Friday 23 February 2024

Sam & Max Hit the Road — Won!

Written by Michael

Last time, we ended with a cliffhanger.  Who DID shoot Mr. Burns?  Was it the drunk father?  The drunk guy in the bar?  The chain-smoking aunt?  Or maybe the gun-toting dog and bunny?

So, much like the tar in the pool below us, the end of this game is almost within reach.

New Diet Coke.  Lower Tar, Tastes Great

Last time around, I suspected that I was going to need to dress as a bigfoot in order to enter the party.  Seeing a vat of tar made me think of something getting “tarred and feathered” and so, with my pile of fake bigfoot hair, I’ll try to do the same thing.  When I has hanging over the tar pit, I noticed that I was given control of the mouse and icons as I bounced around a few times. 

So, I grabbed my trusty Snuckey’s soda cup and tried to snag some tar.  But, Max couldn’t reach.  So, why not use, yet again, our trusty device to grab things that can’t be reached?  The golf ball retriever armed with the hand of Jesse James took care of this for me.  I now had some tar, which I applied to the stilt walker’s outfit, and then added the mange.  

I tried to sneak behind the changing screen at the bungee jump, but Sam commented, “I don’t think this is the time or place.”  So, after shedding myself of the jump harness, I decided to head back to the Jungle Inn.

I need to touch it up just a hair...
At the Inn, I see once again that the changing booth is right in front of the doorman.  Huh?  How is this going to work, he’ll see me change!  But, maybe he’s dumb.  Let’s try it out.  I change into the outfit, and he gives me a hard time, calling it a pitiful attempt.  No hints as to how to improve it, however.  But I have a thought in the back of my mind.  What if I add a wig?

Another road trip back to the Bumpus mansion, and to the wig I never got.  Well, there are so many darn LucasFilm movie references here already, so why not try stealing it the way Indiana Jones would steal an idol that really belonged in a museum?  

The game should have played a few bars of the Indy theme here.

Since it’s a Conroy wig on top of a fake Conroy-sized head, I suspect the Conroy eggplant would be a good swap.  And, almost frame for frame to Indy, it works the same.  I still set off the alarm, I still get kicked out by Lee-Harvey for touching the exhibit, but I also managed to grab the wig this time around.

I go ahead and added the wig to the costume, and then back to the motel.  I try on the costume, and this time, I get some slightly useful feedback.  Slightly.  It’s a good costume, but... “If I was in any way inclined to be nice to you fellers, I’d reward your ingenuity by letting you in.”

So, let’s start a conversation with him...  again.  I just checked my screenshots from the last post, and I talked with him them, but he didn’t offer me anything more than complimenting the band that was playing inside.  See, there’s a visual cue (even from before) that he seems to be afflicted with some foot pain, but until now, I had no reason to pay it much mind.  But perhaps this is how I can get on his good side.

Talking to the bouncer, we learn that, “Aside from my flea and tick problem, my feet hurt.  It’s not like us Sasquatch can order up some orthopedic shoes any time we want.”

I’m of two minds about this puzzle.  There were no shoes or the like anywhere in this game.  No Dr. Scholl’s inserts, either, so he can’t be gellin’ like the felon he probably is.  And he doesn’t mention a problem like bunions or corns.  I never, ever would have guessed the solution right away, it was a random inventory guess for me:  the rasp.  He needed to file off his dry skin, I suppose.  Not the worst puzzle ever, but certainly far from great.

Regardless, he’s pretty happy now, so if I change into the costume again, this time he says we can go in.

I wonder if they hired a hair-metal band?

We are now allowed inside the party.  There’s a few bigfoots not blended into the background I can talk to, and a table with lots of pretty-looking food painted on it, and a wine bottle I can grab.  That’s after I listen to some old geezer bigfoot on stage give a keynote speech about how they dropped the ball and didn't act soon enough.  “Blithely we sat back ignoring our own inner call for action.”  He’s a real optimist, telling the crowd that, “... the demise of our entire race is becoming a reality!”

“Unless we pull together, not just acknowledging the need for change, but embracing change not just with our hearts and minds, but with our actions, we will fall behind, moving backwards into extinction!”

He finishes his doom-and-gloom sermon, and then suddenly, the disco ball shines bright lights all over, and something that passes for music is playing.  The bigfoots in the rear shadows start dancing, and I found this out by clicking the eye on the various food items, hoping for a description, but the hot spots were off again.  Also, I’m rather hungry for devilled eggs now.

Elders by the pool?  Sounds like a remake of Cocoon.

I’ll do this in reverse.  At the very far end of the room from where I entered is a delightful ol’ biddy of a bigfoot.  I talk to her, and because of the arrangement of the costume, it’s Max doing the talking while we are a bigfoot.  That could be a problem.

How do we greet this one?  “Hey, baby, what’s your sign?”  She quickly responds, “Property of Vanuatoo.”  That’s the name of the elder chief that gave the speech before.  Also known as her husband.  She’s standing guard at the door to the pool area of the hotel.  And, in another act of the game talking about something I haven’t really learned yet: “If I had a tree for every time a teenage bigooft’s made a drunken pass at me, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today, y’know?”  This line will make more sense later in the game.  After we’ve gotten past her.  We ask her about Bruno and Trixie, and her answers are less coherent and more distracted rambling.  As for Bumpus?  “He’s an immoral cretin, of course, but boy, can he sing.”

At the left end of the refreshment table is a slender, silver-haired bigfoot.  He’s skinny because he’s “been fasting for the day when the aliens rescue us.”  He tells us Bruno is on a top-secret reconnaissance mission to the aliens’ home planet, along with Trixie.  

Remember this later on.
Bumpus?   He thinks we should ice him.

At the entrance to the room, the first bigfoot I passed is apparently the one from the Gator Golf booth, rescued by Bruno and Trixie.  At one point, Max asks where all the bodacious bigfoot babes are, and Sam tells him to take it easy, because he doesn’t really like girls.

“Dude, are you, like, having an argument with your belly button?”

Of course, the belly button replied, “No.”

Bruno?  “I hear he’s hiding out from a crazy bear and  bunny who want to drag him off to an evil carnival.”  Bumpus?  “Eew. Heinous.”

By the way, do all the bigfoots talk like valley girls?

At the back of the room, to the right of the stage, is a pixel-hunt exit to the kitchen.  Really.  You’d barely notice the door.  

In the kitchen is a walk-in freezer, with an ice pick in the window.  Not nailed down, so I took it.  There’s plenty of pots and pans painted in the scene, but only the freezer is usable in this room.  Well, that, and a door in the back of the room.  So let’s check that out...

This is about as believable as Laverne as a tentacle.

And just as we are about to step out, in steps our favorite country-western star turned bigfoot wrangler, and his brainy sidekick. Conroy sees us, and although we might be a little scrawny by his standards, still thinks we are worth catching.  He sends Lee-Harvey off to the bus out back (I suppose the tour bus we saw at the mansion) to get a net to catch us, while using a stun gun to keep up in position.  

If it weren’t for you meddlin’ kids...

Fortunately, I had left the freezer door open from my exploration of the kitchen.  I click Max on it, and we disrobe and Max goes behind the freezer door.  Bumpus sees our ingenious bigfoot costume and decides he’s going to dress as a Sasquash and infiltrate their ranks.

Hmm, I wonder if any of us have had that idea before.

He grabs the costume and goes into the freezer to change.  Max closes the door to the cryogenic chamber: “Now future generations will be able to enjoy his atonal warbling.”

Just then, the tribal leader walks in, looking for another tray of shrimp balls.

They lowered the membership requirements because of their thinning ranks.

Pleased at their saving the yetis from yeti another threat, he makes Sam and Max honorary bigfoot chiefs, makes a big speech in front of the party saying so, and escorts them to the sacred pool area.

Let’s run this game plot up the flagpole and see if they salute it.

So, these totem poles were passed down through the generations of bigfoots, and they can’t seem to decipher what it means, but they are likely intended to save their race.

“These totem poles might be able to save us, but: a) We don’t know what they mean, b) Most of us have been partying too much to figure out what they mean, and c) We bigfoots have a hard time operating in public, if you know what I mean.”

The leader leaves us alone with Bruno to decipher the totem poles, while he heads off to the hot tub.

Looking at Bruno, we are faced with a dilemma.

“Psst, Max.  Maybe we should wait a while before returning Bruno to his well-meaning, yet horribly twisted owners.”


“Because I have a sick, gnarled premonition that something important’s going to happen to the bigfoots, and it would be nice if Bruno were here to see it before we slapped him back in a block of ice.”

Talking to Bruno, we learn about what the female bigfoot was mumbling about: trees.  “There aren’t enough of them.  Bigfoots need trees to hide behind.  Without trees, we’re easily hunted, captured, and put on display by thoughtless humans.”  

Max also wonders about that hot tub mentioned by Vanuatoo.  He stresses that it sounds like the place to be.  So, I suspect that it’s important.

Starting from the left, Sam’s first thoughts of the totem poles:  

  • Some kind of tornado

  • Dentistry

  • A patron saint of bigfoots

  • A before and after shot

Well, I have a couple of ideas in mind, but I guess I should ask Bruno his opinions:

  • It’s a totem pole.  It’s made of wood.

  • It has something to do with teeth.

  • He sure seems to get along with vegetables.

  • A bald guy with spaghetti on their head.

It seems like he’s not helpful... but at least the third one is an excellent hint to a puzzle I already solved.

I wonder if this hot tub has any special properties?

The chief has his views on the totem poles:

  • Representative of the whirlwind nature of us bigfoots.  Wild and always moving.

  • Sharp edge of ancient history.

  • The harmony from the coexistence of two similar beings.

  • Rapid growth.

Again, most of that is crap, but there’s a good hint in here.  The fourth one.  Let’s start there.  I give the chief the pillow from Conroy’s bedroom, covered with the hair growth tonic.  He takes it from me, and squeezes it out into the pool.  “Hair growth, hair tonic... very resourceful.”

And the fourth totem pole fades away, out of existence.. as though it had never been born.

As for the third totem pole?  Let’s add the hints together:  patron saint of bigfoots, gets along with vegetables, coexistence... I’m thinking John Muir.  I give the chief the squash.  

“A combination of man and nature.  Inventive!”

He ritualistically dances and deposits it to the hot tub, and another totem fades away.

The other two poles are harder.  Let’s start with the first one.  I already know the solution, but how to manage it?  We need that snow globe filled with vortex.  And I have a wine bottle with a cork, could that be the solution?

I try using the ice pick to remove the cork, but no luck.  But I didn’t get a generic error message, I was told flat out that “I don’t think the ice pick will remove the cork.”  I’m again reminded of a puzzle from the last game I played for the blog, where I needed to remove a cork from something.  A straight nail didn’t work, but a corkscrew did.  And I think I know how to turn that ice pick into a corkscrew!

Screw you, @&*$#&!

I ask our friendly restaurant maintenance man to help with telekinesis.  He twists it, and I’m now able to use it to remove the cork, which I then apply to the globe.

Max: “I was hoping something like that would happen.”

Back to the Batmobile, I head to the Vortex, use the Mini-Vortex, and use the snow globe while it’s running.  I think this will do the trick.  But before I check with the chief, I’ll save myself a trip and work on the last remaining pole.

Something that looks like a dinosaur.  Dentistry.  Tooth.  Back to the tar pits.

Where’s a pair of pliers when we need one?

Remember the dinosaur with the sharp teeth?  Guess I need one of them.  This was an annoying one to solve because of the game mechanics.  I need to operate the speaker, where the animatronic beast opens his mouth, but if I click on anything during the speech, he closes his mouth.  I have to wait until he’s done.  Then, I take the 91 yards of twine and lasso it up.  I then use Max with the other end of the rope and toss him in the direction of the DeSoto.  He then ties the rope to the car door, and Sam slams it shut, yanking the tooth.

“We finally got the tooth.”

“The whole tooth?”

“Nothing but."

So, I think I’m set.  But out of curiosity, I stop by the kitchen on the way back to the hot tub.  I open the freezer and find an ice-cold musician.

Well, maybe not that one.

But there’s nothing I can do with that right now, so I put him away.  I head back to the chief.

The hand-held vortex takes care of the first totem pole.  That leaves just one more.  The genuine dinosaur tooth takes care of that.

But wait, nothing is happening?  We got all the ingredients... but?

“In order for the spell to work, we need a living bigfoot sacrifice.”

Max has a bright idea and runs back to the kitchen.

Max kick-started the potion.

Adding the “bigfoot” to the pool in front of an audience of bigfoots and Trixie, the pool starts to react.  Tidal waves, whirlpool action, thunder and rain... and suddenly, the effects of civilization start to reverse.  Trees start growing everywhere, at least throughout the Pacific Northwest.

And then, suddenly, it’s time for the “I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow!” scene.

First, Bruno and Trixie say their goodbyes.

“Will you and Trixie be heading back into the forest to live an idyllic nature-oriented existence together?”

“Hell no!  We’re going to Vegas to get hitched.  If it hasn’t been trashed by all this crazy redwood nonsense.”

Then, on to the bigfoot elder:

You boys should be proud of what you’ve helped us achieve here today.”

“You mean the wholesale destruction of the symbols of modern civilization in the Western United States?  You bet we are.”

“Do we win a prize?”

And he gives us the gold medallion from around his neck, a passed-down family heirloom.  Max quickly scarfs it down, as a foil-covered chocolate.

“Burl, did Bruno always have four arms?”

And as for the original quest.  Remember that?  Well, we returned the bigfoot to the carnival.  Well, *a* bigfoot, anyways.

An OJ prosecutor worked on this game?

And with that, we are treated to a carnival-style shooting gallery mini-game over the credits.

I’ll be back next time to tie up the loose ends, like the other mini games, and then go on to the final rating.  Thanks for coming along for the road trip!

Session Time: 1 hour Total Time: 6 hour 45 minutes


  1. >And then, suddenly, it’s time for the
    >“I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow!” scene.

    1. Nice. It's been too long since I've seen that film, I forgot all about it.

  2. Nice job getting to the end, and a great write up as always! I finished the game a couple of weeks ago and I have... thoughts. Not good ones. I'll wait until the wrap up post for that, though.

    Honestly, I think you did a fantastic job at with a lot of the end game puzzles here. I found them so abstruse that I couldn't even figure out where to click to get to the bigfoot chief at the hot tub.

    1. When I first finished this game, I wasn't impressed. It was kinda boring to me, unfunny and I wasn't interested in this whole American trip gimmick (I was more invested in the opening - with detectives, mad scientists and noir comedy). But I replayed it years later and second time around I found it fantastic. American trip atmosphere still didn't do much for me, but everything else I liked. Sam and Max is really funny game, it suits my sense of humour, but for me it clicked second time around.

    2. I agree about finding the bigfoot chief at the end being quite the pixel hunt. With the freezer, its not easy but at least you can tell you were supposed to go there. The pool room doesn't even look like it has a back door.
      TBH, I can't comment on some of the totems because I solved half accidentally. The tooth seemed like something I should get, while I just stumbled into the stuff for John Muir. The vortex one is clever, but then, you've been trying to solve that one the entire game.

    3. I wonder how much people here agree with this review:

      While I think the author overreacts, it describes rather well aspects like the interface and lolrandom plot which indeed make this one of the more average LucasArts adventures in my opinion.

    4. @Laukku without giving away what I'm trying to get around to writing in the next post, that reviewer makes a lot of valid points, but as an American I'm always a little territorial when people go on anti-American rants about the puzzles. Back when games weren't necessarily being design for an international audience, nowadays people are getting mad because they make localized references.

      This game was meant to be a parody of the 1960s American road trip, and said so even on the box. So that can hardly be a fair criticism, complaining about the American reference puzzles.

      Then again, I also think that Monkey Island 2'smonkey wrench puzzle was funny and creative. Sadly, it doesn't translate well to other languages, but if we take the local flair out of things, the games will be really bland.

    5. @LeftHanded Matt I guess I didn't make it clear enough, I also didn't immediately notice the path to the hot tub, except for two things: first, the chief mentions the hot tub, and then walks off the screen in that direction. It's not the most obvious hint, but it clicked with me later.

    6. You certainly can't fault it for the "Americanness" of the material, the whole game was designed around it. And most of the subjects (e.g. Bigfoot, attractions that are just giant somethings, the tar pits) are things that most well-read English speaking people would know about in any case, or could find in a good encyclopaedia. A lot of the jokes would have and still will go over our heads though.

      The most criticism I have read is more about the style of the humour, and this is unfortunately VERY subjective. I don't like the style but I cannot say some-one else is wrong for enjoying it. There are people who really enjoy it and who am I to say they are wrong.

      What it certainly was was new, I cannot think of any other game in any other genre that tried this style at that time. You can also see the effort taken with the locations, like it or hate it they certainly didn't skimp on the graphics. Your mention of things moving and reacting on the screen seems to reinforce this. I look forward to seeing how this translates in the scores!

  3. An OJ prosecutor worked on this game?
    Wouldn't be the first time a Lucasarts game had someone whose name aged quite badly. Day of the Tentacle had someone whose name ranks right up there in the top ten of worst names to have.

    Also, I found it amusing that the chief's wife literally says "blah blah blah" in some places. Gotta admire the talent of that voice actress.

    1. Okay, I'll bite... who are you referring to in DotT? I read the credits of both the original and the remaster on Mobygames and no one is sticking out to me.

    2. I'm curious too. I also read through the credits for DOTT, and I don't see it either.

    3. Must be a generational gap thing, because the second I saw the name Chris Chan I produced an audible ouch. Not exactly a name that's aged well.

    4. Yeah, not into those internet/YouTube-type celebrities myself, I only vaguely know of a few of them because of massive amounts of mainstream media stories (like Mr. Beast, for example).

      But yeah, apparently not a great name to be associated with.

    5. Where in DotT credits you saw Chris Chan? I see Peter Chan.

    6. (arcanetrivia here, probably about to get in a moderation filter because of posting an anon comment with a link, heh) There's a Chris Chan in the "The team would like to thank" section of the remaster.

    7. Wow! :O Thank you very much! Now I'm just dying to know why they thanked him :P

    8. My guess is that the name is just a coincidence and it's not the same person.

    9. Its not actually the more (in)famous Chris-chan's name, that's a nickname. I'm sure the Chris Chan thanked there is Peter Chan's son, who probably has to tell people to not google his name.

  4. The toupee stealing scene is different between the floppy and CD versions:

    1. One thing that's been bothering me is that in the DOS CD versions I've tried using DOSBox, the music cuts short in the ending scene where the trees grow - example video I handily found. I played the game originally on a Macintosh on real hardware and it behaved more like in this video (and with the nicer-sounding Macintosh music). Those few somber bars on the map screen were quite memorable to me. I'd be interested in knowing whether the behaviour is consistent between all DOS versions (a few rereleases and patches exist) or if it's a bug that pretty much requires ScummVM to fix.

    2. When you try to pick something up too many times:

    3. Ha! I never tried any item more than twice, that's a nice touch!

    4. As for the issues with music ending, I didn't have that, but in the second half of the game, the speech and the text got misaligned badly. It was painful to wait for them to catch up to each other. Changing the text speed setting didn't help completely, either.

  5. regarding the dinosaur puzzle, its a timed puzzle, if you interrupt the dino explanation at the right time, its mouth stays opened you can solve the puzzle. I think it has 3 frames in total

    1. I couldn't figure out the logic to that one. I just tried a few times and eventually succeeded with no feedback at all. Ugh.