Tuesday 31 October 2023

Missed Classic 125: Urotsukidoji (うろつき童子) (1990) - Introduction

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

For the third annual TAG Halloween movie game, we have the first time the game might just be better than the movie! First we had one of the greatest films of all time, then a pretty good one, and then flawed, but mostly intriguing one. I am not optimistic about this one.

Urotsukidoji is the kind of anime that should need no introduction. It is the film that many parents across American got for their kids, because, hey, all cartoons are for children, then torn from the screens just as surely as the naked bodies on-screen are torn apart by demons. Then return it and loudly complain that the adults only video that clearly says adults only on it is in fact adults only. Turning Japan into the land of the pervert cartoons, because who cares about that one super serious lawyer anime?

Background, Urotsukidoji, better known as Legend of the Overfiend and some assorted thousand other titles, was a 1985 manga from prolific Japanese artist Toshio Maeda, who is basically the original author of any anime that got parents screaming in the '90s. One might as well call him the Ozamu Tezuka of adult manga. It was a modest success, enough to get an original video animation (basically direct to video), 3 episodes of some 30 minutes, which was edited into the film I'll be watching. As with the titles, there are a thousand different versions of this, so I'm just going to talk about the one I actually watched. It is clear that all adaptions miss something from the original manga.

I'm actually going to break from my usual format here and intersperse the game with what's happening at the same rough point in the movie. Sorry, I didn't have the time to watch nearly 2 hours of demons with tentacles who cause women to explode in-between just watching people getting horrifically murdered in one sitting. I'd prefer to get this game over with as soon as possible because the logic now and forever, for these kinds of games is the shorter it is, the better it is.

I'm very, very sad about it

Saturday 28 October 2023

Veil of Darkness - A Quagmire of Relief

 By Zenic Reverie

Closest thing I could find to a lightbulb moment.

I’ve been stuck. Restarting, reaching the same point each time with no further insight. It’s difficult to consider options when they’ve virtually been exhausted. Thanks to the comments that alluded to a game mechanic as the key to progress, I believed I was on the right track in my last post. A hidden keyword was the only mechanic that made sense to trigger the plot, as I ruled out combat and items already. I reviewed the manual again front to back and back to front (skipping over the prologue story) to confirm. Breaking free of this cycle required me to review all the dialogue screenshots, and note down even the most mundane word that might act as a hidden word to trigger further dialogue. I tried each on a random NPC and cut ones that didn’t have the pause of a recognized keyword.

Saturday 21 October 2023

The Beverly Hillbillies - Won!

By Ilmari

Diary of Jed Clampett 3: Weeelll, doggies! I like-to-of freed granny, but I liked some thangs: roas’n’ears, dried flare, pole cat worter, a skift of sugar… I don’t care to go fixing to buy ‘em, but first I ort to get my money from that bank feller who is tighter’n Dick’s hatband!”

Special thanks to this blog for helping me get my hillbilly vocabulary more authentic. I know, it’s Appalachian, not Ozark English, but it’s close enough for my purposes.
No, have you seen the sheep in the library?

Tuesday 17 October 2023

The Beverly Hillbillies - Save the Granny!

 By Ilmari

Diary of Jed Clampett 2: “Weeelll, doggies! We were havin’ a mite hoedown, ‘n it was finer’n frog hair, when ever’thang went catawampus and somethang harble and turble happened. Som rullick took granny! I ain’t bein’ prung down by all these common people in this town. I am fixing to bo’ahl a drank that ort to save her.”

After an excruciating road trip, I had finally found the Clampett mansion. I still couldn’t get inside the house, since the front door was locked. Checking the premises, I could go to the backyard, with a nice pool. Continuing around the pool, I arrived at the house of Milburn Drysdale, the manager of the bank holding the Clampett fortune.
The “humour” is killing me

Saturday 14 October 2023

Leisure Suit Larry 6 - Risqué Business, or (Forced) Sex on the Beach

by Alex

As you can likely tell from the opening image, this post is going to get decidedly non-family friendly. You’ve been warned.

Thursday 12 October 2023

Missed Classic 124: Beyond Zork: The Coconut of Quendor - Introduction (1987)

Written by Joe Pranevich

If Infocom is remembered for one thing, it is the Zork series. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the sales data: from Infocom’s first day until they were purchased by Activision, Zork-series games accounted for 44% of every game sold. And yet, the company seemed almost desperate to be known for just about anything else. After the third game was released, Dave Lebling and Marc Blank decided to launch its followup, Enchanter, without Zork IV branding, a choice that may have had something to do with that game’s 50% revenue drop. Infocom continued to push against their Zork heritage even after it became clear that they would never again have a series that inspired so much love… and sales. By 1987 however, desperate times called for desperate measures and the long-standing superstition against calling another game “Zork” had to come to an end. With Marc Blank having (mostly) left the company, Lebling working on The Lurking Horror, and Meretzky on Stationfall, the responsibility for continuing the Zork saga was left to Brian Moriarty. 

And so it was, five years (and twenty-seven games!) since the last Zork-named title, Moriarty released Beyond Zork in November of 1987. It could not have come at a more desperate moment: the year-long experiment in faster-developed games across more genres was nearly over and none of the new games were sticking. Plundered Hearts, despite being an amazing game that everyone should try, stumbled out of the gate to become their second-worst selling game to date. Moriarty did not however want to just cash in on the Zork name for a quick buck; he was intent on making a newer and better game than any that Infocom had seen before. To that end, he would craft Infocom’s first true RPG, design a new interface for text adventures (including automap!), and bring back the whimsy of an early Zork adventure game. It wasn’t just Zork, it was… Beyond Zork! (Cheesy, I know.) 

Monday 9 October 2023

The Beverly Hillbillies - From Rags to Riches

By Ilmari

Diary of Jed Clampett 1: “Weeelll, doggies!  I was fixin’ to get me some dinner, when oh’ahl started to share from the ground. A billion dollar they paid for it, ‘n y’all know ‘at’s a right smart of money, so I might could buy me ‘n my kinsfolk a house in Beverly Hills. If I just knowed whur it was. Way over yonder, I thank.”
Let’s begin this
Darnation! It crashed already
Wait a minute…
What’s she doing with that?
Seems I am not the only one asking it

Friday 6 October 2023

Missed Classic 123 - Dismal Passages (1992) - Introduction

Written by Morpheus Kitami

A thousand moons ago, the CRPG Addict played a game called Shapeshifter, an unremarkable game by all means. A RPG centered around one character changing form. But the author of the game was one I knew. Jeff Kintz, a longtime shareware developer. Mr. Kintz is an interesting figure from a certain point of view. Having just plucked away at making shareware titles throughout the '90s to little success. His big title, in as much as anything of his can be called a big title, is a Hugo-clone by the name of Darkest Convergence, released in 1993. I don't think I can cover that yet, while Joe covered a 1993 game, he's been around the longest or almost longest, and he can do that. If I do that, Ilmari is probably going to break into my house and complain loudly about my decor. My ninjitsu is not strong enough to stop him.

As I'm rapidly becoming that guy who plays games rejected from the Addict's blog and games masquerading as adventure games, its only natural that I should desire to play one that fits in both categories, Dismal Passages. To be clear this is the Dismal Passages credited as being Dismal Passages on Mobygames. As opposed to the one credited as being Dismal Passages 1. (which is unambiguously an adventure game) There is no Dismal Passages 2 in either case. Mr. Kintz apparently never made them. We know this because multiple people have asked for his games and he's sent them to them. (including an unreleased game) This didn't stop him from advertising a part 2. And something called Beyond 2. Do they really exist, and they were just lost? The world will never know.

Monday 2 October 2023

Missed Classic 122 - The Last Half of Darkness II (1992)

Written by Morpheus Kitami

It's October again, or close enough as makes no difference, and you know what that means. Horror games.

Come, let us stare inquisitively at skeletons

We've got a suitably creepy selection of games this year, starting off with continuing the saga of The Last Half of Darkness. William R. Fisher's long-running series of horror adventure games, which at this point had had been sort of abandoned for two years while he did Nine Lives of Secret Agent Katt. This, incidentally, marks the last time he would release an EGA game, making these three games fit together more thematically than his later titles.