From The Adventure Gamer
Written by TBD
Eric the Unready Journal Entry #4: I found myself in a fair near a fire-breathing dragon. And the dragon’s protecting the Steak of Eternity. Seems simple enough – just need to cover myself from head to toe in fireproof armor and steal a hungry dragon’s meal. I’ve got most of it covered but I still need one more item…
|One final Monty Python reference left over from the previous mission|
Hi all. Sorry for the rather significant delay between posts here. As is happening to everyone in the world, current circumstances have put all our regular routines out of order. Technically I have more time at home to play and write about adventure games but somehow it feels like I have less – the human psyche is weird. Anyway, on with the show…
Day 5: Stygian Dragon – To Cover My Arse
After shooting out of a cannon in my last mission I landed on a fairground tent. Checking out my new location I find I’m at the St. Barchan’s Day fair, and there’s a herald spouting news. As usual, there’s also a newspaper here.
|Good to see people learning from their experiences.|
After reading the newspaper I listen to the herald’s proclamations.
|Circumstances like the wet tunic contest perhaps? (Sorry – thought I was in a Spellcasting game for a moment there)|
|Okay, maybe the last chapter isn’t the end of the Monty Python references.|
|But Snorkle the Herald Angels Sing would make a great hymn.|
Moving on, I find a chef roasting a boar while wearing a comedy apron with “Poke me with a fork – I think I’m done!” written on it. I think he wants some spices, but I’m not sure when the game’s giving me a hint or just attempting a joke.
|I think he went to the wrong fair.|
Seeing as the chef’s clothing is specifically inviting it, and I do have a pitchfork in my inventory, I do what he asks.
|I’m in a fourth wall breaking comedy adventure game – if I don’t take things literally I won’t be able to solve half of the puzzles|
In another part of the fair ominously named Shady Area is a three handed elf playing a shell game.
If I play, I lose. I was expecting to see some kind of animation with the shells but was disappointed when I just had to guess without having any idea. The prize is some extra minutes of life (which I assume is irrelevant to the game) and some racy woodcuts of a local dancer called Lily.
After a few turns a wandering musician strolls through. He wins the game every time, so expecting shenanigans, I talk to him.
|My guess is he bought those glasses from the back of an old comic book and they let him see through the shells.|
The musician is missing a reed for his instrument so I figure he’ll give me his X-Ray Specs if I find one for him.
The fair also contains a stockade with some stocks, and as I wait there a man is walked in and put in the stocks.
|The prisoner has a speech impediment, which I later worked out is why he was in the stocks in the first place.|
|Spitting is illegal at the fair|
I didn’t remember the illegality of spitting at first, but when I did work it out I felt even sorry for the poor prisoner. Anyway, even without that knowledge I immediately try to free the man, but can’t find a way to do it.
After a little while he’s freed by the authorities anyway, so I continue my explorations. There is a Fool’s Pavilion where I can audition for a job. The three fools tell me that the jester’s hat protects me from thrown objects and is fireproof, all of which will help against unamused patrons. I talk to them.
|Good call – I’m sure he won’t do any damage over there.|
I try a few things to amuse them or cheat.
|Your loss – I was going to do something really funny with those scorecards.|
Unable to amuse the fools, I leave and check out the shooting gallery, which is run by a creepy barker who keeps making comments to and about the passing ladies. If I win his game I can have one of three prizes, so I go about getting all three.
He gives me a crossbow and I shoot at each of the three targets. I hit every time so walk away with each of the three prizes; a whooppee cushion, a noise maker, and a rubber chicken.
|A rubber chicken without a pulley in it – what’s the point!|
I go back to the fool judges to impress them with my new prizes – I pull out my whoopee cushion and do what the Fonz told me I should do (I sit on it.)
|They look very enthusiastic about my comedy routine.|
I am now a fool. I’d love to go back to the knights at home and show them of my achievements!
I try to give my cap to the man in the stocks, but he won’t take it. I was only trying to help protect him from rotten fruit. Anyway, the fair is fairly big compared to most sections of the game, so let’s keep exploring.
I go to the Amphitheatre next and check out the schedule.
|I suppose I’ll need to see all three shows at some point. I remember that Lily is the person I can win woodcuts of so that’s clearly a show I’ll have to see.|
There is also a Pavilion of Tomorrow – an extremely lame pavilion of tomorrow, almost as lame as Epcott Center (Sorry Disney, I wasn’t impressed.)
There are a bunch of items here:
- Portable Window of the Future – a hoop with a shade so I can take my window everywhere.
- Cage with a Viper in it – I don’t know if this is supposed to be part of the exhibition or someone just left a pet here but it does seem important.
- Kitchen Appliance – the Crush-o-Matic – a 2500lb weight that can be dropped to crush food
- Chamberpot of Tomorrow – a chamberpot that is permanently attached to your rear-end to save time going to the privy.
- Signalling Device – a gong that you can bang on.
- Cat-Jet III Assault Catapult – a model of a state-of-the-art catapult.
- Giant Leech – in the future, medicine will improve with the larger than usual leeches.
- Iron Maiden Key Ring – from the description it sounds like the kind of stretchy key ring that some security guards in movies use.
- Personal Hygeine System – an aardvark. Seriously. Just an aardvark.
I take a rubber band, which I assume is the Iron Maiden Key Ring. I also take the leech. I try to take other things, but they are too heavy. When I try to take the catapult, it fires.
|I sense a puzzle here.|
I pull the shade of the Window of the Future in order to stop the catapult from shooting the gong, then try again to get the catapult.
|Ah, a babelfish puzzle. Nice.|
I try anything I can think of with the snake – putting stuff in the hole or giving stuff to the snake. I try various ways to use the weight, but the game won’t let me press the lever or do anything else I try.
Out of ideas in here, I go back to the prisoner in the stocks and try to upset him with my noise maker.
|It’s times like these I really wish this game had a “USE” verb option.|
|These are clearly the actions of someone without a plan.|
|I notice that the apron is fire-proof. I haven’t seen any fire lately, but I’m sure I will soon enough.|
|Wooo! Spring Break!|
At some point I finally realised there was a screen I’d missed – an exit to the west at the entrance to the fairground. I take it.
|I already wanted it, but now I know why I’ll need the chef’s apron.|
I go to the Amphitheatre and wait for the next show, which is Lily.
After the show, an usher gives me a note.
“I saw you out fwont duwing the show. Please meet me in my dwessing woom. –Lily.”
Accepting the invitation, I go north and end up in Lily’s Dressing Room.
|I wonder if she’s related to Pontious Pilate|
I talk to her, and again get reminded of the quest to climb the maypole.
I look around to see what else I can do here.
|Nice work changing the ‘r’s’ everywhere, game, but I really should have a wubber band in my inventory!|
Wondering if there’s anything I need to do here by changing items a-la the T-remover from Leather Goddesses of Phobos, I keep the idea in mind and leave.
I wait around at the amphitheatre for the next show – the jugglers. The jugglers challenge the audience to toss them something they can’t juggle so I look in my inventory for an appropriately unjuggleable item.
|Don’t challenge an adventure game protagonist – it rarely ends well.|
Now that the jugglers have dropped their gloves in dismay, I take a pair and look at them – the gloves have tiny suckers on them, so I wear them and try to climb the greasy pole in the middle of the fair.
|I neglected to mention the pole earlier so I’ll do that now. There is a greased pole in the fairground with a red feather boa swinging from the top of it.|
I take the boa back to Lily, who’s thwilled at my success, and tells me about the second part of my quest.
|But I need that weed for the musician in order to get the X-Ray specs so I can get the woodcuts which I can use to solve a different puzzle!|
I take the reed to the musician and he swaps them for his shades. As expected, the shades let me see through the shells and I can win the shell game (again, without any animation or change in the graphics to show what I see)
|I know exactly what to do with those woodcuts|
I take the woodcuts to the overly horny barker in the hope that I will achieve something.
|I find it weird that everywhere else it’s spelled Lily but on the woodcuts it’s spelled Lilly. I suspect counterfeit woodcuts!|
Having distracted the barker, he doesn’t take the crossbow off me as I leave so I have a new item in my inventory.
I go back to the Pavillion of Tomorrow to see if any of my new items will help. The viper doesn’t want the boa and when I try to shoot anything with my crossbow I miss – including the big gong at the back of the room. I try once again to make the noise maker work, but none of the verbs worked (I even resorted to going through the entire long list of verbs on the left one-by-one)
I note that if I go back to the dragon, he doesn’t always shoot fire at my chest. I’ll need to protect my whole body. So far, I have sunglasses, a boa and a fool’s cap to protect my eyes, head and neck. But I need an apron and the chamberpot of tomorrow to protect my chest and backside.
Because I had no current ideas on how to get either of the required items, I reload an old game to see the Story of the Dragon that I’d missed at the Amphitheatre as it only plays at 11am.
The story doesn’t help me solve my current dilemma, but it does give me information about how this mission will end. The dragon who used to terrorize the countryside was finally stopped – by the power of spam!
|It’s obviously setting up that I’ll be the one taken this year.|
Note: This game came out before the popularity of the internet, and therefore before email spam was a thing. I’m sure if this game was made now the dragon would be getting hourly invitations to meet single dragons in his area or join some kind of get-rich-quick scheme.
Continuing to explore, I finally have an idea on how to get myself arrested. I didn’t know how getting arrested would help, but I was sure it would be of some use. Listening to Harold the Herald’s proclamation again reminded me about the no spitting rule so I had the obvious next thought.
|The guy in the back seems sad that I’m there – perhaps some of my spit hit him.|
I insult the people jeering at me, then a man with an apple-bearing son appear. I insult the boy too.
|How appropriate – you fight like a cow!|
The boy responds to my insult by throwing an apple, which lands amongst my other possessions on a pile next to me.
I wait until my ten minutes in the stocks is up, then take my shiny new apple to the chef and put it in the boar’s mouth because that’s what pigs on spits always have for some reason. Pleased that his meal is now complete, the chef drops his apron and leaves with his newly appled pig.
I take the apron, and now only need the chamberpot to complete my fireproof armour.
And this is where I’m stuck.
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE
I tried reloading to after Lily gave me the weed and went to all locations to see if the second part of her quest is actually something I need to solve rather than giving the reed to the musician. I had no luck with that, though.
I try using my stuff on things everywhere and eventually decide to wait until nightfall in case something changes when the sun goes down.
|Of course, I should have realised this would happen.|
I even get desperate and ask the game for help
So I’m asking for assistance. I’m confident I’m near the end of the chapter but slightly disappointed I couldn’t continue my plan of writing a post for each chapter. Oh well, I figure next post will have to contain the conclusion of this Steak of Eternity mission as well as the next one.
Here’s what I know or suspect.
- I need the chamberpot of tomorrow
- It will somehow involve stopping the catapult from hitting the gong when I brush past it to get to the catapult.
- It may involve the crossbow, noise maker or rubber chicken as I haven’t used them yet.
- I know sure it’s not related, but I’m still going to blame the social upheaval caused by the coronavirus for my inability to solve this puzzle. Otherwise I’d have to admit my incompetence! 🙂
Session time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Total time: 7 hours 50 minutes
Score: 395 out of 1000, in 1063 turns
Inventory: backpack, Crescent Wrench of Armageddon, Pitchfork of Damocles, crossbow, book, apron, boa, note, noise maker, bungee cord, berries, chicken, rubber band, whoopee cushion, newspaper, apple (wait – why do I still have an apple after I got the apron?), sunglasses, fool’s cap, gloves