davidn: (skull)
[personal profile] davidn
Creepy Acres is looking less and less like a nice relaxing weekend by the hour, isn't it? And I'm not counting on Act IV to change that much.




In the last thrilling episode of this adventure, we were completely blindsided by the clock appearing...




...and once again, there's nothing to do in this room.




Until we go out...




...and back in again. Why does this happen so consistently? It's such an absurd choice to make, to only cause the acts to switch over the second time you come into the room where it happens. The other quarter-hour shifts in time don't need the same dance to get them to activate. Perhaps it's so that if there's something important in the room and it's the last one you explore, then you don't miss anything? But that doesn't sound very Sierra. And it's still very possible to miss everything else. I just don't understand it.

Oh, and Gloria's gone.




As it happens it's the record for most number of broken records.




Ah, the Luminous Chicken strikes again. He should really get a better villain name. Who am I kidding, it's Clarence. Dressed in a big chicken suit.




Well, she's not out here.








The guide says to try and examine the patch of mud more closely, but I couldn't.




Not even after doing this.




At least this is something, though.




Wait a minute, what's Jeeves doing?




"Sigh, yet another murder. It is most tiresome tidying them up every night." Jeeves brushes the carpet a bit and then leaves, either unconcerned or eager to destroy the evidence. I love how purposeful his animation is, he doesn't question it at all - just straight into the screen, hoover hoover hoover, then back out again. If you haven't picked up the record pieces by this point you presumably lose it.




The walkthrough now says we have to search all four secret passages because a cigar butt has appeared in one - I was lucky and got it on my first try.








It's a small cigar butt, as opposed to a large one. But then, even a large cigar is pretty small by the time you've inhaled most of it. I think that here, the game is trying to imply that the Colonel is up to no good in the secret passages (just like we are) - as you'll recall, the walkthrough told us to pay attention to the cigars, and the Colonel had a small one while Clarence preferred large ones. This is such an unfathomably rubbish piece of evidence - are we saying that the cigars that they were first seen with remain with them throughout the game? Are either of them not likely to possess both large and small cigars? Do cigar-smokers stick to one brand and one size, or is it like a tobacco-filled burrito where you can have an extra large one if you're feeling particularly low on toxins that day? I have so many questions, and I don't want to go and research cigar habits like I did horses.




Jeeves comes in to sweep up the evidence from the study as well. I don't know what happens here if you left the poker lying around. I don't feel like finding out.






Moving west to the study again gets us to 10:15 already, and Lillian is wondering something that I'd rather she didn't wonder, especially considering her state of mind in the last act.




Good! Now get away from there before you hurt yourself. (Someone else will probably be along to do that shortly.)






Lillian stops you from looking in the weapons cabinets! Meaning that we can't tell if she grabbed a dagger, knife, machete, rifle, plasma cannon or trebuchet while she was in there. The little pistol's still in its case, though, so we can rule that out, at least. We'll keep an eye on her.






Stepping outside, another fifteen minutes have flown past! And Rudy looked like he was wandering around the grounds now, too.

The walkthrough warns that this is a particularly frustrating part of The Colonel's Bequest - honestly, things in the game have been pretty good at behaving in the order that it told me they would happen so far, but this section has a greater-than-normal chance of messing up. You have to hope that you don't run into people in the grounds in the wrong order - otherwise, you'll spontaneously enter Act V and miss out on anything else that was meant to happen here.

It advises going back into the house and to the east side that way rather than taking the outdoor route - but I risked it and was fine. Mostly. We'll see later.






Well, it's a well. There are a surprisingly large number of outside locations drawn for the game, including those that don't really do anything - and they really get the swampy, oppressive atmosphere across especially considering they can only use 16 colours! I love the dithered shadows forming purple stripes across the pathway.




Sadly, someone had to dump their rubbish here and muck up the scenery.






Again, we really aren't given much description and Laura remains very stoic and flat (even with a small attempt at emotion with the word "nervously" included there at the start). For all the second game's faults as an adventure, this is something that it did a lot better than this first attempt - you at least get a reaction from the narration and from Laura herself as she discovers them! On top of that, the second game's deaths and body reveals were imaginative and varied, even if they were so utterly beyond the realms of plausibility. This game is making me appreciate them a lot more despite how preposterous they were - in this mystery, people just suddenly disappear and then turn up lying around elsewhere having been bonked on the head or strangled a bit.

Let's get out of here and go back to the house.






Nearly the end of this act already! We fairly blazed through this one. The flavour text chose a bad time to appear here - you get a LOOK-type description like this automatically whenever you enter a room that you haven't been in before (it hasn't been me typing LOOK manually the whole time), but because this is the first time we've been on this screen, we have Laura admiring the architecture as a mighty showdown is threatening to begin.




I decided this looked like it could be a fighting game background. So I turned it into one.







Again, maybe this was a far deadlier insult in the 1920s, but I can't help but picture this as a 1980s high school film with the weedy friend of the protagonist shouting it across the playground to the class bully.




Years of experience in law to come up with retorts like this.










All in all, that was a fairly uninteresting fight - Rudy just pushes Clarence to the ground and runs off, followed by a properly Alan Rickman "I'll get you" complete with fist-shake from the upended lawyer. (Incidentally I still haven't quite come to terms with the way that there are going to be no more films with Alan Rickman in them.)

That's yet another victim for Clarence to "get" later, then. Have I mentioned Clarence is the killer yet?




Now we're meant to head back into the house and witness a scene with Fifi and Jeeves in the dining room.








I see.

After this they just go about their separate cleaning duties and ignore any attempt to ask them about what just happened. So once again, we'll say nothing and head out of the house again, this time to the Rose Garden to trigger the event that we were trying to avoid last time we were in the grounds.






Yes, it was an unusual idea to draw the paths in the shape of the Quake logo and I can't see the Colonel having come up with that himself.




Once again, to get the acts to switch over, we have to go out of a location and then back into it, and... hmm. Nothing happens.

At this point I was worried that I'd missed some subtle detail, even though I thought I'd followed the GameFAQs walkthrough to the letter - I went over it again and I couldn't find anything I hadn't done. The warning about how easy it was to get the game to mess up or have things happen in the wrong order worried me, as did the detail that I'd noticed Ethel wandering the grounds before when they didn't mention it. With nothing else much in the way of goals, I scanned the terser walkthrough that I was using at the very start and noticed a couple of things that my main lifeline didn't mention.




The first of them is that you can examine this decanter with the monocle as well.




There are fingerprints on it, but we have no means of identifying or transferring them so I'm not sure how this helps.




The parrot needs feeding again as well.




Never announce your nefarious plans out loud. Not even if there isn't a parrot in the room.

At the moment, the thing I'm most looking forward to in this game is just how it's going to wriggle its way out of the way that it's implicated Clarence quite so blatantly in every single death so far. If it turns out it was just him I'll be sorely disappointed.

There's also something I didn't examine closely enough when I was up in the attic last time - let's go back there...






What? But I unl... oh, never mind, let's take the lift.






I was immensely confused here because the guide said that I should examine the boots with the monocle... but the game gave me an "I don't see them here" response. On closer inspection, the description for the trunk had changed and the army uniform on top of the pile of clothing had gone! So that's... something, even if it wasn't what I'd hoped for.










I showed some stuff to Celie, but her observations didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.




Well, we can try picking up a different thread instead - do you remember the valve handle that I got ages ago? This is where you're meant to use it.
















It... turns on the fountain. I can see no other side effects or benefits that this brought me. The water effect is quite nice, though, and I love the touch (not exclusive to this screen) that Laura's footsteps kick up splashes when she walks through a wet patch.

None of these seemed to have any effect on the game at all, and I was on the point of giving up, reading and re-reading through both walkthroughs to see anything I'd missed, when I switched back to the game and...




...act V had just started by itself. Creepy.
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