Rex Nebular – Bouncing Betty

From The Adventure Gamer

Written by TBD.

Rex Nebular’s Log: Stardate – Tuesday morning.4: After being shot out of space I’ve crash landed on a planet populated only by women. Am I dreaming? Or do the indigenous creatures who keep wanting to rip off my head make it a nightmare?

We join our hero just after the opening cutscene, during which his ship was shot down and sunk into the water near the coast.

After getting up, the first thing I do is look at the viewscreen. On it I see a topless woman coming out of the water before the screen shorts out, upsetting Rex immensely. Is a pixellated topless woman the extent of naughtiness we’re going to see in this game? I expect so.

I quickly discover that the descriptions in this game are rather verbose and there’s a lot of hotspots I can look at in the first few screens. So much so that before fully exploring the ship I just wanted to go outside despite my usual strategy of looking at absolutely everything.

The descriptions are also amusing, so reading them is fun, but again, after a while, I just wanted to move on.

As I said, verbose but funny

This description doesn’t contain a joke, so it must contain important information.

I open the shield access panel and pull on the shield modulator to take it. Now I have an item in my inventory apart from my log, and it contains a special verb, disassemble.

What kind of game gives me a new verb and won’t let me use it immediately? This game’s inventory system is just a tease!

If I leave the cockpit, I end up in a living area with a bed, medicine cabinet (containing nothing I can take) and refrigerator, among other things.

As a stereotypical cartoon bachelor, my fridge contains some extremely old food.

The living area also has a ladder leading to the airlock. Rather than use the ladder now, I explore the rest of the ship.

The third (and final?) section of the ship is the engineering section. In there I find a rebreather, which will be useful for breathing underwater, and a timer module.

I also find that the life support is being kept active by the auxiliary power module.

Thank you Binky, for the air I breathe.

Having explored the ship thoroughly enough that I’m sick of the long descriptions, I go back to the living room and climb the ladder to the airlock, automatically wearing my rebreather as I exit.

The ship seems to be trying to destroy us by bombing the water. I suppose spaceships are equipped with depth charges now.

On the next screen I find a weed patch that, according to the description, looks like the infamous Venus Man Trap. That sounds dangerous, so I take a closer look.

Having my head ripped off is a rather violent way to die.

On the next screen I find some medical waste, that I don’t seem to be able to take. I try a few things with it.

Much funnier than, “That doesn’t work.”

On the same screen is a mine. I take a closer look…

Having died a few times I notice an interface convenience I really appreciate. On dying, I don’t have to reload a save game, the game automatically returns me to the point just before my death, with my inventory intact. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a major convenience considering the amount of times I’m likely to die in the game. And as the Fourth Law of Adventure Gaming states, the chances of you randomly dying increases exponentially with the length of time played since you last saved the game.

On another screen I find a tunnel surrounded by holes. A fish swims toward the tunnel, but a purple tentacle comes out of one of the holes and eats it.  I try throwing both a dead fish (which I found on a previous screen) and my burger at the hole, but the tentacle just eats the fish and ignores the burger.

I at some point try putting the burger in the dead fish, and that works.

I also take the binoculars that are hanging by a poster of a naked woman.

I go back outside and throw my stuffed fish at the tentacle. The toxicity of my old burger is obviously not terribly palatable, even to a tentacle monster, because it kills him.

Again, funnier than the usual, “Nothing happens.”

After swimming through the now-safe hole, I come to the surface in a small pool in a cave. I exit the cave and find myself in a land of grassy fields. I explore the fields until I die.

Now I know how Super Mario’s enemies feel.

So far, all the creatures in this place seem obsessed with removing my head. With Bouncing Betty blocking the way north, I try a different direction.

To the west I find a witch doctor’s hut, which contains a few interesting items. I take some poison darts, which Rex assumes contain head-shrinking poison due to the shrunken heads the witch doctor seems to be collecting. There is also a cage containing a creature, but I don’t seem to be able to do anything with it for now.

I’ll note that all inventory objects have distinct verbs associated with them. I’m sure many of them are useful, but some are probably just there for comedic purposes.

Here I am, channeling my inner Larry Laffer, or is it Roger Wilco?

Moving further to the west, I hear some noises from the top of a palm tree, but pushing or talking to the tree doesn’t do anything useful.

Attempting to pass into the next screen has the noisy creature (similar to a monkey) throw something at me and steal one of my items.

Because the monkey ran in the direction I’ve already explored, I ignore him for now and continue west. On the next screen, I find what appears to be a human woman and I get to have my first conversation.

She doesn’t believe I’m a real man, so gives me a test to… test my manhood, I suppose.

I had to guess this one. But I guessed correctly. Does that mean I’m a real man or not?

After I show my manly knowledge, she invites me into her hut. After entering the door, we go to a new scene with people watching a security camera. I assume they have security cameras in every hut. Big Sister is real, people.
The bump under the bear rug moves in a way that reminds me of The Sims Woohoo animation. Welcome to ‘Naughty Mode’, ladies and gentlemen.

The women looking on wonder if they can use me so that Gyrain doesn’t have to go through the Gender Bender. I feel like I’ve got enough evidence to give me a solid idea of what the society of this planet is. Like the mythical Amazons, it’s an all female society that uses men for reproductive purposes. The difference being this society has invented a device that turns women into men. What this doesn’t explain though, is why they tried to kill me by blowing up my ship if they prefer to use me for reproduction? Of course it’s also possible I’m significantly wrong with my interpretation of their society.

After the security room cutscene, I’m now alone in the hut and look around. The only seemingly useful item is a twinkifruit, an obvious combination of a twinkie and fruit. I take it.

Outside, I find a clothesline containing bras made from animal hides and hotpants made from straw.

An obvious setup to me being mistaken for a woman many times in this game.

Moving further into the village, I find another woman. This lady doesn’t like me as much and kicks me in the… well, this is a game with naughty humour, where do you think she kicks me?

Good guess

I end up back outside the village. Exploring the land again, I find some leaves next to a bush.

I also find out where the monkey went after stealing my binoculars.

At this point, I decided to restart the game to see if there was a noticeable difference between the Nice/Naughty and Easy/Hard modes.

And on restarting the game I come across the game’s copy protection.

I wonder what happens if I get this wrong…

This game really really hates Rex Nebular’s head.
Trying again and correctly answering the copy protection question, I restarted the game in Nice and Easy Mode, and immediately found a difference – when the topless woman comes up out of the water in view of my probe’s camera, the camera cuts out much earlier.
This is where the camera cuts out in Nice Mode
Naughty Mode’s probe continues working for longer before cutting out

Weirdly, the topless woman poster in Rex’s living quarters is exactly the same in Nice and Naughty Mode. The most noticeable difference between Nice and Naughty Mode ended up being the death sequences. Like the previous example, Nice Mode cuts the death sequences much earlier. Using the example of the weed patch I first died in, I don’t get to see Rex’s head get ripped off and blood slowly dissolving into the water in this mode. I found this interesting, as I thought Nice/Naughty would only be in relation to sex or nudity. I liked that it included violence as well – it makes it seem less like a gimmick.
Playing further on Easy Mode, I noticed a single difference in the puzzle difficulty while underwater. I didn’t have to combine the burger with the dead fish to kill the tentacle monster, as I could just swim through the hole without the monster coming out and killing me. 
But then I came to a puzzle that had been solved in Easy Mode but I hadn’t solved myself in Hard Mode yet.
Oops. I spoiled myself by playing in Easy Mode.

Now, I really should have anticipated this. I’m an idiot. That leaf-covered pit I found in Easy Mode is just an uncovered pit in Hard Mode. Easy Mode also hinted that I’d need some bait. Having screwed up by playing Easy Mode for too long, I sheepishly went back to my Hard Mode playthrough.

Now, whether I’d have worked this solution out myself in Hard Mode is a question I can’t answer. I like to think I’d have worked it out, and even if not, my try everything on everything technique would have worked eventually, but in my defense, I think the game tried to trick me.

Now, tell me I’m just stupid and unobservant, but this picture and description had me thinking these leaves would be best used as food rather than covering a large pit.
Anyway, I used my spinach leaves (which I admit had been found on the same screen as the pit) on the pit, and now I had my leaf-covered pit.
How 3 big spinach leaves covers this pit completely without falling in is beyond me, but thanks for the help, Easy Mode.

I tried putting my twinkifruit on the leaves, which worked. As I stand behind a bush (Rex clearly not even attempting to hide), the large big-mouthed woman who jumped on me and ate my head earlier came bouncing towards my pit trap. She fell in head-first and all I could see were her legs wiggling above the pit.

Well, technically Rex shouldn’t know about the ‘large hungry one’ because the only times I met her earlier I died and the game restored me to before I saw her. Seems the game’s fallen in a spinach-covered plot hole of its own.

I wondered if perhaps saving her might get her to help me, but the game had different ideas.

Oh well, if the game wants me to leave her in the pit I’m not going to argue. And now that I can move beyond the place I first saw the large lady, I continue on and find another screen with a hut – this time with a ladder I can climb.

I take this as a clue I’ll need to get my binoculars back from the monkey thief.

After picking up a few bones I go north, and find another unfriendly woman. This time she doesn’t just kick me, she shoots me with a ray gun.

I may have a big hole in my chest, but at least I have my head this time.

I go back to the palm tree the monkey is hanging out on and try everything I can think of with the monkey and the tree. After a while I discover something I hadn’t noticed earlier – though I couldn’t do anything with the bamboo bush, one of the stalks was laying on the ground next to it. I take it.

Having made a blowgun out of a hollow reed and poison recently in Amazon: Guardians of Eden, I took a guess at what I should do next.

I use my head-shrinking poison darts on the plant stalk and have the option to shoot or hose down with my blowgun. I assumed the hose down option would just involve me spitting through the blowgun, but it turned out hosing down meant shooting darts at him.
I take my binoculars from the ground and go back north to the screen with the ladder. I use my binoculars to look at the area that the woman with the ray gun was patrolling. Rex comments on what she’s doing, and when she enters a machine, I see a closeup of a glove pushing buttons.

After seeing the woman teleport away, Rex falls down, breaking the ladder (purely so I can’t use it again I expect).

Now that Zatox the Raygunner has left I can safely go north, so I do. I also note that the binoculars are likely only useful in very specific places.

Maybe I’m looking through the wrong end of the binoculars this time.

I use the teleporter, typing in the code I saw with my binoculars, and end up in an area that’s already occupied.

Xina: Warrior Princess?

And with that, we’ll end for now. Tune in next time when I attempt to escape from  the Leather Goddessethe Amazon priestesses… the women of this alien complex. Sorry – I keep playing games where I’m captured by a purely female society – it gets confusing.

I’m enjoying this game so far. The humour’s still working for me and the puzzles are challenging enough. I’m still disappointed I didn’t get to solve the spinach pit puzzle by myself but I have nobody but myself to blame for that one. See you next week.

Session Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 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!

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