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CGDC #7 – One Man & Lots of Caffeine’s Zegrothenus!

February 21, 2010

I wonder if I have enough caffeine to play this game.  I do have several pounds of Thai tea leaves.  Damn, there’s no condensed milk.  How do you explain that, Mr. ASCII DJ?

                    @=====@
                  #=@       @=#_
                 # \/\/\/\/\/\ #\
                 @@|  _   _  |@@(
                 @@|\|_|-|_|/|@@ )
                  @|    /\   |@ (
                   |  \~~~~/ |   )
                   |   ~~~~  |   |
                    \_______/    |
             _________|   |_______(____
            /         \   /      (     `\
           /  / |  fvk \ /      |-\---,  \
   _______/  /__|_______@_______|__)___\  \________
  |\      \  \___   ______________#     |  |__     \
  |\\      /\ \  ', |\ # W W W W @@ \   /ooo  `,    \
  ||\\    '  ooo   \\#\ # W W W W @@ \ '        \    \
  || \\    \       ; \#\___o_o_o_o____\ \       ;     \
  \|_|\\    `,_____/  \|______________|  `,_____/      \
       \\                                               \
        \\                                               \
         \\_______________________________________________\
          \  ___________________________________________  |
          || |                                         || |
          || |                                         || |
          || |                                         || |
          \|_|                                         \|_|

He can’t.  He can’t explain it at all.

[spoilers begin here]

It is the time to renew your wizard’s license but this year the council did not renew it automatically.
What?  Screw these bastards!  Don’t they know I am Zegrothenus?

This first paragraph reminds me of when I worked night shift at a hotel and an exhausted-looking woman checked in with her husband and adorable nineish-year-old daughter.  A couple hours later the daughter came down to talk to me and I found out why the mom looked so tired.

“They let me have caffeine ’cause they think it makes me less hyper but really it makes me more hyper.  My favorite is cappucino.  There’s a gas station where we go get cappucino.  Sometimes we go swimming.  I have a snorkel.  I used to have another snorkel but it broke.  Do you have a boyfriend?  I like green.  Look what I can do with my shoes.  Becky says they’re ugly but I think she’s ugly and her hair smells like fish.  I watched a show about sharks once and a shark bit someone’s arm off and it bled a lot.”

She kept this up for hours. I can’t remember how I finally got her to leave, which worries me, because I might very well have gone into a fugue state and stuffed her into the ice machine.  (You would think her parents would have said something, though.  Maybe they were enjoying the silence.)  Anyway, that is what this game reminds me of.  I like butter on muffins.

Okay, so the wizard council or whatever has locked me in my lab with a timer running and ordered me to make a potion if I want my license back.  So I guess I will make a potion.

I have a lot of tools, but what do I use for ingredients?  And what does my animal companion want?  Why is she looking at me like that?

Oh, I see, I can move around the laboratory.  That’ll help.

>put eri in cage
The Fath is not a table, you ogre nostril!
Sorry!  (Wait, who puts tables in cages?)

Inside the dwarf beholder Merengel watches you out of the corner of his single eye.
Dwarf beholder?  Like, a guy who looks at dwarves?

If I take a stones out of the jar and put it in something, I am told I can’t get it out again, because it’s too heavy.

Man, you know what this game could use?  Auto-taking.  Seriously.

Oh, the too heavy thing is a failure message you get when something you’d pick up would put you over your carrying capacity.  The distinction between this and something that is always going to be too heavy could be made much clearer, by which I mean it could be made clear at all.

How do I mop the floor?  Don’t I have an apprentice for that?

Yeah, I am cheating liberally, and I feel no remorse.  This game is like taking the final lab exam for a chemistry class that you didn’t go to even once.  (What is it with this competition and making me do science?  Seriously!)

Once you find the formula, you’re pretty much left to your own devices, as far as helpful nudging goes.  If you try to put the stones in the flask as they are, you’re simply told it won’t help you make the potion, not that you need to frigging pour oil on them and hit them with a hammer.  If you try to put the oily hammer-stricken stones in the flask as they are, you’re not given any indication that you ought to crush them up in the mortar and pestle, although probably someone who has taken a chemistry class in their life would have just known that.

Shit, I fell and ran out of time.  How do I not do that?

Also, it bothers me that you will suddenly notice things on your shelves when you’ve gotten to the step of the potion that requires them.

Man, I am looking at this walkthrough knowing that if I want to complete this game, I’m pretty much gonna have to type it in verbatim, and really really not wanting to do that.  Maybe if I can just find out how to clean the floor up…

Yeah, no, sorry, I just can’t play this game anymore.  I really like the concept, but execution-wise it could use a lot more hinting, an auto-take function, and a readily visible mop.

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