yoruba, somehow Melkior knows it’s time to join me. Why he couldn’t have bothered to help me along the way... well, adventure game logic, of course. Give him a cigarette, and I would be tempted to call him Detective Keith at this point.
No truer words have been spoken. The middle line, that is.
Yoruba says thanks, but there’s no way that he’s leaving without his necklace, a magical scarab that must have fallen between the planks of the wooden floor. Melkior, as usual, is dismissive. “What’s so magical about this necklace?” Well, “it was given to me by my father, who received it from his father. It belonged to the Pharaoh Amenotep, who was my ancestor.” Well, huh, it seems our slave was related to King Tut, which explains the sarcophagus.

Melkior laughs this off, as just a good luck charm, and there’s no way we’ll be able to get him unchained from the ship anyways.
After all, you are a TIME traveler. That means we have all the time in the world, literally.
But since we don’t have the magical rings to make the pistol work, Melkior whines that we should do as we please, since, “it was your idea to come here.”
Much like Melkior...
The visual glitch in this image seems to be a bug in the game. I checked out an online playthrough of the game, and noticed similar problems in their game as well. (Don’t worry, I only viewed up to the end of this post, which was distinctive enough that I knew I wasn’t cheating.) Most of the rest of this scene and room have this glitch, or a variation of it. Although, truthfully, I think Melkior looks better this way.

So I look in the cracks of the floor, and locate the necklace. My metal-ended boathook doesn’t work on the necklace, but the pliers do. It’s magnetic, apparently.

I try to use the revolver to blast away Yoruba’s shackles, but I’m told, “It doesn’t work, even with a bullet in the barrel... Oswald said that the spring was locked...” So I guess that’s something I’ll have to repair. But I have the magnetic necklace, and I was previously told that the gun only works with magnetic rings, so maybe this will do?

Combining the two, I now have a working weapon.
Lawks, we need some smelling salts for the gentle gentleman.
Now that we’ve freed the slave, it’s time to leave. “Why don’t we teleport... with that thing... your time-pass!”

A good idea, but the inept policeman Melkior has misplaced the notebook AGAIN, which had the coordinates for their destination. So again, it’s up to Doralice to figure this out.

There’s a door in the post in this room to the right of the treasure box, just like in the present, so I open it up again, and as it won’t stay open, I know the solution. We need to do the opposite of what happened before! We place the pliers in the opening, holding the door ajar. Those pliers will remain there for the next 152 years, until we remove them again.

There’s something on the top shelf, where I cannot reach it, so I use the boat hook to yank it down. It falls to the floor, and breaks. I try again with the same results, so obviously, I must be insane. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Hiding behind Yoruba is the box containing the sarcophagus. Looking behind that nets me a cotton bale.
The reverse of green screen, I suppose.
I place the bale under the open door, and then use the boat hook. Success! It’s a bottle from the plantation we wish to go to. Perhaps this will help!

I did not get any hints about the next step I took, it was just pure luck and brute-force combinations. Using the wet sponge on the bottle removes the label. The label apparently has the coordinates for the island, so I give it to Inspector Gadget and we teleport away.
Welcome to Meleě Island™.
We land, and the first thing Melkior does is grill the barely-conscious Yoruba about Jarlath and his wife, Velvet. We learn that Velvet gave birth to Yoruba’s love child, Maximin. Jarlath knew he was not own, but still gave him his surname, “de la Pruneliere”. So, yes, we are most definitely related to Yoruba.

Yoruba helps to give us a plan of action. We need to discreetly see Velvet, which can be done by visiting her friend Delia. We’ll find her because she lives close to Makandal, the healer. Also, there’s some dude named Serapion who will give us the 411 on the island happenings as well.

Melkior says that he will first get the healer for Yoruba, and then see the others. Doralice blocks the play, though. It’s my life in the balance, “and what if someone finds me here on the beach, alone with Yoruba?”

Melkior gives in, and gives Dora some sort of solar-powered walkie-talkie called a holocom.

And with that, we will save the game and return to the tropical island another day.

Session Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours

Inventory: Holocom, corkscrew, parrot in a cage, small pipe (no longer filled with water, guess it dehydrates in time travel?)

Game Completed: 75%

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!

25 comments:

  1. I think the "secretary" is another bad translation from the french "secretaire" which means writing desk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Secretary" is a valid english term for a writing desk. You usually see it in the context of antiques, but I'm not sure if the term is per se archaic or if it's just that "writing desks" as a concept are a bit archaic.

      There's a bit I love in Les Liaisons Dangeruses. Valmont is sleeping with a courtesan, and afterward, he flips her over, puts a sheet of parchment on her back and writes out a love letter to the respectable woman he's trying to seduce (The letter begins "I have just come... to my desk"). Later, when she calls him out about having been seen with a courtesan, he says, "I've been employing her as a secretary."

      Delete
    2. A secretary desk is a particular style of desk, with a front that opens to become the writing surface and with various cubbyholes inside. They are still made (see this for instance) but I don't think they're all that common a piece of furniture these days. We have an antique one that belonged to my grandmother that looks more like this.

      Delete
    3. @Ross it's a bad translation because they left out the word "desk". As Lisa pointed out, it is a specific type of desk, and the one in the game is modeled after that. My grandparents had one, and almost never used it. In the 2000s, I looked in there and found paperwork from the Sears warranty on their 1970s range. Good for filing things in the compartments, bad for remembering you still have that junk.

      Delete
  2. even if the game it's better than Ween that got a 48

    Ween is soooo much better than this game. You can't change my mind about that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe you're right! I prefer Lost in Time because of the environments, but it has a number of issues that Ween lacks (brute forcing with 20+ objects in the inventory, ridiculous plot that takes itself seriously instead of going the Fascination way, contrast of visual styles, last section in the island that feels like a different game meaning a game that comes with the cereals, characters in the videos looking stupid...).

    Compared to this, Ween has better music, is more solid graphically with less inconsistencies and somehow uses video and actors better even if they look weird, probably because they fit within the weird world of Ween. And I remember the inventory being considerally smaller. I hated the last puzzle, though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "I cannot explain the logic I used"

    Think of the chalk powder gymnasts put on their hands to make them less slippery...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or the chalk you put on a pool cue. But I meant that, not knowing what it was, I just made a random guess that powder would work.

      Delete
  5. @Vetinari I've only played Ween a couple of times but from memory, I very much agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I’ll explain for those not familiar with American English. A blotter is sometimes the formal term for a desk pad, essentially, a placemat for your desk so your writing doesn’t damage it.

    Pretty sure that's not an Americanism. I can get results with prices in pounds and euros referring to such a thing as a blotter. It's more that the true "blotter" meaning (vs. just being a protective pad) is old-fashioned, since it goes along with dip or fountain pens (vs. ballpoint), where you may need to blot excess ink, and often they don't have any paper on them at all now. Yet the term "blotter" lingers.

    However, I think the thing here being called a blotter is not in fact a stamp and the game is labeling it correctly: more specifically it would be called a rocker blotter. Its bottom is covered in felt or paper, and you gently press it onto freshly written text in a rocking motion to remove excess ink. See https://www.galenleather.com/blogs/news/ink-blotting for some images and explanation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes sense. Is the game then implying that the last thing the blotter was used to blot was something where the code was written with ink?

      Delete
    2. I'd say so. Unless it was quite recent, the ink should have dried and you wouldn't be able to make a reimpression like this, but whatever. Video game logic.

      Delete
    3. (Unless I misunderstood - I thought there was a reimprinting on a new surface, but maybe he was just looking at the blotter itself in a mirror?)

      Delete
    4. It does sound like he's just looking at the reflection of the blotter's surface, which makes it sound more like a rubber stamp. It doesn't seem like it should be that hard to interpret the backward shape in the surface of the blotter itself without using a reflection, but whatever, more video game logic.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. @Lisa
      I was not aware of a rocker blotter, and that would make sense. Learning about new (old) things here!

      @Reiko
      It doesn't seem like it should be that hard to interpret the backward shape in the surface of the blotter itself without using a reflection, but whatever, more video game logic.

      I was going to say that in the post, but I also let that go as video game logic. After all, there is a percentage of people who cannot read upside down or backwards. Not I, but others definitely.

      Delete
  7. Since we can't probably change the inevitable destiny of a 30/100 score, even if the game it's better than Ween that got a 48

    While I haven't given any thought to that, I was about to say that I doubt the score could be that low.

    Then, I looked at the game spreadsheet. It *might* be on the same level as Les Manley... so maybe it is possible. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wonder if the same images repeating over and over are actually a trick to save space and make the game fit into a few disks?

    Almost definitely. This is the transition period where some games were being designed for disks first and then ported, and others for CD primarily. This game is one of the former. The CD release didn't come out until the next year.

    ReplyDelete
  9. In the comments of the previous post someone mentioned Fate of Atlantis as being relevant to this part of this game. Maybe I don't remember FoA as well as I thought I did (which shouldn't surprise me, as it's been something like two decades since the last time I played it) but I just don't recognize any similerities here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I said it because in both games, it took me a long time to figure out that I needed to go back to previous puzzles to get items that I assumed were not interactive anymore and instead were there for me to pick up. I'm glad that Michael didn't have to suffer that mental block. (I believe a game should automatically give you back the items you use in a puzzle in case they're necessary, at least when they're attached to some weird mechanism that seems to be "all set" after the puzzle).

      Delete
    2. That's a fair thought, especially for a game that automatically takes items from you when they aren't needed anymore.

      Delete
  10. I wouldn't say it's better than Ween. Then again, I'm not really sure I'd say there is a better adventure game than Ween.
    This has more of an inconsistent graphical style, even discounting the final part. It lack's Ween's great magic puzzles. And Ween is just really good as a game in the style of fantasy films released up until that point, with it's weird and unlikely characters. Time travel is always goofy even if you do the stable time loop thing.

    Back to Lost in Time, the cabinet complaints ring hollow at this point, because by now you should get that the game is going to occasionally make you click on some objects twice. And it's obvious that there are multiple doors on the cabinet. I found the carpet to be more annoying than anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The salts flask, more than usual, strikes me as a very petty complaint. There are three kinds of salts that could be in there, a vague chemical salts, smelling salts and cooking salt. Since the game is vague, it's unlikely to be something you need to mix up some kind of chemical, so it's either smelling or cooking salt. Which one is true is going to be obvious by what you need to use it on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I wasn't complaining about the salt so much as wondering what it was translated from. For example, if it was Bath Salts, perhaps we would end up with a zombie parrot?

      Delete