Friday 24 May 2024

Missed Classic: Sherwood Forest - An Outlaw for an In-law

Written by Michael

So, the premise of this game is really quite original.  Robin Hood seems to have a little amnesia, forgetting who he is, and everyone seems to have forgotten what Robin Hood looks like in normal street clothes.  So, we need to help him convince others (and probably himself) that he is who the game says he is.  Then, we need to get his fiancée, Maid Marion, to accept it as well so their wedding can go on as planned.

Last time, we started to explore a little, finding even an owl that looks at him and questions, “Who?”

So let’s explore some more.

His other credits include Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

A few screens away from the smithy’s shop, I come across a ‘T’ intersection.  I notice two things.  First, it looks more like a ╩ than a T from this direction.  And there’s a taxman blocking my way.  I look at him, and I’m told he’s a typical IRS man, probably on his way to the bank. I guess that's a subtle hint that he's loaded with cash.

Misquoting blink-182, I ask myself, what’s my name again?  Robin Hood.  As in, “Robbing” hood.  So I ROB TAXMAN.  He flees, but drops a small bag on the way out.  I pick it up and look at it, and find it’s a bag of gold dust.

I really wish our security guard for my new home would shave.

Continuing down the road, I come upon a castle with a poster on the wall being pointed to by the nearby Sheriff of Nottingham.  So, I check out the poster first, and it says “The future home of Mr. & Mrs. Hood.”  Well, guess I should check out my new apartment!  But the Sheriff doesn’t like that idea.  He says, “No one shall enter this castle as long as I am Sheriff of Nottingham!”

I suppose that’s a puzzle hint, that I need to get him removed from his job or something.  But I haven’t a clue how to do that yet, so I’ll keep exploring.

What is it about these giant noses?

Just south of the faire grounds, I come across a blind beggar, looking at me destitutely.  Well, I doubt he’s looking at me, but I get the point, game.  Again, what’s the credo of the Merry Men?  If I remember correctly, we steal from the rich and give to the poor, that’s right?  So, I give him my bag o’ gold dust.  He thanks me, and drops a flint at my feet before disappearing.  “Here’s something you might need.”

Wasting time.

Some more exploring, I find a boat pier, but nothing to do here yet.  I try to SWIM, but no go.

Getting turned away at a kissing booth could be the low point of someone's existence.

Also in the fair, I find a kissing booth, manned, so to speak, by my fiancée.  Wait, what?  You’re supposed to be marrying me, but you’re selling affection to anyone with a dollar?  Sheesh.

I try to kiss her, of course, and I’m told, “Sorry, honey, but you just aren’t charming enough.” I wonder how I'll fix that.

Nearby is a stage, and the Merry Men are gathered around.  They’re looking pretty bored, when I check.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

I climb on stage and DANCE.  That wasn’t the right choice, I guess, since they show their appreciation by hurling delicious fruit at me.

I look at them again from up here, and they chant, “Play, play, play, play!!”  I suppose that’s a hint to get an instrument?  I’ll keep my eyes open.  I confirm this by simply typing PLAY.  The game responds, “You’re not equipped for that.”

It's not that easy bein' green, having to spend each day the color of the leaves

So, some more exploring.  I find our friend Little John guarding a log bridge over a raging stream.  He won’t let me pass, only Robin Hood.  Who he would recognize by seeing him in a green outfit.  So, obviously, that’s what I will need to get past him.

But, I try some, ahem, alternate solutions.

Sadly, no exits from this room.

I try to fight little John.  He beats the living daylights out of me, and throws me in the river, to float away like a bloated Jason Taselli.  Guess that wasn’t the right solution.  And thank goodness the game has a save feature.

I restore and try to swim past him.  I’m swept away by the current and drown. 

Oh well.  Guess I need to find a green leisure suit somewhere.

(For the fun of it, I try to FIGHT FRIAR back at the quickie-wed chapel, and the game says “I refuse to do that.”)

No, actually I needed a straw.

A few screens away, I find a haystack.  More exactly, a large, dry haystack.  I, of course, go searching in the haystack.  The game has ESP, I guess.  “Hmmm...looking for a needle?”

I answer yes, and the game simply says, “I’m glad your agreeable.”  But I look at the haystack.  “This haystack has been here a long time.  It might be a fire hazard...”

I forgot my s'mores.


Found a needle.  Yay!  Now, let’s dip into the Larry 2 walkthrough and try to GET ASHES.  Nope, but worth a try.  LOOK ASHES?  There’s a spool of thread.   LOOK ASHES again to be safe?  There’s a penny.

I saw a penny; I picked it up.  Now, all day I’ll have good luck.  Nothing else in the ashes after that.

No diving in the shallow end, please.

At this point, I’m a little stumped on my next move, so I start revisiting rooms, making sure to type LOOK in each one, so I see a list of items I can interact with. 

There’s a scene you can walk to with a shallow pool.  I LOOK POOL and find a whetstone.  A large, round one about 2 feet across and 2 inches thick.  I think it’ll be a perfect match for the broken grinder in the smith shop, and I’m right.  I FIX GRINDER and it’s up and running.  Now, I just need something to sharpen.  I don’t need to fix up the needle, so I;m guessing it’s for a later puzzle.  I try to GRIND STEEL, that chunk of steel I picked up from the floor before, and all it tells me is that I made a few sparks.

I'm taking away the awning.  The kissing booth is now becoming a tanning booth.

Next, I hit the jackpot at the kissing booth.  See, it was topped with an awning.  In a rare shade of green, when I look at it.  GET AWNING.

It took me a while to remember that an awning doesn't have to be hard metal. This was probably a cloth overhang. So, desperation in my thoughts, I try something.  WEAR AWNING.  “The awning is not fitting for you.”  Guess that’s another subtle hint.  So, I think I know what I want to try next.  

But I received no bill.  I need to bring all my dry cleaning here in the future.

I head over to the tailor’s shop and follow the instructions from the note.  I leave the awning there, and also the needle and thread.  I leave, and then come back.  When I return, there’s a Robin Hood-style shirt, some leftover thread, and a note.  I take it all.

The note tells me that there was some thread left over after he finished the job.  WEAR UNIFORM.

Next time, maybe I should try to get past Little John.  But for now, I’m taking a break.

Inventory: Thread, flint, steel, (Uniform), penny.

This Session: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Gruesome and Painful Deaths so Far: 3


  1. The art is surprisingly impressive. I love how they created the illusion of so many colours and shades from a limited palette, zooming in on the screenshots is kind of fascinating.

    1. The technique is usually attributed to Ken Williams and Sierra. From the book Hackers by Steven Levy, the classic tome about that time period:

      "By then, they had finished Roberta's fairy-tale game, "Wizard and the Princess." It was twice as long as Mystery House, and ran faster thanks to Ken's improvements on the program logic. Ken had developed a whole new assembly-language interpreter for writing adventure games; he called it ADL, or Adventure Development Language. Also, this "Hi-Res Adventure #2" had over one hundred and fifty pictures. Ken had devised subroutines that allowed Roberta to enter the pictures into the computer as easily as if she were drawing on a regular tablet. This time the pictures were in color; Ken used a technique called "dithering" to blend the six colors of the Apple, mixing dot by dot, to get twenty-one colors. He was performing stunts on the Apple that Steve Wozniak never dreamed of. Magic stuff."

      That said, the graphics in this game put The Wizard and the Princess to shame, and I even touch on that in the final post for this game (when we get there on the blog). This game made it look good.

  2. This game has some charming graphics considering it's vintage. And the puzzles seems fair so far


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