From The Adventure Gamer
Written by Torch
I ended the previous post on a slightly slow-moving note, if I can call it that. For the umpteenth time, I needed to find 100 yen for a metro ticket. While I didn’t flag that post as a request for assistance, I nevertheless found myself unable to obtain the necessary funds for the duration of my next play session. So I went ahead and sneakily requested some hints in the comments section, and luckily, Vetinari yet again came to my aid. I’m not sure what to think about the solution to the problem, but at least it again confirms my theory that the game interface is doing its utmost to fool me at every opportunity
Consider the following screenshot
|Looks like we’ve got ourselves a Mexican standoff. Only I don’t see any Mexicans|
Well, that’s about to pay off in a big way, because I can now use the hat to…. wait for it… beg for alms from one of the men….
|Oh no, I couldn’t. It would ruin your suit|
Yes, if I squint really hard, I can sort of see the game developers’ logic here, but why did I need the hat? Couldn’t I just talk to the guy and ask him for money? And why oh why couldn’t the game at least let me know sometime in advance that it might be able to interact with this guy at some point? Like “look”-ing at him and getting a “Looks like a rich businessman on his way to work” or something similar. It’s really annoying trying to figure this stuff out when you’re convinced they’re just part of the scenery.
Sigh, let’s at least hope it’s the last time I’m fooled like this. Rant closed. Moving on.
100 yen in pocket, I can now buy a metro ticket to Subu. Oh, by the way, as I receive the money, I get a new copy protection question, asking how long the city’s railway is. I find the answer in the manual and move on. After a short metro ride, I end up at Subu, where I’ve also been before.
|It’s like deja vu all over again.|
On the right we see Doug’s pachinko hut, and on the left is Donna’s beauty salon. This time, however, we’re going to Sento baths. I have a flyer for Sento, but it doesn’t seem to be a coupon or anything, so I probably won’t be walking out of there after my visit with a basket full of soaps.
As I enter, I find myself (or Dino’s self ) in a small waiting room of sorts. Attached to the door is a large gong, and Dino exclaims that one would have to be a Hercules to be able to use it. Well, he IS sort of a (stupider) Hercules, and he hasn’t punched anything since he ate those beans in the previous post, and – to jog your memory – Dino gets strong(er) from eating beans. So I punch the gong.
|Seems like a mallet would be easier. How do beanless people get in?|
And the door opens. Inside I see a lone man in a jacuzzi. The cursor identifies him as Mr. Y.
|Thanks, but I only know that one song. The one that goes “GONNNNNNNNNG”|
By talking to the guy, everything sorts itself out. He approves of Dino fighting Futotta, and tells me to go back to the arena and tell them that “The Sento man said yes”. So… no written statement or anything…? Well, ok.
Another two metro rides ( why can’t I go directly from one station to another without going through the main district? ) and I’m back at Kinza, where I talk to the aptly named “sumo man” again. After a short conversation in which Dino needs a couple of tries to remember what he was supposed to say, I’m allowed to wrestle. There’s only the small matter of a contract.
|19%? But I know Donna gets all 50 000 yen. How does that compute?|
Dino agrees to sign the contract, but as I already know from Doug’s chapter, there’s the issue of Dino not being heavy enough.
|I wonder what 12 kilos of beans would do for Dino’s punching capacity|
As I leave the arena, I bump into Doug (as expected), and the exchange goes the same as last time.
|150 – 138 = 10 ( Well, it’s Dino )|
In case you don’t remember, Doug needs a ticket for the match and promises to help Dino with the weight problem if he can get one. Ok, great. Now, to get Doug to uphold his end of the deal from this point, I needed to:
- Travel to main district
- Use a wrench to disassemble a radio at Doug’s house to get a speakermagnetthingy
- Trade the wrench for a jar at honest Chan’s
- Travel to Subu and enter the Pachinko house
- Play the pachinko game, using the speakermagnetthingy to win a bunch of tiny balls
- Put the balls in the jar to see how many it can hold
- Travel back to the main district
- Go to the restaurant in the park and enter it
- Talk to the chef to “guess” how many balls are in the competition jar to win a voucher for free food
- Travel back to Kinza and give the voucher to Dino.
And that’s if I had known in advance exactly what to do, and didn’t have to mess around.
Now, for Dino:
|Enter Arena – Pick up ticket – Exit Arena|
Looking back at the amount of frustration this game has caused me, I guess I shouldn’t complain when things are easy. As you know, I now have a voucher for an “all you can eat”-meal at the Kaizen-Sushi restaurant in the park, so I hop on the metro and get there in a jiffy ( do people still say jiffy? ). What happens at the restaurant though, is slightly anti-climactic.
Right after entering the restaurant, Dino comes back out again, and the whole thing is apparently done. No eating animation or anything… Meh… But ok. I still have something to look forward to. Due to the order of the chapters, I’ve felt that the game has been building towards the sumo wrestling match. We’ve had sexcapades, overeating, jar ball guessing, etc. all in order to get this fight of the century to happen, so there had better be some serious payoff now.
I travel back to Kinza and enter the arena building, ready to witness this clash of titans. Will there be puzzles to solve or an action sequence to master in order to win the match?
|It’s like that movie “Click” with Adam Sandler, only they skip the good parts|
Or will the whole thing be over in 1 second with no graphical depiction of how this went down?!?!
This is seriously disappointing. Like at the restaurant, right after entering the venue, Dino comes back out, having won the fight, and Donna’s outside waiting for him. They just… skipped over the whole event. Groan….. We never even got to see Buta Futotta.
19% manager fee or not, Dino gives 50 000 yen to Donna, and the rest is history. Or rather herstory ( sorry ). Which means that Dino is pretty much done with what he set out to do.
The end. Thanks for reading…
… but wait. A familiar face suddenly shows up
|Well at least one of us saw the match|
It’s Dr. WooKi! He serves up a story about being from the Secret Service, and he needs Dino to steal a rare element from Mitsushita technologies. I guess the real mission is about to begin.
I head towards the Mitsushita office, which is where Dino first tried to apply for a job in his intro segment. On the way there, however, I notice a new item hanging on the newspaper seller’s booth. It’s…. A newspaper! I pick it up and read it.
|Apparently the newspaper seller is so caught up in his metro ticket business that he forgot to charge for the newspaper|
After knowing about the volunteer applications, I can now get into Mitsushita offices
|Yes. I’m volunteering to…. steal stuff from you! *snigger*|
Inside a quite garish looking reception area, I’m greeted by a receptionist who calls for a Dr. Buoz.
|Maybe you should experiment on making a carpet cleaning device instead|
He leads me in to a lab of sorts, where he and some guy who looks like Albert Einstein want to ask me some questions.
|Please let the answer be “E=MC²”?|
The questions are fairly simple, ranging from what’s 5×7 to what was the color of Napoleon’s white horse. On each question, I can choose the correct answer, a wrong answer, and a way off answer. If I answer them all correctly, they tell me I’m not stupid enough, so I can’t join the experiment, and I’m subsequently evicted from the premises. If I answer everything incorrectly, I’m apparently too stupid, and will also need to leave. Every time I fail, I can enter the building for a new attempt, as if nothing happened, so it’s just a matter of experimenting.
I end up answering the question “What’s your name” correctly, and everything else wrong, and they’re finally happy. They bring me in to another room and hook me up to a machine.
|Um.. something something… cereal simulator. Got it.|
They have a theory that the IQ of an individual is closely related to the electrical conductivity of his neuron synapses, and that by giving Dino’s head an electrical shock, they can increase this conductivity, thus increasing his brain capacity. Seems legit. And to top it off, the chance of failure is lower than 70%. If only more people knew.
At this point all I can do is watch them send a bolt of electricity into Dino’s head. After it’s done, the good doctor wants to know how he feels.
|Sounds impressive, but it’s mostly due to the glasses|
They seem happy with the results, and administer another “IQ test”, or as I like to call it, a quiz.
|How does this help you to determine IQ?|
There are a couple of math questions as well, but they’re also in the “either you know or you don’t”-category. Like “What’s the formula of Coulomb attraction?” ( I had to google it ). Contrary to the previous quiz, where I was evicted and had to come back to try again, this section just loops until I’ve answered all the questions correctly. By default, Dino guesses wrong on the last question, so the scientists determine that the machine is unstable, and want to keep Dino for a couple of days, for observation.
I’m moved to the previous examination room, where I’m now free to examine stuff (as one does). The room contains a computer, a printer and several drawers full of floppy disks. I can insert the disks into the computer ( after which they mysteriously disappear ). Most of them contain unspecified experiment results, but one contains some of developer Max’s adult entertainment:
|But look at the size of those pixels!|
One disk contains a Cray emulator. Cray was a line of supercomputers, starting with the 64-bit 80MHz Cray-1 in 1976. When I look at the computer in the lab, Dino says it’s an Oric-1. Ok ok, nothing out of the ordinary here, right? Wrong! The Oric-1 was a cheap 8-bit 1MHz machine, and would probably pass out from just being in the vicinity of the Cray. And that’s not even taking into account the newer models that would have existed in 1992! Pfft! Cray Emulator…
Anyway, there’s also a disk labeled “Copy Nippon Safes Inc.” This naturally won’t work in the computer, because it’s a pirate copy. And those never work. Ever. The last labeled disk is um.. labeled “COBOL compiler”.
The 4 labeled disks don’t disappear, but they also don’t produce any results when inserted. But then I noticed I can pick up the printer cable, and next to the door is a loose panel, that can be removed. Behind the panel I see what must be a parallel port, since I can actually plug the printer cable into it, thus connecting the panel to the computer. I can now insert the COBOL compiler disk, and Dino will write a COBOL program that opens the door. That’s what a little electricity through the brain can do for you, kids! It can put knowledge into your brain, that’s what.
The door opens and I can enter the reception area again. Rummaging through the filing cabinet, I find no files, but rather a flower pot, some fennel, a pack of spaghetti and a sack of bean seeds ( I think I can guess where this is going )
|Hope they’re not has-beans|
I go left again and find myself back in the electric chair room. The scientists are still nowhere to be seen.
|Just about everything in this room looks dangerous in some way|
I can remove a grid from the left door, marked “lab”, creating an opening too small to go through, and I also can’t reach anything inside. There’s a faucet to the right of the chair, that doesn’t register on a plain mouseover, but can be used to fill my flower pot with some sort of radioactive looking green goo.
|I wonder if we can make a flying spaghetti monster|
The contraption on the left wall hides a robot that chases me when I push a button that I can’t really make out, but that shows up on a mouseover.
|What’s with the smiley face? Is that supposed to be scary?|
At first, I run out of the room, and come back to see him back in his place, but after a few tries I realize I don’t have to react at all. He’ll just move back to his spot after a short while. I try to reach whatever’s behind him, but Dino moves a little bit automatically when the robot is activated, and I don’t have time to get behind him before he moves back.
Eventually, I discover another switch above the door, that turns on something in the chamber on the right, making it glow green. It’s called a reducer. When I click it, Dino goes in and gets shrunk. Like proper Alice in Wonderland-stuff. Walking around like this, he’s suddenly small enough to go through the whole in the door
|How can you be re-duced if you’ve never been duced to begin with? Yes, I’m running out of caption ideas|
At this point, I encounter a bug. If I click the lab door while standing in the green area, Dino does a weird graphic bug thing and teleports to the a bit outside the playing area at the bottom of the screen, and I can’t move him anymore. I find no other solution than to reload. The next time, I make sure to leave the green area first.
|Reducer and dissolver, actually|
|That last caption totally floored me|
On the other side of the lab door, Dino automatically goes back to normal size. (I don’t know if that’s with or without the 12 kilos he had to gain to become a sumo wrestler.)
There’s some sort of weird water tank or something inside. Trying all my items at random, I find that I can plant the bean seeds in what appears to be soil at the bottom of the tank.
|What has bean seed, cannot be unseed|
Since not much happens after that, I try pouring my pot of goo on the whole shebang, and a tree rapidly grows before my eyes, sprouting a superbean. I kid you not. Just look:
|Would you REALLY eat this?|
The lab door opens from the inside, and after eating the superbean, I gain the by now customary punch action. After activating the sentry robot again, I now have the beans… sorry, means to incapacitate it
The robot shuts down again, and I’m free to pick up whatever’s behind him. Which turns out to be the object I was sent here to retrieve, a magnet. Having fulfilled my mission, I leave the building, and…
|Plants vs. dummies|
And that concludes Dino’s chapter. Now this would’ve been a good time to stop if not for the fact that the “great” part of the “great final” clearly isn’t referring to its length.
The end is near, I promise. Let’s press on and get through this last stretch together.
|But what if we’re expecting you to kill us?|
Seems like the good dr. WooKi isn’t so good after all. Who’d have guessed? He thinks our heroes know too much ( debatable ), so he’ll have to get rid of them. But as any good villain knows, you can’t kill heroes without first antagonizing them with a boring monologue, where you provide a detailed explanation of your sinister plot.
|Nippon safes inc. Now where have I heard that name before?|
Ok, history lesson time. Nippon Safes inc. used to be one of the most famous safe companies in the world, and rich guys would come from all over the world to put their bling in them. WooKi’s partner was the real genius behind the safes, but one day he disappeared, and business went downhill. WooKi was a sort of business manager in the company, so he got in trouble when the safe creator was no longer with them.
But one day WooKi found a letter from his partner, detailing how to discover a safe containing a book with all his secret. It would allow the reader to open all safes built by the creator ( sounds terribly unsafe to me ). To open this safe, one would need three keys, each hidden inside a special item. Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you might guess that these items are the ones our three protagonists have sacrificed hours of my time to obtain.
After the rant is over, I gain control over the evil doctor. The safe door has 3 holes, and I have 3 items. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to issue a request for assistance to this puzzle.
|So the Buddha shaped peg goes in the… sword shaped hole..? No, that’s not right|
After putting all objects in their right place.. Wait, weren’t the keys supposed to be hidden inside the items? Oh whatever….
|I still don’t think I’ve been told the name of this guy|
The recording of the dead partner concedes that WooKi must be the smarter man, since he managed to find the safe and open it, that he holds no grudge, and that WooKi is truly deserving of the book. All that remains is for him to go in and grab it. Come on now. Don’t be scared. Go get your prize
Mr. creator devoted his life to protecting honest people(‘s valuables – my edit), and he was certainly not about to help a thief like Dr. WooKi. Then the whole safe/trap falls down into a lava pit, uncovering a cleverly placed reminder of what game I’m actually playing. In case I’d forgotten.
|Obvious product placement|
After some light banter, Doug and Donna discover that Dino’s hands aren’t tied. The dr. apparently forgot, but Dino didn’t want to interrupt the story. Cute. We get some reminiscing about what our guys have been through. Doug’s going back to cracking safes, now that Nippon safes inc. has gone bankrupt. Donna has a marriage proposal to reconsider ( just.. don’t ), and Dino can’t remember how he got here.
Finally, all line up and smile for the camera. And end with a joke
|Oh, that Dino|
Ok, I guess we’re done…. But wait!
Ok, now we’re done. For everyone who made it through to the end, I appreciate it. Now I need to go back and think long and hard about how to rate this game.
Time played: 18h 40m
Tioko/Tyoko mentions (accumulated)
Tioko: 13 Tyoko: 13 ( No way! )
Inventory: Well, nothing really, since I used all three items in the last section