IF Comp ’10 – J. Robinson Wheeler’s The 12:54 to Asgard!

October 7, 2010

Before we get into — oh, what are we playing next?  (What’s everyone else playing?  What’s Mick playing?)  Let’s see, random.org suggests The 12:54 to Asgard by J. Robinson Wheeler.  I’ve met J. Robinson Wheeler.  He was nice.  Had a sweet hat.  I have not been J. Robinson Wheeler, though, so I could not tell you whether or not his mind is a hell.

Oh, but yeah, I wanted to share these with you.  Of all the search terms that have brought you people to this site recently, they are my favorites:

deep pyssey
put super sexi
confuse a cat
i think that sausages are magic because
hermaphrodite giant
light crack cloud
cab you catch chlamydia through the mout

I would profess to be deeply disturbed by all of you if my own personal search history did not consist of:

pudding farts
cats wearing suits
horrorshow dildo
frank sinatra barfight
ectopic pregnancy
crispin glover smoking
corn hole tournament
poodle exercise
taco bell sauce packets vs. sobe caps
our friend the beaver

In my defense, the poodle exercise video is pretty amazing.  Let’s play a game!

[spoilers begin here]

Oh, is it storming in the game?  It’s storming in real life.  Yes, in the desert.  I know.  I am just that Method.

Huh.  I’m surrounded by water and electrical cables in a game called The 12:54 to Asgard.  My life expectancy cannot be high.  On the other hand, my afterlife expectancy is better than usual, so let’s call it a tie.

>x hammer
It’s a hammer. A great hammer. You love this hammer.
Huh.  Am I Thor here?  What would a nice thunder god be doing in a shitty job like this?

>screw tile to roof
I only understood you as far as wanting to screw the roof tile.
Man, screw all these roof tiles.  And this horse.  I don’t even know why we have this horse.  Oh, wait, we don’t.

Little bit of weirdness here with the main leak being an object.  I just got asked what I wanted to tape it to.  (Also I get the feeling there should be more text than “You put the roof tile on the main leak?”)

I don’t freaking know from this puzzle.  It seems like the leak will only accept one object as being “on” it.  When that object is the roof tile, the leak is partially plugged, but water still gets around the edges and I have no idea what to do about that.  No hints in this release, either.  Feel like it’s too soon to pop the ol’ WC, so I guess I’ll flail a bit more.  Eh, screw it, no I won’t.

Screwdriver?  What scre- oh, I can climb the rigging?  Guess I will do that then!

Oh, huh, this props corner is also a room I had no idea existed.  That could be part of my problem, or in fact all of it.

Hmm.  I feel like I ought to plant this seed and pour some fertilizer on it.

Why would the walkthrough encourage me to lick this rutabaga if I’m just going to taste nothing unexpected?  Oh, wait, that is in fact exactly what rutabagas taste like.  I forgot.

You shake the shock out of your head and wipe the mud from your jeans and look around. Wait, where’s the damn roof tile? WTF?
It says this every time I enter the room, which is often, because I’m not really sure what I’m doing.

No kidding, I died?  That’s a surprise.

Huh.  This bit with the turnstiles is really interesting.

I seem to have lost my feather boa.  This makes me sad.

Hmm.  I’ve lost my nails, too.  And, oh no, my hammer!  I loved that hammer!  I’m sort of stuck, I think.  I went through the quartz turnstile and now I’m back in the studio, presumably before I died (since I’m not all splattered all over the floor), but I can’t die that way again because my hammer and nails are missing.  You would think that I’d be able to kill myself easily in a room full of water and electricity, but I’m finding it difficult.

Oh, hey, I could drink this bleach.  That sounds like a plan.
You double over and collapse on the floor, retching over and over again, snot pouring out of your nose and tears streaming out of your eyes, convulsing to the point of exhaustion. It is long and slow and horrible, and you spend the entire time regretting it. When blackness overtakes your mind and dulls some of the torture in your body, it isn’t a relief or a comfort. It is just being helplessly alone and very, very cold.
Winners don’t drink bleach, kids.  You heard the man.  Stay in school.

Oh, shit, all that and I guess I didn’t even have the suitcase.  I suck at dying!

>take all
leaky roof: You took a leak before you left the house tonight.
That cracked me up.

>fix watch
That is broken.
>fix host
He is broken.
>fix me
You are broken.
Okay, now you’re just being creepy.

I don’t think I would have ever figured out that the way to get past the game show host is to put tar paper on his desk and rip it off.  Ever.

You know, if this tree is such a big important deal, I ought to be able to X it.  Just sayin’.

What do you want to unlock the great bronze door with?

Red rocks ribboned with gray and orange chalamite, bands of olive trees, white temples of marble, a blue sky, a green river. Ambrosia and nectar, wine and honey. Lazing and dancing and playing in the sunshine are a curvaceous company of vixens and nymphs, shrieking with the utter gaiety of youth at play.
A wild goose is running around loose here, trying to screw everything that moves.
If there’s one thing I love, it’s abrupt shifts in tone from the poetic to the raunchy.  (And machine translations.  Someday someone will incorporate this feature into a machine translation device and I will curl up under it and die happy.)  Therefore godspeed ye, wild goose, and may your tiny wild-goose penis find its sheath.  Preferably, you know, after I’ve left the room.

Hmm, are goose penii corkscrew-shaped?  Yes, says Google.  Thanks, Google!

You can also see a goose feather here.
>take goose feather
Hanging upside-down from the tree’s remaining solid branch is a gray-bearded old man dressed in pelts and leathers, suspended by a rope tied around his ankle. Perched on the sole of his tied foot is a large black raven.

>tickle man
That’s not a verb I recognise.
Aw, I really did think that was what the feather was for.  Ticklin’ Odin.

Nope, it’s to give to Elisha so he can rewrite the cryptic poem I don’t understand into a slightly different cryptic poem I don’t understand.  How would I have known to show him the scroll?  Never mind; I am so far up the walkthrough’s ass at this point that I’m not sure it matters.  (Walkthrough was lookin’ at me funny so I jumped through its asshole.)

Okay, wait, though, how would I have known to go stand in chaos and sing the name of Ouranos?  Who the hell is Ouranos?  What does any of this have to do with the cryptic poem?  Are these puzzles even remotely solvable without the walkthrough?

There is no up or down, or in or out[…]
And yet the walkthrough tells me to go out, and I do, and succeed in exiting.  I’m feeling kind of lied to here, Ouranos!  Also, I’m googling Ouranos.  Oh, it’s Uranus as originally spelled and less likely to evoke a giggle from ten-year-olds.  Eh, who am I kidding.  A giggle from me.


Man, there are a lot of commands in this walkthrough that result in “I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, you big old crazy person,” which is a bit strange.  It’s like he wrote the walkthrough first, making sure to showcase all the awesome out-of-the-way content he was going to include, then ran out of time and neither included that content nor edited the walkthrough.  (Usually when I say “it’s like,” those words are followed by some bizarre fantasy scenario, like “a turkey sandwich developed sentience and is hitting on your sister” or “everything is covered in gravy and you are the only one able to wield the UberMop,” but in this case I mean that is literally exactly what it’s like.  How boring!)

The children of Israel are standing here, kvetching.

>enter gate
With the scroll in hand, you pass beyond the gate.
*** Your story continues, but it is you who shall write it ***
That’s it?  That’s the ending?

Man.  Well, I liked the writing, and didn’t have much ish with the randomness and general pointlessness of the whole thing.  (Sometimes I like simply being shown a thing, and this game was not lacking in thing.)  The puzzles, though, Jesus.

Actually, there was a point when I thought this game was going to be awesome, which was when I discovered that the turnstiles all led different places, and the quartz one took me back to the studio.  “Oh, cool,” I thought, “I have this suitcase I can use to carry stuff from the material world into the afterlife.  The ramifications of that cannot fail to be awesome!  Maybe I’ll be solving Great Cosmic Puzzles with a roll of tape and a gardening spade.”  Ultimately, though, it was just kind of a giant sprawling mess with super-high puzzle opacity.

I did really like the bit where you get to pick a verb as you’re dying, though.  Game gets a six.

(Update:  Oh, man, check this out.  This is great.)

One comment

  1. If I write a full review of this game, it is definitely going to include the phrase a billionty-neeb, which I incidentally just added to your search term history.

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