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IF Comp ’14 – Orion Zymaris’ And Yet It Moves!

October 4, 2014

I kind of used up all my RSS buffer material in that blurb post, so I guess I’ll tell you about Emily’s new hamster.  My housemate just got a hamster, and a really fancy cage for it to live in, with an exercise ball and a lookout tower and a tube full of cotton fluff and some things called “hamsteroids” that I don’t know what they are but they sound amazing, right?  So far this hamster has spent all its time squeezed behind the tube leading to the lookout tower, plotting its escape.

“Dammit, hamster,” Emily said, “I made this great life for you!”

It’s a really cute hamster, though.

[spoilers begin here]

I am Galileo’s former student and have been tasked with checking on his health.  That sounds really easy, provided the diagnosis they want is more like “Well, he seems okay, he’s moving around and stuff” and less like “He has a temulofibular incarption to his right osculated ventrible and it requires surgicology.”

The first thing I notice about this game is that capitalization is optional.

You are carrying:
money purse (closed)
a bag (closed)
a travel case (closed)
You have F6.0.
F6.0?  Is that money?  *googles*  Yes, probably florins.  I suspect I’m going to need at least one tab open to Wikipedia the entire time I spend playing this game.

>x list
You need:
A water vessel
3 Vegetable items
2 Fruit items
1 meat item
For what do I need this?  What is this list?

Commas go inside quotation marks.  I can’t help it, they just do.

“How are you, Galileo?” you ask. He takes some time to respond, as he has started fiddling with his experiment again.
 “Fine. Perfectly fine.” he says shortly.
My work is done here.

A large globe of the arth.
Baby seal, what should we name this planet?  Arth?  Baby seal, you are so good at naming things.  You also have adorable flippers.  I love you, baby seal.  You love me too?  Baby seal, you are the best.

This “getting the monk out of the way so you can talk to Galileo” puzzle would be read-the-author’s-mind-y if it wasn’t so heavily clued.  I don’t feel like I was given a chance to think about it but I also don’t feel like thinking about it would have helped me stumble onto the solution (find a note addressed to the monk inside a bible).

Galileo, the monk is gone again, how do I get you to keep talking and tell me what the thing you have for me is?

>take geese
Those belong to another man. You would not even take a goose you did not own from the lowest of the low.
But I’m an adventurer!

Small letters carved into the wood of the cupboard say
“The garden holds the key.”
I know Post-Its weren’t invented yet in 1630 but carving something like this into one’s cupboard strikes me as odd.

What do you mean, I don’t think it’s worth my while taking a potato?  Am I not supposed to collect the items on this weird list for no discernible purpose?  I’m going to try giving the list to Virginia.  And… she took it from me without saying anything about it.  I wonder if this is one of those games you can easily render unwinnable by giving things to people?

Okay, I have Galileo’s book, and I’m supposed to disguise it somehow.  I have several other books, which I could easily pull the covers off of if this were real life and I wasn’t dealing with a parser.  Do I already have the necessary items to disguise this book or do I need to look around a bit?  I’ll look around a bit.

Wait wait wait wait wait, the game won’t let me take Galileo’s goose, but I can walk right into a barbershop and TAKE ALL from the poor dude’s attic?  Well, shit, now I’m playing this game in Thief Mode!

>buy wine
(the wine)
Not for sale.
 >take wine
(the wine)
Taken.
Why do I even have money?

>take vessel
If you want that water vessel, pay for it.
MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

Welp, I bought everything on the shopping list that I don’t know what it is for or why I have it, and nothing happened, but I guess maybe I feel better now.

Now you just need some supplies, and you can be leaving for Holland. There is a market nearby, and you have a list of things to buy in your bag.
Oh!  But… wait a minute, I’ve had this list since I left for Galileo’s house, back when I had no idea I was even going to Holland!  Never mind, I’m going to solve this conundrum by not thinking about it.

la la la not thinking about it

Wait.  I had already bought everything, but I had to go back to the market to trigger the arrival of the coach?  That could have been coded a lot better.  I might knock this game down to a score of four from the five I was strongly considering.

>x cow
Cow.
Never mind, now it’s back up to five.

another room
You can see another room’s door (east) and Another bed (empty) here.
Why is this room here?  Is someone going to be in it later?  Why do I have this bottle of wine?  Did this game just get sexy?

A knock sounds at the door. “Package for a Mr Sarti”, says a voice.
IT’S A BOMB, I KNOW IT’S A BOMB

Oh, wait, I missed the part about this being several months later.  It’s my copy of Galileo’s book, of course!  I win the game!

…I still have no idea what that bottle of wine was for.  This game gets five points for being playable and having some effort put into it in terms of quantity and devotion to its time period.  It could have been more compelling story-wise (a little more pressure from the Church seems fitting), more carefully implemented, and the puzzles could have been more than a series of baldly stated fetch quests.

Cow.

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