Monday 18 September 2023

Lost in Time — Won!

Written by Michael
I said, hey, what’s going on?
With this post, we will finish our playthrough of this game. Should we be afraid, when the world’s biggest fan of this game, commenter SpanishCoktelVisionFanClub, comments that the “last section in the island [...] feels like a different game meaning a game that comes with the cereals?”

They aren’t wrong. The last section of this game feels completely different, in both good and bad ways. For example, they finally found a music composer! The theme for the beach sounds like it was inspired by the Caribbean-themed music from Monkey Island, and I mean nothing bad about that -- it was the first bit of background music I not only noticed, but rather enjoyed. And there are varied music tracks in most of the different rooms in this session.That’s not to say that this last section was good. It plays out like a badly-written soap opera. The first 75% of the game was maybe 80% puzzle, 20% dialogue. This section is the reverse. The final 25% is somewhat linear, the puzzles are spoon-fed to you, and not particularly hard. Even with a couple of deaths, it took me just over a half-hour to finish the quest.

Wait, what was that word I said? Deaths? Yes. And not even in the ballpark of fair. If you’ve read my comments on other posts, you’ll know that I am not opposed to character deaths in video games, and look back on some of them because of how entertaining they are, or how well they give a hint to what you did wrong.
Sonny, speak up, I can’t hear you!
But not in this game. You might have been a bit lazy about saving often, because there was seemingly no way to die. Thankfully, one of them happened just a few minutes into this session, so I only had to backtrack to the saved game at the end of the last post. The next time, I had saved ahead of time and was prepared.
Since this is a 1990s game, I can’t help but think this is the look Melkior is trying for.
So when we last left the tenacious trio, they were chillaxin’ on the beach. You’re out of sight, Dora, as usual, but Melkior is there, in this 90s Hip-Hop pose, and Yoruba, an unclickable lump on the sand. Melkior is clickable, but he just asks, “What’s up?” in response. There’s two exits from this screen, to the waterfall and to the “property”. I go with my first instinct, and chase a waterfall.
Stick to the rivers and lakes.
So we come across a scene where a half-naked native manipulates the cave and is able to open a passage. After he flees the scene, we are able to mouse-hunt, and find a fresh coconut on the ground, an urn for charitable offerings, an inscription basically saying for all women to stay away, and a child poking out of the trees waiting for the inquisitive, leggy lady to interrogate him.

Since we can’t pick up the coconut, and none of our goods seem to be suitable offerings, let’s talk to the boy.
I assure you, absolutely nothing about this deadbeat dad is appealing.
The young boy is named Amilcar, and is the child of the healer we need to seek out, Makandal. Amilcar seems a little down, because his dad doesn’t seem to want him. He’s carrying around a sickly manicou, and I agree to give him a hand.

At first, I think that he needs feeding, and I open the coconut with my corkscrew. Now, I can pick up the item from the ground, but when I click it on the cute little bottom-feeder, it has no effect. Looking through my inventory, I notice that the parrot cage is a nested inventory item now, the flag has been separated from the cage. So I take the blanket, and use it as a blanket to warm up the rodent. That’s not enough, and the coconut still doesn’t interact, but if I use that small little pipe to pump out some of the milk, we can feed him that way, like an eyedropper.

Maybe now’s not a good time to remind you that I’ve used that pipe to hold battery acid in the past, so perhaps this is not the most sterile feeding tube. But, hey, whatever doesn’t kill ya...

Somehow, Amilcar can see into our pockets, and knows that we have the cleverly hidden parrot. He wants it, because it belongs to his father, Makandal, and he would like something to remind him of his deadbeat dad.

“Galibo? Makandal’s parrot? Then Captain Philibert and Makandal must know each other...”
Monkey see, monkey do...
In return for the parrot, the boy shows us how to open the door... but it doesn’t work for him. I try it myself, and it also doesn’t work. But it turns out the parrot does a fair imitation of his owner’s voice, so that’s how we get through. Amilcar keeps the parrot, but gives us the cage. “Say, could you get the key that is attached to Galipo’s leg?” Well, that was news to me, we were never told it was there, but I’m glad we could recover it now.
Hut of brown, now sit down.
There’s a door with what looks like a mustache, and a crevice in the door (meant to be a slot, like perhaps a mail slot). I try to open the door, and I’m greeted by the scantily-clad man we saw passing through the opening before. “First, how did you get here? Second, who are you? And finally, what do you want?”

Dora replies that she got here by seeing Galipo, her name is Doralice, and she brings him a gift. He responds, “Forget immediately the path that led you here, or bad luck will be yours! Hmmm... is it a large gift..?”

He then slams the door in our face, saying the gift is to be left in the slot on the door. The only thing of value I have is the birdcage made of a precious metal, but that does not work. So, although I’ve been given no hint that a keyhole exists, or why the resident of the cage would wear it, but I try the key from Galipo’s leg on the cage. The weight from the bottom that the game hinted to much earlier turned out to be some gold coins.

Truthfully, I had forgotten about that, because I figured the weight in the bottom was some kind of magnet that triggered a switch in that dumbwaiter-style door back in the hold. I hadn’t realized it was still there. Again, to be able to “LOOK AT” the objects in your inventory...

The gold pieces are just the right size, color, and style for our greedy healer man, so he treats us with (slightly) more respect now. He asks if we were sent by the spirits of good or evil, and we reply that no, we’re just here for his skills.

Looking at the gift, he says that since we’ve paid for the consultation, he can give us three minutes. During that talk, we again change sides at will, acting as a double agent to fool him.
And suddenly, the game magically transports you to Delia’s doorstep.
So we talk to Delia. “My name is Doralice. I have some good news for Velvet Rochefort. Her lover, Yoruba, is there, and wants her.”

“Ah yes, I know about their affair. I will tell her. Good-bye!”

Hmm. So how many people will admit on the spot to a perfect stranger about their friend’s affair, cheating on a powerful person with a local slave? Video game logic.

So again, I keep her talking by bringing up the others. “There is another thing that I haven’t told you: Makandal is taking care of Yoruba. I believe you know him?”

“Yes... Right! That’s interesting! I also have a love story like Velvet’s.”

Okay, This is where the game seriously crosses a line to become like a daytime soap opera. In her mind, Makandal is resisting her charms, “Because he knows my love will exhaust him...” So, basically, I have to trick the healer into drinking one of her love potions for her to give me access to Velvet.
Let us sit for a spell
She fumbles around for her glasses, and then for her recipe book, and makes the potion. I’m to arrange for Makandal to drink it, and I need to bring back his drinking glass as proof. She’ll have Velvet waiting for me on my return.

And then...
You. Lose!
Like, WTF?

So, in a way, I’m glad that the game didn’t leave me in a dead man walking situation, but for this to be the first apparent death in the game? 80% of the way through?

Like I said earlier, I had gotten complacent. I didn’t save since I started this session, so I had to backtrack through the whole waterfall/healer path again, along with losing the parrot again.

So the death message told me that I didn’t get the clothing that I needed for Makandal. There was something on the counter when she made the potion, but I couldn't grab it. If I click on it, I’m simply told it was a silk blouse from one of her previous customers.

So, I need to distract her, and while she’s fumbling around for her glasses, you can grab the book. When she gets the glasses on, she notices the book is missing, and goes to another room to look for it. So, now you can grab the clothes, except that there’s a spider on top, and apparently, he must be too heavy to push out of the way, because Dora still won’t pick up the blouse. There’s a mirror on the counter, so if you pick that up and show it to the spider, it is apparently afraid of its own reflection. Huh. “Go away, pretty thing! I need your pillow...”

I grab the shirt, and finally Delia comes back in. She still can’t find the book, have we seen it? So Dora slips her back the book, acting like she just found it for her. Delia mixes the ingredients for a “Pink Mabouya”, and passes me the vial. Same instructions as before, to bring back the drinking glass to see Velvet.
And just like that, we magically appear outside Makandal’s cottage. Knocking on the door, as usual, Makandal is pissed off to see us, and when we tell him we came from the direction of Delia’s, he rambles on about how he needs to get rid of her. But, “Ah! I see you have the small payment I requested...”
I can hear Barry White playing in the background
Pleased that we brought him the shirt from his stalker, he offers us a drink. He pours three glasses, one for himself, one for me, and one for the spirit that protects him. Where is Yoruba, he asks? I tell him he’s on the beach with a friend. “Well, let’s drink to his departure!”

I need to distract him so I can doctor his drink. The only thing in my inventory that makes any sense is the hologram-walkie talkie thing I can use to call Melkior. But I can’t use that because there’s no sun. So I go to open the window shutters, and then activate it.
Who ya gonna call?
Makandal thinks it’s the protective spirit , probably, and as would most people in the 1840s, reacts accordingly. With the scaredy cat out of the room, I can now doctor his drink. Peeking around the corner, Makandal asks if the thing left. So I grab the holodisk off the table, and slip it back in my pocket. He drinks... and he’s out of it, probably from a combination of the “ghost” and the love potion I fed him. I can grab his glass, and he doesn’t notice. But then he says, “You are not courageous, you are simply crazy! OK, let’s go and see that Yoruba!” So, I guess I’ve jumped through all the hurdles, and I’ve solved the heal Yoruba quest I had forgotten all about.

Back at Delia’s, she is happy when I bring back the proof, so she lets me speak with Velvet. We then delve into backstory.
Help me, Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope.
Dora asks how she became a wife to our friend Jarlath. It seems that when her father was getting sick and dying, Jarlath showed up and proposed to her. Because she was lonely and confused, she said yes. Jarlath took over the plantation name and fortune, and started using slaves. Velvet said that with Yoruba, it was love at first sight, and Jarlath didn’t even care when she got knocked up by her lover. But then, suddenly, he shipped off Yoruba’s treasure to Europe. And, hey, do you want to meet the baby? I’ve got the cook babysitting...
For some reason, the art style for this room more than others reminds me of Willy Beamish
I ask Celeucie if everything is okay, and he tells me, “Yes! The manager is very brutal!” I wasn’t aware that some employees like that management style. “But he likes the manicous. Amilcar, my son, raises them and I cook them.”

Well, it turns out that young Amilcar was just playing us for love and attention, perhaps.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Doralice says, “Velvet, maybe you should take the baby far from here!”

She rightly asks why, and also says that Jarlath would not want to hurt Maximin. And Yoruba feels duty-bound to leave with the treasure of his tribe.
I offer to babysit so Velvet can be with Yoruba, and she turns me down, saying that the manager wouldn’t like to see me here.

And then, suddenly, a commercial interruption from Melkior, who activates his hologram thing.
And then, just like that, the game dumps me in front of Makandal’s cottage, no explanation. So, of course, I talk to him, and he gives me a potion named “bequiet” which he feels would be useful for me, to put my tongue at rest. I resist the urge to use it. He also says he discovered the path from Delia’s to his cottage, and removed it. Except he didn’t, because I simply walk there next.

Delia was somewhat displeased to see me, but more concerned with Makandal, and if the potion had started working yet. “Do not bother me anymore. In exchange, I give you this ‘inverter’. It will change anything to its opposite.

I try using the inverter on this game, but sadly, a Quest-series or SCUMM classic does not emerge.
Way back at the end of the last post, there was something about finding a dude named Serapion. A quick jaunt around the property finds his cottage, but he can’t speak to me. He seems to have lost his voice.

Well, this is an easy puzzle. Combine the “bequiet” with the inverter, and you suddenly have “speakable” instead.

Hurrah! My memory has its voice again. You healed me. Thanks, kid!”

So, as I was told last time, I need him to find out what’s up. Literally. “Do you know what’s going on here?”

He gives us the history lesson we didn’t need. The plantation has been a sad place since Jarlath showed up from the unknown. It seems that Jarlath had hypnotized Velvet to poison her father, when she really thought it was regular food.

“Oh! That is the evilest plot I have ever heard of! And now he wants to kill little Maximin!”

He replies, “Yes, the evil is still around. Beware of the serpent!”

“The serpent? What do you mean?”

That ends this chat, so I try to get past the gruff guard dog to the left of Serapion’s hut. Nothing I have has any effect, even trying to use the inverter on him to change him to a cute, adorable cat. So, I talk to Serapion again.
We can kill him with hypertension! And give some MSG to Jarlath to finish the job!
Let’s try the obvious: what does the inverter do to the salt? Make it into sugar. Feed the dog sugar, and now it;s a nice dog. You shouldn’t really have done this, for the dog’s sake, but hey, we have a game to finish. What was our goal again?
She should have used the right words to save the baby.
So, the solution here is absurd mainly because of the bad inventory management system. Looking around the scene, we see a bag on the table. We need to individually remove the items from the bag and place them into our regular inventory, not the bag. Then we can use the empty bag on the fire to collect embers. Then, placing the bag of embers on the stool lures the snake from the kid. So, to complete the job, we put the snake in the bag, and then burn the bag.
Suddenly, Jarlath appears. Like all good villains, he explains what he was up to when we foiled his plans. Basically, he had stolen, in the future, a very valuable contaminated substance, and came up with a plan to hide it in the past. He married a rich daughter of a plantation owner and obtained a ship, so he could hide the stuff in plain sight under the cover of selling slaves. “In this way, it would be hidden from the time patrols and safe in a sunken ship near a manor I acquired in Europe.”

And then, suddenly... Jarlath ran and I chased. But then Jarlath was blocking the path.
Quick, let’s use one of the inventory items on him! (After saving, of course.)


If there were any hints to this puzzle, I missed them. Do we assume everyone is allergic to flowers?

And then, the game proceeds to go to the Wizard of Oz ending: it was all just a dream, even though you were here, Tinman and Scarecrow...
And there we have it! Followed by the same credits screen that served as the game’s intro sequence.
So, I need to unwind for a day or two before deliberating on this game. And certainly play something else to cleanse the palate. So, for now, I bid you adieu.

Session Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes


  1. "I try using the inverter on this game, but sadly, a Quest-series or SCUMM classic does not emerge". Haha, nice one! Also, that Jarlath looks like a young Louis Van Gaal (I suppose the american readers are thinking "Louis Van Who?"

    1. Truly, so many doppelgängers in this post.

  2. Yeah, I think because you didn't explore more at the beginning of the island section you did things in a way that seemed out of order. Meeting with Serapion and Delia before the witchdoctor makes the game flow much better. And since Maximin is already in danger, and since, you know, it's kind of obvious the child isn't Jarleth's, chances are the secret isn't all that secret, and I highly doubt Delia is a master of tact and subterfuge. I suspect this might have something to do with how you missed the part where someone mentions how the flower could be used against Jarleth, because I could have sworn I heard something to that effect.

    "I try using the inverter on this game, but sadly, a Quest-series or SCUMM classic does not emerge."
    I don't think it works after you've already used it on something, and I already used it on Gram Cats to get this.

    1. Meeting with Serapion and Delia before the witchdoctor makes the game flow much better.

      How would that be possible, since you need to finish the segments with Delia and Makandal in order to get Serapion to be able to talk?

      I don't think it works after you've already used it on something, and I already used it on Gram Cats to get this.

      It works multiple times. Remember, you use it on the BEQUIET as well as the salt.

    2. You can meet with Serpion beforehand though.

      On the same item it doesn't though.

    3. I just loaded up the game (against all impulses not to) and tried that. Maybe I'm missing something, because when I go to Serapion, I see that he is mute, but he doesn't respond to me or any of my inventory items. I go to Delia, and after a brief greeting, she essentially tells me to go away and leave her alone. I probably wouldn't have enquired further at this point.

      But I also suspect that most people would, like I, happen upon the path to the doctor's office first, because of the location of the hot spot.

    4. I mean, that kind of is my point, since you have specific reason to find these people first, then mess around with the boy with the sick monkey.

    5. I don't disagree, I'm just wondering where the flower hint might have come from if I did things differently.

      And it's not a monkey. Just to defend the honor of our marsupial friend the opossum. :)

    6. I don't know, but I distinctly remember seeing it somewhere. I did briefly try out the floppy version, so it might just be a difference between the two versions, or some hint earlier.

  3. It's SpanishCoktelVisionFanClub. You may remember me from movies like "Ah, Doralice... Voulez-vous, f**k you?" ( ) or "Mais qu'est-ce que c'est, cette fin de merde avec l'horoscope et quels joints as-tu fumé, mon amour?" ( ).

    I don't think I'm the biggest fan of this game in the world... As an example, MorpheusKitami is here defending this section of the game, which I won't dare to even if he's probably right.

    The island is boring at best, perhaps the only positives are:
    - It ends fast.
    - It has decent sounds.
    - It makes you appreciate much more the previous sections of the game.

    It's interesting that Michael likes the music here and talks about the different exotic tunes in different rooms, something I had totally forgotten about. Are we perhaps doing a Don Quixote and Sancho, inverting our roles at the end of the journey? Quite unlikely, as I will explain in my next message.

  4. (PART 1 of 2)
    If you read this review without playing the game, you're probably wondering whether Michael is a Lost in time Hater of MorpheusKitami and I are blind fanatics of the game. Which side is right? I'm going to try to prove that the hater theory is the correct one.

    I will start by saying that it's not bad to be hater of something. I'm kind of a hater of medieval fantasy, you see. I can't bring myself to complete any King's Quest game. People have different tastes and Michael and I seem to share some love for Sierra, classic movies and rock music. Also, I don't think Michael is a total hater of the game as he sees some positives, and I don't think MorpheusKitami and I (especially I) are blind to the multiple flaws. It's just that, well, I feel the need to encourage people to play this game in case Michael's review have totally erased their desire to do so. At least try it! ;)

    I believe Michael is biased against the game for a number of reasons. Maybe it's because he loves Sierra (more than I love Coktel Vision, in my case it's kind of a joke because I believe they're 3rd after Lucas and Sierra and nobody mentions it). Maybe it's because he overanalyzes each inventory puzzle because he has to write about it. Or maybe it's because he feels the need to make the review funny, and bashing the game always works in case you're out of ideas because the story rarely happens.

    Most defects (not all: we can all agree the island looks out of place, the actors look bad in the videos, etc.) he's found in this game could also be used to bash multiple games, even beloved Sierra adventures. For this example, we will use Larry 3, Michael's favorite in the series, to apply the same level of criticism and see what happens.

    Michael's review has been fun, but his point of view started to take a wrong turn when he compared this game to Wolfenstein 3D in the very first sentence to try to attack the graphics. When you need to compare the visual side to a game from other style that's kind of uglier (ask any random person) even if it moves faster, you know you're in trouble. The point didn't land at all, and in comparison, it's like we attacked Larry 3 (1989) for having EGA graphics and dithering that looked pretty bad in some places ( see or ) compared to, say, the also 1989 full VGA Budokan: The Martial Spirit (see ).

    Lost in Time's UI has also been heavily critizised here because some objects are inside other objects. Fair enough, but Larry 3 does the following: 1) forces the player to type every single verb and noun when Lucasarts was already using all-mouse the year before, 2) does something super-strange by "having" a "ghost object" in the inventory: a concert ticket printed only in the manual that soemehow you NEED to give to someone even if it NEVER appears in the actual inventory, 3) has a "flowers" object changing state without any indication in the name (i. e. elaborated flowers), while Lost in Time clearly shows changes visually, 4) forces players to "ask for the right thing" when talking to girls, but you need, of course, to "ask date", not simply "dinner" or "eat", 5) forces players to type "find locker" in the locker room to play a "cold/warm" game "forgetting" that nobody would ever type that in a text adventure as you don't have any clue about the locker location, and 6) has problems even controlling the elevator, forcing players to have a key AND type a number in letters without sending any coherent error message as to why it's not working if you type other stuff. As you can see, Larry 3 would get a 0 out of 5 using Michael's level of judgement in "UI".

    (see part 2 of 2 in my own reply)

    1. (PART 2 of 2)
      Of course, there's nothing wrong about Larry 3's music as the main map and the nectarine themes are epic, but even here we can question Michael's approach to Lost in Time... because he has referred to the music of the game as "music". You see, I would use "music", inverted quotes included, to refer to Silent Hill background noise, but Lost in Time tunes, while short and repeating every 30 seconds, are music, not "music", and even have received a remix in a recent album:

      So I guess the only remaining point would be puzzles, dead ends and other stuff. While admitting that some puzzles are good, Michael has mentioned that he was totally losing his patience with the game for the bad ones. And among the bad ones, the one he used to make a joke about "moon logic" and the full moon in August (current date at that time) was covering a hole in a barrel using a candle. It... doesn't sound as terrible? It certainly doesn't sound too different from multiple other graphic adventures (at least here we know we must cover the hole... Gabriel Knight anyone?), even top rated ones (FUN FACT: You don't need to pick up a dog that just attacked you in Lost in Time). But Michael has managed to complete the game without any walkthrough, something I didn't manage with Larry 3. And that's because there are no dead ends, unlike in Michael's beloved game. You see, in Larry 3, you can only wear a costume once... is this some magical fabric that makes clothes dissappear? Also, there are multiple dead ends in the bamboo jungle alone if you don't happen to have some objects to hydrate yourself... Several of them. Oh and one of the girls dissappears if you don't seduce her the first time... What fun, right?

      I hope my point is clear and I hope Michael understands and we can still be friends (insert link to Why Can't We Be Friends here). You see, sometimes people must do what they do best and not move too much from there. Michael is a restaurant manager and I'm an English to Spanish translator, so I don't think it would be a good idea to switch positions... It would be funny for a day, though. And when it comes to reviews, I humbly believe Michael shoulnd't go back to Coktel Vision as he clearly doesn't "get the flow"... Just like I shouldn't be reviewing King's Quest games. I mean, I can't imagine the reaction from KQ fans when my review starts explaining how medieval fantasy is a childish idealization of a cruel world where every single one of us would be dead in less than one week. Better stay out of trouble!

      Have a lovely day and keep adventuring.

    2. And among the bad ones, the one he used to make a joke about "moon logic" and the full moon in August (current date at that time) was covering a hole in a barrel using a candle.

      While I am on a phone right now, I won't respond to all of the post, except to say that I was making the crescent-shaped moon joke about the cut off section of hose the game wanted us to use as a billy club. Not the candle one, which is not completely logical to me, but far from the moon logic of someone thinking to cut the hose.

      The inventory icon for that club is a 🌙

    3. I'd also say that I call the background sounds in the game "music" because, on the credits screen, there is a credit for "Music and Sound Effects".

      I am just finishing up my editing of the final post now. I think you will find it a lot more fair and balanced than you are expecting. And I had fun writing it. :)


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 the reviewer requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game...unless they really obviously need the help...or they specifically request assistance.

If this is a game introduction post: This is your opportunity for readers to bet 10 CAPs (only if they already have them) that the reviewer won't be able to solve a puzzle without putting in an official Request for Assistance: remember to use ROT13 for betting. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with 50 CAPs in return.
It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All score votes and puzzle bets must be placed before the next gameplay post appears. The winner will be awarded 10 CAPs.