Spellcasting 301 – Sand castles in the sand

From The Adventure Gamer


By Deimar

Ernie Eaglebeak’s Journal #3: Beating the GLYs is proving to be harder than we anticipated. Of course, we had already beat them at weight lifting and partying, but now we have to build a sand castle, belly flop and a drinking contest. And that’s not even the end of it. But we can’t stand down now. Afterall, we are fighting for our right to PAAAaaaaaaaaaartyyyyyyyy.

 

 

Will I find some of these chapter’s photos in Shutterstock?

Ok, inventory and finance management is getting on my nerves. The item limit is stupidly low, which means that when venturing far from my stash place, the Plaza, I can only take the spell book with me, check what I am going to need there, restore and move along. The time limit gives you some breathing room, but not enough. In the end most of the time I am just skipping going to timed events like some of the contest to fully explore and gather items in new areas so I can replay the zones being more optimal with my movements. It gets tiresome after some time.

The other problem is finances. With the starting gold plus the 200g you can find in the sack that dropped from the carpet you are set at the beginning. But then the game starts to open up and I am starting to suspect that in the end I will have to buy everything in the town. And there are very expensive things out there. As I commented in my previous post, I suspected you can sell things in the pawn shop and I was right. The designers even let you click on the signpost in the wall to get a nice interface to manage transactions. I have been selling what I consider trash, such as the empty gold sack or other containers (I feel sorry for Sid and Otto as I sold their bag and suitcase, but it is for a good cause). Those give very little money, but enough to buy some of the least expensive things. Items bought from other shops give more money, but I am refraining from selling those as they might be useful later on, even if they have been already used in a puzzle, like for example the studfinder and the two-by-fours.

 

The bane of my existence

The only other source of money I have seen is the casino. I’ve spent quite some time trying to see a pattern in any of the three games there. First you have a Squat machine, a simple slot machine. I have never even getting close to winning anything. Then you have blockjock, a card game where you have to bet on whether the next card revealed will be lower or higher than yours. Of course, the cards are completely original and there is no clear hierarchy of values so whatever you choose you always end up losing. The last one is the maze. A mouse is freed in the center of a maze and you have to bet which gate he will use to get out of the labyrinth. The casino uses different mice for each round, with names such as Herman B. Squeak, Uncle Twitchy or Lord Rodent. As this one seemed like the game with more chances for winning, I spent some time annotating results, trying to see a pattern in gates, rodents and the like but to no avail. The game even doesn’t let you save inside the casino. Everytime you enter the casino you are told “This house is crookeder than me pappy’s back” so I guess there must be something you can do to cheat these gamblers and until then you are going to lose every single time, but it is eluding me for the moment.

If I continue having problems with my money, I will probably end up reading Ilmari’s clues from a few post ago as I waste a lot of time taking things to the pawn shop and paired with the inventory limit it is getting annoying. With that said, I managed to make some progress and saw more of the following contests in the tournament and more zones. Let’s start with the morning following the party.

Castle building

The next contest is sand castle building, on 1.30pm on Monday. As there was some time before the contest and I still had no idea what to do, I went for a walk to see the shops that were closed during the weekend. The first one is the surf shop, which sells only two things. The first one are a pair of dehydrated falsies. I am guessing that one will be useful for the wet t-shirt contest. The second is an absorption pill. As that didn’t tell me anything I bought and tried to eat it, with the message being that now I could swallow a ton a water, so I think this one will come in handy for the drinking contest.

 

Shouldn’t they sell some actual surf stuff?

The other closed shop is a dance club called the “Club Club”. “Why?” I heard you asking. Well, it is a prehistoric themed dance club, where boys have to hit their dance partners with a foam club in the head to ask them to dance. Neat, but not very useful at the moment.

 

WIILMAAAAAAAAA!!

Seeing as those seemed like dead ends, I waited for the sand castle tournament. Everyone was there at 1.30pm and it seemed like the YUs, as per usual, were doing extremely well an the Pharts were doing… something, I guess. As per usual. Trying to make a castle ended up in nothing but with Sid complaining about in his youth he used to be very good at building castles. PEAWEE to the rescue!!. The regression spell usually reverts things to their infant selves. Used on Sid makes the trick and he remembers how to make sand castles, but he needs a shovel. A quick restore and a trip to take the shovel from the stash and the contest is won. So far so good.

 

Come on, Sid made an entire city, the only a castle and
we only get 10 points over them? This tournament is rigged!!

You have some time between Sid finishing its sand city and the contest ending but I don’t see anything else to do. I am still wondering if there is any way to make the YUs score worse, as there seems to be time to do so but nothing I tried worked. In any case, now we are ahead for 185 to 150.

Wild wild north east

After the contest ends, a wave conveniently cleans the beach showing a metal object under the YUs patch of sand: a right-hand ratchet. UPPSSY (spell of opposites) on the ratchet makes it a left-handed ratchet which is exactly what the workerman at the Stream of Consciousness needs to repair the bridge. I mean, after giving him the bolt from the hardware store.

 

At least I didn’t have to also repair the bridge for him

This opens the way to a new section. A wild west themed section of the map. First we find a roc nest with some plumage from the bird. If you are like me and have no idea what is a roc, it apparently is a Persian mythological big bird of prey, with several appearances in The Arabian Nights. I really hope solving anything in this game is not related to knowing more about the legend of the roc.

 

Seeing this image I am starting to wonder if I will have to try to
mate with a roc… The specification of a MALE plumage seems fishy…

Continuing north we reach an old wild west town. With a saloon, a bank, a prospector shop and an entrance to the mine, which I guess is the same mine we can access from the Mouth of Cave. When trying to enter the saloon, a fairy comes and says that it is closed at the moment. Seeing as this is the “west” exit from the town, there is probably some way of entering.

 

Apparently it thawed when we passed by over it

The bank presents less problems to enter, but inside we can only find a sleeping banker. We can wake him up, but he offers no services to us.

 

He is just so happy to see anyone…

The prospector shop is way more interesting. They sell a lot of miner stuff but you need a prospector id card to buy. The only two things you can buy without one is a torch, at 179g, and a bulb repair service at 24g, which is exactly what we need to level up our sorcery at the guild hall.

Outside of the shop, at the mouth of the mine we can find another item from the carpet. A trunk containing a level 4 spell, KITCHEMY (lead to bread), and a piece of denim. Getting inside the mine is of no use, as it is pitch black, so it is time to rewind, sell quite a few things and see what’s on the mine. Oh, and get the bulb repaired.

Once inside, it looked to me like the mine was going to be your typical run-of-the-mill text adventure labyrinth, as every room from the entrance had 8 exits leading to copies of the same room. After trying to map it for a while I realized that it is not actually a maze at all.

Going west in almost any room takes you back to the mouth of the mine. When you go east in any room for a few steps you end up in the same room, but with water pouring from a whole. You can jump in the water and end up in the Stream of Consciousness. Going further east makes a giant squid appear from the water and block going further to the east. Nothing I tried made the squid go away, so there must be something to be done with it. Also, at some point I managed to get out of the mine via the mouth of the cave but I haven’t been able to reproduce it.

 

Maybe an alien from another dimension that will make everyone on
Earth unite and fight together against the common enemy?

Under the sea

Having finished exploring the Northeast as far as I could go at the moment, I redirected my efforts towards the guild hall and the bulb repair quest. Once I returned it to them, I went up a level in sorcery and got another quest, requiring pearl dust to level up even more. Wanting to test my new powers as soon as possible, I decided that the spell at The Point that transforms humans to merfolk was the perfect challenge.

 

Gandalf the blue!

So I dropped everything at the base of the lighthouse to travel the treacherous path to The Point and opened the spell box. Lo and behold, now I was a merman. Just regular Ernie but with more scales. Once here, you can choose between diving into the ocean or into the harbour, so I decided to go with the great big blue.

I was greeted by a wonderful sea bed full of corals, with some fishes going around in the screen. The only thing that could be taken was a berry underwater plant. I decided to try to eat the berries and as soon as I did I was transformed back into a human and taken to the harbour by a pair of merfolks. I really appreciate that you can’t die in this game, but things like this with a potential dead end get on my nerves. Luckily, the spell box that allows you to become a merman doesn’t disappear after use, so you can go underwater as much as you like. At least until you get bored of walking from the wharf to the Point.

 

The berrie of my existence

In any case, once back in the water, I decided to try the underwater harbour section just to see a boot inside a lobster trap, which immediately remind me of the lobsterman in the wharf. After a few turns, the trap is raised to show a crab hiding under it, but you can’t take it. With nothing to do there at the moment, I followed the only available path to the west.

Then I reached a sunken ship, with an oyster just sitting outside. The oyster contained a pearl inside, so I took both. Inside the ship I found a medallion with an inscription saying that whoever wears it is protected by the god of the sea. Which useful underwater, so I started to wear it. Following the only path available I reached the outskirts of a merfolk city. And the portable bar I dropped from the carpet.

 

I think the image follows the solemn Disney tradition of hiding a penis somewhere

And then the time limit on the spell ran out and I was dragged once again to the wharf without any of the items I was carrying. Funny, are you feeling it yet? So back to the water I managed to get into the city and meet a gorgeous mermaid that seemed interested in Ernie. She takes Ernie to her room (seduced by his charm I guess, whatever it may be). There we can take a look at a parchment in the floor showing a map on how to get to a throne. Of course, you can shag the lady fish, but I will leave that to your imagination.

 

I hate when people don’t simply send the location on Google maps…

The final room in our underwater trip is the merfolk museum. The museums talks about the city of Sitnalta, a sister city of Mer City that was shoot up to the skies long ago and lost to the merfolks. It contains a throne, a replica of the real one in Sitnalta, with a plaque saying that there is a legend about returning the four seahorses of the Apocalypse to the throne to restore the former glory of the Mer people. So at last I know what the seahorses are all about. And the fourth one is just there also, inside an egg in the museum. Now I just need to know how to reach the real throne using the map in the other room.

 

Merfolk roolz!! Long life the seahorses!!

The last “puzzle?” here is how to get the items out of the water, but with the trap moving every few turns it was an easy answer. You just have to open the trap and empty whatever you want out of the water inside. Of course, the time limit on the spell makes this operation take a few trips, but all is good and sound once everything is outside.

Back to the tournament

But not everything is shiny. I spent a lot of time exploring and trying things in the new scenarios. Coupled with the time spent tidying up my finances, in the end I didn’t have much time to prepare for the next two events. At some points I even sacrificed them to keep going on. Still, I tried both of them with little to no success.

The first contest is a belly button dive in the pool of the hotel at 10.30 am. Once the judge and her entourage arrives, they put up a stratospheric diving board to see who makes the biggest splash. I tried several things here, like for example using the roc call to see if it would pick up one of Ernie’s brothers to a bigger splash, or the mutation of the KITCHEMY spell, BOTCHEMY (peel to steel), or try to jump myself, but nothing worked. Everytime, the two Pharts on the contest do a horrible performance and the YUs are awarded 175 points to 50 for us. Basically, none of the other previous contests matter anything because this one gives a lot of points.

 

Come on, falling on your head from that height will make
more of a blood splash than a water one. I call cheating!!

There is also a drinking contest a 7.30 the very same day. And it goes equally bad. The contest is a two parter, with the first bar consisting on seeing who mixes more drinks in the alloted time, and the second one consisting in drinking the first part results. After a first successful attempt, I managed some progress by giving Vince, the Phart in charge of mixing drinks, the portable bar I found at the bottom of the ocean. Although the contest goes a little bit better, it is still far from a competition, as the portable bar is broken and not working properly. UPPSSY the mini bar makes it a big bar, but still is not enough to win the contest. For the drinking part, I think I will only need the absorption pill, once I manage to mix a bazillion drinks.

 

Madam, Have you checked your spine? Feels a bit too curvy…

And with that I think it is as good a time as any other to finish this post. I will keep working on trying to win those two contest and probably will have to replay some of the game to have more time and better finances at this point.

Final remarks

Some of these might seem obvious after reading the post, but many of them have only occurred to me while writing about my experiences. I think it might be interesting to you to know what I am thinking about how to approach following sessions.

  • The medallion might be the way of defeating the giant squid in the mine, so it is one of the first things I will try
  • It dawned on my that I can possibly wear the roc plumage before using the call and trick a female roc. If this is a way of winning the diving contest or just how you can get to the sister Mer city is still unknown
  • There must be a way of returning the mining town to its former glory or otherwise the closed saloon or the bank serve no purpose. PEAWEE maybe? Actually, I might need to do something with the water at the Stream of Consciousness. Try some spells even.
  • No idea what that KITCHEMY spell can be used for. The only thing I can think is that there will be a escape from a prison by eating the lead-to-bread changed gate. Although the rust spray seems like it can be used for the same purpose.
  • I am not sold on changing RATANT to its mutated spell yet, even though no mutated version of any other spell has been of any use.
  • Somehow a plate of magic mushrooms appeared in my inventory at the Plaza. Maybe something I left has changed but I can’t see what
  • The Laxative at the grocery store will be probably used in the arena
  • Still have no idea how to open the closed door at the aquarium or to take the key from the rummy at the groggery.

 

Ok, ok. But only because you asked to play in NAUGHTY mode… Pervs

Inventory:

  • 9 pieces of gold
  • Bathing suit (worn)
  • Glasses (worn)
  • Spell book
  • Golden Seahorse
  • Auburn tube, umber tube, sienna tube, brown tube, tan tube, beige tube, sepia tube
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Studfinder
  • Two-by-fours
  • Instruction Sheet
  • Confirmation Letter
  • Trophy
  • Cloak
  • Text book
  • Nose shield
  • Deflated pool float
  • Otto’s suitcase (spare tie)
  • Pimento Moss
  • Some suction cup-covered gloves (left by Batman)
  • Package of breadsticks
  • Shovel
  • Conch
  • Boot
  • Tuft of male roc plumage
  • Left-handed ratchet
  • Treatise
  • Sweet smelling seahorse
  • Plate of magic mushrooms
  • Parchment
  • Medallion
  • Oyster (pearl inside)
  • Egg (fuzzy-feathered seahorse)
  • Portable bar
  • Denim
  • Miner’s torch

Potential items:

  • Diamond ring (1500g from Pawn Shop)
  • Pulverized pearl (15g from Hardware Store)
  • Strawberries (6g from Grocery Store)
  • Laxative (39g from Grocery Store)
  • Bread (3g from Grocery Store)
  • Rust Spray (10g from Souvenir Shop)
  • Roc Caller (79g from Souvenir Shop)
  • Greasy food (5g at Beach by Snack Bar)
  • Slimfish (33g from Fish Market)
  • Dehydrated falsies (45g from Surf shop)
  • Absortion pill (30g from Surf shop)

Spells:

Level 1 spells
BIP (produces soft music) BIM (produce soft mucous)
FOY (create daiquiris)
VOY(create dungarees)
Level 2 spells
FRIMP (levitation) FRUMP (legislation)
SPUNJ (enlarge tree root) SPURJ (enlarge wee fruit)
Level 3 spells
RATANT (spell mutation) RATTAN (shell mutation)
PEAWEE (regression) POWWO (digression)
UPPSSY (spell of opposites) DOWNSY (spell of opossums)
Level 4 spells
KITCHEMY (lead to bread) BOTCHEMY (peel to steel)


Map:

 

 

Score: YUs – 700, Pharts – 265 (I think it’s quite even, don’t you agree?)

Session Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 10 hours

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!



Original URL: https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2018/09/spellcasting-301-sand-castles-in-sand.html