IF Comp ’09 – Tiberius Thingamus’ Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort!October 2, 2009
Yeah, this looks like a goofy one. These always worry me, since… well, let’s get this right out in the open: Wackiness is not, by itself, funny. Yes, a great many genuinely funny things exist that are off-beat or surreal or charmingly zany, but you cannot merely show up in a pair of oversized lederhosen and a hat that makes you look as though your whole body is being laid by a chicken and expect the surrounding aether to crystallize into a rich pure vein of actual funny, because it won’t, and everyone will feel sort of uncomfortable and sad for you.
Not that Tiberius Thingamus’ Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort is going to be this sort of game, necessarily. It might turn out to be silly, which is highly preferable to wacky. I will give it twelve million points if it turns out to be a Kierkegaard-inspired Gothic cybernoir with an anti-hero protagonist done in minimalist prose.
I never know how big this RSS buffer is supposed to be. One more paragraph, I think, should do it. Haagen-Dazs Five ice cream is delicious. The texture alone makes me wonder if this is a thing mere mortals were ever intended to consume. What act of good have I done in my life that I should be allowed to purchase a tub of this exquisite manna for like three flipping dollars? I have cured no diseases. I have saved no curly-headed children from horrible deaths. There is no way I can be worthy.
Seriously, though, it’s really good.
Mostly Spoiler-Free Upshot: The forced-wackiness levels in this game were much lower than I’d been expecting, but every instance of the words “the,” “you,” and maybe a couple others, has been replaced with the word “ye.” This. Gets. Old. And there’s something about the green-on-black text that gives me a headache, and I’m not sure you’re even allowed to use the word “yonself” to mean “itself,” I’m not completely convinced “yonself” is even a word, and… yeah.
The game under the irritating candy shell, though, is a perfectly serviceable, if not particularly challenging, old-school puzzler, and I encountered no bugs or typoes (granted, I was trying to read each sentence without actually looking at it), which by itself probably puts this game in the top sixty percent. Also, I chuckled a few times, and no one actually died. So, y’know, not bad.
[spoilers start here]
Well, I am yon temporary licker of stamps and I do possess no units of treasure or treasur. I’d say it could go either way from here.
Ye standeth at ye edge of ye forest outside yon castle, which is surrounded by yon moat.
Oh, God, the entire thing is in faux-medieval. Wait, what am I complaining about? The last game I played was primarily in German. I can probably sort of read faux-medieval. I hope there’s a ye flask somewhere I can’t get.
Yon tree is tall and nutful.
Ye better believeth it.
In yon courtyard appeareth to be yon weird squirrel.
I would opine that squirrels, ducks, and bunnies are, if not the top three most frequently chosen animals for vehicles of wackiness, at least in the top ten.
This seemeth like ye right time to mentioneth yon mandatory warning that ye should examineth ev’rything which ye doth see in ye room description. Or else ’tis quite possibly too late, but ye should hath figured as much.
Ah, playing by Infocom rules, are we? I see how it is.
Ye examineth ye greenery-like thing(s), and figureth ’tis basically like ye greenery, only more thing-like.
Okay, I chuckled.
(for, lo, ye sense of hallness is strong in this one)
And here I rolled my eyes.
Oh, God, ye Evil Blizzard King hath spake ye curse of bad spakery upon ye kingdom. “Hath spake ye curse of bad spakery” as a phrase makes me want to perform an unspecified violence upon an unspecified person’s unspecified bits.
“Ye stoppeth before ye pulleth yon ligaments in ye back or something” made me giggle, though, possibly because the base sentence under the ye-oldes was modern and colloquial enough for the contrast to work. It’s fun to speculate about this stuff, but it’s not getting me any treasure (or treasur), dammit.
I like that the Booke of Wisdom gives room-specific hints when you read it. That’s neat.
So, okay, looks like what we’ve got here is a puzzler of the tascade variety (you need to open door A with key B, which is in box C, which opens with crowbar D, which was eaten by monster E, and can be removed with stomach pump F, etc.), and while the green-on-black type combined with ye olde Englyshe is starting to get to me, it’s not un-fun, as these things go.
Furniture objects don’t seem to be movable, or at least I haven’t found one yet that is. This strikes me as odd for this type of game, where generally there’s a thing under the thing and you move the thing and lo, there’s the thing. Or, y’know, whatever.
Oh, good, a gnome to ask me riddles I know the answers to! It’s a nice change from “examine every object in the room description, then do the logical thing.”
“Gack!” Ye gnome throweth ye tiny tantrum. “I hateth yon envelopes![“]
Oh, man, he wants to know if I know the name of the first ever monkey to survive a rocket flight. I certainly hope I’m not expected to not google.
This isn’t him, but it’s cute.
What are these puzzle footnotes I’m supposed to see and where do I see them?
To ye south of ye cakery lieth ye more mundane bakery and to ye east is ye dakery.
Okay, that’s sort of funny. I think. It’s possible I don’t ye even ye know ye anyemore. I kind of… want to lie down, actually.
Yeah. Yeah. I think I’m done.